Little Pink House (2017) Script

We were watching TV and then I looked over at her, and she was just sort of slumped over.

And when was the last time that she had something to eat or drink?

About an hour ago, she had... she was drinking some tea. She had a couple cookies.

Has she had any fainting spells recently?

No. Never.

How you doing, Agnes?

You getting better?

Hey, I still need to try that famous Bolognese of yours.

How'd you know about Mom's Bolognese?

Who doesn't?


Much better. Yeah.

Your blood pressure's up.

I think you just needed some fluids.

Do you feel better? Is she gonna be okay?

Yeah, her color is coming back and her heart rate is down.

You just got kind of wiped out there, huh?


Wait a minute. Are you, um... Susette?

It's Paulette. I knew it was you.

Oh, my God.

Mama, it's Susette.

Remember her from school? I remember you because you were one of the...

I guess the only parent who would let me call you by your first name.

I thought you were so cool.


Look at you! It's so good to see you back in the old neighborhood. I know.

Hi. I was just leaving you a note with my number. Oh, great.

I'm just running to the hospital because Mom wants some of her stuff.

All right. Here you go, and... it was so great to see you.

I am calling. Great.

Bye. Bye.

Good morning, New London.

Sports and weather at the bottom of the hour, and now our top story.

A new jobs report tells us what you already knew.

The regional economy isn't getting any better.

This according to economists from the University of Connecticut.

Now, they're saying jobs are scarce, and that there's no indication that's going to change any time soon.

Of course, unemployment has been a big concern for years, many finding it difficult to secure even part-time work.

So, what should we do about the lousy economy?

Our lines are wide open right now, so call us and tell us what you think...

Holy shit.

Oh, my God.


Well, I'd heard somebody finally bought this place.

I had to meet the person ballsy enough to paint it pink.

Well, it's not pink. It's "Odessa Rose".

If you say so.-

Hi. I'm Billy.

Billy Von Winkle. Oh, sorry. Susette Kelo.

Nice to meet you, Susette Kelo.

Welcome to the neighborhood.

Thank you.

So, how do you like it?

Well, the view sucks.

Other than that, it's nice.

It's fantastic. Yeah.

Do you live nearby? I own the deli on the corner, and a couple other buildings that I rent out.

Cool. I've been meaning to come by.

It's great to have a deli.

How about now? I can't. Thank you, but...

Come on. I'll let you buy me a cup of coffee.

I just have a lot of work to do, so...

Come on, Red. We need the business.

All right. You know, let me just wash up and I'll meet you over there.

Welcome to the neighborhood.

I'll see you there. Okay.

So what's your story? What?

You married? What? Oh. Twice.

Yeah. One ex-husband and one soon to be.

Yeah? Which one pays the mortgage?

This one. Good for you.

So, what do you do? Huh?

How do you make a living?

I'm a paramedic.

No kidding, huh? Nope.

Well, you'll do good business in this town.

Half the neighborhood's on its last legs.

Oh, yeah, I noticed.


Man, does it always... is it like this all the time?

Because it stinks.

You'd think the pastrami would kind of cover the smell of the sewage plant. Well, not quite.

I mean, we've been complaining as far back as anybody can remember. What are you gonna do?

It's like talking to a rock, right?

Which is why I spearheaded Operation Caca de Pollo.

What? Did you say "Caca"?

I got a couple of big containers of chicken shit. No!

I brought it to City Hall, basically, dumped it, and everyone was gagging and dry heaving.

It took 'em weeks to clean it up.

Yeah. But, spent an afternoon in jail for it but it was worth it. It was worth it.

And I got on Leno. You did?

Jay Leno. Was he... was he nice?

Very nice. Yeah.

Very, very nice man.

Your numbers are still strong.

Hell, you've even got some Democrats who like you.

That is why you're on my payroll.

You do work miracles.

But I do need one more.

I want you to get me New London.

What the hell's in New London?

Absolutely nothing.

I do like the concept.

I just don't know who could pull that off.

We need somebody with clout, integrity, popularity, not tied to any party.

Riding in on a unicorn. I know someone.

What's his name? Her name... is Charlotte Wells.

She's president of Walthrop College... with a Rolodex to kill for.

PhD in French literature.

Brains, relentless ambition.

And a real charmer, if you know what I mean.

Even her own husband has never seen her unkempt, shall we say.

Those of us who are blessed with gifts must design a better world for the poor.

But first... Mr. Governor.

Charlotte Wells here to see you.

Send her in.

Charlotte. Peter.

Thanks for coming on such short notice.

Always lovely to see you.

Mr. Governor.

Strong handshake.


We take this blighted plot of land by the sewage treatment plant and we redevelop it.

We lure a world-class company to build some high-tech facility and boom. Add jobs, tax revenue, economic miracle.

It'll certainly compliment the work you've already been doing.

We rescue a struggling blue-collar city, and everyone wins. Well, Mr. Governor...

I've been in the trenches, and it is a tall task trying to pull off something like this in a town that takes five years to approve a stop sign.

All we need is the land.

Land under jurisdiction of a mayor who would give zero support.

The State of Connecticut will make sure that you succeed.


New London Development Corporation.

It sounds familiar.

NLDC was established in 1978 with the goal of assisting with economic development.

Oh, that's right.

It's been gathering dust ever since, so, we simply dust it off and give it to you.

How generous.

Now, why would you do that?

You lead the NLDC, but the city officials are familiar with it, so, they're comfortable.

The NLDC finds a worthy project, and it gets funded thanks to the governor.

I simply just can't be the face of the operation, obviously.

Just the mastermind.

I'll tell you what.

Why don't you sleep on it?

I have a fundraiser.

It has been such a pleasure.



Hello? Hi, it's Tim LeBlanc here.

Your number came up on my caller ID.

Oh, I'm sorry.

I must have misdialed. Sorry about that.

Okay, well, I thought... Thank you.

...maybe you were the customer who came in...

Listen, I can't...

I can't buy anything.

I can't donate anything.

I apologize, it was a mistake, and would you please take me off your list?

Okay? Thanks a lot.

Bye-bye. Okay.

I'm not actually a telemarketer...

Oh, shoot.

If you go down this aisle, you'll see picture frames up on the... up on the left.


Hi. Tim LeBlanc, telemarketer speaking.

I'm so sorry.

Anyway, are you open right now?

You know what? I'm gonna be here right up to the point where I leave. Oh. Good. All right...

Good. You gonna come by? No, I'll come over.

Risk it.

Oh, my God.

Now I have to go.

I do... I like the red one. Yeah.

It's just... Well, everything is half off.

Well, it's just that one's a little out of my price range, so... How's that?

Oh, that's nice. All right?

Yeah. That's in excellent shape.

Cushions are good. Oh, they're beautiful.

Yeah. Yeah.

And everything's a half off. Great.

Even this? No, that's a million dollars.


Oh, I'm... I... do you deliver? Sure.

And... oh, thank you. Yeah.

How much would that cost?

How about a meal?

Oh. I got... it doesn't have to be a big meal.

Do you take checks?

No. No. Move Jason to the morning.

Mr. Governor, I have Charlotte Wells...

Just a sec. ...on line one for you.

Is this the call I've been waiting for?

Well, it very well might be, Mr. Governor.

Just one question.

Why the sudden interest in my little town?

Well, I care deeply about revitalizing distressed communities.

Well, if you would allow me to take a wild guess at another reason...

And what's that, Charlotte?

Republican governor of Democratic state rescues struggling Democratic city?

You're the hero. You woo plenty of voters.

Maybe even myself and you win reelection in a landslide and more importantly, that kind of narrative plays well on a national stage.

Am I right? Are you in?

It's not gonna be easy trying to convince a world-class company to redevelop next to a sewage plant.

Well, you're creative.

I'm sure you have some great ideas.


I'm in.

But you better take my calls when you're in the White House.

It was nice chatting again with you, Charlotte.

Au revoir.


And you're back with the Lyndon and Power Show.

So did you guys hear? Something called the New London Development Corporation is supposedly gonna rescue our local economy.

Yeah, well, good luck with that.

Yeah. We wanna hear what you think.

Economic development and social justice, they go hand in hand.

And with this project, well, we might actually make New London hip.

Imagine a Fortune 500 company in New London.

Sante. Cheers.

Thank you again for joining me ce soir, Howard.

It's too bad your husband couldn't join us.

Well, if you weren't such a slave driver, David might have been able to.

David tells me you have some important business to discuss.

C'est tellement vrai. I'm sorry?

So very true.

Fuck you.

I found the problem. There's a tampon in your faucet. Really?

Yeah. Okay, well, I'm gonna go to the hardware store and pick you up a toilet kit

'cause your chain's all fucked up.

Oh, great. I'll just...

I'll pay you back whatever.

Oh, man. This thing.

How much is that thing? I wanna pay you for that.

Fifty bucks.

Are you kidding? That was in the junk pile in the back. That's not worth 50 bucks.

All right, it's got a bit of rot. Maybe... minus pizza, beer...

Twenty bucks. Okay.

And then if you go to the hardware store, I'll pay you back.

Here. Move.

We should probably stain that before we start hammering on it. You know?

I'm tired.

New London Mills is ripe for development.

All we need is the right partner.

The city is hungry, Howard.

A project like this would bring so much good to so many people.


It's funny. What's funny?

I don't know how much David has told you about what's going on over here.

Not a thing.

Well, I'll tell you, since it's about to go public very soon.

We've hit on something big.

So big that we're gonna need to expand.

Oh, do tell.

What is it?

Don't let erectile dysfunction get in the way of your golden years.

Millions of men struggle with erectile dysfunction.

Get your prescription today.

Results may vary.

Talk to your doctor about possible side effects.

Side effects may... Tim?


Voila. What do you think? Beautiful.


I'm gonna kill them. Yeah.

Are you my permanent gardener?

All part of the master plan.


Oh. Hmm.

Lunch is ready. Yeah?

Turkey, cigarette. Do you have beer?

I got two!

Yeah? Yeah.

Judging by the smell of things, this is going to be quite the cleanup job.


Well, I cringe to think how much it would cost.

We're talking tens of millions at least.

All right. Well, hold on a moment.

Let's just look at the positive.

I mean, you're right across the river.

Everything. Everything is accessible.

Research facilities.

Hotel for guests.

I don't know, Charlotte.

I don't think this is the spot.

Excuse me, gentlemen.

Do you realize Pfizer could be New London's savior?

Pfizer is in the pharmaceutical business, Charlotte, not the savior business.

Besides, we need far more space than this.

Thank you, Howard.

For what?

For telling me what you need.

It's so peaceful.

I feel happy here.

I feel like I'm home.

Yeah? Yeah.

I love you.

That's... I mean...

What? No. Just...

I'm surprised. That's all. Okay.

I wasn't expecting...

I was just thinking how nice it is how... that we're friends, and I...

I love that, and...

I just want it to... kind of be this way. Nothing stays the same, you know?

I know.

Can't we... you know, just be the way we are?

This is wonderful.

I'd have to think about that.

Okay. Thanks for lunch.

This better be good.

The governor asked me to pass along three numbers to you.

Okay. Zero.

The number of sewage treatment plants Pfizer will have to bother with.


Seventy-five million.

The amount of state funding that the governor will commit to ensure Pfizer's successful expansion into New London.

What's the third number?

That's entirely up to you.

I don't follow.

How many acres do you need?

All right. Welcome to New London, Mr. Munson.

Damn, it stinks.

Hi, this is Tim.

I'm either not home or I'm screening my calls because I'm avoiding someone.

If I don't call you back, it's you.

Hi. Hi there.

How are you?


Can I help? No.

I'm good. No? Okay.

So, how have you been?

All right.

Well... I just... you said you were gonna think about it and I haven't heard from you, so...

I'm still thinking.

Okay. Yeah.

I just wanted to say I miss you.

I miss you too.

I do.


I'll see you.

Guess who's coming to town?

Iron Maiden.

Pfizer expansion may bring more than 1,000 jobs.


New London Development Corporation non-profit is redeveloping I guess for Pfizer in the historic Fort Trumbull neighborhood.


Mrs. Kelo. How are you? Yes. Hello.

It's Kelo. Thank you. Oh, Kelo. Sorry.

Can I help you with something?

I'm Lynn Vargas. I'm a realtor working with the NLDC.

Do you have a few moments to chat?

Sure. Please come on in. Okay. Thank you.

Can I get you something to drink?

No, I'm fine. Thanks.

Wow. It looks really nice in here.

I take it you've done quite the renovation on this place.

I have. I love it.

Thank you. Have a seat, please.

Thank you. Sure.

So... Hmm.

...the NLDC would like to make you an offer to buy your house.

Oh, but it's not for sale.

But we're offering you 68,000 dollars.

That's significantly more than what you paid for it.

I don't want to sell it.

Thank you.

Mrs. Kelo, we're making you a...

It's Kelo. Kelo, excuse me.

We're making you a... No problem.

...a very generous offer on this house.

I'm sure you're aware of the redevelopments?

No, not really.

Well, your property is in the area designated for the expansion effort.

Let me ask you something.

Do you work for Pfizer?

No. New London Development Corporation.

But it's for Pfizer ultimately, right?

Not exactly. Then who exactly is it for?

It doesn't matter. Either way, I don't wanna sell.

But thank you so much. It was a pleasure to meet you.

Oh. And I appreciate it.

Thanks for coming by. Well, you know, I have a card that I would love to give to you. Great. You can just leave it right there in the mailbox, and I'll get them all later.

Oh, sorry. Okay. Thank you so much.

If you'd like to discuss... Take care. Bye-bye.


So that's why I'm here. I wanted to talk to you about the exciting new development...

I strongly suggest that you sell.

What will happen to this area is just unbelievable, and we are so excited to be a part of it.

I think you're going to be excited too once you see what the possibilities are in your neighborhood.

Look, if you wait, we may not be able to offer you market value, which is what you'd get right now.

This check allows us to option your property for purchase.

"Please contact an NLDC representative at your earliest..." are you listening? Yeah!

Okay. "At your earliest convenience.

It is not our intention to cause any unnecessary hardship and we will... we will endeavor to make your move as convenient as possible.

Sincerely, Charlotte Wells."

Oh, I'm sure, Charlotte Wells.

Do we at least get some free Viagra?

I don't believe this stuff. I mean, not for me, obviously.

Who is... who is this person?

These letters are more and more frickin' ridiculous.

I mean, they really think I'm gonna move.


Here, give me a hug, baby.

No, Tim. You know, it's not funny.

You're not even listening to me. Forget it. Yes, I am.

Where are you going? I'm gonna go for a walk.

Billy! Did you get that letter?

I mean, they're relentless. They're idiots.

I'm so pissed.

Yeah. Susette, look.

I can barely make my payroll.

I know. So...

I'm thinking maybe it's not such a bad thing.

Oh, no. Oh, no, no. Hang on, hang on.

So, right, I make a couple of bucks finally.

You're kidding, right? I mean, you're kidding.

Don't do that. No, don't do that.

Me, don't do that? No, no, no, hang on.

You don't do that. You don't do that.

You see anybody lining up to get in here? I don't!

You are not gonna sell. Please, Billy.

You're not gonna sell, please.

I gave them a number.

If they match it, we got a deal, I told them. Oh, my God.


That's great.

That sucks! That sucks!

Susette, come on!

Oh. Mrs. Kelo! Hi!

Hi. Mrs. Kelo, I have great news.

They've agreed to increase their offer by 10,000 dollars.

Over market value. Really?

Yes! Oh, wow.

You know, I never noticed that locket.

It's beautiful. Oh.

Yeah. Thank you.

It was my great grandmother's. Oh. Yeah.

Would you be interested in selling it?

Oh. No. It's an heirloom, so...

500? 1,000?

2,000? I'll give you...

What would it take, Lynn?

Mrs. Kelo, If you don't sell now, the NLDC could pursue acquiring the property through other means.


Okay. Thank you for telling me that.

Will you do me a favor and just relay a message?

Tell them... good luck.


Thank you, Lynn.

Listen, you take care.

Thank you.

Hi. Sorry.

Hey. That's okay.

I just got here.

I think I might have figured out what your new best friend meant by "other means".

Oh, yeah? What's that?

Hi, I'll just... a pint of beer.

Thank you.

What is that?

In the Constitution, in the Fifth Amendment, there... listen, it's eminent domain.

They can take your home, they can take your land, if they wanna build a hospital, highway, school, something for public use.

But nobody's talking about building a highway or hospital.

I know.

They just want my home.

How could somebody break into my house and take everything I have and go to jail?

Hell, you could shoot 'em.

I could shoot them!

I could kill them.

But if they want the whole thing, it's perfectly legal.

Perfectly legal.

Are you kidding me? No.

Oh, my God.

I'm freaking out.

This land is everything I have, Tim.

It's all I own, it's the only thing that protects me from them.

Uh, hello.

I'm here to see Charlotte Wells.

And your name?

Susette Kelo.

There's a Susette Kelo here to see you.

Well, I did hear, or read, that Pfizer was... wants to build in Fort Trumbull.

Is that true?

Oh, yes.

Yes. Once we take care of the blight in the area, we can finally make this city hip.

It's very... it's very exciting.

Is that... this is my house.

Where? It's right there.

It's right in the blight.

Well, you have an exquisite view of the river.


I don't really care how exciting all of this is.

I just... nobody can force me out of my own home.

Oh, no... oh.

No one is forcing you, Susette.

We wanna buy your home.

I don't wanna sell it.

I don't wanna sell it.

Right, but your house is in a parcel that has been designated for the redevelopment plan.

The city will help relocate you.

I mean, this is a collaboration between us and the residents.

Well, how are we... collaborating?

Well, we'll work together and come to a mutual agreement.

Oh, I'll never agree.

There's no other house with this "exquisite view" of the water that I could afford.


Have you ever worked with the poor?

Those people standing around outside of those vacant storefronts, in your neighborhood.

I talk to them.

You should see their faces light up when they hear about all of this.

What about eminent domain?

It's an option.

But only as a last resort if people refuse to sell.

If you even try to take my property away from me, the whole world is gonna hear about it.

I want to set up a meeting with the Fort Trumbull residents and nip this in the bud before it spreads.

Hi. My name is Susette Kelo.

I live in Fort Trumbull and I need to talk to the Mayor please, right away. Okay.

And can I tell him what this is regarding?

It's regarding the people who are trying to steal my house.

Okay. Please hold.

Well, I'll tell you, I can see why they want this place.

Come on, Beachy.

Is this real?

It might be.

Is there anything you can do to help us?

Well, Susette, the way city government works, in particular New London, my options are a little bit limited.

But if you get out there, start knocking on doors, get people engaged, gather up some letters from everybody, I can take those letters down to City Council.

Because then I'll have your support.

And that gives me a little bit more power.

But you have to hit the ground running.

You understand?

Rally the troops.

We have troops?

My name's Susette Kelo.

I live in the pink house.

We're having Saturday cleanup, so please come if you're free.

And bring people. Please. Yeah.

Yeah. Invite friends.

Thank you.

Stop trying to give them both.

We don't have to give each person in a couple one.

It's just a waste.

So I'm having this gathering on Saturday.

Invited most of the people in the neighborhood.

My house is that pink one.

Hey. Hi.

You brought your own rake. How great.

If you don't mind signing in, and your address, even though I know where you are.

Thank you. Hey, Dobbs.

Thanks for coming in.

I've been living here for 40 years.

To be a bus driver, and have a view like this, huh?

It's incredible.

And that's why we have to fight.

I don't think this is gonna make any difference.

Look, I know these people.

I don't want to join a group of whiners.

Well, will you at least write a letter?

This is all gonna blow over.


Oh, what the hell?


I thought I was the bad one, but really, your daughter was the bad one.

No, she instigated everything. No, I didn't.

Oh, stop. No, I didn't.

My husband gave up the ghost in this house.

It's where he wanted to be.

And it's where I want to be too when my time comes.

My wife and I grew up in this neighborhood.


This is the only house we've ever lived in.

We raised our children here.

This is my home.

We want... to stay... here.

Good evening.


Good evening.

Well, I love a man who yells my name.



I know there's been a lot of speculation about what's going on in the neighborhood, and I thought it would be good to get together tonight and talk about it.

Now first...

let me tell you about a new vision for New London.

And I am here tonight to invite each and every one of you to be a part of our team to create this vision.

A New London that is vital and hip.

Hip? You mean...

"High Income People" hip?

All right. All right, please.

Please everyone, let's keep this civil.

What? Oh, okay.

While we're keeping it civil you'll be stealing our homes.

Is that right?

No, no, no.

That is not true.

Everyone, no final decisions have been made.

We are still looking into every alternative.

Well, then why did you fire the engineering firm that suggested these homes might be spared?


Well, actually, they weren't fired.

Their work was done and... we both moved on.

Oh, oh, excuse me.

You moved on because Pfizer told you to move on.

You're all a bunch of kiss-asses!

Let me be clear, because I know that there are some of you who view this redevelopment as a bad thing.

I'm sorry, but do you see kicking us out of our homes as a bad thing?

You don't think it's bad. Exactly!

I assure you no one wants to kick you out of your homes.

You sure got a funny way of showing it.

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Please understand our perspective here.

The most important thing to us, to me, and I'm sure you'll all agree, is to help those in need.


The jobless, the homeless, the people on the fringes of society, they will benefit the most from this plan.


Pfizer's expansion to New London will increase this city's tax revenue by $12 million a year.

We are only here to make this city that you live in a better place.

Who decides what a better place is?


Oh, no. No, no.

Not me.

Your community wants this.

No. Oh, yes.

And your city needs this.

Charlotte. Charlotte.

What are you gonna do so that these people can keep their homes?

Yeah, that's right. Yeah.

The best course for us to improve our city would be to acquire all the homes.

What? This is bullshit!

This is bullshit!

It's bullshit.

It's absolute bullshit.

You're gonna help the homeless by kicking people out of their homes?

Where do you people get off?

This is unbelievable. No. I think I get it.


You took one look at our neighborhood and saw this great water view and said, "Hey, this is pretty nice.

What are all these scumbags doing here?"

Yeah. Yeah!

No. No, no, no, no.

"Their houses aren't good enough.

They can't be next to Pfizer.

They just don't fit in."

That's right. That's right.

No. Here's the thing.

Social justice and economic development, they go hand in hand.

Do you think we fit in?

Susette, I would like to think there's a place here for all of us.

Thank you. What does that mean?

Any other comments?

Pfizer tells the NLDC what it wants, the NLDC goes over to the governor's office, they funnel all the money back to the NLDC to make all Pfizer's dreams come true.

They got Charlotte talking to Pfizer, Pfizer's talking to Charlotte.

At one point, she even says, "I don't want Pfizer to have to look down on the tenements.

Sleazy, yeah.

But not necessarily illegal.

The city takes our property by force, using our own tax money, sells it back to Pfizer for a fucking dollar?

In what fantasy world is that legal?

Who's your source?

The dumpster, at the back of the NLDC building.

You're joking, right?

No, I'm not. You're not joking?

No. Who cares where I got it, man?

You're at the paper. Can you print it or not?

I don't know. What do you mean, you don't know? Seriously, I don't know.

This what you do! Billy.

Look, Billy, there's another way to handle this.

We can ask the NLDC to show us the documents.

Right. Yeah. Like that's gonna happen.


At which point, we'll file a complaint for not being compliant with the Freedom of Information Act.

Yeah, that'll be a fun headline for the Governor.

Get me Charlotte.

We are getting hammered in the press.

In addition to your plan to demolish the homes, you violate the Freedom of Information act?

The NLDC is a private corporation.


You could have shown them something!

All right, Mr. Governor, I think this little bump in the road is far better than had I shown them even one document.


Now, if you remember, I told you from the very beginning that this was going to be an uphill battle, and... if I may toot my own horn, I have come in on time and on budget.

I am not authorizing another dime until you clean up this PR shitstorm.

Oh, my God.

Oh, my God.

Excuse me.

Are you the owner of this house?

I live there. Yeah.

What happened? There was a fire.

I'm not quite sure of the cause.

Yeah. Is everything okay?

Are the people all right? They're fine.

They're in Family Services. They're fine.

Okay. And my house? Can I go in, or...

You can, but we had to soak it down to protect it from the fire, but there could be some water damage, or smoke damage. Okay. Thank you.

Okay. All right.

Well, that's one way to get rid of her.

This is unbelievable.

Damn it!


All right, everybody, here's the deal.

The NLDC... has gotten permits to demolish five buildings in Fort Trumbull, including the house right next door to this one.

So, we need a lawyer. I think so.

You need ten lawyers.

What are you talking about "a" lawyer?

I deal with this kind of stuff.

I have in the past.

It is a pain in the ass.

Business that great over at the antique store?

What are you suggesting? You, like... I mean, you could always sell your Jag, Billy.

I mean... No, I'd sell the Jag.

I'd sell the Jag. I'd sell it, but I'm telling you we need more money...

What else you gonna chip in? Guys.


I think I can get a guy who'll take the case for free.

Is he any good?

No, the hearing isn't until February.


No, no, I've been here 15 minutes.

I'm circling. I don't know where I am.

East, East, East...

Hey, hey, Chip, I gotta call you right back, okay?

Eating, talking on your cell phone, looking on a map.

It appears that driving made it last on your to-do list.

What brings you to New London, Mr. Bullock?

I'm on my way to Susette Kelo's house.

I'm with the Institute for Justice.

What's the Institute for Justice?

We're a non-profit law firm.

Are you here to help the Fort Trumbull folks?

I am.

My Aunt lives in Fort Trumbull.

You go get 'em, Mr. Bullock.

Two blocks down.

On the right.

Okay. Thank you.

I really appreciate it.

This is blight?



So, Scott, so glad you could come down here to help us.

Yeah, of course. I think this is gonna be right up your street.

Can I get anybody anything else?

No, no, we're good. No, we're good to go.

Okay, so I'd just like to start with asking you all a few questions.

How long have you been a lawyer?

Nine years.

Why do you ask?

I just wondered if it was long enough.

For... for what?

To take this case?

Yeah. I think so.

Don't, don't worry about her. She doesn't know any lawyers.

So I don't know any lawyers.

Susette, I can assure you, all of you, that Scott here comes from a pedigree firm.

I think it's a great thing that you're so young.

You won't wear out as fast.

That and I like your bicycle out front.

So, is that you? You're the "Mayor of Jones Street"?


No, this was Frederick Colonardi's hat.

The man who passed away. Yeah. And I'll tell you, he's be looking down right now and he's absolutely disgusted with what he sees.

With good reason. Excuse me.

Even though I have shirts older than you...


I was just wondering if you're gonna take our case.

That's what I'm here to find out.

What was that?

I simply want to know if it's on city council's agenda to vote on the demolition.

You don't know.

All right. I'll keep checking.

And finally, a vote to permit the Bunny Choir Players from New London Elementary to perform Christmas Carols in the town center.

All in favor say aye.

Aye. All right.

One remaining issue.

A vote for permits allowing the NLDC to demolish at East and Trumbull.

All in favor say Aye.

They just tore down Terry's house.

What? Yeah. Look. Excuse me.

What the hell do you think you're doing?

Sir, we're with the NLDC...

No, I know who you're with.

Oh, my God. You don't have a permit to do this! The NLDC put the paperwork in last night. No. That's bullshit!

I was just at City Council last night.

I got this. Go get my knitting.

What? Get my knitting.

Oh, jeez.

I'm just doing my job. You are unbelievable.

Let me see this. These are private documents.

This is such bullshit. Excuse me. Excuse me.

Ma'am, you can't do that.

I'm going. Be my guest, Ms. Kelo.

She's right. Stop. You are not sitting on the steps. I am. Billy!

No, you're not, if you want Bullock to take the case we gotta to do it his way.

Red, we have to do it his way.

Susette. Okay. Okay.

All right. Okay.

Billy, let me... Yeah. Police, please.

Well, here they come.

You know the drill.

Oh, for God...

Well, you might as well arrest us

'cause we're not moving.

Mayor Beachy, please come with us.

Sam, you know we're not leaving voluntarily.


This is wrong, you know.

What if this was your house?

You should be ashamed of yourselves.

How do you sleep at night?

All right, let's move these people out of the way.

Start it up.

No, no, no.

How can they do that? I don't know.

Oh, God!

Oh, my God! Oh, my God!

This is somebody's home!

To hell with you.

Oh, God! My house!

Please, just my house. It's right here.

Let me just go inside and get the...

Get it off my porch.


Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.

Hey! Hey, hey!

Hey! Hey!

Cut it, man. She's on her porch!

Cut it!

Cut the goddamn engine!

You see her standing right there!

Don't you see that?

Oh, no.

Susette, come on down from there.


It was a cock show to illustrate the inevitability.

To say, "This is a done deal. You can't stop it".

Legally, the city did own those homes, Scott.

They had the right to tear them down.

Yeah, but they didn't have to.

They did it to intimidate Susette.

To let her know she's next.

I could get every reporter in America on this.

We need to take these people on.

He's right.

We're gonna take your case.

And you won't have to pay us a fee.

Good, because, you know, we don't have any money.

But we do need something of you in return.

What's that?

I.J. wants this story covered by every major media outlet.

We want full public exposure.

That means talk shows, newspapers, magazine interviews...

We need you to be the face of this fight.


Oh, I don't... no.

I don't want to be the face of anything.

Make Billy do it.

I don't think that's a good idea.

No offense. None taken.

Susette, it's got to be you.


Why does it have to be me? I mean...

I... Because it's your house.

Because you have more strength and resilience than any woman I know.

Plus, you're hot.

Smoking hot.

No. I, it's...

Okay. I'll do it.

Yeah? Yeah.

Then we're in.

Okay. Thank you.

Evening, everyone.

Interesting way to champion the cause of "social justice," Charlotte.

This Institute for Justice, do we need to be concerned?

Well, thanks to their lawsuit, I've got reporters crawling up my ass every time I set foot outside my own house.

Well, what are they asking?

They're wanting to know why the city is trying to throw people out of their homes.

And when the city's attorney can't answer that question, there tends to be some cause for concern.

What are we looking at?

I.J. filed a restraining order.

It'll do some short-term damage in the court of public opinion, but, technically, you own those homes, so you're in the clear.

Any judge will lift the RO.


So Father, we now commend Agnes to you in your hands.

Hang in there, okay?

See you there. Okay. Yeah.

Mom was so scared.

She kept worrying that they were gonna kick her out.


Well, at least she got to die in her own home, huh?

And now I'm gonna lose that too.

It's fine.

I'll see you later, okay? Okay. Okay.

Hold my calls.

I'm so sorry I'm late.

There are allegations that the amount of time you've put into the NLDC has lead to financial distress at Walthrop College.

Is this true? No.

No, a lot of people want to attack a woman for trying to do it all.

I'm not concerned about Walthrop.

These are just critics.

Getting back to Fort Trumbull, Mrs. Colonardi, the widow...

We told her she could stay. She can?

Yeah, we wouldn't need her house until after she dies, so...

Next question.

Our top story tonight.

Residents of the historic Fort Trumbull area of New London are fighting to save their homes.

On Monday they'll head to Court to resolve their dispute over land proposed for the multimillion dollar redevelopment of the waterfront neighborhood.

Let me tell you something that should put you instantly at ease in an interview.

You're already the world's greatest expert on your story.

You've lived it.

You know it.

All you have to do is tell the truth about what you've experienced here.

What you're doing is right.

What they're doing, it's wrong.

Oh, sure, sometimes reporters they'll ask you questions you might not know the answer to.

It might be a question about the law or the Constitution.

Just be honest and say, "You know what?

I don't know the answer to that, but... let me tell you about this home.

And what it means to me...

Thank you. ...and my family."

That's it.

It isn't any more complicated than that.

So... are you the world's greatest expert on your story?

Then tell your story.

Hands off our homes!

Hands off our homes!

Hands off our homes!

Hands off our homes!

Hands off our homes!

I don't...

You can do this.

Let's just get this over with.

Hands off our homes!

Hands off our homes! All right?

Hands off our homes!

Hands off our homes!

Hands off our homes!

Yes, go.

Hands off our homes!

Hello. Hi. Good morning.

My name's Susette Kelo. Yeah, we know!

We look forward to presenting our case today.

We've waited a long time for this.

And we look forward to having our day in court.

Thank you.

Ms. Kelo, do you truly believe that the city's in violation of the Constitution?



I just know... that we should be able to keep our homes.

No, and then, one more thing, and that... what they're doing is wrong.

That's it.

I guess some lawyers file their papers with the media first, then the court.

Mr. Bullock.

You may proceed, sir.

Your Honor. Government can, through the power of eminent domain, lawfully seize private property for public use to build hospitals, highways, dams.

But in this case, the government has misused its power to enrich private parties, namely Pfizer Pharmaceutical.

Your Honor, simply stated, the City of New London followed state statutes.

I would also like to point out that the NLDC has spent 73 million dollars upgrading roads, sewers, street lights, all of which has resulted in public benefit.

How did you learn eminent domain was filed against you?

I came home from work one day and a letter was taped to my front door.

Was there anything about an occupancy fee?

You mean the eviction notice?

So you also received an eviction notice?


Prior to that, was there anything about a rental fee?


They wanted me to pay rent on the house that I own.

What, if anything, Mrs. Kelo, do you wanna get out of this lawsuit?

I just want to be left in peace.

I don't... I wanna come home and... relax, finally, and be left alone.

Which is why it is so important for us to integrate the infrastructure of large corporations to the brass tacks needs of our city's most needful... Okay, okay, okay.

Mrs. Wells, let's see something new.

Oh. Realizing that life is short, when someone asks you a "yes" or "no" question, how about you answer with a "yes" or "no"?


So, was the answer to my question... yes?


I said yes.

I said it at the end instead of the beginning.

That's the way the French frame their answers, so I'm sorry and I will try to think more Anglo-American.

Billy, you're gonna wear a hole in the carpet. I'm good.


Let me put you on speaker.

Okay. Are you there?

Mm-hm. We're all here, buddy.

Bull. Tim here. Billy here.

All right.

You, Billy, and the Vecchiarellis get to keep your properties.

Oh, my God.

Oh, my God. Oh, yes.

What, what? What, what, what?

What else, brother? The rest isn't good.

See, the judge split the baby.

What does that mean? Developers won't build anything on your land, but they might build something on theirs. What?

How does that work?

How would that work?

Listen, you guys. Go get a drink.

Celebrate a little. You deserve it.

Okay? We'll talk tomorrow. Okay. Thank you, brother.

Thank you very much. We're going for a drink.

Come on. Let's hit the bar.

Let's do that. Let's celebrate.

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

We're getting drunk.

Come on.

Okay, let me just get my... let me get my wallet and stuff.

No, I got money.

I've got money.

So what do we do now?

This one's above my pay grade.

Basically, they're saying that if nobody appeals the decision, they won't appeal either.

I don't trust a damn thing they say anyway.

They're trying to pit us against each other.

I can't even believe they can do this.

We get to keep our homes and they gotta take it.

Fuck 'em.

Either all of us stay, or all of us go. Yup.

I mean, what's the point, right?

I got a deli with nobody in it?

Hey, how's the new thing?

Oh, since Pfizer moved in, it's great.

I got no neighbors, but I got this raging boner all the time. Who needs that?

Yeah. We fight 'em.


Thanks, sweetie.

I'm scared.

I got your back.

I know.

Thank you.

Thank you.

No, I mean it. Thank you.

First thing tomorrow, we're gonna file an appeal so the Kelo, Von Winkle, and Vecchiarelli properties go back to the NDLC. This is ludicrous.

Everybody's talking about it.

Just yesterday, my 11-year-old granddaughter, she asks me why it's okay for the city to steal people's homes.

My own granddaughter.

They grow up fast nowadays.


What's next?

We need to block I.J.'s move to overturn the ruling.

Got it.

No, I don't care what he's doing.

I need to speak with him. Now.

And will he know what it's regarding, Mrs. Wells?

Yes, he knows exactly what this is regarding.

Charlotte Wells for you...


Hello, Charlotte.

I got a call from one of your lackies.

You didn't have the balls to fire me yourself.

Now hold on. No, you hold on.

You hired me to turn this city around and I did exactly that.

And now you're throwing me out?

You've become a liability.

A fucking liability?!

Charlotte, the only thing that both sides can agree on is how much they despise you. You're out of control.

You don't seem to care who you step on or who sees you do it.

Yeah. I do what is necessary.

If I haven't left some blood on the battlefield, I haven't done enough.

You clearly don't understand the power of perception.

Oh, I do.

What about the perception of the governor who's trying to avoid more controversy because he's now the target of a corruption investigation?

My legal issues have nothing to do with this.

They have everything to do with this.

This is where we part ways, Charlotte.

Thank you for everything you've done.


Major head trauma coming in.

It was a car accident. Oh, my God.

What? You know him? Yes.

Okay. Stay here, Susette. No, no...

You can't come in. You know you can't come in.

I know I can't come in!

Oh, my God!

Please. Please.

Please don't do this.


So this is where we stand.

There was spinal fluid in his nose and ears.

There was free air in his brain as a result of the skull fracture.

He will be permanently disabled both mentally and physically and he will need full-time care through his recovery.

Do you and your husband have any support through this process?

He's not my husband.


I thought you were married.

Are you asleep?

Okay, so here are the things that I wanted to say to you that I couldn't.

I wrote them in a letter to you.

I wish I had mailed it.

On the arms right here.

I said, "Dear Tim, I wish I could tell you how much I love you.


"But I'm afraid I'll need you too much and then one day you'll stop loving me back.

The scariest part is that I finally found the house of my dreams and it means nothing to me without you in it."

By the authority vested in me by the laws of the state of Connecticut, I now pronounce you husband and wife.

Here we go.

This can't be possible.

Property owners in one New London neighborhood may be losing a long battle to save their homes.

The State Supreme Court has ruled that the New London Development Corporation can take the remaining 15 homes from near Fort Trumbull state park...

Pack your bags and get out.

That's what New London is telling homeowners in the city's Fort Trumbull neighborhood.

The city wants to clear the way for a new Pfizer corporate facility that would include luxury condos and a hotel.

And officials are using eminent domain to take the Fort Trumbull homes.

The problem is the people don't want to move.

It was too close.

A four-three margin?

There was clear dissent, okay?

Look, it says it right here.

"The court is going further than it has ever gone in the past."

It says this right in the very first paragraph.

Oh, my God. What? What?

You're actually considering it, aren't you?

The dissenting opinion makes the exact points we need.

It's right there in the opinion, Dana.

We're taking this appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

We have to. They'll never take it.

Chip, you're the boss. It's your call.

The Connecticut Supreme Court reversed the good parts and affirmed the bad ones.

We need to at least take a shot.

I guess I'd better clear my schedule off for the next year. Yes!

I'll bang out a press release. Okay.

Let's get to work.

But this is something we should be concerned about.

Jim, they have about a one in a hundred chance of having this petition granted by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Look, Kelo's case simply doesn't conflict with any existing decisions from any other State Trial Court.

So you're telling me I can sleep at night.

It's a pretty safe bet.

Good. This city needs to move on.

I'll be in touch.

Sounds good.

You've gotta be kidding me.

Bring Harrigan back.


Son of a bitch. Oh, and it gets worse.

Michigan Supreme Court just prevented the City of Detroit from bulldozing a neighborhood in order to make room for guess who?

A private corporation. Kelo and company's chances of getting in front of the Supremes just went up to 50-50.

I guess so.

Hey, Bull. You got a second?

Yeah. Just. Susette, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear your case.

Are you shitting me? No, I shit you not.

Oh, my God.

Oh, my God.

I don't know what to say.

You think we might...

We might win this thing? That's the plan.

Oh, Bull. Don't worry. Don't worry.

We're gonna... we're gonna do the best that we can, okay?

Okay? We'll talk soon, okay?

Thank you.

Hey, Susette. Hi. Hi, April.

How's it going? Crazy.

Some guy got wheeled into the ER by his buddy...

Uh-huh. a wheelbarrow.

Really? Really.

Amazing. Drunk, in his underwear, covered in blood in a wheelbarrow.

Yeah, so, what else is new? Yeah, right?


The Supreme Court has agreed to decide if governments can seize people's homes and businesses for economic development projects.

Eminent domain is now the focus of a Supreme Court showdown.

It's become a contentious issue across the country.

So this means if the Supreme Court does not side with Susette Kelo, then no homeowner of limited means is safe.

Mr. Bratten, I have another reporter on the line. Dallas Morning News.

Take a message. It's the seventh time he's called, sir.


This is Bratten.

Mr. Bratten, Tony Keller with the Dallas Morning News. Yes.

I hear you're throwing an 87-year-old woman out of her home. Am I hearing that right?

You really think that...

Now, we're obviously gonna need to address the majority...

Scott? Yeah.

Sorry to disturb you, but Jim Bratten is here to see you.

He's here? Physically here?


We'll pick this up later. Is that okay?

Thank you.

Okay. Send him in, I guess.

He's actually on his way right now.

I've been practicing law for over 20 years, Mr. Bullock.

I've met a lot of scum on this planet, but none as dishonest and manipulative as you. Excuse me?

This is the most insulting trash anyone's ever said about me in my entire career.

You're joking.

"The city's lawyers should hang their heads in shame at what they're doing to their citizens and to the Constitution of the United States."

Come on, Scott!

You can continue this shit show for the entire world to see.

I can't do anything about that.

But what you're doing is wrong, plain and simple.

You're handing people's homes over to a private corporation and I'm the villain?

The city is taking the property.

For Pfizer's benefit.

Okay. Let's just say you're right, which you're not.

How is any city supposed to grow if you're handcuffing leaders with vision?

This whole plan is for the greater good.

Why can't you see that? Some of the worst acts in history were justified because they were in pursuit of a "greater good".

Some of the worst acts in history?


Why don't you try that line before the Supreme Court?

You flew here for that?

Have a nice flight.

The Honorable Justice O'Connor presiding.

We will now hear argument in the case of Kelo v. New London.

Justice O'Connor, and may it please the Court.

This case is about whether there are any limits on eminent domain under the public-use requirement of the Fifth Amendment.

Every home, church, or corner store would produce more tax revenue and jobs if it were a Costco, a shopping mall, or a private office building.

If that's the justification for the use, then any city can take property anywhere within its borders for any use that might make more money than what is there now.

Mr. Bullock, you are leaving out that New London was in a depressed economic condition.

The critical fact on the city side is that they wanted to build it up, get more jobs. Every city would like more tax revenue.

GINSBURG But you concede that on the fact, more than tax revenue was at stake.

The city wants to improve the economy through tax revenue and jobs.

But that cannot be a justification for the use of eminent domain.

Then what standard do you propose should draw a line between when a city can take private land and when they cannot?

Municipalities should never be able to take land for private uses. But every taking has some public benefit, even if it's for private use.

So, given the fact of the world, why shouldn't the law say virtually every taking is all right, as long as there is some public benefit?

Because, Your Honor, then every property, every business, every home can be taken for any private use.

Only if there is a public use.

And there almost always is.

Do you agree with that? Do you want us to sit here and evaluate the prospects of each condemnation, one by one?

No, Your Honor.

Your Honors, I would like to save my remaining time for after Mr. Harrigan's arguments.

Very well. Mr. Harrigan.

Your Honors.

There is no principled basis for a Court to make a value judgment about a plan to revive an economically depressed city.

And where do you draw the line, Mr. Harrigan?

I wouldn't draw one.

Say you had a Motel 6 and the city says, "Well, if we had a Ritz-Carlton, we would have higher taxes."

Now, is that okay? Yes, Your Honor.

That would be okay.

So, you can take from A to give to B if B pays more taxes?

If it is a significant amount, yes.

Mr. Bullock, you have time remaining.

Would you like to use it for a rebuttal?

Thank you, your Honor.

Can you take a Motel 6 and give it to a fancier hotel?

Their answer is yes.

The one thing that all poor neighborhoods share is that they don't produce much tax revenue.

If the Court affirms the lower court's decision, then you would put poor neighborhoods and working-class neighborhoods like Fort Trumbull in jeopardy.

Congratulations, Jim.

We won. Five to four.

The U.S. Supreme Court today made it a whole lot easier for someone to come in and take your house, take your private property against your will.

The U.S. Supreme Court today affirmed the power of local governments to seize private property.

The government's right to seize your home just received a broad stamp of approval from the Supreme Court of the United States.

Man, it just seems outrageous to me that you can take private property from someone and not build a highway or something that's really just for the public but actually transfer that property to another private owner.

This decision could be felt and soon in every city and town in this country.

And it seems to me sort of a reverse Robin Hood where they're taking from the poor, essentially, and giving to the rich.

They can say, "You know what? We see a better public use in your land for a Walmart.

In fact, maybe a parking lot is best."

New London homeowners who spent five years fighting to keep their own houses now have 90 days to move out.

Susette? Save our homes!

They're ready for you. Hands off our homes!

Hands off our homes! Hands off our homes!

Thank you. I'm...

I see so many faces I know.

Thank you all for fighting so hard.

This isn't about us keeping our homes anymore.

It's about people's property rights all over the United States.

There is no amount of money that could replace our homes.

Or our memories.

And we will fight. Right!

I know that.

Because we won't quit now.

This decision was so close.

We finally shed some light on what happened here.

This is where we chose to settle and this is where we want to stay.

This is America, the home of the free, isn't it?

Hands off our homes! Hands off our homes!

The two most important things, social justice and economic development, they go hand in hand.

Now, what kind of world do we want to live in?

But that cannot be a justification for the use of eminent domain.

Ms. Kelo came to Washington, and was in no mood to compromise.

This battle against eminent domain abuse may have started as a way for me to save my little pink cottage, but has rightfully grown into something much larger.