"In writing fiction, the more fantastic the tale, the plainer the prose should be. Don't ask your readers to admire your words when you want them to believe your story." - Ben Bova [ more quotes ]

"L.A. CONFIDENTIAL"

by

Brian Helgeland

Based on the novel

by

James Ellroy



FADE IN:

OVER the opening strains of "I LOVE YOU, CALIFORNIA," a
MONTAGE: a mixture of headlines, newsreel footage and live
action. Economy Booming! Postwar Optimism! L.A.: City of the
Future! But most prominent among them: GANGLAND! Police
photographers document crime scenes. The meat wagon hauls ex-
button men to the morgue. Where will it end?

EXT. L.A. SKYLINE - SUNSET

Palm trees in silhouette against a cherry sky. City lights
twinkle. Los Angeles. A place where anything is possible. A
place where dreams come true. As the sky darkens, triple-
kleig lights begin to sweep back and forth.

EXT. MANSION (HANCOCK PARK) - NIGHT

The KLEIG LIGHTS are out front. Valets hurry to park a line
of elegant cars.

MAYOR (V.O.)
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the
future of Los Angeles!

INT. HANCOCK PARK MANSION - BALLROOM - NIGHT

The MAYOR yanks a cloth to reveal a MODEL of L.A. criss-
crossed by an elaborate FREEWAY SYSTEM. The CROWD oohs. A
COUNCILMAN claps. A SOCIETY MATRON nods her approval. PIERCE
PATCHETT, 50, tuxedoed, watches off to one side. A behind-
the-scenes power broker, Patchett exudes authority much more
so than the Mayor does.

MAYOR
The Arroyo Seco freeway is just the
beginning. We're planning freeways
from Downtown to Santa Monica, from
the South Bay to the San Fernando
Valley. Twenty minutes to work or
play is the longest you'll have to
travel.

More applause. One REPORTER asks a little too loudly...

REPORTER
How many bodies you think Mickey
Cohen'll be able to hide in all that
cement?

The Mayor wears a plastic smile, ignores it.

INT. THE MOCAMBO - NIGHT

A CLUB PHOTOGRAPHER pops snapshots, but the real action is
on the floor where MICKEY COHEN does a wicked "Lindy Hop"
with THREE different GIRLS at once. A fireplug of a man, he
hardly seems a public menace. Nearby is his bodyguard JOHNNY
STOMPANATO. Over it all:

HUDGEONS (V.O.)
Meyer Harris Cohen, Mickey C to his
fans. He's the big moocher, local
L.A. color to the nth degree. You
know Mickey. He runs dope, rackets
and prostitution. He kills a dozen
people a year. But who you may not
know is bodyguard Johnny Stompanato.

His hair in a slick pompadour, Stompanato keeps an eye on
Cohen and comes onto a CIGARETTE GIRL at the same time.

HUDGEONS (V.O.)
Johnny's handsome, ladies, but the
real attraction is below the belt.
Second only to Steve Cochran, he's
sometimes known as 'Oscar' because
of his Academy Award-size appendage.

Mickey works a sweat on the dance floor. A bottle of champagne
pops; Stompanato reacts, nearly draws a pistol from his
shoulder holster. As he laughs at himself...

INT. HUSH-HUSH MAGAZINE OFFICE - DAY

Lurid page one headlines cover the wall where SID HUDGEONS
types. The essence of sleaze, Sid is the publisher-
photographer-writer of Hush-Hush magazine and keeper of inside
dirt supreme. As he continues...

HUDGEONS (V.O.)
Remember, dear readers, you heard it
here first, off the record, on the
Q.T. and very Hush-Hush.

INT. HANCOCK PARK MANSION - BALLROOM - NIGHT

The party continues. The Mayor has moved off to the side
with the power brokers. Patchett is a presence.

MAYOR
We're selling an image, gentlemen.
Beautiful weather. Affordable housing.
(re: model)
Trouble-free transportation. And the
best police department in the world
to keep it all running smoothly.

EXT. STOREFRONT - NIGHT

A dozen people watch a display window TELEVISION as it rolls
the opening of the hit show "Badge of Honor." Over familiar
THEME MUSIC, "Sgt. Joe Reno" (actor BRETT CHASE) walks the
streets of Los Angeles.

CHASE (V.O.)
My name? Joe Reno. The city? Los
Angeles. A big town. Full of all
sorts of people. It's my job to help
them. I like what I do. I'm a cop.

INT. HANCOCK PARK MANSION - BALLROOM - NIGHT

The Mayor continues.

MAYOR
But with a second rate Al Capone out
there, L.A. looks like Chicago in
the '30s. Something has to be done.

As Pierce Patchett nods sagely.

INT. OLYMPIC AUDITORIUM - NIGHT

Wrestler GORGEOUS GEORGE primps and poses before flattening
an opponent with a drop kick.

INT. MOVIE THEATER - NIGHT

An enthusiastic crowd adjusts their 3-D glasses.

EXT. COHEN MANSION (BEVERLY HILLS) - DAY

In monogrammed silk pajamas, Mickey Cohen answers the door,
his pet BULLDOG Mickey Jr. at his feet. The police are
waiting. REPORTERS' flashbulbs pop.

POLICE OFFICER
Mr. Cohen, you're under arrest.

COHEN
Bullshit. What's the charge?

POLICE OFFICER
Non-payment of federal income tax.

COHEN
BULLSHIT.

EXT. GRAUMAN'S CHINESE - DAY

JOHN WAYNE gets his hand prints in the sidewalk.

EXT. WESTCHESTER BEAN FIELD - DAY

MIGRANT WORKERS hurry to finish the harvest. We PAN TO
CONSTRUCTION WORKERS who wait impatiently with bulldozers
under a "Spirit of the Future" BANNER. As the last picker
leaves the field, the bulldozers move in, leveling the bean
rows to make way for a housing tract.

EXT. FEDERAL COURTHOUSE - STEPS - DAY

Flashbulbs pop as Mickey Cohen exits and starts down the
steps. Accompanied by his LAWYERS, bodyguard Stompanato and
mob lieutenants DEUCE PERKINS and NATE JANKLOW, Cohen ignores
REPORTERS' shouts.

REPORTER
How's your bullshit now, Mickey?!

As Cohen gets into a waiting car, the media turn their
attention to District Attorney ELLIS LOEW. A singularly
ambitious man, Loew loves the spotlight.

LOEW
Today is an auspicious one for the
city of Los Angeles. Mickey Cohen
has just been sentenced to ten years
in federal prison for failure to pay
income tax. As the District Attorney
for Los Angeles County, it is my
pleasure to declare our great city
organized crime free. It is truly
the dawning of a new day.

The SONG ENDS and so does the MONTAGE.

INT. PACKARD (ACROSS FROM BULLOCKS WILSHIRE) - NIGHT

December 24th. Wendell "BUD" WHITE, 30, stares at the enormous
Christmas tree on the deco platform over Bullocks' entrance.
An LAPD cop, Bud's rep as the toughest man on the force has
been well earned. In the back seat, with cases of Walker
Black and Cutty Sark, is Bud's partner -- DICK STENSLAND.
Older, but also a tough hump, "Stens" sucks on a pint of Old
Crow. The passenger door opens and Mickey Cohen bodyguard
Johnny Stompanato slides in. Guinea handsome, Johnny wears
his curls in a tight pompadour. With his boss behind bars,
he's out of work. Bud just stares at him.

STOMPANATO
Officer White. I heard you got a
hard-on for wife beaters.

BUD
And you fuck people up for a living.
That don't make me you. Capisce,
shitbird?

Stompanato smiles. Nervous. Through the window, Bud watches
a Salvation Army Santa palm coins from a kettle.

STENSLAND
Bud ain't in the mood for small talk,
Stompanato.

STOMPANATO
Look, Mickey C's doing time and half
the other guys who'd hire me are
dead or left town. I need money. If
your snitch-fund's green, I'll get
you some fucking-A collars.

Impatient, Bud tugs at a finger, CRACKS a KNUCKLE.

STOMPANATO
There's this guy. He's blond and
fat, about forty. Likes the ponies.
Been pimping his wife to cover his
losses. Knocks her around to keep
her in line.

Bud's eyes narrow at this last bit of info. Stompanato holds
up a slip of paper.

STOMPANATO
I figure the address is worth twenty.

Bud digs into his wallet, pulls out twenty bucks, exchanges
it with Stompanato. Stompanato smiles smugly, grabs a bottle
of Scotch from the back.

STOMPANATO
Yuletide cheer, fellas.

Without warning, Bud grabs Stompanato's tie and yanks,
slamming his forehead into the dash.

BUD
Happy New Year, greaseball.

EXT. 1486 EVERGREEN - NIGHT

A stucco job in a row of vet prefabs. A neon Santa sleigh
has landed on the roof. Through the front window, we see a
fat guy browbeating a woman. Puff-faced, 35-ish, she backs
away as he rages at her. The Packard pulls up out front.
Stensland could care less.

STENSLAND
Leave it for later, Bud. We got to
pick up the rest of the booze and
get back to the precinct.

Bud KILLS the IGNITION, picks up the radio.

BUD
Central, this is 4A-31. Send a prowler
to 1486 Evergreen. White male in
custody. Code 623 point one. Domestic
assault and battery. I won't be here,
but they'll see him.

EXT. 1486 EVERGREEN - BUD - NIGHT

steps to the house. Inside, we hear SLAPS, MUFFLED CRIES.
Bud grips an outlet cord coming off the roof and yanks. The
sleigh crashes to the ground with REINDEER EXPLODING around
it. A beat. The fat guy runs out to investigate, trips over
Rudolph. Bud pounces. Fat guy takes a swing, misses. Grabbing
fat guy's hair, Bud smashes his face to the pavement. Once,
twice. Teeth skitter down the walk.

BUD
Touch her again and I'll know about
it. Understand? Huh?

Another face full of gravel. Fat guy's WIFE watches with
apprehension from the steps as Bud cuffs her husband's hands
behind his back, empties his pockets. A cash roll and car
keys. Bud looks over at her.

BUD
You got someplace you can go?

She nods. Bud hands her the keys and the cash.

BUD
Go get yourself fixed up.

WIFE
(nods, determined)
Merry Christmas, huh?

Bud watches as she gets into a pre-war Ford in the drive.
She backs over a blinking reindeer as she goes.

STENSLAND
You and women, partner. What's next?
Kids and dogs?

INT. STAGE FOUR (VARIETY INTERNATIONAL PICTURES) - NIGHT

The "Badge of Honor" set. A Christmas party in full swing.
Eating, drinking, and dancing. Star Brett Chase, seen earlier
on television, is holding court. LAPD Sgt. "Trashcan" JACK
VINCENNES, late 30s with slick, good looks, dances with a
young ACTRESS. Grinding their way through a ballad, they're
obviously hitting it off.

ACTRESS
Brett Chase told me you're the cop
who busted Bob Mitchum.
(grinds closer)
These 'Badge of Honor' guys like to
pretend, but being the real thing
must be a thrill.

JACK
Let's go someplace quiet. I'll give
you the low-down on Mitchum.

ACTRESS
You got your handcuffs with you?

JACK
Two sets.

ACTRESS
I'll get my coat.

They're interrupted by Sid Hudgeons.

HUDGEONS
Big V Jack Vincennes! May I have
this dance?

JACK
Karen, this is Sid Hudgeons from
Hush-Hush magazine.

ACTRESS
I know who he is.

The Actress storms off. Jack looks to Sid.

HUDGEONS
We did a piece last year. 'Ingenue
Dykes In Hollywood.' Her name got
mentioned.

JACK
Is she?

HUDGEONS
Beats me. Look, Jackie-Boy, a friend
of mine just sold some reefer to
Matt Reynolds. He's tripping the
light fantastic with Tammy Jordan at
2245 Maravilla, Hollywood Hills.
It's right around the corner.

JACK
You lost me, Sid. Who?

HUDGEONS
Contract players at Metro. You pinch
'em. I do you up feature in the next
issue. Plus the usual fifty cash.
Tell me, am I fucking Santa Claus?

JACK
I need an extra fifty. Two patrolmen
at twenty apiece and a dime for the
watch commander at Hollywood Station.

HUDGEONS
Jack! It's Christmas!

JACK
No. It's felony possession of
marijuana.

EXT. 2245 MARAVILLA - NIGHT

WITH a VIEW of Grauman's Chinese. Jack and two uniformed
patrolmen wait on the darkened street. An arc light has been
set up. Hudgeons creeps back over from the house.

HUDGEONS
They're sitting in the dark, goofing
on the Christmas tree.

JACK
Stand there with your camera. I'll
stop here so you get Grauman's Chinese
in the background.

HUDGEONS
I like it! I like it!

INT. 2245 MARAVILLA - NIGHT

The arc light floods the living room about the same time
that Jack kicks the door in. The room is caught flush:
Christmas tree, a bag of weed on the couch, two kids necking
in their BVDs. MATT REYNOLDS and TAMMY JORDAN.

JACK
Police!

EXT. 2245 MARAVILLA - NIGHT

Jack exits, hauling Jordan and Reynolds by the neck. Jack
stops with Grauman's FRAMED behind him and Hudgeons CLICKS
off several shots with his CAMERA.

HUDGEONS
Cut! Wrap it!

Windows light up. Rubberneckers appear. Jack hands the kids
to the patrolmen, heads back in with Hudgeons in tow.

INT. 2245 MARAVILLA - NIGHT

Jack scoops the pot, flips through an address book. A card
falls out. "Fleur-de-Lis. Whatever you desire..." Jack looks
from the card out the window at the kids being loaded into a
black and white. They're both crying now.

HUDGEONS
(stantorian tone)
It's Christmas morning in the City
of Angels, and while decent citizens
sleep the sleep of the righteous,
hopheads prowl for marijuana, not
knowing that a man is coming to stop
them. The free-wheeling, big-time
Big V, celebrity crime-stopper, Jack
Vincennes, the scourge of grasshoppers
and junk fiends everywhere. You like
it, Jackie-Boy?

JACK
Yeah, it's subtle.

Sid hands him a President Grant 50.

HUDGEONS
Remember: you heard it first here,
off the record, on the Q.T. and very
Hush-Hush.

INT. HOLLYWOOD STATION - DISPATCH DESK - NIGHT

Suspects, mostly drunk and disorderly, are ushered through.
Sgt. ED EXLEY, 30, bespectacled, is at the desk with a YOUNG
OFFICER. Exley is an up-and-comer. Burning with ambition.
The faster he rises through the ranks, the more resentment
he leaves in his wake.

EXLEY
What's on the call sheet?

YOUNG OFFICER
A guy dressed as Santa has been
exposing himself to kids in Los Feliz.
Apparently, sir, he's decorated
himself.

EXLEY
Decorated?

YOUNG OFFICER
With tinsel and plastic icicles and...
on his penis, sir.

EXLEY
I get the idea. You got a description?

YOUNG OFFICER
Of his penis, sir?

EXT. HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD - HOLLYWOOD LIQUOR - NIGHT

Tinsel-trimmed photos of movie stars look down from the walls
as the OWNER takes an order from LYNN BRACKEN.

LYNN
A case each of gin, Scotch, and rum.
Everything top shelf. None of that
watered-down stuff you push on Errol
Flynn.

OWNER
(laughs)
Sounds like a helluva party.

Her hair kerchiefed, Lynn waits as the Owner writes it up.
There's glamour, a cat-girl grace about Lynn. She seems like
she belongs up on the wall with the movie stars. Lynn looks
across as Bud White heads toward the counter. Spotting her,
Bud doesn't look so tough for a moment.

OWNER
You want it delivered?

LYNN
Before five tomorrow.

The Owner spots Bud. A big smile turns to a frown.

OWNER
I'll be right with you, Lynn.

The Owner begins indiscriminately loading hard liquor into a
cardboard box, leaving Bud and Lynn to look at each other.
Bud says the only thing he can think of.

BUD
Merry Christmas.

LYNN
Merry Christmas yourself, OFFICER.

BUD
That obvious, huh?

LYNN
(smiles sweetly)
It's practically stamped on your
forehead.

As the Owner bangs a case of liquor on the counter...

EXT. HOLLYWOOD LIQUOR - NIGHT

Bud exits with his booze, heads for the car. Something catches
his eye. A woman in the rear passenger seat of a new Cadillac.
SUSAN LEFFERTS. Both her eyes are black. Bud starts over.
The case on his hip, he motions for her to roll down the
window. The driver's side door opens and bodyguard TURNER
"BUZZ" MEEKS menaces his way out.

MEEKS
Get lost why don't you?

Meeks stops short as Bud shoves his badge in Meeks' face.
Setting the case on the car's hood, Bud spins Meeks around,
pats him down. He finds a .38 in a shoulder holster.

MEEKS
I got a license for that.

Bud removes Meeks' wallet, checks the ID.

MEEKS
Cut me some slack. I used to be a
cop.

BUD
Turner Meeks? Never heard of you.

LYNN
(exiting store)
We just call him Buzz.

Bud raps on Susan's window with his badge. It comes down.

BUD
You okay?

Beside her, a man leans over. Pierce Patchett, seen before
at the freeway unveiling, is a man used to being chauffeured.
Like FDR, he smokes his cigarette in a holder.

PATCHETT
She's fine.

BUD
(menacing)
I'm not asking you.

Patchett has no idea he's walking on thin ice. As he stares
impatiently at Bud, Bud looks back to Susan.

BUD
Somebody hit you?

LYNN
It's not what you think.

Bud looks to see Lynn Bracken moving to the driver's door.

BUD
What is it then?

SUSAN
You got the wrong idea, Mister. I'm
fine.

Susan laughs. Patchett eases back into the shadows.

LYNN
(getting in the car)
But it's nice to know you care.

Bud considers Meeks' gun license, then hands him back the
.38 and wallet. Lifting his booze, Bud watches Meeks get
back in the car. Stensland steps up as the cabbie starts to
pull away.

STENSLAND
What's going on?

For an odd moment, Stensland and Meeks lock eyes.

BUD
You know him?

STENSLAND
Seen him around. He used to be a
cop.

CUT TO:

CLOSE ON DUDLEY SMITH

Fifty, handsome in his police captain's uniform. Singing
"Silver Bells" in a beautiful low tenor. Tough, respected,
Dudley goes to bed as a cop every night of his life. He's a
department power to be reckoned with.

INT. PRECINCT HOUSE - MUSTER ROOM - NIGHT

An L.A. Herald Express REPORTER and photographer listen along
with the gathered patrolmen as Dudley finishes to applause.
Dudley joins the press.

REPORTER
Captain Smith, I --

DUDLEY
Drop the formalities; it's Christmas
Eve. Call me Dudley.

REPORTER
Dudley, I came up with a title for
the story. I'm calling it "Silent
Night with the L.A.P.D."

DUDLEY
Excellent. How's this?
(dramatic pause)
The sanctity of the night is an
invitation to the darker criminal
element. Our vigilance will not be
diminished.

As the Reporter scribbles down the quote...

DUDLEY
That's Smith with an S.

They laugh. Dudley points the way out.

DUDLEY
This way, gentlemen.

Dudley's the last one out the door. As he goes, he turns
back to give the men a wink. He's no sooner out the door
when the first case of Johnny Walker is brought in.

INT. PRECINCT HOUSE - DISPATCH DESK - NIGHT

Ed Exley gets another report from the Young Officer.

YOUNG OFFICER
Two police officers were assaulted
in a bar. Brown and Helenowski.

He hands the report to Exley. It's now that Dudley comes
through on his press junket.

DUDLEY
This is Sergeant Ed Exley. Son of
the legendary Preston Exley. He's
the watch commander tonight and a
damn fine job.

As the photographer snaps Exley's picture...

DUDLEY
I was fortunate enough to be partnered
with his father when I was a rookie.
It makes a man feel old. That's a
fact.
(a beat)
Feel free to get a feel for the place.

As the Reporter and photographer wander off, Dudley turns to
Exley a bit more serious.

DUDLEY
A word with you, lad.

INT. DUDLEY SMITH'S OFFICE - DAY

Dudley pours two drinks, hands one to Exley.

DUDLEY
To the memory of your father.

They drink. Exley looks to a photo on the wall. Himself as a
ten-year-old standing between Dudley and his father Preston,
both in police uniform.

DUDLEY
The day he got the Medal of Valor. A
simpler time.

Remembering, Exley invokes his father's favorite toast.

EXLEY
To the solving of crimes that require
absolute justice.

Exley raises his glass, but Dudley just watches him.

DUDLEY
That was his favorite toast.
(a beat)
I saw the test results on the
lieutenant's exam. You placed first
out of twenty-three.

EXLEY
The youngest applicant by eight years.

DUDLEY
You'll make lieutenant inside a year.
Patrol division?

EXLEY
I was thinking Detective Bureau.

We can see Dudley doesn't approve.

DUDLEY
You don't have the eye for human
weakness to be a good detective. Or
the stomach. You're a political
animal, Edmund.

The criticism stings, but Dudley's a straight shooter.

EXLEY
You're wrong.

DUDLEY
Am I...? Would you be willing to
plant corroborative evidence on a
suspect you knew was guilty in order
to ensure an indictment?

EXLEY
Dudley, we've been over this.

DUDLEY
Answer yes or no.

EXLEY
I... No.

DUDLEY
Would you be willing to rig crime
scene evidence to support a
prosecuting attorney's working
hypothesis...? Yes or no, Edmund.

EXLEY
No.

DUDLEY
Would you be willing to beat
confessions out of suspects you knew
to be guilty?

EXLEY
No.

DUDLEY
Would you be willing to shoot hardened
criminals in the back to offset the
chance --

EXLEY
No.

DUDLEY
Then for God's sake, don't be a
detective. Stick to assignments where
you won't have to make those choices.
Patrol, Internal Affairs, but not
the Bureau.

EXLEY
I know you mean well, Dudley, but I
don't need to do it the way you did.
Or my father.

DUDLEY
At least get rid of the glasses. I
can't think of one Bureau man who
wears them.

INT. PRECINCT HOUSE - MUSTER ROOM - NIGHT

A large impromptu bar has been set-up. The party is in full
swing, the floor packed with nightwatch blues. A PHONOGRAPH
SPEWS DIRTY CHRISTMAS CAROLS.

Stensland pours eggnog and Old Crow into the water cooler as
Bud elbows his way in with another case.

STENSLAND
Hey, partner. Grab a cup.

BUD
I got to write my report first.

PASSING COP #1
Hear about Helenowski and Brown?
They got into a helluva scrap with
six taco benders at some bar.
Helenowski lost six pints of blood.
Brown's in a coma.

PASSING COP #2
We ought to teach Paco and his friends
a lesson.

More cops voice their agreement. Bottles are passed. Only
Bud doesn't seem as caught-up as the rest.

INT. PRECINCT HOUSE - NARCO PEN - NIGHT

Jack Vincennes at his desk. Holding the Fleur-de-Lis card,
Jack dials the number. A corkboard on the wall is posted
with press clippings. "Dope Crusader Wounded in Shootout."
"Actor Mitchum Seized in Marijuana Shack Raid." That one
includes a shot of Jack ushering Mitchum into jail.

WOMAN (V.O.)
(over phone, like
silk)
Whatever you desire.

JACK
Hi... I'd like to get a delivery to
Beverly Hills.

WOMAN (V.O.)
(over phone)
I don't think I know you.

CLICK. The line goes dead. Jack redials.

WOMAN (V.O.)
(over phone)
Whatever you desire.

JACK
Look, a friend of mine gave me this
number. I just --

The line goes dead again. Jack dials a new number.

OPERATOR (V.O.)
(filtered)
Pacific Coast Bell.

JACK
This is Sgt. Vincennes. Requesting a
name and address on a phone number.
Hollywood zero-one-two-three-nine.

OPERATOR (V.O.)
(filtered)
Please hold the line... No such number
is assigned.

JACK
I just called it.

OPERATOR (V.O.)
No, Sergeant. I checked twice.

JACK
(realizes, hangs up)
A bootleg...

INT. MUSTER ROOM - NIGHT

Exley surveys the carousing rowdies. Raising his voice...

EXLEY
All right, men. You've had your fun.
Time to break it up.

The party continues undiminished. From across the room,
Stensland eyes Exley with disdain.

STENSLAND
Fucking Exley. Guy's got a pole so
far up his ass, every time he farts
the flag waves.

WATCH COMMANDER'S OFFICE

The command not really his, Exley reads a report, ignores
the party, though his window looks into the thick of it.
Suddenly a ripple goes through the room. The men begin to
push out through a rear door. Exley stands, stops a COP.

EXLEY
What's going on?

COP
They got the spics who japped
Helenowski and Brown. Helenowski
lost an eye and Brown's got brain
damage.

EXLEY
I have the report right here. They're
home with bruises and muscle pulls --
Oh shit...

Exley starts out after them.

INT. CELL BLOCK - NIGHT

Stensland in the lead. Pulling out a blackjack, he enters
Cell #4, begins wailing on one of the Mexicans -- Dinardo.

STENSLAND
For ours, Pancho. And you're getting
off easy.

Cheered on by drunks in the tank and his fellow officers,
Stensland goes wild. He's joined by Lentz, Crumley and
Tristano. Shaking his head, Jack Vincennes moves away.

INT. SQUAD ROOM - NIGHT

Bud types his report with one finger. Jack looks in.

JACK
White, you better get a lease on
Stens before he kills someone.

INT. CELL BLOCK - NIGHT

Followed by Jack, Bud forces his way through the crowd. The
men who see it's him quickly clear a path. Swigging from a
pint of gin, Stensland works skinny GARCIA. Head saps. The
kid drops to his knees drooling blood. Bud grabs Stensland,
hauls him off of Garcia who looks up.

GARCIA
Fuck you, pendejo.

BUD
Yeah yeah...

GARCIA
And fuck your mother too.

Bud sees red. Letting go of Stensland, Bud White picks up
Garcia by the neck. There are cheers, "Attaboys" and "Holy
Fucks" as Bud bangs Garcia's head on the ceiling.

EXLEY
(arriving)
Stop, Officer! That's an order!

Cops block Exley's way. As Bud looks over, Garcia kicks him
in the balls. A dangling shot. Bud keels into the bars, Garcia
stumbles out of the cell, smack into Jack. Jack looks down
aghast at blood on his cashmere blazer, then puts Garcia
down with a left-right. Exley pulls a pad of paper and pen
form his pocket.

EXLEY
You're going in my report! All of
you!

Exley has just started taking names when Bud grabs him by
the scruff of the neck and hauls him off balance into...

HALL

As Exley struggles, a cop opens the door to the store room.
Bud slings Exley inside, then slams the door tight. Exley is
locked in. As Bud moves off, we hear POUNDING.

EXLEY (V.O.)
Let me out! That's an order!

CELL BLOCK

The Herald Reporter and photographer enter unchaperoned and
unnoticed. Stensland swings like a madman. That's when a
flashbulb goes off. Freezing everyone in black and white.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. CHIEF'S OFFICE - DAY

The CHIEF sits behind a desk in a four-star uniform. Dudley
Smith sits to his left, D.A. Ellis Loew to his right. Seen
earlier at the Mickey Cohen press conference, Loew is the
only civilian. Bud White stands across from them. There to
be judged.

CHIEF
Officer White, you've refused to
cooperate with Internal Affairs. But
you should know this is bigger than
a police board. Indictments may be
handed down. Quite frankly, we need
police witnesses to offset the damage
done to the Department's image. Will
you testify?

Bud glances to a gray tinted mirror, then to the Chief.

BUD
No, sir. I won't.

The Chief sighs, looks to Loew.

CHIEF
District Attorney Loew.

Loew steps to Bud, holds up a newspaper with the cell block
photo. The headline: "BLOODY CHRISTMAS."

LOEW
Bloody Christmas. The press love to
label. You and Officer Stensland
brought the liquor into the precinct.
Stensland was already drunk. Do you
see how appearing as a voluntary
witness against him could offset the
damage you've done to yourself?

BUD
I won't do it.
(staring at mirror)
I won't testify against my partner
or anyone else.

LOEW
This man is a disgrace.

CHIEF
Your badge and gun, Officer.

Bud sets them on The Chief's desk.

CHIEF
This is the new L.A.P.D., White.
You're suspended from duty and
dismissed.

Turning, White shoots the mirror a stiff middle finger as he
makes his way out. Dudley Smith hides a smile.

OTHER SIDE OF GLASS

Exley watches, involuntarily leans back as Bud passes on the
other side of the glass.

THE CHIEF'S OFFICE

Dudley, Loew and The Chief wait as Exley enters.

CHIEF
Ed, your observations have been
astute. What's your assessment of
this situation?

EXLEY
The public demands justice, sir.
This was a full-fledged riot of
policemen. Shift the guilt to men
whose pensions are secured. Force
them to retire. But someone has to
swing. Indict, try and convict
Stensland and Bud White. Secure them
jail time. Feed them to the sharks,
sir. Protect yourself; protect the
department.

Dudley gives Exley a look. He's angry with him.

DUDLEY
Stensland's a disgrace. Straight D
fitness reports from every C.O. he
ever served under. But White is a
valuable officer.

EXLEY
White's a mindless thug.

DUDLEY
No, Edmund. He's a man who can answer
yes to those questions I ask you
from time to time.

The Chief interrupts with his own concern.

CHIEF
I want to know who we give the public
in contrast? The department needs
role models. Clean-cut, FORTHRIGHT
men the public can admire.

EXLEY
I'll testify, sir. I'm not afraid to
do what's right.

CHIEF
And I'll promote you. You'll be a
lieutenant immediately.

Exley seizes the moment, going over Dudley's head.

EXLEY
DETECTIVE lieutenant.

The Chief and Dudley exchange a look. Neither approves.

CHIEF
Ed, you're 30. Your father didn't
make lieutenant until he was 33.

EXLEY
I know that, sir. I also know that
when he made lieutenant, it was as a
detective.

LOEW
(interrupting)
Before we start polishing our laurels,
it would look better if we had a
corroborative witness.

DUDLEY
That'll be hard to come by. The men
hate a turncoat.

EXLEY
Jack Vincennes. He's the technical
advisor on 'Badge of Honor,' sir. He
lives for it. That's the way to get
him.

CHIEF
All right, Ed.
(into desk intercom)
Call Sergeant Vincennes.

As Exley starts out, Dudley pulls him aside, speaks low.

DUDLEY
You'll reap the benefits, but are
you truly prepared to be despised
within the department?

EXLEY
Yes, Dudley. I am.

DUDLEY
So be it.

JACK VINCENNES

Looking sharp, he strides down the hall, enters the...

CHIEF'S OFFICE

Round two. Centered on Jack. Exley is gone.

DUDLEY
Sergeant, we'll get right to it.
Nine civilian witnesses have
identified you as hitting Ezekiel
Garcia.

LOEW
But my office has a stellar witness
who will tell the grand jury that
you hit back only after being hit.

JACK
What do I have to do?

LOEW
Testify against the three officers
who have already earned their
pensions. Our key witness will testify
roundly, but you can plead ignorance
to questions directed at the other
men.

CHIEF
I'll guarantee you a slap on the
wrist. A brief suspension followed
by a temporary transfer from Narcotics
to Ad Vice.
(a beat)
When you transfer out of Vice, you'll
be back on the show.

JACK
The show, sir?

CHIEF
Badge of Honor, Vincennes. We need
to tone down your profile for a bit.

The Chief just got Jack where he lives.

DUDLEY
John, I doubt you've ever drawn a
stupid breath. Don't start now.

JACK
Okay. I'll do it.

Smiles all around. Loew smiles at the two-way. A move not
lost on Jack who wonders who might be on the other side.

CHIEF
Dismissed, Vincennes.

Jack leaves. The Chief steps to the mirror, looks through.

CHIEF
So be it. DETECTIVE Lieutenant.

OTHER SIDE OF GLASS

Exley clenches his fist in victory. The Chief continues.

CHIEF
Ace them at the grand jury tomorrow,
son. Wear the smart-looking suit and
ace them. And, Ed? Lose the glasses.

INT. ROOM 114 (GRAND JURY WITNESS ROOM) - DAY

Glasses off, Exley waits, looks up as Jack enters.

JACK
You're the key witness?

EXLEY
That's right.

JACK
I should've known. What's the Chief
throwing you?

EXLEY
THROWING ME?

JACK
Yeah, Exley. What's the payoff?

EXLEY
You're the payoff expert. I'm just
doing my duty.

JACK
You're playing an angle, college
boy. You're getting something out of
this so you don't have to hobnob
with the fucking rank and file cops
who'll hate your guts for snitching.
If they're making you a detective,
watch out. Some Bureau guys are gonna
burn in this and you're gonna have
to work with friends of theirs.

EXLEY
What about you?

JACK
I'm snitching three old timers who'll
be fishing in Oregon next week. Next
to you I'm clean. And smart.

At that, a CLERK steps in from the hallway.

CLERK
Edmund J. Exley to chambers.

As Exley's about to go...

JACK
Just remember, Bud White'll fuck you
for this if it takes the rest of his
life. They already suspended him.
Just pray he cops a deal and stays
on the Department because that is
one civilian you do not want on your
case.

INT. TWILIGHT LOUNGE - NIGHT

An old black guy in a frayed, threadbare tux plays piano.
Bud, nursing a highball at the bar, steps over to a REDHEAD
with too much make-up on too many miles.

BUD
That an old fashioned you're drinking?
(as she nods)
My name's Bud.

REDHEAD
Nobody was born with the name Bud.

BUD
They stick you with a name like
Wendell, you look for an alias.

REDHEAD
What do you do, Bud?

BUD
I'm sorta between jobs. Look, what
do you say we, uh...

A hand on Bud's shoulder. He turns to see Dudley Smith.

DUDLEY
Lad, may I have a word with you?

BUD
This business, Captain?

DUDLEY
Say goodnight to your friend and
join me by those back tables.

Dudley starts off. Bud turns back to Redhead, but she's
already talking to a sailor.

BOOTH

Dudley sits at a table. A newspaper is opened, a little mound
underneath. Bud joins Dudley.

BUD
Does that paper say we've been
indicted? Does it say Exley's a hero
for squealing me and Stensland off?

DUDLEY
He made his play and he got what he
wanted. They're making him a
detective.

BUD
Captain, what do you want?

DUDLEY
Call me Dudley.

BUD
Dudley, what do you want?

DUDLEY
Lad, I admire your refusal to testify
and your loyalty to your partner. I
admire you as a policeman,
particularly your adherence to
violence as a necessary adjutant to
the job. And I am most impressed
with your punishment of wife beaters.
Do you hate them, Wendell?

BUD
(looks away)
Yeah, I hate them.

DUDLEY
And for good reason judging from
what I know of your background.

Bud looks back over. Dudley's getting too personal.

BUD
What's going to happen to Stensland?
He'll give himself cirrhosis over
this. HE'S ONE YEAR FROM HIS PENSION.

DUDLEY
It would've happened years ago if
you hadn't carried him. Why the
loyalty, Wendell?

BUD
He helped me out once. That's all.

DUDLEY
Your partner's through. Department
scapegoat on the Chief's orders.
He's been billed, he'll be indicted
and he'll swing.

BUD
Him and me both. FUCKING EXLEY.

DUDLEY
Don't underestimate his skills. As a
politician he exceeds even myself.
But the department needs smart men
like Exley and... direct men like
yourself

BUD
What do you want?

DUDLEY
Wendell, I want you to come to work
for me.

BUD
Doing what? Mowing your fucking lawn?

Smith yanks the newspaper revealing Bud's badge & .38 Special.
Bud can't believe his eyes.

DUDLEY
They're yours. Take them.

BUD
I knew you had juice, but... There's
no goddamn bill on me?

DUDLEY
Four of the defendants recanted their
testimony.

BUD
How?

Dudley dismisses the question with a wave of his hand.

DUDLEY
I need you for an assignment the
Chief's given me the go-ahead on. A
duty few men are fit for, but you
were born for. You'll be working out
of Homicide.

BUD
(excited)
Homicide? A detective?

CHIEF
Your talents lie elsewhere, Wendell.
It's a muscle job and shooting job.
You'll do what I say and not ask
questions. Do you follow my drift?

BUD
(disappointed)
In Technicolor.

DUDLEY
Will you work for me?

BUD
Of course... But how?

DUDLEY
How what, Wendell?

BUD
How'd you get them to retract?

Dudley lays brass knuckles on the table. They're chipped,
caked with blood.

DISSOLVE TO:

L.A. MONTAGE

Over the pop song "STRANGER IN PARADISE."

A) EXT. GRAUMAN'S CHINESE - NIGHT

Frank Sinatra at the premiere of From Here to Eternity.

B) INT. KLUB ZAMBOANGA - NIGHT

Charlie "Bird" Parker makes magic before an appreciative,
mostly black crowd.

C) TORCH SONG TAVERN (RIVERSIDE) - NIGHT

Nate Janklow exits with his latest flame. A mob lieutenant,
Nate was last seen with Mickey Cohen outside the Federal
Courthouse in the opening montage. A CAR SCREECHES up. TWO
GUNS aim and Nate and his date do down in a proverbial HAIL
OF LEAD.

D) EXT. FREEWAY - DAY

A groundbreaking. The Mayor scrapes at the ground with a
gold shovel. Pierce Patchett is among the distinguished
guests.

END OF MONTAGE

EXT. HOLLYWOOD HIGH SCHOOL - DAY

The marquee gushes: "Today Sgt. Joe Reno: Badge of Honor
Star Brett Chase."

INT. HOLLYWOOD HIGH SCHOOL - AUDITORIUM - DAY

A nerdy 14-YEAR-OLD asks Brett Chase:

14-YEAR-OLD
Why'd you become a policeman?

CHASE
I'm not a policeman. I just play one
on television. But I think I can
answer for them. To help people.
That's why I do the show.

Chase looks over and winks at Jack who waits in the wings.

CHASE
To protect and serve. It's not just
a motto.

As the kids applaud, Chase joins Jack who gives him a quick
drag of a cigarette. A nervous PA joins them. Chase points
out a fetching girl in the second row.

CHASE
That one. In the sweater.
(to Jack)
They also serve who only stand and
wait.

Chase and Jack watch the PA ask "Sweater" a question while
pointing to Chase. Maybe sixteen, she nods "yes" eagerly.

CHASE
Jack, I'll see you Monday on set.

JACK
I won't be there. They're toning
down my profile.

PRINTING PRESS

The latest issue of Hush-Hush flies through. On the cover:
"Gail Russell Caught In Love Nest. Nymph or No?"

INT. CITY JAIL - DAY

Bud White flips through today's booking slips, finds one
that's interesting. Reading to himself...

BUD
Domestic. Assault and battery.

Containment Squad strong-arms, BREUNING and CARLISLE pause
as they pass.

CARLISLE
Ready to go, Bud?

BUD
I'll be there in five minutes.

CITY JAIL - HALLWAY

Bud walks to a door covered in sheet metal. He opens it to
reveal a holding tank with a burly, jumpsuited PRISONER.

BUD
I hear you like to hit women.

PRISONER
My wife. She's dropping charges so
it's none of your business.

Bud enters, closes the door behind him. A beat, we hear the
sounds of FISTS ON FLESH. It's Bud's business now.

INT. BEVERLY HILLS MANSION - STUDY - NIGHT

Deuce Perkins (the Mickey Cohen narcotics lieutenant seen
earlier) stands at the bookshelf. He pulls down books to
reveal a shoe box. He sets it on his desk, pulls back the
cover to reveal several bags of white powder. Heroin. A BRANCH
SNAPS outside. Perkins opens a drawer, fishes a revolver.
Turning off the light, he heads to the window. His finger
parts the curtains. At that instant, he staggers, falls as
GUNFIRE rips into him. The heroin just sits there on the
desk.

EXT. MCNEIL PENITENTIARY - DAY

Grim-faced guards scan the yard from machine-gunned towers.

INT. MCNEIL PENITENTIARY - VISITOR BOOTH - DAY

Mickey Cohen sits across from visitor Johnny Stompanato.
Cohen is going off the handle.

COHEN
What do you mean Deuce Perkins got
clipped last night?!

STOMPANATO
They shot him in his library.

COHEN
I don't want a floor plan; I want to
know who! Who's taking the ticket
for this, Johnny?

STOMPANATO
Nobody. At least not yet.

COHEN
And what about the merchandise Deuce
was holding for me?

STOMPANATO
Gone. Not a trace.

COHEN
Some ferstunkener is moving in and
we don't know who?! Maybe we should
ask Hedda Hopper!

As "STRANGER IN PARADISE" ENDS, so does the MONTAGE.

INT. BRIEFING ROOM - AD VICE - DAY

Addressing the squad, a no-nonsense VICE CAPTAIN picks up a
stack of magazines.

VICE CAPTAIN
Picture-book smut, gentlemen. There's
been a bunch of it found at collateral
crime scenes lately. Mostly narcotics
and prostitution collars.

As the Vice Capt. hands it out for the men to examine, new
member Jack Vincennes arrives late.

VICE CAPTAIN
Look who's back from suspension.
We're honored, Sergeant Jack.

The men laugh. Jack sits, flips a magazine. Men and women.
Men and men. Girls and girls. Girls and horses.

JACK
Gee. The Great Jerk-Off Book Caper
of 1953.

VICE CAPTAIN
Vincennes, is there someplace you'd
rather be?

JACK
Yeah, Cap. Back in Narcotics.

VICE CAPTAIN
Oh? Anyplace else?

JACK
Working whores with squad two.

VICE CAPTAIN
Maybe you should have thought of
that before you made Bloody Christmas
page one.

Vice Capt. retrieves the magazines, hands them to Jack.

VICE CAPTAIN
They're yours. Make a major case,
Sergeant. It's the only way you're
getting out of here.

Exaggerated "oohs" and "aahs" from the men.

VICE CAPTAIN
Dismissed, gentlemen.

As they go, Jack sees the books are stamped: "Fleur-de-Lis
Whatever you desire." Jack takes the matching business card
from his wallet, the one he found on Christmas Eve.

VICE CAPTAIN
Roll, Vincennes. No sidetracks. This
is Ad Vice, not Narco.

INT. HOLLYWOOD STATION - NARCO PEN - DAY

Jack Vincennes is at his desk. Holding the Fleur-de-Lis card,
magazines spread before him, Jack dials the number.

INT. HUSH-HUSH MAGAZINE OFFICE - DAY

Sid Hudgeons sits behind his desk, answers the phone.

HUDGEONS
Hush-Hush. Off the record and on the
Q.T.

JACK (V.O.)
Sid, it's Vincennes.

HUDGEONS
Jackie, are you back on Narco? I
need copy.

INTERCUT WITH Jack at his desk:

JACK
No. But I've got something going
with Ad Vice.

HUDGEONS
Something good?

JACK
Don't know. I'm chasing picture books.
Fuck shots, but the posers don't
look like junkies. It's well done
stuff. I thought you might have heard
something.

Hudgeons reaches into a stack of papers, pulls out a magazine
like the one Jack has.

HUDGEONS
Not a word.

JACK
What about Fleur-de-Lis? Their
slogan's 'Whatever you desire.'

HUDGEONS
No. No, I've heard bupkis. Jack,
I'll talk to you later. Call me when
you get something I can use. Smut's
from hunger. For sad sacks who can't
get their ashes hauled.

The LINE CLICKS off. Jack hesitates a moment before cradling
the receiver. Something's not right here.

EXT. HOLYWOOD STATION - PARKING LOT - TWILIGHT

As Exley pulls in, his two-way drones:

DISPATCHER (V.O.)
Park Rangers report three Negro youths
discharging shotguns into the air in
Griffith Park. Suspects are driving
a late model purple Mercury Coupe.

As the report ends, Exley switches off the two-way and gets
out of his car.

INT. HOLLYWOOD STATION - SQUAD ROOM - NIGHT

Accompanied by Bud, Dick Stensland crams the contents of his
desk into a box. Well-wishing cops pat him on the back, offer
words of encouragement, but Stensland looks like he's going
to cry. It's very bad timing as Exley enters, comes face-to-
face with them. This is hatred. Acting on impulse, Bud goes
after Exley. It's a mauling. Four vicious body shots. A
potentially lethal head shot sails wide as Exley falls to
the ground. As four men move to hold Bud back, Exley looks
up at him.

EXLEY
(gasping)
You're just a thug, White. That's
all you'll ever be.

Dudley steps into the fray. He helps Exley to his feet.

DUDLEY
You should stay away from a man when
his blood is up.

EXLEY
His blood's always up.

Four cops are genuinely having trouble holding Bud back.
Dudley watches with something bordering on admiration.

DUDLEY
Then maybe you should stay away from
him all the time.

EXT. HOLLYWOOD STATION - PARKING LOT - NIGHT

Accompanied by Bud, Stensland reaches his car, loads his box
of stuff into the trunk. Bud is moody, pensive.

STENSLAND
Don't look so down in the mouth,
Bud. You nailed him good.

BUD
Yeah, sure... I got a couple of hours
before I have to be at the Victory.
Want to grab a beer?

STENSLAND
Rain check me, partner. I got
something big going on tonight.

BUD
What? That new mystery girl you've
been seeing?

STENSLAND
No. I'll tell you sometime. Not now.
Don't want to jinx it. But it could
take the edge off that jail time I
got coming.

BUD
What are you talking about?

STENSLAND
It's confidential, Bud. Like that
magazines Vincennes scams for. Hush-
Hush.
(smiles)
I'll see you tomorrow. And hey, if
it works out, you'll get a piece of
it.

Stensland gets in the car, drives off. Bud is left alone.

INT. HOLLYWOOD STATION - SQUAD ROOM - NIGHT

Exley sits alone in a sea of desks. The SQUAWK BOX DRONES.
Exley squints at the clock on the wall, can't make it out.
He takes his glasses from the inside of his jacket. 2:00
A.M. Finally, something to do. He walks to the wall calendar,
tears off Feb. 28 to reveal Mar. 1. As Exley sits, the call
SQUAWK BOX booms to life.

VOICE
Squad call! Nite Owl Coffee Shop One-
eight-one-two-four Cherokee! Multiple
homicides! Multiple homicides! Code
three!

EXT. HOLLYWOOD AND CHEROKEE - NIGHT

Patrol cars. Blues setting up a crime scene blockade. Exley
pulls up, DOUSES his SIREN. PATROLMAN #1 runs over.

PATROLMAN #1
Loads of people down. Men. Women. I
stopped for coffee --

Exley pushes him aside, heads for the door. It's wide open.

INT. NITE OWL - NIGHT

Exley takes mental snapshots. Ten stools front a counter.
The side wall mural-papered: winking owls perched on street
signs. On the right a string of tables. Three in disarray.
Food spilled, dishes broken. A high-heel pump by an upended
chair. Heel drag marks across the linoleum floor heading
back toward the kitchen. Exley follows. Past an open, empty
cash register. Outside -- SIRENS.

SERVICE RUNWAY

Crisscrossed drag marks connect, lead to a walk-in...

FOOD LOCKER

Blood-soaked bodies on the floor. Five, maybe six in a tangle.
Dozens of shotgun shells float in the pools of blood. As
Exley struggles to maintain his composure...

ROOKIE (O.S.)
Holy shit fuck...

Exley looks at a green-faced ROOKIE in the locker doorway.

ROOKIE
S-s-sir, there's a captain outside
wants to see you.

EXLEY
Don't get sick! Not in here!

Exley shoves the Rookie, puking, out the door.

EXT. NITE OWL - NIGHT

Patrolmen hold back a swarm of reporters and rubber-neckers.
HORNS BLAST. Motorcycles run interference for meat wagons
cut off by the crown. As Ed emerges, reporters surge, shout
questions. Exley hurries past, finds Dudley in command and
barking orders.

EXLEY
Sir, I took the call. It's my case.

DUDLEY
Edmund, you don't want it and you
can't have it.

EXLEY
Yes, I do, sir.

DUDLEY
It's mine. I'll make you my second
in command.

Exley spots a photographer moving in. He looks properly
serious as the flash bulb pops.

INT. NIGHT OWL - NIGHT

Forensics Chief RAY PINKER walks Exley and Dudley through.

PINKER
We got a total of forty-five spent
12-gauge Remington shotgun shells.
Three men with five-shot-capacity
pumps. All of them reloading twice.

EXLEY
Hold on... We need to canvass. See
if a purple Mercury was seen around
here tonight.

DUDLEY
Why?

EXLEY
We got a call earlier on three Negro
youths. Firing shotguns in Griffith
Park from a late-model purple Mercury
Coupe.

DUDLEY
(to his adjutant)
Get on it.

A FORENSICS COP approaches Pinker.

FORENSICS COP
We got an I.D. on one of the victims,
sir... I think it's Dick Stensland.

Exley and Dudley react, look at each other.

EXT. VICTORY MOTEL - DAWN

Set in a no-man's-land of bulldozed homes. A sign proudly
announces the impending arrival of the freeway. The motel is
surrounded by a barbed-wire fence. Abandoned but for a pair
of LAPD cars and a light burning in room 6. An unmarked pulls
up and Exley and Dudley step out. They start forward, but a
SCREAM inside 6 stops Exley short.

DUDLEY
With Mickey Cohen in prison, Los
Angeles is organized crime free. The
Chief wants it to stay that way,
Edmund. The means are not for the
weak-hearted.

INT. VICTORY MOTEL - ROOM 6 - DAWN

Bare. A table and chair bolted to the floor. A tough FLAT-
NOSED GANGSTER is cuffed to the hot seat. On the table are a
.45 and a fat roll of $100 bills. Breuning and Carlisle watch
as Bud White delivers a couple of short, stiff body shots.
Flatnose is not used to being on the receiving end. All the
same, we get the idea Bud's a bit reluctant. Bud's back is
to Dudley and Exley who enter behind him.

DUDLEY
Come, Wendell, you can do better
than that.

Bud turns, sees Exley and Dudley. A beat. As Bud looms over
Flatnose, the gangster babbles. Snitch-frenzied.

FLATNOSE
I know things. I hear things. Like
with the Mick inside, things are on
this weird slowdown. These shooter
teams, bang bang bang, they're 86-
ing Mickey Cohen's men.

DUDLEY
We know all that, lad. Tell us, who
do these shooters work for?

FLATNOSE
I don't know. No one knows. Maybe
they're mavericks. You want a prostie
roust? Huh? Some narco action?
(breaking down)
What do you want?!

DUDLEY
We want you to go home.
(to Breuning)
Uncuff him, Michael.

Dudley turns to Exley.

DUDLEY
Mr. Sifakis is a known loan shark
from San Francisco. He arrived this
afternoon at Union Station. Looking
for business opportunities in our
fair city. An organized crime
associate in need of re-education in
the ways of polite society.

Uncuffed, Flatnose rubs his wrists. Wary. As Breuning steps
back, Flatnose snatches the .45 off the table.

FLATNOSE
Motherfuckers!

Exley dives for cover, but the other four cops just stand
there. Dudley looks down on the floor at Exley.

DUDLEY
It's part of the play, Edmund. A
sincerity test.

Flatnose looks at the gun a beat, then squeezes the TRIGGER.
CLICK CLICK. No bullets.

DUDLEY
(to Breuning)
Sit him back down.

CLICK, CLICK. They shove Flatnose back in the hot seat. Dudley
offers a hand to Exley, helps him to his feet.

DUDLEY
Wendell, you need to accompany
Detective Lieutenant Exley on official
police business. I'll finish up here.

INT. EXLEY'S PLYMOUTH - DAY

They drive in silence. No love lost here. Finally.

BUD
Where are we going?

EXLEY
It's a surprise. You like surprises,
don't you, White?

EXT. COUNTY MORGUE - DAY

Exley pulls up. Bud looks to him. Really curious now.

INT. COUNTY MORGUE - HALLWAY - DAY

Exley and Bud walk. An orderly wheels a covered corpse toward
them from the other end of the hall. Bud's spooked. The
orderly wheels the body in to the examination room. As Bud
and Exley pass, the CORONER pulls back the sheet, is surprised
at the sight of a woman who we don't quite see.

CORONER
Call me crazy, but for a second I
thought it was Rita Hayworth.

MORGUE MEAT LOCKER

Exley and Bud walk past a wall of drawers to where a coroner's
assistant waits.

EXLEY
We need you to I.D. the body. There's
no next of kin and you knew him best.
So tell me...

The assistant pulls open drawer 12. A naked man. A tag on
his toe and half his face blown off.

EXLEY
Is that Dick Stensland?

Stunned, Bud stares at what's left of his old partner.

BUD
Yeah, that's Stens.

EXLEY
Hell of a way to avoid a prison
sentence.

Bud's torn between wanting to smash Exley and finding out
why Stensland is dead. He squeezes out the words.

BUD
What happened?

EXLEY
Someone held up a coffee shop,
panicked and killed six people.

Then, from the hall...

WOMAN (O.S.)
Not my baby! Not my little girl!

INT. COUNTY MORGUE - EXAMINATION ROOM - DAY

HILDA LEFFERTS, 50, enters with the coroner to ID the body
of her daughter, Susan. There's stray buckshot in the upper
chest and shoulders, but a sheet hides the real damage. It's
the girl Bud saw outside Hollywood Liquor. Without the black
eyes, she does look like Rita hayworth. As Bud and Exley
appear, Mrs. Lefferts looks confused.

CORONER
Is this your daughter, Mrs. Lefferts?

MRS. LEFFERTS
I -- I don't know.

EXLEY
We know this is difficult. Just take
your time and look again.

Exley doesn't realize, but Bud recognizes the deceased.

MRS. LEFFERTS
It seems like my Susan, but...

EXLEY
When was the last time you saw her,
Mrs. Lefferts?

MRS. LEFFERTS
At Christmas. We had fought. I didn't
like her boyfriend. I -- she has a
birthmark on her hip.

The Coroner lifts the sheet. Mrs. Lefferts gasps.

MRS. LEFFERTS
It's her. My baby. Dear God...

As Mrs. Lefferts swoons, Bud and Exley both hold her up.

INT. LAPD HEADQUARTERS - BRIEFING ROOM - DAY

The room buzzes, jammed to the rafters with every detective
standing ready. The Chief waits as Dudley Smith takes the
mike, holds up an L.A. Times headline.

DUDLEY
'Nite Owl Massacre.' Hyperbole aside,
this is a heinous crime that requires
a swift resolution. The public will
demand it and this department will
provide it. Six victims. One of them,
one of our own -- Dick Stensland.
(as the cops react)
As it happens, he was a Nite Owl
regular. In the wrong place at the
wrong time.

Bud White listens, not too sure. Stensland said he had
something big going on...

DUDLEY
Robbery looks like the motive. We
have rubber glove prints on the
register and preliminary forensics
strongly lean toward a trio of gunmen.
We do have one hot lead, so listen
well. Three Negro youths were seen
last night discharging shotguns in
the air at Griffith Park. A park
ranger I.D.ed them as driving a 1948
to 1950 Mercury Coupe, purple in
color. An hour ago, a canvassing
crew found a news vendor who saw a
purple Merc Coupe parked across from
the Nite Owl around 3:00 A.M.

The room goes loud, a big rumbling. Dudley holds up a list.

DUDLEY
The D.M.V. worked all night to get
us a registration list on '48 to '50
purple Mercs. There are 142 registered
to Negroes in L.A. County. Fifty two-
man teams will shake three names
apiece. Hot suspects you'll bring
here. Interrogation rooms have been
set up. They'll be run by Lieutenant
Edmund Exley. Hollywood Squad.

Catcalls. Boos. The Chief steps to the mike.

CHIEF
Enough on that. Gentlemen, just go
out and get them. Use all necessary
force. The people of Los Angeles
demand it.

The men exchange knowing looks. The real message: kill them
clean. Exley doesn't approve. As the men hurry out...

EXLEY
He might as well have put a bounty
on them.

INT. SQUAD ROOM - DAY

Detectives pairing up and moving out. Scanning his three
name list, Bud joins his PARTNER for the day.

BUD
Can you take them? I got I got
something I gotta do.

PARTNER
Christ, I don't know. What if one of
these names...

BUD
What I gotta do is for Stensland. My
partner.

The guy looks at him a beat, nods. As Bud heads off...

EXLEY

watches everyone go. Wishes he could be part of the action.
He spots Jack talking to his REDNECK partner for for the
day.

JACK AND REDNECK

Redneck chews tobacco, has a Texas drawl.

REDNECK
Where to, Trash?

JACK
If we go by the list, we have about
zero chance of making the collar.
But I know a guy who knows what's
going on south of Jefferson. I'm
betting he could put us at 50/50.

REDNECK
I don't know...

As Redneck thinks, Exley steps up. He's overheard.

EXLEY
I'll take those odds.
(to Redneck)
Take off. We got it from here.

Jack stares. Redneck shrugs, spits tobacco juice in a cup.

REDNECK
Between the two of you guys, you
should bring along a photographer.

INT. HOLLYWOOD LIQUOR - DAY

Last time we saw the Owner was Christmas Eve. He looks up
from a customer as Bud strides in, badge out front.

BUD
I need an address on a customer of
yours. Her name was Lynn.

OWNER
That's all I have to go on?

BUD
Yeah. And I think you already know
who I mean, so cough it up.

OWNER
Lynn Bracken. There's a billing
address and a delivery address.

BUD
Give me both. Billing first.

EXT. 1184 GRETNA GREEN, BRENTWOOD (PATCHETT'S) - DAY

A big, pink Spanish mansion with lots of tile. Also last
seen outside Hollywood Liquor on Christmas Eve, Pierce
Patchett is in the front yard, chipping golf balls over a
koi pond. They land in a tight grouping. As he tees up:

BUD (O.S.)
You must slay 'em at the country
club.

Bud's halfway up the walk. Patchett sees the cuffs hooked to
his belt. Patchett is cool as can be.

BUD
Are you Pierce Patchett?

PATCHETT
I am. Are you soliciting for police
charities? The last time, you people
called at my office.

BUD
I'm a homicide detective. Where were
you last night?

PATCHETT
I was here, hosting a party. Who was
killed and why do you think I can
help?

BUD
Richard Stensland.

PATCHETT
I don't know him. Mr...

BUD
Officer White. How about Susan
Lefferts? You know her?

PATCHETT
(sighs, concedes)
You know I do or you wouldn't be
here. How did you find me?

BUD
We met outside Hollywood Liquors on
Christmas Eve. This is where Lynn
Bracken's booze bills go.

PATCHETT
Of course...

BUD
Sue Lefferts died at the Nite Owl.
I'm investigating.

Patchett studies Bud a beat, weighing his options. Patchett's
burly BODYGUARD starts over from the house.

BODYGUARD
Everything alright, Mr. Patchett?

PATCHETT
(waves him off)
Fine, Philip. Thank you.

BUD
Where's the other guy? Buzz.

PATCHETT
He no longer works for me.
(a beat)
Find Susan's killer, Mr. White. I'll
give you a handsome reward. Whatever
you desire.

If only Jack had been around to hear that.

BUD
Thanks, but no thanks.

PATCHETT
Against your code?

BUD
I don't have one. Lefferts looked
beat-up Christmas Eve, but didn't
act it. How come?

PATCHETT
Do you care about criminal matters
peripheral to Susan's murder?

BUD
No.

PATCHETT
Then you wouldn't feel obligated to
report them?

BUD
That's right.

PATCHETT
Then listen closely, because I'll
only say this once and if it gets
repeated, I'll deny it. I run call
girls. Lynn Bracken is one of them
and so was Susan Lefferts. I treat
my girls very well. I have grown
daughters, myself, and I don't like
the thought of women being hurt. I
sense you share this feeling.

BUD
(ignores comment)
Why were Lefferts' eyes black?

PATCHETT
I think she'd been hit in the face
with a tennis racket. She is -- was --
a big doubles fan.

BUD
You wanna go downtown and discuss
this officially?

PATCHETT
Wait. Our deal still holds?

Bud nods, his patience running thin.

PATCHETT
I needed a Rita Hayworth to fill out
my little studio.

BUD
What little studio?

PATCHETT
There's Gardner, Hepburn, Grable,
Turner. Lynn Bracken is my Veronica
Lake. I use girls who look like movie
stars. Sometimes I employ a plastic
surgeon.

BUD
That's why her mother couldn't I.D.
her... Jesus fucking Christ.

PATCHETT
No, Mr. White. Pierce Morehouse
Patchett. Now, I sense you're on
your best behavior, but that's all
I'll give you. If you persist, I'll
meet you with my attorney. Now, would
you like Miss Bracken's address? I
doubt she knows anything, but --

BUD
I got her address.

PATCHETT
Of course... this is personal with
you, isn't it, Mr. White?

Bud turns, heads down the walk. Patchett hits his golf ball.
It lands just past the koi pond, with the rest. Ice.

EXT. 1736 NOTTINGHAM, LOS FELIZ (LYNN BRACKEN'S) - DAY

A modern-looking triplex. A projector's flicker strobes
against the closed curtains. We hear a PHONE RING.

INT. 1736 NOTTINGHAM (LYNN BRACKEN'S) - DAY

The film is This Gun For Hire with Alan Ladd and Veronica
Lake. It's projected on a wall in front of which stands Lynn
Bracken and an OLDER GENTLEMAN, in his underwear. Lynn's
long, blonde hair hangs down over one eye. She looks more
like Veronica Lake than Veronica Lake. The film flashes over
them as they kiss. The PHONE RINGS. Lynn ignores it as long
as she can before breaking away to go answer it.

LYNN
Hello?

OLDER GENTLEMAN
(Alan Ladd)
Is it the cops?

She waves him off. As he practices pointing his finger like
Ladd points a gun, Lynn reacts to the news on the phone.

EXT. 9781 SOUTH DUQUESNE - DAY

A South Central plywood and tar-paper dive. A BLACK BOXER
pounds a heavy bag/speed bag combo bolted to the porch. Wiry,
a welterweight, he doesn't see Jack and Exley till they're
almost on top of him.

JACK
Leonard Bidwell?

The Boxer leans on the bag to catch his breath. Looking them
over, he finally nods.

JACK
How's the left these days?

BOXER
What's it to you?

JACK
I saw you fight Kid Gavilan. I like
your style.

BOXER
What do you want, Mr. Policeman?

JACK
You got a brother up in Folsom. I
know because I put him there.

BOXER
Till 19-fucking-70.

JACK
How'd you like to make it 1960? I
know the judge and Sergeant Exley
here is friends with the D.A.

Exley nods, this is true. The Boxer's still listening.

JACK
We're looking for three colored guys
who like to pop off shotguns. One of
'em owns a purple Merc coupe.

BOXER
You wanna get me a fuckin' snitch
jacket?

JACK
You wanna buy your brother ten
years...? You don't have to say
anything. Just look at this list and
point. Here.

Jack holds the DMV list out to the Boxer, who waves it off.

BOXER
He's bad, so I'll just tell you.
Sugar Ray Coates. Drives a '49 coupe,
a beautiful ride. Don't know about
shotguns, but he gets his thrills
killing dogs. He is righteous trash.

Jack and Exley scan the list. Jack's finger stabs down on,
"Coates, Raymond, 9611 South Central, Room 414."

JACK
That's five minutes from here.

EXT. 1736 NOTTINGHAM (LYNN BRACKEN'S) - DAY

Lynn does her best to usher the slightly disheveled Older
Gentleman out the door.

OLDER GENTLEMAN
I don't understand, doll, we just
got started.

LYNN
I'm sorry, but I'll make it up to
you. I promise.

OLDER GENTLEMAN
Gosh, kitten, I don't know...

As he begins to mash up against her...

BUD (O.S.)
Hit the road, gramps.

Bud's standing at the bottom of the stairs. The Older
Gentleman strikes a pose. He still thinks he's Alan Ladd.

OLDER GENTLEMAN
Alright. This time I'll go, but next
time --

BUD
(flips badge)
L.A.P.D., shitbird. Get the fuck out
of here or I'll call your wife to
come get you.

Sputtering, the Older Gentleman exchanges a look with Lynn
then hurries away, giving Bud a wide berth.

LYNN
I've been expecting you. Pierce
called. Told me what happened to
Sue.

INT. 1736 NOTTINGHAM (LYNN BRACKEN'S) - DAY

A nice breezy feel. The perfect place to shack up.

LYNN
It's Officer White, isn't it?

Bud nods, eyeballs the place.

LYNN
Can I get you a drink?

BUD
Yeah, plain scotch.

Bud watches her move to the bar. God, she's beautiful.

LYNN
I was friendly with Sue Lefferts,
but we weren't really friends. You
know what I mean?

BUD
Are you sorry she's dead?

LYNN
Of course I am. What kind of question
is that?

She steps back with a scotch for both of them.

BUD
Have you ever heard of Dick Stensland?

LYNN
No I haven't. Do you know why Pierce
is humoring you?

BUD
You use words like that, you might
make me mad.

LYNN
Yes. But do you know?

BUD
Yeah I know. Patchett's running whores
and judging by his address, probably
something bigger on the side. He
doesn't want any attention.

LYNN
That's right. Our motives are selfish,
so we're cooperating.

BUD
Why was Susan Lefferts at the Nite
Owl?

LYNN
I don't know. I never heard of the
Nite Owl till today.

BUD
Did Lefferts have a boyfriend?

LYNN
Like I said we were friendly, not
friends.

BUD
How'd she meet Patchett?

LYNN
Pierce meets people. Sue came on the
bus with dreams of Hollywood. This
is how they turned out. Thanks to
Pierce, we still get to act a little.

BUD
Tell me about Patchett.

LYNN
He's waiting for you to mention money.

BUD
You want some advice, Miss Bracken?

LYNN
It's Lynn.

BUD
Miss Bracken, don't ever try to
fucking bribe me or threaten me or
I'll have you and Patchett in shit
up to your ears.

Lynn smiles again. She likes Bud. A beat.

LYNN
I remember you from Christmas Eve.
You have a thing for helping women,
don't you, Officer White?

BUD
Maybe I'm just fucking curious.

LYNN
You say 'fuck' a lot.

BUD
You fuck for money.

LYNN
There's blood on your shirt. Is that
an integral part of your job?

BUD
Yeah.

LYNN
Do you enjoy it?

BUD
When they deserve it.

LYNN
Did they deserve it today?

BUD
I'm not sure.

LYNN
But you did it anyway.

BUD
Yeah, just like the half dozen guys
you screwed today.

LYNN
(laughs again)
Actually, it was two. You're
different, Officer White. You're the
first man in five years who didn't
tell me I look like Veronica Lake
inside of a minute.

BUD
You look better than Veronica Lake.
Now, PIERCE PATCHETT.

LYNN
He takes a cut of our earnings and
invests it for us. He makes us quit
the life at thirty. He doesn't let
us use narcotics and he doesn't abuse
us. Can your policeman's mentality
grasp those contradictions?

BUD
He had you cut to look like Veronica
Lake?

LYNN
No. I'm really a brunette, but the
rest is me. And that's all the news
that's fit to print.

Lynn starts toward the door. Bud watches her a moment, then
follows. She takes his glass at the door.

LYNN
It was nice meeting you, Officer.

Out the door, Bud turns back. Blurts:

BUD
Look. I want to see you again.

LYNN
Are you asking me for a date or an
appointment?

BUD
(suddenly unsure)
I don't know.

LYNN
(another smile)
If it's a date I think you'd better
tell me your first name because I --

BUD
(feeling foolish)
Forget I asked. It was a mistake.

Lynn watches thoughtfully after Bud as he walks away. He
opens his car door like he's going to tear it off. A last
glance back at Lynn and as he gets in the car...

EXT. TEVERE HOTEL - DAY

An L-shaped walk-up. Jack coasts the car to the curb. He
leaps out with Exley. Exley holds up at the sight of a late
model sedan. He leans down to look in the window at the two-
way on the dash.

EXLEY
L.A.P.D.

JACK
SHIT. Someone beat us here.

VOICES from the carport ahead. We see a chrome bumper, the
purple fender of a '49 Mercury coupe. A door slams. Drawing
a .45, Jack starts over with Exley, .38 in hand.

CARPORT

Toting shotguns, Dudley's boys from the Victory Motel,
Breuning and Carlisle, stand by the purple Mercury. Jack and
Exley come around the corner, lower their guns.

JACK
Hey.

Breuning wheels, pumps a round into the chamber. He very
nearly fires before he sees who it is.

CARLISLE
What the fuck are you guys doing
here?

EXLEY
Think of us as back-up.

JACK
What do you got?

As Jack moves to peer through the Merc's window.

BREUNING
Three Ithaca pumps, an empty box of
double-ought buck and cash.

Jack spots them. Three shotguns on the passenger side floor,
an empty box of shells and loose dollar bills.

JACK
So long, Vice. Badge of Honor, here
I come.

CARLISLE
Fuck you, Vincennes. It's our collar.

Breuning actually has to restrain his partner.

EXLEY
Quiet. I'm ranking officer here. We
go as a team. End of story.

INT. CORRIDOR - TEVERE HOTEL - DAY

Breuning and Carlisle lead the way with Jack and Exley
bringing up the rear. Squinting, Exley reaches to his pocket
for something. Not there.

EXLEY
Damnit...

JACK
What?

EXLEY
Glasses.

JACK
(chuckling)
Just don't shoot me.

The door to 414. Two men on either side. Breuning rears back.
Jack rears back. They kick at the same instant. The door
flies off its hinges to reveal two young black men, LARRY
FONTAINE and TY JONES, waking from a couple of flop
mattresses.

ROOM 414

Fontaine jumps up. Entering, Carlisle aims, but Exley grabs
his arm. The BLAST rips the ceiling. Jack aims.

JACK
Freeze!

Fontaine freezes. Jones doesn't dare get up.

CARLISLE
Ace him, Jack.

EXLEY
Shut up, Carlisle!

Jack and Exley burst into a...

SECOND BEDROOM

Another black, RAY COATES, passed out on mattress, surrounded
by empty beer cans. Jack sticks his .38 in his back, starts
to cuff him. As the cuff ratchets down...

INT. OBSERVATION ROOM - DAY

Dudley watches intently as Ed Exley skims a report, memorizing
names and dates. Jack and other brass are also here along
with a stenographer. So's Bud. One of these guys killed
Stensland. Through tinted glass, the three suspects in three
different rooms.

EXLEY
Casitas Youth Camp... Coates twenty-
two, a boxer... Manager saw them
burning clothes.

Satisfied, Exley sets the report down.

DUDLEY
Ed, I want confessions.

EXLEY
I'll break them, sir.

As Exley steps into the #1 room, Jack joins Dudley.

JACK
You think golden boy can handle it,
Cap?

DUDLEY
I think you'll be surprised what
Edmund's capable of.

INT. #1 ROOM - DAY

Exley closes the door. Ray Coates is cuffed to a chair,
dressed in baggy County denims. One eye swollen shut, lip
split, a smashed nose with one nostril split. Exley unlocks
his cuffs. drops cigarettes and matches on the table. As
Coates rubs his wrists...

EXLEY
They call you Sugar Ray because of
Ray Robinson?
(no answer)
They say Robinson can throw a four
punch combination in one second. Do
you believe that?

Coates just stares at him.

EXLEY
You're twenty-two, aren't you, Ray?

COATES
Say what and so what.

EXLEY
Did one of the officers work you
over a little?

No bite. Coates just stares back.

EXLEY
You look like Robinson after that
last LaMotta fight. 'Course LaMotta
looked a lot worse. So you're twenty-
two, right?

COATES
Man, why do you keep asking me that?

EXLEY
Just getting my facts straight. Twenty-
two makes it a gas chamber bounce.
You should have pulled this caper a
couple of years ago. Get life, do a
little Youth Authority jolt, transfer
to Folsom a big man. Orbit on some
of that good prison brew, get yourself
a sissy --

COATES
I never truck with no sissies!

EXLEY
That fucking Larry. I almost believed
him.

COATES
Believed what?

EXLEY
Nothing, Ray.
(laughs)
That Larry, he's a pisser. You did
the Casitas Youth Camp with him,
didn't you?

COATES
Man, why're you talkin' about Larry?
His business is his business.

Unseen by Coates, Exley reaches under the table, takes hold
of one of three toggle switches.

EXLEY
Sugar, Larry told me you went sissy
up at Casitas. You couldn't do the
time so you found yourself a big
white boy to look after you. He said
they call you 'Sugar' because you
gave it out so sweet.

Exley flips the toggle.

#3 ROOM

The speaker over Larry Fontaine's head crackles to life.

COATES (V.O.)
Larry gave it at Casitas! Man, I was
the fuckin' boss jocker on my dorm!
Larry's the sissy! Larry gave it for
candy bars!

#1 ROOM

Exley flips up the second toggle.

EXLEY
Ray, you protected Ty and Larry up
in Casitas, didn't you?

COATES
You ain't woofin' I did. Stupid down
home niggers got no more sense than
a fuckin' dog.

Exley flips the switches off.

EXLEY
I heard you like to shoot dogs.

COATES
Dogs got no reason to live.

EXLEY
Oh? you feel that way about people,
too?

COATES
Man, what're you saying?

EXLEY
Ray, we got the shotguns.

COATES
I don't own no shotguns.

EXLEY
Why were you throwing clothes in the
building incinerator?

COATES
(trembling)
Say what?

EXLEY
You guys were arrested this morning,
but none of you have last night's
clothes. YOU were seen burning them.
Add to that the fact that you hid
the car you were cruising around in
last night and it doesn't look good.

COATES
I got nothin' more to say till I see
a judge.

EXLEY
Were you on hop? You were passed out
when you got arrested. Were you hopped
up, Ray?

COATES
Ty and Larry fuck with that shit,
not me.

EXLEY
Where do they get their stuff? Come
on. Give me one to feed the D.A.
Just a little one.

Coates nods. Exley flips up the toggles as he leans in.

COATES
Roland Navarette. Lives on Bunker
Hill. He runs a hole-up for parole
absconders and sells red devils.

Exley flips down the switches, stands.

EXLEY
I'm going to take a break.

Exley opens the door, looks back in afterthought.

EXLEY
You know, Ray, I'm talking about the
gas chamber and you haven't even
asked me what this is all about. You
got a big guilty sign around your
neck.

Exley exits.

OBSERVATION ROOM

Exley enters.

DUDLEY
Masterful, Edmund. Your father
would've been proud.
(pointing)
This one's on the verge.

Exley looks through the glass into #2. Larry Fontaine is
weeping. A piss puddle on the floor by his chair.

EXLEY
Fontaine next, but give Jones the
newspaper. I want him primed.

#2 ROOM

Fontaine tries to control his sniffles as Exley enters.

EXLEY
Larry, Ray Coates ratted you off. He
said the Nite Owl was your idea. You
want to tell me about it?

No answer.

EXLEY
I think it was Ray's idea. Talk and
I think I can save your life.

No answer.

EXLEY
Larry, this is a gas chamber job. If
you don't talk, you'll be dead in
six months.

No answer.

EXLEY
Son, six people are dead and somebody
has to pay. It can be you or it can
be Ray.

No answer.

EXLEY
Larry, he called you queer. He said
at Casitas you took it up the ass.
He said --

FONTAINE
I DIDN'T KILL NOBODY!

The voice is strong, full of conviction. Exley glances at
the mirror. Then...

EXLEY
Why'd you burn the clothes?

FONTAINE
(sobbing)
I just wanted to lose my cherry. I
didn't mean to hurt her.

Exley can't hide his surprise at this.

EXLEY
Hurt who? Was she a hooker? Hurt
who?

But Fontaine is gone. Head lolling, eyes squeezing out tears.

OBSERVATION ROOM

Exley steps out of the interrogation room. Dudley braces
him.

DUDLEY
Don't get sidetracked. Stay with the
Nite Owl.

EXLEY
She may still be alive, whoever she
is.

Bud's all ears.

#3 ROOM

Reading, Jones has his feet on the table. Exley bursts in.

JONES
This newspaper shit ain't shit.

EXLEY
Where's the girl? Did you kill her?

No answer, but Jones looks nervous.

EXLEY
You wanted Larry to lose his cherry,
but things got out of hand. Is that
right?

OBSERVATION ROOM

Everyone's attention is riveted, particularly Bud's. They
watch, listen over the speaker.

EXLEY
(over speaker)
Kick loose, Jones. I know you made
her bleed, but that doesn't mean you
killed her.

No answer, but Jones is squirming.

EXLEY
(over speaker)
If that girl's alive, you've still
got a chance on this one.

JONES
(over speaker)
I think she's alive.

EXLEY
(over speaker)
You THINK?

Jack turns to Dudley.

JACK
He's good. I'll give him that.

They don't notice as the chair back begins to splinter in
Bud's hands.

#3 ROOM

Exley sits across from him, tries to wrap it up.

EXLEY
Where is she now?
(no answer)
Did you leave her someplace?
(no answer)
Did you sell her out? Give her to
some of your buddies? Tell me where
the girl is!

The door blasts open. Bud slams Jones up against the wall.
As Exley stands, he bangs his knee on the table. Pulling a
.38, Bud breaks the cylinder, drops 5 shells on the floor.

BUD
One in six. Where's the girl?

EXLEY
Officer White, put down that weapon
and --

Bud shoves the barrel into Jones' mouth, pulls the trigger
twice. CLICK, CLICK. Jones starts to slide down the wall.
Bud jerks him back up, roars.

BUD
WHERE?!

Two more clicks. Jones spills.

JONES
S-sylvester F-fitch one-o-nine and
Avalon gray corner house...

EXT. AVALON BOULEVARD - EVENING

A four cordon. They coast up to a GRAY CORNER HOUSE. Dudley
Smith behind the wheel of the lead cruiser. Bud White rides
shotgun, reloading his revolver.

BUD
Give me one minute.

DUDLEY
You've got it, Wendell.

STREET

Bud is out the door and scooting down an alley. Exley moves
to follow, but Dudley cuts him off.

DUDLEY
We're going through the front.

ALLEY

Bud vaults a fence, pads up the back porch. A screen door.
Bud slips the catch with a penknife and walks inside.

SCREEN PORCH

Bud heads for a blind-covered door. Unlocked, he enters...

A HALLWAY

Light bouncing from side rooms. We hear the opening spiel of
"Badge of Honor" from the left. Bud wheels into a...

BEDROOM

A NUDE GIRL spread-eagled on a mattress. Bound with neckties.
One in her mouth. Her eyes grow wide at the sight of Bud,
then flicker to the adjoining room. Directing him. Raising
the .38, Bud enters...

THE KITCHEN

Sylvester Fitch sits naked at the table wolfing Rice Krispies
and watching "Badge of Honor" on a flickering TV. He looks
up, sees the .38 before he sees Bud beyond it. Fitch drops
his spoon, raises his hands. Bud SHOOTS him in the face.
Dead, Fitch just sits there. Bud moves behind him. Pulling a
spare piece from an ankle holster, Bud FIRES back at the
door from Fitch's line of fire, then puts the gun in Fitch's
hand. We hear the FRONT DOOR CRASH OPEN. As Fitch slides off
the chair to the floor, Bud dumps the Rice Krispies on him.

EXT. GRAY HOUSE - NIGHT

The Girl on a stretcher. Being carried to an AMBULANCE. Bud
White walks alongside, looking like some ferocious pet pit
bull. The ATTENDANTS get her inside. One joins her. The other
closes the door, pauses to light a smoke. Bud rips the
cigarette out of his mouth, nearly taking the guy's lips
with it.

BUD
Get her to the fucking hospital.

One look at Bud, and the Attendant is running around to the
driver's side. Exley arrives, steamed.

EXLEY
A naked guy with a gun? You expect
anyone to believe that?

BUD
Get the fuck away from me.

Bud starts away, but Exley gets right in his face. Other
cops begin to take notice. The ambulance pulls out.

EXLEY
How's it going to look on your report?

BUD
It'll look like justice. That's what
that fat fuck got. JUSTICE.

EXLEY
You don't know what the word means,
you dumb bastard.

Bud goes after Exley, but ten hands pull them apart. Dudley
on Exley. Four cops genuinely having trouble on Bud. And as
if things couldn't get crazier, shouts from the cops on the
street. POLICE RADIOS CRANKED UP.

DISPATCHER (V.O.)
Repeat, three suspects escaped from
the Hall of Justice jail. The Nite
Owl killers: Raymond Coates, Tyrone
Jones and Larry Fontaine. They are
considered armed and extremely
dangerous. Descriptions are as
follows...

INT. SQUAD ROOM - DAY

Electrified, "Nite Owl Killers" on everyone's lips. Exley
strides through with purpose, beelines to a filing cabinet.
Exley pulls the file he's looking for. He scans an
interrogation transcript, reads to himself the words he's
looking for:

EXLEY
'Give me one to feed the D.A....
Roland Navarette. Lives on Bunker
Hill. Runs a hole-up for parole
absconders.'

INT. HOLLYWOOD STATION - JACK'S DESK - DAY

Police rush back and forth. Exley hurries over to the desk,
but he's not there.

EXLEY
Anyone seen Jack Vincennes?

A few cops mumble they haven't. As Exley decides what to do,
Carlisle from the original arrest steps over.

CARLISLE
Is something up, Lieutenant?

EXT. 1ST & OLIVE - DAY

Exley and Carlisle pull up across the street from a four-
story Victorian with paint peeling off the clapboards. They
jump out of the car toting SHOTGUNS. Carlisle waits as Exley
checks the mail slots: "R. Navarette, 408."

INT. STAIRWELL - VICTORIAN BUILDING - DAY

Exley and Carlisle take the steps two at a time.

INT. 4TH FLOOR HALLWAY - VICTORIAN BUILDING - DAY

Exley squints, reaches to a pocket. NO GLASSES. He passes an
elevator, rounds a corner. There's 408. Exley pumps the
shotgun, nods to Carlisle who kicks the door in.

NAVARETTE LIVING ROOM

Exley and Carlisle burst in on four men eating sandwiches.
Fontaine and Caucasian NAVARETTE at a table. Coates on the
floor. Jones by the window. Exley squints.

EXLEY
Nobody move!

Fontaine and Navarette raise their hands. A jostled BEER
BOTTLE CRASHES to the floor. Reacting, Carlisle JERKS the
TRIGGER. Fontaine goes down. Navarette draws a .38, SHOOTS
Carlisle twice in the chest. Exley BLASTS Navarette.
Screaming, Jones pulls a .45 from his belt. Exley FIRES,
blowing him right THROUGH the WINDOW. Coates draws and FIRES,
makes a run for it. A bad pull takes out half a back wall.
Coates is out the door.

ELEVATOR

Coates makes it inside, frantically pushes buttons.

HALLWAY

Here comes Exley. Stumbling, wiping Navarette's blood out of
his eyes, he closes on the...

ELEVATOR

Coates watches as the elevator doors begin closing.

HALLWAY

Exley charging.

ELEVATOR

The shotgun barrel juts through. The doors bang against it.
BLAM!

DISSOLVE TO:

L.A. MONTAGE

TONY BENNETT belts "BOULEVARD OF BROKEN DREAMS."

INT. HOLLYWOOD STATION - DAY

Exley returns to grudging respect. His white shirt flecked
with blood, he's clapped on the back by Dudley who dubs him
"Shotgun Ed." Exley doesn't enjoy it. He's numb, stumbling
along. As he notices the blood on his hands...

INSERT - NEWSPAPER HEADLINE

NITE OWL HERO! Over a photo of Exley.

EXT. CEMETERY - GRAVE - DAY

A coffin is lowered into the ground. A WIDOW leans on the
Chief's arm, accepts a tri-folded American flag from Dudley
Smith. Exley drops a handful of earth on the casket, has
trouble getting the wet dirt off his hands.

CHIEF
We mourn the passing of a good man.
The loss of Sgt. William Carlisle is
the loss of his wife, his family and
the entire Los Angeles Police
Department...

A sea of dress blues. Jack looks bored, dressed too flashy
for a funeral. Bud looks grim, rain dripping off the brim of
his cap. As a TWENTY-ONE GUN salute is FIRED...

EXT. CEMETERY (SOUTH CENTRAL, L.A.) - DAY

Larry Fontaine's mother mourns alone as her son is buried.

INT. CITY OF ANGELS HOSPITAL - RECEPTION AREA - DAY

Exley talks with a tough, starchy NURSE.

EXLEY
I need the girl to give me a
chronology of events. No details.
Just times.

NURSE
Absolutely not. She barely remembers
her own name.

EXLEY
But --

NURSE
I was told the case was closed. Should
I call your superior to double-check?

EXLEY
No. that won't be necessary.

The Nurse turns, marches away. Exley is left with a nagging
doubt.

EXT. ORANGE GROVE (ANAHEIM) - DAY

People cheer as bulldozers mow down orange trees. A banner
heralds the future: "On this site: The World's Biggest
Amusement Park." Cartoon characters dance among the fallen
trees.

INT. STATE ASSEMBLYMAN'S OFFICE - DAY

Sitting behind a desk is the Older Gentleman last seen doing
his best Alan Ladd impersonation at Lynn Bracken's. He stares
emphatically at the SMARMY LAWYER who stands before him
holding a manila folder.

OLDER GENTLEMAN
You tell Mr. Patchett I have no
intention of changing my vote.

The Lawyer simply hands him a stack of photographs. From
Lynn Bracken's apartment. The first is the Older Gentleman
naked except for his socks and garters.

INT. STATE ASSEMBLY - CHAMBER - DAY

The Older Gentleman rises for an assembly vote.

OLDER GENTLEMAN
It may surprise some, but a mature
man, enlightened by the facts, can
change him mind...

EXT. 1736 NOTTINGHAM (LYNN BRACKEN'S) - NIGHT

Rain. A limo disgorges a heavy-set man who climbs steps,
knocks on the door. Lynn answers in an evening gown. He gives
her a peck on the cheek and continues in past her. Lynn's
about to follow him in when she pauses to deadpan a look
down the street. Bud's Packard is parked there and we can
see his darkened silhouette behind the wheel. Smiling a bit
sadly to herself, Lynn disappears inside. This is no stake-
out. Bud watches after her with yearning.

INT. TROCADERO CLUB - NIGHT

Cigarette girls and club photographer make the rounds. Johnny
Stompanato enjoys the frenzied floor show.

EXT. WILSHIRE BOULEVARD - DAY

A horse parade, heavy on the law enforcement contingent, Out
of place in his suit and tie, District Attorney Ellis Loew
awkwardly rides atop a sleek Palimono.

INT. OLYMPIC AUDITORIUM - NIGHT

The crowd in a frenzy as Vincennes' snitch, the welterweight
black boxer, beats the shit out of a white fighter.

INT. MIDDLE CLASS LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

A father holds out his hand, counts along as Jack slaps $100
bills into his palm. Maybe four thousand dollars. Jack says
something about "We appreciate your understanding during
this difficult time." As "Badge of Honor" comes on the TV,
the father responds with "Goddamn actors." Leading, Jack
looks through an open door where Brett Chase's high school
"Sweater Girl" is being comforted by her mother. As she locks
eyes with him an instant...

INT. PIERCE PATCHETT'S HOUSE - NIGHT

The monied johns watch horny as hell as "Ginger Rogers" twirls
around the room with a female "Fred Astaire." Clothes fly as
they spin. Still, most eyes turn to Lynn Bracken as she enters
oozing that cat-girl grace.

EXT. POLICE HEADQUARTERS - DAY

Reporters scribble as the Chief speaks. Uniforms everywhere
along with Exley and Loew. Bus sits in the back.

CHIEF
Edmund J. Exley has amassed a
brilliant record in his seven years
with the L.A.P.D. Recently he evinced
spectacular bravery in the line of
duty. It is my honor to present him
with our highest honor, the Medal of
Valor.

Exley steps up. The Chief hangs a gold medallion around his
neck. Flashbulbs pop as the two men shake hands. Exley then
accepts a handshake from Dudley. The policemen stand on cue,
applaud without enthusiasm. Dudley lifts the medal from his
chest.

DUDLEY
Your father would've been proud.

Exley uses the noise to have a private chat with Dudley.

EXLEY
There are loose ends out there,
Dudley. I --

DUDLEY
There always are. But there are also
three men and three guns. Matched
forensically. A few loose ends don't
matter.

EXLEY
Something's wrong. I feel it inside.
Doesn't that sound crazy?

Dudley puts an arm around Exley's shoulder, smiles out as
more bulbs flash.

DUDLEY
Breaking a big case sticks you in a
whirlwind. A little self-doubt? It's
natural. Just keep it inside. Between
you and you.

Exley considers his medal. It is an appealing thing. In the
back, Bud stays sprawled in his seat. No one's watching as
he takes out his gun, kisses it, and blows pretend smoke off
the barrel. As the song ends...

INT. VARIETY INTERNATIONAL PICTURES - STAGE 4 - NIGHT

"Badge of Honor" fund-raiser for D.A. Loew's re-election
campaign. Hot dogs and sauerkraut. Fishbowls stuffed with
cash. Jack is here, returns a smile half-heartedly. Loew
sits with his wife and teenage daughter as Brett "Joe Reno"
Chase speaks.

CHASE
This election is about the future of
law enforcement in Los Angeles. Ellis
Loew represents that future. So dig
deep and let's get a moral man re-
elected.

Applause. Leaving the podium, Chase smiles at Ellis Loew's
daughter who absolutely gushes. Chase then winks knowingly
to Jack who returns a tired, humorless smile. Jack scans the
room. An odd moment as Jack catches his own reflection in a
mirror across the way. He puts a hand to his face. Is that
him?

HUDGEON (O.S.)
Big V Jack Vincennes!

Jack turns to see Sid Hudgeons approaching.

HUDGEONS
You're back, boychick.

JACK
Sid, how are they hanging?

HUDGEONS
Down around my ankles.

Hudgeons scans the crowd, points someone out.

HUDGEONS
You remember Matt Reynolds?

Jack spots Matt Reynolds -- one of the young actors Jack
arrested on Christmas Eve.

HUDGEONS
The Grauman's Chinese pot bust. He
just got off the honor farm.

JACK
What's he doing here, Sid?

HUDGEONS
You tight with the D.A., trash?

JACK
Sure, he just tried to throw me off
the force last Christmas as a little
joke.

HUDGEONS
How'd you like a little payback? Not
to mention a donation to the widows
and orphans fund. Did you know Loew
was a swish?

JACK
And Reynolds?

HUDGEONS
He's queer too. Metro paid him two
grand a week to fake it with ingenues.
On screen and off. I'm getting him
to fuck the D.A. for a hundred bucks.
(winks)
That's twice the fifty you got for
wrecking his career.

Even Jack's not immune to a comment like that.

HUDGEONS
Matt! Over here!

As Hudgeons heads over, Hudgeons points out...

HUDGEONS
That's D.A. Loew right there.

Reynolds gets a nervous bead on Loew. Hudgeons realizes:

HUDGEONS
You need a drink, kid... Jack, look
after him a minute. Kid, this is
Jack. No secrets between me and him.

Hudgeons heads off. Reynolds nods at Jack.

REYNOLDS
Have we met before?

JACK
Yeah.

Jack doesn't really feel like talking to him. Reynolds' nerves
won't let him stay quiet.

REYNOLDS
Was it a party?

JACK
Something like that.

REYNOLDS
(misreading)
Oh, I know. A Fleur-de-Lis party,
right?

Jack remembers the name, plays along for what it's worth.

JACK
Fleaur-de-Lis. 'Whatever you desire.'

REYNOLDS
Dope, liquor, hookers that look like
movie stars. Pierce Patchett has it
all.

Jack recognizes the name, bluffs for more information.

JACK
Yeah. Me and Patchett go way back.

REYNOLDS
Pierce isn't like regular people. I
dig him, but he scares me too.

JACK
Really? How?

REYNOLDS
(shakes his head)
You know, when I came out to L.A.,
this isn't exactly where I saw myself
ending up.

JACK
Yeah. Me neither.

Reynolds looks like he's going to cry. Hudgeons returns with
a double Scotch straight up and a hot dog with sauerkraut.
He hands the drink to Matt.

HUDGEONS
Dutch courage, kid. Drink up.

Reynolds downs a few gulps, looks across the room at Loew.

REYNOLDS
I don't know if I should do this.

HUDGEONS
Hey, it's not like you don't know
how. And Jack here has connections
on 'Badge of Honor.' Pull this off
and there'll be a part for you. I
smell a comeback. Don't you, Jack?

Reynolds looks to Jack who gives a noncommittal shrug.

JACK
Loew's free. Congratulate him.

Reynolds nods, drains his glass and heads off. Hudgeons hands
Jack a folded slip of paper.

HUDGEONS
If Reynolds works his charms, which
he will, this is the address where
they'll be. Meet me at midnight. I
guarantee all sorts of illegal
activity.

Hudgeons takes out a President Grant $50 bill. Jack doesn't
take it.

JACK
Sid, why would a guy like Pierce
Patchett get involved with running
dope and hookers?

HUDGEONS
Where'd you hear that?

JACK
Around.

HUDGEONS
Jackie, all I know is what you know.
The man is very rich. And he's
invested in freeway construction so
he's gonna get a lot richer. But
that's it. Patchett's what I like to
call 'Twilight.' He ain't queer, he
ain't Red, he can't help me in my
quest for prime sinuendo.

Jack takes the $50 as Reynolds returns, shaking his head.

HUDGEONS
WHAT?

REYNOLDS
I can't do it.

HUDGEONS
Talk to him, Jack. Tell him about
the opening on the show.

JACK
I'm pretty sure I can get you a part
on the show... But tonight? Pretend
it's an acting job, kid. Showbiz.

REYNOLDS
And no one'll know about this?

JACK
It'll be our secret.

REYNOLDS
Showbiz.

Emboldened by Jack's promise, Reynolds heads off. Jack and
Hudgeons watch as he strikes a conversation with Loew who's
captivated. Hudgeons chomps a bite of his hot dog, gives
Jack the high sign, but Jack just feels like a pimp.

INT. VICTORY HOTEL - ROOM SIX - NIGHT

Screams. A cauliflower-eared Cleveland mob enforcer on the
hotseat. Breuning works him with a rubber hose as Dudley
asks unanswered questions. Bud watches, revulsion growing.

DUDLEY
Where did you intend to start.
Prostitution? Gambling?
(no answer)
Go back to Cleveland, lad. This is
the City of Angels and you haven't
got any wings.

More screams as the hose thwops down. Bud looks away, then
shuffles blindly out of the room.

INT. VICTORY HOTEL - BATHROOM - NIGHT

Bud runs water in the sink to drown out the SCREAMS. It
doesn't work. Finally, he leans down and sticks his head
under the stream of water. That doesn't work either.

EXT. VICTORY HOTEL - NIGHT

Hair dripping wet, Bud makes it to his car. The tires spit
gravel as he tears away. Dudley appears in the doorway,
watching curiously. As cauliflower continues to SCREAM...

INT. BUD'S PACKARD - 1736 NOTTINGHAM (LYNN'S) - NIGHT

Bud watches Lynn Bracken's apartment, Colored lights play on
the windows. Shadows pass. Finally the front door opens.
There's Veronica Lake, all sparkles and spangles, kissing
another distinguished gentleman goodnight. Bud watches the
man into a waiting limo. As it pulls away...

INT. 1736 NOTTINGHAM (LYNN BRACKEN'S) - LIVING ROOM -

NIGHT

Now Lynn just looks tired. As she puts away Scotch bottles
and picks up empty glasses, there's a KNOCK on the door.
Lynn sighs, becomes sultry Veronica Lake before our eyes.

INT. FRONT HALL - NIGHT

LYNN
(opening door)
Did you forget some --

Bud stands there, filling up the door frame.

LYNN
I wondered when you might ring the
bell again, Officer White.

BUD
It's Bud.

Bud looks at Lynn a moment, then down at his own feet.
Embarrassed. She smiles.

LYNN
You should see yourself. You look
like you're ten years old.

Bud looks back up. Lynn's smile fades as she studies his
face. She's not going to ask questions. Lynn looks at him a
moment more, then runs a hand through the blonde hair covering
one eye.

LYNN
If you'd called first, I wouldn't
look this ridiculous.

INT. LYNN BRACKEN'S (1736 NOTTINGHAM) - BEDROOM - NIGHT

Lynn comes to Bud naked, her hair brushed back. Bud goes
slow, gently, takes time with his kisses: like she was a
lonely woman he wanted to love to death. Lynn plays off his
timing: her kisses back, her touches. Finally, Bud forces
himself to stop. He pulls back so he can see her.

LYNN
You're wondering if Patchett told me
to be receptive.

Bud doesn't answer, but yes.

LYNN
It doesn't matter. I like you, Bud.
I really do.

She kisses him. Softly, drawing it out. Not a job. She wants
to make love to him. And as Bud stops thinking...

EXT. 5261 CHERAMOYA AVENUE (HOLLYWOOD) - NIGHT

Jack sits in his car waiting. He checks his watch... 1:30.
Well past midnight.

JACK
Come on, Sid. Where are you?

Jack decides. MOVE WITH him as he gets out and crosses the
street. The apartment is dark, the front door a few inches
ajar. Suspicious, Jack listens. Dead quiet. He enters...

INT. 5261 CHERAMOYA AVENUE - NIGHT

No one here it seems. Till Jack nearly trips over a body.
Matt Reynolds. Soaked in blood. Throat slit. Jack looks down
in horror as Reynolds seems to stare back up at him. Jack
stumbles out the door. We hear his CAR DOOR SLAM shut, the
SCREECH of RUBBER down the street.

EXT. 2345 HALBORO (HUDGEONS' HOUSE) - NIGHT

Jack pounds on Sid's door till lights switch on.

JACK
It's Vincennes! Open up!

Hudgeons opens the door. He's in his pajamas.

HUDGEONS
Jackie! You got some good scoop for
the Sidster?

JACK
Sid, cut the crap. I --

HUDGEONS
Give me some Narco skinny. I want to
put out an all hop-head issue.
Shvartze jazz musicians and movie
stars. Maybe tie it into the
Rosenbergs. You like?

Jack grabs him, jerks him into the door frame.

JACK
Shut up!

HUDGEONS
(confused)
What's wrong, Trash?

HUDGEONS
What happened with the kid and Loew?

HUDGEONS
You didn't get my message? It got
called off. The kid chickened out at
the last minute.

JACK
He's dead. I was just there. Somebody
slit his throat.

HUDGEONS
Jesus. Jack, that's a story. 'Swish
Actor Gets The Gay Blade.' Let me
get my camera.

Hudgeons starts away, but Jack grabs him.

JACK
Loew didn't go with him. You're sure?

HUDGEONS
I put Reynolds in the cab myself.
The night cost me a hundred scoots
and I got bupkis.

Jack lets go of him, starts to ramble off into the night.

HUDGEONS
Jackie! Big V! Let me get my camera!
Where are you going?!

INT. AFTER HOURS CLUB - NIGHT

The BARTENDER walks down the bar to where Jack arrives.

BARTENDER
What'll it be, Jack?

JACK
(pulls out wallet)
A bottle of Scotch.

As the Bartender turns for one, the only bill Jack finds is
the President Grant fifty. The things he's done for fifty
bucks... As he looks up with despair at his reflection in
the bar mirror, the Bartneder sets down a bottle and shot
glass. He plucks the fifty from Jack's hand. Jack grabs the
bottle and starts out.

BARTENDER
Hey! Your change!

INT. 1736 NOTTINGHAM (LYNN BRACKEN'S) - BEDROOM - NIGHT

Spent, Bud and Lynn lie in bed. She traces a finger over his
bicep as he muses on the ceiling.

BUD
Who was that guy who was here earlier?

Lynn's tracing finger stops on Bud's shoulder -- a small
white scar.

LYNN
It doesn't matter. All they get is
Veronica Lake. You got the real Lynn
Margaret Bracken...
(re: scar)
Where'd this come from?

BUD
When I was ten, my old man threw a
bottle at my mother. I guess I got
in the way.

LYNN
So you saved her.

BUD
Yeah. But not for long.

Bud looks away. Lynn sees he doesn't want to talk about it.

LYNN
Do you like being a cop, Bud?

BUD
I used to. What I do now is strong-
arm. Sitting duck stuff... No, I
don't like it. If I could work
Homicide like a real detective...

Lynn listens sympathetically. Bud's opening up.

BUD
There's something wrong with the
Nite Owl. That prick Exley shot the
wrong guys. But they made him a hero
and whoever killed my partner is
still out there.

Frustrated, Bud pokes at his own chest.

BUD
In here I know it. But I can't prove
it. I'm not a detective. I'm not
smart enough. I'm just the guy they
bring in to scare the other guy
shitless.

Bud looks away, embarrassed to have shown so much of himself.
Lynn reaches over, turns his face back to her.

LYNN
You found Patchett. You found me.
You're smart enough. Be a detective
if that's what you want.

BUD
That simple, huh?

Lynn nods. That simple.

INT. HOLLYWOOD STATION - EXLEY'S OFFICE - NIGHT

Exley looks up as a CLERK enters holding two files.

CLERK
I got the rap sheets on the black
guys, sir. Coates and Jones got
charges a mile long. But except for
some kid stuff, Fontaine's clean.

EXLEY
Clean?

CLERK
More or less.

EXLEY
Until he gunned down six people.

EXT. GRIFFITH PARK - DAY

Exley stands in the trees as a PARK RANGER approaches.

PARK RANGER
I asked my men, Lieutenant. No one
remembers any colored guys firing
shotguns.

EXLEY
Then who phoned in the report?

PARK RANGER
Not us.

INT. FORENSICS LAB - DAY

Ray Pinker looks up from his microscope as Bud enters.

PINKER
Bud White, what brings you down to
the basement?

BUD
I got a few Nite Owl questions.

PINKER
I don't know if you read the papers,
but that case is closed.

BUD
I'm tying up loose ends. Padding my
report. You know how it goes.

PINKER
What do you want to know?

BUD
Anything off. Anything that didn't
make sense.

PINKER
You mean beside the fact that thirty-
five out of forty-five rounds were
gratuitous? I can't think of anything.

Pinker is ticked as Bud steps over to where a group of Nite
Owl crime scene photos are posted on the wall. Bud pauses at
a photo which shows the floor around the table. We see a
high heel shoe, blood smears across the floor.

BUD
Whose shoe?

PINKER
Susan Lefferts.

BUD
(pointing)
If she was sitting here, then it's
facing the wrong way. What are these
smears in the blood?

PINKER
It looks like she was flailing, trying
to get away.

BUD
But she's moving away from the door.
(thinks; points)
Who was sitting at this table?

PINKER
Dick Stensland.
(a beat)
Had to be dumb panic. If she knew
him she would've been sitting with
him... Right?

Bud wonders, maybe a puzzle piece just fell into place. Pinker
remembers something.

PINKER
You know, there is one thing.

Pinker rummages a shelf for a glass jar which he hands Bud.
Inside are two wax-saturated cotton balls.

PINKER
Cotton balls. I found them just inside
the meat locker door.

BUD
Ear plugs.

PINKER
Exactly. At least one of those animals
had the brains to protect his ears.

BUD
It doesn't exactly play like dumb
panic.

PINKER
What do you mean?

BUD
It's like they knew they were going
to kill everyone before they went
in...

PINKER
Yeah, so...

Bud just stares at the picture of Susan Lefferts.

EXT. LEFFERTS' HOUSE (SAN BERNARDINO) - DAY

A shingle shack dump. Bud walks the front steps, RINGS the
BELL. Hilda Lefferts answers. She doesn't look so good.

BUD
Mrs. Lefferts, I'm Officer White
with the L.A.P.D. I'd like to ask a
couple of questions.

MRS. LEFFERTS
Let my daughter rest in peace.

BUD
Five minutes. That's all.

INT. LEFFERTS' HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - DAY

Pictures of Susan smile down from four walls. Vamp poses on
a nightclub floor. Mrs. Lefferts is all twitchy and nervous,
her eyes darting to a closed door.

BUD
Tell me about the boyfriend she had.
The one you mentioned at the morgue.

MRS. LEFFERTS
First I want to go on record as saying
that my Susie was a virgin when she
died.

BUD
Ma'am, I'm sure she was.

Mrs. Lefferts talks directly to a photo of her daughter.

MRS. LEFFERTS
Susie, I told you I didn't approve
of that boyfriend. He was too old
for you. You let him come into this
house and be fresh to me. I went out
one day and old Mrs. Jensen next
door saw Susan's boyfriend and another
man and thought she heard a ruckus.

BUD
What was that boyfriend's name?

MRS. LEFFERTS
We were never properly introduced.
Susan and I were fighting that day.
She called him by a nickname. Muns
or Lunts or something.

BUD
Stens? Was it Stens?

MRS. LEFFERTS
Maybe. I don't know.

BUD
Look at a picture for me.

Bud hands her a snapshot of Stensland taken in Tijuana. Out
of uniform. She recognizes him.

MRS. LEFFERTS
That's him. That's him.

BUD
You said a neighbor heard a ruckus.
Was it outside, inside?

Mrs. Lefferts' eyes go crazy, darting to a closed door. Rolled
towels are crammed against the bottom of it.

MRS. LEFFERTS
I don't know. You'll have to leave
now, Officer.

Bud starts for the closed door.

BUD
What's through here?

MRS. LEFFERTS
No! Please leave!

Bud kicks away the towels, opens the door, steps into...

DEN

Innocuous except for the smell. It hits Bud right off.

MRS. LEFFERTS
Don't mind the smell. I think a rat
died behind the wall... My Susie was
a good girl!

BUD
Easy. Tell me about the ruckus.

MRS. LEFFERTS
I came home that night and there was
blood on the floor. Susan said Stams --
Stens had cut himself. They were
acting nervous. And that Stens kept
going under the house.

As Mrs. Lefferts goes shrill, Bud beelines out the door.

EXT. LEFFERTS' HOUSE (SAN BERNARDINO) - DAY

Holding a flashlight, Bud crawls under the house, into...

CRAWLSPACE

Bud elbow-crawls over the dirt, between wooden pilings.
There's a long burlap sack ahead. It smells bad. Bud rips
burlap. A rat's nest explodes. Bud sweeps a forearm at them.
As they clear, he sees a gristle-caked human skull staring
back, a .38 hole in the forehead.

Undaunted, Bud tears the burlap back further. He pats the
corpse's pockets, comes up with a wallet. Bud checks the ID.
"Turner Meeks." Bus knows him by that name and another.

BUD
Buzz Meeks... Holy shit.

EXT. LEFFERTS' HOUSE - DAY

Bud crawls out, blinking sunlight and gulping fresh air.
Mrs. Lefferts is there. She's scared.

MRS. LEFFERTS
Was it... a rat?

BUD
Yeah. A great big one.

Bud opens Meeks' wallet, pulls out a couple hundred bucks
and gives them to Mrs. Lefferts.

BUD
Here. Compliments of the Los Angeles
Police Department.

INT. FORENSICS LAB - DAY

Ray Pinker looks up from an autopsy as Exley enters.

PINKER
Hey, just in time for our stomach of
the week. Frankfurters with
sauerkraut, French fries, Coca-Cola,
alcohol and sperm. Jesus, what a
last supper.

The stiff is Matt Reynolds! Pinker continues working away.

EXLEY
The Nite Owl. Anything bothering you
about the case?

PINKER
Yeah. The fact that you guys won't
let it get filed away.

EXLEY
What are you talking about?

PINKER
Bud White grilled me on it this
morning. You know, he's not as dumb
as I thought.

As Exley's head swims...

EXT. LEFFERTS' HOUSE (SAN BERNARDINO) - DAY

Mrs. Lefferts waters the grass, watches as a car pulls up.
Exley gets up, starts toward her. She drops the hose and
runs for the front door Exley cuts her off.

MRS. LEFFERTS
Let my Susie rest in peace!

EXLEY
Mrs. Lefferts, I just want to ask a
few questions.

MRS. LEFFERTS
That other policeman already checked
under the house and found not a thing
amiss.

EXLEY
Officer White?

MRS. LEFFERTS
A sweet man.

EXLEY
(thinking out loud)
Under the house.

MRS. LEFFERTS
All he found were rodents. No signs
of foul play. So there.

Exley spots the entrance to the crawlspace. He hurries over,
enters nearly flat on his belly. Mrs. Lefferts calls in after
him.

MRS. LEFFERTS
My daughter was a virgin!

EXLEY (O.S.)
I don't doubt it -- Oh, God.

INT. HOLLYWOOD STATION - JACK'S DESK - DAY

Jack sits unshaven and hung-over, the dregs of the Scotch
bottle on the desk. He considers a framed "Badge of Honor"
photo: Jack and Brett Chase, before a banner "To Protect and
Serve." Jack punches a fist through it.

INT. LAPD - FORENSICS LAB - DAY

Exley walks alonside as a body bag is wheeled into the lab
atop a gurney. Pinker steps over.

EXLEY
I need an I.D. ASAP. You talk only
to me on this one.

INT. JACK'S DESK - DAY

Sitting in disgust, Jack spots something amidst all the
clutter -- the Great Jerk-Off Books of 1962. He flips one
over, looks at the Fleur-de-Lis stamp. Jack remembers
something Matt Reynolds told him. He dials the phone.

JACK
Yeah. Sergeant Jack Vincennes
requesting. I need the home address
on a Pierce Patchett.

OPERATOR (V.O.)
Please hold, Sergeant...

As Jack waits, Exley appears in front of him.

EXLEY
I need to speak to you.

JACK
Give me a minute, will ya?

Exley clicks off the phone.

JACK
Damnit... WHAT?

EXLEY
I want you to follow Bud White.

JACK
Even I'm not that crazy.

EXLEY
It's not a request. I need to know
what White knows. Follow him or I'll
have you pulled off 'Badge of Honor.'
Permanently.

JACK
Yesterday that might've meant
something. Pull me off. You'd be
doing me a big favor.

EXLEY
Yesterday yes, today no. What happened
last night?

JACK
Transfer me, suspend me. Just leave
me alone.

EXLEY
You make a mistake?

JACK
Yeah. My whole life.

Jack stands, heads out. Exley follows; he needs help.

EXLEY
Listen, I think I made a mistake,
too.

JACK
I ain't a priest, Lieutenant. I can't
hear your confession.

EXLEY
Do you make the three Negroes for
the Nite Owl killings?

JACK
What?

EXLEY
It's a simple question.

JACK
You should be the last person who
wants to dig any deeper into the
Nite Owl, LIEUTENANT.

Exley watches as Jack continues down a hall. Then:

EXLEY
Rollo Tomasi.

Jack stops, looks back at him.

JACK
Is there more to that, or do I have
to guess?

EXLEY
Rollo was a purse snatcher. My father
ran into him off duty. He shot my
father six times and got away clean.
No one even knew who he was. I made
the name up to give him some
personality.

JACK
So what's the point?

EXLEY
Rollo's the reason I became a cop. I
wanted to catch the guys who thought
they could get away with it. It was
supposed to be about truth and justice
and Rollo. But somewhere along the
way I forgot all that... How about
you, Jack? Why'd you become a cop?

Jack looks like he might cry, but smiles instead.

JACK
I don't remember...

Both men are quiet a moment.

JACK
I'm trying to figure what angle you're
playing THIS time, but I sure as
hell can't see one.

EXLEY
I've given up angles for awhile. I
just want to solve this thing.

JACK
The Nite Owl was solved, Lieutenant.

EXLEY
I want to do it right. So does Jack.

JACK
Okay, college boy, I'll help you.
But I want half the collar.

EXLEY
A third. I don't think we can make a
case without Bud White.

EXT. BROWN DERBY - DAY

A Packard pulls up out front. Bud gets out, heads inside.
Another car pulls up across the street.

CLOSE ON JACK

Watching Bud. Jack gets out, starts across the street.

INT. BROWN DERBY - BAR - DAY

At the bar, Johnny Stompanato looks over as Bud joins him.
Stompanato isn't happy about it, but he smiles anyway.

STOMPANATO
Wendell White, how's tricks, paesano?

BUD
I ain't your paesano, you wop
cocksucker.

Nervous, Johnny taps his pinkie ring on a bottle of beer.

STOMPANATO
What do you want, OFFICER?

BUD
You remember an ex-cop named Buzz
Meeks? He works for a guy named
Patchett.

Johnny taps his ring harder. The bottle almost tips.

STOMPANATO
Should I?

BUD
His file listed you as a known
associate. Now spill.

STOMPANATO
Oh, yeah. That was a long time ago.
Before your day. The last few years
he's been muscle for hire. But I
heard he's disappeared.

BUD
More.

STOMPANATO
More's gonna cost you.

Bud's hand flashes out, grabs Stompanato by the crotch.

BUD
How 'bout I give you your balls back?

STOMPANATO
(in considerable pain)
Before Meeks disappeared he was
popping off about trying to move
eighteen pounds of heroin.

BUD
Bullshit. Where would a two-bit ex-
cop get 18 pounds of heroin?

STOMPANATO
Deuce Perkins. Mickey C's narcotics
lieutenant. The night he got clipped,
eighteen pounds of Mickey's heroin
went missing.

Bud loosens his grip. Stompanato gasps for air.

DOOR

Jack peels in, catches a glimpse of Bud and Stompanato. Too
far away too hear anything, Jack quickly ducks out.

BAR

Stompanato's recovering.

STOMPANATO
Meeks is probably in Rio or someplace
like that by now.

BUD
He's under a tract house in San
Berdoo. And he don't smell too good.
What happened to the heroin, Johnny?

STOMPANATO
I don't know. I swear it!

Bud starts to raise a hand. Stompanato cringes, but Bud just
slaps a twenty down on the bar and goes.

INT. BROWN DERBY - PHONE BOOTH - DAY

Jack's on the phone to Exley.

JACK
He's in the Brown Derby with Johnny
Stompanato.
(sees Bud exit)
Check that. I gotta go.

EXT. 1736 NOTTINGHAM (LYNN BRACKEN'S) - DAY

Jack pulls up, sees Bud knock on the front door. It opens
and Bud steps in. Jack doesn't see who opens it.

EXT. BUSHES - 1736 NOTTINGHAM (LYNN BRACKEN'S) - DAY

LEAVES RUSTLE. There's movement in the underbrush. Jack
appears, followed by Exley. Jack pulls a gun as they near a
window.

EXLEY
What's that for?

JACK
Bud White. He sees us and we're dead.

They press up to the glass for a partial view. Bud White
sits on a footstool massaging a pair of women's feet. Jack
and Exley exchange a long, curious look. This isn't the Bud
White they're used to. A pair of woman's hands take Bud, the
arms covered in glitter and satin. The woman, Lynn Bracken,
leans forward to kiss her policeman. It may have been a long
day, but she's every inch Veronica Lake. Only the hair's not
over her eye. They stand, kiss again. Lynn's gown spills
down around her ankles. Bud scoops Lynn into his arms and
the two of them disappear into a bedroom. A long beat
before...

JACK
Jesus... Maybe White's not so dumb
after all.

EXLEY
Rita Hayworth at the morgue and now
Veronica Lake with White. What the
hell's going on?

JACK
Movie star hookers. Whatever you
desire... It's Fleur-fr-Lis again.

EXLEY
What's Fleur-de-Lis?

JACK
High line whores. With plastic surgery
to look like movie stars. And who
knows what else? It's run by this
guy Pierce Patchett. You want to
talk to him?

EXLEY
Yeah. But first I want to brace
Stompanato.

INT. BROWN DERBY - ENTRANCE - DAY

Exley and Jack enter.

EXLEY
Check the bar. I got the restaurant.

RESTAURANT

Exley scans. There's Stompanato with a girl who looks
amazingly like "LANA TURNER." Engrossed, Stomapanato doesn't
look up till Exley's nearly on top of him.

STOMPANATO
Hey, you want an autograph, write to
M-G-M.

EXLEY
Since when do two-bit hoods and
hookers give out autographs?

STOMPANATO
WHAT?

As Stompanato stands, Exley flashes his badge.

EXLEY
L.A.P.D. Sit down.

"LANA"
Who in the hell do you think you
are?

EXLEY
Take a walk, honey, before I haul
your ass downtown.

"LANA"
WHO IN THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU
ARE?!

STOMPANATO
You are making a large mistake.

As Jack arrives, Lana tosses a drink in Exley's face.

"LANA"
Get away from our table!

EXLEY
(grabs her wrist)
Shut up. Being cut to look like Lana
Turner doesn't mean you are Lana
Turner.

Jack pulls him aside.

JACK
She is Lana Turner.

EXLEY
What?

JACK
She IS Lana Turner.

INT. EXLEY'S PLYMOUTH - SUNSET

Rolling. The sky glows ahead.

EXLEY
How was I supposed to know?

A moment before Jack begins to laugh. Exley joins him.

EXT. 1184 GRETNA GREEN (PIERCE PATCHETT'S) - NIGHT

Exley's Plymouth is parked on the street.

INT. 1184 GRETNA GREEN (PATCHETT'S) - LIBRARY - NIGHT

In a silk robe, the unflappable Pierce Patchett smiles at
Exley. Jack stands alongside.

PATCHETT
I believe the Nite Owl's your area
of expertise, Mr. Exley. I saw you
on television getting your medal.
(turns to Jack)
And you're that other celebrity
Hollywood policeman, aren't you?

A beat. Exley and Jack don't look like they appreciate being
joked with. Patchett finally sighs.

PATCHETT
I'll tell you what I told Officer
White when he asked me about Susan's
death.

EXLEY
(a look to Jack)
Bud White's been here?

PATCHETT
For the last time. I may suborn women
into illicit activities, but they're
handsomely compensated, I treat them
well and make sure the men they deal
with show them every due respect.

EXLEY
Is the Veronica Lake look-alike one
of your whores?

PATCHETT
A vulgar term, but yes.

EXLEY
What's her name?

PATCHETT
Lynn Bracken.

EXLEY
Why's she seeing Bud White?

PATCHETT
Why do men and women usually see
each other?

EXLEY
Anything else you want to add before
I talk to her?

PATCHETT
No.

EXLEY
Not good enough.

PATCHETT
(unfazed)
Then try talking to my lawyer. Good
evening, gentlemen.

EXT. 1184 GRETNA GREEN - NIGHT

Exley and Jack head for the car.

JACK
Guy's as cool as they come.

A call CRACKLES in over Exley's RADIO. Exley picks up.

EXLEY
This is Exley.

DISPATCHER (V.O.)
Ray Pinker wants to talk to you,
Lieutenant. Says he has your I.D.

EXLEY
Tell him Sergeant Vincennes is coming
in to talk to him.

JACK
What are you going to do?

EXLEY
I'm going to Lynn Bracken's. I'll
meet you at the Dining Car.

JACK
Great. You get the girl, I get the
coroner.

INT. LIBRARY (1184 GRETNA GREEN) - NIGHT

Watching Exley and Vincennes from the window, Patchett picks
up the phone, dials.

HUDGEONS (V.O.)
(over phone)
Hush-Hush. Off the record and on the
Q.T.

INT. 1736 NOTTINGHAM (LYNN'S) - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

KNOCKING on the door. Lynn answers to reveal Exley.

EXLEY
Miss Bracken, I'm Lieutenant Exley.

LYNN
I know who you are. You're the
policeman Bud told me about.

EXLEY
Really? What did White say?

LYNN
He said you were smart. He also said
you were competing with your dead
father. How did he put it? Trying to
measure up to a ghost.

Exley lets it pass. As he enters...

EXLEY
Let's concentrate on my smarts. Pierce
Patchett made you, didn't he? He
taught you how to dress and talk and
think and I am very impressed with
the results. But I need some answers
and if I don't get them, I'm going
to take you and Patchett down.

LYNN
He can take care of himself and I'm
not afraid of you. And you forgot
one thing, Lieutenant. Pierce also
taught me how to fuck... Can I get
you a drink?

Exley can't help but smile. Lynn smiles back.

EXLEY
Scotch.

Exley watches her as she steps over to fix the drinks.

LYNN
I'm curious about you.

EXLEY
Why?

She hands him his drink.

LYNN
Because Bud hates you more than he
loves me.

Exley stews. Lynn watches him over the rim of her glass.

LYNN
It galls you that I know so much
about you. You don't have information
to compete.

EXLEY
Don't underestimate me, Miss Bracken.

LYNN
The way you've underestimated Bud
White?

Exley's had it. A menacing step forward. Lynn's smile becomes
a laugh. Lost to himself, Exley leans in and kisses her.
Lynn pulls back, then kisses back. In a beat, they're rolling
to the floor, shedding clothes. As they trash the furniture,
Lynn looks over his shoulder at her own reflection in a closet
door mirror.

REVERSE ANGLE - INSIDE CLOSET

Two-way glass. Sid Hudgeons is in here SNAPPING pictures. As
Lynn and Exley continue with their frantic lovemaking...

INT. FORENSIC LAB - NIGHT

Ray Pinker rubs his tired eyes.

PINKER
God bless dental records. Stiff used
to be a cop. Turner Meeks.

JACK
BUZZ Meeks?

PINKER
You knew him?

JACK
Of him. He was around when I first
joined the force. A bad egg.

Pinker could care less. As Jack's wheels turn...

INT. LAPD - RECORDS ROOM - NIGHT

Jack searches dusty filing cabinets with dates like 1939 and
1940. Reading one headed "Meeks," Jack lets out a low whistle.
He's found something.

INT. PACIFIC DINING CAR - NIGHT

Jack waits at the bar, watches the door anxiously.

JACK
Come on, Exley. Where are you?

INT. 1736 NOTTINGHAM (LYNN'S) - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Spent, Exley and Lynn sit, half-dressed, on the floor. They're
quiet. Then, through a smile:

EXLEY
How was I?

LYNN
Oh, the best I ever had. Absolutely
the best.

EXLEY
(laughs)
You sound like you mean it.

LYNN
The silver screen's loss is your
gain.

EXLEY
How about White?

LYNN
You want to know what Bud's like in
bed?

She actually embarrasses him with that one.

EXLEY
I want to know why you see him. Is
it a Patchett payoff?

LYNN
I see Bud because I want to. I see
Bud because he can't hide the warmth
he has inside him.

EXLEY
I'll take your word for it.

LYNN
I see Bud because he makes me feel
like Lynn Bracken and not some
Veronica Lake look-alike who fucks
for money. I see him because he
doesn't know how to disguise who he
is. There's more if you want to hear
it.

Exley shakes his head. He's heard enough.

LYNN
Does all that make it harder for you
to hate him or easier?

EXLEY
I don't hate White. I really don't.
It's just, in my business, it's the
wild cards you have to watch out
for.

LYNN
You don't like that you don't know
how to play him. He doesn't follow
the same rules of politics you do.
That makes him dangerous.

EXLEY
You cut to the heart of things, don't
you? What about Lynn Bracken? She
going to be a hooker all her life?

LYNN
I came out here with a dream. That's
gone, but I settled for reality.

EXLEY
Some reality.

LYNN
No. This is the means to the reality.
But I'm not going to tell you what
it is.

EXLEY
Why not?

LYNN
Because you'll use it against me.
Won't you?

Exley doesn't answer, but the answer is yes. Lynn smiles.

LYNN
You're tougher than Bud thinks you
are.

EXLEY
(smiles)
You're the first person to ever call
me tough.

LYNN
Like recognizes like. I'm pretty
tough, myself.

EXLEY
You, me and White, huh?

LYNN
Actually, Bud's only tough on the
outside.

As Exley kisses her...

IN CLOSET

Exasperated that he's still stuck in here, Sid Hudgeons checks
his watch, shakes his head in disgust.

EXT. 9608 VENDOME (SILVERLAKE) - NIGHT

Jack knocks at a darkened house. The porch lights come on.
The door opens to reveal Dudley Smith in his bathrobe.

DUDLEY
John Vincennes. It's three A.M.,
lad.

JACK
Two minutes, Dudley. It's important.

DUDLEY
Lucky for you that my wife and four
fair daughters are at the beach in
Santa Barbara.

INT. 9608 VENDOME - KITCHEN - NIGHT

Jack sits at the table while Dudley makes coffee.

JACK
You remember Buzz Meeks, Dudley?

DUDLEY
A disgrace as a policeman. Straight
D fitness reports from every C.O. he
ever served under. What about him?

JACK
Twelve years ago he worked a vice
roust with Dick Stensland. They
arrested a Pierce Patchett on an
extortion scam. Guy ran hookers.
He'd have them photographed with
their johns, then double-dip for
some blackmail. Charges got dropped.
Insufficient evidence. You were
supervising officer on the case and
I was wondering if you remember
anything about it.

DUDLEY
What's this all about, lad?

JACK
Part of it has to do with a murder.
I've been working with Ed Exley on
it.

DUDLEY
You're Narco, lad, not Homicide. And
since when do you work with Edmund?

JACK
It's a private investigation. I fucked
something up and I want to make
amends.

DUDLEY
(smiles, then...)
Don't start trying to do the right
thing, John. You haven't had enough
practice.

Dudley walks over, hands Jack his coffee.

DUDLEY
Have you discussed this with anyone
else, John?

JACK
No.

DUDLEY
Not even with Exley?

Jack shakes his head. Dudley raises a REVOLVER. He FIRES it
at point-blank range, right into Jack's heart. Jack hits the
floor, his cheek pressed flat on the linoleum. Jack opens
his mouth to speak. His lips form the words, but no sound
comes out. Dudley crouches down beside him.

JACK
Have you a valediction, lad?

Dudley leans low, gives Jack an ear. As he dies...

JACK
Rollo Tomasi...

Dudley frowns in ignorance at the name.

INT. LAPD HEADQUARTERS - BRIEFING ROOM - DAY

Nothing mobilizes the police like losing one of their own.
Dudley is at the podium along with Exley. Dozens of detectives
take notes, including Bud White.

DUDLEY
Sergeant Vincennes' body was found
in Echo Park at ten o'clock this
morning. Killed by a single .38 round
to the heart. One of our own,
gentlemen. We cannot tolerate it.
Justice must be swift and merciless.
That's all.

As the men move out, Dudley approaches Exley.

DUDLEY
Edmund, a word with you. We received
a tip this morning. Did Vincennes
ever mention the name Rollo Tomasi?

Exley tries to look like he's thinking as Jack calls from
the grave. Screaming the name Dudley!

EXLEY
No... Where'd the tip come from?

DUDLEY
Anonymous. Probably nothing.

As Dudley moves off, Exley watches him go. Scared.

INT. LAPD HEADQUARTERS - BUD WHITE'S DESK - DAY

Bud looks over as Dudley sits down across from him.

DUDLEY
You're perplexing to me these days,
Wendell. You're not your old, cruel
self anymore. I need proof that the
extracurricular work I had planned
for you remains within your grasp.

BUD
What work?

DUDLEY
I've long been involved in containing
hard crime in such a way that myself
and a few colleagues might someday
enjoy a profit dispensation. That
day will soon be here and you'll
share handsomely. Grand means will
be in our hands, Wendell. Imagine
crime limited to the criminal element
who perpetrate it. Imagine the means
to keep the nigger filth sedated.
But don't stop there. Extrapolate.
Imagine the police in control. It's
big, lad.

BUD
You lost me, Dudley. I don't know
what you're talking about.

DUDLEY
You have your extracurricular secrets,
I have mine. We'll hold a
clarification session soon. For now,
I need your fearsome old habits at
the Victory Motel. We're going to
brace a man who may know who killed
Jack Vincennes. Can I count on you?

BUD
Sure, boss. Sure you can.

INT. FORENSICS LAB - DAY

Pinker looks up as Exley enters.

EXLEY
I want to know what you and Jack
Vincennes talked about last night.
Anything and everything. Start with
the I.D. on the corpse.

A put-upon Pinker sighs.

PINKER
An ex-cop. Buzz Meeks. I pulled his
police academy photo.

Pinker goes to his desk for a twenty-year-old photo of Meeks.
He hands it to Exley, whose wheels are turning.

EXLEY
We got a dead ex-cop and a girl who
looks like Rita Hayworth at the Nite
Owl. Another dead ex-cop under the
house of Rita's mother. It's not a
good week for ex-cops.

PINKER
I got Vincennes in the next room.
It's not a good week for cops in
general.

EXT. VICTORY MOTEL - DAY

A RAIN STORM has turned the courtyard into a mud bath. As
usual, a light burns in room six. Bud White parks alongside
the other cars already here. He makes a dash for the door.

INT. VICTORY MOTEL - ROOM SIX - DAY

Sid Hudgeons is cuffed to the hot seat. Dudley sits across
from him. Dudley's henchman Breuning looms. Bud enters.

DUDLEY
This is Mr. Hudgeons, Wendell.

HUDGEONS
I'm happy to cooperate. You don't
need to tie me down.

DUDLEY
It's for your own safety. Now what
can you tell us about Sergeant John
Vincennes?

HUDGEONS
Trashcan Jack. The Big V. I can tell
you he's on the Night Train to the
big adios.

Breuning cuffs Hudgeons in the side of the head.

HUDGEONS
Take it easy! I didn't have anything
to do with him getting killed if
that's what you mean.

DUDLEY
But you were business associates?

HUDGEONS
What does that have to do --

Breuning cuffs him again.

HUDGEONS
Okay so we worked together. It was
an information exchange. I got him
first class collars and he got me
good stories. We were friends for
Chrissakes!

DUDLEY
Alright. We'll drop that line for
now. Next topic. Please comment on
Pierce Patchett.

Bud looks over at mention of the name.

HUDGEONS
You think he had something to do
with Vincennes getting iced?

Dudley sighs, looks to Bud.

DUDLEY
Wendell. I want full and docile
cooperation on all topics.

Hudgeons flinches as Bud steps up, twice Breuning's size.

HUDGEONS
Okay. Okay. Everyone knows Patchett's
worth a boat-load of greenbacks.
From aviation, freeway construction.
But the man has hobbies, too. He
bankrolls B movies under the table
and runs movie star look-alike
hookers. And try this on: he's rumored
to be a periodic heroin sniffer. All
in all a powerful behind-the-scenes
strange-o.

DUDLEY
And?

HUDGEONS
And what?

Bud digs a fist into Hudgeons' gut. As Hudgeons gasps to get
his breath back.

DUDLEY
Reciprocity, Mr. Hudgeons, is the
key to all relationships.

HUDGEONS
He runs call girls. Primo tail. Fixed
up like movie stars.

Bud looms, rests his hands on the back of Hudgeons' chair.
He doesn't like where this is going.

DUDLEY
And?

HUDGEONS
In my car. Blackmail shit. The trunk
under the carpet. Patchett got me to
photograph a cop fucking this gorgeous
cunt Lynn, looks just like Veronicaaa --

Wooden slats pop as Bud tears the bolted chair right out of
the floor. Hudgeons and the chair land sideways.

DUDLEY
Wendell!

Bud can't hear him. He uprights the chair one-handed. As his
fist cocks back, he's restrained by Breuning and Dudley.
This is no act. They can barely hold Bud back.

HUDGEONS
Get him away from me!

Bud breaks free, heads outside.

EXT. VICTORY MOTEL - HUDGEONS' CAR - DAY

Bud jams a tire iron into the trunk seam and pops it with a
ferocious yank. He tears at the carpeting. A manila envelope.
Bud rips it open and 8x10 glossies of Exley and Lynn spill
out. Raindrops dot them, as Bud's in his Packard and tearing
out of there.

INT. VICTORY MOTEL - ROOM 6 - DAY

Dudley and Breuning watch from the door.

DUDLEY
I wouldn't trade places with Edmund
Exley right now for all the tea in
China.

Breuning laughs. So does Hudgeons.

HUDGEONS
Dudley, I thought you were gonna let
the dumb bastard kill me.
(to Breuning)
And you! Learn to pull those punches
a little better.

Dudley and Breuning stare at him. A bit grimly.

HUDGEONS
You can uncuff me now, fellas.

But no one moves to do so.

HUDGEONS
Fellas?
(nervous)
We had a deal. You, me and Patchett,
We're a team!
(scared)
Come on, we're friends. We're --

As Hudgeons protests, Dudley slaps a hand over his mouth.

DUDLEY
Hush-hush...

As Breuning and Carlisle move in...

INT. RECORDS ROOM - LAPD - DAY

A wormish CLERK searches dusty filing cabinets with dates
like 1939 and 1940. The same ones Jack looked through. Exley
steps over from another row.

EXLEY
Anything?

CLERK
Nothing.

EXLEY
So on active duty, Meeks didn't make
an arrest from 1938 to '43.

CLERK
Someone must've pulled the records.

Exley ponders the implications. Taking out the photo of Meeks,
he gets an idea.

EXLEY
Where are the police academy files?

CLERK
I don't have time. I have --

EXLEY
Just show me where they are!

EXT. 1736 NOTTINGHAM (LYNN BRACKEN'S) - DAY

Blue, Lynn sits on her porch watching the rain come down. A
SCREECHING on the wet street as Bud's PACKARD pulls up. She
watches as he gets out and starts for the house. Lynn stands,
holds her arms out. Bud stops short on the steps, out of
reach, the rain soaking him.

BUD
Did you talk to Exley?

LYNN
Come in out of the rain. In the
morning we'll have both our stories
for breakfast.

Lightning flashes. Bud shakes hs head.

BUD
I want to know about Exley.

LYNN
He's the opposite of you. He's more
like me. Cold, calculating.

BUD
How'd you get to know so much about
him?

More lightning. Lynn looks God-awful sad.

LYNN
Come in out of the rain, Bud.

BUD
You gonna tell me what happened with
you and Exley?

LYNN
We talked.

BUD
So tell me about it.

LYNN
(looking away)
In the morning.

BUD
No. Now.
(a beat)
You fucked him.

Too tired to lie anymore, Lynn finally just nods.

LYNN
I thought I was helping you. I thought --

Bud backhands her, hard. Lynn faces straight into the next
one as Bud hits her again. A third time as the sins of the
father are visited on the son. Bud stops short as the self-
realization slams home. Lynn waits stoically. She doesn't
start crying till Bud turns and runs back into the rain.

INT. RECORDS ROOM - LAPD - DAY

Drawers are open. Files are everywhere. Exley's reached the
end of the line. As he looks through one last file, he finds
a stack of official photos. Then he stops short. There's a
photo of four cadets and an academy instructor. Two of the
cadets are IDed as Turner Meeks and Dick Stensland. The
instructor is Dudley Smith! Exley looks up at the sound of
FOOTSTEPS and Bud is there. Fury. He slams Exley, knocks him
flat.

Bud's here to kill him. He hauls Exley up, pummels him, then
throws him over the table. Then up into a wall. Plaster
cracks. Bud's on some gonzo animal plane. Bud strangles him.
Exley gags. It'll be over in moments. Until Exley's flailing
hands finds Bud's .38. Yanking it from his waistband, Exley
smashes Bud in the forehead. Bud reels. But, blind with rage,
he moves back in only to have the barrel of the .38 placed
right between his eyes.

EXLEY
Why?

BUD
Lynn.

EXLEY
She told you?

Bud shakes his head. He's coiled, ready to make a move.

EXLEY
Who told you? Did Dudley have anything
to do with you finding out?

Bud hesitates, the answer obvious.

EXLEY
Listen to me. Dudley killed Jack. It
has something to do with Buzz Meeks.

Exley points out the academy photo on the floor.

EXLEY
Look. Dudley and Meeks go way back.
Stensland, too.

Bud sees, but does he really? As Bud reaches for the photo,
Exley relaxes slightly. Bud slaps the gun away, drops Exley
to the ground. He grabs, begins slamming his head into the
floor.

EXLEY
Think, goddamn you. Think...

Exley's almost out. But maybe Bud heard him. The attack slows,
stops as Bud does think. Exley stays conscious.

BUD
I knew Stensland and Meeks knew each
other. Meeks was with Sue Lefferts
on Christmas Eve. The night I met
Lynn. Lefferts' mother I.D.ed
Stensland as Lefferts' boyfriend,
but Stens pretended he didn't know
either one of them.

EXLEY
Stensland and Meeks. What were they
up to?

BUD
Johnny Stompanato told me when Meeks
disappeared, he was trying to move
the 18 pounds of heroin that went
missing when Deuce Perkins was shot.

EXLEY
STENSLAND AND BUZZ MEEKS. Two-man
triggers knocking off Mickey Cohen
lieutenants. When they killed Deuce
Perkins, they got heroin as a bonus.

BUD
Then something goes wrong. Meeks
gets killed. Maybe Stens got greedy,
killed Meeks and left him under his
girlfriend's house.
(a beat)
The night he died, Stens was all
mysterious. Said he had something
big going down.

EXLEY
The Nite Owl! Stensland was going
there to sell the heroin.

BUD
Somebody got wind of it, killed them
all.

EXLEY
It wasn't the Negroes. The Griffith
Park report was a phony. And, who
says the purple Merc was spotted
outside the Nite Owl?

BUD
Dudley.

EXLEY
The first guys to the car when Jack
and I got there were Bruening and
Carlisle.

BUD
Dudley's guys.

EXLEY
They didn't find the shotguns. They
planted them.

BUD
It all keeps coming back to Dudley.

EXLEY
It's Dudley for the Nite Owl.

They just stare at each other a beat as it sinks in.

EXLEY
Pierce Patchett figures in, too.
That's the angle Jack was working.
Dudley must work for Patchett.

BUD
Let's just kill them.

EXLEY
What?

BUD
For Jack, for Stensland, for anybody
else who got in the way. I've been
trying to be smart. A detective. But
killing those two fuckers, that would
be justice.

EXLEY
Stay smart, Bud. We build a case. We
play by the rules.

BUD
There are no rules! Why the fuck are
you doing this? The Nite Owl made
you. You want to tear all that down.

EXLEY
With a wrecking ball. You want to
help me swing it?

Bud smiles. For a second he likes Exley.

EXLEY
Let's go see Pierce Patchett. Run a
good-cop-bad-cop.

BUD
Which one are you and which one am
I?

EXT. 1184 GRETNA GREEN (PIERCE PATCHETT'S) - DAY

Exley and Bud make their way up the walk. Bud pulls his .38
from its shoulder holster, shoves it in his waistband.

EXLEY
You expecting problems?

BUD
Patchett uses a lot of ex-cop muscle.

FRONT DOOR

Exley RINGS the BUZZER. Looking back, Bud sees a pitching
wedge and pile of golf balls abandoned in the grass. A single
ball floats in the koi pond. Bud's eyes narrow at the sight.
Not like Patchett at all.

BUD
Come on.

And Bud shoulders the heavy door right off its hinges.

INT. 1184 GRETNA GREEN - HALLWAY - DAY

Bud draws his .38 as he strides in. Exley tries to keep up.

EXLEY
(a screaming whisper)
What?

Double doors on the left open into a library. Bud stops short,
slowly lowers his gun. Exley steps up beside him.

LIBRARY

Hanging from a ceiling light, Patchett's body slowly twists
around, a toppled chair beneath him.

EXLEY
I don't think his ex-cop did him
much good.

Bud goes to the body while Exley heads for a side table on
which rests a typed sheet of paper. Bud checks Patchett's
right hand, the knuckles are split, two of the fingers badly
distended.

EXLEY
It's a suicide note. Says he killed
Jack because Jack had figured out a
pornography scam Patchett was running.

BUD
He had help getting up there. Two of
his fingers are broken.

EXLEY
We had one thing figured wrong. I
don't think Dudley worked for
Patchett.

BUD
At least not anymore.

EXLEY
Patchett's dead. He sent you after
me. I'd say Dudley's tying up his
loose ends.

BUD
(it hits him)
LYNN.

Bud dashes to the PHONE, dials. It RINGS. No one answers.

EXLEY
I got a guy who owes me in the
Sheriff's department. West Hollywood
station. He can be at her house in
two minutes.

Bud shoves the phone into his hand.

BUD
Call him.

EXT. 1736 NOTTINGHAM (LYNN BRACKEN'S) - DAY

A county sheriff's unmarked parked out front. A DEPUTY behind
the wheel. Exley's Plymouth pulls up behind. The Deputy gets
out. MOVE WITH him as he steps BACK TO Exley, who's rolling
down his window.

EXLEY
Is she inside?

DEPUTY
We took her to Hollywood Station for
safekeeping. Someone worked her over
pretty good. She wouldn't say who.

Exley looks at Bud. Bud looks down in shame.

EXLEY
Hold her as Joan Smith. No one sees
her unless I okay it.

DEPUTY
You got it, Exley. And now we're
even.

As the Deputy moves off.

EXLEY
Ellis Loew.

BUD
What about him?

EXLEY
Jack thought he was up to his neck
in all this.

INT. DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OUTER OFFICE - DAY

A SECRETARY looks up as Bud and Exley beeline Loew's door.

SECRETARY
You can't go in there!

INNER OFFICE

Loew looks up as they burst in.

SECRETARY
Do you want me to call the police,
Mr. Loew?

EXLEY
Ask for Captain Dudley Smith. We'll
have a party. Hot dogs and sauerkraut.

A beat as Loew considers his options.

LOEW
It's okay. These are police
(as she leaves)
WHAT do you want?

EXLEY
I want D.A. bureau men to tail Dudley
Smith twenty-four hours a day; I
want you to get a judge to authorize
a wire tap on his home phone; I want
authorization to check his bank
records and I want it all in an hour.

LOEW
On what evidence?

EXLEY
None. Call it a hunch.

LOEW
(incredulous)
Absolutely not. Dudley Smith is a
highly decorated member of this city's
police department and I won't smear
his name without --

EXLEY
Without what, his smearing yours
first? What's he got on you, Loew?
Pictures of you and an out of work
actor with your pants down?

LOEW
Do you have any proof?

EXLEY
The proof had his throat slit.
(a beat)
So far you're not denying it.

LOEW
I'm not going to dignify you with
answers. If you'll excuse me, I've
got a Jack Vincennes press conference
to prepare for.

Loew enters his bathroom. Bud looks to Exley who nods: Go.

OFFICE BATHROOM

Loew is at the mirror clipping a few stray nose hairs. Bud
enters full of menace followed by Exley.

LOEW
Unless you're here to wipe my ass, I
think we're through.

Bud just glares at him. Loew shakes his head.

LOEW
Don't try this good cop/bad cop with
me. I practically invented it. And
so what if some homo actor is dead.
Boys, girls, ten of them step off
the bus to L.A. every day.

The MIRROR SPIDERWEBS as Bud slams Loew's face into it. Bud
swings him around, forces him forward and shoves his head in
the toilet. He holds it there, finally lets Loew up for
breath. Then backhands: one, two, three.

BUD
Dudley Smith. Spill.

LOEW
Call him off, Exley!

EXLEY
I don't know how.

More backhands. Holding Loew by the scruff of the neck, Bud
marches him past Exley and back into the...

INNER OFFICE

Bud heaves up the window, practically throws Loew through
it. Loew catches hold of the window framing. Bud hammers his
hands loose with a fist and pushes him through.

OUTSIDE

Bud holds his leg. Loew screams as coins, comb and wallet
spill from his pockets, plummet toward the street below.

INNER OFFICE

Bud shakes Loew, could drop him at any time.

EXLEY
Bud...

BUD
If I let you go, there'll be ten
more lawyers to take your place
tomorrow. They just won't come on
the bus, that's all.

OUTSIDE

We hear Loew's PANT LEG TEARING loose.

LOEW
Okay! You're right! Dudley's got
photos of me and Reynolds.

EXLEY
What's Dudley's scheme?

More TEARING. Loew's life may depend on the answer.

LOEW
Dudley's rotten to the core. He's
taking over Mickey Cohen's rackets,
his own hand-picked cops'll be the
new franchise holders. Because of
those pictures I won't be able to
prosecute. Oh Jesus pull me up!

INNER OFFICE

Exley helps pull Loew back inside. Bud dumps him on the floor.
Bruised and bloodied, Loew looks up at Exley.

LOEW
Dudley's got everyone under his thumb.
Not just me, but the Chief of Police,
the lieutenant governor, everybody!

Exley pulls his .38, shoves it into the side of Loew's neck.

EXLEY
NOT EVERYBODY. You tip-off Dudley
and Officer White visits you alone
next time.

Loew looks at Bud, nods, his face a bloody mess.

EXT. CITY OFFICE BUILDING - DAY

Exley and Bud exit. Bud's wheels are turning.

BUD
They never made a match on the shotgun
serial numbers. What if Breuning and
Carlisle took them from the evidence
room? Couple of cold pieces that had
been hanging around a year or two.

EXLEY
We should check the records, and, we
should talk to Lynn.

Bud just stares at him a beat.

EXLEY
You want to talk to her?

Bud looks away, shakes his head "no." Finally...

BUD
You do it. I'll check the files.

INT. SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT - HOLDING ROOM - DAY

Lynn looks up as Exley enters. Her face is puffy, swollen.

LYNN
(dry)
If I knew you were coming I'd have
baked a cake.

EXLEY
Forget everything else for a second,
Lynn. Is there anything you can give
me on Dudley Smith?

A blank look from her.

EXLEY
A police captain. I think he's behind
all of this.

LYNN
(shakes her head)
I work for Patchett. I had a feeling
that there was someone else, but I
never knew who.

EXLEY
Okay. Look, if it helps, Bud hates
himself for what he did.

LYNN
(a beat)
I know how he feels.

A beat as Exley wonders how he should interpret this.

EXLEY
I don't know if it's pathetic or
romantic, but when this is all over
I'd like to see you again.

Lynn looks away, can't help an ironic smile even as she starts
to cry. As Exley gives her his handkerchief...

INT. LAPD - EVIDENCE ROOM - NIGHT

Bud waits at the cage window as a RECORDER returns with some
information.

RECORDER
I got your guns, Bud. Signed in April
3rd, 1950. Remember the First Western
bank robbery? They were used in that.

BUD
I want to see them.

RECORDER
No can do. I can't find them.

As Bud thinks, a ROOKIE-TYPE approaches.

ROOKIE-TYPE
Uh -- Sergeant White?

BUD
WHAT?

ROOKIE-TYPE
Dispatch just got a call for you.
Lieutenant Exley wants you to meet
him at the Victory Motel.

EXT. VICTORY MOTEL - SUNSET

Bud's Packard crests the rise looking down on the Victory.
Exley's Plymouth is in the courtyard.

INT. VICTORY MOTEL - ROOM 6 - SUNSET

Exley in the hotseat. Sitting there thinking. At a CAR DOOR
CLOSING, he goes to the door.

ANOTHER ANGLE

Exley opens the door as Bud approaches, toting a shotgun.
The sun is down. The sky is just a dull glow.

BUD
You wanted to meet here?

EXLEY
Me? You called it. I got a message
that...

As the reality sinks in, Bud and Exley hear TIRES on the
GRAVEL; CARS are COMING. Being in a concavity, they don't
see them yet. Then the CARS STOP. But still Bud and Exley
can't see anything. They hear the CLICKS of CAR DOORS OPENING,
but they don't hear them shut. There are FOOTSTEPS, MURMURED
WHISPERS. More CARS PULL UP.

EXLEY
Shit... Come on.

Exley starts for his car, but Bud holds him back.

BUD
Too late.

A beat. Resigned, Exley nods. They retreat back to Room 6,
disappear inside. A beat. There's MOVEMENT in the shadows to
the left. To the right.

INT. VICTORY MOTEL - ROOM 6 - NIGHT

There's a big back window. Bud covers most of it with a ratty
old mattress. He pumps the shotgun. He pulls a .45 automatic
from his waistband.

BUD
Here.

He throws the auto to Exley, pulls out a .38. Bud's armed
for bear.

EXLEY
You figured this was a set-up? And
you showed up anyway?

BUD
A lot of bad stuff happened here.
It's as good a place as any for it
to end.

Bud switches off the light. They wait in silence. Then:

EXLEY
You know, all I ever wanted was to
measure up to my father.

BUD
(softly)
I spent years trying not to live
down to mine.
(thinking)
We should block off the bathroom.
They could come through --

A CREAK outside the front door. Bud levels the SHOTGUN. BOOM!
The DOOR is BLOWN OFF ITS HINGES. We see the figure of a man
sprawl back in the dirt. In the darkness beyond, MUZZLE
FLASHES from all around. Exley and Bud RETURN FIRE.

We hear the BACK WINDOW BREAK under a MUFFLED BLOW. Bud
charges back, yanks down the mattress revealing two men
climbing through. Sitting ducks: torn apart by THREE TRIPLE-
AUGHT ROUNDS close in. A beat, then...

EXLEY
We got him!

Bud smiles, in on the plan as there's an answering WHOOP. A
third man looks through the window. BOOM! Bud nails him. Bud
motions Exley to stay put, then slips out the window.

EXT. VICTORY MOTEL - NIGHT

Bud crouches, looks between the cinder blocks supporting the
room. Two sets of feet shuffling along. Bud FIRES the SHOTGUN.
Shrieks as the men go down. Bud extends the .38 to fire point
blank headshots. Then... Bud flattens himself as a wicked
CROSSFIRE TEARS UP ROOM

INT. VICTORY MOTEL - NIGHT

Exley is forced down as well, lying flat as plaster rains
down. The door frame splinters as more Dudley men charge in.
Four men with rifles. One is Patchett's Burly Bodyguard.
They spot Exley lying there. Hushed whispers as they approach:
"Dead meat." "Be careful." Kicks in the side. The men look
at each other, sneer. Exley jerks a foot. The foot man
stumbles as Exley spins around SHOOTING. FIRING the .45 and
his own .38. All four men go down. Exley stands, digs into
his pocket to reload. Bud scrambles back through the window.
Exley looks over and smiles as Bud reloads the shotgun. It's
dead quiet.

EXLEY
I'm thinking we might walk away from
this.

At that instant, Dudley steps through the bathroom door.
He's got Exley dead to rights. As he squeezes the trigger,
Bud leaps forward, pushes Exley hard to the ground. The SHOT
passes through Bud's back by his left shoulder blade.

It spins him around. A SECOND SHOT to the stomach slows him
to a walk as he charges Dudley. A THIRD ROUND SHATTERS Bud's
jaw, but still he comes. Driven by rage, his hands reaching
for Dudley's throat. He even gets hold before a FOURTH SLUG
tears his chest. Bud falls hard. Dudley swings his aim to
Exley who's just managed to shake the cobwebs of being
flattened by Bud. A frozen moment.

DUDLEY
I'm loathe to kill my brother
officers, Edmund.

EXLEY
Tell that to Jack Vincennes. To
Stensland.

DUDLEY
Jack was a shame, but Dick Stensland
had the audacity to try to sell me
my own heroin. Through his whore
girlfriend. I sent him to make the
buy. The rest is history.

EXLEY
Why?

DUDLEY
A vacuum, Edmund. That's what we
have in Los Angeles. Sending Mickey
Cohen up created it. My containment
work maintained it. Certain
photographs guarantee it. Organized
crime has been held back, but there's
still a demand for the services it
provides.

EXLEY
And now you'll provide them.

DUDLEY
Absolutely. Prostitution and gambling
are victimless crimes. The heroin
we'll run down to the coloreds.
Anesthetize them. As long as it's
not a middle class problem, no one
will care. It's still a crime free
city... for respectable people.

Dudley aims the .38, cocks back the hammer. We hear DISTANT
POLICE SIRENS.

DUDLEY
This isn't politics, Edmund. There
won't be winners and losers when
it's over...

Dudley doesn't see Bud stir, reach into a pocket.

DUDLEY
Just the living and the dead. It's
always been that way in the Bureau.
You should've realized that before
you became a detective. It's over.

Dudley's finger tightens on the trigger. But Dudley screams
as Bud buries a switchblade into his left calf. It took all
Bud had left. As he collapses... Dudley wails; Exley dives
for Bud's shotgun. Dudley FIRES, misses. A wild SHOTGUN BLAST
takes out half the wall. Dudley stumbles out the door. SIRENS
BLARE.

EXT. VICTORY MOTEL - NIGHT

Dudley drops his gun as the cruisers stream down. Exley steps
out behind him, but doesn't drop the shotgun. The two of
them are bleached white by headlights. Dudley raises his
badge over his head.

DUDLEY
We're policemen!
(winks)
Let me do the talking. They'll make
you Chief of Detectives.

Exley steps ahead to block his way.

EXLEY
NO.

DUDLEY
Why not, lad? Absolute justice?

EXLEY
Something like that.

DUDLEY
REALLY? Would you be willing to rig
crime scene evidence to support a
prosecuting attorney's working
hypothesis?

Exley doesn't answer. Dudley smiles.

DUDLEY
Would you be willing to beat
confessions out of suspects you knew
to be guilty?

Exley glares. Laughing, Dudley brushes by, limps toward the
gathering policemen.

DUDLEY
Are you willing to shoot hardened
criminals in the back to offset the
chance they'll --

The SHOTGUN BELCHES flame. Dudley goes down, shot in the
back. Exley drops the gun, raises his hands over his head.

DISSOLVE TO:

L.A. MONTAGE

"RAGS TO RICHES" PLAYS.

EXT. ROSE BOWL PARADE - DAY

Riding in a convertible, waving to the crowds is the Grand
Marshal -- the new Vice President, a young Richard Nixon.

INT. OBSERVATION ROOM - NIGHT

A midnight assembly. The Chief, D.A. Loew and several high
ranking brass. Their attention riveted THROUGH the one-way
glass into...

INT. ROOM #1 - NIGHT

Bloody, exhausted, Exley sits across from two INTERNAL AFFAIRS
DETECTIVES.

INTERNAL AFFAIRS #1
You have a lot of explaining to do,
Lieutenant.

EXLEY
Yes. I do.

As Exley begins...

TELEVISION SCREEN

Where we're informed that tonight's episode of "Badge of
Honor" is: "Dedicated to the memory of technical advisor
Sergeant Jack Vincennes."

EXT. VENTURA FREEWAY - CAHUENGA PASS - DAY

A ribbon is cut. Eager motorists roll down the blacktop.

EXT. GRAUMAN'S CHINESE THEATER - DAY

Ronald Reagan applauds as Jane Wyman plunges her hands into
fresh sidewalk cement.

INT. OBSERVATION ROOM - NIGHT

The brass exchange concerned looks and raised eyebrows as
they watch Exley THROUGH the glass, his VOICE heard OVER the
SPEAKERS.

INT. UNION STATION - DAY

The Flatnose Frisco loan shark and Cauliflowered Cleveland
enforcer seen earlier at the Victory Motel return to L.A.,
ready to fill the vacuum.

EXT. NEWSSTAND - DAY

Hush-Hush is delivered. The headline: "Actor Reynolds in his
Final Role: Conductor of the Night Train to Slice City."

INT. ROOM #1 - NIGHT

Exley stares across at the Internal Affairs Detectives.

EXLEY
That's it. That's the whole story.

As Exley looks to the gray-tinted wall mirror...

OBSERVATION ROOM

Loew leans over, whispers to the Chief.

LOEW
The press would have a field day
with this.

CHIEF
(a beat)
When in doubt, feed them a hero. In
this case, we'll need more than one.

CUT TO:

LOS ANGELES EXAMINER HEADLINE:

R.I.P. DUDLEY SMITH Fabled L.A. Cop Dies Defending City from
Organized Crime!

INT. LAPD HEADQUARTERS - BRIEFING ROOM - DAY

Exley in his dress blue uniform. The Chief smiles, pins gold
stars to his shoulders.

CHIEF
Captain Edmund Exley. Chief of
Detectives. Los Angeles Police
Department.

Applause. Flashbulbs. Lynn watches from the back as Exley
runs a handshake gauntlet. Finally, he spots her. She's
returned to her natural brunette. Looks even better. Exley
steps over.

EXLEY
(ironic smile)
I tried to throw it all away and
they give it back in spades.

EXT. PARKING LOT - DAY

Exley walks Lynn out.

EXLEY
Where will you go?

LYNN
Bisbee, Arizona. The air's good for
pensioners and I know where everything
is.

EXLEY
When?

LYNN
Right now, before I back down.

EXLEY
Where is he?

Lynn gestures ahead. They walk to her car. She opens the
back door. Bud's in the back. Braces on his legs, head
sutured. Jaw wired shut and tubes running in and out. But
his hands still look strong. Bud forces a smile through the
wires, tries to say something, but can't.

EXLEY
Thanks for the push.

Exley takes his hand. Bud squeezes till both men wince.

EXLEY
You just did what you did. No rank,
no glory.

Exley slips his Medal of Valor into Bud's hand.

EXLEY
From me to you. It'll mean something
if it's yours.

Bud takes it, turns away so Exley won't see the tears.

LYNN
We should go now.

As Exley steps back, Lynn closes the door. PARTY noises drift
from upstairs. Exley looks to Lynn.

EXLEY
Do you think I ever could've been in
the running?

LYNN
Some men get the world. Others get
ex-hookers and a trip to Arizona.

A beat. Exley wishes he'd gotten the trip to Arizona. She
kisses him on the cheek, gets in the CAR. STARTS it. Exley
looks back at Bud. Bud presses his hands to the glass. Exley
touches his side, palms half the man's size. Hands against
hands. The car moves. A turn into traffic, a good-bye TOOT
on the HORN. Exley's all alone. As he watches them go...

FADE TO BLACK

THE END

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