"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 ]

"DEEP COVER"

Screenplay by

Michael Tolkin and Henry Bean

Story by

Michael Tolkin

SHOOTING DRAFT



EXT. CLEVELAND STREET - NIGHT (1970)

Rain. Christmas lights. A rusted out '56 Lincoln rattles
down the bleak boulevard. In it: JOE STEVENS, an angry, black
man in his late 20's, beside him his 10-year-old son, JOE
JR.

Joe Jr. stares out the window at passing: boarded buildings,
whores with raincoats over their heads trying to flag down a
john, a black Santa, a knot of drinkers. Breaking the silence:

JOE STEVENS
Your mother okay?

JOE JR.
Yes, sir.

They stop at a light. Joe Stevens tries to furtively snort a
little something. He spots Joe Jr. watching.

JOE STEVENS
(firm, without irony)
Don't you do this shit, boy. Don't
you ever fuckin' touch it, you hear
me?

Joe Jr. stares, silent; Joe Jr.'s about to hit him.

JOE STEVENS
(continuing)
You hear me, goddam it?

The boy nods. Satisfied, Joe Sr. draws in the stuff. It makes
him feel good, strong, worried and determined all at once.

JOE STEVENS
(continuing; charged
up)
What do you want for Christmas?

JOE JR.
I don't know.

JOE STEVENS
(light changes; he
accelerates)
You don't know?? You gotta know what
you want, boy, if you ever expect to
get it.

A sudden charm to his bravado. Joe Jr. smiles uncertainly.
Joe Sr. grins back, pulls up in front of a liquor store.

JOE STEVENS
(continuing)
Wait here. This won't take a minute.

Joe Jr. doesn't notice or doesn't remark that his father,
just before entering the store, draws a handgun from beneath
his coat.

The boy gazes dreamily at the street. The lunatic Black Santa
marches by, ranting to himself ("Then the white man say...").
The RAIN HAMMERS on the roof and windshield. Joe Jr. breathes
on the glass, fogging the scene.

From the store: MUFFLED GUNFIRE.

Joe Jr. looks that way. Another GUNSHOT, then:

His father comes out the door clutching money in one hand.
He strides toward the car with a reckless pride. He doesn't
notice:

The liquor store door opens behind him.

A SHOTGUN BLAST. Joe Stevens' guts splatter onto the car
windshield. A look of terrible amazement; he sinks to his
knees.

JOE JR.
Daddy!!

He jumps from the car, kneels by his father.

The STORE OWNER (47, Slavic) drags the gun toward them,
bleeding profusely.

STORE OWNER
(enraged, almost to
tears)
Fuckin' niggers... fuckin' niggers...

JOE STEVENS

looks at the money in his hand: two 20's, two 5's.

JOE STEVENS
Fifty bucks... fifty goddam bucks.
(looks up at his son)
I'm sorry...

He stuffs the blood-soaked bills in the boy's shirt pocket
and dies. Joe Jr. looks up at...

THE STORE OWNER

Bloody, nearly unconscious, he aims the shotgun at the boy
who is too frightened to move.

JOE JR.
Please, Mister...

The man dies on his feet. As he falls backward, he pulls the
trigger, the BLAST shattering the car windows.

Cop cars SQUEAL up. Uniformed cops leap out, guns drawn,
survey the scene. Then one notices Joe Jr., staring motionless
at his father and the store owner, dead together. ON HIS
EYES:

DISSOLVE TO:

THOSE SAME EYES

-- but older, harder, colder. They're concentrating on a
paper before him.

TITLE: 17 YEARS LATER

CLOSEUP - THE MINNESOTA MULTIPHASIC PERSONALITY INVENTORY

Hundreds of TRUE/FALSE questions...

1.) I have never indulged in any unusual sexual practices.
(T/F)

2.) I have often felt that strangers were looking at me
critically. (T/F)

3.) When I was young I occasionally stole things. (T/F)

Joe Stevens marks these TRUE, FALSE, FALSE then comes to:

4.) A person's station in life is at least partially
determined by his race. (T/F) We are:

INT. A ROOM - DAY

Thirty-seven Black Cleveland police officers (many in uniform,
including Joe) are taking the MMPI. Some roll their eyes at
the questions. Some try to copy answers. Others, like Joe,
work with rapid concentration.

But he gets stuck on #4. Marks it false. Erases it. Marks it
true. Erases that. Ponders. Goes on to: #5. At times I hear
so well it bothers me. (T/F) He marks that true.

INT. INTERVIEW ROOM - DAY

GERALD CARVER, 36, an ambitious government lawyer with a
relaxed, vaguely hip manner, looks over the file of the
ingratiating BLACK OFFICER sitting across the desk from him.

CARVER
Officer Leland? You know the
difference between a black man and
nigger?

Leland is startled, insulted, but doesn't want to blow the
interview. He smiles weakly, shakes his head no.

CARVER
(continuing; pleasant
smile)
Yeah, most niggers don't.

Stung, Leland tries to laugh. Carver puts his file aside,
picks up another.

CARVER
(continuing)
Nice to meet you.

INT. SAME - ANOTHER INTERVIEW

A SECOND BLACK OFFICER is powerfully built, politically
conscious, takes no shit. Carver's leafing through his file.

CARVER
So, Winston, what's the difference
between a black man and a nigger?

Winston is out of his chair before the question is finished,
drags Carver by the shirt front halfway across the desk and
hisses into his face:

WINSTON
Who the fuck do you think you're
talking to?

Carver smiles cheerfully past Winston's cocked fist.

CARVER
Thanks for coming in.

Nonplussed by this cool dismissal, Winston stalks out. Carver
picks up the next file, unfazed.

INT. SAME - ANOTHER INTERVIEW

Joe Stevens watches Carver reading his file and waiting for
an answer. When none is forthcoming, Carver glances up, finds
Stevens looking right back at him.

STEVENS
The nigger's the one who falls for
your bullshit.

He says it pleasantly, without belligerence. Carver smiles:
he's found his man. He offers his hand.

CARVER
Gerald Carver, United States District
Attorney. Call me Gerry.

INT. A DARKENED ROOM - DAY/NIGHT

ON A TV SCREEN: a grainy black-and-white tape, date and time
stamped at the bottom. A grungy street, palm trees. The light
from the monitor dimly illuminates Carver and Stevens.

On SCREEN the CAMERA finds: A MAN in jeans, sneakers and
sweatshirt on a street corner.

STEVENS
He ought to be wearing a sign.

CARVER
You can tell he's a cop?

Stevens laughs: it's obvious.

A real DRUG DEALER joins the cop. UNDERCOVER COP: "You got
it?" DEALER: "In the motel, right over here..." The Cop's
uneasy, keeps glancing back toward the CAMERA as they go.

STEVENS
He keeps looking for his back-up.
Now, the other guy knows it, too.

CARVER
Then why's he taking him to the room?

STEVENS
(why else?)
To rip him off.

Carver studies Stevens in the darkness, impressed.

ON SCREEN: The figures disappear into the motel. We hear
their voices. DEALER: "Here, try some of it." UNDERCOVER
COP: "Uhh... No, I don't..." DEALER: "Why not, you
sonofabitch?" Two bursts of SOUND DISTORTION.

A plainclothes cop, TAFT, (black, stocky, powerful) bolts
from behind the CAMERA, sprints toward the motel. The CAMERA
wobbles after him.

STEVENS
(continuing)
Too late.

ON SCREEN: The CAMERA (jerky, hand-held) nears the open motel
door. Taft is bent over the Undercover Cop's body.

TAFT
Oh, Bobby... Jesus, Jesus...
(to the CAMERA)
Get an ambulance -- and back up.
Now!

He slams the wall, starts past the CAMERA. Carver pushes the
pause button; the tape freezes on a jerky image of Taft's
face.

STEVENS
(focussed on Taft)
Who is he?

CARVER
Charles Taft. LAPD Narcotics.

STEVENS
He's a good cop.

CARVER
He's a great cop. Two [names citation]
and a [another citation]. As tough
as they come and twice as honest.

Carver watches Stevens watch Taft, smiles at something.

STEVENS
But the cops aren't getting it done
here, are they? Gotta try something
new...

He opens a manila envelope, dumps the contents on the desk:
driver's license, social security card, high school
transcript, prison records... all in the name of William G.
Hull. No photos.

STEVENS
(continuing)
Who's John Hull?

CARVER
You are. If you want to be.
(off Stevens)
Most undercover guys don't know what
they're doing because it's a day
gig.
(indicates dead cop
on TV)
I need somebody who goes under and
stays there; six months, a year,
five years...

STEVENS
What does he have to do?

CARVER
Buy drugs. Sell drugs. Feed me
information.

STEVENS
He's a snitch.

CARVER
He's a drug dealer. A criminal. A
scumbag. But for the right side.
(beat)
I want you to come to Los Angeles on
loan to the Justice Department as a
federal agent. Your experience there
will be credited toward your seniority
here. And you'll come back to
Cleveland a P3 or higher.

STEVENS
(uncomfortable)
I can't do that. I've got a wife and
kids.

CARVER
You're separated from your wife,
she's filled for divorce. You see
your kids every other weekend.

Stevens takes a breath: this is awkward to explain.

STEVENS
(almost a confession)
All my life I've stayed away from
that stuff. I've never touched drugs.

CARVER
(tolerant)
Come on, a little grass...?

STEVENS
Not grass. Not nothing. I never even
had a drink.
(his motto)
Never have, never will. You don't
understand. I made a choice in my
life.

CARVER
What's to understand? You saw your
father killed when you were ten, and
you decided you wouldn't be like
that.
(off Stevens' surprise,
Carver grins)
I'm God, I know everything. You wanted
to be a good boy, so you became a
cop. Hiding out in uniform... That's
why you got the hard-on for Taft.

STEVENS
It's not that simple.

CARVER
(opening Joe's file;
as if reluctantly)
I'll tell the truth, Joe. You're
never going to be a Taft.

STEVENS
I don't believe that.

But he does.

CARVER
(looks at MMPI results)
You ever take a look at your
psychological profile? You score
almost like a criminal.
(reading)
"Resents authority..."

STEVENS
I do not.

CARVER
"...Exaggerated moral standards, but
with no underlying value system."
Look at the anger, the repressed
violence, it's almost off the scale...

STEVENS
Let me see that...

Carver hands him the scores which are, of course, just
clusters of numbers. Stevens is upset, though oddly
unsurprised, as if this only confirmed his secret fears.

CARVER
Why'd you join the force?

STEVENS
(awkward, but felt)
I wanted to be of use.

CARVER
Well, now you can be. You won't be
Taft, but maybe you'll be something
more... interesting.
(sits back)
There's a man named Ramon Gallegos
who supplies 60% of the cocaine to
the West Coast. He's smart, smooth,
and sufficiently elusive that we
don't even have an adult photograph
of him. However, his uncle is Hector
Guzman, an important Latin American
political figure. Gallegos uses
Uncle's connections to get product
into the country, and everyone we've
sent after him has ended up like
that...

Indicates dead body on TV.

STEVENS
Why would I be different?

CARVER
You already are, that's the point...
(indicates file, test
scores)
You've got the ability and the
personality to go underground and
blend in completely. That's what the
others couldn't. Some part of them
showed. That's why they're dead.
See, there's only one rule in this
game.

Stevens raises his eyebrows: what?

CARVER
(continuing)
Don't blow your cover.

EXT. WORKING CLASS CLEVELAND NEIGHBORHOOD - DAY

Stevens parks outside a small, well-maintained house. As he
gets out, he spots a GROUP OF KIDS (black and Hispanic)
playing down the street. He's not pleased about that.

STEVENS
(calls to them)
Joe-J, Carmen...

A BOY, 7, and a GIRL, 5, (both light-skinned) run to him
shouting, "Daddy," jump into his arms, competing for
attention, as if they haven't seen him in ages.

STEVENS
What were you doing with those kids?

JOE-J & CARMEN
Playing...

STEVENS
(displeased)
Your mom lets you play with them?

JOE-J & CARMEN
Yes, sir... Yes, sir.

His strictness has already sobered their enthusiasm. Sensing
this, he attempts to embrace them which he can do only
awkwardly.

Meanwhile, his wife, TERRY (Southern white) has come out the
screen door. She and Stevens bristle at each other.

STEVENS
I thought we talked about this. The
older brother up there's got a sheet
with --

TERRY
Lay off it. They're just kids...

Both are ready to fight, but restrain themselves. A big
Polynesian, TITO comes out the door.

TITO
Hey, Joe.

STEVENS
Tito...

A moment of surprise, then he gets it. He looks to Terry.
She gives a little shrug, refusing to be embarrassed.

INT. KITCHEN - FIVE MINUTES LATER

Stevens is trying to seem interested in Carmen's little
drawings.

STEVENS
They're real nice, honey. Is that a
horse?

CARMEN
(exasperated)
Daddy! It's a bunny...

She puts her arms around him.

CARMEN
(continuing)
I don't want you to go away, Daddy.

STEVENS
It's my work. I've got to.

Over her shoulder he sees Terry sitting with a subdued Joe-
J. Her face seems to say, "See, I told you..." Avoiding this
accusation, Stevens notices a bruise on Carmen's arm.

STEVENS
(continuing)
What happened to you there, baby?

CARMEN
Tito did it.

STEVENS
(instantly outraged)
He hit you?!
(up in a fury)
God damn it, what's he doing touching
her? I'm gonna...

Terry intercepts him on his way out of the room.

TERRY
She was running behind his chair
when he got up. It was an accident.
(he's uncertain)
A complete... total... accident.

Stevens looks at Carmen who giggles. He's humiliated by his
own temper, attempts to calm himself. Terry puts a sympathetic
hand on his shoulder.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. LOS ANGELES - AERIAL SHOT - DAY

The immense sprawl, the arterial flow of the freeways, the
blinding light. We DESCEND...

INT. TRAIN STATION - UNDERGROUND - DAY OR NIGHT

People getting off, among them the former Joe Stevens, now
known as JOHN HULL. He's carrying a suitcase.

INT. TRAIN STATION/EXT. STREET - DAY

Hull goes up the stairs onto a downtown street.

EXT. ANOTHER STREET - DAY

South L.A. neighborhood. A 13-year-old BLACK YOUTH selling
drugs through a car window. Hull walks by. He's at ease,
looking around, his manner subtly announcing that he belongs
here, just as in the train station he seemed to belong among
the commuters.

EXT. TRANSIENT MOTEL - COURTYARD - DAY

A fat BLONDE WOMAN (61, large white glasses, tiny shoes)
leads Hull down a corridor.

BLONDE WOMAN
Television mostly. I was on "Sky
King" twice, "Ramar of the Jungle."
That was a silly show. The jungle
was mostly flats...

They pass an open door where a 6-year-old boy, JAMES, a
latchkey, sits on the stoop playing Gameboy; inside, his
mother, BELINDA, a broken down whore, is doing her nails and
drinking Pepsi. She looks up, bats her lashes at Hull.

BLONDE WOMAN
(continuing)
You want my advice, I'd stay away
from that bitch.

She opens the door to the room across the hall. A dump. Hull
walks in, drops his duffle: he'll take it. The Blonde lounges
in the doorway. He closes the door.

INT. ROOM - DAY

Hull empties his pockets on the dresser. Looks at his money,
room key, identification. Looks at himself in the mirror. He
touches his clothes, his face, tries on different expressions.

(NOTE: Throughout the film, Hull continually checks himself
out in mirrors, both to adjust his appearance to the
circumstances and as if in an attempt to recall who he
"really" is.)

EXT. 79TH AND FIGUEROA - TWILIGHT

On the seam between South-Central and USC. Lots of people
out: children, students, dealers, whores. Hull with a new
haircut.

EXT. ANOTHER, SIMILAR CORNER - DAY

Dealers (most in mid-teens) meeting cars, making transactions.
All this casually observed. EDDIE comes up the street,
reciting his version of an old street toast.

EDDIE
On the day of the King's castration,
all the counts and no accounts were
down on the deck with Georgia Tech
taking turns in the back seat...

Those dealers not at car windows, gather around. He never
speaks to them, goes on declaiming as he exchanges drugs for
money.

Hull watches, talking to another street person. His appearance
continues to change: clothes, posture, walk, gestures subtly
conform to the environment, a bit like Zelig. Throughout the
film his appearance shifts, depending on who he's with. We
always recognize him, but each time he's different.

He walks up to a dealer, makes a quick buy and keeps going.
But he sees them and is seen.

INT. AN OFFICE - NIGHT

Hull drops eleven foil balls on a green blotter. Carver counts
out money for him.

INT. HULL'S MOTEL ROOM - DAY

He sits at the window, eating a burrito, watching little
James play in the courtyard.

EXT. STREET - EVENING

Hull approaches another Dealer, the 13-year-old seen earlier
(angelic face). Like Hull, he's trying to act tough.

HULL
Whatta you got?

13-YEAR-OLD DEALER
(voice just changing)
Nickel rock, dime rock. Excellent
shit.

Hull exchanges a folded twenty for two foil balls. He walks
off. He has gone twenty feet when...

RED RANGE ROVER

SQUEALS to a stop opposite the Dealer.

A huge young black man, IVY (23, all in red with a red
headband), leans out the passenger window, shouting at the
13-year-old.

IVY
What the fuck I tell you about being
here?

Everyone turns to look, but Hull's view is blocked.

13-YEAR-OLD DEALER (O.S.)
No, wait...

IVY (O.S.)
Too fuckin' late.

POPPING noises. Ivy is waving an automatic weapon. Everyone
on the street but Hull has hit the ground.

IVY
(enjoying it, shouting)
Get down, motherfuckers!

Ivy laughs and fondles a girlfriend as the car ROARS off. He
sees Hull, pretends to fire, laughs as Hull, too, ducks.
When Ivy's gone, he runs to where a CROWD has gathered
around...

THE 13-YEAR-OLD

lying in the street, a bullet hole in his head, eyes open.
He twitches and kicks, blood pulsing from the neat wound.
Then he's dead. The faces around him (young, old, many races)
watch with a variety of emotions.

CROWD
Who is he?... Why'd they shoot him?...
Ivy did him, man... He's in the wrong
fuckin' place... That poor boy...
Get his beeper...

Cops push through to the body. As the crowd disperses, Hull
can't take his eyes off the boy. When he finally does, he
sees Eddie, drink in hand. Their eyes meet, and Eddie, a
rapper, raises his eyebrows in brief acknowledgment of sorrow.

EDDIE
(sadly)
He done done, ain't he?

EXT. LEWAZZ - NIGHT

TITLE: TWO WEEKS LATER

A bar with a neon bird for a sign. Hull enters.

INT. LEWAZZ - NIGHT

A racial mix. Hull takes a seat at the bar. Stuffed birds
line the lintel above the bottles. A female BARTENDER (long
red nails) greets him familiarly.

BARTENDER
How's it going, John?

HULL
I'm in there.

Without being asked, she sets him up a Dry Sack with a long
red straw. (NOTE: He never touches the drink.) Hull's
appearance has continued to change. His clothes have become
flashier, he has an earring, the start of a goatee.

Eddie approaches the bar compulsively reciting one of his
toasts.

EDDIE
(to himself)
"Where's the Queen," said the King.
"She's in bed with laryngitis." "Is
that bastard still in town?... Fuck
the Queen," said the King, and ten
thousand knights straaaained at their
utmost...
(to the bartender)
Pina colada times two and a white
wine.

He goes on muttering under his breath, tapping his foot like
any crankhead. He notices Hull, greets him as someone he
can't place but knows he's seen around.

EDDIE
(continuing)
How you doin', Dudley...

Tries to remember name.

HULL
John.

EDDIE
John, man, right...

Clasp hands. Eddie takes his drinks, carries them to...

A TABLE

where he rejoins a white man, DAVID ELIAS (30s, slick,
powerful) and a well-dressed BLACK WOMAN (mid-20s, good-
looking). She gets the wine.

Elias rises to let her out. As the woman passes Hull on her
way to the restrooms, their eyes meet: an instant of perfect
chemistry. He's struck. Her features open, grow sensual for
a moment, but then, as if seeing something she doesn't like,
her eyes flick away, and she walks by as if he weren't there.

INT. CARVER'S OFFICE - NIGHT

(NOTE: Hull invariably meets Carver in this anonymous room,
distinguished only by the green blotter and a view of the
city. This simple regularity suggest visits to a psychiatrist,
Carver probing, testing, teasing, trying to draw Hull out.
And they feel like therapy, at once a respite and a torment.)

More foil balls on the blotter beside boxes of 3x5
photographs. Photos of Eddie and David Elias are up on a
corkboard, the beginning of a pyramid.

HULL
Eddie something... a motormouth...
he supplies the street dealers...
buys from him...
(reads name on back
of photo)
David Elias... who apparently buys
from a guy named Barbolla or
something. But I haven't seen him.

Carver produces a photo of a handsome Latin in his 50s, pins
it on the board above Elias.

CARVER
Barbosa, Felix.

HULL
There was also a woman, but she's
not here.
(as Carver reaches in
a drawer)
I saw a kid killed. Twelve, thirteen
at the most. Turf war.

Carver shrugs: these things happen. He hands Hull a lot of
cash, much more than expected. Hull does understand.

CARVER
Get to Elias. Then to Barbosa.

HULL
You can't rush this stuff.

CARVER
Rush it, please. I want art, John,
not reality. Budget hearings start
in April, and I need Gallegos by
then. They won't give us funding for
three ounce buys.

HULL
We're not just doing this for the
funding, are we?

CARVER
Without funding, we aren't doing it
at all.

TITLE: TWO WEEKS LATER

INT. CRACK HOUSE - DAY

Virtual darkness save splinters of light between the curtains.
Pipes burn here and there in the gloom. Ten or fifteen
crackheads huddle around a battery-operated TV on which Tom
Brokaw is narrating an NBC documentary on drugs. A 12-year-
old sits against a wall too stoned even for television.

Hull approaches Eddie, regally installed on an automobile
bench seat-cum-sofa, a lit pipe in one hand. We barely notice
the redhead kneeling between his legs, face buried in his
crotch. He greets Hull from wrecked bliss. They know each
other now.

EDDIE
My man, Dudley, he's so fud-ley...

Hull greets Eddie, some of the others, drops familiarly onto
an adjacent auto seat. The patrons are making fun of Brokaw,
laughing, exchanging fives.

HULL
Eddie, man, I need...

Eddie holds up a hand telling Hull to wait. His mind is
elsewhere. His features contract in brief concentration.

CHORUS OF COMMENTS
Whatever happened to that Drug Czar
motherfucker?... He gave up 'cause
he finally realized he didn't know
nothing about any of that shit...

More laughter, etc. Eddie's concentration peaks, breaks off
into a sigh and a smile.

Eddie sings a satisfied little song...

The redhead rises from Eddie's crotch, and we see it's a
boy, seventeen going on death; he might have been pretty a
year ago.

Eddie passes him the crack pipe, lets him suck greedily for
a few seconds before ripping it out of his scabrous mouth
and offering it to Hull, who, with a grimace that gets laughs,
declines. The others continue to watch and comment on the
speech.

EDDIE
So what is it you need so bad, blood?
Need, need, need??

HULL
A whole K, quick as you can get it.

EDDIE
(impressed, a trace
of envy)
Comin' in the world, Dudley.

HULL
(winning grin)
All because of my man...

Eddie likes that, holds out a hand. Hull hits it.

EDDIE
Give me a day.

Hull nods, rises.

EDDIE
(continuing)
Stick around, let the bitch Hoover
you, too.

Indicating redhead.

In all these scenes, Hull acts indifferent to the horror,
but here the effort costs him. He masters his disgust with a
joke.

HULL
Only if you Clorox him first.

Everyone laughs, even the boy.

EXT. STREET - NIGHT

Eddie comes out the back door of a building, is immediately
collared by Taft (the cop on the videotape). He's in his mid-
40s, stocky, balding.

TAFT
(cheerful, gregarious)
Eddie Shitface! Where you been, boy?

Eddie breaks free, runs three feet before HERNANDEZ (a
muscular Mexican) knees him in the groin. Eddie crumples.

TAFT
(continuing)
Eddie, I don't think I introduced
you to my new partner, Michael
Hernandez...

HERNANDEZ
Pleased to meet you, Mr. Shitface...

EXT. STREET - NIGHT

Eddie folded over his wounded nuts. Hernandez and Taft sit
on crates to either side. The drugs they've taken from him
are neatly arranged on a garbage can lid.

HERNANDEZ
You have the right to remain silent...
You have the right to an attorney...
You have the right to go back to
Ontario for eight-to-ten on a second
offense...

EDDIE
(in several kinds of
pain)
Oh, man, I can't go back in there, I
just can't.

TAFT
(soothing)
'Course you can't, child, 'course
you can't. That's why you're gonna
start giving us some help.

EXT. DAVID ELIAS'S HOUSE - NIGHT

A pleasant, Santa Monica neighborhood. Spanish style house.

INT. ELIAS'S HOUSE - NIGHT

Pleasant, tasteful. Elias's wife, NANCY, (dressed like the
attorney she is) sits in an alcove-study reading a real estate
contract through half-glasses. Elias himself is helping his
daughter, MIRANDA, 7, with her homework. He is 38, with the
body and bearing of a powerful man.

ELIAS
Again. Three times four.

MIRANDA
Seven.

Elias is not a sweet Daddy. It should make us uncomfortable
to watch him push his daughter.

ELIAS
No. You're adding again, you have to
multiply. Three and four is seven.
Three times four is...

MIRANDA
Twelve.

ELIAS
Three times five.

The DOORBELL.

NANCY
Can you get that?

MIRANDA
Eight.

ELIAS
(getting up; more
about the answer
than the door)
Damn it.

MIRANDA
Why can't I just use a calculator?

INT./EXT. FRONT DOOR - NIGHT

Three men: FELIX BARBOSA (whose photo we saw in Carver's
office). Barbosa is a veteran of the coke business, but he's
doing too much of the drug now; he's sweating, paranoid,
unstable. With him is GOPHER, early 60s, a wizened high-voiced
old con who Barbosa keeps the way Spanish kings kept dwarfs,
for amusement and luck; like the court jester, Gopher can
say anything he wants without fear. Behind them is an Hispanic
kid, CHINO, 17, a thug.

Elias knows them all, but is not happy to see them at his
door.

ELIAS
What are you doing here?

BARBOSA
We've got a problem, David.

ELIAS
Call me on the phone.

BARBOSA
Your friend Eddie just started bending
over for the cops.

This is very bad news. Elias murmurs a shaken, "Shit..." and
steps outside, half-closing the door behind him.

BARBOSA
(continuing)
They busted him, and he's dealing to
save his ass.

GOPHER
Which is how he'll lose the skinny
little thing.

ELIAS
Did he give us up?

BARBOSA
Not yet, but he will if he has to,
and eventually he'll have to.

MIRANDA (O.S.)
Daddy! I thought we were doing my
homework.

ELIAS
I don't think he'd talk about us.
He'd try not to.

BARBOSA
If we whack him, he definitely won't.

MIRANDA (O.S.)
Daddy!!

ELIAS
(to Miranda)
Just a second.
(to Barbosa)
Not yet. Let me check on this, first.

BARBOSA
(taunting)
Nobody said you had to do the dirty
work, David. I'll take care of --

ELIAS
Felix, if he's a problem, we'll kill
him. I'll kill him myself.

He doesn't realize until it's too late that Nancy has just
then opened the front door to see where he went. They look
at each other, a terrible moment: she knows what he does,
hates it, can't bring herself to leave him, hates herself
for that.

ELIAS
(continuing)
Nancy, get out of here.

NANCY
For you; it's Eddie.

She hands him a cordless phone, goes inside closing the door.

BARBOSA
You got a tasty wife, David. No wonder
you don't want us coming here.

ELIAS
(warning him)
Don't talk about her that way.

Barbosa laughs.

GOPHER
He can't help it, David, it's his
nature.

ELIAS
(into phone, chipper)
Eddie... Sure, man, what do you need?

INT. A BOXING GYM - NIGHT

Elias joins Eddie and Hull to one side. In the b.g. two guys
sparring.

EDDIE
David, this is John, John, David.
Eddie, this is Eddie. Everybody ready?

HULL
(to Elias)
So what's this, you want to meet me?

ELIAS
(charming, touch of
mockery)
I like to know the important
customers.

Hull makes a show of weary patience, gestures: here I am.

ELIAS
(continuing)
You're taking a lot of weight for a
guy we hardly know. Where're you
moving this stuff, John? We haven't
seen you around. We like to have a
sense who your customers are.

HULL
Ah, come on, man, do Macy's tell the
Gimbel motherfuckers?

ELIAS
(beat; watches him)
Eddie, forget this guy, he's a cop.

He gets up, walks away.

ON HULL

He's blown it. He's been made. The crushing failure. He
rallies himself to indignation.

HULL
What is this shit, Eddie? I thought
you were the man.

Eddie's sickened, wants to get paid, owes Taft a bust.

EDDIE
Nobody's the fuckin' man. Go to your
place. I'll call you.

EXT. GYM/INT. A VAN - CONTINUOUS TIME

Taft and Hernandez, watching the gym. Hull comes out, looks
up and down the street carefully. Taft sits up, pays
attention.

TAFT
This is our collar?

Hernandez grunts.

TAFT
(continuing)
Who is he?

HERNANDEZ
Some scumbag...

But Taft clearly thinks there's something different about
Hull. He's not sure what, but it troubles him. (NOTE: Hull
makes a little move that Taft will later realize was a cop's
move. For now he can't quite place it.)

EXT. PARKING LOT - CONTINUOUS TIME

Eddie pleading his case to Elias.

EDDIE
He's no cop, David. He's an animal.
You see his eyes? You never see a
cop with those eyes. I know this
shit, man, you don't.

ELIAS
(giving him an opening)
What's going on, Eddie?

EDDIE
Twenty-six thousand cash is what. We
need it, David. We're behind.

Elias studies Eddie: is he a rat? Elias hopes not, but he's
going to find out. He hands a fat Federal Express envelope
through the window.

ELIAS
(a warning)
I want him to get it all, Eddie.

Eddie bows in gratitude, hurries off.

EXT./INT. HULL'S MOTEL - NIGHT

Hull's unlocking his door when Belinda, the hooker across
the hall, comes out to talk. Her 6-year-old, James, watches,
silent.

BELINDA
(a crackhead)
Mr. Hull... Mr. Hull...

HULL
(wearily)
What's happening, Belinda?

BELINDA
Now you know, Mr. Hull, I was to the
welfare this afternoon, but the bus,
you know what I'm saying?... the one
bus, and then the other, and when I
got there they'd gone and changed
the time on me, without notification.
They's supposed to give notification,
ain't they? They said I got a thing
in the mail, but I don't remember, I
don't think they sent it, so now I'm
off the welfare, plus I forgot to
take James for his shot... for the
school? Which otherwise they let him
go. And he's gotta learn, he's gotta
learn, don't he, Mr. Hull, you tell
him, so's he can better hisself.

Hull slouches in the doorway, fingers to his eyes.

HULL
(to James)
You had any food today, James?

JAMES
(disclaiming any need)
I had Ding-Dongs.

HULL
(sighs, gives him
money)
You go to the Mexican place over
there, and get the chicken tostada
or the beef and bean burrito or both.
And a milk.

JAMES
I don't like milk. I want a --

HULL
(an order)
You get the milk! And get something
for your mother, too.
(to Belinda)
What do you want?

BELINDA
Now, Mr. Hull, if you just --

HULL
(to James)
Two tostadas, two burritos, two milks.

Gives him another bill. The boy runs off.

BELINDA
You now, I look out for my James
best I can, Mr. Hull, but it's hard.
Now you like the boy, don't you?

Hull grunts.

BELINDA
(continuing)
I know you do. And I was thinkin' if
you wanted to take care of him, that
might be good for him. Give him a
male figure to look up to.

HULL
Look, Belinda, I can't...

BELINDA
If you could just give me something
for him. Say five thousand dollars...
(off Hull's shock)
Or maybe four thousand. I couldn't
give up my boy for less than four
thousand...

Hull is rescued from this horror by the ringing PAY PHONE.
He runs down the hall, grabs it.

HULL
It's me. I'm here... Where?... five
minutes.

He dashes past Belinda into his room.

BELINDA
Or you could just give me a part
now...

He closes the door, takes the money Carver gave him out from
behind the mirror, dashes back outside. As he rushes by:

BELINDA
(continuing)
Let me do somethin' for you, Mr.
Hull. Let me do a little somethin'
for you.

He keeps going. The Blonde Woman addresses Belinda.

BLONDE WOMAN
No solicitin' in the halls. I told
you that before.

BELINDA
(spunkier than we've
seen)
I ain't doin' shit. Bitch...

EXT. TACO STAND - VENICE AND LA BREA - NIGHT

A handful of customers under a mud sky. The THROB of a distant
helicopter. Hull pulls into the lot beside Eddie's BMW.

He climbs into the BMW, tosses Eddie a brown envelope; money
spills onto his lap. Eddie does a quick count, produces the
Fed Ex envelope. The usual white stuff.

Hull's about to taste when the chopper swoops in with a sudden
blinding overhead light. A BULLHORN booms down like the voice
of God.

AMPLIFIED VOICE
This is the police. Remain inside
the vehicle. Place your open hands
against the windshield so that they
are clearly visible...

HULL
Christ...

EDDIE
(a strategy)
Spread the floor, Dudley.
(rap sound effects
with rhythmic head
spasms)
A-ga, a-ga, a-ga, a-ga...

Eddie starts the car, and Hull rolls out the passenger door
as the BMW races across the lot.

Two black-and-whites and an unmarked converge on the stand.

Hull can't reach his car. He vaults a metal rail and runs
off between two buildings.

Hernandez jumps out of an unmarked and races after him. Taft
speeds the car out onto the street.

HULL

running. Police and SIRENS pursuing. He hurls the Fed Ex
envelope into a dumpster. HELICOPTER light sweeps over him.

As he cuts around a building, Taft opens a car door right
into his face. Hull goes down hard.

TAFT
(into car radio)
Thank you kindly...

He waves at the helicopter which goes away, kneels over Hull
who is twitching spastically on the ground, gasping for air.
Hernandez arrives carrying the Fed Ex envelope.

TAFT
(continuing)
How you doin', child?...

Hull is astonished to look up and see Taft looming over him,
the man he remembers from the videotape. He tries to speak:

HULL
(barely audible)
You...

TAFT
(briefly puzzled)
Me? Of course, it's me. You know me?

Hull shakes head, winces.

TAFT
(continuing)
Hurts, huh?

Hull tries to curse.

TAFT
(continuing)
Here, I want to show you something.
You have kids?

He takes out his wallet, opens it to pictures of his two
children, a boy and a girl, seven and eight.

TAFT
(continuing)
These are mine. Aren't they the most
beautiful children you ever saw?

Hull groans, twists in pain. Taft sticks the pictures in his
face. Hull is affected by the children despite everything.

TAFT
(continuing)
Yeah, I know, they kind of leave you
speechless. So let me ask, if someone
put a gun to your baby's head,
wouldn't you kill him if you could?

Hull just looks up.

TAFT
(continuing)
Me, too. And you're the bastard with
the gun.

He takes the Fed Ex envelope from him.

HULL
(hoarse; his first
words)
You know the difference between a
nigger and a black man?

TAFT
Don't jive me, boy.

HULL
The nigger's the one covers Whitey's
ass by puttin' the brothers in jail.

Taft yanks him hard to his feet; Hull cries out in pain.

TAFT
You ain't my brother.

INT. COURTROOM - NIGHT

Hull is led in with other handcuffed PRISONERS. Carver is
here, catches Hull's eye. Hull shakes his head; doesn't want
Carver to intercede. A woman PUBLIC DEFENDER (26, attractive,
harried) addresses the prisoners.

PUBLIC DEFENDER
Hi, I'm Shelley Weissbrod. This is
only an arraignment, a preliminary
hearing, but if you don't have money
for an attorney, the Public Defender's
office can...

Hull is listening to this when a BAILIFF taps his shoulder.

BAILIFF
You've got counsel. Over there.

Puzzled, Hull sees the back of a suit conferring with a
PROSECUTOR. The suit turns. It's DAVID ELIAS who smiles,
offers his hand. Hull is stunned. Elias enjoys that.

HULL
You're a lawyer??

ELIAS
I'm your lawyer.

HULL
Who hired you?

ELIAS
(smiles)
It's pro bono. If you don't want me,
there's Shelley. She's good. She
just can't provide special services...

HULL
Like what?

VOICE (O.S.)
(calling the next
case)
John Hull...

ELIAS
Getting your case called first.

Elias addressing the court.

ELIAS
(continuing)
Your Honor, I believe the preliminary
police toxicology report will show
that the substance seized from my
client was Mannitol, a baby laxative.
We move for immediate dismissal.

Hull is surprised at this news. The Judge looks to the
Prosecutor who waives objection. Gavel.

ELIAS
(continuing; to Hull)
We're out of here, Dude.

As they walk toward the back, Taft approaches Hull. There's
already a deep pull between these two, and in Taft's presence,
Hull can't sustain the tough street act. We almost see the
little boy inside him.

TAFT
(to Hull, amused)
Baby laxative, they sold you some
bad shit.

DRUNKEN PRISONER
(to Hull)
You have a constipated baby, and
you're in jail? What kind of a father
are you?

TAFT
A father who don't know his own
children, ain't that right?

A long look between them, broken when Elias takes Hull's
arm, leads him away. Elias cheerfully greets a couple of
hookers waiting arraignment. Hull furtively grabs his sleeve.

HULL
(under his breath)
You sold me Mannitol, motherfucker.

ELIAS
(under his)
If it hadn't been, asshole, you'd be
in jail right now... Come on, I want
you to meet some people.

EXT. LEWAZZ - NIGHT

After hours. The place is closed. A couple of cars in the
lot. Elias's BMW pulls in.

INT. LEWAZZ - NIGHT

Deserted except for one table where Eddie, Barbosa, Gopher
and Chino are eating shrimp. They look up as Hull and Elias
approach. Eddie's astonished to see Hull.

EDDIE
Dudley, Dudley, Fo-Fudley...

ELIAS
Surprised to see him, Eddie?

Eddie looks around, uneasy.

ELIAS
(continuing)
John got busted and kept his mouth
shut. Can't say that for everybody,
can we?

EDDIE
What are you saying? Are you saying
me? Are you saying something about
me?

GOPHER
Tell the truth, Eddie. Be honorable.
It's all you got left.

EDDIE
Shut up, you little faggot.

ELIAS
The cops made you give them somebody.
We know it.

Eddie looks around. Everybody's looking at him. He considers
lying, but realizes it's pointless.

EDDIE
All right, so what? I mean, so what,
man? You got the money. Twenty-six
G. Twenty-six, David. Count it.

ELIAS
Next time you might trade us.

EDDIE
Never.
(turns to Barbosa)
Never, Felix, never. Come on, man,
you know I'd never...

Hull observes Barbosa become the power center.

BARBOSA
(softly)
I know you never will.

EDDIE
Felix, no. Don't be... I'm worth
money to you. Let me give you money.

BARBOSA
Why? You don't owe me anything.

EDDIE
Another twenty-six grand... Just to
show you... Fifty.

BARBOSA
Why not a hundred?

EDDIE
(that's so much)
A hundred??? Felix...

Barbosa's impassive.

EDDIE
(continuing)
Okay, a hundred.

BARBOSA
Give it.

EDDIE
Tomorrow. Twenty-four hours.

BARBOSA
Now. Ten seconds.

EDDIE
Felix, I need time. I --

BARBOSA
One... two...

EDDIE
I don't have it right now. But I can --

GOPHER
(sadly)
Then goodbye, Eddie. I forgive you
for what you said to me.

EDDIE
(pleading)
Twelve hours. Tomorrow morning.

BARBOSA
Six... seven...
(to Elias)
You want to do it, David?

Elias looks stricken. Barbosa laughs. Eddie jumps up. Hull
turns away, can't bear to watch this.

BARBOSA
(continuing)
Nine...

EDDIE

grabs the first thing he lays eyes on, a tiny snail fork and
plunges it into Barbosa's neck.

As if it were a fly bite, Barbosa flings the table aside
and, with a long knife already in his hand, guts Eddie from
groin to breast bone. Eddie falls like a suddenly emptied
sack.

Elias can't help gasping.

Hull looks away, hiding his horror.

Barbosa rips the fork out of his neck and hurls it at the
body.

BARBOSA
Piece of shit!

Elias stares at Eddie's body, transfixed. Horrified,
fascinated, afraid, in awe. Barbosa turns to Hull.

BARBOSA
(continuing)
What'd you think?

HULL
At least it was clean.

BARBOSA
(pleased, to Elias)
What about you, bar mitzvah body?
First time you saw somebody die?

ELIAS
(eyes fixed on the
body)
No.
(catching breath)
At camp... when I was fourteen... a
friend of mine was water skiing...
The motorboat ran him over... A junior
counsellor was driving.

BARBOSA
You should kill a man some day, David,
it's liberating...
(walking out)
Summer camp. I'm in business with
somebody who went to summer camp.

Everyone else is silent, grave.

INT. ELIAS'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - EARLY MORNING

Through sliders we see a small pool. Elias and Hull sit over
uneaten omelets. Both still shaken by the previous scene.

ELIAS
Eddie, man... He was always nice to
my daughter.

HULL
How'd a guy like you get into this?

ELIAS
The way most drug lawyers do: clients
paid me in product, and I had to
move it. Soon I was doing more dealing
than law. But this was '83, '84,
there was so much money we thought
it would never end.

HULL
Yeah. And now...?

ELIAS
The road gets rougher. Cocaine's a
dying business.

HULL
Then what are we doing here?

ELIAS
People are always going to want to
get high. Every society has ways to
alter consciousness.

HULL
Because they can't bear reality.

ELIAS
(smiles)
We all need our delusions, only the
means change: psychedelics, opiates,
prayer, orgies, human sacrifice...

HULL
What's next?

Elias puts a finger to his lips.

HULL
(continuing)
Why aren't you selling it?

ELIAS
I know how to make it and market it.
But I need capital. That's the only
reason I'm hanging out with an asshole
like Barbosa.
(feels his hatred of
Barbosa)
And because I can't get to the big
guys.

HULL
Who are the big guys?

ELIAS
Gallegos, et cetera.

HULL
(reacts to the name)
Why can't you get to them?

ELIAS
What do you care?

Hull shrugs: he doesn't.

ELIAS
(continuing)
Anyway, designer drugs have a bad
name: ice, ecstasy, tar -- there's a
limited market for Parkinson's
disease. But what about completely
safe, almost legal, terrific shit
you can go to work on and do your
job better than you ever did it
straight?

HULL
Sounds like a dream.

They hear someone coming.

ELIAS
(closing the subject)
In dreams begin responsibilities.

HULL
Tell me about this new shit.

ELIAS
Some other time, John, when we know
each other better.
(as Miranda enters
kitchen)
Hey, bunnela.
(she snuggles against
him; Elias enjoys it)
Five times two.

MIRANDA
It's too early. Don't bother me.

He hugs her, kisses her, much more openly affectionate than
Hull was with his own children. Hull notices that.

MIRANDA
(continuing; head in
her father's chest)
Seven.

Elias whispers in her ear.

MIRANDA
(continuing)
Oh, yeah... Ten... Who's he?

ELIAS
That's my friend, John. This is
Miranda.

HULL
Hi, Miranda.

Miranda gives Hull a shy greeting. Nancy hurries into the
kitchen, handsome, busy, ready for work.

NANCY
Come on, honey...

ELIAS
Nancy, this is John.

Nancy nods briefly in Hull's direction. Elias kisses Miranda
who grabs the back-pack her mother proffers, and they go
out. When they're gone:

ELIAS
(continuing; on Nancy's
chilliness)
That's not about you. It's, she's...
judgmental about what I do.

When they're gone, he opens louvered doors onto a
washer/dryer, takes a sports bag off a shelf, gives it to
Hull. Hull looks inside. White powder. He tastes. Real. He
hefts the bag.

HULL
That's more than I bought.

ELIAS
Half we owe you. The other half's on
consignment. A token of our esteem.

HULL
You're having trouble moving it.

Elias doesn't deny it.

HULL
(continuing)
Make me your partner. I'll help you
get your capital.

ELIAS
I don't need a partner. I need a
salesman.

INT. CARVER'S OFFICE - DAY

Now in daylight. Two separately wrapped kilograms of crack
cocaine on the green blotter.

CARVER
I can't buy this much shit. I haven't
got it in the budget.

HULL
What am I supposed to do with it?

CARVER
You're a drug dealer, John. Deal
drugs.

Hull just looks at him. Carver doesn't blink.

HULL
You know how this goes, Gerry. It
won't stop here. You know what they're
going to ask me to do pretty soon,
to prove I'm down. What am I supposed
to do then?

CARVER
Don't blow your Carver.

Hull: a moment of horror as he realizes what Carver is saying.

MUSIC -- A DRUG DEALING SEQUENCE

INT. HULL'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

He's filling glass vials with crack. Hundreds of them. It's
tedious work. He spills some, curses. He stops. He can't
believe he's doing this. He goes on doing it.

CARVER (V.O.)
You're still thinking like a cop,
John. Forget that. Cross the line.
Be what you are. You're a criminal.
You don't give a shit about other
people. You're just trying to survive.

INT. CRACK HOUSE - DAY

Hull doling out vials to DEALERS seen earlier with Eddie.

HULL (V.O.)
I can't do this shit. I just can't.

EXT. A STREET - DAY

DEALERS going up to cars as before, only now they're Hull's
dealers. A well-dressed Black businessman buys from his BMW.

CARVER (V.O.)
But you want to be of use. You want
to get drugs off the street, don't
you?

HULL (V.O.)
That's why I'm here.

EXT. SAME - ANOTHER TIME

Another sale: Teenagers on foot.

CARVER (V.O.)
Well, this is the cost. Pay it or go
grow flowers someplace.

EXT. HULL'S MOTEL - ANOTHER TIME

He comes out of the motel talking to a Dealer we've seen
above.

HULL
You can't back down with them. You've
got to project strength, from inside,
you know?

The Dealer nods. Across the street Hull sees:

A blue sedan. Taft and Hernandez. Taft gives Hull a little
nod and grin.

EXT. STREET - ANOTHER TIME

Hull sitting in an aging Trans Am, making entries in a
notebook. Across the street he watches:

A PREGNANT WOMAN (19), a squawling baby in arms, buying from
one of his Dealers.

He kicks the dash in frustrated anger. Under the MUSIC:

HULL
Cocksucker...

As soon as the woman's gone. He goes over to the Dealer,
slaps his head, slaps it again. Under the MUSIC:

DEALER
(hurt, confused)
What'd you do that for?

HULL
(walking off)
'Cause I can, motherfucker, 'cause I
can.

EXT. SAME - ANOTHER TIME

A white housewife making a buy from a new mini-van, a baby
in the car seat.

EXT. STREET - TWILIGHT

Two USC football players (letter jackets, huge) hassling
BIJOUX, a woman dealer, pushing her, she pushes back, curses.

Suddenly Hull comes running up, shoves them apart. He's
yelling, pointing a finger in their faces. Elias comes up
behind, calmer.

Hull is smaller than either USC kid, but they back down as
he curses them. Under MUSIC:

HULL
...Touch her again, motherfuckers,
I'm gonna mess you up.

A brief scuffle. Hull decks one USC, and Elias pulls him
off. The kids leave. Elias doubles over with laughter. Hull
yells at Bijoux and walks off.

EXT. APARTMENT HOUSE - DAY

Hull (looking at written address) knocks on a door. It's
opened by a beautiful, dark-skinned black woman in a skimpy
robe. She looks at him with disarming frankness. He thinks
he must be in the wrong place.

HULL
Is David Elias here?

ELIAS (O.S.)
Momentito...

Through the door we see him emerge from a bedroom stepping
into his loafers, buttoning his shirt. He gives the woman
along, dark kiss, caressing her body.

ELIAS
Jacqueline, ho-ney...

She laughs, closes the door. As he and Hull walk to the
street, Elias sings happily to himself:

ELIAS
(continuing)
"Who's making love to your old lady...
while you're out make love...?"
(cheerful)
How come I like balling black chicks
so much?

HULL
'Cause you're a racist asshole. You
feel like you're fucking a slave,
and it gets you off.

ELIAS
Oh, don't mau mau me with the Malcolm
X shit. Tell me you're not chasin'
white pussy every chance you get.

HULL
I don't dig white women.
(knowing that's a lie)
Even if I did, it wouldn't mean the
same thing.

ELIAS
Sure, it'd be the slave fucking the
master. Hegel talks about it. Just
like me, but the other way around.

HULL
Fuck Hegel. Who the fuck is Hegel?
Some smart-ass kike that talks
backwards?

Elias laughs, gets into Hull's car. Hull's angry, takes a
beat before he gets in.

ELIAS
Everybody digs the other, John. They
dig their own, and they dig the other.

HULL
Does your wife dig black guys, David?
Did she fuck Eddie? Does she want to
fuck me?

ELIAS
(mock-terrified)
Ooo... you mean with that great big
purple dick of yours? I hope not.
She'd never be impressed with my
little thing again.

HULL
You think what impresses her now is
your dick?

ELIAS
(musing)
What does impress her?

Hull can't help laughing. He starts the car.

EXT. BETTY'S STORE - DAY

Elias and Hull approach. Hull's carrying a satchel and wearing
a new leather jacket.

INT. JEWELRY STORE - DAY

As they go in, Elias switches the OPEN sign to CLOSED and
turns the latch. The store is filled with Latin American
folk art, particularly masks which line the walls.

BETTY STONE, the woman Hull saw with Elias at the bar, comes
out from the back. She is 27, a bad girl trying to dress the
way she thinks a banker who went to Vassar dresses for
success. She's also a little strung out.

She and Hull recognize each other at once, (a brief reprise
of that moment of perfect chemistry) but she avoids his gaze.

ELIAS
Betty, this is John, my new associate.

MCCUTCHEON
Your new Eddie. I hear the old one
wore out.

ELIAS
Factory recall. John's going to be a
good customer. He does a lot of wash.

Hull puts the satchel on a display case. Betty still won't
look at him, opens the satchel, begins a quick count. She
does this with a speed and sureness that suggests high test
scores.

HULL
So how's this place work?

Betty doesn't answer, so Elias covers the awkwardness.

ELIAS
Betty wires the money to a store in
Aruba in payment for things they
never sent her. They deposit the
money in a bank there that turns
around and loans her money she never
has to repay. That way it doesn't
turn up as income for the IRS. Welcome
to the laundromat.

MCCUTCHEON
David, you talk too much.

ELIAS
She doesn't trust you.

Hull has taken down a mask, puts it over his face, looks in
a mirror.

HULL
How much is this?

MCCUTCHEON
More than you can afford.

HULL
I'll take it.

She produces a vial of coke, looks questioningly at Elias.

ELIAS
By all means.

She draws out six lines. Elias does two.

MCCUTCHEON
(offering him the
straw)
Come on, Eddie 2... you're up.

HULL
No, thanks.

NOTE: Betty is acutely attuned to Hull, and in his refusal
she senses -- albeit unconsciously -- two things: first,
that he doesn't trust himself on drugs, therefore, he's a
dangerous guy and, therefore, exciting; and, second, more
important, the refusal bespeaks a repudiation of the violence
and danger and, thus, a longing for goodness. Despite the
seeming contradiction, she finds this even more attractive.
But because she feels herself to be bad, his goodness seems
only a judgment against her, and so she thinks she hates
him.

MCCUTCHEON
Who is he, my mother?

HULL
(smiles)
Never have, never will.

Betty ignores him, does her lines.

MCCUTCHEON
(taunting Hull)
Oooh... Cocaine, I love it and I
hate it and I love it. The disease
is the cure.

She can't help looking at Hull who's looking at her. She and
Elias are stoned; he's not.

MCCUTCHEON
(continuing)
Don't look at me. Elias, tell him
not to look at me. I don't like the
fucker.

But Elias is too busy vacuuming up Hull's leftovers.

ELIAS
(sniffling)
John's an ascetic Negro; he wants to
make sure you know he's not a jungle
bunny.

HULL
Watch your mouth, David.

ELIAS
But he's got another side. You should
seen him on the street the other day
with these two USC kids. Do the spade
bit for her, John.
(black accent)
I'm gonna mess you up, muthafugga...

He sticks his finger in Hull's face just like Hull with the
boys.

HULL
Don't call me a spade. And don't
tell me to play black.

He says it gently, but Betty hears the edge.

ELIAS
(hurt, disappointed)
Come on, John, you do it so well.
(falling into it)
Ah ain't playin', muthafucka. Ah
ain't playin'.

Hull glares; Elias refuses to be intimidated.

ELIAS
(continuing)
Don't fuckin' dis me, muthafucka.
Fucka... fucka... fucka a... fucka
b... fuck b-hive... fucka, fucka,
fucka...

Elias dances around repeating "fucka" until it's almost
musical.

Hull picks him up and slams into a wall.

HULL
Say it again, and I'll kill you.

Elias throws Hull back against a display case. He's strong
and unafraid. They're ready to fight.

MCCUTCHEON
Grow up, assholes!

This half snaps them out of it. Still glowering, they slowly
relax, release each other.

EXT. STREET - NIGHT

Hull sits in the Trans Am eating a sandwich and watching the
street as a DEALER leans in the window telling his sob story.
There's an authority to Hull's manner that tells us he may
not like this job, but he knows how to do it.

DEALER
...The guy ripped me off, man, so I
don't got the money, I don't got the
stuff and --

HULL
(eyes on street)
You gotta pay anyway.

DEALER
Oh, but, man...

As he raps on, comical pathos, Hull spots in his side
mirror...

THE RED RANGE ROVER

coming slowly this way. Ivy in the passenger window, the
barrel of an automatic weapon glinting in the streetlight.

HULL
Shit...

Hull glances up: Bijoux is selling on the next corner.

The Range Rover passes the Trans Am. Ivy leans out.

Hull flings open the Trans Am door, throwing the Dealer to
the ground. He jumps from the car:

HULL
(continuing)
Bijoux!!

She turns. Sees Ivy. She puts out her hands to block the
shots. The SOUND of the gun is inaudible. The barrel bounces
slightly. Bijoux sprawls backward.

Bijoux: dead on the sidewalk, limbs askew, bleeding from
many wounds.

Hull, standing over her, covers her face.

EXT. SAME - MUCH LATER THAT NIGHT

The body has been taken away, the crowd has cleared. Elias
sits on the hood of the Trans Am. Hull stands, staring down.

ELIAS
It wasn't your fault.
(no response)
What could you have done?

HULL
She worked for me. I'm supposed to
protect her.

Elias knows that's true, and it leads to another truth.

ELIAS
We have to kill him.

Hull looks up.

ELIAS
(continuing)
Or we lose all authority with the
other dealers. And one of them'll
kill you.

Hull looks up, startled.

ELIAS
(continuing)
You've got to assert now, or you're
dead.

Hull sees the truth of that and slowly nods.

ELIAS
(continuing)
And if we kill Ivy, we control this
whole territory.

HULL
That guy who works for Barbosa can
do it, Chino.

ELIAS
No. If we use Chino, it's Barbosa
who's asserting. It'll be Barbosa's
territory.
(again: his hatred of
Barbosa)
It's gotta be us.

HULL
Right.

ELIAS
And if it's us, it's gotta be you.

Meaning he can't do it. Hull knows that. A long beat on Hull's
face as he reaches the inevitable decision.

HULL
(to himself)
Don't blow your cover.

ELIAS
What?

HULL
If I do this, we're partners. Equal
partners on everything.

Elias offers his hand. Hull stands up, a sudden resolve.

HULL
(continuing)
Let's go.

ELIAS
(afraid)
Now...?

But Hull is already moving.

EXT. STREET/INT. ELIAS'S CAR - NIGHT

Hull and Elias driving, looking for Ivy. Elias double parks
by two prostitutes.

We STAY in the car with Hull who's silent, frightened, keeps
trying to warm his hands.

Outside, Elias is talking and laughing with the prostitutes.
We see them point. He gives them money, kisses. They laugh.
He gets back in the car.

EXT. A DANCE CLUB - NIGHT

The Range Rover parked in front. Elias's car stops. MUSIC
pounds from inside. Then one CONTINUOUS SHOT:

They pass the club, other store fronts... Turn at the
corner... Turn into an alley... Down the alley past the same
buildings... The rear door of the club... To the next
street... Turn... Turn... onto the original street, back to
the front of the club. They stop again.

HULL
Go wait around back.

Elias nods. A beat. They look at each other.

ELIAS
I want to see you in that alley.

Hull's so terrified he seems calm. With an air of submitting
himself to fate, he gets out and walks into the club.

INT. CLUB - NIGHT

Crowded and BOOMING and strobe lit. Hull pays the cover and
climbs a staircase to a...

CIRCULAR BALCONY

that overlooks the dance floor. On stage: a RAP ACT with its
throbbing beat and below Hull a sea of dancers.

Hull circles the balcony. It isn't hard to pick out Ivy --
he's all in red, dancing with the woman we saw him with in
the Range Rover the first time.

Hull reaches the steps again and starts down, keeping his
eye on Ivy. The number ends. In the pause before the next
one, Ivy can be seen excusing himself, heading toward the
rear of the club.

The next number begins. People dance. Hull pushes his way
through the dancers to...

INT. REAR OF CLUB - A SHORT HALLWAY - NIGHT

leading toward the rear door they saw from the alley.

MOVING DOWN THE HALL

A woman's room. A men's room. Hull goes into...

INT. MEN'S ROOM - NIGHT

Ivy is pissing into a urinal. He's so huge he seems to take
up all the space in the tiny room. Hull stares at him, unable
to look away.

He notices Hull. All dialogue is UNDER the POUNDING MUSIC.

IVY
What're you looking at?

Hull stares at Ivy's face. Ivy considers this rude.

IVY
(continuing)
You want to suck it, bitch?
(offers his dick)
Or drink it?

Laughing, he turns, urinates on Hull's pants. Hull doesn't
move.

IVY
(continuing;
recognizing him)
Oh, I know you. You're the bitch
whose whore I wasted tonight, ain't
you?

Somebody pushes on the outside of the door. Hull holds it
closed with his back.

IVY
(continuing)
I gotta take care of you, too, huh?

He reaches into his pants for the butt of a gun.

Hull is frozen.

Ivy starts to draw it out.

Hull steps forward, grabs Ivy's gun arm. With his other hand
he clumsily pulls a silenced .22 from inside his jacket,
puts it in the underside of Ivy's jaw and SHOOTS twice. Ivy's
brains spray upward onto the wall, and he slides straight to
the floor. Hull steps out into...

INT. SHORT HALL - NIGHT

An Hispanic busboy coming out of the kitchen sees him and
the gun in his hand, freezes.

Hull walks past him and out the back door. From inside we
see Hull go down three steps, stumble in the drive and fall
to his knees, the gun CLATTERING away from him.

A couple that had been making out, stops, looks.

It takes Hull a moment to gather himself. He picks up the
gun, gets into Elias's car. It drives away.

INT. HULL'S MOTEL ROOM - NIGHT

Alone, he looks at his face in the mirror. As if he doesn't
know the person there.

With a knife, he draws out something hidden inside the wooden
backing of the mirror. A manila envelope. He empties it onto
the dresser:

Mementos among which we see, carefully preserved, the blood-
soaked bills his father gave him. Hull ignores them and picks
up...

PHOTO OF HIS CHILDREN

He smooths out the folds, stares at it as if trying to fix
this in his thoughts.

EXT. MOTEL COURTYARD - PAY PHONE - DAY

Hull on the phone. He's unusually excited, even moved.

HULL
...Carmen, it's me. It's Daddy...

INT. HULL'S HOUSE - CLEVELAND - DAY

Carmen on the phone, jumping up and down with excitement.

CARMEN
Daddy!!

HULL (V.O.)
(through phone)
Hi, baby. How are you? I miss you!

CARMEN
What?

HULL (V.O.)
I miss you...

CARMEN
(thrilled)
I miss you, too, Daddy...

EXT. MOTEL COURTYARD - DAY

Hull pressing the phone to his face, trying to master his
emotions.

GRAINY 16MM FILM - A LABORATORY MAZE

A lab rat with a metal electrode protruding from its head,
is running a maze at high speed. A VOICE explaining things.

VOICE
(young, nasal, too
smart)
The maze leads in two directions. At
one end the rat can obtain a food
pellet. At the other...
(pointer indicates
each end)
...it receives electrical stimulus
to a very specific area of the
cerebellum...

The rat reaches this second destination, pushes a bar, is
stimulated. A lab worker (white coat, gloves) picks up the
animal, replaces it at the start. It runs the same route.

VOICE
(continuing)
This rat, like 86% of the others in
the experiment, chose the electrical
stimulus repeatedly and exclusively.
It continued to do so until it died
of malnutrition.

ANOTHER SHOT -- the rat dead.

INT. A LABORATORY - DAY OR NIGHT

A 21-year-old RENEGADE from the Cal Tech chemistry department
(red hair, freckles, glasses held together with electrical
tape), a brilliant nerd. He picks up...

A MOLECULAR MODEL

Colored balls stuck together with wooden dowels.

CAL TECH
This is an addictive amphetamine
with time-space distortion, delusions
of grandeur -- or maybe they're real --
tending to be impulsive, sometimes
violent behavior. Psychotropic
adaptation for late monopoly
capitalism. It's illegal, and you
can buy it on any street corner.

He tears off some of the balls, sticks on new ones.

CAL TECH
(continuing)
This increases energy, attention,
cognitive powers, yet with a smooth,
almost opiate-like emotional surface.
Ideal for the post-political, post-
rationalist global marketplace and
24 hour lifestyles. It's completely
legal and can only get it here, in
my lab.

ELIAS
(to Hull, proudly)
Randy's a genius. His professor told
him he could win the Nobel prize.

CAL TECH
Nobel prizes are for wussies.

HULL
What does this shit do to you?

CAL TECH
I'm on it now. It's like cocaine
only better.
(offers him powder on
a slide)
Want some?

HULL
I don't take drugs.

CAL TECH
(unoffended)
Your mistake. This is designed for
the top end of the market. For people
who want to master reality, not avoid
it. Because it's synthetic, you don't
grow it, refine it, or -- best of
all -- import it.

ELIAS
What would it take to manufacture
this stuff in quantity?

CAL TECH
With a million dollars, I could
produce enough for a limited market
at about two bucks a pop.
(makes a face: fair)
But then with five million, or better
yet ten, the cost would drop to thirty
cents, and we'd have enough for the
whole world.

ELIAS
I'm going to put two hundred fifty
thousand into your corporate account.
You cheat me, Randy, I'll use your
bladder for a bagpipe.
(to Hull, with a
vengeance)
We're going to put Barbosa out of
business.

Elias is very happy. He leads Hull out.

INT. CARVER'S OFFICE - DAY

On the pyramid chart there's a black border around Ivy's
photo, as around Eddie's. A photo of Hull is now on the board
beside the one of Elias. Hull stares out the window, lost in
thought.

CARVER
(dismissive)
Synthetic shit?? Sounds like a 20/20
segment...

Hull shrugs: it's not that important. Carver turns to his
real interest.

CARVER
(continuing)
So, what was it like?

HULL
(still looking out)
What was what like?

CARVER
Popping Ivy...

HULL
You knew.

CARVER
I'm God, remember?

HULL
(looks back out)
Then you should know how it was.

Carver smiles, but he's non-plussed by Hull's new detachment.

CARVER
You didn't clear it with me. You're
getting independent. That's good.

Hull smiles.

CARVER
(continuing)
How're we coming on Gallegos?

HULL
He supplies Barbosa. To get to him
we'll have to take quantity.

CARVER
Then you've got to --

HULL
That's what killing Ivy did. I'll
get to him soon.

Carver's impressed.

HULL
(continuing)
Is that it?

CARVER
(seeing him to the
door)
I want you to get a new apartment.
Something expensive.

HULL
I like where I am.

CARVER
That shithole? You're big time now.
Act it. And get some clothes. Spend
money. Have fun. That's an order.

INT. HULL'S MOTEL - OFFICE - DAY

Hull in a new, expensive suit, gives the big Blonde Woman
cash.

HULL
Whether I'm here or not, no one else
uses that room. And change the linen
twice a week, just like now.
(starts to go, stops,
more money)
And make sure James gets what he
needs. And something for you.

He adds another bill. She smiles.

INT. A RENTED CONDOMINIUM - DAY

Views, open space, expensive furnishings. Hull (in another
fancy suit) is hanging a couple of Betty's masks. He's
meticulous about their placement.

Elias wanders out from the other rooms, looking around.

ELIAS
(impressed, envious)
Nice place. Nice suit.

Hull has a moment of self-consciousness about the suit, checks
himself out in a mirror -- a private moment.

Elias flops on a couch, puts his feet on an antique coffee
table.

HULL
Hey...!

He hurries over, lifts Elias feet to the floor. Hull brushes
the wood, inspects it carefully, fusses, worries... Elias is
amused.

ELIAS
You pick all this shit out yourself?

HULL
A Jewish lady in the store helped
me.

ELIAS
(mock touched by racial
harmony)
Aw... Very nice. Understated. I'm
impressed.

Hull starts to place stacks of cash in a briefcase. He's
momentarily mesmerized by all the money.

HULL
(to himself)
Fifty bucks, fifty fucking bucks...

ELIAS
You sold it all?

Hull nods.

ELIAS
(continuing)
I'll order a couple more keys from
Barbosa.

HULL
Order ten.

ELIAS
Ten??

HULL
Better twenty.

ELIAS
(afraid of that)
I don't want to push it.

HULL
I do. We've got a bigger territory,
we need more product. I want to deal
directly with Gallegos. It would
save us money.

ELIAS
Barbosa'll never let us near him.

Hull closes the briefcase, ushers Elias toward the door.
He's going out, too.

HULL
If we buy twenty, Gallegos'll come
to us himself.

ELIAS
How do you know?

HULL
When I bought a key from Eddie, you
came to me.

Elias laughs, surprised, afraid.

HULL
(continuing)
Who's above Gallegos?

ELIAS
Guzman, but he's... Don't ask so
many questions.

HULL
How else will I learn?
(hint of a threat)
Call Barbosa, David, put in our
order... Because we have to split
this, and there isn't enough here
for both of us.

Elias feels the threat.

EXT. BETTY'S JEWELRY STORE - NIGHT

Despite the CLOSED sign, a light's on inside. Hull knocks.
No response. He keeps knocking without let-up until:

BETTY'S VOICE
(annoyed)
Nobody's home, go away.

He knocks harder. Finally she appears in the doorway, stopping
short when she sees it's him. She's immediately aware of
white streaks on her grey suit. she tries to brush them off.

MCCUTCHEON
(doesn't want to let
him in)
Look, I'm tired, why don't you...

Hull holds up the briefcase. She sighs, unlocks the door.

INT. BETTY'S OFFICE - NIGHT

A bill counter toting up the cash. She watches it fixedly to
avoid looking at him, but she feels the chemistry.

MCCUTCHEON
Why do you look at me like that?

HULL
How do I look at you?

MCCUTCHEON
Like you know something I don't.
Like you're better than me.

That catches Hull off-guard, and he responds with a candor
she didn't expect.

HULL
I don't think I'm better than you. I
don't think I'm better than anybody.

She's startled by this remark and instinctively drawn to
him.

HULL
(continuing)
But I do know something... You can't
stop thinking about me.

Embarrassed, she looks away. He takes her hand, and at his
touch something yields to her. She lets him draw her to him.
His kiss is strangely tender, searching. It turns Betty on
incredibly. She melts into him.

MCCUTCHEON
Let's go back here...

She leads him into...

THE SMALL OFFICE

She's sweet and loving, but her sweetness scares her. He's
all over her, but she pulls back for a moment. There is a
couch and before it a coffee table with coke scattered on a
plate.

MCCUTCHEON
(indicates coke)
Do this... do it with me.

She offers him a straw. He doesn't take it.

MCCUTCHEON
(continuing)
This is where I'm at. You want to be
with me, it's gotta be there.

HULL
I don't do that.

MCCUTCHEON
Never have, never will.

HULL
It's for fuck-ups.

MCCUTCHEON
What do you think, you're not a
nigger? You're a nigger as much as
me.

HULL
More.

She's angry, hurt, confused, wants to love him, but feels he
won't let her, or she won't let herself. It's torment. Finally
she's released by a KNOCK on the door. She goes out to...

THE FRONT OF THE STORE

Lets in Elias. He smells the tension.

ELIAS
(amused, jealous)
Having fun?
(neither answers; to
Hull)
I talked to Barbosa. He'll see us
now.

Hull turns to Betty. Both want to go that way instead of
this, but events are leading somewhere else. He follows Elias
out.

EXT. A SALSA CLUB - NIGHT

MUSIC pouring into the darkness.

INT. CLUB - NIGHT

Kids dancing to a live STAGE ACT. High in a wall: a lit
window.

INT. THAT ROOM - NIGHT

Very different from the club. A comfortable room with a bar,
tables, filled with men much older than the dancers below.
Barbosa and Gopher at the bar with Elias and Hull. Chino and
other SHADOWY FIGURES lurk in the room's depths.

BARBOSA
Ten kilos? You're always late on
two.

HULL
Not ten... twenty.

Barbosa's impressed.

HULL
(continuing)
The more we have, the more we can
move. There're markets we can't open
because we don't have the inventory.

Barbosa's coked to the eyeballs, mean and dangerous.

BARBOSA
Finally some balls on this team...
(taunting Elias)
Come work for me, John. I'll give
you your own franchise. You can supply
Elias, lean on him when he's late.

ELIAS
Go fuck yourself.

Barbosa laughs.

HULL
I'm with David.

BARBOSA
Why? He give you his "designer drugs"
pitch. He's never going to do it.
He's a shmuck.

ELIAS
Don't talk to me that way.

BARBOSA
I'm not talking to you at all. I'm
talking to John.

GOPHER
It's the cocaine. Don't listen to
him. Felix, you've had enough...

BARBOSA
Shmuck.

Elias goes for him. He's fast and strong, and it takes Chino
and Hull to pull him off.

GOPHER
Praise God they don't let guns in
here.

CALMING VOICES
"None of that in here..." "Take it
outside..."

Barbosa's laughing, but his cheek is flecked with his own
blood, and his eyes are dead.

BARBOSA
David, you've been working out, you're
getting strong. Are you quick, too?
(shadow boxes)
Come on, I'll give you a shot at me.

ELIAS
Any time, any place.

BARBOSA
Right here, right now. Do this.

He puts his hands out, palms up.

ELIAS
This? What is this?

BARBOSA
You know, you slap me, I slap you.
(mimes that game)
Come on, it's fun. Like summer camp.

It doesn't look fun. Elias glances at Hull for guidance.

HULL
Don't waste your time.

BARBOSA
Stay out of this.
(to Elias)
Come on, you can do it, David, you're
not a shmuck.

Elias puts his hands out, palms up. Barbosa covers them with
his own. ON THE HANDS: Barbosa's broad, muscular with thick
gold rings and a Rolex; Elias's paler, slighter, a wedding
band and a slim watch.

BARBOSA
(continuing)
Slap my hands. Just slap them.

Elias looks Barbosa in the eye. He's trying to be a snake,
but he's more the mouse. He looks away and as he does tries
to...

Slap him with both hands but hits only...

Air. The room breathes. Barbosa turns his rings so the big
surfaces point down.

BARBOSA
(continuing)
Now it's my turn.

GOPHER
It's Barbosa's turn. He's gonna kill
the white boy.

ELIAS
One more.

BARBOSA
No, you went, Davey, now it's my
turn. First to four wins, like the
World Series.

Elias covers Barbosa's palms with his own.

GOPHER
Oh, God, I can't look.

ON THE HANDS: Barbosa tenses his hands. Elias yanks back.
Barbosa's hands haven't moved.

BARBOSA
You remember the rules? If you flinch,
I get to hit you.

He slaps Elias across the face. Hull starts forward. A knife
appears. He stops.

BARBOSA
(continuing)
Again, shmuck.

Elias covers Barbosa's hands. Barbosa tenses. Elias holds
firm, and Barbosa quickly slaps both hands, hard. Elias
doubles over, holding his hands in pain.

GOPHER
One.

ELIAS
That was two.

BARBOSA
No, this is two.

He slaps him again, a stinging crack. Elias looks to Hull,
but they're across a canyon. Hull lowers his eyes.

GOPHER
Oh, and it hurts. Mercy, it hurts.

ON THE HANDS. Barbosa moves his hands a millimeter, and Elias
flinches again. Barbosa smacks him across the face. The sound
reverberates through the room. Now even Gopher is silent.
Tears run from Elias's eyes, blood from his mouth, but he
doesn't move.

GOPHER
(continuing)
Three.

A VOICE
Felix! No mas. Finito.

A MAN

steps forward out of the shadows. He is young, mid-30's,
handsome, European features, beautifully dressed, accompanied
by a guard we'll know as MOLTO. Someone murmurs to someone
else:

SOMEONE
Gallegos...

Hull reacts. Their eyes meet.

GOPHER
The fight is over! The Ambassador
from the South has spoken!

ELIAS
(refusing any mercy)
One more.

Barbosa shakes his head, ashamed now in front of Gallegos.

ELIAS
(continuing)
One more! We're not finished!
(people are silent)
Four was the match.

He holds out his hands. Barbosa resumes the stance, then
waits, waits, waits, and finally brings both hands down,
terribly hard, the sound of the slap is awful.

BARBOSA
Four.

HULL
Okay, that's it. Get away.

Hull leads Elias to the door right past Gallegos. Their gazes
meet again. As they go out they hear Gallegos BERATING Barbosa
in furious Spanish.

INT. STAIRCASE - NIGHT

Trembling, Elias holds his bloody hands against his chest,
as Hull leads him in silence down the steps.

ELIAS
Look at me. Look at me, damn it!

He barely whispers, but it's like a shout. Hull, who'd been
avoiding his gaze, forces himself to look. Elias's humiliation
is so profound it almost ennobles him. Finally:

HULL
Why did you do it?

ELIAS
I needed it. They taught me what I
needed to know. That I'm not part of
them, and I never will be. That they
don't respect me. That I don't deserve
respect. Because I'm a shmuck, John.
I'm a shmuck...

He laughs a terrible laugh. The door behind them opens, and
Barbosa appears with Gopher. Everyone is ready for death,
but:

BARBOSA
David, I'm sorry. It's a crazy time,
and... you know... I'm doing a little
too much coca... I'll buy your kid a
pony... anything you want... Let's
forget about it.

He comes down the stairs, offers his hand. Elias will never
forget about it, but he silently takes the hand, holds them
in his own bloody paws, looking directly into Barbosa's face.

Barbosa becomes uneasy, manages to extract his hand. Elias
and Hull continue down and out the door. Gopher gushes to
Barbosa.

GOPHER
I am so proud of you. You can be
cruel, and you can be kind. And just
now you were kind. Proud, proud, and
more proud. That's me.

BARBOSA
Shut up.

INT. BOXING GYM - NIGHT

Barbosa, Gopher with Hernandez, Taft's partner. Now we know
Hernandez is corrupt: that's how they knew Eddie was talking.

BARBOSA
I got nothing to give you, my man.
I'm an il-liquid son of a bitch.

HERNANDEZ
Felix, I keep telling them, "I have
informants down there, I'm working
guys, I can't say who..." If you
don't have money, give me busts, or
they're gonna start wondering about
me.

GOPHER
They're already wondering.

BARBOSA
(deadpan)
You can have Gopher.

GOPHER
Oh Gawd...

BARBOSA
How about a lawyer?

GOPHER
(knows who he means)
Felix, don't do this.

HERNANDEZ
(he knows, too)
Great, lawyers are great, Jewish is
best. But I need spades, too. The
politicians want dark facts to scare
the suburbs so they'll vote
Republican.

BARBOSA
Lawyers and spades; I got the
trifecta: two dealers and a girl who
does their wash. Two niggers and a
kike; all Democrats.

HERNANDEZ
You're my man. And afterwards...

Hernandez rubs thumb against fingers.

BARBOSA
When this is over, I'll send you to
Hawaii, Maui. It's very beautiful in
Maui, it's a very spiritual place.

HERNANDEZ
I just want money.

And he's gone.

GOPHER
I wouldn't trust that man when he's
out of rifle range.

Barbosa looks tired.

GOPHER
(continuing;
premonition of
disaster)
Don't do this, Felix. It'll go wrong.
Kill Elias if you have to, honey,
but don't set him up for this. It
damages your prestige.

Barbosa faces his cocaine. He tries to resist the pull, then
yields. He does another line. It's his friend. He loves it.
He picks up a cellular phone, dials.

BARBOSA
David, you're awake, I'm impressed...
I'm sorry about what happened...
Listen, I'll get you twenty boxes,
like you wanted. You were right, you
should have what you need... Tomorrow
night... Bring your partner and that
girl with the store, Betty... I need
her advice on something. I want us
to have fun, like we used to. We'll
go to that shrimp place, okay?...
Good... Me, too, David.
(hangs up; does another
line; drawing it
deep into him)
Yes!

INT. CARVER'S OFFICE - BEFORE DAWN

Hull jacked up, excited, pleased with himself. As he paces,
Carver observes his beautiful suit, shoes, expensive watch.
He looks much better than Carver.

HULL
We're getting twenty kilograms
tomorrow.
(notes the lightening
sky)
Tonight. I made it happen. I pushed
Elias, now he doesn't make a move
without me.

CARVER
You run Elias.

HULL
I control him. Barbosa's selling it
to us because he thinks I can move
it...
(now the big news)
And last night I met Ramon Gallegos.

Carver sits up fast. Hull likes that.

HULL
(continuing)
We're getting the dope from him;
it's still coming through Barbosa,
but Gallegos will approach me soon
on his own. We're going to get him,
Gerry. We're going to bring him and
the whole thing down.

Carver sits back, grimaces.

HULL
(continuing)
What's your problem?

CARVER
(looking out window)
My problem? My problem is that you
don't really know what's happening.

HULL
(sardonic)
Oh, so, tell me what's happening,
Gerry.

CARVER
Barbosa is setting you up tonight.

HULL
Bullshit.

CARVER
He's dealing you to Taft and
Hernandez. You're going to be taken
down as you receive the drugs. They're
putting together the arrest team
right now.

That rocks Hull. He is up, pacing.

HULL
What do we do?

CARVER
You stay away. We're going to take
them down.

HULL
Who? Elias and Betty? Don't be silly.

CARVER
My boss wants a bust right now. He
goes before the oversight committee
next week. He needs something to
justify the budget.

HULL
(imploring)
I'll get him something. Give me ten
days, and I'll get him Gallegos on a
plate.

CARVER
Too late. The whole thing's set up.

HULL
Gerry, what are you telling me? I
need Elias... and Betty. You arrest
them, and you're throwing away
everything I've set up.

CARVER
It's out of my hands.

Hull walks out.

CARVER
(continuing)
John, don't go near that bust.

EXT. 96TH STREET NEAR THE AIRPORT/INT. A CAR - NIGHT

Elias (no sleep) driving. Betty in front. Hull in back.

HULL
We shouldn't go to them. Maybe them
come to us.

ELIAS
He wouldn't.

They pull into the lot of a boarded up restaurant where
Barbosa and Chino stand outside of a limousine.

EXT. BEHIND AN AIRPORT MOTEL - NIGHT

Taft and Hernandez in the same van that was outside the gym
earlier. They're watching THROUGH BINOCULARS, night scopes.
They spot Elias's car.

HERNANDEZ
(whispering into radio)
Here they are. Nobody move until we
see the green suitcase.

EXT. PARKING LOT - NIGHT

The two groups meeting. Barbosa gives Betty a courtly kiss.

BARBOSA
(flirtatious)
I'm sorry for dragging you out so
late, but I have to be careful.

MCCUTCHEON
It gives me confidence.

HULL

watching planes descend into the airport, nervous. He knows
what's coming, but how does he handle it?

HULL
Let's see what we've got.

Elias takes a satchel out of the rent-a-car trunk. Chino
opens the limousine's trunk. Inside is an over-sized day-glo
green plastic suitcase. He is about to pick it up.

HULL
(continuing; spotting
the police van in
the adjacent lot)
Don't touch it.

Everyone looks at him, then the direction he's looking.

BARBOSA
What is this?

HULL
Something's wrong. What's that van
doing there?

Everyone looks. They can barely see the van. Hull pulls a
gun.

HULL
(continuing)
This is a bust. The minute we take
the stuff, they'll be over us.

BARBOSA
He's crazy, David. I thought you
were the crazy one, but it's him.

Hull puts the gun to Barbosa's head, addresses Chino:

HULL
Chino, pick up the suitcase and give
it to Elias. I'll only kill him if
something goes wrong.

Chino moves to pick up the suitcase.

BARBOSA
No!!

Everyone looks at Hull amazed, even Chino.

ELIAS
(softly)
Fucking A, John...

HULL
Okay, everybody in the car.

He throws the money in the limo truck, slams the lid. He's
running the show now, and everyone knows it. He's winging
it, but confident and strangely calm.

Elias, energized by Hull's command, grabs Barbosa and throws
him toward the limo.

HERNANDEZ'S POV THROUGH NIGHT SCOPE

TAFT
We have a problem.

HERNANDEZ
Shit! Shit! Shit!
(aiming rifle; Hull
in sights)
Enough of this...

TAFT
No!

EXT. TWO CARS - NIGHT

Hull shepherding everyone into the limo. He glances toward
the van. On instinct. He pulls Chino to him.

A RIFLE SHOT

Chino's head explodes. Betty screams.

BARBOSA
(screaming at van)
Don't shoot... Don't shoot...

INT. VAN - NIGHT

Taft hurling Hernandez against the wall.

TAFT
Goddam it, what the hell are you
doing?

EXT. TWO CARS - NIGHT

SIRENS. GUNFIRE. Elias drags Barbosa into the limo. Hull
throws Betty into the front seat. The limo takes off.

EXT. STREET/INT. LIMO - DRIVING - NIGHT

Hull driving, Betty up front. Elias with a gun on Barbosa in
back. Hull slaloms the limo through police GUNFIRE. Windows
are blown out. Glass everywhere.

MCCUTCHEON
(weeping)
I asked for this... I asked for it...
It's my fault...

HULL
(calm, eyes on road)
Relax. We'll make it.

She looks at him, stunned yet soothed by his certainty.

BARBOSA
He's a cop. He has to be. How else
would he have known?

HULL
If I was cop, you'd be face down
back there.

MCCUTCHEON
How did you know?

HULL
The whole thing smelled. Changing
his mind about the stuff. Meeting us
way out here. And I'd seen cops in
that van before. Hernandez is dirty,
that's who he's using.

ELIAS
(to Barbosa)
Get out of the car.

He starts to open the door.

HULL
David, not now.

ELIAS
Yes, now!

INT. TAFT AND HERNANDEZ'S CAR - NIGHT

Racing. Taft at wheel, raging at Hernandez.

TAFT
Who are you, man? Who the fuck are
you?

HERNANDEZ
(stonewalling)
I'm me.

INT. LIMO - DRIVING - NIGHT

ELIAS
He traded us to the cops. Just like
Eddie. Eddie, who was nice to my
daughter, had to die because that's
the rule. And you were vulgar about
my wife, Felix, so at the very least
the same rule applies to you.

BARBOSA
I'll give you money. I'll give you a
million. Anything you want.

ELIAS
I want you to get out of the car.
Get out of the fucking car. Out of
the fucking --

MCCUTCHEON
(near tears)
No, no... we can't do this.

HULL
(turning around from
front seat)
Stop it, David, or we're...

Elias wheels on him, sticks the gun in his face:

ELIAS
(in a fury)
Look at my hands!

He holds them up: swollen, black and blue, cut up.

ELIAS
(continuing; to
Barbosa, softly)
Get out of the car.

Barbosa's frozen. Elias grabs his hand, SHOOTS a bullet
through. Barbosa screams...

MCCUTCHEON
No!

HULL
Goddammit!

Elias wheels on them, swinging the gun from one to the other.

ELIAS
Stay out of this, or you'll die.
You'll both die. Everyone'll die.

His fury makes anything seem possible. He pushes open the
door. Trembling, Barbosa starts to climb out.

The limo enters a tunnel, police still in pursuit.

Halfway out, Barbosa stops.

BARBOSA
I can't...

Elias SHOOTS him in the butt. He shrieks, jerks forward. The
cops are getting close behind.

Other cops waiting at the far end of the tunnel.

Hull hits the brakes, spins a 180 into the opposite lane.

Barbosa is flung out of the car and plastered by a succession
of fishtailing vehicles.

Hull speeds back the other way. They're going straight at:

INT. VAN - COMING STRAIGHT AT THEM - NIGHT

Taft and Hull, the two drivers, lock eyes. It's chicken, but
more than that. Two men set against each other who, for some
reason, want to be friends.

At the last instant, the van swerves away, but:

ELIAS AIMING AT TAFT

Taft sees the gun too late. He can do nothing.

Hull's gaze follows Taft's. He sees Elias, deliberately
swerves, sending the SHOT wild.

INT. LIMO - RACING - NIGHT

ELIAS
I had him!

HULL
You want to kill a cop?? Don't be
stupid.

The limo speeds away.

EXT. STREET/INT. LIMO - DRIVING - NIGHT

The windows shot out. Hull and Betty silent, shaken. Elias
charged up, happy.

ELIAS
Everything is different. We're the
Colombians now.
(radiant)
This is the greatest night of my
life. Terrible but great. Felix was
right...

MCCUTCHEON
(appalled)
About what?

ELIAS
He said I should kill a man. He was
right.

MCCUTCHEON
My God.

ELIAS
Barbosa was a roach. Do you miss
him? Will anybody in the world miss
him?

MCCUTCHEON
Are you a roach, too?

ELIAS
(happily)
Yes. Thank God.

MCCUTCHEON
(to Hull)
What about you?

He's silent, keeps driving. She's had enough.

MCCUTCHEON
(continuing)
Stop the car.

Hull looks at her.

MCCUTCHEON
(continuing)
Stop it!

He brakes to a stop. She jumps out, leans back in.

MCCUTCHEON
(continuing)
No more laundering, no more anything.
I'm finished with this.

And she disappears into the night. Elias watches her go.
Hull resumes driving.

ELIAS
She knows too much. We have to kill
her.

HULL
No! She's with me. She's not going
to talk.
(looks at Elias)
You touch her, I'll kill you.

ELIAS
She's your responsibility then.

Hull accepts it.

ELIAS
(continuing)
We're going to get the money now,
John. Enough for the new drug. We're
going to be rich. We're going to be
so rich that we're going to leave
the world of ordinary people and
going to a higher realm. I mean that.

HULL
They're going to come after us.

ELIAS
(matter-of-fact)
It's a hardball game. We're hardball
players.

EXT. COMMERCIAL STREET - EAST L.A. - NIGHT

Hernandez comes out of a bodega with groceries, wine and a
woman. He nuzzles her as he lets her into his car. As he's
getting behind the wheel, Molto (Gallegos' guard) stops the
door from closing. The conversation is entirely in SPANISH.

HERNANDEZ
It wasn't my fault.

MOLTO
It never is.

He SHOOTS him in the head. Hernandez slumps against the wheel.
The woman screams. Molto walks away.

EXT. AN APARTMENT COMPLEX/INT. BETTY'S APARTMENT - DAWN

Hull finds a door, pushes the buzzer. Betty looks through
the glass. She's afraid of him.

MCCUTCHEON
Don't kill me. I'm not going to talk.
I swear. Please.

Then she looks closer and sees not murder in his face, but
need. She opens the door. Without a word, he gathers her to
him. She can't resist him now. Her mouth is everywhere on
him.

INT. HER BEDROOM - DAWN

Betty gasping in the wake of pleasure, turning her face away
from him, she feels so exposed.

MCCUTCHEON
Don't look...

She hides her face in his neck.

INT. SAME - LATER

They lie in each other's arms, relaxed together for the first
time. A wonderful, unprotected openness.

HULL
(softly)
Tell me about you.

MCCUTCHEON
(half-kidding)
Everything worth knowing you just
found you.

He laughs. They begin to make love again. Suddenly: AN EXTRA
HAND stroking Betty's hair. She gasps. A gun in Hull's ear.
Another in her face. Guns all around.

HULL
Don't hurt her.

Hands pull him out of bed, leave her there alone. We see
Molto, two or three others.

EXT. A CEMETERY - MORNING

RAMON GALLEGOS lays a bouquet of white lillies on a grave.
He kneels, whispers a prayer, crosses himself.

He rises and walks to where Molto and the other guards hold
Hull and Elias. Gallegos is in his thirties, more European
than Barbosa. He has a distinctly mild manner.

ELIAS
Who's grave?

An impudent question, but Elias seems strangely bright-eyed
despite the guns held on him.

GALLEGOS
My wife's. She died of leukemia three
years ago.
(looks around)
I like to be among the dead. They
never interrupt you.
(turning to them)
Felix Barbosa started out as a skinny
fourteen-year-old fucking Yankee
businessman in Bogata hotels. He
grew up. He made himself strong and
rich, but getting there made him
sick, and that killed him. So he
lost everything for the same reason
he'd gotten it in the first place.
Now we'll see if you can do as well.

A PRIEST going by greets Gallegos who responds warmly. They
chat a minute in SPANISH. The Priest leaves.

GALLEGOS
(continuing)
Felix owed me one million eight
hundred thousand dollars.

He addresses this to Hull; Elias feels left out.

GALLEGOS
(continuing)
When you killed him, you bought the
debt; now you owe it to me; you get
to keep thirty percent, like he did.
You have three days.

Gallegos turns to leave.

HULL
Who did Barbosa collect from?

GALLEGOS
If you don't know, you shouldn't
have killed him.

He notices Hull's earring: two tiny dice, the spots made of
minuscule jewels. Unembarrassed, he fingers it.

GALLEGOS
(continuing)
Cute... Can I have that?

Without waiting for an answer, he yanks it out of Hull's ear
and walks away, leaving Hull bleeding through his fingers
before a stone cross.

EXT. A GHETTO STREET - NIGHT

A club on the corner. THROUGH A WINDOW we see a RAP ACT on
the stage, their MUSIC pumping out onto the street. Hull
pulls up in a Jaguar. He and Elias go through a door adjacent
to the club.

INT. BUILDING HALL/INT. GOPHER'S ROOM - NIGHT

The MUSIC is still audible here, though muffled. Elias and
Hull are pushing at door Gopher is trying to hold closed.

GOPHER
I don't want you in here. You killed
the man, and I loved him. I don't
want to have anything to do with
you.

Elias kicks it open, and they enter Gopher's tiny, miserable
domain. He's wearing some sort of negligee and an immense
naked woman fills his bed. We still hear the MUFFLED MUSIC.

GOPHER
(continuing; apoplectic)
I'm a sixty-three-year-old man! I'm
a grandfather! Would you hit a sixty-
three-year-old white man? Would you
hit your own grandfather?

ELIAS
(slaps him against
wall)
Listen, you fucking monkey, you know
who owed him money, and we know you
know. Tell us or --

Hull pulls him off. Elias is angry. They struggle.

HULL
He'll tell us. Gopher, just...

Meaning: deal with me or deal with Elias.

GOPHER
You can't tell anyone it was me.

The MUSIC continues OVER the following sequence:

INT. CRACK HOUSE - DAY

Elias arguing with a dealer. He slaps him around.

TIGHT ON HANDS

Money is exchanged. The money is stuffed in a satchel.

INT. A LAW OFFICE - DAY

A well-dressed lawyer (30's) talking with clients, a
distinguished couple in their 60's.

The door BANGS open and a secretary is unable to restrain
Hull and Elias as they charge into the room. The lawyer is
up on his feet, but Hull shoves him around as Elias politely
explains to the clients that this will only take a moment.

TIGHT ON SATCHEL

Hull's hands thrust more money in. It's getting full.

INT. A MOTORCYCLE REPAIR SHOP - NIGHT

A biker in leathers on hands-and-knees spitting blood onto
the cement floor. Hull stands over him, fists clenched.

INT. A CAR TRUNK

A satchel stuffed with money is latched, set next to another
latched one. A third is opened, money and jewelry dumped in.

EXT. STREET - NIGHT

Hull looking into the trunk. Elias is beat.

HULL
Where the hell is all the money?
We're still a million short.

ELIAS
I gotta get laid.

HULL
David, we've got thirty-six hours.

ELIAS
(slams trunk, moves
toward door)
Pick me up at Jacqueline's in the
morning.

HULL
Sooner than that.

Elias gets in the car and drives off. Hull turns and a dark
American sedan pulls up alongside. Carver behind the wheel.

CARVER
(an order)
Get in.

INT. CAR - NIGHT

HULL
(as he gets in)
What are you doing here? You're going
to get me killed.

Carver peels away fast. He's very angry, frightened, too,
but that's hidden.

CARVER
Where the hell have you been?

HULL
Doing my job.

There's an indifference to Carver's authority we haven't
heard before. Hull isn't even aware of it, but Carver is.

CARVER
You violated a direct order to stay
away from that bust. As a result, a
police informant is dead, a state
senator was critically injured in
the tunnel pile up and a city
policeman was subsequently murdered.

HULL
I didn't blow my cover.

CARVER
Don't get smart with me, motherfucker.

HULL
Don't be a shmuck, Gerry. I'm talking
to Gallegos. I'm collecting his money.
We can set him up right now.
(NOTE: Carver arrives
somewhere and parks.
To be discussed, but
let's say, for now,
that we are:)

EXT. SANTA MONICA PARKING STRUCTURE - OVERLOOKING OCEAN -
NIGHT

They get out of the car. Carver takes out a flask, has a
drink, offers it to Hull who declines.

CARVER
Never have, never will.
(puts the flask away)
I want you to give me your gun. You're
coming in right now.

HULL
(doesn't understand)
Coming in where?

CARVER
Your assignment has been terminated.
You're not going out there again. If
I have to, I'll put you in custody.

HULL
(uncomprehending)
I'm going to have Gallegos in two
days.

Carver says nothing. Suddenly Hull understands.

HULL
(continuing)
You're protecting him. You're
protecting Gallegos.

Carver snorts: ridiculous.

HULL
(continuing)
No, of course. That's why you wanted
to bust Elias and Betty. I was getting
close, and you wanted to cut this
off then... What is he, the new
Noriega? Helps you fight commies, so
you let him sell drugs to the niggers.
Two birds with one stone.

CARVER
You violated orders, so you're
through. Don't make a conspiracy
theory out of it.

HULL
(laughs)
I'm through...? Then, I might as
well have a drink after all.

Surprised, Carver reaches for the flask. As he does, Hull
grabs him, pushes him out over the edge of the building,
holds him there.

HULL
(continuing)
Now tell me the truth or they're
going to decide your troubles got
the best of you.

Carver struggles. Hull pushes him out farther. Carver dangles.

CARVER
You're insane.

HULL
All the more reason to do what I
say. Jesus, Ger, I'm having trouble
holding on...

CARVER
All right!

HULL
Say it!

CARVER
It's the State Department.

Hull pulls him back in. Carver slumps against the wall, drinks
greedily. Hull lets him for a moment, then takes the flask
away.

CARVER
(continuing)
I told you, Gallegos's uncle is a
big deal down there.

HULL
Guzman.

CARVER
Guzman, right. Our government supports
Guzman because he's a moderate. That's
a right-winger who's pro-U.S.
(he doesn't like it
either)
If Gallegos got busted here, it would
hurt Guzman's political career there.
It's politics, John, not drugs.

HULL
Drugs is politics. Politics is
drugs...
(sickened)
Christ, Gerry, I dealt drugs. I killed
a man. Others died. What did I do
all this for? For nothing.

CARVER
I'm going to Washington, John. I'll
bring you with me. We'll have clout,
money...

HULL
(outraged)
I didn't do this for clout or money.
You said we were gonna do some good.

CARVER
We tried.

HULL
Trying's for college boys.
(his head on fire)
If all there is is power and money...
If all there is... then what am I
doing here? 'Cause I can get more
power and money out on the street, I
got more there already, than I'd
ever get kissing your ass in
Washington...

CARVER
But you can't do that, John. It's
not you.

HULL
Me? There is no me. We took care of
that. First I was a cop pretending
to be a dealer. Now I'm just a dealer
pretending to be a cop. Why not stop
pretending...? Quit the force. Be a
dealer.

CARVER
It's not that simple.

HULL
My assignment's already terminated.
All I have to do is quit. I hereby
quit.
(lifts the flask)
My first one.
(drinks)
Not so bad.

He slips the flask in his pocket, gets in the car, starts
engine.

CARVER
Don't blow your cover.

Hull drives off, leaving Carver alone on the roof.

INT. BETTY'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

She lets him in, sees the distress in his face.

MCCUTCHEON
What's the matter?

He shakes his head, drops onto the couch. He takes out the
flask, offers it to her. She shakes her head.

HULL
Who are you, my mother?

He laughs, takes a drink. She's surprised, says nothing.

MCCUTCHEON
Tell me.

HULL
Tell you what?

MCCUTCHEON
What you came to say.

HULL
What did I come to say?

MCCUTCHEON
Then tell me anything. Something
about you. Something real.

HULL
(long beat; another
drink)
When I was young, I occasionally
stole things.
(laughs to himself)
My father died when I was ten. Right
in front of me.

The revelation is so sudden it surprises Hull as much as
Betty.

HULL
(continuing)
Heart attack. He just fell down. He
said, "I love you," then died in my
arms.

MCCUTCHEON
Oh, baby...

She holds him, and he lets himself be held.

MCCUTCHEON
(continuing)
Tell me what's going on, John?

HULL
(doesn't want to talk
about that)
You're not doing the stuff anymore,
are you?

Pulls playfully at her nose.

MCCUTCHEON
No. Don't change the subject.

HULL
How is that?

MCCUTCHEON
It's hard. John...!

HULL
(trying to tell without
telling)
Things are getting, they're getting
a little... confusing. I had certain
plans, and people haven't come through
exactly as they promised.

MCCUTCHEON
What do you expect with those people?

HULL
(laughs)
It's not just those people. It's...
it's bigger than that. It's of
everybody. Present company excluded.

MCCUTCHEON
You've got to stop this, John, you
know that. You gotta get out.

HULL
I can't.

MCCUTCHEON
Of course, you can.

HULL
(almost angry)
No! This is what I'm supposed to do.

MCCUTCHEON
Supposed to? Who said you're supposed
to?

HULL
The whole fuckin' world. You think I
didn't try something else? But
everything funnels you right back
here. Like it's where you had to go
all along.

MCCUTCHEON
But you know what you're doing, don't
you, selling this stuff? Doing to
our own.

HULL
If I tried to get out now, they'd
kill me.

MCCUTCHEON
(tortured)
I can't be with somebody's who
involved in drugs.

He nods. He knows. He's even happy about it. But she won't
yield. Finally he gets up and walks back out the door.

EXT. GOPHER'S BUILDING - 4 A.M.

The neighborhood is reminiscent of the one where Joe Stevens
Sr. was killed. The rap club still pumps MUSIC onto the 4
A.M. streets where whores, junkies, children, teenagers with
beepers and Nikes, welfare mothers roam as if it were daytime
anywhere else. Their eyes, yearning, sullen, vital, hopeless
and hoping stare at...

HULL

Everyone knows what he is: the Black Man with the Big Car.
They don't remember when he was just another hustler making
street buys. Now they hate him, revere him, want to be him,
not caring what it entails. Every eye follows as...

He and Elias cross the street toward Gopher's door. Hull's
eyes don't go right or left. He's a driven man now.

INT. GOPHER'S ROOM - NIGHT

Gopher has just been roused from sleep. A light in his face,
Hull and Elias looming over him.

HULL
There've got to be more. We have a
million two, we owe Gallegos one
eight.

GOPHER
I told you everyone. Everyone who
owed him, everyone he... One eight?
He's lying. Barbosa barely owed him
a million.

Hull and Elias look at each other.

INT. BETTY'S STORE - MORNING

Taft is showing her photocopies of phone bills, bank
transactions, invoices. She's obviously upset.

TAFT
I got every money transfer, every
phone call, all your laundry tickets.

MCCUTCHEON
(miserable)
What do you want?

TAFT
John Hull.

MCCUTCHEON
I can't!

TAFT
Or you'll go away 'til you're a dried
up old woman, and when you come out,
ain't nobody gonna want you.

She covers her face.

EXT. EAST L.A. STREET/INT. CAR - DAY

Elias driving a car we haven't seen before and snickering to
himself at some private joke.

HULL
What are you laughing at?

Elias shakes his head: nothing. He laughs. They pull into
the lot beside a movie theater.

INT. THEATER - DAY

A Technicolor Spanish melodrama is winding to its lurid end.
A door in back opens, and a burst of daylight reveals Hull
and Elias being brought in by a guard and met by Molto.

Molto and the guard frisk them, take their guns and money
satchels, make them wait a moment until...

The movie ends.

The house lights come on revealing Ramon Gallegos as the
only spectator in the theater. He beckons. Molto and the
guard bring Hull and Elias down the aisle to him.

Gallegos looking in the satchels. A tense moment.

HULL
It isn't one eight.
(off Gallegos)
It's a million one. That's all Barbosa
owed, it's all we're paying.

Gallegos is stern for a moment, then laughs.

GALLEGOS
Big brass balls. Collecting money
makes you strong.

Everybody relaxes. Gallegos scribbles something on a piece
of paper, hands it to the guard who feeds it into a fax
machine.

ELIAS
What's that?

GALLEGOS
I'm telling our suppliers they got
paid. They'll be very happy. I'm
happy.

ELIAS
And we're happy. Everybody's happy.
It's a happy world.

Elias seems a bit mad, but no one minds. He and Hull are
ready to go. He gestures to Molto, wants his gun back.

GALLEGOS
So, how can I express my gratitude
for a job well done?

ELIAS
We want Barbosa's business.

Gallegos gestures to Molto to give them the guns.

GALLEGOS
Done. Of course.

ELIAS
And, also, your business. All this.
Your money, your dope, everything.

Hull looks at Elias; what's going on?

GALLEGOS
(smiles)
You're tougher than I thought, but
not that tough.

ELIAS
How tough is enough?

He brings up the gun and SHOOTS Gallegos in the head.

Hull and the guards are frozen. Then everyone goes for a
gun. Elias SHOOTS the guard. Hull has his gun to Molto's
head and screams at Elias:

HULL
No!

Meaning don't shoot him. But Elias has no intention of doing
so.

ELIAS
(breathless)
Thank you, John. I couldn't have
done that without you.

HULL
(barely able to speak)
Jesus Christ...

He can't believe it: the guy he's been after the whole time
is dead on the floor.

ELIAS
You taught me to take my work
seriously.

HULL
What's going on here, David?

ELIAS
We're taking over.

HULL
You're doing too much stuff.

ELIAS
No, I'm very clear. I'm very, very
clear.
(to Molto)
Ahora, usted nos assistamos. Enteindo?

Molto nods.

EXT. THEATER PARKING LOT/INT. CAR - DAY

Hull, Elias and Molto getting into their car. Molto is
recalcitrant. Elias pistol whips him. Hull stops him.

EXT. SAN FERNANDO VALLEY/INT. CAR - DAY

The car passes through a development of suburban homes. They
enter a driveway. Two boys play in the yard.

ELIAS
(to Molto)
Donde esta?

Molto is silent. Elias FIRES a bullet right between his feet.
Molto jumps. The boys turn. Hull grabs the gun away. We feel
the toll Elias's madness is taking on him.

HULL
What the fuck's the matter with you?

ELIAS
It works, John. It works.

And, indeed, Molto is pointing to a Winnebago parked at the
rear of the property.

EXT. REAR OF PROPERTY - DAY

Winnebago. With a tire iron, Hull snaps off the padlock that
holds the rear door closed. He opens the door. Money gushes
out. He slams it closed.

HULL
Jesus...

He, Elias and Molto are on hands and knees scooping it up.

SAME - LATER

Molto tied to a tree. Elias is giving him instructions while,
strangely, removing Molto's shoes and socks.

ELIAS
(to Molto)
Disce a Senor Guzman que...
(his Spanish isn't
good enough)
...that we have his money, and we're
willing to talk as soon as he comes
to town. We'll know how to reach
him. Okay?

Molto just glares at him. Elias smiles, takes the shoes and
socks and all the contents of Molto's into the Winnebago,
and he and Hull drive away, leaving the car behind.

EXT./INT. A PARKING GARAGE/INT. WINNEBAGO - EVENING

The Winnebago enters the garage, Elias greeting the attendant,
"Hey, Frank." Frank waves him in.

The garage is filled with various RVs. Hull pulls the
Winnebago into an empty spot beside Elias's car and gets
out. Elias remains in the cabin making calculations.

ELIAS
Approximating the cubic capacity and
depending on the denominations of
the bills, it's somewhere between
fifty million and two hundred million
dollars. Right back there.

As he does, Hull checks his gun, walks around behind the
vehicle and prepares to shoot Elias in the back of the head
through the open window. Elias finishes his money report,
and sits there as if unaware of Hull, but:

ELIAS
(continuing; not
turning around)
Think I'm crazy?

HULL
Yes.
(blowing up, gun still
on him)
I can't believe you got us into this.
All of fucking Latin America is going
to be after our asses, including
Renaldo Guzman who's friends with
fucking George Bush.

ELIAS
I know they're coming after us. I
want them to. We'll give them the
money, but we'll make a deal for
ourselves. We'll get what we need
for the synthetic drugs. I've thought
it all out. I've been thinking it
out for years.

Hull uncocks the gun, rubs it against his burning face. Elias
turns around, embraces him.

ELIAS
(continuing)
We're going to have everything. Don't
you want everything, John?

HULL
They're going to get your family,
David. They'll kill your wife and
daughter.

ELIAS
(serene)
Nancy and Miranda left the country
two days ago.

HULL
You knew about this then?

Elias smiles.

HULL
(continuing)
What about Betty?

EXT. BETTY'S JEWELRY SHOP - EVENING

A car SQUEALS to a stop. Molto and three thugs smash through
the glass door. They disappear into the store where things
can be heard BREAKING. They emerge a moment later, jump into
the car.

EXT. SYNAGOGUE - EVENING

Hull's car races up. He jumps out, dashes toward the building.

INT. SYNAGOGUE SOCIAL HALL - EVENING

Forty PEOPLE on folding chairs. Hull enters on a dead run.
He stops short when he sees:

BETTY

at the front. He signals to her, but she's already saying:

MCCUTCHEON
Hi, my name is Betty.

EVERYONE IN THE ROOM
Hi, Betty!

MCCUTCHEON
My name is Betty, I'm a drug addict.
And I've been clean for nineteen
days.

The room bursts into APPLAUSE. She sees Hull at the back; he
signals to her, but she goes on.

MCCUTCHEON
(continuing)
I've been using drugs and selling
them, and I've wanted to stop for a
long time, and the only way I did
was because I met a man I loved and
who loved me. I know that's not what
I'm supposed to say. I'm supposed to
say there was a higher power, and
maybe there was, behind it all, but
this man is strong and his love made
me strong enough that I could start,
or at least think about a life that
didn't have drugs in it...

She's looking right at Hull as she speaks. He's torn between
the danger he knows she's in and his emotion at what she's
saying.

EXT. SYNAGOGUE - EVENING

Hull hurrying Betty toward his car. She's protesting.

MCCUTCHEON
I've got to get clothes.

HULL
You can't go back.

INT. HULL'S CONDO - EVENING

Molto and men pouring through it. In frustration, Molto
smashes the table Hull had fussed over when Elias put his
feet up.

EXT. MOTEL COURTYARD - NIGHT

Hull and Betty hurry toward his room carrying shopping bags,
a newly bought suitcase. They see...

COPS

They freeze, turn, ready to bolt. But more cops behind them.
A panic, yet no one's coming after them. They walk on. The
cops are going into and coming out of Belinda's room.

INT. BELINDA'S ROOM - NIGHT

The fat Blonde Woman is talking to a policewoman. James sits
on the bed staring at...

BELINDA

who lies dead on a floor littered with crack vials. Hull
picks up a vial, holds it up to the Blonde Woman with a
question.

BLONDE WOMAN
(nodding)
She got a fever and just burned up.
She just burned up all of a sudden.
It must have been bad stuff.

MCCUTCHEON
(indicating James)
He shouldn't be here.

BLONDE WOMAN
(takes his hand)
Come on, James, we'll go get a
burrito.

The boy allows himself to be led out. Betty looks at Hull
who's in a private hell.

EXT. COURTYARD - NIGHT

Hull and Betty are about to enter Hull's room. The door is
ajar.

INT. HULL'S ROOM - NIGHT

Taft stands at the dresser. He's found Hull's collection of
memorabilia and is looking at the photo of his children.

TAFT
Cute kids...

HULL
(angry at the invasion)
Give me that.

He snatches away the photo, but not before Betty sees it.
She reaches out her hand. He reluctantly turns it over to
her.

TAFT
Tell me something, who the fuck are
you?

Hull doesn't answer, collects the rest of his things,
including the bloody money, stuffs it back in the envelope.

TAFT
(continuing)
'Cause I don't think you're quite
the asshole you're trying to be.

HULL
Look, Mr. Taft, that's your name,
right? Leave me alone. I got things
on my mind.

TAFT
I'd think you would. You better have
your goddamn life on your mind, or
it's gonna get away from you. It's
gonna burn up like that poor woman
across the way. Like all of you's
gonna burn...

HULL
And what do you do, Mr. Taft, except
chase bad guys up and down the street
with your dirty partner, never
catching anybody important?

TAFT
I do what I can. Do you do what you
can?
(Hull says nothing)
Maybe my partner was dirty. Maybe
the chief's dirty. And the mayor.
And the President. Maybe God Himself's
taking something on the side. That's
their problem. But I'll bust 'em if
I can.

HULL
(without force)
Get out of my room.

TAFT
Don't deny who you are.

He leaves. Hull turns to Betty who is still holding the photo
of his children. He gently takes it, looks at it, seems to
draw both succor and pain from it.

He gets out Carver's flask and tries to drink, but it's empty.

HULL
They're my children. They live in
Cleveland with their mother. I'm
divorced from her. I haven't seen
them in... some time. I want to, but
I haven't been able to arrange it.

MCCUTCHEON
How much else don't I know about
you?

HULL
(trying to make a
joke)
Everything else... Everything else
is... I don't know.

MCCUTCHEON
Taft has all the evidence about my
laundering.

Hull's upset.

MCCUTCHEON
He's going to put me in jail for a
long time unless I give you up.

HULL
Do it.

MCCUTCHEON
I can't. So, I've got to get away.
Far away. But I need money.

HULL
(laughs)
Money? I got money...

He empties his pockets of all that gushed out of the
Winnebago, empties a satchel as well until it fills the room
like snow.

EXT. MOTEL - NIGHT

Hull putting Betty into an airport limousine.

HULL
(to the driver)
International terminal.
(to Betty)
I'll meet you there in a week.

She kisses him. He's about to close the door. She stops it.

MCCUTCHEON
You know the first time, when I saw
you in the bar...?

HULL
(smiles at the memory)
You wouldn't even look at me.

MCCUTCHEON
'Cause I knew what you were thinking.
You were judging me.

HULL
No, I wasn't, I was...

MCCUTCHEON
You were. Your eyes were like an
angel in my heart telling me I should
be good, and I didn't want to hear
it.

This news startles Hull, yet, strangely, he senses its truth,
and the sweetness is more than he can bear.

MCCUTCHEON
(continuing)
That's you, too. Maybe this is you,
I don't know, but I know that's you.

She closes the door. The car pulls away.

In an unmarked car up the street, Taft picks up the radio.

EXT. A LATIN AMERICAN CONSULATE - DAY

A limousine pulls into the gate and disgorges RENALDO GUZMAN,
55, and his wife, 25. They're shown into the consulate.

The limousine pulls out onto the street and parks. Gopher
appears, knocks on the driver's window. It comes down. They
chat briefly in Spanish. Gopher opens up a cellular phone.

INT. A HOTEL ROOM - SANTA MONICA - DAY

Overlooking the ocean. Hull pacing nervously, Elias relaxed,
reading the paper.

HULL
What if we forget all this? Take ten
million each and disappear. Leave
the country. New identities, new
lives...

ELIAS
What's the matter, John? Having
doubts?

HULL
Yeah.

A phone RINGS. Elias picks up his own cellular.

ELIAS
Yes... Where?... No! No way... We
pick the time and place... Otherwise
no meet...
(looks to Hull who
nods his agreement)
Got a pencil?

EXT. CONSULATE - LIMO - DAY

Gopher hands a piece of paper to the limo driver. He walks
away...

AROUND THE CORNER

As he's about to get into a car, Taft grabs him. Gopher is
surprised and not pleased.

EXT. PARKING GARAGE - NIGHT

Where Hull and Elias left the Winnebago. Guzman's limo
approaches. Frank, the attendant, waves it on.

INT. GARAGE - NIGHT

The limo climbs the ramps until it comes to Elias's car,
parked where the Winnebago was; the Winnie is nowhere in
sight. The limo pulls alongside.

Hull and Elias get out. Molto gets out of the limo. Then
Renaldo Guzman.

ELIAS
We have a proposal to make. We regret
what happened to your nephew...

GUZMAN
Say what you have to say.

ELIAS
We all know that your cousin's
business is coming to an end. Costs
have climbed while profits and the
market --

Guzman waves: get to the point.

ELIAS
(continuing)
We have developed a new product:
simpler, cheaper to manufacture,
superior quality and completely
synthetic. Therefore, no growing, no
refining, no peasants, no importing,
no customs agents... Here's a detailed
prospectus with anticipated cash
flow and so forth.

He hands a copy to Guzman and the lawyer.

GUZMAN
(to Molto, teasing
Elias)
The racist Americans just want to
cut us poor Hispanics out of the
market.

ELIAS
There are no Americans anymore, Mr.
Guzman, you know that. No Hispanics,
no Japanese, no blacks, no whites,
no anything. There are only rich
people and poor people. We're rich,
so we're on the same side.

EXT. GARAGE - NIGHT

Taft with Gopher in his car.

TAFT
Do they have money in there?

GOPHER
I don't know.

TAFT
They wouldn't meet here otherwise.

Gopher shrugs; a decision: Taft picks up his radio.

TAFT
(continuing)
Okay, everybody, here's the play...

INT. GARAGE - NIGHT

ELIAS
We're prepared to give you 80% of
the money. The remainder you invest
in our business with proceeds paid
out according to the figures there.

He indicates the prospectus that Guzman has been looking
through.

GUZMAN
This looks interesting. I'd have to
confirm everything, of course. Do
you have a sample of the product?

Elias produces one. Guzman gestures to Molto. Molto samples
it. Molto's eyes widen.

MOLTO
Buy it!

GUZMAN
Where is our money?

Elias hands him a key, points to a different Winnebago. Molto
takes the key, unlocks the back: money. He signals okay to
Guzman.

Suddenly: SIRENS. Police cars wail into the garage. The THWACK-
THWACK and sweeping light of a helicopter descend toward the
roof (though we never see the copter).

GUZMAN
(continuing; anger)
You set this up.

HULL
They're after us, not you.

Everybody scatters. The garage is a labyrinth of cement
stairwells, ramps, hundreds of RVs to hide between, under
and so forth... Lots of NOISE, lights, but mostly we see
Hull and Elias dodging here, avoiding the action.

INT. ANOTHER PART OF THE GARAGE - NIGHT

Molto caught between the lights. He draws his gun. GUNFIRE.
He's cut down.

TAFT
(screaming)
Where are the rest of them?

EXT. PARKING GARAGE - NIGHT

Cars with rotating dome lights, but not many cops.

Hull and Elias emerge from a shadowy doorway and make their
way at a casual pace beyond the perimeter of police cars,
quickly mingling with other spectators. They continue down...

EXT. A QUIET SIDE STREET - NIGHT

Strolling now. Elias elated, uncontained joy.

ELIAS
We did it. Twenty million. Twenty
fucking million. We're going to have
synthetics. We're gonna be rich.
We're gonna...

Hull stops walking and just stands there.

ELIAS
(continuing)
What's the matter, John? Be happy.
Your whole life has just been solved.

VOICE
(behind them)
Stop! Police!

In one motion, Elias draws his gun, turns and FIRES.

The figure goes down. Elias can't believe he hit him.

Hull starts toward the figure.

ELIAS
(heading the other
way)
John, where are you going?

Taft -- on the ground.

HULL
Oh, Jesus, no...

He drops to his knees. Blood oozes from Taft's chest.

ELIAS
John, what the hell are you doing?
Let's get out of here.

Hull tries to hold closed the wound. The posture duplicates
Hull with his dying father. He feels for a pulse. For breath.

HULL
(distraught)
He's dying.

ELIAS
Let him die. Let him die twice. Come
one.

He pulls at Hull who won't go. Hull does mouth-to-mouth.
Taft opens his eyes, looks up at him.

HULL
[Says to Taft whatever a CPR-trained
policeman would say in this
situation.]
(to Elias)
Get help.

ELIAS
Are you kidding me?

TAFT
(to Hull, getting it)
Oh, man, you're a cop. You're a cop,
aren't you?

HULL
(with difficulty, as
if against his will)
Yeah, I'm a cop. I'm a fucking cop...

ELIAS
(laughs)
Oh, really? Where's you badge?

HULL
I don't have one. I'm undercover.
Get help, David.

ELIAS
John, that's a cop. He tried to kill
you.

HULL
He didn't know.

ELIAS
Oh, he didn't know. I don't know.
Maybe you don't know. Maybe you think
you're a cop because... because...

HULL
Drop the gun, put your hands against
the car. Spread your legs... Police!

Taft grunts once, stiffens.

HULL
(continuing)
My God! Please...

The pulse is gone. Hull begins to perform CPR.

ELIAS
Okay, let's say you're a cop. Be a
cop.

Hull keeps doing CPR.

ELIAS
(continuing)
We've still got the money. We put it
into Randy's chemistry set. In five
years we're worth five hundred million
each, minimum. You'll be one of the
richest black men in America. Richer
than Cosby. Who gives a shit how you
got it? You think the white ones
were honest?

Hull keeps working on Taft.

ELIAS
(continuing)
Is this asshole all that stands
between you and greatness? Let me do
you a favor.

He puts a gun to Taft's head and FIRES. In a reflex, Hull
draws his own gun, SHOOTS Elias in the stomach. Stunned, he
wobbles backward a few steps. Sits on the street.

ELIAS
(continuing)
Gee, John, that's kind of an extreme
reaction.

Hull is stunned he did it. And this finally attracts the
police who see a black man with a gun who just shot a white
man.

Hull goes to Elias who's dead. A POLICEMAN pulls him off,
beating him with a gun.

POLICEMAN
Fucking nigger...

INT. LOS ANGELES COUNTY JAIL - DAY

Hull, bandaged, wearing prison blues, walking with Carver.

HULL
What about Guzman?

CARVER
He vanished, thank God, or we'd both
be in deep doo-doo. At least you got
Gallegos.

HULL
Elias did. And everything goes on as
before.

CARVER
That's the drug game. Plus a change...
I want you to come back to work for
me. You'll beat all charges on a
technicality and go back to who you
were.

HULL
Who was I, Ger?

CARVER
Does anyone really know?

HULL
I have other things to do.

CARVER
Like travel? Tangiers, maybe?

Hull looks at him; how did he know?

CARVER
(continuing)
I'm God, remember?

He beckons him. He walks him over to a cell. Through a one-
way window they see:

BETTY

alone in the cell, unaware she's being watched.

CARVER
Go back to work, she walks out of
here. Otherwise, she's up on multiple
counts, and I'll see to it the judge
runs them consecutively.

Hull just looks at him. Carver shrugs apologetically.

INT. ANOTHER ROOM

Absolutely white. Not a window, not a stick of furniture.
The only deviation is Hull in prison blues.

The door opens, Betty comes in wearing prison yellows. She
sits on a nearly invisible chair. They know they're being
watched.

MCCUTCHEON
They want me to testify against you.
I said I wouldn't.

HULL
You have to. It's all set up. That's
how you're getting off.

She shakes her head in cynical understanding. How difficult
it is to get back to an honorable life.

He takes her hand.

HULL
(continuing; with
difficulty)
My father didn't have a heart attack.

She looks at him.

HULL
(continuing)
He was shot robbing a liquor store.
Trying to rob it. I lied about that.

MCCUTCHEON
Baby, why are you telling me this?

HULL
I had to start somewhere... There're
other things you don't know...

AN IRIS SHOT - HULL AND BETTY

Silent. Kissing. Beginning to make love. Hull extracts
himself, gives the finger to the POV and stuffs a bit of
tissue in the iris, blocking our view.

EXT. ROOM - DAY

Carver takes his eye from the now obscured peephole.

EXT. A CEMETERY - DAY

A funeral. Taft's wife and children (from the wallet photo)
leave the graveside with the rest of the funeral party.

When everyone is gone, Hull approaches the grave. From his
pocket, he removes the four blood-soaked bills his father
gave him, and wedges these among the stems of flowers that
already cover the plot.

He's silent a moment, then he gets up. He joins Carver who's
standing with Hull's children. The kids each take his hand,
they walk together.

CARVER
Betty walked out of court free this
morning. That's my side of the deal.

HULL
(to the children)
You two run on ahead.

They do. Hull watches them go.

CARVER
Her probation gets revoked the minute
you fuck up. I want you to stay away
from her altogether.

HULL
You know the difference between a
black man and a nigger?

Carver smiles, shakes his head. He likes a good joke. Hull
punches him so hard in the stomach that he goes to his knees.

HULL
(continuing)
The nigger's the one who'd even think
about doing what you tell him.

He walks away. Still on his knees, doubled over, Carver
whispers after him:

CARVER
Don't blow your cover.

FADE OUT.

THE END

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