Mousehunt (1997) Script

Hold your end up higher.

You're not holding it. I am too.

You are not. Don't worry about me.


Isn't that suit charcoal? No.

Looks charcoal gray to me. Some gray polyester blend.

You'd think you could find a black suit for your own father's funeral.

It's black. No. I'm sure it's gray.

It's black. Black. Gray. Gray!

Black! Fine, it's black.

It's the grayest black I've ever seen.

Doesn't matter what color it is! Oww!

I'm sorry, Pop. I'm sorry!

[ thunks, splashes ]

Quick! Get him out of there!

He's halfway to the harbor by now, bub.

Ah, well.

[ man ] "I leave you not just a model factory, but something infinitely more valuable.

The future of string... itself."

[ explosion ] [ indistinct shouting ]

"And thus it is my dying wish that my two sons run Smuntz String together."

Great. Let's stick a "For Sale" sign on the lawn and see what we can get.

Ernie, we're not supposed to sell it.

We're supposed to run it together.

Either way, this Godforsaken museum piece is not worth a dime, now is it, Lars?

Some things are more important than money, Ernie.

Notice it's always the financially challenged who say that?

Uh, please, please.

"I also bequeath to you my personal effects, including my ceramic egg...

...half box of Cuban cigars...

Oh! Yes, yes, yes, yes.

My collection of spoons." [ clattering ]

[ Ernie ] My goodness, what a treasure. What a legacy.

Spoons! Spoons!

So many spoons, so little time.

Oh! And, of course, something no household should be without.

The ceramic egg! Ooh-hoo-hoo.

Can I have the egg? Can I? Huh? Huh? No.

I want you to have it. Fine, I'll take it!

If you find any real estate on that desk, let me know.

It seems there is also a house.

[ together ] A house? Yes, 5120 Nortondale.

[ chuckles ] Your father acquired it many years ago as payment of a debt.

He never lived there, but it's interesting.

It seems the previous owner was found locked in a trunk in the attic.

Wait a minute. Is it worth anything?

He was able to borrow $50,000 against it to pay his workers.

Really? So what is its value today?


Great. A worthless house and a broken-down string factory.

Oh, well. At least the day wasn't a total loss.

Thanks for the stogies, Pop.

Wait. You can't go. We have to go through all these papers.

You'll have to excuse me. I've got a date with the mayor.

[ thunderclap ] [ reporters chattering ]

Mr. Mayor! Mr. Mayor, over here! Mr. Mayor!

Do you think your recent triple heart bypass will affect your campaign strategy?

Now, Leslie, I'm just here to eat.

Ah, Monsieur Maire, Madame Maire, welcome to Chez Ernie.

[ French accent ] Ah, what an honor it is to have you in my humble bistro.

Suivez-moi. Oh, you brought the little ones.

The little bicycle thieves. Bonjour! Our very best table.

Have you lost a little weight? Oh, I...

I think so! I think you may be buff!

[ laughs ] Je suis enchanté pour vôtre beauté.

You know what I mean? Oh, Monsieur Ernie...

[ chuckles ] Excusez-moi. Au revoir, les enfants!

[ sighs ] The air's not so thin at the top.

Just like the old man to die before I hit it big.

Remember, everyone. Attention to detail is vital!

Presentation is everything.

No, no, no, no, no! These I must deliver myself.

[ roars ]

Duck a l'orange avec du quack sauce...

And, for ze mayor, la spécialité de la maison, lobster loaf à la Ernst ou la bibliothèque.

Oh... Bon appétit.

[ exhales ]

Ah, bonjour!

How does it feel to be serving the mayor on the eve of his reelection?

Well, Leslie...

May I call you Leslie? Ah, of course.

Crunchy! Hmm. I love the almonds.

Leslie, cuisine, she is a fickle mistress...

Ee-yew! Look! [ squishing ]

A cockroach! [ shocked whispering ]

That's only half a cockroach.

Daddy! You ate the head! Honey, are you OK?

[ screaming ] Not again!

[ reporters ] Was this an accident, or did you murder...


I can do that better! [ crying, blubbering ]

[ man ] Smuntz String is a relic of history.

You don't make string by twining two strands together anymore.

No. You make it simple, singular, strong, with nylon.

But that's not string. That's cord.

Exactly. Twine is yesterday.

Single-strand cord is today. Zeppco International has been interested in your factory for years, but your father refused to sell.

We are hopin' you'd be a little smarter.

Zeppco is willin' to buy you out, and bring this museum into the 21st century.

'Course, we would keep you on as a string consultant, with a huge salary and a hefty pension.

So... What do you say?

[ sighs ]

My sons... [ whispers ] Ernie.

Ernie! Yeah. Just a sec.

I want you... to have... something.

My most prized possession.

[ sighs ] Oh, it's a piece of string.

Not just any string. The string.

I found it my first day in America.

What's with the string?

It's been in my pocket for 60 years.

Here! I want you two to share it.

Maybe it'll bring you closer together.

You haven't talked much lately.

Yeah. [ grunts ] Ah! What are you doing?

I'm breaking it in half. No!

No? I want you to share it.

Forever. Sure, Pop, sure.

Here, you carry it the first 50 years, I'll take it the next.

Sure. Turn up the morphine drip.

I heard that.

Promise me... that you will never sell...

...Smuntz String... one of those big conglomerates.

Keep it between you.

Brothers. Family.

Promise. I promise, Pop.

[ Lars's voice ] I promise. So you were sayin'?

I'll have to pass. What?

A world without string is chaos.

For once the Smuntz name was worth something!

No, no! Don't! Oh!

You... You used to love string!

That was before, when I was dating the son of a wealthy string magnate!

Not now, when I am married to the half-owner of a worthless deathtrap!

I thought you'd be happy! I stood up for myself today.

April, I've got new ideas for the factory.

You know, I've got big plans!

Don't you see, Lars? That's all you've ever had are plans.

But my life is passing me by, and I... I need more!

There's no air in the middle class. I can't breathe here.

Please, April, don't go. [ sighs ]

I'm not going anywhere.

In a few brief moments, the joy of the holidays was shattered, and the world changed for many people.

Mayor McKrinkle died this afternoon at 4:30 p.m., at our Lady of Sorrows Hospital.

Doctors here say the official cause of death is heart failure due to the mayor's recent culinary disaster.

And, once the hottest restaurant on the wharf, Chez Ernie has been condemned and scheduled for demolition.

I don't think I ordered my cheese sandwich with capers.

Live to Leslie Reinhart for an update. I'm sorry.

If there is a villain in this tragedy, it is Ernie Smuntz.

Once the whiz kid of the local restaurant scene... You're on TV again!

What? Oh.

You know what this is? I'll tell ya.

Guilt by accusation. No capers.

No capers? But that's just grilled cheese. What's the point?

Why don't they eat out of a trough?

Which one of you palateless sheep sent my sandwich back?

Hi, Ernie! Lars?

[ sighs ]

[ Ernie ] When I'm in the kitchen, I cook.

I can't control every single thing that goes on in there.

[ Lars ] It really isn't fair for everybody to blame you.

You didn't do anything wrong.

Yes, but society always needs someone to persecute.

A scapegoat, someone to demonize.

The same thing happened to Galileo.

Really? That's unbelievable.

With a cockroach and everything?

No. The point is, I put everything I had into that restaurant.

It was my livelihood and my home.

In one fatal bite, it was all taken away from me.

If only we could sell the factory.

I'd let you stay with me, you know, but, uh, April threw me out. Oh, that's too bad.

Yeah, well, don't worry about me, though, Ernie.

This is temporary. April's been like this since high school.

She'll be back. I... Would you look at them?

Sleeping in the street. Pitiful.

If I had a house, I'd sleep in it!

Ernie, do you remember how close we were as kids?


Hey! Merry Christmas!

Yeah, I was on top once too.

But there's only one way to go from there, and that's down, baby, down!

Oh, ho! [ coins clattering ]


Ernie! Ernie, there was a quarter in there.

* Christmas Eve will find me A quarter? You think so small.

Look at the bigger picture.

You have no home, you have no wife, you have no money.

You have no discernible talents. How can you ignore that?

* I'll be home for Christmas Ernie, it's Christmas.

Instead of dwelling on what we don't have, we should be thankful for what we do have.

* If only in my dreams

[ woman ] That was very good.

[ Ernie ] What a dump.

[ creaking ]

Wow! I can't believe Pops never told us about this house.

It's huge.

[ Ernie ] This is just the kind of house I'd expect him to have.

It's just like him. Cold and spooky.

[ rustling ]

Wow! Did you feel that? What?

I got a chill. You shouldn't talk about Pop like that.

Really? What's this do for you?

Thanks for nothing, you string-sucking old loon!

He didn't mean it, Pop.

Ernie! Ernie!

Only one bed. I'll flip you for it.


[ ringing ]

[ scratching ] Ernie?

Ernie. Ernie. [ groaning ]

You asleep?

I was. [ scratching continues ]

How can you sleep through that?

What? I don't hear anything. Shh-shh-shh-shh. That.

Listen. Hear it? It's coming from upstairs.

[ scratching continues ]

[ creaking ]


[ screaming ]

Hey, stop it! Hey! Ow!

[ grunting ]

[ whispering ] Ernie! Ernie!

[ groaning ]

[ exhales ] [ rattling ]

[ grunts ]

[ thunderclap ] [ screaming ]

Wait. Wait a minute. Stop. Stop!

Look. Look, look, look. It's only a toy.

[ panting ]

[ screaming ] Ah, shut up!

[ scratching ]

It's coming from up there!

One, two, three! [ grunting ]

Ooh! [ panting ]

It's just a mouse. What?

It's just a mouse. Never mind.

[ grunting, groaning ] Hey, there are some posters up here.

Oh! Stand still!

[ smashing ] Ah!

[ screaming ] [ spitting ]

They're blueprints. Wow!

Wait a minute. Look at this date. 1876.

A centennial house could actually be worth something.

Look, this must be the architect. Here, look.

Charles Lyle LaRue.

Charles Lyle LaRue.

Charles Lyle LaRue?

[ thumps ]

Charles Lyle LaRue.

Charles Lyle LaRue!

Charles Lyle LaRue!

I'm actually standing in the missing LaRue!

It's bold yet subtle. Classical yet nontraditional.

The missing LaRue.

The rumored design completed shortly before his committal is a rumor no more.

Before his committal?

[ chuckles ] Well, I'm just glad he finished the place before they carted him off to the laughing academy.

[ guffaws ]

So, what do you think a magnificent edifice like this is worth?

Properly restored, of course.

Well, his Parma Charnel House went for six, but that was ten years ago, and it didn't have this exquisite molding.

I see. I can't get enough of good molding.

Did you hear that? $600,000.

[ exhales ] Ernie. Alexander Falko!

Back! Gentlemen, congratulations.

Congratulations on your find.

I'm a great admirer of LaRue. Glass of rainwater, please.

Mr. Falko is the world's leading collector of LaRues.

Sort of like collecting stamps, but they're bigger, right?

I'll get to the point. LaRue.

I have his books. I have his letters.

You see these shoes? [ together ] LaRues?

No, but I'm sure he would have loved them.

Vegetarian snack. I own... [ chewing ]

...forty-two LaRue houses. Forty-two. I want to make it 43.

You tell me how I'm going to do this.

Tell me how I will do this. You help me. How will I do this?

Well, I'm, uh, glad you asked.

His, uh, Parma Charnel House went for six, but that was ten years ago, and it didn't have this molding.

A find like this in today's market is worth twice as much.

He's a LaRue connoisseur. Guilty as charged.

Gentlemen, I'm going to make you an offer.

No, no, no, no, no. I couldn't possibly be so crass as to allow you to do that.

But you are welcome to come to the auction.

Auction? Auction?

It'd be grossly unfair of us to deprive others of the chance to bid on the missing LaRue.

Um... May I have just one moment with my brother, please?

Sure. Of course. Excuse me.

What is this? It's the first...

What is this? No! The first I've heard of...

What are you doing?

What am I doing? I'm answering your prayers.

These pigeons are ripe for the plucking.

Put them in a room together. Try and outbid each other?

We can make $700,000, $800,000 easy.

[ sighs ] Oh, man, smart!

[ bangs ] Ooh!

You're going to get this one. Don't talk to me! Shh!

So when is the, uh, earliest we can set the auction?

Well, I suppose all arrangements could be completed within the week.

A week it is. Great!

You're smarter than you look. [ together ] Thank you.

But know this.

I have never paid more than ten million for a house in my life!

OK, see you then. Yeah. Thanks for stopping by.

Ten million linen napkins.

Five million bales of top-grade cotton fiber.

Forty thousand hot lamps complete with rotating plate-warming trays.

Two thousand twine threaders, gleaming under real lights.

[ feet pattering ]

[ Ernie ] My own chain of five-star gourmet restaurants.

[ Lars, echoing ] April can have anything she's ever wanted!

[ Lars ] Cars, coats, china. She loves china.

[ fan blades whooshing ]

[ Ernie ] I'm gonna build an Olympic-sized swimming pool and fill it with piña coladas and a college sorority.

[ Lars ] If only Pop were here to see this house!

He did. He just wasn't smart enough to sell it.

Lars, we've turned a corner.

Our future is staring us in the face.

All we have to do is grab it, baste it and scarf it down!

Aha! We've finally found our friend's home.

Well, I bought a little present for ya, buddy.

It's just a little mouse.

Do we really have to kill it?

Yes. Listen to me. A single vermin can bring you down.

Believe me, I know. Ah! [ snapping ]

[ snoring ]

[ snoring ]

[ snapping ] [ gasping ]

[ sighs ]

I trust you slept well. Oh! Like a baby.

[ sniffs, grunts ]

Hey, last night, did you happen to hear the, uh...

Oh, yeah. Let's see. Yeah.

Well, where'd he go?

I don't know. Maybe it snapped by itself.

I don't believe it. He snapped the trap, ate the olive, and left the pit just to mock us.

I think you're giving him a little too much credit.

Mice don't mock. They don't have a sense of humor or irony.

He's not sitting in his hole in a smoking jacket sipping cognac, and giggling to himself, "I left the pit."

The trap snapped itself, the olive flew off, and he ate it.

It's that simple. But now that he knows we're here, he won't come within a mile of us.

I don't think we'll be seeing any more of that... mouse!

[ both shrieking ]

Aha! Ow! [ screams ]

What are you doing, ya stupid nitwit?

Don't! Give me that! Don't let him get away!

[ panting ] Yeah! [ laughs ]

Aah-ha-ha! Y-aah!

[ bloodthirsty screaming ]

[ grunts ]



Are you trying to kill me?

[ Lars ] Ah, the mouse! [ Ernie grunting ]

[ Ernie ] Let me see. Let me see!

Can you see him? Get me my Gouda.

Careful, careful! Don't. Don't touch me. You'll snap it.

You're not doin' it right. Please, let me concentrate.

[ Lars ] Put it on carefully.

[ Ernie ] I'm putting it on carefully. Relax. It's cheese.

Bon appétit.

[ claps hands ]

[ sighs ] That takes care of that. Huh?

[ hammering ]

Oh! Oh!

Hey! Hey! What are you doin'?

[ squeaking ]

[ chugging ]

[ squeaking ]

Lars! Gimme a hand with this.

[ Lars ] Are you sure this tub fits in with the rest of the house?

Jacuzzi tub, Lars. It's a Jacuzzi tub.

And this isn't just a house. It's a LaRue.

Of course it fits in with the décor.

Luxury is timeless. How much, Ernie?

[ sighs ] It was a steal at $1,200.

[ Lars ] Twelve hundred dollars?

You spent our last money on a tub!

[ Ernie ] A Jacuzzi tub!

You have to spend money to make money.

And they threw in the cardboard lady just to sweeten the deal.

[ screaming ]

[ screaming ] [ grunting, yelling ]

[ yelling ]

[ grunts, pants ]

[ sighing ] Well...

[ Lars sighing ] Don't you think this is a little much?

Never underestimate your opponent.

Let's say he has mastered a way to empty a mousetrap without getting caught.

If he snaps one of these babies, a chain reaction will start snapping them all.

He'll panic, and the law of averages says one of them has to nab him.

[ sighs ] Not bad.

Yes. Well, I like to use both sides of my brain.

Come on. Let's hit the sack. [ grunts ]

[ rooster crowing ]

[ crows cawing ]

[ sighing ]

Have you figured it out yet? Shut up.

I'm thinking. I'm thinking!

Ernie. Ernie!

Keep perfectly still. This is it.

What's he doing? I dunno.

That was good.

Shh! He's goin' for the cherries!

You said mice like Gouda. Not in the morning!

Cheese tires them out. They need fruit for energy.

[ screaming ]

[ whimpering ] [ whirring ]

[ sighing ]

[ screaming ] [ Ernie ] Oh, no!

Ow! Ow.

[ grunts, groans ]

Aah... Ow! D-d-d-d-d-d-d.

There he goes!

Juice! Got it!

[ laughing maniacally ] This game is over!

Wa-hoo! Oh...


[ vacuum motor sucking ] [ laughing ]

I think it's working! Yeah.

[ thump ] Whoa! Uh! I felt something.

Ooh, ooh, ooh.

Keep sucking!

[ sloshing ]

[ grunts ] Goddamn, that mouse stinks!

Yeah. Dead animals always do. [ laughing ]

Ohh! [ laughing ] [ maniacal laughing ]

[ Lars ] Keep sucking, Ernie! [ rumbling ]

[ Lars ] Oh, yeah, this'll get him!

[ groaning ]

[ squirting ]

What's this? We're foreclosing on your house.

You've quit paying your mortgage.

Oh, wait a minute. I think there's been some mistake.

This house is paid for.

No, it was paid for, but you borrowed against it.

If you don't pay the $1,200 overdue, we repossess it.

Twelve hundred dollars? Well, how long do we have?

One week from, uh, five days ago.

[ panting ] But, uh, that's two days!

We don't have the time or energy to deal with these petty problems now.

We're in the midst of an extensive renovation.

Looks like you're off to a great start.

Ask your boss at Rimpy's for an advance.

You can pay him back after the auction.

Ask your workers to forfeit their salaries for a few weeks?

You are the boss.

If you hadn't spent our money on that tub, we might be able to pay the mortgage.

Doesn't help to start crying. [ shrieking ]

No, Fluffy! No!

No! I want my kitty!

No, no, no!

[ ringing ]

[ meowing ] That one's cute.

Nah. He doesn't have that killer instinct. [ purring ]

[ meows ]

[ bell ringing, buzzing, hissing ]

[ ringing ]

Morning, gentlemen. I'm Maury.

Anything I can help you with?

Uh, hi, Maury. We need a cat.

[ cats yowling ] Find the one you want, and I'll spay or neuter it myself.

Well, these are all kittens.

We were hoping for an older cat. One with experience.

That's a switch. Most people like the cute little ones.

Experience with what? Mouse hunting.

All cats are good mousers.

But we have huge rats, the size of sumo wrestlers.

Lots of them, so we need a ferocious feline, preferably with a history of mental illness.

I'm talkin' one mean pussy.

Yeah! A vicious cat, difficult to love.

Do you have any of those knocking around your cages?

Funny you should ask.

I had all but given up on anyone wanting him.

We were about to gas him again.

Again? Again?

He's spent most of his whole life in that box, I expect.

[ growling ] Catzilla?

The guys who clean up call him that.

But, uh, you can call him anything you want.

I'd say he looks like a Fluffy.

[ snarling ]

Ah, poor little Catzilla.

You want a home, don't you? You wanna get out of here.

Well, you're gonna have to kill, kill, kill for it.

[ yowling ] You're a stupid cat, aren't you?

[ growling ] [ chuckles ] Yes, you are. And you're ugly.

Extremely ugly! [ yowling ]

[ electricity crackling ]

Oh! Oh, you little bastard. We'll take him.

[ grunting ] [ cat screeching ]

Here, boy. [ growling ]

[ squeaking ] [ yowling ]

Ooh... He's got the scent now.

Yeah, uh, go get him, boy.

Oh, easy, easy, easy, easy!

[ smashing ] Oh!

Wow. I almost feel sorry for the little fella.

[ together ] Almost! [ laughing ]

[ growling ]

[ growling ]

[ roaring ]

[ meowing ]

[ notes playing ]

[ cat yowling ]

[ Ernie ] It's time to stop worrying about that mouse, and start thinking about how we're going to locate $1,200.

[ Lars ] Don't worry, Ernie. The workers will help us out.

[ panting ] You see, the truth is, we don't actually have any money.


We may have to defer your next paycheck or two.

[ moaning, shouting ] So my brother and I can pay the mortgage on the house. It's the missing LaRue!

[ Lars ] I mean, there's no need for violence, you know.

[ Lars ] Put that thing down. Whoa!

[ banging ]

Ernie! [ panting ]

What's the matter? Well, the, uh, the workers.

They didn't react as positively as I had hoped.

[ shouting ]

No? Uh, what are you doing?

You could fit through this window, right?

What? Wh... I guess so. Come on. [ screaming ]


Oh, but, Lars, that was our last resort!

We're gonna have to find the money someplace else.

Gosh, it's a shame nobody's interested in buying the factory. Yeah, yeah, it's a shame.

But who'd be stupid enough to buy the factory, right?

[ chuckling ] Yeah.

[ growling ]

[ yowling ]

[ yowling ]

[ growling ]

[ surprised meowing ]

[ sad meowing ]

Ah, you must be, Caesar.

Well, Mr. Caesar, uh, glad you could get here so quickly...


[ tapping echoes ]

[ sniffing ]

You have mice.

He's good.

[ whispering ] 5120 Nortondale. January 4. 0800 hours.

Don't forget to get toothpaste and Saran Wrap.

We're in sort of a hurry.

I want to warn you about this mouse.

[ shouting ] Yeah. You got asbestos, all right.

I'll bet it's up in the ceiling, mostly.

Shouldn't take me more than a day or two to remove it.

[ mouthing words ]

[ shouting ] OK, then. Um, so we're gonna go upstairs.

[ shouting ] All right, well, we'll all go upstairs.

Yeah. [ stomping ]

OK, then. Yeah.

What are you doing?

He's not listening anymore. Oh.

Good. Well, you're the expert.

I just hope you can take care of this, whatever it takes.

We've been trying to catch this little menace all week.

Here's your problem. Normal people are not psychologically equipped to catch mice.

You have to get inside their mind.

You have to know what they want, need.

You have to think like a mouse.

If you can do that, if you can think like a mouse, you can anticipate their moves.

Then, boom! Sayonara mouse.

[ sighs ] Well, got some great stuff...

Whoa! Never touch that! [ screaming ] Whoa!

All right! What is it?

[ panting ] The big one. It's a flea bomb!

Works on mice too. Yeah? Well, it better.

Because we can't handle any more intrusions.

Sure. That's how you perceive it.

But, to that mouse, you are the intruder.

[ shouting ]

If we work fast, we can make enough string to meet our orders.

That's the spirit. Just a few cases, so we can keep the LaRue.

Good luck. Wait! Where are you going?

Aren't you gonna help? I have to run a errand.

All you have to do is make $1,200 worth.

How long can that take?

Light a match. They're frightened by fire.

[ shouting ]

[ grunting, groaning ]

[ screams ]

Unsanitary creature.

Defecating in the dining room.

0915. Evidence found.

Mus communis Ugh. Male.

Ten to, uh, 12 centimeters long.

With a... hmm...

What's this? A slight calcium deficiency.

That's interesting.

Uh, hi. This is Ernest Smuntz of Smuntz String.

This the business representative for Zeppco International?

Vinny? Hi, Vinny. Oh, I'm glad I can call you Vinny.

Uh, my brother and I have decided to reconsider your generous offer.

I'd love to discuss selling our factory to you.

Oh, no, not at the office.

How about Ellman Square under the big clock at noon?

[ horn honking ]

[ thud ] [ chiming ]

Uh, you must be Mrs. Lars Smuntz?

I'm afraid that status is in transition. Oh, well, is Lars in?

I'd like to discuss preparations for the auction. The auction?

[ panting ]

Careful, Lars. You might catch a cold.


You look like you could use some warming up.

[ Caesar ] 1300 hours. I've activated the Squeak Seeker 2000.

I'm about to join with the prey.

I'm experiencing malfunction with the plasma screen.

Stand by.


Nothing works.

Ah, nuts!

[ yelling ]

[ continues yelling ]

EKG, a C-Spine, a chest X ray and pelvis. Now move!

Twelve hundred dollars.

Lie still, Mr. Smuntz. You've been hit by a bus.

I feel fine. What time is it? You may have had a concussion.

We're gonna do X rays. You don't understand, doc.

I have to get out. I might still have a chance.

We saved your hat.

I'm sorry. Are you family? Yes, we are sisters.

Great. There's paperwork I need for you to fill. He an organ donor?

Don't let them. I don't know them.

Oh, I'm Hilde, and this is Ingrid.

We are hair models from Belgium.

Belgian hair models. How exotic.

Listen to me, doc.

I need to find a phone before I miss out on the deal of my life.

Your brother's delirious. I am not their brother!

I don't have any sisters! Ernie, are you OK?

I came as soon as I heard.

Why are you wearing a pink overcoat?

Because April gave us the $1,200!

Gave you the money? Don't think she heard about the auction?

No. I didn't even tell her about the auction until after she took me back.

She just showed up at the factory, took off her coat and begged me to take her.

[ sighs ] We made love in a way I've only ever seen in nature films.

Wow. I almost can't believe it.

I'll be able to open up another restaurant, you're back with April, and you'll even be able to keep that worthless factory.

You know it's funny that you call the factory worthless, because, well, there's something I probably should've mentioned before...

Yeah? Well, I guess I have something to confess too.

Hey, isn't that Caesar's truck?

Oh, my God! Caesar! What happened?

Please, sir. He's not well.

Try to think. Did you kill the mouse?

What's that? Horse?

Fiendish! I won't eat it. No.

[ clicking teeth, squeaking like a mouse ]

How'd you find him? Where was he?

911 call. No voice. [ Caesar ] Exterminate them!

We could hear screaming in the background.

He was locked in a trunk in the attic.

We'll call you if we get any leads.

[ rewinding ]

What's that? [ footsteps, door creaking ]

[ Caesar on tape recorder ] Put that down. What is that?

[ yelling ]

[ muffled groaning, crashing sound ]

That tickles!

[ screaming, glass breaking ]

I don't think we're dealing with an ordinary mouse.

[ crashing ]

My kitchen!

Looks like Caesar decided to make himself a sandwich.

[ Ernie] Pickles, arugula and capers.

He toasted the side with the cheese, but not the other side, so the arugula doesn't wilt.

How did he know that?

Hello. Hello.


Do you see him? Yeah, I see him.

[ grunting ] Lars, I'm stuck!

Get me out of here! I can't breathe!

I'll get a flashlight. Hurry!

OK, Ernie, I got it! I can see that.

Wh... Oh!

Hang on, Ernie. The flashlight's broken.

OK, Ernie. I got a light. Great.

[ sniffing ]

[ Ernie ] Lars, do you smell something?

Smells like gas.

[ Lars grunting, groaning ]

[ both whimpering, muttering angrily ]

What are you gonna do?

I'm gonna kill that unspeakable thing once and for all.

Come on, Ernie, no, no... Stand back, Lars!

I'm a man on a mission!

Look, this is how accidents happen! Come on, Ernie.

Put the gun down. Calm down. Come on.

I'm gonna blow his furry little head off, and I'm gonna splatter his devious little mouse brain from here to kingdom come!

No, no! You're gonna blow a hole in the wall.

Come on! It'll be worth it!

Think of the auction! For God's sakes!

Think of the money, Ernie! The money?

They're gonna cut our price if there's holes in the walls.

The money? Yeah, the money, the moola.

[ Ernie ] There he goes. Shoot! Shoot!

Yes... You hit the piano! You hit the piano!

Look... Shh!

What are you, crazy? You're blowin' the whole house up!

The only thing you haven't hit is the mouse!

Why don't you give somebody else a chance with that gun?

You're doing a wonderful job. [ rolling sound ]

Whoa! You got him!

[ laughing ] [ Lars ] Get him!

See you in hell, mouse! [ laughing ]


God, I hate that mouse. [ phone ringing ]

[ phone ringing ]

[ Ernie on answering machine ] When you hear the beep, start talking.

[ Vinny on machine ] Mr. Smuntz, this is Vinny from Zeppco calling.

We waited in the square for over an hour, but you never showed.

We do not appreciate being treated this way, especially after your brother already turned down our generous offer.

Consider our proposal withdrawn.

Betrayed by my own brother! Betrayal?

Don't talk to me about betrayal.

You should have told me about that offer!

Half that factory is mine. And half is mi...

And half is mine, including the half that you tried to sell.

Yes, and would've, if it hadn't been for that stinkin' bus!

Bus? You can't leave well enough alone, can you?

You ruin everything!

Me? You... You blame me for this?

Well, look! You blew a hole in the floor!

Yeah, well, I distinctly remember somebody yelling, "Shoot! Shoot!"

Yeah, well, you've never listened to me before!

And you know why? Why?

Because I have no respect for you!

Spending your whole life in that stupid factory!

It's tragic.

Think I didn't have other things I wanted to do with my life?

You think I didn't have ambitions of my own?

Come on. You loved string. I didn't love string!

Could've fooled me. You and Pop always huddled together running some piece of something through your fingers.

It didn't matter what I did. I didn't even exist!

I made him my special rack of lamb for his 70th birthday...

[ sighing] Oh, no! Yes! You remember.

I slaved over that meal, making sure everything was perfect.

Did he say, "Thanks, Ernie, it was delicious"? No.

He only noticed the string I had tied it with.

He was crazy!

But I still wanted his approval.

I didn't leave, Lars. I was cast out.

There you go again!

Blaming everything else but yourself.

You think you're a success! Huh?

Well, you... can't... cook!

I hate you! And I hate you!

Not as much as I hate you! Yeah?

Yeah. Double. Double!

Oh, give me something! I'm gonna brain you!

Here it is!

Yeah, give it to me, then. Go ahead!

[ Ernie laughing ] You killed him!

I didn't even know he was there!

Think of all the trouble we could have saved ourselves, if we just threw fruit at him in the first place!

[ Lars ] Oh, look! He's still breathing!

Well, kill him! Kill him! Find a blunt object!

There you go. Get the... Let him have it.

I... What are you waiting for?

I can't just hit him with a shovel.

Why not? Look at him. He's pathetic.

[ Ernie ] Pathetic? He's Hitler with a tail.

This is the Omen with whiskers.

Nostradamus didn't see this thing coming.

Well, Ernie, he's a living thing.

Not for long. Gimme that!

I can't!


Look at him just lying there.

It just doesn't feel very sportsmanlike.

We better do something quick! I think he's coming to.

[ scratching sound ]

Ah, I forgot to put holes in the box.

[ laughing wickedly ]

Hasta la vista, you little rat bastard!

Come on. We got work to do.

Two days till payday, my friend.

[ speaking Spanish ]

Perfect. It's the architectural find of the decade.

Oh, let's go... [ continues indistinct ]

Shall we? Yes.

Well, it wasn't easy, but we finally made it.

Mm-hmm. Ernie, I want you to have something.

[ exhales ]

Pop's lucky piece of string.

I'm glad you kept it.

He, uh, he wanted us to share it.

I don't know why, but...

I think, if he were here right now, he'd be proud of you.

I think he'd be proud of us.

[ doorbell ringing ]

Hello, ladies. How magnificent! Welcome!

Lars, you remember Ingrid and Hilde.

[ both ] Hello.

Ladies, your hair looks positively biblical!

[ together ] Oh, thank you.

Well, if you will excuse me, I have to check on my crêpes.

Keep the champagne coming, boys.

The more they drink, the higher they bid.

Hey, you boys put on quite a shindig here, huh?

Thank you so much, Mr. Falko. [ moaning ]

You know, it would be very, very sad, if you boys put on this auction and nobody bid.

That'd put a crimp in our evening, but I don't think there's any danger of that.

I don't know. There's a lot of Eurotrash out there scarfin' up the shrimps.

I tell you what. You call off the auction, now, and I will write you a check for ten millions.

As insanely generous as that is, I have to decline, but I do appreciate your thoughtful concern.

Enjoy the party.

Are you interested in spooling?

Oh, sure. My father...

I mean, my brother and I own a string factory.

Really? Mm-hmm.

I would love to see your factory sometime.

Really? [ doorbell rings ]

Oh, hello, April.

What a surprise. Just dropping by for no reason, I suppose?

Does a wife need a reason? Oh, are you entertaining?

Don't you mean ex-wife? Not quite yet.

Hakuna matata. This crêpe, c'est magnifique.

The raisins are a nice touch. They are good, aren't they?


Ladies and gentlemen, please take your seats.

We are about to start the auction.

Lars, I don't know whether to congratulate you or wish you luck.

Wish us luck! Hello, April.

Oh, hello. Nice to see you again.

I didn't know you knew our lawyer.

It's just an expression.

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for joining us for this momentous occasion, the auction of our one item up for bid, the missing LaRue.

Before we start, I would like to introduce you to the very fortunate owner of this architectural wonder, Mr. Ernest Smuntz.

Thank you, all, for coming.

When my father left this extraordinary house to my brother Lars...

...and myself, uh, we had no idea what surprises were in store for us, or what was going to happen next.

[ clearing throat ] Uh, when Quincy Thorpe, of the, uh, historical society, told us of its value, you, uh...

You could have knocked us over with a feather.

We didn't know what hit us.

The renovation was exhausting, but ultimately rewarding.

The house was in terrible disrepair. [ indistinct murmuring ]

Nothing that a few nails... [ banging, pounding ]

...and some old-fashioned elbow grease couldn't fix.

I'm sure the people are eager to get to the bidding.

What? The bidding? The bidding!

The bidding! All right. Thank you.

Thank you, Mr. Smuntz.

No matter what happens, keep going.

Built in 1876, the last LaRue known in existence has five bedrooms... [ indistinct ]

Did you see him? I thought so. Yes!

He ate the string. What?

The string. Pop's lucky string!

The son of a bitch ate it!

Why didn't you tell me you saw him?

I didn't, but I found this.

I told you you should've weighed him.

I'm sorry.

Did you see where it went?

No, but it can't have gone far.

Well, shall we start the bidding at one million?

Now, we all know we're here to bid on the missing LaRue.

Shall we start the bidding at $500,000?

Very good. I have $500,000 from the gentleman from Japan.

Can I hear a million? Can I hear one million?

A million. I'll give you one and a half.

I have $1.5 million. Will someone give me two?

[ gasping ] There he is!

[man] Ladies and gentleman, I'd like to remind you that all the carpets and tapestries were woven by hand in the Honess Valley in northern Turkey.


[ man] Can I have an advance on 1.5? May I have two?

Can I have two, ladies and gentlemen?

Two million! I have two million.

[ man ] I have two million, ladies and gentlemen.

Can I have an advance? Can I have an advance on two million?

Oh, you look so beautiful.

[ man ] Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to draw your attention to the Lincrusia details of the gold and silver-leafed copper and pewter...

Ladies and gentlemen, can I have an advance?

An advance on two million? May I hear three million?

I have three million from the lady from New York City.

What are you doing? Uh, uh, uh... Nothing!

Get your hand out of there immediately!

Wait! Wait just a minute!

Wait! May I hear four million dollars?

Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!

[ man ] Four million, ladies and gentlemen...

[ man ] Four million. Four million from the gentleman from Japan.

I got it!

Uh, uh, the Sheikh bids five million.

Thank you, sir. I have five million.

[ hysterical laughing ] Five million.

Can I have an advance on five million?

Ladies and gentlemen, five million.

Can I have an advance?

Ladies and gentlemen, it's the missing LaRue.

The bidding stands at five million, ladies and gentlemen.

[ Lars ] I've got you now, my little friend!

Hold on tight. I'm gonna get it out!


Uh, five million for the missing LaRue.

Have you got it yet? I'm not sure.

[ man ] Ladies and gentlemen, can I have an advance on five?

Will someone give me six million?

Six million. Thank you, sir.

I have six million. Hilde, the spool is smoking!

May I have an advance? An advance, ladies and gentlemen.

Can I have an advance on six? Six million dollars?

The bidding stands at six million dollars.

Seven million. Seven million dollars. Thank you, sir.

Any advance on seven? I have seven.

Seven million dollars, I have seven.

[ spectators screaming ] Keep her away from the walls!

The house is priceless! Keep goin'!

Can I have 7.5?

I have eight million over there.

Eight million going once, Eight million going twice...

Eight million? Eight million? You should have taken the check!

You shut up! You...

Ten millions! Ten million dollars. Can I have 11?

I have 11 million from the gentleman from Japan.

[ all shrieking ] Twelve, 13, 14, 15.

Sixteen million from Ernie Smuntz.

No! Seventeen million.

Seventeen million. I have 17 million. Any advance on seventeen?

Good idea.

When I tell you to, turn it on full blast.

We'll flush him out.


Eighteen million. [ man ] Eighteen million from the lady from New York City.

Thank you. You don't have that kind of money.

Ernie? Not now.

Twenty millions. Twenty million.

Thank you. Can I hear 21?

Twenty-one million from the gentleman from Japan.

Any advance?

Twenty-two million. That's my last offer.

[ man ] Twenty-two million going once...

Twenty-five millions. Twenty-five millions.

Thank you, sir. Twenty-five million dollars.

Twenty-five million dollars.

Bidding stands at 25 million. Do I have an advance?

Twenty-five million going once...

Twenty-five million going twice...

[ all screaming ]

Going... going... [ indistinct grumbling ]

Hey! Don't go!

The water was just a...

A demonstration of how durable a LaRue really is.

How about that?

Now you know this house will last forever.

[ laughing ]

Pop's lucky string. I guess we got him.

Yeah, I guess we did.

[ snoring ]

[ machinery starting ]

What was that?

Lars! Look!

It's string.

It's cheese.

The entire factory has been retrofitted to facilitate the manufacturing of cheese-based products.

I see.

And over here we're developing our new lactose-free line.

What is that? Oh, that's quality control.

Here you go. Knock yourself out.

Oh. No good, huh? Otis, more curry.

OK. Try this one.

Huh? It's mozzarella and herring.

You can taste the herring, right?

I've also got a great idea for a caviar-Brie swirl, and a peanut butter and jelly provolone for the kids.

What I want to talk to you about is expansion and marketing.

I think you should be our spokesperson.

I know some people who've used a mouse as a spokesperson, and it seemed to work out well.

You see, I want to turn this into the string cheese factory of tomorrow, today...