Mad City (1997) Script

Mr. Burns, any comment about your possible indictment?

I must get to the hospital . My wife's ill .

I' m very sorry. Perhaps you can empathize with the people. . .

. . .who have been wiped out of their entire life savings.

-What about them? -No comment.

-How many people you hurt? -No comment.

You know how many. . .

. . .senior citizens over the age of 65--?

Mr. Burns may have had no comment for KXBD. . .

. . . but he may be compelled to find his voice for the district attorney.

Inquiries made by this reporter prompted an investigation. . .

. . .into Ralph Burns and his role in the Foothill Federal Bank scandal.

-We' re not using that. -It's an exclusive.

-It's conjecture. -It is not.

Let me have another crack at him . Tell him to answer my questions.

-Why? -You' re not a judge. We' re not a jury.

-You know him, right? -Yes, I know him .

-You play golf with him . -Occasionally.

His wife has cancer. He's under pressure. Leave him alone.

Wait. Three questions.

No, no and no.

He's a sleaze. He stole money.

He took the savings of senior citizens.

We say that the man has no comment and we finish the piece.

We don't ambush him at his work.

I don't want to ambush him . I just want to ask him one question.

You are relentless, you know that?!

You seem to forget we cover the news. . .

. . .of this area for the people of this area.

And we are not going anyplace. Are we going anyplace, Max?

-If they wanted me back in New York. . . . -They don't.

You better come to terms with that. I did .

In the 1 1 months that I've been here, you've gone from a 3 share to a 9.

Excuse me!

Excuse me, people!

Whose week was it to kiss Max Brackett's ass for saving this station?!

The bank story might make you look like network.

No, not here. There's a line I won't cross.

-I' m not asking you to. -Yes, you are.

I am not. I' m saying, you move the line, you get the story.

You going out to the museum?

Yes, trying to get it on at noon.

Mr. Brackett's taking that assignment.

The state has let off some people down there.

It's a great story. You'll relate to it.

-I must finish my edit. -I'll do it. What are friends for?

You really are an asshole.

-What am l? -A wonderful human being .

Why don't you go to the museum with Mr. Brackett.

You could run tape while you' re there. Maybe we'll use it tonight.

She's an intern!

Then you can be her mentor. Teach her how to " move the line. "

I' m gay.

Mr. Brackett. . . .


Can I put a microphone on you?

We'll get the curator to tell us why the museum is facing drastic budget cuts.

And then we'll find a couple of locals to tell us. . .

. . .that without a museum, the city's a dog kennel .

Then, as a brilliant career move, you' re taking me to lunch.

-You have to answer. -You' re done.

Is that the answer?

You did it wrong .

It's much better on the lapel .

Can you help me? We' re looking for the curator.

I know you. TV, right?

-Right. -You' re the TV guy.

You' re the museum guy.

No, I' m the guard .

-The museum has financial problems? -Tell me about it.

There were 2 of us. The other guy got laid off.

-Is that right? -You never know who'll be next.

Stick around . Maybe we'll get you to say that on camera.


Mrs. Banks' through there.

Right. We don't pay much.

More than I make here.

They' re not the Mohawks, Mr. Brackett. The Miwoks are from northern California.

They have a very rich past.

We currently have on exhibition the largest display of lndian baskets. . .

. . .ever assembled by a museum of this size.

Some would say it's not responsible. . .

. . .to pour money into a dying institution.

Then let's close down the libraries, museums and symphonies.

If we do not learn from our past, we will be. . .

. . . doomed to relive it.

Yes, Mort.

I see dinosaurs.

The fear of today is that the museum might share the same fate.

That's right, Mort.

That is exactly the fear.

Very good . Thanks.

It's okay, Mort.

We' re clear.

Good . You must've done this before.

Good heavens, no. I haven't.

I feel strongly about this museum . My great-grandfather founded it.

Right. I thank you for your time and wish you all the best.

Come on down from there.

In the next room we have a stuffed dodo. Come and take a look.

Give me the mike. Get some of this.

One's Cretaceous, the other's Jurassic.

I know . Come on, let's go.

Why are they together?

Want to go outside and get B-roll?

Where's the bathroom? I'll freshen up.

Get your cam ready. I'll do a stand-up for tonight's news.



I' m standing in front of the museum . . .

. . .where the past collided with the hardships of the present.

Actually, you' re standing at the urinal at the museum and look who's here.

Your friend, dick.

A fine upstanding young man.

No, no longer young and no longer upstanding .

Tell me, dick, what's your comment on my situation?

Max, I think you should get packed.

I can't. I got screwed there.

That's more than you' re getting here.

And as long as we' re on the subject. . .

. . . I kind of have a little tickle. . .

. . .for that young camera girl working for you.


She 's young enough to be my daughter. I know it. She 's just right for me.

You shouldn't be here.

Mrs. Banks, you must listen to me.

I don't have to do any such thing .

-One minute. -I told you, there's nothing I can do.

I'd take a reduction, okay?

Do you have a hearing problem?

No, no hearing problem .

This is completely out of my hands.

You' re wasting both of our times. You must leave now . Now .

Get out of here!

Right now !

Now will you listen?

Will you listen?

Are you?

Are you going to listen to me?

You must be kidding .

No, I' m not.

All right, hold up. Hold up.

Now just stay there, okay?

And hush up.

And don't be scared of the gun.

I got to talk to her.

I need 5 minutes with you, that's all .

I hope you' re not pointing that at me.

Just be quiet.

Is this some kind of a joke?

Because it won't be so funny when the police arrive.

Shut up!

Give me the keys.

Come on.


This way.


I hope we get to see some shooting .

Van two, this is Laurie.

Will you accept a collect call from Max Brackett?

Mr. Brack-- I mean, Max?

There's a man with a gun in here.

Where are you?

The museum .

Okay, I' m going to call the police.

Call Lou. We'll go live. The police we'll call when it's their turn.

I think I should call--

We have some real news going on here. Don't blow this.

Okay, I'll call Lou.

Lou, line 3. It's Laurie. It's urgent.

It's Brackett again. What do you got?


He's got a rifle and a canvas bag . I' m guessing more firepower.

He's holding 2 adults and some kids.

Laurie, how soon before you can power back up?

2 minutes.

That's too long .

Tell Dohlen to get ready to go live with Max. He's got a hostage situation.

Max, Mort's going to throw it to you. Listen to me.

There are kids involved here. We don't want any grandstanding .

Don't worry. We got good stuff here.

Keep the line open.

We' re live.

We now go to Max Brackett, who is inside the Museum of Natural History. . .

. . .with a hostage situation.

Can you hear me?

Yes, I can. I am inside the men 's room. . . .

Mobilize every camera and audio crew you can get.

Most of them are children.

Do you know what his motives are?

I don't. But I can tell you that the gunman does seem agitated .

Can you escape?

Can you hear me?

Think about what you' re doing .

Can you hear me, Max?

Does Jen know you' re here?

I don't know how much longer I can--

-I want you to be calm . -No, you be calm .

I got 2 things to tell you.

I' m not listening to you as long as you' re holding that stupid gun.

Why should l? This is absurd .

Get that stupid thing away from me!

Oh, God !

That was a shot, right? -Cut the feed, now .

Someone was hit in front of the museum. I didn 't get a good look at him.

What asshole pulled the plug?

We' re still live, Max.

You did it. You did it.

He's okay.

He's okay.

He could be dying .

-Listen to me. -Want him to do that on camera?

They didn't pull the plug when the Challenger blew up.

Our viewers don't need to see the blood .

We' re telling them what's happening . Mort is.

We 've got live pictures and you 're giving them radio.

He's right!

It's the story of your career.

In 24 hours, this turns into a gangbang .

There's 1 000 people with cameras here. If you don't record it, they will .

-Please don 't blow this. -Go.

Yeah, move.

We have reestablished our live hookup to the museum . Max, are you there?

Yes, Mort, I am still here.

Sorry, the camera 's not responding.

Wait a minute, I see a figure. . .

. . .approaching the wounded man.

I can 't make him out.

Why are we on TV?

Oh, my God .

You' re bleeding .

Can you walk?

I don't know .

I just called the ambulance.

That's Laurie Callahan.

Max, how are the children?

These kids are very frightened. They're terrified.

They' re together in one corner of the lobby. . .

. . .with the curator on the floor next to them .

The teacher is tending to them.

Trying to keep them calm.

Mort, the situation has shifted dramatically. A man has been shot.

A line has been crossed. We have a very dangerous situation here.

It reminds me. . .

. . .two years ago. . . . Oh, God .

We' re live on the air. Max Brackett, KXBD News.

Want to tell us why you' re here?

You don't? Okay.

-We lost him . -What happened?

Can you hear me?

Max Brackett, are you there?

Max, are you there?

We 've lost contact momentarily with Max Brackett, reporting from the museum.

This is not news, brothers and sisters.

Stories like this happen every day.

What we have here is news for all time in the Word of God .

I want you people out of there! Back up! There's an armed man inside!

This is dangerous!

Franklin, Johnson, I want those people off the steps now !

What happened?

Can you tell me who shot you? How do you feel?

Sir, can you tell us who shot you? Are you all right?

Sir, can you tell us who shot you? One man? Two men?

There's the chief!

Chief Lemke, do you have any plans yet?! Do you know--?!

Do you have a statement?

What are you going to do?

Our cameraperson has informed us. . .

. . . that the victim 's name is Clifford Williams. . .

. . .a security guard at the museum.

Mom !

It's Dad .

Coming up. . .

. . .an unexpected role for pigeons here in New York today at the United Nations.

We'll have that story and more. . .

. . .when we return.

We' re back in two.

I heard you talking during the broadcast. What's up?

Hostage situation.

Who's feeding it?

It's our affiliate in Madeline, California.

Guess who the reporter is?

-Who? -Max Brackett.

I knew that bastard would pop up again with something spectacular.


Here's the tease you' re going to use at the top of the hour.

I' m not sharing a broadcast with him . He's a loose cannon.

Say, "The situation's still unfolding . Tune in tonight for an update. "

I' m not saying that. I' m not teasing a story I know nothing about.

I promise them a story and it evaporates.

How does that make me look? How does that make the network look?

It's from above.

We' re back in 30.

Goddamn foolishness just because somebody thinks this is a good lead-in.

With Brackett, it won't evaporate.

Kevin. . .

. . .it's a guy getting shot. . .

. . . bunch of kids taken hostage.

It's good television.

And no other net has it.

The man can't be trusted . I' m not broadcasting . . .

. . .with that crazy son of a bitch. Remember what he did?

It was before the beginning of time.

5 and 4, 3. . . .

Call Madeline. Find out how Brackett got there.

I want to know what the hell he's doing there.

Now that the gunman has shown a willingness to use firepower. . . .

It was an accident, moron.

-Boys! -It's broken.

I just want my job back.

Now look at this. Look at this!

Look at this! I' m never going to get my job back now .

Everybody knows who I am, where l--

Your fault. Everyone knows where I am because of you.

Everyone knows you' re here because you shot someone.

Shut up, newsboy.

You really did this to get your job back?

What do you think?

That's for you.

If you make contact. . .

. . .tell them everyone is okay in here. You'll buy yourself some time.

I'll tell them they better back off because I will shoot someone.

This first one will be you. I'll throw your body out the front door.

I wouldn't do that.

Why not?

That'll just make everybody jumpy. They might do something we'll all regret.

Remember that hostage situation in Torrance about 2 years ago?

Yeah, car dealership.

4 people died . One was the gunman.

Shut up.

I was there. I covered that story.

This is Chief Alvin Lemke.

Am I speaking to the man responsible for this situation?

Yep, you are.

Could I have your name, please?


How's that guy? Cliff? ls he all right?

No, he's in the hospital ! May I have your name, please?

Listen. . .

. . .you must know I didn't mean to shoot him . That was an accident.

That's good . That's a good thing .

We will take that into account if you give up now .


-I don't think so. -No, he's a killer.

I don't think I can do that.

What do you want? What are your demands?

My what?

What do you want?

Hold on.

He said, "What are my demands?"

Tell him .

I don't have any. I didn't plan on this.

I don't wish to appear hostile, but you' re making my job difficult.

Tell them that you'll talk when you' re good and ready.

And no bodies out the front door.


I want everybody to back off and I' m going to talk when I' m good and ready.

Hello? He hung up.

How was that?

Sounded good to me.

That was good . That was good .

Why don't you sit down?

Just sit down.

All right now . . .

. . .what's next?

You give up or you get yourself some demands.

-Like what? -Money.

-Ransom . -No, I can't take money I didn't earn.

I want my job back.

No, you got to ask for a fast car, or a Lear jet or a Greyhound bus.

You have to have a valid demand or you'll make them nervous.

I came here to get my job back.

Why did you bring a gun?

-I want her to listen! -Who?

Mrs. Banks!

Look. . .

. . . I can't go out there. If I do, I'll be put in prison.

I can't take care of my family in prison.

There's different ways of giving up.


-Which way? -Can I show you something?

Here. No, that's dangerous.

You got another window in this place? Now, listen.



-Have you ever been arrested? -No.

That's very good .

American bald eagle.

I want you to look at this.

See those people?

Not the cops, not the news media.

I want you to look. Go on.


The people.

-That's public opinion. -I guess so.

That's a powerful force. You got a problem right now .

Those people hate your guts.

You' re holding kids hostage and that's a no-no.

At best, they think you' re nuts.

But I' m not.

I mean, not usually. Jenny tells me I don't think.

Who's Jenny?

-My wife. -And you' re--?

"Sam . "

I don't think you' re crazy.

You' re just an ordinary guy who's popped his top.

But you must connect with those people out there.

They know what it's like to lose their job, or they know someone who has.

They'll understand if you give them a chance.

The one thing you might want to do before you give yourself up. . .

. . .is let those people know what you' re about.


If I put a camera on you right now and I interview you. . .

. . .and you tell people what's going on, I think they'll want to know .

Don't you?


That's your jury pool out there.

All right.

Exchange the kids for the interview .


You help them, they help you.


One, that's it.

One's good .

No, I can't do that. I can't put a hostage-taker on television.

I understand.

He's insisting that I put him on right now .

"As a good faith gesture, I will let one child go.

Once Mr. Brackett has put me on TV, I will . . .

. . . I will consider releasing the others. "

No, you let everybody go first.

Hold on.

-He said let everybody go first. -He can't negotiate with your emotions.


Don't negotiate my emotions.

Hello Sheriff Lemke, Max Brackett. I know the rules about these things--

Is he listening to us?

-No, sir, he's not. -Is he pointing his weapon at you?

I can guarantee Mr. Baily's sincere. I think that things'll become unstable. . .

. . .if you don 't grant him this.


I don't like this.

-I know you don't. -Tell him I' m upset.

But this man is very upset, sir.

Things are very unpredictable here.

All right, look. . . .

Okay, but I want this over quickly, understand?


That's all you' re going to get.

They'll want to know what's in the bag .

Nothing .

May I look?

Oh, man!

My brother-in-law uses it to clear stumps away on his farm .

Why'd you bring it?

Because I wanted Mrs. Banks to believe I was serious.

The gun's not enough?

I wanted to impress her!

What are you going to do with it?

I just want to go home.

You don't need it anymore. I'll take it.

Now, go. Now, just go.

How do I know you' re coming back?

Because you' re the best show in town.

Wait a minute. Wait!

Come here.

I need to ask you something .

I need you to talk to my wife, okay?

Because when she finds out about this. . .

. . .she's going to be upset big-time.

The press will be all over her.

Oh, man!

That's okay. Want me to fix it so I' m the only one who talks to her?

-Only me? -Just you.

You got it.

You watch yourself.


Stay here.

Mr. Brackett, are the children all right?!

Go get your camera.

-How are the kids? -The kids are fine.

What's the story?

The story is he has enough dynamite to level the place, so don't piss him off.


Excuse me.

I' m Mr. Brackett's assistant.

Come here.

Don't get cocky.

You want to make your TV show, then you cooperate with me.

You scratch my back. . . .

Notice all the cameras are on my back and your face is on the channels.

When I go in front of the camera, I'll say you' re in charge.

-May I go now? -What's his name?

Sam Baily.


-You may go. -You' re hitting a pressure point.

-I know I am . -I got the parents right over here.

Can you tell us what's going on in there?

I just want to say that your children are fine.

We' re doing everything we can to resolve the situation as soon as possible.

You won't believe this, but your kids are playing inside.

When will it end?

The police don't have any control so some news guy's running things?

I' m not running anything .

What would happen if I decided to get my kid?

That wouldn't be a good idea.

That's right.

You'd put everyone's kids in danger. Mister Mayor.

Cochran and I are doing everything to make sure your kids are home for dinner.

Don't talk to the press. Network orders. We' re going national .

What's going on?

Sorry, we've been promoted .

You 'll have to turn on the news when I report it.

We go now to Max Brackett. . .

. . . for an exclusive report on the situation in the museum.

It's good to see you safe. This is a remarkable job you' re doing .

Thank you, Mort. I was just. . . .

I'm just happy I was in a position to help the children.

I'm optimistic that Mr. Baily--

Should we bring Broyles down from San Francisco if this takes hold?

We can ask, but what for?

Brackett was born for this job.

Look at him .

He's a pig in shit.

Kevin, anyone ever feel him out for anchor work?

That's an anchor?!

Look at him .

I wouldn't even buy a new car from that guy.

He'd never sit behind a desk. He wanted to be where the bullets were flying .

Then he got too hot to keep around after your little incident.

Little incident?

Are we suffering from memory loss?

He did his two years in the sticks.

He learned his lesson. He chilled .

Max, we understand you are going back inside the museum.

Yes. Mr. Baily has agreed to release one child.

What about that girl in the glasses?

-You' re asking me? -I got to choose somebody.

-Do you have children? -I have two.

-Could you bear saving just one? -Quiet.

Let all of them go. That's how you'll get people to sympathize with you.

Everybody's going to get to go home. You just got to take turns.

I would like to say I stand by to offer whatever help I can give, and hope. . .

. . .there will be a peaceful resolution, without further violence.

Be careful, Max. . .

. . .and Godspeed.

Thank you. Godspeed .

-We' re clear. -Mort has Shakespeare writing for him .

We were number one.

What happened with the guard?

What do you mean?

You left the camera and went to help him .

He was hurt.

Why didn't you take the camera if you' re going to be so humane?

Because I can't--

I can't hold a camera and help someone at the same time.

By not having your camera. . .

. . .we lost footage nobody else would have had .

You must decide whether you are going to be part of a story. . .

. . .or record the story.

Max, it's Lou.

I want you with me from the start to the end of the story.

Hi, Lou. You having fun?

I send you out for some fluff and you come back with a hostage situation.

I guess I' m just not one of your fluffy kind of reporters.

He's an average guy. He's married . He's got kids. He flipped .

And now he's the Terminator.

What does he want?

Wants his job back. Wants to be heard . A little dignity.

And we' re stuck in the middle.

It's a good place to be. If you 're uncomfortable with it. . .

. . .we don't have a contract.

-I can go to another channel . The network called.

Looks like you' re back in the big saddle.

There's nothing like old friends.

Look at this jerk. What a showboat!

Zoom in.

It's a military helicopter!

Which one gets to leave?

I was thinking of that girl in the glasses.

Which one?

That one.

Let's give them two.

-No, I said one. -You shot a black man.

Some people are going to make an issue of that.

Show kindness to a black, it's harder to play the race card against you.

You understand?

Two kids are being released !

Hurry up!

All right, what happened?

Did he treat you okay?! Let them say something !

Right next to the man. There she is.

Maybe I'll see my mom .

I hope I see my mom .


A bigger one.

I came in. I don't know, I was twenty minutes late and . . . .

You see, the night before we had a softball game. We won.

I had a double and a triple.

So we were happy. We had a party and I had, I don't know . . .

. . .three beers, something like that.

The next day I came into work and Mrs. Banks told me to come in--

Leave out the part about the ball game, and the drinks.

-Yeah, but we drank. I mean, I drank. -Sure, but that's not why you got fired .

Let's not give them that impression. Start from " Mrs. Banks. . . . "

Mrs. Banks-- See, she didn't ask me. She tells you what to do, okay?

It's like those dinosaurs. Her great-granddaddy made, I mean. . .

. . . he just put them there and that's enough for her.

I have no clue as to what you' re talking about.

-She does. -We can leave out the dinosaurs.

Mrs. Banks said . . . .

"We have two security guards. . .

. . .we don't need them because we must cut back on money.

We only need one. So Cliff, who's been around here longer. . .

. . .and he, you know . . . . "

So I said, "All right, fine. I'll take less money or I'll take less hours. "

She didn't listen.

Did it ever occur to you that I might deal with problems. . .

. . . bigger than your personal economics?

That my job is running the museum, not my employee's careers?

I came to you twice, you didn't see--

I couldn't at that moment.

Well, don't turn around .

You only want things your way.

Walk over there and make sure the buffalo are grazing properly.


I stand corrected .

Let me ask you something .

Is this the first time you came to see her? Today? Mrs. Banks?

No. The second time.

The second time.

I want you to tell me what you were feeling when she fired you.

-This will sound stupid but. . . . -Go ahead .

You know that thing in a car that measures miles?

-The meter. -It goes back to zero.

That's what was going on in my mind .

I couldn't tell my wife.

You couldn't tell her you were fired?

Then I'd get dressed for work every day, like a fool, and . . .

. . . I'd just go to some movie theater and just spend the day. . .

. . .sitting, eating popcorn, thinking .

And today, when you came here, what did you want?

I just wanted her to listen.

Did you want to hurt her?

Not really.

Why would you grab a gun and explosives if you didn't want to hurt her?

I don't know .

You have to know .

Sam, this is critical .

When you grabbed that gun, what went on in your head?

I thought about my babies.

That's a good point. What about them?

You see, if I lose my job, I lose my house and my benefits. . .

. . .and I can't take care of them if I lose my benefits.

I' m in front of Sam Baily's house, and I' m joined by his best friend . . .

. . .Travis Bartholomew .

That's right. I know Sam well .

We go fishing and stuff.

So, what's he like? ls he weird or what?

Who is he?

Who is this guy?

You could say he 's pretty weird.

Does he have a temper?


If we could talk to a few of them . . . .

Mr. Brackett said that we were only to talk just to him .

He says it's better for Sam .

Dangerous, yeah.


Whatever, you know?

You heard it from the best friend of Sam Baily.

Thank you very much.

How could Sam do this to us?

How could he?

There appears to be activity in the house. Let's get a statement.

They' re standing in my flowers!

That does it!

That does it!

Would you get out of my flowers? Do not stand in my flowers!

Has your husband been in contact with you? Can we get a statement?

I' m here. Jackson is with the victim's wife. I' m being completely blocked out.

-Ready? -Anytime.

Roll .

Your husband was kept on at the museum .

The man who was let go, a white man, came back and shot him .

Do you feel race had anything to do with that?

Cliff and Sam were friends.

Sam didn't blame Cliff for what happened .

At least, I don't think he did .

Christ, I' m going to hate this.

Chief, showtime.

Here we go.

It's about to start.

We take you now, live, inside the Museum of Natural History. . .

. . . to meet the hostage-taker.

We now bring you an exclusive report.

Max Brackett is inside the siege.

Key in the graphic.

You are Sam Baily and you 're a loving husband. . .

. . .and a devoted father of two.

You've got a mortgage, car payments, medical bills. . .

. . .food bills, electricity bills, gas bills, clothing bills. . .

. . .and, by the way. . .

. . .you' re fired .

I just want to say that I' m . . . .

I didn't mean to shoot that guy, Cliff.

That was an accident.

And . . . .

I used to complain about my paycheck.

And then when. . .

. . .when I didn't get it no more. . .

. . . I realized that was the last. . . .

That little piece of paper was the only thing . . .

. . . holding my life together.

And . . . .

You know, when I seen. . .

. . . I seen people out on the street living . . .

. . .and . . .

. . . I thought. . .

. . . they were maybe like bums or like junkies.

And then one day. . .

. . .I seen this family live. . . .

I seen this family living in a box and. . .

. . . I imagined my babies living in that box and I couldn't stand it.

I went crazy.

And . . .

. . .about the gun. . . .

It's just a Remington gun. It ain 't nothing, really.

It's just. . . . I've seen on TV shows. . .

. . .where they flash a gun and it gets them attention.

I thought maybe if I brought the gun in. . .

. . .that Mrs. Banks, who's my boss. . .

. . .she would . . .

. . .she would listen, you know, for maybe just even five minutes.

You know, but. . .

. . . I don't know if people listen to guys like me.

I'm just a guy that has a job, goes to work everyday and people don 't listen.

We' re a good family. We don't do drugs. . .

. . .and we don't cause trouble.

We go to church.

I go to church too, with my family.

But I don't think anybody listens to someone like me.

I don 't think anybody cares about someone like us.

This guy shot a man in cold blood . . .

. . .and I feel like bringing him home for Christmas dinner.

Let's run a nationwide poll and see how this guy is playing .

I don't know if anybody's listening .

Are they?

Your name is Sam Baily. . .

. . .and the law is pushing in on you.

Because of one impulsive act, you' re trapped in the fight of your life.

Your sole demand, Sam . . .

. . .is simple to the point of absurdity. . .

. . .and yet dauntingly complex, isn't it?

I just want the police to--

I just want everybody to forget about it. . .

. . .and let me go home.

Yeah, right.

I feel so bad about what I did to Cliff. He 's my friend.

I'm praying for him.

And I know when he feels better, he 'll forgive me.

I' m sorry, Cliff.

The kids, you know, they' re fine. They' re happy.


They' re okay.

Look, we' re on TV!

Kids, please sit down.

The kids, they' re seeing themselves on TV.

Start over right now about the kids.

Talk about the kids.

I'd never hurt them . I would never hurt them .

I got kids of my own.

I just don't have a job to take care of them . I don't know how I will .

But ljust want to say I'm sorry. I couldn 't be sorrier.

-That's my daddy. -Phillip, come back here.

Come here.

Mommy wants to watch Daddy.

I just want to go home, okay? Just. . . .

I want to go.

And that's my demand . That's it, right there.

Hey, wait.

Sam, wait.

I hope I don't have to go through that again.

We' re not finished yet. You know why?

Because people watching this right now are saying, "Yeah, right.

This guy's holding a gun on a bunch of helpless kids--"

I ain't holding no gun on no helpless kids! They' re okay.

They think you are. And they think you should be shot. . .

. . .executed . . .

. . .strung up.

For the people who are saying this, what do you have to say to them?

I hope you never go through this.

You say it to them .

I hope nobody ever has to go through what I' m going through now, that's all .

Your name is Sam Baily. . .

. . .and you' re asking for the most poignant ransom of all :


And while we all have it in our hearts to give. . .

. . .we' re not the law .

Why'd you bring up that shotgun stuff?

Reporting exclusively for KXBD News, I'm Max Brackett.

We' re clear. I thought it was great.

-Why'd you bring up the shotgun? -It was for your own benefit.

It didn't seem like it.

Believe me, it was important.

All right, now what?

Now what?

Now we wait.

Take a look out there.

Is anybody listening?

Is anybody listening Careful .

See what I mean?

-What do you got? -Baily's all over the place.

Television, radio, newspapers.

Take a look at the front page of the Times.

Turn the radio up a little.

This guy has never broken a law in his life. He is under pressure.

We can all understand, and so I think we should let him walk.

The situation's a shame, isn't it?

Man takes children hostage. . . .

This is America. It can make you crazy.

Hollander arrived the next morning and--

You'll see why Hollander still hates Brackett's guts.

They were live.

What's it like out there?

It's basically a mess.

There 's a kind of a. . . .

The wreckage is spread over a wide area. I don 't know how many acres.

-Any bodies? Yes, there are.

What condition are they in?


-Condition? Were they mutilated?

See, we 're still looking for survivors and we 're hoping. . . .

Were they--?

Did they suffer any trauma? Were they broken up in any way?

They fell out of the sky.

Were there any body parts?

You 're asking me if I saw body parts? You want me to report--?

I don 't mean to be grim. . . .

But I understand there were reports, sharks in the area.

I didn 't see any sharks. But don 't let the fact that the. . .

. . . family of the victims are probably watching the show. . .

. . .I don 't want that to stop you.

You 've had a tough night. -No, I feel great.

This is the best story in the year for me, and probably for you.

If you can see all the vultures out there. . .

. . . that have flocked to the seashore to see these collective body parts.

If you want a body part, I'll get a gaff--

What do you want?

An arm or a leg? You can have your pick.

That went out over the air?

Why don 't you have a seat?

All of it.

It'd be interesting to see them together again.

I thought of that.

One here, one there. It'd be good for 2 or 3 points.

At least.

I want to show you something .

It's going to be a tough sell .

Not for me.

Good morning .

-How are you? -Just great.

59'%' of the American people are showing compassion for an armed felon.

He asks for forgiveness and everyone says, "Sure. "

This is a fascinating story.

What do we do?

We' re covering it, Kevin.

Brackett's interview was brilliant.

Unless you want to double-team it? You and Brackett.

I' m not sharing my time with him .

I' m getting on a plane and will cover the story from there.

It could be over by tomorrow .

No, Brackett won't let it be over.

This has the potential to be a huge story.

We must jump all over this.

The guy's a poster child for the disenfranchised . Why? How?

It's good television.

-No other net has it. -It's a great story.

What about Brackett?

I'll take care of Brackett.

Special Agent Dobbins, FBI .

The situation is stable, sir.

We have televisions in Washington. We know the situation.

Every time I scratch my ass, it's on TV.

I'll drive. Have the militias arrived yet?

No. At least I don't think so.

I was across the street all night. How'd you do this?

We' re very sneaky.

-I guess. -This way, sir.

What's the plan? I' m under pressure to do something .

We don't move until we get public opinion on our side.

People are beginning to like him .

Wire him, please.

That'll change.

They'll get bored or he'll do something to make them turn on him .

By then we'll be in a position to take him out.

Anything I should be afraid of saying?

Get in front of the cameras and say we' re waiting as long as it takes.

We' re not about to play games when kids are involved .

Good .

I got shots!

Must be his shotgun.

What's going on?

-What? -Calm down.

The phone--

What was that? What's that about?

Just forget it, all right? Don't worry about it.

Don 't worry? Was anyone hurt?

Nobody's been hurt. It was just an accident.

The phone rang and the gun went off and that was it.

You can't shoot and not expect me to not storm the place.

You don't want that.

We had a deal, right?

Are you taping?

We kept up our end of the bargain. Now it's time to end this.

What about my end of the bargain?

The demand? Do we get to forget about all this?

Sam, I can't let you go.

You won't be allowed to walk away from this.

The only option you have is to give up.

I' m going to make the options now . You better come up with something else.

Take the shells out of the gun.

The plan didn't work, newsboy.

Did you hear me?

What are those?

In the Air Force, I did night duty and didn't fall asleep once.

-Can I see them? -It's just caffeine.

You don't want to lose control .

I' m sorry about that, okay? I didn't mean to scare you kids, okay?

I' m not scared .

You guys sleep good?

-Not really. -Sort of.

I guess. Now I' m kind of hungry.

You' re hungry?

Sam, you got to let them go now .

Follow me!

Where' re you going?

Let's go, quickly.

Look at all the animals.

Now what's the magic word?

Open Sesame?

Good guess.

What do you want?

-Nice, huh? -Whose side are you on, Mr. Brackett?

The good guys' .

Doesn't look that way.

Sam needs all the help he can get.

Oh, you' re so concerned about Sam?

Yes. You' re looking at the difference between 1 and 1 0 years in prison.

Is that because this insanity benefits your career?

I hope so. It benefits yours as well .


You' re running the most famous little museum in the country.

You'll have dodos and dinosaur bones up the wazoo.

You can have a lot. You can have two.

T-shirts, right here.

Sam's T-shirts!

We' re providing Americans what they were denied at Ruby Ridge and Waco:

Witnesses to the actions of the so-called law enforcement establishment.

But you agree with the calling for the peaceful surrender of Sam Baily?

Is that a trick question?

Of course we don 't approve of his putting children in harm 's way.

-They' re here. -I know that .

Keep an eye on them .

A family man put out of work by racial quotas.

What do you plan on doing?

What's he trying to say?

They fired you. They kept Cliff. You shot Cliff. He's black.

Some people might say you' re prejudiced .

I must get on TV and say I ain't.

No way they'll let you do another interview .

I'll give them 1 kid . I'll give them 5 kids.

Bad idea.

We just did an interview . We built what is probably a positive image of you.

Understand, the public's fickle.

They' re on a very short leash of sympathy. We have a narrow opportunity.

Think of when you'll give up, when you'll let the children go.

I can't have people saying bad things about me on TV.

You want to go on and debate neo-Nazis? Destroy everything?

People got to start saying good things about me! My friends, my wife.

Okay, let's call her. It's a good idea. Come on.

I can't talk to my wife.

Why not? She's probably worried .

Oh, man! She'll just yell .

You should talk to her.

You should talk to her because you said you would before.

You go get her and tell her to say good things about me on TV.

-When? -And my friends too! Now !

Someone's coming out!


Brackett's out.

How are the kids?

What's the condition of the kids?!

Are any more children going to be released?!

Anybody injured?!

-Over here! -Whose side are you on?!

-You better tell me he's coming out. -He wants another story.

-What? Absolutely not. -He'll give you 5 more kids.

He wants me to talk to his wife, interview her and a few others.

You' re saying no to releasing 5 kids.

No, I want all the kids out here.

How about 5 kids and a teddy bear?

Don't get cute with me, Brackett. I want him out here and arrested .

He's not ready to give up. Prison terrifies him .

TV keeps him calm . I'll interview his wife. . .

. . . with you standing there. Pull the plug anytime you want.

You 're walking in and out.

You' re supposed to be a hostage.

Let him do it.

You can do it, but you and Baily better not be playing games.

Son of a gun.

Who's the FBI guy?

Maybe I know him .

Do you know Sam Baily's making you the most famous cop. . .

. . .in the United States of America?

On TV, with those sunglasses. . .

. . .you' re so sexy.

Mr. Williams is still unconscious here in room 404.

Doctors are cautious about the possibility of infection. . .

. . .caused by the bullet still lodged in his abdomen.

What about Cliff Williams? He cannot know that his attacker. . .

. . . became something of a folk hero. . .

. . . his words tapping into a nationwide movement of discontent among the public.

What about Cliff Williams?

But what about Cliff What about Cliff

Cliff was the one with the shattered dream

Sam tries real hard .

And sometimes he screws things up because he's. . . .

It's okay. Tell me, what kind of a husband is Sam?

He's a good husband .

He's a good husband . . .

. . .as long as you-- You have to help to keep him . . .

. . . pointed in the right direction.

And, you know . But I don't understand that.

That's not like him .

Tell me, Jenny, did you make him lunches the last few days?

He makes his own.

So he's already been fired and yet he kept making himself lunches. . .

. . . kept putting on his uniform and kept pretending to go to work.

How do you feel about that?

About what?

That he was afraid to tell you that he was fired?

Do you scare him?

I think that he didn't want to worry me.

Because he was scared? Think that's a sign of a good marriage?

We had a good marriage. We have a good marriage.

Did he tell you we didn't?

I' m sure you have a good marriage. But it seems at times you treat him . . .

. . .Iike a child .

He is like a child sometimes.

And he likes calling himself my third child .

It's a bad question.

I' m sorry, I didn't mean to--

Do you still love him?

Yes, I love my husband .

I love my husband very much!

He's the most gentle. . . .

He's the kindest man I've ever known! The parents of the children. . . .

Grab her. We'll put her on the line with Sam .

Jenny, we want you to talk to him .

You have to be very careful about that.

He's stressed . There's no telling how he'll react.

This doesn't concern you.

He's very sensitive about his wife.

Come with me.

Please don't do this now .

You asked the right question.

I just got that sick taste in my mouth.

So much for bubble gum .

That's too gross for me.

I' m Max's assistant. I need to get through now .

What are you doing, Sam?

I guess I got myself in a jam, huh?

You've got to come out right now .

How' re the sprouts?

They're wondering where their father is, that's how they are.

They want to put me in prison.

I don't want any more argument.

I want you to come out now.

Is that you on TV?


Put away the gun and come out!

Get away from her!

Put Brackett on the phone!

Forget about Brackett!

Put the gun down. . . .

You tell them right now I ain't going to prison!

-Put the gun down! -Go home!

Go home, Jenny!

Jeez, I'm going to get him out myself.

I' m going to get him out myself!

Give me the horn.

Speak into here. Hold the button down. Talk into here.

Listen, I'd think twice about this.

Please don't do this.

Listen to me!

You 've got to stop this nonsense.

Think about our kids. -Shut up!

They're waiting for you.

Please, come out.

Please, listen to me.

-Sam, please come out now. -Shut up!

Do you hear me, Sam?

Please. . .

. . . come out now.

That is enough!

Stop it!

-Sam, stop! -Hold your fire!

Sam, please, that's enough now ! No!

-Stop it! -This is on your head !

Get away!

Get away from the window ! They'll kill you!

-The lock. -It's open!

Why'd you let her say those things on TV?

You stand at the door, they'll kill you.

-What is the problem? -Why'd you let her say those things?

I didn't and that's not a good reason to shoot over people's heads!

You said you'd talk to her alone.

It was the police chief's idea.

People were beginning to like you, then you start shooting out the window . . .

. . .and your image is down the drain.

I just got crazy when I seen her on TV, okay? All the people around her. . . .

What have I done?

Tell me you won't throw dynamite out the window .

You know I' m not going to do that.

I screwed up.

I screwed up.

I' m going to go outside. . .

. . . I' m going to do damage control and you'll be okay.

I'll send you to do interviews. I'll give you the names. . .

. . .and the questions to ask.

Why can't you do it?

Because I need to be near Sam . He's getting edgy.

And tell Lou to send over the editing bay.

-I completely forgot. -What's that?

The editing bay is here.

Kevin Hollander is coming here.


I think the editing bay is here for him .

-He's going to try to freeze us out. -Why?

Because he'd love to steal a story from us.

Kevin Hollander?

You like him .

It's our story. He wouldn't do that.

Go to work.

-Thank you. -Listen, Laurie.

This is our story and it's nobody else's.

I' m depending on you. It's too early to celebrate. Go on.

Don't touch me. I'll get arrested .

Would you say Sam Baily is a religious man?

Yes. Sam is religious.

But when I say that you should understand I mean proud . . .

. . .and he's kind .

Do you think Sam is a fun guy?

Fun? Yeah, he's a real fun guy.

In what way?


You could always play jokes on him .

Is Sam Baily a violent man?

You see any fishermen throwing fits? No.

He 's not a violent man.

He was not a remarkable student.

I'm sure you 'll find people who 'll say we failed Sam Baily.

The system isn 't set up to provide a safety net for men like him.

But the only person accountable for this situation is Sam Baily.

A compassionate bastard .

We failed Sam Baily.

The system isn 't set up to provide a safety net for men like him.

That's what I thought you said .

The parents won't speak to me.

I'm keeping a hole open for this. They must speak to you.

The mother's crying and the father has a stutter. They won't talk on camera.

You don 't get this, don 't come back.

-Is that clear? Yes.

Good .

Mrs. Baily, I' m really sorry to bother you. . .

. . . but I really am trying to help your son.

I was wondering if he has a horse. . .

. . .or a dog .

I want to use it in the story.

I want to show the people that Sam can't be that bad if he has a dog he loves.

Go, follow .

We've had him since Sam got back from the Air Force.

Old Rex. He's almost fifteen years old now .

We nearly lost him last year.

Sam was a wreck.

He stayed up with him all night. . .

. . . made sure he kept warm .

He's really a sweet boy.

He's confused but. . .

. . .all he's trying to do is get by.

Sam was a wreck.

That's the most important interview of the whole case.

See that? That's on the money.

You know what you did?

You got that sweet old woman saying how Sam loves. . .

. . .that pathetic, mangy, tick-ridden dog .

Who's here?

-Who's coming? -I have no idea.

Max is over there.

See if we can get them something to drink.

I'll get it.

I see a great underlying theme here.

Baily is tapping into something the working class can relate to.

What's wrong? Your numbers taking a dip?

Have a seat, Max. Look, sit down.

Let's cut the crap.

You and I have had our problems in the past.

But you want back on the network.

Yes, Kevin.

You' re talking to it. If you can be a team player. . .

. . .this is your ticket back in.

When can I meet him?

The network wants him to do a one-on-one with me.

He can't do a one-on-one. He's in the middle of committing a crime.

-You've done okay. -I spent the day and a night with him .

I think he'll talk to me. I' m "the man America trusts for news. "

You really shouldn't let a marketing slogan go to your head .

-Can I get some coffee? -It'll be ready in 5 minutes.

Maybe you could both speak to him, make it more comfortable for him .

You' re the one who saved the guard .

No. Yes. I mean, I helped .

I understand you' re doing a new piece on Baily.

Yes, but it's Max's story.

-Thanks. -I want to see it.

I mean, I want to see it now .

Sam Baily stands firm to his appeal for clemency but the law says no.

So the waiting continues. This is Max Brackett reporting.

That's a testimonial .

We don't judge people before they go to trial .

We don't make them celebrities either. He's committing a felony.

No, we' re just packaging what people who knew Baily said about him .

I'll take care of the felonies in the lead-in.

I own this story.

This story is the property of KXBD. It's the network's.

I need to make some changes in this. I want to see everything you shot.

When am I going to have my meeting with Baily?

I need to prepare my one-on-one.

What? Yeah. Yeah, I know .

I can't even guarantee he'll do it.

He'll jump at it.

They all do.


-Excuse me. -One second .

Why don't you play nice? This could be very good for you.

Excuse me, Max.

-Coach Bob is arriving . -What?

Coach Bob, with the food for the kids.

I'll keep it in mind .

-What about the kids? -The kids are okay.

I' m worried about Hollander. Why don't you get him off my back?

I can't. I can't wrestle 300-pound gorillas!

You guys got the pizza?

That's it?

We' re dying here!

You can't keep this all to yourself!

Go to hell, Max!

-You' re an asshole! -What's going on?

Get them to take those skins off, please.

I need you to come back down here and take the skins off.

These kids get bored just visiting a museum . Imagine being trapped in one.

Have a hamburger.

You guys knock it off! Get down here! I got to talk to you!

That was awesome.

Everybody, come here!

Come here!

Everybody, quick!

I can 't see very well. The rain 's heavy.

Where are we going?

Hey, Mr. Indian Man.

What's that?

You want me to tell them?

I'll tell them the story.

Get over there. He wants me to tell you a story. Go ahead .

Sit down over there.

Now you kids, you know the name of this lndian?

This guy's name is Big John. . .

. . .and he's a friend of mine.

Do you know what kind of lndian he is?

A Miwok lndian.

Do you know how to say " Miwok" ?

That's good .

The lndians used to own this country.

They owned it. This was their home.

I think I found one of their arrowheads once.

You did?

Hold on to it. If Big John finds out, he'll come and get it.

The Miwok lndians. . .

. . .they lived off the land .

They had, like, you know . . . . They had their own crops.

They hunted and built tepees out of wood like this.

And, you know, they had kids just like you.

Big John was the chief of them .

Do you know what a chief is?

The chief is the boss.

Right. The chief is the boss.

The chief is a good boss.

And a good boss knows how to take care of his people!

He's too close to the kids.

The white man came along . . .

. . .and he wanted to take the land away from the lndians.

And so he killed all of Big John's people.

He killed his friends.

He killed his family.

He's got his rifle drawn on the kids.

That made Big John so sad, he stood at the top of the valley, like this:

He looked down and saw everybody. Everyone he loved was killed .

And he just started to do an lndian dance. . .

. . .to bring them back to life.

But it didn't work.

And he was so sad his heart froze.

Is he still alive?

You bet he is.

Museum found him . . .

. . . he was like this.

And then when I started to work here his hand was up here like this.

And every day I noticed it went like this, came down like this.

Then I realized he was just waving goodbye.

Let's go! Come on!

Pick him up! Pick him up! Run!

Behind the buffalo!

I hope we get to see some more!

That was cool !

Chief, it's for you!

What the heck are you doing? We got kids in here!

Sam, it wasn't us. No, it wasn't us.

Some nutcase made it through the perimeter.

He says it wasn't him .


If this happens again, I' m calling a parents' conference. . .

. . .and tell them you' re taking potshots at their kids.

And I suggest that you tell the FBI agent you' re standing with. . .

. . .that I said so.

One moment, please. Anything else, Sam?

Thank you.


Dobbins, you' re a jackoff.

Joke just gets funnier and funnier, doesn 't it?

And up there in Madeline we 've got this guy, Sam Baily. . .

. . . using the Steve Martin defense.

Leno just said my name.

Hasn 't been used in a few years.

Well, excuse me!


Jay Leno knows who I am .

Oh, man!

He's a nice man.

You met him?

I did a story on antique cars. He collects them .

Who else you met?

Everyone from the Pope to Mel Gibson.

Mel Gibson?

What's he like?

I threw him softball questions. He threw me softball answers.

He plays softball?

I play softball . I'd get along good with him .

I bet your wife didn't know she was getting a celebrity. . .

. . .when she said yes, did she?

No, I think she knew exactly what she was getting .

35 years old and . . .

. . .the only job I could get is guarding a museum at $8 an hour.

-How long you been doing it? -And I can't even keep that.

5 years.

I was in the Air Force, you know, but I left. . .

. . . because they wouldn't let me fly.

Why not?

No college.

Why didn't you go to college?

No money.

But. . . .

The results ain't in yet, but it appears that I ain't too bright.

Guess what. I didn't go either.

Get out.

I couldn't afford it.

Then how'd you get to be so smart?

The results aren't in yet. . .

. . . but rumor has it I got by on my charm .

That's something that you got a lot of:

Charm .

Charm .

Charm . Personality.

I ain't got no personality.

Sure you do, otherwise people wouldn't be responding to you.

Then I could do one of those TV shows?

Why not? You' re already famous.

Yeah, but. . .

. . . I' m famous in a bad way.

It doesn't make any difference on TV. People know who you are.

Like them fishing shows.

I heard that you were a great fisherman.

I'd like to do a fishing show .

Fish all day on TV and you get to go. . .

. . .see the best spots.

All the new equipment.

I'd like that.

I'll tell you what. When this is over, I'll recommend you to my station.

Nah. It's over for me.

Things are bad, but at least people are sympathizing with you now .

Am I going to jail?

Best-case scenario. . .

. . .you'll do a little time. . .

. . .you'll get some probation. Then. . . .

. . . "Sam Baily's Catfish Corner. "

Yeah, right.

Stranger things have happened .

I was up and I was down.

Now I' m up again, thanks to you.

Who knows? You might be back in your wife's arms sooner than you think.

They got too much light, them kids.

Back in my loving woman's arms again.

-You married? -Been there.

You got kids?

1 out of 3.

What's that mean?

One kid, three wives. My last wife didn't even wait. . .

. . .for me to leave. She took off with the kid .

I couldn't leave my family.

You'd be surprised what you can learn to live with.

You don't want to take those.

Sam, why don't you get yourself some sleep?

Nothing's going to happen, I promise.

Can I go to the candy room?

We' re hungry.

Yeah. Go, go.

Well, Max, they are suggesting that. . .

. . .if you have any control over the situation. . .

. . .it wouldn't be a bad idea if Baily surrendered in the evening .

Prime time?

Their Thursdays are particularly weak.

Oh, Jesus, Marty!

I know, Max. I know .

So let's forget about this. They're asking--

Tell them this is my story and Hollander is trying to steal it.

They know that.

They' re asking you to let him have Baily.

In exchange, they' re offering you your own show .

Magazine, 60 Minutes format. . .

. . .investigative, in-your-face. . . .

They say, and it remains to be seen. . .

. . .you will have editorial freedom, whatever that means.

But it will be national and they are talking about real money.

Do I lock the deal down?

--but I know what it's like to be angry.

I understand what it's like to not have a future.

T-shirts, right here! Get your Sam T-shirts!

One size fits all !

What a circus!

They tried to cut a deal in the Foothill Federal fraud last night.

With this nonsense, they didn't think anybody'd notice.

Brackett was right.

Banker's a crook.

Laurie, I'd like to assign you to--

There's something you can help me with.

If Baily doesn't talk tonight, I'll need a sidebar.

Do you think you could plug me in out in the field?

I was planning to free you up to work on the bank fraud .

People have lost their life savings. Nobody's covering the story.

It's not the microphone. You really must talk louder.

Could you please come. . . .

-Don't touch me. -No one's allowed in.

I really must advise against this. Your husband is just not strong enough.

Mrs. Williams. . .

. . . I saved your husband's life.

His first interview should be with Kevin Hollander.

We really need the money.

3, 2. . . .

Cliff, Sam Baily, the man who shot you. . .

. . .is pleading for forgiveness. How do you feel about that?

I've known Sam for a long time.

I don 't think he meant to hurt me.

That's right, Cliff.

Doctor said it looks like I'll be okay.

I got no problem with him.

-See? You' re a very lucky man. -How's that?

He just gave you his blessing .

Did Cliff get money to do that show?

Sure. It's a tabloid .

Big bucks. Show business.

How much?

I don't know . 1 0 grand .

1 0 grand?

If Cliff can get 1 0 grand, I could get 50 grand .

I' m the whole deal .

I thought this wasn't about ransom .

This ain't about ransom .

About show business.

Left, right, left.

You shoot a guy, take kids hostage and now you want money for it.

How do you think that'll look to people?

I don't care. I got to make money for my family.

Maybe later you'll write a book, we'll make a TV movie. . . .

I know people who might help you with that. But not now .

I need to check out them shows to see how much they pay. You go do that.


No, it's just the kids playing around . What is it?

Hollander wants to see you right away.

That's it? Fine.

What's up?

You want to make money on this, you call the tabloids.

You don't need me for this. I got Kevin Hollander out there.

We planned to do an important show on you, but you do what you want.

Kevin Hollander?

He's here?

Listen, Larry King wants to make you an offer.

A full hour tonight, you and your boy.

-Talk to my agent. -This is global .

The networks can't compete.

I have something else going for him .

Come here.

You know where to reach me.

What did Gottsegen want?

I'll give you 3 guesses.

The network wants you to turn Baily over to me.

I' m doing a prime-time special .

You' re creative. Maybe you could get him a variety show .

You little fuck, if you want back on the network, turn Baily over to me now .

Don't screw this up for yourself, okay?

Sam belongs to the network, okay?

You hired her.

You taught her.

Oh, come on, Max.

How is this going to end?

I' m getting out of here.

Or what?

Because they' re not going to let you go.

Max Brackett said--

Max Brackett is not your friend, Sam .

If you had listened to me for 5 minutes, that's all I wanted .

I wish I had listened to you.

But this is much bigger than you and me now .

They' re forcing you to do something drastic.

I don't want to scare you, but they' re. . . .

They' re ready to kill you.

And Max Brackett is not going to stop them .

You know what? You've been so sweet to me, how can I say no?

You've got your show .

All right. That's smart.

-What? -Congratulations.

Okay, just a sec.

You were right. The polls have turned against him .

It's flipped . 59'%' positive down to 32'%' and sliding .

It's the kids' parents.

They' re all over television and they' re just killing him .

I'll call you back.

Baily's polls. . . .

I want to make this as objective and balanced as we can.

I want to see more stuff on the guy in the hospital .

Somewhere, somebody says he's dangerous.

I want to see that.

I want to see pieces on the racists out there.

Why are they piling on this bandwagon, cheering him on?

Start pulling that material . Get back to me.

It's going to be great working in New York together.

You' re not being objective. You want to sink him .

We have a deal .

He's sunk. It's over. It's another kind of story.

He's the same person. You can't do this. He's an innocent.

-I'll put that angle in the story. -Not an angle.

It's not an angle, it's the truth.

-He shot a guard . -It was an accident.

He didn't know the guard was there, that the children would be there.

He's an out of work husband . He's--

We' re all impressed with your humanity. Really.

Where's yours? You'll kill him .

Cut this stuff out. Get out of here. Let's get back to business.

" Business" ?



Max, come here. Let me give you a little advice.

Don't screw this up again.

You got a network deal here.

Don't blow it for some hick with a gun.

You know what? I' m not going to let you destroy him .

Pal, if you don't deliver Baily to me. . .

. . .you'll be lucky to get a gig giving the surfing report in Kansas.

Kansas is starting to sound pretty good to me.

Getting harder to move the line?

It doesn't move. You cross it.

-That's not what you said before. -I know it now, Lou.

It's time, Sam .

What do you mean, it's time?

It's time to give up.

What are you talking about? You said you'd set up an interview with that guy.

Hollander's getting ready to hurt you. He'll make you look bad .

-I ain't afraid of him . -Be afraid . Be very afraid .

I ain't afraid of anybody right now .

-I can take care of myself. -No, you can't.

You told me that the people like me.

I also said the public's very fickle.

If you don't set it up with Hollander, I will .


Let's get someone else.

Is he as big as him?


And nicer.


Set it up, newsboy.

Sam, I' m on your side.

After the interview . . .

. . .you and I will end it.

You lost the exclusive.

No, I didn't. I did not lose it.

-Made us look preposterous. -I didn't.

After announcing all day your one-on-one with Baily, now you want to what?

Just look stupid? You want the network to look witless?

-Jeremy, listen to me. -No, you listen to me.

You' re done. You' re coming home.

No, I am not coming back there. I'm staying here.

It's Brackett's now .

I'll take care of Brackett. I won't let anyone say I let the network down.

Nobody's going to say that.

-Do you got everything I need? -Everything is here.

How are the kids, Sam?

You 've got a couple of your own, don 't you?

I got 2.

Are they friends, by the way, with any of these kids?

No. I mean, they' re different ages.

Let's go to calls. Van Nuys, California, you have a question?

What would you say to the people of the former Soviet Union who are suffering. . .

. . .hardships greater than your own in the United States?

I don't speak Russian.

Sam has a normal complement of compassion.

Max Brackett, veteran newsman. By the way, why are you here, Max?

I' m just here to help. Sam wants me here, so I' m here.

Wichita, Kansas, you 're on the air with Sam Baily.

Liberals are saying guys like you show why we need more gun control laws.

I can't believe they made us watch.

Everybody's got their own opinion on that kind of thing .

To politicize this tragedy is to go the wrong way.

Max, this is my show.

Please. Sam 's doing well. You don 't have to answer.

I know this is your show, but I'm here to help.

I hope your show helps this difficult situation as well.

Lubbock, Texas, go ahead.

How long are you going to hold out?

-He just needs space. -He was talking to me!

It's been very. . .

. . .stressful . . .

. . .for him .

I don't think you know the seriousness of this.

Okay? Something's going to happen here.

You want to elaborate on that, Sam?

No, that's all . That's it.

From Madeline. . .

. . .I understand we have the mother of one of the hostages.

Are you there?

Yes, I am. Thank you, Larry. And thank you. . .

. . . for giving me a worldwide audience.

Hey, it's my mom .

-Is it really? -It's my mom .

This man has been pointing a gun at my child for 3 days.

What about them?

Why do you deserve our sympathy after what you 've done to those hostages?

I don't want no sympathy, all right?

I didn't mean for this to happen. I' m not trying--

What're you trying to do?

I think I know what I want to say.

Go ahead .

I was just taking care of my own.

Every man in my situation would take care of his own.

That's all I was doing .

You don 't feel guilt for what's gone down?

I feel bad .

You know, I feel bad .

But I didn't mean to hurt anybody.


You know, it ain't my fault.

Whose fault is it? Who are you mad at?

I ain't mad at anybody.

I mean, maybe, you know, Mrs. Banks. . .

. . .a little, that's all .

We don 't care about his excuses.

People like Max Brackett and the media are turning him into some kind of hero.

We found this to be a good opportunity to present all perspectives--

Since when do we need all perspectives of a crime?

Please. . .

. . .just let my child go.

Let them all go.

Sam, response?

Just tell the lady I' m sorry, okay?

We 'll be right back.

We 're clear.

We 'll be back in 2 minutes.

-If you' re uncomfortable, don't answer. -Don't tell me what to do!

-Don't answer my questions. -You' re not obligated .

People want to hear from me what's on my mind !

-You need help sometimes. -You don't need to sit here.

Fine. I' m outside.

-I'll take care of this. -You' re in the shithouse.

And don't leave the building !

Everybody knows about it if I get mad ! Sit down!

You' re erasing everything we built! You've buried yourself!

Can I talk to that guy from Texas?

-You all set? -Yes. It's all set.

I've got to talk to you.

She ought to have something more upscale. More color.

New York is not happy you' re going on without checking with them .

Brackett is a freelancer. He's not with the network. Don't worry.

They need to know what you' re planning on doing .

The other networks are leading with Larry King .

Tomorrow they'll be leading with my stuff.

Good evening from Madeline, California. . .

. . .where the eyes of the nation. . .

. . . remain fixed on the events taking place inside the museum behind me.

But the real story I've uncovered since I arrived here is even more troubling.


I came to understand the unconventional relationship between a reporter. . .

. . .and his subject, and I began to worry.

And as I learned more about Sam Baily's personality, I began to worry even more.

The testimonies on Mr. Baily were not reassuring.

He 's really a sweet boy.

He 's confused, but all he 's trying to do is get by.

Sometimes he screws things up because he 's. . . .

You could say he 's pretty weird.

Does he have a temper?

I don't even know that guy.

-I've seen him have a temper. -So you 'd call him dangerous.

Dangerous, yeah. Dangerous.

This confused and dangerous man. . .

. . .is being advised by the reporter covering the story.

Things are breaking down in there.

Let's get ready to move.

In his effort to tell a more compelling story. . .

. . . the reporter, Max Brackett, may have increased the danger. . .

. . .in an already critical situation.

I had hoped my suspicions were wrong.

Sadly, they were right.

I can guarantee Mr. Baily is sincere in his offer.

I think things 'll become increasingly unstable if you don 't grant him this.

Two little girls were set free, supposedly at the behest of Baily.

But tapes of conversations tell a far different story.

-Let's give them 2. -I said one.

You shot a black man. Some people are going to make an issue of that.

Show kindness to a black kid, it's hard to play the race card against you.

A story that places a colleague in an unfavorable light. . .

. . .is not one any newsman wants to tell.

Yeah, Kevin's the best.

We had to improvise this after Brackett sold us out.

Here he is.

The numbers are high.

There are children inside that building, held hostage at gunpoint.

And inside that building there is also the truth.

The facts of this story are also held hostage, unfortunately. . .

. . .by Max Brackett.

And I'm sorry to say they are all at great risk.

I'll be back with more of our special report after this.

What did you do to me, newsboy?

I took a bad story and made it good TV.

You' re still in better shape. I' m screwed !

What you want to do now is give up and let those kids go.

There's still people on my side.

You said you've seen these things on TV before. Remember how they end?

The guy dies or he winds up in jail .

You ain't my friend .


You kill someone, you'll spend your life in jail, or they'll fry you.

Please don't shoot him, Sam .

It's not over for you, Sam .

Will you get your act together?

You want to go home and be a daddy.

You want to go home and be a daddy.

Hey, kids.

Guess what?

I got some good news for you.

This is Lawrence Dobbins of the FBl.

You 're going to free your hostages. . .

. . .Iay down your weapons. . .

. . .and surrender.


I wanted it to be my idea.

You have five minutes to lay down your weapons. . .

. . .and surrender.

Ijust learned Cliff Williams is experiencing cardiac problems.

Doctors are working feverishly to revive him .

Wait, I see Mrs. Williams coming out now .

Would you like to make a statement about your husband's condition?

Would you like to make a statement?


I want people to see. . .

. . . what this is all about.

I want all the people. . .

. . . who 've been worrying about Sam Baily's side. . .

. . . . to start thinking about my children.

Their father is dead!

My husband is dead.

Mount Trinity Hospital has just announced the death of Cliff Williams.

The tragedy of this simple man started. . .

. . . when Baily shot him because he tried to help the children taken hostage.

After almost 3 days of the most unusual hostage situation. . . .

Samuel Baily, this is Lawrence Dobbins of the FBl.

You must free those hostages.

Lay down your weapon. . .

. . .and surrender. . .

. . .now!

Kids, come on.

Come on.

All right, go!

-See you, Sam . -See you.

Good night, Sam .

I'll pray for you.

Good luck, Sam .

Thank you, Sam .

Look at all those lights.

You were great with the kids.

The court will remember that.

But I killed a man.

It was an accident. I'll testify to it.

Nobody would believe you anymore?

That's a good point.

Would you like to talk to your wife?

Let me get her on the phone.

I heard about Cliff.

I killed him .

I didn't mean to kill him .

You still have our kids to think about.

-How are they doing? They miss you.

I miss you so much.

They want you home.

Jen, I can't come home. I ain't no good anymore.

Honey. . .

. . .it's time that we get this over with.

I know .

You mad at me?

No, I' m not.

I love you.

I love you too.

This is Chief Lemke. I'm asking you to come out now.

Oh, God !

Come on, Sam .

Let's get out of here.

You go first.

-You go first. -Okay. Sure.

I'll get them to put their guns away and then I'll come back and get you, okay?

What actor do you want to play you in the TV movie?

How about that guy Mel Gibson?

Mel Gibson doesn't do television.

-Why not? -You' re right. Why not?

Bad joke. I'll explain it to you later.

Why? Television's good .

He's coming out now ! Unarmed !

Come away from the building !

No, I am not going to send him out. . .

. . .till I see you tell them to put their guns away!

Step away from the door!

He's coming out!

What are you doing?

Sam, open up!

They' re going to let you come out!

We have a deal ! Come on!

Give me a few more seconds!

He is coming out! He's just a little nervous! He's coming out!

We' re still rolling !

This is Oscar Harrington, live on the scene in front of the museum .

There's been an explosion.

Debris is everywhere.

Somebody get the camera.

It looks like Max Brackett's alive.

Come on, I can walk.

Let me just go over there.

Stay with him .

I' m okay.

Get in there. Get as close as you can, find out what he knows.

What were his last words?

I' m Max Brackett's assistant!

You'll go exclusive on this for me?

Sure. Where's Sam?

Sam? Sam is confetti . No, don't wipe that.

How does that make you feel?

Where is he?

What did you say?

Sam's dead . It's a bigger story now .

Don't wipe it.

It looks good .

Zoom in.

We killed him .

Could anybody have helped him?

-Did he say anything? -Did he give you a message for his wife?

What are you feeling?

You don't understand ! We killed him !

We killed him !

We killed him .

You don't understand !

We killed him !