Alex Goes Off the Wagon (1982)
(theme song playing)
Nardo, you're not going to get a cop for this.
I mean, the police have their priorities.
Finding a missing cabbie lies somewhere below
"There's a cat in heat disturbing the neighborhood."
Yes, hello. Yes, my name is Elaine Nardo and I'd like to report a missing cab driver.
His name is Alex Reiger and...
Yes, I'll hold.
Look, Nar-Nardo, I-I... I already sent Banta to his apartment to see if he's there and not answering the phone.
Yeah, don't worry. Don't worry.
Hello! Yes, yes, yes, um, his name is Alex Reiger.
He's been missing for 15 hours, he...
What do you mean, call back when he's been gone for 24 hours?
What? Uh... Oh, do you believe that?!
Nardo, I told you, they... (groaning)
What do we pay those guys for, huh?
I mean, I've never called a policeman before in my life. Nah, no, no, no...
The one time I do... N-N-Nardo!
Now, you're getting hysterical and I don't want to have to slap you.
Oh, come on, what do you guys need to hear, huh?! Nardo...
That he's been shot? That he's been in an accident? Nardo...
That he's been mugged? That he's been raped? Nardo...
That he's been murdered?
You slap a hysterical person across the face.
Like that. Will you get out of here?!
Tony, Tony, Tony, was he there?
No, I couldn't find him, Elaine.
Well, look at me, not him.
I can't. I can't move my head.
What's the matter with your head?
Well, when I got there, uh, Alex didn't answer, so I broke down his door.
Then when I found the right apartment, I had to break down that door, too.
You're lucky the elevator opens by itself.
Tony, what should we do?
Well, well, this is painful, guys.
You think maybe you could stand one behind the other?
Oh, sure. Oh, thanks.
I think we should call the cops.
No, I already called the cops. She already tried the cops.
They're not going to come. Oh, I just saw a cop across the street.
Oh! You saw a cop across the street?!
Well, go get him. Well, yeah!
But don't tell him how long Reiger's been missing.
Yeah, go over there, Tony. Go on. Go on over there. Go on, get him.
My neck hurts.
Louie... are you worried?
Oh, no, if you're worried...
Alex must be... Dead.
No, don't say it... no.
Nardo, it looks like Reiger's gone to the harp farm.
(wailing): No, Louie!
I feel terrible. I mean, I... (muttering)
He's the only guy in this garage that I could ever talk to.
I... I'm so alone.
I'll take care of you, Louie.
Oh, good, Nardo, good.
Oh, take care of me, Nardo.
Oh... (crying, muttering)
(Elaine continues crying)
Yeah, yeah, Nardo. Yeah, yeah...
Take care of me, Nardo.
Yeah, Nardo... Hi, guys.
Oh, great, Reiger, you're alive!
LOUIE: Thank God!
Oh! Hey, hey, hey, what's going on?
How come you didn't call us, huh?
I been worried sick about you! Huh?
How the hell could you do that to us? I'm sorry.
Listen, my radio wasn't working.
I'm sorry if I had you worried, but I had the most fantastic adventure.
LOUIE: What? What?
I had to take this fare to Atlantic City.
He tips me 200 bucks.
And I know I swore off gambling, but there I was in Atlantic City with a 200...
I mean, I had a found 200 bucks, if you know what I'm talking about. Alex.
You know you have this gambling problem, so why didn't you just take the money home?
Well, if I did, I wouldn't have been able to parlay that 200 bucks into 2,000 bucks.
Every time I had the dice, I made pass after pass. I couldn't lose.
Yeah? Yeah, a crowd started to gather.
They all started applauding me.
(laughs) I mean, I had the feeling that I was absolutely invincible.
You want to know the greatest thing about the experience?
That's right. For the first time in my life, I walked away a winner.
You mean that you started losing bets and you, uh, felt like you were cooling down, so you left? No! No, no.
I made my last eight passes and I just walked away.
You mean your nerves started going and-and you felt like you were choking?
Nah, I never felt better in my life.
You mean the casino shut down the table and forced you to leave?
Louie, I walked away a winner!
You mean you walked away from that while you were still hot?
What are you made of, what're you made of stone?
I got willpower.
Aw, the itch might still be there, but I'm telling you, the feeling of walking away from a table hot is a lot better reward than sticking around and winning another two or three or five or ten or...
20,000 bucks... Reiger...
Reiger, I know a table not five minutes away from here.
(laughs): Nah, nah, nah... Come on, Reiger.
Think of how proud you'd be to walk away a second time.
Come on, Reiger! Nah.
Seven come eleven.
Huh? Baby needs a new pair of shoes.
Hey, little Joe, ho-ho!
Come on, fever, fever.
Come on, Reiger! Alex...
Come on! Ho, ho! ..don't let him do this to you.
Come on, you know you're a compulsive gambler.
Elaine, would you please just stay out of this?
Don't mother me.
It's a good thing you got rid of her.
She's a bad influence.
Now, the point is, Reiger, that I believe in hot streaks.
And if you're still hot, and I can get you to a crap table in the back of a fancy restaurant not five minutes away from here... we can make a lot of money.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, if, if, if, if, if.
(chuckles) If I was still hot.
And if you could get me to go.
And if there was a crap game in a restaurant not five minutes from here...
Are you still hot?
Yep, let's go. Let's get out of here.
Hey, I got the cop.
Hey, Officer, I think that's the guy that was missing.
I guess I brought you down here for nothing.
Sometimes I think they take advantage of me.
Come on, hey, will you quit crowding here?
You're already taking up nine spaces.
You know, Lou, I think it's about time we upped the stakes just a little bit.
Reiger, I'm matching you bet for bet.
Seven! A winner!
Come on! Come on!
Pay up, pay up! Good, very good.
Hey, this beats stealing computer secrets, don't it?
Eight, the number's eight. The point is eight.
Give me a $20 hard eight.
The hard eight, yeah.
The fat lady wants a hard eight.
Uh, sorry about that, lady.
Don't apologize for him, just roll a hard eight, big nose.
A hard eight for the fat lady.
Eight, the hard way.
LOUIE: Eight the hard way! Reiger! Reiger! Reiger!
Reiger, I'm not ashamed to say I love you.
STICKMAN: Come on, bets. Come on, bets.
All right, I believe there's another 11 in here.
I believe there's another 11 here.
What do you think, Lou?
Eleven! Eleven! Eleven!
Eleven! Eleven! (laughs)
Do you all believe?
ALL: We believe!
Watch this. What's your bet?
STICKMAN: Snake eyes. Craps, a loser!
Hey, don't worry! Don't worry, folks.
A momentary setback.
Nothing to worry about. All right, all right.
Do you still believe?
Twelve! Boxcars! Craps, a loser.
(crowd groaning) Hey, don't give up now.
Don't give up now. I'm hot!
Reiger, Reiger, Reiger, Reiger...
(whispers): I think your streak is over, Reiger.
That's what separates the men from the mutants, Louie.
I'm going to bet all I got left No, no, no.
On the pass line. No, no, no, no, no.
Reiger, Reiger, Reiger, Reiger, that's a fortune there.
Yeah? You in?
But I'm rooting for you.
Read 'em and weep.
Nine, the point is nine.
Got it. We got it. We got it.
Okay, come on, come on.
Come on, nine. Nine.
Come on, nine. Nine.
Come on... nine.
STICKMAN: Seven, a loser.
New shooter coming out.
Get your bets down.
STICKMAN: New shooter. Get your bets down.
Four, the point is four.
Bet it the hard way.
Uh, Reiger, I...
I really feel bad for you.
I'd like to stay here and comfort you.
But I'd rather go home and lay all this money on my bed and get naked and roll around in it until it sticks to my sweaty body.
Sunshine Cab Company.
Oh, hi, Elaine.
It's you, huh?
Oh, hi, Alex.
So, is your life a shambles yet?
Oh, come on, will you, Elaine?
I, uh... I gambled a little while;
I, uh, had a few laughs, and I came out about even.
So you're home now, huh?
Well, no, not exactly.
I'm in a kind of a funny, out-of-the-way place, a kind of after-hour place on the Upper West Side.
What was that?
Oh, they're, they're watching a rerun of All in the Family here.
Listen, i-is, uh, Tony around?
Uh, no, nobody's here but Jim and me.
Let me talk to Jim.
Jim, it's for you.
ALEX (distant): Hi, Jim...
ELAINE: It's Alex.
Okay, uh, go ahead. What is it, Alex?
Okay, now, listen, Jim, I want you to run up to my locker.
Okay, Alex, now what?
ALEX: No, Jim...
No, I want you to get something from my locker.
I want... Okay!
I can't get anything; it's locked.
Jim... listen to me.
I don't want you to go away from the phone unless I say...
I better be very careful here.
Accidents will happen.
Okay, when you say "accidents will happen"...
No, no, no, no! No, no, Jim.
Oh, all right, why not? Okay.
Jim, the combination to the lock is
Want to write that down? Uh-huh.
No, I'll remember it because they're all ages that Frank Sinatra has been.
All right, now, look...
There's an envelope full of money in a Ritz cracker box in my locker.
All right? It's in the Ritz cracker box.
Now, I want you to get the envelope and bring it to me.
I'll leave your name with the guy at the door here.
Okay, w-w-w-where are you?
All right, I'm at One West First Street.
Wait, wait a minute, I better write that down.
ALEX: One West First Street.
Okay, I got it.
All right, and hurry.
Accidents will happen.
I'm sorry, sir, the minimum bet is five dollars.
Oh, come on, it's my last buck.
Let me bet my last buck.
Seven, a loser.
Thank you. Don't mention it.
Get your bets down.
Where's my money?
What, no exchange of pleasantries?
Hello, Jim, how you doing?
Where's my money?
Quite well, thank you.
Care for a cracker?
No... hey, wait a minute.
Give me the box.
Where's the envelope?
There was an envelope full of money in the...
I don't want the Ritz crackers; I want the envelope!
Where's the envelope? What'd you do with the envelope?
Where's that envelope?!
Calm down, Alex!
Where's the envelope, where's the envelope?
The envelope isn't in there.
It's in my pocket. Huh?
I took the precaution of putting it here so I wouldn't eat your money.
Listen, uh, you don't know what I've been through.
I was up 9,000 bucks.
I'm flat broke now.
And that means you can't be civil?
I'm gonna give you back half this money.
No matter how much I beg...
No matter how much I beg...
I don't want you to give it to me.
Gotcha. Good. Come here.
You're going to bet all of that?
Yeah, because I know the next roll is an 11.
Well, you were only off by one.
How much do you get...
How much do you get for that? Nothing!
Well, then that was pretty dumb of you to bet all of your money like that.
Remember that money I gave you and told you never to give me it no matter how much I beg?
Yeah. Give me the money.
Now, watch this, watch this.
I'm gonna put it all on the field.
That way if a two, three, four, nine, ten, 11 or 12 comes up, I'm a winner.
How can you lose? Seven!
That's how. A loser.
Well, the important thing is we had fun.
And we were polite.
Now, let's go home. Huh?
No, no, wait, wait, wait! Come here, come here.
You must have some money on you.
Why don't... just loan me some money, okay?
Oh, no, no, no, you'll just lose it.
Just loan me some money, will you?!
You want to end up like them...
Poor, lost souls?
Wretched refuse on the dung heap of human greed?
Hey, hey, hey! All right, all right, we're leaving.
You're not going to talk me into this.
Why not? I'm going to pay you back.
It's not the money.
Look at yourself, Alex.
I've seen this kind of behavior before. Oh, no.
No, no, Jim, Jim, just give me the money, will you?
Just loan me the money! Just loan me the money!
That's all I'm asking. Just loan me the money, will you?
But first, hear me out.
All right, all right, come on, come on. What is it? What is it?
You wouldn't know it to look at me now, but I wasn't always this together.
But my problem wasn't gambling.
It was drugs.
Really? Well, that was a very nice chat.
Just let me have the money.
I couldn't stop doing them.
I always thought my next high would be the best.
I couldn't quit until I hit rock bottom.
Good. Now, just...
Let me tell you about it.
Is this going to take long?
Yep. Oh, God.
It was in a place just like this.
Except there were no sinks, and no mirrors.
No walls, just sand as far as the eye could see. "Sand"?
And a starry New Mexico sky.
I was broke and friendless, except for an old Indian shaman... who had taken me in... Come on!
And taught me the ways of his people.
Do you know the things they value the highest, Alex?
No, what? What?
Honor and trust.
"Honor and trust," good things to value.
One night, we were sitting on the edge of a cliff doing psychedelic mushrooms.
We were down to our last mushroom and both of us wanted it.
So... I thought up this great plan to distract this man who had taught me about trust.
I looked up to the sky and I said, "Look at that star."
And he looked.
Then, when his attention was distracted, I grabbed the mushroom and I was going to eat it.
But I didn't.
I gave it to him and he ate it.
I see. And I felt better.
And it wasn't just because he jumped off the cliff trying to fly.
It was because at that moment when I gave him the mushroom, I knew I had the willpower so I never had to be at rock bottom again, like you are now.
Hey, hey, come on.
You don't have to worry about me.
I'm not at rock bottom.
What're you doing sitting in some toilet, after losing all your money and begging an easy mark for a few dollars and not getting it from me?
Welcome to rock bottom.
Hey, Jim, wait.
Wait a minute. What is it?
Uh, look... All I'm asking...
Hey, Jim, look at that light.
You helped me out.
Come on, Jim, let's go home.
What's the rush?
How often do you get to see a light like that?
Yeah, it's a good light.
(theme song playing)
WOMAN: Good night, Mr. Walters!