"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 ]

"THE INSIDER"

Written by

Eric Roth & Michael Mann

11/5/99



FADE IN:

All we can see is black filling the screen... Black on
black...

INT. A JEEP, LEBANON - DAY

And we're in a speeding SOVIET JEEP... Two men in front,
shouldering assault rifles. HEZBOLLAH SOLDIERS... And there
are three MEN in the back. A middle-aged Man wearing a tired
suit and tinted sunglasses trying to hold on. And on either
side of him, two Men, blindfolded. The man on one side is in
his forties, hands pressed in the pockets of a well-travelled
black-leather jacket... A stocky man, with the edge of a
J.D. Salinger character, he's seen everything at least once.
But even he has lost some of his self-confidence, here,
turning his head, sensing the wind, a blast of Arabic music
that disappears behind him... He's LOWELL BERGMAN. On the
other side of the man in the tired suit is a lanky Man with
a voltmeter around his neck, NORMAN.

EXT. THE BEQA'A VALLEY, BAALBEK, LEBANON - DAY

The Jeep races up narrow winding streets of a Lebanese
village. It's shadowed by a Jeep in front, and in back, each
carrying personnel armed with AK's and a few RPG's... And in
the third Jeep are two blindfolded, not very threatening
Lebanese soldiers. And as the speeding convoy passes a
captured Israeli Armored Personnel Carrier covered with Arabic
graffiti, looking down on them from huge murals are the stern
visages of the Ayatollah Khomeini, and a Hezbollah religious
leader, the Sheikh Fadlallah... And, suddenly the convoy
skids to a stop... And blindfolded Lowell and Norman are
roughly taken out, and pushed, stumbling, through the cloud
of dust without sight... The lanky cameraman is stopped,
told to wait, while Lowell is pushed past armed men guarding
a small stone house, and inside...

INT. A HOUSE IN LEBANON - DAY

A round-faced Man in his mid-forties, with large-framed
glasses, black hair and a grey-black beard, wearing a
dullbend, a turban, sits informally at a kitchen table...
It's the Sheikh Fadlallah whose face stares out at us from
walls. A Gunman cradling an AK-47 sits in an incongruous
purple armchair in a corner. A torn poster of the Seychelles
is on one wall. Another Gunman stands by a window. Lowell is
sat down in a chair at the kitchen table...

THE SHEIKH
Coffee?

LOWELL
Yeah... Thank you.

THE SHEIKH
How have you liked your stay?

LOWELL
(droll)
What I've seen... I've liked.

The Sheikh smiles. And the smile passes as quickly as it
came. A steaming cup of coffee in a small Arabic demitasse
is put down.

THE SHEIKH
Please to explain, why I should agree
to interview... with pro-Zionist
American media?

LOWELL
Because I think Hezbollah is trying
to broaden into a political party
right now. So you care about what
you're thought of in America. And in
America, at this moment in time,
Hezbollah does not have a face.
(confident)
That's why.

And we've first realized this man is not a hostage; he's
come here voluntarily.

THE SHEIKH
Perhaps you prove journalism
objectivity and I see the questions
first. Then I decide if I grant the
interview.

LOWELL
(blunt)
No. We don't do that.
(beat)
You've seen "60 Minutes" and Mike
Wallace. So you know our reputation
for integrity and objectivity. You
also know we are the highest-rated,
most-respected, TV-magazine news
show in America.

The Sheikh quietly looks out his glasses at him, studying
him. And Lowell "closes":

LOWELL
So. Mr. Wallace. Should he get on a
plane or not?

The Sheikh thinks it over and then...

THE SHEIKH
Tell him I will see him day after
tomorrow.

LOWELL
That's good. That works.
(after a beat)
Uh, you know, I want to ask you
something... I know it sounds odd...
but...

It's quiet... too quiet...

LOWELL
Hello, Sheikh...?
(no answer)
Hello, Sheikh...?

Silence. He hesitates, starts to lift his blindfold... He
lifts it. And he sees the Sheikh, and his gunmen, are gone.

The house empty. Only his Cameraman, the lanky man, left
there, standing by the door still in his blindfold...

LOWELL
Norman.

NORMAN
What? What?

LOWELL
Take your blindfold off.

The lanky man does and we see the cameraman is Asian-American.

LOWELL
(sarcastic)
Welcome to the world.

Norman gives Lowell an ironic look and tests the local current
at an electrical outlet.

NORMAN
Fluctuating all over the place.
Anywhere we shoot, here, it's gonna
be portable gennies and we'll run
cable...

Lowell nods and opens the curtains from this commanding
height. Baalbek and the Beqa'a Valley below gold-domed
mosques. A moment of triumph. He dials his cell phone...

MIKE WALLACE'S VOICE
(over)
Hello?

LOWELL
(into phone)
Mike, it's me. We're on...

And we hear people laughing and encouraging "go ahead...
open it..."

INT. A LABORATORY, BROWN & WILLIAMSON, LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY -
DAY

We're in a SCIENCE LABORATORY... OUT OF FOCUS LAB TECHNICIANS,
in white lab coats, celebrating a heavyset Black woman's
birthday... Half her presents are opened. Balloons,
incongruous, floating above the lab... And there's a sense
that somebody is watching... And from the waist up, a
disembodied figure comes into FOCUS behind a glass partition,
as if quarantined, isolated, an expressionless MAN in his
late forties, watching them...

INT. JEFFREY WIGAND'S OFFICE - DAY

The office soundproofed, he watches the people laughing,
their lips moving. His hair not yet settled on grey, his
face is changing, always interesting. Born in the Bronx,
educated in Upstate New York, he retains little of the accent
and much of the directness. He's JEFFREY WIGAND. He turns to
resume gathering things from his desk... some technical books,
a medical text on asthma... putting them in his briefcase.
And as he leaves the office, the silent party like a bizarre
mime behind him...

INT. LOBBY, BROWN & WILLIAMSON BUILDING - DAY

Briefcase in hand, Jeffrey appears from the elevator from
ABOVE, from WIDE and in FRONT, his eyes, frozen pools...
And like a bad dream, a broad-shouldered Man, leaning against
the wall near the reception island in a suit he's not
comfortable in, wearing an earphone, saying something into a
lapel microphone after Jeffrey's passed.

INT. WIGAND'S CAR, LOUSIVILLE - DAY

Light mottled through trees reflects off the car window...
Jeffrey's face goes in and out of the tunnel of light and
shadow... down this tasteful, suburban Louisville street of
neat houses and manicured lawns... He pulls into driveway
behind a 3 series BMW. It's a grey French provincial
replica...

INT. THE WIGANDS' HOUSE, FOYER - DAY

Jeffrey comes in and a young Girl, six, is watching television
in the den... BARBARA.

WIGAND
Hi, honey.

BARBARA
Hi, Daddy.

WIGAND
What's new?

BARBARA
Ms. Laufer gave me a star today.

WIGAND
Yeah? What for?

BARBARA
For reading.

He pours himself a drink at a wet bar.

WIGAND
That's great... Little early for
cartoons, isn't it?

BARBARA
Okay.

Dutiful, she shuts off the TV, going upstairs.

BARBARA
Deborah? Debbie?

He looks outside. A Woman is sitting on the back porch
drinking wine, reading a paperback book, drinking wine.

There's something like a Hockney painting about her against
the manicured lawns. Right now the Woman comes in. She's
pretty, tall, languid, reserved, somebody it would be nice
to wear on your arm. LIANE WIGAND. She has an odd delay
between a thought and her speech...

LIANE
Oh, I didn't know you were home...
It's early... Isn't it?

He doesn't say anything...

LIANE
Gotta take Debbie to ballet...

And it all feels suburban, familiar. Suddenly there's a
shout...

BARBARA'S VOICE
(over)
Mommy!

Jeffrey goes quickly up the stairs into...

INT. WIGAND'S HOUSE - DEBORAH'S BEDROOM - DAY

And a little girl, eight, sitting on the floor in a ballet
leotard, her head back, wheezing, her neck muscles contracting
and bulging, her face pale, lips white, and her eyes filled
with fear as rapid, shallow breathing induces a sense of
suffocation. DEBORAH WIGAND is having a severe asthmatic
attack...

WIGAND
Sweetheart, c'mon. C'mon.

BARBARA
She was playing with my Pooh doll
again...

Jeffrey sits her on the side of her bed next to which is a
Nebulizer, an air compressor to deliver medication via a
tube into a circular mouthpiece.

The compressor whirs. Deborah breathes in the medication.

Jeffrey brushes the hair back from her face and wipes
perspiration from her forehead as...

WIGAND
Slow down. Slow down. Slow down.
Breathe deep. Breathe deep. Slow
down, honey. Slow down. Slow down.

Liane rushes in with rolled-up towels, kneels in front of
Deborah, smiling to mask anxiety, and goes into the bathroom
with the towels and turns on full blast the bathtub's hot
water. We don't know why yet...

Deborah's chest heaves. She's scared. Jeffrey gets in front
of her and talks to her to arrest her attention.

WIGAND
Here we go. Deep breaths, deep
breaths.

BARBARA
She was playing with the Pooh doll.

WIGAND
Pooh's dusty, sweetheart... he's
dusty, and you breathed him in, okay?
So what's -- what's happening to you
now is... cells called mast cells
told your lungs "don't breathe any
more of that dust in."
(beat)
...and the airways in your lungs are
like branches. And when the branches
close up, you get an asthmatic attack.
And, we give you medicine, and you
get better. Huh? Okay? You're better
already, aren't you?

And the medication's taking effect and she's calmer.

Liane, hands clutched in her lap, smiles at Deborah. Now she
takes Deborah's hand and exchanges a look with Jeffrey.

Jeffrey's a good father, a natural caregiver.

WIGAND
Okay, baby?

INT. THE WIGANDS' HOUSE, LOUISVILLE - EVENING

Jeffrey, Liane and the two Girls silently eating dinner,
Deborah in a bathrobe.

DEBORAH
Can I go to dance tomorrow? I'm
better...

LIANE
...if you are, then I'll take Barbara
to soccer and take you to dance
after...

WIGAND
I can take her.

LIANE
Don't you have to be at the office?

WIGAND
(instead, getting up)
Is there any more rice...?

LIANE
(nods)
Yes, it's on the stove...

He goes into the kitchen, to the stove, seeing...

LIANE
Do you want more rice?

DEBORAH
Maybe later.

LIANE
How about you?

BARBARA
I'll take some.

WIGAND
Instant rice...?

BARBARA
Can I go over to Janeane's house?

LIANE
I'm sorry, darling, have you seen my
coffee mug...?

WIGAND
Try the car.

And Liane going outside...

EXT. THE WIGANDS' HOUSE - EVENING

She opens Jeffrey's car looking in the front seat at the cup
holders. She turns to leave and sees the backseat filled
with two boxes and the books we saw him take...

LIANE
Uh, what are those boxes?

WIGAND
I'm going to the store. You need
anything?

LIANE
What do you need at the store?

WIGAND
Soy sauce...

LIANE
Right now?

WIGAND
(meaning in the car)
That's my stuff from the office...

LIANE
Why did you take your stuff from the
office?

WIGAND
(simply)
I didn't want to leave it there...

LIANE
(confused)
I don't understand.

WIGAND
(matter of fact)
I got fired this morning... Where
else am I gonna take it?

LIANE
Why? Who said?

WIGAND
(specifically)
Thomas Sandefur...

LIANE
(stunned, fearful)
What are we supposed to do...? What
about our medical coverage; what
about our health? What about our car
payments? The payments on this house?

He looks at her. There's an unspoken moment when it seems
he's desperate for her to ask how he's feeling... But she
doesn't and now there's a wall up and the moment passes...

WIGAND
(a beat, specific)
There's a severance agreement... It
includes cash payouts over time and
continuing medical coverage...
(beat)
Sure you don't need anything?

LIANE
No, thank you.

She's stunned. He leaves. And as Liane's completely still,
her accessories seeming literally to weigh her down, she
wants to ask how he is, how he must be feeling, and she turns
into CAMERA towards him to do that. But he's driven off down
the street.

LIANE
Jeffrey...!

INT. ANOTHER HOUSE IN BAALBEK - DAY

The Sheikh, wearing a fresh white robe and skull cap, comes
into the room...

THE SHEIKH
I am very pleased to receive you as
my guest, Mr. Wallace.

MIKE WALLACE
Thank you for having us...

REVERSE: Norman's camera crew is setting up. MIKE WALLACE is
there. A dangerous combination of intelligence, arrogance,
and celebrity, there's a kinetic quality about him.

Wallace sits across from the Sheikh on a dais of patterned
linoleum in incongruous armchairs against a wallpaper mural
of a French formal garden. A Sound Technician wires the Sheikh
and Mike with microphones. Norman says something to Lowell
and then goes out.

NORMAN
I think I've got a problem with the
gennie. I have to go outside.

LOWELL
(going outside)
Norman...?

Mike turns his chair to face and slides it closer to the
Sheikh's chair. The Head Bodyguard barks something in Arabic.
The Interpreter says something back in Arabic. The Sheikh,
absorbed in his notes for the upcoming interview, ignores
all of this.

INTERPRETER
He says you must not sit so close.

MIKE WALLACE
What?
(re: Bodyguard)
I can't conduct an interview from
back there.

The Bodyguard, bristling at Wallace's tone, barks more
confrontational Arabic.

INTERPRETER
You must move back your chair.

MIKE WALLACE
Will you tell him that when I conduct
an interview, I sit anywhere I damn
please!

INTERPRETER
There is no interview.

As Mike leaps forward, moving inches from the Bodyguard's
face with such sudden ferocity, even the Bodyguard flinches.

MIKE WALLACE
You! I'm talking to you!

More armed men start to enter.

MIKE WALLACE
What the hell do you think I am? A
78-year-old assassin? You think I'm
gonna karate him to death with this
notepad?
(to Interpreter)
Are you interpreting what I'm saying?

INTERPRETER
Yes.

LOWELL
We're there.

MIKE WALLACE
Good, well ask him if Arabic is his
second language.

LOWELL
(to Interpreter)
Don't interpret that!
(to both)
Hold it. Hold it. Hold it! Slow,
slow!!
(to the Sheikh)
Sheikh, do you mind... if you would
just turn your chair a little bit to
face Mr. Wallace?

The Sheikh looks up from his notes, nods, fixes his chair,
goes back to his notes...

LOWELL
Is that okay?

INTERPRETER
Okay.

LOWELL
(Bodyguard assents;
to Mike)
Are you ready? Or you want to keep
fucking around and warm up some
more...?

MIKE WALLACE
No.
(wry)
...that's got my heart started.

They know each other well. Lowell smiles. Wallace sits down.

LOWELL
Alright, Todd, give me the three-
button on Mike, please. Okay. We are
rolling. Okay, Mike.

They roll camera... "60 Minutes"... "Hezbollah"...

MIKE WALLACE
(charming)
Sheikh Fadlallah, thank you so much
for seeing us.
(changes)
Are you a terrorist?

The Sheikh didn't expect the Mike Wallace opening shot between
the eyes. He recovers...

THE SHEIKH
Mr. Wallace, I... am a servant of
God.

That expression of incredulity...

MIKE WALLACE
A servant of God? Really...

Mike, tipping his glasses down while the hostile Gunmen,
cradling weapons, watch him through the doorway...

MIKE WALLACE
Americans believe that you, as an
Islamic fundamentalist, that you are
a leader who contributed to the
bombing of the U.S. Embassy.

The ballsiness of Wallace, asking these questions in this
place, is impressive...

EXT. BERKELEY - LATE MORNING

It's still. A MAIL TRUCK is stopped at an odd angle in the
street outside an older brick house with a bold redwood Big
Sur-like fence on a hillside. Beyond the truck is a forever
view of the Bay. A handle turns. Mail truck door opens.

Mailman, carrying a box, going through the gate. Doorstep.

Box is deposited there. It's quiet again. The BOX sitting
nakedly by the front door...

INT. LOWELL'S HOUSE, BEDROOM, BERKELEY - LATE MORNING

Lowell, in sweat pants and an old tee shirt now, is on the
telephone, still in bed... Newspapers, The New York Times,
The Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, are spread
all over... home as refuge. A tray with large cups of coffee
is on a side table.

LOWELL
...everyone thinks Canadian Mounties
ride horses and rescue ladies from
rapids, Mike. They backed locals in
Oka in a fight with Mohawks over
building a golf course on their burial
site. They beat up protesters at
Kanasake...
(pause)
Where'd you hear that?

The other phone on a nightstand rings... A Woman in her
forties, SHARON TILLER, enters, in a bathrobe, brushing her
teeth. She answers it...

LOWELL
(droll)
Oh, someone took a poll? "Are all
things Canadian boring...?"

SHARON
(to Lowell)
It's Stuart... he's in Mexico City...

LOWELL
Let me call you back...

He takes up the line... listening...

LOWELL
Yeah, Stuart... What New York bank?

A young Man in his early twenties wanders in...

JAKE
Hey Dad... Sharon...

Lowell waves at JAKE, his son.

SHARON
(to Jake)
No classes this morning?

LOWELL
Will he go on-camera and talk about
the Mexico City branch?

JAKE
I don't have to be there until ten-
thirty.

Lowell's son sits on the bed looking at part of a newspaper.

And another young Man, in his early twenties, with long hair
comes strolling in, Sharon's son, JOSIAH.

JOSIAH
Hi Mom, Lowell...

Lowell, still on the phone, waves to him.

SHARON
Hi, sweetheart...

Josiah sits on the bed too, reading the back of the sports
section Jake is reading... Another line rings, Sharon getting
it. The Boys, used to them, get up, and leave...

LOWELL
(into phone)
Will independent sources corroborate
that?

SHARON
Hello? Yeah...

EXT. THE BERKELEY HOUSE - MORNING

The Boys coming out of the house together... And seeing the
BOX by the door...

LOWELL'S SON
(shouts back inside)
Dad, you got a box out here...

And they go out the gate, talking, walking off along the
Berkeley street. The box left waiting by the door.

LOWELL
(looking at her
itinerary)
Let me see this... No, 'cause I gotta
know where you're going at all times.

INT. LOWELL'S HOUSE, BEDROOM, BERKELEY - MORNING

SHARON
(into phone)
I can't... I've got to fly to Boston
tomorrow.

Lowell comes with the box back to bed. He's already unwrapped
it. Inside are stacks of papers... He looks at the box cover.
No return address. An anonymous sender; not unusual for him.
He casually looks through the papers.

SHARON
Two p.m. Great. Bye-bye.
(hangs up)

LOWELL
(reading)
..."ignition propensity?"
(to Sharon)
...you understand any of this...?

He gives her some papers. We see formulas... scientific data
in tables...

SHARON
...no... this looks like a table of
temperatures... Who's this from?

LOWELL
(shrugs)
...it's anonymous. References to
"P.M."
(motions)
It's got to be Philip Morris, huh?

SHARON
I have to take a shower.

As he looks at the papers, Sharon goes into the bathroom...

INT. THE FEDERAL DRUG ADMINISTRATION AGENCY, CAFETERIA,
WASHINGTON - DAY

We see a MAN in his forties, eating a late lunch, getting
paged in a crowded cafeteria. An old 1930's WPA mural on the
wall... His pager goes off...

Doug Oliver walks across the cafeteria to a bank of pay phones
and dials.

INT. LOWELL'S HOUSE, DEN - BERKELEY - MORNING

The phone rings. Lowell picks it up...

LOWELL
Yeah.

DOUG OLIVER
(into phone)
Hi, this is Doug Oliver...

LOWELL
Oh, hi, Doug... it's Lowell. I'm
doing this story on fire safety...
People burning up from falling asleep
smoking. I received a shitload of
scientific papers from inside Philip
Morris... Anonymous. You or anybody
in FDA know someone who can translate
this stuff into English for me?

DOUG OLIVER
(beat)
...uh, yeah...

EXT. A BERKELEY CAFE - CLOSE: PAY PHONE

There's the sound of a phone ringing. PULL BACK to reveal
Lowell outside a cafe with dry cleaning he collected over
one shoulder. A LITTLE GIRL'S VOICE OVER (Deborah's) answers.
"Hello."

LOWELL
Mr. Wigand, please.

There's a whisper... "Someone's calling for Daddy, Mom."

Behind Lowell is a humming Berkeley street. He gestures
familiarly to a Server, who brings out his two take-out
cappuccinos. Lowell nods his thanks, pays...

LOWELL
Thank you, Bob.

LIANE'S VOICE (OVER)
Who's calling?

LOWELL
My name's Lowell Bergman... I'm --

LIANE'S VOICE
Did you say Berman?

LOWELL
No, Bergman... B.E.R.G.M.A.N.... I'm
a producer with "60 Minutes"...

LIANE'S VOICE
"60 Minutes"?

LOWELL
Yeah.

LIANE'S VOICE
"60 Minutes," the television show?

LOWELL
Yes.

Lowell waits for some moments, and...

INT. THE WIGANDS' HOUSE, LOUISVILLE - DAY

LIANE
(on phone)
He doesn't want to talk to you.

EXT./INT. BERKELEY CAFE - DAY

LOWELL
How does he know he doesn't want to
talk to me? He doesn't know what I'm
calling him about...

LIANE'S VOICE
He doesn't care to know.

And she hangs up. Lowell's motionless... And his interest
piqued, he sets down his cleaning. He calls back... The phone
rings and rings... A MACHINE picks it up... Jeffrey Wigand's
Voice: "This is the Wigands'... If you'd like to leave a
message or send a fax, start now..."

INT. THE WIGAND HOUSE, JEFFREY'S OFFICE, LOUISVILLE - DAY

And we see Jeffrey Wigand, sitting at his desk in his office,
working on his computer, hearing Lowell...

LOWELL'S VOICE (OVER)
(on the machine)
This is Lowell Bergman with "60
Minutes"... I'm doing a story on
fire safety and cigarettes... I have
scientific documents from a tobacco
company, and I could use your help
as a consultant explaining these
documents to me... My number is area
code 510-555-0199... I'll be there,
at this number, in 10 minutes.

He hangs up. Jeffrey doesn't react, quietly working on his
computer.

INT. LOWELL'S OFFICE, BERKELEY - DAY

Lowell's restless, waiting... And not getting a call back,
he tries another tact. He writes a FAX, "Please call me at..."
He writes his number down. He sends the Fax. He's still.
It's quiet. And not getting an answer he gets up, starting
to leave the room. And suddenly the fax machine RINGS... He
turns. He reads a message emerging from the machine... "I
can't talk to you..." He's quiet. He writes on a piece of
paper... "Can't talk to me?" "Won't talk to me?" "Don't want
to talk to me...?" As he faxes it back...

INT. THE WIGANDS' HOUSE, OFFICE, LOUISVILLE - DAY

Wigand reading the return fax from Lowell...

INT. LOWELL'S OFFICE, BERKELEY - DAY

Lowell, waiting... The fax machine rings again... He reads
Jeffrey's answer. "Can't." "Won't." "Don't want to..." He's
quiet, more than just interested, now. There's something
beyond intriguing here. He turns. He looks through a stack
of phone books for something... a nationwide 800 directory.
He looks through it and dials Wigand's phone number again...

LOWELL
If you're curious to meet me...

INT. WIGANDS' HOUSE, OFFICE, LOUISVILLE - DAY

Wigand working on his computer... Lowell's VOICE on his
answering machine...

LOWELL'S VOICE
(on machine)
...I'm gonna be in the lobby of the
Seelbach Hotel in Louisville, reading
The New York Times, tomorrow, at
five o'clock...

Lowell clicks off. And as Wigand sits at his computer, giving
no indication what he might do...

INT. THE SEELBACH HOTEL LOBBY, LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY - EARLY

EVENING

An old hotel with faded carpets. Lowell in the lobby reading
a New York Times, waiting... And instead of looking up every
time somebody passes, he looks down at people's shoes. A
pair of black wing tips walking by... A woman's high heels...
A pair of men's tasseled loafers. A lace-up brown. A pair of
tennis shoes. A cordovan wing tip. The pair of tasseled
loafers walking by again... And Lowell looks up...

And the Man in the tasseled loafers, turns away... It's
Jeffrey Wigand in a suit and a tie with a Fortune 500,
corporate-executive bearing... Lowell crosses to the
elevators. Wigand looks around the lobby and follows Lowell
in, and as the doors close...

INT. A HOTEL ROOM, LOUISVILLE - EARLY EVENING

LOWELL
(over)
Have you always lived in Louisville?

Brilliant late afternoon sunlight. We PULL BACK to see
Jeffrey, standing by a window, silently looking outside to
the left... Lowell, cool, waiting, hands in his pockets, in
the middle of the large room...

WIGAND
Mr. Bergman? What did you want me to
consult about?

A sudden KNOCK on the door...

WIGAND
(turns, suspicious)
Who's that?

LOWELL
(wry)
That's room service. They usually
knock first.
(calls)
Come on in... Over here, please.

Room Service brings in a tray with coffee. As Lowell signs
the bill, the Room Service Waiter waiting, looks at Wigand...

Their eyes meet... The Waiter looks away.

LOWELL
Thank you.

And the Waiter leaves...

LOWELL
(pouring)
How do you like your coffee? Black?

WIGAND
Black, black...

Lowell gives him his cup of coffee.

WIGAND
Look, I really don't have that much
time...

LOWELL
(nods)
Is there anything you want to know
about me, Mr. Wigand...?

WIGAND
Like what? Your sign?

Lowell smiles.

WIGAND
I know what I have to know.

LOWELL
Just so I know you know, when I talk
to people in confidence, it stays
that way.

WIGAND
(abruptly)
How did a radical journalist from
Ramparts Magazine end up at CBS?

Lowell looks at him, he does his homework...

LOWELL
I still do the tough stories. "60
Minutes" reaches a lot of people.

Wigand's quiet, measuring him.

WIGAND
(after a beat)
Let me see the documents...

Lowell gives him the box of papers... Wigand sits down, the
box on his lap, quietly looking through them... flips to a
different heading, consults a chart...

WIGAND
...this is a Fire-Safety Product
Study for Philip Morris. Burn rates...
ignition propensity... things of
this nature.
(after a beat)
I could very easily explain this to
you in layman's terms, because it's
from another company...

He puts the papers down...

WIGAND
...but that's as far as I go...

LOWELL
Far as you go where?

WIGAND
(a beat)
This issue is a drop in the bucket.
I can talk to you about what's in
here. But I can't talk to you about
anything else.

And Lowell knows something else is going on here...

WIGAND
(meaning Philip Morris
documents)
I signed a confidentiality agreement.
I honor agreements...

A lot more is going on here... Lowell nods, a good reporter...

WIGAND
Doesn't CBS have confidentiality
agreements, Mr. Bergman?

LOWELL
Between journalists and management,
yes, I believe they do... but I don't
take that seriously.
(after a beat)
Where do you work?

WIGAND
Did work.

LOWELL
(fast)
Did work.

WIGAND
(the bottom line)
How much would I get paid?

LOWELL
That, you have to discuss with CBS
Business Affairs. But, for something
like this, I would say anywhere
between 10, 12 thousand.

Wigand nods "Okay."

WIGAND
Should I just take the documents
now?

LOWELL
If you want to do it.

He turns to leave... Lowell gets the door for him... Wigand
momentarily slows...

WIGAND
I worked as the head of Research and
Development for Brown & Williamson
Tobacco Company. I was a Corporate
Vice President. Mr. Bergman...

And he goes out the door... Lowell's still. Wigand's job
title resonates. Lowell turns to the window, casually looking
into the early evening... and he comes face to face with
what Wigand was staring at, The Brown & Williamson Tobacco
Company Headquarters Building, lit up right across the
street...

INT. CBS, A SCREENING ROOM - DAY

MIKE WALLACE
(on screen)
"President Assad of Syria said that
difficult obstacles remain but that
his country, quote, 'looks forward
to a great, long peace with Israel.'"

TAIL LEADER. THEN BLACK. Suddenly lights come on.

Executive Producer DON HEWITT is suddenly on his feet. A
veritable dervish, in constant motion...

DON HEWITT
(kissing Mike)
It's a Peabody, Mike. When you're
dead and buried, Hezbollah is the
one they're gonna remember you for...

Mike, used to him, ignores him, getting up, turning to leave,
Hewitt on his tail... while...

LOWELL
(to his Editor)
...come in earlier on Mike's Marine
barracks line when he's talking to
Sheikh Mussawi...

MIKE WALLACE
You eating with us?

LOWELL
Yeah.

MIKE WALLACE
Bring a tie so they'll let us in the
front door...

And Lowell gestures for an olive-skinned Woman in her late
thirties, Lowell's assistant, DEBBIE DELUCA, to join them.

The eye contact on the way out says there's something
important he needs to tell her...

EXT. CBS - DAY

There's a blast of NOISE. The City. Lowell, Wallace, Hewitt,
Debbie, enter from the CBS lobby, moving through the
reflections. Lowell is about to say something to Debbie, but
BILL FELLING, Evening News' Assignment Editor, coming the
other way...

LOWELL
Debbie...

FELLING
Hey, Lowell.

Midstream, fast:

LOWELL
Oh, Bill... Main Justice is
investigating a major New York bank.
Laundering narco dollars out of their
Mexico City branch. You want it for
the Evening News?

FELLING
What about you, you got a crew
already?

LOWELL
I'm gonna do a follow-up.

FELLING
Okay.
(leaves)

LOWELL
Catch ya' later.

EXT. 53RD STREET, NEW YORK - DAY

Lowell, crossing...

LOWELL
Debbie...

And, now, as they cross Madison...

LOWELL
(to Debbie; finally)
I want you to get legal onto CORPORATE
CONFIDENTIALITY AGREEMENTS. Boundaries
of their constraint. Kentucky state
law about. I want you to drop
everything.

DEBBIE DELUCA
(cuts in)
Okay.

Hewitt stops to buy a newspaper. He doesn't have change,
Debbie does.

EXT. 55TH STREET (WESTBOUND), NEW YORK - DAY

And Mike, Lowell and Don bang into Michael's restaurant. We
SEE them through the glass, being greeted, people shaking
their hands, escorted by the maitre d' to their table as...

INT. THE BROWN & WILLIAMSON BUILDING, MAIN LOBBY, LOUISVILLE -
DAY

Meanwhile, it's static. Still, frozen. Jeffrey sits in the
RECEPTION AREA of The Brown & Williamson Tobacco Company
headquarters. Complimentary cigarettes are arranged on tables.
A dark quiet. The hush of big business. Standing in the
background by a wall next to the banks of elevators, is an
ever-present Man, another one, with an earphone and lapel
microphone...

UNIFORMED SECURITY
(to Wigand)
Mr. Wigand, you can go up now...

He gets up, crossing to an elevator.

INT. THOMAS SANDEFUR'S OFFICE, BROWN & WILLIAMSON - DAY

THOMAS SANDEFUR
(re: his distraction)
Sorry. I'm accepting an award from
the Retinitis Pigmentosa Foundation.
It's going to kill the rest of my
day.

THOMAS SANDEFUR is absorbed in spreadsheets of regional sales
figures. Dark pouches are under his eyes. He doesn't look
up. He doesn't look healthy. We're in a luxurious office
with a view of Louisville. Jeffrey is waiting in a chair.

Sandefur is Brown & Williamson's CEO. Two LAWYERS, their
briefcases, like weapons, close at hand, sit on a couch.

Their jackets are off. They wear expensive shirts.

THOMAS SANDEFUR
(finishing; looking
up at Jeffrey)
So. You had a chance to play golf?

Surprisingly affable, Sandefur prides himself on his
salesman's sunny manners. He has a mellifluous Georgia
accent...

THOMAS SANDEFUR
(to the Lawyers)
Jeff's a premiere golfer... What are
you, a two handicap?

WIGAND
(precise)
Seven...

THOMAS SANDEFUR
(to lawyer)
And, he gets out there and he has
five strokes on us. He has more
concentration than anybody I've ever
met. It's spooky how he can
concentrate.

WIGAND
I'd rather play than talk about it.
(beat)
What did you want to see me about?
I don't like being back here.

Sandefur smiles, used to him.

THOMAS SANDEFUR
Jeffrey says exactly what's on his
mind. Most people consider what
they're saying... social skills...
Jeffrey just charges right ahead.
(smiles, after a beat)
Now, I know you understood the nature
of the confidentiality portion of
your severance agreement with Brown
& Williamson, Jeff...

WIGAND
Chapter and verse.

THOMAS SANDEFUR
(nods)
Yeah, I know you do...
(beat)
You know, I came up through sales.
One of the reasons I was a great
salesman, was I never made a promise
I couldn't keep.
(beat)
I knew that if I ever broke my promise
I'd suffer the consequence...

And there's a warning behind it...

WIGAND
(contained)
Is that a threat?

THOMAS SANDEFUR
...we worked together for, what was
it, three years...? Now, the work we
did here is confidential, not for
public scrutiny... any more than are
one's family matters...

WIGAND
(quietly)
You threatening my family, now, too?

THOMAS SANDEFUR
Now, don't be paranoid, Jeff.
(a beat)
About the direction of research here,
we may have had our differences of
opinion...

WIGAND
"Research..."
(smile + scorn)
You declare, as a badge of honor,
you don't even know what makes water
boil...

THOMAS SANDEFUR
That's why we hire scientists...

WIGAND
(interrupts, direct)
Okay.
(a beat, honest)
I don't believe you can maintain
corporate integrity without
confidentiality agreements. I was
paid well for my work. The health
and welfare benefits are good. The
severance package is fair. I have no
intention of violating my
confidentiality agreement and
disclosing that which I said I
wouldn't.

THOMAS SANDEFUR
I appreciate all that, Jeff. But,
upon reflection... we've decided to
expand our zone of comfort with you.

And there's a seriousness that weighs heavily on the room...

THOMAS SANDEFUR
So we've drafted a supplement to
your agreement... it broadly defines
and expands in more detail what is
"confidential." Nobody will be able
to say, "Well, hell's bells, Margaret,
I didn't know that was a secret..."
(beat)
We're very serious about protecting
our interests.
(a beat)
We'd like you to sign it.

And he's acutely aware of the threat behind it...

WIGAND
(a beat)
And if I don't?

A LAWYER
(speaking for Sandefur)
If we "arrive" at the conclusion
you're acting in bad faith? We would
terminate, right now, payouts under
your severance package. You and your
family's medical benefits. And
initiate litigation against you, Mr.
Wigand.

WIGAND
Dr. Wigand.

A LAWYER
(a beat)
Dr. Wigand... after you've examined
the document, you will see it is in
your own best interest and you'll
sign it.

Jeffrey slowly turns to face the attorney. And we see on his
face the true nature of this man.

WIGAND
So, what you are saying is: it isn't
enough that you fired me. For no
good reason! Now you question my
integrity? On top of the humiliation
of being fired? You threaten me?!
You threaten my family?!
(beat)
It never crossed my mind not to honor
my agreement...
(turning, to Sandefur)
But I will tell you, Mr. Sandefur,
and Brown & Williamson, too... Fuck
me?
(a beat)
Well, fuck you!!

And with that he gets up, and leaves... And it's quiet...

A LAWYER
I'm not sure he got the message...

THOMAS SANDEFUR
(with total confidence)
Oh, I think he did.

EXT. A PHONE BOOTH, LOUISVILLE - DAY

Wigand picks up the phone and dials.

INT. THE NEW YORK RESTAURANT - DAY

They've finished lunch. Wallace and Hewitt are turned to
talk to Sam Cohn and an older writer as suddenly Lowell's
cell phone rings.

LOWELL
(answering)
Yeah...

WIGAND'S VOICE
(over)
...you fucked me!

LOWELL
Who is this?

EXT. A PHONE BOOTH, LOUISVILLE - DAY

WIGAND
(crazed)
...protect your sources...! You
screwed me! You sold me out!

INT. THE NEW YORK RESTAURANT - DAY

LOWELL
What are you talking about? Where
are you?

EXT. THE PHONE BOOTH, LOUISVILLE - DAY

WIGAND
Fuck you, too!

And he slams down the phone.

INT. THE RESTAURANT, NEW YORK - DAY

Lowell, holding the dead phone in his hand...

EXT. A GOLF DRIVING RANGE, LOUISVILLE - NIGHT

We see a brightly lit, golf driving range, empty, the wet
grass under the lights vibrant, emerald green... A caged
cart, with one big yellow headlight, like some kind of strange
insect, drives across the range, picking up golf balls. And
we see Jeffrey hitting golf balls, driving one after another,
after another... His swing is powerful, angry, a lone golfer,
trying to chill out. He pauses, spent.

Settling down, he exhales. Then, he looks down the way...

And he slows... He sees in the far distance, spot-lit, one
other lone golfer, a Stocky Man, incongruously in a suit and
tie, watching him... And the Man in the suit right then,
with great power and a tremendous follow through drives a
golf ball... The ball slamming into the steel net. And the
lights SUDDENLY go out. The range closing for the night.

The "insect" comes to a stop. And it's quiet, dark. Jeffrey
gathers up his clubs. He crosses, his golf shoes, the metal
cleats, clicking on the pavement, toward the PARKING LOT.

And there's the sound of the clicking of golf shoes behind
him. He turns. And the stocky Man in the suit, carrying a
golf bag walking some distance behind him, staring at him.

Jeffrey comes to the parking lot. It's empty. Just Jeffrey's
car, and despite all the empty spaces, another car, purposely
or otherwise, parked right next to his. He crosses to his
car, getting in...

INT. WIGAND'S CAR - NIGHT

He drops the three clubs in the rear seat and settles behind
the wheel. He turns. And he sees the Man in the suit has
gotten in the car next to his. They look at each other. The
Man, in no hurry, lights a cigarette, relaxes. It's malevolent
as hell. And Jeffrey, suddenly, grabbing a golf club, jumps
out of his car...

EXT. THE PARKING LOT, DRIVING RANGE, LOUISVILLE - NIGHT

Golf club in hand at the driver side window...

WIGAND
(motioning with the
club, threatening)
Stay away from me! You stay away
from me!

The Man starts his car, and drives off nonplussed. It's still.
And as Jeffrey with the golf club stands in the empty parking
lot, not knowing what's threatening him, something real,
something imaginary...

EXT. THE WIGAND HOUSE, LOUISVILLE - WIDE SHOT: WIGANDS'
HOUSE - EARLY MORNING

A violent rain's falling. And we see Jeffrey coming out of
the house holding an umbrella over his little Girls. They
start towards the car. There's the sound of a car door
shutting. Liane, carrying lunch boxes, comes after them...

LIANE
Jeffrey, you forgot their lunches --

She slows, seeing someone. Jeffrey turns: it's Lowell.

He's surprised.

LOWELL
Mrs. Wigand, how do you do?

WIGAND
(to the girls,
protectively)
Jump in, quick, c'mon...

LOWELL
I'm Lowell Bergman. We spoke on the
phone, remember?

The Girls climb in the car. Lowell crosses behind the Audi
around the far side.

LOWELL
C'mere. I want to talk to you.

WIGAND
Good. I want to talk to you.

Jeff closes the door on his daughters and joins Lowell around
the far side of the car.

WIGAND
(confronting him)
What do...

LOWELL
(running over)
I did not burn you. I did not give
you up to anyone!

WIGAND
(continuing)
This is my house... In front of my
wife, my kids?! What business do we
have?

LOWELL
To straighten something out with
you. Right here. Right now.

WIGAND
So, you didn't mention my name? You
haven't talked to anybody about me?

LOWELL
Why am I gonna mention your name?

WIGAND
How did Brown & Williamson know I
spoke to you...?

LOWELL
How the hell do I know about Brown &
Williamson?

WIGAND
It happened after I talked to you. I
do not like coincidences!

LOWELL
And I don't like paranoid accusations!
I'm a journalist. Think. Use your
head. How do I operate as a journalist
by screwing the people who could
provide me with information before
they provided me with it?

WIGAND
(skeptical)
You came all the way down here to
tell me that?

LOWELL
No. I did not. Big Tobacco is a big
story. And you got something important
to say. I can tell.
(a beat, personal)
But, yes. I did. I came all the way
down here to tell you: story, no
story, fuck your story, I don't burn
people.

It starts to rain harder. They look at each other. Jeffrey,
without saying a word, gets in the car. He backs out. Lowell,
left standing in the driveway with Liane in the rain. Liane
goes back into the house. And Lowell starts back across the
street to his car. There's a sound. He turns. Jeffrey's car,
having gone around the corner, has come back and stopped in
the street.

WIGAND
(after a beat)
Ride with me while I take the girls
to school...

Lowell hesitates, then gets into the car in the back seat.

INT. WIGAND'S CAR - MORNING

They drive away. Lowell, incongruously sitting in the back
seat with Barbara. Jeffrey and Deborah in the front seat.

And it's quiet, just the sound of the wipers on the window.

And as Lowell rides with them...

EXT. A RIVERSIDE PARKING LOT IN LOUISVILLE - WIDE REAR SHOT
MORNING

We see the Car's parked in a weed-strewn empty lot. Rain,
pounding on it and the surface of the river beyond...

WIGAND'S VOICE
...and my little girl has acute
asthma... Deborah. My eldest daughter.

INT. WIGAND'S CAR, LOUISVILLE - REAR TWO SHOT - MORNING

The Girls are gone. We enter mid-scene. Lowell's still in
the back seat...

WIGAND
And, I'm unemployed. So I have to
protect my medical coverage.
(the bottom line;
turning to look at
Lowell in the rear
seat)
...so I left them a message this
morning. Their expanded
confidentiality agreement? I will
sign it.

LOWELL
They're afraid of you, aren't they?

WIGAND
They should be.

The sound of the rain...

LOWELL
(after a beat, trying
to make it easier
for him)
Talk to me outside the zone of your
agreement?

WIGAND
(guarded)
Like what?

LOWELL
Like where'd you work before Brown &
Williamson?

WIGAND
(a beat)
Johnson & Johnson. Union Carbide in
Japan. I was general manager and
director of new products. I speak
Japanese. I was a director of
corporate development at Pfizer.
All health-related.
(wry)
What else? Outside the "zone"...?

LOWELL
I don't know... you think the Knicks
are gonna make it through the semi-
finals?

Wigand smiles... as their eyes meet in the rear view mirror.

A subtle connection... It passes...

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. WIGAND'S CAR - WIDE FRONTAL - DAY

Jeff's car in the field, the giant Colgate-Palmolive clock
behind. The rain stopped. Steam rises from the weed strewn
empty lot. Lowell's in the front seat. And we get the feeling
they've been talking for hours...

LOWELL'S VOICE
Just give me an example...

WIGAND
For example. James Burke, the CEO of
Johnson & Johnson... when he found
out that some lunatic had put poison
in Tylenol bottles, he didn't argue
with the FDA... He didn't even wait
for the FDA to tell him. He just
pulled Tylenol off every shelf of
every store right across America.
Instantly. And then he developed the
safety cap... Because, look, as a
CEO, sure, he's gotta be a great
businessman, right? But he's also a
man of science. He's not going to
allow his company... to put on the
shelf... a product that might hurt
people.
(sarcastic)
Not like the Seven Dwarfs...

LOWELL
Seven dwarfs?

WIGAND
The seven CEOs of Big Tobacco...
they got up in front of Congress
that time... it was on television...

LOWELL
...and swore under oath that they
know nothing about addiction,
disease...

WIGAND
It was on C-SPAN. Yeah.

LOWELL
Okay, so, here you are... you go to
work for tobacco.
(after beat)
You come from corporate cultures
where research, really, creative
thinking, these are core values. You
go to tobacco... Tobacco is a sales
culture. Market and sell enormous
volume. Go to a lot of golf
tournaments. The hell with everything
else.
(beat)
What are you doing? Why are you
working for "tobacco" in the first
place?

WIGAND
(deadly honest)
I can't talk about it. The work I
was supposed to do... might have had
some positive effect. I don't know...
it could have been beneficial.
(bitterness there)
Mostly, I got paid a lot. I took the
money. My wife was happy. My kids
had good medical. Good schools. Got
a great house.
(simply)
I mean, what the hell is wrong with
that...?

He looks at Lowell, as if needing validation...

LOWELL
Nothing's wrong with that. That's
it; you're making money... you're
providing for your family? What could
be wrong with that?

It's quiet. After some moments...

WIGAND
I've always thought of myself... as
a man of science. That's what's wrong
with it.

LOWELL
Then... you're in a state of conflict,
Jeff.

Jeffrey doesn't say anything.

LOWELL
Because, look, here's how it lays
out: if you got vital, insider stuff
the American people for their welfare
really do need to know... and you
feel impelled to disclose it and
violate your agreement in doing so,
that's one thing. On the other hand,
if you want to honor this agreement,
then that's simple. You do so. You
say nothing. You do nothing. There's
only one guy who can figure that out
for you. And that's you. All by
yourself.

Lowell's evenhanded... is it too evenhanded? As Wigand
contemplates the edge he's standing on, they're quiet. Then
Wigand sees the time...

WIGAND
I've got to go pick up the girls.
They only had half a day...

Lowell nods. Jeffrey starts the car. The windshield wipers
screech on a dry window. Their eyes meet. As they drive off...
we HOLD on the Colgate-Palmolive Clock.

INT. A KITCHEN AREA, CBS OFFICES, NEW YORK - DAY

We've entered mid-scene... A monitor on a cart plays a 1/2-
inch VCR of a C-SPAN broadcast. Seven CEOs of Big Tobacco...
in front of a bas relief of the American eagle. Each in turn
swears nicotine is not addictive or he doesn't know anything
about health risks, they're not sure, maybe, maybe not, etc...

LOWELL
He referred to this... the Seven
Dwarfs...

MIKE WALLACE
(over)
What "Seven Dwarfs?"

LOWELL
The seven CEOs of Big Tobacco...
Referred to this... Said they should
be afraid of him... I assume, afraid
of what he could reveal.
(to Staff Lawyers)
Now, you tell me. What does this guy
have to say that threatens these
people?

And, now, we see Lowell, Mike Wallace and Debbie DeLuca with
two staff Lawyers, MARK STERN and JOHN HARRIS, sitting around
a workstation used as an improvised eating area.

Beyond them are the "60 MINUTES" offices, workstations, piles
of material, television monitors hanging from the ceiling,
all tuned to CBS programming...

MIKE WALLACE
Well, it isn't "cigarettes are bad
for you"...

LOWELL
Hardly new news.

MIKE WALLACE
No shit.

LOWELL
What's this?

MARK STERN
(re: video)
What that is is tobacco's standard
defense. It's the "we don't know"
litany: "Addiction? We believe not.
Disease? We don't know. We take a
bunch of leaves, roll 'em together.
You smoke 'em. After that? You're on
your own. We don't know."
(beat)
So... tells me nothing.
(beat)
Besides, you'll never get what he's
got.

LOWELL
Why not?

JOHN HARRIS
Because of this guy's confidentiality
agreement, he is never gonna be able
to talk to you.

LOWELL
That's not good enough. This guy is
the top scientist in the number three
tobacco company in America. He's a
corporate officer. You never get
whistle-blowers from Fortune 500
companies. This guy is the ultimate
insider. He's got something to say;
he wants to say it; I want it on "60
Minutes."

JOHN HARRIS
Doesn't matter what he wants.

MIKE WALLACE
Am I missing something here?

JOHN HARRIS
What do you mean, Mike?

MIKE WALLACE
He's got a corporate secrecy
agreement? Give me a break. This is
a public-health issue, like an unsafe
airframe on a passenger jet or...
some company dumping cyanide into
the East River. Issues like that? He
can talk, we can air it. They've got
no right to hide behind a corporate
agreement.
(re: his coffee)
Pass the milk...

JOHN HARRIS
(does)
They don't need the right. They've
got the money.

MARK STERN
The unlimited checkbook. That's how
Big Tobacco wins every time. On
everything. They spend you to death.
$600 million a year in outside legal.
Chadbourne-Parke. Ken Starr's firm,
Kirkland and Ellis. Listen. GM and
Ford, they get nailed after 11 or 12
pick-ups blow up. Right? These clowns
have never... I mean ever...

JOHN HARRIS
Not even once...

MARK STERN
...not even with hundreds of thousands
dying each year from an illness
related to their product... have
ever lost a personal-injury lawsuit.
On this case, they'll issue gag
orders, sue for breach, anticipatory
breach, enjoin him, you, us, his pet
dog, the dog's veterinarian... Tie
him up in litigation for ten of
fifteen years. I'm telling you, they
bat a thousand. Every time. He knows
that. That's why he's not gonna talk
to you...

Lowell's been quiet, thinking about something else... Now...

LOWELL
Okay, let's look through the looking
glass the other way...

MIKE WALLACE
What do you mean?

LOWELL
We got a guy... who wants to talk
but he's constrained.
(beat)
What if he were "compelled"?

MIKE WALLACE
(eating)
Oh, torture? Great ratings.

MARK STERN
What do you mean compelled?

LOWELL
(seriously)
I mean compelled by a Justice
Department, state courts, be a
witness. That would cut through any
confidentiality agreement, wouldn't
it?

MARK STERN
Yeah...

DEBBIE DELUCA
What does that do?

LOWELL
What do you mean, what's it do?

DEBBIE DELUCA
What I mean is, like, how does it
cut through the confidentiality
agreement?

LOWELL
Because he has to reveal it in a
court of law. It's on record, it's
out. It's no secret anymore. So how
can they restrain his speech or
retaliate? It's out in the world...

MARK STERN
(nods)
If you could engineer it into the
court record, you might have
something. They would have a helluva
time trying to restrain his speech
then, wouldn't they?

Pause.

JOHN HARRIS
(still skeptical)
Yeah, but what venue? And where does
he get -- does he have killer
attorneys?

LOWELL
I don't think he's got any attorneys.

MARK STERN
He's gonna need attorneys who aren't
afraid of risking years of litigation.
And millions of dollars of their own
dough in legal costs...

LOWELL
What do you say, Mike? What do you
think?

MIKE WALLACE
(pause)
Even if he gets the defense team,
will he go for it?

INT. A HIGH SCHOOL CAFETERIA, LOUISVILLE - DAY

MRS. WATSON
...you're awfully overqualified, Dr.
Wigand.

The aftermath of a high school lunch. Tables, covered with
litter, as far as the eye can see. And we see Jeffrey sitting
with a formidable Black Woman in her mid-fifties, the High
School Principal, CYNTHIA WATSON, drinking cups of coffee...

WIGAND
(after a beat, awkward)
I'm trying to... start a new career...
I believe I could be a good teacher...

She's quiet. She senses this applicant has a lot on his mind.

MRS. WATSON
Let me give it some thought...

WIGAND
(selling)
...and not a lot of companies in the
health-care field hire ex-tobacco
scientists.

She nods, studying him. They get up.

INT. THE WIGANDS' HOUSE, LOUISVILLE - DAY

The house is nearly empty. Liane, arms folded across her
chest, is quietly standing in the empty living room. Jeffrey
comes down the stairs...

WIGAND
That's it...

And it's quiet. And Liane holds herself, overcome...

LIANE
(beat)
That's where our babies were born...
Debbie took her first steps, right
there... in the grass.

And they're quiet.

LIANE
I didn't plan on this...

Liane looks at him, afraid. And as he moves to hold her.

WIGAND
Hey, hey, hey, c'mon. C'mon. We can
make this work for us. Okay? It's
just... it's a smaller scale.
Simpler... easier... more time. More
time together. More time with the
kids. More time for us, okay? It's
just... Can you imagine me coming
home from some job feeling good at
the end of the day? This is gonna be
better. This is gonna be better.

And instead of this downturn turning them against each other,
it brings them closer together. And as they stand in the
empty house...

INT. THE WIGANDS' NEW HOUSE - DAY

We see unpacked boxes in the small 1970's kitchen. Country-
western music is playing on a radio. And we see Liane busily
putting things away in a cabinet. And, then, stops and looks
out the window. She tightens a knob on a cabinet. There's a
moment of domestic peace for her as she sees...

EXT. THE WIGANDS' NEW HOUSE, THE BACKYARD - DAY

Jeffrey with the Girls in a part of the backyard, kneeling
in the dirt, planting a vegetable garden, putting in some
small tomato trellises. We see the house, now. It's a small,
one story. Deborah sees her mom and waves. It's an image
from the 1950's post-war boom. Liane waves back from behind
the pane of glass...

INT. WIGANDS' HOUSE #2, BEDROOM - LATE NIGHT

Jeffrey's asleep on his side next to Liane, her back to him.

His arm is draped over her, protectively. There's a sound.

He turns. And he sees Barbara in her nightgown, standing in
the doorway...

WIGAND
Hey, baby. What's wrong?

BARBARA
(terrified, whispers)
What's that outside, Daddy?

WIGAND
Did you see somebody or did you hear
them?

BARBARA
I heard them.

WIGAND
Where?

BARBARA
In the backyard.

Fast, soundlessly, he's out of bed into old moccasins and
trousers...

INT. THE WIGANDS' HOUSE, BASEMENT - LATE NIGHT

Jeffrey goes into a corner of the basement, around the corner
from the furnace, where his "office" is now. Unpacked boxes
are on the floor. He fumbles with the combination lock on a
small gun safe, lifts the lid, taking out a hand gun. Barbara
followed him.

WIGAND
Sit at Daddy's desk, okay? Why don't
you just sit up at the desk. Get out
some paper and draw me a picture,
okay? What are you gonna draw me,
baby? An animal, something like that?
You stay down here until Daddy gets
back... alright, Barbara? You stay
down here.

He keeps it hidden from Barbara. He goes up the stairs.

EXT. WIGANDS' HOUSE #2, BACKYARD - LATE NIGHT

It's still. He steps further out onto the lawn with its dark
shrubs and small tree in the corner.

INT. WIGANDS' HOUSE #2, BASEMENT - LATE NIGHT

Meanwhile, Barbara in the basement, starts as the water heater
comes on, scaring her. She goes up the stairs to follow after
her father...

EXT. WIGANDS' HOUSE #2, BACKYARD - LATE NIGHT

Meanwhile, Jeffrey has crossed towards the darker back
corners. Sudden rustling. He spins, gun ready. And the yellow
eyes of a RACCOON stare at him.

WIGAND
(to himself)
You almost got your damn head blown
off...

The raccoon defiantly bares its teeth.

Jeffrey starts to go... but he sees something and stops...

Meanwhile, Barbara has come to the sliding glass door...

Jeffrey sees one of the tomato trellises is crushed, stepped
on... and in the vegetable garden's earth, are distinct,
fresh, deep FOOTPRINTS...

BARBARA'S VOICE
Daddy...

Wigand steps between her and the garden, hiding it...

EXTREMELY CLOSE ON JEFFREY, as he covers, trying to keep
from his daughter the invasion, trying to control his
emotions...

WIGAND
(reassuring her)
It's just a raccoon, baby... nothing.

He crosses to her, putting his arm, around her, walking her
back inside...

WIGAND
They're nocturnal. You know what
that means? That means that they
only come out at nighttime.

He locks the sliding glass door, takes a last look outside.

INT. LOWELL'S HOUSE IN BERKELEY - LATE AT NIGHT

The Phone suddenly RINGS. Lowell asleep, alone... He gets
it...

LOWELL
(sleepy)
Yeah...

INT. WIGANDS' NEW HOUSE, HALLWAY - LATE AT NIGHT

It's dark, save a light from the living room. Liane, in bed,
seemingly sleeping. And we see Jeffrey, just outside their
door in the foyer, sitting on the floor against a curved
wall, a drink at his side on the telephone... A man with no
one to talk to...

WIGAND
(after a beat)
Lowell... Jeffrey Wigand...

INT. LOWELL'S HOUSE, BERKELEY - LATE AT NIGHT

Lowell sits up...

WIGAND'S VOICE
Is it too late?

LOWELL
No. No, it's okay... How's -- how's
the new place?

INT. THE WIGANDS' NEW HOUSE - LATE AT NIGHT

WIGAND
The new place? New.

INT. LOWELL'S HOUSE, BERKELEY - LATE AT NIGHT

LOWELL
(intuiting)
You okay?

WIGAND'S VOICE
Sure.

Lowell knows he isn't...

LOWELL
You know, I was thinking of calling
you tomorrow, anyway.
(beat)
How are your kids handling the new
house?

INT. WIGANDS' NEW HOUSE, LOUISVILLE - LATE AT NIGHT

WIGAND
Good.
(beat)
You have kids?

LOWELL'S VOICE
We have a couple. One's hers, one's
mine. Everybody uses a different
name.
(wry)
Modern marriage.
(beat)
How's Liane?

WIGAND
She's okay.

He looks at Liane for beat. We SEE his POV in medium shot.

Then he moves and sits on the floor in the living room.

WIGAND
Hold on a minute, Lowell...
(after a beat)
...somebody... may be following me.
I don't know. They came on the
property...

LOWELL'S VOICE
What do you mean followed you? Did
you call the police?

WIGAND
I don't want to be paranoid... I
mean, maybe it's a game. Some kind
of mind game.

LOWELL'S VOICE
Well, what do you really think,
though?

WIGAND
I don't know what the fuck I really
think! Are they doing it? Is some
crank doing it? Are they doing it to
make me feel paranoid? Are they doing
it for real and don't give a shit
what I think? I don't know! I don't
fucking know.

And it's quiet again.

INT. LOWELL'S HOUSE, BERKELEY - LATE AT NIGHT

Lowell sitting in bed on the phone, alarmed, sharing Wigand's
fears.

LOWELL
Jeffrey, describe for me in detail
what happened.

INT. WIGANDS' HOUSE, LOUISVILLE - LATE NIGHT

And Jeffrey's emotions are back in check as...

WIGAND
Well, no, look... I mean, there was
a footprint. Forget it. It's probably
not important at all.
(beat)
You know, I got a job now. I'm
teaching high school. Japanese and
Chemistry.
(beat)
So, what were you calling about?

LOWELL'S VOICE
You called me.

He takes another drink...

WIGAND
No, you said you were going to call
me tomorrow. So, what about?

LOWELL
(after a beat)
Oh, yes, yes, yes, I did... I wanted
to talk to you. I wanted to hook up
and talk to you. About what we were
talking about in your car.

WIGAND
...okay.

LOWELL
(after a beat)
Makes you feel good? Putting what
you know to use?

Jeffrey's impressed by Lowell's perceptivity...

WIGAND
How'd you know that, Lowell?

LOWELL
It's obvious, isn't it?

He looks at Liane in the next room, asleep.

LOWELL
Hello. You there

WIGAND
Yeah... Look, thanks for talking.
I'm sorry I woke you up.

LOWELL
It's okay.

Jeffrey hesitates, holding the phone, then he hangs up...
but the phone RINGS right away.

WIGAND
Lowell...?

But there's thick silence.

WIGAND
Who is this? Do not call here! Do
not...

They hang up. And he realizes he's talking to a DIAL TONE.

He hangs up. And as he sits in the patch of light from a
street lamp, the gun in his hand on his lap, to be up all
night guarding his family...

INT. THEIR BEDROOM - LATE NIGHT

And past Liane's sleeping form down the hall into the living
room is her husband, his back to her, sitting in the trapezoid
of light. And as we DOLLY along her side, we come upon her
face and discover she's been up all along and her eyes are
pressed shut, her hands over her ears... her reaction to his
raging on the phone. She's far from "OKAY."

INT. A JAPANESE RESTAURANT, WASHINGTON D.C. - NIGHT

And we see Lowell and Wigand sitting in their stocking feet
at a traditional Japanese table in a private screened room...
A traditionally-dressed Japanese Waitress waiting to take
their order... Wigand conversing with her in Japanese...

The Waitress formally nods, and leaves...

LOWELL
What did you get us?

WIGAND
Tempura...

And Wigand drinks some more saki.

WIGAND
The internet said you did graduate
work in Wisconsin, then went to UC
La Jolla with Professor... Marcus?

LOWELL
Marcuse. Yeah. He was my mentor. He
had a major influence on the New
Left in the late '60s... and on me,
personally.

WIGAND
Next to your father?

LOWELL
My father? What the hell's that got
to do with my father?

WIGAND
Is that why you became a journalist?
Then you get to ask all the questions?

LOWELL
You charge by the hour?

WIGAND
My father was a mechanical engineer...
most ingenious man I ever knew.

LOWELL
Well, my father left us when I was
five-years old. He was not the most
ingenious man I ever knew... Let's
get back to Brown & Williamson. If
you decide to go on "60 Minutes," I
got to know everything about why you
got fired.

WIGAND
Why?

LOWELL
They're gonna dig up stuff from your
past, they're gonna throw it at you.
I got to know what they're gonna
throw. You understand?

WIGAND
(concedes)
I drink. A couple of occasions more
than I should have.
(thinks)
I was cited for shoplifting once.
But it was a mistake...
(hesitant, after a
beat)
I pushed Liane one time. We were
both stressed out because of the
pressure. She went to her mother's.
(out of the blue)
I got fired because when I get angry
I have difficulty censoring myself.
And I don't like to be pushed around!

LOWELL
I'm not pushing you around!
(after a beat)
I'm asking you questions.

WIGAND
I'm just a commodity to you, aren't
I? I could be anything. Right?
Anything worth putting on between
commercials...

LOWELL
(honest)
...to a network, probably, we're all
commodities.
(beat)
To me? You are not a commodity. What
you are is important.

And he's begun to consciously or unconsciously "sell"...

LOWELL
You go public and thirty-million
people hear what you got to say,
nothing, I mean nothing, will ever
be the same again.

Wigand doesn't react.

LOWELL
You believe that?

WIGAND
(skeptical)
No.

LOWELL
You should. Because when you're done,
a judgment is going to go down in
the court of public opinion, my
friend. And that's the power you
have.

WIGAND
You believe that?

LOWELL
I believe that? Yes, I believe that.

WIGAND
You believe that because you get
information out to people... something
happens?

LOWELL
Yes.

WIGAND
Maybe that's just what you've been
telling yourself all these years to
justify having a good job? Having
status? And maybe for the audience,
it's just voyeurism? Something to do
on a Sunday night. And maybe it won't
change a fucking thing. And people
like myself and my family are left
hung out to dry. Used up! Broke,
alone!

LOWELL
Are you talking to me or did somebody
else just walk in here?! I never
abandoned a source!

WIGAND
I don't think you really understand --

LOWELL
(running over)
No, don't evade a choice you gotta
make be questioning my reputation or
"60 Minutes'" with this cheap
skepticism!

WIGAND
I have to put my family's welfare on
the line here, my friend! And what
are you puttin' up? You're puttin'
up words!

LOWELL
Words! While you've been dickin'
around at fucking company golf
tournaments, I been out in the world,
giving my word and backing it up
with action.

Lowell is getting very close, in spite of the value of Wigand,
to telling Jeff to take his story and stick it up his ass.

LOWELL
Now, are you going to go do this
thing, or not?

Wigand abruptly rises...

WIGAND
(surprisingly mild)
I said I'd call the kids before they
went to bed. Onisa...

And turning, he crosses the restaurant. And that's where it
hangs.

INT. A CBS EDITING SUITE, NEW YORK - DAY

And we see we're watching footage in an on-line editing bay
from what we will learn is Lowell's "N.O.P.D. Blue" on police
corruption in New Orleans.

Lowell, TONY BALDO (his editor), Debbie and an intense YOUNG
MAN wearing glasses, an Intern, looking at the cut. All the
police are on horseback, lots of cops on horses. Lowell is
waiting for a call to go through...

LOWELL
The stringer was supposed to be
shooting B-roll on street cops in
New Orleans. What's with all the
horses?

TONY BALDO
Camera guy's got a thing about mounted
police.

LOWELL
(re: horses)
Don't any of these guys ride in cars
or walk?

TONY BALDO
How long did he stay on this?

LOWELL
What was he seeing?

DEBBIE DELUCA
(into phone)
Yes, hello... I'm trying to reach
Mr. Richard Scruggs...

INT. A LEAR JET - DAY

And we see the PILOT, a fit-looking, unassuming man, wearing
aviator glasses, in his late forties. A heavyset Man in his
forties, riding up in the co-pilot's seat we'll come to know
as RON MOTLEY. The Pilot's on a headset... He has a
distinctive Southern accent...

THE PILOT
This is Richard Scruggs...

DEBBIE DELUCA
Could you hold on one second, please?
(to Lowell)
Lowell, I got him on the phone.

LOWELL'S VOICE
Hello, I'm Lowell Bergman.

RICHARD SCRUGGS
Hold on... Mobile approach... this
is Lear November 643. Over.

CONTROL OPERATOR'S VOICE
(over)
Go ahead 643.

RICHARD SCRUGGS
(after a beat)
Request a flight level 220, on a
heading of 284 degrees. Over.
(after a beat)
Mr. Bergman?

LOWELL
Yes, I'm right here. Could you call
me back on a hard line?

RICHARD SCRUGGS
Alright.

LOWELL
Area code 212-555-0199.

RICHARD SCRUGGS
I'll call you then.

INT. A LOUNGE, PRIVATE AVIATION TERMINAL - DAY

Through the window, we see Scruggs' plane being refueled
while Scruggs and Motley in a run-down lounge are talking on
a SPEAKER PHONE with Lowell. They've taken over the
Secretary's office for privacy.

LOWELL
(re: footage)
What do we do with that?

The phone rings.

DEBBIE DELUCA
I don't know.

RICHARD SCRUGGS' VOICE
(over)
Richard Scruggs...

LOWELL
...you filed a lawsuit against tobacco
on behalf of the State of Mississippi,
did you not?

RICHARD SCRUGGS
(nods)
That's right...

LOWELL
(after a beat)
Well, I'm working with someone, now,
who was the former head of research
at Brown & Williamson, a former
corporate officer there.

RICHARD SCRUGGS
What's your interest in this, Mr.
Bergman?

LOWELL
Well, he may tape an interview with
us. And, we believe if his testimony
showed up in a court record first,
it would free him up from his
confidentiality agreement and give
him some protection.

MOTLEY
It could work. If it's public record,
it's public record.

LOWELL
Yeah, and he's going to need legal
representation.

MOTLEY
He sure as hell will.

RICHARD SCRUGGS
(a beat)
Has he decided to go public? Because
let me tell you, we've been doing
this for three years now, and we've
worked with a lot of corporate cases
involving whistle-blowers, so we
know... Big Tobacco will do everything
in their power to stop him. So, is
your man truly committed?

LOWELL
Well, actually, no. Well, he's on
the fence. That's the point.

Scruggs and Motley exchange a look... Motley shrugs...

RICHARD SCRUGGS
Well, we'd certainly be interested
in making his acquaintance, but
without knowing what he's going to
do...

LOWELL
Well, would you want him to call
you? Or, you want to call him? How
do you want to do it?

RICHARD SCRUGGS
(no nonsense)
It would be better if he called us.

LOWELL
Yeah.

RICHARD SCRUGGS
Alright?

LOWELL
Okay. Thank you.

At this moment, these two attorneys are unsold on the prospect
of Jeffrey Wigand. Scruggs disconnects.

LOWELL
Shit...

INT. CBS EDITING SUITE, NEW YORK - DAY

LOWELL
(contemplating phone;
to Debbie re: show)
Oh, we need cops on the street. We
don't need them on horses.

DEBBIE DELUCA
I don't know what he was thinking.

LOWELL
Oh, for God's sake, what has this
guy got, a horse fetish?

DEBBIE DELUCA
Alright, alright.

LOWELL
Get me to New Orleans this afternoon.
I'll shoot the fucking thing myself!

TIGHTEN on mounted New Orleans police at crime scene, herding
crowd.

INT. THE WIGANDS' NEW HOUSE, KITCHEN - TWILIGHT

Liane cooking dinner, making pasta. Ingredients, diced tomato,
basil, are neatly ordered. She's waiting for water to boil.
The kids are doing homework on the round table in the
kitchenette. It's an idle moment. She's dazed-out watching
them.

DEBORAH
What are you cooking?

LIANE
I'm cooking pasta primavera.

DEBORAH
Oh, I love that stuff.

And now she hears from the basement the BELL RING on Jeffrey's
computer. It's a tiny bell, incessant... She crosses to the
basement stairs.

LIANE
I'm going to have to go downstairs.

INT. WIGANDS' NEW HOUSE, BASEMENT OFFICE - NIGHT

Liane down the stairs, approaching Jeffrey's computer. And
she SEES an incoming E-mail icon -- a large letter with wings --
flying repetitively across the screen.

The bell RINGING is louder. She calls-up the E-mail... On
the screen in large RED letters:

WE WILL KILL YOU. WE WILL KILL ALL OF YOU. SHUT THE FUCK UP.

And now Liane is shouting and running up the stairs and...

LIANE
Debbie, Barbara... Debbie!

EXT. THE WIGANDS' HOUSE, LOUISVILLE - EVENING

Jeffrey, having arrived home from work, pulls the mail out
of the mailbox, now stands, frozen, staring at something...
And he sees, standing upright in the back of the mail box,
like a monument of threat, a single hollow point .38 CALIBER
BULLET.

He freezes... And simultaneously...

Liane and the Girls are running toward him... like in a bad
fucking dream. He's looking at them. Liane is saying something
about E-mail, but his slow-motion attention is still arrested
by the statuesque bullet. As they close on him...

EXT. NEW ORLEANS, THE FRENCH QUARTER - NIGHT

And we see Lowell lit by FLASHING POLICE LIGHTS. We're at a
crime scene. Uniformed cops on horseback. Just arrived, the
Cameraman's unloading his gear, preparing to shoot B-roll.

LOWELL
What happened?

COP
Dispatch received a call of shots
fired in the area. Uniforms arrived
on the scene and found this white
male subject shot to death.

LOWELL
Was it gang related?

COP
There's no indication as far as a
tag or an advertisement...

Police moving around as Lowell's cell phone RINGS...

LOWELL
(answering)
Excuse me. Yeah...

INT. WIGANDS' HOUSE, BEDROOM - NIGHT

WIGAND
They're terrorizing us. Death
threats?! To my family? My kids?!

LOWELL'S VOICE
What are you talking about?

WIGAND
Someone put a bullet in my mailbox.

LOWELL
Jeff, call the FBI right away...

WIGAND
They do this with impunity!

LOWELL
Jeff...

WIGAND
They get to go home at night. What
does it cost these people to do this
to us? Nothing?! My girls are crying,
so fuck them! I want to tape! I'm
done thinking about it.

LOWELL'S VOICE
(frustrated)
I heard you. But I got to arrange a
legal defense first. I got to get
you to testify in court, get it on
public record.

WIGAND
(cuts in)
Then hold it off the air until you
got that. But I want to go to New
York. And I want to go on the record.
Right now!

LOWELL
Good. But Jeff...

WIGAND
I'll call them, Lowell.

INT. WIGAND'S HOUSE, LOUISVILLE - NIGHT

And two older, local FBI AGENTS #1 and #2 are sitting with
Jeffrey in his living room...

FBI AGENT #2
Did you handle the round, Mr. Wigand?

WIGAND
Yes, I'm afraid I did.

FBI AGENT #1
We won't be able to lift usable
prints.

FBI AGENT #2
Do you own a gun, Mr. Wigand?

WIGAND
A gun? Yes.

FBI AGENT #2
What caliber is your gun?

WIGAND
What caliber is my gun?

FBI AGENT #2
Yes, sir. What caliber is your gun?

WIGAND
(a dawning realization)
What does that have to do with the
price of tea in China?

Now one of the kids is crying, Liane trying to calm her,
takes her out of the room.

WIGAND
(a beat, realizing)
You think I put that bullet in the
mailbox myself...?

FBI AGENT #2
If we could take a look, Mr. Wigand...

And he gets up... They follow him into the bedroom. He unlocks
the side drawer on his night stand, taking out a gun, giving
it to one of the Agents.

FBI AGENT #1
Why do you keep this gun?

WIGAND
I don't think it's unconstitutional
yet to own a gun. I'm a target
shooter.

FBI AGENT #2
That bullet was for a .38 caliber.
Do you own a .38?

WIGAND
Yes, I do. A .38 Target Master. In
my gun safe downstairs. A .45 Gold
Cup. A .22 target pistol. So what?

FBI AGENT #2
(after a beat)
Do you have a history of emotional
problems, Mr. Wigand?

WIGAND
Yes. Yes, I do.
(beat)
Yes, I get extremely emotional when
assholes put bullets in my mailbox...!

And we hear Liane's voice from downstairs...

LIANE'S VOICE
(upset)
I didn't tell you that so you could
just pick it up and take it away.
Jeffrey!

And we see Liane following FBI Agent #3, coming up the stairs
from the basement, and the Agent is carrying Jeffrey's
computer...

WIGAND
What's going on?

LIANE
I told him that you had an E-mail
death threat that said if you didn't
shut the "F" up, they were going to
kill you...

Agent #3 starts out of the house with the computer followed
by #2. Jeffrey runs out after them.

EXT. THE WIGANDS' HOUSE - NIGHT

WIGAND
(outraged)
You can't take that... It's personal
property...!

FBI AGENT #2 (OR #3)
We have a search warrant, Mr. Wigand.
There's been a death threat.

WIGAND
(after him)
...my files! Personal
correspondence...

Agent #3 ignores him, putting the computer in the trunk of
their car. And FBI Agent #1, the .38 bullet in a baggie,
comes out of the house.

WIGAND
...letters to my brother... my will.

His shoes slip on the grass and he falls. And the FBI are
getting into their car. And NEIGHBORS have come out, watching
them. Liane and the girls, standing halfway down the front
lawn, the neighbors looking at them. She and Jeffrey look at
each other. Will she go to him or not? She goes to him as he
rises...

WIGAND
That computer has everything...

FBI AGENT #2
You alright, Mr. Wigand?

FBI AGENT #1
We need to take a look at your gun
safe, Mr. Wigand.

EXT. NEW ORLEANS, THE FRENCH QUARTER - NIGHT

LOWELL
(interrupts)
I'm telling you, your agents in that
office are acting improperly! Now,
who are they trying to protect?

And we see a Man in his early forties, a neatly-dressed man
who prides himself on his appearance, at his desk in the
Bureau (FBI). BILL ROBERTSON. He's completely distracted,
focused on agent travel orders...

BILL ROBERTSON'S VOICE
(over)
Let me tell you something, Lowell.
Look, look, look. You're talking
about two agents in a regional office
in Louisville. I got the goddamn
Unabomber threatening to blow up
LAX! I gotta move 45 agents from all
over the country into L.A. Alright?
When I get a chance, I'll give it a
look...

LOWELL
(heated)
You better take a good look! Because
I'm getting two things: pissed off
and curious! Now, any of these guys
been offered jobs in corporate
security after they retire? Either
one of those guys have ex-agent pals
already in those jobs? Like, for
instance, their ex-supervisor, who's
already at Brown & Williamson as we
fucking speak?

INT. BILL ROBERTSON'S OFFICE, WASHINGTON - NIGHT

BILL ROBERTSON
(beat)
I'll give it a look.

LOWELL
You're getting my drift?

BILL ROBERTSON
I'll give it a look.

He hangs up.

INT. DINING ROOM, THE FOUR SEASONS HOTEL, NEW YORK - NIGHT

And we slide by some elegant diners to fall onto Lowell and
Mike Wallace with Jeffrey and Liane in the Hotel's dining
room, having ordered dinner.

LOWELL
So, is everything okay?

MIKE WALLACE
How are the rooms? Comfortable?

LIANE
(to Mike)
Yes, very. You know, I enjoy your
work so much... when you're talking
to somebody, I always feel like I'm
right there.

And she laughs...

MIKE WALLACE
Thank you for saying that...

LOWELL
Do you think we could talk about the
taping? Tomorrow's taping, just so
we can get it out of the way and
order...

MIKE WALLACE
Yeah, well, questions will go toward
what work you did there, why you
were fired. And others will deal...

LIANE
(not sure she quite
heard)
...taping?
(beat)
What are you taping?

WIGAND
I'm doing an interview.

LIANE
(whispers)
An interview! Do you know what they
will do to us...! I thought... Sorry.

But she suddenly gets up and leaves, hurrying out of the
dining room. And Jeffrey oddly doesn't move.

LOWELL
(trying to intervene)
Liane, this is a preliminary...
(after a beat)
You didn't tell her we were taping?
What did she think she was coming to
New York for?

WIGAND
...to talk about it. To think about
it. I had a plan to ease her into
it. But, I really -- I didn't know
how to do that...

Jeffrey abruptly crosses to the nearby Bar.

LOWELL
Oh, man.

MIKE WALLACE
Who are these people?

LOWELL
(frustrated)
Ordinary people! Under extraordinary
pressure, Mike. What the hell do you
expect? Grace and consistency?

And Lowell leaves the table. And as Mike Wallace sits at the
table, looking around, wondering what the fuck he's doing
there.

INT. THE BATHROOM, NEW YORK HOTEL - NIGHT

Liane folds her arms protectively across her chest...

INT. A STUDIO, CBS - MORNING

And we see a small TAPING STUDIO separated by flats and black
curtains from other CBS News sets. Cameras are set up.

INT. THE STUDIO, CBS - DAY

And we enter mid-scene on Jeffrey in a more formal demeanor,
sitting in a chair, Mike Wallace sitting across from him,
under the lights, taping an interview. Lowell, off camera.

MIKE WALLACE
You heard Mr. Sandefur say before
Congress that he believed nicotine
was not addictive...?

WIGAND
(nods)
...I believe Mr. Sandefur perjured
himself because I watched those
testimonies very carefully.

Lowell's reaction. Jeffrey's statements are stunning and
powerful revelations... and dangerous ones to make.

MIKE WALLACE
All of us did. There was this whole
line of people... whole line of CEOs
up there all swearing.

WIGAND
Part of the reason I'm here is I
felt that their representation clearly
misstated, at least within Brown &
Williamson's representation, clearly
misstated... what is common language
within the company... we are in the
nicotine delivery business.

MIKE WALLACE
And that's what cigarettes are for...?

WIGAND
A delivery device for nicotine.

MIKE WALLACE
A delivery device for nicotine. Put
it in your mouth, light it up, and
you're gonna get your fix...

WIGAND
You're gonna get your fix...

MIKE WALLACE
You're saying that Brown & Williamson
manipulates and adjusts the nicotine
fix, not by artificially adding
nicotine, but by enhancing the effect
of nicotine through the use of
chemical elements such as ammonia...

WIGAND
(nods)
The process is known as "impact
boosting..." While not spiking
nicotine, they clearly manipulate
it. There's extensive use of this
technology, know as "ammonia
chemistry." It allows for the nicotine
to be more rapidly absorbed in the
lung and therefore affect the brain
and central nervous system.

INT. THE STUDIO, CBS - LATER

WIGAND
The straw that broke the camel's
back for me and really put me in
trouble with Sandefur was a compound
called "coumarin." When I came on
board at B&W, they had tried to
transition from coumarin to a similar
flavor that would give the same taste,
and had been unsuccessful. I wanted
it out immediately. I was told that
it would affect sales, so I should
mind my own business. I constructed
a memo to Mr. Sandefur indicating I
could not in conscience continue
with coumarin in a product that we
now knew, we had documentation, was
similar to coumadin, a lung-specific
carcinogen...

MIKE WALLACE
And you sent the document forward to
Sandefur?

WIGAND
I sent the document forward to
Sandefur. I was told that we would
continue to work on a substitute, we
weren't going to remove it as it
would impact sales, and that that
was his decision.

MIKE WALLACE
In other words, you were charging
Sandefur and Brown & Williamson with
ignoring health considerations
consciously...

WIGAND
Most certainly.

MIKE WALLACE
And on March 24, Thomas Sandefur,
CEO of Brown & Williamson had you
fired. And the reason he gave you?

WIGAND
Poor communication skills.

MIKE WALLACE
And, do you wish you hadn't come
forward? You wish you hadn't blown
the whistle?

WIGAND
Yeah, there are times I wish I hadn't
done it. There are times I feel
compelled to do it. If you asked me
would I do it again? Do I think it's
worth it? Yeah, I think it's worth
it.

INT. A HIGH SCHOOL SCIENCE CLASS, LOUISVILLE - AFTERNOON

Not too many kids paying attention. Meanwhile, Jeffrey has
written his name on the blackboard.

WIGAND
Hi.

KIDS
(in unison)
Hi.

WIGAND
My name is Jeff Wigand. You can call
me Mr. Wigand; you can call me Dr.
Wigand -- I have a Ph.D. in
biochemistry and endocrinology; you
can call me Jeff...
(beat)
Anything else you want to call me...
you'll have to do so in private...
(a few kids smile)
Okay... I find chemistry to be
magical. I find it an adventure. An
exploration into the building blocks
of our physical universe...
(beat)
So, how many of you have taken
chemistry before?

Nobody raises their hands.

WIGAND
(easy smile)
Okay... I've never taught it before,
so we're gonna be fine.

A couple of laughs... And we feel Jeffrey, for the first
time is in a milieu that suits him.

WIGAND
Our first experiment is...
(holds up cigarette
lighter)
...going to be measuring the molecular
weight of butane...

INT. SCRUGGS' OFFICE

Scruggs' office is decorated with watercolors of Phantom
jets and A-6s as Scruggs takes off his glasses...

CHARLENE
He's on line three.

INT. HIGH SCHOOL CORRIDOR

Jeffrey Wigand is on a pay phone in the corridor crowded
with students...

RICHARD SCRUGGS
Hello.

WIGAND
Mr. Scruggs, Jeff Wigand. Lowell
Bergman said I should give you a
call...

INT. SCRUGGS' OFFICE

RICHARD SCRUGGS
My co-counsel, Ron Motley, and I
have filed a lawsuit against the
tobacco industry on behalf of the
State of Mississippi to get the state
reimbursed Medicaid costs for treating
people with smoking-related illness.
(beat)
If you'd be interested in talking to
us, we'd certainly like to talk to
you...

WIGAND
When should we do this?

EXT. WIGAND'S HOUSE #2, LOUISVILLE - TWILIGHT

Jeffrey drives up the block and onto his driveway. Seeing a
MAN in a suit, an ear piece in his ear, disappearing around
the corner of his house, Jeffrey leaps out of the car. But
the front door's open. So instead of chasing after, he runs
inside...

INT. THE WIGAND'S HOUSE, LIVING ROOM - DAY/TWILIGHT

And he sees another Man is in the living room...

WIGAND
Who the hell are you?! What are you
doing in my house?!

And he sees Lowell enter from the dining room...

LOWELL
It's okay, Jeff.

SECURITY GUARD
Mr. Wigand, you need to speak to...

LOWELL
(wry)
It's okay. You got your own security
now...

Wigand catches his breath.

WIGAND
Lowell, I can't afford --

LOWELL
...they "volunteered." A friend owns
a large security company.

TALIFARO
How are you doing, Mr. Wigand? I'm
Jon Talifaro. There'll be three of
us on detail.

LIANE
(crossing through)
I'm going to the store. Please explain
our new "houseguests" to your
children.

And Wigand looks at Lowell... Barbara comes into the living
room and holds onto her father's leg.

WIGAND
I called Richard Scruggs in
Mississippi...

LOWELL
I heard.

WIGAND
I'm going to be a witness for them
in their litigation. So I'm going to
fly to Pascagoula to give a
deposition...

LOWELL
I know. I'm going to go there
tonight...

WIGAND
Did you have a good day?

DEBORAH
Yes, I did. I had a great day.

WIGAND
Coffee, Lowell?

LOWELL
Yeah.
(to kids)
Want to play that game we were playing
before? You know, I think you got it
up to five. I was ahead of you.

She goes over and holds his hand. And as he holds her hand,
seeing what his life has become, he looks up and his glance
connects with Lowell...

INT. THE KITCHEN, THE WIGANDS' HOUSE - NIGHT

We see out the window a Security Guard, incongruous, walking
by. And we see Liane, finished with the dinner dishes,
silently wiping off the sink. There's a pall you could cut
with a knife. A moment, and Jeffrey comes in the kitchen
door from the garden... He stops to wash his hands in the
sink.

LIANE
Please don't wash your hands in the
sink.

WIGAND
Where should I wash them?

LIANE
Use the bathroom.

WIGAND
What's the difference...

LIANE
That's for food.

But he ignores her, washing his hands... And she turns the
water off. He turns it back on. He thinks, then turns it
off. Then she turns it on.

LIANE
Leave it on! Just leave it on, okay?!

And she turns and leaves the room, coldly, all her anger
repressed. For Jeffrey, everything else and now this? The
running faucet.

EXT. THE WIGANDS' HOUSE, LOUISVILLE - LATE NIGHT

The house on the quiet suburban street. A Security Guard,
incongruous, a noticeable bulge where his shoulder holster
is, sitting watch under the porch light on the small front
porch in a metal porch chair.

INT. THE BASEMENT, THE WIGANDS' HOUSE - LATE NIGHT

And we see Jeffrey, unable to sleep, sitting at his desk,
alone in the basement, listening to classical music. He
instinctively turns. And he sees Liane, in her bathrobe, has
come down to sit on the basement stairs. He looks over at
her. And he thinks she's come down to make up. And all she
really wants him to do is say, "I need you..." But he can't...
And like ships that pass in the night, nothing's said. It's
quiet. She puts her hands protectively in her robe pockets.
And she starts to cry...

LIANE
I don't think I can do this... I
want to stand by my husband... I
really do, Jeffrey. But I don't think
I can do this anymore. I am so
sorry...

WIGAND
Can we talk about this when I get
back?

LIANE
Yes... Jeffrey.

She goes back up the stairs. And as Jeffrey sits in the
basement, and the music plays.

INT. THE LOUISVILLE AIRPORT - DAY

We see Jeffrey and his Security Man. He passes a small
Filipino Woman in a nurse's uniform and a Man in clerical
garb, who hands him a small American Flag, asking for
donations. And, now, he passes through the metal detector.

He nods thanks and walks towards us, relaxing, looking behind
every so often to see if anybody is following him. As he
passes Gate 3, he HEARS over his shoulder...

THE MAN
(friendly)
Jeff...?

Jeffrey turns and the Man throws a sheaf of SUBPOENAS at his
chest...

THE MAN
(nasty)
You've been served.

And he turns and walks off. And as Jeffrey looks down at the
subpoenas...

INT. RICHARD SCRUGGS' KITCHEN - 7:00 A.M.

Jeffrey is sitting with Scruggs and Motley in Scruggs' kitchen
around a semi-circular counter. Coffee and sweet rolls. It's
casual. No one's dressed for court. Scruggs has been looking
through the sheaf of subpoenas. About Motley, we sense power
held in reserve.

RICHARD SCRUGGS
Now, what this one is, is a temporary
restraining order, a gag order, issued
by a Kentucky court.

Meanwhile, a movie-star handsome man in shirtsleeves and a
tie, a coffee cup in his hand, enters and sits casually on
the arm of a chair.

RICHARD SCRUGGS
(introducing)
Jeff Wigand, Michael Moore.

MICHAEL MOORE
Good to meet you, Dr. Wigand.

RICHARD SCRUGGS
Mike's our Attorney General down
here.
(to Moore)
I was just explaining to Jeff, they
got a Kentucky court to issue a gag
order to stop his deposition today.

MICHAEL MOORE
Right.

RICHARD SCRUGGS
Now, they tried to get the Mississippi
Court to honor it, but the judge
threw it out...
(to Jeffrey)
However, for you, there is a more
perilous effect to the Kentucky gag
order...

MICHAEL MOORE
(after a beat)
Dr. Wigand, you do understand what
could happen, don't you?

WIGAND
I'm not free to testify... here...?

MOTLEY
That's right. If you violate the
Kentucky order, when you step foot
back in Kentucky, they can find you
in contempt and they can incarcerate
you. And you ought to know that.

And Jeffrey fairly turns white, it's never occurred to him
he might go to jail...

WIGAND
Jail?

RICHARD SCRUGGS
Possibly, yes. That is one of the
possible consequences of your
testifying here today. That's right...

WIGAND
How does one... "go... to... jail?"
What does my family do? Go on welfare?
If my wife has to work? Who's going
to look after the kids? Put food on
the table? My children need me. If
I'm not teaching... there's no
medical... no medical... even on co-
pay, that's like... Tuition...

MICHAEL MOORE
Dr. Wigand, listen, you may not be
able to do this thing. As I understand
from Dick, you're our key witness.
And, I hope you don't withdraw. I
guess we'd all understand if you
did...
(at watch)
Guys, I've got to go. I'm gonna be
late for court. I'll see y'all a
little later. Dr. Wigand, good luck.

He leaves. And Jeffrey's quiet, frightened. Having shaken
the departing Moore's hand, he now turns away from Scruggs
and Motley, thinking about consequences.

RICHARD SCRUGGS
I know what you're facing, Jeff.
And, I think I know how you're
feeling...

Jeffrey's skeptical anybody could know "how it is"...

RICHARD SCRUGGS
(low, personal)
In the Navy I flew A-6's off
carriers... In combat, events have a
duration of seconds, sometimes
minutes... But what you're going
through goes on day in and day out.
Whether you're ready for it or not,
week in, week out... Month after
month after month. Whether you're up
or whether you're down. You're
assaulted psychologically. You're
assaulted financially, which is its
own special kind of violence. Because
it's directed at your kids... what
school can you afford... How will
that affect their lives. You're asking
yourself: Will that limit what they
may become? You feel your whole
family's future's compromised...
held hostage...
(after a beat)
I do know how it is.

EXT. RICHARD SCRUGGS' HOUSE, PASCAGOULA, MISSISSIPPI - DAY

A white, traditional, Southern house, with a veranda and
gables... a large front lawn with weeping willows. And we
see Lowell, hands in his pockets, not an insider or an
outsider, waiting alone on the expansive lawn. The front
door opens.

A Mississippi State Trooper, putting on his round brimmed
hat comes out and crosses the driveway. Then Jeffrey coming
out with Motley. Motley talks to him on the veranda for a
moment and then heads towards his car. Meanwhile, Jeffrey
comes down over to Lowell on the lawn.

And Jeffrey looks off, across the street from the house, at
the Gulf. And we see the street is blockaded by Mississippi
State Police cars. An armed camp. Other men in suits, Lawyers
and state officials, wait. Ron Motley gets in his car and
drives away.

LOWELL
You attract a crowd.

WIGAND
(smiles, wry)
Yeah, great.

LOWELL
I heard about the Kentucky gag
order...

WIGAND
I don't know what to do.

And they're quiet, a breeze of the Gulf ruffling their
coats... He looks out at the water, a cargo container ship
passing by. He watches its slow progress...

And Jeffrey quietly starts to walk off across the lawn, hands
in his pockets, shoulders bent, head down, thinking... And
Richard Scruggs comes out, tying his tie, to wait beside
Lowell...

EXT. COURTHOUSE, CANTY STREET, PASCAGOULA, MISSISSIPPI - DAY

Motley's car parks, and he and an Assistant are approached
by a flurry of media from the parking lot behind us, crossing
Canty Street to intercept him. And we SEE the lot is jammed
with Mercedes-Benzes, Town Cars and limousines belonging to
the 150-200 Big Tobacco, Wall Street lawyers. Some hang out
by their cars, killing time. It's a tailgate party. Beyond
them are trucks and vans with satellite dishes supporting
the media circus. They're all here for Jeff's deposition.
The scale of it dwarfs the plebeian storefront with its sign
"Temporary Jackson County Courthouse"... into which Motley
enters...

EXT. RICHARD SCRUGGS' HOUSE, PASCAGOULA, MISSISSIPPI - DAY

Jeffrey contemplating.

INT. COURTROOM, PASCAGOULA, MISSISSIPPI - DAY

One TOBACCO LAWYER, an Edward Bennett-type while waiting is
on his cell phone...

TOBACCO LAWYER
(into phone)
Hold on a second...
(seeing Motley enter;
to Jr. Lawyer)
Would you please ask Mr. Motley if
he expects his witness to appear or
not...?

JR. LAWYER crosses to Motley.

EXT. SCRUGGS' HOUSE, DOCK - DAY

Jeffrey alone on the jetty, looking out to sea. Trying to
decide, trying to untangle identity and consequence. A moment.
He turns, crossing to Lowell and Scruggs. Then it's the three
men, standing on the lawn. Time seems to slow... all of them
aware it's a critical decision, personally and historically...

WIGAND
(severely conflicted)
I can't seem to find... the criteria
to decide. It's too big a decision
to make without being resolved... in
my own mind.

They're quiet. Jeffrey, getting nowhere. Lowell offers...

LOWELL
Maybe things have changed...

Long pause on Jeffrey as he contemplates his future. And
something just got resolved. He asks Lowell, rhetorically...

WIGAND
What's changed?

LOWELL
(unsure)
You mean... since this morning?

WIGAND
No. I mean since whenever...

Nothing's changed. Wigand looks at them. He found his own
answer.

WIGAND
Fuck it. Let's go to court.

And Dick Scruggs and Lowell look at this normal, somewhat
flawed, very courageous man...

RICHARD SCRUGGS
(to unseen staff)
Dr. Wigand would like to leave now.

And there's a sudden flurry of activity. Jeffrey and Scruggs
walk to a Mississippi State Police car. Lowell gets into his
car and drives away, separately. Police, State Officials,
run to their cars. Cars starting, lights flashing, Wigand's
car pulls into position.

INT. SCRUGGS' CAR - JEFFREY - DAY

in the back seat with Scruggs. The driver's a State Policeman.
Jeffrey watches the small town of empty lots, old buildings,
a 1930's Deco school pass by. It's all heightened, especially
vivid to his eyes somehow. And he exhales heavily to calm
himself, to focus...

EXT. THE COURTHOUSE, PASCAGOULA, MISSISSIPPI - DAY

Some of the Tobacco Lawyers, their jackets off, still hanging
across Canty Street by their cars. And now they see the police
lights turning, coming around a corner, moving towards the
courthouse. The caravan stops. First, Scruggs gets out. A
moment, then Jeffrey appears. And the Reporters pounce on
Jeffrey, cameras flashing... Mississippi Police leading him
through the crowd... Moore appears at courtroom door (already
there). And as he's whisked away into the courtroom.

INT. THE COURTROOM, PASCAGOULA, MISSISSIPPI - DAY

The tobacco lawyers become dead quiet. Cell phones are hung
up. Newspapers are put away. Jackets are donned. This is now
very serious business. Motley meets Jeffrey, all eyes on
him.

MOTLEY
Okay, Jeff, I'm going to sit you
down at that table over there. I'm
going to start as fast as possible.
I don't want to give them a chance
to get another restraining order,
okay? Let's go.

MICHAEL MOORE
Good luck, Doc.

Motley calmly motions Wigand to take a chair. He settles in.

STENOGRAPHER
Please stand. Raise your right hand...
Do you swear to tell the truth, the
whole truth and nothing but the truth,
so help you God?

WIGAND
I do.

STENOGRAPHER
You may be seated.

MOTLEY
You understand, Dr. Wigand, you are
under oath. This is a sworn
deposition. There's no judge. It's
not a trial.
(understatement of
the century)
Will you state your name for the
record.

WIGAND
(after a beat)
Jeffrey S. Wigand.

He spells it for them...

EXT. THE COURTHOUSE, PASCAGOULA, MISSISSIPPI - DAY

Lowell, waiting with the other journalists...

PHOTOGRAPHER
Got any idea what's going on in there?

LOWELL
No, I don't have a clue.

INT. THE COURTROOM, PASCAGOULA, MISSISSIPPI - DAY

Motley still conducting the inquiry... And the tobacco
lawyers, like a pack of dogs, waiting to pounce...

WIGAND
That is correct.

MOTLEY
In other words, it acts as a drug?

TOBACCO LAWYER
Object to the form of the question!

MOTLEY
It acts as a drug on the body?

TOBACCO LAWYER
Object to the form!

MOTLEY
It acts as a...

TOBACCO LAWYER
Object!

MOTLEY
There an echo in here? Your
objection's been recorded. She typed
it into her little machine over there.
It's on the record. So now I'll
proceed with my deposition of my
witness. Does it act as a drug?

TOBACCO LAWYER
(shouts)
Dr. Wigand. I am instructing you...
(to Wigand)
...not to answer that question in
accordance to the terms of the
contractual obligations undertaken
by you not to disclose any information
about your work at the Brown &
Williamson Tobacco Company. And in
accordance with the force and effect
of the temporary restraining order
that has been entered against you to
by the court in the State of Kentucky!
That means you don't talk!
(beat)
Mr. Motley, we have rights, here...

MOTLEY
(explodes)
Oh, you got rights and lefts! Ups
and downs and middles! So what?! You
don't get to instruct anything around
here! This is not North Carolina,
not South Carolina nor Kentucky.
This is the sovereign State of
Mississippi's proceeding. Wipe that
smirk off your face! Dr. Wigand's
deposition will be part of this
record. And I'm going to take my
witness' testimony! Whether the hell
you like it or not!
(to Wigand)
Answer the question, Dr...

WIGAND
(slams it home)
Yes. It produces a physiological
response, which meets the definition
of a drug! Nicotine is associated
with impact, with satisfaction. It
has a pharmacological effect that
crosses the blood-brain barrier
intact...

MOTLEY
Thank you, Doctor. Thank you.

EXT. THE SCRUGGS' HOUSE, PASCAGOULA, MISSISSIPPI - NIGHT

Lowell stands on the porch looking out at the rain. There's
a slight sound. He turns. And Jeffrey's come outside. He
stands leaning on the porch railing, looking out at the rain
and windswept trees. They're quiet. They share a look.

They nod to each other. The smallest nod of accomplishment.

And they're there on the porch, alone, outside the house in
Pascagoula, Mississippi.

INT. CBS EDITING ROOM, NEW YORK - AFTERNOON

We see Lowell, unusually buoyant in the same clothes as
yesterday. He's working with Tony Baldo on a cut of the show,
the net result of his architecture of events, his combination
of persuasion and integrity...

We see on the Avid monitor a single of Jeffrey...

WIGAND
(on monitor)
"Part of the reason I'm here is I
felt that their representation
clearly, at least within..."

LOWELL
Run that Sandefur piece on "nicotine's
not addictive." Run that on-camera.
Then cut right to Wigand with "I
believe they perjured..." Then go
wide to the CEOs all taking the oath.
Back on Jeff and play the pause after
the word "felt" on the B-side...

Widen to include Debbie DeLuca, the Intern, two other Editors,
Felling. They have gathered behind Lowell in the doorway.
This is a hot show and it's generated excitement among
Lowell's co-workers. And while Baldo cuts, we see...

INT. CBS, CORRIDOR OUTSIDE EDITING ROOM - DAY

...the group has spilled out the doorway, watching Lowell's
story come together. Beyond them, approaching, is Mike
Wallace, coming to work...

BILL FELLING
(leaving)
...helluva show, Mike. Explosive
material.

People separate as Mike pushes in. Lowell sees Mike. While
Tony Baldo is making the edits on the Avid...

LOWELL
(to Mike)
It went great in Mississippi, Mike.

MIKE WALLACE
Good.

Don Hewitt enters from the corridor without jacket.

DON HEWITT
I heard Wigand's deposition got
sealed.

LOWELL
Yeah, they argued he was going to
reveal the secret formula of "Kools"
to the world.
(seriously)
"Sealed" doesn't hurt Scruggs'
litigation, and since we're the only
ones with the story, I believe we're
sitting on an exclusive.

MIKE WALLACE
I like that...

DON HEWITT
Corporate has some questions. We've
got a meeting at Black Rock first
thing in the morning.

LOWELL
When's the air date?

DEBBIE DELUCA
(to Lowell)
Excuse me, Lowell. Sharon's on line
3.

LOWELL
Tell her I'll call her back in ten.

BALDO
Here we go.

Baldo now runs Lowell's edit of the above sequence. And we
SEE THE IMMEDIATE IMPACT.

Sandefur in CLOSE-UP states "I believe that nicotine is not
addictive." Wigand in matching CLOSE-UP states "I believe he
perjured himself." Then all seven CEOs of Big Tobacco stand
up and raise their hands and take an oath in front of Congress
to tell the truth while Wallace says "...the whole line of
people, the whole line of CEO's up there, all swearing that."
And Wigand says off-screen with great emphasis "Part of the
reason I'm here is I FELT"... and it cuts to Wigand for a
pause that makes the word "FELT" resound and, then, he goes
on to say on-camera "that their representation clearly
misstated what they commonly knew. We're a nicotine delivery
business." We see the combination of art and truth woven
into impact that has an audacity that's stirring and
beautiful...

EXT. LOUISVILLE - DUSK

We see an anonymous rental car moving through downtown
Louisville.

INT. THE RENTAL CAR - NIGHT

It's Jeffrey in the front seat, driven by one of his security
men. He's coming home under the cover of darkness. They pass
a FLAMING CAR on the freeway shoulder. Jeffrey turns to stare
at it. They turn off onto city streets and stop at a light.
Jeffrey's nervous. Jeffrey instinctively turns. A Police Car
stops alongside. The Policeman looks at him.

Eyes meet. Jeffrey looks away. The signal takes forever.

It changes. And as the Police Car moves off...

EXT. WIGANDS' HOUSE - NIGHT

The car's stopped at the curb. Jeffrey gets out. He starts
up the walk, and the Second Security Guard quickly crosses
the lawn to intercept him...

And Jeff opens the door going inside, anxious to be home...

INT. WIGANDS' HOUSE - NIGHT

The house is quiet, dark. Too quiet. Too dark. Something
isn't right. He crosses to one of the children's rooms...
the master bedroom. The lights are on. Both rooms are empty.
He goes into the kitchen and sees a note that's been left
for him... He opens it. He sits heavily in a chair, reading
the note. The Security Guard peers... And as Jeffrey sits in
the silent house, the hero come home...

INT. THE CONFERENCE ROOM, CBS - DAY

We're at a table. Mike and Lowell laugh at some joke while
HELEN CAPERELLI, CBS GENERAL COUNSEL, enters with the
President of CBS News, ERIC KLUSTER.

HELEN CAPERELLI
Shall I send for coffee? Sorry I'm
late.

MIKE WALLACE
No, no, we're fine...

HELEN CAPERELLI
Are you sure?

Also there is Don Hewitt. Caperelli is too well put together,
too practiced, too polished.

They nod. They don't need coffee.

HELEN CAPERELLI
Alright, I thought we'd get together
because there's a legal concept that
has been getting some new attention
recently, "tortious interference."
(beat)
If two people have an agreement,
like a confidentiality agreement,
and one of them breaks it because
they are induced to do so by a 3rd
party, the 3rd party can be sued for
damages for interfering... hence,
"tortious interference."

DON HEWITT
Interfering? That's what we do.

LOWELL
I think what we're trying to tell
you is that it happens all the time.
This is a news organization. People
are always telling us things they
shouldn't. We have to verify if it's
true and in the public interest...
And if it is, we air it.

MIKE WALLACE
After we corroborate it. That's why
we've never lost a lawsuit and run a
classy show.
(impatient, now)
Anything else?

HELEN CAPERELLI
And "60 Minutes'" verification is
exact. And precise. And I don't think
it would hurt to make sure you're
right... on this one.

DON HEWITT
Why? You think we have liability?
What's the CBS News' position, Eric?

ERIC KLUSTER
There's a possibility, it's rather
remote...

HELEN CAPERELLI
But one we have to check on, Mike.
I've retained outside counsel to do
exactly that. On a segment, I might
add, that's already rife with
problems...

LOWELL
What does that mean? "Rife with --
?"

HELEN CAPERELLI
I'm told unusual promises were made
to Wigand.

LOWELL
No, only that we would hold the story
until it was safe for him...

HELEN CAPERELLI
(cuts in)
And, I'm told there are questions as
to our "star witness'" veracity.

LOWELL
(trying to control
his anger)
His "veracity" was good enough for
the State of Mississippi.

HELEN CAPERELLI
(historic)
Our standards have to be higher than
anyone else's, because we are the
standard... for everyone else...

Whatever that means...

LOWELL
(wry)
Well, as a "standard"... I'll hang
with "is the guy telling the truth?"

HELEN CAPERELLI
Well, with tortious interference,
I'm afraid... the greater the truth,
the greater the damage.

LOWELL
Come again?

HELEN CAPERELLI
They own the information he's
disclosing. The truer it is, the
greater the damage to them. If he
lied, he didn't disclose their
information. And the damages are
smaller.

LOWELL
Is this "Alice in Wonderland"?

MIKE WALLACE
You said "on this one." What about
"this one"?

And Lowell hears a changed note in Wallace's voice. After a
beat.

HELEN CAPERELLI
(familiar, seductive)
If this holds up, and it very well
may not, Mike... but, if it did. And
we aired this segment? And CBS was
sued by Brown & Williamson? I think
we could be at grave risk.

MIKE WALLACE
(a beat)
How grave?

HELEN CAPERELLI
(and she's been waiting
for this)
Well, at the end of the day... because
of your segment... the Brown &
Williamson Tobacco Company... could
own CBS.

As if on cue, the alarm on Helen Caperelli's watch beeps.

She glances at it.

HELEN CAPERELLI
You know, I am sorry. But I'm due
upstairs.

She gets up, gathering her things.

LOWELL
Is CBS corporate telling CBS News do
not go to air with this story?

HELEN CAPERELLI
You're getting ahead of yourself.
We're all in this together. We're
all CBS. We'll find out soon. Thank
you, gentlemen.

And taking up her briefcase, she leaves. Don and Mike rise.

LOWELL
"Tortious interference"? Sounds like
a disease caught by a radio.

DON HEWITT
(to Mike)
Lunch?

MIKE WALLACE
Sure.
(to Lowell)
Don't worry, we call the shots around
here.

Lowell finds himself angry and alone. He crosses to the window
and pulls out his cell phone and goes to work.

DEBBIE DELUCA'S VOICE
(over)
Hello?

LOWELL
(into phone)
Debbie, it's me. I want you to check
some filings and give me John Wilson's
number at Bear-Stern.

INT. CBS, HEWITT'S OFFICE - DAY

LOWELL
What now?

DON HEWITT
Kluster's coming over.

Hewitt's on an unrelated call. Lowell crosses to look out
the window, a manila folder (the filing) under his arm with
whatever he found out, like a bomb, feels distant from these
people. The door opens, and Eric Kluster, the President of
CBS News enters...

ERIC KLUSTER
Hello, Lowell, Mike, Don.

Hewitt hangs up the phone.

ERIC KLUSTER
There has been so much soul searching
about this Wigand, I've decided we
should cut an alternate version of
the show without his interview.

LOWELL
So, what happened to Ms. Caperelli's
checking with outside counsel first,
all that crap?

ERIC KLUSTER
That's happening. And, hopefully we
won't have to use the alternate, but
we should have it in the can.

LOWELL
I'm not touching my film...

ERIC KLUSTER
I'm afraid you are.

LOWELL
No, I'm not...

ERIC KLUSTER
We're doing this with or without
you, Lowell. If you like, I can assign
another producer to edit your show...

Lowell's stunned. He looks like he's been hit with a hammer...

LOWELL
Since when has the paragon of
investigative journalism allowed
lawyers to determine the news content
on "60 Minutes"?

DON HEWITT
It's an alternate version. So what
if we have an alternate version? And
I don't think her being cautious is
so damned unreasonable.

ERIC KLUSTER
(wry)
So, now, if you'll excuse me,
gentlemen, Mr. Rather's been
complaining about his chair again.
(laughter)
As they start to leave...

LOWELL
(mild)
Before you go...

And Lowell takes out...

LOWELL
I discovered this. SEC filing...
(he gets their
attention)
For the sale of the CBS Corporation
to Westinghouse Corporation.

MIKE WALLACE
What?

DON HEWITT
Yeah, I heard rumors.

LOWELL
It's not a rumor. It's a sale.
(rhetorical answer)
If Tisch can unload CBS for $81 a
share to Westinghouse and then is
suddenly threatened with a
multibillion-dollar lawsuit from
Brown & Williamson, that could screw
up the sale, could it not?

ERIC KLUSTER
(serene)
And what are you implying?

LOWELL
(to Kluster)
I'm not implying. I'm quoting. More
vested interests...
(reading from SEC
filing)
"Persons Who Will Profit From This
Merger...
(beat)
Ms. Helen Caperelli, General Counsel
of CBS News, 3.9 million. Mr. Eric
Kluster, President of CBS News, 1.4
million..."

DON HEWITT
Are you suggesting that she and Eric
are influenced by money?

LOWELL
Oh, no, of course they're not
influenced by money. They work for
free. And you are a Volunteer
Executive Producer.

DON HEWITT
CBS does not do that. And, you're
questioning our journalistic
integrity?!

LOWELL
No, I'm questioning your hearing!
You hear "reasonable" and "tortious
interference." I hear... "Potential
Brown & Williamson lawsuit
jeopardizing the sale of CBS to
Westinghouse." I hear... "Shut the
segment down. Cut Wigand loose. Obey
orders. And fuck off...!" That's
what I hear.

DON HEWITT
You're exaggerating!

LOWELL
I am? You pay me to go get guys like
Wigand, to draw him out. To get him
to trust us, to get him to go on
television. I do. I deliver him. He
sits. He talks. He violates his own
fucking confidentiality agreement.
And he's only the key witness in the
biggest public health reform issue,
maybe the biggest, most-expensive
corporate-malfeasance case in U.S.
history. And Jeffrey Wigand, who's
out on a limb, does he go on
television and tell the truth? Yes.
Is it newsworthy? Yes. Are we gonna
air it? Of course not. Why? Because
he's not telling the truth? No.
Because he is telling the truth.
That's why we're not going to air
it. And the more truth he tells, the
worse it gets!

DON HEWITT
You are a fanatic. An anarchist. You
know that? If we can't have a whole
show, then I want half a show rather
than no show. But oh, no, not you.
You won't be satisfied unless you're
putting the company at risk!

LOWELL
C'mon, what are you? And are you a
businessman? Or are you a newsman?!
Because that happens to be what Mike
and I do for a living...

MIKE WALLACE
Lowell.

LOWELL
(runs on)
"Put the corporation at risk"...?
Give me a fucking break!

MIKE WALLACE
Lowell.

LOWELL
These people are putting our whole
reason for doing what we do... on
the line!

MIKE WALLACE
Lowell!

LOWELL
What?

MIKE WALLACE
I'm with Don on this.

And there it is.

EXT. LOWELL'S HOUSE, BERKELEY - AFTERNOON

We see Sharon in a vegetable garden in their side yard...
She turns, seeing him standing behind her...

After a moment. She knows.

SHARON
What's wrong?

LOWELL
They're killing the Wigand
interview...

SHARON
What?!

LOWELL
They're pretending it's process.
Bullshit, it's foregone.

SHARON
(beat)
What are you and Mike going to do?

LOWELL
I'm alone on this...

SHARON
(beat)
Oh, baby...

And the phone RINGS... Sharon goes in the house to get it...

She comes back out...

SHARON
(after a beat)
Jeffrey Wigand...

INT. LOWELL'S OFFICE, BERKELEY - LATE AFTERNOON

LOWELL
Jeffrey...

INT. A HOTEL ROOM, LOUISVILLE - NIGHT

And we see Wigand looking rough, unshaven, sitting on a couch
in a hotel room. And we see his belongings, clothing, some
boxes, a bottle of vodka, his computer, what's left of his
world, are around the room.

LOWELL'S VOICE
Jeffrey, how are you? How's the
family, okay?

WIGAND
There is -- there is no family.

LOWELL'S VOICE
What do you mean there is no family?

WIGAND
Liane has filed for divorce...

INT. LOWELL'S OFFICE, BERKELEY - LATE AFTERNOON

And Lowell's dead quiet.

INT. THE HOTEL ROOM, LOUISVILLE - NIGHT

WIGAND
And, so, I moved out... I see the
girls a couple of days a week...

LOWELL'S VOICE
(concerned)
Where you staying now?

WIGAND
(sarcastic)
Our favorite hotel, honey... I checked
into Room 930. Odd choice? Huh?

And we don't know what he means by that...

INT. LOWELL'S OFFICE, BERKELEY - LATE AFTERNOON

The last of the daylight shadows his office.

LOWELL
(after a beat)
I don't know how to say this, Jeff,
except to just say it right out, so
I'll say it. They do not want to air
it.

WIGAND
(stops)
What?!

LOWELL
B & W may have threatened
litigation... CBS is on the block...
(a beat)
But you, I mean, I know how...

WIGAND
No.

LOWELL
No? No, what?

WIGAND
I do not think that you "know" for
me... what it is to walk in my
shoes...
(beat)
...for my kids to have seen it...
for them to know why I've put them
through what I did... the public
airing of that... the testament to
why I did what I did... you're telling
me is not going to see the light of
day.

Lowell's quiet. And Jeffrey starts to hang up...

LOWELL
Jeff...

And Jeffrey hangs up.

INT. JEFFREY'S HOTEL ROOM, LOUISIANA - (PROCESS) - NIGHT

Jeffrey silently sitting in the chair. We COME AROUND and
see why he's been purposely sitting there. Why he's chosen
this room. Directly across the street is the Brown &
Williamson Building. The lights are on. The building lit up.
And in an upstairs office Brown & Williamson lawyers, moving
around a conference room, talking. And as Jeffrey looks out
the window...

EXT. A SMALL TOWN, UPSTATE NEW YORK - DAY

A peaceful, suburban street. Small houses. A PRIVATE
INVESTIGATOR (P.I.) from IGI, in a raincoat, getting out of
a car, going up the walk. He knocks on the door. Some
moments. A Woman in her late forties, handicapped, in an
electric cart answers the door...

P.I.
Mrs. Wigand?

THE WOMAN
It hasn't been Mrs. Wigand for some
time.

P.I.
Well, I'm an investigator and I was --
I was wondering if I could ask you a
couple of questions about that?

THE WOMAN
Alright...

INT. JOHN SCANLON'S PUBLIC RELATIONS FIRM, A MEDIA ROOM, NEW
YORK - DAY

And on a TELEVISION SCREEN, SUSAN WIGAND, the woman in the
electric cart, giving a taped interview to the P.I....

SUSAN WIGAND
...seven months after we were married
we found out that I had multiple
sclerosis...

We PULL BACK to see John Scanlon and his Staff watching the
tape... His firm's logo, public relations campaigns for some
of his high-profile clients are on the walls. Scanlon's on
the phone talking with somebody as the tape runs...

P.I.'S VOICE
(over; on television)
And, you had a daughter, Diane, with
him, is that correct?

SUSAN WIGAND
(on television)
Yes, in 1973.

JOHN SCANLON
(on the phone,
whispering)
...come on, Tommy Sandefur told me
himself, he's not gonna allow Brown
& Williamson to be demonized to the
American public, so I told Peter
Jennings and I... hold on...

He stops, listening to the videotape...

P.I.'S VOICE
(on television)
Would it be fair to say when he
divorced you he left you in a
precarious situation? You had multiple
sclerosis; you had a small child to
raise.

JOHN SCANLON
(ignoring that part;
to staff)
Mention that part in the executive
summary and in the chapters "First
Wife" and "Estrangement of Daughter."
(beat; into phone)
So, I was telling Pete, I said,
"You've been taken in by this guy...

SUSAN WIGAND
(on television)
Yes...
(beat)
But you have to understand, the
divorce was something that we both
wanted...

JOHN SCANLON
He's a total bullshit artist. He's a
shoplifter. He's a convicted
shoplifter.

And as we end in a sea of documents, affidavits, court
records, all from Louisville, all about Jeffrey. We understand
the war has only been begun...

INT. CBS, "60 MINUTES," CORRIDOR, LOWELL'S OFFICE - MORNING

Lowell, in his office, his door open for anyone to see him,
an immovable force, sitting behind his desk. Hewitt appears
in his doorway...

DON HEWITT
(after a beat, cold)
So, what are you going to do?

LOWELL
Well, what do you think I'm going to
do? Quit in protest? I'm not going
to do that.

DON HEWITT
(surprised)
You're taking "no" for an answer?

LOWELL
No. I'm not going to take "no" for
an answer. No.

DON HEWITT
Then what are you going to do?

Hewitt looks at him...

LOWELL
I'm staying right here. Doing my
job. Fighting to get my show on the
air. You don't like it? Hey, I'll
tell you what... fire my ass...

DON HEWITT
End up in a high-profile lawsuit
with Lowell, the First Amendment
martyr? I don't think so.
(laughs)
Take a look at this... This is a
summary of a dossier that's being
prepared.

And he gives him a copy of it.

DON HEWITT
He would lie about his whole life...?
Who's going to believe him about
anything he says...?
(a beat, and the coup
de grace)
The Wall Street Journal's doing a
major story and I think the Post.
You backed the wrong horse...

He turns and starts off along the hall. As he goes...

DON HEWITT
(his parting shot)
The version without his interview is
going to air the week after next.

Lowell watches him walk away. Debbie enters.

DEBBIE DELUCA
What was that about?

LOWELL
Get me Wigand.

DEBBIE DELUCA
Sure.

LOWELL
...fuck is this? Fuck!

INT. THE PHONE BOOTH, HIGH SCHOOL, LOUISVILLE - DAY

LOWELL'S VOICE
(on the phone, upset)
You never told me you were married
before... that you had a daughter...

And Wigand is in the phone booth at the High School...
students walking by...

WIGAND
(outraged)
Well, how is that any of your
business?! That is not something
that you people need to know!

His voice carries, a student looks over...

INT. LOWELL'S OFFICE - DAY

LOWELL
(frustrated)
Oh, you know what we do or do not
need to know? Since when have you
become a media expert?

INT. THE PHONE BOOTH, LOUISVILLE HIGH SCHOOL - DAY

WIGAND
(upset)
What do you want to do, Lowell, look
up my ass, too...!

And he realizes he's said it too loud, a couple of passing
students stop, looking at him...

INT. LOWELL'S OFFICE, CBS - DAY

LOWELL
Oh, my God.

WIGAND'S VOICE
(after a beat, lowering
his voice, but
contentious)
You're not even on this anymore...
What do you care?

LOWELL
Jeff! Wake the fuck up! Everybody is
on the line here. If they can catch
you in a lie, they can paint
everything with that brush. Do you
understand? Everything you say!

WIGAND
I told the truth!

LOWELL
Everything... you... say! And I can't
defend you, man, with one hand tied
behind my back! Because you keep
from me... what they can discover.
And they will discover everything!
Believe me.

INT. THE PHONE BOOTH, LOUISVILLE HIGH SCHOOL - DAY

Wigand's quiet. He looks out the phone booth. After some
moments...

WIGAND
(meaning his first
wife and their child,
upset)
...I was young. I was young...
confused... We didn't handle it the
right way...

INT. LOWELL'S OFFICE, NEW YORK - DAY

LOWELL
(after a beat)
She sued you for back payments of
child support?

INT. THE PHONE BOOTH, LOUISVILLE HIGH SCHOOL - DAY

WIGAND
She did not sue me. We had a dispute
over money... I settled it, she
dropped the complaint...
(angry)
Any other questions?

And we'll go back and forth...

LOWELL
Yes. Did you lie about being on the
American Judo Team in the Olympics?

WIGAND
What?

LOWELL
Some public relations guy got a hold
of a tape of an interview... where
you're saying you were on the American
Judo Team in the Olympics...?

WIGAND
(explosive)
What kind of shit is this? I was not
on the team, I sparred with the
Olympic Team... okay?

And we see, unbeknownst to Wigand, the P.I. in the raincoat,
who interviewed his ex-wife, coming out of an administration
office, walking towards us along the hallways...

LOWELL
Alright... the ABC Telemarketing
Company?

WIGAND
ABC...?

LOWELL
ABC Telemarketing Company.

WIGAND
(the absurdity)
A can opener! A $39.95 can opener. I
canceled payment... It was junk.
(sarcastic)
You ever bounce a check, Lowell?
You ever look at another woman's
tits? You ever cheat a little on
your taxes?
(a beat, angry)
Whose life, if you look at it under
a microscope, doesn't have any
flaws...?

The P.I. in the raincoat passes Jeffrey, now, and doesn't
even glance at him...

LOWELL
That's the whole point, Jeffrey.
That's the whole point. Anyone's.
Everyone's. They are gonna look under
every rock, dig up every flaw, every
mistake you've ever made. They are
going to distort and exaggerate
everything you've ever done, man.
Don't you understand?

WIGAND
(shouts)
What does this have to do with my
testimony?

LOWELL
That's not the point.

WIGAND
What does this have to do with my
testimony?! I told the truth! It's
valid and true and provable!

LOWELL
That's not the fucking point, whether
you told the truth or not! Hello...?

WIGAND
I told the truth... I told the truth.

And Wigand's quiet, a deep, dark depression. The school bell
RING snaps him out of it...

WIGAND
(after a beat)
I've got to teach class. I've got to
go. I've got to teach class.

LOWELL
(undaunted)
And I've got to refute every fucking
accusation made in this report before
The Wall Street Journal runs.
(a beat)
I am trying to protect you, man!

Wigand's quiet.

WIGAND
(after a beat, the
killer)
Well, I hope you improve your batting
average.

And he SLAMS the phone down. And as he stands in the phone
booth, like a man in a glass booth, all alone...

EXT. CBS BUILDING, ROOFTOP - DAY

ON the door to the roof. It SLAMS open. An enraged Lowell
enters and walks out into the cold rain. Like a prize-
fighter, shoulders hunched against the cold, he buries his
hands in his jacket pockets. He crosses to the edge of the
roof high above the city. He's pissed off. He takes out his
cell phone. He dials... Lowell hears background NOISE...

INT. WALL STREET JOURNAL - NEWS MEETING - DAY

Twenty sub-editors and section heads sit and stand in a clear
area... One of them, a large man, is CHARLIE PHILLIPS on a
cell phone.

CHARLIE PHILLIPS
Hello?

LOWELL'S VOICE
(cautious)
It's Lowell. Are you guys planning
to do a piece on a former top
executive in Big Tobacco?

CHARLIE PHILLIPS
You caught me in a news meeting.

LOWELL
Well, are you or are you not, Charlie?

CHARLIE PHILLIPS
You bet we are. And I can't talk to
you now.

LOWELL
We gotta hook up.

CHARLIE PHILLIPS
Sure. Where?

LOWELL
P.J.'s.

CHARLIE PHILLIPS
I'll be there.

INT. A PHONE BOOTH, NEW YORK - NIGHT

A busy New York street. Light mist. And we see Lowell is on
the phone in a phone booth...

LOWELL
Yeah, I got it. 500 pages of it.
They looked in every corner of this
guy's life... from a spousal abuse
charge, to shoplifting, to a traffic
ticket he got once for running a red
light. It's Terry Lenzner's outfit,
IGI. Jack, listen to me. Their
strategy: discredit this guy, ruin
his reputation in The Wall Street
Journal, and then nobody will ever
listen to what he's got to say about
tobacco. He's dead. Unless I can get
this thing knocked down.

INT. A HOUSE IN SAN FRANCISCO - NIGHT

A townhouse with a commanding view of the Bay. And we see a
broad-shouldered man in his late forties sitting at a desk
on the phone. JACK PALLADINO. His wife, SANDRA SUTHERLAND,
sitting across from him on another phone. They're Private
Investigators...

LOWELL
To make it even a little more
attractive, I don't know if you're
ever gonna get paid.

SANDRA SUTHERLAND
Is there any truth to any of it?

LOWELL
That's a good question. "Is there
any truth to any of it?" I doubt it.

PALLADINO
What's their deadline?

LOWELL
Soon.

Palladinos exchange looks; she nods.

PALLADINO
Fax me the summary.

LOWELL
That's great, Jack.

Lowell hangs up and walks towards us to enter...

INT. BAR - NIGHT

CLOSE on Lowell entering, moving through the crowd of sports
writers, feature writers, sub-editors, etc. He comes upon a
rugged-featured man, JIM COOPER from The New York Times,
sitting next to Charlie.

JIM COOPER
Hey, Lowell.

LOWELL
How are you, Jim?

JIM COOPER
Hey, listen, I hear you guys are
sitting on something sensational
over there.

Lowell looks at Cooper quizzically.

LOWELL
Really? Hi, Joan.

Just then Jim's wife enters. They exchange greetings.

JIM COOPER
Hi, baby.

LOWELL
Catch you later.

Cooper and his wife leave. Charlie and Lowell are alone in
the crowded bar.

LOWELL
When's your deadline?

CHARLIE PHILLIPS
Monday.

LOWELL
Push it.

CHARLIE PHILLIPS
What? Forget it.

LOWELL
It's a smear campaign, Charlie.

CHARLIE PHILLIPS
It's drawn from a selectively
circulated...

LOWELL
(cuts in)
Oh, it's real selective... about as
hard to get a hold of as the Manhattan
phone book.

CHARLIE PHILLIPS
Well, it's authoritative and is
overwhelmingly documented.

LOWELL
And it's bullshit. And if I'm right,
are you going to put the Journal's
reputation behind a story that's
going to blow up in your face?

CHARLIE PHILLIPS
I'll take a look at what you got.
But I'm not moving any deadlines
'cause you say so.

That's the way it lays. In a different, personal tone...

CHARLIE PHILLIPS
Are you all right?

LOWELL
Yeah. Catch you later.

INT. A COFFEE SHOP, LOUISVILLE - DAY

And we see a Policeman sitting at the counter having a cup
of coffee...

SANDRA SUTHERLAND
Officer Murabchick?

He turns as Sandra Sutherland sits at the counter to the
left of him.

SANDRA SUTHERLAND
Officer Muravchick. How are you? I'm
Sandra Sutherland.

POLICEMAN
How do you do?

SANDRA SUTHERLAND
Fine, thank you. I'm doing a
background check. Mind if I sit down?

INT. COURTROOM, LOUISVILLE - LATE AFTERNOON

An older Man is on the bench. He's just recessed his court.

As everybody streams out, going against the tide is Jack
Palladino. He approaches the judge, crossing to a side door...

PALLADINO
Your honor, could I have a word with
you? You presided in a dispute over
support payments...

INT. A COFFEE SHOP, LOUISVILLE - DAY

POLICEMAN
Jeffrey Wigand? Yeah, I cited him.

INT. EDITING ROOM, CBS - DAY

DAN RATHER
(on monitor)
CBS is under criticism, because the
CBS News program "60 Minutes" will
not be presenting an interview...

Lowell's destroying his own work product, taking apart his
creation that we saw earlier to be so impactful. Tony gets a
call as Hewitt enters.

DON HEWITT
What the hell are you doing?

LOWELL
What does it look like I'm doing?
I'm editing.

DON HEWITT
No, not that. I'm talking about the
Associated Press. They got this story
that we pulled this interview and
they talked to Mike and I. Did you
tell them that we were lying?

LOWELL
No. I should have. I told them I
disagreed with you, Mike and Kluster
that this segment is as good as the
original. I'm not lying for you. I'm
not gonna shut up for you. Not on
any of it.

DON HEWITT
Hey! I'm not going to fire you, okay?
Take a vacation. Now!

INT. LOWELL'S OFFICE - EVENING

A suitcase is on the floor. Lowell, finishing packing up his
things from his office.

MIKE WALLACE'S VOICE
(over)
Lowell. I decided to preface Sunday's
show. I did three minutes on the
"Evening News." You'll want to see
it.

(BEAT)
Where you going?

And he sees Wallace has stopped at his door...

LOWELL
I've been banished. In lieu of being
fired.

MIKE WALLACE
(disinterested)
I took off on Tisch. I took off on
corporate. They'll know they're not
going to see everything on Sunday
night...

LOWELL
I don't know. How does that get Wigand
on the air?

MIKE WALLACE
(goes up)
Do me a favor, will you? Spare me,
for God's sake. Get in the real world.
What do you think? I'm going to resign
in protest? To force it on the air?
The answer is "no." I don't plan to
spend the end of my days wandering
in the wilderness of National Public
Radio.
(beat)
That decision I've already made.

VOICE
(from corridor; to
Mike)
It just started, Mike...

Wallace waves Lowell's remark aside and exits. We dwell on
Lowell until he exits...

INT. CBS CORRIDOR - EVENING

...into the hall. Dan Rather introduced Mike. As Lowell exits,
we SEE Hewitt, Kluster and Caperelli outside of Hewitt's
office watching... Lowell, disgusted, takes a cursory look
and moves towards the elevator. But he hears...

MIKE WALLACE'S VOICE
(over)
Where's the rest? Where the hell's
the rest?!!

Lowell turns to see Wallace shouting up at the monitors in
disbelief...

MIKE WALLACE
You cut it! You cut the guts out of
what I said...!

Wallace moves in on Kluster...

ERIC KLUSTER
It was a time consideration, Mike...

MIKE WALLACE
Time? Bullshit! You corporate lackey!
Who told you your incompetent little
fingers had the requisite skills to
edit me! I'm trying to Band-Aid a
situation, here, and you're too dim
to...

HELEN CAPERELLI
(interrupts, familiar)
Mike... Mike... Mike...

MIKE WALLACE
"Mike?"

It was a big mistake. Now, he turns on her. Zeroing in,
getting closer...

MIKE WALLACE
"Mike?" Try "Mr. Wallace." We work
in the same corporation doesn't mean
we work in the same profession. What
are you gonna do now? You gonna
finesse me? Lawyer me some more?
I've been in this profession fifty
fucking years. You and the people
you work for are destroying the most-
respected, the highest-rated, the
most-profitable show on this network!

EXT. THE EAST RIVER - NIGHT

A Range Rover pulls up. Charlie Phillips gets out. He crosses
to Lowell who's been waiting by his own taxi.

LOWELL
Here.

He hands Charlie a folder with the brown notebook inside
that is the partially complete Palladino/Sutherland/Lowell
work product.

LOWELL
These are their leads, their sources.
I want you to have your reporters...

CHARLIE PHILLIPS
Suein Hwang and Milo Geyelin.

LOWELL
Have them make their own calls.
They'll find that these sources have
a different story than the one that's
in the dossier...
(demands)
Push the deadline, Charlie...

Charlie starts looking through the Palladino/
Sutherland/Lowell work product. Meanwhile...

CHARLIE PHILLIPS
I'll push it for a week. Let Milo
and Suein go through it.

INT. WIGANDS' HOUSE #2, KITCHEN - DAY

LIANE
What do you want to buy him for a
gift?

BARBARA
He's into kind of little cars, that...

LIANE
That remote control thing?

BARBARA
Yeah.

LIANE
Alright, we'll do that tomorrow.

BARBARA
Mom.

LIANE
Yes, baby?

BARBARA
There's Dad, on TV.

INT. A BAR, LOUISVILLE - DAY

And we see Jeffrey in a quiet Bar. The television's on, the
sound low, the midday news. As Jeffrey looks up and sees his
photograph on TELEVISION. In his LOCAL WORLD the impact is:

LOCAL NEWSCASTER
And in local news, WLKO Louisville
has gained access to a five-hundred-
page dossier on former Brown &
Williamson research head Jeffrey
Wigand detailing charges of spousal
abuse, shoplifting...

And Jeffrey looks as if something just detonated inside of
him.

We're looking at Mike Wallace sitting in front of a backdrop
on "60 minutes," on a television...

INT. HOTEL ROOM, LOUISVILLE - NIGHT

And Jeffrey sitting alone in the hotel, watching the show...

MIKE WALLACE
(on "60 Minutes")
"...thousands of documents from inside
the tobacco industry have surfaced
over the past year, documents that
appear to confirm what a former..."

And as we look at Jeffrey's face, set in stone...

INT. THE CARIBBEAN BUNGALOW - DAY/NIGHT

MIKE WALLACE
(on "60 Minutes")
"...US Surgeon General and the current
head of the Food and Drug
Administration have been saying. We
learned of..."

INT. DON HEWITT'S HOUSE, THE HAMPTONS - NIGHT

And Don Hewitt in his house in the Hamptons, alone in his
bedroom, watching the show...

MIKE WALLACE
(on "60 Minutes")
"...a tobacco insider who could tell
us whether or not the tobacco industry
has been leveling with the public..."

INT. MIKE WALLACE'S APARTMENT, NEW YORK - NIGHT

MIKE WALLACE
(on "60 Minutes")
"...that insider was formerly a highly-
placed executive with a tobacco
company..."

INT. HOTEL ROOM, LOUISVILLE - NIGHT

MIKE WALLACE
(on "60 Minutes")
"...but we cannot broadcast what
critical information about tobacco,
addiction and public health he might
be able to offer. Why? Because he
had to sign a confidentiality
agreement with the tobacco company
he worked for..."

INT. MIKE WALLACE'S APARTMENT, NEW YORK - NIGHT

Mike Wallace is in his study, watching the show alone. As we
slowly move in on Mike, seeing himself on television...

MIKE WALLACE
(on "60 Minutes")
"The management of CBS has told us
that knowing he had that agreement..."

And the look on his face says: HE DOES NOT LIKE THIS.

INT. THE CARIBBEAN BUNGALOW - DAY/NIGHT

Lowell silently watching the broadcast...

MIKE WALLACE
(on "60 Minutes")
"...if were to broadcast an interview
with him, CBS could be faced with a
multibillion-dollar lawsuit..."

INT. HOTEL ROOM, LOUISVILLE - NIGHT

Jeffrey, watching the show...

MIKE WALLACE
(on "60 Minutes,"
from the interview
with Wigand...)
"The fact is, we are not allowed
even to mention his name or the name
of the company he worked for and, of
course, we cannot show you his face...
'...and your confidentiality agreement
with...(blip) is still in force?'"

And all we can hear is an ELECTRONICALLY-ALTERED VOICE and
the BLANKED-OUT image of a man...

WIGAND'S VOICE
"Yes, it is."

MIKE WALLACE
(on "60 Minutes")
"So, what are they gonna do? Sue you
for making this appearance?"

WIGAND
"I would bet on it."

MIKE WALLACE
(on "60 Minutes")
"The former executive has reason to
bet on being sued, for major cigarette
manufacturers..."

Jeffrey, motionless... A man, no longer with a face or a
voice... And as he gets up, and quietly turns off the
television...

INT. MIKE WALLACE'S APARTMENT, NEW YORK - NIGHT, LATER

Wallace, hasn't moved, still in his chair. He stares, ignoring
the CBS programming, on the phone, making a call...

EXT. THE CARIBBEAN BEACH - NIGHT

Lowell, walking up the sand, his cell phone rings.

LOWELL
Yeah.

MIKE WALLACE
You disappeared on me. How long you
staying?

LOWELL
(absurd)
I disappeared on you?

MIKE WALLACE
(meaning the show)
Alright. What did you think?

LOWELL
(after a beat)
I think it was a disgrace.

The look on Wallace's face says he thinks so, too. It's
obvious. He hangs up the phone.

EXT. LOWELL'S BUNGALOW, THE CARIBBEAN - NIGHT

Lowell is on the phone, now. The moon lights the water, the
empty beach. He listens as a phone, through STATIC, RINGS
and RINGS and RINGS.

INT. WIGAND'S HOTEL ROOM, LOUISVILLE - NIGHT

And we hear the phone RINGING. We slowly PAN across the hotel
room. We see on the floor a pair of men's tasseled loafers...
A discarded sport jacket... And we see Jeffrey, barefoot,
sitting in a chair in the center of the room. He's looking
out the window at B&W. The curtains are blowing...

And he's still... The sound of the phone RINGING and
RINGING...

EXT. THE BEACH, THE CARIBBEAN - NIGHT

AN OPERATOR'S VOICE
(over)
Sir, there's still no answer in that
room.

LOWELL
Alright. Get me the manager's
office...

INT. THE HOTEL MANAGER'S OFFICE, LOUISVILLE - NIGHT

HOTEL DESK CLERK
David? David, you've got a call on
line 4. I think you better take it.

A thin Man answers the phone.

THE HOTEL MANAGER
This is David MacDougal. How can I
help you?

LOWELL'S VOICE
Mr. MacDougal, my name is Lowell
Bergman. I'm a producer for "60
Minutes"... I'm concerned with a
friend of mine who's staying at your
hotel right now.

INT. THE HOTEL CORRIDOR, LOUISVILLE - NIGHT

And we see the Hotel Manager, walking along with a Security
Guard, and now KNOCKING on Jeffrey's door...

And when there is no response, the Manager nods to the
Security Guard, the Guard using a pass key, unlocking the
door. But the door stops, the chain-lock drawn. The Manager
looks in through the chain... and he can see Jeffrey sitting
in the chair...

THE HOTEL MANAGER
Mr. Wigand? Mr. Wigand?

Jeffrey's still. The Manager quickly takes a cell phone from
the Security Guard.

EXT. THE CARIBBEAN - NIGHT

Lowell, standing on the beach anxiously waiting.

THE HOTEL MANAGER'S VOICE
(over; upset)
I think I need to call the police.
He won't respond...

LOWELL
No, no. Don't call the police!
(urgent)
Just tell him I'm on the phone with
you... My name is Lowell Bergman...
Just tell him that.

INT. THE HOTEL CORRIDOR, LOUISVILLE - NIGHT

THE HOTEL MANAGER
(through the door,
frightened)
Mr. Wigand... Mr. Bergman is on the
telephone.

Jeffrey's quiet.

EXT. THE CARIBBEAN - NIGHT

LOWELL
Did he hear you?

THE HOTEL MANAGER'S VOICE
(over)
You're breaking up. I can't hear
you.

Lowell goes deeper into the water.

LOWELL
What about now?

THE HOTEL MANAGER'S VOICE
(over)
What?

LOWELL
Hello, can you hear me now?

INT. WIGAND'S HOTEL ROOM, LOUISVILLE - NIGHT

And now the walls behind MORPH into a green daytime garden,
the garden behind his house. And as we DOLLY AROUND Wigand,
more walls MORPH into the side yard, and, turning slowly, he
sees Barbara and Deborah in the emerald-green grass. They
stop and smile, then they stare at us, at their father. And
he looks at his children, at an idyll lost... The chair, the
man are the only real objects left in the view from inside
his head...

EXT. THE CARIBBEAN - NIGHT

Lowell anxiously moves along the beach, trying to be heard,
the phone chattering with static...

LOWELL
(alarmed)
What's happening?!

THE HOTEL MANAGER'S VOICE
(over; afraid)
He doesn't seem to be listening...

LOWELL
(on the cell phone,
shouts, urgent)
Alright, now listen to me. I want
you -- I want you to tell him, in
these words: get on the fucking
phone...!

THE HOTEL MANAGER'S VOICE
(over)
I can't say that!

LOWELL
No, you can. Tell him to get on the
fucking phone!

INT. THE HOTEL CORRIDOR - NIGHT

THE HOTEL MANAGER
(at the door, to
Jeffrey, loud)
He told me to tell you, to get on...
the fucking phone...!

And even he's surprised by his language. And suddenly Jeffrey
gets up, unlatches the door, grabs the phone from the Hotel
Manager. Wigand in the hotel corridor, Lowell standing knee-
deep in the water...

WIGAND
(on the phone, angry)
You manipulated me into this...!

LOWELL
That's bullshit, Jeff!

WIGAND
You greased the rails!

LOWELL
I greased the rails for a guy who
wanted to say yes. I helped him to
say yes. Alright. You're not a robot,
Jeff! That's all. You got a mind of
your own, don't you?

WIGAND
(running on)
"Up to you, Jeffrey. That's the power
you have, Jeffrey. Vital insider
information the American public need
to know." Lowell Bergman, the hot
show who never met a source he
couldn't turn around.

LOWELL
(running on)
I fought for you... and I still fight
for you.

WIGAND
You fought for me...?!
(running on)
...you manipulated me... into where
I am now... staring at the Brown &
Williamson Building. It's all dark.
Except the 10th floor! That's the
legal department. That's where they
fuck with my life!

LOWELL
(beat)
Jeffrey, where you going with this?
So where you goin'?
(quiet)
You are important to a lot of people,
Jeffrey. You think about that. You
think about them.

CLOSE ON JEFFREY: standing in the room with the blowing
curtains...

LOWELL
I'm running out of heroes, man...
(after a beat)
Guys like you are in short supply.

And for the first time, Wigand smiles.

WIGAND
(a beat, wry)
Yeah, guys like you, too.

And the grave situation passes.

WIGAND
(after a beat)
Where are you, anyway?

LOWELL
I'm on a leave of absence. Forced
vacation.

WIGAND
(a rare laugh, his
sarcasm)
You try and have a good time.

LOWELL
(droll)
Yeah. Yeah, I will.

INT. THE CARIBBEAN BUNGALOW - DAY/NIGHT

Sharon's cooking across the room... And there's just the
sound of the ceiling fan turning.

LOWELL
"I'm Lowell Bergman, I'm from '60
Minutes.'" You know, you take the
"60 Minutes" out of that sentence,
nobody returns your phone call. Maybe
Wigand's right. Maybe I'm hooked.
What am I hooked on? The rush? "60
Minutes"? What the hell for?
Infotainment. It's so fucking useless,
all of it.

SHARON
(a beat)
So, it's a big country with a free
press. You can go work somewhere
else.

LOWELL
Free press? Press is free... for
anyone who owns one. Larry Tisch has
a free press.

SHARON
Get some perspective, Lowell.

LOWELL
I got perspective.

SHARON
No, you do not.

LOWELL
From my perspective, what's been
going on and what I've been doing is
ridiculous. It's half-measures.

SHARON
You're not listening.
(beat)
Really know what you're going to do
before you do it.

And as the fan squeaks, turning... Lowell stares at Sharon.

WE SEE SNOW IS ON THE GROUND.

EXT. LINCOLN, MONTANA - DAY

Between two curved colonnades of SNOW-covered trees drives a
rental car. CLOSER, it's Lowell. His POV spots a dirty SUV
and he pulls into park across from a coffee shop in this out-
of-context mountain town. His pager beeps. He looks at it.

He detours from the coffee shop to a pay phone on the corner
of the Moose Lodge.

DEBBIE DELUCA'S VOICE
(over)
I've got Richard Scruggs on the
phone...

LOWELL
Patch him through.

RICHARD SCRUGGS' VOICE
(over)
Well, Lowell, you are not going to
believe this...

INT. A COURTROOM + ROTUNDA, MISSISSIPPI - DAY

And we see the back of a crowded courtroom. Richard Scruggs
is standing in the rear amongst bailiffs an witnesses, talking
on his own cell phone.

RICAHRD SCRUGGS
The Governor of Mississippi is suing
his own Attorney General... to abandon
litigation against Big Tobacco...

LOWELL
Oh, good...

Waiting media are relaxing as Scruggs continues to Lowell...

RICHARD SCRUGGS
(after a beat)
But, now that the version without
Jeff ran... what's the chance of
getting his interview on the air...?
(beat)
Hello?

Sudden STATIC. Scruggs now exits the building, past the metal
detector, seeking better reception.

LOWELL
Yeah, I'm here.

EXT. COURTHOUSE STAIRS, MISSISSIPPI - DAY

RICHARD SCRUGGS
What chance is there of getting Jeff's
interview on the air...?

LOWELL'S VOICE
(droll)
Less than great.

And the courthouse doors suddenly burst open, Michael Moore
and his attorneys coming out. Scruggs comes further down the
steps so he can hear, away from Michael Moore who begins
answering questions from the Press.

RICHARD SCRUGGS
(after a beat)
...I'd be lying to you if I did not
tell you how important it was in the
court of public opinion...

EXT. THE PHONE BOOTH, LINCOLN, MONTANA - DAY

LOWELL
(a beat)
...and I'd be lying to you if I didn't
tell you, I'm about out of moves,
Dick...

RICHARD SCRUGGS
All right. See you...

INT. CAFE, LINCOLN, MONTANA - DAY

Lowell walks right in and up to a booth and a COUPLE in hiking
pants and hiking boots. They look up at him...

LOWELL
Hi. So, what are you folks doing
here in Lincoln?

And we sense something is all wrong here.

MAN GEOLOGIST
(affable)
Geology survey.

LOWELL
(nods)
Geology. Yeah? Really?

WOMAN GEOLOGIST
How about you?

LOWELL
(direct)
I work for CBS News.

MAN GEOLOGIST
(after a beat)
Oh, yeah?

Lowell nods. They look at each other and they both know
there's a lot more than meets the eye. And as Lowell gets up
and leaves...

EXT. A PAY PHONE, LINCOLN, MONTANA - DAY

And we see Lowell on the PAY PHONE again.

LOWELL
Just ran into two of your
"geologists." Geologists whose hands
aren't all chewed up...?

BILL ROBERTSON'S VOICE
(over)
Lowell?

INT. THE FBI, BILL ROBERTSON'S OFFICE, WASHINGTON - DAY

And we see Bill Robertson's on the phone...

BILL ROBERTSON
Do not... screw this up. We are a
week away from an arrest...

EXT. THE PAY PHONE, LINCOLN, MONTANA - DAY

LOWELL
So, I'll hold it... And...

BILL ROBERTSON'S VOICE
(over; on the phone)
We'll give you a heads up before we
launch.

LOWELL
How long?

BILL ROBERTSON'S VOICE
(over)
Three hours.

LOWELL
You got a deal.
(hangs up)

INT. LOWELL'S ROOM, MOTEL, MONTANA - NIGHT

Lowell is in a T-shirt and sweat pants, sitting in an old,
re-upholstered-one-too-many-times chair in a room barely big
enough for a chair, a bed and the TV/VCR combo on the cheap
dresser. It's playing Lowell's cut of the full Wigand
interview. He watches the show that will never see the light
of day.

MIKE WALLACE'S VOICE
(over)
"...like the testimony before Congress
of Dr. Wigand's former boss, Brown &
Williamson's Chief Executive Officer,
Thomas Sandefur."

THOMAS SANDEFUR
(in CLOSE-UP)
"I believe that nicotine is not
addictive."

WIGAND
(in matching CLOSE-UP)
"I believe Mr. Sandefur perjured
himself... Because I watched those
testimonies very carefully."

Then it cuts to all seven CEOs of Big Tobacco raising their
hands and taking the oath in front of Congress to tell the
truth while...

WALLACE'S VOICE (OVER)
"All of us did... there was this
whole like of people, the whole line
of CEOs up there, all swearing that."

WIGAND'S VOICE
"Part of the reason I'm here is I
FELT..."

And the PAUSE after the word makes "FELT" resound, and as it
CUTS TO Jeffrey ON CAMERA saying...

WIGAND
"...that their representation..."

And Lowell FREEZES after the image... He gets up, looking
out the window through the curtain with the spill from the
neon motel sign. Outside are horse trailers. He goes back to
watching the show... standing there... in touch with his own
creative work product and the ideas inherent in it in this
decision-making process that we feel is critical to him.

Turning, he dials the phone and we intercut with...

JIM COOPER'S VOICE
(over)
Hello?

LOWELL
Jim, it's Lowell.

INT. NEW YORK TIMES - NIGHT

JIM COOPER
Hey! Where are you?

LOWELL'S VOICE
(doesn't answer)
Remember that night at P.J.'s ? You
asked me if we were sitting on
something "explosive"?
(beat)
Well, we're not "sitting on" it.
(beat)
CBS corporate leaned on CBS News
which yanked an interview we did
with a top-ranking tobacco scientist.
A corporate officer. They are trying
to close down the story.

JIM COOPER
(sarcastic)
You mean, "60 Minutes" is letting
CBS corporate decide what is or is
not news?
(beat)
What's Wallace think about this, or
Hewitt, or...?

LOWELL
How prominent? What kind of placement?

JIM COOPER
Oh, c'mon, Lowell. This is The New
York Times. I don't know...

LOWELL
Well, until you do, all I can tell
you is what you already know... they
will not air an interview.

JIM COOPER
Call me back in ten.

Lowell hangs up. Re-dials.

INT. DEBBIE DELUCA'S APARTMENT - NEW YORK - LATE NIGHT

Debbie answers, intercutting with above...

LOWELL'S VOICE
Debbie. It's me...

DEBBIE DELUCA
Hi. What time is it?

LOWELL'S VOICE
Oh, it's late.

DEBBIE DELUCA
That I know. When are you coming
back?

LOWELL
I can't get out of here til mid-
morning. I'll be in tomorrow night...
(beat)
Listen, could you call a number for
me, it's in Mississippi...

DEBBIE DELUCA
Okay. Hold on a second... What is
it?

INT. NEW YORK TIMES - NIGHT

Jim Cooper's workstation. His phone rings. He grabs it.

JIM COOPER
Hello?
(beat)

LOWELL'S VOICE
Lowell.

JIM COOPER
Alright, Lowell. Page one. Editorial's
interested. Let's talk.

INT. MOTEL, LINCOLN, MONTANA - NIGHT

LOWELL
Here's how it works. You ask me
questions. I tell you if you're wrong.

JIM COOPER'S VOICE
(over)
Okay.
(pause)
Lowell?

LOWELL
Yeah?

JIM COOPER'S VOICE
(over)
You're sure you want to do this?

LOWELL
Why?

JIM COOPER'S VOICE
(over)
Hey, it doesn't work? You've burned
your bridges, man.

LOWELL
You ready...?

JIM COOPER'S VOICE
(over)
Okay... About this whistle-blower...
Did Mike and Don go along with the
corporate decision?

No answer.

JIM COOPER'S VOICE
(over)
Lowell?

LOWELL
Did I tell you you were wrong?

JIM COOPER'S VOICE
(over)
No.
(beat)
I'm assuming the cave-in begins with
the threat of litigation from Big
Tobacco. Are we talking... are we
talking Brown & Williamson, here?

MOVING CLOSER into the face of Lowell. His gaze falters.

His eyes go back to the motel TV mutely frozen on the show.

Whatever he's seeing there, his gaze is steadfast.

EXT. STREET, NEW YORK - 5:30 A.M.

Newspaper box is loaded with The New York Times.

EXT. HOTEL, NEW YORK - 5:30 A.M.

Cab pulls to curb and a raincoated Man emerges. We SEE he
carries a copy of this morning's New York Times.

INT. A HOTEL ROOM, NEW YORK - DAWN

A suitcase is half-unpacked on the floor... a sleeping
figure... There's a knock. Irritated, a sleeping Lowell gets
up to answer it. He looks through the security peep hole. He
opens it. And Mike Wallace, a newspaper under his arm, is
standing in the doorway.

MIKE WALLACE
Did I get you up?

LOWELL
No, I usually sit around in my hotel
room, dressed like this at 5:30 in
the morning, sleepy look on my face.

There's an awkward quiet. Mike enters. He slows, looks around.

MIKE WALLACE
How many shows have we done? Huh?
C'mon, how many?

LOWELL
Oh, lots.

MIKE WALLACE
Yeah, that's right.

LOWELL
But in all that time, Mike, did you
ever get off a plane, walk into a
room, and find that a source for a
story changed his mind? Lost his
heart? Walked out on us? Not one
fucking time! You want to know why?

MIKE WALLACE
I see a rhetorical question on the
horizon.

LOWELL
I'm going to tell you why. Because
when I tell someone I'm going to do
something, I deliver.

MIKE WALLACE
Oh, how fortunate I am to have Lowell
Bergman's moral tutelage to point me
down the shining path. To show me
the way.

LOWELL
Oh, please, Mike...

MIKE WALLACE
(beat)
Give me a break!

LOWELL
No, you give me a break! I never
left a source hung out to dry, ever.
Abandoned. Not 'til right fucking
now! When I came on this job, I came
with my word intact. I'm gonna leave
with my word intact. Fuck the rules
of the game! Hell, you're supposed
to know me, Mike. What the hell did
you expect? You expect me to lie
down? Back off? What, get over it?

MIKE WALLACE
In the real world, when you get to
where I am, there are other
considerations...

LOWELL
Like what? Corporate responsibility?
What, are we talking celebrity here?

MIKE WALLACE
I'm not talking celebrity, vanity,
CBS. I'm talking about when you're
nearer the end of your life than the
beginning. Now, what do you think
you think about then? The future?
"In the future I'm going to do this?
Become that?" What "future"? No.
What you think is: how will I be
regarded in the end? After I'm gone.

He trails off. They look at each other.

MIKE WALLACE
Now, along the way I suppose I made
some minor impact.
(beat)
I did Iran-Gate and the Ayatollah,
Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Saddam,
Sadat, etcetera, etcetera. I showed
them thieves in suits.
(beat)
I've spent a lifetime building all
that. But history only remembers
most what you did last. And should
that be fronting a segment that
allowed a tobacco giant to crash
this network?
(beat)
Does it give someone at my time of
life pause?
(simply)
Yeah.

And the look on Wallace's face is "It did. Whether it should
or should not... what difference does that make? It did."
And we realize only now that he has not come to argue.

LOWELL
Mike... in my...

MIKE WALLACE
(low)
You and I have been doing this
together for fourteen years.

And he gives Lowell a copy of The New York Times.

MIKE WALLACE
This is today's New York Times.
(beat)
In it is the whole sordid story of
what went on inside our shop.

Lowell looks down at the page. The headline is "'60 MINUTES'
ORDERED TO PULL INTERVIEW IN TOBACCO REPORT."

MIKE WALLACE
And in the editorial... It accuses
us... of betraying the legacy of
Edward R. Murrow.

Turning, he walks out and down the hallway. Lowell looks at
the newspaper.

INT. THE COMMUTER HELICOPTER - MORNING

The helicopter approaching Manhattan. John Scanlon sitting
with Hewitt, both of them reading The Wall Street Journal
Wigand article.

DON HEWITT
(troubled)
They conclude most of it seems pretty
unsubstantiated...
(looking at him,
sickened)
You're full of shit, John.

INT. COFFEE SHOP, NEW YORK - MORNING

Lowell at a table littered with New York Times, New York
Daily News, etc. His phone rings...

LOWELL
Yeah.

INT. A CITY BUS, NEW YORK - MORNING

Broadway backgrounds streak past Debbie DeLuca's head as she
rides, talking on a cell phone, The Wall Street Journal in
her hand.

DEBBIE DELUCA
...front page. There's a picture of
Wigand. Article's entitled, "Getting
Personal," by-lined to Suein Hwang
and Milo Geyelin. Wait, hold on a
second, Lowell.

Debbie hits "call waiting."

DEBBIE DELUCA
Yeah. Yeah, sure. I'll see if I can
find him. Hold on...
(beat; to Lowell)
Yeah, Don's looking for you...

LOWELL
Good.

DEBBIE DELUCA
The sub-heading is, "Brown &
Williamson Has a 500-Page Dossier
Attacking Chief Critic." It quotes
Richard Scruggs calling it "the worst
kind of an organized smear campaign
against a whistle-blower."

INT. COFFEE SHOP, NEW YORK - MORNING

EXTREMELY CLOSE Lowell.

DEBBIE DELUCA'S VOICE
(over)
"...a close look at the file, and
independent research by this newspaper
into its key claims, indicates that
many of the serious allegations
against Mr. Wigand are backed by
scant or contradictory evidence..."

EXT. STREET, NEW YORK - MORNING

As Lowell hails a cab in a WIDE ANGLE and runs towards us,
jumping into the cab...

INT. DON HEWITT'S OFFICE - DAY

DON HEWITT
The news division has been vilified
in The New York Times, in print, on
television, for caving to corporate
interests!

We PULL BACK and we see that Lowell's with Hewitt in Hewitt's
office...

DON HEWITT
The New York Times ran a blow by
blow of what we talked about behind
closed doors! You fucked us!

LOWELL
(shouting)
No, you fucked you! Don't invert
stuff! Big Tobacco tried to smear
Wigand; you bought it. The Wall Street
Journal, here, not exactly a bastion
of anti-capitalist sentiment, refutes
Big Tobacco's smear campaign as the
lowest form of character
assassination! And now, even now,
when every word of what Wigand has
said on our show is printed, the
entire deposition of his testimony
in a court of law in the State of
Mississippi, the cat totally out of
the bag, you're still standing here
debating! Don, what the hell else...
do you need?

And Hewitt, looking around.

DON HEWITT
Mike, you tell him...

MIKE WALLACE
(simply)
You fucked up, Don.

And Don's taken off stride...

DON HEWITT
(recovers fast)
Hey, it's old news! Stick with me.
Like always, we'll be okay. These
things have a half-life of fifteen
minutes...

MIKE WALLACE
No, that's fame. Fame has a fifteen-
minute half-life...
(droll)
Infamy... lasts a little longer.

Lowell looks at Wallace.

MIKE WALLACE
We caved. It's foolish. It's simply
dead wrong.
(in his face, so
there's no doubt)
Now, this is what we're going to do.
We're going over to Black Rock...

INT. A HIGH SCHOOL SCIENCE CLASS, LOUISVILLE - AFTERNOON

Jeff is in front of his class, teaching...

WIGAND
Okay, so let's get back to it.
Alright, now, what we saw there was...

INT. LAX - ECU: LOWELL - NIGHT

Tired, his suitcase at his feet. We don't know if he's coming
or going. He's at a pay phone in the more-deserted-than-not
airport.

LOWELL
(into phone)
They canceled the six o'clock.
(beat)
I don't know why. I'm on the 8:10.
I should be home... 9:30. I'll see
you then. Love ya'. Bye...

He hangs up and ambles over to a lounge with a few travelers
sitting in it.

MIKE WALLACE
"CBS Management wouldn't let us
broadcast our original story and our
interview with Wigand because they
were worried about the possibility
of a multi-billion dollar lawsuit
against us for tortious
interference... But now things have
changed."

INT. JEFFREY WIGAND'S APARTMENT, LOUISVILLE - NIGHT

A small apartment. Jeffrey dishes out second helpings of
pasta primavera into two pasta plates and brings them into
the kitchenette to his girls, Deborah and Barbara. And now
we SEE AND HEAR the small television on the table playing
"60 Minutes" and...

MICHAEL MOORE
(on television)
"...in my opinion, is an industry
that has perpetrated the biggest
fraud on the American public in
history."

Deborah looks proudly at her father.

Wigand's gotten up and gone out of the kitchenette. He has
stopped for a moment around the corner in the hallway. His
kids can't see him. We can. And he watches them and his eyes
get shiny and start to tear. And as he stands there, watching
his girls at the kitchen table witnessing their father's
hard-earned "truth" on television, we realize that of all
the audiences, his girls are the one he cares about most...

INT. AIRPORT LOUNGE

And Lowell in his moment of victory is watching his "60
Minutes" double segment on a departure lounge television
with his feet resting on his suitcase, next to a Chicano
woman with two kids and her mother and an older man with a
beard and cane. An airport cleaner stops to watch, too. Lowell
glances at him...

Unbeknownst to these viewers, arrested by the content on the
television screen, is that the man who made it sits casually
among them, watching his work.

INT. LOWELL'S HOUSE, KITCHEN, BERKELEY - NIGHT

Sharon sits at the kitchen table. She watches in a far corner
a small countertop television. It's "60 Minutes," the full
show entitled "Jeffrey Wigand, Ph.D." and on the top right,
"PRODUCED BY LOWELL BERGMAN." As Sharon continues watching
the television playing on the counter, the emotional currents
within her remaining unrevealed...

INT. MIKE WALLACE'S STUDY - ON MIKE WALLACE - NIGHT

watching the show. He sees himself...

MIKE WALLACE
(to Wigand)
"You wish you hadn't blown the
whistle?"

WIGAND
(on television,
hesitating)
"There are times... I wish I hadn't
done it. But there are times that I
feel compelled to do it..." "I've --
if you asked me if I would do it
again or if it's -- do I think it's
worth it. Yeah. I think it's worth
it."

Wallace, satisfied, rises to refill his glass, as...

INT. AIRPORT LOUNGE

Lowell watching show in airport.

INT. A SURVEILLANCE VAN, LINCOLN, MONTANA - NIGHT

And we see the FBI Agent, BILL ROBERTSON on the phone.

BILL ROBERTSON
I promised you a three-hour heads-
up... well, here it is. Have a camera
crew standing by in Helena, Montana
on Tuesday and I'll give you a three-
hour head start. Alright? By the
way, that was a hell of a good show
tonight...

INT. LOWELL'S HOUSE, BERKELEY - NIGHT

LOWELL
(nods, trustworthy)
Thank you, Bill.

And he quietly hangs up. And it's still. Sharon's laid down,
closing her eyes. They lie close together. After some moments,
she opens her eyes and lets us know what she's been
thinking...

SHARON
(understated)
You won.

This time he isn't droll.

LOWELL
Yeah?
(a beat)
What did I win?

There's an odd look on his face, not the look of a victor.

He shuts off the light. And as they lie close together in
the dark in each other's arms...

WE'RE LOOKING AT THE FAMILIAR CBS EYE ON A TELEVISION SCREEN.

AND THEN THE WORDS: "SPECIAL REPORT."

INT. MASTER CONTROL ROOM, CBS - DAY

Lowell, entering through machine rooms, into a state-of-the-
art Master Control Room. On a wall are fifty or more monitors,
in the humidity-and-temperature-controlled nexus of CBS
operations. And it's jammed with people, witnessing a fast-
breaking, major news event. Mike Wallace stands near Felling.
Lowell crosses past Felling and stands next to Mike Wallace.

And we see footage of a handcuffed, bearded, barefoot Man...
THEODORE KACZYNSKI, the UNABOMBER, being taken in by the
FBI. A director counts down. Dan Rather launches...

DAN RATHER
"Reporting from CBS World News
headquarters in New York, good
afternoon. There has been a major
break in the case of the so-called
'Unabomber.' CBS News has learned
that a remote homesite outside
Lincoln, Montana has been under FBI
surveillance..."

BILL FELLING
Thanks for this. You know, we beat
everybody. ABC, NBC, CNN.

Mike motions Lowell out into the corridor so they can be
alone.

INT. CORRIDOR, CBS - DAY

The control room and crowd are seen through the glass wall.

After some moments:

MIKE WALLACE
That Canada story? Still interest
you?

LOWELL
(nods)
Everything interests me.

Mike nods... Lowell puts his hands in his jacket pockets...

After some moments...

LOWELL
I quit, Mike.

Mike's startled.

MIKE WALLACE
Bullshit.

Lowell shakes his head "no."

MIKE WALLACE
C'mon, it all worked out. You came
out okay in the end...

LOWELL
I did? What do I tell a source on
the next tough story? Hang in with
us. You'll be fine... maybe?

They look at each other. Lowell says to Mike, intimately,
what he knows Mike knows...

LOWELL
What got broken here... doesn't go
back together again.

Lowell's heartfelt regret. He starts to leave. They look at
each other.

LOWELL
So, uh...

And Lowell moves off along the hallway, the monitors all
showing CBS programming. He doesn't even look back...

A legend appears:

CARD #1:

SUBSEQUENT TO THE EVENTS DRAMATIZES HERE, THE TOBACCO INDUSTRY
IN 1998 SETTLED THE LAWSUITS FILED AGAINST IT BY MISSISSIPPI
AND 49 OTHER STATES FOR $246 BILLION.

CARD #2:

ALTHOUGH BASED ON A TRUE STORY, CERTAIN EVENTS IN THIS MOTION
PICTURE HAVE BEEN FICTIONALIZED FOR DRAMATIC EFFECT.

THE SOURCE OF THE DEATH THREATS AGAINST THE WIGANDS NEVER
WAS IDENTIFIED AND NO ONE WAS EVER CHARGED OR PROSECUTED.

CARD #3:

IN 1996 DR. WIGAND WAS NAMED TEACHER OF THE YEAR IN KENTUCKY.

CURRENTLY, HE LIVES IN SOUTH CAROLINA.

CARD #4:

LOWELL BERGMAN IS A CORRESPONDENT FOR THE PBS SERIES FRONTLINE
AND IS ON THE FACULTY OF THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF JOURNALISM
AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT BERKELEY.

THE END

Contact | Disclaimer
Copyright © WeeklyScript.com | Scripts Copyright © their respective owners