This is an excerpt from a completed screenplay.

       "Dead Line" - screenplay by Derek Paterson.

       FADE IN:

       EXT. LOST HIGHWAY MOTEL - NIGHT

       Torrential rain bounces off the ground.  Anybody with any
       brains would be inside, huddled round a warm fire.


       INT. JOHNNY'S CAR - NIGHT

       JOHNNY KRUGER sits in the dark, smoking.  He's around 30s,
       handsome in a beat-up kind of way.  His eyes are fixed on
       a particular motel room.  The light's on inside, curtains
       are shut.

       The light goes out.  Johnny ditches his cigarette out the
       window.  He picks up a camera with a big flashbulb.


       EXT. MOTEL ROOM - NIGHT

       Johnny sneaks up to the door, camera in hand.

       A shadow moves up ahead.  Johnny freezes.  The shadow
       resolves into a fat mustached man, DUKAYNE, carrying a
       camera just like Johnny's.

       Dukayne and Johnny stare at each other for a stunned moment.

       Suddenly it's a mad race to the door.


       INT. MOTEL ROOM - NIGHT

       Dukayne kicks the door open!  FLASH!

       A naked MAN and WOMAN caught in the act.  The Woman SCREAMS
       and covers herself with sheets.  Naked Guy gets tangled in
       the sheets, falls out of bed, pulls them off the Woman.
       She squeals and grabs a pillow instead.

                             DUKAYNE
                 Enjoy your night, folks!

       Dukayne leaps outside, shouldering Johnny out his way.

                             JOHNNY
                 Dukayne, you son of a bitch!

       Johnny takes his photo opportunity.  FLASH!

       Naked Guy comes up off the floor holding a HUGE REVOLVER.
       Johnny's eyes widen!  He leaps for the door.

       BLAM!  The wood splinters inches from his head.  Johnny
       runs outside as fast as his legs will carry him.


       EXT. MOTEL ROOM - NIGHT

       Johnny runs to his car.

       Another car roars past, Dukayne at the wheel.  Dukayne
       grins and flips Johnny an ironic salute.  Johnny swings a
       kick at Dukayne's car but misses.


       EXT. JOHNNY'S CAR - NIGHT

       Johnny skids to a stop, wrenches the door open, throws the
       camera inside, climbs behind the wheel.


       EXT. MOTEL ROOM - NIGHT

       Naked Guy's at the door, trying to see Johnny in the rain.

                             NAKED WOMAN (O.S.)
                 Shoot him, Harvey!  Shoot him!


       INT. JOHNNY'S CAR - NIGHT

       Johnny turns the key -- the damp engine COUGHS and RASPS.


       EXT. MOTEL ROOM - NIGHT

       Naked Guy grins.  He takes aim.


       INT. JOHNNY'S CAR - NIGHT

       BLAM!  Glass shatters!  Johnny ducks!  The engine finally
       starts!  He slams 'er into gear and stamps on the gas.


       EXT. LOST HIGHWAY MOTEL - NIGHT

       Johnny peels out of there and onto the road.  Naked Guy
       takes aim again.  But the car lights disappear in the
       curtain of rain.  Naked Guy lowers his revolver.

                             NAKED WOMAN (O.S.)
                 Did ya get him, Harvey?  Did ya?

                             NAKED GUY
                 Nah.  He got away.

       Naked Guy turns and discovers a BUSTY BLONDE in a flimsy
       robe, watching him from next door.  She looks admiringly
       at his crotch, and smiles.  Naked Guy grins.

                             NAKED WOMAN (O.S.)
                 Harvey?  Harvey?

                             NAKED GUY
                 Just coming!

       He shrugs at Busty Blonde and goes inside, closes the door.


       EXT. CITY STREET - NIGHT

       Johnny's car pulls up outside a Gothic office building.

       A car sits parked across the street with its lights out.


       EXT. BUILDING ENTRANCE - NIGHT

       Tarnished business plates alongside intercom buttons:

       SILVER DOLLAR LOAN COMPANY
       PHOENIX TALENT AGENCY
       KRUGER INVESTIGATIONS


       INT. STAIRWAY - NIGHT

       Johnny climbs upstairs with his camera.  MYRTLE an
       attractive office girl skips downstairs, buttoning her
       coat and carrying an umbrella.  She brightens when she
       sees him.

                             MYRTLE
                 Hi Johnny.

                             JOHNNY
                 Hey Myrtle.

                             MYRTLE
                 Me and the girls are gonna go out
                 to dinner, then catch a show.  You
                 wanna tag along?

                             JOHNNY
                 Thanks, I got some typing to do.
                 Maybe next time.

                             MYRTLE
                 Don't chip a nail.

       She goes downstairs.  Johnny watches her with interest.


       INT. HALLWAY - NIGHT

       Block letters on a frosted glass door panel:

       J. KRUGER
       PRIVATE INVESTIGATIONS
       DISCREET - PERSONAL

       Footsteps on the stairway.  Johnny climbs into view, wet
       and weary.


       INT. OUTER OFFICE - NIGHT

       Where a secretary would sit, if Johnny could afford one.
       An inner door leads to Johnny's private office.

       Johnny enters, turns on the light.  He takes off his hat
       and throws it, it misses the hat stand by a mile.  He shrugs
       off his coat, hangs it up.

       The secretary's phone and the phone in Johnny's office
       both RING at the same time.  Johnny picks up his hat, hangs
       it up.


       INT. JOHNNY'S OFFICE - NIGHT

       Both phones continue to RING as Johnny opens a file cabinet,
       takes out a bottle, pours himself a glass of whiskey.  He
       sits down, takes a drink, and answers the phone.

                             JOHNNY (INTO PHONE)
                 Kruger Investigations.  You lost
                 it, we'll find it.

       CLICK.  Dead line.  He stares at the receiver.  Hangs up.
       Empties his glass.  Smacks his lips.


       INT. PHONE BOOTH - NIGHT

       A big gloved hand hangs up the receiver.


       INT. JOHNNY'S OFFICE - NIGHT

       Johnny opens a desk drawer.  Inside, a revolver.  He cracks
       the gun open, checks it's loaded, snaps it shut again.  He
       places it in the open drawer, ready if he needs it.

       He picks up his phone and dials a number.

                             JOHNNY (INTO PHONE)
                 Hey Danny, it's me.  I got a little
                 job for you.  I'll bring it over
                 first thing in the morning.  Nothing
                 fancy, just a couple of prints and
                 the negative.  See you then.


       INT. HALLWAY OUTSIDE JOHNNY'S OFFICE - NIGHT

       Footsteps and a big shadow come up the stairway.


       INT. JOHNNY'S OFFICE - NIGHT

       Johnny pours himself another drink.


       INT. HALLWAY OUTSIDE JOHNNY'S OFFICE - NIGHT

       The big shadow falls across the frosted glass panel with
       Johnny's name.  A big gloved hand pushes the door open.


       INT. OUTER OFFICE - NIGHT

       The big shadow falls across the door to Johnny's office.


       INT. JOHNNY'S OFFICE - NIGHT

       Johnny swallows his drink.  He looks at the door.

                             JOHNNY
                 It's open.

       The door opens and the BIGGEST GUY we've ever seen fills
       the doorway.  His face is chiseled from granite.  His eyes
       take in the shabby office, then fix on Johnny.  Water drips
       from his outsized raincoat, forming a puddle.

                             JOHNNY
                 Nice weather we're having, huh?
                 What can I do for you?

       The Biggest Guy slips his hand inside his raincoat.  Johnny
       snatches up his gun and LETS HIM HAVE IT.  Six sizzlers in
       the chest!

       The Biggest Guy grimaces and clutches his blood-spattered
       coat.  He staggers, groans, timbers back into the outer
       office, leaving his feet in Johnny's office.

       Johnny cracks his smoking revolver open and reloads from a
       box of bullets in the drawer.  When he's finished he ambles
       over to the Biggest Guy.


       INT. OUTER OFFICE - NIGHT

       Johnny steps over the body and goes to the outer door.


       INT. HALLWAY OUTSIDE JOHNNY'S OFFICE - NIGHT

       Johnny peers out into the hallway.  Empty.


       INT. OUTER OFFICE - NIGHT

       Johnny sits down on the edge of the secretary's desk, picks
       up the phone, dials a number.

                             JOHNNY (INTO PHONE)
                 Sergeant Novello, please.  Mr.
                 Johnny Kruger calling.  Sure I'll
                 hold, but I got a dead man here in
                 my office.

       Johnny looks down at the Biggest Guy, whose gloved hand is
       halfway inside his coat and appears to be clutching... an
       envelope?

       Johnny frowns.  He gingerly takes the envelope from the
       dead man's hand, turns it over.  A single line of neat
       writing:

       "Personal - Mr. J. Kruger."

       An ANGRY MALE VOICE buzzes from the receiver, Johnny
       snatches it up.

                             JOHNNY (INTO PHONE)
                 Hey Tony, it's me.  So guess what?
                 I'm looking at a three-hundred
                 pound lump of muscle lying dead on
                 my carpet.

       Johnny opens the envelope with one hand while the angry
       voice buzzes in his ear.

                             JOHNNY (INTO PHONE)
                 Never saw him before.  He just
                 walked in and drew his rod.  Well
                 what do you think happened?  You
                 think I'm gonna sit there and let
                 some big ape shoot at me?

       Inside the envelope, a single sheet and a paper-clipped 50
       dollar bill.  Johnny unfolds and reads the letter while
       the angry voice buzzes in his ear.

                             JOHNNY (INTO PHONE)
                 Nah, he's not the jealous husband
                 type.  Looks more like a
                 professional fighter.  Heavyweight
                 class.  Am I glad he didn't use me
                 as a punchbag.

       More angry buzzing.

                             JOHNNY (INTO PHONE)
                 Sure, I'm not going anywhere.
                 Thanks, Tony.  And wear a coat.
                 It's coming down.

       Johnny hangs up and goes back into his office, stepping
       over the body.


       INT. JOHNNY'S OFFICE - NIGHT

       Johnny pushes the filing cabinet over to one side to reveal
       a damp patch of wall.  Buried in the wall, A BULLET in a
       cracked hole.

       He takes a smaller .38 from the filing cabinet's top drawer
       and cracks it open.  Five bullets.  Sixth chamber is empty.


       INT. OUTER OFFICE - NIGHT

       Johnny puts the .38 in the Biggest Guy's gloved hand,
       closing the fingers around the butt.

       He searches the body and pulls out the Biggest Guy's wallet.
       It contains a driver's license in the name of JOEY VREES,
       and a wad of green.  Johnny takes 10 dollars, leaving the
       other money in the wallet, and puts the wallet back.

                             JOHNNY
                 That's for the bullets, you dumb
                 schmuck.


       INT. JOHNNY'S OFFICE - NIGHT

       Johnny sits down, pours himself another drink, throws it
       back.  He sighs.  He picks up the letter and reads it again.
       (We'll meet LILY soon, she sounds young and attractive.)

                             LILY (V.O.)
                 Dear Mr. Kruger.  You were
                 recommended to me by a friend.
                 Desperate circumstances force me
                 to seek your advice in a matter of
                 some delicacy.  The bearer of this
                 letter, Mr. Vrees, will bring you
                 to me if you are willing to accept
                 my employ.  If not, I trust that
                 the enclosed fifty dollar retainer
                 will purchase your silence.
                 Sincerely, Miss Lily Chapel.

       Johnny holds the 50 dollar bill up to the light.

                             JOHNNY
                 I'm very pleased to meet you, Miss
                 Chapel.


       EXT. CITY STREET - NIGHT

       Still pouring o' rain.  A squad car pulls up behind Johnny's
       car.


       INT. HALLWAY OUTSIDE JOHNNY'S OFFICE - NIGHT

       Three pairs of feet pound up the stairway.


       INT. OUTER OFFICE - NIGHT

       SERGEANT TONY NOVELLO, 35, a weary plainclothes 'tec, enters
       followed by TWO UNIFORM COPS.  They study the Biggest Guy's
       corpse with interest.  Novello steps into Johnny's office,
       noting the .38 in the Biggest Guy's hand.


       INT. JOHNNY'S OFFICE - NIGHT

       Johnny salutes Novello with his glass.

                             JOHNNY
                 Join me in a toast, Sarge?

                             NOVELLO
                 Knock it off, ace.  Who is he?

                             JOHNNY
                 Driver's licence says Joey Vrees.

                             NOVELLO
                 What's he to you?

                             JOHNNY
                 I told you, I never saw him before.

       Novello picks up the almost empty whiskey bottle.

                             NOVELLO
                 Been hitting it pretty hard, ace.

                             JOHNNY
                 It isn't every night I kill a man.

       Novello notices the bullet hole in the wall.

                             NOVELLO
                 Guess he shouldn't have tried to
                 plug you.  Couple inches to the
                 left, he would've blown your brains
                 out.

                             JOHNNY
                 Lucky for me, huh?

       Cop #1 brings the Biggest Guy's .38 and wallet to Novello,
       who opens the wallet and reads the Driver's Licence.

                             NOVELLO
                 Joey Vrees.  Got a feeling I should
                 know that name.

       He counts the money in the wallet.

                             NOVELLO
                 Over seventy bucks here.  Wonder
                 what Mr. Vrees did for a living?

                             JOHNNY
                 You know, if some of that dough
                 was to find its way into the Police
                 Benevolent Fund, I wouldn't say
                 anything.  What with the swell job
                 you guys do.

       With a cynical smile Novello drops 20 bucks onto Johnny's
       desk.  He slips a 10 to each of the Cops, takes 20 for
       himself, puts the remaining 10 back in the wallet.  He
       gives the wallet to Cop #1 who returns it to the corpse.

                             JOHNNY
                 You always play square, Tony.  I
                 like that about you.  Some guys--

                             NOVELLO
                 You remember Mack Eastman?  Best
                 damn detective I ever knew.  Mack
                 once told me about this dirty cop,
                 he always carried two guns.  One
                 for himself, the other to put into
                 the hand of anyone who crossed
                 him.  He'd blast a couple bullets
                 from the backup gun into the wall,
                 then claim the guy he just shot
                 tried to ventilate him.  Me, I
                 don't see anything wrong with that.
                 He greased a lot of bad guys who
                 deserved it.  But this one time he
                 made a mistake.  The guy he shot,
                 his hand was like a store dummy's,
                 you know?  Made out of wood.  Only
                 he wore gloves, so the cop didn't
                 know.

       Johnny looks at the Biggest Guy's gloved hand.  Cop #2
       peels the glove off.  The hand underneath is real.  Johnny
       starts breathing again.

                             JOHNNY
                 So what happened to the cop?

                             NOVELLO
                 He rode the lightning.  Mack said
                 lights went out all over the county.
                 They didn't restore power till
                 next morning.

                             JOHNNY
                 Hell of a story.  Sure you don't
                 want a drink?

                             NOVELLO
                 So this guy Vrees.  He decides to
                 climb three flights of stairs so
                 he can shoot a complete stranger.
                 How do you figure that?

                             JOHNNY
                 Maybe he was a hit man.  There's
                 plenty of people in this city don't
                 like me.

                             NOVELLO
                 I don't like you, ace.  You're a
                 thorn in my ass.

       Johnny reaches for the bottle, Novello snatches it away.

                             JOHNNY
                 You arresting me for drinking?

                             NOVELLO
                 How does withholding evidence sound?

                             JOHNNY
                 I wouldn't hold out on you, Tony.
                 Not for all the pasta in Little
                 Italy.

       Novello sighs with frustration and gives Johnny his bottle.

                             NOVELLO
                 The meat wagon's on its way.  You
                 gotta help them carry your three-
                 hundred pound friend downstairs.

                             JOHNNY
                 My pleasure.

       On the way out Novello pauses to talk to Cop #1.  He jerks
       his thumb at Johnny.  Cop #1 nods understanding.  Novella
       exits taking Cop #2 with him.

       Cop #1 takes off his hat and sits down.  He looks pointedly
       at the bottle.  Johnny finds another glass and pours three
       fingers.  Cop #1 grins his appreciation and knocks it back.

                             JOHNNY
                 I gotta go take a leak.  Don't go
                 away.

       Johnny exits.  Cop #1 helps himself to another drink.


       INT. OUTER OFFICE - NIGHT

       Johnny grabs his hat and coat and exits into the hallway.


       EXT. BUILDING ENTRANCE - NIGHT

       Rain lashes the street.  The cop car is gone.  Johnny stands
       in the doorway and looks up and down the street, searching.


       EXT. CITY STREET - NIGHT

       He sees the car across the street, near a phone booth.

       Johnny hurries across the street.  He peers into the car,
       it's empty.  He looks around, then slips a jimmy out of
       his pocket.  He pops the driver's door in a second.


       INT. CAR - NIGHT

       Johnny climbs in.  He rummages in the glovebox, checks out
       the back seat, finds a folded newspaper.  There's a B/W
       picture of a smiling man (AVONDALE, 30s) in a sharp suit,
       and a girl (LILY, 25), very pretty and smartly dressed.
       Avondale directs Lily to cut a ribbon using scissors.

       The headline says, GENEROUS BUSINESSMAN OPENS NEW ORPHANAGE.

       Under this, "Mr. Beauregard Avondale And Fianceé Miss Lily
       Chapel Do The Honors.  City's Children Will Benefit From
       His Benevolence."

                             JOHNNY
                 We meet again, Miss Chapel.


       INT. PHONE BOOTH - NIGHT

       Johnny shuts the door against the rain.  He has the
       newspaper tucked under his arm.  He dials a number.

                             JOHNNY (INTO PHONE)
                 Operator, I'm looking for the number
                 of a Miss Lily Chapel.

       The buzzing voice of the female OPERATOR.

                             JOHNNY (INTO PHONE)
                 No I don't, but maybe you can help
                 me out here.  This is Detective
                 Sergeant Anthony Novello, I'm
                 working out of the Thirteenth
                 Precinct, we're very concerned
                 about Miss Chapel and I really
                 need her phone number.

       The buzzing voice takes on a note of excitement.

                             JOHNNY (INTO PHONE)
                 Yes I'll hold, thank you.

       He stares at the photograph.  Becoming mesmerized by Lily
       Chapel's smile.  The buzzing voice makes a report.  Johnny
       finds a pencil and scribbles on the newspaper.

                             JOHNNY (INTO PHONE)
                 Thank you Operator.  The Detective
                 Bureau greatly appreciates your
                 help.  Yes put me through please.

       RINGING TONE...  Johnny draws a comic mustache and beard
       on Avondale's face.

                             LILY (V.O.)
                 Scottsdale Five-Six-Oh-Three.

                             JOHNNY (INTO PHONE)
                 I'd like to talk to Miss Lily
                 Chapel.

                             LILY (V.O.)
                 May I ask who is calling?

                             JOHNNY (INTO PHONE)
                 My name is Kruger.  I'm a private--

                             LILY (V.O.)
                 I'm afraid you have the wrong
                 number.  There's no one of that
                 name here.

       Johnny gets wise...

                             JOHNNY (INTO PHONE)
                 Look, Miss Chapel, there's been an
                 accident.  Something happened to
                 Joey Vrees.  I've got your address.
                 Can I come over and talk to you?

       CLICK.  Dead line.  Johnny hangs up.


       EXT. CHAPEL RESIDENCE - NIGHT

       A well-to-do house in an expensive area.  Lights are on
       downstairs.  Two big cars sit in the driveway.

       Johnny's car draws up across the street.


       INT. JOHNNY'S CAR - NIGHT

       Johnny lights a cigarette and studies the house.


       EXT. CHAPEL RESIDENCE - NIGHT

       Johnny arrives at the front door and rings the bell.


       INT. HALLWAY - CHAPEL RESIDENCE - NIGHT

       ROSE, 17, a stunning but vacuous blonde, answers the door.
       She leans against the frame and smiles seductively.

                             ROSE
                 Well hi there.

                             JOHNNY
                 Good evening.  My name is Kruger.
                 I'm here to see Miss Chapel.  I
                 believe she's expecting me.

                             ROSE
                 I'm Miss Chapel.  Won't I do?

       Lily arrives.  She stares at Johnny, surprised.  He stares
       back.  Mutual attraction crackles between them.  Rose sees
       this and her smile vanishes.

                             LILY
                 Rose, why don't you ask Beau if he
                 wants another drink?

                             ROSE
                 Well gee, if you want rid of me so
                 you can talk to your gentleman
                 caller, you only got to say.

       Rose gives Johnny a disappointed look and exits into the
       living room.

                             JOHNNY
                 Sorry if I'm busting up a party.
                 We got cut off, Miss Chapel.

                             LILY
                 You shouldn't have come here.

       Avondale comes bustling toward the front door.  He takes a
       neat photo, but in the flesh he's physically powerful and
       he doesn't suffer fools.

                             LILY
                 You're lost, you're asking for
                 directions.  Please, Mr. Kruger.

       Her eyes beg Johnny.  Avondale arrives and looks Johnny up
       and down with disdain.

                             AVONDALE
                 Is there a problem?

                             LILY
                 This gentleman is looking for an
                 address on Eugenie Street.

                             AVONDALE
                 What's your name?

                             JOHNNY
                 Roger, sir, Roger Wilkes.  I'm
                 really sorry to cause any
                 inconvenience.  I've been driving
                 around in circles for hours, I
                 think I've passed your house three
                 times, at least.

                             AVONDALE
                 That your car?

                             JOHNNY
                 Yeah.

                             AVONDALE
                 Continue on, Eugenie's third on
                 your right.

                             JOHNNY
                 Well thank you very much, I really
                 do appreciate it.

                             AVONDALE
                 On your way, Mr. Wilkes.

                             JOHNNY
                 I will, and sorry again for
                 intruding--

       Avondale closes the door on Johnny.


       EXT. CHAPEL RESIDENCE - NIGHT

       Johnny walks back to his car, hands thrust into his coat
       pockets.  A smile tugs at his lips.


       INT. HALLWAY - CHAPEL RESIDENCE - NIGHT

       Lily opens a silver cigarette case and taps a cigarette
       against the back of her hand.

                             LILY
                 That wasn't very polite, Beau.

                             AVONDALE
                 I have little time for someone who
                 can't read street signs.  You've
                 no time for smoking.  We're going
                 to be late for dinner.  You better
                 get your coat on.

       Lily returns the cigarette to its silver case.  Avondale
       brings Lily her coat and helps her into it.


       INT. JOHNNY'S CAR - NIGHT

       Johnny puts a cigarette to his lips.  But stops as--


       EXT. CHAPEL RESIDENCE - NIGHT

       Avondale, Lily and a huge uniformed chauffeur, LARS, exit
       the house.  Lars holds an umbrella over Lily.  He opens a
       car door for her, she climbs in.  Lars hurries round to
       the other side and opens Avondale's door.

       Lars pauses, looks across the street.


       INT. JOHNNY'S CAR - NIGHT

       Johnny slides low down so he can't be seen.


       EXT. CHAPEL RESIDENCE - NIGHT

       Lars climbs into the car, starts the engine, turns on the
       lights, reverses out of the driveway.


       INT. JOHNNY'S CAR - NIGHT

       Johnny watches as Avondale's car drives past him.  He
       catches a glimpse of Lily in the back seat.

       Johnny starts his engine.


       EXT. CITY STREETS - NIGHT

       Avondale's car speeds through the city.  Johnny's car
       follows at a discreet distance.


       INT. JOHNNY'S CAR (MOVING) - NIGHT

       Johnny lights his cigarette.


       EXT. GORILLA CLUB - NIGHT

       A flashing neon pink gorilla sign smiles, scowls, smiles.

       Avondale's car draws up.  The DOORMAN hurries forward with
       an umbrella and opens the car's rear door.


       EXT. JOHNNY'S CAR - NIGHT

       Pulls in further along the street.


       INT. JOHNNY'S CAR - NIGHT

       Johnny straightens his tie and checks himself out in the
       rearview mirror.


       INT. GORILLA CLUB LOBBY - NIGHT

       A ferocious stuffed King Kong wannabe "greets" guests.


       INT. GORILLA CLUB RESTAURANT - NIGHT

       The MAITRE'D seats Avondale and Lily at the best table in
       the house, fawning over them.

       DRAY, a Black piano player, entertains the CUSTOMERS.
       He's handsome and he has talent.


       INT. GORILLA CLUB LOBBY - NIGHT

       Johnny checks in his coat and hat.  The HAT GIRL smiles at
       him.

       Johnny approaches the Maitre'D and whispers into his ear.
       Some green exchanges hands.  The Maitre'D snaps his fingers
       and a WAITER comes running.


       INT. GORILLA CLUB RESTAURANT - NIGHT

       Johnny sits at a small table behind a pillar, all alone.
       But he can see the stage, and wall mirrors allow him to
       watch Avondale and Lily.

       A WAITRESS brings him a cocktail.  Johnny sips it and
       admires the Waitress as she walks away.  She notices, and
       likes it.

       Dray finishes his set, Customers applaud.  Dray is joined
       by VONDA, a well-stacked Black woman in a shimmering dress,
       plus a DRUMMER and DOUBLE BASE PLAYER.  The band kicks up
       with a jazz number.  Vonda SINGS, and Johnny is mesmerized.

       Dray watches Vonda as he plays, a little smile on his lips.

       A MAN IN A TUXEDO bends down to say something to Avondale,
       who nods.  Avondale says something to Lily, excusing
       himself.  He follows the Tuxedo and disappears.

       Lily takes her purse and heads for the little girls room.

       Dray's eyes follow her, his smile takes on a new meaning.

       Johnny notices, and wonders.


       INT. HALLWAY OUTSIDE LADIES REST ROOM - NIGHT

       Lily steps out, Johnny's waiting for her.

                             LILY
                 What the hell are you doing here?

                             JOHNNY
                 I can walk away right now.

       A WOMAN squeezes past them and enters the rest room.  Johnny
       leads Lily down the hallway to a quieter spot.

                             LILY
                 What happened to Mr. Vrees?

                             JOHNNY
                 He got into an argument with some
                 friends of mine.

                             LILY
                 Mr. Vrees doesn't usually lose
                 arguments.

                             JOHNNY
                 My friends were forty-five caliber
                 bullets.

                             LILY
                 Do you shoot people often?

                             JOHNNY
                 Only when they annoy me.

                             LILY
                 Mr. Vrees was an associate of my
                 fiancé's.  He won't be pleased.

                             JOHNNY
                 I won't tell him if you won't.

       She opens her purse, pulls out a cigarette.  Johnny strikes
       a match and lights it for her.  They stare into each other's
       eyes.  The match burns down.  Lily blows the flame out.

                             LILY
                 I'm being blackmailed, Mr. Kruger.

                             JOHNNY
                 Blackmail.  The act of gaining
                 money through threat or
                 intimidation.

                             LILY
                 I received a letter.  Typed, and
                 unsigned.  The author demanded ten
                 thousand dollars.  Otherwise they
                 would inform my fiancé of... an
                 indiscretion.

                             JOHNNY
                 And was there... an indiscretion?

                             LILY
                 Yes.

                             JOHNNY
                 How many people know about it?

                             LILY
                 Only myself and the other person
                 involved.

                             JOHNNY
                 That kinda points to the guilty
                 party.

                             LILY
                 No.

                             JOHNNY
                 You sound pretty sure.

                             LILY
                 I'm afraid you'll have to take my
                 word for it.

       Lars appears.  He towers over Johnny, ready to pound him.

                             LARS
                      (Swedish accent)
                 Is this man bothering you, Miss
                 Chapel?

                             LILY
                 No, Lars, he's a family friend.
                 Thank you.

       Lars glares at Johnny, and exits.  Lily sighs with relief.

                             JOHNNY
                 I'm touched by your concern.

                             LILY
                 I didn't want Lars to get into an
                 argument with those friends of
                 yours.

                             JOHNNY
                 Can I see the letter?

                             LILY
                 I burned it.  It was hand-delivered.
                 No postmark, no return address.

                             JOHNNY
                 I'm just wondering if I should
                 take notes here.

                             LILY
                 There was also a photograph.  It
                 came with the letter.

                             JOHNNY
                 Family snapshot?

                             LILY
                 No...

                             JOHNNY
                 Listen, I'm a big boy, I once kissed
                 a girl on the lips.  If you were
                 caught with your panties down--

       She slaps him.  He grins.

                             JOHNNY
                 I apologize if my kissing remark
                 offended you.  Let me guess.  You
                 burned the photo along with the
                 letter, right?

       Lily closes her eyes and looks away, ashamed.

                             LILY
                 I had to.

                             JOHNNY
                 That bad?  No letter, no photograph,
                 no evidence.

                             LILY
                 You think I'm making this up?

                             JOHNNY
                 Maybe you're one of those spoiled
                 little rich girls who like
                 attention?

       She slaps him again.

                             JOHNNY
                 Hey, I think I hit a nerve.

       He takes out the fifty dollar note, slaps it into her hand.

                             JOHNNY
                 It's been nice meeting you, Miss
                 Chapel.

       He turns and walks away...

                             LILY
                 Where are you going?

                             JOHNNY
                 Find yourself some other chump.

                             LILY
                 Now you have power over me, Mr.
                 Kruger.  This was supposed to
                 purchase your silence.

                             JOHNNY
                 Lucky for you I'm not the blabby
                 type.  Goodnight, Miss Chapel.

       He exits.  Lily throws down her cigarette and violently
       grinds it into the floor.


       INT. HALLWAY - GORILLA CLUB - NIGHT

       Johnny's stopped by two TOUGH GUYS in Tuxedos.

                             JOHNNY
                 You're in my way.

                             TUXEDO #1
                 The boss wants to see you.

                             JOHNNY
                 Maybe I don't want to see him.

       They slam him against the wall and frisk him.

                             JOHNNY
                 Then again, I wouldn't want to
                 appear antisocial.


       INT. LOCANZA'S OFFICE - NIGHT

       LOCANZA, an even bigger, tougher guy than the Tuxedos,
       talks baby talk to fish in a tank as he feeds them.  The
       Tuxedos bring Johnny in and close the door.

                             TUXEDO #1
                 He was packing.

                             LOCANZA
                 You know who I am?

                             JOHNNY
                 Sure I do.  Lucky Locanza, the
                 D.A.'s number one fan.

       Locanza punches Johnny in the guts, doubling him over.
       The Tuxedos push Johnny into a chair, he gasps for breath.
       Locanza goes back to feeding his fish.

                             LOCANZA
                 Play games with me, I'll have my
                 boys take you outside, give you
                 some more of that.  Let's start
                 with your name.

                             JOHNNY
                 My name's Kruger.  I'm a private
                 investigator.

                             LOCANZA
                 What are you doing in my club?

                             JOHNNY
                 I came to talk to Miss Lily Chapel.
                 She's here with Mr. Beauregard
                 Avondale.  He doesn't know me.

                             LOCANZA
                 So what did you talk about?

                             JOHNNY
                 Miss Chapel wanted to hire me.  I
                 said no.

       Avondale enters through another door.  Lars is in the next
       room, watching.

                             AVONDALE
                 You told me your name was Wilkes.

                             JOHNNY
                 I wasn't sure if Miss Chapel wanted
                 you to know what she was up to.

                             AVONDALE
                 Why would my fiancée want to keep
                 anything from me?

                             JOHNNY
                 I don't know.  I felt obliged to
                 give her the option.

                             AVONDALE
                 What did she want to hire you for?

                             JOHNNY
                 I'm afraid that's confidential.

       Avondale takes out a checkbook, writes an amount, signs
       it, tears it off, gives it to Johnny.  Johnny whistles.
       He folds the check, slips it inside his jacket.

                             AVONDALE
                 Regard it as a retainer.  You're
                 working for me now.  I'll ask again,
                 why did she want to hire you?

                             JOHNNY
                 I'm afraid that's confidential.

                             LOCANZA
                 Can you believe this guy?  He takes
                 your check then he clams up!

       Locanza signals to the Tuxedos who grab Johnny.  Locanza
       pulls back his fist but Avondale touches his arm, stopping
       him.  Locanza lowers his fist and steps back.

                             AVONDALE
                 What's your angle, Mr. Kruger?

                             JOHNNY
                 You could be testing me.  To see
                 if I can keep my trap shut.

                             AVONDALE
                 It's not a test.

                             JOHNNY
                 All right.  She wanted me to check
                 out a guy called Joey Vrees.  She
                 said he's an associate of yours.

       Avondale and Locanza lock eyes for an instant.

                             JOHNNY
                 You're a respected man, Mr.
                 Avondale.  The guys you hang out
                 with are the same guys who can
                 take away my license.  I turned
                 Miss Chapel down.  I also returned
                 her fifty dollar advance.

                             AVONDALE
                 Perhaps you said that to impress
                 me.  I never trust a man who wants
                 to appear honest.  Usually he's
                 anything but.  Did she say why she
                 wanted you to "check out" Mr. Vrees?

                             JOHNNY
                 She said there was something about
                 him she didn't like.  She didn't
                 trust him.  That's all I got.

                             AVONDALE
                 You won't discuss this with Miss
                 Chapel, or anyone else.  Is that
                 understood?

       Johnny pats the check in his pocket.

                             JOHNNY
                 You're the boss.

       Locanza gestures.  The Tuxedos lift Johnny out of his chair
       and escort him to the door.

                             AVONDALE
                 I'll be in touch, Mr. Kruger.
                 Don't take any wooden nickels.


       EXT. ALLEY BEHIND GORILLA CLUB - NIGHT

       The Tuxedos throw Johnny out, he slams into trash cans.

                             JOHNNY
                 What gives?  I came in through the
                 front door.

                             TUXEDO #1
                 Employees got to use the back door.

       He tosses Johnny's gun into the garbage, and lets loose
       bullets spill from his hand.  The Tuxedos go back inside,
       chuckling.

       Johnny brushes himself down.  He fishes among the garbage
       for his gun, and picks up the bullets.


       EXT. JOHNNY'S CAR (MOVING) - NIGHT

       Johnny's eyes narrow in deep thought as he drives through
       the rainwashed streets.


       EXT. PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO - DAY

       A sunny morning.  Johnny's car sits outside.


       INT. PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO - DAY

       Johnny examines a wall display of family portraits, pets,
       places.

       DANNY enters from a back room, stained by chemicals and
       life.  He hands Johnny an envelope, Johnny pulls out a
       photograph.

       It's a B/W of Naked Guy and Woman in the motel room, like
       startled deer caught in car headlights.

                             JOHNNY
                 Just beautiful.

                             DANNY
                 The negative's there too.

       Johnny peels notes from his wallet.  Danny kisses the money
       and stuffs it into his pocket.

                             DANNY
                 Come to Papa!  Hey, don't go away,
                 I got something to show you.

       Danny locks the front door and turns the "Closed" sign
       over.  He leads Johnny through the back, into--


       INT. DEVELOPING ROOM - DAY

       Dozens of photographs hang from drip-lines.

                             DANNY
                 Take a look at this.

       He shows Johnny a glamor shot of a KNOCKOUT BLONDE in a
       swimsuit, holding her hair up and smiling.

                             JOHNNY
                 Wowsers.  You got her phone number?

                             DANNY (O.S.)
                 I got more than that.

       He shows Johnny another photo.  It's the same blonde but
       without the swimsuit, showing off her nude assets.

                             JOHNNY
                 What would her mother say if she
                 knew?

                             DANNY
                 "I wish I'd thought'a that before
                 I married your dad."  Five bucks
                 and she's yours forever.

                             JOHNNY
                 For five bucks I can cruise the
                 strip and get the real thing.

                             DANNY
                 Suit yourself.  I know this guy,
                 he's selling 'em as fast as I can
                 print 'em.

                             JOHNNY
                 I know another guy who'll lock you
                 up and throw away the key.

                             DANNY
                 For bringing art to the masses?
                 What's this world coming to.

                             JOHNNY
                 You do business with Dukayne?

                             DANNY
                 Nah.  He set up his own dark room,
                 he doesn't need me any more.
                 Everybody's doing their own thing
                 these days.

                             JOHNNY
                 Who's "Everybody"?  Snappers?

                             DANNY
                 Couple of guys used to bring their
                 film to me.  Real sleazeballs.
                 Wasn't just titties, you know?
                 Hard stuff.  They like to call
                 themselves glamor photographers.

                             JOHNNY
                 Got any names?

                             DANNY
                 It'll cost ya.

       Danny grins and fans himself with the naked blonde's photo.
       Johnny sighs and pulls out his wallet.

                             JOHNNY
                 Everything costs something.

                             DANNY
                 You just figured that out?

       Danny reaches for the money but Johnny pulls it away.

                             JOHNNY
                 And I get to keep the photo.

       Danny hands him the blonde's photo.  Johnny gives him the
       money.  Johnny puts the photograph into the envelope.

                             DANNY
                 Pleasure doing business with ya.


       INT. JOHNNY'S CAR - DAY

       Johnny climbs in behind the wheel.  Tosses the envelope
       onto the passenger seat.

       Something across the street attracts his attention.


       EXT. CITY STREET - DAY

       A cream colored car, parked in shadow.  Can't see who's
       inside.


       INT. JOHNNY'S CAR - DAY

       Johnny starts his engine.


       EXT. CITY STREET - DAY

       Johnny's car cruises by.


       INT. JOHNNY'S CAR (MOVING) - DAY

       Johnny glances in his rearview.  Nothing there.


       EXT. CONDO BUILDING - DAY

       Johnny's car sits parked out front.


       INT. CONDO HALLWAY - DAY

       Johnny walks along the hallway checking apartment numbers.
       He finds the door he's looking for.  He knocks.  No answer.

       AN ATTRACTIVE REDHEAD comes along the hallway, carrying
       groceries.  She unlocks the apartment next door.

                             ATTRACTIVE REDHEAD
                 Bobby's downstairs by the pool.

                             JOHNNY
                 Thanks.

                             ATTRACTIVE REDHEAD
                 Any time.

       She smiles, enters her apartment, closes the door.

       Johnny digs out a pen-knife and has Bobby's door open in
       the blink of an eye.


       INT. BOBBY'S APARTMENT - DAY

       Johnny silently closes the door.  He listens.  He peeks in
       all the rooms.  No one home.  He searches the place, fast
       and efficient.  Drawers.  Shelves.  Closets.

       He opens a blind, looks out the window.

       Parked across the street, that same cream colored car.


       INT. CONDO HALLWAY - DAY

       BOBBY, 30s, suntan, Hawaiian shirt, not a care in the world,
       whistles on his way back to his apartment.  He unlocks the
       door, enters.


       INT. BOBBY'S APARTMENT - DAY

       Bobby whistles his way into the living room.  His whistle
       dies on a long note as he sees a bunch of photos laid out
       on the coffee table.

       They're all "voyeur" shots of men and women taken with a
       zoom lens, through house windows, inside cars.  The men
       are giving it and the woman are gladly taking it.

                             JOHNNY
                 Got quite a business going, Bobby.

       Johnny leans against a wall, cigarette in his mouth.  He
       strikes a match, lights it.

                             BOBBY
                 I'm calling the cops, you don't
                 get out of here right now.

                             JOHNNY
                 Go ahead.

                             BOBBY
                 What do you want?

                             JOHNNY
                 The negatives and all the prints.

       Bobby sits down, fumbles for a cigarette, lights it.  The
       coffee table is between him and Johnny.

                             BOBBY
                 Which ones?

                             JOHNNY
                 The ones you hid so nobody could
                 find them.

                             BOBBY
                 You're crazy.

                             JOHNNY
                 Not yet.  Give me time.

       The door opens and a TEEN GIRL in a bikini flounces in.

                             TEEN GIRL
                 Know what, you're just like my
                 dad, always telling me what to--
                      (seeing Johnny)
                 Hell are you?

       Bobby kicks his legs straight, the coffee table shoots
       into Johnny's shins, THUD!  Johnny winces in pain, suddenly
       Bobby's all over him, punching him in the gut, the head.

       Teen Girl runs into the kitchen.

       Johnny pulls out his gun but Bobby grabs his wrist, slams
       his hand against the wall.  The gun goes flying.

       Johnny BUTTS Bobby who stumbles back and falls on his ass,
       holding his face.

       Teen Girl runs in swinging the biggest knife she could
       find!  She slashes, Johnny dodges, she follows him around
       the room, her eyes crazy.  Johnny takes "defensive cuts"
       on his hand.

       Teen Girl lunges, Johnny grabs her arm, spins her round
       and runs her face-first into the wall, WHAM!  She bounces
       off and sprawls on the floor, out cold.

       Bobby tries to push himself up.  Johnny flips the coffee
       table away and kicks Bobby in the face.  Bobby goes down.

       Johnny goes into the kitchen nursing his bleeding hand.

       A FLOWER VASE

       empties over Bobby's bloody face, water and flowers wake
       him up.  Johnny puts the vase down on the coffee table.
       His cut hand is wrapped in a dish towel.

                             JOHNNY
                 That wasn't very nice, Bobby.

                             BOBBY
                 You broke by dose, you creep!

       Johnny opens his wallet, unfolds a newspaper clipping.
       It's Lily Chapel's orphanage opening photo, with Avondale
       torn out.

                             JOHNNY
                 You give me what I want, I'm outta
                 here.

                             BOBBY
                 I never seen her before.

       Johnny slaps him hard.

                             BOBBY
                 Hey!

                             JOHNNY
                 Look again.

       Bobby's eyes flick past Johnny, at someone behind him.

       Johnny turns just as the flower vase SMASHES over his head!
       He collapses.

       Bobby scrambles to his feet and fearfully backs away--

                             BOBBY
                 No, no, no!

       SIX SHOTS ring out, punching Bobby back onto a chair.  He
       twitches with every bullet.  Then relaxes.  Dead.

       Lying on the floor, Johnny stares at Bobby in disbelief.
       He closes his eyes.  BLACKNESS.

                                                                06/06
end excerpt

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