Where the Truth Lies (2005) Script

Downloaded from YTS.MX Official YIFY movies site: YTS.MX


ANNOUNCER (OVER SPEAKERS): Live, until they drop dead ...

(AUDIENCE LAUGHS)

...from the beautiful Carlou Theater in the heart of sunny Miami Beach, Florida, it's the Veterans Day Polio Telethon!

And now, please welcome your hosts the beautiful, the talented, Lanny Morris and Vince Collins!

(BAND PLAYING FUN JAZZ MELODY)

(APPLAUSE AND CHEERING)

Do you realize, Lanny, we have to present ourselves in front of these lovely people for the next three days?

Oh. Hello, lovely people for the next three days.

-Look at you. You're a disgrace. -What?

Look, your hair's a mess, your shoes aren't shined, your shirt's not pressed.

Look at your tie. It's not even straight.

Look at yours. It doesn't even clip on.

AUDIENCE: Oh!

Now...

I'm upset.

You know what happens when I get upset.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. No, no, no. Please. Please don't hurt me, Vince.

I've had a terrible day already. All sorts of bad things have happened.

I don't wanna be hurt again.

-Oh, you've been hurt already, have you? -Yep, it hurt bad.

And what happened, pray tell?

-Want me to pray or want me to tell? -I think you better pray.

(LAUGHTER)

-I saw this stranger... -I don't know whether you're singing or speaking.

(IN SING-SONG) * Leave my pad

(PHONES RINGING)

* And I said, "Baby, what explanation do you have?" *

There's always a woman involved.

* And she said, "Hmm"

-Next time? -Next time.

* And I said "There will be no next time"

That's what you said last time, Lanny, and the time before that.

* That was the last time for me You have to make sure there's no first time, then there can't be a next time.

* Said there'll be no next time Or a last time.

* That was the last time for me *

Let's hope so, Lanny.

Lanny Morris, ladies and gentlemen.

(MELLOW BLUES PLAYING)


(COOL JAZZ PLAYING)

(TIRES SCREECH)

(HORN HONKS)

VINCE: My manager sent me over some of your work.

It's funny how you're really in them a lot.

Whenever I read one of these interviews where the writer says, "This is how I felt the morning I woke up to meet the pope"

"This is how I felt when the pope greeted me, "and how he reminded me so much of my friend Mike"

I always think, "Who the fuck is Mike?"

So who are you?

KAREN: I was a young journalist with a few awards, a couple of cover stories and a desperate need to prove myself.

If you look through my work, you'll see I try to present a balanced view of my subjects.

I leave the conclusions to the reader.

I'm not sure we like balance.

Or leaving the conclusions to the reader.

I'm used to being publicized, not analyzed.

It would be your words.

We'd publish it as a transcript.

My questions, your answers.

If you say it, I can use it.

If you don't, I can't.

And they're gonna pay me a million for this?

An excerpt will be published in a magazine as a way of amortizing the investment they'll be making in the book.

They're looking for some...

...provocative stories for the first issue.

Any thoughts on what these provocative stories might be about?

The breakup. Why Lanny and you split.

And the girl.

Maureen.

What happened to Maureen O'Flaherty.

KAREN: No one had ever been able to pin Lanny Morris or Vince Collins to the girl's death.

All that was clear was that Maureen was found dead in their hotel suite.

(CLICKING TYPEWRITER KEYS)

It was unthinkable to me that Lanny and Vince could have had anything to do with it.

They were my heroes.

GIRL: "The reason I consider myself to be a miracle girl

"is because I had the good fortune

"to meet Lanny and Vince when I was sick.

"Their love of life is what gave me hope

"and it's hope that gives us the power to live."

Thank you, Lanny.

Thank you, Vince.

(APPLAUSE AND CHEERING)

LANNY: Come on, let's hear it for her.

LANNY: Denise handled publicity for the polio foundation.

And it was her idea to plug the girl's story on the telethon.

The day before, it was my idea to plug Denise at the Miami Versailles Hotel.

LANNY: You can tell a lot about a woman by the way she acts when you're having sex and room service comes in.

See, some girls will sit up and light a cigarette like there's nothing funny in the world about her being naked.

It's obvious we were in the process of screwing so why not let a complete stranger into the room?

Come on in.

Oh, then there's the kind that will pull the sheets up over their head and act like they're asleep.

Where would you like it, sir?

Sweetheart, wherever you'd like it.

Then, of course, there's the ones who scrunch real flat thinking that the bed will look empty.

With Denise, it was kind of hard to tell which way she'd go.

Can I have your autograph, Mr. Morris?

Sure.

Should I make it out to Maureen?

I mean, your autograph on the bill.

Okay.

I mean, I'd love to have your autograph.

And maybe a few minutes of your time.

I'm a huge fan and well, I was thinking about writing an article on you for my campus paper.

I'm the editor.

Any interview requests go through me, honey.

You know, it's just a college paper.

Thank you.

No, thank you.

Thank you, Maureen.

LANNY: I say goodbye to Maureen, knowing I'd see her again close the door and then turn to look at Denise thinking, "I know this girl from every college town we have ever played."

They're called career girls.

The absolute easiest lays in this great nation of ours.

Now, since you're reading this, you'd be interested to know that my favorite catches were the intellectuals.

They'd be the ones in the straight black dresses, severe black hair.

Your basic neurotic, eyeglasses, cool jazz, liberal

"I'll fuck any black guy as part of my personal apology

"for racism in America" type.

Anyhow, on this particular night, we're in a club in New Jersey it's the '50s, and I'm mingling with the crowd.

Now, when I say "mingling," what I mean is I was scouting for who I would sleep with that night.

Didn't matter if the girls came with dates.

That was Reuben's job. Reuben is my valet.

I never figured out how Rueben helped them get rid of their dates but they were always gone by the second show.

Reuben could clean up any situation.

Excuse me, miss. May I say that I think you have the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen.

Thank you.

Notice I say, "I think you've got the most beautiful eyes I've seen." that's because I haven't actually seen them yet.

I've been too busy staring at your cans.

(LAUGHTER) Now, Lanny.

GIRL: I can't believe he just said that.

That is completely unacceptable.

Madam, I do apologize.

I apologize, ladies and gentlemen for my friend's behavior.

You cannot speak that way to a perfect stranger.

LANNY: Look, her husband's not offended.

-VINCE: He's not? -No, of course her husband's not offended.

Her husband's not here. This lucky guy is her boyfriend.

And even he's not offended, and do you know why?

Well, I can certainly hazard a guess.

What the hell is hazard a guess?

For chrissake, Vince, this is America.

We don't say, "hazard a guess."

We say "yes" or we say "no."

MAN: Well, I say "no" to you, Morris.

Excuse me, sir? Could you repeat that?

I don't think the entire audience heard you.

Go back to where you came from, bastard!

LANNY: I get hecklers all the time, but this schmuck came off personal.

Where did he think I came from?

Bastard! Bastard! He called me a bastard.

Now, it doesn't show from the front, Lanny.

Now, please, would you kindly not mount me? It's very disagreeable.

LANNY: Vince plunges straight into quoting some lines I wrote from a song from our first motion picture.

I happen to be honored to work with this jerk LANNY: Is that a compliment?

VINCE: I never frown with this clown LANNY: Never, never, never.

I get a kick from this...

(LAUGHTER)

...friend of mine.

Fine, but don't give the mike to this kike.

AUDIENCE: Oh!

-Well... -WOMAN: Just relax.

VINCE: It's not often we get topped by a member of our audience, but tonight, this gentleman has done the near impossible.

What is your name?

It's Joe.

Joe, we were just wondering if you'd be a great sport and help us out on stage. What do you say, folks?

(APPLAUSE)

Go on, Joe.

Joe here is going to play a crazy high school professor who's about to give Lanny and I our final high school exam.

So if you'll just excuse us while we help Joe change into his crazy-professor outfit.

Lanny, a little costume-changing music if you please.

(LANNY SINGING)

* I'm just a gigolo

* And everywhere I go Step this way.

I'll have a quiet word with my partner about the way he spoke to your wife.

JOE: Completely unnecessary.

Just this way.

* There will come a day

* When youth will pass away

* What will they say about me?

(VINCE GRUNTING)

(JOE GROANING)

* Life goes on without me You call any Jew on this planet anything you like.

But nobody calls my partner a kike. Do you understand?

(SAXOPHONE PLAYING SOLO)

LANNY: Boffing ladies and bashing gentlemen.

I tell you, there was nothing under the sun Vince and I wouldn't do for each other.

Are you finished?

MAN: Thank you, Mamie.

I'm sorry about that, Miss O'Connor.

We just needed to be sure you didn't take any notes.

Lanny gave me very specific instructions on that point.

I don't understand why he'd want me to read this.

Why would he ever want anyone to see this side of him?

When you contacted us about meeting Lanny for your book, it wasn't simply a question of letting you know he wasn't interested in speaking with you.

I believe my client wanted you to understand that he, in fact was completing a book of his own which would serve not only as his autobiography but also as the definitive account of the joint careers of Morris and Collins.

You've had, at first hand, a sample of Lanny's writing voice.

Yes, I have.

Such a book, Miss O'Connor this raw, this honest would make your own efforts look...

Well, there's been some very nice translations of the Bible over the centuries, (CHUCKLES) but they would run a very poor second in popularity to the discovery of the actual Ten Commandments.

BONNIE: Single best part about teaching grade two is the difference between the bright ones and the dumb ones isn't so obvious.

What's so great about that?

The results of my work as a teacher aren't so depressing.

Also, there's no homework to correct in the evenings and... well, none of the kids know how to use drugs.

KAREN: Bonnie had come from New York to visit me that summer.

We'd been best friends since kindergarten.

At school we started the Lanny and Vince Fan Club raising almost $200 for that year's telethon.

ANNOUNCER: All of you send in a bit of your allowance.

Just a little bit. A dime, a nickel, a penny.

Every bit helps.

LANNY: The goal of the telethon that year was $3.9 million, which was a lot of dough at that time.

Thank you, Tom. You're a prince among men.

VINCE: Whoa, whoa, Lanny. There are children watching!

Where does he get his energy?

LANNY: To remind viewers of the goal we agreed the telethon could run 39 hours nonstop.

The show would begin at 9:00 p.m. on Friday and finish at noon on Sunday.

We paced it so that Vince and I were together for the kickoff, most of the day Saturday then the big finale on Sunday with us bleary-eyed and weeping as America got ready to go to church.

Lanny, Lanny. What are you doing?

I'm ordering a pizza. I'm starving.

No anchovies on mine, Lanny.

Hey, so who are you talking to?

I'm talking to little Suzie from Whittier, California and she is going to donate three weeks of allowance.

-How about that, folks? -ANNOUNCER: Suzie from Whittier, thank you.

-Thank you. -Three weeks of allowance.

Surely, that's a challenge for all you...

LANNY: See, what you have to understand is that Vince and me were essentially a boy-girl act.

I was the tramp, ready for any sort of action and Vince was the gentleman always trying to make me behave myself.

I was pleasure, and he was control.

I was rock 'n' roll, and he was class.

His presence gave America permission to like me.

KAREN: My deal with the publisher gave me first-class travel a luxury I'd never enjoyed.

Is there any chance of switching to a window seat?

Sorry, we're completely booked in first.

But these center seats are really wonderful.

See...if you push here.

-Can I show you? -Sure.

The chair swivels to the left and the right.

And this converts to a full-sized dining table during our Pan Am platinum service with damask linen and silverware by Fornari so you don't have to eat off a tray.

Again, that's only for these center seats.

How does that sound?

KAREN: At that time, when you traveled first class people would always ask you if you met someone famous on the flight.

-Mr. Morris. -Thank you.

You're welcome.

KAREN: Though he would later accuse me of engineering this, I didn't.

It just...happened.

Reuben. So they record these songs in a studio that I am paying for.

Songs that are recorded for me, that they are contracted to provide.

-Are you with me here? -IRV: Yes, Lanny, it's just that...

LANNY: No, it's just that nothing, Irv.

Please, let me finish. So, they record...

KAREN: I read an interview where Lanny was given credit for insisting his butler travel in the same class and stay at the same hotels as his boss.

The valet's attentiveness was impressive.

Looks like you'll be having dinner with Lanny Morris.

-Hello. -Hi.

We should get a waiter to slide a matchbook under the airplane.

There we go.

That should hold.

This is my friend Reuben.

-Hi. -Hi.

And this is also my friend, technically speaking and business manager, Irv.

Hi.

My name is Lanny.

And what's your name?

Bonnie. Bonnie Trout.

What do you do, Bonnie?

I teach.

And what do you teach?

-Second grade. -Well, we have a lot in common.

You teach second grade, I went to second grade.

-Irv, you went to second grade too? -IRV: Many times.

Tell me, Miss Trout I don't mean to be impolite but I was wondering how a second-grade schoolteacher affords to fly first class.

Well, I have a pass that allows me free use of the subway on weekends and the hot lunches at school are only 50 cents.

And I'm the mistress of a wealthy married man and when he and his wife go on vacation, he treats me to a first-class trip in the opposite direction.

But look at me, talking only about myself.

What do you do for a living?

I'm a French impressionist painter out of Tahiti, mainly.

But I'm just doing that to pay the bills.

My ambition is to be a stockbroker in Paris.

-I don't get it. -KAREN: Paul Gauguin.

He gave up being a successful stockbroker to become a painter in the South Seas.

You think the average person knows that?

Well, we're not talking about the average person, Irv.

KAREN: In some ways he had never stopped being a hero to me.

That's why it was impossible to think he might also be a killer.

Well, this has been great.

I'm gonna see you inside your apartment.

-There's really no need. -Don't be silly.

I'm not gonna try to come in.

Promise.

You've been away from your apartment for how long now?

Ages.

Well, you never know if somebody's broken in while you were gone.

''ll just see you inside your door.

Believe me, I'm... I'm not trying to seduce you.

I have to do the Today show at 7:00 a.m.

They want me in Makeup at 6:15.

KAREN: Bonnie had moved to New York for the teaching job a little over a year ago.

I had never visited her and had no idea if this was the right place.

Which floor?

Why, um...

-Four-D. -Forty?

It only goes up to six. (SNICKERS)

Four-D, uh...

-Four-D, the fourth floor. -Ah.


(GIGGLES)

Which way?

-Guess. -Why?

It's a test.

A test?

Okay.

This way.

So why didn't we take this elevator?

Doesn't work.

(CLEARS THROAT)

Well...

Good night.

No, I'm going to see you into your apartment.

And then I'm gonna leave you alone until tomorrow.

(KEYS CLINKING)

I never get which key goes in which lock the first time.

Hey, looks like they fixed it.

(OBJECTS CLATTERING)

You okay?

Maybe we should turn on a light.

Whoops.

Well...

I'm going to leave you now because I have...

I have Reuben and Irv waiting in the limousine downstairs and I should get some sleep for the Today show.

So...

It was lovely to meet you, Bonnie.

(BAND PLAYING FESTIVE MELODY)

BOTH: * We may not go far

* But sure as a star LANNY: By the end of the telethon, we had no voices.

Thirty-nine hours of nonstop entertainment.

A telethon was a superhuman feat.

We weren't just heroes, we were gods.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

A couple of the boys were there to make sure we got out alive to make the flight to New York.

(REPORTERS YELLING)

Everyone. Listen. Listen.

Gentlemen. Gentlemen, please.

Gentlemen, if I could just have your attention.

Everyone, Mr. Collins and Mr. Morris will answer questions at the press conference at the Palace Del Sol.

Gentlemen, there will be plenty of time to answer your questions at the Palace Del Sol.

Thank you, we will answer your questions at the press conference.

Thank you for coming.

LANNY: We had a full police escort, along with several bodyguards who were there to protect us from any thoughts we might have had of going AWOL prior to this press conference A pair of New Jersey's finest walked on either side of us as we entered the lobby of the hotel.

See, it was an indication of how legitimate the Mob had gone that they could bring in the local police to guard the facade of their racket.

The local chief was a man named Jack Scaglia.

WOMAN: And of course , the two gentlemen on my right who need no introduction, have come here directly from their record-breaking polio telethon in Miami, Florida.

So the first thing I'd like to announce is that Mr. Sanmarco...

LANNY: I wish I could tell you that Sally Sanmarco was a slim, 6' 6'' guy who looked like a prince and spoke with an English accent.

Then I wouldn't seem to be falling back on the stereotype.

The trouble was, Sally was straight out of central casting.

A gangster who looked and talked just like you would expect from the movies.

How did it feel to raise all that money for polio?

It felt great. It felt really great.

LANNY: From a publicity angle, and in terms of giving him legitimacy this was a huge coup for Sally.

Like I said, we were gods.

We'd only been in the New York area for an hour or so, during which time we were constantly watched by police and reporters which ended up being a good thing for us.

SALLY: We got you our best bridal suite.

Fucking nice, huh?

People talk about having fancy apartments and hotel rooms on the West Side of Manhattan. What do they see?

Fucking New Jersey. Here, you see New York City.

(WOMAN SCREAMS)

LANNY: Unfortunately, Vince and I were acquainted with the dead girl in the bathroom of our hotel suite in New Jersey.

Her last name was O'Flaherty.

KAREN: Her first name was Maureen.

BONNIE: Karen, we decided to trade apartments, not identities.

Why didn't you make up a name?

KAREN: Bonnie, I was looking at a five-hour flight.

I didn't wanna make up a life story that wasn't attached to anything.

Well, I returned the offense. I got to pretend I was you.

-What do you mean? -You received a package.

Messenger service. I signed your name.

-Who's it from? -No return address.

-Want me to open it? -Sure.

That's good. I already did.

It's a manuscript.

"Excerpt from the Memoirs of Lanny Morris."

Hey, all your dreams are coming true.

He's writing you love letters already.

Bonnie, I need to know what he's written.

Well, I'll send it to you. -No, now. Before he calls me tomorrow.

(SIGHS)

-Please? -All right.

(CLEARS THROAT)

All right.

Here we go.

"Let me explain to you why two very famous guys

"just finishing a nationally broadcast telethon ended up in New Jersey."

(WILD JAZZ MUSIC PLAYING)

LANNY: For years, the Palace Del Sol was one of the centers of mob prosperity.

Needless to say, a major headliner in the showroom helped legitimize the entire operation.

PHOTOGRAPHER: Give her a kiss. Yeah, beautiful.

One more, guys. That's it. That's great. Thank you.

LANNY: Now, Vince and I needed help in keeping us up all the time and in the way of thinking in the '50s anything you didn't take with a needle was okay.

It wasn't serious, serious. It was like running a red light.

Everyone used bennies. Vince added them to his morning coffee like sugar.

Not that you could tell.

When we did finally decide to flatten out we'd take two or three Tuinals, or three or four "Threeinals."

They were really good.

Between the moment you took them and passing out it felt really sexy.

* One day

* Why doesn't somebody man up and pick this man up?

* Put him on the street give him something to eat

* Make him a little more neat Introduce him to his mother

* Make him believe he has a part

* In the great human education

* Teach him a little bit about conversation

* Validation, vindication

* For God's sake, send this man somewhere

* where he can have a bit of self-belief

* Something like the Army where he can be sent to exotic places, * Kill exotic people

* Give him the very model of a modern major general

* Teach him about equations both simple and quadratical

(APPLAUSE)

* About binomial theorem he's teeming with a lot of news

* Teach him the square root of the hypotenuse *

(INDISTINCT)

Sure.

-Enjoyed the show. -Thank you.

That must have been good for you.

LANNY: The walls of the Blue Grotto were made of a mixture of plaster and Styrofoam.

Flammable as all hell. But the boys had learned it was cheaper to give the inspector 200 bucks and a ringside table to our show than to spend thousands of dollars on fireproofing.

Besides, it was always vital in a business enterprise of this sort to have the option to torch the place at a moment's notice should the need present itself.

One night, after our show, we were taken to Sally's office.

We wondered what we had done wrong but what we had done was done good.

Sally started going on about how much he liked us how he thought we were a good fit with his crowd meaning that we brought in an audience of heavy drinkers adulterers and gamblers.

So, what we want is for you boys to come back here three months from now and open our new showroom for us.

A two-week, exclusive limited engagement that we want you to do for us for six weeks.

LANNY: God help you when a killer takes a shining to you.

I looked at Vince and scratched my nose, which meant our strongest "no."

That's a very great honor, Sally.

-You're damn fucking right it is. -The thing is, uh...

We're just trying to cut down on the nightclub work at the moment.

We turned down the Sands so we could do a TV special and the only reason we still work the Versailles is out of friendship for you.

What dates were you thinking of?

We open November 15th.

Sally, any other day we would be here in a flash but, you know, that's the day right after the next polio telethon.

I mean, we always take two weeks off right after that to recover.

-Right, Vince? -At least.

-I mean, we're tired. -SALLY: That's the way I want you.

After the fucking telethon, we fly you up from Miami hold a press conference, all fucking exhausted so people know what heroes you are.

I'll keep a suite for you with the best hookers I got.

Your own personal cathouse.

And I'll have them send you up a shipment of lobsters and stone crabs.

-You like lobsters? -Love them.

And a case of these special grapefruits that I get special down there.

The most delicious thing you ever tasted in your life.

Juicy, thin skin.

LANNY: Months later, on the night before the telethon in Miami we got back to our room and found that Sally had been more than good to his word.

Laid out around the room were various crates bearing the addresses of their destination.

Our suite at the Palace Del Sol hotel in New Jersey.

VINCE: (IMITATES SALLY) "You like lobsters? See you in New Jersey."

(IMITATES SALLY) "Thin skin, fucking most delicious fucking thing

"you ever had in your fucking life."

BONNIE: "What I thought was a box of beach balls

"turned out to be the thinnest-skinned, dripping-wet grapefruits

"I'd ever tasted in my life.

"The 6-foot crate was filled with fruits of the sea

"slowly shifting over a bed of ice."

Yeah, this is Lanny Morris. Send up three steaks, all right?

Yeah. Make them rare this time.

-Yeah, rare. -Like bloody.

Bloody. And a couple of bottles of that champagne.

-Make that three. -Three bottles of champagne.

And can you make sure that Maureen delivers them?

Yeah, Maureen.

LANNY: We called down for Maureen the room-service girl I'd met earlier who wanted the interview for her school paper.

She brought up three steaks, one for her as her last official delivery of the day.

As much as I love lobster seeing all that shellfish nestled on ice in the crate put me in the mood for hooves, not claws.

The interview for Maureen's campus paper went better than expected.

Vince and I popped some Tuinals to insure that we would sleep like babes after we wore off the general horniness that the pills first give you.

Vince bought insurance on his bet by having a few babes on hand.

Well, not exactly on his hand.

That wasn't his preference.

BONNIE: "Not exactly on his hand. That wasn't his preference."

"Not exactly on his hand? That wasn't his preference?"

"The Tuinals, coupled with a nice amount of booze

"guaranteed us the sleep of the dead.

"Late the next morning, Maureen was sent packing

"and Vince and I prepared ourselves for that night's broadcast."

Well, I guess this is one story my kids won't have to give a book report on.

Thanks.

Must be weird to find out that the object of all your adolescent fantasies is a pig.

He's not like that.

Oh, so it's just the way he describes himself.

KAREN: She was right.

Which was the real Lanny?

I'd find out later that the story of the hookers in the hotel suite was a complete fabrication.

That night, Maureen was alone.

(PHONE RINGS)

(AUDIENCE APPLAUDING)

(PHONE RINGS)

(PHONE CONTINUES RINGING)

Hello?

So how did you like the show?

Lanny?

The Today show.

You did watch, didn't you?

-The show. -You didn't watch.

Wow, that's scary.

You see, when you're a star you live in terror, wondering if it's all over yet.

You keep looking for the signs.

You're shooting a scene from a movie on a New York street and a crowd doesn't form.

You meet a girl on a plane and tell her that you're gonna be on the Today show the next morning and she doesn't wake up early to watch.

It's very scary.

Hey, you know, I mentioned you on the air.

(CHUCKLES)

-You did? -Yes, I proposed to you on the air.

Your apartment building is probably surrounded with photographers at this very moment.

You're kidding.

Yes, I'm kidding.

So, what time would you like to meet?


Stanley, this is Bonnie. Bonnie, Stanley.

Nice to meet you.

Is the food almost ready, Stan?

Yeah. I'll bring it right out, Mr. Lanny.

I was very hungry, so I asked Stanley to prepare us something special.

That sounds great.

Tell me, what kind of a meeting does a schoolteacher have to go to during the summer vacation?

I'm exploring the possibility of another job.

-Something in publishing. -How did it go?

Okay.

Have you ever thought about writing a book?

-About what? -Your life.

Sure. When I'm dead.

No, seriously.

It would have to be published after I died when I wouldn't care what anybody thought about me. (CHUCKLES)

So, what would you write about, if you were going to tell the truth?

In my book?

Well, the truth is, I've met four presidents.

Each one of them seemed like they were totally out of it.

Like they had no idea what was going on.

Even JFK left me unimpressed. I felt like I was with the boss' son.

You don't think you could say that?

Not if I was planning on living in this country. No, no.

I don't think that Judy Garland was such a great singer after she turned 16.

That quiver, you know, it was like she had no control over it.

I would get killed for saying that.

Or that Marilyn Monroe was no better an actress after she studied with Lee Strasberg than before.

I'm saying what really happened.

Having to be a nice guy is the toughest job in the world when you're not.

This is a lamb in tea sauce.

This is twice-cooked pork with shredded, pickled cabbage.

Kung Pao chicken.

And this is Kung Ping Loh Haa lobster in tangerine peel for you and your lovely lady friend.

You shouldn't have done that, Stanley.

I don't eat lobster. I'm Jewish.

But you eat pork.

-Do you have a problem with that? -No, I just thought...

No shrimp, no lobster. They're disgusting. Take it away.

I will pay for the dish, but take it away, please.

I'll change it.

I'm sorry, I...

I should have asked. Maybe you love lobster.

I'm fine.

Have you ever had Szechwan cuisine before?

It's from the northern part of China.

It must be strange for you.

If you complain to a waiter, you're not just some jerk at table five, you're Lanny Morris.

I know that everyone dreams about being famous but it would be interesting to know what it's like to relinquish all anonymity.

-Gets me a date. -Does that bother you?

That people only wanna be with you because of who you are?

As opposed to?

Well, the real you.

LANNY: The real me.

The real me was brought up as a nice middle-class kid which is not the easiest thing in the world when you are extremely poor and living in a slum.

The real me spent most of his time getting the shit kicked out of him and dreaming about something better.

Like being here with someone like you.

KAREN: Fifteen years ago, he had, for one brief moment made me feel like the most special person in the world.

"The miracle in my life is not that I survived polio

"and am standing here today.

"No. The reason I consider myself to be a miracle girl

"is because I had the good fortune

"to meet Lanny and Vince when I was sick."

KAREN: It was a moment seen by millions of people but felt only by me.

That moment had changed my life.

I was about to find my own way into Lanny's book after he had found such a powerful way into mine.


Checking out today?

Is there a message for Bonnie Trout?

-From one of our guests? -Yes, Lanny Morris.

I'm afraid not.

Are you sure?

Oh, yes, I'm sure.

Do you need a cab?

I still don't understand why Vince Collins is willing to be involved in such an expose of himself.

Vince is a realist.

The days of his box-office power are drawing to a close.

Given the amount of money we're offering...

And it's because the investment in Mr. Collins is so large I've compiled a list of questions we'd like the miracle girl to ask.

I don't wanna look at your questions.

I have my own approach.

Ms. O'Connor, we're not paying a million dollars for your approach, we're paying for what Vince Collins has to say.

To me.

What he has to say to me.

Greg, this is not as easy as it looks.

If you go to Vince Collins and ask him a series of questions you'll come back here with a 300-page press book.

Well, as I've always understood this company's policy while the book is being written the relationship between the author and editor is sacrosanct.

This isn't your typical book deal.

We've really just leased an oil well called Vince Collins and granted Ms. O'Connor the right to tap.

I think we have a responsibility to...monitor the drilling.

(KNOCKS ON DOOR)

-Hello. -Mrs. O'Flaherty?

Yes.

My name's O'Connor. I'm the one writing the book.

The book will be centered around Vince Collins.

I'll be asking him a lot of questions.

I wanted to know if there were any you'd like to have answered yourself.

Maureen and I planted this tree on her fifth birthday.

(CHUCKLES)

Father did most of the digging, of course.

She'd be 38.

I'm 59, myself.

If she were alive now... we'd be talking about things, back and forth like two women.

Like you and I are doing.

And Maureen's father?

Frank died six years ago.

He took his own life.

One night, just before he died he dug up the earth around this tree he took the urn with Maureen's ashes in it and spread them around its roots.

So this is my daughter.

This is what I have of her.

-MRS. O'FLAHERTY: Are you Catholic? -KAREN: My... My mother was.

MRS. O'FLAHERTY: Then you will understand my dilemma.

Our faith offers an afterlife.

A daughter needs her mother.

So I have to live out this life as far from sin as I can manage.

I'll never see my husband again.

He's consigned himself to hell.

But what if Maureen killed herself too?

She's in hell, with my husband.

The life I'm trying to lead will bring me to heaven's grace only to hear their screams of torment.

KAREN: Chief Scaglia, you were in the hotel room when they found Maureen's body in the tub.

Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

So was Sally, so was Lanny, so was Vince.

And there was also a PR lady there from the hotel.

How do you think she died?

Oh, she died in an auto accident two weeks later. It was terrible.

Uh, no, Maureen.

-How did Maureen die? -She drowned.

-Why? -What do you mean, why?

Well, you and I take baths all the time. We don't drown in them.

You and I do not mix sleeping pills with booze.

-She committed suicide? -Overdose is the official story.

What's the official story on the fact that the staff of the hotel in Miami all seemed to know she delivered room service to the boys' suite three days before and was never seen alive again?

What happened to her?

How did she end up in a hotel room in New Jersey?

Sally never had any problem moving girls around. Okay?

He had two hotels.

-So Sally arranged it? -No, I don't think so.

You see, she was brought up there as a reward for the boys and I think she started to party just a little too early.

She was a student. This was a summer job.

Listen to me, the Palace Del Sol was very important to Sally, okay?

He launched his new wing with a push from Lanny and Vince and this stupid girl shows up dead.

She's not gonna come back. We do the best thing for all of us.

We speed up the investigation and we cremate her. Okay?

End of story.

AIRHOSTESS 1: Here you are.

AIRHOSTESS 2: Here's your lobster. Bon appetit.

-Enjoy. -Looks great.

"And Sally said, I'll have them send you up

"your own shipment of lobsters.

"You like lobster?"

LANNY: We said we did because we really did.

You shouldn't have done that, Stanley. I don't eat lobster.

Were there any signs of violence on her body?

No, no. There were some small scratches on the torso.

MRS. O'FLAHERTY: Why did my daughter die? Did she kill herself?

What had they done to her that would make her do that?

KAREN: What had they done?

Once upon a time when terrible things happened to people, they were left as a mystery.

Even the tabloids kept a distance.

Some things were allowed to be left just the way they were.

Any trouble with the directions I gave you?

Only the parts where I had to turn.

Sorry.

It's the price of seclusion.

VINCE: You haven't switched over to cassette?

Actually, it's my dad's.

And what does he do?

He was a journalist too.

He did a big story on you once.

Followed a little girl who had polio.

You took her under your wing...

And now she's interviewing you.

He must be proud that his daughter's making such a name for herself.

I'd like to think so.

-He died last year. -Sorry to hear that.

-Would you like some coffee? -Sure.

Are you alone here?

Yes. The thought of having live-in help is a little poisonous to me.

Why's that?

Well, I'd have to talk to them...

Ask them how their family was doing.

Hear about this and that, introduce them to the guests, and tell them how their family was doing.

All so that I would seem to be a nice guy.

Which is an awful lot of work.

Considering what I cherish most in life these days...

Is not to have to be Vince Collins.

No Reuben in your life?

How do you know about Reuben?

He was in a lot of the material I've been looking at.

No, I never had a Reuben.

Lanny always paid him directly. He was Lanny's man.

Right.

You know, what I like is to...

Read...

Think.

It's to have the freedom to...

Get up and leave without telling anyone about it...

Any time of day.

Or even having to say goodbye.

To be backstage, surrounded by acrobats, actors, magicians...

...it was intoxicating.

You know, I was only 12 years old.

That's a...

That's a pretty impressionable age.

To hear all these stories of touring...

KAREN: My father always told me that nothing had meaning unless it could be put on the record .

VINCE: I also like the idea of...

KAREN: Yet things had changed .

As Vince had pointed out at our first meeting it had become fashionable to put yourself into the story.

The question became how far you were prepared to go .


-Excuse me. That's not mine. -Oh, I'm sorry.

Aren't you Miss Trout?

We've met, on the plane to New York.

-Reuben. -CASHIER: Excuse me, sir.

Can I leave you for just a second, please?

I'm so deeply sorry, Miss Trout, the way you were treated.

-He could've left a note. -Of course.

Miss Trout, I would like you to understand something.

I have a great loyalty to Mr. Morris.

He's treated me very well.

I'm very grateful.

He has done wonderful things for many people and I have been privileged to work for him.

But I do have certain principles especially about how women are to be treated and respected.

Mr. Morris can be very attentive, but once he has a woman...

Oh, God, I think it's almost a sickness.

When he left you that morning...

You may have felt bad, but believe me, Miss Trout...

To have him out of your life...

Is the best thing that could have happened to you.

At that point, you may have felt your life was wounded.

(SOFTLY) It wasn't.

It was saved.

KAREN: Vince , I was very clear about this from the beginning .

I ' m not out to play games with you .

This is why you ' re being paid such a huge amount of money .

VINCE: This isn ' t entirely about money , you know .

A million dollars is more than the gross of your last film.

You know, I was somehow under the impression that my entire life...

Might have been of more than passing interest.

But if my fleeting encounter with a girl named Maureen O'Flaherty is all you really want to talk about, then that's what we'll do.

I have to make an appearance at the clinic tomorrow.

We can come back and talk after that.

It's wonderland.

I imagine you might remember that.

* One side makes you larger

* And the other side will make you small

* I asked one side of what?

KAREN: He was right . I did remember Wonderland .

-You ready? -Ready.

KAREN: When I was a girl , the entire hospital was devoted to children with polio .

(APPLAUSE AND CHEERING)

Since that time , it had become a clinic for kids with a variety of different physical handicaps .

* And you know you're going to fall *

KAREN: Once a year, the children would put on a pageant playing different characters from Alice in Wonderland.

Vince , in his continuing support of the hospital had hired a band and a singer .

* ...to call Alice

* When she was just small Who is that?

I don't know. She's good, whoever she is.

* Get up and tell you where to go

(APPLAUSE)

* And you've just had some kind of mushroom *

Karen, do you mind if we start this conversation tomorrow?

I'm just...

I'm not feeling all that well.

-Vince -In fact, it won't make any difference over there.

The office will be closed.

They've been working late.

Then they've been working much too hard.

First thing tomorrow. First thing.

(SIGHS)

I hope your editors were reasonable.

(SCOFFS) Reasonable? No, they weren't.

We can go as late as you like.

That's good.

It might take us into the evening.

I had a feeling that might be the case.

So I've ordered a hot and cold smorgasbord to be brought in.

We can work through dinner, if you like.

-We'll be having company? -Yes.

I have...

...a surprise for you.

Actually, this is a fairly big deal for me as well.

I've asked Lanny to join us today.

(QUIETLY) Lanny?

Well, this is something.

(SIGHS) Neuman and Newberry will certainly be getting their money's worth.

I thought that if I was going to discuss something that had such an impact on our lives...

It would be fair for Lanny to hear what I had to say.

Given that we've never talked about it.

I'm sure I'll have lots to ask him. When is he coming?

He should be here any minute now.

This is very exciting.

Shit.

(PHONE RINGING)

-BONNIE: Yes? Bonnie, I have to talk fast.

I need you to do exactly as I tell you and I can't tell you why, okay?

BONNIE: Sure .

(PHONE RINGING)

Excuse me, that might actually be him now.

(CLEARS THROAT)

Yes, hello?

Yes, thank you.

(HANGS UP)

That was my office.

There's a woman. A friend, a relative of yours?

She said she called on a number you gave her.

She's gonna call back.

(RINGING)

(CLEARS THROAT)

-Yes? -BONNIE: Hi , kiddo .

Listen , your brother Clifford has just been rushed to the hospital .

He was doing construction work , when a thing .

-A steel girder? That ' s it .

So , you better come to the city and make your peace with him .

I booked you on the next flight to San Francisco .

I ' m waiting here for you in front of the terminal .

They reserved me a seat on the next flight to San Francisco

-I'll drive you there. -No, no.

Sharon is waiting at the airport for me. You can't stand Lanny up.

Please give him my deepest apologies.

(GASPS)

-Hey. -Please, I can explain.

You've broken the law, Bonnie-fucking-Trout.

You've assumed another person's identity for the purposes of getting information from a business competitor.

Obviously I lied about who I was. I'm sorry.

It was a huge untruth. It wasn't planned.

I was just freaked out about suddenly being on the plane with...

With you and...

And how did you get the seat behind me on the plane?

-It was pure coincidence. -Bullshit!

It's true.

(SIGHS)

How could you...

How could you have just left me at the hotel like that?

You were asleep.

Reuben woke me to say I had to be a substitute performer at a charity concert at the Hollywood Bowl.

I had to get the first flight out.

You could have left me a note or called.

-I did leave you a note. -Where?

I don't know why we're even talking about this.

I don't like you.

All right? I wish we had never met.

Hello, Vince.

What the fuck's going on?

Vince, a few days after we first met I found myself next to Lanny on a flight to New York.

It was a complete coincidence.

-He asked my name... -And she lied.

I had just finished reading the first chapter of Lanny's own biography.

His lawyers had let me see it in the hope of discouraging our own project.

As a reflex, since I knew he would view me as the enemy I gave him the name of a friend of mine whose apartment I was staying at in Manhattan.

I thought I just had to get through the awkwardness of the flight itself...

-But the trouble is... -You slept with him.

-Vince... -You slept with my ex-partner.

Technically.

Doesn't sound like things were particularly technical.


Now, you listen to me, sweetheart.

Vince doesn't always do what's best for Vince.

That's why he needed me here today.

The story of this girl is the most painful thing in his life.

What happened to her, Lanny?

(SCOFFS)

Well, you're not gonna find out.

Not now.

Not after what you've done to him.

Vince.

(WHISPERS) Oh, shit.

Vince I made a terrible mistake in New York.

I apologize to you more than I know how to say.

I'm so sorry.

Vince, the realization of your life story shouldn't be threatened because of my failings.

Please let me continue to work with you again.

I'll help you tell your story right.

Come back tonight.

Let me think about it.

-How do you like the wine? -It's magnificent. What is it?

1961 Haut-Brion.

People make a big deal of 1959 but I don't think there'll be a year as special as 1961.

It was a great year for French wines.

Will you join me?

What are they?

They're like very mild-mannered Quaaludes.

Must've done a few of those in your time, right?

Are you sure they're okay with alcohol?

Oh, they're even better with alcohol. Believe me, I'd know.

Come on in, honey. The water's fine.

KAREN: All my life , I ' ve h this idea that I could always be in control .

Ever since I was sick, I had this sense that I could make my body do anything I wanted.

If I could will my polio away I ' d certainly be able to will away the effect of any drug .

(CHUCKLING)

Do you mind if I close the drapes? The sun's in my eyes.

It's moonlight.

Go ahead.

(GIGGLES)

(LAUGHING)

ALICE: * One pill makes you larger

* And one pill makes you small

* And the ones that Mother gives you

* Don't do anything at all

* Go ask Alice

* When she's 10 feet tall

I remember you.

You're Alice.

In Wonderland.

(CHUCKLES)

Oh, I don't know.

I'm really stoned out of my head already.

Is it good?

(COUGHS)

Jesus, Vince. It's like monster grass.

Do you get this stuff all the time?

All the time.

(CHUCKLES)

(BOTH GIGGLING)

You're Alice.

You're so beautiful.


She's ours.

Isn't that so, Alice?

I'm yours.


KAREN: I had always been fascinated by how some women could cross the line between who they were and who they would let themselves become .

Maureen .

Alice .

And now ...

Me .

Morning.

That was not a Quaalude you gave me. I've had Quaaludes.

Mmm... I said it was like a Quaalude.

And you didn't take one yourself. You palmed the pill.

Somebody had to drive.

Don't worry, you won't get pregnant.

Not from Alice, and certainly not from me.

I never took off my pants, as you may or may not remember.

There are laws against drugging people.

Oh, please. You took it voluntarily.

Nobody slipped it into your drink.

And you chased it with one of the most expensive wines in the world.

You're just in a dither because you've discovered you can swing both ways.

You see...

I needed to get something on you.

Of course, your behavior with Lanny might have been even better than this, but...

But I'd already set the wheels in motion.

And as I was dying to see you and Alice get it on...

Well, these are just a sample.

(SIGHS)

Why would she agree to do this?

Doesn't she want a career?

Well, it's your career I'm worried about.

You're a journalist playing loose with the rules.

She's just a vulnerable young singer you seduced.

A promising... Oh, good heavens...

Promising artist that I happen to manage.

You met her through me...

And had your way with her.

What do you want from me?

You're going to continue writing the book.

I'm going to continue telling you juicy stories, funny stories...

Heart-tugging stories.

And you're not going to ask me a single question about what happened to the girl in New Jersey.

You're going to go to your publisher, say you tried every angle but you could find nothing odd or suspicious in what I told you.

I'll even try to spice it up a little, talk about how the night before the telethon, I wanted to sleep like a babe so to cover my bets, I kept a few babes on hand.

Well, not exactly on my hand, and that's not my preference, as you might have gathered by now.

So you get your bestseller, I get my million.

Everyone goes home happy.

You've dreaded talking about Maureen O'Flaherty since we met.

If it's something you're so desperate to avoid, why would you ever agree to do this book?

I need the money.

Vince, anything you say in my presence is mine to use.

Everything you said last night and everything you've just told me.

And since I'm also allowed to include contextual background, I can write about how you set me up, how you tried to blackmail me. I'll even include those Polaroids.

It's your word against mine. We have a contract. Everything's in my words.

We've agreed to your answers, but there's nothing to stop me from putting any information I want into a question I ask.

Information that I'd like to be public knowledge, or that the police might wanna look into.

Would you like me to fire one of my loaded questions, on the record?

Sure.

Vince, in your suite at the Versailles Hotel in Miami, was it your or Lanny's idea to put Maureen's body into the case containing shellfish and ice and have it shipped to New Jersey?

No answer, Mr. Collins? So noted.

Oh, and incidentally, by not answering you're in violation of your contract.

What a shame. I understood you needed that money.

(GASPING)

(SCREAMS)

(VINCE SOBBING) Oh, no. Oh, God.

Oh, God. Oh, God. Oh, God!

(WHEEZES)

(COUGHS)

(VINCE SOBBING)

Was that how you murdered Maureen?

(PANTING)

Ask Lanny.

(SNIFFLES)

He's the one who knows.

KAREN: It wasn ' t that hard for him to get the suite he wanted .

The Versailles was still one of the fanciest of the hotels along the beach .

But by then , its era had passed .

Thank you, sir.

All the furniture was new .

It had been 15 years.

But the floor plan was still the same .

In that spot that was where the truth had come out .

That was why she had to die .

Are you Japanese or Chinese?

Vietnamese.

The kitchen tell me you famous person.

Why you famous?

They didn't tell you my name?

No.

What is it?

Lanny Morris.

It's a Jewish name, but I'm a nebbish.

You ordered three bottle of champagne.

You want me to open one now?

Or wait until friend come?

Open all three.

Are you really famous, Mr. Morris?

In my day.

Before your time, I suppose.

I come from the north of Vietnam.

In my town, there is no television.

KAREN: She explained that American movies had been banned where she grew up .

She got better tips pretending she was Madame Butterfly than by telling people where she was really from .

What did you do, Mr. Morris?

I made Vince Collins' life...

Very difficult.

KAREN: She didn't understand, but her policy was not to linger in the rooms of solitary gentlemen .

He signed the room-service check under Lanny's name.

Thank you.


There was no ice or water left in the buckets when his body was discovered the next morning .

He had dumped the ice into the bathtub and died in it .

He must have felt there was some poetry in it .

His plan was to drink enough champagne with enough sleeping pills so that ending things would become an acceptable idea .

He could manage that .

He knew for certain he couldn ' t manage anything else .

Hi.

(SIGHS)

I thought you were gonna be out all afternoon.

(SNIFFLES)

I'm sorry.

It's okay. Um...

This was under the door.

What is it?

Chapter three.

LANNY: John , as my lawyer , I want you to know that this next chapter...

(DOORBELL RINGS)

...is to be read after Vince and my death, and is only to be used under the most extreme of circumstances .

We knew we wanted to make an early night of it with the telethon starting the next day , so Vince suggested we dine in so Maureen could do the interview for her campus paper .

This is a gift for us from the audience from the people, the people that are out there.

Sooner or later you gotta say, "We wanna give something back."

I think that's really important.

Not many people would take the time out to do that.

Thank you.

LANNY: She actually hid her tape recorder in the room - service cart, because she didn ' t want the hotel to find out .

We finished the interview and then asked her to stay .

To help us get into the mood , I did a Tuinal ...

Then she did one ...

And Vince, he did two, because he was always doing two.

We got into the second of the three bottles of Moet we'd ordered.

We thought it would be better to keep the action to neutral territory.

God...

She was beautiful.

I chain - locked the front door to the living room to make sure that housekeeping, eager to turn down our beds, didn't walk in on an employee having a menage a trois with the hotel's headliners.

Then I went to chain-lock the door to Vince's room.

I took a quick shower, I put on my robe, and brought a robe for Maureen, in case she felt a little bashful.

So much for bashful .

I threw the robe on the bed and moved into the room, half - worried that they would finish without me .

(ROMANTIC JAZZ PLAYING)

Watch it there, compadre.

It's a little hard to tell who's who, under the circumstances.

I'm the one that's more than a little hard, you dumb fucking limey.

Well, I'm the one with a foreskin. Don't you forget that.

Whoa-whoa-whoa.

Hey. Watch it. You got the end zone there, Vince.

-Come on, come on. Fuck. -You're gonna like it.

-It's like from another planet when you come. -(MAUREEN GRUNTING IN PAIN)

-Get the fuck off me. -I'd never hurt you.

-I'd never hurt you. -Get the fuck off me!

-No, trust me. It's like double the sex... -Get the fuck off me!

We don't fuck, Vince!

We're buddies, we're pals, we're partners, we're a duo.

We love each other, but we don't fuck!

We're fucking stars!

-We can travel together. -Okay.

We can hang out together, we can live together, but we can't be queers!

It's not funny!


I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.

About?

About your nose.

It's not broken, is it?

It's how I am.

Guess the question is, who's gonna pay me?

LANNY: This surprised me .

The girl was not a hooker .

My wallet was on top of my robe .

I took out some money .

I don ' t remember how much .

I don't think so.

That's more than you would make in a month of tips.

I'm not looking for a tip.

What the hell are you saying?

Honey, I'm in my last year of college.

This is a summer job.

I wanna write.

I wanna be a journalist.

So I could either use this information

or I could use a lot of money.

I promise you this will only cost you once.

I'm so tired, I don't even think I'm going home.

I think it's the Tuinals.

Hey, Lanny, don't take it personally.

You were a great lover.

You have got the cutest little butt.

I guess Vince thinks so too.

Night, Lanny.

LANNY: I would never see her alive again.

I put a "Do Not Disturb" sign on my door, fastened the chain lock, in case the maid didn't read.

I left a wake-up call for 8:00, and went to sleep knowing that a telethon was the least of the ordeals I was going to have to face in the morning.

-(PHONE RINGING) -(KNOCKING ON DOOR)

The Tuinals had really conked me out and I slept through my wake-up call that morning.

The operator had called Reuben down the hall to see if he could wake me but...

He couldn't get in because we had chain-locked all the doors.

Hey-hey-hey...

Reuben!

I yelled for Reuben to wake up Vince while I worked on Maureen trying to make myself believe that she was still sleeping .

LANNY: Fuck.

LANNY: No, no. Fuck.

LANNY: The autopsy revealed the drugs and alcohol in her body but I knew it wasn't enough to kill her .

All three doors to the suite were chain-locked from the inside when I found her.

I hadn't touched her.

That's how I know that my former partner and friend, Vince Collins, murdered Maureen O'Flaherty.

You must have guessed by now that Vince and I had found a way to relocate Maureen's body to New Jersey.

This is the one criminal act the both of us committed , but we were in a panic and needed to create an ironclad alibi.

(WOMAN SCREAMS)

The crates were delivered to our room.

The publicist had opened the crates for a photo op .

But the official story became that she found Maureen ' s overdosed body in the tub .

A police officer called Scaglia was there to witness the whole thing .

ANNOUNCER: Live, until they drop dead...

During the telethon , I kept telling myself that I could forgive Vince for two reasons .

First of all, I don't think he could have known what he was doing.

He was completely out of it, even more than usual.

The second is that he was terrified that this incident would become public knowledge.

In those days, the slightest hint that he could swing both ways would destroy his show-business career in an instant.

As it was, it was only to destroy us.

We completed the telethon, but we both knew we were finished.

The marriage...was over.

There was a moment in the middle of the telethon where I actually broke down.

I just couldn't control myself.

I remember I mumbled something to a little girl who was recounting her experiences with the disease .

I don't remember what I said but I do remember feeling worthless.

Everyone thought that my tears were for her.

It made for a great picture in the papers the next day.

Mr. Morris will see you now.


I expected to see you at Vince's funeral.

Kind of heartless of you not to show up, don't you think, Karen?

Considering you're probably the one that drove him to it.

I won't answer that.

So don't.

So get the fuck out of my office.

Lanny, I have interview material with Vince up until the moment he met you.

It would be great if this warm, funny side of Vince could reach the public.

And what the fuck do you know about Vince's warm and funny side?

What about the warm and funny fact that he killed himself?

-Why would he do that? -I don't know.

That's the answer I'm giving you and anyone else that asks.

"I don't know."

But you do know, don't you, Lanny?

Whatever I know, sweetheart I'm writing in my book.

Except you're never going to finish your book.

You don't have to.

The person who needed your book is dead.

You had always written the material for your shows.

Every single word was rehearsed.

The book was a manual, a set of notes so Vince would get every detail of the official story.

"A couple of extra babes for him to sleep with that night.

"A few of them on hand.

"Well, not exactly on his hand. That wasn't his preference."

-So, what's your point? -He quoted that very line to me.

Quoted it from your manuscript as if he were saying it for the first time.

You wrote it because you loved him.

And feared for him.

And feared for yourself.

And then you wrote this...

Where...

Where the fuck did you get that?

-Delivered to my room. -Bullshit. You stole it.

Maureen O'Flaherty was killed in the Versailles Hotel, in your room, the night before the telethon.

The night before we met.

Get out of my office.


Miss Trout?

KAREN: We walked through the deserted backlot of the studio, and I confessed that I wasn't Bonnie Trout.

That I was writing a book about Vince Collins.

And that I was trying to uncover the secret behind what happened to Maureen O'Flaherty.

I told him what I found out .

He prayed that he would be forgiven for having been there as the murder was concealed.

Miss O'Connor, I have a tape recording of the night Miss O'Flaherty was killed.

She had brought a machine.

-For the interview. -Yes.

I found it as I was getting rid of her things.

She kept it on?

Could you use this tape for your book?

Of course.

Miss O'Connor...

Is it something...

Oh, my...

Is it something I could sell?

Reuben, I can't speak on behalf of my publishers but I'm sure that we can settle on a price.

Oh, thank you, Miss O'Connor.

VINCE: I'll even spice it up a little, talk about how t he night before the telethon , I wanted to sleep like a babe .

So to cover my bets , I kept a few babes on hand.

Well, not exactly on my hand.

That's not my preference, as you may have gathered by now.

I need the money.

Did you have a figure in mind?

Would you think a million dollars would be too much?

Vince was being paid a million dollars for his life.

This is one night.

The most important night.

KAREN: You could have left me a note or called me.

-LANNY: I did leave you a note. -KAREN: Where?

Lanny left this for me at my apartment.

It's his version of what happened that night.

On its own, it's absolutely useless to me.

I could have typed it myself.

But if it matched what's recorded on your tape,

it would make it priceless.

Which is why you sent it to me.

You just said Mr. Morris left it at your apartment.

He was surprised I had it.

Like he was surprised I hadn't found the note he left for me at the hotel.

The note you must've disposed of as you were tidying the room.

REUBEN: I told you how he deals with women. I was afraid.

Really afraid of what he might do to you.

KAREN: Maybe you were afraid of what I'd...

I'd do to him. And to you.

Why would I be afraid of a schoolteacher called Bonnie Trout?

Because you knew I was Karen O'Connor.

When I woke up, you folded my clothes and placed my pocketbook on the bed.

The pocketbook that had my name and the letter from my publisher.

I was writing about the one thing you wanted to have total control over...

Collins and Morris.

You made me abandon any thought of trying to contact Lanny.

You made me feel like I was less than nothing to him because you were playing your own complex game.

And what exactly was this complex game I was playing, Miss O'Connor?

You were in the room.

That night.

Lanny had a robe. He dropped it on the bed.

After Maureen asked for money...

The wallet was on top. It had been folded.

Well, I always, always arranged Mr. Morris' things.

After he went to bed. You were there before.

How would I get out? All three doors were chain-locked.

Through Vince's room.

Then, the next morning, you must have chain-locked the door before you went to wake him up.

LANNY: Fuck!

Lanny let me read the first chapter.

Vince sent me the second.

And you stole this.

To whet my appetite.


MAUREEN: I wanna write.

I wanna be a journalist.

So I could either use this information, or I could use a lot of money.

Is that why you killed her?

To protect them?

KAREN: For 15 years, he tormented Vince and Lanny .

He could never blackmail Vince while Sally Sanmarco was alive, so he waited until Sally died to activate his retirement plan...

A million dollars from Vince.

A million dollars for the same tape he offered to me.

He would never get his money, and I would never see him again.

He had taken her life, and with it her mother's heart, and her father's mind.

And now, all that remained of Maureen O'Flaherty...

Was a tree in her mother's garden.

Your daughter learned something about Vince Collins that he didn't want anyone to know.

Because of that she was killed.

If it's of any small comfort, she probably didn't suffer.

I want people to know about this man.

I want them to know why he killed her.

There is someone in all this, who is totally innocent of any involvement in the events of that night, but whose life will be made infinitely worse if I tell the truth at this time.

I wanna protect this person from any further pain.

I promise you...

I promise you I will write down the truth that I've learned, but I have to let matters lie until this person has died, and the truth can no longer touch them.

I saw no indication on her face that she knew I was talking about her.


You're a very special girl.

Forgive me.