The Player (1992) Script

Quiet on the set.

Scene one, take ten. Marker.

And action!

Joel Levison's office. l'm sorry, he's not in yet. May l take a message?

Mr. Levy, l'll tell him you called. Never say that.

He's either in conference, in a meeting. He's always in.

Who was that? Larry Levy.

Was there anything in the trades this morning? l don't know. The mail's late. Go get them. Now! l want them back here before he arrives.

Griffin, hi. Adam Simon.

We weren't supposed to meet until next week, but-- l didn't know we were. l wanted to plant a seed in your head. l'm booked up. Picture this. lt's a planet in the far future with two suns.

Who plays the sons? No, suns. Large solar disks.

Run this idea by Bonnie Sherow.

The pictures they make these days are all MTV. Cut, cut, cut.

The opening shot of Touch of Evil was six and a half minutes long.

Six and a half minutes? Three or four, anyway.

He set up the whole picture with that one tracking shot.

My father was key grip on that shoot.

What about Absolute Beginners? That was an extraordinary shot.

Never heard of it. lt's an English film.

A Peligrino, please. l've got Calistoga.

Buck, how are you? Good. How you doin'?

Good. What have you got for me? Okay, here it is.

The Graduate, Part ll. Oh, good.

Listen, the three principals are still with us.

Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft, Katharine Ross, 25 years later.

And so are the characters, Ben, Elaine and Mrs. Robinson.

Ben and Elaine are married, still.

They live in a big, spooky house up in northern California somewhere.

And Mrs. Robinson lives with them... her aging mother who's had a stroke... so she can't talk.

Will it be funny? lt'll be funny. Dark, weird and funny.

And with a stroke. Maybe it's not a stroke. l don't know what it is. lt's a malady of some sort.

She's up in the bedroom listening to everything that happens.

They've got a daughter who's just graduated from college.

Twenty-two, twenty-three-year-old, like a Julia Roberts.

Excuse me. What should l do with these scripts?

They go to Bonnie. And find out from security how Adam Simon got on the lot. l want to know. Adam Simon? Okay.

Julia Roberts comes home, their daughter, the graduate.

The new graduate.

Griffin loved it. He wanted me to run it by you. lt's a band of human survivors. Write this down for me. l can't process this. Write it down for me. lt's not about words. You have to visualize.

Jimmy, are you okay? What happened?

Are you all right? My name's Jimmy Chase.

He came out of nowhere, ran right in front of the cart. l never saw him.

That's Adam Simon. How you doin', kid?

Rebecca DeMornay. Actually, you're better looking.

No, l'm not Rebecca DeMornay. You're a dead ringer.

Thank you very much.

Do you know where Joel Levison's office is?

The head of the studio? lt's moving. lt'll rip your heart out.

This is the area where we make decisions to give a green light to a picture.

We're going to go 17 stories high. We'll continue to use all Sony products.

Domo arigato to the Sony products. lf you need someone to eat sashimi with you, give me a ring.

The traffic from Malibu was impossible.

Good morning, Joel. Sandy, park the car, please.

Good morning Marty, Annie.

What are the Japs doing here? What's this talk about heads rolling?

The bank's putting screws to us. Goldman's son is coming out from Boston. l don't like it.

Reggie Goldman's a pipsqueak. You can't be serious.

Some changes are going on here. That's always the way. lt happened at Paramount three years ago.

Columbia's going through it now. l hear we're looking to replace Griffin.

Griffin? l don't believe it. With whom?

Burke or Patrick. Maybe Larry Levy. l want to know why the security is lax. l'll talk to you later. l'm in the middle of a pitch.

Listen, go ahead. lt's a TV star who goes on a safari. A TV star in a motion picture?

A TV star played by a movie star. A movie star playing a TV star.

Michelle, Bette, Lily. Dolly Parton would be good. l like Goldie. Great, because we have a relationship.

Goldie goes to Africa.

She's found by this tribe. Of small people.

She's found and they worship her. lt's like The Gods Must Be Crazy except the coke bottle is an actress.

Right. lt's Out of Africa meets Pretty Woman.

She has to decide whether to stay with the TV show... or save the tribe.

Where's Griffin Mill's office? Right here.

You're Martin Scorsese! No, but l know Harvey Keitel. l know you do. l loved Cape Fear.

My old man worked for Hitchcock.

Rope. lt was a masterpiece.

The story wasn't any good. He shot the whole thing without cuts. l hate all this 'Cut, cut, cut!'

What about Bertolucci, the great shot with Winger in Sheltering Sky? l didn't see it.

l've been here since 8:00. l took a chance getting you this job.

Who were you with? l was with Alan Rudolph.

What were you doing with him? He asked me to have coffee.

You're my assistant. You don't get involved with writers. l wasn't getting involved. l was listening to this amazing idea he had.

That's interesting. What's your pitch?

Does political scare you? Political doesn't scare me.

Radical political scares me. Political political scares me.

This is politely politically radical, but it's funny. lt's a funny political thing. And it's a thriller, too, all at once.

-What's the story? -l want Bruce Willis. l can talk to him. lt's a story about a bad-guy senator.

He's traveling around the country on the country's dime, like Sununu did. lt's a cynical, political thriller comedy.

But it's got heart in the right spot. Anyway, he has an accident.

And he becomes clairvoyant, like a psychic.

So it's a psychic, political, thriller comedy with a heart.

With a heart, not unlike Ghost meets Manchurian Candidate.

Go on, l'm listening. He starts reading people's minds.

And when he gets to the President's mind it's completely blank.

Can l get you anything? l'd like a beer, please.

We don't have beer. Red wine, please.

Someone gets killed at the end. They always do in political thrillers.

Griffin Mill's office. Can you put him on?

May l ask who's calling? l'd like to speak to Griffin Mill.

He's in a meeting right now. l can take your name and have him get back to you.

Excuse me? He'll get back to me?

Do you know how often l've heard this? Who is this? lf he doesn't get back to me-- Who was that? l don't know. He didn't say. What do you mean? l don't know how you'll cast it. The lead is a 50-year-old circus performer.

Let me read the coverage.

Are we still having lunch with Aaron Camp?

What time? l made it for 1:00.

Bad day? He's having writer's block.

You have a meeting with Hutter and Frank South this afternoon at 3:00. l'll be here. Put this morning's meetings on the computer. Thanks.

Are you going now? l'm going to see Levison.

Order me a Caesar salad and a Crystal Geyser.

About 5:00? Thanks, Sandy.

Hi, Sandy.

You can't go in there! He's in a meeting. lt's all right, Celia. l don't think you've met Reg Goldman. You know his father Harvey.

Yes, of course. Hi, Reg. From the bank in Boston.

Reg is out here for a few weeks. Great. Business or pleasure?

A little of both, l hope.

Reg is thinking of producing.

Really?

Yeah. Beats work, doesn't it, Griffin? l'd like to play some tennis. Do you play tennis?

Tennis? No. l'm too busy. l was asking Walter.

Do you know Meg Ryan? ls she seeing somebody?

Yeah, Reg. She's married.

Shit.

What about Winona Ryder?

You know, actually, Walter is the guy to talk to.

Walter's got everybody's number.

Was there anything? No. You're real busy. l want that number, goddamn it. l want that number.

Oh, boy. What about this one? Has she done anything?

Celia.

Griffin, don't ask.

Don't ask, you don't know? Or don't ask, l don't want to know?

Just don't ask. lf it's Reggie Goldman you're concerned about, forget it.

But be nice to him. He represents a lot of money to this company. lt's not Reggie Goldman l'm worried about. lt's Larry Levy. Larry Levy?

Larry Levy's at Fox, isn't he?

Come on, Celia.

There's a call for Celia on line one.

Should l be looking for a job? Celia, are you there?

Joel Levison's office. Oh, Brad. Yeah.

What?

No, we couldn't sign Angelica Huston for that. She's booked for two years.

Like a ghost story, but it's not like Ghost.

lt's a supernatural thing.

Joel, Griffin Mill. A friend of Jennifer's.

No. You're Griffin Mill? Really?

Good to see you. l'm a big fan of yours. l have that tie. You do?

Did you order for me?

Hi. Lunching with the enemy.

Oh, come on.

So what's this we hear about Larry Levy?

Larry Levy? lf he had half a brain, he'd be dangerous.

Aaron says he's coming to the studio.

Aaron says? Why would you believe anything he says?

He said it with authority.

He's over there with Angelica Huston and John Cusack.

He's in over his head. He's gonna drown over there.

He's the golden boy at Fox these days.

Did you see that thing on him in Variety last week?

Two pages.

Angelica, Griffin Mill. Good to see you. You're looking great.

Johnny, Griffin Mill. A big fan of yours.

You gonna be in Telluride this year? Probably in Park City.

Great. We'll see you there.

What's happening with Glass Box? Let's not talk about Hollywood.

We're educated people.

l'll call you later.


Talk to somebody about this. What?

You've gotten 5 postcards in 2 weeks. Seven, actually.

Why don't you talk to Studio Security? l should call Walter Stuckel and say what?

'Someone's sending me poison letters and l would like for you to make me... the object of more ridicule now that things are really shaky for me here.( l don't think so. l think they're coming from a writer.

Which one? Take your pick.

ls there anything else? Yes, your attorney phoned.

He wants you to attend a party at his house tonight.

Tell him l'm at a screening. Not that attorney. lt's Dick Mellen.

What time?

Cocktails at 7:30, dinner at 8:00. Bring a date.

And Bonnie Sherow is here to see you.

Send her in. Oh, here she is.

Can we go to the Springs this weekend? l want to have a massage, a long soak in a hot tub... and have Margaritas administered intravenously. l have a party at Dick Mellen's. You want to come?

God, movie stars and power players.

And Vodka. Sure. lt'll be an early dinner, and we'll go to my place afterwards.

Can we? Yeah.

Brokaw looks like he has absolutely no intensity.

Ted Koppel looks loose, and he goes after it... and he digs in.

Hi. How are you?

Marlee, this is Bonnie Sherow.

She read Tales of Fury. l loved it. l thought it was wonderful. l think you're perfect for Ariel. You're perfect for the part.

We're going to make a couple changes in the third act.

You should set up a meeting.

Yeah, sure.

You have my number? Absolutely.

Excuse me. l'm going to say hello to those people.

Don't talk about script changes at parties. lt was good of you to come. Don't you look beautiful!

You know Bonnie Sherow. Of course. How are you?

Tri-Star, right? She's at the studio.

That's what l meant. Bring Mr. Mill a martini. And, Bonnie? l'll take a Ramlosa. l'll have a martini.

Rod Steiger's here.

Talk to him about the Rudolph project.

He's not that hot on it, but see if you can get him to read it.

You know who's here? Harry Belafonte. Harry?

Come and say hello, will you?

Griffin Mill. Hi. Good to see you.

Bonnie Sherow. She's gaga over you. l'm a big fan of yours. l saw you accept the Nelson Mandela Courage Award.

Who was the villain in Ghostbusters?

You got me there. l got this--

l got this postcard. Harassment kind of stuff.

What are you talking about? lt's some writer l must've brushed off.

Get something to eat. There's lovely stuff over there.

We will in a few minutes.

Your hands are as cold as mine.

Would you like one of these? l don't think l do.

Are you talking about threats?

No. Yes. l don't know. He's pissed off. l thought writers were your long suit. You're the writer's executive.

Are you pitching me a dream?

You don't sound sincerely interested. lt depends how good the dream is.

Levy's here.

Dick, what's he doing here? Goldblum? He's a friend.

No, Larry Levy. He came with Sally.

What's going on with my job?

Everywhere l look, Larry Levy is in my face.

Larry Levy is a comer. That's what comers do, they get in your face.

You're a comer, too. You can handle it. Stop worrying about him.

So the rumors are true?

Rumors are always true.

-l'm always the last to hear about them. -You're the last one to believe.

Am l out?

You're not out, but you'd better start thinking about a roommate.

Relax, you can handle this. You can make it work for you.

Larry? Dick. Sorry to crash your party.

Do you know everybody? l will before the night's out.

You will, indeed.

Great party, Dick. Good. Did you get some food?

Listen to this.

'He lifts her dress. She kisses him harder.

He puts his hands in her underpants. She grabs his shoulders.

He pulls her dress above her waist. He rubs against her wide, soft belly.

Slowly he pushes her panties down to her knees. She's faint with passion.

She arches her back and he lowers her down onto the buckboard.

The horses snort and whinny. They, too, feel her passion.

The camera moves in on the nostrils of the horse... as the buckboard begins to shake.(

God! Do you believe that? Steve recommended that script.

He says they're hot for it at Universal. They're gonna have a bidding war. l heard a pitch today. lt wasn't bad. Stuck on a story point, though. l'm a story editor. Go. New York City, big advertising agency.

An account executive makes a presentation to a potential client.

The client promises to get back to him.

Does it have to be advertising? That's not the problem.

The account executive keeps waiting for the client to call him back... to tell him what he thought of the idea, if he got the job or not.

But the client never calls.

The account executive gets so pissed off and frustrated, he becomes obsessive.

He decides to drive the client crazy. What does he do?

Sends him threatening postcards. lt's not important.

Here's the problem. How long do you think... the account executive harasses the client... before he becomes dangerous?

Does it have to be advertising? How long? lf it were me--

One month?

Three months. No, more. Five months.

To be dangerous, five months. That's what l thought.

Who's the writer? l don't know.

You don't know the writer who pitched you the idea? l don't know his name. lt's a couple kids.

TV writers.

Can we go to bed now? l'm starting to wrinkle.

See you tomorrow afternoon. Absolutely.

Burt, Larry Levy. l hope you don't remember me, and if you do... l hope there are no hard feelings, l was working for Gassner then.

Take care.

Who was that? An exec over at Fox.

Was until breakfast, anyway.

Good morning, Mr. Mill. Hi, Susan. How are you? l'm with Joel.

Hi, Burt. Griffin Mill. Good to see you.

Hi, Charles. How are you?

Asshole. One of a breed.

Actually, he's not. There's a whole breed of them. They're breeding them.

Joel, you're losing your touch, scheduling meetings so close together.

That guy didn't have time to finish his breakfast.

He'd already eaten. Gets up early.

You went to Mellen's last night. Take this away, please. Yes, l did.

How is he? l'd like a Vitelle water.

He's fine.

You left early. Why?

We had to work on the museum party. l will not work for Larry Levy. l'm not asking you to. l report to you. lf l have to report to Larry Levy, l quit.

You can't quit. l won't let you quit.

You have a year and a half on your contract. l'll sue you for breach... if you don't show up in the office every day, with a smile.

Why Levy?

Levy was available.

He's good on material, you're good with writers.

We're a team. He's a new member of the team, that's all.

He can make us all look good.

This is a wine glass. Can l have my water in a water glass, please?

Well? l'll have to think about it. l want an answer this afternoon. l have to go out to Palmdale.

The director of Lonely Room is giving Lily a hard time. l'll be back around 5:00. So call after 5:00. l'll get back to you.

...you haven't died. See, he's still hanging on.

Griffin, Joel Levison on line 2. l'll put it through. l'll get back to him. Tell Joel you'll get back to him?

Yeah. l want to hear what he's got to say.

How did this get here? The mail.

But this does not have a postmark. This was hand-delivered.

Not to me. lt came with the mail.

Jimmy?

Do you know anything about this? Who delivered it? Where it came from?

Mail room?

But l want to know how it got to the goddamn mail room.

Find out and get back to me. Okay, sure.

You go with him. You want me to go to the mail room? l want you to go to the mail room. And while you're there... l would like a copy of The Lonely Room rewrites... in white pages, no color.

Find out how this got in my mail. Yes, sir.

You'll get your own phones? l can get my own phones.

Son of a bitch! Five months.

One, two, three, four, five.

Richard Fueller. David Lucas.

Cal Winstrom. David Kahane. Sammy Tettleton.

lncoming.

lncoming. Unreturned calls.

Bill Lyndstrom.

Nancy Franklin. Wouldn't be a woman.

David Kahane.

Lyndstrom.

Strategic Planning. Wouldn't be him.

What was that other guy's name?

Kahane.

Kaltrime. Kahane.

'Unproduced.' Gotcha!


Hello. Hello. ls David Kahane there?

David!

l'm sorry. l forgot. He's gone out. Who's this?

This is Griffin Mill. Oh, the dead man.

What did you say? Oh, nothing.

About me being a dead man? Just a nickname David has for you. l see. That's a funny nickname. l suppose your husband doesn't like me very much. l don't have a husband. l suppose David doesn't like me very much.

David's gone to the cinema.

When will he be back? When the film's over, l presume.

And you are?

June. June?

Here we go. You want to know my last name.

No one can pronounce it. Try me.

Gudmundsdottir.

Gudmundsdottir.

How's that? Very good.

Thanks.

What do people usually say? Don't ask.

Anything from Good Dog's Water to Goulash Wallop.

You English? Yep.

Well, no, not really.

Where are you sort of not from?

Do you want the long story or the short one?

The long one. No, you'd never believe it.

The short one's lceland. lceland? l didn't know anyone came from lceland. l thought it was just a block of ice. lt's very green, actually.

Really? l thought that was Greenland.

No, Greenland's very icy. lceland's very green.

They switched names to fool the Vikings who tried to steal their women. l see.

No. Blue sea.

Red sea.

No red. You're a painter.

How did you guess?

What movie did David go to see?

He went to the Rialto in Pasadena. He always goes there.

What's showing?

Bicycle Thief, l think. lt's a good movie. Have you seen it? l don't go to the movies.

Why not?

Life is too short. l've got to hang up now.


David Kahane!

You have the wrong guy, man.


David Kahane. Griffin Mill.

Griffin Mill.

Yeah?

Great movie, huh? lt's refreshing to see something like this after all these cop movies... and, you know, things we do.

Maybe we'll do a remake of this. You'd probably give it a happy ending.

No, we'd keep it pure.

Pure, right.

You want to write it? Don't fuck with me. l'm not fucking with you. Didn't l say l'd get back to you?

Yeah, about six months ago. l thought you'd forgotten.

You were angry.

Maybe.

Do you want to talk about it?

Okay, sure. Great.

Let's let the studio buy us a drink.

lf you don't mind a place where you don't have any suck with the maitre d'. l know a bar down the street. Let's go.

Have you ever been to Japan?

Yes. l was there once on a location scout with Steven Spielberg. l lived there for a year.

Student year abroad. l wish l'd done that. l think about it a lot. l'll never forget it.

You should write about it. l did. Don't you remember?

What?

My idea about the American student who goes to Japan.

That was my pitch, the one you were supposed to get back to me on.

You don't remember, do you? Of course l remember.

You never got back to me.

Listen. l was an asshole, all right? lt comes with the job. l'm really sorry.

l know how angry you must've been. l'll make it up to you.

That's why l'm here. l'm gonna give you a deal, David. l won't guarantee you l'll make the movie, but l will give you a shot.

Let's just stop all the postcard shit, all right? l'm here to say that l would like... to start over.

Friends.

Fuck you, man. You're a liar.

You're stepping over the line.

You didn't come here to see The Bicycle Thief.

You came in five minutes before the picture ended.

Nearly tripped over my feet.

Did you call my house?

Speak to the lce Queen?

You'd like her. She's a lot like you.

All heart.

You're on my list, pal. Nothing's gonna change that.

See you in the next reel, asshole.


lt's a nice boat you got there, movie exec. lt's me, the writer. Still want to buy my story? l told you l'd deal. Stop by the studio. We'll work something out.

And who will l ask for?

Larry Levy?

What's Larry Levy got to do with this?

How do you know about Larry Levy? Don't you read the trades?

New York Times business section? He's movin' in, you're movin' out.

You can't make a deal, they say. Yesterday's news.

Wait a minute.

Can l borrow your mobile phone?

Larry Levy. Larry, David Kahane here.

Guess who's making promises about getting pictures made... to writers in parking lots?

Guess what dumb son of a bitch executive... is trying to take advantage of me?

Do you realize how unstoppable this guy is?

You know, l cannot wait... to tell the world that when Griffin Mill can't cut the pressure at work... he drives out to Pasadena... to pick fights with writers.

Tell Larry Levy to call me.

The word is out that he's going to start making meaningful pictures for a change.

Let's forget this. Just stop all the postcard shit! l don't write postcards! l write scripts!

We're both wrong. No, you're wrong, buddy!

You're in over your head. That's why you're losing your job.

Then what are you gonna do? l can write. What can you do?

l said, let's forget this.

Ah, shit.

Mill, you okay?

Keep it to yourself!

Keep it to yourself!


Kahane?


That's interesting. Who's writing this movie?

Who wrote the new ending to Fatal Attraction? The audience.

A million screenwriters from the audience wrote that.

Who's to say what it would have done if you had left the original ending?

You're right, but you can say that it's done almost 300 million worldwide... with the new ending.

Larry Levy, l don't believe you've met my assistant, Whitney Gersh.

No, l haven't. lt's a pleasure to meet you.

How's your picture? lt just tested last week. lt's doing well. lt was our first test.

Excuse me, Walter.

Joel, Griffin isn't in, but l think we really have to start this meeting.

Okay, Celia. Thank you.

Remember a movie called D.O.A.?

Sure l do. Eddie O'Brien and Pam Britton.

Disney did a remake in '87 or '88. l think we've got pretty much the same situation here.

Keep our noses clean, Walter.

lt's a shame to waste a picture.

Who said we're wasting the picture? Where did that come from?

You know what's interesting? We're all too busy--

Griffin, you're really late. They're waiting inside.

To actually rub shoulders with the great unwashed?

We need to give them the kind of pictures they want... not the kind writers want to give them.

Hello. Sorry l'm late. You certainly are.

A few minutes in the office would be fine.

Griffin, you missed the formal welcoming ceremony.

You know Larry Levy.

Of course. Hi, Larry.

Hi, Griffin.

Larry was able to leave Fox a week earlier than he thought... and has come aboard as of this morning.

Great. Let's start. Larry was in the middle of something.

No, l wasn't. l was just killing time waiting for Griffin.

No, finish. What were you saying? l was saying l've yet to meet a writer who could change water into wine... and we have a tendency to treat them like that.

Not at this studio.

A million and a half of these scripts. lt's nuts.

And l think avoidable.

Let me ask you. When was the last time you bought a ticket to see a movie?

You actually paid your own money? Last night.

Pasadena. The Bicycle Thief.

You saw The Bicycle Thief? l love that. lt's a great film. lt's an art movie. lt doesn't count. We're talking about movie movies.

Jesus, people. l'm just saying there's time and money to be saved... if we came up with these stories on our own.

Where are these stories coming from? Anywhere. lt doesn't matter.

The newspaper. Pick any story.

'lmmigrants protest budget cuts in literacy program.'

Human spirit overcoming human adversity. Sounds like Horatio Alger in the barrio.

Put Jimmy Smits in it and you've got a sexy Stand and Deliver.

Next. Come on. This isn't my field. lt doesn't matter. Give it a shot. You can't lose here.

How about 'Mud slide kills 60 in slums of Chili'?

That's good. Triumph over tragedy. Sounds like a John Boorman picture.

Slap a happy ending on it, the script will write itself.

Bonnie. Give me the paper. l don't know, Larry.

Give it a shot.

'Further bond losses push Dow down 7.15.' l see Connery as Bond. That's funny. lt's a good thing Oliver Stone wasn't listening to you. Where would we be?

We would have been spared sitting through Wall Street.

What did Wall Street do worldwide? 70, 75, maybe 80.

$80 million, a couple Oscars. l think Larry's point is well taken. Let's move on.

Can you give us an update on the Taylor-Hackford project?

Griffin?

Yeah. l was thinking what an interesting concept it is... to eliminate the writer from the artistic process. lf we can get rid of the actors and directors, maybe we've got something.

Hello, Walter.

Make yourself at home.

Mr. Mill, l understand you were late coming in this morning.

You all right? l'm fine. l appreciate your concern.

What can l do for you?

Don't tell me you came here to pitch me a story?

That's exactly what l've come to do. lt's a good one, too. lt's about a writer, sort of.

David Kahane.

Who's David Kahane?

You met him. l meet a lot of writers.

But this writer was murdered last night in back of the Rialto Theater.

Murdered?

Come to think of it, Pasadena's as good a place to die as any.

What's the story? ln 25 words or less? Okay.

Movie exec calls writer. Girlfriend says he's at the movies.

Exec goes to movies, meets writer, drinks with writer.

Writer gets conked and dies in 4 inches of dirty water.

Movie exec is in deep shit.

What do you think?

That's more than 25 words. And it's bullshit.

Pasadena homicide doesn't think so. They've got a complete report.

You met Kahane at the Rialto, got drunk with him. He left before you.

That's the last time anyone saw him alive, except you, maybe.

Why are you denying this?

Well, what do the police think?

They think it's a botched robbery.

The window of his car was busted. He surprised someone taking the radio.

There was a fight, he was killed. l didn't kill him, Walter.

But l went to see him. l know l said l didn't, but l did.

Why'd you lie to me?

Now's not a very good time for me.

Haven't you heard the rumors? l'm on my way out.

Just what l need, a little more controversy. lt's not a good time.

Look. l'm in charge of studio security in every definition of the word.

Which means it is my job to take care of a studio executive should he be... under suspicion of murder at a time when profits are down... and the company is vulnerable for a takeover. lt is my job to keep this very, very quiet!

Do you want to help?

Of course. Then stop lying.

How many times did you meet with him? Once.

Not counting last night. Not counting last night.

Why'd you go all the way to Pasadena to meet him?

He had an idea l was interested in. l wanted to talk to him right away.

Was his girlfriend a friend, too? Think fast.

Jesus Christ, Walter. What is this?

The third degree. Wait until the police start asking questions. l'll go to the police now. You come with me.

You're acting like someone who's guilty.

You're not guilty, are you? l'm not a murderer.

Bad news?

What?

The fax. ls it bad news?

Business as usual.

The Hollywood system did not murder David Kahane.

Not the $98 million movie, not the $12 million actor.

Not even the million dollar deal that David Kahane never landed.

The most that we can pin on Hollywood... is assault with intent to kill.

Because society is responsible for this particular murder. lt is to society we must look... if we are to have justice for that crime.

Because someone in the night... killed David Kahane.

And that person will have to bear the guilt.

And if David were here now... l know in my heart that he would say...

'Cut the shit, Phil.

What did you learn from this? Did you learn anything from this?(

And l'd say, 'Yeah, David, l've learned a lot.

We here will take it from here.

And the next time we sell a script for a million dollars... and nail some shit-bag producer to the wall, we'll say...

That's another one for David Kahane.(

David was working on something the day he died. l'd like to share it with you.

'Blackness. A mangy dog barks.

Garbage can lids are lifted as derelicts in the street... hunt for food.

Buzzing, as a cheap alarm clock goes off. lnterior. Flophouse room. Early morning.

A tracking shot moves through the grimy room.

Light streams in through holes in yellowing window shades.

Moths dance in the beams of light.

Track down along the floor. The frayed rug.

Stop on an old shoe. lt's empty.(

That's as far as he got.

That's the last thing he wrote.

So long, Dave.

Fade out.

Thank you.

Who are you? You're not a writer.

No, l'm Griffin Mill.

We spoke the night David--

Blue sea, white sea. Yes. lt turned out you were right. What? lt was a red sea.

Oh, yeah.

You're the only person l know here. l'm really sorry about David.

He was a talent.

You really think so? l always suspected he was... uniquely untalented. lt's nice of you to say that. lt was nice of you to come. You didn't have to. l did.

You know, l was probably the last person to see him alive.

The police told me.

Not quite the last, surely.

l'm sure this is a terrible time for you. ls there anything you need?

No, really. l don't feel bad. lt's like when my parents died. l didn't feel anything at all. They were just gone. l'm sure it hasn't sunk in yet.

That was years ago.

No, l meant David.

Oh, God.

These people. l don't like it here.

They're all expecting me to grieve and mourn. l can't talk to them.

David's gone and l'm somewhere else already.

Will you take me home? What?

Will you take me home?

Sure. l'm right here.


These are very interesting. l like them.

Would you like a drink? No, thanks.

Where do you show? What gallery? Who's your dealer? l don't have a dealer. l couldn't sell these. They're never finished. Biccy?

No, thanks. They're never finished?

No, they're just what l do for myself.

What l feel.

You ask lots of questions, Mr. Mill.

Just like the police. That's all they did, ask questions.

They asked me a lot about you.

Did they?

How long we'd known each other. lf you'd ever been to the house before.

They have to ask those questions. l don't see why.

Because that's what police do.

Can l ask you a question? Sure.

Why was it so important to see David that night?

What was so urgent?

He pitched me a story a few months ago.

The Japan story? Yes, the Japan story. l liked it but it needed work, especially the ending. l was sitting in my office... and it suddenly occurred to me how to make the ending work.

So what was it?

What?

Your idea for the ending.

Up.

Up? What does that mean?

As opposed to down. Moods.

You know, happy as opposed to sad. Hopeful as opposed to depressing.

What did you think of his ending? l never read it.

You never read it? Nope. l don't like reading.

Do you like books? l like words and letters.

But l'm not crazy about complete sentences.

What did he think?

He walked out on me. l don't think David liked me. l think he just didn't like happy endings.

Put your face here.

Great.

What are you doing? You aren't going to paint me, are you? l might put you in one of my paintings.

There's one l want to do of an lcelandic hero.

He's a thief and he's made of fire.

You might not like that. Why not?

Because you're in the movies... and in movies you can't have thieves as heroes, can you? l don't know about that. We have a long tradition of gangsters in movies.

Yes, but they always have to suffer for their crimes, don't they?

We should pay for our crimes, shouldn't we? l think knowing you've committed a crime is suffering enough. lf you don't suffer... maybe it wasn't a crime after all.

Anyway, what difference does it make? lt has nothing to do with how things really are.

Do you really believe that? l don't know what l believe, Mr. Mill. lt's just what l feel.

You know what you are, June whatever-your-name-is?

A pragmatic anarchist. ls that what l am? l never was sure.

Can l just pick this up?

Oh, it's heavy. Thirty-seven ounces.

Really? Look. l want to thank my mother, her mother and her father's mother who--

Hello.

Meet Detective Susan Avery. How do you do? My partner.

Willa Broom. My pleasure. Let's go in here.

This is the first real movie studio Detective Avery's been to.

Really? Aside from the Universal Tour. l always take my family there when they come. l've been there so often, l feel like l'm ready to direct.

You'd probably do better than the film grads these days. l'm sorry l didn't call you when l heard Kahane was dead.

Heard or read? Read.

Why didn't you? Walter asked me the same question. l wish l had a better answer. All l can say is l didn't think about it.

How did you know where he was gonna be?

His wife told me-- Girlfriend.

Girlfriend.

Girlfriend. l didn't know either of them. l was restless, thought l'd see the movie. lf he was there, l'd talk to him about a job l thought he was good for.

You got to the theater, saw him and?

We had a drink at a Japanese place. lt was a wild, incredible scene. lt was like Tokyo.

He left before you. Why didn't you leave together? lt was an incredible scene. l was having a great time.

Why didn't you stay longer?

People stopped singing. Then it was just a bar and l don't drink.

You drank with him. When in Rome--

Did you know him socially? Been to his house?

Know anything about him personally?

We'll let you get back to work now.

What's bothering you?

Well, l just have to ask.

Did you see him in the parking lot after you left?

No, l parked on the street. l drive a Range Rover... so l feel safer when it's visible.

Who's gonna smash a window if it's on the street? lf you had a shitty car, you would've parked in the parking lot? lf l had a shitty car, l might be a dead man.

Somehow l think you're too lucky for that.

Thank you.

Okay, 63, take three. Marker.

Now.

Action!

No, goddamn it, you listen to me! l've been around a while. l got a nose.

This situation stinks. lt stinks of the company.

That's right, Peterson, the fucking ClA. Ever heard of it? lt's the kind of operation--

You don't understand what he's trying to go for here. lt's hard to listen to your argument when you don't understand.

Would you shut up, please? Kiss my ass! l have to cut. My robe cut on the drawer.

For Christ's sakes! l like this guy. He's great.

Waters? Can l have some Volvic, please?

Yeah, he's great. l heard the police came to see you about this dead writer.

Who was this guy? His name was David Kahane. l never heard of him. We ever hire him for anything? l was thinking about it.

He pitched me a story. l went there to talk to him about it.

Jesus. Poor bastard. Just when his ship comes in, some bastard blasts him--

Jesus. Poor bastard. Just when his ship comes in, some bastard blasts him-- l don't want to criticize you... but l'm supposed to be talking on the phone.

Are the cops still bothering you?

No. No, l don't think so. Let Stuckel handle it.

We'll give them passes to a screening. They can sit behind Michelle Pfeiffer.

They'll leave you alone.

A guy named Joe Gillis called.

He wants you to meet him at the St. James Club at 10:00 on the patio.

Never heard of him. He said you'd know him.

Anybody know who Joe Gillis is?

He's a character William Holden played in Sunset Boulevard.

The writer killed by a movie star. Gloria Swanson.

Oh, that guy. Last week he said he was Charles Foster Kane.

A week before that it was Rhett Butler.

Why would they think l would kill my own sister's husband? l was in love with him.


Griffin? Griffin. Malcolm McDowell, good to see you.

Listen. The next time you want to badmouth me... have the courage to do it to my face.

You guys are all the same.

You love it there? l love it. lt's wonderful.

You love your career, don't you? What is it? lt was a complete disaster. Look what happened in Heaven's Gate.

We both are concerned... about your career.

Where l live, l know how people think and feel.

Montana will end you. lt ended Cimino in Heaven's Gate.

Griffin Mill, hi. Andy Civella. Andy, how are you? l've got Andie MacDowell sitting over here. You know her. She's so hot.

Come over and meet her. Still living in New York? l couldn't live here. l'm allergic to happiness.

Andie, it's good to see you again. How are the kids?

Great, thanks. He's wonderful, thank you.

You geniuses know each other. Tom Oakley.

Yes, Hi, Tom. How are you?

Funny. l just saw Malcolm McDowell. Really?

Roddy McDowall is related to a cousin of my brother-in-law.

Well, l'm not related to either one of them.

lf l write it, l direct it.

The last three pictures you directed were bombs!

Thank you for the drink. l've got to go.

You've got to go? We'll walk you to the car.

No, it's okay. Don't worry about it.

We'd like to buy you a drink. l can't. l'm meeting someone. Business.

-We should tell him about Habeas Corpus. -Of course, but he's a busy man. ls there anyone waiting for me? No one's asked. l'm expecting someone. l'll be out by the pool.

But he'll get back to us. Right, Griffin?


Oh, sorry.

Jesus, Andy, it's you. Of course it's me. l can't ask you to join me. l told you. l'm meeting somebody.

Yeah. You're meeting me. We got some big business.

You? You?

Why not me? You think this is fucking funny?

What are you talking about?

Wouldn't she make a great Nora? l'd love to write another Doll's House for her.

Did you meet Tom Oakley?

Yes. You mean you didn't call me? No, l didn't call you. l'm sorry. l'm really sorry.

Listen, l really am meeting somebody.

There's no way l can hear a pitch right now. Call me tomorrow.

No, l can't do it tomorrow. l've got a meeting at Paramount and Universal.

Congratulations. lf you don't hear it now, you'll lose. Then l lose it. lt'll take 20 seconds. When your friend gets here--

What friend? Whoever you're gonna meet.

Twenty-five words or less.

Absolutely. You sit here, Tom. Go.

The D.A. is at a moral crossroads. Tom! Jesus Christ.

We open outside the largest penitentiary in California. lt's night. lt's raining. A limousine comes through the gate... past demonstrators holding a candlelight vigil.

The candles under the umbrellas glow like Japanese lanterns.

That's nice. l haven't seen that before. That's good.

A lone demonstrator, a black woman, steps in front of the limousine.

The lights illuminate her like a spirit.

Her eyes fix upon those of the sole passenger.

The moment is devastating between them.

He's the D.A. She's the mother of the person being executed.

You're good! l told you he's good.

Go on.

The D.A. believes in the death penalty.

And the execution is a hard case. Black, 19, and definitely guilty.

The greatest democracy in the world, and 36% of people on death row are black.

Poor, disadvantaged black.

He swears the next person he sees to die... will be smart, rich and white.

You, me, whoever. What a hook! Beauty hook.

Cut to the chase.

Cut from the D.A. to an up-market suburban neighborhood.

A couple have a fight. He leaves in a fit, gets in a car. lt's the same rainy night.

The car spins out and goes into a ravine.

The body is swept away.

When the police examine the car, they find the brakes have been tampered with. lt's murder, and the D.A. decides to go for the big one.

He's going to put the wife in the gas chamber.

But the D.A. falls in love with the wife.

Of course! But he puts her in the gas chamber anyway.

Then he finds that the husband is alive.

That he faked his death.

The D.A. breaks into the prison, runs down death row... but he gets there too late.

The gas pellets have been dropped.

She's dead. l tell you, there's not a dry eye in the house.

She's dead?

She's dead. She's dead because that's the reality.

The innocent die.

Who's the D.A.? No one.

No one?

No stars on this project. We're going out on a limb on one.

Like unknown stage actors... or maybe somebody English like what's-his-name.

Why? Why?

This story is too damned important to risk being overwhelmed by personality.

That's fine for action pictures, but this is special.

We want real people.

We don't want people coming with any preconceived notions.

-We want 'em to see a district attorney. -Bruce Willis.

Not Bruce Willis or Kevin Costner.

This is an innocent woman fighting for her life.

Julia Roberts. lf we can get her.

We can! lf l'm perfectly honest, this isn't even an American film.

lt's not? No. There are no stars.

No pat happy endings, no Schwarzenegger, no stickups... no terrorists.

This is a tough story, a tragedy in which an innocent woman dies.

Why? Because that happens!

Habeas Corpus.

That's what we're calling it. 'Produce the Corpse.' What do you say?

-That pitch was more than 25 words. -But it's brilliant! What's the verdict?

Mr. Mill, for you. Who gave this to you? l received it at the front desk. What is it?

lt's from the person l was meeting.

He's not coming.

Do we have a shot? lt's an intriguing idea. Give me a call at the studio tomorrow.

There's a scene in Throne of Blood that has exactly the texture--

Tom, just say thank you. She has to die! No Hollywood ending.

Tom, say thank you!


Fuck! You fucking dog-shit writer! You fucking tried to kill me!


Oh, God, you gave me such a scare!

What are you doing here?

You gave me such a fright. Come in.

Come on in.

What's the matter? You look terrible.

What's up?

Sit down. l'll get you a drink.

Something happened. ls it too late? No, it's not too late. l don't even know what time it is.

What's wrong?

What are you painting? ls that me? Yes, it's you.

See?

Do you have snakes in lceland?

Snakes? No, l don't think so.

Are you afraid of snakes? l don't know. l've never come close to a real one.

They scare the shit out of me.

Have another. l don't usually drink.

Something happened tonight.

Yes, but...

there's something else l have to tell you.

This isn't easy for me.

Yes?

How about if l just get on with my work... and you talk to me when you feel like it, okay?

l came very close to dying tonight.

All l could think about was you. l don't even know you... but you came into my mind.

l couldn't think of anything else.

Remember that first night we spoke on the phone?

l was outside these windows watching you and--

lt was so exciting.

So new.

Strange.

l can't get you out of my mind.

Are you making love to me?

Yes, l guess l am. l guess l am.

l want to make love to you.

lt's too soon.

lt's too soon, isn't it? lt's so strange how things happen.

David was here... then he left.

You arrived.

Maybe it's just the timing, but l feel like... l would go anywhere with you... if you asked.

But we mustn't hurry things.

We can't hurry things... any more than we can stop them.

l think you better go now. l think l'm going to cry now.

You better go quick.

l'm sorry.

No, no, don't be sorry. Just go home... and get some sleep.

Call me... tomorrow. lnvite me on a proper date. l'd like that.

Jan? Jan! Get me Larry Levy on the phone. l don't think he's on the lot. Try his car. lsn't he at Fox? He used to be. Not anymore. l pitched him something a few months ago. He hated it.

That Griffin? Yeah.

Larry, Tom Oakley and Andy Civella are here. l wouldn't bother you... but you should hear their idea now.

Hi, guys Hi, Larry.

The voice you'll hear has an English accent. Tom Oakley. l'm Andy Civella.

Hi, Andy. l know Tom. How are you?

Very well, Larry. And yourself?

Fine. What's your story?

We open outside San Quentin. lt's night. lt's raining.

A limousine enters through the gate, past demonstrators... holding a candlelight vigil.

The candles flicker under umbrellas glowing like Japanese lanterns.

A lone demonstrator, a black woman, steps in front of the limousine.

Her eyes connect with the lone passenger. lt's a devastating moment. lncredibly potent.

No stars. No Schwarzenegger. No pat Hollywood endings.

No car chases. This is an American tragedy... in which an innocent woman dies.

Because that happens. That's reality.

Take me off the speaker phone.

l don't know. lt's a really hot story. But what is this bullshit, no stars?

Let me give you a little tip. Levison came to power on two movies.

He made $300 million with no stars in them.

He will love this idea. lt'll remind him of his youth.

His motto used to be 'No stars, just talent.'

Has anyone else heard this? l don't think so.

Make a deal now.

Tomorrow may be too late. Can we get ahold of Levison?

Yeah, l'll get Levison. When can you be back?

After my AA meeting. l didn't realize you had a drinking problem. l don't really, but that's where all the deals are being made these days. See ya.

Tom, that was a hell of a pitch.

Good work. l think you sold Larry.

Great! When will we hear?

Go home, put some champagne on ice. l'll give you an answer by tonight.

Jan, come here.

You move in mysterious ways, but l like it.

Did Levy understand? No stars.

Yes, he was particularly attracted to that notion.

No Hollywood ending? No Hollywood ending.

They looked happy.

They have a completely fucked-up idea that has no second act. lf l hadn't heard it myself, l never would've believed it.

Larry Levy liked it because he's a dickbrain.

Levy will sell the idea to Levison.

Then l will let Levison have the brilliant idea... of letting Larry take over the project from me.

You will?

Levison can't wait to get in bed with Levy.

This piece-of-shit idea will blow up in both their faces.

And then l will step in and save the day.

Yes!

Three points.

Great shot!

She's receiving the last rites.

The D.A. discovers that the husband faked his own death.

She's innocent. He races to the penitentiary, but it's too late.

The pellets have dropped. She's dead.

He helped kill the woman he loved.

Who are the stars? No stars, just talent.

No stars?

What the fuck kind of ending do you call that? lt's depressing.

Depressing? Terms of Endearment, Love Story, Steel Magnolias?

E.T. grossed $319 million worldwide... and there wasn't a dry eye in the house.

Depressing? l don't think so. Yeah, but--

Normally l'd agree with you, but this is an entirely different kind of deal. lt is a matter of taking the risk, rolling the dice.

But if they come up 7, bingo! lt's Oscar time.

Do they screw? Who?

The D.A. and the woman. Do they screw? lf l'm going to be looking at jail cells and gas chambers, you need some sex.

Sure, of course. We'll get it there. No problem.

Who's gonna shepherd this thing?

Larry, you seem to have a good feel for this. You want to run with it?

This project originated with Griffin. Bonnie. l don't want to dance at somebody else's wedding. lf it's Griffin's project, it's Griffin's.

We should-- Bonnie, this will have to be my call.

lt's fine with me.

My plate is full anyway.

Larry, it's yours. Hit a home run, win an Oscar for the home team.

Griffin, l've got something else for you. New York tomorrow.

Tom Wolfe's new book will be in a room at the hotel. Read it and make your bid.

Send Bonnie. She'll know if it's a movie. lf it is, the bid's a million.

Me? A million! That's high, isn't it? lt's Tom Wolfe. Why not you? l'm a story editor. That's a vice president's job.

You don't want to be a vice president? Bonnie, pack your bags.

Congratulations. That was the most amazing piece l've ever heard. lf you don't want the responsibility-- No, l'm going. l really want to be one of your soldiers. l'm glad you're on the team. Bonnie will be gone. l'm here for you.

Whitney, now!

Frank, Marty, come in.

May l have a word with you? l have a meeting.

Find the time. What is going on? What do you mean?

Handing Larry Levy your project. l thought Larry had... a firm grasp on the style of the piece.

The only thing Larry Levy has a firm grasp on is his dick! l'm not Oz, l can't do everything.

Why shouldn't l use Larry if l think he has what it takes to get a picture made?

That way everybody wins. Why are you bullshitting me? l'm not! You never used to bullshit me. l know you. You've been stringing me along.

Habeas Corpus, Griff. Habeas Corpus.

You've been stringing me along like one of your goddamn writers.

Why get Levison to send me to New York? Are you trying to get rid of me?

Get rid of you? l'm trying to help you. lf you score in New York, Levison has to make you a vice president.

Jesus, are you afraid of success?

Are you seeing someone else?

That's what this is about? Not just this. lt's a lot of things. lt's the way you've been acting. Something is going on.

Jesus Christ.

You're not even looking at me when you're talking to me.

Please look me in the eyes and just tell me.

No bullshit. ls there someone else?

Have a good trip.

Our top story this evening involves Hollywood's three favorite G's.

A glamourous, glitzy, gala night on the town. lt is a who's who of stars.

No l.D.s necessary, household names one and all.

Leeza Gibbons reporting here.

Right this minute you could fire a cannon down Sunset Boulevard... and not come close to hitting a celebrity.

Everybody who is anybody is right here rubbing elbows... and making big talk in this ballroom.

All the movers, the shakers, behind the scenes and on the screens.

Leave it to Cher to wear red... when the impossible-to-come-by invitations... call for 'black and white only, please.'

Hi, Terry, nice to see you.

June Gudmundsdottir, Teri Garr, Buck Henry.

The occasion this evening, as big and important as the all-star turnout.

The studio, world-famous for the slogan 'Movies, now more than ever'... is donating prints of 25 of its classic black-and-white films to the museum.

Now they'll be able to say, 'Movies, now more than ever forever.'

Thank you. lt's wonderful to see so many familiar and friendly faces around.

As you know, the L.A. County Museum has always been close to our hearts... and especially the motion department.

Motion picture department!

We're happy to make possible this donation. l'd like to introduce a man whose idea this all was.

Griffin Mill, please.

Thank you, Joel.

Grab another drink.

l'd like to extend my thanks... to the patrons of the Los Angeles County Museum.

You have long fostered the art of motion pictures... as a serious and valuable art form in this community.

Many people across the country and around the world... have for too long thought of movies as a popular entertainment... more than serious art. l'm afraid a large majority of the press supports this attitude.

We want great films with long shelf lives.

We want the films of the new John Hustons...

Orson Welles, Frank Capras.

We and the other major film studios have a responsibility to the public... to maintain the art of motion pictures... as our primary mandate.

Movies are art, now... more than ever.

Thank you.

Griffin, that was a hell of a job. Couldn't have done it better myself. l'll know all of your lines soon.

Well, are we having fun yet? l'm having a great time.

'Griffin Mill, the writer's enemy. l'll get back to you'

ls this a friend of a friend?

Sorry? How did you meet?

We met at a funeral. lsn't that right? Absolutely. Excuse us.


Don't make a scene.

That's what l call a real date.

Should l come in?

Well-- Well?

Not tonight, but soon.

Very soon.

How about Mexico? Mexico?

Neutral territory. Acapulco. l've never been there. We'll go. ls that the thing to do? That's a thing to do.

Let's do it then. We'll go this weekend.

Really? Yeah.

Do l need a passport? Yes.


Mr. Mill, l'm Detective DeLongpre, Pasadena police.

Yes, l recognize you.

Did you have a good time at the party last night?

No, l didn't. l'm not supposed to have a good time when l'm on duty.

Great. What do you want?

Come down to the station. Why?

To look at some pictures. Pictures?

Mug shots, like in the movies.

Ah, mug shots! All right.

Will you follow me to Pasadena? Pasadena.

Will you fasten your safety belt, please?

No! Take your hands off of her! l want my baby. Where's her baby?

Mr. Mill! Hello, how are you?

Good to see you. Everybody, this is Mr. Mill. He makes movies.

Have a seat.

Where the fuck is he going? Excuse me. Mr. Mill?

Not in here. This is my lieutenant's office. Have a seat here.

All right.

Willa, could you? Your desk? Thank you.

Sorry. Have a seat, Mr. Mill.

Before we start, Paul saw a movie last night.

He raved about it.

What was the name of that movie? Freaks.

Have you seen this? Tod Browning. Yes.

One of us, one of us.

He came in doing that. He was raving about it.

He loved it. lt was thrilling for me. Willa?

Did you see where the tampons went? l can't find them. l didn't take them. Did he take them? l don't know. Who did?

You see this? Damn!

Do you have a break in the case? What makes you say that?

Well, why else would you bring me here?

Why else, indeed. Paul?

Paul, why have we brought Mr. Mill in here today?

To look at some pictures.

Pictures.

Could you, if you remember, what were you wearing that night? l was wearing a double-breasted suit, l believe.

Just-- lt's all right.

What's the matter? You're so jumpy. Sit down. l'll get it. No, that's what she's here for.

Have a seat. Sorry.

Will you take a look at this?

Where were they? She found them. You're right.

Wait a minute. No, these aren't mine.

These are slender regular. These are yours. l guess you have jumbo. l use jumbo. These aren't mine.

God, just trying to help you out.

Did you see this guy the night of the murder?

Sorry.

No, l, l-- You're putting me in a terrible position here. l would hate to get the wrong person arrested.

Please! This is Pasadena. We do not arrest the wrong person. That's L.A. ln L.A. they kick your ass and then they arrest you. We don't do that here.

Remember last year? What was that guy's name they put on tape?

What was that? King.

He was the wrong guy.

Do you have a witness? l can't answer that.

Either you have a witness or these are suspects in similar murders.

Have you been going to detective school?

No, actually we're doing a movie called Lonely Room.

Scott Glenn plays a detective like yourself. ls he a black woman? Don't give me turkey.

Actually l was drawing the comparison not based on race or gender.

Speaking of which, did you go out with June--

What is that woman's name? Gudmundsdottir.

What is it?

Who-- Spell it for me.

G-U-D-M-U-N-D-S-D-O-T-T-l-R. That really helps.

Did you go out with June-- Gudmundsdottir.

Yeah, her, last night? Yes, l did.

Have you known each other long?

No. l spoke to her for the first time the night Kahane was killed.

Wow. So you didn't know her before. No, l didn't.

We met over the phone. We got to talking and one thing led to another.

Did you fuck her?

What kind of question is that? l think it's pretty direct.

Did you fuck her? l wouldn't answer that without a lawyer in the room... and then l probably wouldn't even answer that question.

Why don't you ask your friend? He's followed me. He'll probably know.

All right.

Did Mr. Mill fuck June 'Hutmahuter'? l didn't see him.

See? You got away with it. What are you implying? l'm not implying anything. l asked you a direct question. Did you fuck her? l said l wouldn't answer without a lawyer.

Why are you getting angry? Because you're being rude.

Excuse me. But l think it's soon for her to be gallivanting with you. l'm there for her as a friend.

Why don't you call her? l'm sure she'd be happy to pick over this horror... and tell you how we became friends.

What is this, fucking lran? Since when does the State... tell us how long and with whom we can share our grief?

Or do you hold June Gudmundsdottir... to a special code reserved for women?

What the fuck are you laughing at? lt's just-- l'd like to talk to my lawyer.

One of us, one of us.

lt's time to get a good lawyer. l had a drink with the guy, Walter. That's all. lf you went to Pasadena with intent to kill, you could go to the gas chamber. l went to Pasadena with the intent to hire.

So you say.

The Schecter brothers are here.

Griffin, don't make us wait.

Who is this man? The travel agent called.

You're confirmed. Travel agent? l'm going to Puerto Vallarta.

You're leaving the country. For the weekend. lt's a risk. Why?

Because Larry Levy could have my office in three days.

That's what Walter thinks. You know something l don't know?

You're pretty smooth. l sleep at night.

You really should run a studio. Tell a friend.

Walter, it's been real.

We're tired of shuffling things around. We want to go exclusive to one studio.

How much have our last pictures made? $105 million.

Some do better but we're under budget. He's not listening. Go to Columbia.

We already went to Columbia. Oh, yeah. What did they say?

Hey, l got the Tom Wolfe book.

Congratulations.

Bonnie, make him give us a deal. We want a home.

We're tired of shopping everything around. l thought that's how you guys liked to do business.

We changed our minds. l'll talk to you later.

Levison says you're going out of town tomorrow.

For the weekend.

Are you going with someone named June something?

Yes.

You took her to a party with several hundred of my best friends.

She's recently widowed.

You weren't in town so l took her.

And now you're taking her to Mexico for the weekend.

Let's leave. Mom and Dad are fighting. Guys.

Have your lawyer give me a call. You've got a deal.

-Let's leave before he changes his mind. -We have witnesses.

Have a good trip.

''M' The worst crime of all'


Did you bring your passport?

Wanna hear something funny? l forgot. We'll have to go back and get it.

So stupid of me. We'll never be able to make another plane. Damn it! lt's all right. Anyway, l got a better idea. Do you like the desert? l've never been. l know this great hideaway.

We'll go there. lt's a two hour drive. l know the people. We'll call ahead.

Are we hiding?

Yes, we're hiding from everybody.

You'll like it there. lt'll remind you of lceland.


Good evening, Mr. M. You're checked in. Capone Villa. You know where it is.

Yes. Thanks.


Look! The water looks like it's steaming.

Comes out of the ground that way.


There aren't many people around.

They're fully booked, actually.

There's 50 rooms, 100 people. Where are they all?

Hiding.

Sir? Two Banning Springs waters, please.

Right away.

Do places like this really exist?

Only in the movies.


Tell me about the movies you make.

Why?

Because l want to know what you do. l listen to stories and decide if they'll make good movies or not. l get 125 phone calls a day... and if l let that slip to 100... l know l'm not doing my job.

Everyone who calls wants to know one thing.

They want me to say yes to them and make their movie. lf l say yes, they think that come New Year's... it will be just them and Jack Nicholson on the slopes of Aspen.

That's what they think.

The problem is l can only say yes... my studio can only say yes 12 times a year.

And collectively we hear about 50,000 stories a year.

So it's hard.

And l guess sometimes l'm not nice... and make enemies.

That's what l was to David.

Enemy.

Was his story one of the 12? No, it wasn't.

Why? lt lacked certain elements that we need to market a film successfully.

What elements?

Suspense, laughter, violence...

hope, heart...

nudity, sex...

happy endings.

Mainly happy endings.

What about reality?

You're not from lceland, are you?

Did l say that?

Why don't you put me in the hot springs and see if l melt?


l love you. l know.

There's something you have to know, something l have to tell you.

That's all right. Nothing can change that.

June, David's death. lt's in the past.

Don't. lt's another life.

There's something you have to know.

Don't say any more. Don't. l was responsible. l love you. Don't! lt was my fault. Don't say that.

Don't, don't. l love you.


Mr. M., l'm sorry disturb you. There's a phone call and it sounds important.

Who is it? Dick Mellen. He says he's your lawyer.


Dick, how'd you find me?

Come on, who the hell do you think you're talking to?

Yeah. What's going on?

Levison's out. Out?

He's cleaning out his office. Who's taking over?

Nothing's been decided. We only know Reggie Goldman went home with the clap.

Am l in a position to--

No studio politics. Why didn't you tell me about this Kahane business?

Kahane? l tried to, but--

You didn't try hard enough.

You better be at the Pasadena police station in four hours.

Pasadena? What for?

For a fucking lineup. They got a witness evidently. l found you a guy. His name is Gar Girard.

He's a topflight criminal lawyer. He's tough, hard-nosed.

Don't talk to anybody else. Just get there. l'll be there. This is a tough one. Good luck.

Mr. Mill, the studio's very upset about the publicity this might generate. l'll handle the press, police, judge and the witness.

Thank you for coming without a fight. lt's in your best interest.

Did you sleep in that suit? Get away from her. She's the enemy.

Susan, l had a lovely time. l can't believe you remembered.

Mr. Mill, Gar Girard. l'm here to represent you.

Dick Mellen called me in on this. Here's the situation.

They've got a witness and want you to do a lineup. lf you say no, they'll arrest you.

Even if you get identified, l'll get you off on bail.

This witness lives across the street from the parking lot.

Even if she makes an identification... a positive l.D., it was very late at night.

By the time l'm finished with her, we'll have a new legal standard for blindness.

This is like they do on TV.

Don't worry. You can see them, but they can't see you.

Just tell the truth. l saw him clearly.

Fire it up.

Number one, step forward. Make a quarter turn to the right.

Are those prescription glasses? You can't ask her that. lt's very hard, you know. Yeah, l know. l wouldn't want to pick the wrong one. No. God forbid.

Just take your time. Anybody look... vaguely familiar?

Well, you know--

Take your time.

This is not easy. lt never is. l am trying. Yes, just take your time.

And l did see him clearly.

l don't-- Look hard. Take a good look. l did. l am.

Um, could l see number three again?

Call number three. Wait.

Could l-- Could she call her own numbers?

Excuse me, excuse me. Thank you.

Which number? Number five.

Susan, l think she can call who she's interested in.

You're right. No, the other one.

That one.

Which one? lt's not number six. Not number six.

Three. What do you mean number three? l think she can request who she wants to see.

Wait. You want to see what number? Him.

That's him! l'd swear on my mother's grave.

Number three.

Number three? Number three.

Number three on her mother's grave.

We heard what she said.

Yeah, l would say so.

Take them out. Number three. Thank you.

Ma'am, may l be personal? Where the fuck is your mother buried?

Let's get out of here.

l don't know who got to that witness. She wrapped up my case picking that cop.

You're a lucky man, Mr. Mill. Goddamn, no ramp again!

Witnesses can't be relied on. Remember Witness for the Prosecution?

Marlene Dietrich and Tyrone Power?

You're free as a bird. No witness, no crime.

That Avery woman thinks you got away with murder.

Everybody does, Mr. Mill.


Our Father who art in heaven... hallowed be Thy name.

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done... on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread... and forgive us our trespasses--


You have made a wonderful movie. lt's perfect. lt's Oscar time, Larry.

What?

Too late. Come on.

Get back!


What took you so long? Traffic was a bitch.

lt's outstanding. The audience will love it.

You sold it out!

How could you let him sell you out? What about truth? Reality?

What about the way the old ending tested in Canoga Park?

Everybody hated it. We reshot it, now everybody loves it.

That's reality. But you had an ending which was true.

Who is this person?

Doesn't she know anything about working with grown-ups?

Bonnie, goddamn it. This is a hit. This is what we're here for. lt didn't have to end this way. l want you out of here. Good thinking, Larry. l'm going over your head, Larry.

Bonnie, you're fired.

Fuck you! lt takes more to make it in this business than a dirty mouth.

The campaign.


lt's very important. l must talk to him.

He's very busy. Please? lt's me, Bonnie. We're friends.

You don't understand. l am not just me, l'm also the job.

Please? Please?

All right. l'll try. Okay?

Walter, stop that nonsense!

Griffin, it's Bonnie.

She's here.

Did Levy fire her? Yes, sir, l guess he did. l can't see her now. l promised l'd be home early.

Tell her l'll get back to her.

Get your foot off the fucking couch. Tell her yourself.

Yes. Could you hold, please? Griffin, it's Larry Levy's--

Please! Griffin, please, can we talk about it?

Bonnie, l know you'll land on your feet. lt's Larry Levy's office. He says it's very important.

Give it a minute, then transfer it to the car phone.

Yeah? l have Larry Levy on the line.

How did the screening go? How's my new ending?

Fantastic! Worked like gangbusters. That's why you get the big bucks.

Yeah. Stop kissing my ass. What do you want? Can't this wait? l don't think it should. This is hot. You should hear this writer's pitch.

We should go for this great idea. Who's the writer? l'll put him on the speaker. Hold on.

Hi, Griff. Remember me? l'm the asshole who was in the postcard business.

You. The king of suspense. You remember. l haven't heard from you for a while. l've been busy writing a script. Give him the pitch.

You'll love this. lt's great! lt's a Hollywood story, a real thriller. lt's about a shit-bag producer, studio exec... who murders a writer he thinks is harassing him.

The problem is, he kills the wrong writer.

Now he's got to deal with blackmail and the cops.

But, here's the switch. The son of a bitch gets away with it.

Larry, get off the speaker. l want to talk to him privately.

Sure. This is a winner.

He gets away with it? Absolutely.

A Hollywood ending.

He marries the dead writer's girl and they live happily ever after.

Can you guarantee that ending? lf the price is right, you got it.

Guarantee that ending, you got a deal. l guarantee it.

What do you call this thing? The Player.

The Player.

l like that.

What took you so long?

Traffic was a bitch.