Final draft screenplay
Based on the novel
EXT. CALIFORNIA BEACH - DAY
Seagulls squawk, and the waves pound, but we’re not talking
about Malibu Colony, here. This is a fairly rundown beach
area, catering to lower-echelon surfers, vagrants, and strung
out druggies of all ages, several of whom stand or sit on
their haunches by a dilapidated old hamburger stand. Over
the stand is a faded sign: "FAT SAM’S HAMBURGERS".
A simple but haunting electronic melody plays in the b.g.
INT. "FAT SAM’S" - DAY
Seated just inside the stand on a folding aluminum chair is
a chubby man in his late thirties. He’s wearing a stained
valour sweat suit and a cap. This is Fat Sam. He’s a dealer.
Seated on the sand next to him is Fletch, a rangy man, early
thirties, in jeans and a Magic Johnson T-shirt, nodding idly
on a battered Casio music machine which he treats lovingly.
This is the source of the title music.
So what do you figure?
No idea at all?
Okay. Some idea.
No, not for sure. When it comes, it
comes. You gonna want some shit?
I think I’d rather have drugs.
(shakes head and smiles)
Sorry. I find a little humor really
brightens things up around here,
A young junkie with a black eye – Gummy – passes.
Hi Sam. Hi Fletch.
Hi Gummy. How’s the eye?
It’s okay. The cops did it.
They busted me last week.
They bust you every week.
I know. I got bad luck or something.
Gummy exits. Fletch and Fat Sam watch him go.
That kid spends any more time in
jail he’ll have to start paying rent.
WIDER ANGLE THROUGH BINOCULARS
Fat Sam and Fletch conclude their conversation. Fletch walks
back among the drifters, the nervous, expectant junkies. He
stops to talk to a young man propped up on his elbows on a
CREASY AND FLETCH
That's what he said.
He doesn't know? How come he doesn't
I don't know how he doesn't know. He
Wonder who his supplier is.
I have no idea.
I wasn't asking.
He never leaves the beach, Fat Sam.
Never leaves. Sits in that chair,
he's outta junk. Then he suddenly
gets up, he's got junk. So where
does it come from? Through the sand?
I think that's highly unlikely,
I ought to get some sleep.
Creasy, how old are you?
(a touch of sadness)
You're not taking real good care of
WIDER - BINOCULARS AGAIN
Fletch takes his Casio and starts off the beach. The binocular
angle follows him. A pelican crosses the water. The binoculars
move off Fletch and follows the flight of the pelican as it
swoops low over the ocean.
BEACH PARKING LOT - DAY
Fletch emerges into view, walking towards camera, when a Man
steps into the immediate f.g., the binoculars at his side
large in frame. Fletch stops.
Excuse me. I have something I'd like
to discuss with you.
A trim man of approximately Fletch's age, wearing a perfectly
tailored grey suit, is standing across from Fletch. This is
We can't talk about it here.
Because we can't.
Are you on a scavenger hunt of some
I want you to come to my house. Then
I think you've got the wrong gal,
I'll give you a thousand dollars
cash just to come to my house and
listen to the proposition. If you
reject the proposition, you keep the
thousand, and your mouth shut.
Will this proposition entail my
dressing up as Tina Turner?
It is nothing of a sexual nature I
(Takes a thousand in
cash from his pocket)
One thousand, just to listen. I don't
see how you could turn that down
Nugent. Ted Nugent.
(shakes his hand)
EXT. BERMAN STREET - BEVERLY HILLS - DAY
A Jaguar XJ sedan goes up Berman Street, a dead end. Fletch's
hand reaches out of the passenger window and empties sand
out of a sneaker.
INT. JAGUAR - DAY
I always liked this part of town.
EXT. BERMAN STREET - DAY
The Jaguar continues on up Berman Street, stopping before
massive iron gates marked PRIVATE PROPERTY -- NO TRESPASSING --
STANWYK. The gates open electronically.
EXT. STANWYK HOUSE - DAY
The jaguar goes up the center of the drive toward a white-
pillared mansion. The lawns and planting are spectacular.
INT. JAGUAR - DAY
Fletch stares out the window.
What a coincidence.
The car stops before the house.
EXT. HOUSE - DAY
as they get out of the car.
I came this close...
(holds fingers slightly
...to buying this place
Stanwyk ignores Fletch and starts toward the house. Fletch
Then I found out Hopalong Cassidy
had shot himself in the game room.
That just blew it for me.
Hopalong Cassidy. Killed himself
here. Bow and arrow. Strange.
Stanwyk stops before the front door, stares at Fletch
What are you, doped up or something?
Fletch abruptly changes gears, stares at Stanwyk
I don't work for you yet, assface.
Don't talk to me like that.
(after a beat)
INT. HOUSE - DAY
Stanwyk and Fletch enter. A Mexican Maid crosses.
I commend you on your Spanish.
Stanwyk doesn't reply, keeps on walking. He opens a set of
double doors to the left of the winding staircase, then stands
to one side, indicating that Fletch should enter.
INT. LIBRARY - DAY
Massive fireplace. Everything built in teak. Fletch enters,
and Stanwyk closes the door behind them.
Ahh, the library. Masculine but
Stanwyk wordlessly goes behind the desk
Really, I love what you've done with
the place. Must have cost you...
Stanwyk turns, looks out a pair of French doors behind his
desk, then turns back.
Here's my proposition, Mr. Nugent.
I'm all ears.
I want you to murder me.
Even garrulous Fletch is stopped in his tracks by this remark,
uttered in the most business-like manner.
Here. On Thursday. I'd like you to
shoot me dead.
He just stares, barely breathing.
The reason I ask you to do me this
service is that I am facing a long,
painful, and most certain death. You
see, I have bone cancer. I don't
know if you know anything about bone
He shakes his head.
It doesn't get any worse than that.
Just eats you up, bit by bit.
Finally regains the gift of speech.
You don't look sick, Mr. Stanwyk.
I don't feel sick. Not yet. They
tell me it'll start getting bad in
about a month. After that... well,
I'd rather not be around for it.
Why don't you try suicide?
My company has taken out a very large
insurance policy on me. And I have a
wife. Suicide would nullify my
insurance. Murder does not.
So why pick me?
You're a drifter, a -- pardon the
expression -- beach bum. No one would
notice if you disappeared. I've
watched you for a couple weeks.
Maybe I'm just on vacation.
Not with the scum you hang out with.
I've watched. I've thought. Its a
perfect scheme. I even have a perfect
escape plan for you.
Did it ever occur to you that I might
not want to kill you?
I've got fifty thousand dollars says
He chews his lip.
Fifty thousand and a guarantee you
won't get caught.
Stanwyk searches Fletch's face carefully for a reaction.
After several beats...
I'm still here.
(turns and goes to
the French doors)
I want it done Thursday evening,
around eight PM. My wife will be off
to the club for a committee meeting.
It's the staff's night off.
(pushes doors open)
These will be open.
Wouldn't they normally be locked?
Sometimes yes, sometimes no. The
staff usually forgets.
I have the same problem with my help.
(goes on, unresponsive)
I will be here in the room, waiting
for you. The safe will be open and
there will be fifty thousand dollars
in it. You will be wearing rubber
gloves. Do you own rubber gloves?
I rent them. Monthly lease, with an
option to buy.
In this drawer....
He opens the top drawer of his desk
INSIDE THE DRAWER
an enormous .357 Magnum.
Stanwyk holds up the gun.
Very good. My .357. Use it and no
one can trace it to you. The room
will be in some disarray.
So it looks like a burglary attempt.
You catch me. I get the gun, and
Precisely. Are you a good shot?
(looking at the huge
What's the difference? The noise'll
kill you first.
Get me on the first shot, if you
I don't think you'll have to worry
A beat. Stanwyk stares at Fletch.
Do you have a passport?
Sure, all drifters do.
Fine. After you kill me, take the
Jaguar. The keys will be in the glove
Take it where?
Stanwyk starts to write down the information on a note pad.
LAX. Go to the Pan Am desk. There
will be a ticket waiting for you.
Where am I going?
(hands Fletch the
Rio. Flight 306. Departs at eleven
They serve dinner on the flight?
It'll be a first class-ticket. I'm
sure you'll enjoy the ride. I would
recommend staying down there at least
a year, Mr. Nugent.
You've certainly thought this out,
I am not someone who leaves a great
deal to chance, Mr. Nugent.
You sure those doors will be open?
Yes. All you provide are the gloves,
the passport, and the aim. I'll take
care of everything else.
The gun, the money, the tickets, and
You sure got the hard part.
What do you say, Mr. Nugent? You'll
be doing me and my family a great
thinking it over.
Will you kill me?
INT. NEWSPAPER BUILDING - DAY
Fletch pushes through the double glass doors, still dresses
in a beach mufti -- the jeans and Magic Johnson shirt, Puma
INT. L.A. NEWS OFFICE - DAY
Fletch is greeted ad-lib by several people as he walks through
the cavernous newspaper City Room.
Whoa, check out the beach boy!
Looking very good, Fletch.
Thank you so much
(to someone else)
Larry, the young "morgue" researcher, hurries over and walks
with Fletch. She is fun and flirty, and her feelings for
Fletch fall just short of idolatry.
Can I steal you for a minute?
Only if you promise not to return
(pointing to Fletch's
'Magic' today, huh?
Kareem's in the wash. I need a favor.
Don't say shoot, okay.
They pass the office of the city editor Frank Walker,
fiftyish. Hold on Walker's office. Upon noticing Fletch, he
jumps from his seat, edges his way past the two reporters in
his office and runs outside.
FLETCH AND LARRY
They continue their walk.
Did you hear something?
Me neither. See what we've got on a
guy named Alan Stanwyk, okay? I need
it right away.
(running up to them)
Fletch, I take it by your presence
here that the story is done. Tell me
Fletch holds up a hand.
W-Y-K no 'c.' I'll be down in a
No problem, boss.
Larry peels off and Fletch now talks to Walker without
breaking stride for his office.
Frank, you look a little peaked.
No, I want an answer, Is the story
'Uh, almost' is not an answer. 'Yes
Frank, it's all done': that's an
(as he enters his
And a damn fine one, I might add.
INT. FLETCH'S CUBICLE - DAY
A pile of mail is on his desk. On the walls are a team
portrait of the Lakers, plus a couple of blow-ups of his
column. Fletch writes under the name of Jane Doe. An unused
word processor is on his desk, but the keyboard has been
moved aside to make room for an old, much-used Royal
He bounces some waste paper off the monitor into a
strategically placed waste can. (A lot of crumpled papers
lie on the floor all around the can.)
Oh, I hate it when he calls me that.
Irwin, professional journalism time,
now. Go back to the goddamn beach
and finish the goddamn story!
I will, Frank, I will. Something
came up, okay?
No it's not okay. You have to have
this in by tomorrow. Did you see the
ad we ran Sunday?
I never read the paper.
...never reads the paper...
Walker goes through a pile of unread newspapers on Fletch's
desk, finds the Sunday paper.
What's the spread on the game tonight?
I don't know.
(holds up paper)
INSERT - AD
A full-page ad.
"NEXT WEEK A "JANE DOE" SPECIAL REPORT: DRUGS ON OUR BEACHES -
SHAME OF THE CITY"
'Shame of Our City' is so good.
Now, Irwin, try to follow me. You
can't run the ad and then not run
Why not? Oh shit... really?
Walker just stares at him.
Just kidding, Frank. You'll have the
story and you'll be damn proud of
You broke it? You know the source?
ready to kill.
What's 'practically'? Is it Fat Sam?
You said you had pictures of him....
I have pictures of him. Dealing...
So let's go! We run the pictures.
He's not the story! There's a source
Well, there we're in a gray area.
I'd say charcoal.
(straining for control)
I'm going to bite out your eyeballs,
you know that?
Frank, you animal, I love it. I'll
have the story by Thursday night, I
swear to God.
(to himself as he
INSERT - NEWSPAPER CLIPPING ALAN STANWYK NEW V/P BOYD AVIATION
A photograph of Stanwyk; a head shot. Hands turn the clipping
paper. Next clipping: a social page spread on the wedding of
Alan Stanwyk. ("GAIL BOYD WED TO ALAN STANWYK.")
FLETCH AND LARRY
Fletch and Larry examine the file.
'Mr. Stanwyk, of Provo, Utah, is a
former commercial pilot.'
Married Boyd Aviation. He's no dummy,
that's serious coin.
INSERT - CLIPPING - TIGHTER ANGLE
'Stanwyk's parents, Marvin and Velma
Stanwyk, also of Provo, were unable
to attend the wedding.'
FLETCH AND LARRY
Not our kind of people, you
(points to his back)
Spot right here.
You doing a story on this guy?
He pours over some more clippings, then stops at one.
headlined: "CANCER SOCIETY BENEFIT". A photograph of Alan
and Gail Stanwyk, with a gray haired man and his wife.
'...Stanwyk, blahblahblah, with
internist Doctor Joseph Dolen.'
FLETCH AND LARRY
I wonder if that's his doctor.
Only one way to find out.
INT. DOCTOR'S EXAMINING ROOM - DAY
Fletch, stripped to the waist. is being examined by Dr. Joseph
Dolen, a rather imperious physician.
So where do you know Alan from?
We play tennis at the club.
Really. The California Racquet Club?
That's my club too. I haven't seen
Well, I haven't played in a while
because of these kidney pains.
Right, and how long have you had
these pains, Mr. Barber?
But not right next to each other. I
thought that's what you meant.
Arnold Babar. Isn't there a children's
book about an elephant named Babar?
I don't know. I don't have any.
No books. No elephants either. No
really good elephant books.
(eyes Fletch curiously)
Still, it'd an odd name. I don't
remember seeing it on the club
Fletch's eyes drift to Dolen's side table with its unnerving
assortment of medical paraphernalia.
Oh, I don't belong formally. I've
gone with my aunt.
Joan or Margaret Smith.
Well, which one?
Funny old bird.
Is she ever. I've got some stories....
I'll bet. Shame about Ed.
It was. Really a shame. To go so
Oh, he was dying for years.
Sure, but the end was so sudden.
He was in intensive care for eight
Yes, but the very end, when he
actually died, that was extremely
You know, Alan and I were recently
speaking of dying. Told me Boyd
Aviation took out a lot of insurance
on him. You must have to be in some
kind of perfect health to get that
kind of policy.
Bend over and drop your pants, Mr.
Oh really, there's no need to -- we
don't want to do that...
Honest, I feel fine. You better be
Fletch looks alarmed as Dolan pushes him into position. Dolan
puts on a plastic glove.
CLOSE - FLETCH
Did I say 'kidneys'? I meant my ear.
Maybe I should see an ear dahhh --
(as Dolan starts to
probe from behind)
Ever serve time?
Anyway, I'm surprised Alan got the
policy so easily. I know there's a
history of cancer in the family.
Whoa, look out there. You really
need the whole fist?
(reacts to a poke)
Gee, Alan's been looking kind of
sick lately. Is he all right?
I can't discuss another patient. You
(rising into frame
and washing up)
Well, I can't find anything wrong
I'm sure it's not for a lack of
looking. Maybe I should get a real
complete physical. You give Alan an
annual, don't you?
Yeah, we check you into Mt. Hebron
for a few days, run lots of tests,
charge a bundle. You can pull your
pants up now.
I hope they still fit. Do I get to
keep the glove?
Tell the nurse when you've got a few
free days. She'll make all the
Thanks, Doc. Maybe I'll come back
with a date. Or an elephant.
INT. HOSPITAL RECEPTION AREA - DAY
Fletch is dressed in shorts, a clean shirt, and is carrying
a doctor's bag. He is wearing a stethoscope around his neck,
has a beeper on, a lot of pencils and other doctor gadgets.
He's standing at the directory
Combing it with his eyes, he sees the directory:
PATHOLOGY - THIRD FLOOR
B. ROSENSTIEN, M.D.
H. ROSENBLATT, M.D.
P. ROSENWOHL, M.D.
Fletch goes to a door marked "Stairs."
INT. STAIRWELL - DAY
Fletch abruptly empties his doctor's bag and puts on a long
green gown, a cap and a face mask. He plugs the stethoscope
in his ears, removes miscellaneous file folders filled with
papers, closes the bag, and heads for Pathology.
INT. PATHOLOGY DEPARTMENT - DAY
It's at the end of a long hall, and adjacent to the Autopsy
Room and the Pathology Records Room. Over his shoulder we
can see into the autopsy room where a gowned doctor is happily
performing an autopsy.
Fletch hastily fumbles through his wallet, deftly dropping
and picking up the papers he has brought with him.
It's me doctor Rosenpenis. I just
have to take another peek at Alan
Stanwyk's file. What have they done
with this place?
(confused at all his
Nothing. They're still there.
Still dropping and picking up, shuffling and collating, Fletch
starts toward the Files Room, when the doctor performing the
autopsy yells at him.
Fletch stiffens and turns around.
Give me a hand for a second would
Come on, come on.
Reluctantly, he goes to the autopsy table, and the cadaver
thereon, which is covered by a sheet, except for the mid-
TWO SHOT - FLETCH AND PATHOLOGIST
(Note: from here on we never see the body.)
Have you ever see a spleen this large?
(trying not to look)
Grab this, will you?
Uh, I'm not really prepared. My hands
You're not going to make this guy
We hear a squishing noise as he grabs something large and
wet and plops it into Fletch's hand. Fletch stands there
holding something icky out of frame, looking uncomfortably
up at the ceiling, the floor, anywhere but at the cadaver or
at the stuff in his hand. Meanwhile, we hear sounds of further
incisions, and the deflating of an organ.
You never really get used to the
smell, do you?
Fletch's eyes roll up, and he falls to the floor in a dead
INT. RECORDS ROOM - DAY - MINUTES LATER
Fletch is on a couch, beginning to regain consciousness. The
Records Nurse hovers over him.
Are you all right, Doctor?
Where am I?
You're in the Records Room.
Can I get you something?
Have you got a make-shift plywood
pillory? Heh Heh, just kidding.
Doctor Holmes went to get you some
smelling salts. He was quite surprised
that you fainted.
Well, I didn't want to say anything,
but I thought the dead man was my
Oh my God!
It's all right. It wasn't him but
that spleen was a splitting image.
He sits up and sees that just outside the glass is none other
that Dr. Joseph Dolen, talking with the pathologist.
Oh, God, I think I'm about to
hyperventilate. Have you got a paper
bag, or something.
Yes, right away.
She goes to get the paper bag, and Fletch turns his back on
Dr. Dolen to go through the file cabinet. By the time the
Nurse returns, he's got Stanwyk's file.
Here you are, Doctor.
He puts the bag over his mouth and breathes deeply as he
continues the conversation with her. (From time to time, we
see Dr. Dolen in the b.g. looking over, but does not come
into the records room or question what's happening).
Is there anything particular you're
My associates did a biopsy on this
(thumbs through file)
He's supposed to have a melanoma, or
a carcinoma, some kind of noma. Hmmm.
I can't seem to find any record of
(taking the file)
Well, if he had one, it would
certainly be in here.
Wait. Here it is. Yep. Surgical
removal of two moles. Tissue was
(shows him the file)
This was last month. So Alan Stanwyk
does not have cancer.
I guess not.
He'll be so relieved.
EXT. SANTA MONICA STREET - LATE AFTERNOON
Fletch pulls up in front of his building, a 1970's cinderblock
apartment complex. Fletch parks his car halfway up the curb,
gets out and spots a Mercedes coupe. He starts running toward
the rear of his building.
EXT. REAR OF THE BUILDING - DAY
Fletch starts climbing up the fire escape of his building.
FIRE ESCAPE - DAY
Fletch reaches the second floor. He's huffing and puffing.
Attorney Charles Gillett is waiting for him on the second
floor fire escape. Gillett smiles.
Refusal to pay alimony is a jailable
What about breaking and entering?
(points to Gillett's
Are you wearing anything under that?
I did not break nor enter. I simply
chose an advisable location to await
my client's delinquent husband.
I hate to conduct business on the
lanai. Why don't we step inside.
Fletch takes out a credit card and jimmies open the lock on
INT. FLETCH'S APARTMENT - DAY
Fletch climbs in through the window, followed by Gillett.
His small apartment is just barely furnished. A low basketball
hoop is attached to the wall. Fletch takes a ball, offers it
One on one?
Gillett shakes his head. Fletch does a reverse shot and
misses, sending a plastic globe lamb crashing to the floor.
And the foul.
Fletch takes a second, successful shot.
You owe Wendy nine hundred and
(still playing b-ball)
She doesn't need the money, for
crissakes. She's living with Monty.
I know it.
I don't know what you're referring
to. Wendy maintains her own residence.
It stinks. I thought woman were
Until she remarries, Fletch.
Hey, shut up, okay? I just hate this.
I empathize with your plight, Fletch.
However, you threw her out.
She was sleeping with everybody. The
cable TV guy. You can't get lower
You should have proved that in a
court of law.
My lawyer was a bum.
Fletch puts down the basketball, picks up a stack of mail
and rifles through it.
I think he was sleeping with Wendy,
You may be right.
Are you serious?
That's history, Fletch. You owe us
nine hundred and eighteen dollars.
Wait a minute! Our problems might be
Fletch holds up an envelope with Ed McMahon's picture on it.
I think I just won a million dollars!
He opens it and looks inside, feigning disappointment.
Damn... lost again. Sorry.
This is no joke. If some kind of
payment isn't made, we're going to
have to contact the paper and garnish
Fletch sighs, takes out the envelope given to him by Stanwyk.
He hands a thousand dollars to Gillett.
Cash. I'm impressed.
Found it in a cab. That's a grand.
Apply the difference to next month.
Gillett smiles and exits.
KITCHEN - DAY
Fletch opens the fridge. Inside are tow six-packs of Coors,
a jar of Miracle Whip, a half a cucumber, and a brown head
of lettuce. Fletch takes a beer and slams the door shut with
such force that we hear breakage inside.
MASTER - APARTMENT - DAY
In a foul mood, Fletch leaves the kitchen, and wanders into
the living room. It has the personality of an Abbey Rents.
He picks up the TV remote control. The television clicks on.
Chick Hearn is with Jabbar, during a Laker pregame warmup.
Fletch settles back.
Hearn is gushing over Jabbar.
He watches contemplatively. He is bone tired.
How about Fletch?
Well, Fletch has been great. He's
super-strong, really clogs the middle
for us, boxes out, gets the bounds....
He smiles and nods, deep in fantasy.
Now here's a key play in Tuesday
Hearn and Jabbar look down at a television monitor.
He's half asleep.
Here I am dishing off to Fletch...
Fletch raises an eyebrow.
There's Fletch, his hair in an Afro, dressed in Laker gold.
He's on the receiving end of a Jabbar pass, making an easy
Gosh, he makes it look so easy!
PRACTICE COURT - DAY
Gail Stanwyk is on the other side of the net, loading tennis
balls into the automatic serve machine. She is in her late
twenties and quite attractive, but in a much more natural
way than other women we see here. She is good natured and
Fletch steps up to the entrance of the court.
She looks up. He enters the court with great delight.
I haven't seen you since the wedding,
Jeez, you look great.
I do? Oh, isn't that sweet, thank
you. I have to confess something to
you. I must have been pretty plowed
at your wedding. I really don't have
the faintest idea who you are.
Huh? No, not my wedding. Yours.
Oh, mine! Thank God.
(furrows her brow)
Actually, that doesn't make it any
better, does it? Are you a friend of
We used to fly together. I'm... John.
(snaps her fingers in
John! You used to fly together!
Her smile segues right into an "I'm sorry, bit I give up"
(bursts out in laughter)
Oh, I'm sorry. It's a beautiful name,
(still loading tennis
That's a strange combination.
So were my parents.
Mind if I keep practicing? I need to
work on my ground stroke a little.
As Mrs. Stanwyk crosses to the other side of the net, a waiter
Excuse me sir. Are you a guest of
Yes, I'm with the Underhills.
They just left, sir.
They'll be back. He had to go in for
Would you care for a drink while
you're waiting? I can put it on the
Great. I'll have a Bloody Mary and a
Very good sir.
The Waiter leaves, and Fletch watches as Mrs. Stanwyk tries
to return the serving machine's serves. She swings so goofily
that she can't even get the racket on the ball. She has
clearly never taken a lesson in her life, and it is doubtful
if she will ever make contact with a tennis ball in this
Damn, I thought I had that one.
You should play with much larger
tennis balls. So how's Alan?
What are you asking me for? He's so
busy lately I hardly see him. And
he's been so preoccupied.
Preoccupied with what?
Oh, personal stuff. Look! I hit one!
Indeed, she has. Strait up. She and Fletch crane their necks
upward to follow it's flight.
Good. Lobs are a very important part
of the game.
She completely misses the next one.
Why do you keep doing this?
I love the outfits.
The next one she hits with the handle.
Try stepping into the ball with your
He demonstrates a swing. She puts on a determined face, makes
an awkward step and swings at the next ball, missing it
completely, and letting the racket fly.
There, much better.
Mrs. Stanwyk laughs happily and dodges the machine-served
balls to walk over to Fletch. When she's almost up to him,
she turns back to the serving machine and points a finger at
it, as if addressing a pet dog.
I must be having an off day. I'm
really a fabulous player.
I have this effect on lots of women.
I bet you do.
Say, the reason I asked about Alan
is that I bumped into him this morning
and you know what I can't figure
(catching him in his
Alan's in Utah.
(after a beat)
I can't figure out why I went to
Utah for the morning.
Okay. I'm delighted to have someone
to talk to, and you're very cute, so
I'm very flattered, but I'm also
very married so you may as well forget --
You are trying to hit on me, aren't
(thinks, then nods)
I'm such a heel. How'd you guess?
If I had a nickel for every one of
Alan's flyboy buddies who tried to
pick me up, I'd be a rich woman.
You are a rich woman.
See what I mean?
She trots back to her ball machine. Fletch calls after her.
What's he doing in Utah?
None of your business, now go away.
You're throwing my game off.
Fletch chuckles -- he likes this woman -- and exits.
BOYD AVIATION - DAY - ESTABLISHING
A sprawling, Hughes-like complex.
...then who walks in but George Bush.
He took one look around the room...
INT. JOHN BOYD'S OFFICE - DAY
A Secretary is serving coffee to Fletch (now dressed in a
three piece suit) and John Boyd, Gail Stanwyk's father. At
seventy, he is probably Chairman Emeritus now; no longer
running the day-to-day operations of the company, and thus
somewhat grateful from the company.
...and said 'Sorry Mr. President, I
thought it was Saturday.'
I thought I was going to die.
Sugar, Mr. Poon?
Fletch notices a framed wedding photograph on the credenza
behind Boyd. It is of Alan and Gail Stanwyk, Alan beaming a
shit-eating grin and holding a happy thumbs-up.
Fletch waits as the Secretary leaves the room, then begins
He opens his attaché case, allowing Boyd to see an airline
ticket, a Washington Post, and a file stenciled
"Confidential/S.E.C. Use only."
First of all, let me just reiterate
that this is not a formal
investigation. I'm not going through
formal channels here, because if
Alan Stanwyk is not involved in any
improprieties, then nobody has to
know I was even --
Alan Stanwyk is not involved in
improprieties. Where the hell does
the S.E.C. come off --
Fletch is nodding sympathetically and holds up a quieting
hand. Boyd stops in mid-tirade, and watches as Fletch reaches
into his briefcase and seemingly turns off a tape recorder.
Look. You know that and I know that,
but somebody's bucking for a
promotion. I think it's that bozo,
Hanrahan, I can't be sure. Anyway,
unless I go back there with something,
you and your son-in-law are next
I feel like dirt. They even want to
know what he's doing in Utah?
Jesus Christ! First of all, Alan
Stanwyk does not own one share of
stock.The three million dollars for
the ranch in Provo comes from my
daughter who converted some of her
personal holdings, not company
holdings. Now if anybody in DC wants
to make something of that, bring 'em
on. Until then, get the hell out of
(stands and closes
God I admire you.
By the way: what kind of name is
ALAN STANWYK'S OFFICE - DAY
Fletch breezes in, right up to the Secretary, whose nameplate
reads MADELINE TURNER.
Oh, Margie, sorry, Frieda lost the
number of Alan's realtor in Provo.
Can you give it to me real quick?
She writes it out for him.
And, I'm sorry, who are you again?
(grabbing the paper)
(calling after him)
(out the door)
EXT. BEACH - DAY
Pan across the beach...
Larry, it's me...
Fletch is in a phone booth on the sidewalk next to the beach,
keeping an eye on "Fat Sam's."
See if you've got anything in
Stanwyk's background from when he
lived in Utah. Also check on a realtor
in Provo named Swarthout. And tell
Frank I'm crazy about him and I'd
like to discuss his maybe moving in
We hear police sirens. Fletch looks O.S.
He hangs up.
FLETCH'S POINT OF VIEW - FOUR SQUAD CARS
have pulled up to the beach, lights flashing. The druggies
Creasy is running towards Fletch.
Fletch! Take off!
He steps out onto the beach, and starts towards the cops.
What are you doing?
Everyone is scattering. The cops run past everyone, and
FLETCH AND CREASY
They're after Gummy again. It's weird.
Fletch keeps moving toward the police.
(out of breath)
Fletch, slow down.
GUMMY AND THE COPS
Gummy trips and falls in the sand. A Cop kicks him in the
Let's go, Gummy.
FLETCH AND CREASY
still running toward the cops.
Hey, what are you doing?
Fletch, this is dumb.
You don't have to run with me, Crease.
The cops drag Gummy toward a squad car.
ANGLE - "FAT SAM'S"
Fat Sam peers out, watching the action.
Fletch approaches the cops.
Why are you beating up on that kid?
No response from the cops.
He's defenseless, and you kick the
crap out of him. What do you want
One of the cops turns and, in one smooth motion, kicks Fletch
in the balls. Fletch sinks to the ground.
Gummy is packed into the squad car.
He rises slowly from the sand. He is in great pain. He starts
after the cops again.
What goddamn right do you have to
The cop car starts off. Fletch picks up a rock, hurls it at
the cop car. It smashes the rear window.
The cop cars go off. Fletch bends over. He's hurting. Creasy
comes over to him.
Hey you're really nuts.
They didn't do anything.
What? What are you talking about?
I busted their window, they didn't
Not luck. They don't want me.
In a caravan, they head down the highway.
He turns and looks towards "Fat Sam's."
Fat Sam watches the police cars go down the road, then turns
and looks towards the ocean. He pulls his Angels cap down
over his head.
CLOSE - FLETCH
He is focusing on something, but has not figured it out yet.
Gummy and two cops...
INT. FRANK WALKER'S OFFICE - DAY
Cool your tool, Frank, I need a little
more time. I think I'm really on to
You're onto something. That's good.
I really don't want to spoil your
surprise, Frank. Why don't you read
Larry, knocks on the door.
What do you want?
Larry points to Fletch.
Speak, don't point!
I need Fletch for a second.
She needs me, Frank.
Fletch turns to Larry. Push to two shot.
Nothing on Gail Stanwyk, nothing on
Jim Swarthout. But I did ---
That's okay, Lar. I gotta put this
on the back burner for a while.
Larry starts to exit.
Just give me a hint, all right?
All right. Maybe there are some
crooked cops involved in all this.
(stopping in the
Did you say cops?
That's one thing I did find. It's
from last month, so it was in the
She hands Fletch a clipping.
INSERT - CLIPPING
It is an article and photograph of the newly-appointed
citizens on the Police Advisory Board. One of them is Alan
Fletch pockets the photo.
I think I gotta go to Utah, Frank.
Yeah. It's wedged in between Wyoming
and Nevada. I'm sure you've seen
What about finding the source?
I have some ideas.
Who? Donnie and Marie?
Very possibly. Come on, say yes.
I'll buy you a shirt.
Go to transportation, get a ticket.
(to Fletch as he exits)
Nothing to it.
EXT. PROVO, UTAH - AIRPORT -DAY
A Western Airlines flight arrives.
EXT. HIGHWAY - DUSK
Fletch's rented Fairmont speeds down the highway.
INT. FAIRMONT - FLETCH
wearing a polyester brown suit -- fiddles with the radio.
Snatches of programs are heard: "easy listening" music;
country-and-western; a revival show; a call in show -- "Hi,
you're on the air." "Hello, Bob, I'd like to discuss the
death penalty. As you know, Jesus was in favor of it --"
Fletch whistles and switches the radio off. He turns the car
off the interstate.
EXT. TRAVELODGE - LATE AFTERNOON - ESTABLISHING SHOT
as Fletch drives up.
INT. TRAVELODGE MOTEL ROOM
Fletch dials the phone in the small, sparsely furnished room.
Hi, Jim Swarthout, please. Oh, hello,
my name is Igor Stravinski and I'm
looking for some ranch property.
INT. SWARTHOUT REALTY
Jim Swarthout is a rugged-looking man in his forties. He
sits in the den/office of his house talking on the phone,
surrounded by pine-paneling, property tract maps and wall-
mounted animal heads.
Good, Mr. Starinski, what'd you have
Uh huh. Oh are you a friend of Alan's?
INT. FLETCH'S MOTEL ROOM
No, I just heard some people at the
club talking about the property you
sold him, and the way it was
described, three million sounded
like a pretty good price.
Fletch pauses again to listen, flummoxed over what he has
Are you sure?
Of course. I guess I was misinformed.
Listen, I'd love to come out and see
you anyway. When are you available?
INT. SWARTHOUT REALTY
Well, I'm about to close up shop and
go out for the evening. How about
first thing in the AM?
Great. See you tomorrow.
INT. FLETCH'S MOTEL ROOM
Fletch hangs up, very interested.
EXT. SWARTHOUT REALTY - NIGHT
Fletch stops his car in front of the ranch-style house. A
lighted sign in the yard indicate that this is indeed
Swarthout Realty, but the house is dark; no one appears to
be home. Somewhere in the yard a dog barks viciously,
A killer Doberman is tied up behind a chain link fence. At
the sight of the intruding Fletch, the dog's lip is
practically over his nose, his fangs are poised and gleaming.
(getting out of his
What's your name fella? Fluff? Pom-
Fletch reaches the front door and looks around. He rings the
bell. The dog yowls even louder. Fletch waits. And waits. He
rings again. Satisfied that no one is home, he tries the
front door. Of course, it is locked. He takes out a credit
card, starts to jimmy the lock, and actually seems to be
making progress when his credit card snaps in half.
He pockets the broken credit card, steps back and looks over
the house for another possible point of entry.
FLETCH'S POINT OF VIEW - AN UPSTAIRS WINDOW
Double-hung. Slightly warped, so that the upper half does
not exactly true with the lower half.
looks around to see how to climb up to it.
There's only one way. Climb up the side of the chain link
fence which separates him from the murderous dog. Fletch
approaches it warily. The dog is practically foaming. Fletch
reaches out a hand to get a hold of the fence, and the dog
just about rips the fence apart.
(in his best Barbara
This has no effect, so Fletch backs up a few yards, take a
deep breath for courage and makes a headlong running start
for the fence, using his momentum to get to the top before
the dog eats him. He grabs hold and scrambles wildly for the
top. He makes it.
Roll over. Play dead. Good boy.
Fletch now grabs hold of the eave on the side of the house,
and very carefully pulls himself onto it. It's only about
ten feet from there to the vulnerable window, but the angle
of the eave is rather steep, and the going is treacherous.
As he makes his way, he keeps a wary eye on the dog who keeps
leaping up, seemingly getting closer and closer to taking a
giant bite out of Fletch's backside.
You any relation to Doctor Dolan?
Now he's at the window. He tries to open it, but despite
it's warped appearance from the ground, it is locked. Fletch
looks at the lock and can't believe it. He sighs. He shakes
his head. He smashes the window with his elbow.
I hate this.
He climbs into the darkened house, leaving the enraged dog
to run furiously around the fenced in yard that surrounds
INT. SWARTHOUT'S HOUSE - UPSTAIRS - NIGHT
Fletch tiptoes though the upstairs bedroom and down the
stairs. From outside, he can still hear the dog snarling and
INT. SWARTHOUT'S HOUSE - DOWNSTAIRS - NIGHT
As Fletch passes through the living room he sees the dog
snarling at him through the living room window.
INT. SWARTHOUT'S DEN - NIGHT
Fletch enters and looks around.
The dog is now outside the den window.
Make sure nobody comes in, okay?
He goes to the file cabinet and opens it. He flips through
the "S" section. "Stanwyk". He pulls it. He thumbs through
various documents until he finds what he's looking for. A
copy of a deed. He pulls it out.
INSERT - DEED - CLOSE ON THE PURCHASE PRICE
Three Thousand Dollars.
So much for your three million dollar
takes out a tiny document camera -- the kind spies use in
the movies -- and loads it fumblingly. Then he props the
deed up on top of the file cabinet, and moves a lamp into
position to light it. Just as he snaps his first shot, we
hear a terrible crashing sound.
The murderous Doberman has made a crashing leap right through
the den window, sending glass flying everywhere, and he
streaks across the room to rip Fletch into bite-sized shreds.
Fletch bolts and the dog flies into the file cabinet, knocking
it over, scattering all the files over the floor. Fletch
dashes for the nearest door, and runs through it just as the
dog slams into it.
Fletch is now holed up in the kitchen, panting to catch his
breath, feeling the full course of adrenaline pumping through
his terrified veins. He sees that he can get to his car by
climbing through the window. But in order to get to the window
he has to let go of the door, and that would allow the dog
to get in.
Looking around frantically, holding the door shut against
the furious slamming of the dog, he reaches for and finally
grabs a mop which he props under the door knob, thus keeping
the door shut. Letting go of the door gingerly, he satisfies
himself that the dog cannot get in, and he makes his break
for the window.
He vaults up onto the counter top and is just about to break
the window when he sees that the dog's continued efforts are
about to result in opening the door.
Fletch knows he has only seconds. Standing on top of the
counter, he opens the door of the restaurant-sized
refrigerator next to him, and just as the snarling dog bursts
into the room Fletch starts hurling food at it. A pot roast,
sliced turkey with stuffing, a couple of filet mignons. The
dog is momentarily distracted. Fletch pours a large bucket
of cranberry sauce on the dog.
Suck on this Cujo!
Then he dumps an equally large bucket of mashed potatoes.
With the dog temporarily vision-impaired, Fletch bolts.
EXT. SWARTHOUT HOUSE - NIGHT
Fletch runs as fast as humanly possible towards his car,
fishing for his keys as he goes. The dog -- having shaken
off the people-food from his hateful face -- is seconds behind
Fletch makes it to his car, hops inside, and slams the door
just as the dog leaps furiously at the windshield.
INT. FLETCH'S CAR
Fletch makes it to his car, huffing and puffing. The dog
jumps across the closed window, snarling and bug-eyed with
Fletch smiles, waves at the dog, and starts taking its picture
with his little camera.
Gimme a smile! There you go... oh,
that's a nice one...
(starting the car)
Everything's fine, now... go take a
Fletch is ready to pull out, but the dog is still leaping
madly at the window. Fletch points back to the house.
Look! Defenseless babies!
The dog turns to look and Fletch guns it.
That dog is such an asshole.
EXT. FLETCH'S APARTMENT HOUSE - DAY
Fletch parks his car halfway up on the curb, steps out
carrying a small overnight bag. He is unshaven and looks
INT. APARTMENT HOUSE - CORRIDOR
Fletch comes down the hall signing "Billie Jean" is an
He opens the door to his apartment and is immediately thrown
to the ground.
Fletch is spread-eagled on the floor. Two huge Cops are over
him, one holding a gun to his head, the other going through
(feeling the inseam
of Fletch's trousers)
Oh, what's this?
If I took that out, you guys couldn't
fit in here.
Funny boy. Look at this...
He produces a heroin bag.
Looks like heroin, Gene.
You just planted that.
Cop #1 kicks Fletch in the ribs.
What'd you say?
Read me my rights.
Okay. You have the right to remain
silent. You have the right to be
kicked in the face by me. You have
the rights to have your balls stomped.
You have the --
Hold it! I'll waive my rights.
EXT. PRECINCT HOUSE
Fletch is lead into the precinct house.
INT. PRECINCT HOUSE
The Sergeant at the desk checks Fletch out.
Who we booking here, gentlemen?
No booking. Chief wants a talk with
(smiles at Fletch)
You'll like the Chief. Nice man.
I hear he's mellowed a lot since he
came out of the closet.
I find he gets real mellow after he
hits somebody a lot.
DOOR TO CHIEF'S OFFICE - CHIEF'S OFFICE
The cops open the door, pull Fletch inside. Chief Cummings,
looking like a modern executive, looks up from his paperwork.
Here he is Chief.
They roughly throw Fletch into a chair. The Chief -- seemingly
oblivious to this brutality -- smiles sincerely.
(To Fletch friendly)
Be with you in just a second.
The two Cops leave. As Chief Cummings continues with his
paperwork Fletch looks around the office, which is decorated
tastefully -- no guns on the wall, no American flags. On one
wall there is a Matisse, and on another, various photos of
the Chief with local celebrities.
You decorate this yourself or did
Mrs. Chief of Police help you?
You should have seen what she wanted
to do with the place. Mauve.
(shakes his head and
pushes his papers
So what's your name?
Fletch F. Fletch
(skeptical but patient)
I see. And what do you do for a
living, Mr. Fletch?
I'm President of the International
Cummings just stares at Fletch.
Why are you doing this Mr. Fletch?
Frankly sir, you look a little like
my father. Probably explains the
curious feeling of love I have for
For a gentleman who was just found
holding a bag full of heroin...
It was planted on me, sir.
We're looking at five years, maybe
ten. Is that what you want... Jane
He suddenly kicks Fletch's chair out from under him. Fletch
falls to the floor.
Your editor called me yesterday to
respond to allegations you're about
to print about police involvement in
narcotics dealing. Fletch starts to
get up, but Cummings plants his foot
on Fletch's chest, forces him back
I'm about to break that beach wide
open, and I don't need some pennyante
Woodward and Bernstein getting in
the way of my men.
'Your men' might just be involved in
You idiot. Off the record, deep
background: I've got that beach
crawling with undercover cops.
Cummings picks Fletch up, and holds him by the lapels.
If you keep nosing around, you make
the bad guys just a little bit more
cautious. That makes my job harder.
And if you print your story this
week, you might get some of my men
killed. I can't let that happen, Mr.
He throws Fletch against the wall of celebrity photos, some
of which fall to the floor.
You go back to that goddamn beach, I
swear to God I'll make you regret
(picks up a picture)
Hey, you and Tommy Lasorda. That's
Fletch takes the picture and hurls it across the room. It
smashes into the opposite wall and shatters.
I don't like Tommy Lasorda.
Fletch is tossed into an empty cell by the two Cops who
brought him in. Cummings watches. The two Cops leave, and we
see that all the cells in this corridor are empty.
You can't keep me here.
Maybe I'm not going to keep you here.
(takes out a gun)
Maybe I'm gonna blow your brains
I'm no lawyer, but I do believe that's
a violation of my rights.
The Chief takes a knife out of his pocket, holding it with a
After I shoot you, I stick the knife
in my arm, then place it in your
dead hand. Self-defense. We don't do
this very much anymore... but we
have. Got rid of a lot of minorities
My God, you're serious.
Can I ask anybody now?
Cummings looks down the corridor. Deserted.
Can I call my Mom? I'd like to tell
here how much I've always loved her.
(cocks the gun)
What'll it be Fletch?
Fletch looks in Cummings' eyes. They are steely and cold. He
is quite serious.
I hate the beach. Wouldn't go there
if you paid me. Besides, I'm way
overdue on my story about off-track
betting in the Himalayas. You don't
think it's the mafia, do you?
(opening the cell)
Its been very nice meeting you. I
enjoy your column.
Fletch walks out of the cell. Cummings walks with him through
the empty corridor to the exit.
Speaking of which, you're not going
to print anything before my
investigation is through, are you?
Not a prayer.
That a boy.
The emerge into the main hallway of the police station, which
is filled with officers and civilians. Cummings makes a show
of cordially shaking Fletch's hand as if they were old
Thanks for coming down to see us.
Not at all, Chief. But next time...
no tongue, okay?
INT. NEWSPAPER OFFICE
Fletch is railing at Frank Walker.
How could you call him?
It's called journalism, Fletch. It's
called getting both sides of the
story. Something you apparently don't
know anything about.
It's also called getting me this
close to being murdered.
Get out of here.
He threw me in a cell, took a gun
and a knife and threatened to kill
me right there if I didn't promise
to give up the story.
You know, I've had it up to here
with your bullshit. I need a story
from you by tomorrow.
You'll have it.
But not unsubstantiated charges about
dope-dealing cops, and not horse
shit paranoid fantasies about
homicidal police chiefs.
Thanks for the vote of confidence,
(calling after him)
I want something I can print!
(giving him the finger)
Print this Frank.
EXT. RACQUET CLUB
Fletch again appears in his tennis whites and walks familiarly
toward the patio. Rich people are having lunch. Fletch stops
Hi, where's Mrs. Stanwyk?
In her cabana, sir.
Oh, that's right. She told me to
meet her there. That's cabana six?
Would you be caring for something to
eat or drink, sir?
I would, actually.
Charged to the Underhills, sir?
Right. Tell you what -- have you
Yes, sir. Beluga. But it is eighty
dollars the portion.
I'd better only get two. How about
the lobster thermidor?
I recommend it.
Fine. And a couple of bottles of Dom
Perignon. To cabana one.
Very good, sir.
The waiter leaves. Fletch looks around, takes a deep breath.
This is just the nicest place.
EXT. CABANA ONE
A little Spanish bungalow-type affair. Old California money-
style elegance. Fletch rings the bell.
MRS. STANWYK (V.O.)
Who is it?
It's John. John...
She opens the door, clad only in a towel. A towel is wrapped
around her head. She seems surprised, but not displeased, to
see Fletch. She also seems a little at a loss for words.
I was hoping you'd say that.
They have just shaken hands, and Fletch notices his hand is
now sopping wet.
Uh... I'm just out of the shower.
Can I borrow your towel for a minute?
She laughs a nervous little laugh. There is a bit of sexual
I'm sorry, I'm just surprised to see
you. I didn't think... What do you
I ordered lunch.
You ordered it here?
Well, I knew this is where my mouth
With a nervous glance in both directions, she lets him in
and closes the door behind them.
They stand there for a few seconds looking at each other.
I really should change.
No, I think you should stay the same
wonderful person you are today.
I mean put clothes on.
Here, take mine.
He starts to take off his shirt. She is amused, and responds
playfully, but firmly.
Have you gotten cuter since I last
She stands there, looking around, trying to act as if her
heartbeat weren't speeding up.
SFX: Knock at door.
She goes sprinting into the bathroom.
Come on in.
The door opens. A second Waiter, Mexican, solemnly wheels in
a cart bearing the goodies ordered by Fletch. The twin bottles
of Dom Perignon juts from a silver ice bucket.
You want I set up?
No thanks, I'll do it. Give yourself
twenty dollars. Underhill.
Sierra del fuego.
The waiter bows, leaves, shuts the door. Mrs. Stanwyk scampers
back in, gazes at the cart as Fletch takes a bottle of Dom
Perignon and pops the cork.
All this goes on Underhill's bill?
(offering her a glass)
I saved his life during the war.
You were in the war?
No. He was. I got him out.
She laughs and sighs, knowing she's getting into something
she probably shouldn't.
I can't believe I'm doing this. Well,
She tucks a napkin in her towel like a bib and sits at the
EXT. RACQUET CLUB - DAY
The Underhills have just been handed the bill run up by
Four hundred bucks for lunch???
Your guest, sir.
We have no guest here today.
(reading the bill)
Two bottles of Dom Perignon, hundred
bucks a pop. Jesus H. Christ! Where
I believe he's with Mrs. Stanwyk.
Gail Stanwyk. Tom, if he's with Gail
I don't care who he's with! This is
She's where, cabana one?
Mr. Underhill stalks off.
INT. CABANA - DAY
Fletch and Mrs. Stanwyk are having lunch. Fletch sings while
he opens the champagne. She is looking at his back which is
turned to her.
'I've been so many places in my life
and times. I've sung a lot of songs,
I've made some bad rhymes...'
'I've acted out my life on stages,
with ten thousand people watching...'
Your bone structure, shoulders,
'But we're alone now, and I'm singing
this song for you.'
Just like Alan. It's freaky.
Can I ask you a question?
Depends on the question.
Are you still in love with Alan?
I mean, 'no you can't ask me that.'
I mean, ask me something else.
Why'd you let me in?
Because I'm bored. Oh, that sounds
terrible, doesn't it. I'm sorry. If
it makes you feel any better, I also
let you in because I'm hungry.
Thanks, I feel much better. Listen,
if you're so bored, why didn't you
go to Utah with Alan?
Utah is not exactly a cure for
Oh, listen to me. I've never even
been there and look what I say about
it. Anyway, I know there'd be nothing
for me to do. I don't even know
What about his parents?
He never sees them and I never met
SFX: Insistent knock at door.
Fletch and Mrs. Stanwyk freeze.
MR. UNDERHILL (V.O.)
Mrs. Stanwyk, I hate to disturb you.
Tom Underhill here... I'm a new
Thanks for the great time.
What is this?
MR. UNDERHILL (V.O.)
Apparently, someone of your
acquaintance has charged the most
extraordinary lunch to my bill.
Fletch starts pushing the lunch table towards the bathroom.
You don't know the Underhills?
MR. UNDERHILL (V.O.)
I'd appreciate an opportunity to
discuss this with you.
I just stepped out of the shower!
Can you give me a minute?
MR. UNDERHILL (V.O.)
Mrs. Stanwyk follows Fletch into the bathroom.
Fletch jams the cart into the bathroom.
Take one end.
Mrs. Stanwyk lifts one side of the cart. They lift it and
put it up into the bathtub. There's a window in the bathroom.
Fletch opens it.
I'll be leaving now, Mrs. Stanwyk.
I think you should call me Gail,
Gail. I hope this won't embarrass
you in any way. I think Underhill's
a yutz, you won't have any trouble
Why did you do it?
Fletch shrugs, smiles.
A four hundred dollar lunch tab!
I'll cover it. You have any other
(after a beat)
Yeah. My name's not John Ultramalensky
and I wasn't at your wedding.
She stares at him.
Irwin Fletcher. I write a newspaper
column under the name Jane Doe.
A long beat.
So, your husband hired me to kill
him. That's the truth.
What are you talking about?
That's what I want to know.
Mr. Underhill knocks again.
In a minute!
He told me he was dying of cancer.
Not True. That ranch you thought you
were paying for in Utah? Not true.
How do you know about that?
He's a bad guy, Mrs. Stanwyk. Gail.
I think he's involved in something
very big and very bad.
What does all this mean?
Have you ever heard the name Jim
Swarthout. Yes. He's the man who
sold us the ranch in --
Wrong. He sold you $3,000 worth of
But I've seen the deed.
You saw a forgery.
He takes out his photographs.
That's the real deed.
INSERT - PHOTO OF DEED
It's is so fuzzy, shaky, and poorly framed that there's no
way we can read the price on it.
Now, if this were at all legible,
you'd believe me.
Fletch shows her more of the photos.
Here's this dog that tried to eat
me. Here's my motel. Here's the car
(angry and concerned)
Are you saying my husband is
I don't know. All I know is that he
told me a lot of things and so far
not one of them has been true.
Mrs. Stanwyk stares at Fletch. She gets a little teary.
I'm really sorry I have to tell you
MR. UNDERHILL (O.S.)
Just wait, all right?!?
I'm going to call my father. He'll
know what --
Fletch stops her.
No. You can't. Look, I know you don't
know me from Adam, but you've got to
Trust you? I may seem a little goofy
at times, but I'm not a complete
Bozo, you know.
Just give me twenty-four hours.
Please. Someone almost killed me
today. People are not being nice
lately, and I don't want you getting
hurt. I think you're terrific. Are
you a Laker fan?
Gail is now teary, confused, and scared.
No... I've got to go to Mr.
I'll take you to a game.
What are you talking about?
I'm talking about how much I'd like
to take you to a Laker game.
Wait a second. What am I supposed to
do for twenty-four hours?
(climbing out window)
I was afraid you'd say that.
If you need me, call the paper. Hand
me that extra bottle okay?
Gail opens the door where Mr. Underhill has been waiting.
(grabs the bill from
She closes the door in his face.
EXT. BOYD AVIATION - PARKING LOT
Alan Stanwyk crosses the parking lot and gets into his Jaguar.
He starts the engine, backs out of his reserved space, and
pulls out of the lot.
ANOTHER ANGLE - PARKING LOT
Fletch is reading a copy of Sports Illustrated. He puts it
down, starts his car, and pulls out of the lot.
SANTA MONICA BOULEVARD
Stanwyk's Jaguar tools down Santa Monica Boulevard. Fletch's
car follows, several discreet car lengths behind.
Stanwyk checks his watch, and makes a turn.
Stanwyk has pulled into a service station. He gets out of
his car and opens the trunk.
He pulls into a fast-food joint on the west side of the
street. He opens the Sports Illustrated and peers over it.
He takes a gas can from the trunk, goes to the pump, fills
it, and pays the attendant in cash.
He puts the gas can back in the trunk, gets into the car,
and starts off.
SANTA MONICA BOULEVARD
We are getting into the increasingly rundown section of Santa
Monica. The Jaguar turns off. Hold: Several beats later,
Fletch turns off.
A freeway overpass. Stanwyk stops his car.
He pulls off behind a liquor store, in view of the overpass.
A second car pulls up behind Stanwyk's. A cop steps out and
says something to Stanwyk. Stanwyk gets out of his car and
walks over to the unmarked police car, and gets in.
takes out his binoculars.
FLETCH'S POINT OF VIEW
Because he's looking through the reflection of sunlight on
the back window of the unmarked police car, Fletch's point
of view is fuzzy, but we can just make out the form of someone
else in animated conversation with Stanwyk.
A moment of possible recognition. He focuses intently.
FLETCH'S POINT OF VIEW - THE OTHER MAN IN THE CAR
with Stanwyk... is Police Chief Cummings.
He starts up his car and backs out.
EXT. FLETCH'S APARTMENT HOUSE
Fletch pulls up to his house and stops the car.
Fletch looks around.
Fletch doesn't leave the car.
Fletch sits put, drumming his fingers on the steering wheel.
He just has a feeling. He starts the car up, and pulls out.
Two cop cars, concealed in driveways, scream out, heading
after Fletch's car.
INT. FLETCH'S CAR
Fletch sees them in the rearview and stomps on the gas.
Should've known. Goddamn it.
Fletch floors it.
Great. First I'll get a speeding
ticket, then they'll shoot me.
Fletch cuts through the parking lot of a drug store/dry
cleaning complex. The cop cars follow suit. Shopping wagons
are tossed about. He turns a corner and realizes he has a
few seconds before they're on top of him again. He screeches
up next to a teenager in a sports car.
All right, fella, smog check. Move
Before the guy can say "who?", Fletch is in the guy's driver
seat and tears out, hell bent for leather.
ENTRANCE TO FREEWAY
Fletch peels off onto the Santa Monica Freeway.
Fletch hits about ninety. So do the cops. Now a motorcycle
cop joins the chase.
INT. SPORTS CAR
Sorry, youngster, but we have to see
what kind of fluorocarbons this thing
puts out at ninety-five.
Don't worry about the speed limit.
That's what the police escort's for.
Indeed, behind them is a gaggle of speeding cop cars and
Fletch cuts across two lanes of traffic and gets off the
freeway. He loses the motorcycle cop who goes past the exit.
The squad cars are thrown behind a bit, but still chase.
INT. SQUAD CAR
Shit! He'll kill us if we lose him.
INT. SPORTS CAR
The teenager is sweating bullets.
Okay, okay, just stop, will you. I
admit it. I stole it. I was just
taking it for a little joy ride,
Fletch squeals around a corner, runs a light, and booms into
the parking lot of a large Holiday Inn. He's a few seconds
ahead of the cops.
Okay, kid. Just stand here with your
hands on the car and wait for the
cops. I gotta pee. Here, take my
Fletch pops his hat on the kid's head, and runs off.
EXT. HOLIDAY INN
Fletch runs into the kitchen entrance of the Holiday Inn.
INT. HOLIDAY INN KITCHEN
Fletch picks up a case of vegetables and walks through as if
he belonged there.
Moments later, two cops enter.
can't see him because of the crate.
INT. HOLIDAY INN - BANQUET ROOM
A testimonial dinner is in progress. A sign on the wall reads:
TRB SYSTEMS SALUTES
40 YEARS OF SERVICE
Thirty tables of conservatively dressed, older men and women
are enjoying lunch. Fletch enters from the kitchen followed
by several waiters and busboys. He looks over his shoulder.
FLETCH'S POINT OF VIEW - KITCHEN
Two cops are in hot pursuit.
moves into the middle of the tables as a florid fat Speaker
at the dais drones on.
...and he can truly be called the
Father of Internal Bushings.
A round of applause which Fletch joins heartily, as he quickly
sits in the audience at an empty seat at a table in the
(to his table)
Hello. I'm with the hotel catering.
Are you enjoying your meal? Carrots
Fletch looks to the kitchen entrance and sees two cops
scanning the crowd. One signals to the opposite door.
Four more cops converge, looking for Fletch. Distant sirens
indicate even more.
And now a man who needs no further
The police spot Fletch and start moving forward. Fletch stands
up. A spotlight swings onto him.
Thank you, Tony, thank you. As a
lifelong friend of...
(looks at banner)
...Fred Dorfman, I'm thrilled to be
Fred Dorfman turns to the people on either side of him and
whispers, obviously wondering who the hell this guy is.
The cops are hesitant to move in. They wait for Fletch to
finish and get out of the light.
Many of you are probably not aware
of Freddie's lifelong commitment to
honoring a profession that frequently
goes unsung -- the police. Many times
Fred used to forsake a night with
his wife and children to go out an
sell tickets for the Policemen's
look at each other, sensing a trick, and start to move in.
going for broke.
Our men in blue are with us today,
and I think we should all extend a
shake of the hand, a slap on the
back and a 'howdy' to them.
moving faster, but impeded by the crowd which rises and
follows Fletch's suggestion.
out of the crowd, still encouraging the crowd.
When was the last time you hugged a
cop? Do it for my good friend Tommy
Lasorda. Doesn't it feel good? Don't
you wish you'd done it long ago?
One cop raises his gun towards Fletch, but the crowd is too
close, too busy. Fletch shakes his hand and slugs him so
hard on the back that he falls over into the crowd.
Let them know how we feel, with a
song. For every cop on every beat in
every city of this great nation.
'For he's a jolly good fellow...'
'For he's a jolly good fellow...'
The crowd sings along the rest of the verse. Fletch looks
back to the kitchen entrance at the police who are swallowed
in a sea of congratulations and singing. Fletch takes his
time strolling out of the kitchen.
INT. LAX - DAY
Fletch is at the Pan Am counter, talking with a reservation
Yes sir, you are confirmed on Flight
306 to Rio tomorrow evening at 11
PM. First Class.
Would you like me to change anything?
So he's going. Uh... are there any
other tickets charged to the same
We'd have no way of knowing that,
Hmm. It's just that there are some
other people from my office going on
this trip and... is there anyone in
the seat next to me?
The clerk checks the computer.
Yes, there is. Cavanaugh.
Fletch shakes his head. He's never heard of him.
Never heard of him. Thanks anyway.
You mean her.
Sally Ann Cavanaugh. Oh wait, she
couldn't work in your office, she's
not from around here.
Fletch walks off and we follow him.
She's from Utah.
EXT. PROVO AIRPORT - DAY
as Fletch emerges from the Rent-A-Car office and drives off.
EXT. PROVO STREET - DAY
A lower-middle-class area, one that seems to be sliding fast --
the plans are scraggly, the houses need paint.
Fletch's rental pulls up over the curb onto the sidewalk.
Fletch gets out, checks a piece of paper, and goes up the
steps to a dark-shingled two-story house.
TOP OF STEPS
Fletch looks at the name over the doorbell.
written in smeared ink: "CAVANAUGH".
rings the doorbell. It sounds like a fire alarm in the quiet.
Nobody answers. Fletch tries the door. It opens. Fletch hums
the old "Dragnet" theme.
still humming the theme.
FLETCH's POINT OF VIEW - LIVING ROOM
The shelves are bare. Furniture is in place.
Fletch enters the kitchen, and opens the refrigerator. Inside
is a can of coffee, and some vegetables. Fletch leaves the
kitchen and heads for the bedroom. We follow him as he enters
Fletch opens the closet. It's bare. He pulls open the drawers.
Fletch gets down and looks under the bed.
Who the hell are you?
In his surprise, Fletch bangs his head as he starts up.
At the door stands a gruff-looking Man in a red and black
hunter's jacket, overalls, and a hat with earflaps. He holds
Fletch gets up.
The door was unlocked.
I work for the landlord. He told me
to watch out for the place.
I commend him on his choice.
I commend him on his choice
The Man stares at him, holding the gun. He's not the brightest
guy in the world, and Fletch has already caught on to that.
I was supposed to meet Mrs. Cavanaugh.
Who are you?
Don Corleone. I'm a cousin of Mrs.
The Man just stares at Fletch. Fletch starts to move ever so
slightly, testing his freedom of movement.
Where is she?
She moved out?
The Man nods and cocks the weapon. Fletch stops his tentative
movements and just looks around the room
I spoke to her last week. She didn't
She moved out.
So you're saying she moved out.
This morning? Christ. We had so much
to talk about. Moe Green is out of
the Tropicana, and my sons, Michael
and Fredo, are taking over.
The Man continues to gaze unblinkingly at Fletch, holding
What did you want under the bed?
Mattress police. There are no tags
on the mattress. I'm going to have
to take you downtown. Please give me
I'm calling the cops. This is for
I'm her cousin.
Tell the cops.
Go ahead. Call them. Better tie your
The man looks down at his shoelaces. Fletch kicks the gun
out of his hand and runs through the house.
Fletch runs out of the house and jumps into his car.
Fletch pulls out. The rear window is suddenly blown away.
I'm getting real tired of all this
EXT. PROVO PIG FARM
Fletch pulls up, gets out of the car and addresses the couple
sitting on the porch of the house.
(nods toward car)
They oughta recall these things. One
bump, the whole window goes.
Sitting on the porch is a couple in
their late sixties, whom we are about
to learn are Alan Stanwyk's parents --
Marvin and Velma.
(approaching the steps)
Are you Mr. Marvin Stanwyk?
I'm Harry S. Truman from Casewell
Harry S. Truman?
My parents were great fans of the
Isn't that nice. Good man. Showed
the Japs a thing or two.
Sure did. Dropped the big one on
Dropped two big ones. Real fighter.
You're in the insurance line, Harry?
Well, I'm fully covered.
I don't doubt it, Mr. Stanwyk.
Actually, my company is the sub-
insurer of the subsidiary carriers
of a policy held by Alan Stanwyk,
who I believe is your son.
Yes. Where you from, Harry?
California. San Berdoo. Utah's part
of my route. Can I ask you a few
Come on in.
INT. MARVIN AND VELMA'S LIVING ROOM
Fletch and the Stanwyks face each other on couches that flank
the fireplace. Fletch has a clipboard on which he will take
First, a couple of routine things:
are you and you wife currently alive?
Marvin just stares at him.
Regulations, Mr. Stanwyk. And you
and your wife, named....
Velma. You and Velma are the parents
of Alan Stanwyk, Beverly Hills,
California, executive vice president
of Boyd Aviation?
Now, the last time you saw your son
Oh, about ten days ago.
Fletch is taken aback.
Ten days ago?
That's right. Alan comes by every
three weeks or so.
This is all news to Fletch, but he covers his surprise.
Isn't that nice. Since when?
Since he moved to L.A.
Fletch is very interested in all this.
Forgive me now for seeming personal,
but we understand that there is a
lady friend he sees here in Provo.
What the hell does this have to do
Trust me, sir. It's a comprehensive
Well, you can forget about that lady
friend business, Alan's the most
loyal husband a girl could have. He
dotes on that bride of his.
Cute young thing, too.
His bride. Cute as a button.
You've met her?
Well, of course we have. He brings
her with him.
Fletch is getting very puzzled and very concerned about all
Has Alan ever mentioned the name
Sally Ann Cavanaugh?
Marvin and Velma exchange the oddest of glances between them.
Boy, what the hell's the matter with
Then he has.
Course he has. That's his wife.
You could knock Fletch over with a straw. Again, he quickly
Of course, his wife's name is Sally
(starting to sweat a
Do you happen to have a picture of
Alan and his wife?
Oh, we've got lots of pictures. Let
me show you some.
Velma rummages through a family album on a side table as
Fletch tried to sort all this out in his mind. She brings a
photo over to him. He looks at it.
INSERT - PHOTO
It's a wedding photo of Alan and a woman we have not seen.
She is brunette and quite unlike Gail. Alan wears a similar
shit-eating grin, and makes a similar thumbs-up gesture to
the wedding photo with Gail that Fletch saw in Boyd's office.
And they're still married... Alan
and Sally Ann.
Of course they are.
She's cute as a button.
How long have they been married?
Lets see, it was before he moved to
L.A... four years April.
Mrs. Stanwyk, may I borrow this
picture. I promise to send it back
to you. It's routine, really. The
actuarial people need to --
Oh, that's all right, I've got lots
more. Want to see the reception?
No, thank you.
How about Marvin's sixty-fifth
INT. PROVO MOTEL ROOM
Fletch is on the phone.
Frank told you that?
INT. NEWSROOM - MORGUE
Larry is on the phone.
I overheard it. He thinks you're
completely out of control, he said
he was gonna can you as soon as he
got the story. If I were you, I'd
just chuck it, Fletch. Screw him.
Let him eat three full pages on
You kidding? I got an unbelievable
story here, Lar. Un-believable. Jesus.
It's the cops, I know it. The Chief!
And they're all over Frank.
I just thought... sure.
(takes out pad and
Sally Ann Cavanaugh.
Check every hotel in L.A. Start with
the ones near the airport. Yeah.
He's about to leave the country with
her. Thanks, Lar.
INT. MOTEL BATHROOM - LATER
Fletch is in the shower, lipsynching to the radio. Elvis is
singing, "All Shook Up."
'welluh bless my soul whatsuh wrong
with me? I'ma itchin' like a man
Inuh fuzzy tree...'
The phone rings. Fletch gets out, throws on a towel and picks
up a phone mounted over the crapper.
Yeah... No kidding. The Marriott at
LAX. Sonofabitch... Checked in this
morning. Great. Thanks a million.
And call Gail Stanwyk at the Racquet
Club. Tell her I have to meet her
tonight. Eight o'clock at the club.
Urgent and confidential. Thanks.
INT. PLANE - NIGHT
Fletch is sitting in a semi-deserted flight on his way back
home. He is hunched over an airline meal, eating with his
right hand and turning in his mini recorder with his left.
But as he pushed the button down, the tape pops out. He
fumbles it back in, and then pushes another button.
(Fletch's voice playing
Day three on the beach. Fat Sam still
hasn't moved, and --
(stopping the machine)
What's wrong with my life?
He starts it right this time.
Question: Why does a man marry a
millionaire's daughter in Beverly
Hills if he is already married to a
girl who lives in a crappy one bedroom
apartment in Utah? Answer: Three
million dollars. Big Question: What's
with Stanwyk and Cummings? I don't
know. Bigger Question: Why does
Stanwyk want me to kill him?
He takes a spoonful of airline food, chewing meditatively.
Biggest Question: Why do I eat this
(to passing stewardess)
Miss, I believe this has already
EXT. MRS. STANWYK'S CABANA - NIGHT
Fletch knocks on the door, and a tensely white-faced Mrs.
Stanwyk quickly lets him in and shuts the door behind him.
I want you to know that dramatic
phone calls about secret meetings
scare the shit out of me.
He can sense she is unusually upset.
What's wrong, Gail?
I decided I was going to tell my
husband about you today.
But first I called the Hall of Records
in Provo. They checked on the deed.
You're telling the truth. A minute
later Alan came in the room and asked
me why I was shaking.
Fletch waits anxiously to hear if she told Alan about him.
So I told him... I told him I was
just cold or something.
Fletch sighs with relief.
I've never lied to him before.
(chokes back a sob)
It's the first time he's ever lied
to me. He was just as convincing as
when he says 'I love you.'
I think you better sit down.
Oh God, I hate things that start
She sits in a chair. he hands her the wedding photo.
I got this from Alan's parents. By
the way, they see him all the time.
First she looks at Fletch with puzzlement. Then, she looks
at the photo and can't seem to decide what to think of it.
But she knows it's bad.
What is this....
I checked. There was no divorce.
Are you telling me my husband is a
I'm telling you he's not your husband
She is stunned.
And they're leaving the country
I don't have all the pieces yet, but
I'm close. I'll know tomorrow.
I'm calling the police. Right now.
You can't do that.
Don't tell me I can't --
They're trying to kill me!
She is taken aback by that, but there is a determination in
Your twenty-four hours are up, Fletch.
She starts for the phone, but he stops her.
You're going to have to trust me,
Gail. You have to. Now listen to me:
he's expecting you to go to your
meeting tomorrow night. Do it. Stay
out of the house.
There is a long beat.
He puts his arms around her and holds her tight against him.
After a few seconds she raises her head and turns the hug
into a kiss. Then the kiss turns passionate.
sails across the surf.
EXT. BEACH - DAY - WIDER
The usual scene -- a mix of teeny-boppers, junkies and
surfers. Into the f.g. step a couple of "surfers." They're
wearing wet suits and carrying surfboards, but they're
obviously cops. They sit down. Across the beach, a Sufi,
dressed in a turban and flowing garments, crosses the sand.
A Sufi junkie.
The cops laugh derisively and turn their attention else-where.
CLOSER ON SUFI
It's Fletch. he's got a beard pasted on, and nervously scans
FLETCH'S POINT OF VIEW - GUMMY
is seated on a towel.
Fletch sits near, but not next to, Gummy.
Gummy looks around.
I'm the Sufi.
Don't call me Fletch. Don't look at
me. Lie back down. We'll talk.
Cops are here. I can smell them.
They're after me. Lie down, Gum.
Gummy lies back down.
Why are they after you?
Because I'm a newspaper reporter and
I'm nailing Chief Cummings as the
source for drugs on the beach. You're
in big trouble, Gummy.
Gummy sits up.
Sit back down.
Gummy lies down again.
Fat Sam is turning state's evidence.
He wrote me a nice deposition. He
says he just received the drugs. You
did the selling.
I didn't sell nothing! I didn't sell
nothing! I just carried the drugs
from the Chief to Sam.
Sure you did.
Fletch, I never sold nothing.
Fletch gets up and adjusts his flowing robes.
Can't do a thing with this robe. One
more question, Gum... don't look at
Gummy lies back down.
Where does the Chief get the drugs?
I dunno. Somewhere in South America,
Rio de Janeiro, maybe?
Maybe, Fletch. Is that Brazil?
Wait here for me, Gummy.
Gummy looks questioningly at him.
It's the only way you'll be safe.
Fletch crosses the sand, heads for "Fat Sam's".
Sam is reading the National Review. He looks up, sees Fletch
approaching, and grins.
You don't know me.
I'm serious, Sam.
What, the heat here?
The two surfer boys?
Thought so. What for?
For me. I'm a reporter, Sam. I'm
breaking the drug story and I got
the chief red-handed. Gummy gave me
You gonna nail the chief?
I'm gonna nail the chief. And you
can help or --
Oh, I'll help, Fletch. I'm a slave
to that sonofabitch. He busted me,
third offense, gave me a choice:
Work for him or do fifteen long. All
I get out of this is free snort.
You don't have a piece of the action?
Noooo. Free snort. That's it.
(hands him a card)
Wait five minutes, and go to my
office. You'll get federal protection
Gonna need it. That boy is dangerous.
You find the source?
Gum thought Brazil.
Rio. Know how he gets it in the
country? Some big shot airline
executive flies it in on company
jets. Very impressive operation,
Fletch. Very impressive.
INT. NEWSPAPER - CITY ROOM
Fletch parades through the city room, still in his Sufi getup.
He takes off the beard and heads for Frank Walker's office.
Fat Sam and Gummy, looking like fish out of water, follow
Fletch marches in with Sam and Gummy. Walker gawks at him.
Fletch takes off the turban.
I'm quitting, Frank. As of midnight
(stares at Fat Sam
Who the hell are they?
This is Fat Sam, and this is Gummy.
(hands two sheets of
paper to Walker)
Their statements, naming Chief
Cummings as the numero uno drug pusher
from here to Oxnard. I want them to
have federal protection under the
Walker just stares at the sheets.
Jesus H. Christ.
Fletch, this is the greatest.
He's some reporter, this guy.
I'm out, Frank. You lost faith in
Fletch, I got nervous. Please....
Fletch takes off his robe and drops it to the floor. Beneath
the robes he's wearing cutoffs and a Bob McAdoo t-shirt.
I'm going to write the story. Just
hold the last couple of paragraphs
till ten o'clock tonight.
Fletch leaves the office.
(to Fat Sam and Gummy)
Make yourselves comfortable, guys,
but don't leave the office.
Fletch heads for his office. Walker follows.
Fletch doesn't answer.
Fletch enters the office and kicks his door closed. Walker
Fletch, you want an apology?
You were going to can me, right?
I was upset.
I'm sick of this place. I'm going to
try out for the Lakers. They need a
Fletch sits down and turns on his word processor, ignoring
EXT. STANWYK HOUSE - NIGHT
Fletch parks his Olds halfway up on the sidewalk, and gets
out. He climbs over the gates of the Stanwyk home, and drops
down inside. He lands on the grass, trots around the
shrubbery, heads toward the garage, and checks his watch.
It's five minutes before eight.
INT. STANWYK'S GARAGE
The jaguar is parked just where it is supposed to be, and
the key is in the ignition. Fletch thinks for a moment and
looks around. He sees a pile of torn rags on the ground. He
removes the key from the ignition and opens the trunk.
Six large gasoline cans and more rags.
Another piece of the puzzle fits in
Fletch reaches the rear of the house. He peers inside.
FLETCH'S POINT OF VIEW - STANWYK
is in the library, sitting patiently at his desk.
approaches the French doors and enters.
Alan rises from his desk to greet him. His hair is combed
like Fletch's. We can see that beneath his sports jacket he
is wearing a Magic Johnson t-shirt and jeans.
I like your outfit. You got the fifty
grand and the plane ticket?
Stanwyk nods toward a small briefcase in the corner. Fletch
eyes it quickly, and just as quickly looks back at Stanwyk
who just stands there by his desk.
Why don't you check it out for
yourself, Mr. Nugent?
Because I trust you, Alan. By the
way, the name's Fletcher. I.M.
Fletcher. I write a newspaper column
under the name Jane Doe.
Fletch holds out an envelope.
Read this, please.
Wait a second --
Cut the crap and read it.
Stanwyk unfolds the paper.
Unless my people hear differently,
this letter goes out at midnight.
We see that it is addressed to:
CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD
'Dear Sir: Alan Stanwyk murdered me
tonight. The charred remains found
by the police in the Jaguar are mine,
not his. Mr. Stanwyk, using my name
and passport, boarded Pan Am Flight
306 for Rio, where he intends to
establish residence with --'
He stares at Fletch.
He is lifting Stanwyk's two attaché
Pretty hefty. Keep reading.
'...with his legal wife, the former
Sally Ann Cavanaugh.'
Stanwyk stops. He's stunned, and not about to read anymore
GAIL'S VOICE (O.S.)
Keep reading, Alan.
Stanwyk spins to the doorway.
standing in the doorway.
Don't worry, I can take it.
You shouldn't be here.
I want to hear this.
Fletch takes the letter from Alan.
He doesn't read my stuff well.
'Sally Ann and Alan were married
four years ago and never divorced,
making Stanwyk a bigamist even in
Utah. Stanwyk is also traveling with
three million dollars in cash, the
result of Gail Stanwyk's conversion
of Boyd Aviation stock. Mrs. Stanwyk
believed the money was to be used to
purchase property in Utah, but it
wasn't; a fact that can be confirmed
by realtor James Swarthout of Provo.'
That was stupid, Alan.
I'd have been long gone.
'Sally Ann can confirm all this when
the police pick her up at the Airport
Mr. Stanwyk blanches. Fletch continues.
'By the way, Alan is a very big drug
smuggler, but you can read all about
that in tomorrow's paper. Sincerely
yours, I.M. Fletcher. P.S. Have a
Alan mulls over all this for a few seconds, then smiles
Bravo, Mr. Fletcher.
The thing that really tipped it off
for me was something your wife said
to me while we were in bed together.
Stanwyk shoots a surprised look at Gail. She returns it with
an innocent shrug.
And what was that?
How similar in build you and I are.
Then I figured it. You bump me off,
throw me in the car, and burn me up.
My God, Alan, you really are an
asshole, aren't you?
Now it is Alan's turn to shrug innocently.
Yes, I suppose I am. But I'm not a
Mr. Stanwyk reaches into his desk and pulls out his gun, and
levels it at Fletch.
I was already prepared to commit one
murder. What makes you think I won't
(her bravado deflated)
'Whoops?' What do you mean 'whoops?'
Don't say 'whoops.'
I mean, by the time your story gets
published, I'll be on the beach. I
understand extradition from Rio is
very complicated. I'll bet for two
murders it's even more so.
That is a lighter, isn't it?
Just then, the French doors swing open, and Chief Cummings
Thank God, the police.
What the hell are you doing here?
Put the gun down, Alan. I'll take
care of them.
Stanwyk lowers the gun.
I thought you had this all figured
out. Good going 'Irwin.'
Don't ever call me 'Irwin,' okay?
I've got it all under control, Jerry.
You can go now.
Under control? You idiot. You didn't
know who he was?
During the following dialogues, Fletch starts nudging the
fireplace's gas lighter jet key with his foot.
Fat Sam left the beach today. So did
Gummy. It began to occur to me that
some things are beginning to happen
that maybe I should be aware of.
I said I'll take care of it. Now, a
man of your position shouldn't be a
part of what's about to go down. So
go home and I'll call you tomorrow.
What, 'long distance?' I couldn't
help but hear you say something about
Rio, Alan. You're not leaving with
the eight hundred thousand dollars I
staked you for the next load, are
Whoa. Well, you two obviously have a
lot to talk over, so we'll go catch
the last ten minutes of Dynasty.
Fletch and Gail actually start to leave, but Cummings draws
his gun and fires over their heads. They dive for the floor,
landing on the side of the fireplace. Fletch palms a Zippo
lighter from his pocket.
Jerry, you're simply going to have
to trust me. I've got a foolproof
way to get rid of this guy and now
you're jeopardizing everything.
Your 'foolproof' way is going to
land my ass on the front page while
you're basking in Rio.
...with your money.
Cummings turns his head momentarily to consider what Fletch
has said, and Stanwyk takes advantage of the distraction to
go for his gun. But he is too slow. Cummings shoots once,
striking Stanwyk in the chest, killing him instantly.
Gail screams in horror. Cummings turns to Fletch.
This one's going to be even more
(striking the Zippo)
Go ahead. Make my evening.
Fletch hurls the lighter into the fireplace, causing a great
whoosh of flames. Cummings throws his hands up in front of
his face and Fletch leaps at him, wrestling him to the ground.
Cummings is the stronger of the two, and just as he starts
to gain dominance over Fletch, Gail Stanwyk staggers to her
feet, picks up her husband's tennis racket in it's wooden
brace, and slams it against Cummings' head with all her might.
The Chief is knocked out.
Fletch lies there, panting, trying to catch his breath. He
looks up at Gail, still holding the racket, and staring at
Alan's body. Fletch hustles her out of the room.
I'm calling the police. Then I'm
leaving. You wait here for them.
Where are you going?
Away. I think it might take you a
while to get your life back together.
You don't need me around.
(indicates the library)
Don't go back in there.
He starts to leave. She calls after him.
(still holding the
I really creamed the sonofabitch,
You sure did.
EXT. RIO DE JANEIRO - DAY
With Sugarloaf Mountain in the b.g., Fletch lies in a lounge
chair, sipping an exotic drink, watching the cavorting
lovelies and playing his battered Casio. This is obviously
at some very expensive beach club or hotel, as witnessed by
the uniformed servant who brings a telephone.
Your call is come through.
(to the phone)
Larry? It's Fletch.
(pause, looks around)
Well, it's not 'Fat Sam's', but...
any port in a storm.
Oh, tell Frank I need a couple of
months. The fifty grand's lasting
longer than I thought.
He pauses again to listen to Larry, but sees something O.S.
that takes over his attention. he doesn't wait for Larry to
finish what she's saying.
I gotta go, Lar.
He hangs up and stands. We see that Gail has just walked up
to him. The way they look at each other indicates they have
not seen each other for awhile, and her arrival is a surprise
John Ultramalensky, right?
God, I haven't seen you since the
Gee, I must have been shit-faced at
your wedding, I don't --
Not mine, stupid. Yours.
What are you doing here?
They start walking down the beach. We stay right with them.
I couldn't sit home and play the
mournful widow anymore, and the police
didn't need me, so I tried watching
a Lakers game on TV, but the announcer
talked to fast and I couldn't
understand a lot of what was
happening, so I figured if I came
down here maybe you could explain
the rules to me, and besides, I missed
He puts his arm around her, as we watch them leave us behind
and walk off down the beach.
Basketball, of course, was invented
in France, and is played with a large
ball, two tongue depressors and a
Fletch ad-libs just like Chevy Chase would as they walk
further away down the beach until we...
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