Meet Joe Black (1998) Script




Please. Please. Don't worry. Don't worry.

It's utter chaos around here.

And I'm terrified that we're running out of time.

Am I trying to be too perfect?

Oh, but I want it to be so exquisite. So do we.

But we're trying to be too exquisite. Why not aim for the stars?

Good morning. Good morning.

We do need some answers on the flowers. Ah, yes, freesia, freesia.

Everywhere freesia. Daddy loves freesia.

Good morning. Good morning. Oh. Hello. Hi.

Lights? "Lights."

Not too bright and not too dark.

I'm looking for a saffron glow, sort of tea-dance '20s.

If food is the prose of a party, then lights are its poetry.

It works. If food is the prose of a party, lights are its poetry.

I like that. If music were the food of love, play on. I'm going out of my mind.

Good morning, Mr. Parrish.

What do you think of all this, Helen? It's gonna be beautiful.

And Allison says the president may come.

The president's got better things to do than come to my birthday party. Like what?

Daddy? Do you have a minute? Good morning, Allison.

Not much more. Big day in the big city.

What's on your mind? Fireworks. Update:

We are constructing the number 65 on the barge. Mm-hmm.

Archers from the State College of New Paltz will shoot flaming arrows at it.

When it catches fire, it will give us the effect of a Viking funeral, but with none of the morbidity.

The Hudson River Authority says that for you, they'll make a special dispensation.

But, of course, there will be an overtime bill... for the Poughkeepsie Fire Department.

So, what do you think?

Good? No good?

Allison, I trust you. This is your thing.

But it's your birthday. I hate arrows. They make me nervous.

Good morning, Dad. Good morning, honey.

Morning. Morning. You're "Honey." I'm "Allison."


Oh, Dad, Drew called from the helicopter, and they're still two minutes away.

Drew's aboard? Mm-hmm.

He wanted to ride back down with you.

So why don't you sit down, relax, and get some food in that flat tummy of yours.

Are you coming? No.

You've got patients to attend to. I've got three hysterical chefs, one of whom loves truffles, the other one hates truffles, and the third one doesn't even know what truffles are.

I hate parties. But, Daddy, calm down.

You're gonna love it. I swear.

Isn't it enough to be on the Earth for 65 years without having to be reminded of it?


Will you relax? I know it's a big deal day.

How'd you know that? Drew told me.

Does he tell you everything?

I hope so.

You like him, don't you?

Yep, I guess so.

I don't want to interfere, but, uh... Then don't.

Well, here comes our boy now.

Shall we?

Okay. Hello, beautiful.


Good morning, Drew. Thanks for coming up.

Well, big day. Wanted to line up a few ducks before kickoff.

Any thoughts, last minute refinements, variations, anything?

Thoughts, no. I did hear a voice last night.

A voice? In my sleep.

What'd it say? "Yes."

Yes to the deal? Maybe. Who knows?

You know how voices are.

Hmm? I thank you, Delia.

Okay, let's go. Delia, your pen.

Hi, Bill. How you doin'? Morning, Quince.

I'm doin' great, and you? Oh, I'm great.

This is it, "B-day." Huh? Sorry.

Bontecou day. We're gonna close... with Big John.

Look at you, Bill. You're all cool as a cat.

Over at Bontecou's, I'll bet he's just shittin' in his pants.

Remember, everybody, big meeting tonight at Daddy's.

Dinner. You, too, Drew. We have lots of loose ends.

Not my birthday again? You're only 65 once, Dad.

Thank God. Now let's get the day started.

Remember, dinner in the city at Daddy's!

Mm-hmm. It's so ridiculous.

Do you love Drew?

No, don't do anything. Just stay exactly where...

Do you love Drew? He's not gonna get a better offer than that.

You mean, like you loved Mom? Forget about me and Mom.

- Are you gonna marry him? Oh, come on.

I'm probably.

Listen, I'm crazy about the guy. He's smart. He's aggressive.

He could carry Parrish Communications into the 21st century and me along with it.

Mm-hmm. So, what's wrong with that?

That's for me. I'm talking about you.

It's not what you say about Drew. It's what you don't say.

Maybe you're not listening.

Oh, yes, I am.

Give him whatever he wants.

There's not an ounce of excitement, not a... whisper of a thrill.

And this relationship has all the passion of a pair of titmice.

I want you to get swept away out there.

I want you to levitate. I want you to... sing with rapture and dance like a dervish.

Oh, that's all. Yeah. Be deliriously happy, or at least leave yourself open to be.


"Be deliriously happy." I shall, uh...

I shall do my utmost.

I know it's a cornball thing.

But love is passion, obsession, someone you can't live without.

I say, fall head over heels.

Find someone you can love like crazy and who will love you the same way back.

How do you find him? Well, you forget your head, and you listen to your heart.

And I'm not hearing any heart.

'Cause the truth is, honey, there's no sense living your life without this.

To make the journey and not fall deeply in love, well, you haven't lived a life at all.

But you have to try, 'cause if you haven't tried, you haven't lived.


Oh, you're tough.

I'm sorry. Okay.

Give it to me again, but the short version this time.

Okay. Stay open.

Who knows? Lightning could strike.



What do you think? Is it just the executive committee, or are you guys gonna use me?

Quince, man, thanks for the offer, but it's all set for just me and Bill.

More people might... I know. I know, gum up the works.

"I want you to get swept away."

Huh? I was just sayin' to Quince that we won't need him until...

Did you hear something? Yeah, but I was just sayin' to Quince...

No, no, no. Not you. What's the matter, Daddy?

Nothing. I'm sorry. "I want you to levitate.

I want you to sing with rapture and dance like a dervish."

"Dance like a dervish"? Daddy, what is it?

Nothing, I'm just talking to myself. You know me.

No, I've never known you to talk to yourself.

Oh, well, can I give you a lift?

No, I'm gonna catch a cab. Listen, are you okay? Yeah.

Got my garters on, my ears pricked... ready for action.

Okay. Well... Go get 'em, Pops.

You're damn right. Okay.

Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

Oh, haven't heard that one before.

I'm sorry. I had to say it.

Honey? Honey? Hi, George.

Honey, you have to go on.

Okay? There's a time to sow and a time to reap.

You have to sow.

Sorry. Excuse me.

No, I liked him. I don't like him anymore.

'Cause you're my honey.

Someone messes with you, they mess with me.

That's it. I'm on a plane in a heartbeat. You let me know.

Yep, when I get my phone in, you're my first call. I promise.

Hit the books, get the degree. One day we'll be hanging out a shingle together.

How's that? Mmm? Okay.

You all right? Yes.

You bet. Be strong.

I love you. Bye-bye.

Morning. Good morning.

I was talkin' kind of loud there. I'm sorry.

Oh, not at all.

It was fascinating.

Yeah, what was fascinating about it?

Um... You and, uh, "honey"?

It's my kid sister. Oh.

And she just broke up with her boyfriend and was thinking... about dropping out of law school.

Oh, I'm sorry. No, nothing to be sorry about.

That's the way it is with men and women, isn't it? What's the way?

Nothing lasts.

Oh. Yeah, I agree.

Really? Why?

No, I'm interested.

I was just trying to be agreeable.

Okay. All right. I was sharpshooting.

Oh. No, just that "nothing lasts" stuff.

That was the problem with Honey's guy. He didn't know what he wanted.

So, he's fooling around, and she catches him at it.

You know, like one girlfriend isn't enough for him.

So, you're a one-girl guy. Yes, I am.

That's right. Right.

Looking for her right now, actually.

Mmm. Who knows? You might be her.

No, don't laugh. I just got into town.

I got the new job.

I'm trying to get into this apartment.

Anyway, so you're a doctor.

Mmm. How'd you know?

'Cause everyone's a doctor around here.

This apartment building... Everyone's in green slippers, the green pajamas.

The guy I'm waiting for to vacate... doctor. He's a doctor.

What kind of doctor?

I'm a resident... internal medicine.

So, if I needed a doctor, you could be it.

I could be her. Yeah.

You could be... her.


Yeah, I could.

I'm-I'm working at the hospital, so... I see.

This is my lucky day. I just get in the big, bad city, not only do I find a doctor, but a beautiful woman, as well.

Do you mind me saying that?

Oh... No, of course. No, it's fine.

It's fine. It's just...

Listen, could I buy you a cup of coffee?

I have some patients coming in, so I should probably... Yeah, yeah.

Get goin'. I gotta get to the apartment and get off to work.

Yeah. But I'd still like to have another cup of coffee.

Um... Would you let me do that?

Well, yeah, okay. Deal.


Good morning, Mr. Parrish. Morning, Jennifer.

So, board convenes tomorrow.

You'll recommend we close, and it's a deal, right?

As close as a deal could be.




"Yes" what? Yes is the answer to your question.


I didn't ask any question.

I believe you did.

Who are you?

Goddamn it. What's going on here? I think you know.

I don't. Try.

"'Cause if you haven't tried, you haven't lived."

What are you talking about?

What you were talking about.

Who is this guy?

Tell me who you are. Are you giving me orders?

No. I'm sorry, I... No, you're not.

You're trying to handle the situation.

But this is the one situation you knew you never could handle.

It's enough... now.


Talk to me, please.

There's gonna be plenty of time for that.

What do you mean?

I think you know, Bill.

It's kind of a pro bono job.

"Pro bono"? Yeah.

Meaning, doing good? That's me.

Gonna be doing good all your life?

I know what you're saying. It doesn't pay so well, but, I like it. Mm-hmm.

Eventually it'll depend on the woman I marry, I think.

Maybe she'll want lots of kids, a bigger house, better car, uh...

College doesn't come cheap. You know? I don't know.

Wow. Give up what you want for the woman you marry.


Yeah, you know what? I would.

Yeah? Gladly.

'Cause you make your choices, you know?

Say, you and I, if we were married, I would... No, for an example, okay?

If you and I were married, I would want to give you what you need.

That's all. I'm talking about taking care of each other the best you can.

What's wrong with taking care of a woman? She takes care of you.

You'll have a hard time finding a woman like that these days.

Shoot, you think so? Mm-hmm.

I don't know. Lightning could strike.

I've gotta go.

Yeah. Listen, did I say something wrong? No? No.

No. No. It was... Sure?

It was so right, it scares me. That's all.


You know, I was thinking, I don't want you to be my doctor.

I don't want you to... examine me and...


Because I like you so much.

And I... I don't want to examine you.

You don't? Why not?

Because I like you so much.

Oh, boy. Okay.

Now I gotta go, so...

Yep, understood. All right. All right.

Fair enough. See ya.

Bye. Bye. Bye-bye.


I know how you love music, Daddy. And I want to have music that pleases you, but doesn't put a thousand other people to sleep.

I've agonized over it and finally settled on Sidney Brown. Good.

Twenty-four men... very eclectic. Mm-hmm.

Plus, I'm feathering in a Latin sextet on their breaks.

You haven't heard a word I've said, have you?

What, honey? Sorry. Daddy.



Mr. Parrish?

Yes? Dinner's served.

Yeah. Never mind.

Leave it to me.

Did you miss me, Bill?

Chow time, you guys.

What are you looking so provoked about?

Did you miss me?

It's a normal question.

I missed you. But what do I get back?

"Not an ounce of excitement.

"Not a whisper of a thrill.

This relationship has all the passion of a pair of titmice."

I'm waiting outside the front door.

Did you speak to the governor?

He's coming. And his wife?

Yeah, unfortunately.

I sat between them at the Bronx Zoo benefit. It was better than Seconal.

I'm waiting outside the front door, Bill.

Won't someone let me in?


Is there somebody at the front door? I didn't hear a ring, sir.

Have a look, would you, please?

What about the mayor?

He said he's going to be there with bells on. Good.

- Maybe they'll drown him out. Please don't be negative, Drew.

I'm sorry. We have an acceptance list that would do the White House proud:

The chairman of the F.C.C., the Secretary General of the U.N., Wow. Nine senators, I don't know how many congressmen and at least 12 of the Fortune 500.

Any jocks? Hmm? No.

No 20-game-winner, Masters champion, someone I can talk to?

You were right, Mr. Parrish. There was a gentleman at the door.

He's waiting for you in the foyer.

Show him into the library. Tell him I'll be right there. Yes, sir.

I've arranged favors, silver charm bracelets for the women, Mmm. And platinum key chains for the men, all engraved "W.P."

But now I'm thinking of scrubbing them. They seem so ordinary.

Are they ordinary?

Do they seem that way to you, Daddy?

I don't know.

I don't know. I, uh...

Let me see.

I don't think they're ordinary.

I think they're great.

I love key chains.


Anyone here?

I said, is anyone here? Quiet down.

Where are you? I'm here.

What is this, a joke, right?

Some kind of elaborate practical joke?

At my 40th reunion, we delivered a casket... to the class president's hotel room and, uh...


Where are you going, Bill?

I, uh...

The great Bill Parrish at a loss for words?

The man from whose lips fall "rapture" and "passion" and "obsession"?

All those admonitions about being " deliriously happy, that there is no sense living your life without."

All the sparks and energy you give off, the rosy advice you dispense in round, pear-shaped tones.

What the hell is this?

Who are you?

Just think of millenniums multiplied by eons... compounded by time without end.

I've been around that long.

But it's only recently that your affairs here have piqued my interest.

Call it boredom.

The natural curiosity of me, the most lasting... and significant element in existence, has come to see you.

About what?

I want to have a look around before I take you.

Take me where?

It requires competence, wisdom and experience.

All those things they say about you in testimonials.

And you're the one.

The one to do what? Show me around, be my guide.

And in return, you get...

I get what?


Minutes, days, weeks.

Let's not get encumbered by detail.

What matters is that I stay interested.


"Yes" what?

Yes is the answer to your question.

What question? Oh, Bill.

Come on. The question.

The question you've been asking yourself with increased regularity, at odd moments, panting through the extra game of handball, when you ran for the plane in Delhi, when you sat up in bed last night and hit the floor in the office this morning.

The question that is in the back of your throat, choking the blood to your brain, ringing in your ears over and over as you put it to yourself.

"The question." Yes, Bill.

"The question."

The question.

Am I going to die?


Am I dreaming this?

Are you a dream?

I'm not a dream.

You're coming to take me?

What is that?

And who the hell are you?

You are...


Who am I?


You're Death?


Death. That's me.

You're not Death. You're just a kid in a suit.

The suit came with the body I took.

Let me ask your opinion.

Do I blend in?

You want me to be your guide?

You fill the bill, Bill.

I do? Mmm.

Will you be staying long?

We should hope quite a while.

And then?

It's over.

It's over.

Mr. Parrish?

Will the gentleman be staying for dinner, sir?


Thank you.

This is crazy.

You're not gonna eat dinner with us.

No, I am eating dinner with you... and your family.

And that is what we're doing.

It's not open for discussion, nothing is.

Don't you understand?



Now lead the way.

Bill, lead the way.

Excuse me, may I say something? Yes, of course.

Well, it just occurred to me, if, uh...

Speak up, please.

When I introduce you, if I say who you are, I don't think anyone will stay for dinner.

Then don't.

Here's another possibility.

It's a little last minute, but tell me what you think.


Little gold kaleidoscopes.

Some German company went kerplunk, and Tiffany's picked all these things up, and they're perfect party favors.

Okay, they're not personalized or anything. They're just winter scenes... dachshunds, snowflakes.

Hi there.


Sorry to have... stepped away for so long.

This is a friend of mine I asked to drop by.

We got to talking and stuff, and, uh...

He's gonna join us for dinner.

Great. How nice to meet you.

And wouldn't it be nicer if my father would introduce you?

How nice to meet you.

Yeah, I'm sorry. This is my daughter, Allison, and her husband, Quince, and Drew, my number one, works with me.

Daddy, does your friend have a name?

A name? Something he goes by?

Oh, yeah, excuse me. This is, uh...

This is, um...

Daddy, come on. A name. Bill, the suspense is killing me.

I'm sorry. It's, uh... It's gone right out of my head. Um...

I'm sorry. This is... Joe.

Joe. I love that name. Just plain Joe.

Me too. Hey, buddy.

Is there any more to it? What do you mean?

Like "Smith" or "Jones" or...

Black. Oh, at last.

Nice to meet you, Mr. Black. Hey, hey, Joe Black.

Won 15, lost 2 for the Brooklyn Dodgers, 1952.

I'm king of my rotisserie league.

Are you? Yeah, he is.

Shall we sit down?

Right there.

Have we met?

He's from out of town. How long you here for, Joe?

As long as it takes.

You and Bill, you old friends? No.

No, thank you.

I have one, thank you.

- I get the feeling you've done some business before. I got it.

Have you done some business before?

We have an arrangement now.

What side of the industry did you say you were on?

I didn't say.

Joe sounds like a ringer, Bill.

I have a feeling you guys got the broad strokes already.

You need any help with the details?

I'm sorry, business at dinner.

Forgive me for being so rude. Certainly.

Hi, everybody. I'm sorry I'm late.

I had to have dinner with my department chief. You ate?

I'm here, aren't I? I wouldn't miss a loose ends meeting.

What's on the table for discussion? Party favors, flowers...

Hi, Dad. Hi.

Hello. Hi, Drew.

What are you doing here?

You know each other?

We've met.

This morning, the Corinth Coffee Shop.

He was, uh... He was looking for a doctor.

Well, I guess he's found one.

Joe, you do get around.

That's your name? And isn't it a lovely one?

So sturdy, so straight. Stop it.

Incidentally, Joe, where are you staying?

Here. You're staying here?

In this house? Yes, in this house.

Great. Great. Great.

Will that hold you, Joe?

Incidentally, Joe what?


This is fun.

Yes. Yes, Quince, it is.

So, what are you doing here, Joe?

Cat got your tongue?

You weren't so silent this morning.

This morning, yes.

I wasn't quite myself.

Well, it's a shame whoever you were couldn't be here tonight.

Cut it out, Susan. We've gotta talk.

Busy day tomorrow, everybody.

Joe, let's go.


That stuff between you and Susan threw me.

Threw you? Where?

Shook me up.

I mean, how is it that you happened to meet my daughter?

I didn't meet her.

The young man I took met her.

That is, the fellow she encountered in the coffee shop this morning.

What happened to him?

I needed a body, Bill.


come in.

Uh, bathroom, tub, towels, sauna, chairs, lamps, bed.

Well, if there is anything else,

don't hesitate. I won't.

I can try. Will she be available next week?

I don't know.

Yes, sir?

Hello. I'm Joe Black.

It's nice meeting you.

Yes, of course, Mr. Black, sir.

A pleasure.


What is that?

You mean this, sir? Yes.

It's, uh, Laura Scudder's peanut butter, sir.

You like it?

Well, I would say, in my opinion, it's right up there with Jif and Skippy.

Could I offer you a taste, sir?

Yes. All right.

Do you fancy it, sir?





You're a peanut butter man now, eh, sir?

Yes, I believe I am.

I thoroughly enjoy this peanut butter.

And I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you all.

I'll be moseying on. Right, sir.

What are you doing here?

I'm lost.

I can't seem to escape you today.

I'm sorry. Yeah.

Would you hand me one of those?

You must have something very... big going on with my father.

Big? Yeah.

You appear at his side out of the blue, stay at his house, have dinner with his family.

That's, uh, practically a first.

You're in the red-hot center of big business, and I thought you were just a regular Joe.

I am Joe. Not the one that I met this morning.

Hitting on me in as nice a way as I've been hit on in a long time.

The second that you found out I was my father's daughter, you, uh...

Well, you acted like a stranger.

That is not my intention.

What are your intentions?

Huh? I mean, just to, uh, make little dramas in coffee shops, turn a woman's head?

I don't mind admitting that my-my head was turned.

I-I liked it.

But, well, ten hours later, I feel like a fool.

I just don't get it. I don't.

You, my father, here in this house. It's, uh...

It's upsetting me, and I...

What happened to that sweet guy from the coffee shop?

Who are you, anyway?

And... what are you eating?

Peanut butter.


But it's gone now.

Wh... No. Please.

You act like you've never had peanut butter before. I haven't.

What kind of childhood did you have? Do you love Drew?

Excuse me?

When you put your mouth to his, it seemed a frequent thing.

Drew is none of your business, and neither is where I put my mouth.

I'm sorry. Do you live here?

No, Joe, I'm swimming here and now I'm going home.

Yes, I think what I'm trying to say is, I would like it if we were friends.

I've got plenty of friends.

I don't have any.

Well, I can see why.

I didn't mean to offend you at dinner.

I'm sometimes... not quite at home around people.

I get busy doing, uh, what it is I do.

And I don't seem to have developed...


I have a certain function to perform, and it seems to take up most of my time.

But sometimes I... speculate...

that I haven't left room for...

anything else.


I'm sorry to say I know what you mean.

Well, um...

Good night, Joe.


Good night to you, Susan.

Morning, Madeline. Oh, good morning, Mr. Parrish.

Everything okay? Yes, sir.



Good morning, Bill.

What's on the docket for today?

Docket? Hmm, yes. What shall we do?

Well, I have to go to work, and... Splendid. I'll join you.


Would you like to ride or walk?

Walk. I wish to see the world.

This is crazy. This is the left field thing of all time.

I, uh... I don't know if I can get through this.

What do I do? What do I tell my family? You'll get through this, Bill.

As far as your family's concerned, uh, I wouldn't say anything.

You'll ruin the great start we had last night.

Hmm. It felt as if I was being treated like a person.

Yes, Joe this, Joe that.

A nice smile. Quince passed me the rolls.

No passion or rapture or any of these mighty things you're so intent on imparting.

But I am certain, should you say who I am, our adventure would end abruptly.


And I did so enjoy your family.

What about my family? This adventure involves only me, right?

What do you mean?

I'll tell you what. You promise this undertaking of yours... involves only me and, uh...

And what?

I won't tell anyone who you are. Sounds fair enough.

Good. Is it a deal?

A deal? Yeah.

You give your word; I give mine that we'll do what we say.

Mm-hmm. It is a truth exchanged between two people.

Bill? What?

You have a deal. Ow!

That's great.


You know, I got to thinking.

With you here and seemingly occupied, how's your work going, I mean, elsewhere?

While you were shaving this morning, you weren't just shaving.

What do you mean? You were hatching ideas, making plans, arriving at decisions, right?

Yeah, I guess so.

So you understand the concept. While part of you is busy doing one thing, another part of you is doing another, perhaps even attending to the problems of your work.

Correct? Of course.

So you understand the idea. Congratulations, Bill.

Now multiply that by infinity, take that to the depths of forever, and you still will barely have a glimpse of what I'm talking about.

Joe? Yes, Bill?

How about giving a guy a break?

Make an exception?

Well, there's one to every rule. Not this.

And call my family. I'd like them to have dinner with me tonight.

Didn't the family get together last night?

Jennifer. Of course, Mr. Parrish, right away.

Uh, perhaps you'd like to wait in my office. No.

What I'm trying to say is this is a board meeting and you're not a member.

I'm sure you'll find a way to make it all right.

Nice to meet you.


Good morning.

Thank you. Eddie.

Uh, this is Joe Black.

He's a personal associate of mine, and, uh... Hello, Quince.

Hey. He'll be joining us this morning.

I know this is unusual, and my apologies, and, uh...

Drew, carry on. It's nice to see you.

Didn't expect you, but, uh... certainly you can't get enough of a good thing.

Thank you. Joe, would you like to sit there?


Uh, the Board of Parrish Communications is hereby called to order.

Our sole order of...

Our s...

Our sole order of business today is a, uh... is an acceptance of John Bontecou's generous offer.

And I think Bill... Do you have any more of these delicious cookies?

The jelly ones?

Mmm, and a cup of tea.

With milk, I think. I'd like to try it English style. Yes.

A cup of tea with milk, please.

Is there anything else, Mr. Black?

How about some water? Why, yes, thank you.

Hot or cold? Cold.

And a glass? Mmm.

Uh, to review. We're really crossing the T's and dotting the I's here.

Uh, Bill had a great and conclusive meeting yesterday with John Bontecou, and all that remains for us is to put it to a vote.

Um, thank you. Drew, um...


I did enjoy, or rather I was interested... in meeting John Bontecou yesterday, and, um...

Impressive, I suppose.

But, uh...


It did get me to thinking.

See, I started in this business because this is what I wanted to do.

I knew I wasn't gonna write the great American novel.

But I also knew there was more to life than buying something for a dollar... and selling it for two.

I'd hoped to create something, something which could be... held to the highest standards.

And what I realized was I...

I wanted to give the news to the world.

And I wanted to give it unvarnished.

Uh, the more we all know about each other, the greater the chance we will survive.

Sure, I want to make a profit. You can't exist without one, but, uh...

John Bontecou is all profit.

If we give him license to absorb Parrish Communications... and he has his eye on a few others after us... in order to reach the world, you will have to go through John Bontecou.

And not only will you have to pay him to do this, far more important, you'll have to agree with him.

Reporting the news is a privilege and a responsibility.

And it is not exploitable.

Parrish Communications has earned this privilege.

John Bontecou wants to buy it.

As your chairman, I urge you to agree.

This company is not for sale.

It sounds like you're not leaving much room for discussion.

Thank you. You're welcome.

I know. I'm sorry, I... Looks like I'm reversing my field.

That's your privilege, Bill. But given our needs, given the absolute necessity for growth, given the future, the truth is, joining John Bontecou is every bit as certain as death and taxes.

Death and taxes? Yes.

- Death and taxes? Yes.

What an odd pairing. It's just a saying, Mr. Black.

Mmm. By whom? Doesn't matter.

Then why'd you bring it up?

You're not familiar with the phrase, "In this world, nothing is certain but death and taxes?"

Well, I am now. Glad I could be of some help.

I keep regular office hours if there's any further information you might need... on sayings, common phrases, manners of speaking.

My door's wide open. The tea I can provide, perhaps even the milk.

Low fat.

Yeah, okay, well, uh...

I think we've accomplished everything we're going to this morning. Shall we adjourn?

But the matter is still on the table, Bill. Joe?


Thank you for the delicious cookies.


Who is that guy?

So... what's the deal here?

You gonna be breathing down my neck right till the very end?

I don't understand. I'd like to be alone for a while.

Are you sad, Bill? Yes, I am.

Why don't you take a walk or something, get some air?

I know I'll be seeing you.

Of course.

Good. Now I'd like to be alone.

This will hold you for a while.

You know about money, don't you? It can't buy happiness?

Yeah. Uh, Jennifer?

Give Mr. Black a map of the city, would you? It's okay, Bill.

I can manage.

Hi. Hi.

I need a medical record number for labs. Uh-huh.

And, uh, will you try calling her husband? The number's on top.

Also, can you page me when C.T.'s ready?

Oh, sure. Thanks, sweetie.

How nice you look. Is that your uniform?

What are you doing here?

Are you ill? Oh, goodness, no.

Then why are you here, Joe? I'm here to see you.

Joe, I don't... I don't have time to see you right now.

I'm, um, about to start making rounds, and I'm examining back-to-back patients until dinner, and, uh...

Very well. I'll watch.

Watch me do what? Make rounds and examine back-to-back patients.

Joe, that's impossible.

I'm a doctor. And I'll be a visitor.

Patients have visitors, not doctors. I don't mind.

Miss? Miss?

Doctor. Oh, um, just one second. I'll be right there.

Please. My mama is sicker than him.


Obeah. No, Mama.

Obeah, man.

I goin' die. Mama, stop it. It's just a man.

What's Obeah? Bad spirit. She just all fever.

She don't mean nothing. Please help us. Of course.

No Obeah, sister.

Everything gonna be all right.

Have you registered? No.


You gonna be all right? Go with the doctor lady. Mama gonna be fine now.

Don't leave. Don't leave me.

She'll be right back, okay? Mama.

Obeah. Rahtid.

Obeah evil. I not evil, woman.

And what you is then?

I from that next place.

You waitin' here to take us?

Like you is the bus driver to there?

No, man, I on 'oliday.

Some spot you pick.

Oh. Mmm.

The pain. Pain is bad, bad.

I don't have nothin' to do with these things, you know.

Make it go away. Doctor lady make it all right.

Uh-uh. Not this pain.

This pain go through and through me.

Make it go away. I can't, sister.

You can, mister.

Take me to that next place.

It's not your time now. Make it time.

You can't fool with the way things got to be.


Where she was born.

Close your eyes.

Go on, sister.


You... You can go with her. I'll be right there.

Come now, Mama.

She's in a great deal of pain. Yes.

Have you spent much time in the islands? Some.

I realize now my being here, uh, is not quite appropriate.

Oh, no, please... Please don't apologize.

Yes? Yeah.

I'm glad that you came.

Thank you, Susan. I'm very happy to be here.

Joe, I'm with Drew.

Not now.

I have to go.

I'm sorry to say. Be sorry for nothing.


Thanks, Joe. Good-bye, Susan.

Good? Mmm.

Yes, what is it? Cold lamb sandwich with cilantro.

A little Coleman's mustard.

It's, uh, splendid.

Glad you like it.

My wife turned me on to cold lamb sandwiches.

Joan... was my wife. Mm-hmm.

Yeah. Cold lamb sandwiches.

Not as chewy as roast beef, not as boring as chicken.

She knew stuff like that.

Everything reminds me of her.

There isn't a day goes by that I don't think about her.

One day she didn't feel well. The next day she was gone.

So what are you gonna do?


I guess you've heard all this a trillion times before, huh?

More. Why didn't you stop me?

I don't know.

What was it like when you first met?

I thought you'd heard it a trillion times before.

This part I'm interested in.

Well, she had on this little blue suit...

With a little white collar that had a little... red piping on it.



Am I interrupting? Yes.

No. Just kidding?

Sit down, Drew.

Uh, before I do, I was hoping we might be alone, Bill.

Well, Joe and I have no secrets from each other.

How nice for you both.

Pardon my candor, but I was confounded by your decision this morning.

Why? I was hired.

You told me to help bring Parrish Communications into the 21st century.

This merger is the vehicle. In my estimation... Perhaps a merger is a way... to bring Bill's company into the 21st century, and perhaps it isn't.

And perhaps cheating on your French philosophers exam at the Groton School... was an expedient way to get your diploma, and perhaps it wasn't.

Be that as it may, Drew, a question can often be argued both ways.

Joe, cut it out. You too, Drew.

I thought this was practically a done deal. Well, now it's undone, okay?

Forget Bontecou. Scrub him.

I'm tired of his fancy name and his fancy offer.

I'm not going for it.


Bill, why at this juncture... are you letting yourself be so concerned by business matters?

'Cause I don't want anybody buying up my life's work!

Turning it into something it wasn't meant to be.

A man wants to leave something behind. He wants it left behind the way he made it.

He wants it to be run the way he ran it, with a sense of honor, of dedication, of truth.

Easy, Bill. You'll give yourself a heart attack... and ruin my vacation.

Now listen.

I read you all the way on the Bontecou thing, and I know where you're coming from, and I am with you 101 percent.

Well, thank you, Quince.

But I just gotta tell you, if mergers are in the wind, I've developed some great prospects.

And I want to come and talk to you about... about 'em next week.

Next week? Yeah.

Or the week after.

No good? No. Why, anything's possible.

It's up to Joe. Joe.

You just don't know how glad I am you're aboard, because anybody who can take some of the weight off the old man, I am... I'm in his corner.

That's very gracious of you, Quince. Ah, it's no problem.

Well, I'll leave you two alone, because I can, uh...

I can tell, you know... you got something in the fire.

Now, look, I know you're down.

But you know, when you're down, there's no place to go but up.

Up. Thanks, Quince.

Forget about Bontecou.

I got a couple other merger possibilities up my sleeve, and I'm pitching 'em to the old man.

Were you? Yeah.

Hey, listen. Mm-hmm.

We're gonna go in together. I'll clue you in.

The timing has gotta be right, because the old man says it's up to Joe.

He said it's up to Joe? Mm-hmm.

Those were his words? Yeah.

It's up to Joe, huh? Yeah.

That's what he said? That's what he... That's what he said.

That's very interesting.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I thought so too.

I want to thank you all for coming.

Uh, my family, um, Allison and Quince, Susan and the other members.

And, uh...

So glad when we can get together.

I mean, I know you all have busy lives.

Look who's talking. Yeah. Speak for yourself.


I remember when you were little girls, and, uh...

I love little girls.

And uh, now you're all grown up, and I, um...

I had some words prepared, but, uh, I've forgotten them.

Um... Wait a minute, uh...

There's so much I wanted to say, uh... Daddy?

You could sit down if you want to. Yeah.

So many words I wanted to...

So much I wanted to say, but, uh...

I can't, and so, uh...

Yeah, I better sit down.

Carry on, everybody, please. Oh, one other thing.

Um, why don't we all... have dinner again tomorrow night, okay?

Dinner again? Yeah.

You haven't had enough of us yet, Dad?

Mmm... mmm... no.

Come here.

We'll be here. You bet we'll be here.

Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.


Oh, no.

I would prefer some peanut butter.

How would you like that, sir? On some kind of toast? Toast.

No, just the butter. Right away, sir.

Why do you like peanut butter so much?

I don't know.

Hmm. I adore things like that.

Food I can't do without. Don't you?


It comforts you, doesn't it? Yes, I find that it does.

Mind if I throw up? Drew.


I'm very concerned about the woman you attended to today.

- I am too. Has her pain abated?

We're doing what we can for her, but, uh, it's not looking very good.

I'm sorry to hear that. Yeah.

Who are we talking about?

But I know she's grateful for the care you're giving her.

Is this a state secret?

No, we're talking about a patient of mine, 'cause... Uh-huh.

Joe stopped by the hospital today.

He did? That's more than we get to do.

Maybe next time you go to the hospital, you'll take us along with you.

Perhaps you could remind me. Well, I'll make a note of it.

- Anything else I can do for you? I wanna come along too.

See Susie strut her stuff. You're on, Quincie.

Destination, hospital. Joe, you can be the tour guide, okay?

Susan's a wonderful doctor.

I'm sure she is.

Bill? Yeah?

I have to go. It's been a hell of a day.

I need a few minutes to sort everything out. See you tomorrow.


Yes, Bill?


Why'd you go to the hospital? I don't know.

You just curious? I guess.

About Susan?

I wouldn't put it that way. How would you put it?

You tell me, Bill. No, how about you telling me?

I ask a simple question; I expect a straight answer.

That's what I'm used to. Anybody who doesn't give it to me, I fire.

Are you going to fire me, Bill?


So, uh, I'll see you tomorrow night?

You include me out. I've had enough of the convocations.

You don't mean that. You don't want to disappoint Dad.

Daddy will do fine. Besides, he's got Joe. And it seems you do too.

You're out of line. Well, that may be, but I don't like the ubiquitous creep.

I don't like the way he looks at you. I don't like the way he talks to you.

And vice versa.

I'm sorry.

'Cause I like the way he looks and talks to me.

And vice versa.


Not okay.

Thought we had a good thing going here.

I thought it was a good thing.

Well, that just goes to show you never know.


Good night.

How long have you been standing there?

I don't like the way he spoke to you.

But I feel better now because of the way you spoke back.

Tell me about yourself, Joe.

I mean, who are you?

What are you doing here with my father?

You're not going to tell me?

You're married, aren't you?


Because men who never say anything about themselves, they're... they're always married.

So you're married? No, I'm not.

But you... you have a girlfriend.


Gay? No.

So, tell me, Joe...

How come a man as attractive, intelligent, well-spoken...

diffident in the most seductive way, and yet...


is all alone in this world?

I'm sorry.

I'm s... I didn't... mean to pry, and, uh, you obviously don't want to tell me, so we'll just...

We'll just leave it a mystery.

That is the way you want it, isn't it? Yes, thank you.

Where are you going?

To bed.

To bed? Yes.

I'm tired.

- Good night, Daddy. Good night. Sleep well.

Okay. See you tomorrow. Good night. See you.

Good night, Susie. Get some sleep. Good night.

Yeah. See you tomorrow.

Good night. Good night.

That was wonderful. Mmm.

It's good to get together. Mm-hmm.

Do you mind if I raise a little caution flag?

Raise away.

What is the nature of your interest in Joe?


Remember how you told me about lightning striking?


The nature of it's in there somewhere.

Yeah. Well, I won't say you're on the wrong track, but, uh...

Then what will you say?

I don't think this is the lightning you're looking for.

I mean, Drew is a good man. I know I didn't seem to be completely in his corner before, but, uh, I've come to appreciate that, um...

Now we love Drew? And Joe doesn't measure up?

What's going on? Nothing.

When you say "nothing" that way, it is not nothing.

Then what is it? It's something.

Okay. Good night.

I'll see you tomorrow. Yeah. Good night.

I know you're all as uncomfortable as I am to be meeting like this.

But I got a call last night from John Bontecou.

Not only is he still interested, he's sweetening his offer.

Although it pains me to say it, in my opinion, Bill Parrish dealt with us pre-emptively... in dismissing any deal with Bontecou.

Therefore, I'm sorry to say that if we're to examine this new offer responsibly, as the Board of Directors of Parrish Communications, we must do so without its chairman.

There's one additional element.

Bontecou is so anxious to get us, he said he'd take Parrish Communications with Bill Parrish or without.

In this crisis, and be assured... this is a crisis, it's not pleasant to say the following.

But I would be remiss if I did not.

When we present Bill with the improved Bontecou offer, and if he still refuses to let us consider it, once more makes an adamant or emotional rejection, we will have no choice but to...

You're taking this too far, Drew.

Am I not obligated to?

See if Quince is here.

How did all this come about?

Crisis, Bill Parrish. Crisis, his company. Crisis for us.

It came about with the arrival on the scene of Mr. Joe Black.

Mr. Joe who? Joe Black.

He attends our board meetings.

He sleeps at Bill's house. He resides in his office.

He never leaves his side, and, in my opinion, is always in his ear, telling Bill what to do.

And Bill is listening.

Who is Joe Black?

What... What is his relationship to Bill Parrish, and most important, what is behind his influence on our chairman?

He's had advisors before. Nobody tells Bill what to do.

Thanks for coming, Quince. Sure. Hi, Ed.

Hi, folks.

I didn't know everybody was going to be here.

Nice surprise.

What's with the new digs?

Drew's idea of cloak and dagger. This is a secret meeting, Quince.

I hope you'll respect its nature.

Have a seat, Quince.

Now, what we're trying to do here is to, uh... to gather our thoughts in light of Bill's rejection of Bontecou's offer... and to make an appropriate presentation to him... as to how we think the company might proceed.

Won't you share with our board the information you gave me last night?

Well, uh, I'm hap... I'm happy to tell you I got good news.

As I was, uh, as I was telling Drew, uh, I've been making a little hay while the Bontecou sun was shining.

Two, possibly three, new and boiling hot prospects for merger.

Mm-hmm. And how did Bill react to the leads you've developed?

He was interested. Yeah, but he was concerned about the timing?

Timing? Yeah, he was concerned about the timing?

Yes. He says it's up to Joe.

It's up to Joe.

~ Dum-da-dum ~ What's this?

Um, Annie made them. Who's Annie?

Thank you, Lillian. From La Rosette?

She's only the most famous pastry chef in America.

Um, this is orange, made with real Seville oranges.

Oh. And, uh, that's lemon on a mille-feuille crust.

I don't like cake.

It's for the party, Dad.

Ah. The goddamn party.

The goddamn party. Mm-hmm.

Did you hear that? I'm sorry.

The goddamn party. Oh.

Come on, l... Here, let's try this one... right over here.


This, this is terrific. It has, um, has vodka in it, Bill.

A little vodka, right?

Has, um, that fruity vodka, that flavored stuff, right?

Bill, put your lips around this. It's just out of this world.

I'm sorry, honey. You know, I'm no good at this.

Why don't you choose whichever cake you'd like?

Hmm? I knew you were gonna say that.

What? I mean you just don't care.

Oh, why am I doing this? I should have my head examined again.

Oh, my God. I am trying to throw the party of the century...

For my father in two days.

And you just don't give a shit. He gives a shit.

He doesn't give a shit! He does.

Allison. He does give a shit. Don't you, Bill?

Come on. Come on.

Come on. Smile. I'm sorry.

But what should we tell Annie?

~ Bum-bum-bum ~

This one. Mmm.

He gives a shit!


Thank you.

Um, Mr. Black, would you care for a piece?

Yes, I'd love one.

Have you had a chance to, uh, look at my father's rare books?

He has Jefferson's parliamentary manual, and, uh, this first edition of Bleak House.

I love your smell.

Well, I like the way you smell too.

My mom always used to say that you could set your heart by that clock.

Could you?

I never tried.

Till now.

Joe? Hmm?

May I kiss you?

Why, yes, you can.


Thank you.

You're welcome.

Joe? Mmm.

I don't know who you are.

I'm Joe. Mm-hmm.

And, uh, you're Susan.


And... I have this... weak feeling in my knees.

And is your heart beating strangely? Yes.

Mm-hmm. Faster.

The taste of your lips and the touch of your tongue... that was wonderful.


I should, um...

I should go home.


Shouldn't I?


Good night, Dad. Good night.

Hello, Bill.


Would you like to join me and Allison and Quince for a nightcap?

No. Not right now.


Then I'll say good night.

Good night, Bill.

Morning, Quince. Top of the morning, B.P.

Hello, Quince. Hey!

Hello, Jennifer. Good morning, Mr. Parrish.

The board is waiting. What?

The board? Didn't you call a board meeting?


Good morning. Morning, Bill.

Did you want to have a cup of coffee or something, Bill?

I don't think so. Do you?

To get to the point, we've received new information from John Bontecou... concerning his desires for this company to merge with his.

And we wanted to set the details before you.

Is that it? Bontecou wants a quick response, and...

The answer is no. Quick enough for you?

- Don't you want to hear the details? I'm not interested.

I'm not interested in the big picture either. What I am interested in... is how my board got convened behind my back... and is entertaining a further proposal from a man with whom it offends me to do business.

I made a decision. Case closed.

So am I to understand from your response... that you do not want to hear the details of Bontecou's offer?

Yes, you are to understand that.

And now, may I ask you a question?

- Certainly, Bill. Are you running this board, or am I?

That's it?

We've got a busy day ahead. This meeting's already set me behind.

Shall we adjourn? Uh, before we do, Bill, while we're here...

There's a second question the board would like a response to.

Far simpler one.

Who is the man standing to your left?

I've already introduced Mr. Black to you all.

But who is he? What are his credentials?

What is his relationship to you?

The board is deeply concerned.

We have reason to believe Mr. Black is not only influencing your decisions... in regard to this company, but that you are relying on him to make them for you.

The lack of response, Bill, is not appropriate.

We are your board.

We have a right to know how you are managing the operations of this company.

And, most importantly, that you have not delegated someone to do it for you.


One more time. Who is Joe Black?

A motion has been brought before the board... to invoke Article 19 of the corporate charter.

In English, please.

Mandatory retirement on our chairman's 65th birthday, at which time the chairman will be named emeritus.

You're welcome to attend all meetings... and will serve as international spokesman for the corporation.

Plus, of course, a settlement, a golden parachute of such magnitude that his feet will never touch the ground.

Please indicate your vote by a yes or no.

Yes. - Yes. - Yes.


No. No.

Motion's passed.

We will, of course, delay the announcement out of respect for our former chairman... until after the celebration of his birthday this weekend.

Well, thanks for allowing me to save face, Drew.

The other motion before us is the acceptance of John Bontecou's offer... to merge this corporation with Bontecou International.

Okay. Joe?

Who I am... and what my relationship is to William Parrish... will be divulged in our own good time.

Okay. Thank you, Mr. Black.

It's not over till it's over.

Please, Eddie, no "fat lady sings" stuff.

I still sense some doubt in this group. We could turn it around.

You'll be up in the country? Yeah.

The big celebration of my mandatory retirement birthday.

You're an honored guest, Eddie.

I'm gonna stick it out here. We still have a shot.

Get John's office on the phone. Tell them I'll be there in 20 minutes.

What did you do?

You've gotten the old man fired. That we did.

Thanks to you.

He was wobbling, mind you, but you supplied the coup de grace.

I'm gonna put a stop to this.

Quince, you can't unscramble scrambled eggs.

I-I didn't mean to do this.

Train's left the station, pal, and you're aboard.

Now, would you like to hear the silver lining?

Check that. Gold.

Once John Bontecou acquires Parrish Communications, he's gonna break it apart, peddle it piece by piece to the highest bidder.

That was the game plan right from the start.

I set it up for him, and he smacks it out of the park.

Ramifications for you?

You'll be farting through silk.

You'll sell your stock. You'll be positively, truly rich.

You can stop kissing ass.

What'll it feel like to be a man?

I'm going to expose you.

Okay. Go right ahead.

You tell William Parrish how you betrayed him in a secret board meeting.

Tell Allison how you helped her father lose his company.

It's just life, Quincie.

Wake up and smell the thorns.

You're here.

I am.

I, uh... just dropped by.

I thought I'd scrounge some lunch. I was in the neighborhood.

I'm so glad.

When I called, they said that you and Dad had already left the office.

Mm-hmm. He's taking a nap.

Oh. Yeah.

Well, uh, he must be tired.

You know, this whole Bontecou thing...

It, um, seems...

Yes, he's tired. I believe so.


You must be hungry then.


Not anymore.

Are you?

I loved making love to you.

It was like making love with someone... making love for the first time.

Thank you.

Do you like making love with me?


More than you love peanut butter?


Much more.

Where are you going? Nowhere. I'm here.

For how long?

I hope a long, long time.

Me too.

What do we do now?


it'll come to us.

Hello, Bill. Did you have a nice nap?

I couldn't sleep. I'm sorry to hear that.

I'll come down.

What's going on? Hmm?

I saw you kiss Susan.

Yes, I saw you see me.

You're at the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong woman.

I'll be the judge of that. I'm her father.

With all due respect, Bill, I'm not asking your permission.

You goddamn well should!

You walk into my life. You give me the worst news a guy can get.

You have me dancing on heads of pins with my business, my family.

Now you're spooning with my daughter? "Spooning"?

Yes! And stop repeating everything I say and turning it into a question.

Spooning, fooling around and God knows what.

Oh, you arrive on the scene...

Why you picked me I still don't understand.

I chose you for your verve, your excellence... and your ability to... instruct.

You've lived a first-rate life, and I find it eminently usable.

What do you want?


Everybody wants something, Joe.

You've been taking me from pillar to post here.

And, uh, I thought I knew who you were, and it wasn't a lot of fun.

But it was almost bearable.

But now I'm getting something else from you, something very... very strange.

What is it that you want?

I'm only living the Parrish bywords... looking for that "ounce of excitement," that " whisper of a thrill there is no sense living your life without."

You know what I mean, Bill?

You're violating the laws of the universe.

This universe? Any universe that exists or ever existed.

You may be the pro, Joe, but I know who you are, and you're all fucked up.

I don't like your tone, and I don't like your references.

And I don't give a shit.

Perhaps it's time to remind you this is not simply a dispute with a putative suitor.

This is me. So be careful, Bill.

Cut all that "Bill" crap out, you son of a bitch.

I'll say it again. Be careful, Bill.

Can I help you? Excuse me, can I help you?

Yes. Dr. Parrish, please.

She comes on at 6:00.



Where's Joe? Joe?

Joe's not around.

Do you know where he is? I don't know.


Why are you looking for Joe?

Love. Passion. Obsession.

All those things you told me to wait for.

They've arrived. This is crazy.


A man shows up, almost never leaves your side.

Well, you clearly trust him, depend on him.

So why aren't those things good enough for me?

You don't know anything about Joe. What are you afraid of?

That I'll fall head over heels for Joe?

Well, I have. Just like you did with Mom.

Isn't that what you've always wanted for me?


I don't think Joe is gonna be with us long.

Where is he going?

I don't know.

I can't say. Oh, come on.

The guy's working with you. You know chapter and verse about everyone working with you.

In this case I can't. I...

I only will tell you that with Joe, you're on... very, very dangerous ground.

I love him.

I don't care if you love him! I'm telling you!

Joe's no good for you.

Of course not, Daddy.

I'm sorry.

I love you too.

Mr. Bad News. 'Bout time you show up.

Don't be feisty, sister.

I'm not feisty, mister.

You come for me? That's good news.

No, I come to see the doctor.

Doctor? Mm-hmm.

What could be wrong with you? Nothin'.

Ohh. You come to see doctor lady?

Yeah, man. My doctor lady?

Mine too, you know.

You're in love?

You're loved back?

She know your real self?

She know how she feel. Backside!

What the hell kind of business this is.

Don't need you okayin'.

Schoolboy things in your head. Badness for you.

Badness for her.

Badness for me, lyin' here, tumor big as a breadfruit, poisonin' me inside, and waitin'.

Bring you flowers, and all I's gettin' is aggravation.

The only flowers I want to see... is the ones over my peaceful self resting in the dirt.

Can't do no right by people. Come to take you, you want to stay.

Leave you stay, you want to go. Rahtid.

You're not in your right place, mister.

Me neither.

No more.

Take me, and you come with me now.

But I not lonely here.

Somebody want me here.


It nice it happen to you.

Like you come to the island and had a holiday.

Sun didn't burn you red-red, just brown.

You sleep, and no mosquito eat you.

But the truth is, it bound to happen... if you stay long enough.

So take that nice picture you got in your head home with you, but don't be fooled.

We lonely here mostly too.

If we lucky, maybe... we got some nice pictures to take with us.

You got enough nice pictures?


Good-bye, sister.


I have the feeling, all in all, what I made this voyage for has served its purpose.

What are you saying? It's time to go?

I'm ready.

You are?


Good. Tomorrow. After the party.

Yes, Helen? Telephone call, sir.

Mr. Sloane from New York. Thank you.

Excuse me.

Thank you.



Red or white?

No. No, thank you. Have a drink.

You look like you need one as bad as me. I do?

Quince? Mm-hmm.

I find myself a little confused.

Confused, huh? Yes.

About what? Love.


Oh, man. I got problems of my own.

You love Allison, don't you? Yes, I do.

How did you meet?

Well, um, I was this world-class loser, and she was this happy little rich girl, and for some reason she took me in.

But Allison loves you.

How do you know?

Because she knows the worst thing about me, and it's okay.

What is it? No, it's not one thing. It's just an idea, Joe.

It's just, um, um...

It's like you know each other's secrets, your deepest, darkest secrets.

Deepest, darkest secrets? Yeah, and then you... you're free.


You're free! You're free to l... love each other completely, totally.

Just no fear.

So there's nothing you don't know about each other, and it's okay.


Do you like me, Joe? Oh, yes, Quince. You're one of my favorites.

What would you say if you knew it was me who brought down Bill Parrish?

Oh, I told Drew and the board that Bill depended on you.

Drew and Bontecou are gonna chop up the company, sell it off for parts.

Bontecou was outside. Drew was Mr. Inside.

And I was the fool who made it all happen.



What do I do?

Go to Bill Parrish and tell him the truth.

He'll forgive you.

You think so? Yes.

You think I should wait till after the party?



Four down here and a sturgeon up there.

This one is perfect. Absolutely.

Okay, I think I want four here like that...

Hi, Daddy. Hi.

What do you think?

Well, it's, uh... it's starting to grow on me.

Oh, I've got a baritone with a balalaika... coming from the Russian Tea Room.

I've dressed him in a Cossack shirt, and he'll be singing Nelson Eddy songs.


You really are amazing.

But why, oh, why, Allison, are you doing all this?

I do it because I love you. Everybody loves you:

Mommy, wherever she is, Susan, Quince... all the people you work with, anyone who's ever met you.

Ohh, Daddy.

After all, you've been a wonderful father.

Yeah, well, I haven't been the father to you that, uh...

That you've been to Susan? I wasn't going to say that.

But that's what you were thinking. And that's okay.

Because I know that you love me.

I mean, it's not like it is with her.

Whenever she walks into the room, your eyes light up.

She always gets a smile from you, as opposed to me.

When I walk in, this look comes over your face, like, "What does she want now?"

But you've never let either of us want for anything.

Oh, God. More than that, Daddy, more than that.

I've felt loved, and that's all that matters.

So, never mind favorites.

You're allowed to have one.

The point is, you've been mine.

Oh, Allison.


I really feel...

I've everything I could've ever wanted for my birthday.

Oh, wait a minute!

There's more to come. Lots of excess, like you love.

You know, this is gonna be a wonderful party.

Yes, it is.

Thank you. Thank you.

Happy birthday! Thanks.

Thanks. You're welcome.

Good evening. Thank you.

Hello. Welcome.

Hi, Susan. Hi, Simone. How are you?

Hi, darling. Oh, hi, Gene. Hi.

My father told me you might be leaving.

Your father and I...

Our time together has come to an end.

I'm in love... with a man, but I don't know who he is, where he's going or when.

I can tell you the when part.


So it does get worse.

No worse than it gets for me.

I'm in love with a woman who...

I don't wanna leave.


Then don't.

There's so little we know about each other.

There's so much I should tell you.

That'll come. That'll come.

Will it? Mm-hmm.

I wanna be with you, Joe.

I opened my big mouth one too many times.

Everything just got all, uh, twisted.

It's okay, Quince. I understand.

You've always meant well, and I appreciate that.

Sometimes things just turn out wrong.


Excuse me. No, no... Uh, Joe, come in.

Um, I wanna thank you. Is it okay, Bill?

Sure. Joe knows the whole story. I told him.

And it was his idea that I come clean. I mean...

I wanted to come clean, but, uh, he gave me a pair of balls, you know what I mean?

Yeah, I believe I do.

Anyway, uh, I can see you guys got business.

No. However, I do have some unfinished business with Drew.

Get him on the helicopter. Get him out here tonight.

I wanna tell this guy how I feel about him face-to-face.

That could be a tall order, B.P. I doubt if Drew is anxious to see you face-to-face.

I'll deliver the package. Okay.

How are you doing? What the hell do you care?

Just asking, Bill.

You wanna know? I'll tell you.

You're looking at a man who is not walking through the valley of the shadow of death.

He's galloping into it. At the same time, the business he built... with his own hands and head has been commandeered by a couple of cheap pirates.

Oh, yes! I almost forgot. My daughter's fallen in love with Death.

And I'm in love with your daughter.

Say again?

I'm in love with your daughter, and I'm taking her with me tonight.

You what? I think you heard me, Bill.

You're not taking Susan anywhere. What does that mean, anyway? We had a deal.

And I'm sorry.

Susan's my daughter. She has a wonderful life ahead of her.

You're gonna deprive her of it, and you're telling me you're sorry?

I'm sorry. Apology not accepted.

I don't care, Bill. I love her.

How perfect for you... to take whatever you want because it pleases you.

That's not love.

Then what is it?

Some aimless infatuation which, for the moment, you feel like indulging.

It's missing everything that matters.

Which is what?

Trust, responsibility, taking the weight for your choices and feelings... and spending the rest of your life living up to them, and above all, not hurting the object of your love.

So that's love according to William Parrish?

Multiply it by infinity and take it to the depth of forever, and you will still have barely a glimpse of what I'm talking about.

Those were my words. They're mine now.

Bill, Susan wants to come with me. She loves me.

She loves you? Mm-hmm.

Who is you? Did you tell her who you are?

No. Does she know where she's going? Huh?

You see, Susan went for that poor son of a bitch... whose body you took, and everything since has been aftermath.

You don't know what love is.

She doesn't know who you are.

You make a deal; you're breaking it. Bottom line is, Joe, you're swindling her soul, and you're doing it with your eyes wide open.

I don't like what you're saying. I'm past caring what you like and don't.

You're stealing my daughter, and I'm not gonna let you. You're not?

No. Are you threatening me?

Yeah, I certainly hope so.


I loved Susan from the moment she was born, and I love her now and every minute in between.

And what I dream of is a man who will discover her, and that she will discover a man... who will love her, who is worthy of her, who is of this world, this time... and has the grace, compassion and fortitude to walk beside her... as she makes her way through life.


What I know is what I want, and what I want is Susan.

And I will have her, and she will have me.

And that's the way it's going to be. And there's nothing you can do.

Why did you tell me all this, Joe?

You're the big shot, the biggest shot of all.

You don't have to ask permission, but that's what you're doing. Do you know why?

Because you've somehow developed into a good guy, and you know this is all wrong.

I don't know what you're gonna do, but, uh, how can this be love?

She doesn't know who you are.

Why don't you tell her, try it out, see what happens?

Reveal everything there is to know about yourself and let the chips fall where they may.


I've given it my best shot. I, uh...

I wish I could tell you to sleep on it.

Oh, um...

I'm sorry. Would you excuse me?

Sure. Okay, nice to see you.

Nice to see you.

There's something so indescribably sexy... about you standing in the middle of a crowd.

I could make love to you right here.

You're trying to tell me my future, you're looking on the wrong side.

There is something I do want to tell you.

But you can't?

Just now when you hesitated, I got a chill.

Remember that morning in the coffee shop?

When you said, "What's wrong with taking care of a woman?

She takes care of you."

Did I say that? Mm-hmm.

And I said you'd have a hard time finding a woman like that these days.

Well, you found one, Joe.

The coffee shop.

That was the place, and you were the guy.

And you said that, uh, that you didn't want me to be your doctor because... you didn't want me to examine you.

Why, I got to examine you, after all.

I could come with you.

You want me to wait?

You'll come back?

May I kiss you?

That felt like good-bye.

What's going on, Joe?

I feel like we're lifting off.

I'm still here.

But you're not.

You're somewhere else.

You're someone else.

Don't you want to ask who?

Yes, but... "But"?

Joe, I'm afraid.

Afraid to find out?

Don't be.

It doesn't matter what I am.

You know who I am.



You're Joe.

Yes, I'm Joe.


And I promise you...

you will always have what you found in the coffee shop.

Tell me that you love me. Tell me that you love me now.

I love you now.

I'll love you always.



Thank you for loving me.

We should think about getting started, Bill.


It'll just be us.

Thank you.


Come in.

I got him. The helicopter will be here in two minutes.

How are we on time?


Get him in here.


Yes, sir? I know you're busy, but I want you to put in a call to Eddie Sloane for me.

At home, sir? No, he's at the office.

This is damn big of Bill.

Ooh. You all right? Yeah.

Also smart, you know?

Well, he had no choice. He knows you're a formidable adversary.

He said that? Yeah, I mean, you got him by the short hairs.

Yeah, the short and gray hairs.

We're all here, Bill. I appreciate this, Eddie.

Members of the board, this will just take a minute of your time.

As custodians of the company, you may receive information from what follows... that will be valuable to you or not.

Either way, thanks. We're all ears.


Good evening, Bill.

Thank you, Quince.

I just wanted to say how appreciative I am of this, um, grand gesture.

Shut up and sit down.

You're a useless sack of shit, Drew.

You played footsie with John Bontecou... so you could dismember my company to line your own pockets.

I don't know where you get that idea. The board agreed...

The board didn't know you were a mole who burrowed inside so you could bury us all.

Is this Mr. Black's fantasy? Another one of his whoppers?

Aren't you sick of this asshole lurking around? Nobody knows who he is.

But one thing everybody does know, he somehow got your ear and has been pouring poison into it ever since.

You're the poison, Drew.

You've operated behind the scenes to suborn the trust of a man... who has stamped you with his imprimatur of class, elegance and stature.

I've had the opportunity to be witness to every kind and degree of deception.

But Bill Parrish has been on the receiving end of machinations so Machiavellian... that it has rarely been my experience to encounter.

And yet, he has combatted them stoically and selflessly, without revealing my identity.

Had he violated the vow of secrecy he took, his task would have been far easier.

He could have turned defeat into victory.

But he is too honorable a man to have done that.

Because of me, he has lost his work, his company, his reputation.

So now, given these losses, I'm compelled to end the need for secrecy.

The time has come to tell you who I am.

So tell me. Tell me. I'm peeing in my pants.

And you're going to pee some more. Joe, don't do this.

It's okay, Bill. It's time we put this person in his place.

It's not necessary, Joe. Drew's gonna step aside.

I'm not stepping anywhere. I appreciate your gentlemanliness.

But what we need to do here is drive the dagger home.

"The dagger"? I told you to shut up!

Prepare yourself, Drew.

I... Joe, please.

Kindly let me take it from here.

Am... Don't.

An agent for the Internal Revenue Service.

Bill? Huh?


Bill. Yeah.

Yes, he's, um...

He's an agent for the Internal Revenue Service.

Mmm, yes, we were convinced that Bontecou, on past deals, has structured his mergers and acquisitions... in suspicious and complicated ways so as to evade paying the taxes he is liable for.

The agency asked Bill for his cooperation in an undercover investigation of Bontecou.

We wanted to go after him, and this deal gave us that perfect opportunity.

And I offered to cooperate. And we're very grateful.

Uh, Agent Joe Black here... Of course, that's not his real name... smelled out your involvement, Drew.

He developed evidence you were working both sides of the fence.

Unfortunately, that is what is known as a conflict of interest.

Undisclosed conflict of interest.

An offense. An indictable offense.

And a likely conviction. Very likely.

I think I'd like to talk to my lawyer.

No lawyers, Drew. Uh, we're gonna offer you a deal.

Confess to the board every detail of your participation, then submit your resignation.

What do I get?

You get not to go to jail.

You're talking through your hat.

You're offering me a deal because you've got no proof.

Proof? We've got plenty of proof. He's talking through his lips.

Drew, make no mistake. Should you choose to test my resolve in this matter, you will be looking at an outcome that will have a finality... that is beyond your comprehension.

And you will not be counting the days or the months or the years, but millenniums in a place with no doors.

All right, you win.

Soon as I get back to the city, I'll meet with the board.

You're meeting with the board right now, Drew. Resignation accepted.

Moreover, I propose a motion to reconfirm William Parrish... as chairman of the board of Parrish Communications, as well as a rejection of the merger with Bontecou International.

How say you, board? - Yes. - Yes.

- Yes. Yes. The motion is passed.

Thank you. That's great.

But it's more than I bargained for. I just wanted to set the record straight.

You have. Sounds like these guys want you back, Bill. We'll get their apologies later.

Meanwhile, enjoy your party. Celebrate. I'll attend to the nasty details.

And, Mr. Black, may we say thank you?

My pleasure. This is an I.R.S. Agent's dream.

I'll be promoted chief of section off this.

Who would have believed it?

You an I.R.S. Agent?

Death and taxes.

~ Happy birthday to you ~

~ Happy birthday to you ~

~ Happy birthday dear William ~

~ Happy birthday to you ~

Speech! Speech! Speech!

Speech! Speech! Speech!

Thank you.

I thought I was gonna sneak away tonight. No!

What a glorious night.

Every face I see is a memory.

It may not be a perfectly perfect memory.

Uh, sometimes we had our ups and downs.

But we're all together, and you're mine for a night.

And I'm gonna break precedent and tell you my one candle wish.

That you would have a life as lucky as mine, where you can wake up one morning and say, "I don't want anything more."

Sixty-five years.

Don't they go by in a blink?


Oh. What a night.

I'm having a hell of a time.

You were right... about Joe.

He, uh...

He is going somewhere.

I'm sorry.

You relieved?

Yes, but...

But what?

I want you to know how much I love you, that you've given a meaning to my life that I had no right to expect, that no one can ever take from me.

Dad... No!

I love you so much.

And I want you to promise me something.

I don't want you to ever worry about me.

And if anything should happen, I'm gonna be okay.

And everything's gonna be all right.

And I have no regrets.

And I want you to feel the same way.

I love you, Daddy.

That's why it's okay.

No regrets?

No regrets.

That's a good feeling, isn't it?


Everybody's saying good-bye.

I'm still here.

Would you like to dance with me, Susan?


If you don't mind dancing with an old fogey like me.

Oh, Dad, you're not old.

You'll never be old.

Can I get you anything, sir?


Do you have any peanut butter?

Uh, I don't think so, sir.

Mmm. Thank you anyway.

You're welcome.

What's that?

The fireworks are starting.

Let's go down and watch.

Shall we? You go on ahead, honey.

I'm just gonna catch my breath.



Happy birthday, Bill.

Thank you.

Did you say good-bye?

Not exactly.

I guess you have your reasons.


Now that we have a moment, would you mind if I expressed my gratitude for what you did for Susan?

I've never heard her speak of any man as she spoke of you.

That's what I always wanted for her.

But what happens to her now?

I wouldn't worry about it, Bill.

These things have a way of working out.

Would you mind if I expressed my gratitude?

For you, for the time you've given me, for the person you are.

Don't blow smoke up my ass. You'll ruin my autopsy.

It's hard to let go, isn't it?

Yes, it is, Bill.

Well, that's life.

What can I tell you?

Should I be afraid?

Not a man like you.

You're here.

You bet.

Well, where did you go?

I don't know.

I don't...

I... I don't know, you know. I...

It's all kind of blurred up and hazy, but...

Would you know what I mean if I said I don't think I'll ever figure it out?

But now I'm back.

That's it?

Well, I don't know what else to say. Looks like a hell of a party.

You think so?

You look beautiful.

When you disappeared around the corner, I wasn't sure if I was ever gonna see you again.

Hey, are you all right?

The coffee shop. Yep.

I asked you if I said something wrong and you said no, it was so right it scared you.

And then you said...

Forgive me for saying this, but it's been with me ever since.

What has?

You said you liked me.

No. You didn't?

I said... I liked you so much.


We know so little about each other.

But we've got time.


I wish you...

could've known my father.

Me too.

Me too.

What do we do now?

It'll come to us.


~ Somewhere ~

~ Over the rainbow ~

~ Way up high ~

~ And the dreams that you dream of ~

~ Once in a lullaby ~

~ By, oh ~

~ Somewhere ~

~ Over the rainbow ~

~ Bluebirds fly ~

~ And the dreams that you dream of ~

~ Dreams really do come true ~

~ Ooo-ooo ~

~ Some day you wish upon a star ~

~ Wake up where the clouds are far behind ~

~ Be where trouble melts like lemon drops ~

~ High above the chimney top ~

~ It's where ~

~ You find me, oh ~

~ Somewhere ~

~ Over the rainbow ~

~ Bluebirds fly ~

~ And the dreams that you dare to ~

~ Oh, why, oh, why ~

~ Can't I, I ~

~ Well, I see trees of green ~

~ And red roses too ~

~ I'll watch them bloom for ~

~ Me and you and I think to myself ~

~ What a wonderful world ~

~ Well, I see skies of blue ~

~ And I see clouds of white ~

~ And the brightness of day ~

~ I like the dark ~

~ And I think to myself ~

~ What a wonderful world ~

~ The colors of the rainbow ~

~ So pretty in the sky ~

~ Are also on the faces ~

~ Of people passing by ~

~ I see friends shaking hands ~

~ Saying, how do you do ~

~ They're really saying ~

~ I, I love you ~

~ I hear babies cry ~

~ And I watch them grow ~

~ They'll learn much more ~

~ Than we'll know ~

~ And I think to myself ~

~ What a wonderful world ~

~ World ~

~ Some day I wish upon a star ~

~ Wake up where the clouds are far behind ~

~ Be where trouble melts like lemon drops ~

~ High above the chimney top ~

~ That's where ~

~ You'll find me, oh ~

~ Somewhere ~

~ Over the rainbow ~

~ Way up high ~

~ And the dreams that you dare to ~

~ Why, oh, why, can't I ~

~ I ~