Hero at Large (1980) Script

How did it happen?

You knocked me up. That's how it happened.

You said you were safe!

Well, I was wrong.

It's a hell of a thing to be wrong about.

You're not taking this too well.

I'm sorry! So am I!

Hey, I'm the one that's knocked up, remember?

Damn!

How do you feel?

Oh, great, great, especially in the morning.

Does anybody else know about this?

Just you and my gynecologist.

What are you going to tell your folks?

What are you going to tell your folks?

Oh, shit! I had these lines down cold.

Oh, Denise. Steve, I really did.

I can't work with you anymore.

I got to go meet my agent.

Just one more time.

Another day. When? You name it.

Monday before class. Don't want to make a fool out of myself.

Alright. I'll see you then.

I'll see you Monday! And learn your lines!

Corned beef on rye, extra-lean, extra-thin bread.

I'm a storm, a flame too strong to war with mortals.

Bring me giants!

Bring him a corned beef sandwich.

Marty, there's an off-Broadway production of cyrano.

Can you get me an audition?

Talk to me about the beer commercial.

I read for them this morning.

And?

And they like my sincerity.

They like your acting?

Oh, Marty, how much can you do with "that's what I call beer"?

Marty, get me a play, any play.

You had one last summer...

Shakespeare in the park.

I carried a spear. Jesus, Marty. That's a joke.

When an actor says he carried a spear, he doesn't mean he carried a spear.

I carried a spear.

Steve!

Oh, most worthy person, prince of actors, friend of friends, thank you.

Who's the arab?

Jerry feldman, Marty fields.

Hi. Nice to know you.

I got it.

The schlitz commercial... I got it!

Hey, that's great! No. You're what's great.

I wouldn't have known about it. You told me.

I'm happy for you.

I'll remember you in my will.

I'll let you guys talk. I'll call later.

Alright, man. Hey, Jerry. Congratulations.

Bye.

You told him about the beer commercial?

Yeah. He's in my acting class. He's a good guy.

You told him, and he got it.

Schmuck!

He'll do the same for me sometime.

And you believe that? Double schmuck!

Oh, come on, Marty. You didn't lose the commercial.

Did I get 10% from that arab?

Just get me a play.

I'll get you a head examiner.

Did you put these on separate checks?

No. I put them on rye, like you said.

A schmuck and a smart ass. I'm surrounded!

This looks like a job for captain avenger!

Captain avenger!

Mind if I drop in?

Get him!

We're saved!

Thank God you got here just in time.

Captain avenger, the superhero who thrilled a generation, returns to rock the motion picture screen with new excitement.

Sworn to uphold justice, protect the weak, and punish wrongdoers, captain avenger fights a never-ending battle against the forces of evil.

This is his story, his greatest adventure.

Who says nice guys finish last?

This weekend, captain avenger appears in person at selected theaters.

And now back to Clark gable and Joan Crawford in strange cargo.

Is it because I haven't seen any women lately?

Now get smart.

Why don't you get smart?

You know what they'll do to you.

I'll take all they've got for a little of this.

Sorry. That's o.K.

So, you're j. Marsh.

I'm s. Nichols. We're neighbors.

Hello.

Here. You want me to hold that for you?

Thank you. Oh, you're welcome.

I've seen you come and go a few times.

I live in the front apartment up there.

And you watch people come and go.

Well, I'm an actor, so I watch people.

Haven't you got that backwards?

No. I learn things about how people are, you know.

How are they?

Well, you look sort of lonely.

I'm not.

No. That's o.K. We're going in the same direction.

So, did you move here from out of town?

No.

Somewhere in the city, like queens or...

East 66th street. East 66th street?

Why would anyone move here from there, right?

No. Hey, I wasn't thinking that.

You're a lousy liar for an actor.

That's my tiger shake. My schefflera!

Oh, good, Steve. I always do that.

I forget about it.

Uh... This is home.

Looks more like a gymnasium.

Yeah, well, I have to stay in shape, you know.

I take a lot of lessons... voice, movement, fencing.

Collecting.

Yeah. I can't throw anything away.

You ever act?

Well, sure.

Professionally?

Sometimes.

What do you do other times?

Uh, whatever. Right now I'm driving relief cab.

Well, may I have my plant now?

I will deliver it to your door.

I think you better have your drink.

No. It has to settle.

So, what do you do?

About what?

Well, I act. What do you do?

I make commercials.

Really? So do I. I got one running right now.

Other side of the camera.

Oh. Oh, that's great.

Listen, um...

I guess you already have a date for tonight.

No. I'm working.

Perfect. I am, too, till about 10:00.

Maybe we could get together... we start at 11:00.

It's the only time we can get into sardi's.

That's where you're working?

Sparkey goes to opening night.

Sparkey the dog? You do those commercials?

God help me.

Oh, that's funny.

Uh... Some other time when you're not working?

I don't think so.

Why not?

You live in a lousy neighborhood.

Huh.

There you go, o.K.? What's your name, tiger?

Does it really hurt you when crooks sock you in the face?

It sure does, little fella.

There you go.

Hi.

Hey, captain avenger.

Yes, sir.

Let's see you fly.

Sorry. I don't fly.

Don't let him shit you, man.

Anybody dresses like that, flies.

You mean, he's a fruit?

You saw the picture. He don't fool around with girls.

Hey, uh, captain avenger...

Can I feel your muscle?

Ha ha ha!

I'll let you feel mine. You faggot!

Alright, you wise guys, get out of here.

You want to feel my muscle? I want to kick your butt!

Eddie, come on. The others can hear, o.K.?

I don't believe you.

How can you keep dishing out this stuff?

I'm having fun. Don't you think this is great?

Great? It's terrible. We were expecting 400, and we got 40.

Here's your coat. See you tomorrow.

Alright.

Good-bye, captain.

Good night, captain.

Faggot.

So long, wimp.

How's it going? Don't ask.

Two years at actor's studio for this?

Well, it's just like any other part.

You got to really get into it.

When I was at that theater, I was captain avenger.

Listen. I gave it a shot I was doing o.K.

Until some kid got me with a pellet gun right in the ass.

Wanted to find out if I was really tough.

What did you do? I screamed.

I'm not tough... Not in the ass.

Hey, hey, hey. Captain crud.

Where?

Hold it, hold it.

Excuse me, can I get in there? We're closed.

Can you stay open long enough for me to get milk?

We have to go home. Just for a second?

O.K.

Oh, thank you, sir.

The milk is in the back.

Oh, great.

Here. Check me out. I'm no accountant.

Who can read your handwriting?

Hire yourself a secretary.

What I should do is hire myself another wife.

Oh, that's good.

No. I'm sorry, dear. We're closed.

Just taking some beer.

Uh, anything else?

No. Just a bag.

Give me a bag.

This will be...

2.47.

I don't want the beer. I want the money.

Come again?

I want your money!

Here, here, here!

Not this. I want the money!

Where is it?

We haven't got it.

It's in the bank. We deposited.

Where is the money?

Give him... give him money!

I'll cut you if I have to.

I'll cut you in half!

Hey!

Captain avenger!

Let's get him.

You got the knife. You get him.

Oh, come on!

Mind if I drop in?

I'm going to cut you, man.

How 'bout that?

I would never believe it if I didn't see it.

I can't wait to tell my Sheldon.

He always used to read your comic books.

Yours and Batman!

No. He was always Sheldon's favorite!

Well, I better get going.

Can we get you something?

Uh... Oh, my milk!

Almost forgot. That's what I came in here for.

Oh, I've got some very nice fruit, some peaches and plums.

How about some nectarines?

No, no. Just the milk.

That's fine. Thank you.

Thank you!

How much do I owe you?

Oh, please! It's on the house.

We couldn't take a penny from you, darling.

Well, thank you very much.

Thank you!

Bye-bye.

Bye-bye, dear.

Oh, he's such a nice boy.

This is a miracle.

You'll never believe what just happened to me.

You know that little grocery store on bleecker street?

Hold on a second, will you?

No. Hey, Jerry? What? What?

I'll tell you about it later.

Just tell me when you get here.

Yeah. If I come.

It's crazy! Ha ha ha!

I'll talk to you later.

Sorry, guys. I'm a little late.

Soup's on.

This is Marty fields.

I'm not in right now.

Want to know if you got a job?

The answer's no.

When it's yes, I'll call you.

Any other business, leave your name and number.

Yeah. This is Robert redford.

I'm seeking new representation.

Sorry you were out.


Ladies and gentlemen, may I propose a toast to our beautiful leading lady?

Bravo!

Bravo! Bravo!

May I have your autograph?

Thank you.

Cue the waiter...

And we start to zoom in.

We zoom in even tighter.

Sparkey looks at it, smells it. Mmm!

Smells terrible.

He looks around and says, "where's soupo?

Where's my dog food?"

Look at that eclair! Cut!

Joe? Ms. marsh?

Here!

Where is she?

Come over here where the work is.

Look. I'd pick soupo dog food over that.

If you take so long between takes, it's going to melt.

It has to be a beautiful eclair, o.K.?

I've got an entire refrigerator full.

Would you bring another pastry, Jeff?

Tell everybody to relax.

Background people, you relax, but, please, do not wander off.

Now let me hear that playback.

Excuse me. Hi. Hello. May I have this dance?

What are you doing here? Are you crazy?

No. I'm on a high. Well, come down.

Don't be sore. I am working.

You're on a break!

Good-bye. Hello.

It's a prop!

O.K. I'll leave. You know why?

I'll leave because I'm a very nice person.

I'm one of the nicest people you know.

I don't know you. I'm working on it.

O.K. Let's take it from the beginning.

Alright, people. It's picture time.

If you're not in this shot, will you please clear out?

Thank you very much.

People, we're laughing our way into overtime.

Where's the waiter?

Oh, alright. We ready? Doggy ready? Sound ready?

Ready!

O.K., milo. Let's go. Roll 'em!

Fade! And action!

That didn't take too long.

I'm going to leave the wardrobes here for now, alright?

Fine.

What about the props?

Don't worry about it, Sean.

Just organize it as best you can.

O.K. Alright.

How about some coffee? I don't believe it!

I'll even spring for a Danish.

What are you doing here?

I just felt like being with somebody.

Don't you have any friends?

Not a lot. Do you?

Hundreds...

Give or take a few.

We'll have some coffee together. We'll talk.

Wait till you hear what happened to me tonight.

I can't.

You can't. Well, we can share a taxi home together.

I got a ride.

Is it something special, or is it just a ride?

Look... I've got nothing against you personally.

Thank you.

You're a guy in condition, and I'm a girl across the hall.

Why shouldn't you try?

But as it happens... come on. Let's get out of here. I'm tired.


Hey.

Come on. I'll buy you some coffee.

Alright.

You will never believe what happened to me tonight.

You know a little grocery store on bleecker street?

Well, I was in this costume to promote this film.

It's called captain avenger. I had a cape...

Mr. and Mrs. Rothberg, has this neighborhood really changed in the years you've been here?

Oh, yes. As a matter of fact, we were talking... maybe we should sell the store and move away.

After 33 years.

But after last night...

That sort of gives you hope.

Have you any idea, who that man was last night?

Certainly. It was captain avenger.

Yeah. Believe me. You can't miss it.

But, Mr. And Mrs. rothberg, captain avenger is a character in the comic books.

I don't care where he comes from.

A man comes in to the store, takes care of a couple of punks that tried to cut my throat.

What should I do... ask him for a driver's license?

Hey, j.?

J., turn on your television set. Hurry!

Mrs. havacheck... Huh! I got excited.

Please! I'm not interested in your personal life.

I'm on t.V. Right now.

Without your trousers?

They're talking about me. I wouldn't doubt it.

Today is the 15th. That makes your rent two weeks overdue.

Oh, yeah. The rent. Right.

You know how it is with actors.

I studied with ouspenskaya.

I appeared with sir galleon.

I toured with Barrymore.

You told me. We played the classics!

It's a long time between classics. I did this commercial.

Commercials do not an actor make!

It's the best I can do.

Pay your rent on the first of each month.

And don't come out without trousers!

At least you can walk on the street at night!

Thank you very much, Mr. and Mrs. rothberg.

Calls have been coming into the switchboard expressing gratitude, but to whom? Who is captain avenger?

It's me... Steve Nichols!

Surprisingly, there is very little curiosity about that.

In fact, some people have stated flatly they don't want to know his true identity.

You can tell a child that Santa claus is on payroll.

He may believe you, but he really won't thank you for it.

So perhaps the question isn't "who are you, captain avenger?"

But "what next, captain avenger?"

What do you mean, what next?

Eight weeks away from election day, and look at us.

A lot can happen in eight weeks.

It better.

He hasn't been a bad mayor.

There's a great campaign slogan...

"he hasn't been a bad mayor."

We focused on a solid, responsible job for the past four years.

What's wrong with that?

And they focused on subway crime, blackouts, garbage strikes, and they laid it all on him!

That's New York. The incumbent is always under attack.

Tell me something I don't know, will you?

The bottom line is they're killing us!

We're trailing in all the polls... the New York times poll, Lou Harris poll, 6:00 news.

Fine. We'll shift emphasis away from his record to his personality.

Except you and I both know...

He hasn't got one.

Your name's on the door out there.

You are the high-priced PR genius.

Work it out.

Calvin, take it easy.

We're coasting, Walter.

We need some fresh ideas.

I don't know what they are, but I know we need them.

I'm expecting to hear something from you by the end of the week.

You're really pushing me, Calvin.

You're right. I am.

Hey, I've got great news.

Can we talk? Yeah, yeah.

Linda, keep holding the calls.

Grosses are in on the captain avenger flick.

Lines around the block. Lines, Walter!

Lines to see that Turkey!

People are going nuts on account of last night.

They're calling in... radio stations, television stations, even city hall... to say they're happy.

They're going to see the movie.

When that kook walked into that grocery store, it was the best thing that ever happened to us.

We got a hit!

Two reporters called me here.

I told Linda to stall them until we could figure out what to say.

What do you think?

What do I think?

You know what I think?

I think captain avenger just saved the mayor's ass.

You guys hired those yo-yos to cover the theaters, right?

How many were there? 62.

They keep the outfits?

Yeah. For the matinee this afternoon.

O.K. You tell them to... Hang on to those suits.

Tell them they're going to wear them again, and maybe one of our 62 captain avengers will make another special appearance.

How do we know it's one of ours?

Some freak could have made a costume.

No, no, no. I know in my heart.

I know it's one of ours.

You guys are going to find him.

Bring him in?

No. If he'd wanted us to know who he was, we'd have heard from him by now.

I want you to check him out, quietly.

Find out which one could do it and would do it, and get out word that one's missing.

A guy?

A costume.

Tell them that it was stolen.

That'll confuse anybody who's trying to find out who he is.

Still say it could be anybody.

That's why my name is on the front door, not yours.

Gentlemen, we have a golden opportunity.

Let us take it firmly... By the private parts.

My God...

The more I see it, the less I believe it.

Can I have your autograph?

Sure.

Chuck, set up over there.

Tom, go get captain avenger. Let's go.

Captain avenger, you're the man!

Gloria Preston wants to interview you for television.

You mind coming here?

Oh, o.K. Sure.

O.K.

We're here at the greenwich theater in New York's west village.

A large crowd has gathered to meet or catch a glimpse at captain avenger.

Hi. How are you?

Hi. Fine.

This is my seventh stop.

People in Brooklyn are doing this and all around queens... as a matter of fact, all over greater New York.

What do you think of all this attention?

I think it's terrific.

It sure sells tickets.

Yeah, but that's not quite what I meant.

Let me ask you the same question I've asked half a dozen other captain avengers.

Where were you last night at 10:00?

I was having dinner with a girl.

Ooh!

Would you like to introduce yourself?

Oh, sure. My name is Steve Nichols.

An actor, model, or what?

I'm an actor.

How do you account for this turnout?

Do you think these people may be here on the chance that you're the captain avenger, the, uh, grocery store hero?

Unfortunately, I don't think it has anything to do with me.

What, then?

Well, um, I think it's the idea.

The idea?

Yeah. You know, what captain avenger stands for... what's right and for justice.

I think these people like that, you know. Yeah.

See, captain avenger looks out for the little guy, and he wins.

It makes people feel like they have a chance, you know?

We've just heard from Steve Nichols, 1 of 62 captain avengers making appearances at movie theaters all around New York and giving his thoughts on what this is all about, an idea come to life, out of the comics onto the front pages to make us all feel better.

It sounds good to me.

Hurray for captain avenger and Mickey mouse for president.

This is Gloria Preston from greenwich village.

Hi. Hi. J. Marsh. We're neighbors.

I'm sorry. My head was someplace else. Hi.

Um, about last night.

I'm sorry I barged in on you.

No. I could have been nicer.

No. That was way out of line.

I've been a little uptight lately.

That's o.K. It's my fault.

Well!

I got it. That's o.K.

O.K.?

Hi.

I knocked on your door this morning.

Oh?

About 8:30. You're a sound sleeper.

I spent the night out.

That was a special ride, wasn't it?

With an old friend.

Does that old friend live on east 66th street?

Who are you... j. Edgar hoover?

Nope. I'm captain avenger.

Right.

I guess you heard about last night?

How could I help it? What do you think?

The world is full of weirdos.

That's it? He's a weirdo?

Probably stoned out of his mind, sitting around today trying to figure out how he did it.

You have a terrific way of looking at things.

I traded my rose-colored glasses in for a crash course in karate and a fountain pen that shoots tear gas.

I'll keep my distance.

Why did you knock on my door?

I was going to tell you a funny story.

I'm not the best audience at 8:30.

You would have laughed at this one.

So tell me.

I forgot the punch line.

Ever since we met, I can't think of anyone but you.

You are my whole life, my reason for being.

You mustn't say things like that.

I have to say what's true.

I don't understand.

I don't know what you want.

I want to surround you, to possess you, to absorb you.

No.

Why are you turning away...

I'm sorry. I can't do this.

I mean, he and I... Look at us.

That's alright, Steve. Thank you very much.

No, I'm sorry. I'll try it again.

It won't be necessary.

I'm used to it now. If I could try again...

I have a number of other people waiting to read.

O.K.? Thank you.

I guess I blew it, huh?

No. No, that was lovely, really.

Nice.

Thank you.

Who's next?


Mr. Nichols!

Mrs. havacheck. I know.

About the rent... I'm sure there's a residual check in my mailbox right now.

It's so overdue.

These things happen.

The agents have to take out their commission, and the computers foul up, but I'm sure it's here.

It's not here.

Can you believe this?

They are running my commercial all the time.

Maybe you've seen it.

I only watch public broadcasting.

Oh. Well, I'm going to call my agent right now and raise hell.

It's not fair to you, and it's not fair to me.

Hello.

Haven't seen you for a while.

How is the acting business?

I wouldn't know.

You look great.

Thank you.

Well...

See you later.

O.K.

Tonight, Mr. Nichols, or else.

Gimme a break, will you?

Authorities are still wondering who the man in the costume really is.

Carol, any reports of a second appearance by captain avenger?

Not yet, rollin, but calls have continued to come in with people saying they feel good about what happened.

We still need heroes.

And that's channel 2 news. Good night, Carol.

Good night, rollin, and good night, captain avenger, wherever you are.


27 Adam, in pursuit of gray sedan headed north on 3rd and 21st street. Over.

27 Adam, transmission garbled... repeat. Over.

27 Adam, what is your current location? Over.

Pursuit of gray sedan, New York license 287 Frank-David-Henry, headed west on 25th street. Over.

27 Adam on 27th and Lex. I've lost them.

Any unit in the vicinity of 27th and Lexington...

We have lost gray sedan, license 287 Frank-David-Henry.

All units respond. Over.


Pull over, man!


Get the hell out of here!

It's over, fellas!

Hold it right there. Don't make another move.

Bullshit!

Let's go! Let's go!

Drop it right there!


Good night!

J.

Hi, j.

S. Nichols? Is that you?

Tsk-tsk. Drunk as a skunk.

What you got on?

It's a gag, right?

You've been to a costume party.

I wish.

Then what?

Uh, I got a little carried away this time.

You're not going to tell me...

S. Nichols is...

Captain avenger.

I don't believe it. It's true.

What is it?

J., they got me.

You haven't got a bullet in there?

But you were shot? We better get you in your apartment.

It's locked. What?

I didn't pay the rent.

Mrs. havacheck, you are a wonderful person.

Isn't she?

You can't stay here. I better get you into my apartment.

Can you stand up?

Yeah, I think so.

Put your arm around me. O.K.?

Lean on me.

Oh, yeah. That... that helps.

You don't look that heavy.

I'm sorry you have to deal with this.

You and me both.

It's not too serious. It stopped bleeding.

Don't talk about bleeding. I have a problem with that.

Ow!

Sorry! It's o.K.

You have a doctor?

Uh, yes, I do.

Only he's back in cawker city, Kansas.

Figures.

This is nice.

I'll call emergency.

No, please. I'll be alright.

All I need is to rest.

Don't. They have to report gunshot wounds, and...

I'll be fine. I just need to rest.

It's o.K. Oh, see?

Oh, well, now, I'm better already.

O.K.

I don't know which of us is crazier, but o.K.

Of all the beds in all the apartments in all of New York City...

Captain avenger ends up in mine.

Tell him I want what I want when I want it.

I'll be around no matter who wins the election.

Just let him know gently that I'll always be around.

You're late.

I'm sorry, Cal, but have I got an idea.

I'm sorry, too, because it's too little, too late.

You're through, Walter.

We fell four points in the latest poll.

I know. I saw this.

I'm talking to an aggressive young man with some bright ideas.

He's hungry, and that makes people aggressive.

Really? Can he bring you the election in a box, gift-wrapped?

Can he do that, Calvin?

What are you talking about?

Captain avenger, that's what I'm talking about.

How do you like what's happening?

How would you like him to keep it up?

How would you like it if he stayed in action uptil election day?

What's the point?

The point is, when the people feel good about the city, they feel good about the administration, right?

Well, the people feel good about the city today because of him.

A comic book hero?

Read the papers, Calvin. Watch the news.

New York loves captain avenger.

Who is he, Walter?

Uh-uh.

You can tell him what to do and when to do it?

I set up the whole thing.

I made a third-rate movie, the hit of the year with a simple gimmick... captain avenger comes to your neighborhood.

Who is he?

Come on, Calvin.

O.K. But there will have to be a closer connection.

You bet.

Photographs for the media.

Captain avenger meets the mayor.

Two crusaders working together toward a better life for the people.

It is a natural.

You'll have to do bigger stuff with more witnesses.

Can you arrange that?

It's already in the planning stage.

Oh, Walter. Walter! I was writing you off.

S. Nichols?

Oh, yeah. Hi.

What are you doing?

I'm just freshening my breath.

Get back in bed.

Also fighting tooth decay.

A hero's work is never done.

Get back in bed.

I love the way you say that.

Are you hungry?

Oh, no. No, I couldn't eat right now.

Good. Then we can get this over with.

Get what over with?

This very nice man at the pharmacy told me exactly what to do.

I told him my dog had an accident.

With a gun?

He didn't know it was loaded. He's only a dog.

It's only fair to warn you, I am not experienced at this and may faint.

I don't expect you to take care of me.

Who do you suggest?

You're such a good neighbor.

Did you, by any chance, pick this up in the vicinity of park and 52nd?

How did you know that?

The guy that shot you wants credit, but since nobody else saw you, he's having a hard time proving it.

I picked this up in case you keep a scrapbook.

Quarter of a million dollars worth of angel dust?

Hardly a record, but after all, it was your first bust.

You really didn't know what you were getting into last night?

Really didn't.

Who sends you out on these missions, anyway?

Your agent?

No. He only sends me out on beer commercials.

Why? Why do you do it?

Because of what happened... all those people calling in and writing letters.

How often do you get a chance to do something that's really special, you know?

You really mean that, don't you?

You're for real.

And nobody knows?

Just you.

What do you do... keep it up till somebody kills you?

No. If they're going to use real bullets, I think I'll retire.

That's for me.

I'll be right there.

You going out?

Yeah. Got a date.

Oh, good.

Listen, I... I'm in the way.

Why don't I get out of here?

You're in terrific shape to travel.

Well, I could manage.

Look, uh, it's alright with me if you want to stay here until you're feeling better.

You don't take up much room, and I'm gone a lot.

I don't even know your name, what the j. Stands for.

Jolene.

Listen, j., I'll tell you what I'll do.

I'll move to the sofa.

I accept.

Sorry. What kept you?

You wouldn't believe it.

Uh, try me.

When I got home last night, I found this stray.

You took him in?

He'd been hurt. I was taking care of him.

Don't get started. There are strays all over New York.

Not like this one.


Hi.

It's just me... captain avenger.

I thought you'd be asleep.

Well, that was some date.

We lingered over dinner.

Oh.

Just you and, um...

Milo.

Right. Right.

Where did he take you... Elaine's?

A little restaurant in Chinatown.

Ah, so! Oriental atmosphere.

Curiously seductive.

I like Chinese food.

Mm. Gentleman strive to please.

He want you back in house on, uh...

East 66th street.

Confucius say, grandma have long nose.

Well, I care about these things now that I'm living with you.

You are not living with me.

Well, visiting with you.

How's the arm?

Oh. You did a great job.

Probably saved my life.

Yes, he wants me back.

And what about you? How do you feel?

Excuse me, but that is none of your business.

Don't let him rush you.

A guy like that can be very pushy.

How do you know that?

The car. It's a dead giveaway.

You're crazy.

Of course, that's not exactly a news flash.

Steve. My name's Steve.

Good night, Steve.

Good night, j.

Jeff Goldstein.

A Jewish captain avenger?

Captain avenger is a wasp.

Here.

This is Steve Nichols.

I was with him that first day.

And?

He's sort of strange.

I won't go with a pansy.

Oh, not that. Not one of those.

He takes this captain avenger very seriously.

He really wants kids to like him.

That kind of strange.

Alright. Let's see, uh...

O.K.

Tell me about Matt Lewis. I know him.

Actor, model, into bodybuilding.

That's six of them.

Tony and I think it's got to be one of these guys.

You want to see them all?

No. Just this one.

Why him?

I don't know.

I...

Just got a feeling.

Hey, j... J. I'm in big trouble.

Swim for shore.

I have nothing to wear.

Fighting crime is a dirty business.

I'm trapped in here.

Can you wear size 7 in junior dresses?

Someone's here. Yeah, I heard.

Keep the splashing down.

Anything you say.

Shh!

Milo!

Hi.

Get your bikini. We're going sailing.

What?

Mr. soupo dog food wants to take me out on his 40-footer and said to bring the playmate of my choice... you.

Well, thanks, but, uh, I've got plans.

What kind of plans?

Well, personal plans. Break them.

I can't.

I thought we came to an agreement last night.

Not that I remember. Sure, we did.

You came to an agreement, milo, with yourself.

Get your stuff together.

We'll talk about all this later.

Milo, you can be very pushy.

Alright. We'll talk about it now.

No!

I want you to go.

Hey, what's the matter with you?

There's nothing the matter, except that I am about to get angry.

Why? Because I want to stop you from making a very large mistake?

I am getting angry.

Hey, we belong together. We're a team.

Not true. I am part of your team.

Haven't I taken good care of you?

You treat me like a thing. I am not a thing.

Let me take you out of this hole.

Now I'm angry.

This hole happens to be my home, and I want you out.

Take it easy.

Now! I want you to go now.

I'll go when I'm good and goddamn ready.

I'm counting to 3, milo.

Who the hell is that?

1...

You better go.

2...

So this is your stray.

3.

Listen, he's not the guy for you.

I knew that the first time I saw him.

You don't know anything. Look at you.

You're a crazy man who dresses up in a comic book suit and goes around doing good deeds like an overgrown boy scout.

Yeah, but...

I would never treat you like a thing.

Who are you, and what are you doing in my apartment?

You want me to leave? Yes. No!

Ow! Sorry!

It's o.K.

I don't want to get involved.

I just got uninvolved.

I know.

A struggling actor from cawker city and a nut, at that.

A nice nut. Thank you.

But a nut's a nut.


I want you to know, I'm not always this easy.

I bet you say that to all the girls.

I don't suppose you've seen a high-heeled shoe anywhere.

Do you have to go?

Job interviews are very important at this point since I don't think I'm going to be doing much more work for milo.

I'll take care of you.

I don't want to be taken care of.

Besides, you can't even take care of yourself.

My luck is changing.

You're sure about that?

Yep. Yours, too.

Maybe you're right.

I just found my shoe.

Come here.

Uh-uh.

I gotta go.

Just one minute.

See you later.

Well, hello.

Hello.

I'm looking for Steve Nichols.

His apartment is across the hall.

Yeah, but he's not in it.

The landlady thought you might know where he is.

I wonder where she gets her ideas.

I'm from, uh, Walter Reeves' public relations.

It's very important that I talk to Mr. Nichols.

It's about a job.

Oh!

Could you excuse me for a minute, please?

I've just located him.

Oh, good, good, good.

Hiya, Steve.

Eddie, it's nice to see you again.

How are you?

Did you hurt yourself?

Well, yeah. I fell. I was just clumsy.

Listen, Steve, Mr. Reeves wants to talk to you about something very interesting.

Oh. Well, it might be kind of hard for me to see him today.

I paid your rent. Does that help?

Well, yeah, that does help.

Listen, Eddie, can you give me about five minutes to get dressed?

Sure. Take all the time you want.

I'll be right outside waiting for you.

I'll be right there.

See, I told you. Our luck is changing.

I think you're going to need these.

Oh.

Steve, don't wear pink.

I won't.

Goddamn it, this is a moment!

I won't dick you around. We know what you've been doing.

You do?

A beautiful thing.

Beautiful.

Beautiful.

Sorry. I don't know what you guys are talking about.

You can relax. It's just us.

Kick off the boots. Drop the mask.

Take off the cape.

How did you find out?

A little detective work.

So... What happens now?

Well...

We wanna help you.

Help me do what?

Finish what you've started.

I didn't start anything.

Oh, really? Turns the city upside down, says he didn't start anything.

I think the question really is how long can you keep it up?

I have to quit. I know that.

Let's talk about that.

Quitting?

How to do it.

You can't just walk away.

They'll forget you in a week.

You wanna go out a legend.

It was just something that happened.

Don't do that, Steve.

Don't ever make little of what you've done, even in modesty.

It's too important.

You see, the need you've touched in the people of this city, the faith you've restored...

Well, it's amazing.

I don't think even you realize what you've done, what you still can do.

All it needs is a little advanced planning.

You mean a setup?

A performance.

I can't do that.

Come on. You're an actor.

If you were... if you were giving a performance of Hamlet, would you use real swords?

Yeah, but that's make-believe.

What's captain avenger?

Captain... you ca...

I... I... I know.

It's a fine line. I'll grant you that.

But you did something...

Beautiful.

You played captain avenger.

To do it, you wore a costume.

Does that make it less honest...

Less beautiful?

But I didn't fake it.

Don't be selfish, Steve.

Selfish?

Give them what they want, Steve.

Give them the legend.

You know, I... I...

I need some time to think this over.

Is that alright?

Of course. Absolutely.

Oh, good.

Come on out this way. Yeah.

Take care of that arm.

You play pool?

Sometimes, yeah.

We got a nice table here. Take a look.

Steve, I want you to think it over.

It's very important... To all of us.

Mr. Reeves, tell me something.

Why do you care about this so much?

That's a good question.

Somebody has to care.

Steve, you know zev bufman?

The producer?

Yeah. He's a... he's a friend of mine.

He's doing a revival of cat on a hot tin roof, and they're looking for a new face to play the role of... what's that character's name?

Brick?

That's the one.

Paul Newman played that part...

And Ben gazzara.

Well, I...

I think they ought to talk to you.

Well, thanks a lot.

Thank you very much.

It's alright.

Wow. I'll see you later.

Linda, get me Calvin Donnelly.

Hey, shouldn't you wait till you hear back from the guy?

What for? He's hooked.

Don't worry. Just trust me.

Mr. Reeves?

I'm sorry. I can't do it.

I just can't.

Thanks anyway.


That looks better on you.

What's all this?

This is dinner! It's the old Chinese seduction.

Oh, and flowers for the lady of the house.

I bring you wondrous delights... tender duckling steamed with delicate spices, pressed into dainty cakes, and served with a spicy plum sauce.

Spicy plum sauce.

Steve, I'm going out to dinner.

You'll change your plans once you've tasted quong how Singapore noodles.

I got a job.

You did? Congratulations!

Look! Look!

We'll celebrate...

With a wine of recent vintage, very recent vintage, but it's not too dry, not too sweet.

I'm meeting some agency people.

Hold on. Fortune cookies so wise you will gasp to read them.

I can't have dinner with you.

O.K.

Wonton for one.

I'll just watch TV till you get home.

Steve...

Home is over there.

The rent was paid. The lock is off the door.

Yeah, but I thought that you and I...

I thought that's what you thought.

Look...

Steve...

You're a terrific guy, and I like you.

I like you a lot, but right now, I need some time with me, for me.

You understand?

No.

There are things I want to do.

I wouldn't stop you.

Yes, you would.

You're not just another guy.

You're someone to stay home with, and I don't want to stay home right now.

When I look at you, I see Christmas cards with kids' pictures on the front.

I got a few dreams of my own.

I want to do something about them.

Now, when I still have the chance.

I could help you.

It wouldn't work.

I promise...

I don't want promises.

Steve...

There's no place for you in my life.

Please... Go back to your apartment.

Could you open the door for me?

My hands are a little greasy.

Thanks, j., not just for that, but for...

I know.

My fortune.

What's it say?

"A duck who flies upside down may have a bad quackup."

New York is going captain avenger crazy.

Last night, there was a report about captain avenger thwarting a bank robbery.

A passerby described seeing him rout five armed men.

Now, Dr. brothers, is this a good thing or a bad thing in the sense of healthy or unhealthy?

Your question isn't as simple as it sounds.

On one hand, who says it's unhealthy to admire heroic figures?

Oh, I will.

Next we'll be looking for genies in bottles or having our fairy godmothers take us to the ball.

Doesn't the public response to captain avenger indicate that the people would like to have a hero?

Of course they would.

What happens when they find out it's a joke?

Assuming that the man is completely sincere, the question surely arises, how far will he go?

Isn't it inevitable that he'll let us down?

Well, he can't let us down if we don't let him set us up.

You're saying we ought to give up hope.

I don't believe that we have to give up hope.

We need our hopes as we need our fantasies.

We need you, captain avenger, dream and reality.

Keep it up.

This is a stickup! Everybody up!

Get up there! Move!

Come on! Hurry! Move it!

Quiet! Everybody to the back of the car!

Sit down on each side!

Quiet! Don't make any sudden moves!

Sit down back there!

Everybody be quiet, nobody gets hurt.

O.K.

Your money, rings, watches, wallets, in that bag!

Hurry up!

Stick it in there!

Come on, sis. Stick it in the bag.

There you go. Pass it down the line.

And your wallet!

You forgot your wallet!

Pass it along! Come on! Come on!

Come on! Come on!...

Come on! Hurry up!

I haven't got all day! Here. Take it.

Whatever you say, tough guy.

Captain avenger!

Don't you want your loot?

Stay there!

Get him, captain! Get him, captain!

Get him, captain!

Alright, everybody, you can relax now.

Everything's under control.

This is the end of the line for you.

Officer!

We have an attempted armed robbery here.

Thank you, captain. I'll take over.

Officer, I was a witness.

Would you mind coming with me?

No, I don't mind.

Let's move. Come on.

Great, huh?

It's selling so good, we can't keep it on the shelves.

Well, I heard you were a big hit today.

Listen, Mr. Reeves. I'm not doing it anymore.

I told myself all those things were true... people needing captain avenger and going out a legend.

And?

And I wanted a part in a play. I wanted to be somebody.

What's the harm of doing something good for yourself?

The harm is I feel lousy!

When I did it before, it was real. I felt great. Not now.

Steve...

You had a big day.

Why don't you go home, relax, think it over?

No, I thought it over. No.

We have an agreement.

I haven't collected my part.

Alright. Now, wait a minute.

Steve, hold on a second.

Something you should know about.

The mayor's office has been in touch with me.

They want to have a captain avenger day.

Not bad, huh?

With television coverage.

Everyone will get to see you. Really see you.

I mean, listen, if you... if you want to quit, o.K., but it's a nice way to go out, isn't it?

Alright, but that will be the last time.

You bet. I'll send a car for you.

Uh...

Uh, no, thanks. I'll get there on my own.

I'd rather send you a car.

I promise. I'll be there.

Thanks so much.

You're crazy.

You know that, don't you?

Uh, yeah. I heard it a couple of times.

Armed robbers on elevated trains?

Have you decided you really are captain avenger?

Not doing it again.

That's what you said last time.

Maybe it's an addiction.

Oh, come on, don't do that.

I should turn you in for your own good!

Hey, you don't want to deal with me.

You got other things to do, remember?

I should have expected that.

Oh, well.

I haven't seen you for days.

I've been busy.

Riding around on elevated trains.

Tomorrow I'm leaping over a tall building in a single bound.

Wrong guy. I'm expanding.

Go ahead and get yourself killed.

Just don't come and tell me about it.

Hey, toots. You want to put that in there?

You might want to check out the big c.A.

He really did it this time.

So I heard. So I heard.

"Suddenly he appeared"?

How the hell does somebody suddenly appear on a moving train?

20 witnesses say so. That's how.

20 witnesses.

"It's the idea that counts."

He even stopped to make a speech, Gloria.

Yeah.

Seems like I heard that speech before.

See you in the funny papers, honey.

Taxi! Taxi!

This is your better idea... forget about the fake heroics?

Have a ceremony. Give him the key to the city.

Enough coverage for two elections.

What have we got, a disappearing act instead?

He said he would be here.

I'm afraid we just have to start.

Without him?

We don't know what's happened.

You got me into this, Calvin.

I'm sorry, your honor.

I am not happy.

Ladies and gentlemen!

Ladies and gentlemen, the mayor of New York City!

Through the years, many heroes have been honored on these steps, none of them more extraordinary than the one we honor today.

I wish that he had seen fit to accept this tribute in person.

I can only hope...

I can only hope that wherever he is, he can hear our heartfelt expression of gratitude.

You are a bum! You are a bum!

I only hope... I only hope...

We want captain avenger!

We want captain avenger! We want captain avenger!

We want captain avenger!

We want captain avenger!


Thank you.

I don't want you to think that I don't appreciate this honor you're paying me, the mayor and all of you.

Thank you.

But, you see, I didn't come here for that.

I came here because I have something to say, and this is a chance to say it to a lot of people all at once.

But what I want to say is...

That I don't really matter very much.

That's not true.

We love you.

No, no, no.

You see, I don't really matter very much... who I am or where I come from, or if I'll ever show up again.

It's what captain avenger stands for. That's what's important.

That's what's important, and he stands for justice...

And loyalty...

And courage...

Those things still exist.

God bless you!

And there are heroes everywhere if you look for them, and not just guys in flashy costumes and comic book names but people... next-door, down the block... people putting themselves on the line for other people, caring.

People like you!

And people like you!

It's people putting themselves on the line for other people, caring, that's what being a hero is.

Be one yourself!

What if we all did? What a world that would be?

Right on!

And...

I'm not used to giving speeches, but, uh...

That's all I have to say, and I think it's enough.

Thank you for listening.


Just a few words for our viewers at home.

No. Not now. I can't. I'm sorry.

I'd like to talk to you, Steve.

Uh, I better go now. Thank you. I'm sorry.

This is Gloria Preston, wnyb, from city hall, where I am attempting to get an interview from captain avenger, the man being honored here today, or should I say Steve Nichols... a small-town, out-of-work actor performing rehearsed... performing rehearsed heroics to sell a movie and maybe... and maybe even a politician.

Mr. mayor, I think we ought to leave.

I have... wait a minute, people!

I have with me...

I have with me another actor... the so-called holdup man.

This man is prepared to admit that the whole train robbery was staged and it is as phony as captain avenger himself.

News media's always distorting information.

Is it true?

Is it fake?

Is it fake?

No. Not at first, but later on...

Not at first?

It was a fake!

It's not me. I'm not important.

It's what captain avenger stands for.

What the hell are you talking about, you fake?

It doesn't matter what you think of me.

Just don't forget the idea.

Please! It's the idea!

It's all a bunch of garbage, phony baloney.

Shut up!

What the hell are you talking, shut up?

Woodson put him up to it!

Get the son of a bitch!

Don't. Don't do that.

Were you involved?

Did he hide in your apartment?

Do you expect him to contact you?

I don't know anything.

Did you know before today that he's a fraud?

Some say he should be arrested.

Arrested?

Did you know a p.R. Firm told him what to do?

Did you suspect he was a phony?

He wasn't a phony.

How did this all happen?

The man I knew was real.

The bullet wound in his arm was real, and what he believed in, that was real, too.

How did you find all of this out?

That's all I have to say.

I have a mean knee. If you don't want to sing soprano, I suggest you move.

Ooh!

Good seeing you. Take care.

Take care. Bye-bye.


Steve.

I was watching for you.

May I come in?

I'm kind of busy.

Please.

I'm sorry.

I got what I deserve.

I gave them something. Then I took it away.

You're being pretty tough on yourself.

I'm just being honest.

If you run away, the bad guys win.

They will anyway. They got the numbers.

I don't know.

Maybe there's more of you than you think.

Fight back! Keep talking!

Nobody listens!

I did.

What about your career?

Some career.

You're going to give up acting?

You're going to let them take that, too?

Maybe they're doing me a favor.

Maybe I'm not any good.

You did a pretty good job as captain avenger.

I couldn't sustain the character.

How often do you have your costume ripped off in the middle of performance?

It's not fair.

Good luck...

With all the things you want.

What about the things that you want?

I'm not sure what they are anymore.

I don't believe that.

Alright, give up.

Go back to cawker city and lick your wounds.

Forget your career, forget captain avenger, and forget me.

Just let the whole world go to hell!

I'll forget, too!

I'll forget I ever met you.

We'll all forget you.

We could forget anything, you know.


There's been a collapse.

Gas is escaping, and they're afraid of more explosions at any moment.

Make sure everybody's out of that building.

Get some more lines to the inside.

...To the entire building now, and there is concern about it spreading...

Get some of this water over to the left-hand window.

We've had nearly a dozen casualties.

They've been sent to local hospitals, and the paramedics now tell me at least two dozen...

Help! Help!

Ross, get a light over to the top floor, far window to the right.

Help!

Get that basket up there right away!

Come on! Hurry! Get it moving!

Take it easy. Come on. Move it up there.

Quick!

Keep it moving. Keep it moving!

Please stay calm, lady. We're coming up to get you.

Help us! Help, please!

My baby! My boy's in there.

Help! Help! I can't find him!

I can't find him!

The fireman will help you.

Do you have my baby?

Where is he?

I want our people out of that building right now!

Where's my baby?

Dead! He's dead!

Don't worry, now. You're o.K.

Come on!

Move it! Move it!

Get out! I want everybody, and I mean everybody...

Johnny! Johnny!

Johnny! Johnny?

Easy. Easy.

You're going to be alright.

He's up there! My baby's up there!

Where's my son?

Have you seen my little boy?

Johnny! Johnny!

I'm going in there!

You can't! It's too dangerous.

Please find him. Will you find him?

Please! He's up there!

Johnny! Johnny!

My boy's up there. My boy's up there.

Nobody goes back in that building, understood?

...A young boy is still trapped in the building.

All rescue efforts have been stopped due to the imminent danger of further collapse.

Both fire and rescue crews have been ordered to stay out.

Chief Palmer faces a very difficult decision... whether he should risk the lives of his own men or to stand by helplessly while a boy is trapped in a potential time bomb.

What the hell is that? Get a light up there!

Jesus Christ!

It's captain avenger!


Is anybody there?

Yes.

It's going to be alright.

Let's get out of here. Let's go!

Come on. Here we go.

Grab on tight grab on tight.

I'm going to get you out of here.

Will he find him, or will...

He's got the kid!

Captain Moore, bring out the net!

Get that net here!

Move it! Move it in there!

Drop the child first.

Give us a moment to reset, then you jump!

Alright!

Oh, Johnny!

Now! Are you ready?

I'm ready!

Steve!

No! I know he's still alive!

I'm going in!

You can't!

Stop me! Me, too!

Where are you going?

I'll go in?

No. You take over here. I'm going in.

Get these vehicles out of here!


There he is!

Steve!

You o.K.?

I love you!

I'm alright. I'll be o.K.

Let's go home. Let's go home. O.K.?

Please.

God bless you.

It's him, isn't it?

The same guy from the movie house.

You know, I guess it doesn't matter who it is.