Taxi S5E6 Script

Crime and Punishment (1982)

(theme song playing)

(phone ringing)

Sunshine Cab... (clears throat)

Oh, hello. Hello, Mr. Ratledge.

Yeah. Oh.

Oh, yes.

Major problem. Yes, sir.

I'll be right up. I'll be right up, sir.

Hey, Louie, Louie, Louie!

What? Aren't you forgetting something?

I've never seen you go up and visit the boss without bringing some token of your esteem.

You're right... gift, gift.

Jeff, uh, give me the golf balls.

You already gave him the golf balls, Lou.

Well, what else we got in Lost and Found?

Uh, let me see.

You got the cigars, that cheap wine, a stuffed owl and a Waterpik.

He's very upset.

Give me the Waterpik.

Where's he goin'?

He's going to see the boss.

Louie is the boss.

ELAINE: He may be the boss down here, but he still has to answer to the guy upstairs.

That's who he's going to see.

He's going to give God a Waterpik?

I'll explain it to him later.

Please, please.

I don't care. I want the guy brought up right now, right here, you understand?! Mr. Ratledge, I think that it would be better if I did this myself.

You want to do it yourself? Yeah, I'll do it.

Then do it right now! Yes, I will, sir. I will, sir.

Yes, I will.

(door slams)

Uh, Jeff?

Yeah. Can I talk to you?

What is it, Louie?

Uh, not here. Come on.

Come back here.

Come on in.

So, uh...

What's Ratledge so hot about, Louie?

Uh... why don't you have a seat and make yourself comfortable, Jeff?

All right.

You know ho...

How about you sit here?

You know how, uh, I have you haul those used parts to the junkyard and sell them for Mr. Ratledge?


Well... you didn't quite do it for Ratledge as much as you did it for me.

You mean you kept all that money?


Oh... now I know what Ratledge is so hot about.


Hey, you must be in pretty deep trouble, Louie.

Now, here's the interesting part.

Ratledge doesn't know it was me.

He doesn't?

No. (laughs)

He doesn't?

No. (laughing)

Boy, you got lucky!

But you didn't.

I gotta fire you, Jeff.

Me?! Uh-huh.

Hey, wait a minute, Louie...

I was just delivering that stuff.

I didn't even know what was going on.

All I did was what you told me to do.

Yeah... that's what makes letting you go so painful.

I'm going to go tell Ratledge the truth.

No, no, no, no, Jeff!

Jeff, what good would that do?

I mean, he's never going to believe that you weren't involved.

You brought the goods there.

You collected the money.

All he'll do is fire me, too.

Now, listen, I got a plan.

Listen, let me tell Ratledge that I fired you.

This way, I can stay here and, and when he cools down, I'll get you your job back for you.

You know Ratledge...

I mean, one minute he's a maniac, the next minute, he's a pussycat.

Come on, trust me, Jeff.


Hey, you got a better plan?


Then it's a deal?

Yeah. All right.

But let me tell you something, Louie...

I think this stinks.

I think you stink.

I think the deal stinks.

The whole thing stinks!

Jeff, I'm worried you're going into this with a bad attitude.

So what do I do until I get my job back, Louie?

Let me give you a couple of hundred bucks, Jeff.

I don't want your dirty money.

Great! I wouldn't respect you if you took it.

Now, look, I'll get you another job with a different cab company...

Just temporarily, you know.

I mean, uh, look, all I got to do is pick up a telephone.

I mean, uh, this can be our little secret, okay?

I don't want to embarrass you.

All right? Go ahead.

And another thing!

What you did was not only unspeakable, but unforgivable.

I mean, look, you violated the trust of this good man.

Forget about violating the law.

You bit the hand that fed you.

Now, if it was up to me, you would be going straight to jail.

You're getting off easy!

Now, get out of here before I lose my temper!

Go on! Go on, get out of here.


De Palma... Yes, sir.

De Palma, I thought you handled that very well.

Thank you, sir.

I... it wasn't easy, but I was outraged.

I was outraged.

You know, it's a funny thing, sir.

In a few days... we'll all be missing old Jeff.

Not me.

Me, either.

Oh, no.

I want you to check this inventory against the stock and any discrepancies brought to my attention immediately.

Yes, yes, Mr. Ratledge.

Yes, sir. Thank you.


You own this place, don't you?



I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for providing me with a job.

It changed my life.

Why, if you had seen me three years ago, you would have said... Who is this bum?


TONY: All right, Louie, what's going on?

Look, I'd rather not talk about it.

Besides, it's none of your business.

Yeah, but why did you fire Jeff? TONY: Yeah!

What's the idea, Louie, huh?

All right, all right, I guess you're gonna find out sooner or later.

It's better that it comes from me.

Look, I, I can't believe this myself.

It seems that, that Ratledge... found out that Jeff was making a little extra money at the cab company's expense.

He was stealing?

I know; it's-it's hard to believe.

I'm still stunned.

Jeff isn't a thief.

I feel violated.

Jeff is not a thief.

Yeah, I'd like to believe that, too, Reiger, but, uh, you know, Jeff was special.

He was like a son to me; a beautiful, black son.

Jeff is not a thief, Louie.

Not in his heart, Reiger.

It's society.

It's his environment.

Jeff is a victim.

Jeff is not a thief, Louie.

I heard you the first time.

What's the point, Reiger?

Well... (clears throat)

Correct me if I'm wrong.

But I think what he is trying to say is that Jeff is not a thief.

Am I right?

(speaking indistinctly)

Look, look, I don't want to talk about this anymore.

Look, this is worse for me than any of you.

Now I'm going to do my best to straighten this out.

In the meantime, I've got to find a replacement.

And let me tell you something:

It's going to be like hell trying to replace a guy like Jeff.

You... you speak English?


You've just been promoted.

Get in the cage.

Come on. In there. ALEX: Hey!

Louie, how could you do that?

How could you, you just give someone else his job Yeah, Louie? and let him be thrown out on the streets?

Hey, listen, Louie, you could explain, Louie...

Will you maniacs just relax?!

I know exactly what I'm doing.

Now, when the time is right, I will get Jeff his job back.

Everybody will be happy and there will be no harm done.

De Palma... I've been thinking about what you said before, and I think you're right.

I was too lenient.

I just called the cops.

I'm having Jeff arrested.

Here you go. Thank you.

Thank you very much.

Louie, what are you doing here?!

I told them I was your attorney.

Now, just take it easy, Jeff, and, and I'll take care of everything.

Hey, don't take care of anything.

You've already done enough.

I'm not going to prison for you!

The deal is off.

I want you out of here. Guard!

Now, now, now, now, Jeff, now, Jeff, don't panic.

I mean, now, look, nobody anticipated anybody going to jail, but if we just stay calm, we can salvage an otherwise perfect plan.

The deal is off, Louie.

Hey, hey, I'm holding up my end of the bargain.

I'm-I'm working on softening Ratledge and-and looking for a temporary job for you.

Oh, "looking for a temporary job"?

You told me you could get me a job with a phone call.

Well, that one fell through.

They heard you were a thief.


Jeff! Now, come on, Jeff.

Come on, now.

Give me a chance.

You know, I've been good to you.

Well, what have you ever ever done for me that should go to prison?

Will you get prison out of your mind, Jeff?

Now, nobody is going to go to prison!

But in the unlikely event that somebody should go...

Look, prison is not such a bad place.

I mean, they give you a bed.

They give you food.

They give you a toilet.

That's pretty much life as we know it, Jeff.


Come on, come on.

Now I'm begging ya, Jeff.

I mean, think about it.

You'd have a much easier time in the joint than I would.

What do you mean by that?

You know what goes on in those places.

A tasty morsel like me wouldn't last five minutes.

Uh, Mr. Reiger posted your bail, Bennett.

You're free to go.

All right.

No, no, no, Jeff, Jeff, whatever you do, don't tell Reiger about this.

Come on, let me have a chance to straighten it all out.

Jeff, we're family.

Now you got every right to be angry at me, but I know you won't tell him, not if you have one ounce of loyalty, affection, or gratitude left for me.

He did it, Alex.

I didn't want to lose my job, but I didn't want to squeal on him, so I took the rap.

Now he expects me to go to prison.

What're you looking at me like that for?

I don't care what you say, Louie.

I made up my mind.

Jeff, Jeff, you are not going to walk up those stairs and destroy another human being's life, are you?

Yeah. No, no.


Louie, if... if he doesn't, I will.

All right, look, look, let me do it myself.

If Ratledge hears the truth from me, maybe he'll go easier on me.

All right.

Gift... I gotta get him a gift.

You have 15 minutes to get those charges dropped, Louie.

15 minutes.

I'll be waiting right here.

Okay, 15 minutes.

Jeff, what if I made a nice donation to the United Negro College Fund?

All right, 15 minutes.



What is it, De Palma?

Uh, nothing much, sir.

It's just that, uh, I was kicking myself the other day because I never gave you anything for the lovely Mrs. Ratledge.

Uh, so, uh, would you please give her this with my compliments.

What is it?

It's a Norelco Ladybug shaver.

Thanks, De Palma.

Now, what did you really want to see me about?

I came to talk to you about Jeff.

Jeff the Thief?

Thief is a very harsh word, Mr. Ratledge. Mm-hmm.

Jeff the Misguided.

Uh, Jeff the Misunderstood.

Jeff the Deserving-of-Another-Chance.

De Palma, when a man commits a crime, he should be prepared to pay the consequences.

Now don't you agree?

Well, I don't...

Louie, I know how to deal with a man who steals from the company.

Now I don't care to discuss this any further.

If you'll excuse me...

Yes, sir.

(gasping): I'm the thief.

What are you talking about?

I arranged everything... and took all the money.

Jeff was just following the orders of his boss.

He's the most honest man I ever met, Mr. Ratledge.

If anybody deserves to go to jail, it's me.

De Palma...

If this is true, De Palma, why didn't Jeff speak up?

Because he likes me.


You expect me to believe this?

Believe what?

This whole story, De Palma.

Come on, knock it off.

I know what you're trying to do.

You're trying to take the rap for another man, huh?

Well, it won't work.

You think I'd go easier on you than on him because of your long history of service for the company?

Is that what you...?

Well, you're right, I would.

It's a noble gesture, De Palma, but I won't let you take the blame for another man's crime.

You're saying you don't believe me?

Of course not.

You mean, not even if I brought another cabbie up here?

No! No, no. Alex Reiger?

If he told you that I was the thief?

No, stop. You wouldn't believe him either?

No, of course not. Go on!

I don't know what it is with this guy Jeff that, that is so special that you would go to bat for him.

But I'll tell ya what I'm gonna do.

I'm gonna drop all the charges against him.

I'm gonna let you have his job back, okay?

I just hope this Jeff Bennett appreciates what you're doing for him.

It was nothing.

After all... I'm the thief.

Enough already. Get out of here.

(high-pitched guffawing)

You know, I, I think I will bring Alex Reiger up here.

No! No! Yeah, yeah.

I'm gonna bring him up.

No! No! I'm gonna bring him up.

Stop it. Stop it. Knock it off.

De Palma, cut it out! Reiger, come up here.

If you liked my confession, you're gonna love this.

Reiger, Reiger, Reiger, tell Mr. Ratledge who the real thief is.

Hello, Mr. Ratledge.

Go on, go on.

I, I don't know what's been going on in here.

All I can do is tell you what I know.

Louie has been taking the stuff and selling it and keeping the money for himself.

And Jeff took the rap for it because...

Because he likes him.

Oh, thank you, thank you, Alex.

I think you'll be happy to know that I've dropped all the charges against Bennett.

And I'm gonna let him have his job back.

Now you get out of here, you scamp.

And you take your sidekick with you.

RATLEDGE: Get out of here.

Well, ta-ta.


Louie, Louie, do you ever play golf, Louie?

Why yes, I do, sir, but I cheat on my score.

We'll have to play sometime.

Oh, that would be swell, Mr. Ratledge.



Reiger, Reiger, you want to have a drink with me?


I just came back to get my jacket.

Well, Reiger, you gotta help me; you gotta help me.

What do you want?

I've been trying to sort this thing out.

I mean... I stole... I lied...

I betrayed a friend... and now I got extra money in the bank and a 9:00 tee-off time on Saturday.

Good night, Louie.

No, Reiger, no, you got to help me.

No, explain to me what it's like to be honest.

I mean, because... if I had a chance to do that all over again, I'd like to know one reason why I shouldn't.

I can't explain the feeling I get from being honest.

I mean, it's like trying to explain, uh, April in Paris.

You can't understand it unless you've been there.


I understand April in Paris.

It's like having Havana cigars, a great drink of booze and being off scot-free.

That's April in Paris, Reiger.

Let's face it, Reiger, crime pays.

You know, people go around thinking that if they do something bad, then something bad has got to happen to them.

Well, I'm living proof that that is not true.

No answer?

No answer from the honest man?


Where're you going?

Up here.

What do you got?

Some little hiding place up there, Louie?

Yeah, I got a place for my stuff.

Okay, Louie, you see?

That's the price you have to pay.

Because you're a thief, you have to go through life believing that everybody else is a thief.

That's why you have to hide your stash in some crummy little air duct.

Boy, you lead a real crummy little life, you know that?

You're a frightened man, Louie.

You're grasping at straws, Reiger.

You know what it's like in this garage.

There's a thief every four inches.

Hey, what about me, Louie? What about me, huh?

Aren't you afraid I'm going to steal your stuff?

I know where you're hiding it.


The honest man?!


Yeah, I guess you're right.

You do what you do and I do what I do.

Well, good night.

Good night, Reiger.




(theme song playing)

WOMAN: Good night, Mr. Walters!

(man grumbling)