(man) This is the story of my brave, foolish friend, Harry Deane.
Mr Deane's work as an art curator in London had gone, he felt, largely unappreciated.
He told me of countless insults suffered at the hands of his employer, Lionel Shabandar, media tycoon, art collector and an absolute brute of a fellow.
Do not touch my person. You!
Yes, my lord? Idiot! Give me your boot.
40 years ago, I'd have called this Shabandar a cad.
Now the prevailing parlance for a fellow of this type is, I believe, shitbag.
This bloody thing is not operational.
(man) Ah, well, that's because, I believe, my lord...
Because you believe what, you steaming turd?
Now he would have his revenge, for Mr Deane had a plan.
To be grandiose, a heist.
To be accurate, a bit of a thieving.
This is where I came in.
I am, you see, a rather capable forger of fine art.
I was pleased my little hobby might prove of use to him.
The plan relied on securing the aid of one PJ Puznowski.
"Find this Puznowski," Mr Deane told me, and it would all fall nicely into place.
Excuse me. We were given to understand that there was an equestrian tourney in the area.
Well, we got a law attorney, don't know his religion, up downtown Alpine.
He's a fairy.
Moved here from Albuquerque, it'll be five, no, six years ago, come May.
Not that I judge.
How terribly interesting, but is there a tournament of some description with various rowdy goings-on?
Rough-riding, bronc-busting sort of thing.
It's a competition. A test of skill involving farm animals.
(announcer) Alright, Pecos!
This is the West of the Pecos Rodeo, featuring America's number-one team, Team Ghostrider with Tim Lepard and his cowboy monkeys.
Go on, Suzie! Go get 'em!
And it's brought to you by Charlie Goodnight and all those good people down at Charlie Goodnight's Implements 'n' Feed.
Let's put some hands together for the monkeys!
And first out of the chute is PJ Puznowski from down Terlingua way.
Gonna try to put a rope around Rodney from the Lazy L Sickle Y Bar Ranch.
And, folks, Rodney ain't gonna be heppin' any.
That's 11.7 for PJ Puznowski!
That's her. Alright, Jammies!
# If you wanna go #
# Let's go rodeo #
# If you wanna rock #
What makes you so certain she'll be game?
Good God, she works in a poultry processing plant for minimum wage.
You think she'll turn this down? How much are you going to tell her?
Just as much as she needs to know.
(woman) That's nice.
This is Major Nigel Nelson-Wingate, King's African Rifles, retired.
Sunday painter. Madam.
(Harry) Now, the simple question is, how would you like to make half a million pounds sterling?
I have a little plan.
(chauffeur) Have a good day, sir. Shut up.
Sorry, sir. Bloody hell, man, be careful!
(woman) Shabandar Media.
I wonder if you might approve this last photo layout for the Horse and Hunt.
Is there a problem, sir?
Slazenger, give me a loupe.
Get me Harry Deane.
Old man just called me up.
Yes, he's expecting you.
(Lionel) No, no, no. Oh, I am sorry, sir.
What? Come in. Have them proof it quick as possible.
We'll try and get it into next month's. Deane, sit down.
Have a look at these.
I've sent the plane to collect this woman.
Arrives at Heathrow in about an hour. You'll pick her up.
Interesting. Oh, I see, the painting.
A reproduction, though, in my opinion. Bloody hell. Based on what?
On the fact that it's hanging on the wall of a caravan, sir, in Texas.
Yes, precisely. But whose caravan, you plank?
The cowgirl, sir. Puznowski, Deane.
PJ Puznowski. Think, man.
You stupid bastard, what!
(Harry) Welcome to London.
Before we throw you into the thick of it, I should give you a bit of the history.
On September 15th, 1891, during the course of one very productive day, the master lmpressionist finished two oil paintings:
"Haystacks, Dawn", "Haystacks, Dusk".
"Haystacks, Dawn" was traded amongst various private collectors over the years.
"Haystacks, Dusk" was put on display in Paris at the Jeu de Paume.
That is, until the Nazi occupation of 1941.
"Haystacks, Dusk" was carted off to Carinhall, the private residence of Air Marshal Hermann Göring, for the delectation of his eyes only.
In 1945, Carinhall is overrun by the first division of Patton's army, the Big Red One.
The point platoon is led by Sergeant Brian "Bulldog" Puznowski, the Killer of Kilgore, Texas.
For the next 67 years, the whereabouts of Haystacks, Dusk has proved one of the art world's most tantalising mysteries.
And what is all this to Shabandar?
A man of outsized appetites and enormous enthusiasms, and no few eccentricities; an avid nudist, a case in point.
Owing to his considerable fortune and my not inconsiderable knowledge, he has assembled the most important collection of lmpressionist masterpieces in private hands.
The prize? Haystacks, Dawn.
Acquired at auction 20 years ago in spirited bidding.
The bid is with the gentleman on the aisle. The bid is £8 million.
(man) Good heavens. I have eight and a quarter.
The bid is with the gentleman on my left.
The bid is against you, sir. The bid is eight and a quarter million pounds.
Shabandar rolled all his competitive impulses into a ball and outbid his great rival, Akira Takagawa.
He purchased the painting for £11 million.
His ownership of the one has merely whet his appetite for the other.
For years now, Shabandar has been seeking Haystacks, Dusk with a passion bordering on monomania.
When he saw that photograph, Shabandar conducted his own investigation into your family history.
Best to let the fish work the hook in himself, eh, Major?
Much the best, Mr Deane.
He will want to negotiate the price with you.
You must stick at 12 million.
He'll pay it, no matter how much he protests.
Be firm. Be polite, but firm.
He will try to charm you. He will try to impress you.
(Lionel) Ms Puznowski! He will try to...
An honour! Welcome, welcome.
Painting in the gallery, men.
I knew a Koznowski once, charming man, no relation I suppose.
Baron Koznowski. Quite the equestrian. Man had horse blood in his veins.
This way, please.
Right, let's take a look, shall we?
Mere formality, of course.
What do you think, Deane?
Yes, I'll need a few moments, sir. Oh, yes. Quite.
(Lionel) You may not realise it, Ms Puznowski, but Harry Deane knows Monet like I know...
Actually, I don't know anything quite like that.
The artist has used a light ground true to Monet's habit.
The palette is very limited, no blacks or browns.
Cerulean blue and cadmium yellow to achieve his broken colour.
And unlike the heartbreaking fraud perpetrated on the Austrians, the signature is correct.
It is Monet and it is very fine indeed.
And that, Mr Deane, is good enough for me.
Shall we discuss terms?
(woman) System armed.
(meows) Hello, kitty.
£500,000 and your ticket home. First class, of course.
No, no, no. No, no, no. Please, do not thank us.
It is the Major and I who should be thanking you for the self-possession, the good humour and the élan with which you played your small but vital part.
Eh, Major? Hear, hear, sir. Jolly well played.
(Harry) We should be arriving at Heathrow in mere minutes.
(Major) Mr Deane.
Mr Deane? Mr Deane.
Shouldn't have to tell her any more than that.
Quite right. But you will have to talk to her.
Back in a flash.
(Major) Mr Deane, for all his talents, was given to one particular flaw.
He saw the world as he wished to see it.
But, as we know, an optimist is simply a man who hasn't heard the news.
As my time in the African Rifles had taught me, one ignored the elephant in the room at one's peril.
Half a million pounds sterling. Half a million...
Hello. I believe the lady said get lost.
(Major) I'll take the chunky one!
(man) Gonna open a can of whup-ass on you now.
Major, for heaven's sake, just be gentle.
I'm trying to get... No, that's enough.
Those people are barbarians. Other countries, other customs.
How are we going to meet this woman? I remember one night in Botswana...
She's surrounded by a Cro-Magnon Swiss Guard.
This wasn't the plan, Major. How are we going to get back on plan?
You boys OK, huh?
Faces still on rightways round?
Yes, thank you. All present and correct.
(PJ) I do apologise on Merle. He just loves a brawl.
Nose been broke so many times, he had the cartilage taken out so there wouldn't be downtime between bar fights.
An expedient we might consider if we spend much more time in Texas.
Heigh ho, friend. I wouldn't recommend it.
May I draw your attention to the matter which brought us here to meet you?
(PJ) So you're saying that's like $800,000 American? Wow!
(Harry) We don't have the money yet.
(PJ) But it's gonna work out, right? (Harry) As long as we stay on plan.
(PJ) Sounds like you really wanna stick it to this guy. Here we are.
(man on TV) Inside is a man who weighs half a ton.
Michael was fork-lifted onto a stretcher for transporting killer whales.
Hey, Grandma! Alright, well, here it is. Take your pick.
Plenty of walls to choose from. Good morning.
Major, if you'd like to set your camera up over there.
Perhaps if your grandmother would move over for a moment.
Grandma Merle, these nice people wanna take a picture here in the house.
Is everyone in this state named Merle?
There you go. Good God. Is she unwell?
Oh, no, she's fine. Grandma Merle just chews.
Ms Puznowski, could you slide a little closer to your grandmother?
Ready, ladies? Say cheese.
(woman) Hard facts, honest reporting. Shabandar.
His door is rather firmly shut at the moment.
Would you care to wait? Yes, thank you, I'll wait.
(woman) Lionel Shabandar explains his formula for success in his startling new autobiography, "Me".
Welcome to the jungle. We're here to help you cut through...
Shabandar Media. Creating...
Go right in, Mr Deane.
Your lordship... (Lionel) Yes, Deane?
That's a very nice suit, sir.
I was leafing through the advance on the Horse and Hunt the other day.
The layout pages. Why on earth were you doing that?
Well, as a matter of fact, it's... Well, why be coy?
It's a simple explanation, so simple, in fact, that I...
Well, it's my favourite of your... of your publications, sir.
Our publications here at Shabandar Media.
Without wanting to overstate things, I would say it may be my favourite... publication ever, without the... qualification of Shabandar Media, et cetera, et cetera.
Do you ride? Good God, no.
That is, I have ridden.
A birthday party. They had ponies. Little Shetland ponies.
We traipsed around in a circle in the garden.
I was, oh, six, seven years old.
It was my friend Bobby Montaigne's birthday party.
He's a speech pathologist now.
And how well I remember it. Made a deep impression, sir.
Is there something I can help with? Yes, sir, there is. Thank you.
You see, I snuck an advance peek, as I said, at the Horse and Hunt.
I was struck most particularly by the piece on this PJ Puznowski, the Texan horse person.
Equestrienne, not a mutant or a mythical creature.
One imagines a... well, the bosom of a woman and the hindquarters of...
Did you happen to see it, sir? Yes.
I was struck by one particular picture.
Yes. Exactly, sir. A reproduction, of course.
Really? You think so, sir? Based on what, if I may ask?
Based on the fact that it was hanging on the wall of a bloody caravan in Texas.
There is that.
Is that all? Yes, sir.
But shouldn't we check, do research? I could put together a memo.
One of your memos, yes. The painting is so rarely reproduced, I don't even know if I've seen a reproduction.
And it's the very incongruity of it, hanging, as you so discerningly...
Fine. Ring this woman up and ask if she has an original Monet on the wall in Shitbird, Texas.
(Major) Did he bite, our little fishy? He's not hooked yet.
But he's circling the bait. Not sure I follow you, old thing.
He's seen the painting and he's considering being intrigued.
Considering? Considering being, yes.
Where's the girl? In a hotel in Dallas.
Why is she in a hotel in Dallas? The passport office is there.
It turns out that the dear girl's never been out of the country.
Now, ordinarily, a passport takes eight weeks, but they can expedite.
Pay a couple of hundred pounds, they'll hurry it along.
That's very nice of them. Couple of hundred.
Your post, Mr Deane.
(Harry) It is extraordinary, isn't it?
Well, it's very amusing if you should turn out to have been right.
I am here to amuse, sir. So shall we bring her in?
Who? The cowgirl, sir. PJ Puznowski.
Her grandfather, and all this confirmed in the US military records, Bulldog Puznowski.
Yes, yes, I read the memo, but why would I bring her in?
If the painting is real and if she wants to sell it, I certainly don't want to seem overly eager. No, no, no, no.
Ring her up and tell her if ever she finds herself in London, I'd be happy to carve out a few minutes for a chat.
Let her invest in the deal coming off.
I see, sir. It's brilliant. Nonsense, Deane. It's elementary.
(Harry) Unrestricted economy fare. That's what they call it, sir.
Of course, they use the word "economy" with a certain looseness.
Looseness? It's a positive leap of the poetic imagination.
Very good, sir. Well put.
Still, we can't count our pennies. Oh, no, sir.
Not with millions in the offing.
There she is. Great to meet you. You take care.
Hey, boys! Hi!
Wow. That was a very comfortable flight.
Excellent. Welcome to London.
Thank you. Oh, thank you, Major.
Yes, still holding.
Can't see her today? Any time today?
At the end of the day, could he see her? Needn't take long.
No, I understand. No, I understand.
Hey! Is this bothering you?
Not at all.
I'm going to make some tea. OK.
What you got hanging here? Sorry?
On your wall. Is this a Monet?
Alfred Sisley. They were contemporaries.
It's of his son, Pierre.
The boy was ten at the time, I think.
Sure is small.
It cost me a ridiculous amount of money. Rather put me in a hole.
I like it.
It's very beautiful.
(knocking at door)
Good morning. You know what time it is, mate?
Yes, Mr Knowles. It's just coming...
(PJ) Psst. Come on, wake up. He can see us now.
(woman) Creating and distributing news, sports and entertainment.
(PJ) Come on, let's go. (woman) It's a jungle out there.
The lion's share of the world's media.
Shabandar. Hear us roar.
(Harry) Let me do the talking. (PJ) Sure.
Howdy. Delighted to meet you.
Good grief, Deane. What happened to you?
A fellow in the pub expressed a preference for Matisse over Cézanne.
Had to set him straight. I'm joking, of course.
Love Matisse. Use of colour.
No, bent down to pick something up, bookshelf in the way. Hello, bango.
So, shall we sit?
So, how do you find London?
Well, everybody knows the answer to that one.
You turn right at Greenland.
Indeed. And where are you staying?
Er, well, one of them, erm, big hotels downtown.
I can't remember the name of it. You remember, Harry?
Connaught. Me neither.
But it's one of them big ones. The Connaught.
We spoke about the Connaught Hotel.
That's a stupid name. Staff seems pretty can-do.
(Lionel) You certain about the Connaught?
Sorry? It's fine, I suppose.
But I'll make a few calls, get our friend in at the Savoy.
I much prefer it. Sir, there's really no need.
Let him do it, Harry. I'm sure the service is plenty good there, too.
Good anywhere, I reckon, if you got the do-re-mi.
And I don't mind shelling it out.
I guess Harry here told you about this here painting I'm aiming to unload.
Ms Puznowski feels that in light of the precedential value of the piece...
(Lionel) You're hardly her agent, Deane.
And anyway, Ms Puznowski seems perfectly capable of expressing herself.
(PJ) Well, yes, sir. (chair bangs)
Yes, sir. English is my mother tongue.
But you don't have to Ms Puznowski me.
No, you can call me PJ. Or Jammies.
That's my rodeo handle. Or Philomena, which is my real name.
Well, thank you, PJ. And you may call me Lionel.
Let's hope doing business on a first-name basis will be conducive to plain speaking and clear understanding.
Amen to that, Lionel.
Well, then, let's get to it.
I want £12 million for this here picture.
That's 6,000 tons if I've done my math right.
And maybe you'd like to throw in a nice four-by-four to haul it off in, with an auto tranny, a CD deck and graduated tint on the windshields.
Please and thank you.
Well, that's marvellous, and tell me, PJ, what makes you think this painting is worth £12 million?
Well, Lionel, first off, it's oil. Ain't it, Harry?
Indeed, the medium is oil, and its provenance is promising.
But I would like to take it to your country house to compare it to its mate.
(Lionel) Is it being shipped in? Arrives Tuesday.
(Lionel) You can run it up to the house.
We'll take a look at it at the gala on Wednesday.
You've never been to the house. No, sir, no. I...
(Lionel) I have an annual party up at the estate.
That sounds nice. That's another thing I got going in my favour.
You've got this other Haystacks, and the man ain't churning 'em out, what with his being dead an' all.
So, looks like if you want the set, I got you by the short and curlies.
I don't think it's a situation of one party trying to subdue the other.
Nonsense. It's a pleasure doing business with someone who knows her position and is able to clearly set it out.
Unfortunately I have another appointment at 11 o'clock.
But I believe this is worth pursuing.
Let's see if we mightn't find some common ground.
Why, thank you. A gentleman.
I'm booked the rest of the day and I have a business dinner.
But a thought occurs to me. Perhaps you might be my dinner companion.
We'd have time to talk and you might even help me with a business matter.
Thank you. That would be delightful.
Don't bother yourself, Deane. I'm sure PJ and I can handle things.
To plain speaking.
Yes, sir. Going down.
Shall we say eight o'clock? Sure.
Pick you up at?
The Savoy. Why not?
(Major) As I drove the two of them to the most expensive hotel in London, I was rather taken by Ms Puznowski.
Her invigorating lack of decorum would have enraptured my younger self.
Still, for the successful execution of the plan, Mr Deane would require a firm hand to bring her into line.
I won't deny I doubted the strength of his wrists.
(Harry) I don't think I need to remind you, do I, of the consequences of room service?
(PJ) Uh-huh. This place is absurdly expensive.
Well, this was all your idea.
Not your actually staying here. It's not my fault neither.
We told him our story and either we keep laying on the bamboozlement or we might as well pack it in and go home.
Mamacita! I bet this place has cable.
What are you doing?
The Major gave me a rag to dry this and, good God, I believe it has motor oil on it.
Hello. Do you have a single room?
Very, very small. Tiny, in fact. Just for one evening.
Certainly, sir. I'll just take a look.
Not even the whole evening necessarily. We could just use it for...
We are rather hemmed in at the moment, sir.
All I see for this evening is a very comfortable suite overlooking the river.
We'll take it.
Hold on. What's the tariff?
Hoss, if you're gonna nickel-and-dime me, we can call this whole thing off.
I'm beginning to have second thoughts. Why would you have second thoughts?
There's moral issues. Right and wrong.
What would my momma have said if she saw me deceiving somebody with you and your little Major?
The Major has made quite a mess here. It's really embarrassing.
(PJ) Don't you feel a little ashamed? I'm not remotely ashamed.
Just run that through. Sir, I already have.
There seems to be a problem with this card. Perhaps you've exceeded the limit.
Bloody hell. Alright, try the... This is a mistake. Try the American Express.
I don't know why I worry. You ain't up to it anyway.
You or the Major. (Harry) The Major is quite capable.
(laughs) Well! What? What's the laugh for?
Laughing at the Major? He's handled better than you.
He's been in any number of sticky spots in and out.
Should you choose to play coy this late in the game, the Major would be aroused and I could not be held responsible for the consequences.
From what I've seen, ain't nothin' gonna arouse the Major.
Very good, sir. This one worked brilliantly.
There you are. That's room 344.
This evening, it is very important to stay on topic. Keep it businesslike.
The man is not above mixing the professional with the personal to get what he wants. What's that supposed to mean?
Don't make me say it. The man is... Well, he's a cad.
He's up to something. He excluded me from your little date.
Hell, maybe I don't mind being seduced, chased after by a multi-zillionaire.
I don't know, that don't sound so terrible.
What a depraved point of view. The man's money makes him attractive?
Yeah. Momma always called money and manners the pork and beans of personality.
What an odd woman. There we are. 344, right?
And I beg you, do not abuse the minibar.
It's a Ming. (PJ) Harry.
That's your side. This is a real nice car, Lionel.
It's nicer than my house. Indeed.
(PJ) Would you classify this as a limo?
(Lionel) Well, I suppose you could.
Yes. Good to see you.
Martin Zaidenweber, this is PJ Puznowski.
This is her? It's so nice to meet you. It's very nice to see you too.
Are you excited to be here in London? I'm so excited. It's my first time.
No! No, come on.
Now, I have heard about this painting. I mean, what a story.
Almost incredible. Almost incredible.
I thought it'd be good for you two to meet.
Martin will be examining your painting.
He's going to curate my private collection.
Wow. I thought that that's what Harry did.
For the moment, but the man's a bit of an idiot.
Don't you think? No, no, no, Shabandar.
No. Harry is a good man.
Not much of an eye, but a good man.
I am for five years a director of the Kunst Museum in Köln.
Und before that I curated the collection of Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza.
But the Baron's collection is... heavily Flemish.
Titian, Rubens, all the women, so saftig und heftig.
I mean, how many years can you spend looking at the Walloons, huh?
Anyway, now I prefer the lmpressionists.
Und I'm now considered as the top man on Monet.
Say, your English is pretty darn good there, Martin.
I mean, for someone from the country of Germany.
Oh, thank you. Well, I speak eight languages fluently.
Und I'm internet-savvy, but you have to be these days, don't you think?
I pluck chickens, so there ain't a lot of call for me to be traipsing around tweetin' and bloggin'.
I'm unfamiliar with this expression, "I pluck chickens".
Anyway, tell me this remarkable thing.
This painting was hanging always in your house, ever since you can remember, even as a little kinder?
So, Harry's out on his butt, huh? Harry is, as you say, out on his butt.
He's a bit of a disappointment, really.
Something a little desperate about the man.
I don't know. A little shifty, a little weak.
Not that bright.
I like to look a man in the eye, "Lionel Shabandar, how do you do?"
"This is what I should like. What do you fancy?" Just have out with it.
It's easier to live up to that when you're rich and can call all the shots.
Character is tested in many ways. Money brings its own burdens.
You, I'm certain, will pass every test. Deane, I don't know.
(PJ) I think maybe you're just not looking deep enough.
Like Momma said, if you can't tell the difference between a pig and a javelina, well, you could lose a big old chunk out of your ass.
(Major) Mr Deane was a proud man in a difficult moment.
His credit exhausted, his coffers near empty, he was forced to contemplate desperate measures.
Yet he could allow no chink to appear in the plan.
And though his accomplice might seem, shall we say, less than perfect...
(knocking at door) ...he would maintain control.
These are the moments that try men's souls.
So how is His Lordship this evening?
He's... No problems?
He wasn't rude or bullying, I hope. (PJ) No, he was polite enough.
Hey, Harry, what are you doing with all your quarters?
These, madam, are pounds and pence, not quarters.
Just putting my affairs in order. Harry Deane, are you tapped out?
Hardly. I do this periodically so as to have use of the jar.
I bag the coins and donate the proceeds to charity.
So where do we stand with our little affair, scheme, programme?
You know, hoss, I don't think it's gonna work out.
What? Nonsense. Everything's going according to plan.
We have the painting, or so Shabandar believes.
And I, my dear, have that credulous boob's confidence.
On plan, don't you understand?
Well, then, I guess it's just me having second thoughts, then.
Second thoughts? Well, it's a little late for that, young lady.
Don't young lady me, hoss. Don't you hoss me, young lady.
That is it.
I have invested thousands of pounds in this little caper of ours, not to mention the Major, who has painted his heart, his soul, his guts into his forgery of Haystacks, Dusk.
You call the Major, tell him about your second thoughts, your silly little...
What is it anyway? Cold feet, moral qualms again?
Yeah, that's part of it.
Besides, the man is a cold-blooded, heartless bully.
I happen to think he's quite charming. Charming?
He's charming in a thoroughly reptilian, repulsive way. Repulsively charming.
But you fail to see his manners are completely ersatz.
I knew you were naive and provincial...
And look at you, trash-talkin' my origins!
I respect your origins, your entire double-wide way of life, but it does leave you vulnerable to...
Leaves me vulnerable? I don't know how to tell you this, Harry.
But you're fired. Oh, I'm fired?
Yep. Very amusing.
Let me remind you who's running this little enterprise, madam. Moi.
And it is you who are fired! Except you're not.
In due course, when I have authenticated the Major's beautiful work, then, then we shall discuss the termination of your employment and come to some understanding as to how to bear the onus of your ridiculous expenses.
Wrong, hoss. Wrong, wrong and wrong.
You are fired, by Lionel, cos he told me hisself.
He introduced me to some stuck-up heinie, Martin Zaidenweber, who's getting your job and you won't be authenticating your dumb old hay painting.
So I'm going back to the Savoy to stay the night and I might just order up some surf 'n' turf.
And tomorrow I'm going to Texas, get my job back at the chicken plant.
It ain't no fault of mine that your whole cockamamie scheme just went blooey.
Zaidenweber. (knocking at door)
Hmm. It's a little late to apologise now.
How could he? Zaidenweber.
The man is a... Admittedly he knows his way around the Walloons.
But when it comes to the lmpressionists, the man is a hopeless ignoramus.
This would be comical if it weren't actually dangerous.
I refer not just to my nose, which this time I fear may be well and truly broken.
Perhaps since our little caper is far from over, perhaps we should consider removing the cartilage.
Don't be an ass. I'm hardly likely to be hit in the face a third time.
That was the third time, sir.
This isn't a maths class.
What are we going to do about Zaidenweber who, once hired on, is not going to authenticate our dumb old hay painting?
Perhaps, Major, could you not contrive to neutralise him simply with a... well, with a gun of some sort?
With a silencer screwed onto the tip of the thing, the barrel there?
(Major) Mr Deane. Hmm?
Too much? No, you're right, it's too outlandish.
I'll take care of Zaidenweber.
More pressing is how do we get our rogue elephant out of the most expensive hotel in London?
Oh, er, sorry, sir. I haven't quite got the knack of this.
She is a person without vision, Major.
She cannot see the plan, so she will not believe in the plan.
Instant gratification is her modus vivendi, discipline a dirty word.
There's something awfully refreshing about her.
There's something refreshing about being plunged into an ice bath and flogged with a birch switch.
Oh, yes, good flogging.
Madam Olga, Pennypockets Lane, third floor to the rear.
Yeah? (Harry) Martin?
Ja, this is Martin Zaidenweber, ja. Martin, it's Harry.
Harry Trinkwasser? No, Harry Deane, calling from London.
How's Cologne? Köln?
Oh, ja! Köln is... is good, not so bad.
Of course, I'm in Köln. You catch me at my gym.
Practising physical culture. I am gaily shvitzing away the kilos, you know?
We have to fight the heftiness!
Look, I know this will seem a little out of the blue, and it's sort of embarrassing to say, but I'm calling to ask if you might have a job on offer soon.
Job? I'm going to be free soon.
I'm about to kiss Shabandar off.
You will kiss him off? Quitting, yes.
Rather embarrassing, but Shabandar's having problems.
Rumour has it he's built himself a bit of a house of cards.
A card house? Yeah.
Just last week, my pay cheque didn't clear.
Good evening. Good evening, sir.
What can we do for you? Well, I'm checking my friend out.
Lovely room. She's quite enjoyed her stay.
But I can authorise no further payments against my credit card.
So we're going to have to throw her out on her ear.
Actually... Give her the old heave-ho.
Bags packed, out on the pavement.
Actually, sir, those charges have been assumed as of 4: 17 this afternoon by another party.
In fact, I believe she has been moved up to a senior suite.
She's been moved up to... Who the bloody hell?
(receptionist) Lord Shabandar called round. You just missed him.
He left with the young lady in evening wear.
Evening wear? Yes, sir.
Quite striking. Indeed.
(receptionist) A gift from His Lordship.
Fine. Excellent. Well, good, then.
(receptionist) But I'd be happy to close out your account. Let me see.
Charges accumulating prior to this evening...
Yes, here we are.
It'll just be two shakes, sir.
How is the... the Major this evening, sir?
Hmm? The Major.
He's alright, I suppose.
Seems like a busy little fellow. Not so little, I would hazard.
He's lost a bit of weight recently.
Semi-retired now. That is a pity, sir.
At least it's... semi. Hmm.
Leaving that on the American Express card, are we, sir?
Yes, thank you.
Now, the task this evening is quite straightforward.
The Japanese ran the world in the '80s and my little friend Takagawa screwed me a dozen times.
Well, now the boot is on the other foot.
So it's kind of like a grudge match.
He's still pissed off that I beat him to Haystacks, Dawn.
Now, if I can get his lackeys to sell me their 220 television channels, I become the third largest provider of premium cable in the whole of Asia and the Shabandar lion can finally roar over Japan.
Hello. Good day, Mr Shabandar.
I am your interpreter from Konichiwa Media Group.
I am Chuck. Delighted to meet you.
This is Ms Philomena Puznowski.
Hello. Good day. I am your interpreter from Konichiwa Media Group.
I am Chuck.
This is Mr Katsuhara Cho.
Very powerful big man of Konichiwa Media Group.
I present Mr Shabandar and Ms Puznoskusam.
I think we'll just pick up the names as we go along, don't you?
It's a pleasure to meet you all. And that goes double for me.
As I said, these dinners can be difficult.
Don't worry. These guys seem pretty harmless.
They're evil little shits. Watch me crush them.
It occurs to me, I'm afraid I left my glasses up in the room.
Would it... Would the key still work for me to run up and have a look?
You're wearing them, sir. These, to be sure, yes.
No, I mean my other glasses, my distance glasses.
I'll run you another key, sir.
This is Extra Vroom-Vroom channel.
Aim at people love car. Hmm.
This is Extra Killer Whale channel for people like watch whale eat other people.
Very popular after ten o'clock. Hmm.
This is Let's Young channel.
For young teenage wear hair extra crazy, drink sake all night, puke in street.
Combined viewer for Konichiwa TV, 42 millions, I think.
Yes. Yes, yes, very impressive.
Of course, I'm familiar with the figures.
However... (speaks Japanese)
...my offer for the group was made in pounds sterling, not yen.
But the recent rise of your currency relative to the pound would raise my cost fully ten percent, and that, gentlemen, is an obligation I never undertook and do not propose to undertake now.
There is snow on the mountains in the winter and the man, in despair, cannot walk to the next valley.
But in spring, snow melts and is remembered in tranquillity.
Right. Sure, OK, I got you.
Yeah, see, what I think the big man here is trying to tell you is he may have been tough on the price and a real son of a bitch until now, but if you kind of party down with him so he don't lose face, maybe things'll go your way.
But he ain't about to say it straight out and look like a wimp, right?
If you really wanna butter these boys up, you ought to invite them all out to your house.
You know, break some bread, mano a mano.
Have 'em out for the gala, why don't you?
Maybe you're right.
God, what a bore.
Can't be so terribly difficult.
Just one foot...
...in front of the other.
(man) Let's go dancing!
Oh, sod it.
You're a bit of a marvel. I hope you'll stay on, even after the gala.
I could use somebody with your qualities.
Well, I guess I got qualities at that.
That you do, Ms Puznowski. That you do.
For Pete's sake, this time I think you really are trying to get me drunk, with all that rice wine an' all.
Well, why not? No more business this evening.
This is a strictly social part of the day.
Let's get, as you might say, down, I believe, shall we?
Say that one more time, please. Let us get down.
Oh, bugger me.
Well, Lionel, tonight was real, real fun.
That sounds like the past tense.
Well, that seems to have had the desired effect.
My bloody trousers!
Lionel, you know, this ain't the place to be...
This is precisely what hotels are for.
In the tree!
(man) Taxi! My bloody trousers!
Out snogging about when I'm trying to bloody stay on plan.
This is absurd.
(knocking at door)
(knocking at door)
Good evening, madam. I am terribly sorry.
Tomorrow evening's Kirov Ballet is quite sold out and it's the last performance.
(woman) Oh, my! (assistant) Yes.
Shall we try The Cherry Orchard at the Duke of York's?
Yes, let's. (assistant) Lovely.
Lovely. Still just the one... the one ticket?
Yes, just the one. (assistant) Lovely. As you please.
Have a very nice evening. Yes, I shall try.
Straight back into bed. My husband doesn't arrive until Thursday.
(clears throat) Of course, madam. It must seem like an eternity.
Just nipping down the hall for some ice.
(lift bell rings)
(Lionel) You can fly private, but you still have to take the time.
That's why you need a place like this to lay your sleepy head.
Oh, look. Here we are.
Here we are. Well, thanks for escorting me up, Lionel.
I'm pretty tuckered out, so I should probably just...
Nonsense. Let's have a nightcap. What?
A nightcap, that's code, really, for a bit more conversation and then... who knows? Er...
Well... I'm making you uncomfortable.
Perhaps another time. Oh, no, that's fine.
We should do it tonight, so here we go. Let's go on in. You first.
(whispers) What are you doing? (whispers) What?
Evening, Mr Deane. Evening.
Hey, get your butt in here. Come on.
(Lionel) Quite the extensive bar. What are you having?
Let me think about it. I'll be right there.
(whispers) What are you doing here? Where are your pants?
Hanging on the tree downstairs. What are you doing with Shabandar?
Hanging on the tree downstairs.
Good God, I can hardly put it more plainly!
(Lionel) There's Scotch, gin, Jägermeister...
Why would you hang your pants in a tree?
It ain't Christmas. I didn't hang them there.
Why did you invite Shabandar to your room?
Do your orgiastic impulses know no limits? You've been drinking.
If I wanna have a nightcap, well, I am of drinking age and voting age and the age of consent.
And I can have anyone I want up to my room, cos you ain't paying for it no more anyways.
What? Are you jealous? Jealous? Don't be absurd.
Are you coming out or are you slipping into something more approachable?
(PJ) Yeah, that's it.
All sense of shame is well and truly atrophied.
Not only do you not seek to disguise your wanton behaviour...
My behaviour? Why don't you go first?
Why were you out on that ledge, what was in that vase and why are your pants hanging in a tree?
You're a very suspicious person, really. There was nothing in the vase.
As for the rest of it, it is involved, but unlike your shenanigans, there's a sensible plan governing my behaviour.
Jealous. Good God. (Lionel) Ready or not, here I have to come.
I need to use the lavatory.
But I shall respect your modesty.
I don't suppose you could dash down and get my trousers?
You get out of here, Harry Deane. You go get your own damn trousers.
Well, thanks a lot.
So you don't have any ice, then? What?
(Lionel) What did you say? (toilet flushes)
(Lionel) What did you say?
(gruffly) Do we have any ice? (Lionel) No, not with champagne.
(whispers) Harry. Harry.
Harry. It's alright. I've practised.
(Lionel) Are you decent? I'm coming out.
I've never told you, have I, the story of the Shabandar lion?
(knocking at door)
Stroke of luck, madam. One ticket left for The Cherry Orchard.
Third row in the stalls, aisle seat. Ah, wonderful.
Splendid. Book that for you straightaway.
Oh, that's where it is. Excuse me.
Evening, Mr Deane.
Sometimes I wonder if they drink.
Right, shan't bother you again and I'll tell switchboard to put a Do Not Disturb on room 318.
Good evening, sir. Did you find your glasses?
Yes, thank you. Got 'em right here.
Not forgetting anything else, are we, sir?
No, no, I shouldn't think so.
(man) At least he's wearing a tie. Extraordinary fellow.
Harry Deane, are you spying on me?
No, not at all. It's just that seducing Shabandar, last I checked, was not part of our plan.
Well, like Momma always used to say, scratch it if it itches, even if it's in your britches.
Miss, I've had sufficient of your mother's gnomic utterances.
Face it, our little plan ain't exactly operational any more.
We gotta have a little talk here. See, there's two kinds of people.
There's people like Lionel with big deals and big cars and manners an' all, and there's people like us.
Look at you, running around all desperate and cockamamie, pretending like you're gonna take Lionel for a gazillion dollars.
Well, Harry Deane, it ain't gonna happen.
You're not Lionel, and why would you wanna be?
You got your own thing going on, with all your art and your beautiful little painting.
But you gotta quit trying to be something you're not.
It's OK, you know. You being you is... is OK.
Look, I understand how certain unforeseen wrinkles in my plans have conspired to diminish your confidence in me.
Consider that you might still have an obligation, having incurred considerable expense, having pledged a degree of cooperation and having... having wounded me personally by fraternising with a man who does not deserve your respect, who's a cynical manipulator of those less powerful and who's a degenerate nudist at that.
Only person I've seen traipsing round London in their underwear is you.
That is not the point.
You sure do have nice eyes for a fella who never smiles.
Too bad you're all wrapped up in your crazy scheme.
Maybe you could ungrit your teeth a little bit every once in a while.
OK, I get it.
I think it's trouble, but... I'll play along at Lionel's party, if that's what you want.
Yes, yes. Thank you, madam, that is all I ask.
I'm certain after tonight, you shall have reason to admire the skills of a reborn, reinvigorated and surprisingly capable Harry Deane.
If you say so.
(champagne cork pops)
(man 1) Very good evening to you. (man 2) You're most welcome.
(Major) There are moments in a life that define a man.
This was Mr Deane's.
He was sprung for action and yet perfectly capable of blowing it completely.
Here we go.
This the painting? Painting's in the crate.
This is my easel so I can have a look at the bloody thing.
Uncrate the painting in the gallery. I'll look at it up there.
Managed to get hold of the guest list. No sign of Zaidenweber, thank God.
You should go, Major. No reason to put yourself at risk.
You know where to find me.
Good luck, old thing.
("Moonlight Serenade" by Gershwin)
Howdy. Good evening.
Hey, there. Great mask. Thank you.
Hi. Good evening.
I'm so glad you could make it and that you've decided to consummate our little transaction.
Perhaps you might allow me to do the same with our other little affair.
You can try all you want, Shabby.
Shabandar-san! Oh, Christ.
It is I, Chuck.
We wish to thank you for extending of your hospitality of your extra-big house.
Oh, yes, quite. Delighted. I see you managed to find the bar.
And if you're hungry, there's a big old spread over there.
Our boy Lionel pulled out all the stops.
Many thanks, Ms Puzkoza.
Hey, Harry. Oh, Deane.
They probably think you're pretty strange too, Lionel, what with you being a nudist an' all.
What with my being a what?
(PJ) A nudist. Nothing wrong with that, is there?
Hell, no. I think it's real relaxing going naked.
What the devil are you talking about?
I understood you to have said once that you attended the Eden Retreat.
That isn't a nudist gathering. Somebody's been having you on.
It's one of the most formal gatherings you could imagine.
Once again, Deane, you have things arse backwards.
I understand, sir. I apologise. Just forget it.
Deane... we really need to have a private talk.
There is something I have to discuss with you.
You boys get your bellies full?
Blast, here they come again. I would rather not have to talk to them.
Can't we just do business? I can take care of these old boys.
And I shall just pop up and examine the painting.
Gentlemen. Found some nourishment, I see.
Have you boys heard of a little thing called live karaoke?
# How lucky can one guy be? #
# I kissed her and she kissed me #
# Like a fella once said #
# Ain't that a kick in the head? #
# The room was completely black #
Thank you, gents. That'll do.
Whoo! Let me tell you a little bit about Texas.
# The stars at night are big and bright #
# Deep in the heart of Texas #
# The prairie sky is wide and high #
# Deep in the heart of Texas #
That's my boys! Deep in the heart of Texas!
Assuming I close this deal, may we conclude yours as well?
The painting arrived, yes?
Harry told you he was going to take a look at it.
No, he couldn't have. My security's on, you see.
It's quite an ingenious system. I dreamt it up myself.
I hope he's not stupid enough to have gone up there.
Then again, we are talking about Deane.
(growls) No, there's no need for that.
Now, stop it.
Stop it. Oh!
OK, Harry, I'm gonna have to take him down.
Ya! Come on, big boy!
Bad lion! Bad lion! Come on!
Heel! Come on!
To the deal, then.
Well, that's that.
Are you sure he's secure? That's a double granny.
He can't work out of that.
Ms Puznowski, your timing is impeccable.
I can handle anything that's got four legs.
Once you trip 'em up, they're gravy.
As your momma used to say. (growls)
I'm going to get somebody to deal with him.
Where on earth have you been?
God, Deane, this is so typical of you.
What on earth were you doing larking about up here creating a nuisance?
More than a nuisance, a bloody dangerous situation.
PJ could well have been mauled, and all to no end.
Hardly to no end. It is my job to ensure the integrity of the collection.
(Lionel) Sorry, Deane, it isn't your job.
Sorry to have to break it to you like this, but we're knocking it on the head.
I've got a new man. It was a bloody chore hiring him.
I had to advance him two years' salary.
I am pleased to inspect.
Fine, but I hardly think you're... Stand down, Deane.
How does it look, Martin? What do you say?
Ja. Almost incredible.
The painting is in order.
It's beautiful, isn't it? (Lionel) Hm-hmm.
(Martin) The brush strokes. The impasto.
Everything is just quite the way it should be.
And there are certain things that you cannot phoney up.
Gross depiction, maybe, but the finer fingerprints of technique, no, absolutely not, you cannot, no.
I mean, this is, I have to say, really quite bloody marvellous.
This is authentic.
Now, you can do tests until your testicles are cerulean blue, but there is no doubt in my mind.
(Lionel) Alright, then. Bollocks.
I beg your pardon? Bollocks.
Anyone with an eye can see that something is amiss here.
What the devil are you?
The impasto is a caricature of Monet's actual brush handling, which was infinitely more subtle.
And as far as I'm aware, Monet never painted over a rather hackneyed portrait of...
Imagine how I feel.
Auf Wiedersehen, meine Lieblinge.
And as for you, you're either rather clever or not clever enough.
Either way, it's clear that you're of no further use to me.
Speaking of clever, what did you expect?
It was hanging on a wall in a trailer in Texas.
And besides, I was never gonna be any use to you.
Well, no harm done.
Just a bit of a waste of time, that's all.
Well, Deane, against expectations, you seem to know what you're on about rather.
You will continue in the job.
Now, if you'll excuse me... I think not, sir.
You think not what?
I think not regarding continuing in the job.
I'm afraid I can no longer render services to a man who'd wilfully insult the intelligence and moral character of a woman I have so come to admire and respect.
You are a boor, sir.
And a bully. And I've had enough.
So I'll just gather my kit...
...and bid you a semi-fond farewell.
Ms Puznowski, may I see you out?
Yes, you may.
(Harry) Excuse me.
You know, Harry Deane, for an Englishman, you sure do have some big old cojones.
(Major) They say you can't put a price on dignity, but if you could, in Harry Deane's case, it would be approximately £11 million.
Well, that didn't go exactly according to plan.
I know it sounds funny coming from me, but now I wish you'd let him buy it.
I just couldn't help myself, you know?
I'll make it up to you, I promise.
No, no, you did your bit. I owe you your wages.
Here we are.
Well, here we are.
I regret that it's economy. Unrestricted.
Well, goodbye, Harry. Goodbye.
(PJ) Come here.
Shall we, Major?
No problems, then, sir?
Security was a little tougher than I'd anticipated.
(Major) But you had time to make the switch?
(Deane) Oh, yes. Shabandar will never suspect.
Beautiful work, Major.
(Major) On which one? (Harry) Both of them.
Although I'm afraid I had to destroy your Dusk to prove it was a fake.
Understood, sir. No hard feelings.
Thoughtful of this gentleman to make the trip. Saves us going to Japan.
Hello, Harry. (Harry) Hello, Charlie.
Hello, Major. Everything alright?
Everything according to plan. Right you are, Mr Deane.
Very good. (speaks Japanese)
Mr Takagawa wants to thank you.
He says he has been waiting 18 years for this moment.
(speaks Japanese) Not at all. Pleasure to have done it.
I'm clever. But look.
Inimitable. Though no doubt your version will satisfy Shabandar.
He assures me the transfer has been made.
The money should now be in your Swiss account.
Excellent. (Major) Hello?
It's gone through.
So much better than having to count it all.
I'd have got it all bollocksed up before I got to ten million.
Thank you, gentlemen. Thank you, Harry.
Has anyone given you anything to take on board our flight?
No, ma'am. Thank you.
Oh, Harry Deane.
(Harry) You'll see she gets what we owe her?
(Major) Certainly, sir. And should we upgrade her ticket?
Yes, why don't we?
Bit of an extravagance. Oh, well.
How will you explain it?
You know me, Major. I'll think of something.
Fancy trying your hand at Picasso?
(Major) Do you think we'd find a use for it?
(Harry) Seems Donald Trump is obsessed with the fellow.
And there's many a billionaire in Texas.
(Major) Mr Deane.
(Harry) Oh, yes, Major. The opportunities are endless.
# How lucky can one guy be? #
# I kissed her and she kissed me #
# Like a fella once said #
# Ain't that a kick in the head? #
# The room was completely black #
# I hugged her and she hugged back #
# Like a sailor said, quote, "Ain't that a hole in the boat?" #
# My head keeps spinning #
# I go to sleep and keep grinning #
# If this is just the beginning #
# My life is gonna be beautiful #
# She's telling me we'll be wed #
# She's picked out a king-size bed #
# I couldn't feel any better #
# Or I'd be sick #
# Tell me quick #
# Oh, ain't that a kick? #
# Tell me quick #
# Ain't that a kick in the head? #
("Rodeo" by Robby Armstrong)