Family Plot (1976) Script

Someone is here.

Not closely.

Not willingly.

I feel they're holding back.

What's the trouble, Henry?

Too many memories, too much pain.

Too much sorrow.

Whoever is there with you, tell them to speak up, Henry.

Tell them to come closer.

I think I know who it is, Madame Blanche.

I think I know what's bothering her.

Her, is it?

Never you mind, Miss Rainbird.

I won't have you doing Henry's work for him.

Now, let's have it, my love.

That's why we're here tonight.

To help my friend be rid of her torment.

She has a right to rest her weary head on a pillow each night and sleep the peaceful sleep of the angels.

How did you know about my troubled sleep?

Who told you?

Her nights cannot go on like this much longer.

I never told a soul about my nightmares. How could you...

Who is this person who arrives in our presence tonight but does not dare to come close to us?

It's her. It's my sister Harriet.

It must be.

She stays her distance, Julia Rainbird, for she does not feel your love or your kindness yet.

There is selfishness where you are.

I've had all I can take from her.

Night after night, coming into my dreams.

Whining, complaining, trying to make me feel guilty.

As though I need her to tell me right from wrong.

Tell her I know what has to be done.

I've been wanting to do it for a year.

But it is I, Julia Rainbird, who has made the decision.

I don't need her to goad me on!

They're making me ill with their ugly words in my ugly dreams.

Tell her to stop it, to go away and leave me alone.

No, no. No, no. Don't let her go. Don't let her go away.

Harriet? Harriet, stay with us, Harriet.

Your sister wants to speak to you now from the depths of her soul.

What's wrong? What is it?

She says, "I've waited so long to hear from you, Julia.

"I've been so unhappy without you."

It is you, Harriet.

Oh, I'm so sorry.

I should never have made you do it.

It's all past now, but I'll do what I can to make up for it.

If he's still alive, I'll find your son.

And I'll take him in my arms and love him as if I were you, my poor Harriet.

And I'll make him one of us and give him everything, everything.

Far away.

So far, far away.

But I need her. I need her help.

I can't do it alone.

You see, I need her memory.

It's over 40 years ago, and I don't know where the child was taken or who it was given to.

I don't know where he is now or who he is.

The true measure of Julia Rainbird's love lies in what she does now with your help, of course, and mine, and that of the dear, departed one who has drifted so far from us.

We understand him.

Don't we, Miss Rainbird?

Oh, yes. Yes, I do.

I'm willing to do anything, anything at all.

In the end, there will be happiness.

From the tears of the past, the desert of the heart will bloom.

Goodbye, Julia Rainbird! Goodbye, Blanche.


Madame Blanche, are you all right?

It was...

What in the world's been going on here?

I feel as though I've been properly done over.

Don't you remember what happened?


Not the details, Miss Rainbird, only the gist, if you know what I mean.

Suppose you give me the gist of it.

Well, I wonder...

Could I trouble you for a sip of something? Just...

Oh, of course. What would you like?

Oh, a double shot of anything.

A spot of that sherry might be nice.

Yes, of course.

Thank you.

Now, tell me what you remember of the sťance.

In a nutshell? Please.

About 40 years ago, you arranged to have your sister Harriet's baby given away without a trace.

And now, your bad dreams and a troubled conscience tell you to find the grown-up person, take him into the family, and bestow your wealth on him.


Thank you.

And why did I force my sister to give the child away?

I guess the kid was illegitimate, Miss Rainbird.

I don't want you to think me a puritan, Madame Blanche.

But 40 years ago, an unmarried mother was not the commonplace it is nowadays.

And in a family like ours, a scandal had to be covered up at all costs.

I understand.

And I'm still sufficiently old-fashioned and sufficiently protective of the Rainbird name to want to seek the missing heir in a private and secret fashion, rather than go to detective agencies and put notices in the newspapers.

Most wise decision, Miss Rainbird.

Well, now, suppose we get to the reason for my sending for you.

I'm 78 years of age.

I would like to go to my grave with a quiet conscience.

Particularly as I know that my only heir is out there somewhere, deprived by my acts of his true Rainbird name.

Will you help me with your powers?

If in your heart you believe that I can, then I owe it to both of us to try, Miss Rainbird.

No, I'm too old for trying.

I've only time enough left for results.

Find him for me, Madame Blanche.

Use your spirit-control, your Henry.

Get through to my sister.

Find her son, whoever he is, wherever he is, and I'll pay you $10,000.

Only if you genuinely wish to, Miss Rainbird.

But let's not think of this as a payment to me.

There are many causes dear to my heart which need all the charity the world can spare.

You've no idea how refreshing it is for a woman of my wealth to find someone who has so little use for money.

Thank you.

Well, now, I regard our arrangement as completed.

It's my bedtime.

I must take leave of your delightful company.

This has been a most memorable evening for me, Miss Rainbird.

See to it that you make it a rewarding one.

At the risk of repeating myself, I hope you will not forget that nobody, absolutely no one, should know of our search.

The Rainbird name must be protected.

My jaw is locked.

On that note, I will say goodbye and thank you for coming.

So, how'd it go?

I don't know. Having to do Henry is murder on my throat.


Yeah, yeah. I know.

So how did it go?

She's hooked, waiting to be pulled in.

Another one of your $25 sardines?

No. This is a big one, George.

A great big whale.

Well, come on. Give.

Keep your eyes on the road. Don't rush me.

Okay, Blanchie.

Start way up at the top.

Well, it was as simple as ABC.

Henry came to me from the upper brightness, whispered to me, "This woman's been having sleep problems."

From there on, things followed naturally, logically.

Aha! So I came through for you again, didn't I, darling?

No. What are you talking about, George?

What do you mean, what am I talking about?

You know damn well what I'm talking about.

All that information that I dug up by gabbing to the local druggist about how she was driving him crazy trying to get sleeping pills without a prescription.

That could have been very, very useful to me.

Why didn't you tell me about that?

What do you mean, why didn't I tell you? I told you.

You know damn well I told you, Blanche.

No, you always think you tell me things, and you forget to.

I have to go through heaven and hell, the great beyond, with Henry.

Henry, my ass.

It was me. It's always me.

Without my research, you're about as psychic as a dry salami.

Nasty. Nasty, nasty.

I'm sick and tired of having you have me by the crystal balls.

Leave your crystal balls out of this, George.

No, let's leave Henry out of this and keep the bullshit for your customers.

You're jealous of him, aren't you?

Oh, please, Blanche.

I like your jealousy. It's your driving that stinks.

Hey, look. I happen to be an actor, not a cab driver.

I can play cab drivers, but I sure as hell don't have to drive like one.

Well, until I can collect from Julia Rainbird, I'm afraid you're gonna have to go on playing a cab driver.

Neither of us seems to be very fond of starving to death.

Well, how are we supposed to collect?

How much is this Rainbird whale gonna spout up?

Also, you're gonna have to go on playing a private eye.

Christ, no! I've had it playing private eyes.

Christ, yes.

Now, George. Stop blaspheming.

You wanna put the curse on 10 big ones?

Now, wait a minute, Blanche.

Did you say 10 big ones?


Ten thousand? Mmm-hmm.


Dollars, George.

Now, Blanche, you got any idea what you and I could do with 10 grand?

Mmm-hmm. We could even get married.

What are you always a wet blanket for?

Oh, you flatter me so.

Well, what's the deal? What do we have to do for the money?

I'll tell you about it in bed, afterwards.

Aw, come on, Blanche. Give me a hint.

Just a little foreplay.

All right. Find one man. That's all.

Well, we've had to do worse than that. What's his name?


Nobody knows.

Well, who is he?

That's the problem. Nobody knows.

Where is he?

Nobody knows.

Well, for Christ's sake! You mean, nobody knows, Blanche?

Nobody knows his name, or where he is, or who he is?

Well, George, stop yelling.

There's a possibility of one person who might have known.

Well, who's that?

Julia Rainbird didn't mention him to me.

Fortunately, her friend Ida Cookson did.

Well, who is it?

The Rainbird family chauffeur.

Well, now you're talking. Now we're on our way.

Trouble is, well, he's been dead for 25 years.

Oh, for Christ's sake, Blanche...

No, no, no, no, no, don't start to fret, George, or our water bed will be no fun at all tonight.

As an actor, you should know fretting will ruin a performance.

You're not gonna have to worry about my performance tonight, honey.

As a matter of fact, on this very evening, you're gonna see a standing ovation.

She's here.

No, not a man. It's a woman. Right.

Follow me.

As long as you've got Victor Constantine, we can't touch you.

So you might as well put that thing away.

MAN 1: You've been calling yourself The Trader, so we thought you were a man.

MAN 2: I think we deserve some assurance that the victim is still alive.

MAN 1: All radios have been removed from the helicopter as you instructed.

"Mr. Constantine will be unconscious

"but in perfect condition when picked up.

"Just let him sleep the drug off."

All right, Sergeant, turn on the lights.

Don't try and be a hero.

Yes, sir.

Well, we've done our part.

Where are we going?

Not one goddamn mistake.

How far are we going?

It's lucky for you that you still got the victim.

I'd like nothing better than to toss you right out of this thing on your head.

You sure have this little trip mapped out, don't you?

I bet that thing isn't even loaded.

Golf course, huh?

Brilliant. Absolutely perfect.

My feet are killing me. These damn six-inch heels.

I happen to like tall women.

Everybody likes tall women.

In fact, everyone's going to be looking for a tall woman.

Aside from complaining a lot, what have you been doing with yourself lately?

Oh, nothing much. Picking up a ransom, that sort of thing.

Did you see anyone we know?

Two men who looked like police and a third who just had to be FBI.

You mix with the nicest people.

Beats housework.

Did you say anything to them?

Not a syllable.

Now, you see, honey?

I told you you could learn to keep your mouth shut if you tried.

Look who's here.

Has anyone seen a tall, blonde woman around here lately?

Gone, poof! Who needs her?

I do.

At least one more time.

Let me put that there, darling.

Mr. Constantine has left us some wine.

I don't think he likes the imported stuff.

It was probably my veal parmesan.

I'm afraid I overcooked it.

He likes eating in a room with a view. That's all.

You know how fussy rich people are.

Don't forget to empty that out.

Don't you think emptying a chemical toilet is a little below the dignity of a jewel collector?

The wages of sin, Arthur.

I'll do it tomorrow.

Never put off till tomorrow what you can empty out tonight.


Arthur, what's Amsterdam like?

Oh, lots of canals.

Lots of wizened old men with sharp eyes sitting around, cutting big stones into little ones.

You'll see.

I don't know what's come over me tonight. I'm tingling all over.

I told you about danger, didn't I?

First, it makes you sick.

Then when you get through it, it makes you very, very loving.



It was all too easy. It's frightening.

Brilliant planning.

They don't have a single lead to follow.

What about the ketamine we stuck him with?

Well, if Dr. Vogel didn't miss it six months ago when I had my wisdom tooth out, he's not gonna miss it now.

Don't finish up in there. Let's go to bed.


Mmm-mmm. Tingling all over.

How'd I ever let you get me into all this?

I thought I fell in love with you because I needed some stability in my life.

Well, I guess you're just a bad judge of character.

Where'd you put the diamond, dear?

Where everyone can see it.

You didn't. I did.

Are you gonna tell me where?

You'll have to torture me first.


I intend to in a few minutes.

Now with all due respect to the FBI and the Bureau of Inspectors, I have no time to play games.

Now lest we forget, gentlemen, I have been away from this desk forcibly.

I've got a lot of work to catch up on.

Now how many more times are we gonna go through this goddamn thing?

Until we come up with something, Mr. Constantine.

That's a hell of a way to solve a kidnapping.

Mr. Constantine, you're not the first victim, you know.

There have been others.

All right, all right. But from me, you'll learn absolutely nothing.

You never know. I know.

All right. Floyd?

Now, the underground garage.

Full of cars.


People behind me.

Was it a man, or was it a woman?

I don't know.

Man or woman?

Man. Then what?

There was a prick in my shoulder.

I started to turn, and I woke up in a room.

Yes, and what did you hear, inside or outside?

The room was soundproofed.

I never heard anything except a disembodied voice over a loudspeaker.

Describe it.

But I've already done that.


It was the voice of a man, no accent.

Doctored up electronically. Unrecognizable.

How many of them were there?

Two, a man and a woman.

Why do you say that?

Because the faintest light filtered down from the hallway above.

But not enough to give me a chance to see who they were.

Yes, and who did the cooking? She did.


Because a man would not bother to put the parsley on the filet of sole. That's why.

How old is she?

Come on now. Please.

How old is she? 25.

Why? Why?

Because if a man my age is gonna get kidnapped by a woman, he wants her to be 25. That's why.

Describe your return.

The return.

The disembodied voice tells me to sit with my back to the door.

The light goes out. The door opens. They both come in.

I feel a prick in my left arm.

The next thing I know, I wake up in that hospital bed with you sitting there, thinking up questions!

Thank you, Mr. Constantine. You're doing great.

That's what you think.

All right, let's start all over again.

Ah, shit!

Why, Henry, you have such a beaming smile on your face.

I smile because I'm happy, Blanche.

It comes through you, Blanche, from your friend, Ida Cookson.

I'm her guide, Henry.

Friendship can be claimed only when it cannot be denied.

Tell Ida Cookson we're all thankful here for the warm tranquility in her heart.

It will grow even warmer as she trusts in you, and confides in you, and holds back no secrets from you, be they her own or those of her intimate friends.

Did you hear that, Mrs. Cookson?

Yes, Madame Blanche.

Henry, I want you to seek Walter for us now.

Search through the double strand of kindness until my friend Ida Cookson is joined in loving communication with her dear, departed husband.

I will try, Blanche.

But first, the mist must part a little, and the veil must rise to let in the light that will show us the path.

I'm ready now, Henry.

Ready! Ready to follow you wherever you want me to go.

Where? Where are you taking me, Henry?

Yes, yes, yes! I see. I see your hand beckoning to me.

Oh, what a lovely garden, Henry. My, my.

Oh, is that a statue there?

Oh! Could this be Walter standing beside the fountain?

How can you do this to me?

I need your car keys. I'm in a hurry. Oh!

Do you realize what damage you can do to my psyche, breaking in this way?

For God's sake, just give me your keys. I need them.

Yes, Henry! What for?

I've located the daughter of the Rainbird chauffeur, and I'm not going around there as a cab driver. Oh!

What am I supposed to do without my car?

I don't care what you do.

Take a taxi. Just give me the keys.

The trees are swaying, and the branches part!

But there's no one there! Here.

I see shadows falling! The air is getting cold! The brightness dims.

Goodbye, Henry! Goodbye.

Did you find Walter?

Where? In the kitchen.

I did.

I wonder if I could speak to you for a couple minutes, Mrs. Hannagan.

Why, sure. Do we know each other?

No, I'm Frank McBride of the law firm of Ferguson, Ferguson and McBride, and I just wondered if you would mind answering a couple questions about your background.

My background? Mmm-hmm.

It's as dull as dishwater.

I mean, what in the world would you be wanting with that?

Well, let's just say that the information that I'm interested in could be worth a great deal of money.

Oh, yeah? To who? Mmm-hmm.

Well, we'll get around to that pleasant little subject in a minute if you don't mind.

Okay. Oh, swell.

Now, why don't we just start at the beginning? Your parents.

Oh, they're both dead. God rest them.

Your father was a chauffeur, though, right?

How the heck did you know that?

He was a chauffeur for the Rainbird family.

Right again.

You'd be a hell of a detective, Mr. McBride.

I don't know about that, my dear.

Now during this period of time, though, can you remember anybody being a close friend of your father's?

There was a man. It was way back when I was in school.

There was this guy that my father used to drink beer with and shoot pool with down in the Village.

This Harry Shoebridge. Had a poultry shop with his wife, Sadie.



His business was always lousy, even when times were good.

And she used to have miscarriages like other women have birthdays.

Well, they stopped trying, and they moved away to Barlow Creek and adopted a kid, I think.

A boy?

Yeah, an infant.

But, you know, I'm not so sure.

It's all kind of hazy, and I keep connecting it with...

Well, I remember this night with my dad driving over there to the Shoebridge's all alone, and then getting in a big fight with Ma, because he'd come home at 4:00 a.m., and he wouldn't tell her what he was doing or something.

Now after my dad passed away, God rest his soul, my ma was damn mad at the Shoebridges, because they never showed up at the funeral.

Then she found out why.


A year earlier, they'd gone to their own funeral.


Their house burned down with them in it.

Well, what about the son?

Mrs. Hannagan, can't you see that there are customers waiting?

Oh, yes. Yes. I'll be right there.

She'll be right there, ma'am.

Look, Mr. McBride, about all this being worth something...

Mrs. Hannagan!

Yeah. Wait a second.

This Shoebridge son, where do I look for him?

Well, try the Barlow Creek Cemetery.

What do you mean, the cemetery?

Well, I'm not sure, but I think he's dead, too.


Dead end, Blanche.

Dead and buried.

Caretaker. Do something for you?

I'm just a friend of the family.

None left. Bad business, that.

You mean the fire?

Never liked them multiple funerals.

Too much work involved all at one time.

They died together, yet they're not buried together in the same hole.

How come?

Search me.

Here. Look.

Died 1950.

Both died the same date.

Old stone.

This is a practically new stone.

Smart fellow, ain't ya?

Why? Have I stumbled on to something?

Well, nice meeting you.

Better get back to my work. I got a job coming in here tomorrow.

Turn that damn thing down, Marcella.

I can't even hear myself think.

How do you expect me to remember anything that far back?

I'd have to go through my old files for that kind of information.

Well, Mr. Wheeler, I hate to insist.

You know something, Mr. McBride?

You lawyers are all alike. Trouble, trouble, trouble.

Well, come on. I don't have all day.

What year did you say the family died?

Uh, 1950.

What month?

Oh, I can't help you there.


Can I sit down here? Sure. Yeah, go ahead.

Shoebridge. Shoebridge.

Here it is.

"Shoebridge. Harry and Sadie. Large marble. Model 28.

"Paid in full. Check number 93.

"First Church of Latter Day Saints, Barlow Creek."

What about the son?

Edward Shoebridge. He's their son.



Nope. Nothing.

What do you mean, nothing?

There's gotta be something. Maybe it came later.

Wait a minute. You're talking about Eddie Shoebridge.

His headstone? Yeah, that did come later.

I think in '65.

Sure, I remember that kid.

He wasn't too popular around here.

Some say he set that fire himself, you know, to get rid of his family, and then disappeared to make it look like he died in the fire, too.

They never did find his body.

You mean, there's no body in that grave?

Well, as I recollect, that's why the local parson wouldn't say any services for Eddie.

Well, Wasn't there a death certificate?

I wouldn't know about that, and I don't need to know.

I'm just a businessman, Mr. McBride.

Ah, here it is. "Edward Shoebridge. Granite special.

"Ordered November 12th.

"Paid for November 18th, 1965. $395."

Now, that's funny. It's paid in cash.

They don't usually do that.

Who was it? I don't know, Mr. McBride.

I guess he didn't want his name known.

Well, what do you mean, "he?"

You just said "he."

I did, didn't I?

Well, you know, I seem to sort of remember that it was a man.

Yeah. A young fella.

Slightly bald.

I'd say in his late 20s.

And did you see him again when you put in the headstone?

We didn't do that.

He came by and picked it up himself.

Yes, I remember now.

In one of those tow trucks, you know, the kind that garages use.


No, there is no death certificate here for Edward Shoebridge.

Only Harry J. Shoebridge and Sadie L. Shoebridge.

That's all you have?

Well, there is this.

It appears to be an application for a death certificate for one Edward Shoebridge, dated November 4th, 1965.

"Inasmuch as applicant could furnish no proof of death

"for party whose body had never been found, "and who could supply no medical death certificate

"and nothing from the coroner's office, the application was denied.

"Applicant, when informed he could file a petition for court action, "declined the suggestion."

Does it say who the applicant was?

Yes. "Request was made by Joseph P. Maloney, "426 Main Street, Barlow Creek."

Attagirl. Thank you.


Fill her up?


You want me to check under the hood?

If you would, please.

Better be careful with those matches.

Oh. Right. Sorry.

This your place? Yeah.

Then you must be J. Maloney.

Tell me, does that stand for John or Jim?



Everything's okay.

It's funny. You didn't hardly need any gas.

Didn't need no oil.

Guess you didn't come here for the car, huh, mister?

Could you get my windshield, please?

Don't worry.

You wouldn't happen to know a guy by the name of Edward Shoebridge, would you? Used to live around here.

Name don't ring no bell with me.

What would you be wanting with this...

What's his name, Shoebridge?

Yeah. Legal matter.

You're a lawyer?


Name's McBride. Frank McBride.

First time I ever talked to a lawyer didn't cost me money.

Actually, Mr. Maloney, by talking to me, you could make yourself some money. Yeah?

I'm prepared to pay a reasonable sum of cash right now for any information that could lead me to Eddie Shoebridge.

Where I come from, lawyers are usually bad news.

Oh, no. Not this time. This time they're good news.

Matter of fact, I think that Eddie Shoebridge would be delighted when he hears from me.

What are you gonna tell him?

Well, my client has asked me to keep that confidential.

Who hired you to find this guy?

That's confidential also.

Sure like to help you, mister. Business ain't all that good around here.

I think you can help me. Is that right?


See, people around here have been telling me that Eddie Shoebridge is dead.

Well, if he's dead, looks like he ain't gonna be hearing all that good news you have to tell him, huh?

I think he's alive.

Sure don't keep this car very clean.

You want to tell me why you put a headstone on an empty grave, Maloney?

What headstone?

The one you paid $395 for back in 1965.

You owe me $2.47, mister.

Two weeks before that, you went to the county courthouse and asked for a certificate of death for Edward Shoebridge, and you were turned down.

You wanna give me your credit card?

No. Credit cards are out.

Like you, I prefer to pay in cash.

Now this one happens to be my personal favorite.

Isn't it exquisite?

Probably too expensive for me.

Can I help you, sir?

Excuse me. I'll be right back.

Mrs. Clay? Would you take care of Mrs. Cunningham for a few moments?

Certainly, Mr. Adamson.

I'm afraid I rather like it.

Hey, Eddie, you old son of a bitch.

If it's all the same to you, I prefer Arthur Adamson.

Now, what in the hell are you doing here?

Had to see you about something kind of urgent.

That's all, Eddie... Arthur.

Couldn't you have phoned me?

Some things you don't put on no telephone.

Hey, you got any booze around?

All right, Joseph. What is it this time?

New freezer for your wife?

Mother needs another operation?

Bookies threatened to kill you? What?

Come on, Eddie. You make me sound like some kind of sponger.

Not that I ain't grateful for all your favors.

Did I ever have a choice?

Okay, okay. Here it is.

First off, I gotta ask you a question.

Go ahead.

Now tell me. No shit now, Eddie. Can you think of any reason why anyone would be sniffing around in your life after all these years?

I can't think of any reason at all. Why?

Well, there's this guy comes around the garage today trying to locate Eddie Shoebridge.

Claims he's a lawyer who's got good news for you, Eddie.

Won't say what or who he's working for.

Calls himself McBride. I knew he was a phony the minute I seen him.

Police? No way. He's a real amateur.

I traced his license plates with the bureau.

Doesn't even drive his own car.

"Blanche Tyler, 17 Castle Heights Road."

What did he look like?

He's tall, thin, about 35.

He's always got a pipe on. Asking a lot of smart-ass questions.

What'd you tell him?

Nothing. Not a goddamn thing.

I didn't have to. He knew everything.

Fake headstone you had me put up.

How I tried to get you officially declared dead.

The son of a bitch says he thinks you're still alive.

He's looking for you, Eddie.

And any son of a bitch who's looking for you is looking for me.

Well, whatever he's up to, he won't find me.

You worry too much, Joseph.

Yeah, I worry too much, 'cause you only planned the fire and locked your old man and old lady in the bedroom.

I poured the gasoline. I lit the rags.

And I thank you.

The happiest day of my whole, inglorious childhood.

All right, you want to kid about it? It's all right with me.

I'm gonna track this guy down.

And then what?


You'll never change, will you?

You got no cause for complaint.

When you needed me, I was always there, wasn't I?

Look, put that thing away.

And listen to me.

I want you to go back to Barlow Creek. Do nothing. Say nothing.

Let me look into this matter in my own, quiet way.

And if I need you for anything, I'll contact you.


You're the boss, Arthur.

Isn't it touching how a perfect murder has kept our friendship alive all these years?

You better believe it.

I'm sorry to disturb you, Mr. Adamson.

There are two gentlemen here to see you from the police department.

Tell them I'll be right out.

Jesus Christ, Eddie!

Wait here.

Arthur Adamson. What can I do for you gentlemen?

Sorry to bother you, Mr. Adamson.

Andy Bush, Bureau of Inspectors, and this is Lieutenant Peterson.

Hi. My pleasure.

No doubt you've been reading or hearing about the Constantine kidnapping.

Well, I have a confession to make, Inspector.

When I heard of the size of that stone, my mouth watered.

Professionally speaking, of course.

Well, just so you don't feel discriminated against, Mr. Adamson, we're routinely covering every gem dealer and jewelry store in the city.

Well, I'm flattered.

Have you, by any chance, noticed anything out of the ordinary, Mr. Adamson?

Any unusual movement of large or small stones into the markets these last few days?

Absolutely not.

I see.

I take it then that you're going on the assumption that this ransom stone has been cut up into smaller gems?

That's correct, sir.

It makes a lot of sense.

We think so.

If I may presume to make a suggestion, it seems to me you gentlemen ought to be covering the antique and secondhand jewelry markets.

They buy from anyone.

Whereas we jewelers buy exclusively on the wholesale exchanges.

That's already being done, Mr. Adamson. Oh.

I think we've taken up enough of Mr. Adamson's time.

Well, I'm sorry I haven't been able to be of more help to you, gentlemen.

However, if I do hear of any unusual transactions in the marketplace, I'll be sure and contact you.

Yes, we'd appreciate that. Much obliged.

Take care.

Goodbye, sir.

Good day. And good luck.

Mrs. Clay, close up as soon as you wish.

I have some work to do in here, and I'll let myself out the back way.

Good night. Good night.

Your friend, Blanche Tyler, is a spiritualist.

A spiritualist?

That's what it says on her shingle.

Also, there's no one home.

A spirit is never at home. Get in.

What do you think we should do?

We'll wait.

We still don't know who the man is yet.


Must you? Mmm-hmm.

That must be her.

That must be the fellow with the pipe who called on Maloney.

A cab driver.

Lumley. Lumley, what's this? Where are you going?

I'm going home to my own bed where I can get some sleep.

No, you're not.

Blanche, is that all you've ever got on your mind?

What are you saving it for, a rainy day?

Hey, honey, you never know when you're gonna need it.

You're not being friendly, Lumley.

Blanche, I'm too pooped to pop. I'd be useless to you.

You're always useless to me!

You're always pooping out when I need you most! we can collect a huge sum of money. You call that being useless?

You know what I'm talking about.

Come on inside and stop being difficult.

Not tonight, Josephine. I'm out of here.

You're a fink!

If I'm a fink, honey, you're an ungrateful bitch.

What about tomorrow?

What about it?

You've got important work to do.

I want you to be sure about Eddie Shoebridge.

See that you find him and talk to him!

How many times are you going to tell me that? Huh?

And how many times am I gonna have to tell you that tomorrow I have to work in my cab?

So it'll wait till Sunday.

You better give me a quick synopsis. I'm confused.

Simple. A cab driver is shacked up with a sex-starved medium named Blanche Tyler.

And don't ask me why, but apparently, they're on the trail of some spook named Eddie Shoebridge.

Fortunately, not on the trail of your favorite kidnapper and mine.

How can you be so sure?

You did hear him talk about collecting a huge hunk of money.

Couldn't that be the reward that's on our heads?

You got yourself a point there, Frances, old girl.

And only time will tell whether it's any good.

One thing's certain.

We're not going to change our game plan. Not now.

Buy me a drink, Arthur.

A shiny car. A limousine?

Why does he drive so fast, Henry?

What's that on the seat beside him?

I hear the sound of a baby crying.

Quick, Henry, before he disappears from view, ask...

Yes, I know.

I see him now.

The uniform. A chauffeur.

Words. Henry, I need words.

Who? The what?

The Rainbird chauffeur?

Good heavens. Old Michael O'Keefe, our chauffeur.

Where is Michael going?

Henry, ask him where he's taking Harriet's baby.

Oh, more pictures are coming in too fast.

I can hardly make them out.

Henry, a graveyard, a headstone?

I don't like this, Henry.

A shoe. Bridge.

A shoe bridge? Oh, don't do this to me, Henry.

Speak to the chauffeur.

Oh, God, something's burning.

The house. Quick, Henry. The house is on fire.

Well, take me away from here.

I don't want to see this.

I can't bear the sound of their awful screaming.

Go back to the chauffeur, Henry.

Get Michael into our presence.

Miss Rainbird remembers him.

Yes, I remember.

And, Madame Blanche, listen to me.

Can you hear me?

I've remembered something else that could be terribly important.

Wait one minute, Henry, before you go.

Miss Rainbird deserves some kind of assurance about Harriet's child.

He's a man by now, and we have to know.

Is he happy, Henry?

Is he alive, and well, and happy?

Well, if you can't, you can't.

I certainly can't force you.

Yes, of course she'll understand.

Until next time then. Goodbye.

Goodbye, my love.

What happened?

Don't you remember?

Not a blessed thing.

It doesn't matter now.

Listen, listen, Madame Blanche.

Your Henry jogged my memory of something I'd completely forgotten.

When our poor old chauffeur, Mike, realized that he was dying, he wrote to me and said there was one person on Earth who had promised that he'd make it his business to know where Harriet's son was as long as he lived.

It was the parson who baptized the newborn baby.

And there's an additional thing I can tell you.

Don't tell me. Let me guess.


Not a penny. Not even 100 for expenses.

It's all or nothing, George, until I can produce his name and his present address.

Jesus, Blanche.

However, she gave me a marvelous clue.

Here we go again.

No, here you go again.

To the man who might tell you if Shoebridge is dead or alive.

Yeah, who's that?

Bishop Wood at St. Anselm's Cathedral.

Holy Christ, Blanche.

No, George, not him.

Bishop Wood at St. Anselm's Cathedral.

He was a parson once, and he baptized the Shoebridge baby.

Excuse me.


Do you know how I could make a date to see Bishop Wood?

If you want to make the appointment today, you'll have to make it through the chaplain.

Which one is the chaplain?

When the service is over, I'll show you where to go.

Oh, dear.

The bishop, where are they taking him?

I don't know. Do you think he's sick?

You know he's moving. You sure you gave him enough?

Just the usual dose. He looks so harmless.

You know, when I was a little kid living in that village, he always made me feel like I was something evil.

And look at me now.

Well, I feel years younger.

You know, one more like this one today, and we'll be naturally gray.

It was an incredible job.

You know, I really think it's worth more than a million.

Well, I'm sorry, darling, but I'm not going back and rewrite my ransom note that I left in my prayer book.

You'll have to be a good sport and settle for a million.

You were beautiful, Fran. Just beautiful.

I was scared.

I told you it'd be all right, didn't I?

People in church are inhibited.

They don't jump up, and run around, and make a lot of noise.

They're all too religiously polite.

Shall we go on congratulating ourselves, or would you like to talk about him now?


"Who." The man with the pipe.

So you saw him there then, huh?

Larger than life.

Larger than death, you mean.

There's no doubt about who he's after now.

What were you planning to do about him, dear, besides just not telling me?

I'm not planning to do anything about him.

Joe Maloney's been itching for that job. He's got it.

I'll phone him as soon as we put our guest in his quarters.

I was right about that silly cab driver.

For once in my life, I hate being right.

Well, how in the hell could he have known we were going to be there when you and I are the only two people in the world who knew that?

I've got a thought. It's a dumb one.

Well, say it.

Do you believe in ESP, extra sensory perception, all that sort of psychic phenomena?

What do you mean? Madame What's-Her-Name?

Blanche Tyler.


You and I know that that's off the wall, but can we afford to be wrong?

I'm afraid our two quarrelsome lovers are going to have to share a fatal accident.

Oh, my God.

But Maloney wouldn't be willing to do that, would he?

Of course he'd be willing. Gladly.

He'd believe he was protecting himself and his old buddy.

Well, I don't want to know about it. Okay?

Promise me, Arthur.

Come on, now, dear.

That's what's so exciting about all of this.

We move as one. Everything together. Nothing held back.

It was gross negligence, losing him that way.

He was all we had.

I didn't lose him, Blanche. He was kidnapped.

Why would anyone want to do that to a bishop?

For the ransom, dummy. It's a million dollars.

I can't get over it. You know that I was right there.

Forget about the million. What about our 10,000?

We've got nowhere to go now, Lumley.

And what am I gonna tell Miss Rainbird?

I suppose Henry and I are going to have to exhaust ourselves again doing your work for you.

What do you mean, my work?

My work is driving a goddamn cab, for Christ's sake.

And starting right this minute, that's exact...

That's exact what? Go ahead.

Answer the telephone.

Hello? Who?

Mr. Maloney? Barlow Creek? Go ahead.


Can you speak a little louder, Mr. Maloney?

I said I traced you through the license plates on that car your lawyer friend was driving.

I figured if you was still looking for some dope on Eddie Shoebridge, I might have something for you. Oh.

How come you changed your mind, Mr. Maloney?

I didn't say nothing to your man, 'cause I felt it was none of my business and none of his, but I been thinking about it, and how I could use the bread.

So for a little consideration, I'm willing to lead you to someone who knows Eddie Shoebridge's wife. It'll cost you a grand.

Oh, don't be silly, Mr. Maloney.

I have my lawyer right here beside me, and he says he'll give you $100 provided it leads to something.

Make it two.

All right. It's a deal.

Where do we meet?

You and that lawyer friend of yours, you drive up and meet me at Abe & Mabel's in two hours.

Abe & Mabel's?

Yes, it's a cafe up the road to Mt. Sherman, about five miles up off Route 22.

You know where it is? Yeah. Why so far away?

Can't we meet somewhere more convenient?

Well, this party I'm gonna take you to happens to be up in that area.

I see.

Mr. Maloney, are you admitting Edward Shoebridge is still alive?

I ain't saying a thing till I see the color of your money.

In two hours.

What do you think?

Smells fishy to me.

I know.

But even fish smells good when you're starving to death.

What do we have to lose? He's the only clue left.

You got $200 on you?

You know me better than that. Of course not.

Fix me another one of these.

You don't need another one. You already got one.

We only got two hours to get there.

I'll eat in the car. Come on.

You're impossible.

A couple of beers, please.

He must be late.

Thank you, dear.

You kids sit over there.

Well, how was Sunday school today?


Five Cokes, please.

We didn't make any noise.

That's right. That's why you're here.

Don't blame me.

Did I say anything?

Hello. I'm sorry I'm late.

I'll get you a chair.

That's all right. I'll sit over here.

I'll join you.

Look at that. Nice arrangement.

Don't be obscene, George.


Thank you, my dear.

Just see that you keep your head screwed on straight, will you?

He's not coming.

Well, that's the end of that.

George, what's the big hurry?

Just slow down a little, will you, please?

I told you not to drive so fast, George!

I don't know what's wrong. The accelerator seems to be sticking.

George, for God's sake, slow up, will you?

I can't.

My hamburger's coming up.

The accelerator is stuck.

Use the brakes!

They don't work. What?

The brakes don't work.

What do you mean?


George! Come on, woman.

Don't grab me, for God's sake!

It's not me. It's the brakes don't work.

I'm getting violently ill, George.

You're choking me, Blanche, for Christ's sake!

George! Do something!

Put your foot down.

Grab the brake! Reach down and pull the hand brake.

Pull on it! I am pulling!

Get your hands off the steering wheel. Now, pull on it!

I am pulling. Pull it.

Come on, Blanche.

Get your hand off the goddamn wheel!

Get your goddamn foot down!

Need to see to...

I gotta get off this road.

Blanche, just hang on, baby.

Wasn't that fun?

Damn you, George Lumley!

What's the matter with you?

It wasn't me. It's Maloney.

He wasn't driving!

Of course, he wasn't driving, but he screwed up the car and broke the brakes.

Maloney? Yes.

What? Do you think it's a coincidence, Blanche? Huh?

Your car is gonna be out of commission, looks like, for a couple days.

So let's go find us another way to get home.

George. Are you all right?

I think so. How about you?

I'm okay.

I'm sorry.

Do you really think Maloney wanted us dead? Mmm-hmm.

But why in the name of God would anyone want to do that to us?

I don't know, but you can bet it has something to do with your mysterious friend, Eddie Shoebridge.

Maloney's probably got him buried in his backyard.

Doesn't want us to find out.

That way.

Hi there. Sorry I'm late.

Congratulations on the nice job you did on our car, Maloney.

What are you two doing standing in the middle of the road?

You know perfectly well what we're doing on the road, Maloney.

You must be Blanche Tyler. Pleased to meet you.

Where's your car?

Let's just say it ain't exactly in running order. You know what I mean?

Well, hop in. I'll give you a lift to the nearest station.

No, thank you. We don't ride in hearses.

What do you think I came up here for, the fun of it?

And you want me to take you to this party that knows Eddie Shoebridge's wife?

Why don't you just go ahead by yourself this time, Maloney?

We'll skip it.

He's all charm.

Who's that?

That's Maloney. He's after us.

Come on.

Hey, guys, let's get the hell out of here.

We better get the police.

And lose our $10,000?

May I be of some help to you, madam?

I'd like to see some bracelets.

Any particular kind?

Do you have anything with turquoise or perhaps pearls?

Yes, please be seated.

Anything wrong with our houseguest?

He's fine.

I gave him a very nice lunch and a fresh bottle of wine.

Maybe one of these will appeal to you?

Are those seed pearls?

That's right.

What are you doing here?

These look like freshwater pearls.

The message has come through on KFAG.

They've located the stone we asked for.

In New York. Harry Winston. 53 carats.

These are very nice. How much are they?

$315, including tax.

When do we make the pickup?

Tomorrow night, 9:30.

Good. Now go on home.

Would it be possible for you to set these aside so that I can bring in my husband, and he can look at them?

Of course, madam.

Now for the bad news.

Take a look at this.

Incompetent bastard. He blew it.

Now we'll have to eliminate these two ourselves.


That's right.

Tomorrow night, right after we return our guest.

Oh, I can't. You must.

Remember, share and share alike.

You stop it! Stop it!

Did you decide on this one?

Yeah, that'll be fine.

I'll have it wrapped for you. Thank you.

But it was more than that, much more than that, that you left behind as your precious gift to life.

Yes, Joseph Maloney, you were a generous man.

You gave of your heart and soul.

You gave the very best that was in you, and no more than that can be asked of mortal man on this Earth.

You loved your wife dearly.

You bestowed upon your dear mother and father all the care, all the attention, patience and comfort that they needed in the sunset of their lives.

And those of us who are left behind to grieve for you, Joseph, can only bow to the divine judgment of our Lord who has chosen to take you away from us in this cruel accident.

Oh, how great the holiness of our God!

For He knoweth all things, and there is not anything save He knows it.

And He cometh into the world that He may save all men if they will harken unto His voice.

For behold, He suffereth the pains of all men, yea, the pains of every living creature, both men, women, and children, who belong to the family of Adam.

And he suffereth this that the resurrection might pass upon all men, that all might stand before him at the great and judgment day.

Can't you leave me alone?

Isn't it enough that you killed him?

No, that's not so, Mrs. Maloney.

It was the other way.

You. You started it all coming here and messing in things that were none of your business.

Now go away. Please!

Mrs. Maloney, I have to talk to you.

He's dead and buried. There's nothing to talk about.

Why didn't he want me looking for Eddie Shoebridge?

I am not listening to you. Get away from me!

Mrs. Maloney, your husband tried to kill me, and you were in on it, weren't you?


Well, then why are you always running away from me? Is that why?


Do you realize that you are an accessory to an attempted murder?

I had nothing to do with that. I don't know what you...

Perhaps the police would think that you did have something to do with it.

You want me to go to the police about it?

For God's sake. You wouldn't do that.

Look, just tell me. Where is Eddie Shoebridge?

I can't.

Mrs. Maloney, where is he? Please tell me.

There is no Eddie Shoebridge.

He went up in smoke 25 years ago and came down in the city.

He calls himself Arthur Adamson.

Arthur Adamson?

If he finds out I told you, he'll kill me.

Now, go away and don't ever come near me again.

Fake! Fake!

Well, wait a second now. You're the one that's exaggerating.

No, no, now, I'll give you two or three days maybe I missed, but never more than that.

Tell him it's deeply important.

Go on. Stand up.

Why me? What makes you think that it's me that ran up all the extra mileage?

What about that little asshole Herbie, or Al, the one on the day shift?

I understand. I'll be there.

Yes, I promise I'll be there.

The answer's no.

He says I must work the shift, and I must work it tonight.

And do me a favor, Blanche.

Please don't give me a hard time.

You didn't put up much of a fight.

Hey, honey, look, after all the goofing off I've been doing on your behalf, I'm within a gnat's eyelash of losing my cab and getting kicked right out of the company.

Lumley, you're thick! You won't have to drive a cab if we can get this thing over and done with and collect the money.

If, darling, if. You're always giving me ifs.

I can't eat ifs and neither can you while Julia Rainbird and you are waltzing around in the great beyond.

I mean, come on, sweetheart.

The least I can do is show up for work every now and then.

After all, didn't I give you the guy's name?

Yeah, but the phone book is full of Arthur Adamsons. Look at them.

It's very simple. All you need to do is find out the right one.

It's a snap. The one that's close to 40 years old and trembles a little bit at the name Eddie Shoebridge.

Easy. We do that tomorrow.

Now would be much better.

A bird in the hand, Lumley. Please.

Sweetheart, the only bird that's gonna be in my hand, and I'm very sorry to say this, is a steering wheel from 4:00 to midnight.

Sure. Why should I get a kiss?

Just when I was beginning to think you weren't impossible.

Maybe I'll do it without you.

The hell you will!

Come on, now, Blanche. Please.

This Shoebridge fellow's gone to a lot of trouble not to be found.

Now you got no idea what kind of trouble you could get into.

Yeah, well, whatever it is, he'll forget about it when he hears about the millions he's coming into.

Blanche, come on. Just sit down on your pretty little behind.

And I must say, it is quite an...

No, it is. Very attractive little behind.

And just wait for me, okay?

And tonight when I get home, we will...

Right. Very nice. Plot our strategy. Know what I mean, darling?

Who needs him?

You wouldn't be Arthur Adamson, would you?

Excuse me.

Excuse me!

Hello. Are you Arthur Adamson?

Hey, Art!


A. A?

I'm sorry. We're just closing.

I understand. I'm not shopping. Is Mr. Adamson around?

No, I'm afraid not. But if you come back tomorrow...

All right. But just to be sure I have the right Mr. Adamson, he is a gentleman of about 40, I trust?

Yes, that's about right.

Oh, that's the first encouraging news I've had all afternoon.

Now isn't there someplace I might reach him without delay?

You mean tonight? Yes.

Well, he usually goes directly home from here.

But tonight would be very bad, because I believe he's giving a party.

I know he left unusually early for some such reason.

Isn't there something I can tell him for you in the morning?

This is personal, rather personal.

Oh, I see.

Perhaps you'd like to leave him a note.

A note? Very good.

Yes. Come this way.

Excuse me.

Thank you.

Is anything the matter?

I was just thinking. Instead of leaving this note here, it might be better if I sent Mr. Adamson a telegram tonight.

What's his address, please?

Well, I don't...

It's all right. We're friends.

1001 Franklin Street. 1001 Franklin.

Thank you very much. You've been very kind.

You're a Capricorn, aren't you?

No, I'm a Leo.

That's what I thought.

Pete, hi.

Hello, there, Blanche, baby.

Have you seen George?

Yeah, he just left a few minutes ago, but he'll be back.

Took a party of four out to River Valley. River Valley?

Oh, dear. That could take all night.

Easily. What's up?

Would you give him a message for me? Sure thing.

Just tell him I found him.

You found him?

That's right. He lives at 1001 Franklin.

1001 Franklin.

That's where he lives, and that's where I'm going now.

You found him, and that's where he lives, and that's where you're going now.

Thanks, Pete. Any time, Blanche.

You wanna go over the new pickup spot once again?

I know it by heart.

Are you all right?

I will be.

You sure?

Have to be there at 9:30. Let's get going.

Bishop Wood, it's time to go.

Have you your vestments on?

Yes, but I haven't finished the chicken.

Oh, I'm sorry, Your Excellency.

Now, here's what I want you to do.

Place the armchair in the center of the room, facing away from the door, and seat yourself in it.

You're going to be comfortably put to sleep.

But it'll last only for a short while.

Thank you very much. You are most considerate.

Let me know when you're ready.

By the way, I haven't quite finished that book you were kind enough to let me have.

May I take it along?

With our fingerprints on it? Tsk, tsk, tsk.

Nice try, Your Excellency.

Thank you. Don't bother then. I'm ready.

All right, I'll be turning your light off now.

We mustn't be late. See who it is and be careful.

It's her. That woman, Blanche Tyler.

This is incredible!

Is that cab driver with her?

She's alone.

If I didn't have to make this pickup in 35 minutes...

Well, what are we going to do?


Until later tonight.

She's gone.

Come on. Let's go.

Hurry, hurry, hurry!

I thought you said... I know.

Mr. Adamson?

Watch him.

Oh, Mr. Adamson. How lucky I am not to have missed you.

Apparently, you didn't hear me at the front door.


I am Madame Blanche Tyler, the spiritualist.

Good evening, honey.

Madame Blanche, I wonder if I might suggest you to remove your car from our driveway.

You see, we're terribly late for an appointment.

Yes, when you hear why I've come, Mr. Adamson.

Or should I say Shoebridge?

You won't mind being late at all.

My dear lady, I know exactly why you've come here.

How could you?

And exactly why you and your friend, that cab driver...

You know George?

...have been sniffing along my trail like two little eager bloodhounds these past few weeks.

I had no idea, Mr. Adamson.

Well, all right, Madame Blanche, you found me.

Music to my ears.

And I'm perfectly willing to listen to your demands, whatever they might be, but not right now.

No demands, Mr. Adamson. No, no, no! Hardly that.

Julia Rainbird wants nothing from you but the privilege of making you heir to the entire Rainbird fortune.

The whole, lovely millions and millions of it.

Now if she made any demands at all, they were on me to find you.

Through psychic means, of course.

Let me get this straight.

Is that the only reason you and your friend have been, shall we say, investigating me?

Oh, yes, and don't think it's been easy.

Oh, Mr. Adamson, you've given George and me the devil's own time of it.

Tracing you from a foundling baby to a young boy named Shoebridge to a man named Adamson.

Oh, but, Mr. Adamson, here you are. Here I am.

It's a happy moment for us all, isn't it?

It's the bishop.

Does anyone know that you've come here?

No one, no.

Anyone? No, no.

No. Not a soul.

Not even George, so...

You have nothing to worry about, Mr. Adamson.

I promise.

I won't breathe a word to anyone.

It looks like Miss Tyler needs some rest.

Will you do as I say?

No. No.

Unlock the door.

Cheer up, Fran.

Let's go get the new diamond for our chandelier.


It's gorgeous.

And now for Madame Blanche.

Oh, my God.


If I'm talking too much, perhaps it's because you're not talking at all.

It's my stomach, Arthur.

Murder doesn't agree with it.

You think I'm looking forward to it?

If Joe Maloney had been more efficient, they'd both be dead by now.

You can have my share, Arthur.

You can keep both diamonds all to yourself if you'll just end it.

I'll tell you what I'll do.

If you help me carry Sleeping Beauty up out of the cellar and load her into our car, and drive her out to some deserted road where a suicide can take place, I promise you we'll talk this thing over. Okay?

What about the cab driver?

Well, if she was able to find us, I'm sure he can, too.

He'll walk right into our hands.

Your hands, Arthur, not mine.

Don't you think we ought to go down and take a look at her?

It's been a while since we gave her that shot.

You do it. Okay.

You'll be happy to know she's still unconscious.



I'll put this end in her exhaust pipe and the other end in the window.

That way, it'll look like suicide.

Better go and get her now.

I'll take her in our car. You follow in hers.

You take hold of her feet.

Jesus, she's heavy.


Got them.

Blanche, you faked that one beautifully.

You are still the champ.

Thank you, George.

Do you realize how much the reward is for those two?

Yes. But do you realize how much more the reward would be if we could find the diamonds and turn them in?

What's the matter with you?

Blanche, what's the matter?

What is it?

Blanche, you did it! You are psychic!

What am I doing here on the stairs?

You're not a fake. You actually found one. Look.

I did?

Now, I'll get the police on the phone and give them our good news, and call Miss Rainbird and give her the bad.

Operator, can I have the police?