Scoop (2006) Script

Don't mourn for Joe Strombel.

Joe Strombel led a full life.

A newspaperman in the best tradition.

A great credit to the fourth estate.

It didn't matter if the bombs in the war zone were falling.

It didn't matter how high up the political scandal went, or how many big corporations or small-time racketeers leaned on him.

Whatever the risk, if there was a story there, Joe went after it. And he usually got it.

Well, I was with him when the story broke about Prince Charles, and that made him persona non grata with the Royal Family.

Except with Diana. They always remained good friends.

He did love a woman.

Hey, did you know he started as a police reporter?

Did he? Yeah, he was a bloody good one.

One of the best. Maybe the best.

I got trapped with Joe once in Afghanistan.


And we were going to be shot any moment by the Taliban, until, typically, Joe found someone to bribe So we could escape.

Not with his own money, though. No, no, he got it on expenses.

Plus 10%. Ten percent.

But it did involve us getting out wearing burkas.

And, well, we lived to write another day.

Everyone loved him. Yeah.

Not always at British intelligence.

No, but he got the information before anyone else.

Yeah, he did. That's right.

Not Richard Nixon, though.

Well, wherever you are now, Joe, it won't be the same without you, mate.

To Joe. Joe Strombel.

Where are we headed?

Does this mean anything to you?

He doesn't give answers. Tried it.

Joe Strombel. Coronary thrombosis.

Jane Cook.

So, what do you do? Reporter.


I'm... Well, I was personal secretary to Peter Lyman.

Lord Lyman's son. Yes, impressive young man.

You knew him? No, only by reputation.

But I like what I know.

I think he's got a real future in politics.

How did you die?

I think I was poisoned.

You think?


I believe I was poisoned because I was on the verge of confirming a terrible suspicion.

Yes? What suspicion is that?

That Peter Lyman is the serial killer known to the police as the Tarot Card Killer.


I assume you're aware of that case?

Yeah, I wrote an article two years ago, when the Tarot killings first started.

But, Peter Lyman? My God.

What on earth made you suspect this rich, young handsome, above-reproach citizen?

You remember the last murder? The police found a clue.

Yes, a cufflink. I read about it in the paper.

Unusual antique, wasn't it?

Yep. Very rare Art Deco.

Peter had the exact pair.

So could have the Tarot Killer.

The world is full of coincidences.

Yeah, except I noticed that Peter only had one left.

He'd lost the other.

Still, although it's a tantalizing thought.

Did you inform the police, or was that too sticky?

I didn't know what to do, so I phoned my lawyer and I asked his advice on whether to report it or not.

And I thought I heard this click on the phone, you know, like someone had been listening.

Later that day, after tea, I died suddenly.

That is suspicious.

My God, Peter Lyman.

Hard to believe, but if he did turn out to be the Tarot Killer, what a story.

I knew you'd appreciate it when you said you were a reporter.

This would be a dynamite scoop. And I got it first.

Yeah. Unfortunately, where you're headed there is no first.

There's only last.

Mr. Tinsley! Loved your last picture.

You really have a way with actors.

Think you could maybe... Please wait!

Mr. Tinsley? Yeah.

Sondra Pransky. Who?

Sondra Pransky. I'm the journalism student from Adair.

I wrote to you about getting an interview for the school newspaper.

And you, well, your secretary, actually, because... Not you.

I mean, I know how busy film directors get and all.

But you said if I was in London visiting, then you would, you know, and here I am, which is fantastic.

I think I have your letter, actually.

See, right now I'm a bit tied up. Here it is!

Here it is. This is so great for me.

I mean, you've got a huge following in Rochester.

It gets very cold there.

With your new movie coming out in the fall, and... Well...

Actually, I was wondering if we could just ask you a couple of questions.

Do you mind? Okay, okay, but we got to be real quick.

I write for the cultural part of the paper.

I'm looking to move into more serious pieces.

And when you say something more serious, that's...

You really want to know?

Well, originally, I wasn't going to go to college.

I was going to become a dental hygienist like my sister, Beverly.

And, don't get me wrong, it's a great profession.

I have very high respect for teeth and gums, particularly gums.

My whole family's in orthodontics. But...

And what? You're vacationing here? Oh, yes.

Oh, I'm just very friendly with a very upper class British family.

Our families vacationed in Palm Beach together.

My mother won a visit to Palm Beach and I became friends with their granddaughter, Vivian.

She's so lovely. She'll stay with us...

Another? Oh, thanks.

So I slept with him and I didn't even get the interview.

I mean, what kind of a reporter am I?

How was the sex? Give me all the details.

Who knows? I was so drunk, I don't even remember.

All I know is that the second it was over, he got a phone call and had to leave suddenly for Thailand.


Yeah, Justin Richards got fired from some project and he had to take over.

What difference does it make?

The point is, I told the whole school I'd get an exclusive with Michael Tinsley!

You were nervous.

You're inexperienced. You drank.

He's a charming genius.

But you know, you're a very attractive, sexy girl.

If you're going to interview movers and shakers in their hotel rooms, you better watch out.

Not that I'd mind a roll in the hay with Michael Tinsley.

I've put some fresh towels in your bedroom, Sondra.

Thank you, Mrs. Thompson.

Come on, sweetheart. Chop, chop. You're gonna be late.

Oh, Mom.

The point is I didn't get the story!

I mean, if I'd used my feminine wiles like Katharine Hepburn or Rosalind Russell.

Oh, come on.

We'll go have lunch at The Ivy, and then we'll take my little brother to see that show he's so excited about, and then we'll go to that party tonight.

There'll be loads of gorgeous guys there.

And you're always saying all the men you meet are complete losers.

So you blew the story. It's not life or death.

Ladies and gentlemen, prepare yourselves for the astonishing magic of Splendini!

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, you're an incredible audience and I mean that sincerely. I say that from the bottom of my heart.

You know, every time I come to London, this great city, I always get a sincere sensation, because you're marvelous people, beautiful humans.

And for my next experiment...

And I call it an experiment, you see, not a trick.

I'm gonna need a volunteer.

So if you'll step out and find someone for me.

This is kind of dangerous stuff so no children here.

I need a grown-up volunteer.

Someone who's willing to put her life on the line.

Is this your first time on stage? Yes.

Yes, you've never done... Well, you got nothing to be afraid of.

You nervous? Don't be nervous.

What's your name? Tell them your name.

Sondra Pransky.

A landsman! United States! Fantastic!

And where are you from, Sondra?

No, don't tell me, 'cause I got a great ear for that kind of thing.

Alabama! Am I right? Am I right?

Close. Yeah?

I'm from Brooklyn. Incredible!

God bless you, sweetheart. I'm from Brooklyn, too.

That is fantastic. I feel such love coming from this woman.

I can't tell you. It's really...

I say this with all sincerity from the bottom of my heart.

You're an incredible human being and a credit to your race.

Sondra, let me ask you a question. What do you do? Tell them what you do.

I'm a student.

Yeah? A student? And what are you studying?

No. No, wait! I got an instinct for what a person is studying.

For exactly what you'd be right for.

Dental hygienist!

Was I close?

No, I'm a journalism student.

You study journalism. Well, if you...

Have you ever been dematerialized before?


No? Well, there's nothing to be afraid of.

I'm just going to agitate some of your molecules and split them apart.

It's not gonna hurt.

I just ate. Is this gonna make me...

You just ate. She said she...

I'll do the jokes, Sondra.

Now, Sondra, I'm going to ask you to step into that box and I'm gonna have your molecules split up. I'm gonna split 'em up.

It's gonna be very painless.

And I'm gonna put you back together again.

Don't tickle me.

Tell them what you just said to me. You got to hear this.

Tell them what you said to me.

No, tell them, tell them. No.

She said, "Don't tickle me."

God bless you, sweetheart.

You got a fantastic sense of humor.

You know if more people in the world had a sense of humor, we would not be in the state we are in today.

I kid you not.

Get in the box. Get in the box, Sondra. Go ahead.

In the box. Go ahead. Get in the box. Get in the box. Hurry up.

I'm going to agitate the molecules now. Miss Sondra Mandelbaum.


Pransky, Mandelbaum. What's the...

We take off the same holidays. Doesn't matter.

Get in the box, sweetheart, and don't be scared.

You in there?

You're a journalist, right?

Oh, my God. What are you doing in here?

Aren't you a journalist? Yeah?

I mean, those are the vibrations I've been concentrating on.

Are you ready, Sondra?

I'm Joe Strombel, reporter, and I have the scoop of the decade about the Tarot Card murder case.

I mean if it pans out, it'll be fantastic.

It's got everything.

Big names, murder, prostitution.

I'm going to start agitating your molecules.

You're a journalist. I've got some information for you.

Big story. Big, big, big scoop.

Peter Lyman...

Come on out, Sondra. Come on out, sweetheart. Come on out, sweetheart.

The trick's over. It's over. It's over.

She's a little stunned.

She's never been on stage before. So, you know...

She's a little stunned.

Are your molecules okay? Is everything feeling good?

You all in shape? You got all your parts?

That's fantastic.

Okay, Sondra, take your seat. Go back to your seat.

Go back to your seat.

Go ahead. She's great. Let's hear it for her.

She's great. Go ahead.

Go ahead. Go back to your seat.

Will you take out the blue light, please?

'Cause I'm getting a completely negative vibration from the blue.

It's not right.

There's a lady to see you, sir.

Hey, Mandelbaum!

From the school newspaper, am I right?

No, Pransky.

Listen, I have to talk to you about something very serious.

When you put me inside that box...

I smell a frivolous lawsuit here.

You going to tell me you're getting headaches now or something?

Dizzy spells?

No. No. When you put me inside that Chinese box...

Yeah, the dematerializer.

...a spirit materialized.

No, Mr. Splendini, I'm very serious about this.

You can drop the Splendini. My name is Sidney Waterman.

You know what I mean? I just go exotic to give the square haircuts a little charisma now and then.

Look, the spirit appeared right next to me!

At first I thought he was one of your stooges.

I don't work with stooges, you know, because you gotta pay them health benefits.

But then he told me his name was Joe Strombel, a journalist from the land of the departed.

I couldn't believe it.

I'm a journalist, he's a journalist.

I mean, our vibes must have kind of meshed together and...

You know, he didn't say that, in so many words, but I'm putting two and two together here.

Do me a favor, put two and two together someplace else, because I'm very, very busy. So, do you mind?

Listen, I Googled him, okay? There is a Joe Strombel and he died three days ago.

Just put me back in the box.

Now, I'm going to agitate the molecules, so let me know if anything happens, you know, just keep me posted. I'll be right here.

The molecules are whirling.

Mr. Strombel? Joe?

It's Sondra Pransky here.

I'm a journalist at Adair.

I know you may have been aiming a little bit higher, but I assure you, whatever I lack in experience, I make up for in dedication.

I'm beginning to lose patience, Sondra.

So, let's go. Is there anybody in there at all?

Nothing. Nothing yet.

Okay, that's it. Finito. I've had it.

Come on, sweetheart. And if I were you, I would not tell this episode to anyone else, because they'll take away your driver's license.

I don't understand. What? What's to understand?

I thought that... It's plywood. I built it.

What're you thinking, there are spirits?

And there's a world of departed people?

I don't know what you've been smoking, but don't try and bring it through customs.

Darling, I'm a little late.

Sweetheart, I love you. You know that.

I say this with all due respect, but... I...

Sondra? Sondra?

Mr. Strombel! Listen to me, Sondra.

Carefully. Listen to me? Write this down. This is a big story.

You got a pen?

I only have a minute. Would you hurry?


There's every reason to believe that Peter Lyman... You got that name?

Yes. Peter Lyman. Son of Lord Lyman, a respected businessman.

Rich, good-looking, very successful.

That Peter Lyman is the Tarot Card Serial Killer.

Now, just write this down.

If so, that he's murdered a dozen women. Short-haired, brunette prostitutes.

And if it turns out to be Lyman, this will be the biggest story to hit London since Jack the Ripper.

"Jack the Ripper." Is that capitalized?

There's no knowing where he'll strike next, but more women will be murdered until he is stopped.

That's horrible! We have to notify the police.

No, no. What kind of reporter are you?

That would be a disaster!

God, no!

He's a respected millionaire.

You can't accuse anyone, let alone someone like that without substantial proof.

And once you've alerted him to the suspicion... That he is under suspicion, then he'll be impossible to trap.

Not to mention doubly dangerous.

There's also a possibility that he poisoned his secretary because he suspected that she was learning the truth.

No, you have to get the story first, but first you have to get the story right!

There's no certainty in this, or...

I got a feeling in my gut about this.

The kind that journalists dream about.

And so far, no one else has the information.

Oh, if I was around today, I'd find a way to get the facts and break this case wide open!

Now, believe me, Sondra.

You can wait your whole life for a story like this.

Don't blow it.

And be careful. Lives are in the balance.

Possibly, maybe yours.

Got to go. Got to go.

That's it for me. You got to help me with this.

Not me, honey. I'm a prestidigitator.

I do coin tricks and card tricks.

And I'm a journalist sitting on top of one of the biggest stories of all time!

Yeah. For a college paper!

Kid, you're in over your head.

You know what you should do? You should share this story.

Share it? No! I gotta dig up the facts and then I gotta shop it around to every paper in town.

Look at her.

Soon you'll be drinking the black coffee and smoking cigarettes with the hat back. Now, what kind of...

We don't have much time here.

I mean, we got to strike! You know this guy's a serial killer.

He could just kill at any moment!

I heard that part.

That's when I knew I was gonna make other plans.

You should go call the police. That's what I'd do.

Yeah, and what am I gonna tell them?

Tell them that... Exactly what he told you.

That Lord Lyman's son, Peter, is... He suspects he's a serial killer.

Uh-huh, and when they ask me where I got this information from?

Well, tell them!

You know, just say, you know tell them...

Just explain to them that...

You know, say that... Tell them...

Where did you get the information?

Was that the question that you just asked?

I would not say anything if I were you

'cause they'll put you away.

That's exactly what I'm saying.

I'm gonna say, "I got this information from a dead guy"?

Listen, this is not for me, Sondra. I don't do this.

I do occasional bar mitzvahs and kids' parties.

You know, you're barking up the wrong tree.

Peter Lyman. Who is Peter Lyman, you know?

How can we meet him?

How can we see what we're dealing with here?

What the hell are we doing here?

You don't even know what the guy looks like.

That's why we're here.

I just couldn't get a clear picture of him on the Internet, so...

Jesus. And what are we going to do if we see him?

I mean, what are you gonna learn by looking at him?

Unless he strangles a passerby.

I don't know, Sidney. I'm improvising.

I should be home, working on my magic.

Hey, why don't you think about this as adding some excitement to your life?

Hey, sweetheart, excitement in my life is dinner without heartburn after it.

Do you have a family?

I had a wife, but... she dumped me, if you can believe that.


She thought I was immature and that I never grew up.

Now, I had a great rebuttal for her.

I could have nailed her, you know, but I raised my hand and she would not call on me.

Sidney... What?

That's him.

Let's follow him.

Follow? What do you want to follow him for?

I'm telling you.

We need clues, we need a lead.

We gotta start someplace.

No, darling, I do not think this is a good idea.

It's a very good idea.

Come on!

Be careful.

Hey, don't touch anything.

You know, if you break something here, you're gonna be washing dishes the rest of your life.

Okay, now you've seen him. Let's go.

Jerry! It's Jerry Burke, Louis' chiropractor.

Hi. Nice to see you.

That's how you follow a guy? It's not even Peter Lyman!

I told you the photos weren't clear.

Sweetheart, you should live and be well, prosper.

I hope... I say this with all due respect.

But without me.

I'm tired, I'm bored, I'm hungry, I'm going home.

God love you.

I'll look for your byline. Sidney!

I'm about to become your favorite person. Why?

I ran into someone today who said that Peter Lyman swims at the Governor's Club every day.

Really? What's the Governor's Club?

It's this posh, private club, but Daddy's partner's a member and members are allowed to bring guests.

Wow, do you think I could bring someone?

I'm sure Daddy can arrange it. When do you want to go?

How can I help you?

Hi. We're guests of the Fultons.

We're here to take a dip.

Oh, yes, yes. The lockers are on the first floor.

The pool's downstairs. Great.

By the way, is Peter Lyman here, by any chance?

Mr. Lyman.

Yes, came in a few minutes ago.

What color bathing suit does he have on?


I... Do you want me to clash with him?

So silly.

So do you swim?

Of course I don't swim. You have to ask?

What? They say it's the best form of exercise.

Yes, but when I go into the water, my glasses, you know, float off my head into the pool.

Hey, Sidney, that's got to be him.

Yeah, well, make sure this time.

'Cause I don't want to swim around after another chiropractor.

He's very handsome.

This guy is a serial killer like I play for the New York Jets.

How can we meet him?

I don't know. They have a class system.

He's an aristocrat, and, you know, we're commoners.

In fact, according to his system, I think we're probably classified as scum.

This is our only chance. He's all alone.

Well, you're a pretty girl.

You know, I think you could probably get this guy to get interested in you.

Don't be silly.

Particularly if he's got a twisted mind.

Look, I can't just go up to him and say, "Hi, how are you?"

I mean, what if he gets suspicious, or, you know, if he gets put off, or...


What? Drown! Drown!

I'll go get... I'll go get...

Listen to me!

I'll go get coffee.

Get a cramp, go in the water, flounder around, you know. Yes!

Go ahead, sweetheart. That's a great idea.

He'll be obliged to save you that way.

And if he doesn't... if, you know... Then I'll notify your parents.



It's all right.

It's okay. There you go.

Are you all right? Okay.

I'm sorry.

All right, here. Here we are.

Here we are. You all right? Thank you.

You okay? Yes, thank you very much.

It's my pleasure. Sorry.

Here, let me help you out.

I'm not a very good swimmer.

It's all right.

My leg cramped.

Your leg? Here, stretch it out.

That's it.

Thank you. No problem.

Listen, you should always do a little stretching before you go in.

You know, that way you won't cramp. Oh, thank you very much.

I haven't been swimming in so long.

You're a new face.

Have you just become a member?

Oh, no, I'm a guest of the Fultons.

Oh, right, Jack Fulton. Yes, lovely chap.

I'm Peter Lyman, by the way. Hi, Son...



Jade Spence.

Jade Julliard Spence.

That's a very pretty name. Thank you.

Yes, we're the Spences of... of Palm Beach.

Oh, not the same Spences who own the shipping line?

No, no, no.

My father's into silver and gold and drilling.

For wells.

What are you doing in London?

I'm here visiting friends in Holland Park.

Oh, good. What do you do, Jade?

Well, I am an actress.

Oh, really?

Yes, actually I'm up for the part of Desiree in the new Mike Tinsley film.

Oh, well, you're certainly beautiful enough.

Thank you.

Look, Jade, if you're not busy, my father's giving a garden party at the estate on Sunday and I'd love you to come.

I'd be very happy to be your date and show you around.

The English countryside is very lovely this time of the year.

Sounds fantastic. Good.

Do you mind if I bring my father?

Your father?

Oh, look! There he is right now.

I was in the lounge. I heard you drowning.

I finished my tea and scones and came immediately.

Dad, this is Peter Lyman, who was nice enough to rescue me.


Yes, of course, child!

She cannot swim. The girl cannot swim.

Like a lead weight, she sinks to the bottom all the time.

It's a family trait. Lack of buoyancy, or... Her siblings have it as well.

Yes, well, listen pleasure to meet you, Mr. Spence, right?


Yes, and I'll see you on Sunday at the estate.

Oh, great. Sunday? What's Sunday? Not a fox hunt?

No. No, Dad. I'll explain it to you later.

Listen, I'll leave all the information at the desk, all right?

Hey, come, child.

What kind of idiot are you? Not a fox hunt?

I'd like to talk to these people in their own terms.

And, oh, thanks for telling him I'm your father.

Oh, incidentally, he thinks my name is Jade Spence, so that makes you Mr. Spence.

Wait a minute, I... This is too tricky.

I don't want to go ahead with this.

Why? What's wrong with you? Your whole life is deception.

You're a magician. Yes, I'm a magician and I want to stay a magician. Can I have a Coke please?

I don't want to get sued or deported or arrested for stalking somebody.

This is a big guy you're dealing with.

This is a big story, no kidding.

That's what Joe Strombel said.

That's why he's returned, you know.

This is his last big scoop.

Hey. What do I care about Joe Strombel?

Suddenly I'm taking direction from a hunk of ectoplasm?

This could be very big for my career.

Your career's fine.

You're on the college Bugle, or whatever it is.

You got years for scoops.

You know what?

Forget you, all right.

I'll do this on my own. I don't need you.

Go back to your card tricks.

I didn't say I wouldn't help you.

You know, I just... It has to be done properly.

You know, we gotta put our heads together.

If we put our heads together, you'll hear a hollow noise.

Look at this place. All it's missing is a moat.

Hey, I could get used to this.

Look at this.

Oh, there he is. Remember, Jade Spence.

Jade... Jade, who?

There you are.

Hello. How are you?

Welcome, Mr. Spence and Jade.

Mr. Spence.

You look stunning.

Oh, thank you. It's beautiful here. Stunning.

Thank you. Thank you.

Yes. It's been in the family for years. About 400 years.

It's a little stuffy for my taste, but...

She said, "All that's missing is a moat."


I love that. I love the moat line.

"All that's missing is a moat." Beautiful.

Ah, this is my father.

Father, Stephen Lyman, this is... These are my friends from America I was telling you about. Oh, Lord Lyman.

Jade Spence, Mr. Spence.

How are you? Hello.

Curtsey, curtsey, curtsey, curtsey, curtsey, curtsey, I've never met a Lord before.

How exciting!

No, but there was that Earl that we... There was that Earl.

I do hope you're enjoying yourself.

Peter, why don't you show them around?

Absolutely. Would you like that?

Oh, it... Charmed, I'm sure.

Should we hit the buffet table first though?

No, Dad. Because the stuff looks great.

Remember, we wanted to look around.

Yes, of course, of course, blessed offspring.

Why don't we get a drink and then we'll start inside?

Oh, okay. Come.

Yes, I love this room here. We often spend evenings in here.

The English countryside!

It's elegant, yet understated.

I like that.

You've done wonders with the place.

It brings to mind Trollope.

Oh, do you enjoy reading Trollope, too?

No, no, not the author. This was a girl I knew.

Well, come. Let's go upstairs and have a look at the view.

Would you quit fooling around! What's wrong with you?

Try to pick up clues, try to remember things. I'm charming him.

I remember.

I got a mnemonic system that I use.

I use images, it's a trick. Uh-huh, yeah.

Say I want to remember this ashtray.

I think of, like, 50 ashtrays dancing on a desert island in hula skirts or something and then I remember. I can call it to mind whenever I...

Where are you going?

This is one of the drawing rooms.

Wow, this is really beautiful, isn't it?

Oh, here we have... This is my great-grandfather.

There's grandfather and his wife, Lady Hayden.

Reminds me of the portrait of Aunt Hillary in the library, no?

Game woman, Hillary. Suffragette, I believe. Yeah. Diphtheria took her.

Or perhaps it was elm blight.

Come on, Dad.

Oh, this is just beautiful. Wow.

Yes. I love the lake. Do either of you fish?

No, no, never have.

Oh, I'll have to teach you.

I've taken some salmon, you know. Organic.

Yes, me, too. I fly fish a little. But...

So, Jade, do you enjoy concerts?

I'm very big on the Philharmonic.

We sponsor, in fact.

I used to play the violin, very, very badly.

But I have a number of... Well, actually quite a large musical collection.

Do you play an instrument, either of you?

Because we have these lovely music gatherings.

I do. Yes, I play the...

Various classics, you know, Noel Coward and Shakespeare and...

Right. We gave her piano lessons when she was a little girl, but her fingers were just too stubby. So...

Yes, what about you, Mr. Spence?

Well, I play the blues harp.

It's a little metal thing you put in your mouth and makes a twanging sound. Very musical. Yes, yes.

Used to be called the Jew's harp, but you know how those people are.

The slightest hint of anti-Semitism and they write letters.

I would love it if you could teach me how to fly fish. That would be great.

Oh, it would be my pleasure.

Okay, I want you to watch me very closely. Pay very strict attention here.

Now I want you to take a card.

Take any card you like. You got it?

Go ahead, sweetheart. Take it. You got it?-

Now put it in your pocketbook. Put the card...

She's gonna put the card in her pocketbook.

You got it? All right, now tell everybody what the card was.

It was the six of hearts. Six of hearts.

Can I ask you a question?

Was it this six of hearts?

But I just put that in my bag.

Well, check your card. Check your card.

It's amazing!

You're a wonderful sport, Claire.

I mean that sincerely. God bless you.

You're a very sweet woman, and this has been a great group.

From the bottom of my heart, I say this with all due respect.

You're a wonderful... A credit to your race and a magnificent group of people.

You know, I must find out who does the hedges here.

Back home, my topiary moose is starting to look a little shabby around the antlers.

What do you do, Mr. Spence?

Me? I'm in real estate.

I'm sorry, I'm in oil! I'm in oil.

I was in real estate, but, you know, land is so difficult to come by now, especially outdoors.

It's become a problem.

Incidentally, I accept your invitation.

I will play poker this weekend.

Now that I've seen how good you are at cards, can we trust you?

Tell me about yourself, Peter. This is all so new to me.

Well, what would you like to know?

Well, I don't know. Anything you'd care to reveal.

You know, your hopes, your dreams.

Well, I come from a privileged family, as I'm sure you can tell.

It was always decided one day I would enter politics.

My hobbies are polo and... Oh, I own some racehorses.

So, how's that for a start?

And what are your hopes and dreams?

I like to dance and visit museums and, oh, I can cook Chinese food.

If you know any good Chinese restaurants...

Oh, I've gotten very interested in New Age phenomena recently.

Like what?

You know, mystical things like astrology and crystals and Tarot.

Do you know anything about Tarot cards?

Not really. I'm more scientific-minded.

I find that if...

What are you staring at?

You have wonderful enamel.

Thank you. Thank you.

You know, I'd love to take you dancing one night. I'm a good dancer.

Oh, I would love that. That would be great.

Can I confess something?


I just love an American accent, and I find much of what you say very amusing.

I'll take that as a compliment.

And since you like Chinese food, I'm gonna have my new secretary send you a list of the great ones in town.

Oh, you have a new secretary? Oh, yes.

Yes, I'm breaking in someone new.

My previous secretary died, a young woman, just very suddenly of a blood clot.

It was awful.

Did they do an autopsy?

How did we get on to this morbid subject?

So, you've never seen a real English garden before?

Come. I have a couple of treasures.

Would I offend you if I told you something?

Probably not.

You're very... Very different from the women I usually meet.

That's a good thing.

Well, I just can't seem to get the vision of you in your swimsuit out of my mind.

Oh, I'm glad you liked it.

It was marked down.

See, that... Now that's exactly what I mean.

You just have this very direct and informal way about you.

It's... You take after your father. Great.

And you have a very sensual quality.

It's... But I'm sure you've been told that.

Wow. You work really fast.

Oh, God. Am I overbearingly aggressive? I'll stop.

Oh, no, don't!

You just... were getting warmed up.

Are you romantic by nature?

I mean, I won't say, "Do you believe in love at first sight?"

Because that's a cliche but...

Have you ever had an experience where a bell goes off just right away?

Sorry. I need those.

You see, I can't wear contacts.

I don't like to put my finger on my eyeball.

Well, goodbye. We must meet for tea and crumpets again.

We really must.

I could have strangled you if you didn't shut up!

And stop telling people I sprang from your loins.

I'm trying to cement the fact that I'm your father!

That guy was so fantastic. I can't imagine he'd do anything bad.

This guy is not a serial killer, believe me.

I'd be very surprised if he even killed one person.

He asked me to go dancing next week.

That's a perfect strategy!

You worm your way in like a rodent or a roach and as the crumbs fall off the table, you collect them and we analyze them. Aha! Voila! Thanks. Thanks a lot.

Look at this. Look at this. Look what I got. "Betty G."

Yeah. What is this?

It's a doodle. He doodled it!

How do you know he doodled it? How do you know this is his?

What do you mean, how do I know it's his?

I stole it out of his overnight bag.

What the hell is wrong with you, Sidney?

It's a clue! It's not a clue.

We're hard up for clues. It's not a clue.

What does it mean?

It could be his aunt, it could be his travel agent.

I'm late for dinner. You want to come in and eat something?

No. No, thank you.

Take a seat right over there.


Peter called. He's going to be late.

He said to start without him.

Oh, well, come on then, let's play.

That's what we're here for.


Come on, short, little guy.

You're out? This is it?

Anybody else?

You're still in?

So sorry, old chaps. I was completely bogged down at the office.


All right, who's winning?

Mr. Spence is a good poker player, Peter.

Yes, I might have known.

Actually, I bought my first Reuben's with poker winnings.

You bought a Rubens painting?

Not a painting. A sandwich.

I could use a drink.

He asked me if I believed in love at first sight.

How sweet is that? So naive.

Well, I hope you told him yes.

I told him we had nothing in common.

We come from completely different backgrounds.

I think he likes that or something.

But what about the story you're writing on him?

What is that all about?


"Mary Thompson, a short-haired brunette, "was strangled at Falconberg Place last night at 9:30."

"Next to the body of the short-haired brunette prostitute, "was the hangman card from the Tarot deck."

Hey, what time did you say Peter arrived at the poker game last night?

If you're asking me, did he have time to strangle somebody and make the card game, yes, he had plenty of time.

I got to let my feelings subside and probe deeper into this case.

What does that mean?

Well, it means that we know where his family lives, we know his social circle, but we don't know what his house looks like.

I want to get a look at that.

Here we are.

Wow. This is really nice. Thank you. Yes.

Do you do a lot of entertaining?

I'm embarrassed to say that I do.

You must think I'm an empty socialite. Much of it's political.

Oh, no. I think you're swell.

That's a lovely painting.

Oh, I recognize that from my art history books.

Oh, really? Yes. Henry Moore.

In fact, it was a present from Henry Moore to my father.

Oh, it's very beautiful.

Is it Roman, or Greek, or something like that?

It's Roman, in fact. Second century A.D.

You have good taste.

I think you'll like what's downstairs.

The real treasures. Come.

Here we are.

These are all of my instruments. The room is climate controlled, it's to protect all these beautiful pieces.

It's fantastic. Thank you. Thank you.

Yes, my family's been collecting it for years.

This is a Guarneri. And a Stradivarius. You may have heard of them.

Oh, you play these violins? Oh, me? God, no. No, no.

But we lend them out. They need to be played.

All these old instruments, it's very romantic.

Shall I show you upstairs? Okay.

What's your name, sweetheart? Tell me your name.

I'm Wendy Beamish.

Wendy... Let's hear it for Wendy Beamish.

Fantastic. I love you, Wendy. I really do.

Is it your first time on stage? Yes. Yes.

I love this woman from the bottom of my heart. I mean that sincerely.

You're an incredible woman and I say that with all due respect, Wendy.

Wendy, have you ever been dematerialized before?

No, I haven't.

Ever had your molecules broken up?

No, no, I've haven't.

She's nervous. Don't be nervous, sweetheart.

This is not gonna hurt much.

Get into the box. Get into the dematerializer.

Are you in there? You comfortable?

I'm fine.

Okay, okay, stay calm. Stay calm.

Can you hear me, Wendy? You feel the molecules evaporating?

Let me hear from you, honey!

Remember these numbers. 16, 21, 12.


16, 21, 12.

16, 21, 12.

Sixteen, 16 blue horses.

Twenty-one jet planes.

And 12 midgets. 12 spinning midgets.

That was as great as I imagined it would be.

You look beautiful.

And pensive.

No, not pensive.

Just confused.

Women after lovemaking, it's always so complicated.

Hey, I love your aftershave. What is it?

It's Yardley.

I first used it when I was 16 and never changed.

I'm a very loyal soul.

Come here. Do you have to put them on?

Well, they're quite sexy. God, what makes you smell so sweet?

Oh, you like it?

Just some fragrance.


Where are you going?

I have an idea.

I think it's time to celebrate with some champagne.

I want you to stay. I make a mean scrambled egg.


That's my mother.

Oh, she's very attractive.

Yes, she was very beautiful, but quite difficult.

Difficult? How?


Say, can you please stay? Nothing would please me more. Come on.

I really can't.

Oh, why not?

My father. He's feeling not that great.

Nothing serious?

No, no, nothing.

Just a tooth problem.

You know, a little sensitivity in lower seven.

I really should go.

So, let me get back to the story.

I'm on stage. I'm doing the dematerializer trick with this chick from Manchester.

I don't know where they get these people, but she looked like Sitting Bull.

And I got her in the thing, and I vanish her and everything goes according to plan exactly and she's gone.

And suddenly, Strombel appears.


Yes, Strombel's in there!

I got a tremendous hand from the audience.

I wish I could do it every night!

What did he say?

He gave me the combination to a safe.

What safe, I have no idea.

I didn't see any safe.

Well, did you accomplish anything besides maybe a possible pregnancy?

I'll tell you what I did see.

His mother, Lady Eleanor, has short-cut, brunette hair.

Yeah, but not a hooker?

No, Sidney, she's not a hooker!

I hardly think so. She's practically royalty.

Christ, you amaze me sometimes. Your brain!

Back off. You know, you're getting so upset.

I'm just trying to figure out the various ramifications.

I just don't like this whole thing!

I feel disgusting, all right, it's awful.

I don't like the whole process.

Yeah, you want to think he's innocent.

What's so bad about that, huh?

Jesus, this guy must be some lover, you know.

I mean, all of a sudden you're ready to dump the whole story.

I must find out what breakfast cereal he eats.

What am I talking about?

There's a combination on the door where he keeps his precious musical instruments.

Okay, so there is a combination!

I just got to get in that room.

Do you have the combination?

We're not gonna break into his room if that's what you're thinking.

You gotta have the com... I got to get in there. No, no.

No, no, we're not going to do this because it's not legal... You...

Sondra, what's wrong with you?

This guy is the son of a Lord!

They'll take us to the Tower of London and behead us!

Hi. Guess what?

What? Peter Lyman sent you flowers.

I assume your name is Jade Spence?

Naturally I accepted for you.

Yeah, I'm Jade Spence.

What is going on? Oh, Vivian...

Peter's giving a party on Saturday and he wants me to come.

I... Oh, I guess I'll have to buy a dress.

Well, he certainly seems smitten with you.

If he's smitten with anyone, it's Jade Spence.

Who is Jade Spence?

A would-be investigative reporter who's falling in love with the object of her investigation.

Of course we did. Absolutely.

God bless you, sir.

I'm going to show you a little thing.

I want you to think of a card.

Just think of one of those cards.

Any one you want. You got it?

All right, now, are you happening to be thinking of the seven of spades?

That's amazing! How do you do that?

Just a little hobby of mine.

You know, I wish I had more time to practice, but, what with my oil wells, you know, I never get around to it.

Your daughter's very beautiful.

You met my daughter? Yes.

Yes, we're very proud of her. She's a lovely girl.

Overcame a great handicap.

Yeah. You know, she was learning disabled.

Her mother and I took her to many specialists, you know.

Now she's practically normal, you know.

She's a charmer.

God bless you, sweetheart. What is your sign?

I'm an Aquarian.

You're Aquarian? And what is your persuasion?

Do you mean my religion? Yeah, your persuasion.

I'm a Christian. Yes, are you?

What are you? Me, I was born into the Hebrew persuasion, but, when I got older, I converted to narcissism.


Dad, I need to talk to you right now.

Oh, I was just about to pull some quarters out of Mrs. Quincy's nose.

Right now. I need to talk to you.

Really? Yep.

Excuse me. I'll...


Would you stop doing those nitwit tricks?

What is wrong with you?

You're supposed to be a dignified businessman.

I told them it was a hobby. The hobby of a rich merchant.

You know, so...

Oh, excuse me. Excuse me.

Go down the stairs, open the music room door.

I'll keep Peter busy.

I'll meet you down there in a minute. You brought the combination, right?

No, I left it in my other jacket.

What? Yes. And...

So, what are we gonna do?

You gotta go home and get it then.

I can't get it because the other jacket's in the cleaners.

Sidney. This is the problem having a limited wardrobe.

But not to worry.

I have a mnemonic system. I remember everything.

There you are. Mr. Spence, trust you're having a good time?

Yes, a great time! This reminds me of our party.

We threw a masked ball in Palm Beach this year, it was wonderful.

I came as a harlequin. She dressed as Petunia Pig.

Honey, there's something I wanted to ask you about.

Absolutely. That was a mask, wasn't it? Just...

I love her. Just a minute, okay?

Do you need a drink, Mr. Spence?

No, I'm fine, thank you.

It's eight blue horses. No, no, no.

It's 10. Ten spinning midgets.

No, it's 12. Twelve jet planes and eight... No.

Good to see you. Have a nice time. Nice to meet you.

Calm down, calm down. It was... It was...

It was...

Eight maids a-milking and three French hens.

No, no.

Sixteen, wait, 21 jet planes, 12 spinning midgets.


I'll be right back.

I'm just gonna use the bathroom.


Sidney, is that you?

I'm locked in! Oh, Christ...

What's the combination?

For some reason, it's gone out of my mind.

Did you see Miss Spence?

I thought I saw her going downstairs.

Downstairs, right.

It's 16 blue horses.

It's 21 jet planes.

And 12 midgets.

Twelve spinning midgets.

Oh, thank God!

I thought I was gonna turn out to be one of those skeletons people find when they sell the house. Check the door.

Sixteen, 21, 12. You couldn't remember that number?

My mnemonic system failed me. What do you want me to say?

Now exactly what are we looking for in here? This is all...

I'm not really sure.

You're not sure?

Well, you know, don't break anything.

By God, we'll get caught and God knows.

Hey, you know the old dirty joke about how the French horn player sleeps with his wife at night?

Sidney, put that thing down!

Will you excuse me?

There's nothing but musical instruments in here.

I'm telling you, we're on a wild goose chase. Believe me.

Jade? What's the matter?

Did you hear that?

I thought I heard something.

Oh, come on, come on. Let's get out of here.

All we need is to get caught in here.


Ah, there you are. I was searching for you.

The guests will be leaving soon.

Yes, well, I was just showing Father around. He loves English homes.

Yes, I was very impressed with your cellar.

I have a wonderful cellar myself.

No wine, but it's rodent free.

Well, let's get a drink.

Please, Mr. Spence, I haven't seen you with a drink all night.

Can you stay the night, please? What?

Come on. No, I can't.

Why not? My father.

Oh, come on, I'll have my driver take him home.

No. I can't let you go. You're too beautiful.

Look at you. I can't.



Jade, it's 4:00 a.m.

What are you doing?

I couldn't sleep, so I thought maybe some milk.

Jade, can I ask you something?

Would you consider not going home at the end of the summer?

I don't understand, what more proof do you need?

What are you gonna tell the police?

The guy owns a deck of Tarot cards.

That's not a crime.

I mean, what, he was late for a poker game?

I'm sure he's smart enough to have an alibi.

What are we left with?

His mother has short-cut, brunette hair.

I mean, look, if we blow the whistle on this guy...

I know. I understand... and he's innocent and we can't make the story Then he realizes that you're, you know, you're a pushy little phony who's been playing him for a sucker and he dumps you, you know. I get it.

All right. All I'm saying, is that in order to make an accusation, we gotta have proof.

Especially about Lord Lyman's son.

You don't make an accusation.

We can phone in an anonymous tip.

You know how many crank tips the papers say the police get?

You're gonna phone one in on Peter Lyman!

They'll hang up on you mid-sentence.

Besides, if the story's true, I want to be the one to break it.

You know what Joe Strombel said?

He said, "Get it first, but first get it right."

Happy birthday.

Wow, thank you.

What's up? You look so sullen.

No, I'm not. I just...

I get sad around birthdays.

Oh, yes, well, I can understand that, but I think we're both still young enough to enjoy the gifts.

Come on, open it.


Oh, wow, it's beautiful.

You like it? I love it.

Good. Here, allow me.


You shouldn't have.

I wanted to.

Hey, hey, are you crying?

No, I'm too tough to cry.

Though my nasal passages do become congested when I'm sad.

Oh, don't be sad. It's your birthday.

Oh, I wish I could celebrate with you tonight.

I just have to go out of town for a few days.


Yes, I just have some business to take care of.

But we'll celebrate when I get back, all right? Okay.

Thank you so much for the present. It's beautiful.

I'll think about you whenever I wear it.

You didn't tell me it was your birthday!

I'll take you for a magnificent dinner.

We'll go to a great restaurant.


Do you enjoy the McNuggets thing?

What about Indian food? Do you like spicy food?

No, no, it's okay.

I don't really have much of an appetite.

But you will when they bring out the prawns in hydrochloric acid.

It's fantastic, Sondra.

What's the matter?

What, are you thinking of Peter? No.

I don't know, it's just...

I wouldn't be surprised if he asked me to marry him one day, you know?

You come from an Orthodox family.

Would they accept a serial killer?

That's an expensive present.

The Lymans are so wealthy.


It was almost too extravagant.

I'd better get ready.

I still haven't found my millionaire yet.

Oh, God, Sondra, what a mess!

It's starting to add up against him.

Bits and scraps are coming together.

God, it's you!

I sensed you were falling in love. I escaped again.

It's just circumstantial junk, you know. A coincidence here and there.

Too much smoke not to be fire.

Look, I'm sure you've been wrong plenty of times.

Not wrong here.

Though I agree you haven't got enough to pull the trigger yet.

If you act prematurely, not only does he walk, your professional credibility is wrecked, sometimes for good.

Oh, I'm sure you want him to be guilty.

You know, that way you get your last big scoop.

I'm beginning to fade.

Sondra, don't let me down!

I wish you'd fade for good!

Get out of my life!

I'm not cut out for this.

I should be flossing molars for a living.

The bread is... You know, I can make a meal just with the bread.

I can do a whole meal, just nothing but bread.

If I ate that much bread, I'd be 20 pounds heavier.

See, I never gain an ounce, because, you know, my anxiety acts like aerobics.

So I get the exercise.

Thanks for taking me out for my birthday, Sidney.

Well, you know, you're the daughter that I never had.

Oh, that's so... No, no, I'm kidding. I'm kidding.

'Cause I never wanted to have kids.

I didn't.

Because you have kids, what is it?

You know, you're nice to them, you bring them up, you suffer, you take care of them and then they grow up and they accuse you of having Alzheimer's.

Could you ever live in London?

Could I live in London? No.

And I love London.

Don't get me wrong, I love London, but, you know, apart from the language problem, I can't take the driving.

Because it, you know, it's on the wrong side, and I...

Every time I drive a car here, I'm convinced I'm going to die in a crash.


What's the matter?

It's Peter.

You said Peter was out of town.

Well, that's what he told me.

Come on.

What do you mean, come on?

I ordered prawns.

Just pay, all right? Just pay.

What do you mean, pay? All I do is...

Fine, it's her birthday.

Come on.

Maybe he's got another woman on the side, and he likes you, but he's sexually attracted to her.

Thanks, Sidney.

Well, why doesn't he have his chauffeur?

I don't know, whatever he's doing, he must want it to be secret.

Oh, I told you he went the other way!

Can we go home, please?

It's starting to rain.

I can't believe he lied to me.

Maybe he's doing something that he's ashamed to tell you about.

Maybe he belongs to one of those clubs, or he's a cross-dresser or something.

Or maybe he does folk dancing.

Oh, I'm sure it's probably something that when he tells me, I'll just feel foolish for thinking he lied.

I'm sure. You know, not everything in this world is sinister.

You know, just practically everything.

That Indian food made me sick.

You hardly touched your cobra salad.

How can you be sick?


A woman's been strangled!

Help! A woman's been strangled!

Help, call the police!

Somebody call the police! There's been a murder!

There's been a murder upstairs.


Have you got a phone? Have you got a phone? Call the police.

Could it be the Tarot Killer?

They found a Tarot card. It's him.

I can't believe it! She lives in this building.

It's him again. They found the Tarot card.

Elizabeth Gibson, another short-haired brunette.

We should have gone to the police earlier.

Well, you know... You said that they wouldn't believe us and they may not.

Sidney, it's about time we show my story to a real newspaperman.

By real, you mean what?

One that's living.

Vivian's father has a friend that works at The Observer.

Well, it's very vivid and rather shocking, and there are some genuine circumstantial bits of evidence.

But let me give you a lesson in professional journalism.

No newspaper should or would ever run this story.

What? Why?

It would be fatally irresponsible and libelous.

All you have here are a number of titillating speculations.

Flamboyant theories that tarnish a man, and a well-known figure at that, without a single shred of substantial proof.

So his mother was a short-haired brunette.

So he came late for a poker game and said he was going away on a business trip and he got caught lying.

Yes, but who keeps a Tarot deck under a French horn?

It's not against the law to own a Tarot deck, or keep it wherever you like.

You'd look pretty foolish in court with your accusations, and that's where you'll wind up.

Because he'd have no choice but to sue you and the newspaper, and he'd win.

And to go to the police?

I'll come to that.

But first let me continue my tedious professorial lecture.

Vivian's dad and I go way back.

He said you were a journalism student.

You talk about getting a tip.

Okay, you won't disclose your source, but what you have done is let your imagination run wild.

No, no.

What if I told you that my source happened to be a certain Joe Strombel?

The late Joe Strombel? Yep.

You mean, before he died he gave a student reporter a major story and didn't follow it up himself?

We didn't say it was before he died.

What? No, it...

He got the story before he died, and then he died before he could follow it up.

Well, why did he give it to you? He didn't know he was dying.

I don't buy it.

I knew Joe Strombel well.

If he'd had a tip that he considered reliable, he would certainly have pursued it himself, from the grave, if necessary.

What about how Peter was in the neighborhood the night the murder was committed?

I realize as a student how exciting it must have been to think that you were onto something so spectacular.

Hey, she is onto something!

This kid is a bloodhound. Look at her!

She could sell the story to any tabloid in town.

Now that I've preached on the realities of accurate reporting, I want to tell you how catastrophic for everybody involved it would have been if you had, say, taken the results of your investigation to a tabloid.

Today, the police have apprehended the Tarot Card Serial Killer.

And it most assuredly is not Peter Lyman.


Every paper in town is going to press with it as we speak.

It was a handyman named Henry Banks who has confessed.

Banks is a delusional paranoid who's given Scotland Yard information that only the killer could possibly know.

He's led the police to two additional bodies and his DNA and a fingerprint they found check out.

I know this puts a crimp in your scoop, but Henry Banks is the Tarot Card Serial Killer.

Not Lord Lyman's son.

Well, I can't say I'm not walking on air.

Oh, Jesus, If I ever catch that Joe Strombel, I'll kill him.

I only hope Peter forgives me for what I've done.

For what?

I lied to him. I'm not Jade Spence.

I'm a pushy, duplicitous, ambitious college student.

I lied to him, over and over.

Darling, he lied to you, too, so it's even.

His lies pale in comparison to the enormity of what I've done.

So marry him as Jade Spence. Don't tell him.

You know, you don't have to be Sondra Pransky ever again.

Marry him as Jade Spence.

Yeah, but I don't want to have to get you a Father's Day gift every year.

You know, I don't know how to break this to you, honey, but... you were adopted. Okay?

Your mother and I, we were at the orphanage, we wanted a handicapped child, and...

Ah, finally. Just you and I all weekend.


I thought you'd like it here.

It's lovely.

Peter? Yes.

I have a confession to make. Oh, God, so do I.

Oh, well, let me go first.

Actually, no, let me, please, because mine's been bothering me all day.

I just want to get it off my chest.

When I told you I was going away for a few days on business, I was lying.

I know. You know? How?

Oh, I saw you. You saw me? No.

I was at dinner, and... With your father?

Actually... Well, anyway, it doesn't matter. Really.

The truth is, that a company my father owns is about to merge with a company in the Middle East.

It's a very sensitive situation, and the less anyone knows about it, the better.

And we just didn't want the press to sniff it out.

I mean, that's no excuse, really.

I'm just very sorry for the extreme secrecy.

No, no, no, it's fine. I'm glad.

It's your own secret information. That's fine.

So your father took you out for a birthday dinner and you saw me. I mean, how unnerving.

God, I mean, the thing I hate most in the world is lying.


Peter... Yes, Jade?


Oh, yes. What did you want to tell me?

Jade, there's nothing you can tell me that...

My name is not Jade Spence.

It's not?

No. It's Sondra Pransky.

And my father is not my father.

His name is Sidney Waterman.

He's a magician called Splendini.

I'm a journalism student.

Don't ask me what kind of crazy misinformation we received to believe you might be the Tarot Card Killer.

I mean, I didn't know you at this time. Remember?

And, of course, as soon as I got to know you, I knew that it couldn't possibly be true.

And the police have him now, so everything's fine.

Of course, along the route I fell for you, and now I totally blew it, and...

Who told you this?

Oh, a newspaperman. He's now deceased.

Very foolish.

He was eager for his last scoop.

Oh, I'm so sorry. I just totally understand if you never want to speak to me again or if you don't want to see me... Miss Pransky.

Not only am I not angry with you, but you...

You've absolutely made my day! What?

Just suspecting that I could be such an imaginative, dramatic fiend. I love it.

You do? Yes.

I think it's one of the funniest, craziest things I've ever heard in my life.

I can't wait to tell the chaps at the club.


Yes, darling.

I have to ask you something.

Yes, anything. Absolutely.

Why did you hide that Tarot deck in your music room?

How do you know about that?

I was so paranoid. I... It's crazy.

But I snuck in.

Oh, dear, it was going to be a surprise.

I bought them for you. They're Victorian Tarot cards.

You told me you were into that kind of thing.

What? Oh... It was gonna be a gift for you.

Oh, you're so... I feel like such an idiot!

Darling, no, no, no, never mind, never mind. What a shame.

Let's forget about it. No...

Huh? Let's just...

Now that we've confessed our sins, let's move on with our lives, huh?


Yeah. I want to hear all about the real you.

And I assure you in advance, I'll love it.

Oh, God, you snuck into my music room, did you?

So the reason why he was skulking around, was 'cause he had this private family business which is too delicate to discuss, actually.

Sorry, I don't buy it.


The man is a liar and a murderer.

And I say that with all due respect.

Sidney. Child, I know what I'm talking about.

Don't call me that, all right?

Do you remember when we were out on the estate, I found a clue, you thought I was nuts?

I thought you were nuts so many times I can't recall the exact one.

Do you remember this?

Do you remember this little item? This clue?

Yes, Betty G.

Yes, Betty G.

Now, I checked all the girls that were murdered.

The one that was killed the night we saw Peter on the street, was named Elizabeth Gibson.


So Betty is short for Elizabeth a lot of times.

Oh, come on, Sidney. That's a real stretch.

You're reaching now.

Look, supposing you wanted to rub somebody out and not get caught.

Nobody wants to get caught, Sidney.

Look, he wants to get rid of Elizabeth Gibson. Betty Gibson. Betty Gibson.

So, there's a series of murders with a guy that's got a real style.

A Tarot card.

They said he was a total maniac.

He buys a Tarot deck and let's say he hides it.

Hypothetically, he hides it, let's say, in a music room.

Let's say he hides it in, Oh, Sidney!

Let's say, a French horn.

In a French horn!

I'm losing patience with you.

I'm not saying the guy did all the murders.

I'm saying that he just did Elizabeth Gibson, then folded it into the series of the Tarot Killer so he wouldn't get caught.

Henry Banks confessed to all the murders.

Henry Banks is deranged! He hallucinates!

My God.

Henry... And you know those guys like to brag when they get caught.

Henry Banks, you know...

Where are you going?

The cops will dump every unsolved murder on Henry Banks.

They haven't caught anybody in years.

Peter wouldn't hurt a fly. Oh, really?

What about a fly who speaks?

What? Yes.

Why would Peter kill a prostitute?

Because it looks terrible on his resume.

Who knows what kind of sordid life this guy has?

Have you completely lost your mind?

What is wrong with you?

Peter being blackmailed by a prostitute?

It's ridiculous.

What are you putting in your Metamucil?

You know... Where are you going?

You don't understand!

It would kill his reputation!

Oh, can you bring the water out?

Can I say one thing?

Can I just tell you one thing?

Joe Strombel would not agree with you.

I don't want to talk about Joe Strombel, all right?

Even a great reporter can be wrong.

But he's not wrong.

Blackmail. I see it all over.

You are a cynical crapehanger who always sees the glass half-empty!

No, you're wrong.

I see the glass half-full, but of poison.

And you're gonna wind up drinking it!

You don't know anything.

You don't have a reporter's instincts, okay?

You're some guy who vanishes silk handkerchiefs and cuts people's neckties off.

Do everybody a favor.

Go back to your card tricks, all right?

Did you tell her?

I did. I told her.

And I made it seem as though it all suddenly just came to me.

I know I'm right.

She just won't listen to me. She hates me.

Yeah. I... You know, sometimes, I got to say, I worry about that girl.

I don't think I'll be seeing you anymore.

Well, if there's a scoop to be had here, she's going to get it for you.

You can only cheat death so many times, and I've used every trick I know.

You look after her. She's a decent kid.

And check his Tarot deck. See if a card's missing.

I'm a reporter.

I'm doing a story on Elizabeth Gibson, and I know she lived here.

I didn't know her.

I hardly ever saw her come and go.

She was quiet.

All right.

I knew what she did for a living.

But whether she used to entertain her clients here, or not, I couldn't say.

Oh, excuse me. I'm a reporter.

And I'm doing a story About Elizabeth Gibson.

If there's any comments, anything you know about her that I...

What paper? What paper are you from? The Washington Post.

I'm one of the top reporters on the...

Did you see All the President's Men? I was the short guy.

Why is an American paper interested in this?

No, no, we are, we are. We're doing a big story.

The Travel and Leisure section is doing a big spread on places to avoid like the plague.

And so, I'm...

I'll make it very worth your while, you know and...

All right, all right, all right. I knew Betty Gibson.

And she was very tough.

But I don't think that she deserved to die.

Did you say Betty Gibson?

Everyone called her Betty. That was her name.

Really? And did you know any of her clients at all?

I mean, she knew millions of men, didn't she? She was very sexy.

You know. Not that you'd know that from those pictures.

She used to be a really pretty baby-faced blonde.

You know, the sort men go nuts for.

A blonde? But in the paper... The pictures in the paper...

Oh, no, I know, I know.

She made the mistake of cutting it off and dyeing it black.

God knows why.

Maybe it's to please one of her regulars.

She had steady clients?

Well, yeah, one for sure.

Look, these guys never use their real names, okay?

But there was this one rich kid that she saw a lot.

And his name was Peter.

Peter what?

Peter... Peter Yardley. Peter Yardley?

Yardley. Yardley.

Hello? Hello, this is Mr. Spence.

Sid. Sid Waterman Spence.

This is Sid Waterman Spence. Where have I called?

Oh, hello, Sidney. It's Peter Lyman.

Sondra and I are spending the weekend at my father's country house.

You could have come.

That's okay. She gave me this number to call.

May I speak with her?

Yes, one second.

Hi, Sidney.

Listen, I got a treasure trove of information here.

I just was snooping with...

On Elizabeth Gibson.

She's called Betty. Betty! She's called Betty.

And she had some kind of a long relationship...

A special relationship with some young guy, Peter.

The last name doesn't click, but I'm sure it's the same.

This is crazy.

Look, stop making trouble, Sidney. The case is closed.

Listen, this thing adds up.

You're alone up there with a very, very dangerous man.

That's two verys.

You got to get back to town right away.

Sidney, if I thought there was a shred of proof, I would never let my personal feelings get involved, all right?

The truth is, I'm crazy about the guy.

I can't keep obsessing over tantalizing conspiracy theories.

You know, I'm sure that he killed her and made it look like a Tarot killing.

You know, you don't see it because you got stars in your eyes.

Look, I don't... This is crazy!

I don't want to talk about this anymore.

It's too upsetting for me, all right?

Let me have my nice weekend.

I'll talk to you when I get back.

Stop putting these paranoid thoughts in my head!

Is Sidney okay? Yes, yes.

You know, I love Sidney, I really do, but he's just...

He's got a part missing, you know, he's crazy!

Yes, really?

Like what?

We'll talk about it later.

Let me change, okay?

Yes? Oh, yes, sir.

Yes. My daughter is in the country with Mr. Lyman.

And I'm gonna be driving up there later and she asked me if I could pick up her red cashmere sweater. She thinks she left it upstairs.

Red cashmere?

Yes, it's a red sweater.

It's a kind of a red, tomato red, like a fire engine. A red. A rouge.

I understand, sir. Red. Yes, yes.

I'll see if I can find it.


Oh, I was just checking out the Stradivarius.

I play a few pieces myself on the violin. Prokofiev and Bartok, the Hot Canary...

But Mr. Lyman is the only person to have the combination to that room.

Yes, but he wanted to share it with me because, you know, in case something happened, you know, life is very capricious.

A stroke, a sudden embolism or lightning... You know I...

Darling, I love you. I mean that sincerely.

You're a wonderful woman, you're a tremendous servant and a credit to your race.

And I mean that. From the bottom of my heart I say that to you.

I notice you didn't get the red sweater.

She probably left it in another bedroom.

You know, she's got a little problem with promiscuity.


So, I'll be going. I'll call you. We'll have lunch.

Mr. Lyman, sir, Mr. Spence has been here and he's been into the music room.

What do you mean?

A most unusual sequence of events.

Mr. Spence came by looking for his daughter's sweater.

Said she'd requested it.

Next thing I knew, he was in the music room.

Sir, I think he'd been drinking, from his behavior.

Yes, yes.

Yes. Okay, Margaret, thank you. Goodbye.

Is everything okay?

Yes. Yes, it will be.

It's so nice to be out here with you, just away from the rest of the world and...

Yes, I often come out here to read and, well, and fish.

There's trout in the lake.

What are you thinking about?

You really want to know? Yes.

Just how ironic life is, and tragic.


Well, that I met you by rescuing you from drowning and found you totally enchanting and now we've come full cycle and, alas, you're going to have to drown.


Oh, I imagine by now Sidney's confirmed that I killed Betty Gibson.

I mean, in my own defense, there really was no other way out.

At first I managed to hide my identity from her, but I saw her too many times over the years and she learned who I was, and...

Well, it became a constant demand for money and I just could not let that go on, could I?

I mean, my whole life and career would be just hostage to her moods at all times.

So, I studied the Tarot case, I rehearsed my plan, and, well, you know the rest.

If you do something to me, Sidney's gonna find out!

He'll tell someone.

No, no, no. You see, you will go in a boating accident, and Sidney will go later tonight.

No one knows of your relationship with him, because, after all, you're not actually father and daughter, are you?

And no one will think twice to investigate the death of some obscure vaud...

Are you listening?

No one will think twice to investigate the death of some obscure vaudevillian called Splendini, who is really a stranger to me.


Help! Someone help me!

Yes, very quiet, isn't it?

This is the advantage of a private lake.

Get off me! Get off me!

Get off me! Come...

Yes, police.

Yes, this is Peter Lyman. I need the police immediately.

At the Lyman estate.

There's been a terrible boating accident. A woman has drowned.

It's awful. Please come right away.

Thank you. Thank you.

They think they know where the body is.

I'm so sorry, sir.

When last I saw her, she...

She just said she wanted to go out there to communicate with nature.

Just to think she wanted some peace and quiet and...

She wasn't depressed, or anything like that, was she, sir?

God, no. No.

I mean, unless she was keeping it from me.

You heard no cries for help?

No! No, I was listening to music in here, damn it.

It's just so ironic.

Because the way I first met her I rescued her from drowning in our club pool.

And she was a very, very weak swimmer.


I was faking it at the pool to get your attention.

Actually, I used to be captain of the Brooklyn Community Swim Team.

Fascinating observation.

Lyman lost a cufflink at the flat of a prostitute, who was later killed by the Tarot Card Killer.

Well, this upright chap certainly enjoyed patronizing some dodgy women.

Unfortunately for Elizabeth Gibson, she elected to blackmail him.

It's a beautifully written story and one of the best bits of investigative journalism in a long time.

And this paper is proud to run it.

Oh, I have to share the credit with Joe Strombel.

An inspiration, who taught me more than I could ever explain to anyone.

And to the late Sidney Waterman.


A nice guy who helped out with the investigation and without whom I never could have made it.

Sidney, wherever you are, I'll never forget you.

How did you get here?


I couldn't get used to driving on the goddamn wrong side of the street!

You know, I was driving up to the country, and in the United States, I would have been a hero.

I would have saved her.

I would have...

But here, you know...

That's the one drawback of living in London.

Granted, the theater's better, there's many good Indian restaurants.

Well, what did you do?

What do I do? I'm Splendini. Magician.

Would you like to see something? Oh, yes, please.

Do we have time for a card trick? Yes.

I believe we have eternity.

I'm going to show you a little trick now.

I just want to say from the bottom of my heart, I mean this sincerely...

I say this with all due respect.

You are a wonderful group and a fantastic group of people.

I love you and I feel that coming back from you.

And you may be deceased, but you should not be discouraged.

Because, you know...

Don't think of being dead as a handicap.

You know, when I was a child, I stuttered.

But with stick-to-it-iveness and perseverance, you know, you can never tell what could happen.

Now, I want you to take a card, Alma.

Go ahead, take any card you want.

Just pick it. Pick it. Go ahead, sweetheart.

I love you, sweetheart. That's fantastic.