L.A.

NOIR
Based on the Book by John Buntin Pilot Episode ! ! "A Guy Walks Into A Bar..."! ! Written by! Frank Darabont

January 1, 2012

FADE IN: EXT. STREET - DOWNTOWN L.A. - DAY A PAIR OF TOO-BIG SHOES, old and falling apart, come up the sidewalk, a BASEBALL BAT dragging alongside... SUPER TITLE: "1922"

CAMERA BOOMS UP along an assortment of tortured hand-medowns to the face of a 9 YEAR-OLD BOY striding the sidewalk like he owns it, dragging the bat. TWO OTHER BOYS, GABE and HERSCHEL, trail behind him, trying to look tough, following their leader. EXT. COLUMBIA MOVIE THEATER - DAY The kid comes to a free-standing ticket booth fronting the sidewalk and peers up at the TICKET GIRL inside. She's engrossed in a paperback romance, glances up. TICKET GIRL Would you like a ticket? KID (smirks at his boys) Ticket, she says. (to the girl) Just what's in the cashbox, sis, and no lip outta you. She hesitates, taken aback, decides this has to be some kind of unfunny joke: TICKET GIRL Now listen, little boy... The kid hefts the bat and swings, SMASHES the glass in front of her face (the glass spiderwebs but holds together.) The girl SCREAMS, her book goes flying. KID GIMME IT, LADY! FORK IT OVER! The kid goes berserk swinging, SMASHING THE GLASS on all sides, the girl trapped and SCREAMING inside. Gabe and Herschel are frozen, wide-eyed with shock. TWO BEAT COPS run out of a diner across the street, drawn by the commotion. Herschel sees them, yells to Mickey: MICKEY! COPS! HERSCHEL

2. The kid with the bat doesn't hear, doesn't care, just keeps swinging: SMASH! SMASH! SMASH! KID NOW, BITCH, NOW! The cops come running, dodging traffic. Gabe and Herschel take to their heels, fleeing the scene... Quaking and near tears, the ticket girl grabs the cashbox, digs out the money and shoves it at the kid. TICKET GIRL Here! Just take it and go! He grabs the loot, turns and runs --- right into the arms of the arriving cops. Cop #1 grabs him, hoists him kicking and screaming into the air as: IMAGE FREEZES: The punk kid is frozen before us in the arms of the law, face twisted in rage and defiance... JOE TEAGUE (V.O.) That 9 year-old who just robbed a movie theater and got pinched for his trouble? That's Meyer Harris Cohen, but everybody calls him Mickey. (beat) By 1947, he'll be the boss of all organized crime in L.A. IMAGE UNFREEZES: Money flying in the air, kid kicking and screaming. The bat lands a lucky shot to Cop #2's nuts, sends him groaning to his knees... MICKEY SCREW YA MAMAS, YA BASTARDS! EXT. LOEW'S STATE THEATER - DAY BILL, a 17 year-old usher, is drawn outside as a MODEL-T POLICE CAR goes by with a WAIL OF A HAND-CRANKED SIREN. Bill gazes up the street. There's some kind of commotion a block away; a crowd has formed. FRANCETTE (fellow usher and Bill's future wife), hurries up from that direction, late for work. FRANCETTE Some pint-size lunatic just tried to rob the Columbia, you believe it?

3. BILL You're kidding. FRANCETTE With a bat! Clara, the ticket girl? He smashed up her booth! She okay? BILL

FRANCETTE Shook up pretty bad. In the distance: Mickey gets loaded into the police car, kicking and hollering at the cops who nabbed him. Bill watches, shakes his head. Unbelievable. BILL Thank God for the cops, huh? Francette pauses at the door, throws him a deadpan look. FRANCETTE Those lugs? They come in here all the time, copping free candy, free popcorn...copping a feel while they're at it. (off his shocked look) There's a reason they're called "cops." BILL They do that? That's not right. FRANCETTE Tell you what. You're such a boy scout, you go set 'em straight. (smirks) Bill the boy scout... She goes inside. HOLD ON BILL watching the police car depart, hauling little Mickey Cohen off to jail... EXT. NEIGHBORHOOD STREET - DAY SUPER TITLE: "1924"

A FAT IRISH SERGEANT and a BLACK BEAT COP are poised over the hood of a CAR. The sergeant raises a MEGAPHONE... SERGEANT YOU IN THERE! YOU'RE SURROUNDED! COME OUT WITH YOUR HA--

You! Parker! SERGEANT Bill sees the sergeant beckoning. SERGEANT Ain't that the numbnuts who hauled in the captain's drinking buddy for drunk driving? COP And booked him. Beat. He looks around for volunteers. everybody crouching behind VEHICLES. . COP #2 What about Parker? The sergeant draws a blank.) They brush glass off themselves. separate from the group. BILL SERGEANT This one's yours. (No safety glass in 1924. The sergeant smiles. fer Chrissake! Somebody's gotta go in.4. Sergeant. no longer a theater usher. The cop cocks his thumb. just see if I don't! The sergeant sighs.) Keep talkin' fat man! I'm gonna kill these damn fools in here. now a 19 year-old rookie. The cops drop for cover behind the car. BLAM! The WINDSHIELD IS BLOWN APART in a hail of buckshot. COP #1 What do we do. A DOZEN OTHER COPS are staring at them. Sarge? SERGEANT We can't just sit here! He's got hostages.S. looks at his men. Faces staring back. BILL. He scurries over. sprawling on their asses as shards rain down. is crouched several cars away. We hear a DISTANT VOICE SHOUTING: VOICE (O.

a typical Mexican mom-and-pop bodega. regretting his hasty move: SERGEANT Aw. He sees Bill. He gives the sergeant a brisk nod. The gunman faces him through the glass. grimacing. Bill gingerly draws his sidearm with two fingers. the shotgun leveled. No way. Bill can see FOUR HOSTAGES huddled on the floor inside... GUNMAN YOU WANNA DIE RIGHT THERE? JUST KEEP IT UP. watching. lays it gently aside on the car's hood. BEHIND THE CARS The cops frozen.this dummy's gonna die. a set of keys dangling in the jamb)..DAY The gunman moves from the window to the front door (which is locked. EXT/INT. Bill absorbs that. gazes across the street at a small GROCERY STORE. starts carefully across the street while all the other cops trade looks: shit. Through the windows. . STORE . The gunman has him in his sights. The sergeant is sweating buckets. Bill decides these guys aren't getting the better of him. hands raised. he's really doing it! GUNMAN Slow and easy. Sufferin' Christ. Bill raises his hands and steps out.. scanning the street. THE LINE OF CARS Bill rises into view. BILL I'M COMING OVER TO TALK! It makes the gunman pause. pokes the shotgun out a window. BLUE BOY! Showing he's not a threat. boy! Less ya want a load of buckshot in that blue belly a yours! Bill keeps coming. we catch glimpses of a GUNMAN with a shotgun pacing back and forth.5. tracking him.. Sees a few cops snickering.. Bill arrives outside.

. motioning to his ears. speaks loudly: BILL Sorry! I'm having trouble hearing you! Could you speak up? GUNMAN I'LL BLOW YOU OUT OF YOUR DUMB COP SHOES! YOU HEAR THAT OKAY? Bill's "can't hear you" gestures increase. but Bill thrusts his arm in. as: . The man staggers back half a step. grabs the keys dangling in the lock. and: BAM-BAM-BAM! Bill keeps ramming the door frame rapid-fire into the man's face. BILL I JUST WANNA TALK! I'M UNARMED! CAN YOU OPEN THE DOOR JUST A CRACK SO WE DON'T HAVE TO SHOUT? Exasperated. Bill squeezes in. pulls the shotgun from the gunman's grasp as he keels over.. whacks the gunman right between the eyes with the door frame.. The gunman's legs buckle..6. you believe this shit? (top of his lungs) YOU DEAF AND STUPID! YOU HEAR ME NOW.. No sooner does he turn them. like a boxer with a punching bag. BLUE BITCH? Bill is shaking his head. Bill raises the shotgun and starts racking the pump repeatedly. ejecting the shells. grabs him to hold him in place... GUNMAN What the hell you want? You wanna be on a slab? That what you wanna talk about? Bill gestures to his ears.... tries to bring the shotgun to fire. BILL SAY AGAIN? LITTLE LOUDER? GUNMAN (glances to hostages) They sent me a deaf cop. BAM! Bill shoves the door in hard. the gunman steps close to the door.

O..DAY ANOTHER PAIR OF SHOES come up a sidewalk. JOE TEAGUE (V.O. hauls him across the street.) This rookie will not be cited for courage in the line of duty for saving the lives of four hostages.. These aren't old or falling apart. The hostages emerge. Black hats. one of them a HISPANIC WOMAN sobbing at the sky and blessing all the saints. EXT.. IMAGE UNFREEZES: Bill racking the pump. CAMERA FOLLOWS the shoes. JOE TEAGUE (V.) That works in a kid's western.. IMAGE FREEZES: Bill caught in mid-action. STORE ..7. Or sir. STREET .O.) Nobody calls him numbnuts after that...A. EXT. Bill the Boy Scout here will take over running the Los Angeles Police Department.) In real life.O. In real life.. That's because nobody likes him much. it's different. That's what they always wore in those old westerns we watched growing up so we could tell the good guys from the bad guys.) White hats. Bill hands the unloaded shotgun to the sergeant.. They call him Chief of Police William Parker.. JOE TEAGUE (V. JOE TEAGUE (V. JOE TEAGUE (V. SUPER TITLE: "1947" . a shotgun shell frozen in the air before us..O.DAY Parker drags the gunman out by the collar. shells flying. (beat) Around the time Mickey Cohen takes over running the L. they're new TWO-TONE FLORSHEIMS. mob. hauls the suspect onward toward the paddy wagon. the bad guys often wear flashy shoes..

O.... A POODLE ON A LEASH goes by. on this guy it looks great. INT.. We hear a low.8. the kind that have slots in the doors so you can peek in. ANGLE CLOSES IN. The Florsheims then pivot forward again. Expensive anyway. and exits frame. . The Florsheims stop. The tie's pattern is pure Vegas flash: cards and dice and martinis. as: He pulls a Dunhill. Silk...) Their ties aren't bad either.. DOLLY SHOT His HANDS are toying with the cigarette case (expensive) as he moves down the long row of tenants' MAILBOXES... keep walking. a pure silhouette. followed by HIGH HEELS showing off sensational legs (skirt below the knee).. CAMERA RISES along a sharp suit to a PAINTED SILK NECK TIE (but we do not reveal the man's face). Instead of re-pocketing the matchbook. Next comes a PAPER MATCHBOOK. pulls a CIGARETTE CASE. Pauses... drops the matchbook into a mailbox through the little slot in its door.we still can't see his face. LOBBY OF APARTMENT BUILDING . THE FLORSHEIMS walk past azalea beds.DAY The man enters backlit by bright daylight. lights his Dunhill just above frame. JOE TEAGUE (V. he pulls out a pen and jots something on the inside of its cover. He closes the cover. He strikes one. quiet WOLF WHISTLE. blows a plume of smoke. past a lawn being watered. turn back briefly as our unseen man pauses to admire the woman who just passed him. He's looking for a certain one. Vulgar? No. The building's seen better days. He moves into the lobby. re-pockets the cigarette case.

He grabs his meager mail. He's a man who knows the world's pain.O.DUSK We're inside the mailbox looking out through the slots.taking us from the drawing on the matchbook to the real thing: a BLACK SAX PLAYER. sees there's mail. skinny tie and sunglasses. They try to shape the world in their image. They do exist... A face equal parts brutal and handsome.. revealing: JOE TEAGUE... BUNNY'S JUNGLE CLUB. blowing a sax." A printed address and phone number. JOE TEAGUE (V. is on a first-name basis with it. Like a boxer's face.. The door swings open. puzzled. PLAYERS and HUSTLERS. An eye appears. We live in a world of gray hats.9... A JAZZ TRIO plays to a room filled with shadows and smoke. INT. His fingers turn it over..) White hats. SMOKY SAXOPHONE. Is that a matchbook? He pulls it out. CAMERA MOVES IN TIGHT on the mailbox. JOE TEAGUE (V. A KEY IS SLOTTED. but stops and peers back in. On the back: A stylized drawing of a BLACK JAZZ PLAYER. caught in a glare of stage lights." DISSOLVE TO: INT. DRINKERS and JAZZ FIENDS. MAILBOX . Guys like Parker. guys like Cohen.. looks in. and carries a piece of it in his pocket. CENTRAL AVENUE . CLOSEUP: MATCHBOOK On the front: "Bunny's Jungle Club. black hats. The name written on it is "Joe Teague. his sax crying like an angel dying of grief.) Most of us have to make do somewhere in the middle. starts to shut the door.O. PRE-LAP THE SOUND OF A TORTURED. Not a face you mess with. Central Avenue.NIGHT .. ..

The one drinking. He sees Joe at the bar. clocks Hecky approaching him in the reflection of the bar's mirror. The bartender brings one. HECKY JOE HECKY JOE Nah. HECKY NASH.. Yeah. a pack of Lucky Strikes and an ashtray on the bar before him. CLOSEUP: MATCHBOOK Hand-written inside the cover: "8 o'clock. lights up. almost within arm's reach. AT THE ENTRANCE A guy walks into a bar. that guy left. He steps to the bar. He knocks loose a Lucky. orders a beer. It means something. a little man in a loud bow-tie and a louder jacket.10. . trying to catch Joe's eye. Hecky slides onto the neighboring stool. is a big glass bowl of identical matchbooks. I'm the other guy. You the guy? The guy. Be at the bar. he just doesn't know what. the guy.. Joe tries to tune him out. Undeterred. Hecky keeps glancing Joe's way. Beer in hand. tears off a match from the matchbook he found in his mailbox. not a man who misses much. Subtle he's not.. AT THE BAR Joe. He throws an idle glance.. He stares again at the matchbook he's holding. AT THE BAR Joe Teague sits with a shotglass of bourbon. Hecky sidles down the row of stools. works up his nerve. On the bar." JOE sits trying to divine the matchbook's presence in his life.

Be at the bar. HECKY Marines. sees the message: "8 o'clock. tamps out his cigarette.11. JOE This yours? It was in my mailbox with the electric bill. . Not lately. JOE I might'a missed one or two. HECKY No." He chuckles. folds it shut. right? Joe follows through. signals the bartender for a refill. JOE What fella we talking about? HECKY The one who said you'd be here and I should look you up. that's what the fella said. Master Gunnery Sergeant Teague. He told me to call you "Master Gunnery Sergeant Teague. you're him." Said you'd get a kick out of it. JOE HECKY Not now. Committing the face. knocks back his bourbon. Joe slides the matchbook over in front of Hecky. JOE What else this fella say? HECKY Said you was in the Pacific. That's a name he wasn't expecting. Joe breaks his gaze as the bartender comes by. Joe's shotglass stops near his lips. That true? Joe takes a last drag. slides it back. Hecky opens the cover. tops him up. hovers there. but then. Said you killed every Jap on Iwo single-handed. Joe Teague. Joe looks over at Hecky.

. see. Hecky waits until he's gone. A guy who can handle himself.12. HECKY The guy who said you killed those Japs says you're a man who can be trusted. look mean. All you gotta do is show up. Why ruin a good thing? HECKY Might be a grand in it for you. I need a pal. wondering how much to say. Couldn't hurt to listen. Joe drains his shotglass. I asked around. JOE Look. You walk away a grand richer. Hecky sighs. I can confide? Confide away. A Marine. let's say. JOE Add some details. They shed. You don't know me. There's a guy. you come running? You're one curious guy. Get a dog. JOE HECKY (leans in) Okay. is why. could it? Hecky falls silent as the bartender comes by to refill Joe's glass. tops. HECKY JOE HECKY Nah. Gotta walk 'em. leans in. An hour of your time. HECKY Somebody tosses this in your mailbox. people are of that general opinion. signals the bartender again. (leans closer) I need a real pal.

JOE Been nice knowing you. But I'll give you this: Let's just (MORE) . Thing is. relax.... This guy. JOE So transact. There a hitch? HECKY Yeah. But you'd know him. JOE Not the guy who said I killed those Japs. he's just a gobetween. And he seems to resent the fact that I've invited him to do this business.13. He lawyers sometimes for this other guy. How? JOE HECKY You read the papers? JOE The funnies. hey.. there's a hitch. I can't say the item. The guy's the hitch. it's not Popeye. not him. I like to make people happy. the one I'm talking about. but you'd know who he is. I wanna be compensated. It's a transaction. HECKY Hey.desires something that I have.who isn't Popeye. Is it Popeye? HECKY No. you understand. He's not famous for being reasonable. Joe gets up to leave. HECKY No. JOE Why? What's the item? HECKY I can't tell you that. so I want him to have it. I won't say his name. but Hecky settles him back down.

14. JOE It fits.. of course he knew.unreasonable. That's the beauty part. JOE Why me? Why a cop? HECKY Because you're a cop. it's your Christmas fund. It's a DETECTIVE'S BADGE in a clip-on leather mount. say. Bingo. Joe slides the badge off the bar. so they don't do it. The mugs who show up for this thing see you standing there. These people don't kill cops. watch my back. peers at the man. Get a tree to put it on. He gives Hecky a good long look at it. JOE You're blackmailing somebody. Joe leans back on his stool. Their eyes meet. . JOE You do know I'm a cop. There's too much business at stake. fell into certain hands other than his. Beat. pulls something off his belt. Ever. HECKY That's a harsh word. that's it. A grand buys a lot of tinsel. Joe staring. re-clips it to his belt. He reaches to the small of his back. And you want me there in case the guy who isn't Popeye decides to be. they'll have to play nice. HECKY You tag along. lays it on the bar.. right? Hecky is completely unbothered. HECKY You telling me you don't moonlight? All you cops do. HECKY (CONT'D) say the item for sale could make life very difficult for this guy if it.

. his expression unreadable. my name's on it. I caught your act on the Strip a few years back. HECKY Don't think too long.. HECKY Clover Club. Hecky puffs up a bit..15. right? JOE Not as funny as you were tonight.. loves being recognized. No joke. HECKY Oh. Joe shifts his gaze. Hecky Nash. stands up.. zing. he's a grand richer. signals for the check. You bring a date? She laugh? I was funny. watching Hecky head for the exit. .. JOE I know who you are. (pulls his wallet) Here's my card. Hey. wipes his mouth. (miming on himself) .. REFLECTED IN THE BAR MIRROR Hecky walking away. next night or two. RACK TO Joe's face in the mirror.right above your pecker where they can see it. A guy walks into a bar. wear it on the front of your belt like this. He tucks his card into Joe's pocket..... HECKY You should shine that badge up real nice.. try this one. It's gotta happen soon. HECKY By the end of the week. JOE I'll think about it. Sweet gig while it lasted. Hecky finishes his beer. and I thought I was the comedian...

. CIVIC CENTER . ENDFRAME ON A MAN IN A PORKPIE HAT as Hecky goes by.A. Porkpie and Ruddy Face trade a look. BUNNY'S JUNGLE CLUB. watching Joe disappear in the crowd. Porkpie turns his face to the wall. A RUDDY-FACED MAN is behind the wheel. City Hall and its plaza dominate. What? Why? PORKPIE HAT RUDDY FACE Porkpie motions "just wait. CENTRAL AVENUE .NIGHT . WHITE PEOPLE out slumming for kicks and jazz.." nudges the other man's attention toward the club. Joe comes up the sidewalk on his way to work.. gazes across the club... PORKPIE HAT They were very cozy. clocking Hecky moving up the sidewalk.. waits until Hecky's out the door. He gets to the car and jumps in the passenger side.. Joe's getting up to leave. The men sit.DOWNTOWN L..MORNING Blazing blue skies.NIGHT Porkpie exits onto a sidewalk swarming with Central Avenue night life: SWELLS and DAMES.. dodging traffic... DISSOLVE TO: EXT.. PARKED CAR .16. EXT. PIMPS and HUSTLERS. Moments later. He reaches for the key. ANGLE CLOSES on Porkpie as he turns back. INT. but: Hang on. Joe exits. AT THE ENTRANCE Hecky comes past us on his way out. eyes riveted to Joe at the bar. . trying to be unobtrusive.and hurries across the street. .. Porkpie steps off the curb. heads up the sidewalk. Porkpie hurries from the club..

MAYOR FLETCHER BOWRON addresses the crowd from the dais: MAYOR BOWRON . Knowing looks passed. looks down his row.DAY Joe signs his name in a log book.. INT. On the lawn. HAL 'Scuse me... a press event is taking place. quietly edges from his row past Parker. He leans out.. Bowron has indicated current Police Chief CLEMENCE HORRALL seated to his right: MAYOR BOWRON With the vigilance and dedication of fine officers like Police Chief Horrall. Joe moves past. imposing in his uniform) and DEPUTY CAPTAIN MILES HEWITT. During this exchange.17. where: Porkpie Hat and Ruddy Face also lean out.latest rumors of corruption are an attempt to undermine confidence in this city's police department and my administration. PHOTOGRAPHERS snapping flash photos with GRAFLEX CAMERAS.... Parker's aide-de-camp... heading for the building. Hal rises. up on the dais. I remind these critics that my office has been at the forefront of rooting out the bad apples and eliminating the corruption that existed in the past. REPORTERS scribbling notes. big hearing aid. IN THE AUDIENCE DETECTIVE HAL MORRISON is seated in a row near Captain William Parker (now 42. SERGEANT JIMMY DELANEY (thick glasses. PEOPLE in folding chairs... .. returning Hal's eye contact.. Bill. the efforts we have spearheaded will continue with all the vigor and resources at our disposal so long as I am mayor of this great city. BASEMENT RECORDS ROOM . in charge of the Records Room since the dawn of time) hands off a file (somebody's criminal jacket). Hal catches sight of Joe going into the building..

it's in his hands. Twiddles his thumbs. INT. He turns a corner.yeah.. Yes. INT. he just walked in. HAL Read any good files lately? Joe is wary. Stage name. Don't make me come look for ya.DAY Joe wanders up the hallway. THE FILE It's a criminal jacket. What can I do for you? . HALLWAY . (beat) Yes.and is surprised to find Hal Morrison sitting at his (Joe's) desk with his feet up. Hal leans forward. perches them on his nose. A third-rate comedian with a few gambling arrests. Hal hangs up. I bet. Leans back in the chair.DAY . JOE'S OFFICE . JOE DELANEY Don't forget where ya found it. Jimmy. HAL ." Hmm. enters his office. He lays the open file down. peers at it. JOE Detective Morrison. absorbed in the file. HAL Herschel Nussbaum. I will make sure he brings it back. He promises.. HAL pulls out reading glasses. Right? (Joe nods) He just nodded.18... Make yourself at home. slides it across the desk. (glances up) I doubt he'll ever make the Public Enemy list.. Joe's phone to his ear. Jimmy. MUG SHOTS of Hecky.. Thanks. Jimmy. Aka "Hecky Nash.

HAL I'm curious why somebody that my people are tailing. I guess I'm not the only one curious. rises to the window. Came up and offered me an after-hours job.. bought him a beer.. Music good? HAL JOE If you like jazz.a thirdrate comedian with a few gambling arrests. (taps the file) Friend of yours? Joe knows the awkward spot he's in.19. checking his notes. HAL Next morning. .. Doing what? HAL JOE He's blackmailing somebody. waits for the answer.. And? HAL JOE He spotted me in Bunny's last night. this same detective pulls the comedian's jacket. see he doesn't wind up in a dumpster. Plays it straight. nods outside at the ongoing press event. I caught his act at the Clover a few years back. JOE Met him once. He looks up at Joe. Hal pulls a small pad. Hal absorbs that. JOE It's not that seedy.shows up at a seedy jazz club on Central Avenue last night and has a drink with a detective from this division. He wants me to tag along.

lot of scrutiny. out of the blue a guy comes up you haven't seen in years. . and he tries to engage you in a criminal conspiracy. not sure whether to believe him. Somebody who gets his name in the papers.minding your own business. the ramifications falling into place. HAL I was just out there listening to the mayor having to defend his record as a crusader against police corruption. JOE Beat. having a drink. Lot of heat these days. Hal pauses. City's looking to make examples of cops who step out of line.. right? JOE Why else would I pull the file? Off Hal. motions "give me more.. or haven't you heard? JOE I was just sitting there. dubious.20. But it's somebody high up in the mob. HAL You were gonna bring this to me. Hal sighs.. How high? HAL JOE High. met him only once." JOE You'll love this.. Right.. HAL .. The guy he's blackmailing? HAL He give you a name? JOE No.

. Silence a lot of criticism.. Parker looks to Miles Hewitt. INT. it must be strong evidence. We get our hands on it. But he made it sound like it had weight. we could bring down somebody big. (to Parker) Things like this get mayors reelected. PARKER I sense a unique opportunity. (to Hal) That's a win we could use right now. Depends on what this blackmail material is. Of course we brought it straight to you. (to Joe) You have no idea? JOE Nash wouldn't say. WILLIAM PARKER'S OFFICE . listening and taking notes.and the evidence. with Joe at his side. fellas. Parker approaches Hal and Joe. that's key.. Not to mention the people in this room. HEWITT Could be big. PARKER If it's enough to blackmail a high-ranking mobster. Catch them in the act. Mayor Bowron's a man who remembers his friends.21. PARKER Bring us whoever shows up for this exchange.DAY Hal. HEWITT It would reflect well on this department.. cripple organized crime in this city. (wry glance to Hal) Key to the kingdom? . faces William Parker: HAL Detective Teague reported the incident to me as soon as he came in this morning.

PARKER You're on loan to Hal's unit until further notice. A wannabe that never was. INT. and JOHN "FAT JACK" BRAY. it's a position he deserves. INT. (shakes his hand) Do this right. Joe's in the middle of them. Two things you need to know about Bill the Boy Scout. . Ruddy Face is PAT DOLAN.22. Hal stands at the head of the table with Nash's file: HAL Our pal Hecky. Also present are TUG PURCELL. And two? JOE HAL He's also a man who remembers his friends. One. You'd write your own ticket. HALLWAY OUTSIDE PARKER'S OFFICE .DAY The DETECTIVES of Hal Morrison's squad are gathered around a table in a dense haze of cigarettes smoke. feeling like the new stray in the kennel being sniffed by all the other dogs.. He moves to Joe. JOE That file doesn't say mobster.DAY Hal and Joe exit the office. PRIVATE BULLPEN (MOB SQUAD) . And a bad gambler.. Thing like this could very well put him one step closer to being our next Chief. Bring home the bacon. gives him an appraising look. EDDY SANDERSON. move up the hallway: HAL You get what just happened? (off Joe's look) Bill Parker just teed you up to be his golden boy. NICK BLEDSOE. you could make some friends. Two we recognize: Porkpie Hat is MIKE HENDRY. Detective Teague. We both would.

JOE You wanna be there to catch him when he falls. Rubbed a lot of elbows. (takes a seat) They carry him for old time's sake. but he's been hip-deep in their world his whole life. He's racked up a lot of gambling debts.. HAL No. HAL Mr. HAL He'd make a formidable witness. offer him a way out. Long as he goes witness. Hal slides the file to Joe. This guy knows things. We've tried to squeeze him a few times. but that kind of patience runs out.. owes a lot of money to the wrong people. but he wriggles away. The man twigs. guy like this is ripe to get flipped. JOE What's special about now? Why were you guys tailing him? DOLAN Sooner or later. HENDRY Hell. A lot of things.23. HENDRY DOLAN Tol' you he was bright. JOE (glances to Hal) Where do you get these guys? . HENDRY I didn't believe you. Nash's fortunes are in serious decline. he's friends with Mickey Cohen since they were kids. When it does. Lately he's been riper.

HENDRY You? You pull this off. crosses the room toward a phone. PURCELL He raised us from puppies.MORNING A RINGING PHONE shatters the silence. now's a fine time. Next to him: his girlfriend. HENDRY Me. Those are vital. "Fat Jack" Bray. he found under a rock. Hendry slams the phone down on the table in front of Joe.. HECKY What? Huh? Who's this? (listens) Yeah. (brings the phone) Nick and Tug got left in a basket on his doorstep.24. murmuring: Who's that? JASMINE . Tangled in sheets. leans over and crushes out his cigarette in Joe's ashtray. picks her head off the pillows. Just wakin' up. FAT JACK I danced with the ballet. Joe picks up the cradle. jerking Hecky from sleep. he grabs the phone. HAL Time and location... (gathers the cord) Eddy there crawled out of a drain pipe. Pulls out Hecky's card.. Hendry rises. JASMINE. HECKY'S BEDROOM .. (grabs the phone) Pat here washed up on the beach one day.. starts dialing. you're on all our Christmas lists. leans over it. INT. Joe stares at the phone. the fattest and oldest in the room. No.. right. half-asleep.. Didn't work out.

But Hecky. Hendry rises to a CITY MAP hanging on wall hooks. (pause) Let's do it tonight. The oil fields. motions "be quiet. Where old strippers go to die. JOE He's got a gig tonight at the Griffin." HECKY Really? Yeah.25. Worth waking up for. Thought they'd make it easy on you? Give you a nice warm closet to pop out of? JOE What's wrong with it? . (listens) Okay. Tell me now or find someone else. PRIVATE BULLPEN (MOB SQUAD) . when he gets off. FAT JACK Poor kid.. set it in motion. I'll make a call. He hangs up. (checks his watch) Griffin? Yeah. I need to know where the exchange is happening. INT. Right. (beat) 'Cause I don't walk in blind. (to Hal) Baldwin Hills..MORNING JOE I need when and where. You know it? BLEDSOE Yeah. We'll drive to the exchange from there. Goddamn it. If that's where they agreed. JOE I'm meeting him at ten o'clock. Great news. SANDERSON Oil fields. I can meet you then. I mean it. All eyes on him. Hecky's trying to listen. it's a dive.

Been dumping bodies up there since Prohibition. JOE I know. There's no place for us to be. Hendry pulls the map. HENDRY Oil fields are thirty square miles of horseshit.no way to predict where you'll be in all those square miles. .. around Jefferson. PURCELL (to Hal) That's not good for backup. HENDRY Closest we can be to you is down the hill. blow the whole deal. That's over half a mile away. FAT JACK Very Pistol. Everybody's hunched over the map.. SANDERSON How's he signal us? Dead zone up there. lays it on the table. FAT JACK Mob loves it. PURCELL Odds are great they see us up there and just drive off. Sign one out. HAL . radios don't work..26.... Terrain's wide open. Take us three minutes to get up that hill. put it in his trunk. I've used a few. you want it now. Maybe longer. no place to hide. not in three minutes. examining options. (to Joe) It's a flare gun. So? JOE FAT JACK You need backup.

I'm John Wayne. HAL You'll be on your own up there. I thought I was getting a flutter. It's a plan. most of them already half-bagged. INT..27. you fire that flare. we'll come charging up the hill like the cavalry. Pause. Exposed.. I'll worry about my ass. (a few guffaws) So I pull out. FAT JACK Then no problem. . On-the-skids comedians too: HECKY Your ass? No kidding! I thought that was your wife! (gets some laughs) It's got her smile. But dicey.. Senator. Honest mistake. JOE You watch for my signal. Especially after you fire that flare. Time is right. He's earning respect.. (points at Hendry) . (a few chuckles) Give her my regards. HECKY (points to a guy) You like that one? Remind me to check your pulse later...he's Rhonda Fleming. FAT JACK Three minutes. The men trading looks. waiting.NIGHT Exactly as Sanderson described it: a place where old strippers go to die. THE GRIFFIN . Glances are traded. apologize to the guy.. People around him ordering drinks. That's a long time to wait when your ass is hanging in the breeze... IN THE AUDIENCE Joe hovering near the door..

(beat) Uh-huh. big false smile: HECKY Speaking of pulse. Jasmine. the walls peeling and water-stained..treat her nice. I mean it.. Christ. The spotlight pulls from Hecky to a SCARY-LOOKING STRIPPER strutting onstage. got business. Hecky turns a corner. (beat) Yes.. don't start.. One stops to chat him up. catching Joe's eye. (During the following.28." etc. pointing at Hecky: "Waiting on him. gets checked out by a few passing STRIPPERS.. INT. Joe is B. but he demurs. BACKSTAGE . Uh-huh. Still. (glances back) Gotta make a fast call. cramped corridors. hating every moment. tonight. waiting as Hecky drops a dime and dials... here's a gal who'll give yours a flutter.. Hecky fades off stage. puts the receiver back to his ear. Not again. leading Joe down narrow. (pause) Jasmine. Hecky nods and moves off. she'll do it twice. I said I'd call.. HECKY I'm reduced to working places like this. He pounds the receiver against the wall to get her to shut up. comes to a pay phone on the wall outside the restrooms. The girl moves on: "Maybe I see you later?") HECKY Yeah... I don't need this. ON STAGE Hecky sweating..NIGHT Hecky's getting paid cash: A FAT SWEATY GUY chewing a cigar crosses his palms with a few wrinkled bills. it's me checking in.G... (beat) Jasmine.Miss Dixie Hills! A 3-PIECE BAND strikes up. Joe hangs back. (motions offstage) . it's like rolling in vomit.. Uh-huh. . squeezing past STRIPPERS.

(beat) By the time I get there! Like we talked about! I honk. Hecky leads him off.. Love you... except for the ghostly GROANS of the derricks rising and falling. No going back. Just do like I say.. Joe does the same. It's eerily quiet. Let's do this. Tell me yes. trail clouds of dust through a desolate sprawl of derricks and dirt roads.don't get weepy.BALDWIN HILLS . He takes a long breath. Just relax. one leading the other. (beat) Good. (beat) Jas.. OIL FIELD . HECKY What do you think? HECKY . Hecky comes from the forward car. has to take a moment. OIL FIELDS . TWO CARS. Kills his engine and lights. HECKY I have the floor now? This is happening... He sees Hecky pull over. I can't listen to your grief anymore! (beat) I can't take it! Stop talking! Now me! You'll be packed. you're out the door. He's so wound up he's shaking.29.NIGHT Joe following Hecky.NIGHT Headlights appear in a dark landscape. okay? (beat) I don't care.NIGHT Joe gets out. Joe goes to his trunk. JOE'S CAR . EXT. right? I wanna make sure.. He hangs up. INT. DISSOLVE TO: EXT... okay? It's gonna be fine. Be packed and ready. turns and goes back up the corridor to where Joe's waiting. not even for a toothbrush...

lays it on the lip of the trunk.: Joe takes off his jacket. as: Joe pulls a long object wrapped in a blanket from the trunk. Joe raises the binoculars. HECKY JOE Then why you shaking? . gazing out at the sea of city lights. fighting the jitters..30 caliber CARBINE RIFLE. scans the terrain below. checks his watch as he lights a cigarette. F. Hecky's face goes slack as Joe slots the ammo clip. JOE I'd have picked a more public place. comes to where Hecky is. throws the blanket back in. unwraps it.. (off Hecky's look) It's fine. trying to calm his nerves. JOE Then again.. pulls BINOCULARS out. B. Hecky drifts nearer. JOE It's not too late. Maybe. It's a . up here there's nobody around to get curious. Hecky glances nervously around as Joe opens his trunk..: Hecky drifts toward us. Joe leans the rifle against the rear fender.. My way's fine.G. For what? HECKY JOE Go a different way.G. grabs a FLASHLIGHT.30. HECKY Think you'll need that? JOE Doubt it.. hangs them around his neck. Hecky glances back. you know.

Get protection. Some protection. HECKY You my rabbi? No? Then save it. That's a lot of money for one ass. JOE Just a thought.31. She know the risk? Mostly. keeps scanning the terrain. HECKY She doesn't have to! She goes my way. sounds like. Remember Abe Reles? He got protected right out a sixthfloor window. angrily crushes it out with the toe of his shoe. a dozen cops keeping tabs roundthe-clock. you got big ears.. JOE My math says two.Jasmine? HECKY Jesus. Joe. Secure hotel room. Don't drag her into this. HECKY Protection. Hecky looks at his hand holding the cigarette -. HECKY JOE Enough to not like it. JOE This evidence you've got. That girl of yours. It flusters him. You could take it to the police. I'm paying you a grand to cover my ass..it's trembling. unruffled. My way or the highway. JOE You're the one who did that. Hecky flings his cigarette to the ground. That's a good one. Hecky bursts out laughing. .

JOE The guy you're blackmailing will. But from a distance. I should do the cops a favor? Hecky turns away. HECKY Don't make me laugh. HECKY city. HECKY And don't confuse me for upstanding. that's what this is. a sky full of stars. Tell me. JOE HECKY (draws closer) It's a winning hand. He drifts to the edge of the road. Cops never done nothing for Hecky Nash. (glances to Joe) You from here? This Like only it's JOE Detroit. Finally a win. for once I'm holding a royal flush. So just leave it alone. Up close.32. seething. The Blue don't give a damn if I live or die. Instead of laying it down and taking my chips. You'll be looking over your shoulder the rest of your life. So goddamn beautiful. HECKY Been doing that since I was born. all gutter. That's not what this thing is. Until the war. gazes out at the vast sprawl of lights. lighting his cigarette. My whole life I been dealt shit cards.. . My ticket out.. Hecky fishes another cigarette from his pack. HECKY They don't know she's any part of this.

Hecky takes a drag. HECKY Lot of men died for those ugly rocks. Mickey Cohen? JOE . most of 'em. HECKY After the war? You didn't go back. HECKY Might be. JOE No. HECKY Those islands you fought on. Rocks. (nods toward city) Though you ask me. Till you went ashore. I been around 'em all my life. And the kicker? Dumbest mugs you ever met. (off Joe's look) The wiseguys.33. just for the looks on their stupid faces. Those were always ugly. Tell me the sense. They always get the best. You see the cars they drive? Money falls out of the sky for these idiots. Is there sense in that? (off Hecky's look) Just wonder if it's worth it. wanders back this way. Didn't want to die in one. you traded one slum for another. Clothes. JOE You could die for this scheme. Why? JOE I grew up in a slum. See? A smart guy plays the hand he's dealt. HECKY The war was your ticket out. broads. Bet they were pretty too. booze.

Got 300 suits in his closet.. He even gave me a nickname: Jesse. No secret. HECKY Me he blames. Two cops show up. a lifetime of pent-up bile. Hecky lets out a bitter laugh. Makes like he's the king. we'll pull a heist. we say okay. I never live it down. he calls me. stomps it out. JOE I thought you were friends." Me and another kid. you know that? The finest shoes.34. and what's he do? Beats the shit out of a ticket booth with a baseball bat. he says "let's be a gang. Not Mickey. All he does is rise. HECKY We were nine. (beat) Me and Gabe run.. 'Course he never got past the second grade. we think it's a game. Think he blames himself? Even a little? Think again. (MORE) . It's all coming out. shaking his head in wonder. HECKY The shit this guy's pulled. or dead a dozen times over. All these years he rubs my nose in it. HECKY Yeah. We're kids. call it that. I yell at Mickey. Mickey gets pinched. a guy so dumb he can barely tie the laces. Since the first grade I know him. Gabe Zamanski. He flings his cigarette down. try to warn him. Okay. He moves off again. The girl's inside screaming her head off. does he listen? Like hell. Mickey takes us up to Hoyt Street where all the movie theaters are. Mickey. the seething resentment. HECKY Friends. He should be serving life. Mickey never listens.

Jesse Owens. And you know what? That's jake by me. HECKY (explodes) I ran! I was nine years-old. Hecky goes cold. the sick bastard. 'cause that's funny to him. Is it Mickey? Hecky hesitates. I'm funny. A CAR is wandering the oil field. walloped by fear and sudden doubt. HECKY Why should they always get away with it? Them and not me? My whole life they feast. He turns away. A nigger who runs. JOE I think they're here. HEADLIGHTS below. Well now it's my turn.. searching. He meets Joe's gaze. HECKY (CONT'D) Like Jesse Owens. stares off at the city.. Oh. Hecky pauses. Hecky follows Joe's gaze. for Chrissake! JOE The guy you're blackmailing. HECKY Joe hands him the flashlight. "That's you. Even Mickey answers to somebody. this will not reflect well on Mickey Cohen. Christ. sees no reason not to say. Hecky. My score." And he laughs his ass off.35. . roiling with shame. I'll get to laugh. Above him. Take my word. HECKY No. I'm a goddamn joke. For once the joke's on them. (pause) Is it worth it. He says. What do you think? Joe's gaze shifts. I get crumbs.

JOE Second thoughts? (Hecky nods) Backing out was five minutes ago. willya? What am I. loads a flare. SID Hecky? Is it you? It's me. Joe turns and goes back to his car.. Another fast glance. his heart in his throat. HECKY . sees Joe straighten up from the trunk. AT THE TRUNK Joe throws a glance. JOE Get his attention. two mob bruisers. fumbles the flashlight. a moth? Sorry. comes back halfway. clicks it on and off to get the car's attention. almost drops it.. Joe grabs his rifle.. Hecky's scared.. Sid shields his eyes against the flashlight. Hecky watches it approach. sees Hecky's attention diverted. He breaks the breech. The car pulls in. They come forward into the light: SID and TERRY. Engine shuts off. He tucks it in the back of his pants. HECKY SID Lower the thing. HECKY glances back. coming this way. Two DARK FIGURES get out. getting it ready. Hecky aims the flashlight down the hillside. takes a flanking position behind Hecky for a clear line of fire. He leans in. The headlights veer. uncovers the FLARE GUN. Doors open.36.

..we got no choice here. HECKY SID Show me him...he skunked us.. Hecky swings the flashlight beam. He makes me nervous in the dark back there.. whispering: SID . SID They draw aside into a private huddle.... getting the picture..37. Give us a sec. . the skeevy little Hebe..boss won't be happy...he can get in line.. turn back to Hecky and Joe. SID (to Hecky) You bring a cop to a thing like this? What ails you? HECKY He's just a pal. Sid and Terry get a good look at Joe: badge on his belt. Tagged along.. SID . TERRY . Hecky lowers the beam. They break their huddle. The men peer past him at Joe.. the prick...what do we do. carbine nestled in the crook of his arm. SID Who's that? Who's back there? A friend... Terry turns. TERRY . A goddamn cop.. The wiseguys absorb this.we gotta do it the other way. mutters into Sid's shoulder: TERRY It's a cop. SID ....

. SID opens the envelope flap to check the goods. SID Okay. who reaches into his coat. finger tight on the trigger. He steps forward.) Now you. Those rows of negatives in their plastic sleeve mean something to him.. throwing rows of grainy black-and-white images onto Sid's face. backs away. Quietly rocked by some realization. WE PUSH IN ON JOE'S FACE Like a man who's seen a ghost. eyes going to Hecky. Fine.. He pulls out a clear plastic sleeve of photo negatives. SID I don't like this should happen with a cop. I'm easy! TERRY Terry eases his hand from his coat.. . Joe swings his carbine up. tighten on the grip.. Like he said.. SID Hecky pulls a FLAT GRAY ENVELOPE. throwing all those tiny images. He nods to Terry.38. lets Sid take it.. pulling out a fiveinch-thick envelope bound with a thick rubber band.. (His left hand also starts easing around to the back of his belt where the flare gun is hidden. Joe eases his aim. JOE'S HAND (BEHIND HIS BACK) His fingers touch the flare gun. getting ready to pull it. Let's stay pals. We're all just pals? JOE Just pals. As the light plays. Long as it's pals. SID Little light here? Hecky shines his light through the plastic sleeve. JOE But go easy.

. lowers the carbine. JOE'S HAND (BEHIND HIS BACK) The flare gun is frozen half out of his belt. The sight of all the money takes Hecky's breath away. See you around. pulls off the rubber band. Hecky. looks up at Sid. Beat. They get in. HECKY AND THE MOBSTERS HECKY He'll love 'em. I said it anyway. SID Smart move tonight. Joe eases his aim. HECKY Doubt it. He eases it back into his belt. you know that. You burned bridges with this. Terry tosses his envelope... Well played. slides the sleeve back in the envelope. The car makes a tight U-turn. Little grainy.. We done? SID HECKY We walk away whistling. He tamps down his reaction. Sid opens his door. They go back to their car.39. Sid grunts. SID These all the negatives? Gotta be all of 'em. . Hecky catches it. Goes without saying. the engine starts. HECKY Every single one. peers in. Sid gives Terry a nod. He's very handsome. the doors slam. heads slowly back down the hill. I won't be showing my face much. pauses. His fingers uncurl. letting go of the grip. SID That might be best. but they really show off his profile.

stops halfway. watching the mobsters drive away. suckers! Read 'em and weep! He flips the car off. He erupts in a scream of joy: HECKY Ha! That's how the hand is played! Ace-high-straight. That look when they see the cards lay down on the table. takes his flashlight back. HECKY The looks on their faces. That's the look I was talkin' about.. HECKY Take this back to the son of a bitch that sent ya! This right here! With my highest regards! Joe comes to Hecky. soaring. Hecky approaches him. stows the clip in the trunk. JOE You made your score. pulls out the blanket to re-wrap the rifle. Joe's at his open trunk unloading the carbine. Hecky watches the mobsters' brake lights crawl slowly back down the hill. I need a second. JOE We should go now. Hecky gets hold of himself. HECKY Joe smiles. calming down. removing the clip. HECKY Just gimme a sec. Hecky turns. tracking its brake lights down the hill with his middle finger raised. indulges him. okay? I just have to take this in.. walks back to his car.40. . It's sinking in that he's gotten away with it. 'Cause of you. Joe smiles. Hecky is electrified. How's it feel? Hecky lets out a dazed laugh.

Ma! . Hecky Nash.. POP! POP! Two in the back. drunken steps forward. Joe stows the rifle in the trunk.38. You did good.. then swandives face-first into the dirt. a spray of blood. All we hear now is the eerie groaning of the oil derricks rising and falling all around us.. POP! Right through both hands. He takes a few lurching. HECKY But--but--you're a cop! Joe aims down. HECKY (yells) Like friggin' Cagney! Top of the world. Behind him. looks up at Joe with absolute shock in his eyes. Hecky's feet kick a few times. Now I get to rise. Still alive. They weren't even very loud.. Me. Beat. The mobsters' tail-lights are vanishing in the distance. The shots echo away.. Hecky arches... JOE All I did was show up.rises back out with a SNUB-NOSE .. Hecky turns to savor one last look down the hill. What you did took balls. Joe walks over to Hecky sprawled facedown.. Final death twitch. revealing a ragged hole in his forehead. JOE Top of the world. a faint wisp of smoke drifting out. Hecky's hands fall away. I'm king. Hecky gasps. Hecky stirs.. Hecky. This can't be happening.. Pause. methodically: . He shifts.41.. lets out a moan. shields his face with his hands. pure shock. rolls over onto his back. Joe proceeds calmly. HECKY My whole life I waited for a moment like this.

. LIGHTS AND SIRENS split the night. Finds a good hiding place. aims it up: WHOOOOSSH! The flare FIRES skyward... Hal Morrison runs up. grabs the envelope of money.. the scene going chaotic. picking a random path... wipes his prints off the gun.. POLICE SIRENS rise in the distance. all the men stunned at the sight of Hecky's corpse: HAL What the hell happened? . faint at first.. he pulls the flare gun. Joe slots the envelope of money into the hiding place he's found...42. COPS pouring out of their cars... SIRENS GROWING LOUDER AND CLOSER by the moment. Joe pauses. puts it back on. He gets to the trunk. tosses the flare gun back in. looks around.. trailed by Fat Jack toting a shotgun. coming this way. stepping out onto the road. The POLICE SIRENS swell ever louder.. jams it tight into the cranny.. Along the way. He pulls a rag. just as: The CARS appear.. arcing high overhead. walks out into the surrounding oil fields. He moves among them... rises and goes back toward his car. He arrives back at the murder scene. The groaning of the derricks is much louder now. grabs his jacket off the trunk's lip. runs his hand up along the steel structure. tosses it on the ground near Hecky's corpse... Joe holds up his badge as they pull in. CAMERA FOLLOWS Joe back as he retraces his random path through the derricks.. makes an equally random choice: He picks a derrick.. He crouches... SHOT BECOMES A STEADICAM FOLLOW: Joe leaves the murder scene and cars behind. checks it out.

no other cars.. HAL What about his evidence? JOE (shrugs) Soon as I saw him. HENDRY He came up alone? Moron! They were waiting for him up here. JOE I told him if I fell behind on the drive over here. JOE Looks like they clipped him when he got out of his car..43. we'd come up together. DISSOLVE TO: . FAT JACK See? What I say? Three minutes can make all the difference. (looks at the corpse) I don't know why he didn't. HAL (to the men) Check the body! And tear his damn car apart! Hendry drops to a crouch. WAILING JAZZ SAX. Flashlight beams converge on the discarded . searching Hecky's body.. AS WE SETTLE INTO HIS CLOSEUP: PER-LAP THE SOUND OF A SMOKY.. ANGLE CLOSES ON Joe just standing there. I just drove up here and found him like that. (off Hal's look) I couldn't have been more than three minutes behind him. watching it all unfold. JOE I didn't see anybody. (aims his flashlight) They left that behind.38. the calm at the center of the storm. he should pull up and wait for me down the hill. I fired off the flare and waited for you.

The bartender brings his drink and an ashtray. rocks.. Scotch. WE TRACK THE SHOES across the club. tears off a match from the matchbook he found in his mailbox.. watches it blacken and burn.. opens it.then touches the burning match to the remaining matches. pulls out a Dunhill. trying to find his lighter.. we also recognize the painted SILK TIE: cards. NED The bartender goes to pour his drink... He drops it in the ashtray.. sends it sliding in Ned's direction. At first. . INT. REVEAL Joe sitting one stool over with his bourbon and his crappy Lucky Strikes. movie-star handsome. sets it on the bar. Young. tumbling dice. Ned pulls out his expensive cigarette case. leaves. ANGLE COMES AROUND. The matchbook flares up. lights his cigarette. rakish. all we see are his familiar TWO-TONE FLORSHEIMS.NIGHT A guy walks into a bar. martinis. CENTRAL AVENUE .. Takes a look at his handwritten note inside.. His hat descends into frame as he takes it off. the kind of face that makes women go all fluttery.. He knocks one loose.44. He puts the matchbook on the bar. Thanks. WE FINALLY REVEAL HIM as he sits into the shot: NED STAX... AT THE BAR As he comes to a bar stool (we're framed below his face). Ned snags them. BUNNY'S JUNGLE CLUB... lights up. lips it. NED Ned tears off a match. He starts patting pockets.

45. lays it on the bar between them. decorated with brown spatters of dried blood. Joe pulls something from his coat. with his compliments. JOE So he should be doubly happy. Tell Bugsy Siegel to take that money and shove it up his ass. (off Joe's look) Take it. NED That's fifty grand under my hat. NED You're missing the point. NED He doesn't care about that. Ned glances around. Your boss thinks he just bought himself a cop. Jesus. He cared about not getting taken by a two-bit loser. An enforcer with a badge.. Ned hesitates. We both know what it really is. He wants you to have it. JOE That much? I guess your boss will be happy to get it back. covers the envelope with it. (beat) It's a good offer. For service well rendered. . Joe weighs it briefly. shifts it over. You earned it.. Ned finds himself staring at Hecky's envelope. JOE (beat) That's crap. Looks at Ned. I could steer a lot of work your way. He picks his hat off the bar. takes a sip of his scotch. NED That a bad thing? You've got valuable skills. JOE Here's my counter.

then why? JOE You have to ask? You fed me the guy. getting ready to go. you knew what would happen. . I aced it.. JOE I heard you passed the bar exam. Maybe I'm just that clever. Joe leaves his stool. Joe signals the bartender for his check. NED If not for the money. smiles a little. NED Yeah. moves past Ned toward the exit. hell. NED No. JOE Maybe I didn't like his jokes..46. He gathers his things off the bar. NED Maybe. (as Joe rises) Why'd you kill the comedian? Joe crushes his cigarette out in his ashtray. NED In those words? Quote me.. you always did. I got this. But pauses behind him. NED Passed it. Maybe I want to hear you say it. (Joe hesitates) C'mon. He respects the answer. JOE I always said you had brains. no. JOE Ned absorbs that. Top five percent. Least you can do is let me buy you a drink.. Joe gives in with a shrug.

like so many times before..NIGHT A coda. Staring. haloed in a glare of stage lights.. JOE goes past the stage on his way out. She's already feeling it...47... Tonight. consisting of a single shot: A SLOWLY WIDENING ANGLE. Staring... another little dent will form. Starting with a woman's face. But all the hard knocks have hammered little dents in her heart. signals the bartender for a refill. OUR WIDENING ANGLE reveals Jasmine by the door. proud of him. INT. Marine.. CLOSE TIGHTER AND TIGHTER on the saxophone. smaller bags arrayed around her.. Waiting. notes bending. Joe walks away. telling its story as we DISSOLVE TO: THE SAX SOLO CONTINUES. Gunny. ENDFRAME ON THE SAX MAN as Joe leaves our shot. Ned watches him go. It's gotten so very late. JOE Semper fi. NED Semper fi. All the bad breaks haven't erased her beauty. sitting on her suitcase. octaves shredding.. FADE OUT . Waiting. Joe pats Ned's shoulder goodbye. APARTMENT .. ANGLE CLOSES ON THE SAX MAN. pouring his soul through the instrument.

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