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White Jazz Movie Script

Writer(s) : Joe Carnahan, Matthew Michael Carnahan

Genres : Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller

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                          WHITE JAZZ




                          Written by

             Matthew Michael Carnahan & Joe Carnahan



                                                            9/16/07



Based on the novel "White Jazz" by James Ellroy

    Legend: Recife, Brazil, 1983


1   INT. HILLSIDE VILLA - MORNING                                 1

    Stare at my broken face in a gilded mirror. The breaks
    occurred a lifetime ago, healed uneven. I wear a white
    tropical button-down, a Republican-gold Rolex, a pirate-patch
    over what was my left eye.

                        ME (V.O.)
              I'm old. And all I have left is the
              will to remember...

    I reach into a dresser drawer, pull out a yellowed black &
    white picture of HER: this beatific blonde, sleeping. Below
    me is a week-old L.A. Times with the headline: Matriarch of
    Television Series, Empire Ridge, Retires.

    The Matriarch's picture in the middle.                            *

                        ME (V.O.) (CONT'D)
              ...and the fear I'll forget...

    Slide HER over the Matriarch's picture: the Matriarch 30
    years younger now. Lift my eyes back to my reflection.

                        ME (V.O.) (CONT'D)
              I killed innocent men. I betrayed
              sacred oaths. I reaped profit from
              horror. The names are dead or too
              guilty to tell. The events so
              brutal they beg to be re-told...

    Legend: Los Angeles, Fall 1958


2   INT. OLYMPIC AUDITORIUM - FIGHT NIGHT                         2

    The battered face of an Irish Pug. Same guy? No. A hard jab
    bashes the Pug out of frame. And there I am: next to the
    `Ring' Magazine Reporter chewing the ass out of his cigar.

                        ME (V.O.)
              Lieutenant Dave Klein, Vice
              Division. LAPD. That's what my face
              looked like before.

    My point of view now: Irish Pug on the business end of this
    bantam Black's combos. Standing to my left: SERGEANT RICHARD
    "JUNIOR" STEMMONS. Twenty-six.

                                                             2.



                        ME (V.O.) (CONT'D)
              Junior Stemmons. A partner I never
              asked for. The scowl meant to hide
              a shit-scared kid who'd been
              teaching evidence classes three
              months ago. His Old-Man was an LAPD
              lifer who never got past Sergeant.

                        JUNIOR STEMMONS
              We should make our move now.

                        ME
              Mid-fight? Look at the crowd: you
              wanna be at the center of a riot?

                        JUNIOR STEMMONS
              I don't wanna be here when Noonan
              and the Feds show up.

    I point at the bantam Black:

                        ME
              We let Sanderline finish this
              beating, we get his gratitude.                          *

    Junior eyes the exits clockwise, nervous, waiting for
    `Untouchables' to break the doors down. I hate the way panic
    smells when I stand this close to it.

                        JUNIOR STEMMONS
              We gonna let Rock-a-bye fight too-

                        ME
              -relax Junior.


3   INT. LOCKER ROOM - MOMENTS LATER                              3

    The Bantam Black: SANDERLINE JOHNSON. Led through the double
    doors. He sees me, then his gaze shifts to Junior popping
    jabs inches from REUBEN RUIZ: a muscled middle-weight, fight-
    taped hands cuffed behind his back. I smile big:

                        ME
              Sanderline, I'm Lieutenant Klein of
              the LAPD and a real big fan-

                        JUNIOR STEMMONS
              -you're under arrest.

    Sanderline spooks, steps back. Turn and make sure Junior sees
    the fire in my eyes, keep staring at Junior as I speak to
    Sanderline again:

                                                             3.



                        ME
              No you're not. Reuben is-

                        REUBEN RUIZ
              -Lieutenant Dave why you arrest-

                        ME
              -for being a ranked fighter who
              still steals hubcaps. Shut up.
                  (off Ruiz, back to
                   Sanderline)
              If I was gonna arrest you, I
              wouldn't have let you finish: and
              that hook-uppercut combo you got is
              something special.
                  (from Reuben, beat)
              Reuben's in custody. But you could
              be our Guest. Whaddya say?


4   EXT. OLYMPIC AUDITORIUM - MOMENT LATER                        4

    Me, Junior, Reuben, and Sanderline aim for the nearest exit.
    Behind the stands. Reuben and Sanderline in street clothes,
    hats pulled down tight. Feature the Announcer:

                        RING ANNOUNCER
              Ladies and Gentleman...due to
              circumstances beyond our control,
              Rock-A-Bye Ruiz will not fight this-

    -BOOS drown the PA. Beer and lit cigars shell the Announcer.
    Fights erupt in the stands. I can't stifle a chuckle. Three
    exits down: day late-dollar short Feds. WELLES NOONAN, elbows-
    out, surveying the scene like a half-assed Rommel.

                        ME (V.O.)
              Welles Noonan, US Attorney. Ivy
              League Crimefighter. Launching a
              big boxing probe as a way to begin
              prying into everything else crooked
              and corrupt in LA.

    Move faster.

                        ME (V.O.) (CONT'D)
              Unaware the LAPD was walking away
              with his two big witnesses.

    As we near the side exit I stop. Junior pauses, less than a
    foot from my face, pointing up at Noonan, pure panic.

                                                             4.



                        JUNIOR STEMMONS
              C'MON-JESUS-HE'S RIGHT THERE!

    My P.O.V.: second row, washed-up gangster Mickey Cohen with a
    Blonde far too beautiful for his world, a woman you've seen
    before, but only in a yellowed B&W picture 30 years in the
    future. I can't take my eyes away...five seconds-

                        JUNIOR STEMMONS (CONT'D)
              -HE SEES US!

    Noonan's gaze strafes us. I see him squint.

                        ME
              Then you can stop pointing at him.

    Double-time out the double-doors.


5   INT. AMBASSADOR HOTEL - NIGHT                                 5

    9th floor suite. All four of us. I order room service.

                        ME
              Hungry Sanderline?

    Sanderline digs the digs: sports the Ambassador robe over his
    street clothes, reading the Bible.

                        SANDERLINE JOHNSON
              If they got shrimp.

                        ME
                  (into the phone)
              Shrimp cocktail.
                  (over to Reuben)
              You want something Reuben?

                        REUBEN RUIZ
              To know why the fuck I'm here-

                        JUNIOR STEMMONS
              -mind your tone, Shitbird...

                        REUBEN RUIZ
              Shitbird went out with Vaudeville.
              You get your badge in a cereal box?

                        ME
              You're here because we want you to
              remember where you live.

                                                            5.



                    SANDERLINE
              (grade-school mind)
          City of Angels.

                    ME
          Excellent Sanderline.

                    REUBEN RUIZ
          What?

                    ME
          You live in LA, Asshole. You do not
          live in `Federal Government.'

Ruiz turns `caught-me' pink...I nod to Junior: split `em.
Playing adjoining hotel rooms like sweat boxes.

                    JUNIOR STEMMONS
          We get to spend time alone now.

                    REUBEN RUIZ
          Want some perfume?

Junior shoves Ruiz through the inner-door connecting the
rooms. Sanderline giggles. Close the door behind them. Sit
down inches from Sanderline, change my tone:

                    ME
          Stop laughing.

Instant quiet.

                    ME (CONT'D)
          What were you gonna tell Welles
          Noonan?
              (watch as he flinches)
          He has a subpoena with your name on
          it, Sanderline. Why would someone
          like you need to talk to the U.S.
          Attorney?

Sanderline staying silent...

                    ME (CONT'D)
          You're a legbreaker for the Mob. I
          know the Men that pay you for that
          will murder you if they hear you're
          about to talk to the U.S.-

                    SANDERLINE JOHNSON
          -but they don't know...

                                                         6.



                    ME
              (beat, small smile)
          And they don't have to. Now tell me
          what you were gonna tell Noonan-

-phone rings. Sanderline flinches for the second time.

                    SANDERLINE
          Bet you they ran outta shrimp.

I stand, step, answer it:

                    ME
          Yeah.

                    UNIDENTIFIED VOICE (O.S.)
          The Spook with you?

Mild shock. Catalogue potential "who's"...

                    UNIDENTIFIED VOICE (CONT'D)
          C'mon, we know he is. We're just
          trying to be mysterious-

                    ME
          -who's `we?'

                    UNIDENTIFIED VOICE (O.S.)
          Me and Sam G.

                    ME (V.O.)
          G for `Giancana.' I owe him favors
          for the rest of my life.

                    UNIDENTIFIED VOICE (O.S.)
          We're out at the place in Palm
          Springs. You should come out for
          the weekend.

                    ME
          Tell Sam if I get minute-

                    UNIDENTIFIED VOICE
          -yer gonna have to make a minute
          for him. Now. See, we think the
          Spade might testify that Sam owns
          him and how we was grooming him for
          a title shot he was gonna tank. A
          fight everybody woulda' got flush
          off of, including the Spade.                        *
              (beat, quieter)
          Have him look out the window Klein.

                                                               7.



    Click. A breath. Drop the phone on the cradle...step to the
    window...open it...then I chuckle genuine:

                        ME
              Sanderline, you gotta see this...

    Trusting puppy Sanderline steps to the window:

                          SANDERLINE JOHNSON
              What'm I-

    -smash his head against the frame using his forward motion.
    He loses muscle control for the split-second it takes me to
    pitch his legs up and out. My face a quick-change evil mask.

    Feature Sanderline's nine-story fall. That Ambassador Hotel
    robe billows behind him like a cape. He detonates an overhead
    streetlight with a bomb sound, then hits the driveway.

    Unzip my fly, hustle into the bathroom, screams from outside
    now. Flush the toilet as Junior and Ruiz pile through the
    door. Step out, play it baffled: look at the bed where
    Sanderline sat, then the open window, screams floating up...

                        ME
              DID THAT MUTT JUST JUMP?

    Lunge to the window: Sanderline post-mortem. Head shattered.
    Valets sprinting. Junior on the phone. Ruiz steps-up next to
    me: horrified. I keep staring at the smashed body...whisper:

                        ME (CONT'D)
              Remember where you live.

    Reuben has to use both hands to steady himself.


6   INT. POLICE HEADQUARTERS - BRADLEY'S OFFICE - MORNING           6

    Spartan space appointed with high-ticket items like the
    mahogany table around which we sit. Outside: echoes of a
    protest filter through the windows:

                        MUFFLED PROTEST AMALGAM (O.C.)
              MEXICAN BROTHERS SI! IMPERIAL
              DODGERS NO!

    Four of us at the table glued to the T.V, watching U.S.
    Attorney Welles Noonan lambasting the LAPD.

                        ME (V.O.)
              LA's version of the Young Turks,
              only meaner.
                        (MORE)

                                                8.

                    ME (V.O.) (cont'd)
          Boyce Bradley, Chief of Detectives.
          Smartest man in town. And one of
          the richest: Dad was a Real Estate
          Developer who owned a strip of land
          that's now known as the Santa
          Monica Freeway. On either side,
          Bradley's book-ends: D.A. Bob
          Gallaudet, not the smartest man in
          town: `Gas Chamber' Bob cribbed my
          notes at USC Law. And Tom Bethune,
          running for a City Council seat
          that'll decide if this Mexican slum
          called Chavez Ravine gets bulldozed
          and renamed `Dodger Stadium.'              *

                    BRADLEY
          Turn it off.

Bethune leaps like a lapdog, hits the power.

                    ME
          I was pissing. He was jumping.

Bradley picks up a newspaper:

                    BRADLEY
          `US Attorney Noonan is accusing the
          Los Angeles Police Department in
          general, and Lt. David Klein in
          particular, of murder at worst,
          gross incompetence at best...'

                    ME
          Noonan had Sanderline scared. After
          he sang to me he panicked & jumped.

                    TOM BETHUNE
          He did spend a month in Camarillo
          Mental Hospital last year-

                    GAS CHAMBER BOB
          -and wearing that hotel robe over
          his clothes makes him look even
          more looney-bin.

                    TOM BETHUNE
          Plus, Reuben Ruiz recanted. So
          Noonan's Boxing Probe is dead. He's
          got nothing-

                    BRADLEY
          -but time, a mandate and new
          targets...I need to speak to the
          Lieutenant alone.

                                                         9.



Bob and Tom nod, pat my back on the way out: proud uncles
lending support before Dad drops the hammer. Door closes. I
stand, step to the window, big Pro-Mex protest below: Geeks
and placards: `BASEBALL IS AS AMERICAN AS THE TRAIL OF TEARS!

                    BRADLEY (CONT'D)
          Describe to me your duty, as you
          understood it, regarding Sanderline
          Johnson and Reuben Ruiz.

                    ME
          Take both men into custody before
          Noonan and the Feds could, and find                   *
          out what they were going to tell-

                    BRADLEY
          -and why did I choose you for this?

                    ME
          Because I'm a Cop with a law
          degree, and you thought my legal-

                     BRADLEY
          -because your a thug with a law
          degree. Because I thought by now
          you'd be so indebted to this
          Department for not indicting and/or                   *
          imprisoning you, that diligent,
          honest discharge of duty would be
          assured.
              (beat)
          And I made a horrible misjudgment.                    *

                    ME
          Bethune and Gallaudet don't think
          so.

                    BRADLEY
          Bob's happy because he wants to be
          State Attorney General and his most
          likely opponent will be Welles
          Noonan. Tom's happy because Morton
          Diskant, who's leading their City
          Council race, is endorsed by
          Noonan. Thus, they're not seeing
          the larger play.
              (with calculated emphasis)
          Noonan's new target will likely be
          the LAPD itself.

                    ME
          How do you know that?

                                                        10.



                     BRADLEY
          Because that's where I would aim: a
          subpoenaed Federal witness plummets
          to his death in the company of two
          LAPD detectives?
              (beat)
          This screams Police Corruption.                      *
          This offers Noonan the possibility
          of payback in the form of national
          headlines.

I wave it all off:

                    ME
          Johnson did that stint at the Nut
          House -- leak his file to your
          friends at the times-

-and Bradley drops his bomb: Coroner's file. I stare...guess
the contents...try to keep my heart rate in-check...

                    BRADLEY
          My friends would be more interested
          in this.
              (beat, flipping file open)
          Coroner's preliminary: white paint
          chips found embedded in Sanderline
          Johnson's scalp. A matching dent on
          the white window sill. I checked
          with the hotel switchboard and
          found a call was patched to your
          room at about the same time Johnson
          flew out of it.
              (beat, proclamation:)
          It shocks and sickens me that your
          allegiance to the Chicago mob would
          take precedence over the LAPD.

                    ME
              (fuck drawing this out)
          Alright. Where's this going?                         *
              (pull my badge, table it)
          Gun? Shield? What?

                    BRADLEY
          The appearance of disciplinary
          measures taken against you are
          mandated post-Sanderline Johnson,                    *
          so your suspension will be recorded
          but sealed...and kept quiet for now-                 *

                                                           11.



                    ME
          So if the papers or Noonan come
          sniffing around-

                    BRADLEY
          -we can provide adequate proof of
          your dismissal.

                    ME
          But you're not dismissing me.

                    BRADLEY
          Just on paper.
              (closes the file)
          Since I misjudged the Cop I thought
          you were, I'm going to leverage the
          Cop that you are.

Bradley slides the morning paper over. Front page: `Candidate
Diskant Hears The Hue and Cry of The Underclass...' The photo
shows a smiling Diskant, rolled shirt-sleeves, in the middle     *
of a sea of LA Immigrants, all smiling back.                     *

                    BRADLEY (CONT'D)
          Morton Diskant is to be removed
          from the City Council race. The
          means and methods implemented to
          that end I will entrust to you.

                    ME
              (throw a thumb at Bethune)
          You want me to torpedo Diskant so
          your buddy Bethune can win a City                      *
          Council seat uncontested-

                    BRADLEY
          -or spend the next month in lock-up                    *
          before being arraigned on charges                      *
          of gross misconduct and dereliction                    *
          of duty. The preamble before you                       *
          face life in prison for murder.                        *

I stare back. Feel myself getting fitted for strings...

                    BRADLEY (CONT'D)
          Diskant works Saturdays. Late.

Bradley waves me out. I intentionally drag my badge back
across the desk, scratching his Mahogany heirloom.               *

                                                            12.




7   INT. MY 1955 PONTIAC - MORNING                                7

    Hollywood Hills loom in the distance.

                        ME (V.O.)
              Bradley's stooge now. A smart play
              suspending me: a built-in shield                        *
              for him if things go sideways.

    Traffic teeming up Fairfax, tourettes-like glances in my rear-
    view...a Black Buick...maybe mirroring my lane changes.

                        ME (V.O.) (CONT'D)
              Black Buick...five Cars
              back...feels like a tail...

    Brake hard. They hang a left on Fountain.

                        ME (V.O.) (CONT'D)
              ...or maybe I just need sleep.

    Cruising up Nichols Canyon to the pad, cameras and
    copywriters loom on my front lawn.

                        ME (V.O.) (CONT'D)
              Press camped out post-Sanderline,
              looking for quotes to hang me with.                     *

    Slouch in the seat, accelerate, keep looking back...dig that
    geek from the Hearld pissing in my hedges.


8   EXT. WESTWOOD COTTAGE - MORNING                               8

    Up the walkway.

                        ME (V.O.)
              Retreat to Meg's. My kid sister and
              only living family. Mom and Pop
              died in `51 when their first plane
              ride became their last.

    Scoop Meg's LA Herald of the ground. Headlines condemn me.
    Tuck it under my arm as Meg opens the door:

                        MEG
                  (glances from paper to me)
              I already got the Times inside.

                                                            13.




9   INT. WESTWOOD COTTAGE - MOMENTS LATER                         9

    Silver tea-pot over blue flame on olive-drab stove. The Times
    open on the table between us...Same shitty headlines.

                        MEG
              How much is true?

                        ME
              How many times have I lied to you?

                           MEG
              Zero.

    Shrug. Play aloof. Hope it suffices.

                        ME
              You've always liked your Men mean.

     She looks up at me. Feels the shame I shun...                    *

                        ME
              What would Mom and Dad say?

                        ME
              Nothing. That's where I learned it.

    She stands, goes to the stove.

                           MEG
              Poor you.

                        ME
              Yeah, pour me...a cup please.
              Black, no sugar.

    Meg stares darts. I smile to defuse.

                        ME (CONT'D)
              Pretty please.

    She fetches cups and saucers.

                        ME (CONT'D)
              How's work?                                             *

                           MEG
              It's work.

                        ME
              How's Pete?

                                                             14.



                            MEG
               More work.

     Quiet while we wait for the pot...and quiet always means
     creeping sleep: an Enemy I never stop fighting. Force my eyes
     open, shift in my seat: I've been exhausted for years.

     I drift despite my best efforts and for a split second you
     see the Hell I see when sleep wins:


10   INT./EXT. NIGHTMARE                                          10

     Fire where the clouds should be -- POP -- in a backseat,
     point-blank Tommy-gunning two smiling men -- POP -- Marine
     fatigues soaked in blood, plunging my bayonet into a
     cheesecake-white belly -- POP -- that beautiful blonde from       *
     the Olympic, smiling -- POP-                                      *


11   INT. WESTWOOD COTTAGE - SAME MOMENT                          11

     -awake. My leg jerks, kicks a big Wing-Tip. A cup of coffee
     pipes in front of me. Then voices. I turn: PETE BONDURANT has
     his hands on my sister's shoulders.

                         ME (V.O.)
               Big Pete Bondurant. One-time LA
               Sheriff. Bounced when he beat-dead
               a Prisoner who spit at him. A duly
               impressed Howard Hughes hired him
               on as his full-time muscle. My
               Sister's new Hump. My oldest living
               Friend.

                         PETE
                   (turns back at me)
               You look like Death taking a shit.

     Meg cackles.

                         MEG
               He's still got that MGM-face.

                         PETE
               You're still the only guy who ever
               traded movie-potential for Police
               work.

                         MEG
               Because in the movies they make you
               pull your punches.

                                                             15.



     Drain my mug. To Pete:

                         ME
               Wanna do LAPD a favor tonight?

                         MEG
               No. We're going to the Cocoanut-

     -Pete puts an extended index finger in front of Meg's lips,
     which she bends backwards.

                         PETE
               'Favor' mean `free?'

                         ME
               Means $500 an hour.

                         MEG
               Gimme the phone so I can find
               another Date-

                          ME
               -you're the only Woman I know who
               calls Men-

                         MEG
               -you're the only Man I know who
               doesn't call Women.

     Pete laughs, then:                                             *

                         PETE
               What are we doing?


12   EXT. LOW RENT OFFICE BUILDING, EAST LA - NIGHT            12

     Me and Junior in the car. Pete street-side, tucked into the
     shadows -- mimes jacking off, checks his watch. Everybody
     bored. Glance again at the file in my lap:

                          ME (V.O.)
               Morton Diskant, a man who preferred
               migrant workers to million dollar
               ballparks. Beating Bethune in their
               City Council Race despite getting
               outspent 10 to 1.
                   (beat)
               If he wins, the Dodgers don't get a
               Stadium, Mexicans get to keep
               raising chickens two miles from
               City Hall and Bradley makes sure I                   *
               burn for Sanderline Johnson.                         *

                                                        16.



Junior in the backseat, penning in a steno, mouthing
something to himself.

                    ME (V.O.) (CONT'D)
          Junior brought along because he
          begged. Already hip to how many
          ways you can make money with a
          badge.

                    JUNIOR STEMMONS
          You got a birthday coming up.

                    ME
          What?

                    JUNIOR STEMMONS
          On the 16th, right? How old?

                    ME
          Old. What are you writing?                          *

Head down, scribbling mid-sentence, makes me wait a beat.

                    JUNIOR STEMMONS
          Just notes...about work-

                    ME
          -what `work'?

                    JUNIOR STEMMONS
          Mostly compare and contrast stuff.
          Street work versus textbook-

                    ME
          -chapter 1: don't write shit down.
          Chapter 2: or other Cops might kill                 *
          you.

Junior's look practiced in a mirror: clicks the pen, slides
the steno away.

                    JUNIOR STEMMONS
          So you think Noonan will come after
          you for the Sanderline thing? He
          seems like a real hard charger.

Bait him, see if he bites.

                    ME
              (the deadest deadpan)
          I heard he was coming after both of
          us.

                                                                17.



     Feature real concern from Junior.

                         JUNIOR STEMMONS
               What?

                         ME
               Indictments. Prison time. Whole
               nine.

                         JUNIOR STEMMONS
               Holy Jesus. Is this true?

                         ME
               I'm seriously thinking about
               turning Junior...testifying against
               you.

     Junior goes sour...gets he's being goosed. I laugh, glance
     out the windshield: see Diskant finally exiting the office.

                         ME (CONT'D)
               Here we go.

     I start the car, slow-roll up the street. My Hamilton says
     11:04 PM. Streets deserted. Pete walking in Diskant's
     direction now as I continue to roll toward both. Pete close,
     dig his giant head nodding `hello.'

                         ME (V.O.)
               Seen Pete do this a dozen times and
               every time the same thought:

     Pete suddenly puts his back into an left hook: hammers
     Diskant from nowhere as they pass. Instant-ugly crumble.

                         ME (V.O.) (CONT'D)
               God help me if he ever hits me like
               that.

     Pete hoists Diskant by his waist-band, tosses him in the
     backseat. I accelerate out, obeying every law.

                                                       CUT TO:

     PITCH BLACK. Then a series of strobe-flashbulbs: maybe flesh,
     maybe two bodies, maybe both hairy/pale. Then groaning, then
     flickering fluorescent lights make it all look jaundiced.


13   INT. LOW RENT FUCK-TEL ROOM - SAME MOMENT                    13

     Lights now. Diskant awake, trying to loosen his jaw.

                                                          18.



                    ME (V.O.)
          Junior picked up this Quiff jocking
          other Fags in a Men's Room. But
          Quiff was a Law Student who wanted
          his record kept clean.

Quiff nervous but cooing, dick out, on Diskant's thigh.
Junior just as nervous...reloading a camera.

                    JUNIOR STEMMONS
          He should suck his dick. Y'know?
          Put the icing on it.

A baffled moment as the comment registers.

                    PETE
          What?

                    JUNIOR STEMMONS
          Tell me that wouldn't sell
          it...plus he's a Communist.

                    ME
          We're ruining his career, not his
          soul. Reload the camera.

Diskant finally speaks: marble-mouthed. Pushes Quiff away:

                    MORTON DISKANT
          Off me!

Don't waste a second: grab Diskant by the hair, narrate his
immediate future.

                    ME
          Drop out of the City Council race
          or I send these pictures to the
          papers.

Diskant rips his head free. Rage. Blood from his mouth.         *
Scanning the room, sizing up the situation, then:               *

                    MORTON DISKANT
          I'll fight you rotten-

                    ME
          -and maybe salvage something that's
          a close cousin to `respect.' But
          what about your wife and kid
          getting hold of those pictures?

                                                             19.



     Wait for the big futile scream/struggle. Keep waiting.
     Diskant just sits. No words. And now I wish he'd cry, throw
     punches, anything...but he doesn't. I turn to Junior:

                         ME (CONT'D)
               Take the Quiff home.

                         QUIFF
               My name's Franklin-

                         ME
               -of course it is.

     Junior pulls Quiff out the door. By his hand. Just Pete, Me,
     and Diskant now. Silent moments drag sour...

                         ME (CONT'D)
               I need a nod from you Morton, let's
               me know you get it-

                         DISKANT
               -don't say my name...

                         PETE
               He gets it.

                         ME
               Someone from the Times will call
               for a quote. Whatever your reason
               for dropping out make it real.

     As Pete and I turn to leave:

                         DISKANT
                   (not looking at us)
               You eventually lose the ability to
               reconcile the things you've done to
               people. That's Hell.

     A long moment on me and Pete. Blunted by what we just heard.


14   INT. MY 1955 PONTIAC - NEXT MOMENT                        14

     Pete driving. Silence. Tune to an all-night Jazz signal, turn
     up the volume loud enough to jumble doubts. Toss Pete his
     cut. A $500 roll.

                         PETE
                   (pocketing the money)
               Y'know Hughes has a job you're
               tailor-made for. I already gave him
               your-

                                                             20.



                         ME
               -no thanks.

                         PETE
               Stop pretending you're not a pig
               for all this, Klein.

                         ME
               I still got a day job, Pete-

                         PETE
               -tossing more Bantamweights out                       *
               windows?

     I wait too long, answer in too high a voice:

                         ME
               The Mutt jumped.

                          PETE
                   (laughs small, then:)
               Not even the people who don't know
               you believe that. If somebody from
               the DA's office decides to dig, you
               could fry Boy-o. Be nice to be in
               with a billionaire who's got a
               fleet of planes, fly you outta the
               country on a moment's notice.
                   (beat)
               C'mon -- it's a cake legal gig. He                    *
               just wants you to burn some actress
               that stopped fucking him.

     Stop in front of Meg's place. Pete leaves the engine running,
     jumps out.

                         PETE (CONT'D)
               Tomorrow. Hughes Aircraft, 7pm                        *
               It'll be worth it.

     I watch Pete go into Meg's place. Drive on. Stop sign. A
     block away: Black Buick parallel to me. Exhaust plumes. Like
     they're waiting. I keep my eyes on the rear-view as I
     pass...but it just stays put...idling.


15   INT. MY HOME, HOLLYWOOD HILLS - MOMENTS LATER             15

     Lights off but something grabs my eye instantly. Kitchen
     table: a manila envelope. 100 $100-bills. USC season tickets.
     A note: `Thanks for proving Flying Monkeys only live in Oz.
     Sam G.' Exhale. Flip to the same jazz station. Sit. Start
     another futile fight with sleep.

                                                               21.


     The last thing I see before I nod black: my War Trophy, a
     Japanese Officer's Samurai Sword mounted on my mantle.

                                                    SMASH CUT TO:


16   INT./EXT. NIGHTMARE                                            16

     Artillery barrages from Hell: Okinawa, 1945. A hate-fueled
     frenzy hacking up half-starved Jap Soldiers. They dive off
     the Cliffs to escape me: this massive, gray-eyed Marine.

     I dive after them. Bombing toward a world below already
     ablaze. Falling. Gaining on a figure in a bathrobe. This
     guttural scream turns mechanical, like a ring as I recognize
     Sanderline Johnson: his pieced-together face smiling up. Snap
     awake. My phone ringing. 1 AM. Rip the phone from the wall:         *

                           ME (CONT'D)
               Klein-

                         BRADLEY (O.S.)
               -you know who Hector Magdalena is?

                         ME
                   (as cobwebs clear)
               ...yeah...Narco's Snitch.

                         BRADLEY (O.S.)
               He's missing. His home was broken
               into at some point within the last
               hour.

                         ME
               So send Robbery.

                         BRADLEY (O.C.)
               The only thing taken was him.
               Wilshire Station is on-scene. Get
               over there right now.

                           ME
               Why me?

                         BRADLEY
               Call it penance.

                         ME
               I thought that's what Morton
               Diskant was-

                         BRADLEY
               -that makes one of us. 1284 South                         *
               Tremaine.
                         (MORE)

                                                             22.

                         BRADLEY (cont'd)
                   (edge to his voice)
               This kind of timing makes for
               disasters, Lieutenant.

     I hear the first split-second of Bradley smashing his phone
     down. Click my own cradle. Wipe my face. Dial another number.

                         ME
               Junior. Meet me at 1284 South                         *
               Tremaine. 20 minutes.


17   EXT. 1284 SOUTH TREMAINE, MAGDALENA RESIDENCE - LATE NIGHT 17

     Police abound. Mostly work-a-day Blues pounding coffee. They
     part as I approach: Dave "Enforcer" Klein half-legend here. A
     plain-clothes breaks through, aims right at me: DAN WILHITE.

                         ME (V.O.)
               Captain Dan Wilhite, Head of the
               LAPD Narcotics Division. A Michigan
               Catholic poisoned by 25 years in
               this desert. Recently divorced
               despite seven kids with his Ex.

                         WILHITE
               Why are you here?

                         ME
               You smell like bourbon Wilhite-

                         WILHITE
               -fuck off. This is handled. And
               pull your idiot partner out of
               there-

                         ME
               -Junior's already here-

                         WILHITE
               -Magdalena was my Snitch, so it's
               my scene.

     -push past him, toward the house.

                         ME
               Then get Bradley on the horn, so
               you can relay that order. I'm here
               on his word. Now, what happened?

                         WILHITE
                   (dragged out of him)
               Guard dogs are dead. Magdalena's
               missing.

                                      23.



          ME
And presumed what?

          WILHITE
I could give a shit. I just want to
this case to get a quick burial.

          ME
I'll bet. Who made the call?

          WILHITE
Some old broad heard an `argument'
and buzzed Wilshire Station.                *

          ME
Where's the family?

          WILHITE
The wife and daughter were in Santa
Barbara. Just got back.

          ME
    (check my Hamilton)
At 2 AM?                                    *

          WILHITE                           *
The Wife said she got into a fight          *
with her Parents, left ASAP.                *

          ME                                *
Why wasn't Hector with `em?                 *

          WILHITE
What do you think they were                 *
fighting about? Santa Barbara Wasps         *
don't fancy dope-pushing Wetbacks.

          ME
What about the Son?                         *

          WILHITE
    (sneering hatred)
Tommy. Make him your #1 suspect.

          ME
Why's that?                                 *

          WILHITE
He's got a mean streak. And he and          *
Hector had been at each others
throats for months. Have Tommy              *
picked up. He likes to loaf at              *
those nigger jazz joints in Watts.          *

                                                             24.



                         ME
               Alright, you better cut out before                      *
               people start asking why the head of
               Narco is at a missing persons.

     Wilhite gets close, still sneering:

                         WILHITE
               Get a conviction. Grab Tommy and
               pin this thing fast or you'll have
               a whole division of disgraced cops
               at your front door.

                         ME
               What are you talking about Wilhite?

                         WILHITE
               You queered the Fed's   Fight Probe
               by killing that boxer   and they
               already had a hard-on   for the LAPD-                   *
               Bradley sent you down   here as
               damaged goods...think   about it.
               Everybody sees what's   coming.
                   (beat, closer)
               Now close this quick.

     Wilhite bolts. I pause. Clarity finally dissolving the            *
     bloodshot: this is the disaster Bradley was talking about:        *

                         ME (V.O.)
               The God-sized problems I triggered
               tossing Sanderline take shape: the
               LAPD's sanctioned dope-pusher
               vanishes -- that's a pretty juicy                       *
               spot to stick a new probe.                              *


18   INT. MAGDALENA RESIDENCE - MOMENTS LATER                     18

     All money, no taste. In the foyer: a Wilshire Station six-
     pack interviews the old BIDDIE in a threadbare bathrobe. Dyed
     orange hair and a burnt-butter grin. Leans-lunges as she
     relays her story. I zoom in to catch the performance.

                         BIDDIE
                   (mid-sentence)
               -shifty...colored...y'know Negros
               are planning an invasion! After our
               white women and our water supply-

                         OFFICER
               -where was this Peeper you saw?

                                                        25.



                    BIDDIE
          Bushes. Spyin' on Lucille. Seen him                   *
          there before! He's a black saboteur                   *
          looking for fertile white wombs.
          Wanna breed a mulatto master race-                    *

-cut into the crazy:

                       ME
          Officer.

The Six-Pack crosses to confer.

                    ME (CONT'D)
          Besides bat-shit insanity, is there
          anything else about her that rings
          true?

                    OFFICER
          Heard an argument, loud, maybe a
          minute or two, then silence.

                    ME
          What's this `Peeper' riff she's on?

                    OFFICER
          She saw someone in the bushes
          earlier. She's reported that kind
          of thing a dozen other times. She's
          also reported flying saucers, so...

                    ME
          See if any of the other Neighbors
          can verify this `Peeper' thing.                       *

Roam. A hallway. Junior the grim-faced professional, He's got
that damn steno out, scribbling like he's on a deadline.

                    JUNIOR STEMMONS
          No one touch a thing `til I say.

He's hovering over a lake of blood, drag marks originating in
that lake lead out to the garage. Junior sees me. See him
startle, then jut his tough-guy chin on reflex:

                       JUNIOR STEMMONS (CONT'D)
          Dave-

                    ME
          -Lieutenant Klein. I said `meet me'
          in twenty minutes' not `go in
          without me.'

                                                        26.



                    JUNIOR STEMMONS
          All I've been doing-

                    ME
              (hard/harsh/low)
          -is stepping on dicks. You don't
          know the history, the players or
          the play.

Pull Junior aside, impart the following tightly:

                    ME (CONT'D)
          The Department gave Magdalena a                      *
          monopoly on the LA dope trade
          decades ago-

                    JUNIOR STEMMONS
          -what Department?

                    ME
          Us Pollyanna -- LAPD. We bullet-
          proofed him in exchange for 60% of
          his profit and a promise he only
          deal drugs in Darktown and East LA-                  *

                    JUNIOR STEMMONS
          -Black and Mexican-

                     ME
          -give the man a prize. He'd also                     *
          rat his competition and kill the
          ones we couldn't convict.
          Now keep your mouth shut and stay
          on my hip.

                    JUNIOR STEMMONS                            *
          Fine.                                                *

I want to bounce his head off the wall. I continue my tour
instead. Follow the blood-trail out into the garage where it   *
ends in another smaller lake of blood.

                    JUNIOR STEMMONS (CONT'D)                   *
          Loaded him into a car-

                    ME
          -are all the Magdalena vehicles
          accounted for?

                    JUNIOR STEMMONS
          Except for the Son's: Tommy.                         *

                                                        27.



Continue the tour. Kitchen. Two Dobermans, shot dead. Feature
matching bullet wounds right between their eyes -- yell to      *
the Officer with the Biddie:                                    *

                     ME
          OFFICER.

As he pokes his head around the corner:

                    ME (CONT'D)
          The old lady hear dogs barking?                       *
          Gunshots?

                    OFFICER
          No, I asked. Just the yelling.

Examine the wounds closer. Catch myself petting the deceased
pooches. To Junior:

                    ME
          She didn't hear barking...so they
          were either lousy guard dogs...or
          they knew the Killer.
              (point to the wounds)
          You can't hit something this clean
          unless you're point blank. He
          could've been petting them when he
          fired: look at the burn pattern-                      *
              (point)
          Like when you shoot something with
          a silencer.

                    JUNIOR STEMMONS
          How do you know that?

                    ME
              (stare so he gets it)
          I've shot things with silencers...
          And the old lady didn't hear any                      *
          gunshots.

                    JUNIOR STEMMONS
          You make a family member for it?
          Tommy?

                     ME
          Maybe...                                              *

                    JUNIOR STEMMONS
          Do you want to issue an APB?

                                                             28.



                         ME
               I want to talk to Bradley first.
               Where are the Mother and Daughter?                   *


19   INT. FAMILY ROOM - CONTINUOUS                             19

     Feature this old Matriarch hanging by the thinnest thread:     *
     MADGE MAGDALENA, fifty-plus, dyed blonde bouffant pulled at
     and picked. Sad clown tears smearing too much mascara. She
     pitches a boo-hoo in between belts of wine to a bored stiff
     Wilshire Station six-pack.

     LUCILLE MAGDALENA, 20's: Daughter. Big bedroom eyes. A top
     two sizes too tight. Pops a palm of pills. Doesn't look too
     shattered about Daddy's demise. I make eye contact. I catch    *
     bruises on her arms. She sees me see, tries to cover           *
     nonchalant. The wall phone rings. Grab without asking.         *

                         ME
               It's Klein.

                         BRADLEY (O.S.)
               Update.

                         ME
               Hector's gone. Blood that may or
               may not be his leads out to the                      *
               garage. Two guard dogs shot dead
               but no other signs of a struggle.
               The house is intact.

                         BRADLEY
               Family?

                         ME
               Wife and Daughter are here.

                         BRADLEY
               Describe their state.

                         ME
               Mother Madge aggrieved.                              *
                   (aim my gaze at Lucille)
               Daughter Lucille...indifferent. The                  *
               son is persona non grata and a
               strong early suspect.

                         BRADLEY
               Alright, kick everyone out.
               Including all police personnel.

                                                             29.



                         ME
               How's that?

                         BRADLEY
               Don't question me. Is your partner
               on hand?

                         ME
               Yeah...                                               *

                         BRADLEY
               Have him bag and seal everything
               and bring it to Wilshire Station.
               Find Tommy Magdalena post-haste and
               take him into custody. No APB's,
               nothing to alert Noonan and the FBI
               to this situation.

                         ME
               You want me to-

                         BRADLEY
               -no more information over an open                     *
               line. I'll be at the Bethune event
               later on today. Find me there.

     Click. Second time he's hung up on me in an hour. Pull Junior
     to me just as he's going through a stack of mail:

                         ME
               I'm giving you on-scene command.                      *
               Bradley wants everyone removed from
               the premises and the entire house
               bagged for evidence and brought to
               Wilshire Station.
                   (more of a dare)
               Can you handle this?

     Big brown-nose nods from an aim-to-please Junior.

                         JUNIOR STEMMONS
               Entirely. Where are you going?

                         ME
               To find Tommy Magdalena.


20   INT. CAR - EARLY MORNING                                  20

     Rolling up Hollywood to Highland.

                                                               30.



                         KLEIN (V.O.)
               Big yawns. Half haze from no sleep.
               Buzz dispatch. A message from Pete.
               `Reminder: Hughes aircraft, 7 PM.                      *

     Glance street-side: Sanderline smiling blood in a wind blown
     bathrobe. Blink and he's gone, replaced by a kid hawking the
     Times.

     Pull-over. Toss the kid a coin. Front page: LEADING CANDIDATE
     BOWS FROM CITY COUNCIL RACE, next to a picture of Diskant.
     Pissed for reasons I won't name. Back to the Car. A Black
     Buick passes, slower than the rest of traffic, act like I'm
     oblivious. It turns. I slide in, start my Pontiac.

                          ME (V.O.)
               Another Black Buick. Call it a Fed                     *
               Tail. Noonan already up my ass.                        *
                   (beat)
               Let's see if they got guts enough
               to keep following me South.


21   EXT. DARKTOWN - DAWN                                        21

     Cruising the Crenshaw district, up through Central Ave.

                         ME (V.O.)
               Dispatch gave me Tommy's make and
               model: A `32 Ford Deuce with a bent
               eight. Hot-rodder Tommy liked to
               goose the cops into giving chase.

     Check my mirrors. That Black Buick hangs way back. Cruise
     past jazz clubs: The Savoy, Joe Morris's Plantation, Shepp's
     Playhouse, the Down Beat...no sign of a Ford Deuce. Pull up
     to the Club Alabam. Valets stare: a white man in Watts at
     this hour can only be Cop. Park.                                 *

     Half-a-block back: buzzcuts in that black Buick.

                         ME (V.O.) (CONT'D)
               Noonan tail confirmed: Fed faces                       *
               glow like Martians this far down
               Crenshaw.

     Smile big, give `em a thumbs-up.


22   INT. CLUB ALABAM - DAWN                                     22

     Barely sober patrons sport Cop-hate stares, some on reflex,      *
     some because of Sanderline Johnson.                              *

                                                        31.


Doorman escort the bewildered, strong-arm the belligerent.      *
Almost 6 AM and the club is still half full.

Press on, scan the stage: A Bebop trio toils over an Erroll
Garner tune as a beautiful black girl sings in a satin soft
lilt. This whispering falsetto that makes your hair stand on
end. I stop and listen. Get my only smile of the day from       *
her. Smile back because her voice reminds me to.

Hear beer bottles rattle behind and break. Turn. Squeeze that
smile into a sneer, stare down this massive BARTENDER.          *

                    ME
              (flop badge on bar)
          Get Lester and get me a scotch                        *
          straight.                                             *

The bartender glowers, grabs a bottle, pours, hands the size    *
of catcher's mitts. He slides the glass. I sip.                 *

                    BARTENDER
          Sanderline Johnson was my second                      *
          cousin, Peckerwood. I wouldn't                        *
          drink that with my gun hand.

He vanishes behind a stained curtain. Feel those voodoo         *
stares from behind...and I switch the scotch glass to my left   *
hand as nonchalant as possible. Bartender reappears, motions
me back. I follow. Backstage. I see a figure stretched prone,
ice-pack pressed to his face, rolled reefer between his lips.

                    ME (V.O.)
          Lester Lake. One-time velvet voiced
          crooner. But a dabble in the dope
          trade cost him a set of slashed
          vocal cords at the hands of none                      *
          other than Hector Magdalena.                          *

Only as I get closer do I see the badly swollen black eye. He
looks up at me. A voice like sand-paper left out in the sun:    *

                    LESTER LAKE
          Lieutenant Dave Klein. Slayer of                      *
          Sanderline Johnson...y'got stones                     *
          showing up this far South.                            *

                    ME
          What happened to your face?

                     LESTER LAKE
              (beat)
          Tommy Mag wanted to make sure I
          understood something he was saying.

                                                        32.



                    ME
          Where is he?

                    LESTER LAKE
          Left an hour ago. Emptied my safe.

                    ME
          Shit. He's wise.

                    LESTER LAKE
          To what? You looking for him?

Lester hands me the reefer, take it, toke geeky, belch smoke.

                    ME
              (at the reefer)
          Just never got this...

Lester takes it back, draws deep.

                    LESTER LAKE
          Too white to appreciate good grass.                   *

Now watch Lester's attitude improve toot sweet:

                    ME
          Hector Magdalena is missing,
          presumed dead. Tommy is our sole
          suspect.

He spurts smoke, sits up like a shot, beams.                    *

                    LESTER LAKE
          Muthafucker -- there is a God.
          If only I'd known this an hour ago.

                    ME
          Heartbreaker, huh? You let him gig
          here last night?

                    LESTER LAKE
          I don't let him, he just does.
          Nails on a chalkboard too. He
          rushed the stage last week when we
          had Charlie Mingus drop in for a
          set. Mingus looked at this half-Mex                   *
          greaser kid trying to play `Round                     *
          Midnight,' said that fool couldn't                    *
          find them keys with a flashlight.'

                    ME
          Tommy's playing days are over.

                                      33.



          LESTER LAKE
Hallelujah.

          ME
What time did he show up?

          LESTER LAKE
Around four. Him and these Pachucos         *
poppin' switchblades like punks.
    (mops his brow of blood)
The only thing that was keepin' him         *
`untouched' was Hector...                   *
    (beat, hopeful-prayer)
Is he really dead?                          *

          ME
There's blood all over his house,
seems to belong to him. There's
just no body. Not yet.

          LESTER LAKE
    (a toke, a thought)
I don't feature Tommy for it.               *

          ME
    (my head kinks a bit)                   *
How's that? How many times has he           *
been in here, busted you up?

          LESTER LAKE
Yeah, but he ain't got the salt             *
to truly take a Man's life.                 *
Especially not Hector's...he was            *
scared of him.                              *

          ME                                *
Why?                                        *

          LESTER LAKE                       *
`Cuz Hector been whippin' Tommy's           *
ass from the time he could talk.            *

          ME                                *
What about the Wife? Beat her too?          *

          LESTER LAKE                       *
We used to call that old bitch `the         *
Burglar'...eyes were so black, it           *
looked like she had a mask on.              *

          ME                                *
And the daughter? Lucille?                  *

                                                        34.



Lester can't quip that one as quick. Tokes. Shaking his head.   *

                    LESTER LAKE                                 *
          Things up off the street. Rumors.                     *

                       ME                                       *
          Like?                                                 *

                    LESTER LAKE                                 *
          Hector had turned her out. Using                      *
          her the way the Romans used to use                    *
          their daughters when they did                         *
          business: Some pussy to sweeten the                   *
          pot. Rumor was she got picked up in                   *
          this trick sweep few weeks back.                      *

                    ME                                          *
          Hector was whoring her?                               *

                    LESTER LAKE                                 *
          Hector was an evil Muthafucker.                       *

...Lester tilts his neck back, points to a long keloid scar     *
that stretches across his throat...                             *

                    LESTER LAKE (CONT'D)                        *
          ...born with ruthless bones.                          *
              (sitting up)                                      *
          And if he really is dead and gone,                    *
          this game `bout to explode.                           *

                       ME                                       *
          What game?                                            *

                    LESTER LAKE
          Drugs. Especially here in South
          Central. Hector ran it uncontested.
          Lotta cats gonna rush in now, try
          to plant a flag.                                      *

                    ME
          Tommy can't hold the throne?                          *

                    LESTER LAKE
          Tommy couldn't hold his pecker
          without Hector's help and he knows                    *
          that. He's gonna bury himself like                    *
          a tick. Good luck turning him up,                     *
          he took six or seven grand out the                    *
          safe tonight.

                                                             35.



                         ME
               Eyes and ears for me Lester. He
               turns up, you get in touch.

                         LESTER LAKE                                   *
               If I don't kill him first.                              *


23   EXT. UNION STATION BALLROOM - DAY                            23

     Bethune Campaign Fundraiser turned Victory Bash. Big smiles
     beam above sunburned double-chins. Bethune the nucleus of a
     Press circle-jerk. I weave around, lack of sleep and a
     miserably wrinkled suit make me look like something dug up.

                         REPORTER #1
               Councilman Bethune, was Mr. Diskant
               dropping out the only way you could
               have won this race?

                         TOM BETHUNE
               Not at all. My message of civic
               advancement manifested in that
               beautiful blue baseball team was
               starting to hit home.

     Bethune's beam twitches when he sees me weaving past. Give
     him a quick nod, get nothing back: he can't be seen this
     close to the turd in the punch bowl. Moving by:

                         REPORTER #3
               Anything you'd like to say to
               future constituents?

                         TOM BETHUNE
               I like my Dodger Dogs with mustard
               and relish!

     Bradley at one of the front tables confabbing with DA Gas
     Chamber Bob Gallaudet. As I aim their way, one of my favorite     *
     men aims at me, wearing this Great White grin: FRITZ KOENIG.

                         ME (V.O.)
               Fritz Koenig. German born. Former                       *
               US Spymaster, current Head of the                       *
               LAPD's Intelligence Division. He                        *
               and Bradley in the middle of their
               own Cold War -- each fighting to be
               the second most important member of                     *
               the LAPD behind Chief Parker.                           *

                                                  36.



                    KOENIG                              *
          These functions aren't normally               *
          open to Jews.                                 *

                    ME                                  *
          Someone with your accent should               *
          never be allowed to say `Jew'                 *
          again.                                        *

                    KOENIG                              *
          That accent allowed me to execute             *
          many a Nazi.                                  *

                    ME                                  *
          Then we're both Traitors: Ellis               *
          Island said Grandpa's `Kleinsasser'           *
          was two syllables too long.                   *

                    KOENIG
          I wouldn't have expected so public
          a showing after Sanderline Johnson.

                    ME
          He jumped Fritz.

Koenig flashes that grin again.

                    KOENIG
          I'm sure he did. And where is your
          young partner this day?

                    ME
          Working his first big job.

                    KOENIG
          Might the job involve the LAPD's
          most important missing Wetback,
          Hector Magdalena?

My eyes narrow but stay smiling:

                     ME
          It does.

Koenig nods, casts his gaze out over the crowd.

                    KOENIG
          I've known Stemmons since the
          academy. He was a top pupil. A                *
          peculiar little pain in the ass,
          but very good with details.

                                                        37.



                     ME
          Kid might have some climb in him.
               (look back at Bradley)
          Reminds me of another pain in the
          ass.

Koenig roars this big frightening laugh of his.

                    KOENIG
          I'm puzzled as to why the Bradley
          would assign you to the Magdalena                     *
          case when you're neither Homicide
          nor Robbery...

                    ME
          There's no body, and nothing was
          taken except Hector.

                    KOENIG
          He does know how to delegate
          doesn't he...and also I'm sure that
          poor Negro's nosedive has put you
          squarely in his debt.

                    ME
          Something like that.                                  *

                    KOENIG
          Keep me abreast will you? Chief
          Parker is understandably nervous.
          Situations like these tend to yield
          grief...and we've the FBI poking                      *
          around our garden patch.                              *

                    ME
          My ass first Fritz, yours second.

Koenig's big laugh again. Moving toward Bradley now. Then
flashbulbs pop-blind. Panic: snapping pix of me? Relief: not
me. Hollywood types: this Buff McMan Meat-type and Her. I go
slack inches from the Press that yesterday wanted to roll in
my guts...but now they're just as entranced with her as I am.

She and McMan Meat continue past as I stare, she answers his
questions for him. I think her eyes see mine. Then I realize
where I'm standing. Bradley waiting. Focused on me and not
her -- God-damned Eunuch. I step over, speak without preface:

                    ME (CONT'D)
          Tommy Magdalena has gone to ground
          and he's got a war chest to keep
          him there. The only way we take him
          quickly is to issue a citywide APB-

                                      38.



          BRADLEY
-no. We can't risk that. Do you             *
make him for the murderer?

          ME
Yeah. Hector's disappearance is
definitely an inside job. That
whole family feels hinky. The
daughter was all bruises and no
tears and Hector's hop-head wife            *
looks part punching bag.

          BRADLEY
Do you suspect either of the women?         *

          ME
According to Wilhite, they were in
Santa Barbara at the time.

          BRADLEY
Verify that. Where is your partner?

          ME
Vouching in evidence at Wilshire
Station.

           BRADLEY
Keep him on that. He had excellent
ratings as an evidence teacher and          *
I trust him more than you.
    (beat)
Find Tommy Magdalena. Focus
everything on that effort & I want
him apprehended Klein, not killed.

          ME
What about Hector? Still missing.

          BRADLEY
And most likely dead. Find the Son.         *
Stakeout the residence. Put tails
on both the mother and daughter --
I want this investigation working
quietly, and around the clock.

          ME                                *
And what do we do if Hector turns           *
up?                                         *

                                                        39.



                    BRADLEY                                    *
          If he's alive, bring him to me. If
          he's dead, have him John Doe'd at                    *
          the morgue until Noonan can be                       *
          drawn off and this FBI situation                     *
          sorted out.                                          *

                    ME
          Wilhite. He was operating Hector-

                    BRADLEY
          -don't worry about Dan Wilhite. You
          deal directly with me. Now go out
          the back. I don't want the press
          recognizing you.

Swallow my sneer. Push through the service doors. Hard.
Headed back toward the kitchen, an exit sign. I pass an
alcove: Her. Alone. Smoke break. Beauty you almost never get
to examine up close. I stop, stammer, she gives me a once-
over, thinks I'm a Reporter...

                    ME
          You got a light?

                    WOMAN
              (searches my empty hands)
          You got a cigarette?

I fumble for a Chesterfield. She pulls a Zippo slow.

                    WOMAN (CONT'D)
          If you snap a picture of me, I get
          to set you on fire. Fair?

I smile too wide -- fuck. I kill it, try to gather up the
bits of `cool' that shattered with the sophomore smile.

                    ME
          It didn't look like you were all
          that upset with the attention.

                    WOMAN
          Good thing you're not a cop.

                     ME
              (beat)
          How's that?

                    WOMAN
          Your power of observation leaves
          lots to be desired.

                                                             40.



     Lights my cigarette. I hold it in my mouth to hide shaking
     hands.

                            ME
               Thank you.

                         WOMAN
               Don't thank me: these things are
               bad for you.

                         ME
               You believe everything you read?

     Stubs her cigarette.

                         WOMAN
               You believe anything you read?

     She starts walking back the way I came.

                         ME
                   (hail-mary)
               Do you eat Dinner?

                            WOMAN
               No.

     I can't stop watching her, even after she pushes back through
     the double doors, re-entering the fray head-first. I step
     after her. A reporter finally makes me. Random catcalls of
     `Klein! `Hey, Enforcer!' Shutterbugs beeline my way, firing
     flashbulbs from the hip. Close the door quick and bolt.

                         ME (V.O.)
               Make a note: steal Bethune's guest-                     *
               list, then go door-to-door until                        *
               you find her again.


24   INT. WILSHIRE STATION - DAY                                  24

     Stroll. Sidelong stares on the periphery. Muted whispers from     *
     desk cops. Feature this rookie chump clear a path as I pass.      *
     Down a flight of stairs to the evidence lockers. Junior
     writes seizure abstracts, sealing materials in green-banded       *
     evidence bags. A pile stacked neatly on the table next to
     him. That red steno pad in full view.

                         ME
               This everything from the house?

     A beat. He makes me wait as he finishes writing.

                                      41.



          JUNIOR STEMMONS
Everything worthwhile.

          ME
What did you tell the Watch
Commander upstairs?

          JUNIOR STEMMONS
    (schoolboy proud)
That this was a random drug
seizure. I'm not using names and
I'm number coding everything.
A load of interesting stuff too.
    (points to each stack)
I got unregistered fire-arms, more
dope than I've ever seen, and some
mail from business associates that
seems hinky. We should follow up-           *
    (grabs an envelope)                     *
-here, this one, `Hurwitz Holdings'         *
Hector had some real estate
dealings-

           ME
-bag it until Bradley orders us
otherwise.

          JUNIOR STEMMONS
    (like I'm speaking Greek)               *
How do you solve a case when the
evidence is in bags?

          ME
You don't. Our job is to find
Tommy.
    (point to the red steno)
And why is that out?

          JUNIOR STEMMONS
    (like he's caught)
I'm making notes separate from-
    (gear change off my glare)
-I thought we were investigating
Magdalena's disappearance-

          ME
-Don't write shit down. What do you         *
need Kid? A little bouncing ball,           *
bottom of the screen?                       *
    (brace him harder)
Magdalena is twenty years dirty
with this Department...do you think         *
a word of that exists on paper?

                                                             42.



                         JUNIOR STEMMONS
               ...No.

                         ME                                            *
               And there's reasons. Respect them.                      *

     Junior tucks the steno away, chastened.

                          ME (CONT'D)                                  *
               Now we need surveillance set up on
               the house and revolving tails on
               both Madge and Lucille Magdalena.
               Their alibi is they were in Santa
               Barbara when Hector vanished. Find
               out if that's real. The tails and
               the stakeout start tonight.
                   (beat)
               Can you manage this?

     Junior jacks his chin just high enough to save face, tucks
     that steno away, this X-Ray stare.

                         JUNIOR STEMMONS
               Sure, Lieutenant.                                       *


25   INT. MY 1955 PONTIAC - DAY                                   25   *

     Rolling. Crenshaw south. Darktown.                                *

                         ME (V.O.)                                     *
               Police blotter gets me bupkis. Buzz                     *
               dispatch. Looking for license hits                      *
               on that `32 Ford Deuce. Nothing.                        *
               Zoom Darktown again. Zilch. Tommy                       *
               dug in deep.                                            *

     Startle, check my watch: 7:17 pm.                                 *

                         ME
               Shit.


26   INT. HUGHES AIRCRAFT HANGAR - EVENING                        26   *

     Cruise in, crossing the hangar to Pete.

                         ME (V.O.)
               Howard Hughes. Billionaire germ
               freak. Boob man. Pete's prime
               benefactor. Nobody had seen him in
               years.
                         (MORE)

                                                           43.

                    ME (V.O.) (cont'd)
          Now he only communicated through a
          small standing army of lapdog
          lawyers he kept on staff.

A small, effete blonde man: GEOFFREY MILTEER extends his tiny
hand, plastic-cordial, rubbed raw from waiting...                *

                    MILTEER
          Gregory Milteer. Attorney-at-Law. A
          pleasure Lt. Klein.

                    ME
          Dave. Sorry I'm late.                                  *

                    MILTEER
          Indeed.
              (motions to sit)
          Please.

We sit at a huge drafting table. I shoot a sidelong to Pete.

                    MILTEER (CONT'D)
          Thanks for your time on a Sunday.

                    ME
              (a wink for Pete)
          Where's Mr. Hughes?

                    MILTEER
          Unavailable. Unfortunately. But
          I've been given full authority to-

                    ME
          -I'm not contagious...if that's
          what he's worried about.

Pete hate scowls me: have your fun, Asshole...

                    MILTEER
          I don't find that the least bit
          humorous Lt. Klein.

                    ME
          Yes you do. What's your pitch Mr.                      *
          Milteer?

Milteer looks at Pete. Pete half-shrugs. Back to me now:

                                                44.



                    MILTEER
          An `Actress' named Glenda Bledsoe
          signed a Service Contract that
          she's now willfully violating by
          acting in a Z-grade horror picture
          presently `shooting' in Griffith
          Park. Despite entreaties for her to
          cease participation in this
          absurdity, she continues to revel
          in her outlaw status with us. Thus
          we would like her destroyed.

                    ME
          What makes you think I can do a
          better job than your people?

                    MILTEER
          Mr. Bondurant says you're one of
          the smarter people he knows-

                     ME
          -dubious honor if you knew the
          other people Pete knows.
              (beat)
          So you want to catch her in
          violation of her Service Contract?
          Something like that?

                    MILTEER
          Exactly. The morality clause in
          particular as the damage to her
          reputation would be most
          devastating: Nymphomaniac,
          Criminal, Communist...anything
          along these lines. Once you visit
          the set of her `Attack of the
          Atomic Vampires,' you'll see the
          void that is her character. We
          haven't a photograph handy, but
          she's playing the lead female role.         *

                    ME
          I'm happy to help. But my price is
          $10,000. Not 5.

Pete laughs out loud. Milteer goes frigid.

                    MILTEER
          $10,000 should buy more than help.

                                                             45.



                         ME
               For 10 give it any name you want.
               I'm a salaried employee of LAPD,                      *
               that means I'll have to find time
               off hours to do this.

     A long, cold moment drags...                                    *

                         MILTEER
               Agreed. Start tonight. Someone's                      *
               been stealing groceries from our
               talent domiciles. There's no proof
               that it's her, but it's her. Peter
               will provide you addresses.

                         ME
                   (faux fey)
               Thank you Peter.

                         MILTEER
               We look forward to your updates.


27   INT. PAY PHONE ON SEPULVEDA - LATE AFTERNOON              27

     Dialing the Station:

                         ME
               Sergeant, pass a message to
               Stemmons: I want him to meet me at
               the one-thousand block of South
               Tremaine tonight at 11 and at some
               point between now and then, I'll
               need him to do a preliminary work-
               up on a woman named Glenda Bledsoe.
                   (beat, check spelling)
               B-L-E-D-S-O-E. Thanks.

     I hang up, step out, yawn.


28   EXT. ATOMIC VAMPIRE SET - DUSK                            28

     Two-fisting coffees. On top of a hill overlooking the `Atomic
     Vampires' shoot. Pure schlock. The spaceship: a totaled
     Cadillac replete with home-made canopy and cardboard
     extensions on the fins. Crew: homeless winos. Extras:
     homeless drug-fiends. Scan the assembled `talent'...and see:

     HER. My black and white picture. The Beauty at the fight. The
     starlet I threw a Hail Mary dinner pass to at Bethune's
     victory party: GLENDA BLEDSOE. Emerging from a small trailer.

                                                                46.



                          ME (V.O.)
               Twice in a day doesn't happen. Not
               in a city like LA. Not like this.
                   (beat)
               This is fate. This is Cupid firing
               his whole fucking quiver. Move.
               Make sure she's real.

     HER laughing. Melodic. I hike down through the bramble.


29   EXT. ATOMIC VAMPIRE SET - DUSK                               29

     Walk past a pair of beat Airstream Clippers. Watch her
     propping up this silver-haired junkie. She grabs a sound
     blanket, drapes him, hands him her coffee before siting down
     next to another Woman and rehearsing.

     I eyeball the rest of the `set.' Winos in werewolf masks and
     capes, holding wooden ray-guns spray-painted silver: One
     pisses, bottle in one hand, cigarette/dick in the other.

     The "Director" is a fey manic, fingering a snuff-box.

                         DIRECTOR
               This is the big Armada landing, so
               I need everybody's energy up, up
               up! Where's my Alien Commander?

     The Pissing WEREWOLF careens back to set, pulling at his
     zipper, mask askew, covering his eyes.

                         WEREWOLF
               RIGHT HERE GOD DAMN IT.

     MICKEY COHEN, 62, former mob boss. He boils eggs on a hot-
     plate and slings hash to extras lining plywood picnic tables.

                         ME (V.O.)
               Mickey Cohen: one-time LA crime
               kingpin and West Coast Mob heavy
               who now trawls for loose change.

     Winos vibe LAPD, make a hole as I approach:

                         ME (CONT'D)
               Cecil B. Demoted.

                         MICKEY COHEN
               Where Klein goes tsuris follows.
               This is what I hate about being
               down, lip from the likes of you.

                                                        47.



                    ME
          If this is `down' I never want to
          see `out.' How the mighty have
          fallen.

                    MICKEY COHEN
              (gives it right back)
          Which one of us are you talking
          about Klein? Word is the Federal
          Bureau is all hot and bothered with
          you Gonif. Hey, I hear J. Edgar
          schtups his personal assistant and
          makes him wear ladies hose.

                    ME
          What else are you hearing?

                    MICKEY COHEN
          That this Welles Noonan character
          has developed quite a crush. That
          you might want to consider
          relocating to Dogdick, Delaware.

                    ME
          Been a marked man for years Mick.

                    MICKEY COHEN
          But the bullseye on your back's
          never been quite so big...if you
          need a new line of work, I got this
          faygele leading man needs replacing-

-follow Mickey's gaze over to ROCK ROCKWELL. Buff McMan Meat-   *
the guy with Glenda at the Bethune party. He's primping with    *
other boys decked in surplus SS uniforms, checking the side     *
mirror of one of the `Alien craft' before his big close-up.     *

                    MICKEY COHEN
          His agent told me he could play
          straight.

                    ME                                          *
          His agent lied.                                       *

                    MICKEY COHEN                                *
          You interested?                                       *

                    ME
          No. But I am interested in your                       *
          leading lady. Bradley sent me. Saw                    *
          her at the Bethune-

                                                             48.



                         MICKEY COHEN
               -not a chance. I'm still trying to
               play hide the submarine.

                         ME
               You want Chief Bradley angry?

                          MICKEY COHEN
               Ten years ago I could call for that                   *
               little Pisher's head on a stick.
                   (looks around)
               And now...

                         ME
               And now the only thing you're
               putting on sticks are corn dogs.
               What's her name, Mick?

                         MICKEY COHEN
               Glenda.

                         ME
                   (still looking for HER)                           *
               Why was she there?

                         MICKEY COHEN
               Low-budget strategy: I send Glenda
               and Rock to any event where there's
               cameras -- Glenda gets guest-a'-
               honor treatment everywhere with
               that shape a' her's...

                         ME
               What she drive?


30   INT. MY 1955 PONTIAC - NIGHT                              30

     Following the tail-lights of a 56 Corvette. Top-down,
     whipping Blond hair split-second visible under passing street
     lights. Glenda pulls into what I guess is her place: tiny-
     tidy Glendale flat. I roll past: no eye contact.

     Around the block. Park on the next street over. Waiting until
     I think of what comes next...get out now...


31   EXT. GLENDALE - NEXT MOMENT                               31

     Up to a fence. Scratch it: make sure a nuts-hungry Pooch
     isn't slobbering on the other side. Nothing. Vault the fence.
     Dodge a pool. Over another fence and into-

                                                             49.




32   EXT. GLENDA'S BACKYARD - NEXT MOMENT                      32

     -creep to a window: curtains pulled. Creep to another: there
     she is. Watch her: elegant fingers emanate from hands only
     now beginning to betray age. Watch her shake her sandals off.
     Arranging three coffee cups on a tray: company coming.

     On cue: another car. A `53 Cadillac: the Director and Rock
     Rockwell. I crane my neck to get as much of her as I can. She
     leaves the tray, cups steaming. Muffled greetings. Check the
     window, open. Slide it up gentle.


33   INT. TINY LIVING ROOM - SAME MOMENT                       33

     Glenda clearing seats.

                         GLENDA BLEDSOE
               Coffee's in the kitchen. Let's go
               over this quick because I'm beat.

                         DIRECTOR
               We're set on a place where we can
               stash you and Rock. It's in Topanga
               Canyon, two weeks-

                         ROCKWELL
                   (petulant)
               -two weeks? My body'll fall apart-

                         GLENDA BLEDSOE
               -think of it as 14 days of push-ups-
                   (to the Director)
               Are you sure about this Sid? Seems
               shaky. Was this Mickey's idea?

                         DIRECTOR
               And I think it's brilliant!
               Inspired! The two leads of Mickey
               Cohen's magnum opus get kidnapped!
               The press'll eat it up! They'll
               write about `Gangster Mickey,' the
               glory days. Couple a' headlines
               like that and interest in Atomic
               Vampires will go through the roof!
                   (to Glenda)
               Who's gonna grab you?

                         GLENDA BLEDSOE
               A charmer I knew in another
               life...George Ainge.

                                                             50.



     Pat myself down for a pen, scribble on my hand: "A-I-N-G-E"

                         SID FRIZELL
               Is he okay with making it look real-

                         ROCKWELL
               -he can't hit me in the face!                         *
               That's a deal-breaker!

                         GLENDA BLEDSOE
               He'll be thrilled to knock me
               around. Plus he's holding something
               of mine, so we can kill two birds.
               He'll grab us Tuesday in front of
               the Pacific Dining Car.                               *

                         ROCKWELL
               What about Hughes?

                         GLENDA BLEDSOE
               What about him? That angle can only
               help us.

                         SID FRIZELL
               I'm dying to know...was he the
               Spruce Goose between the sheets?


34   EXT. GLENDA'S BACKYARD - SAME MOMENT                      34

     My face folds up -- jealous-sour frown. I reach in, steal one   *
     of the steaming cups, bolt. Audible as I retreat:

                         GLENDA BLEDSOE (O.C.)
               Hung like a newborn and he called
               my tits `propellers.'

     Belly laughter from inside.

                         ME (V.O.)
               The real howler: fake kidnappings
               always bomb.


35   INT. MY 1955 PONTIAC - NIGHT                              35

     Parked. Tepid pulls off the stolen mug. Done. Toss it to the    *
     passenger side: lands on a bed of crumpled Styrofoam. Look
     up: the Magdalena residence looms a few doors down. Glance at
     the passenger seat: an envelope lined with fifty $100 bills.
     The name: BLEDSOE written across the front. Pick it up.

                                                             51.



                         ME (V.O.)
               Thinking I could tip Milteer off to
               the kidnap plot and pick up the
               other half of my payment...
                   (stare at that money)
               Thinking I should just give the
               first half back now...'cuz I know
               right now I'll never hurt her.

     Toss the envelope into the glove-box, slam it shut. Scan. Two
     heads in one of the unmarked patrol cars I ordered. Cursory
     nods as they pass. Tail-lights fade. Dead quiet save my low
     Jazz. Fighting my drift. Check my Hamilton. 10:00. Grimace.       *

                         ME (V.O.) (CONT'D)
               No sense of time. Exhaustion steals
               it. A full hour earlier than I told                     *
               Junior to meet me. I need sleep.                        *

     Yawn. Look up...Lucille Magdalena at her window. Sudden.          *
     Startling: no blouse, pig-tails, big silver-dollar nipples
     touch/steam glass. Pushes the curtains back even further.
     Adrenaline cuts through the lactic acid: wide awake now.

     I see her eyes aren't sex-placid or rolled back -- they're
     scanning -- hopeful to glimpse someone outside looking back.      *

                         ME (V.O.) (CONT'D)                            *
               This routine had been done before.
               That old broad babbling about a
               Peeper. The only other link to
               Hector Magdalena's disappearance.                       *

     She holds her scan for a blink, a different smile, eyes sex-
     placid now, rolled-back now -- she just saw what she was
     looking for: hidden eyes staring back at her. I look to where
     I saw her gaze kink...unholster my .45. Get out quiet.


36   EXT. 1284 SOUTH TREMAINE, NEIGHBORHOOD - NIGHT               36

     Cold for LA. Walking/scanning, .45 flush against my leg.
     Sticking to shadows. Cross the street: two homes down. Quiet
     steps. Closer: a snubbed cigarette smoulders in the gutter...

     Glance back up at the window, Lucille gone -- a forearm
     shiver flashes from nowhere blunts/blasts the back of my
     head. Nose-first into asphalt. Too angry to black out. Spit       *
     blood and scream at the same time so it sounds like drowning:

                         ME
               STOP-

                                                         52.



Still unsure what hit me. Pick-up my gun, clear my nose of
gouting blood, stand, weave: a figure in black, sprinting
away: PEEPER. Wipe away impact-tears, aim, realize my trigger   *
finger is dislocated -- bent back ugly. Tuck the gun use my     *
left hand to pop it back in -- deep growl -- re-aim:

POP-POP-POP. The Peeper pitches. Visible in the streetlight:
a red puff off his right shoulder. Headlights at end of the
block, behind me, come to life now- Baritone of a big V-8.      *
Peeper fighting for balance, keeps running.

I sprint heedless, round the corner: follow a blood-trail,
panting, bleeding my own trail. Lift my eyes to see the
Peeper shoulder through a fence, vanish into a backyard.
Neighborhood mutts yelp a chorus. I cross the street-

-those headlights swerve hard in front of me: Black Buick. I    *
look down in time to watch my knee detonate a quarter-panel.
I bounce off like someone yanked a leash. Crumble-yell. Hands
pick me up. I fight back before I even see at whom I'm
swinging: square-jawed types, eyes hidden by Bureau derbies.    *

Welles Noonan gets out of the passenger-side of the Buick.
Punches me as hard as he can without provocation: nothing to
write home about. My gun clatters to the ground.

                    WELLES NOONAN
          That's for Sanderline Johnson.

                    ME
              (nod at the Peeper trail)
          ARE YOU BLIND-

                    WELLES NOONAN
          -what were you firing at?

                    ME
          The only lead on Magdalena -- we're
          after the same guy you idiot!

                    WELLES NOONAN
              (to one of the goons)
          -write that name down: `Magda-LEE-
          na' or `Magda-LAY-na.'
              (back to me)
          No, we were after you. But thanks
          for the name.

Sag under the weight of my own insomnia-fed stupidity.          *

                                                               53.



                          ME (V.O.)
               Assumed the Feds were smart.
               Assumed they were ready to stick a
               new probe into the LAPD's deal with
               Hector, like Bradley warned, like
               everyone feared. But they had no                        *
               clue and I just handed them the
               whole God damn thing.
                   (beat)
               Like I said: I need sleep...

     Raise my face now, eyes intent, chin out.

                         ME (CONT'D)
               First punch you ever thrown Noonan?
               Your Mom have to teach you how
               because Dad was the same no-chin,
               Connecticut Faggot you are?

     Noonan stops, turns back to me: blazing.

                         ME (V.O.) (CONT'D)
               I think I hit the Noonan family
               dynamic, dead-on.

     He winds up an overhand right: a big-bright flash, then           *
     darkness that feels like lying down on a sunlit lawn.

     FLUTTERING BLACK:

                           WELLES NOONAN (O.C.)
               Drop him.

                         DERBY #1 (O.C.)
               You don't want to take him in?

                         WELLES NOONAN (O.C.)
               I only want to bring him in when I
               know he'll never leave.

     BLACK dissolves to something LIGHTER, then:


37   INT. INTERROGATION ROOM - TIME UNKNOWN                       37

     Horizontal. Someone pushed a table and two chairs to one
     side: space for the cot I'm on. Look up. Junior looking
     down: `Concerned' isn't strong enough. In his undershirt. He
     slips the red steno pad into his back pocket. Sit up. A
     balled dress shirt in my hand, blood sopped.

     Gaze at my Hamilton, face cracked, `5:16am'-- Fritz Koenig
     walks in, silver pitcher in hand. I gape up, still punchy.

                                                        54.



                    ME
          Coffee?

                    KOENIG
          Ice. Bradley's on his way down.

Toss the dress shirt to the floor.

                    JUNIOR STEMMONS
          That's mine...you needed some                        *
          mopping up.

                    ME
          Who found me?

                    JUNIOR STEMMONS
          I did. I got there at eleven like
          you said, right as two black &
          white's pulled up: you were out                      *
          cold in a gutter `round the block.                   *
              (this blithe little grin)
          Did Noonan knock you out?

                    ME
          He hit me with his car first.

                    JUNIOR STEMMONS
              (a nod to Koenig)
          The Captain was the only one here
          at this hour...                                      *

Look from Junior and Koenig to the window behind him --
Bradley steam-rolling our way. To Koenig, conspiratorial:      *

                    KLEIN
          If I need your help later on, can I
          count on it?

                    KOENIG
          Of course you can.

Take the pitcher from him, drop my head, douse myself, the
cold cuts cobwebs. Bradley walks in, imperious. Koenig moves
past -- ice forms between the two.                             *

                    KOENIG (CONT'D)
          Chief.

                    BRADLEY
          What are you doing here?

                    KOENIG
          The Lieutenant was thirsty.

                                                           55.



Koenig closes the door. I refuse to look up at Bradley.

                    BRADLEY
          Progress on Magdalena.

I point to Junior -- happy to play teacher's pet:                *

                    JUNIOR STEMMONS
          No fingerprints. Clean crime scene.
          Canvassed the neighborhood. A
          senile neighbor did report a
          possible Peeper-

-rubbing the back of my head where the Peeper bashed me-

                    ME
          -confirmed Peeper.

Bradley turns to me:

                    BRADLEY
          Is that who knocked you out?

                    ME
          Noonan knocked me out.

                     BRADLEY
              (beat)
          He's having you tailed then...

                    ME
          And he knows the Magdalena name and
          that I was chasing a suspect -- the                    *
          Peeper Lucille strips for.                             *

                    JUNIOR STEMMONS
          She knows someone watches?

                    ME
          And who he is. She has to.
              (back to Bradley)
          I want access to her juvie sheet or                    *
          whatever arrest records exist.                         *
          Rumor was Hector whored her out to                     *
          dealers he did business with.                          *

                    BRADLEY
          That's immaterial.                                     *

                     ME                                          *
              (as my teeth grit)                                 *
          It is if you're eliminating her as                     *
          a suspect-                                             *

                                                        56.



                    BRADLEY                                    *
          -did you confirm their alibi?                        *

Point to the ever-studious Junior.                             *

                    JUNIOR STEMMONS                            *
          I spoke with a Mr. and Mrs. Preston                  *
          Mott of Santa Barbara, the parents                   *
          of Madge Magdalena nee Mott and                      *
          they've confirmed their visit and                    *
          also corroborated the argument that                  *
          resulted in them leaving early.                      *

                    BRADLEY                                    *
              (back to me now)                                 *
          One alteration to my previous
          orders-

                    ME                                         *
          -previous orders being what? Assign
          the Cop Noonan blames for his dead
          boxing probe to the case that's
          becoming his new crusade?                            *

Bradley conjures the Roman visage...then slowly opens the      *
door, staring holes in me.                                     *

                    BRADLEY                                    *
          Step out Stemmons.                                   *

Junior balks, looks my way: tries to mimic my sneer. I stand   *
and shove him toward the door. His look back at me: Judas.     *
Bradley closes the door behind him.                            *

                    BRADLEY (CONT'D)                           *
          No direct approach on the mother or                  *
          the daughter.                                        *

                    ME
          No. Madge was a battered wife and                    *
          Lucille was a suborned whore. If                     *
          that's not motive, what is? You                      *
          want answers then we brace those                     *
          two hard.

                    BRADLEY                                    *
          If you do so directly, if they're                    *
          formally questioned then Noonan may                  *
          find out and go after them with
          Federal warrants.

                                                    57.



                    ME
          Noonan will figure out who and what
          Hector was sooner or later.                     *

                    BRADLEY                               *
          Yes he will, so we buy time, keep
          him busy-

                    ME
          -until when?

                    BRADLEY
          Until Tom Bethune votes on the
          floor of the city council in two
          days, ratifying the official start
          of construction on Dodger stadium-

                    ME
          -this is bigger than a fucking
          ballpark! Hector Magdalena and
          Narco is the powder-keg, blows the              *
          whole Department to hell.                       *

                    BRADLEY
          Don't be dramatic, it looks weak.
          Right now, Noonan needs a pursuit,
          so I supply him with one-                       *

                    ME
          -me. You want me to draw him off-               *

                    BRADLEY
          -you've been drawing him off. And
          the more he sees you the less he'll
          think of anything other than
          getting you. Now find Tommy and                 *
          take him alive. Do not let Noonan               *
          get to him. As a potential major                *
          case witness against the LAPD,                  *
          Tommy Magdalena isn't just a powder-            *
          keg, he's an atom bomb.                         *

Bradley walks. Watch him disappear down the hall.

                    ME (V.O.)
          Bradley has a bigger angle and I'm
          getting close to it...I just
          haven't hit home. Yet.                          *

                                                                58.




38   INT. SQUAD ROOM - DAY                                        38

     In a clean T-shirt from my locker. Heading toward Junior's
     desk. All eyes on my wounds. I toss Stemmons his shirt.

                         ME
               Seltzer will take the blood out.

     Junior bitchy, like some broad you stood up:

                         JUNIOR STEMMONS
               I give you the shirt off my back                        *
               and you bash me!                                        *

                         ME
               When a Superior Officer tells you
               to leave the room, you leave the                        *
               fucking room.                                           *

     Junior balls the shirt, stuffs it in his desk drawer. Takes a     *
     deep breath.                                                      *

                         JUNIOR STEMMONS
               I made a file on the Bledsoe broad.
               The one you asked about.

                         ME
               Thanks. But forget it.

                          JUNIOR STEMMONS
               I spent a whole day putting it
               together and this skirt's got
               skeletons.

     Reminded, glance at my hand: "A I N G E" in smeared ink.
     Junior rips open a file, blathers Bledsoe preliminaries:

                         JUNIOR STEMMONS (CONT'D)
               Shoplifting in Bakersfield at 17.
               Prostitution arrest at 21. Known
               associate of a Kern County homicide
               victim, this convicted pimp named
               Dwight Gillette, probably her pimp.
               Stabbed to death in his home,
               weapon never recovered-

                         ME
               Forget it. Burn it, s'not important
               now.

     Take the file from him, flip through; thorough, detailed.
     Glenda priors scream back instant conviction.

                                                               59.



                         JUNIOR STEMMONS
               Why is it not important?

     Plant the file in his chest as my answer.

                         ME
               I need an address on a guy named
               Ainge, George Ainge-                                    *

                         JUNIOR STEMMONS
               -what about Magdalena?

     My temper turning threadbare.

                         ME
               -after you get the Ainge address,                       *
               get back to the Magda-

                         JUNIOR STEMMONS
                   (picks up Glenda's file)
               -is Ainge related to this Cunt?

     Snap-grit-grab him: buttons from his shirt pop, bounce.

                         ME
               We're partners in name only. You
               want to stay in the room next time,
               Junior? Do something to impress me:
               like finding that address.

     Dig Junior trying to hide tears now behind that mad-dog
     glare: makes me want to break the bones in his face.


39   INT. MY 1955 PONTIAC - MORNING                               39

     Driving, running parallels to avoid Fed tails. No Black
     Buicks...But a Gray Packard shifts behind me on a cadence.        *

                         ME (V.O.)
               Noonan replaced the Buick with a                        *
               Packard and a better Shadow-Man.                        *
               But I could still spot the tail.                        *

     Run a red light at Rossmore, leave the Packard behind.            *

                         ME (V.O.) (CONT'D)
               This jet-engine urge to see her.
               Needing it like a junkie does. No
               logic. Just the push.

                                                          60.



Driving past Glenda's house now. No Corvette. Driving past      *
the Griffith Park `Vampires' set: addicts/crew rolling up
sleeping bags. No Corvette. Pull the address list Dandy
handed me: Talent Domiciles.

Pasadena. Howard's Fuck-Pad supreme: A tudor mansion with
airplane-shaped hedges. A Corvette in the drive. Stop at the
curb. Open shades. Flashes of her. Gathering something. Check
my Hamilton, look up as: KNOCK-KNOCK on my window. Her face,
inches-close. Bags of groceries in her hands and this wry
little smile: watch me kill Hughes's new Dick with kindness.    *

Roll the window down, stay blank-slate. She features my
cuts/bruises. Her quiet, deep voice is like medicine:

                    GLENDA BLEDSOE
          Better looking than the last guy
          Howard hired. Once you heal.
              (she recognizes me)
          Wait a minute. You were there, the
          other night, the Bethune Party...                     *

My heart jammed up into my throat. Push past it.                *

                       ME
          Yeah.                                                 *

                    GLENDA
          Mickey told me this `Bent Cop'
          everybody used to call-
              (mocking, I love it:)
          -`The Enforcer' was asking about
          me. Told me to be careful. So
          you're LAPD after all...

                       ME
          In theory.

                    GLENDA BLEDSOE
          You're going to arrest me for
          breaking and entering?

                    ME
          Depends.
              (nod to groceries)
          Those Howard's?

                    GLENDA BLEDSOE
          Everything's Howard's.

                    ME
          Except you.

                                                        61.



                    GLENDA BLEDSOE
          That's why I left.

                    ME
          You just shop here now?

                    GLENDA BLEDSOE
          Some of our extras haven't had a
          vegetable since Truman.

                    ME
          Attack of the Atomic Vampires...

                    GLENDA BLEDSOE
              (smiles, no flinch)
          We can't all be Audrey Hepburn.
          Plus it pays bills.

                    ME
          Better than a billionaire does?
          Go make amends and finish out your
          service contract Ms. Bledsoe.

                    GLENDA BLEDSOE
          Not if there was just one day left
          on it.

                    ME
          Why?

                    GLENDA BLEDSOE
          I'm better than that.

                    ME
          You're also better than a starring
          role in schlock horror flick
          that'll never see a screen,
          regardless if it's leading lady
          gets `kidnapped' or not.                              *

Drop that coffee cup from the other night into her bag. She's
beat, but bluffs by.

                    GLENDA BLEDSOE
          This isn't the first time you've
          spied on me.

                    ME
          Nor the second.

                                                             62.



                          GLENDA BLEDSOE
                   (beat)
               Well you've got me all giftwrapped,
               Enforcer-

                         ME
               -Dave. You're on Hughes' bad side
               Ms. Bledsoe. It's not a bright
               place to be. So please go-

                         GLENDA BLEDSOE
               -Glenda.
                   (this smile just for me)
               And tell Howard I'll take my
               chances with the fake vampires.

     And she twirls off, gone...watch her go...my radio buzzes.

                         ME
               Klein. Go ahead...                                      *

                         DISPATCH
               Message from a Lester Lake: asked
               that you contact him immediately.

     Ignition. Gas. Tires catch smoke as I peel away.


40   EXT. PASADENA PAYPHONE - DAY                                 40

     Out of dimes, drop slugs instead. Three rings, somebody snags
     it before the fourth. Background reverb blares, bar racket.
     Hear a muted male growl `Club Alabam...'

                         ME
               Get me Lester. This is Lieutenant
               Klein, LAPD-

     -click. Fuck. Fish for another slug. Redial. One ring. Picked
     up, same background din-

                         ME (CONT'D)
                   (push this out pronto)
               -this is LAPD-put Lester on the
               phone or I'll have your liquor
               license and after-hours permits
               yanked inside the hour...

     A muffled back and forth before Lester comes on the line:

                         LESTER LAKE
               Dave?

                                                        63.



                      ME
            Got your message.

INTERCUT:                                                     *

                      LESTER LAKE
            Girl that works here, gigs the late
            sets, the torch stuff Fridays and                 *
            Saturdays, name of Tilly Hopwell.                 *

                      ME
            I saw her singing the other night.

                      LESTER LAKE
            I think she's been truckin' with
            Tommy Mag. Got pipes like Ella but
            she's a junk fiend: caught her                    *
            mainlining in the ladies room a
            month back.                                       *

                      ME
            Heroin? Tommy get her hooked?

                      LESTER LAKE
            Dunno, but when he'd get drunk,                   *
            he'd trade Horse for blowjobs out                 *
            back a' the club.                                 *

                      ME
            Where's this girl now?                            *

                      LESTER LAKE
            Didn't show up for work last night.               *
            Called a friend of hers, a waitress
            that works here too, said she was                 *
            at Bido Lito's in Hollywood. Said                 *
            she was `hiding out.'

                      ME
            She actually said `hiding out?'                   *

                      LESTER LAKE
            Then she got off the phone. Fast.
            If Tilly's running with that demon,               *
            you gotta get her out of there. She               *
            got a lot more good in her than not-              *

-Hang up. Paw the phone book. Tear out the address for Bido   *
Lito's.

                                                             64.




41   INT. MY 1955 PONTIAC - DAY                                41    *

     Driving.

                          ME (V.O.)
                Smart Tommy. Dodging Darktown
                altogether. Holed up in Hollywood.
                Hiding in plain sight.


42   INT. DINER - DAY                                          42

     Back booth with a view of the street. Bido Lito's across the
     way. Eyeball the entrance and adjoining alley. On the table
     in front of me, mugshots: known Tommy Magdalena associates.     *
     Mostly greaser kids with low-rent juvie sheets.                 *

     Stare at that photo of Tommy.

                          ME (V.O.)
                Stakeout work. Browse mugs. Match a
                face out front if I get lucky. Wait
                till Bido Lito's gets busy before I
                make my move.


43   INT. DINER - NIGHT (LATER)                                43

     Snub my last Chesterfield, stifle a yawn, check my Hamilton.
     9:20 PM. Bito Crowd bops out front. Valet ballet.               *
     Scanning...spot a face...pull my mugshots...Steve Wenzel,       *
     Okie white-trash from El Monte, shoving his way through the
     crush out in front of the club, hits the side alley.

     I'm up. Dump a pocketful of coins on the table. Hit the door.


44   EXT. STREET - CONTINUOUS                                  44

     Cross fast, play the wall and the shadows close. Watch as
     Wenzel climbs steps to a flop overtop of the club. Get deeper
     into the alley: a padlocked two-car overhang at the rear.
     Grip my .45, stock down, swing, split the lock. Chain spools
     at my feet, slide inside the overhang...a car concealed under
     a tarpaulin, peel it off slow...revealing a red `32 Ford.       *

                          ME (V.O.)                                  *
                Tommy's Deuce.                                       *

     Pull the pig-sticker off my ankle, stab the Driver-side tire.   *

                                                               65.



                         ME (V.O.) (CONT'D)                            *
               Now he's on foot.                                       *


45   INT. SECOND FLOOR FLOP - CONTINUOUS                          45

     Jimmy the door,   slide inside silent. Muffled sounds through
     the floor, some   jazz combo wailing away at Bido Lito's below.
     Voices down the   hall, male, laughter, goofball guffaws.
     George Gobel on   the tube: `Well, I'll be a dirty bird!

     Creep in a crouch, my .45 at the hip, safety off. Move toward
     the flicker at the far end of the hall. Sounds of pissing         *
     nearby, ease around a doorjamb .45 first: bedroom barren,
     dust-caked mattress, a half dozen bottles of Old Crow lie
     scattered among sash cords & used heroin spikes.

     Light from the bathroom...a pair of legs visible, female.
     Dark but pale, splayed from inside the bathroom...the right
     foot slowly moves back and forth like the heel is trying to
     gain some purchase on fast-draining life. Somebody flushes,
     zips up, steps over the two legs.

     Duck back into the hall as this Greaser stinking of pomade
     wafts past, weaving back toward the TV room.


46   INT. BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS                                    46

     Inside. Move fast now. A fist-sized lump swells mid-chest,
     blossoms into my throat. I don't want to see what I know is
     there. Turn the corner:

     Club Alabam songbird Tilly Hopwell. Three breaths from death.
     A spike snapped off in her greyish, motionless left arm. Her
     right hand claws at tile. These beautiful dark eyes stare up
     at me like she was hoping for someone sooner. Throttle marks
     on her neck, one breast exposed, bra pulled down for a grope.

     I don't want to touch her face but I do...she closes her eyes
     the moment my fingertips hit. That gases my hate. Choke back
     sudden tears.

                         VOICE BEHIND ME
               FUCK YOU DOIN'?

     Turn back. GREASER in the doorway, brown-bagged T-Bird hits
     the floor as he reaches for his waist -- stand and shoot him
     in the throat. Drive the .45 into his sternum like a blade
     before I fire the second-third-fourth shots. He falls/flails.     *
     Jump-shock from the other room.                                   *

                                                                66.



                         ME                                            *
               POLICE!                                                 *

     Bodies scramble. No words. Just Pistol fire through the half-     *
     rotted walls -- punks taking potshots. No compliance means I      *
     hit the hallway shooting back. Firing dead-bang at a couple       *
     fleeing silhouettes -- see them pop-stumble-fall-                 *

     -the archway above my head shreds, collapses. Somebody firing
     a sub-machine gun. Flat on my ass, my back finds the wall,        *
     cough up plaster, sleeve my eyes to see. Then quiet, save the     *
     rattle-clap of changing clips.                                    *

                         ME                                            *
               PUT THAT GOD DAMN GUN DOW-                              *

                         TOMMY MAGDALENA (O.C.)
               -YOU SET ME UP YOU COCKSUCKER!

     Machine-gun fire lights up my left side. Roll. Taste floor        *
     grime as subsonic zips snap close...bullets miss by inches.       *

                         TOMMY MAGDALENA
               -RAT FUCK COP! YOU KILLED HIM                           *
               WILHITE!

     Every part of me pauses...`Wilhite'...back door gets blunted
     open, frantic footfalls recede. That big bent V-8 on Tommy's
     `32 Deuce roars to life. Up now, plow through the cloud of
     cordite. See one of Tommy's Pachucos propped up against the       *
     wall, unhit, unhurt. Point my .45 and pull the trigger a I        *
     pass. Hit an empty chamber...this punk's lucky day.


47   EXT. ALLEY - CONTINUOUS                                      47

     Out the door reloading as the `32 Deuce barrels away. Tommy
     fires shots into the air to clear traffic. Wenzel in the          *
     passenger seat, screams to do the same. The Driver's side rim     *
     sparks fireworks.                                                 *

     Pandemonium out in front of Bido Lito's as the crowd
     stampedes ass-over-elbows. Sprint to my car, inside, key          *
     dispatch fast as I wheel rough off the curb:                      *

                         ME
               Shots fired, 1600 block of Ivar.                        *
               Suspect fleeing scene in red `32                        *
               Ford Deuce travelling westbound on                      *
               Wilcox, vehicle impaired, intercept                     *
               at Hollywood Blvd-

                                                             67.



     -horns blare as I slalom club-goers scrambling across Ivar.
     Punch it over-top Sunset, parallel to the Deuce. Rip a left       *
     on Selma. Stay on my radio:

                         ME
               -and I need an ambulance to respond
               to 1607 North Ivar, second floor,
               female negro, possible overdose.

     Up ahead I catch a fireworks show: the Deuce gouges pavement      *
     across the 4-way. Clip 90 MPH catching up. Squeal onto Wilcox     *
     as Tommy hooks a right onto Hollywood.                            *

     Two prowlers pass the next second, sirens lit, full scream.       *


48   EXT. HOLLYWOOD AND VINE - CONTINUOUS                         48

     Haul ass up to Hollywood, round it: See Tommy and Wenzel
     sitting upright, the Deuce spun sidelong, firing M3 `Grease
     Guns' into the approaching prowlers. Both cars go helter-
     skelter under fire. Six-packs spill to the street, belly          *
     crawl, brandish .38 service snubs and pop flimsy return fire.

     Tommy jumps down, runs, rifling his jacket for clips. Wenzel
     stays atop the car -- gun my engine, split the abandoned          *
     prowlers. Wenzel looks up mid-reload as I T-bone the `Deuce'      *
     at speed. The impact rockets him rag-doll end over end before     *
     he bombs back down to the street, wet sack, multiple
     bruises/fractures/breaks...blood pooling in pints.

     Tommy wide-eyes the heap that was Wenzel. Kick my driver's        *
     side door open firing. Tommy cuts loose with that Grease-Gun,     *
     sprays wild. Crouch-move as bullets thump wreckage and whiz
     by overhead. More sirens approach. Tuck behind the front end
     of the mangled `Deuce.'

     Another salvo from the Grease-Gun skips up off the pavement       *
     in front of me. The six-packs have regrouped, start laying        *
     down fire on Tommy. Tommy running now -- I'm up on one knee,      *
     aiming, tucking into the .45: take his legs but don't kill h-     *

     -that Gray Packard materializes across the intersection in
     front of Tommy: shotgun blasts from the driver's side             *
     backseat obliterates Tommy's mid-section.                         *

     My mouth gapes at what just happened...then I remember to         *
     fire at the Packard as it continues down the street, running      *
     lights extinguished, no plates visible.

     Get to Tommy. Crying. Fading. Roll him on his back.               *

                                                             68.



                         ME (CONT'D)                                 *
               Where's your father!? Did Wilhite                     *
               kill him!?- TELL ME!

     -bubbling blood in place of words. Mouth moves like a           *
     grouper's...get close...his last gasp...pray it's profound.     *
     He breathes out...nothing.                                      *


49   INT. MY 1955 PONTIAC - NIGHT                              49    *

     Driving. Pissed. Radiator steam from under my crunched hood.    *

                         ME (V.O.)                                   *
               That Gray Packard: not the Feds.                      *
               Make them Magdalena rivals. I left                    *
               Bido Lito's too fast to catch a                       *
               tail. So where did they come from?                    *


50   EXT. 1284 SOUTH TREMAINE - DAY                            50

     Magdalena home. Pull up onto the front lawn. Grab my brass      *
     knucks from the glove box. Out of my car. Growling. A pair of   *
     Narco brims, Wilhite's boys, break wide on my approach.         *
     Junior stumbles from the stakeout car, rushing up the street
     toward me.

                         JUNIOR STEMMONS
               Dave?
                   (when I don't respond)                            *
               Dave!                                                 *


51   INT. 1284 SOUTH TREMAINE - CONTINUOUS                     51    *

     Inside. Madge, this vacant glaze, tear-smudged, mock mourning   *
     with more booze and pills...word of Tommy's demise has          *
     reached her.                                                    *

                         ME
               Where's Dan Wilhite?

     Nothing from her. Music upstairs. Climb the steps two at a      *
     time. Beeline Lucille's room. Shoulder the door off the jamb.   *


52   INT. LUCILLE'S BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS                       52

     Wilhite and Lucille in the middle of some close conversation.
     Giant startle from both:                                        *

                                                         69.



                    WILHITE                                     *
          KLEIN GET OUT OF HERE!                                *

Grab Wilhite. He reeks of bad scotch. Present him like
Exhibit A to Lucille:

                    ME                                          *
          Did he kill your piece-a'-shit pimp                   *
          Dad?

Wilhite rips free. Beet-red.

                    ME
          Or was it that Peeper across the                      *
          street that jacks off to your sad                     *
          little shows-                                         *

                    WILHITE
          -GOD DAMN YOU!                                        *

Junior behind me. Urgent:                                       *

                    JUNIOR STEMMONS                             *
          Dave, please! CHIEF BRADLEY!                          *

At Wilhite:

                    ME                                          *
          Where's Magdalena's body!?                            *

                    LUCILLE                                     *
          FUCK YOU COP!                                         *

                    ME                                          *
              (step to Lucille)
          HOW MUCH -- OR ARE YOU GIVING IT UP                   *
          FOR FREE NOW?                                         *

Sucks her steam: she knows I know. Her eyes shoot to Wilhite.   *
Grab Lucille's bruised arms. Wilhite grabs me in return. Hear   *
footfalls coming hard up the steps, Wilhite reinforcements.     *

                    WILHITE                                     *
          YOU FUCKING THUG! LET GO OF HER!                      *

                    ME                                          *
          You murdered him! That's why the                      *
          dogs didn't bark: they knew you-                      *

-hands on me, ripping/hauling. Bull-rushed back into the hall   *
by Wilhite's boys. I spin free. Wilhite flinches-trips.         *
Junior too-close, plant my shoulder into him -- push off.       *

                                                        70.



                    JUNIOR STEMMONS                           *
              (reeling back)                                  *
          NO DIRECT APPROACH ON MAGD-                         *

-grab Wilhite hard, haul him into a hallway bathroom, slam    *
the door, lock it.                                            *

                    WILHITE                                   *
          What the fuck are you-                              *

-shove him, show him the brass knucks-                        *

                    ME                                        *
          -you're gonna shell it out for me                   *
          or I'm gonna kick your teeth in...                  *

Junior beating on the door.                                   *

                    ME (CONT'D)                               *
              (at the door)                                   *
          FUCK OFF.                                           *

Wilhite tries to push past. Gut-punch him hard, trying to     *
rupture something. Shove him back into the wall. Drywall
implodes. He squeals/shrieks, seizes his shoulder.            *

                     WILHITE                                  *
          I outrank you Klein! Are you out of                 *
          your mind?

Brass knucks gleam, get close, kow him completely.            *

                    ME                                        *
          You fingered Tommy for his father's                 *
          disappearance and pressed me to do                  *
          the same to cover your ass!                         *

                    WILHITE                                   *
          He was the prime suspec-                            *

                    ME                                        *
          -he was screaming about `set-ups,'                  *
          and about how a `Cop' killed Hector                 *
          --he thought I was you Wilhite.
              (get closer, growl this)
          The gray Packard that gunned him                    *
          down showed up three minutes after                  *
          my dispatch call...                                 *

                    WILHITE                                   *
          -so cops killed him too, is that                    *
          the kind of bullshit you wa-                        *

                                                          71.



                    ME                                          *
          -not just cops. Narcotics Cops. You                   *
          clip Hector, then his kid becomes                     *
          collateral & you gotta clip him                       *
          too.                                                  *

                    WILHITE                                     *
          -you're paddlin' air pal.                             *

                    ME
          Am I? Where's Hector? You can't
          file murder charges without a
          corpse. Who knows this? Cops know
          this- You would know this.

                    WILHITE
          -I'm going to the review board and
          have you cited for-

-keep him off balance. Big curveball-                           *

                    ME                                          *
          -When'd Hector start pimping                          *
          Lucille?                                              *

Read it: that stung him...                                      *

                    WILHITE                                     *
          What-                                                 *

                    ME                                          *
          --When did he start whoring out his                   *
          own daughter to sweeten business                      *
          deals?                                                *

                    WILHITE
          I have no fucking idea what you're-

                    ME
          -he ever offer her to you?                            *

Watch his face. Something flickers.                             *

                    WILHITE                                     *
          I'm married!                                          *

                    ME                                          *
          And about to be divorced. Have you                    *
          ever fucked Lucille?                                  *

Stare it out of him...already pink features go fuchsia.         *

                                                                72.



                         ME
               I don't care where you get your                         *
               dick wet Wilhite. I care that                           *
               you're covering. Twenty years dirty                     *
               with this fucked-up family...your                       *
               secrets must stink like rot.                            *

     Red and blue light strobe from outside. Look: an unmarked         *
     caravan arrives. Bradley leading the charge, leaping from his     *
     sedan. Wilhite gets a split-second's worth of gloat/glee.         *

                         WILHITE                                       *
               You're worried about every wrong                        *
               thing Klein. Bradley's tee'ing you                      *
               up to take a big fat fall-                              *

                         ME                                            *
               -then we'll hold hands on the way                       *
               down: look further up the street.                       *
                   (directing his gaze)                                *
               The Black Buick.                                        *

     Wilhite focuses, sees the Feds inside, snapping pictures of       *
     the Magdalena home...                                             *

                         ME (CONT'D)                                   *
               Feds. They're all over this. You                        *
               think I'm the only one that burns?                      *
               Two decades worth of twisted shit                       *
               between your division and the                           *
               biggest dope dealer in LA?                              *

     Wilhite wide-eyed. Slouching/sinking down onto the toilet.        *
     Somebody beating on the bathroom door hard. Bradley's voice       *
     behind it.                                                        *

                         ME (CONT'D)                                   *
               I know I'm going down Dan...that's                      *
               the difference between you and me.                      *

     Open the door.                                                    *


53   INT. MAGDALENA HOUSE - HALLWAY - NIGHT                       53   *

     Shoulder past, start down the stairs. Bradley follows.            *

                         BRADLEY                                       *
               Klein!                                                  *

     Hit the front door, moving toward my car, Junior and the          *
     Narco brims cagey, primed for another atomic outburst.            *

                                                           73.


Bradley still behind -- a prissy, patrician gait as he           *
catches up -- spooked by that Black Buick up the street.         *

                    BRADLEY (CONT'D)                             *
          I said `no direct approach!'                           *

                    ME                                           *
              (my back still turned)                             *
          Then what are you doing here?                          *

                    BRADLEY                                      *
          You were instructed to take Tommy                      *
          Magdalena alive. Do I have to                          *
          remind you of the coroner's file-                      *

                    ME                                           *
              (turn on him, fierce)                              *
          -enough of your `Sanderline'                           *
          bullshit.                                              *
              (nod to the Black Buick)                           *
          I'll checkmate with an admission of                    *
          guilt to Noonan himself.                               *

                    BRADLEY                                      *
              (sharp, shrill)                                    *
          Keep your voice down!                                  *

                    ME                                           *
          I'll bargain immunity in exchange                      *
          for testimony on how the LAPD                          *
          really runs: Magdalena dope profit                     *
          kickbacks, Diskant run out of the                      *
          city council race on your word,                        *
          suspended cops pulling shakedowns.                     *
          I'll give Noonan a dozen new probes                    *
          for the one I killed.                                  *

Bradley stoic, assessing me...sees only `fuck-you' resolve.      *

                    BRADLEY                                      *
          I'm assuming command of this                           *
          investigation myself.                                  *

                    ME                                           *
          What investigation? Tommy's murder?                    *
          Hector's disappearance? What are                       *
          you investigating?                                     *

                    BRADLEY                                      *
          You're on one month's unpaid leave                     *
          as of this moment.                                     *

Go right at him, cut his steam.                                  *

                                                             74.



                         ME                                         *
               You're scamming something big.                       *

                         BRADLEY                                    *
               -if you make any further inquiries                   *
               into this case I'll strip you of                     *
               rank, have your pension revoked and                  *
               walk that coroner's file into the                    *
               Times myself...stay away from this.                  *

     See red. Launch. Try to wrap my hands around his throat.       *
     Watch him feather back just out of reach. Junior and a pair    *
     of six-packs restrain me.                                      *

                         ME                                         *
               What's your fucking angle Bradley!?                  *

     His eyes beam back doom.                                       *

                         BRADLEY                                    *
               You're done Klein. Soon.                             *


54   INT. MY 1955 PONTIAC - CONTINUOUS                         54   *

     Reach the car, slide in, anger in aftershocks rattle across    *
     still balled fists. Junior at my window blathering white       *
     noise. He might as well be speaking Greek.                     *

                         JUNIOR STEMMONS                            *
               Dave listen: don't do anything else                  *
               to jeopardize yourself...I can                       *
               protect you...I've been putting                      *
               some things together-                                *

     Rip my radio, punch the call button.

                         KLEIN
               Central, this is Klein, I need an
               update on that overdose I called
               in. What's the girl's condition?

     Static. Wait. Anger make my eyes ache, fuzz my focus.

                         DISPATCH
               Lieutenant Klein, the girl, Tilda
               Hopwell was pronounced D.O.A. at
               Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital-

     Rage flares, slam the radio into the dash console, crushing
     it- fists flex, blood seeps from a battered knuckle, look at   *
     my hands: blood drool over the faint remains of the pen-       *
     scrawled `A I N G E'...Glare up at Junior:                     *

                                                             75.



                         ME                                            *
                   (God-like import)                                   *
               George Ainge's address.                                 *


55   EXT. ROW HOUSE - CULVER CITY - NIGHT                         55   *

     Up the walk, Junior tailing, feel his stare.                      *

                         JUNIOR STEMMONS                               *
               You're in no state to conduct
               yourself as a Police Offic-

                         ME                                            *
               -shut up. Don't identify yourself,                      *
               don't badge him, don't talk.                            *

     BLACK. Then a light turns on somewhere: my gun in a round         *
     man's face just through his front door. GEORGE AINGE.             *


56   INT. GEORGE AINGE'S PAD - NIGHT                              56   *

     Tough Ainge: He doesn't flinch. Drops his lunch-pail slow.        *
     Takes off his jacket: jail-house tattoos abound. He sits.         *

                         ME                                            *
               How do you know Glenda Bledsoe?                         *

     Junior's `betrayed' look: this guy is tied to that Cooze.         *

                         GEORGE AINGE                                  *
               Knew that whore'd try to muscle me-                     *

                         ME                                            *
               -don't call her a whore again.                          *

     Laughs in my face:                                                *

                         GEORGE AINGE                                  *
               If you gave her as many paychecks                       *
               as me, you'd know `whore' fits                          *
               like a fuckin glov-                                     *

     -I grab a chair cushion, put the .45 against it, fire a           *
     muffled round that blows Ainge's hair back as it passes.          *
     Junior twitches hard enough to spot himself. Ainge jabbers:       *

                         GEORGE AINGE (CONT'D)                         *
               She fucked for a fee! Jesus Christ                      *
               she's a pro! What is she paying to                      *
               get that blade back-                                    *

                                                           76.



-get the gun in his face, burn his nose with the barrel.         *

                    ME                                           *
          What? What `blade?'                                    *

                     GEORGE AINGE                                *
          What's she paying you to recover                       *
          her knife?

Just then Junior banana peels it -- deliberately:                *

                    JUNIOR STEMMONS                              *
          Lieutenant!                                            *

A hate-scowl for Junior: trying to put enough heat behind it     *
to melt his head. Ainge lights up.                               *

                    GEORGE AINGE                                 *
          Y'all are Cops!?                                       *

                    ME                                           *
          Shut your mouth.                                       *

Ainge sees me bent on Glenda. Looks past me, past the gun in     *
his face, aims right at Junior.                                  *

                    GEORGE AINGE                                 *
          Back in `50, Glenda the Good Witch                     *
          put a blade in her pimp `bout as                       *
          deep as I put my pink in her, this                     *
          mongrel named Dwight Gillette.                         *

Junior fixes me, pulls that steno, starts scribbling openly -- *
I grab it, shred it. Ainge grins at the voodoo between us.     *

                    GEORGE AINGE (CONT'D)                        *
          Could use a couple LAPD favors, and                    *
          ain't guttin' a pimp still a crime?                    *

                    JUNIOR STEMMONS                              *
              (aimed at ME)                                      *
          Capitol crime.                                         *

                    GEORGE AINGE                                 *
          Guess who she asked to hold the                        *
          knife? Guess why she brought me in                     *
          on this kidnap thing? It was her                       *
          way a' buying it back-                                 *

                    ME                                           *
          -show it to me.                                        *

                                                           77.



                    GEORGE AINGE                                 *
          I'll have my lawyer take a picture                     *
          of it for you-                                         *

-throw his TV at his head: legitimately trying to kill him       *
now and he knows it. Off his chair, crawling.                    *

                     JUNIOR STEMMONS                             *
          STOP!                                                  *
              (more question than                                *
                statement)                                       *
          YOU ARE NOT BENT ON AN EX-WHORE!                       *

I grab the shattered tube: throw it again. Big POP inches        *
from Ainge. Angry at myself for missing twice:                   *

                    ME                                           *
          GOD DAMN IT-                                           *

                    JUNIOR STEMMONS                              *
          -HE'S A MATERIAL WITNESS TO A MURD-                    *

-grab Junior, sharp jab him, push him out a door for the         *
second time-                                                     *

                    JUNIOR STEMMONS (CONT'D)                     *
          -YOU WILL CEASE AND DESIST KLEIN-                      *

-final push with my foot gives me enough room to dead-bolt it    *
behind him. Ainge can't fit under his bed.                       *

                    GEORGE AINGE                                 *
          I AIN'T RESISTING YOU!                                 *

                    ME                                           *
          I'm not arresting you.                                 *

Flip the mattress. Teen Tit mags and jack-off socks fly with     *
it. Ainge under pine slats. Panic. I put my foot through,        *
bash his gut -- rip him out from underneath.                     *

                    ME (CONT'D)                                  *
              (hissing)                                          *
          Where is it?                                           *

Ainge unable to speak, gasping for air. Step to his closet:      *
shred hinges when I open it. Rip the clothes rod down:           *
nothing. Pull shelves from the wall: a Louisville Slugger        *
falls at my feet. I smile. Ainge goes frightwig. Step to him.    *

                    ME (CONT'D)                                  *
          WHERE?!                                                *

                                                               78.



     Swing it into a wall. Gaping holes in holster. Bring it back
     like Babe Ruth over his head.

                         ME (CONT'D)                                  *
               -that blade or your life.                              *

     Door bashed open behind me -- deadbolt assembly pops, pieces     *
     hit me -- then something big/black-metallic ends my night:       *
     Junior, tear-streaked cheeks, Ainge's mailbox in-hand, pulled    *
     free from the stucco. I drop. Ainge turns cheerleader:           *

                         GEORGE AINGE                                 *
               NICE!                                                  *

     Roll to my knees: guttural groans I can't place   because        *
     they're mine. Junior rips a radio cord from the   wall, wraps    *
     it around my neck, pulls my head back, feel his   tears hit my   *
     shoulders. Veins in his arms go Pop. Eyes in my   head go Pop.   *

                         JUNIOR STEMMONS                              *
               Last time you push me out a door!                      *
               For a dirty split-tail! You're-                        *
                   (cinches hard)
               -not dragging me down! If Bradley
               doesn't get you, Noonan will! And-
                   (through gritted-teeth)                            *
               -you're gonna burn all by yourself!

     -go black. Then eyes open...out for hours/days/months...what?    *

     Feel. Hangman's bruise forming around my neck. Junior and        *
     Ainge gone. Floorboards under Ainge's bed pried-up. Crawl to     *
     the hole: a hiding spot, empty of whatever was in it.            *

                         ME (V.O.)                                    *
               Call it: the knife was here. Ainge                     *
               was crawling under his bed not to                      *
               escape me, but to hand it over. Too                    *
               hate-wired to see it.                                  *

     I check my watch: 11 PM.                                         *

                         ME (V.O.) (CONT'D)                           *
               Junior the Player. Junior the                          *
               Underestimated. Junior the Former                      *
               Evidence Teacher: a murder weapon,                     *
               a witness, a two-hour head-start.                      *


57   EXT. AINGE'S PLACE - NEXT MOMENT                            57   *

     Few looks from few neighbors. No sirens. Thank God gunshots      *
     and screams are school-nights in this slum. Get into my car.     *

                                                              79.




58   INT. MY 1955 PONTIAC - NEXT MOMENT                         58   *

     My glove box ripped open, contents gone.                        *

                         ME (V.O.)                                   *
               Junior the Flush: my $5000 down-                      *
               payment from Hughes gone. Junior                      *
               the Merciful: He should've put a                      *
               bullet in my brain.                                   *


59   INT. PRECINCT - LATE NIGHT                                 59   *

     Nobody around this late. Only a desk sergeant on the doze.      *
     Zero-in on Junior's desk, search it: files squared, pencils     *
     in precise alignment, evidence books arrayed alphabetically.    *

                         ME (V.O.)                                   *
               Everything inspection neat. No                        *
               mail, no personal items. Eagle                        *
               scout perfect.                                        *

     Rip at a locked return, jimmy the desk drawers, feel the        *
     underside for a key -- zilch. Slide under, looking...nothing.   *
     Sit up, grab his phone, dial out...                             *

                         FEMALE VOICE (O.S.)                         *
               What?                                                 *

                         ME                                          *
               Meg wake up Pete.                                     *

                         MEG (O.S.)                                  *
               ...Jesus Christ...                                    *

     Rustling and whispers.                                          *

                         PETE (O.S.)                                 *
               Take some pills, will you?                            *

                         ME                                          *
               I'll give you a grand to locate and                   *
               tail Junior Stemmons.                                 *

                         PETE (O.S.)                                 *
               Your partner?                                         *

     Find a letter opener, fuck it -- pry the drawer loose.          *

                         ME                                          *
               Past tense.                                           *

                                                        80.



                       PETE (O.S.)                             *
          Two grand.                                           *

Pop. The lock snaps. Ease it open...                           *

                    ME                                         *
          Done. Tell me what he does, who he                   *
          talks to, where he goes, and if                      *
          he's got this mutt named George                      *
          Ainge stashed somewhere.                             *

Look inside. Red steno pads. A small orderly pile. Pull one,   *
thumb it-- blank.                                              *

                       PETE (O.S.)                             *
          A-I-N-G-E?

                       ME
          Yeah.

                    PETE (O.S.)
          What's Stemmons' address?

                    ME                                         *
          I'm working on it.                                   *

Hang up. Voices arrive. Hustle to my desk, sit, grab a         *
reverse directory, fake flip through it as Fritz Koenig and    *
two Robbery Blueshirts arrive, seizure bags over their         *
shoulders. I clear sweat and leftover blood with my sleeve,    *
trying to look busy as Koenig sidles up.                       *

                    ME (CONT'D)                                *
              (nod to shoulder bag)                            *
          You moonlighting?

                     KOENIG
          Doing some ad hoc dope seizures for
          Dan Wilhite.
              (that shark grin)
          Still love taking the occasional
          door down.

                    ME
          You were born for the street Fritz.
          I never featured you for the suit
          and tie set.

                    KOENIG
          We're of a common bloodline Boy-o.

                    ME
          Where'd you get that haul?

                                                        81.



                    KOENIG                                     *
              (dropping bag)                                   *
          Some reformed spic dope dealers                      *
          that normally dabble in reefer.                      *

Koenig, his knuckles and fingernails caked with blood, pulls   *
a three-pound brick of heroin from the bag.                    *

                    KOENIG (CONT'D)                            *
          Seized from Chavez Ravine. Thirty                    *
          pounds. The City is cracking down                    *
          on the dreaded to make room for                      *
          their beloved Dodgers. They remove                   *
          the Mexicans, we remove the rest.                    *

Scramble a joke to keep Koenig from looking at me too
closely...

                    ME                                         *
          Why? They could hawk heroin right                    *
          along with peanuts and hot dogs.                     *
          Have the whole bleacher section                      *
          goofing on horse.                                    *

Koenig laughs big, re-shoulders the bag.                       *

                    KOENIG                                     *
          A new found dedication these days?                   *
          What's prompting such odd hours?                     *

                    ME                                         *
          Playing catch-up.                                    *

                    KOENIG                                     *
          The boy Chief seems to be running                    *
          both of us ragged.                                   *

                    ME                                         *
          He currying favor with Chief Parker
          with this Chavez Ravine sweep?

                    KOENIG
          Parker appreciates Bradley's
          political skills...and the addition
          of a professional Ball-club to our
          fare city fulfills his own personal
          mandate of a cleaner, brighter, LA.

                    ME
          Sounds boring.

                                                             82.



                         KOENIG
               Stale milk to me too. And how are
               you faring? Is our visiting U.S.
               Attorney still in hot pursuit?

     Look up. Let him see it in my face: humorless and half lit.

                         ME                                           *
               Borrowed time Fritz.                                   *

                         KOENIG                                       *
               Anything I can do?                                     *

                          ME                                          *
               Yeah...a small favor.                                  *
                   (beat)                                             *
               Stemmons home address if you have                      *
               it. He's in a bit of a bind.                           *

                          KOENIG                                      *
                   (beat)
               Bigger than your own?                                  *

                         ME                                           *
               A lot bigger.                                          *


60   EXT. PAY PHONE - LATER                                      60   *

     Drop loose change. Dial. Pete picks up on the first ring.        *

                         ME                                           *
               3160 Rossmore. Apartment #6.                           *

                         PETE                                         *
               Did you want me to clip Stemmons?                      *

                         ME                                           *
               Not yet. By now, he's stashed                          *
               Ainge, so he's travelling solo.                        *

                         PETE                                         *
               Who's this `Ainge' clown anyway?                       *

                         ME                                           *
               Not important.                                         *

                         PETE                                         *
               Oh, Milteer wants a progress report                    *
               on the Movie Broad -- Bledsoe-                         *

     -hang up. Roll to my car.                                        *

                                                             83.




61   EXT. GLENDA'S HOUSE - NIGHT                                  61   *

     Late. Pull in, plop the dishrag loaded with ice on the front      *
     seat. Blood still seeping, slick it back in my hair. Step         *
     from the car-- woozy/weaving, the goose-egg on my head feels      *
     like a hand grenade.                                              *

     Up the front walk, lean on the doorbell. She answers, Silk        *
     chemise barring tan shoulders, her hair swept up a long,          *
     perfect neck. If she just woke up, she doesn't look it.           *

                         GLENDA BLEDSOE                                *
               I could say something witty about                       *
               "gentleman callers at this hour,                        *
               covered in blood" but--                                 *

     No time to trade repartee. Out with it:                           *

                         ME                                            *
               George Ainge.                                           *

     She goes rigid, clutches her robe.

                         GLENDA BLEDSOE                                *
               Is that his?                                            *
                   (off my nod `yes')
               Is he dead?                                             *

                         ME                                            *
               No. But I know about Dwight                             *
               Gillette and the knife you're                           *
               trying to barter back. All of it.                       *

     Like I punched her in the mouth. Her face: embarrassment cut      *
     with confusion. She recovers quick, steels herself.               *

                         GLENDA BLEDSOE                                *
               Then why are you here? Y'should be                      *
               picking up a paycheck from Hughes.                      *

                         ME                                            *
               I'm not watching you for him                            *
               anymore.                                                *

                          GLENDA BLEDSOE                               *
                   (beat)
               If you're planning on shaking me                        *
               down for `favors,' go pick-up your                      *
               paycheck Mr. Klein. Or are you                          *
               being a policeman right now?                            *

                                                             84.



                         ME                                            *
               The good ones are called                                *
               `Policemen.' The bad ones are                           *
               called `Cops.' I'm a Cop.                               *

     She steps closer. I can smell her.                                *

                          ME (CONT'D)                                  *
               Another `cop' has this information                      *
               on you. He has the murder weapon                        *
               too. He might use it against you                        *
               before I can stop him. Can you go                       *
               somewhere?                                              *

                         GLENDA BLEDSOE                                *
               You're protecting me? You don't                         *
               even know me...                                         *

                         ME                                            *
               Just the parts you wish I didn't.                       *
               The place in Topanga Canyon where                       *
               your going to hole up for the                           *
               kidnapping thing. Is it safe?                           *

     She nods, drifts somewhere, a part of her life thought dead,      *
     threatening everything again...                                   *

                         ME (CONT'D)                                   *
               Get your coat.                                          *


62   INT. CAR - NIGHT                                             62   *

     Driving. Glenda close. I want to pull her closer. We wind         *
     along Topanga Canyon. Constant mirror checks, looking for         *
     Packards/Buicks/Ghosts...seeing nothing...I roll my window        *
     up. Light jazz on the radio gives way to the news:                *

                         ANNOUNCER                                     *
               -KGFJ news at the top of the hour.                      *
               U.S. Attorney Welles Noonan today                       *
               announced his intention to probe                        *
               what he called `widespread                              *
               corruption' within the Los Angeles                      *
               Police Department and promised an                       *
               equally widespread round of                             *
               criminal indictments before-                            *

     -click it off. Abrupt. She notices, says nothing. After
     another half mile she points to a side road: 655 TOPANGA CYN      *
     RD on the mailbox. I pull in. A gravel drive gives way to a       *
     bungalow, tucked into the trees.                                  *

                                                                85.



                         ME                                            *
               Did Ainge know about this place?                        *

                         GLENDA BLEDSOE                                *
               No. I didn't want to tell him till                      *
               after.

                           ME                                          *
               Good.                                                   *

     Put the car into `park.' Idle. She looks over, her eyes           *
     asking something. I hold her gaze, hesitate, then:                *

                         ME (CONT'D)                                   *
               Nothing's going to happen to you...                     *

     She frets with her hair, her eyes glassy.                         *

                         GLENDA BLEDSOE                                *
               I don't know that.                                      *

                         ME                                            *
               I'm not gonna let it.                                   *

     A beat...I want to grab her and kiss her. I convince myself       *
     otherwise, grab a card from my coat and a pen, scrawl.            *

                         ME (CONT'D)                                   *
               This is my sister's number. Name is                     *
               Meg. Call if there are problems.                        *

     Hand her the card. We touch. I linger. So does she.               *

                           ME (CONT'D)                                 *
               Sleep.

                         GLENDA BLEDSOE
               Impossible.

                           ME
               Me too.


63   INT. MY CAR - NIGHT                                          63

     Driving. Blood-shot. Slowly being squeezed on all sides.

                         ME (V.O.)
               Looking for leverage. Figure out
               Bradley's angle before I fry.
               Madge and Lucille in custody. No
               Hector and no Tommy equals No
               leads. Save one.

                                                             86.




64   EXT. SANTA MONICA HOTEL - EARLY A.M.                      64    *

     Slouched in my front seat, watching a small flop-style motel    *
     near the beach.

                          ME (V.O.)
               Dan Wilhite.
                   (beat)
               Dispatch shot me his temporary
               address. Some beach flop he fled to
               after his wife put him out.

     Check my Hamilton: 7:32 AM. A car pulls into the parking lot.
     Two suits step out, ramrod straight, starched officious:
     Process Servers if ever I've seen them. One of them bears a
     sealed envelope as they walk to room #11 and knock. No
     answer. They knock rude. I roll down my window.

     Dan Wilhite answers in a robe: Groggy-pissed-hungover. Before
     he utters a word, he's handed the sealed envelope and the
     pair depart. Wilhite calls after, tearing open the envelope
     and reading what's inside...then rereading it.

     Gauge his reaction: ruined.

     He puts his hand on top of his head...like he's trying to
     protect it from the sky that is now falling down around him.
     Another big pause staring at nothing...then he just calmly
     walks back inside the room, closing the door behind him.


65   EXT. SANTA MONICA HOTEL - NEXT MOMENT                     65

     Out of my car. Quietly hustling up to Wilhite's door: Reach
     it and hear a distinct POP -- see the flash-snap from behind
     the curtains: Gunshot. I know what it is. Hit the door.


66   INT. WILHITE'S ROOM - NEXT MOMENT                         66

     Wilhite's service revolver a foot away from one hand, a sheet
     of paper still gripped in the other. Body half onto the bed,
     half off. Blood drains from a round wound in his temple.

     Check behind me, nobody coming- close the hotel door. Pick up
     the sheet of paper/contents of the envelope. The first word I
     see: SUBPOENA.

                         ME (V.O.)
               My first thought, pure panic:
               Noonan figured the Narco-Magalena
               connection.

                                                              87.



     Flip the Subpoena over to see his Signature: not Noonan's.
     This subpoena has been issued and signed by LA District
     Attorney Bob Gallaudet. Flip it back over, wide-eyed:

                          ME (V.O.) (CONT'D)
               But it wasn't a Federal Subpoena.
               Wilhite was being called to testify
               by Bob Gallaudet, a man who doesn't
               piss without Bradley's say-so.
                   (beat)
               Bradley trying to beat Noonan to
               the punch and burn the LAPD
               himself...why?


67   EXT. PARKING LOT - LATER                                      67

     A quick check of the lot. Empty. A housekeeping cart sits
     nearby. Swipe a bottle of bleach from it. Walk to Wilhite's
     Studebaker Powerhawk. Pop the trunk, return to his room.

     Move quick. Fireman's carry, dump Wilhite's body in the
     trunk. Toss his service .38 too. Pour the bottle of bleach to
     stanch the inevitable rot smell.

                         ME (V.O.)
               Swap my car for Wilhite's. The
               former head of the LAPD's Narcotics
               division dead in the trunk. Call it
               the leverage I was looking for --
               his body can buy me out of bad spot-

     -and that's when I see it: a bandage poking out from under         *
     Wilhite's collar...undo a couple buttons, lift the bandage.        *

                                                      FLASH TO:


68   EXT. 1284 SOUTH TREMAINE - NIGHT                              68   *

     BAM: me hit from behind by the Peeper. BAM: me firing at the       *
     Peeper. Hit him in the left shoulder. BAM: Grabbing Wilhite's      *
     shoulder in the Magdalena bathroom, him howling in pain.           *

                                                      RETURN TO:        *


69   INT. WILHITE'S GARAGE - NEXT MOMENT                           69   *

     The kind of wound a grazed bullet leaves.                          *

                                                              88.



                         ME (V.O.)                                    *
               Wilhite was the Peeper. Bent on                        *
               Lucille, a girl younger than his                       *
               youngest daughter. Call it grounds
               for divorce...Call Wilhite Hector
               Magdalena's murderer...

     Slam the trunk as Wilhite's glazed eyes stare back at me.


70   EXT. STREET - A.M.                                          70   *

     Slow cruise, new ride means no tails. Check my mirrors           *
     anyway. Back to the pad, back-streets all the way.               *


71   INT. MY HOME, HOLLYWOOD HILLS - A.M.                        71   *

     Rounding the corner -- break hard: those same process servers
     leaning on my doorbell now.

                         ME
               Bradley trying to bury me too. That
               subpoena means my fifteen year
               career with the LAPD just went up
               in smoke.

     Continue past. Those Process Geeks keep buzzing my doorbell.


72   INT. BREAKFAST JOINT PAY-PHONE - MORNING                    72

     Drop dimes. Dial Pete.

                          ME
               Hey-

                         PETE (O.S.)
               -Junior's left the fucking planet.

                         ME
               You find him?

                         PETE
               Yeah. I swung by his apartment, car
               was out front. I scoped it: a sawed-
               off shotgun in front, canned tuna
               in the back seat. Think he's living
               outta that car. After he left, I
               tried to get inside his place: The
               front door is triple pad-locked.

                                                             89.



                         ME
                   (out loud)
               That knife is in there-

                            PETE
               -the what?

     Shit. Ignore it, maybe Pete will too.

                         ME
               Meet me down the street from his
               place. You got bolt cutters?

                         PETE
               I'll bring `em.

                         ME
               Thirty minutes.


73   EXT. APARTMENT COMPLEX - DAY                              73

     Junior's stucco-beige apartment building looms a block up.
     Cursory checks of the rear and side-view mirrors. Sans tail
     as I pull the Powerhawk in behind Pete's Caddy. Step out,
     sidle up driver's side.

                         PETE
               Who's car is that?

                         ME
               Long story.

                         PETE
               Junior looked real skeezed this
               morning. Like he was on a dope jag.

                            ME
               Yeah?

                         PETE
               Sweated up like a stuck pig. And be
               careful. He was fucking around with
               his front door before he left. I
               don't know what he was doing.

                         ME
               Two honks if he shows. Then meet me
               in the alley, back of his place.

                                                             90.



                         PETE
                   (handing me bolt-cutters)
               What about this Bledsoe broad?
               Milteer has called me twice.

                         ME
                   (taking the bolt-cutters)
               One thing at a time pal.


74   EXT. JUNIOR'S APARTMENT BUILDING - DAY                    74

     Hustle across the street. Hang my badge over my shirt-pocket.


75   INT. JUNIOR'S APARTMENT BUILDING - MOMENTS LATER          75

     Up three flights. Junior: #303: three padlocks:hinge/receiver
     hardware extending between door and jamb. Three kicks and a
     shoulder to splinter the door. Stop, look: Some kind of twine
     stretched taut, just inside the door...trip-wire. Pull my pig-
     sticker, extend it between door and jamb...see the twine
     stretching tighter -- flick the blade, snag twine, slice it.

     Stand. Put my boot into the door full. Snaps at the hinges.


76   INT. APT. 303 - NEXT MOMENT                               76

     Move slow. Examine close: Eye-bolt pulley system, jerry-
     rigged around the door. Severed twine attached to the trigger
     of a shotgun taped atop a jello mold at knee level.

     Continue to look around. Sex-horror grimace: like catching
     Pop fingering Mom. Junior's place a tiny, filthy one bedroom.

                         ME (V.O.)
               Junior the Insane: You couldn't
               hide what he was hiding in 1958 LA,
               and not have it rot your mind.

     Bear traps barely hidden under sheets. Rat-traps garnished
     with razor blades across the floor. Smell rotten flowers: his
     shirt that I wore/bled-on crumpled on his pillow -- yellowed
     jizz stains cover black blood stains. Stifle a gag.

     Card table: an empty green-banded evidence bag. Gape at it.
     Then walk over, read the abstracts: 1284 South Tremaine.

                         ME (V.O.)
               Junior stealing evidence from the
               Magdalena crime scene.

                                                                      91.



Then I see the bookcase. Top shelf: Police manuals. Bottom
two shelves: wall-to-wall red steno-pads, all exactly the
same brand. Shock. Step over. Flip through them: tiny,
architect-neat script covers every page. The running dialogue
of a functional fucking freak:

MAGDALENA RESIDENCE. 1284 S. TREMAINE. RECOVERED: MAGDALENA FINANCIAL
RECORDS/LEDGERS. SOME ENTRIES REDACTED. TRANSLATED `HH' INTO
`HURWITZ HOLDINGS' AFTER RECOVERING MAIL. SEEMS SUSPICIOUS. BROUGHT
TO ATTENTION OF KLEIN. BRUSHED OFF. PRESS IN SPITE OF KLEIN'S LAZINESS OR
LACK OF INTEREST.

A hand drawn cock doodled beneath that, then below:

DAVE WEARING FORM-FITTING SHIRT TODAY. HANDSOME. I WANT TO PULL IT-

-drop the steno like it might bite. Pick up another: same
drill.

WELLES NOONAN WILL WIN OUT. KLEIN NOT SKILLED OR SMART ENOUGH TO
DUEL WITH A U.S. ATTORNEY MUCH LESS THE FBI. DEEP ADMIRATION FOR
NOONAN'S CAUSE. HIS PURPOSE IS PURE. DON'T WANT TO GET DRAGGED DOWN
WITH POISON PILL KLEIN. MAKE HIM PAY FOR PATRONIZING ME.

Pick up yet another, hands shaking, turn to the last page:

MAKE KLEIN HURT LIKE I HURT. TRADE HIM. TRADE EVERYTHING. TRADE UP TO
THE BUREAU. THINK OF IT: AGENT RICHARD STEMMONS JR. PROUD-PROUD. 1
DREAM DOWN, 10,000 TO GO!

                      ME (V.O.)
            Junior the Climber, trading me up
            to Noonan. Thinks bootlicking will
            buy him a Bureau gig.

Now, rifle for that knife. Systemically destroy the place.
Dump the stenos in a trash can, sift for matches, strike,
watch the pads catch and floosh, feed the fire with random
paperwork, sift -- Junior's cock-obsessed doodles scribbled
by the dozen.

Under the bed now, carpet covered in rat-traps. Spring them,
clear a space. A Box: beefcake booty, gay smut mags, gay
classified ads. First-person perspective Polaroids of
Junior's stomach being kissed by the Diskant Quiff and vice-
versa.

Open a massive steamer trunk against a far wall. Arsenal:
handguns, shotguns, a surplus M-1. Dump it, kick contents.
Only interested in that knife.

                                                             92.



     Move into his kitchenette. Check the freezer even though
     Junior is smarter than that: amyl-nitrate poppers, vodka,
     benzedrine, cocaine. Close it. Look down. STOP: indents in
     the cheap tile floor from where the refrigerator used to sit.

     Pull to see what's behind. Eyes catch the bear-trap near the
     bed as I tug: ugly-rusted-waiting. STOP part II: Contort,
     peer behind the refrigerator: a pineapple-shaped hand grenade
     duct-taped to the wall, next to a built-in safe.

                         MY NARRATOR VOICE (V.O.)
               The safe scared me more than all of
               it because a safe doesn't get
               installed overnight...he'd been
               working on something, planning
               something...

     Twine leads from the grenade's pin to the back of the
     refrigerator. My bolt-cutters snap it. Pull the refrigerator
     out now. The safe bolted into the drywall. Stare at it: the
     dial, the black paint-job...

                                                       CUT TO:

     Loading shells into the shotgun that was atop that jello
     mold. Back into the kitchen. Exhale. BEGIN BLASTING. Massive
     noise. Six shots. Reload fast: nothing can muffle this
     clatter. SECOND VOLLEY. Eyes closed to keep chunks of drywall
     out. Gagging on gunsmoke. Rip at the safe -- something gives.
     THIRD VOLLEY. The Safe hits the floor, leaves a hole.

     Through the ringing in my ears: something that sounds like
     honks. Quick peek: Pete gone. A Black Buick with two white-
     walled FEDS up front. Then Junior gets out of the backseat...

     Scoop the freezer drugs, the stack of man-porn, the
     snapshots, and toss a whole armful into the hallway in front
     of Junior's door. Grab the green-banded evidence bag and tuck
     it under my arm. Back into the kitchenette. Turn on the gas
     but don't light the burners. Pull the grenade off the wall.
     Drag the safe to the rear of his place: the fire escape.


77   EXT. FIRE ESCAPE - NEXT MOMENT                              77

     Out the window, on the escape, toss the evidence-bag down to
     Pete, then push the safe over the railing. Feature it almost
     crush the back of Pete's idling Cadillac. Pete jumps, yells:

                          PETE
               Asshole!

                                                             93.



                         ME
               Get it open if you can and meet me
               back at Meg's!

     Doesn't move until I pull the pin on the pineapple, drop the
     pin down on him. He jumps back in, peels off-


78   INT. JUNIOR'S APARTMENT BUILDING - NEXT MOMENT               78

     -Junior on the second-floor landing, heading to his place.
     Bloodshot bleary wide eyes, spun on a combo of drugs, the
     Feds herding him like a rabid dog:

                         JUNIOR STEMMONS
               Stay right here. I'll get it all
               and come back. Don't move.


79   EXT. FIRE ESCAPE - SAME MOMENT                               79

     Ricochet the grenade back into the kitchen. Leap down half a
     flight: put exterior brick between my head and the-

     -BIG BOOM -- the grenade goes off.


80   INT. JUNIOR'S APARTMENT BUILDING - SAME MOMENT               80

     Junior knocked on his ass halfway up the last flight. Feds
     come sprinting. Screaming Junior tackles one on the way up.
     Juniors' front-door blown off. Terrified Neighbors greeted
     with images of Sodom scattered from the explosion: drugs,
     mags, dildos. The Fed that didn't get tackled picks up a
     photo: Junior kissing a hairy stomach.

     And Junior's mind snaps cleanly in-half. Crawls away growling
     like a bear caught in one of his traps.


81   EXT. ALLEY - NEXT MOMENT                                     81

     I step calm. Clear the alley slow. Don't let your stride give
     you away. Another Black Buick arrives. More Bureau stiffs.
     Keep moving. Looky-Loos pop up along the block, pointing. I'm
     the only one not looking back toward Junior's now flaming
     pad. The Powerhawk still another street up. Fire engines wail
     close.

     Shouts from behind now. Look back: a Bureau putz pointing my
     way -- one of the Buicks tearing up the block toward me.

                                                             94.



                         ME (V.O.)
               Call it. Keep going and give up
               Wilhite's car and the corpse
               inside, or lay back and deal with
               Noonan's Buzzcuts.

     Lace my fingers behind my head, turn to face them -- catch a
     form tackle from this geeked up junior G-Man diving from the
     Buick, drives his shoulder and takes me down sprawling.


82   INT. L.A. FEDERAL BUILDING - LATER                        82

     Welles Noonan staring. He picks nipped/mutilated fingernails.

                          ME (CONT'D)
               Civil servants can't afford
               manicures?

                         WELLES NOONAN
               Breaking and entering, theft, and
               willful destruction of private
               property...and I'll add attempted
               murder to the current first degree
               murder charge I'm about to file
               against you.

                         ME
               Proof. If you had it, you wouldn't
               be fucking around with shitty
               shakedown routine -- you'd file.
               Coercion equals confession. So
               let's see you pound it out of me.

                         WELLES NOONAN
               Where are the files you stole from
               Sergeant Richard Stemmons.

                         ME
               Junior. Your secret weapon right? I
               mean, I know J. Edgar is a slanted
               fuck, but traditionally `vicious
               fags' don't make the best major
               case witnesses.
                   (beat, keep pushing)
               I'm worried those burning dildos
               may have damaged his credibility.

                         WELLES NOONAN
               Oh I don't need his testimony
               Klein. I'll just force yours.

                                       95.



          ME
Not if you had the next hundred
years.

          WELLES NOONAN
Sanderline Johnson, your links to
Sam Giancana to Mickey Cohen,
extortion, bribes, murder-for-hire.
I'll put you in every pair of cross-
hairs I can find. I'll torch
everything you've ever touched. You
have no idea how deep I run Klein.
And how far I'm willing to go to
fuck you-

          ME
-everyone knows I'm a piece-a-shit.
What are you proving? Bradley's the
guy flanking you right now. The guy
who's vulnerable right now.

          WELLES NOONAN
You're all angles and graft Klein.
Why trust a God damn word that
comes out of your-

          ME
-you done anything with the
Magdalena case?

          WELLES NOONAN
    (thrown)
Prelims: drug pusher gone missing,
presumed dead, we're investigat-

          ME
    (scoffing)
-Dealing drugs for 20 years!
Arrested once. Hall a' fame career!
You photographed the head of Narco
in-front of his house...

          WELLES NOONAN
AND?

          ME
Jesus Christ, you need cue cards?
    (sell this fucker now)
Come after me: you get me. Go after
what I can give you and you get the
LAPD's power-set on a slab.

                                                          96.



                    WELLES NOONAN
          I don't believe you'd turn.
          Treacherous yes, traitorous no.
          Tell me where Stemmons' files are.

                    ME
          I'll bring them to you.

                    WELLES NOONAN
          You're not leaving here Klein.

                    ME
          Then like I said: you only get me.

Noonan stands, firm:

                    WELLES NOONAN
          I'll take it.

On his way out I speak fast -- the last ace in my deck:

                    ME
          I give you the body of Dan Wilhite,
          head of LAPD's Narcotics Division.
          Proof of a 20-year criminal
          collusion between his department
          and Hector Magdalena and my
          testimony to link the dots.
              (beat, make him believe)
          Then I leave LA for good.

Noonan at the door: please bite-please bite...but he just
smirks, walks out. Real panic now: no ideas on what comes
next. 15 seconds. Door opens again: one of Noonan's deputies
pushes a sheet. Scan it: Federal Witness Agreement. Noonan
back: two cups of coffee. Read it over.

                    WELLES NOONAN
          What happened to Wilhite?

                       ME
          Suicide.

                    WELLES NOONAN
          Like Sanderline Johnson?

Ignore him. Sign the agreement.

                    WELLES NOONAN (CONT'D)
          Get me Stemmons files and Wilhite's
          body by noon tomorrow.

Gulp the coffee back, the burn feels good.

                                                             97.



                         ME
               No more tails. I don't want anyone
               else incriminated.

                           WELLES NOONAN
               Agreed.

                         ME
                   (nod to agreement)
               I get a copy of that?

                         WELLES NOONAN
               After a judge signs it. Now Leave.

     Stand-nod-take my coffee-leave. Door closes. Noonan shreds
     the Witness agreement. Tosses it in the trash. Off the
     baffled Deputy.

                          WELLES NOONAN (CONT'D)
               We wait for him to deliver, then we
               arrest him. You never saw that
               agreement.

                           DEPUTY #1
               Tail him?

                         WELLES NOONAN
               No. Let him get comfortable...let
               him believe me.


83   INT. CAB - NIGHT                                             83

     Backseat. Suborned Cabby driving fast. LAPD on board.

                         ME (V.O.)
               Running out of room, time, both.
               Trapped between Bradley and Noonan.

     Jump out of the cab, into Wilhite's Powerhawk. Slide in, slam
     the door.


84   INT. MEG'S PLACE - LATER                                     84

     Bust in shaking. Teeth chatter like I'm freezing. Pete in the
     garage adjacent the kitchen, welder's goggles and a power
     drill, punching holes in Junior's safe.

                         PETE
               I know what Feds look like -- those
               were Feds with Junior...

                                                             98.



                         ME
               Yeah and they made me leaving the
               scene. Had to barter out.

                         PETE
               Barter what?

                         ME
               My Testimony. I signed a Federal
               Witness Agreement.

     Pete drops the drill.

                           PETE
               You what?

                          ME
               It's bullshit. Noonan's got no
               intention of honoring it.
                   (beat)
               They want Stemmons files though. I
               think Junior's been working angles
               for awhile, doing his own
               investigations.

                         PETE
               What did you do to his place? Nice
               quiet neighborhood one minute,
               Nagasaki the next.

                         ME
                   (point to safe)
               He had a hand grenade tied to that.
                   (as Pete resumes drilling)
               How much longer do you need?

                          PETE
               Few more hours. Maybe. Junior
               didn't skimp on this thing. I gotta
               bore right through the face plate.
                   (beat)
               You got some time now, why don't
               you get Milteer off my back and go
               work that Bledsoe broad.

                         ME
               You read my mind.


85   EXT. TOPANGA CANYON BUNGALOW - NIGHT                      85

     Pull in. Glenda's Vette parked behind. Lights on low inside.

                                                             99.




86   EXT./INT. BUNGALOW - MOMENTS LATER                        86

     The door opens. She's dressed for bed. I don't hesitate,
     afraid she'll shun me. Move to her, she doesn't startle. An
     arm around her waist, drawing her in, my mouth close to hers.

     I take her face in my hand, check her eyes, a beat before
     they tell me it's okay...I lean in, takes a lifetime...and
     kiss her soft until she kisses back, her mouth moving over my
     split lips, she puts her hands on my face, pulling me in.

     She feels exactly like I imagined.

     My coat comes off. Her camisole follows. We're moving toward
     a bed in back. I stop, pull back, the moonlight moves over
     her shoulders. I whisper:

                         ME
               ...tell me if I'm being too rough.

     Tears squeezed through smiling eyes, she kisses me even
     harder, pulls me down to her. We make love like we've never
     touched another. Everything blurs, burns down: Bradley.
     Wilhite. Tommy. Hector Junior. Ainge. She takes it all away.
     I escape into her. Hours fall. I could stay here forever...


87   INT. BEDROOM - LATER                                      87

     Lying there, staring at her. A silence and peace I've never
     known. Not once.

                         ME
               Tell me anything. Tell me
               everything.

     Label her surprise, her brow that furrows and unfurrows just
     as quickly. A long moment as she waivers...commits:

                         GLENDA BLEDSOE
               Where would I start?

                            ME
               Why here?

                         GLENDA BLEDSOE
               Why L.A.?
                   (this amazing smile)
               Why is anybody here? Want the rest
               of the world to know who they are.

                                                       100.



                    ME
          You?

                     GLENDA BLEDSOE
          No...I don't think so.
              (beat)
          I just love it. I grew up in
          Seattle. My aunt, every week, she'd
          take me to the movies.

Me watching her...tucks her hair back over his shoulders.

                    GLENDA BLEDSOE (CONT'D)                     *
          The idea that you can outlive
          yourself...that a part of you goes
          on, long after you're gone.
              (beat, grins)
          Sounds silly doesn't it? `Attack of
          the Atomic Vampires' being-

                    ME
          -your ticket to immortality?

Make her laugh. Swear a thousand silent oaths to protect her.
He face slowly goes dark.

                     GLENDA BLEDSOE
          Hughes told me he could get me in
          for this screen test two years ago.
          Movie with Gregory Peck at
          Universal. He thought he was
          humoring me...until I got it. They
          offered me the role...there in the
          room. So Howard, who I'm sure never
          thought in a million years I'd land
          that part, makes some phone calls
          and just like that they don't want
          me anymore.
              (beat)
          Nobody calls now. I can't get in to
          see any studio casting people. He's
          ruined me in those circles.

                    ME
          And you still want it-

                    GLENDA BLEDSOE
          -bad enough to put on a silly
          cheerleading skirt and try to make
          the most god-awful dialogue sound
          decent.

                                                         101.



                    ME
          Surrounded by winos in werewolf
          suits.
              (she laughs, I laugh)
          That's...dedication.

                    GLENDA BLEDSOE
          Or desperation. Depends on the day.

The laughter ebbs, her eyes still shine.

                     GLENDA BLEDSOE (CONT'D)
          I'll get there though.
              (beat)
          I'll get there.

I let the silence take...try not to shatter it with:

                    ME
          Dwight Gillette.

She doesn't blanch.

                     GLENDA BLEDSOE
          He asked me to take his `niece and
          nephew' to their cousin in Oxnard.
          These beautiful, funny little kids.
              (tears she doesn't swipe)
          I dropped them off. Didn't ask any
          questions -- I believed Dwight. A
          week later I saw their pictures in
          the Post Office. A week after that
          their little bodies came in on the
          tide near San Pedro.
              (beat, tears stream)
          I'll never shake the thought that
          maybe those poor kids thought I was
          part of it. That I knew what was
          going to happen to them. So I pray
          to God that he let them look in
          when I put that knife into Dwight.
              (beat)
          But I'll never ask his forgiveness
          for doing it...
              (beat, clears her eyes)
          Why do they call you `Enforcer?'

She actually gets closer, I can feel her breath on me.

                    ME
          I've killed 44 men.

                                                              102.



     She blanches, but never blinks...never takes her eyes away
     from mine.

                         ME (CONT'D)
               33 for War. 2 for principle. 9 for
               profit -- mostly. Why did you sign
               with Hughes, knowing what he was?

                         GLENDA BLEDSOE
               `For profit -- mostly.'

     Silence. A feeling like: `and there we are...'

                         ME
               I'm not much good.

                         GLENDA BLEDSOE
               Me neither.

     She touches my quake. Two breaths with her hand on mine and
     it all goes quiet: the shakes, the images, the fear. She
     takes my head, pulls me to her bare breasts. The only things
     audible: my breathing, a clock ticking. Both slowly fade out.

     BLACK.

     Wake up quiet, look at my Hamilton. 6 AM. Sit up slow.

     Look back at her, sleeping, just stare. I lean down, kiss her
     lightly, her taste lingers, inhale her, hold that...it's the
     last good thing you'll get today.


88   INT. MEG'S HOUSE - EARLY A.M.                                88

     Dark. Stay quiet. Maneuver into the kitchen. Turn on a light.
     On the table: safe open, it's contents laid-out neatly, short-
     stacks of files, $1000 in twenties. I sit, start searching
     for something else...Pete's voice behind me:

                         PETE (O.C.)
               The Knife ain't there. File on top
               of that middle pile: George Ainge
               in an `undisclosed locale.'

     I don't turn. Pete sits next to me. Sets a shotgun down.

                         PETE
               Junior documented everything like a
               fucking Monk.
                   (pulls a file)
               Like here: `has evidence' you
               murdered Sanderline Johnson.
                         (MORE)

                                                            103.

                     PETE (cont'd)
           Kept track of `suspected contract
           killings' you pulled for the mob.

Look at Pete. Dark rings, deathbed eyes.

                     ME
           You been up all night?

                     PETE
           In-case Stemmons made a house-call.
           He's got every goddamn address of
           everybody you know...
               (beat, hard)
           And you should've told me about the
           Bledsoe broad.

                     ME
           There's nothing to tell.

Feature Pete, righteously pissed:

                     PETE
           Then call Milteer about this dead
           Pimp Gillette. I'm no legal mind
           like you, but I'll bet a murder
           beef would violate her morals
           clause quick.
               (beat, hands phone)
           Collect the rest of your money.

                     ME
           I don't want it anymore.

                     PETE
           Then give that five grand back.

                     ME
           Junior stole it.

Pete pauses, scoffs, turns back toward Meg's bedroom walks:

                     PETE
           People are gonna start lining-up to
           see you bleed, Pal.

Door closes. I flip through Junior's files: the same
architect-neat block printing. Find a Glenda entry:

SUBSEQUENT TO HER FATAL STABBING OF DWIGHT Gillette, MISS BLEDSOE
SECRETED THE MURDER WEAPON WITH GEORGE AINGE. I HAVE ACQUIRED THIS
KNIFE. IT IS A SIX-INCH BLADE WITH A MOTHER-OF-PEARL GRIP WHICH
SUSTAINED RIGHT THUMB AND RIGHT INDEX PRINTS WHICH MATCH ELEVEN
COMPARISON POINTS TO FINGERPRINTS ON FILE FROM MISS BLEDSOE'S 1946
JUVENILE SHOPLIFTING ARREST.

                                                            104.



     Shred it. Grab another file. Hyper-detailed: subscript
     clarifications, attachments, pictures, procedural notes to
     the U.S.A.W.N.: United States Attorney Welles Noonan.

     Then I see the tab of the file furthest down: BOYCE BRADLEY.
     Open it: Noonan's business card stapled to the front cover.
     Flip forward. Scan. See Bradley's name, finger tracks across
     a page. A company name: `HURWITZ HOLDINGS'

     I read it all...and feel my jaw slowly unhinge...


89   INT. POLICE HEADQUARTERS - MORNING                           89

     Barrel down the hallway toward Bradley's office. A habitual
     eye toward Junior's desk: Koenig going through his drawers.
     Stop. Veer toward him...

                         KOENIG
                   (formal-frosty)
               Your young partner called me at my
               home, early this morning.

     Teeth grit. Hide it. Let Koenig talk.

                         KOENIG (CONT'D)
               Heavily inebriated. Speaking
               inarticulately of `betrayal,' & how
               the LAPD was set to be `blitzed by
               justice.' Is this the `bind' of
               which we spoke earlier?

                         ME
               Yeah.

                         KOENIG
               And his apartment -- there was some
               type of disturbance? A fire?

                         ME
               That's why I needed his address. I
               was trying to help him before
               something like this happened. The
               kid snapped-in-half Fritz. He's
               literally lost it.
                   (beat, deadpan)
               He say anything else to you?

     Koenig looks back at me. Give nothing away...one gesture that
     doesn't read right and he'll know. He lets more seconds pass
     than he should. Trying to shake me.

                                                            105.



                         KOENIG
               Only that he was in possession of
               materials that might deeply damage
               Chief Bradley...and yourself.

                         ME
               Like I said Fritz, he's flipped his
               lid. I don't want to go to Internal
               Affairs but I'm afraid Junior
               might've forced just that.

                         KOENIG
               Let me try to locate the lad first
               Dave. Be a shame to ruin such a
               young career so soon.

                         ME
               Be careful Fritz. He's dangerous.

     Spin, press on toward Bradley's office.

                         ME (V.O.)
               Fritz Koenig, the best inspector in
               the LAPD, digging. He'll find
               Junior and when he does he'll find
               Ainge...then Glenda...

     Reach Bradley's office, burst in. Empty. To his Secretary:

                         ME
               Where is he?

                         SECRETARY
                   (frowns at my informality)
               Out at the Ravine Lieutenant.


90   EXT. CHAVEZ RAVINE - DAY                                     90

     Park the Powerhawk. Downwind. Out. Walking. Check my
     Hamilton: 12:10 PM.

                         ME (V.O.)
               Noonan's deadline lapsed ten
               minutes ago. An official fugitive
               from justice now.

     Down below, Bradley with Reuben Ruiz in-tow: glazed-fear,
     following him like he's handcuffed. PROTESTORS gather,
     placards hoisted, chants: "Dodgers, No! Mexico, Si!" The
     group gathers steam, supporters pack in, the chorus
     continues: "DODGERS NO! MEXICO SI!'

                                                       106.



                    ME (V.O.)
          Bradley doing damage control, the
          forced relocation of the Ravine's
          immigrants has the press in a
          feeding frenzy. Reuben Ruiz forced
          along as the token Mexican
          mouthpiece.

Reporters press. Bradley handles them with ease and aplomb.

                    BRADLEY
          -this area has long been rife with
          crime and venality, but with a
          brand new Stadium, we can make this
          horrible blight a bright spot and
          give our Los Angeles Dodgers the
          home they deserve.
              (like Ruiz was an orphan)
          Reuben Ruiz can tell you of his
          travails growing up in this
          horrible slum and why now is the
          time to `Redeem The Ravine.'

                    REPORTER #2
          Chief Bradley, U.S. Attorney
          Noonan has promised to deliver
          surprise witnesses before the
          Federal Grand jury on-

-Bradley, this brilliant rebuke:

                    BRADLEY
          -Welles Noonan is an unscrupulous
          hack politician whose smear
          campaign against us will fail, for
          he has grievously underestimated
          the moral rectitude of the Los
          Angeles Police Department.

Then Bradley sees me. His press-friendly face contorts, the
shift startling: if only a flashbulb could've framed it. He
shifts back from snarl to smile...

                    BRADLEY
          Now if you'll excuse me, I'll leave
          you with Reuben Ruiz.

Ruiz begins his forced/coerced/do-it-or-we'll-fuck-you sob
story as Bradley steps away from the glare. I follow. Get
right on his heels.

                                                          107.



                    ME
          Your subpoena hasn't caught up to
          me yet, Chief...

Bradley spins back.

                    ME (CONT'D)
              (hand him Junior's file)
          Hurwitz Holdings.

Bradley blanches, buckles. I see it. Before he can play
stupid with: `What?'

                    ME (CONT'D)
          You, Bethune, and Gallaudet bought
          big chunks of Chavez Ravine over
          the past two years through a shell
          company called Hurwitz Holdings.
              (beat, look around)
          If the Dodgers move here the value
          of the land booms...you could sell
          it off for a fortune -- or hang
          onto it and make even more. The
          parking lots alone would make you
          all multi-millionaires.

Bradley removes his glasses, staring at documentation that
dooms both his immediate and distant future...

                    ME
          Word gets out that the three City
          Officials who were pushing hardest
          for a Stadium also stood to gain a
          mint -- might color public opinion.
          Might color it even more to know
          that the LAPD's Chief of Detectives
          was trying to purchase a huge tract
          of that land from the biggest dope
          dealer in town.

Slap another file over the one he's reading.

                    ME
          Hector Magdalena owned ten and half
          acres of this land.
              (beat, ram him)
          You didn't give a shit about
          solving his disappearance. You were
          worried that your real estate deal
          was going south.
                    (MORE)

                                                       108.

                     ME (cont'd)
          That's why you wanted Tommy found,
          not because he was a murder suspect
          or you were concerned that Noonan
          might tap him as a federal
          witness...you needed him to
          finalize your fucking land grab. To
          sign paperwork in place of his dead
          Dad. That's why you've got Madge
          and Lucille in custody now.
              (beat)
          Maybe I'll let your subpoena find
          me now Chief, maybe I'll walk right
          into it...the tales I could tell.

All Bradley can muster is:

                    BRADLEY
          How?

                    ME
          Junior Stemmons. The ex-evidence
          teacher. His `excellent ratings'
          didn't stop him from stealing the
          Magdalena seizure and doing his own
          investigation.

                    BRADLEY
          Why would he investigate me?

Hand him Noonan's business card: dig the big Federal Eagle in
American Blue.

                     ME
          That was stapled to the cover.
              (beat)
          Why would Noonan worry about a Turd
          like me now...when a high profile
          target like you can be taken down.

Silence. I smile wide at it. Bradley, scrambling.

                    BRADLEY
          Where is Stemmons?

                    ME
          No idea. If you haven't spoken to
          Internal Affairs today, I'm sure
          they've called. Junior's apartment
          caught fire. Deeply deviant
          material inside. Round him up-
              (my angle)
          -and anyone he's got with him.

Bradley readjusts his glasses.

                                                         109.



                    BRADLEY
          I'll issue an A.P.B. saying
          Stemmons is a known deviant
          targeting kindergarten children.

                    ME
          Now, quid pro quo...you subpoenaed
          Wilhite too.

Bradley's reaction: Feature the angler getting angled.

                      BRADLEY
          How do y-

                    ME
          -don't worry `how.' Why?

Bradley says nothing. Then, like a klieg-light, it hits me.

                    ME (CONT'D)
          You're going after Narco yourself.

                    BRADLEY
          Exposing the corrupt parts of the
          LAPD will redeem the whole. I'll
          prove that Police can police
          themselves-

                    ME
          -so you show-up Noonan...co-opt his
          crusade and condemn your own before
          he can...Jesus Christ can you turn
          lemons to lemonade.

                    BRADLEY
          No Cop will testify against other
          Cops. This is why Wilhite has
          suddenly disappeared.

                     ME
          And how.
              (beat)
          So where do we go now Chief?

                    BRADLEY
              (beat, eyes flick again to
               the files I'm holding...)
          There are other forces at work
          here...faces we need to identify.
          Names we need to know. A third
          party.
                    (MORE)

                                                            110.

                         BRADLEY (cont'd)
               Find out who Klein and I'll
               reinstate you, rescind that
               subpoena & burn the coroner's
               report on Sanderline-

                         ME
               -that report is only useful to
               Noonan now.

                         BRADLEY
               No. It ensures our mutual
               destruction should you choose to
               share the contents of that Stemmons
               file. Which I know you won't do
               until you figure out how it will
               best benefit you.

     He walks off, imperious, impervious, gets engulfed by the
     press ranks once again.

                         ME (V.O.)
               A mistake to underestimate me now
               Chief. The price to keep your
               secrets is steep...and you're going
               to pay up. Soon.

     Back to the Powerhawk, fresh-scrubbed six-packs standing near
     it, the trunk stink ripe past the point of concealment. They
     see me, deferential nods. One squeaky wheel offers:

                         SIX-PACK
               Something in your trunk smells to
               high hell Lieutenant.

                            ME
               Dead body.

     Laughter. Easily amused academy types. Brush by grinning,
     give `em an "Enforcer" story to tell the other rookies. I
     jump in the Powerhawk and tear off.

                         ME (V.O.) (CONT'D)
               Borrowed time burning fast. My days
               are done. Only hours remain.
               Whatever moves I have left...make
               them now.


91   INT. MEG'S HOUSE - LATER                                     91

     Going through files. Filling my own steno pad with scrawl.
     Pete walks in from the garage, face bunched up, bit-lemon.

                                                       111.



                    PETE
          Fucking Christ. You can't keep that
          car in the garage, the smell's
          coming into the house.

Meg wanders in, dressed for work.

                    MEG
          Open the windows.

                    PETE
          That's not gonna help.

                    ME
              (still scribbling)
          Take a couple bottles of bleach,
          pour it over the trunk.

                    PETE
          What do you got in there?

                    ME
          My foreseeable future.

                    MEG
          I'm going to work.

She kisses me on my head. I turn:

                    ME
          You taking her?

                    PETE
              (God damn glowering)
          I'm taking her.

Meg walks out. Pete lingers. I'm starting to sour him. Not
smart. He stares. I look up.

                    ME (CONT'D)
          What?

                    PETE
          Hughes.

                    ME
          This is almost over Pete -- I'll
          give Milteer the five-grand back.

                    PETE
          It's more than that.

                                                       112.



                    ME
          I'll square it. It's my thing.

                    PETE
          That you made mine.

                       ME
          I'm sorry.

A beat. Pete sketches me head to toe.

                    PETE
          Look as bad as I've ever seen you.

                    ME
          Things are as bad as they've ever
          been...

Pete exhales. Stalks off. I keep scribbling.

                    ME (V.O.)
          Bradley's Third Party Theory.
          Everything linked: Wilhite,
          Magdalena, the Ravine...I've got my
          own theories...and the one that
          sticks is the one I pray I'm wrong
          about.

Meg's phone blares, I answer it on reflex.

                       ME (CONT'D)
          Klein.

I hear rasp on the other end, hyperventilating, unhinged.

                    JUNIOR STEMMONS
          MOTHERFUCKER -- you better meet me!
          That Cooze you threw everything
          away for is still cooked! I got the
          knife. I got Ainge-

Junior. Jesus.

                    ME
          How'd you get this number Junior?

                    JUNIOR STEMMONS
          I got everything on you! AND I'M
          GONNA USE IT!

                    ME
          -you're a broom-closet Queer. Your
          career is over.

                                                       113.



                    JUNIOR STEMMONS
          The knife for MY file on Bradley.
          I know you already burned that
          Whore's but don't think I can't re-
          do investigations.

                    ME
          You snitch to Noonan, then what?

                    JUNIOR STEMMONS
          Fuck Noonan. I got stronger Allies.

                    ME
          Who? The Soviets?

                    JUNIOR STEMMONS
          Meet me in one hour with that file,
          Fern Dell Park-

                    ME
          -Where you used to snag fruits for
          Vice? A volunteer gig I'm guessing.

                    JUNIOR STEMMONS
          Be there with Bradley's file or I
          scratch your scabby Bitch.

                    ME
          Hey, did the Feds dig your pad?

The phone on the other end seems to break-in half. Hang up,
it rings a beat later. Junior still wanting to spar. Snag the
receiver, rip his shit:

                    ME (CONT'D)
          -I see anybody near there Junior,
          the deals off and I gift that file
          to Bradley to fuck you with-

                    GLENDA BLEDSOE
          -Dave?

                    ME
              (big beat)
          Glenda?

He's got her. Junior. Sick. Evil. My mind cannibalizes itself
with "where-is-she-how-do-I-get-her-back" when:

                    GLENDA BLEDSOE
          Sorry...you gave me this number...

He doesn't have her. A sigh so big, it steals all my air...

                                                            114.



                           ME
                 Jesus...hey...


92   INTERCUT:                                                  92

                           GLENDA
                 Who were you talking-

                           ME
                 -no, no. It's nothing. I had a
                 phone call, just before yours.

     A beat. Glenda in a chaise lounge on a small deck overlooking
     the canyon. She sits up.

                           GLENDA
                 Was it him? The Cop you were
                 telling me about?

                           ME
                 I don't want you to worry. I'm
                 handling it. But I might send my
                 friend Pete out there.

                           GLENDA
                 You don't think it's safe?

                           ME
                 I'd just rather have someone there
                 with you.

                           GLENDA
                 I wish you would've woken me up
                 this morning.

                           ME
                 I'm better-looking in low light, I
                 didn't want to blow it for myself.

     She laughs. Makes me smile despite my world caving-in...

                           ME (CONT'D)
                 Stay by the phone.

                           GLENDA
                 I miss you.

     And I melt. Love-struck at possibly the worst fucking moment
     of my life. Hang up before your voice breaks. Grab a pen,
     scrawl for Pete, post it on the fridge magnet: `PETE: 655
     TOPANGA. STAY WITH HER. PLEASE.'

                                                            115.




93   EXT. FERN DELL PARK - EVENING                             93

     Rolling green. Half-dirt, half-asphalt path. I scan for any
     back-up. Nothing. Junior already there. Astride like Gary
     Cooper. His eyes bloodshot from here. My gun riding quick-
     draw style. The heft feels good. Unbutton my coat to show him
     the file as I approach, tucked right behind my .45.

                         ME
               Where's the knife.

     Junior, this evil little curl. He turns. Follow him over a
     small knoll: that Gray Packard, waiting. A silhouette behind
     the wheel. As we near it the lights come on, blind me.

                         ME
               Turn your lights off...and just
               come out and talk to me...Fritz.

     A pause in the car, Junior looks at me like I'm Rasputin,
     divining answers from the marine-layer moving-in over LA. The
     lights pop off and I hear a tired laugh coming from the car
     that we've all heard before.

                         ME (V.O.)
               Third Party Confirmed...I fucking
               knew it.

     Fritz Koenig steps out of the Packard.

                         KOENIG
               Not much with these sub-rosa
               things...

                         ME
                   (a nod to the Packard)
               I thought it was Noonan tailing me.

                         KOENIG
               Bradley's greatest stroke was
               enlisting you to his side.

     Junior, jumpy in my periphery. I don't like it.

                         ME (CONT'D)
               Wilhite ran Magdalena for you, not
               Narco.

                         KOENIG
               When did you know?

                                                              116.



                         ME
               I didn't. I had a feeling. I
               smelled cover-up all over Hector's
               disappearance and Wilhite wouldn't
               have the muscle or the mind-set to
               kingpin something that big by
               himself...you knew about Bradley
               trying to buy him out?

                         KOENIG
               He was offering to exonerate Hector
               and clear his criminal record.
               Hector met with Wilhite and I to
               inform us of his decision...

                                                    FLASHBACK TO:


94   INT. 1284 SOUTH TREMAINE - PAST                                94

     For the first and only time, WE SEE Hector Magdalena, alive
     and well...for the moment...speaking to Koenig and Wilhite.

                         KOENIG (V.O.)
               ...to accept Bradley's deal...

     Koenig pets Hector's twin Doberman guard dogs.

                         KOENIG (V.O.) (CONT'D)
               ...and although the terms of that
               deal worked well for him. I found
               them less than favorable...

     Koenig draws a silenced pistol and shoots both dogs before
     shooting a shocked Hector twice in the chest. Wilhite
     staggers to his feet as Koenig steps over and delivers the
     coup de grace head-shot to Hector.

                         KOENIG
               Darktown. Chavez Ravine. Hot Spots
               for Human Vice. These are slums I
               run & profit from. If these slums
               suddenly become Stadiums, that
               profit goes elsewhere...that crime
               goes elsewhere.

                         ME
               Bradley...you two got greed in
               common.

     Koenig grins. Junior keeps shifting. Dying to shoot him dead.

                                                       117.



                    ME
          You knew about Wilhite and Lucille.
          That's how you were operating him.

                    KOENIG
          I was aware of his sexual
          predilections.

                    ME
              (a scowl for Junior)
          ...and someone else's...

                     KOENIG
              (that great white grin )
          We share an eye for human frailty
          and we're both born blackmailers
          Dave.
              (beat)
          I knew young Stemmons here had a
          fondness for Lads, stretching back
          to his days at the academy.

                    ME
          And now you're his only ally.
              (back at Junior)
          This sad queer who fell out with
          cops and flunked out with the Feds.
              (back to Koenig)
          So you get this file to battle
          Bradley with. What's Junior get in
          return?

And like he was waiting for those words: Junior lunges. I
twist to deflect but he's too fast -- feel something sink and
drag in my side. I go down, gouge/groping for my gun. Instant
trauma zaps nerves numb up the arm, fingers failing. Then a
pain like boiling oil moves through my blood.

                    JUNIOR STEMMONS
          JUST YOU! YOU FUCK!

Look down, SEE: A mother-of-pearl knife hilt in my side, the
business end stuck deep. Junior laughing as I fall to my
knees. He pulls the file from the waist and tosses my .45.

                    JUNIOR STEMMONS (CONT'D)
              (two inches from my face)
          THERE'S YOUR KNIFE KLEIN!

Koenig takes the file, opening it.

                                                       118.



                    KOENIG
              (turning his back)
          I don't want to watch...I'm sorry
          it came to this, Dave.

Junior, his own .45 pulled, put to my head.

                    JUNIOR STEMMONS
          I hope the Bledsoe whore was worth
          it...'cuz she's still fucked. For a
          crooked cop, you think small.

Koenig reads the file's first page, lifts it...a blank page
behind...and behind that one...

                    ME (V.O.)
          Whatever moves I had left...I just
          made.

Koenig spins back, more blank pages spilling from the file.

                    KOENIG
          This isn't it!

-Junior looks: that's all I need. Pull the pig-sticker off my
ankle and corkscrew it into his calf, twisting. Junior bleats
slaughtered-lamb as I reach up a wrench his gun free. Grab
his tie, pull him down as I jut his gun up under his chin and
fire two shots through the top of his head.

Haul him down dead by his tie, turn -- Koenig's gun-hand
flashes to his shoulder. Shoot him twice. He goes down
gargling `fuck'. Stand-up on me sea-legs, bad wobble/weave as
I slowly pull the knife from my side, pocket it. Feel blood
flow saturate my pant leg. This weird wooze overcomes me as I
approach Koenig.

He pulls himself into a sitting position, shaking his head.
This bemused, beaten, half-grin as he flicks blood from his
hand like his fingers had just brushed something sticky.

                    KOENIG
          Poorly played Dave...poorly
          played...

Say nothing. Keep Junior's .45 out. My intention crystal
clear: endgame. Koenig looks up, this odd squint, like a bum
about to beg for change.

                    KOENIG
          Could I talk you into something?
          Cut you in on something?

                                                            119.



     Give him no hope.

                         ME
               Won't work for me Fritz.

     He nods, remorse, resignation...it at all looks the same now.

                         KOENIG
               Give me a minute then?

     I do. Watch his hands as he removes his shoes, waiting for an
     ankle grab, his back-up piece...none comes. He sets his shoes
     aside, gazing up at the starless sky before issuing this
     short, gruff laugh...some inside joke that will die untold.

                         KOENIG
                   (with a nod)
               Okay...

     ...and he holds his last breath and seems completely content
     as I shoot him. Cross to Junior now, rifle his clothes,
     retrieve a hotel key, Room 16, read it: MOTEL COMMODORE -
     1195 Centinela Ave. Inglewood, CA 90302


95   INT. MOTEL COMMODORE - INGLEWOOD - LATE NIGHT             95

     George Ainge, sweating on a stained bedsheet, smoking reefer,
     goofing on a TV test pattern, randomly pulling at his dick.
     Walk by his window, he sees me, recognition kinks -- thinks
     this is a good sign...I shoot him right through the glass.


96   EXT. TUDOR MANSION - EARLY A.M.                           96

     Bradley, roused from sleep, silk robe, coming down the
     stairs, his back door wide open. Reaches the landing, turns
     on the light.

     Feature me, this bobble-eyed ghoul, bloodying his settee. I
     look like something exhumed. His monogrammed serving napkins
     soak up blood from my knifed side. He startles school-girl.
     Throw the file at his feet: marred, mangled, stained. He
     inches forward, cinching his robe.

                         BRADLEY
               Who?

                         ME
               Fritz Koenig.

                                                       120.



                      BRADLEY
                (going pale)
            Where?

                      ME
            Dead. Along with Wilhite,
            Junior...and Hector Magdalena.

                      BRADLEY
            Why are you here?

                      ME
            To collect. I have the things you
            need to destroy Noonan's play.
            These same things can be used to
            destroy you.

Bradley, prim, proper, even this early. He sits down across
from me like some fucking Duke.

                      BRADLEY
            Things like?

                      ME
            Stemmons files...and Wilhite's
            body. He committed suicide after
            you subpoenaed him.

                      BRADLEY
            This body is in your possession?

Just nod.

                      ME
            And it's what you need to burn
            Narco to the ground...but if those
            files and his body were to be given
            to Noonan and the Feds, with me
            providing the cherry-on-top
            testimony of a rogue cop. Well. The
            word `Cataclysmic' comes to mind.

                      BRADLEY
            What will this cost?

                      ME
            A percentage of your Dodger Stadium
            stake in perpetuity. You buy my
            silence for a fourth of Hurwitz
            Holdings.

Bradley scoffs, pithy smile.

                                                               121.



                           BRADLEY
               Doubtful.

                         ME
               What'd you expect? A stick-up?
               Empty your safe? I'm about to
               disappear for good, and you're
               gonna fund my new life. You can't
               counter-punch out of this. Arrest
               me and I snitch the world.
                   (point to the file)
               I'll hold that over your head for
               the rest of your life. Renege on
               our deal and it won't matter if
               it's tomorrow or ten years from
               now...I'll fry you with that file.
                   (at my cracked Hamilton)
               I'm officially outta time now
               Chief. Call it.

     Bradley: an actual, full-blown facial tic. His Adam's apple
     bobs as he realizes that he's finally been beaten.

                         BRADLEY
               Wilhite's body...Bury it.


97   INT. PETE'S CADILLAC - MORNING                               97

     Cruising up the Topanga Canyon. Almost home...

                         ME (V.O.)
               Shaking to see her, touch her...


98   EXT. BUNGALOW - MORNING                                      98

     Door locked. Knocking. Pete opens up. Standing drunk. A
     pissed-off nod.


99   INT. BUNGALOW - NEXT MOMENT                                  99

     Liquor wafts off of him.

                         ME
               You go to bed drunk, or just been
               up all night.

     No answer as I follow him into the house.

                         KLEIN
               Where's Glenda, is she asle-

                                                       122.



-round the corner: Glenda shaking but refusing to cry. I go
pale: what is this? Somebody to the left, look: Milteer. Look
back at Pete: tears in his bleary eyes as he crushes me with
a right cross.

                    ME (V.O.)
          Seen Pete do this a dozen times and
          every time the same thought: God
          help me if he ever hits me like
          that...

Instant-drop, moan. Glenda screaming.

                    ME (CONT'D)
          Don't kill me.

Pete looks to Milteer, wipes blurred eyes.

                    MILTEER
          The harder you hit him the quicker
          I say `stop' -- and cease that
          absurd crying.

Pete bludgeons me. I try to get closer to Glenda. Feel my
nose shatter. Another swing: right cheek detonates. A left
hook to take advantage of my momentum: left eye explodes.
Glenda's crying/screaming gets me madder than anything.

                    GLENDA BLEDSOE
              (at Milteer)
          THAT IMPOTENT SHIT-

                    MILTEER
          -touch me and he dies.

Pete knocks me down again. My face in pieces.

                    MILTEER (CONT'D)
          Kick him-kick him-kick him.

Pete hesitates, puts his boot into my guts: 1, 2, 3-

                    MILTEER (CONT'D)
              (prim, official)
          -you may stop.
              (beat, for the room)
          Howard determined that this was the
          price for your time together.

Milteer produces a Polaroid, takes a snapshot of my shattered
husk, hands the camera to Pete on his way out:

                                                             123.



                          MILTEER
                You still have a job.

      Milteer gone. I spit volumes of blood. I'll talk with a slur
      for the next year. Pete reaches for me, blotto, sobbing.

                          PETE
                ...I'm sorry Dave...

      Pushing out words past shattered teeth.

                          ME
                I put you here...that Powerhawk-

                          PETE
                -there's a body in the trunk-

                             ME
                -burn it.

      Big drunk nod from Pete. Glenda panicking, trying to stanch
      blood that keeps rushing. Pete, reeling drunk, leans down,
      stuffs something in my jacket.

                          PETE
                I'm so sorry....


100   INT. SHOWER - TIME UNKNOWN                               100

      Steaming water. Almost painful. I sit in the tub, let the
      shower rain down. Drain floods diluted red. Wash my wounds,
      my soul. So many bruises I look bubonic. My face still
      swelling, already purple-black. My left eye more than swollen
      shut. On the other side of the curtain:

      Glenda naked. Beauty that catches in my chest. Try to stand,
      turn my destroyed face. She gently pushes me back down. Sits
      into me, holds my face in both hands so that the water hits
      my lips. No nerves, no unease. Home. She closes the curtain.


101   INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT                                     101

      Post-coital. Both wide awake. Still scared.

                          GLENDA
                Let me take you to a hospital.

                          ME
                We'd never make it inside.

                                                             124.



                          GLENDA
                    (big beat)
                I'm worried.

                          ME
                I'm through the worst of it.

      She frames my face with her hands.

                          GLENDA
                I don't believe you.

      Lies will only leak, expose. The silence makes me just as
      guilty. She lets me off the hook, her head on my arm, leaning
      in. I kiss her.

                          GLENDA (CONT'D)
                    (at a whisper)
                Was I worth this?

                          ME
                Whatever the cost.

                          GLENDA
                Just like that then?

                          ME
                Just like that.

      A nod. An understanding. Another kiss, the last one I'll
      remember.


102   INT. COLD WATER CANYON BUNGALOW KITCHEN - BLACK A.M.       102

      Head shaved. Stopped bleeding. You clearly see what my face
      will look like 25 years hence. Gauze over my left eye.
      Reading the Paper: my dress-blue photo, the one that looks
      nothing like me now. Headline:

           `LAPD Officer Wanted in Connection with
           Recent Rash of Murders...U.S. Attorney
           Welles Noonan issued a nationwide warning
           to law enforcement...'

                          ME (V.O.)
                My deadline with Noonan: two days
                old. He and Bradley playing chess
                by press release.
                          (MORE)

                                                             125.

                           ME (V.O.) (cont'd)
                Bradley relocates the deaths of
                Captain Fritz Koenig and Sergeant
                Richard Stemmons to Chavez
                Ravine...both given posthumous
                Medals of Valor. Junior dies a hero
                after all.

      INSERT: TELEVISION SCREEN

      Bradley: Professorial in glasses and pinstripes, mid-press
      conference. Watch him work...a statesman's guile.

                           ME (V.O.)
                Cop-killings clear the way for
                Bradley's "Redeem The Ravine'
                mandate. Dodger Stadium
                construction moves forward.
                    (beat)
                Captain Dan Wilhite and Hector
                Magdalena. Missing. APB's issued.
                Bradley's press fodder cast them as
                `outlaw cop and drug dealer' who
                most likely fled to Mexico. Narco
                under a full-blown, Bradley-led
                investigation.

                          BRADLEY (ON SCREEN)
                ...police unit run amok, who's long
                tradition of graft, does not extend
                to other divisions of the LAPD...


103   INT. BEDROOM - BLACK A.M.                                  103

      Just sit and watch Glenda. Listen to her sleep: rhythmic
      breathing. The little natural smiling curl to her lips.
      Blonde hair splayed over white sheets. Touch her.

                          ME (V.O.)
                I haven't loved you long enough to
                leave it all behind...Too many
                enemies. Too many ways for you to
                get hurt. Too close to me...a
                decision that will haunt me the
                rest of my days...

      The Gillette knife, fold it in a kerchief, gift-wrap it to
      Glenda. Place a letter under it on the night stand:

                          ME (V.O.) (CONT'D)
                "My Heaven: the hours I had with
                you. My Hell: the years ahead,
                without. Someday I'll see you
                before you even know I'm looking."

                                                               126.



      I stand quiet, `grief' the best word but still not enough.
      Choke back tears as I lift Pete's camera and take the black
      and white picture you've seen before.

      Put my jacket on, pull the paper out of my pocket that Pete
      planted...a TWA Airline voucher. I smile small...

                                                     FLASHBACK TO:

                          PETE
                ...be nice to be in with a
                billionaire who's got a fleet of
                planes, fly you outta the country
                on short notice...

                                                       RETURN TO:


104   INT. LAX - MORNING                                          104

      A Times vending machine: paper blazing with front page photos
      of wanted cop Dave Klein. I walk right past my old face. Past
      Cops and Feds camped out, looking for me.

                           ME (V.O.)
                Pete's penance beating built me a
                brand new face...nobody gives me a
                second glance...not even the cops I
                recognize.

      Up to the TWA counter: glance up at the departures board-

      BLACK.



      Legend: Recife, Brazil, 1978


105   INT. HILLSIDE VILLA - MORNING                               105

      I'm old. Stare at my leather-tan, once-broken face in a
      gilded mirror. The breaks occurred a lifetime ago, healed
      uneven. I start to pack my suitcases. Old files you think you
      may have seen before. An old gun you know you've seen before.
      Movements slow and steady in my advancing age...

                           ME (V.O.)
                My will to remember. My confession
                complete. Still not enough.
                    (beat)
                Post-scripts.
                           (MORE)

                                                       127.

                     ME (V.O.) (cont'd)
          Me: gringo exile rich off funds
          from Stadium Parking lots. Meg and
          Pete: still married. Three boys.
          Boyce Bradley: Lt. Governor, then a
          Gubernatorial primary loser to some
          chump who acted in Chimp movies.
          Welles Noonan, convicted of jury
          tampering in `64. Prison suicide in
          `66. Howard Hughes: a shut-in
          shitting in coffee-cans at the
          Vegas Hilton.
              (beat)
          George Ainge: body found, murder
          unsolved. Madge Magdalena, liver
          failure in `68. Lucille Magdalena:
          Mother of five.

Look back down at HER picture.

                      ME (V.O.) (CONT'D)
          Glenda: twenty-five years avoiding
          her name. Only a photograph,
          yellowed with years-passed,
          reminding me of everything I never
          was.
               (beat)
          Then a week-old Times at the place
          I buy coffee. Her picture sees me
          before I realize she's looking. Her
          Face eternal-beautiful...

Put her photo in my chest pocket. Push the week-old Times
into a waste-basket: a Pan-Am ticket to LA underneath.

                    ME (V.O.)
          ...and it asked me to revoke our
          time apart, redeem it...tell her
          anything...tell her everything...

I stand, shatter the mirror that reminds me of how long. And
as I step out, an old man twenty-five years too late, and my
MGM-handsome, 1958 face smiles back at me through the shards.



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