The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990) Script

Fallow arriving, area A. Fallow arriving, area A. Do you copy?

Ah, Mr. Fallow, I'll take it for you. Hi, Mr. Fallow, welcome.

Oh, please, right this way. Step right out here.

Hi, so nice to see you! Yes, it is.

Mr. Fallow, Mr. Bavardage. Right this way. Very nice to meet you.

We have a cart waiting for you. Careful with that.

If you don't mind, I guess we're just in a bit of a rush, so let's just hop on our cart here and get going.

Quite a few people waiting up there for you, Peter. - Right this way.

Yes, we're so honored to have you, Mr. Fallow.

Well, this is really an historic occasion, Peter.

I know, but aren't you...?

I'll meet you upstairs. Here we go.

Ah, Mr. Fallow, I would love to take this private moment just to tell you how much I admire your book.

Well, you know what Faulkner said when asked for three novels, he recommended...

"Anna Karenina, Anna Karenina, Anna Karenina."

If he were alive and reading, I'm sure he'd be saying...

"The Real McCoy and the Forgotten Lamb."

I just have to say I know you've heard it a million times, but that scene where the mayor gets hit in the head with the mayonnaise jar!

And... Well, to be continued.

On our way.

Oh, Mr. Fallow!

Right this way.

Here we go.

Whoop-si-daisy.

Okay. Excuse us, gentlemen.

Coming through. Fallow, coming through.

I've got Mr. Fallow.

Okay. Now...

We're moving right along. There he is!

- Hey, Mr. Fallow! Hey, hey! Stop! Back off!

Oh, please! That's enough!

Oh, get away! No, it's not! Just another one.

This should never have happened. Back off!

I'm so sorry, Mr. Fallow. Over here!

Oh, get...! Just watch up, here we go!

Right this way, Mr. Fallow.

Anyway, we're just going through these two doors here.

And we'll be on our way.

But I must say, if I may quote you...

If I may, this...

Oh, look at all the busy bees!

But I must say, Mr. Fallow, if I...

Mr. Fallow!

If I may quote you... Whoa, watch it!

"How in the name of God...?

"Who in the name of God would bring a half-

"-eaten jar of mayonnaise to a public meeting?"

Ambassador!

I'm Charles Buchanan. Mr. Fallow.

This is my wife, Stephanie, and my daughter.

Mr. Fallow, I read your book 15 times.

And next year I'm going to take a course in it.

One second, one second. We're gonna go up by ourselves.

It's okay.

Are you hungry?

That's salmon, but I really don't think you should touch that.

Oh!

Mr. Fallow, it's just such an honor to finally meet you.

Oh, my God!

Oh, my God! Is that him?

We are running a bit late. Oh, he's gorgeous!

I don't know what to say. Let me see... I don't know.

What's your name? Suzanne.

Are you married? Oh.

Excuse me! Mr. Fallow!

Animals!

Let's go, let's take this.

Someone needs deodorant. Mr. Fallow...

All right, all right, here we go.

Everything is under control.

Nothing to worry about.

Oh, excuse me. I haven't introduced myself, have I?

My name is Peter Fallow.

I am a writer.

But you know that already.

Unless you haven't read a newspaper or seen a television the last few months, you know exactly who I am.

I am the man of the moment.

The hero of the evening.

Me and a little book I happened to write.

Now, the real hero of the evening is, of course, not even with us tonight.

But we'll come to him in a minute.

For now, indulge yourself in the extravagance of the moment, and remember, if you will, a phrase from another little best-seller...

"For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?"

Mr. Fallow, they're waiting.

This is a story about such a man.

There he is! - There he is! - Let's go!

And it begins on a rainy night, a little over a year ago.

Our hero, Sherman McCoy, was about to make a simple phone call.

But despite the existence of 11 telephones and 7 different lines in the 14 rooms of his $6-million-plus apartment, this was a phone call he could not make at home.

Gotcha.

What on earth are you doing?

I'm taking the dog for a walk.

You're not taking "the dog" for a walk, you're taking "Marshall" for a walk.

Marshall has a name. He is one of the family. And, anyway...

It's raining.

I know that.

So does Marshall.

I don't think we wants to go. Do you, Marshall?

Judy....

All right. Have a nice time.

He's not happy about it, Mr. McCoy.

Neither am I, Bill.

Tony, sir. My name is Tony.

Yeah, well, whatever.

Oh, Marshall, come on!

Let's be men about this, huh?

Hello, Sherman.

Good evening, Pollard.

You know, it's raining, don't you?

As a matter of fact, I did notice, yes.

Ah, Sherman!

A true friend to man's "pest" friend.

Pollard, you old phrase-maker!

I beg your pardon?

I mean, is that the best you can do?

Is that as witty as we get?

I don't know what you're talking about.

And furthermore, if you plan on being wet when you return, I suggest you take the service elevator.

Come on, Marshall.

Oh, Marshall, come on.

Come on now. Come on. Come on.


Maria, hello. It's me.

Who?

Oh, sorry. May I speak to Maria?

Who is this?

Maria?

Sherman?

Sherman, is that you?

Sherman?

Oh!

Jesus!

Well, we're back!

Hey, you were absolutely right.

I got soaking wet and Marshall didn't do anything.

Sherman? Huh?

If you want to talk to someone named Maria, why do you call me instead?

If I what? Whatever do you mean?

Oh, please don't lie. It makes your forehead crinkle.

What? Wait a minute. What are we talking about?

You should see your face!

I'm sorry, I don't get it. Have I missed something?

You're going to stand there and tell me that you didn't call here and asked to speak to some Maria?

Maria, who?

You think I don't know your voice?

Judy, I was out walking the dog.

Crinkle, crinkle, crinkle. I was not on the telephone.

Oh, no. And I am not lying. I took the dog for a walk.

Then I came back in here, and wham!

I mean, I hardly know what to say.

You are asking me to prove a negative proposition.

Negative proposition?

Oh, God, Sherman!

Listen to the way I sound. Listen to the stress.

Can you hear it?

I don't want to be this person. I don't.

I am thin. I am beautiful.

I do not deserve this.

Judy...

Here's the phone. Why don't you just call her from here.

I don't mind. I really don't mind.

You are cheap and rotten and a liar.

And you are dripping on my Aubusson carpet.

She was right, of course.

And Sherman knew it.

Christ! How could he have been so stupid?

A simple phone call.

The next morning, Judy's words were still ringing in his ears.

"Cheap, rotten and a liar."

Campbell, honey, are we ready? I'm out of here.

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Hold on now. Hold this, thank you.

Where is your mother?

Campbell!

She's crying on the Lifecycle.

"Crying on the Lifecycle."

Like so many men before him, Sherman was no match for a woman's tears.

She won't kiss me, because I'm all wet.

Campbell, come and give your mother a kiss.

Good.

Judy...

Why couldn't he just say it to her?

"Look, Judy, I still love you.

"I still love our daughter, our home, our life.

"But I am a Master of the Universe.

"I deserve more."

Like the few privileged others on Wall Street.

How many? 2, 3, maybe 400 at most.

For these men, for these Masters of the Universe, and Sherman McCoy was one of them, there were no limits whatsoever.

Hi. This is 555-8771.

Leave a message, and I'll call you back. Thank you.

Maria, where are you? I've been trying to reach for days.

Give a call me at the office. I need to speak with you.

Gene's on from London. Let's go.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Let's go! Let's go!

Calm down, Rawlie.

Let's not get overexcited.

Yes, Sherman. I'm sorry. Calm, cool, collated.

Let's not lose our composure over a few hundred million dollars.

Jesus Christ, Sherman, you must be made of ice!

Just remember, Rawlie, a frantic salesman is a dead one.

But what the hell is this crazy Giscard deal is gonna cost us, Sherman?

Well, I need 600 million to buy up the bonds.

Jesus! You want us to sit on $600 million worth of French government bonds?

Oh, I'm confident on this, Gene. It's a real sleeping beauty.

Where are you, Gene? I'm at a cricket match.

Somebody just hit the hell out of the ball.

But the ball's kind of dead though.

Who's playing? Don't get technical on me, Rawlie!

A bunch of nice young men in white flannel pants.

Gene, how about it? Are we in or out?

Gold has to hold steady. And if the franc starts to drop?

Bernard Sachs is already in for 300 million.

Does that make you feel any better?

Sherman, you are gonna make me an old man.

A rich old man, Gene. A rich old man.

A $600 million deal!

Sherman's commission would be 1.7 million.

All in a day's work.

He was there! At the top!

Impervious, untouchable, insulated by wealth and power.

A Master of the Universe.

A great height from which to view the rest of the world.

A great height from which to fall.


Sherman, Sherman, you are an absolute angel coming all the way out here.

Well, I had to talk to you. I did the most stupid thing last night.

Well, are we gonna talk about it right now?

I'm afraid we have to.

Sherman, don't you want a little poontang first?

I know it has its funny side, but it isn't funny.

Well, it's your own fault for getting caught like a red herring.

You mean red-handed.

Oh, Sherman, can't we stop talking about your wife now and head over to our little hideaway on 59th Street and just hide away a little?

I think she knows.

Of course she knows. That's not the point.

Oh, it isn't, huh?

Oh, God, Sherman, you are so sweet. Now, now.

I could eat you alive, if I could get this goddamn zipper down. - No, no, no.

Sherman, isn't that the turnoff? Where?

The turnoff to Manhattan?

Oh, well, I can't get over right now.

We'll just exit and get back on.

Exit and get back on. Oh, no, Maria, Maria.

Maria! What?

Sherman, where are we?

The Bronx.

What does that mean?

It means we're north of Manhattan.

All I need to do is make a right and find a street back.

And there it was.

A simple wrong turn.

Anyone of us could have done it.

A simple phone call, a simple wrong turn, and, suddenly, you're off the track moving relentlessly towards a destiny you could never have imagined.

Sherman? Yes, Maria.

Where are all the white people?

Oh! Oh, Christ!

Oh, they're not gonna scratch the car, are they?

Sherman, I'm from the South and I'm beginning to not like this very much.

Excuse me!

Please don't touch the car.

Thank you.

Sherman, get us out of here!

I have a red light.

Hey, baby!

We're having a party!

Maria!

Go, Sherman, go!

Oh, God, get us out of here! Sherman, come on!

I want my money. I want my money now!

Look, Maria, there was no need to panic.

That's what you think.

I have all my luggage with me.

I just don't wanna do anything stupid. If we keep our heads, we'll be perfectly fine.

Oh, Jesus Christ, Sherman! We're in the middle of a goddamn war zone, and you're worried about doing the right thing?

Look. It's an arrow. There.

Right there, Sherman. It's an arrow.

Yes, I see it.

Well, then turn!

I'm going to.

And there's the ramp back to Manhattan. See?

Sherman, what's that?

It's a body! It looks like...

It's an animal! No, no, no. I think...

Is it dead? It's...

It's a wheel, that's all! It's a tire!

It's a dead tire?

Oh, calm down, Maria! It's just a big tire!

What are you doing?

Well, I can't drive around it, can I?

You're not gonna move it?

Yes, that's exactly what I'm going to do.

Sherman, be careful of your shoes.


Sherman, come on.

Come on.

Touching that dirty old tire.

Oh, yuck!

I just wanna get out of here.

I want to get to Manhattan.

Come on, Sherman.

Oh, my God!

Oh, my God!

Natives!

Oh, my God!

Sherman, Sherman!

Yo. You need some help?

No.

No, thank you. Hi!

What's the problem, man? You need some help or what?

No. I don't think so. No. Thank you. Very much. No.

Shit!

Shit!

Sherman, come on!

Sherman.

Well, excuse me. I have to go.

Where do you think you're going with the tire?

Oh!

This is yours? Oh, well, then here, you take it.

Damn!

Oh, my God!

Come on, Sherman, get in the car, quick!

Here they come! Oh, shit! Lock the door!

Just drive! Just drive!

Damn! Open the door!

Get away!

Careful, careful! Look out! Oh, my God!

Stop! Oh, my God!

Okay!

Back up, back up! I am!

Open this door. Get away from the car!

I can't see a thing, Sherman!

Oh, my God! Watch out!

Stop! Okay!

I'm going! Go! Go, car, go!

Hey, stop! Bitch, open this door!

Hey! Hey! Stop!

Hey!

Where's the ramp? Is that a ramp?

Sherman, what are we doing here?

Just make a left, Maria. Make a what?

Make a left? Make a left.

Okay, make a left.


Sherman, fuck the luggage.

Let's go have a drink.

Come on.

Maria... Oh, Sherman!

I wonder if we should tell the police about this.

The police?

Yes, yes, the police. We were almost robbed.

I think there's a possibility that you... that we hit one of them.

There was this kind of sound... Did you hear it? ...like we hit one of them.

Did you see him get hit?

No. No.

Neither did I.

So, if the question ever comes up, all that happened was two boys blocked the road, they tried to rob us, and we got away.

And that's all we know.

But if we call the police now, then we're not...

Let's call them. Let's call them and invite them over here to our little love nest.

They'd love to get their hands on us.

The police, the press and all the rest of the "mediarites".

Mediarites?

Yeah, the newspapers, radio, television.

Oh, I can see it now.

"Mr. Sherman McCoy of Park Avenue

"and Mrs. Arthur Ruskin of 5th Avenue

"are recuperating after their adventures in the Bronx."

Explain that one to your wife, Sherman.

Yeah, you have a point.

I don't know. Still, I would feel better if--

You don't have to feel better, Sherman.

I was the one who was driving.

And I'm saying that I didn't hit anybody.

And I'm not reporting anything to the police.

And if you're a gentleman, then you'll support me in that decision.

Sherman!

We were in the jungle.

We were attacked. That's true.

We fought our way out. We could've been killed.

We fought.

I feel like an animal.

You drove the hell out of that car.

But the hard part was getting into the seat, get over that gearshift.

No, it was instinct. Oh, God, and that tire!

He was big, wasn't he? Oh, Sherman, he was bigger.

You were great. We were both great.

This could be the best sex we've had in a long time.

I don't know. I still think-- Don't think, Sherman!

Just fuck!

Sonnenberg?

Mr. Sonnenberg?

Where the hell is Mr. Sonnenberg?

All right, Mr. Lockwood, you sit down.

And if and when your lawyer deigns to grace us with his presence--

2 to 6, Judge. Beg your pardon.

2 to 6. Now, two weeks ago, he told me 2 to 6.

Now, Mr. Lockwood-- 2 to 6, or we go to trial.

Nobody wants to go to trial. I'll go to trial.

Approach the bench, Mr. Lockwood. Yeah, I'll approach the bench.

Now, listen to me, you son of a bitch.

You're a nice boy, you're young, you got a lot going for you.

Try to understand me.

We got 7,000 felony indictments in the Bronx every year.

We got room for 650 trials. Now, you're not gonna be one of them.

I go to trial.

You go sit down, that's what you do!

And when your asshole lawyer shows up, you're gonna take whatever plea bargain we give you.

And you're gonna kiss my ass and thank me that I didn't put you away for 25 years.

Which, if this case ever came to trial, is exactly what you'll get.

Now, get out of my face!

What did he do?

Pulled a knife on a 70-year-old lady, robbed and raped her, and shoved her in a garbage can.

Jesus Christ!

Welcome to the South Bronx.

Next case.

People versus Harold Williams.

Indictment number 294721. Oh, shit!

This case was dismissed three weeks ago.

Go get 'em, tiger.

What is this case doing here?

Your Honor...

May I approach the bench, Your Honor?

Who the hell are you?

Kramer, sir. Assistant District Attorney, Kramer.

Mr. Kramer, you are new here. Let me...

Let me explain something to you.

This case, Mr. Kramer, is what we call a piece of shit.

Which, loosely translated, means you don't have any evidence.

Except that District Attorney, Mr. Weiss has instructed me to show you--

I know who the District Attorney is, Mr. Kramer.

The only reason Mr. Weiss is interested in this case is because Mr. Williams over there is a white man who lives in a nice, big house in Riverdale.

I'm not following you, sir.

Because it's an election year, Mr. Kramer.

And because 99% of the people you shovel through this court are black and the other 99% don't even speak English.

But they do vote.

So your boss, the District Attorney, Mr. Weiss, who every night dream of one day becoming mayor of New York, what he needs is a white man.

He needs to find him, he needs book him, and he needs to throw him in jail.

That way everybody likes him.

The press likes him. The voters like him.

You know, even your mother would like him.

You following me, Mr. Kramer? I'm following you now, sir.

Now, you go and tell your boss, Captain Ahab Weiss, that I know he's out there looking for the great white defendant.

But Mr. Williams, over there, is not it!

Don't take it personally. Thank you.

Maybe he just didn't like your shoes.

Are you Andruitti? Yeah, what?

I'm Martin. This is detective Goldberg. We've just come from Bronx County Hospital.

You got a minute? Yeah, what do you got?

We got a kid named Henry Lamb.

He showed up at the hospital last night with a broken wrist. - So?

So, they fixed him up in emrgency and they sent him home. - So?

Only this morning, his mother brings him back.

He's got a concussion, he goes into a coma, and now they classify him likely to die.

Did you talk to him?

He's in a coma. He's in a coma.

Oh, yeah.

So, what else? Is that it? No.

There's a nurse busting my balls.

She said the kid told his mother he was hit by a car, a Mercedes.

The car left the scene. Hit-and-run.

The mother told you this deal? No, she don't wanna talk to us.

She's got a shit load of parking tickets and she don't wanna talk to the police.

Look, what are you coming to us for?

You've got here a victim who's unconscious you got no witness, you got no driver, you got... what we call a piece of shit. Ain't I right, Mr. Kramer?

What we've got here is a problem.

You ever hear of Reverend Bacon?

Oh, no. No, no, no, not me, gentlemen.

Kramer, this is all yours. I'll see you later.

Reverend Bacon?

# Is my living in vain? #

This is a tragedy!

A fine young man has been struck down.

God-fearing, church-going, never in trouble, graduated from high school, on his way to college.

And somebody comes along, some rich white people in a rich white man's car, and wham!

They run him down and never even stop!

Now, what are we gonna do about these parking tickets?

Well...

First of all, Reverend... Oh, I'm sorry. Is it Reverend?

Is, was and always will be.

Well, first of all, Reverend, we really have no evidence that there was--

This is your evidence.

I'm very sorry, ma'am. I just didn't see you sitting there.

Mrs. Lamb is not speaking to the police.

Until we have proper counsel, I will speak for her.

Oh! Fine. That's very good.

I just wanna get a few things straight now. The boy was hit by a car?

On Bruckner Boulevard!

Innocently walking along minding his own business.

A clear case of hit-and-run. No.

Reverend, I'm really sorry, but there were no witnesses.

Without a witness, you have no case of anything at all.

You got what he told his mother.

It's hearsay.

I may believe it and you may believe it, but it's just not admissible in a court of law.

Look here, if this boy was born on Park Avenue and he was run down by two niggers in a Pontiac Firebird, then you'd have a case, wouldn't you?

I work Park Avenue and I work Bruckner Boulevard, Reverend.

There's good and bad in both places.

We'll do everything we can to help this lady. but there's not a hell of a lot to go on.

Gentlemen...

I want you to make an investment here.

An investment in steam control.

Steam control? That's right.

Steam control.

Because a righteous steam is building up in the souls of my people.

And that steam is ready to blow!

Oh, I see. Now!

On Judgment Day, I am your safety valve.

Because when it blows, and it will, my friend...

Oh! ...how grateful you will be that I am on your side.

Yes, sir! The one nigger who can control the steam and save your lily white ass from being burned off the face of the earth.

So to speak.

That's...

Thank you, Reverend. We'll see what we can do.

Excuse me.

Oh!

Thank you.

He said...

He said it started with an "R".

The second letter was an "E" or a "P".

Those were the first two letters of the license plate.

You know, we should move up here.

Have you ever thought? I mean, what if we moved out of New York?

Just kept a small place there in town. Save a bundle of money. What do you think?

About what?

Do you think we could leave New York?

No.

My father did it.

You are not your father.

She knew how to hurt a guy.

No, he was nothing like his father.

His father, "The Lion of Dunning, Sponget and Leach".

His father, who took the subway to work every day of his life.

His father, who still believed in principles and ethics, whose repeated lessons concerning duty, debt and rensponsibility had whistled through his son's head.

No, Sherman McCoy was nothing like his father.

Sherman, what're you looking for in that newspaper?

Oh, nothing, nothing. Nothing special.

But what's a bond?

Yes, Sherman, do explain it.

Yes, Sherman, your mother and I really want to hear this.

Well, a bond is a way of lending people money.

Now, let's say that you want to build a road or a hospital, and you need a lot of money.

What you do is you issue a bond.

Do you build roads?

No, no, no. I don't actually build them.

I think you're in over your head.

Oh, here, let me try.

Darling, Daddy doesn't build roads or hospitals or anything, really.

Daddy just handles bonds for the people who raise the money.

That's what he said, bonds.

Yes. Now...

Just imagine that a bond is a slice of cake.

Now, you didn't bake that cake.

But every time you hand a slice of that cake to somebody else, a little piece comes off.

Little crumbs fall off.

Really? Crumbs, huh?

And you are allowed to keep those crumbs.

Many a man has sold his soul for those little crumbs.

Yes, and that's what Daddy does.

Daddy passes somebody else's cake around and picks up all of the crumbs.

But you have to imagine a lot of crumbs, and a great big golden cake, and a lot of golden little crumbs.

And you have to imagine Daddy running around picking up every little golden crumb he can get his hands on.

And that's what Daddy does.

Well, you can call them crumbs if you want to...

I'm doing the best I can.

Excuse me.

Of course, in my day, there was some integrity to it.

Yes, well...

Now it isn't about anything, is it? Except the money.

Well, I don't make the rules, so...

All the more reason not to play the game.

We're just having a little...

It's nothing really.

Of course, up to this point in our story, I was blissfully ignorant.

I had no idea of the storm that was gathering.

Never even heard of Sherman McCoy.

Hadn't the faintest notion that soon his name would be inexorably tied to mine.

That his fate would be inextricably bound to my own destiny.

I had my own problems.

And I simply had no idea that Sherman McCoy was the solution I was looking for.

You're bad.

Billy, bienvenido. Caroline!

Caroline, you look beautiful!

Caroline, you devil! Peter, you pig!

Why don't you join us for a cocktail. No, thanks, I'm with someone.

Yes. And a very pretty someone he is too, huh, George?

Filippo Chirazzi, the artist. This is Peter Fallow, the has-been.

Enchanté.

Filippo, we'll be crowded this evening.

Why don't you sit on top of Billy Cortez?

And I'll see if I can get Caroline to sit on my face.

No thanks, Peter.

The last time I sat on your face, I ended up with a yeast infection.

Good evening, Peter.

Good evening, Jerald.

No, don't get up. You know my daughter, don't you?

Yes, of course. How are you this evening, Evelyn?

This is one of my invisible employees.

One of the many journalists who are supposed to be writing for my newspaper.

You're very honored to see him.

I hardly ever do.

I can explain. I can explain. Come have a drink with us.

I can't. We're having a private party in the back. Well, I haven't eaten...

You know, I was at dinner last evening, and halfway through the pudding, this 4-year-old child came in dragging a little toy cart.

And on the cart was a fresh turd.

Her own, I suppose.

And the parents just shook their heads and smiled.

I've made a big investment in you, Peter.

Time and money, and it's not working.

I could just shake my head and smile, but in my house, when a turd appears, we deal with it, we dispose of it, we flush it away.

We don't put it on the table and call it caviar.

Of course you don't. Jerald, I've been working at home.

Now, look, I'm working on a story that...

Look, I can't talk about it here, but it's a big story.

I think it's someone of the biggest people in town. - I sincerely hope so, Peter.

Well, it is. Yeah, I sincerely hope so.

Come along, Evelyn. Hi.

It was the end of the road for me. I could see it coming.

See it coming? Christ, it was here!

I'd had my chance and I'd blown it away in a bottle.

It was over. And I had to face up to that fact.

I could always go back home.

Small town, small newspaper.

Or I could take the time off and write a novel or two.

Or I could slit my wrists.

Now, this last idea actually seemed the most appealing, because, in fact, it required the least amount of effort.

And then the telephone rang.

Yeah?

Peter! Albert Fox here.

Peter?

Peter!

Hello, Peter? Yeah, yeah, this is Peter.

You sound terrific.

Any pulse?

I called the paper. No one semmed to know where you were or even who you were.

Anything I should know?

No, it's nothing you should know. I'm just working at home today.

Good, good, good. Look, Peter, there's something I want to talk to you about.

I think there's a hell of a story in it.

Now, meet me at NBC, studio 4H, 7 o'clock.

Ciao.

Yeah, ciao.

You're looking at Henry Lamb material?

Yeah, I looked at it.

What do you think?

What do I think?

I think it's a very unfortunate situation, Albert.

Where's the goddamn story?

A poor, innocent black kid walking down the street, minding his own business, and boom... hit-and-run.

There's a story in it for somebody, Peter.

What are you laughing at? The black community's up in arms.

And I'm telling you, when Reverend Bacon gets a feather in his ass, the shit flies high.

So, what's your angle on all this, Albert? Huh?

What do you stand to get out of this?

I'm a lawyer, Peter. I wanma see justice done. Oh, come on, Albert!

Reverend Bacon is a friend of mine. It'll be good for him.

And knowing a little bit about your situation, I thought if you were the one to break the story--

Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Wait a minute.

What do you mean, my situation?

Your boss was at my house for dinner the other night.

Said a few things.

I see.

You have a little daughter, haven't you, Albert?

Yes, I do, a little girl.

I bet she has a little toy wagon.

Yes, I think she does. Why?

You got any scotch in that car?

Henry Lamb. Who's that?

He was a student of yours at Ruppert High.

In your English class. He was? What's he done?

Oh, he hasn't done anything. He's been seriously injured.

I'm a reporter. I work for a newspaper.

Well, I don't remember him.

I'm trying to find out what kind of student he was.

Well, if I don't remember him, I guess he was okay.

You say he was a good student?

Good doesn't really apply at Ruppert High. They're either cooperative or life-threatening.

Well they said he was going to college. It sure means City College.

They've got an open admissions policy.

So, if you live in the city, graduate high school, you're still breathing, they got to take you.

What can you tell me about his performance in class?

Any aptitude, special skills? Look, here, Mr...

Fallow. Peter Fallow. Mr. Fallow, I got 65 students in every class.

Tests, homework, any written work he might have turned in? - Shit!

There hasn't been any written work at Ruppert High since 15 maybe 20 years.

Really? Mm.

How the hell do you keep track of these kids?

I mean, Jesus Christ, there must be some record of how this boy measures up to the other students in his class.

You see you're thinking about...

...honor students and grades... Tenants Records, grades.

Yeah, that's it. ...and high achievers.

We don't make those kind of comparisons. We're just trying to keep them off the street.

At Ruppert High, an honor student is somebody who comes to class and doesn't piss on the teacher.

Well, by that standard, then... would you say Henry Lamb was an honor student?

Well...

He never pissed on me.

No, Bernard. Look, you're exaggerating the situation. The franc is no problem.

No, we can hedge that to next January, to the term or to both, whatever.

No, no! I don't think that's necessary.

Look!

Look, Bernard, we had our share of...

Hell, I wouldn't even call them problems, so let's not work ourselves up... into a coma.

Oh, Jesus Christ, let me see that!

No, no, no, not you, Bernard, no.

Yeah.

Uh-huh.

Uh-huh.

Wait! What the hell are you talking about?

Oh, no, Bernard, we can't wait. We have to move on this thing now.

Bernard, you're...

You're bringing...

You're bringing up phantom issues!

No, we just gotta pull ourselves together and fucking do it!

Look!

Bernard! Bernard!

But it was too late. It was gone.

Oh, Jesus!

Six hundred million dollars!

On Wall Street, a frantic salesman was a dead salesman.

And Sherman knew it.

Sherman! Hi.

You know what?

I was just this second thinking about you.

Where have you been? Have you seen this perversion of the truth?

Don't I get a kiss first? Have you read it?

Sherman, you know I only read the newspapers spasmodically.

Sporadically?

Maria! Maria!

Who is this Peter Fallow character?

He's got it all wrong! It's like he's talking with...

Excuse me, but what is going on here?

I'm installing a new intercom system on all the apartments. Super let me in.

Are you Caroline Heftshank?

I need you to sign a receipt.

Well, I don't live here. I'm just a guest of Miss Heftshank.

Just a guest. Yeah.

Okay. No problem. I'm all done.

Good. Thank you.

That was close. What is going on?

Oh, I don't know. Caroline pays $300 rent for this place.

It's one of those rent-controlled ones. And I sublet it for 1,100.

But it's not legal.

And they would love to get Caroline out of here, but first they have to prove that she doesn't live here anymore.

You don't think it's weird that this fellow showed up here today?

After that unconscionable piece in the paper?

Oh, Sherman, you are completely "paranoidical".

Now, look, I have to leave for the airport in about 20 minutes.

So, we don't have much time.

You don't think they could possibly trace the car to me?

How? They don't have the full number, they don't have a witness.

The only person who could recognize you is in terminal "comatosis".

Well, right. But there is that other fellow. Now, suppose he comes forward?

If he was gonna materialize, Sherman, he would have done it by now.

And the reason he hasn't is because he's a criminal.

God, what a wretched painting!

It's a Filippo Chirazzi. He's a friend of Caroline's.

Do you know him? I hope not.

God, Maria, that looks like you!

No! How could it?

Where are you going? I'm going to the airport.

I told you, I got a car coming in 10 minutes.

Sherman, we have time for a quickie. What do you say?

Maria!

I've lost $600 million today. Possibly my job.

I don't feel terrifically sexy at the moment.

You know I'm a sucker for a soft dick, Sherman.

Maria, you are incorrigible!

Am I?

Now, look, I suppose we could still go to the police.

We could get ourselves a very talented lawyer.

And put our heads right into the tiger's mouth?

I'm the one who was driving the car, Sherman.

Don't you think I'm the one who should make that decision?

And I say no. I say no, Sherman.

Trust me.

Nothing is gonna come of that little newspaper article.

Absolutely nothing.

# Thanks be to God #

# The morning light of peace #

My dear, wait over there. I'll be right with you.

# The storm is passing over #

Mr. Fallow. Our hero.

Reverend Bacon.

I feel as if we already know each other. And Mr. Corsaro.

Reverend Bacon, so nice to see you again.

You gentlemen have an exclusive here. You understand me?

I could've had every newspaper and TV station spreading this news.

But I have chosen only you two.

And I expect big coverage.

In-depth coverage.

Let's get to work, then, sir.

Let's go.

Look, Reverend...

You think we might be making a mountain out of a molehill here?

I mean, honestly, these people-- Honesty has nothing to do with this, Mr. Fallow.

This is show business.

I've never known the two to go hand in hand.

Well, neither have I. And I'm supposed to be some kind of a journalist up here.

No, you're supposed to be a drunk. That's what I've been told.

And you're almost out of a job, aren't you?

Or am I misinformed?

I think you got the wrong man, Reverend.

No, I don't think so.

I don't think so at all.

TV's ready, Reverend.

Okay, man.

Stay in the wide shot most of the time.

Push in when you see the action.

He's something, isn't he?

Yeah, he sure is.

He's on the level with this one, right? That means the story's legitimate, right?

Of course he is.

I mean this Henry Lamb is a nice kid.

The neighbors seems to like him. No record. Honor student.

No question about it.

And, personally, I don't give a shit.

When I get finished with this story, though, this kid's gonna be a saint.

It'd be nice to know it's true, that's all.

It's true.

Reverend, we're rolling the cameras. Go ahead.

Brothers and sisters...

I stand before you with a heart that is broken.

And I stand before you with a heart that is angry.

It's heartbroken, because our brother, our neighbor, our son, Henry Lamb, has been struck down in the prime of his young life.

And now he lies in a hospital, broken, like my heart.

But I tell you, my heart is also angry.

Yes! Angry!

Because the driver of that car didn't do nothing for him!

And neither did the police!

And neither did this man!

Mr. Abraham Weiss.

That's my name! My own fucking name!

That's a complete fuck-up.

Who the hell are you?

I'm Kramer. I'm Assistant District Attorney Kramer.

I work in this office.

And I, for one, am not gonna stand for it.

No, sir!

In response, Israel today appealed for patience...

General accounting office said toady...

While at the same time, sources at Motor Vehicles say there are less than 200 Mercedes with plates beginning with the key letters

"RE", "RB", or "RP".

How did they get this information out of Motor Vehicles?

Who's side are they on? Calm down, Abe. Calm down.

We've had this information for over a week.

Then why aren't we doing anything about it? Why aren't we tracing the car?

Actually, I suggested that we tr...

What am I, the Wizard of Oz? I don't know anything?

Trace the car? Yeah.

Trace the car? Abe, we don't even have a witness.

We don't even know where it happened. We don't even know if it happened.

Trace the car, Ray.

Abe, we don't have a case, even if we find the car.

Now, if we found the driver, and the driver came to us and said...

"Oh, yeah! Oh, yeah, that's right.

"I hit this kid the other night, and, yeah, that's right, I didn't stop.

"I didn't report it. I'm the one. I'm the guy. I did it." Then we got a case.

Just trace the fucking car, Ray.

Yesterday, I was a respected Jewish liberal.

10 minutes of news like this, and, all of a sudden, I'm a hymie racist pig?

The Italians are gonna love this.

The Irish too.

And the WASPs.

They love this shit more than anybody.

They love laughing at me.

All the rich sons of bitches.

They still think they own this town.

They sit in their co-ops, Park Avenue, 5th, Beekman Place, snug like a bug.

12-foot ceilings, one wing for them, one for the help.

They think money is gonna protect them.

You stupid sons of bitches!

I'd like to light a fire under all their white lily asses. Let them see what this feels like.

Let the whole Third World see the smoke and come after them!

Let them feel what it's like when every Puerto Rican, West Indian, Cuban, Korean, Albanian, Filipino, black man from every corner of every borough...

They don't think the future knows how to cross a bridge!

You laugh!

You laugh! All right! Here's what we're gonna do!

We're gonna turn this thing around, if it kills us!

We're gonna prove to these black motherfuckers...

Pardon my language, Howard.

We're gonna prove to these niggers that this administration loves them!

No matter what it takes!

I am no racist hymie.

By November, they are gonna be thinking of me as...

the first black District Attorney of Bronx County.

Huh? Yeah.

They're gonna beg me to be mayor. Absolutely!

We're gonna walk away with that election! No question!

That's what we're gonna do! Yes!

If we have to screw every white asshole from Albany to Park Avenue, that's what we're gonna do!

No!

Like people you see. Here he comes now.

Mr. McCoy. Tony, hi.

It's Eddie, sir. These two gentlemen--

I'm sorry to bother you. I'm Detective Martin, this is Detective Goldberg.

We're investigating an automobile accident. Maybe you heard about it.

Yeah.

Yes! Yeah! On television.

Last night. We... My wife...

We said we have...

Good Lord! We have a Mercedes, and the license starts with an 'R'.

You and a lot of people.

Oh, really? Will you be going up, sir?

Yeah. Yes, yes, yeah. Yes, I will.

Should we...? Do you want...?

Is it a bad time for you? No, no, no...

We just need to ask you a few questions. Oh, yes, yes, of course.

Can you tell us if your car was in use the night this happened?

When exactly was it? Tuesday, a week ago.

Well, I don't know. I have to think.

Let me figure. Anybody else use your car?

My wife sometimes.

The people at the garage.

Parking garage? Yes, yes.

You leave your car with the keys, and they park it?

That is correct. Can we go there and take a look at it?

The car? Yes.

Now? As soon as we leave here, we can take a look.

This thing is consistent with an incident like this.

We don't find those things, we move on down the list, and we're out of your hair.

So, you want to look at the car then? Yeah.

I see. I see.

We don't have a description of a driver, so we gotta look for a car.

And that means bothering a lot of innocent people. - Uh-huh.

We're sorry about the inconvenience, but it's a routine sort of thing.

Oh, I understand.

But if there is a routine, well, then I guess I ought to, well, follow the routine that's appropriate to me, to someone with a car in this situation.

You see?

No, I don't follow.

Well, I mean if there's a routine in an investigation like this, I don't know how these things work, but there must also be a routine for a person like me.

For the owner of a car with a license number.

And I think that's what I need to consider.

The routine.

We just wanna look at your car.

That's what I mean. You see?

No.

Excuse me, Mr. McCoy, but...

Is there something you wanna tell us?

No.

No. Well, how do you mean?

Well, I mean, if there is, now is the time to tell us.

Before things get complicated.

No, no, no, no.

No, I just think that to be certain, to be safe, sure, I think--

Let me put it this way:

If you want to cooperate, that'd be great.

If you have some reason not to cooperate, well, I should tell you you don't have to say anything.

I mean, that's your right. If you want, you can say nothing at all.

You also have the right to an attorney.

And, I mean, for that matter... if you lack funds for an attorney, the state will provide you with one free of charge.

If that's what you wanted.

Well, look...

I think what I should do is...

I should... talk to an attorney.

Yeah, you know. So, I read him his rights as casual as I can.

And then he sits down on the guy's desk! Well, does he do something?

But his eyes are getting bigger, and he's double-talking like a son of a bitch.

I know there's something there.

Mr. Weiss! Mr. Weiss, I think we got him.

Got who? What do you got?

McCoy. Sherman McCoy. We got him.

You think it's him?!

Oh, it's him. Oh, absolutely, yeah.

We have a good chance-- No, it's him. We got him.

This guy is Park Avenue.

His father ran Dunning, Sponget and Leach.

He's in the columns all the time.

His wife is a fucking socialite!

Does this put an end to this white-justice shit?

Oh, absolutely. We got zip on this guy. Fucking zip!

You know, we could smoke him out, like bring him in for questioning...

...and then go public! Go public? With what?

Your only witness is in a hospital, likely to die. - No.

Don't listen to this shit, Abe.

Come on, you gotta get to Manhattan and make a speech.

Sir, what you gotta do is you gotta send a signal out to the poor people of the city.

You gotta let them know justice is blind.

You gotta let them know that if you're rich and white, get the same treatment you get if you're black and poor.

You gotta give the people hope!

You mean, we nail the WASP?

To the wall.

I like this man.

So I walk up to him and I say, "I'm from Legal Aid. I'm your lawyer."

And he says, "Fuck you, mother... I don't want a nigger lawyer. I want a Jew."

Nice guy.

It's his third drug arrest. He wants a deal.

Yeah. He'll say that he was there, at the scene, huh?

He'll say whatever you want him to say.

Get me Andruitti over at the Bronx. Tell him it's urgent about this Henry Lamb shit.

Suppose this other fellow comes forward. I swear there was another fellow.

He was big and he was-- Hey, hey, hey.

I believe you. It was a set-up. They were gonna rip you off.

It sounds to me like he's got good reasons not to come forward.

Now, you just sit tight. That's what you do.

Look, you were recommended as the best criminal lawyer around, and I'm not disagreeing with you, but I didn't come here to....

I mean, I want to preempt this whole situation. I don't want it to go any further.

So, what does that mean?

It means I want to take the initiative.

I want to go to the police with Maria and just... with Mrs. Ruskin, and just tell them exactly what happened.

Now, I may not know the law, but I do feel morally certain that what we did was right... under the circumstances that we were in.

You Wall Street honchos are real gamblers, huh?

What are you, nuts?

They will devour you.

They will eat you alive. But why?

Forget that it's already a political football.

Forget about the TV and Reverend Bacon.

And Weiss has an election coming up.

Forget about all that.

And remember that when you work in a DA's office, and every day you prosecute people with names like...

Tiffany Latour, and Sancho Rodriguez, and Chong Wong, and Shabazz Cazan Tamali, you are dying to get your hands on a nice white couple like you and Mrs. Ruskin.

I'm Biscuit City, right?

Now, you open your mouth, and they will arrest you.

And they will make a big show out of the arresting you.

And it will be very, very unpleasant.

That is guaranteed.

Now, believe me, you do not want to be arrested in the South Bronx.

Yeah.

No kidding. Put him on.

I'll hold.

I need to talk to your friend Mrs. Ruskin too.

I understand you went to Yale.

Yeah. Yeah, you too, huh?

Yes, yes.

What do you think of it?

It was okay, as law schools go.

I mean, they give you the scholarly view, you know.

And it's terrific for anything you wanna do, as long as it doesn't involve real people.

Hey, Andruitti, you guinea son of a bitch! How're you doing?

Yeah? Well...

I'm sitting here with Mr. Sherman McCoy.

Yeah, that's right.

Uh-huh. Uh-huh.

I don't know if he needs a lawyer. What do you think?

Yea, okay. So, what does that mean?

Yeah, sure.

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

We got a problem.

What? What is it?

They're gonna arrest you.

And so, while Sherman faced catastrophe in his career and catastrophe in his marriage, and while the police were circling, while his entire life hung in the balance, Sherman put on his tie and went to the opera.


There he is...

Don Juan in the vise-like grip of fate, facing his crime, facing his entire life of selfish consumption, and profligate wasting of himself and others.

You're Judy McCoy's husband.

Yes.

Have you met Aubrey Buffing, the poet? No.

He's on the short list for the Nobel Prize. Hi.

He has AIDS.

Oh. We were talking about the opera.

The wrath of heaven must be at hand.

Its justice will not tarry.

I see the deadly thunderbolt poised above his head.

Suddenly, through the crowd, he saw her...

Maria!

And even when repentance is on... Excuse me.

He followed her through the room past the grinning faces full of boiling teeth, past the conversational bouquets, past the impeccably emaciated ladies of society, the social X-ray women.

Christ, was this the world he lived in?

But before he could answer the question, he saw Maria being introduced... to his wife.

Maria's just back from Italy. Oh!

Yeah, she lives on airplanes.

She goes back and forth from Italy like a ping-pong ball.

Judy?

Sherman!

Have you met Nunnally Voyd?

At last. How do you do?

Bobby Shalfet from the opera. Oh, yes.

Hi. How do you do?

And Arthur Ruskin.

How do you do? Ciao.

And his wife, Maria.

How do you do? We've met.

Sherman, couldn't you try just once to be a little bit interesting?

I wanted you to meet Aubrey Buffing.

Who? Aubrey Buffing, the poet.

He's on the short list for the Nobel Prize.

He has AIDS. You'll love him.

Sherman...

We are standing alone in the middle of the room, a married couple talking to each other.

You simply don't do it. Now, go and mingle.

Please.

And even when repentance is offered, he refuses.

He refuses to deny his life.

The food, the drink, the flesh, fatal as they may be, he cannot resist them.


Maria, may I speak to you for just a few monents?

Sherman, we have to stop meeting like this. Yes.

Do you know Boris, the ballet dancer? No.

Boris Karlevskov, Sherman McCoy. Hello. How do you do?

Nice to meet you.

He's defective. You mean, he defected.

No, I mean he doesn't speak any English.

Really? Are you sure? Yeah.

Do you realize what's going on? Watch.

Have you seen the papers? Boris, darling, would you like me to eat your ass?

Encore du champagne, s'il vous plaît.

You see? It went right over his Russian head. Maria, you and I have to talk.

The most unexpected thing is happening. Sherman, of course we do.

But keep smiling, because my husband is watching me.

See? He's so pleased with himself.

He's just closed a new deal. Charter business.

He's gonna take Arabs to Mecca on airplanes.

Maria, I'm going to be arrested tomorrow morning. Of course, the planes are all from Israel.

By the police, I imagine.

That shouldn't be so terrible. He'll make a goddamn fortune.

My lawyer, if you can call him that, has received some insurance--

He called me a whore today! Right in front of the servants, Sherman!

I mean, really, how does he expect me to run the house, if he continues to humiliate me like that in front of the help?

Yes, yes, yes, you have a point.

I'm sorry. What are we talking about?

The other guy's come forward. Says that I was driving the car.

I'm gonna be arrested tomorrow morning.

Now, I need to know from you, I mean, what do you want me to say.

Oh, Sherman-- Maria, darling, I need your advice about something.

Sherman, have you met Aubrey Buffing?

Like so many of us now... until Death itself takes us into his arms and burns us with the fever of living, dragging us like Don Juan into the bonfires of hell.

The voice of the ghost ringing in our ears...

"Repent! Repent!"

Good morning, Mr. McCoy. Be careful with your clothes.

My kid got this Styrofoam shit back there, and it sticks to your clothes.

How do you feel? Well, top notch.

Look, you said this was just a formality, right?

No problem. They promised me.

I told Maria. I saw her last night. In case we need her.

Well, that explains it. She left the country this morning.

You know an Italian painter named Filippo Chirutti, something like that?

Well, I don't know.

I think your girlfriend's got a new boyfriend.

Hey, it's gonna be so bad. This is routine.

I talked to Andruitti again last night, and he promised we'll be in and out of there.

No problem. Nobody's gonna ever know what happened.

We gotta cuff him.

What?

The zone captain's gonna be there. And the press.

Hey, wait a minute. What the fuck? What press?

I talked to Ray last night, and he promised me no bullshit.

This is Weiss. Weiss gave the order this morning.

Well, somebody's gonna pay for this.

I made sure I was there that day.

That day that was going to be so full of revelations.

I was waiting to meet Sherman McCoy at last.

When he finally appeared...

Watch it!

Well, excuse me, but what the hell?!

Who were these people? What were they doing here?

This was my story!

Sherman McCoy was my baby! My creation!

Come on! Give us a statement!

Look at these punks. Get out of here! Come on, get out of here. Come on!

Why'd you hit that kid, Sherman?

Bullshit rains. Put the cuffs on him.

I'm going to jail, aren't I? Let me get out first.

Now listen to me. You don't say anything. Don't cover your face. Don't hide your head.

You don't even know that they're there, okay?

I'm going to jail. Hey, come on!

What do you got to say for yourself? Over here!

Have you ever been arrested before?

Hey, where's your wife? What were you doing up to Bronx, huh?

You ran down Mrs. Lamb's son. Do you have anything to say to her?

Sherman, here, here! Let me take your picture, you shithead!

How do you like this cocktail party, huh?

Sherman! Hey, Sherman!

Hello, Mr. McCoy.

Sherman, Sherman!

Don't make any statements! Don't talk to anybody!

I'll meet you upstairs at the arraignment.

Don't make any statements! Move it! Come on, move it!


Murderer!

Order!

Order! Order!

Quiet! You people sit down!

Shut up!

Sit down. Everybody, sit down.

It's shit!

Mr. McCoy...

You know the charges that are being brought against you?

What?

We want to know how you plead to the charges.

I'm sorry.

I am very sorry. Please forgive me.

Oh, come on! What is that? Order!

I am truly sorry for everything. Please forgive me.

For my life. For everything.

I'm truly sorry.

Shut up, Sherman.

The defendant pleads not guilty.

What?!

Bail has been set at $10,000.

Order, I say! Order!

You people sit down! Sit down!

Your Honor!

Your Honor!

Your Honor...

We do not believe that it will serve the interests of justice to allow this defendent to walk free on a token bail.

Your Honor!

Your Honor, Mr. Kramer knows perfectly well that my client is not gonna go jumping bail!

Given the emotions of this community!

This is patent nonsense. Bail has already been agreed to.

Mr. Weiss himself has instructed me to ask for bail in the amount of $250,000, cash!

Order!

Order!

Mr. Krammer, if your office has any information bearing upon the bail status of this case, I instruct you to make a formal application.

Meanwhile, I'm releasing Mr. McCoy under a bond in the amount of $10,000.

Now, get this sideshow out of my court!

Your Honor.

Your Honor, your action will do irreparable damage not only to the people's case...

Mr. Krammer, I have spoken!

...but to the cause of the people as well.

Mr. Kramer!

It ill-behooves the criminal justice system!

Kindly behoove me no "ill-behooves"!

Your Honor-- Mr. Kramer!

The court directs you to shut up!

The other way! The other way!

He's coming out the back!

Go get him!

Go get him.

Faster, he's getting away!

He's getting away.

So much for my introduction to Sherman McCoy.

Before we could even speak, he'd been swept away.

I began to appreciate the power, the magnitude, the sheer force that had been unleashed by my little story.

Jackals!

These dogs... Come on slow paws!

...yapping at the heels of their prey.

And, my God, I was one of them.

Well, let them have it. Enough is enough.

I summoned what little dignity I had left and decided to go home.

Excuse me. Do you know where I can find a taxi?

Sherman McCoy. Yeah, I know who you are.

What are you doing out here? I need a taxi.

There he is! There's McCoy!

I hear you need to get out of here.

Come on. Come on.

We'll get out of here on the subway.

Come on. Come on!

Oh, I don't usually travel in the subway. Well, me neither.

I think I owe you an apology.

No, no, you were very helpful.

You don't know who I am. It's all right. Thank you.

Listen, I should go.

Where are you gonna go? You're on a train.

Well, I'll just... head around. Here, come here. Come on.

Come on over here and sit down. Come on. Sit down over here.

I'll make sure you get home all right.

You want a hit? No, no, thank you.

Come on. Fuck it.

What're they gonna do?

Arrest you?

Thank you.

Does this train go anywhere near Park Avenue?

Not for about the last million years.

Well, my father rode the subway every day of his life.

Yeah? Yeah.

Of course, he didn't live in the South Bronx, though, huh?

No. No.

Oh, I look terrible.

Huh. You look like shit.

You don't smell too good, either.

I think when I was in jail I pissed in my pants.

Take it easy.

I'm all right.

I just...

I can't think.

Here, cheer yourself up.

Thank you. You're welcome.

And then this newspaper thing started.

Up this Peter Fallow person, everything was wrong.

A total disregard for the truth. Now why did they do this?

This will be your stop here.

Everyone is calling me by my first name, like they know me, like they own me.

The lawyers, and the police, and the newspapers. How did I get to be so important?

You're not important. You're just dinner. Don't you get it?

A week from now, a month from now, these aren't even gonna remember what they ate.

Thank you for everything. Okay.

I should have just called the police right away. Right when it happened.

But I couldn't. You see it really wasn't my decision to make. - What do you mean?

I mean, I wasn't driving the car.

Stand clear of the doors, please.

Sherman, Sherman, wait a minute!

Excuse me. Sherman!

It's going to be fine. Just fine.

Justice!


What do we want? Justice!

What do we get? Racism!

What do we want? Justice!

What do we get? Racism!

What do we want? Justice!

What do we get? Racism!

What do we want? Justice!

What do we get? Racism!

What do we want? Justice!

What do we get? Racism!

What do we want? Justice!

What do we get? Racism!

Hey, it's Sherman! A bravo, everybody! Sherman!

Bravo!

You sly fox! Now, don't you let them newspapers keep you down.

The press, they're are bloody fruit flies, that's all they are.

They swarm, they hover over the feces. Just swipe them out of your face and they're gone.

Yes, but they always come back to the shit, don't they?

I always thought you were such a dull person.

Excuse me.

Sherman, congratulations!

Has anybody talked to you about television, because I think I could do something of you.

I can't promise, I think, you know.

Of course, we'd have to play down the racial thing. - Yes, yeah.

Kind of make you more sympathetic. You know, synpathetic. - Sympathetic, yeah.

Look, I know I'm first on this thing, I'm out of the box a little quick...

...but I wanted to be there before the corpse was cold, you know? - Cold, yes.

Two hundred grand. I beg your pardon?

Fuck my pardon. You're right. Listen to me.

I'll suck your dick for the rights of this thing.

250? We'll do a book, a mini-series.

Half a million. Go to jail, I guarantee it, double!

Hey, is that a great blow job or what?

Excuse me! Come on!

Hey, Sherman!

Oh, Rawlie, hi, hi! Hi.

Sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt anything. Oh, no, no!

Gene asked me to come by. No. Oh, Gene, yes!

I haven't had the chance...

...to talk with anyone yet. He just wants you to know...

...anything we can do.

I should be back down to work in a day or two.

That won't be necessary.

I mean, that's what I came to... That's what I was sent to...

I mean, you don't have to.

I mean, you shouldn't come down.

They don't want you to come down.

Oh! Oh! Jesus, Sherman, I'm sorry.

But between all this and the way you handled Bernard and the Giscard deal...

I mean, $600 million is a... This is final?

Well, the firm feels that...

I'm sorry.

Excuse me.

Judy, what's going on?

This is a dinner party, which was planned weeks ago, if you ever bothered to look into your calendar.

Judy, I mean, under the circumstances--

Yes, I know the whole story. I heard it. I saw it on television.

On television! I'm sorry. Judy, I am. Truly.

You betrayed us, Sherman. Believe me, I...

Me, Campbell, even yourself.

On the other hand, I am going to chair the museum benefit thanks to you and your escapades.

Well, what can I say? Life goes on.

I guess I'm just going to have to make the best of an absoluetely appalling situation...

...and carry on. Judy, please, can you forgive me?

I suppose I can forgive anything, but not... television.

I'm leaving you, Sherman.

After the party.

Now, if you will excuse me, we have guests.

Judy. No, Judy, please!

I'm terribly sorry to bother you, Sherman. Is this a bad time?

Pollard!

No, no, no. The more the merrier.

I've been in touch with the co-op board. Well, most of them.

And we want you to know you have our support.

Oh, thank you, Pollard.

You know, I wanted to die... when I was in that courtroom, and everyone calling my name.

Yes, of course. It's hard to believe.

And then I thought, "I have a gun."

A 12-gauge, pump action.

Sherman, we've known each other a long time.

We went to Buckley together. My father knew your father.

I speak as a friend, but also as president of the board.

I was wondering how I was gonna get the barrels into my mouth.

That's what I was thinking. And then I thought, "Oh, how am I gonna pull the trigger?"

I read about this man who took off his shoe, and then pulled the trigger with his toe.

This can't be a comfortable situation for you.

Is that a gun?

Now, where would I do it?

Oh, and who would find me?

Yes, exactly.

Have you considered... changing residence until things quiet down?

You want me to leave?

Well...

This is my home. I understand that.

I have no safe place to go. People are threatening my life.

I have to protect myself.

There are people demonstrating in front of our building.

Black people with basketballs!

You're putting everyone at risk!

It's not your fault. But that doesn't alter the facts.

Pollard, if you're so fucking scared, why don't you move out?

Sherman, please!

You can start... by moving out of my apartment right now.

I came here in good faith.

Now, out!

- What is happeninng? He's lost it!

Pollard, you were a particular fat blowhard at Buckley, and you're a ridiculous fat blowhard now!

I shall have to enforce the provision concerning unacceptable situations.

Another word out of you Pollard, and you'll have an unacceptable situation right up your ass!

Now, march!

That goes for the rest of you too!

Everybody, out!

I said, get out!

Parasites! Everybody, out!

Out of my house!

Out of my apartment!

Out of my life!

Sherman McCoy is dead!

Sherman McCoy of Park Avenue and Wall Street is gone!

I will never be Sherman McCoy again!

Meanwhile, just a few blocks away, I was being praised and congratulated.

It should have been a very triumphant yours truly at Lester's, but it wasn't.

My little encounter with the real Sherman McCoy was spoiling everything.

The truth has a way of doing that.

Daddy, dinner. We should go.

Yes, of course, darling. Shall we take Peter here along with us?

Lovely.

I want you to pay full attention to this story, Pete.

We look better and better the more we do for the Lamb family.

These poor little Lambs!

These fuzzy-wuzzy little wogs!

Oh, Daddy!

Excuse me, Peter. Yes, Caroline?

Ther's a phone call for you in the office. Oh!

Thank you. This must be that call I was expecting about the story. - Off you go.

I'll see you at dinner. Thank you. Excuse me.

Where's the phone?

I lied.

I wanted to see you alone.

I'm going to do you a favor.

Does this mean I'll finally get into your panties?

You don't deserve this, Peter.

But I'm going to tell you something.

Caroline, I'm with some people right outside.

Relax, darling.

Do you remember my pretty little Italian friend, the painter?

Yes.

Frederico... No, Franco.

Filippo. Filippo!

The shit!

Caroline, you are very intoxicated.

Well...

Filippo has run off with a little slut that you should know about.

Isn't that a little dangerous?

At the very least, unsanitary?

Shut up, Peter.

You're not listening.

Her name is Maria Ruskin.

She was subletting my apartment.

She was also subletting Filippo. And...

As it turns out, she was also in the car with Sherman McCoy when he had his little mishap.

You're joking.

I never joke.

She was in the bloody car.

How do you know all this?

The apartment was bugged.

They had a wire in the intercom.

They were trying to prove that I wasn't living there.

Which I wasn't.

Now, I've lost the apartment and the boyfriend.

You don't know where they are?

No.

I am trusting you to find them.

When you do, will you give them this?

Tell them it's from the little twat who turned them in.

I just want you to thank you for seeing me on such short notice, Mr. Ruskin.

Peter Fallow. Fallow.

Yeah, I don't think we've met. I'm a good friend of your wife.

My wife. My wife.

I'm glad she's not here. I mean, otherwise I couldn't have a drink.

Jacques, a Courvoisier VSOP. Oui, Monsieur.

Put it in a sidecar. Tout de suite.

Where is Maria? Italy.

Every time I turn around, she's in Italy.

Well, you know, she's young. She needs young people.

I'm not stupid. I know what goes on.

Yeah, I'm gonna want to talk to her at some point too.

Call the office. I'll give you her number.

Voilà, Monsieur Ruskin. Thank you.

I'm not supposed to drink, but I love a sidecar.

Willy Norton intruced me to them.

So, you're on 'The City Light', huh? Yes.

We're doing a profile piece of all the new tycoons.

And, naturally, you were one of the first people we thought of.

Good, good. I like that. New tycoons.

So, what do you want to know?

No, no, no, no.

The best one happened a coulpe of weeks ago.

One of my jackass pilot lands long, and the plane goes off the runway.

I was there. I was on the plane.

We were going to Mecca, and the plane is full of Arabs with these animals.

Goats, sheep, chickens.

I mean, they don't go anywhere without their goddamn animals.

We had to put plastic in the cabins. You know, they urinate, they defecate.

Anyway, the plane goes off the runway and lands into that sand with a heavy jolt!

The right wing tip digs into the sand and starts to spin around a complete circle.

360 degrees. I'm scared shitless! Panic!

I look in the cabin. In there, calm, quiet.

They're picking up their luggage, they're picking up their animals, and they're looking out the window at a little fire that just started on the wings.

They're waiting for the doors to open like nothing happened.

Then it dawns on me!

They think it's normal!

They think that's how you stop a plane!

You stick the wing in the sand and you let it spin around until it stops!

They'd never been on a plane before! What do they know?

They think this is how you do it!

Mr. Ruskin?

Mr. Ruskin?

Mrs. Ruskin? Yes?

My name is Peter Fallow. I wanted to express my sympathies.

Oh, how very kind!

Did you know my Arthur?

Yes. As a matter of fact, I was quite close to him when he died.

You know, I have reprobated myself over and over again for not being there.

Mrs. Ruskin, I understand that you're Sherman McCoy's lover.

Excuse me?

And that not only were you with him on the night of his unfortunate accident in the Bronx, but that you were driving the car.

Sherman would never tell you that.

Well, I was hoping you could tell me what happened that night.

Listen, Mr... Peckerhead. Fallow.

I am here for my husband's funeral. Understand?

Now, go away. Disappear. Disintegrate.

Yes, yes, yes.

This story was getting better every day.

I could smell it.

Hell, some of it was even true.

I was back on track. By God, I was a reporter again!

What kind of muckraking yellow journalist are you?!

You print this story without so much as a by-your-leave to me or the Reverend Bacon here.

Now, who the hell do you think you are?

For Christ's sakes, Albert. Just calm down. Please!

You have to keep your voices down.

Look, Albert, Sherman McCoy was not driving the car.

I think I can prove it. So what?

This is our case. Right here. The hospital is the guilty party.

The hospital?

The hospital! A young man comes in with a cerebral concussion.

They treat him for a broken wrist.

That is our case. That is the lawsuit we're going to bring against this hospital.

And that is what we have been working toward all this time.

And you are confusing the issue.

What about Sherman McCoy, Albert?

What about telling the truth?

Congratulations.

You're a reporter again.

But don't forget where your story came from.

That's right. You our boy, Peter.

You take care of us, and we'll take care of you.

And I promise you that is gonna be a very profitable relationship for all of us.

Annie!

Annie!

Annie, I know nothing can heal the wound that you've suffered.

But $10 million in damages will certainly make your grief more comfortable.

Well...

I could use a few things.

I feel that the presentation of my person should be carefully designed.

I think I should have the right wardrobe.

So, if you could have Mr. Fox's limousine pick me up tomorrow morning, I could do some shopping.

Certainly.

I printed the story they wanted.

Why not?

If you're going to work in a whorehouse, there's only one thing to be.

The best whore in the house.

And, anyway, I was beginning to see even greater possibilities in my situation.

Now, they're gonna sue the hospital, you see?

All they want is money.

Can you imagine using a terrible tragedy like this for your own selfish motive?

I know, it really is terrible.

Shut up, you asshole!

Yes, sir.

What is happening to my campaign? The People versus Sherman McCoy?

Where is my issue?

Where is my cause?

Where is my hope?

Abe...

I think we've got to talk to this Ruskin woman.

You... You go to the press. You tell them we're gonna question the woman.

If she is the woman who was in the car, she faces possible charges, etc., etc., huh?

Okay.

And you!

Mr. Wise-Guy-Know-It-All-Shitface!

You are the one got us into this! You're gonna get us out.

You look at me when I talk to you!

You go to this broad. You tell her she's in a whole lot of trouble.

You lay it on! But, but, but...

If she is willing to cooperate, if she will say what we want her to say, then we will grant her immunity.

Yes, sir.

What are you waiting for? Go on, go!

Today?

Her husband's funeral is today.

I don't care if today is her mother's bar mitzvah.

Go to her, now!

Mr. Leach. Yeah.

I understand you've been doing some creative wiring in the building here.

What?

You bugged Caroline Heftshank's apartment, right?

In less than three minutes, I had what I was looking for.

It was more than a story. I had the makings of a book here.

A great book. A prize-winning effort.

All I needed was a big finish.

Have you got the tape? You have it upstairs?

Yeah, I got it. Good.

So, I shipped off a little present to Sherman McCoy's lawyer and I waited for the fireworks.

I don't feel terrifically sexy at the moment.

You know I'm a sucker for a soft dick, Sherman.

Maria, you are incorrigible!

That is me! That's Maria! That is us! Where did you get this?

Shh! Listen!

Now, look...

I suppose we could still go to the police.

We could get ourselves a very talented lawyer.

And put our heads right into the tiger's mouth?

I'm the one who was driving the car, Sherman.

Don't you think I am the one who should make that decision?

And I say no. I say no.

The apartment was wired? It was bugged all that time?

Yeah. Why?

Who in the world would want...? Who knows?

Whoever sent me this tape is either a big fan of yours or a not so big fan of Maria Ruskin's.

Then we have this as evidence!

No, no. This is an illegal tape. Totally illegal.

The guy who did this could go to jail for this.

If this were your tape, it would be legal.

But it's not.

What do you mean if it were my tape?

Well, if you were wired and you recorded your own conversation, then it would be okay.

But there is no way that this tape can be used as evidence in a court of law.

Then what good is it then?

It gave me an idea. What kind of idea?

An idea about what to wear when you go to this funeral.

What funeral?


Please be seated.

And now, in accordance with the wishes of Mr. Ruskin...

Just one second.

...Manny Leerman will play a medley of Arthur's favorite songs.

It's me. Sherman.

# Every time it rains, it rains # Athur, Arthur, Arthur!

# Pennies from heaven #

# Don't you know each cloud contains #

# Pennies from heaven #

Maria. = # You'll find your fortune #

I need to talk to you. Can you come? # Fallin' all over the town #

# Be sure that your umbrella #

Sherman, Sherman. # Is upside down #

I'm so sorry, Maria.

What are you doing here?

I had to talk to you.

Sherman, it seems like you've been doing all your talking to the newspapers these days.

Believe me, Maria, I had nothing to do with it.

We didn't want your name brought up anymore than you did.

I see.

Maria, you have to help me.

But how can I help you?

For this may sound like a strange request, but you could start by... telling the police what really happened that night.

Sherman, you are the sweetest thing.

I'm not sure anybody knows what really happened that night.

Not anymore.

Oh, God!

Oh, God, Sherman!

Oh, God, Sherman! There's something about funerals that is so stimulating.

My panties have been wet all morning.

# Then I'm back on top #

No, no, no. Maria, stop.

What is wrong with you? Nothing.

Why are you all hunched over like this?

Maria, we have to talk. What is this on your back?

My what?

This lump, this thing, this piece of metal. That's my belt.

No, you don't have a belt buckle in the back. That's my belt buckle.

There's some sort of subterfuge afoot here, isn't there? - Oh, don't be silly.

You're secreting something on your body. No, no!

I wanna see what it is! Maria, are you crazy?

Sherman! Stop!

A hidden microphone?! And a wire?!

Sherman! Oh, Sherman!

Sherman...

You rotten, dishonest bastard!

I didn't wanna do this, Maria, but you gave me no choice!

Mrs. Ruskin?

Oh, go away, whoever you are!

I'm so sorry, Mrs. Ruskin. I'm Jed Kramer. I'm with the office of the District Attorney.

District Attorney's office.

My, my, my, Mr. McCoy.

I'd say your goose is just about home-fried.

I have protected you, Maria. I have been a gentleman about this.

I have done by best to keep your name out of the papers. Now, you have to help me!

You have got to do the right thing!

Never!

I hope you die and hang in the electric chair!

Mrs. Ruskin, I apologize for the intrusion, but...

He's gone.

I know. And I'm sorry for your loss.

He just ran out the back door.

Who? Sherman McCoy!

Jesus!

I'm sorry if I alarmed you, but he was acting very strange.

Where are my manners? My name is Maria Ruskin.

Yes. I'm Kramer.

Jed Kramer.

Jed. I'm the, sorry, assistant district attorney, Bronx County.

Oh, I see.

What a handsome district attorney you are too.

We have a lot to talk about now, don't we? Yes, we do.

Yes, because if I'm going to testify, I'm going to need to know what I should or should not say.

You can start by telling the police what really happened that night.

Sherman, you are the sweetest thing.

I'm not sure anybody knows what really happened.

Not anymore.

Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, Sherman!


Ah!

They weren't sure downstairs whether or not you were here.

Well, I...

I usually come up the back way now.

I see. May I?

Yes. Yeah, sure. Yes.

It's all gone. Everything.

Yeah, Judy... Judy's gone too?

Yes.

She moves quickly.

Well, she's got a good lawyer.

I'm not sure I ever really liked her, your wife.

No, no, of course not.

Or this apartment for that matter. For what it cost, for what you paid for it.

Or the furniture-- Or my car, or my job, my clothes, my life, my money!

Christ! You have not come up here... You did not come all the way here on a...

...fucking subway, probably, to tell me that... No, no.

I am not...

I am not, at this late date, gonna get the ethics and morality speech!

Not now! Not when I have to do what I'm gonna do in the courtroom tomorrow!

If you've come here to give me that...

Jesus Christ! No, I'm sorry.

I came here to...

I don't know how to do this.

You didn't call. We wanted to help.

I came to say that we are here for you.

That you are our son and that we love you.

We... I don't mean "we".

I mean "I".

I love you.

That's all.

Please.

Well...

Have you... thought about what you want to do?

Well, there's...

There's only one thing I can do.

I wanna see the truth to come out and burn every one of them.

And there's only one way to do that. and what is that?

Lie.

You know, I have always been a great believer in the truth.

I've lived my life as honestly as I can.

I believe in the truth as an essential companion to a man of conscience.

A beacon in this vast and dark wasteland that is our modern world.

And yet...

Yes?

In this case, if the truth won't set you free, then lie.

Did this incident take place on the ramp to the expressway or on the avenue itself?

On the avenue. Right on the street.

So, was there a barricade, or an obstruction of any kind that forced the car to stop?

No, there was nothing like that at all.

Well...

Just one last question, Mrs. Ruskin.

Who was it who was driving the car when Henry Lamb was hit?

Sherman never let anyone drive his car.

Oh!

So, Sherman McCoy was driving the car.

Yes.

Lock him up! Bang it shut!

Chill, everybody. Chill!

And there it was, my friends.

The end of Sherman McCoy.

It certainly wasn't the ending I was hoping for.

All my work, all my efforts, down the tubes.

My hero was gone, finished.

Maria might just as well have put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger.

She and everyone in this courtroom.

I could see a wave of triumph wash over them.

I could feel them rising like the tide as Sherman sank before them.

The Master of the Universe was going down for the third time.

It was all over.

There was no hope now.

The darkness closed in around him.

And then I noticed the most peculiar thing.

Sherman was smiling.

You people settle down!

I will have you all thrown out!

You are out of order!

Order in here! Order!

Order, I say!

Go on, Mrs. Ruskin.

And I wanted to report the incident, but he wouldn't let me.

He said that he was driving and that it was his decision to make.

And did that surprise you?

Well, I was shocked.

There are certain qualities of virtue that I admire in a human being.

Virtues that I hope I possess myself.

Sherman, we have time for a quickie. What do you say?

I've lost $600 million today.

Possibly my job.

I don't feel terrifically sexy at the moment.

You know I'm a sucker for a soft dick, Sherman.

Maria, you are incorrigible!

I suppose we could still go to the police.

We could get ourselves a very talented lawyer.

And put our heads right into the tiger's mouth?

I'm the one who was driving the car, Sherman.

Give me that tape! Get the hell out of here, you moron!

Order! Order!

Kramer, what are you doing?

Order!

Order in here, goddamn it! Order!

Approach the bench.

Now, gentlemen!

Damn it!

That can't be used.

Whose tape is this? The tape's mine.

If Your Honor please-- Mr. Kramer, shut up!

Mr. McCoy...

I remind you that you are still under oath.

Now... did you record this conversation?

Oh, yes, sir, I did.

I recorded this conversation on this tape.

My tape. This is my tape.

Of my conversation.

I recorded it.

Get out of my face.

All of you!

You can't let them get away with this bullshit!

Order! Order!

Order in the court!

You insist on testing the will of this court?

Now, shut up and sit down!

Very well.

In the case of The People versus Sherman McCoy,

based on the evidence contained in this recording,

I'm ordering the indictment dismissed in the interest of justice.

Justice? Justice?

You call that justice? That's not justice, you racist pig!

Racist? Yeah.

You dare call me racist? Yeah!

Well, I say unto you what does it matter the color of a man's skin, if witnesses perjure themselves?

If a prosecutor enlists the perjurers?

When a district attorney throws a man to the mob for political gain?

And men of the cloth,

men of God, take the prime cuts?

Is that justice?

I don't hear you.

I'll tell you what justice is.

Justice is the law.

And the law is man's feeble attempt to set down the principles of decency.

Decency.

And decency is not a deal!

It isn't an angle, or a contract, or a hustle.

Decency...

Decency is what your grandmother taught you.

It's in your bones.

Now, you go home.

Go home and be decent people.

Be decent.

Mr. McCoy, you're free to go.

No!

I don't fucking believe this.

Shit! Damn!

And so, we come to the end of our story.

That was the last I saw of Sherman McCoy.

The last anyone saw of him.

He was gone... in a blaze of glory.

A hero for our times.

Or as close to a hero as we're likely to get these days.

And now, without further ado, the man of the moment.

The winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and just about every other prize you can win.

Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Peter Fallow!


You see, Sherman, who started with so much, lost everything.

But he gained his soul.

Whereas I, you see, who started with so little, gained everything.

"But what does it profit a man, if he gains the world and loses..."

Ah, well...

There are compensations.