Based on the novel
OVER the opening strains of "I LOVE YOU, CALIFORNIA," a
MONTAGE: a mixture of headlines, newsreel footage and live
action. Economy Booming! Postwar Optimism! L.A.: City of the
Future! But most prominent among them: GANGLAND! Police
photographers document crime scenes. The meat wagon hauls ex-
button men to the morgue. Where will it end?
EXT. L.A. SKYLINE - SUNSET
Palm trees in silhouette against a cherry sky. City lights
twinkle. Los Angeles. A place where anything is possible. A
place where dreams come true. As the sky darkens, triple-
kleig lights begin to sweep back and forth.
EXT. MANSION (HANCOCK PARK) - NIGHT
The KLEIG LIGHTS are out front. Valets hurry to park a line
of elegant cars.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the
future of Los Angeles!
INT. HANCOCK PARK MANSION - BALLROOM - NIGHT
The MAYOR yanks a cloth to reveal a MODEL of L.A. criss-
crossed by an elaborate FREEWAY SYSTEM. The CROWD oohs. A
COUNCILMAN claps. A SOCIETY MATRON nods her approval. PIERCE
PATCHETT, 50, tuxedoed, watches off to one side. A behind-
the-scenes power broker, Patchett exudes authority much more
so than the Mayor does.
The Arroyo Seco freeway is just the
beginning. We're planning freeways
from Downtown to Santa Monica, from
the South Bay to the San Fernando
Valley. Twenty minutes to work or
play is the longest you'll have to
More applause. One REPORTER asks a little too loudly...
How many bodies you think Mickey
Cohen'll be able to hide in all that
The Mayor wears a plastic smile, ignores it.
INT. THE MOCAMBO - NIGHT
A CLUB PHOTOGRAPHER pops snapshots, but the real action is
on the floor where MICKEY COHEN does a wicked "Lindy Hop"
with THREE different GIRLS at once. A fireplug of a man, he
hardly seems a public menace. Nearby is his bodyguard JOHNNY
STOMPANATO. Over it all:
Meyer Harris Cohen, Mickey C to his
fans. He's the big moocher, local
L.A. color to the nth degree. You
know Mickey. He runs dope, rackets
and prostitution. He kills a dozen
people a year. But who you may not
know is bodyguard Johnny Stompanato.
His hair in a slick pompadour, Stompanato keeps an eye on
Cohen and comes onto a CIGARETTE GIRL at the same time.
Johnny's handsome, ladies, but the
real attraction is below the belt.
Second only to Steve Cochran, he's
sometimes known as 'Oscar' because
of his Academy Award-size appendage.
Mickey works a sweat on the dance floor. A bottle of champagne
pops; Stompanato reacts, nearly draws a pistol from his
shoulder holster. As he laughs at himself...
INT. HUSH-HUSH MAGAZINE OFFICE - DAY
Lurid page one headlines cover the wall where SID HUDGEONS
types. The essence of sleaze, Sid is the publisher-
photographer-writer of Hush-Hush magazine and keeper of inside
dirt supreme. As he continues...
Remember, dear readers, you heard it
here first, off the record, on the
Q.T. and very Hush-Hush.
INT. HANCOCK PARK MANSION - BALLROOM - NIGHT
The party continues. The Mayor has moved off to the side
with the power brokers. Patchett is a presence.
We're selling an image, gentlemen.
Beautiful weather. Affordable housing.
Trouble-free transportation. And the
best police department in the world
to keep it all running smoothly.
EXT. STOREFRONT - NIGHT
A dozen people watch a display window TELEVISION as it rolls
the opening of the hit show "Badge of Honor." Over familiar
THEME MUSIC, "Sgt. Joe Reno" (actor BRETT CHASE) walks the
streets of Los Angeles.
My name? Joe Reno. The city? Los
Angeles. A big town. Full of all
sorts of people. It's my job to help
them. I like what I do. I'm a cop.
INT. HANCOCK PARK MANSION - BALLROOM - NIGHT
The Mayor continues.
But with a second rate Al Capone out
there, L.A. looks like Chicago in
the '30s. Something has to be done.
As Pierce Patchett nods sagely.
INT. OLYMPIC AUDITORIUM - NIGHT
Wrestler GORGEOUS GEORGE primps and poses before flattening
an opponent with a drop kick.
INT. MOVIE THEATER - NIGHT
An enthusiastic crowd adjusts their 3-D glasses.
EXT. COHEN MANSION (BEVERLY HILLS) - DAY
In monogrammed silk pajamas, Mickey Cohen answers the door,
his pet BULLDOG Mickey Jr. at his feet. The police are
waiting. REPORTERS' flashbulbs pop.
Mr. Cohen, you're under arrest.
Bullshit. What's the charge?
Non-payment of federal income tax.
EXT. GRAUMAN'S CHINESE - DAY
JOHN WAYNE gets his hand prints in the sidewalk.
EXT. WESTCHESTER BEAN FIELD - DAY
MIGRANT WORKERS hurry to finish the harvest. We PAN TO
CONSTRUCTION WORKERS who wait impatiently with bulldozers
under a "Spirit of the Future" BANNER. As the last picker
leaves the field, the bulldozers move in, leveling the bean
rows to make way for a housing tract.
EXT. FEDERAL COURTHOUSE - STEPS - DAY
Flashbulbs pop as Mickey Cohen exits and starts down the
steps. Accompanied by his LAWYERS, bodyguard Stompanato and
mob lieutenants DEUCE PERKINS and NATE JANKLOW, Cohen ignores
How's your bullshit now, Mickey?!
As Cohen gets into a waiting car, the media turn their
attention to District Attorney ELLIS LOEW. A singularly
ambitious man, Loew loves the spotlight.
Today is an auspicious one for the
city of Los Angeles. Mickey Cohen
has just been sentenced to ten years
in federal prison for failure to pay
income tax. As the District Attorney
for Los Angeles County, it is my
pleasure to declare our great city
organized crime free. It is truly
the dawning of a new day.
The SONG ENDS and so does the MONTAGE.
INT. PACKARD (ACROSS FROM BULLOCKS WILSHIRE) - NIGHT
December 24th. Wendell "BUD" WHITE, 30, stares at the enormous
Christmas tree on the deco platform over Bullocks' entrance.
An LAPD cop, Bud's rep as the toughest man on the force has
been well earned. In the back seat, with cases of Walker
Black and Cutty Sark, is Bud's partner -- DICK STENSLAND.
Older, but also a tough hump, "Stens" sucks on a pint of Old
Crow. The passenger door opens and Mickey Cohen bodyguard
Johnny Stompanato slides in. Guinea handsome, Johnny wears
his curls in a tight pompadour. With his boss behind bars,
he's out of work. Bud just stares at him.
Officer White. I heard you got a
hard-on for wife beaters.
And you fuck people up for a living.
That don't make me you. Capisce,
Stompanato smiles. Nervous. Through the window, Bud watches
a Salvation Army Santa palm coins from a kettle.
Bud ain't in the mood for small talk,
Look, Mickey C's doing time and half
the other guys who'd hire me are
dead or left town. I need money. If
your snitch-fund's green, I'll get
you some fucking-A collars.
Impatient, Bud tugs at a finger, CRACKS a KNUCKLE.
There's this guy. He's blond and
fat, about forty. Likes the ponies.
Been pimping his wife to cover his
losses. Knocks her around to keep
her in line.
Bud's eyes narrow at this last bit of info. Stompanato holds
up a slip of paper.
I figure the address is worth twenty.
Bud digs into his wallet, pulls out twenty bucks, exchanges
it with Stompanato. Stompanato smiles smugly, grabs a bottle
of Scotch from the back.
Yuletide cheer, fellas.
Without warning, Bud grabs Stompanato's tie and yanks,
slamming his forehead into the dash.
Happy New Year, greaseball.
EXT. 1486 EVERGREEN - NIGHT
A stucco job in a row of vet prefabs. A neon Santa sleigh
has landed on the roof. Through the front window, we see a
fat guy browbeating a woman. Puff-faced, 35-ish, she backs
away as he rages at her. The Packard pulls up out front.
Stensland could care less.
Leave it for later, Bud. We got to
pick up the rest of the booze and
get back to the precinct.
Bud KILLS the IGNITION, picks up the radio.
Central, this is 4A-31. Send a prowler
to 1486 Evergreen. White male in
custody. Code 623 point one. Domestic
assault and battery. I won't be here,
but they'll see him.
EXT. 1486 EVERGREEN - BUD - NIGHT
steps to the house. Inside, we hear SLAPS, MUFFLED CRIES.
Bud grips an outlet cord coming off the roof and yanks. The
sleigh crashes to the ground with REINDEER EXPLODING around
it. A beat. The fat guy runs out to investigate, trips over
Rudolph. Bud pounces. Fat guy takes a swing, misses. Grabbing
fat guy's hair, Bud smashes his face to the pavement. Once,
twice. Teeth skitter down the walk.
Touch her again and I'll know about
it. Understand? Huh?
Another face full of gravel. Fat guy's WIFE watches with
apprehension from the steps as Bud cuffs her husband's hands
behind his back, empties his pockets. A cash roll and car
keys. Bud looks over at her.
You got someplace you can go?
She nods. Bud hands her the keys and the cash.
Go get yourself fixed up.
Merry Christmas, huh?
Bud watches as she gets into a pre-war Ford in the drive.
She backs over a blinking reindeer as she goes.
You and women, partner. What's next?
Kids and dogs?
INT. STAGE FOUR (VARIETY INTERNATIONAL PICTURES) - NIGHT
The "Badge of Honor" set. A Christmas party in full swing.
Eating, drinking, and dancing. Star Brett Chase, seen earlier
on television, is holding court. LAPD Sgt. "Trashcan" JACK
VINCENNES, late 30s with slick, good looks, dances with a
young ACTRESS. Grinding their way through a ballad, they're
obviously hitting it off.
Brett Chase told me you're the cop
who busted Bob Mitchum.
These 'Badge of Honor' guys like to
pretend, but being the real thing
must be a thrill.
Let's go someplace quiet. I'll give
you the low-down on Mitchum.
You got your handcuffs with you?
I'll get my coat.
They're interrupted by Sid Hudgeons.
Big V Jack Vincennes! May I have
Karen, this is Sid Hudgeons from
I know who he is.
The Actress storms off. Jack looks to Sid.
We did a piece last year. 'Ingenue
Dykes In Hollywood.' Her name got
Beats me. Look, Jackie-Boy, a friend
of mine just sold some reefer to
Matt Reynolds. He's tripping the
light fantastic with Tammy Jordan at
2245 Maravilla, Hollywood Hills.
It's right around the corner.
You lost me, Sid. Who?
Contract players at Metro. You pinch
'em. I do you up feature in the next
issue. Plus the usual fifty cash.
Tell me, am I fucking Santa Claus?
I need an extra fifty. Two patrolmen
at twenty apiece and a dime for the
watch commander at Hollywood Station.
Jack! It's Christmas!
No. It's felony possession of
EXT. 2245 MARAVILLA - NIGHT
WITH a VIEW of Grauman's Chinese. Jack and two uniformed
patrolmen wait on the darkened street. An arc light has been
set up. Hudgeons creeps back over from the house.
They're sitting in the dark, goofing
on the Christmas tree.
Stand there with your camera. I'll
stop here so you get Grauman's Chinese
in the background.
I like it! I like it!
INT. 2245 MARAVILLA - NIGHT
The arc light floods the living room about the same time
that Jack kicks the door in. The room is caught flush:
Christmas tree, a bag of weed on the couch, two kids necking
in their BVDs. MATT REYNOLDS and TAMMY JORDAN.
EXT. 2245 MARAVILLA - NIGHT
Jack exits, hauling Jordan and Reynolds by the neck. Jack
stops with Grauman's FRAMED behind him and Hudgeons CLICKS
off several shots with his CAMERA.
Cut! Wrap it!
Windows light up. Rubberneckers appear. Jack hands the kids
to the patrolmen, heads back in with Hudgeons in tow.
INT. 2245 MARAVILLA - NIGHT
Jack scoops the pot, flips through an address book. A card
falls out. "Fleur-de-Lis. Whatever you desire..." Jack looks
from the card out the window at the kids being loaded into a
black and white. They're both crying now.
It's Christmas morning in the City
of Angels, and while decent citizens
sleep the sleep of the righteous,
hopheads prowl for marijuana, not
knowing that a man is coming to stop
them. The free-wheeling, big-time
Big V, celebrity crime-stopper, Jack
Vincennes, the scourge of grasshoppers
and junk fiends everywhere. You like
Yeah, it's subtle.
Sid hands him a President Grant 50.
Remember: you heard it first here,
off the record, on the Q.T. and very
INT. HOLLYWOOD STATION - DISPATCH DESK - NIGHT
Suspects, mostly drunk and disorderly, are ushered through.
Sgt. ED EXLEY, 30, bespectacled, is at the desk with a YOUNG
OFFICER. Exley is an up-and-comer. Burning with ambition.
The faster he rises through the ranks, the more resentment
he leaves in his wake.
What's on the call sheet?
A guy dressed as Santa has been
exposing himself to kids in Los Feliz.
Apparently, sir, he's decorated
With tinsel and plastic icicles and...
on his penis, sir.
I get the idea. You got a description?
Of his penis, sir?
EXT. HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD - HOLLYWOOD LIQUOR - NIGHT
Tinsel-trimmed photos of movie stars look down from the walls
as the OWNER takes an order from LYNN BRACKEN.
A case each of gin, Scotch, and rum.
Everything top shelf. None of that
watered-down stuff you push on Errol
Sounds like a helluva party.
Her hair kerchiefed, Lynn waits as the Owner writes it up.
There's glamour, a cat-girl grace about Lynn. She seems like
she belongs up on the wall with the movie stars. Lynn looks
across as Bud White heads toward the counter. Spotting her,
Bud doesn't look so tough for a moment.
You want it delivered?
Before five tomorrow.
The Owner spots Bud. A big smile turns to a frown.
I'll be right with you, Lynn.
The Owner begins indiscriminately loading hard liquor into a
cardboard box, leaving Bud and Lynn to look at each other.
Bud says the only thing he can think of.
Merry Christmas yourself, OFFICER.
That obvious, huh?
It's practically stamped on your
As the Owner bangs a case of liquor on the counter...
EXT. HOLLYWOOD LIQUOR - NIGHT
Bud exits with his booze, heads for the car. Something catches
his eye. A woman in the rear passenger seat of a new Cadillac.
SUSAN LEFFERTS. Both her eyes are black. Bud starts over.
The case on his hip, he motions for her to roll down the
window. The driver's side door opens and bodyguard TURNER
"BUZZ" MEEKS menaces his way out.
Get lost why don't you?
Meeks stops short as Bud shoves his badge in Meeks' face.
Setting the case on the car's hood, Bud spins Meeks around,
pats him down. He finds a .38 in a shoulder holster.
I got a license for that.
Bud removes Meeks' wallet, checks the ID.
Cut me some slack. I used to be a
Turner Meeks? Never heard of you.
We just call him Buzz.
Bud raps on Susan's window with his badge. It comes down.
Beside her, a man leans over. Pierce Patchett, seen before
at the freeway unveiling, is a man used to being chauffeured.
Like FDR, he smokes his cigarette in a holder.
I'm not asking you.
Patchett has no idea he's walking on thin ice. As he stares
impatiently at Bud, Bud looks back to Susan.
Somebody hit you?
It's not what you think.
Bud looks to see Lynn Bracken moving to the driver's door.
What is it then?
You got the wrong idea, Mister. I'm
Susan laughs. Patchett eases back into the shadows.
(getting in the car)
But it's nice to know you care.
Bud considers Meeks' gun license, then hands him back the
.38 and wallet. Lifting his booze, Bud watches Meeks get
back in the car. Stensland steps up as the cabbie starts to
What's going on?
For an odd moment, Stensland and Meeks lock eyes.
You know him?
Seen him around. He used to be a
CLOSE ON DUDLEY SMITH
Fifty, handsome in his police captain's uniform. Singing
"Silver Bells" in a beautiful low tenor. Tough, respected,
Dudley goes to bed as a cop every night of his life. He's a
department power to be reckoned with.
INT. PRECINCT HOUSE - MUSTER ROOM - NIGHT
An L.A. Herald Express REPORTER and photographer listen along
with the gathered patrolmen as Dudley finishes to applause.
Dudley joins the press.
Captain Smith, I --
Drop the formalities; it's Christmas
Eve. Call me Dudley.
Dudley, I came up with a title for
the story. I'm calling it "Silent
Night with the L.A.P.D."
Excellent. How's this?
The sanctity of the night is an
invitation to the darker criminal
element. Our vigilance will not be
As the Reporter scribbles down the quote...
That's Smith with an S.
They laugh. Dudley points the way out.
This way, gentlemen.
Dudley's the last one out the door. As he goes, he turns
back to give the men a wink. He's no sooner out the door
when the first case of Johnny Walker is brought in.
INT. PRECINCT HOUSE - DISPATCH DESK - NIGHT
Ed Exley gets another report from the Young Officer.
Two police officers were assaulted
in a bar. Brown and Helenowski.
He hands the report to Exley. It's now that Dudley comes
through on his press junket.
This is Sergeant Ed Exley. Son of
the legendary Preston Exley. He's
the watch commander tonight and a
damn fine job.
As the photographer snaps Exley's picture...
I was fortunate enough to be partnered
with his father when I was a rookie.
It makes a man feel old. That's a
Feel free to get a feel for the place.
As the Reporter and photographer wander off, Dudley turns to
Exley a bit more serious.
A word with you, lad.
INT. DUDLEY SMITH'S OFFICE - DAY
Dudley pours two drinks, hands one to Exley.
To the memory of your father.
They drink. Exley looks to a photo on the wall. Himself as a
ten-year-old standing between Dudley and his father Preston,
both in police uniform.
The day he got the Medal of Valor. A
Remembering, Exley invokes his father's favorite toast.
To the solving of crimes that require
Exley raises his glass, but Dudley just watches him.
That was his favorite toast.
I saw the test results on the
lieutenant's exam. You placed first
out of twenty-three.
The youngest applicant by eight years.
You'll make lieutenant inside a year.
I was thinking Detective Bureau.
We can see Dudley doesn't approve.
You don't have the eye for human
weakness to be a good detective. Or
the stomach. You're a political
The criticism stings, but Dudley's a straight shooter.
Am I...? Would you be willing to
plant corroborative evidence on a
suspect you knew was guilty in order
to ensure an indictment?
Dudley, we've been over this.
Answer yes or no.
Would you be willing to rig crime
scene evidence to support a
prosecuting attorney's working
hypothesis...? Yes or no, Edmund.
Would you be willing to beat
confessions out of suspects you knew
to be guilty?
Would you be willing to shoot hardened
criminals in the back to offset the
Then for God's sake, don't be a
detective. Stick to assignments where
you won't have to make those choices.
Patrol, Internal Affairs, but not
I know you mean well, Dudley, but I
don't need to do it the way you did.
Or my father.
At least get rid of the glasses. I
can't think of one Bureau man who
INT. PRECINCT HOUSE - MUSTER ROOM - NIGHT
A large impromptu bar has been set-up. The party is in full
swing, the floor packed with nightwatch blues. A PHONOGRAPH
SPEWS DIRTY CHRISTMAS CAROLS.
Stensland pours eggnog and Old Crow into the water cooler as
Bud elbows his way in with another case.
Hey, partner. Grab a cup.
I got to write my report first.
PASSING COP #1
Hear about Helenowski and Brown?
They got into a helluva scrap with
six taco benders at some bar.
Helenowski lost six pints of blood.
Brown's in a coma.
PASSING COP #2
We ought to teach Paco and his friends
More cops voice their agreement. Bottles are passed. Only
Bud doesn't seem as caught-up as the rest.
INT. PRECINCT HOUSE - NARCO PEN - NIGHT
Jack Vincennes at his desk. Holding the Fleur-de-Lis card,
Jack dials the number. A corkboard on the wall is posted
with press clippings. "Dope Crusader Wounded in Shootout."
"Actor Mitchum Seized in Marijuana Shack Raid." That one
includes a shot of Jack ushering Mitchum into jail.
(over phone, like
Whatever you desire.
Hi... I'd like to get a delivery to
I don't think I know you.
CLICK. The line goes dead. Jack redials.
Whatever you desire.
Look, a friend of mine gave me this
number. I just --
The line goes dead again. Jack dials a new number.
Pacific Coast Bell.
This is Sgt. Vincennes. Requesting a
name and address on a phone number.
Please hold the line... No such number
I just called it.
No, Sergeant. I checked twice.
(realizes, hangs up)
INT. MUSTER ROOM - NIGHT
Exley surveys the carousing rowdies. Raising his voice...
All right, men. You've had your fun.
Time to break it up.
The party continues undiminished. From across the room,
Stensland eyes Exley with disdain.
Fucking Exley. Guy's got a pole so
far up his ass, every time he farts
the flag waves.
WATCH COMMANDER'S OFFICE
The command not really his, Exley reads a report, ignores
the party, though his window looks into the thick of it.
Suddenly a ripple goes through the room. The men begin to
push out through a rear door. Exley stands, stops a COP.
What's going on?
They got the spics who japped
Helenowski and Brown. Helenowski
lost an eye and Brown's got brain
I have the report right here. They're
home with bruises and muscle pulls --
Exley starts out after them.
INT. CELL BLOCK - NIGHT
Stensland in the lead. Pulling out a blackjack, he enters
Cell #4, begins wailing on one of the Mexicans -- Dinardo.
For ours, Pancho. And you're getting
Cheered on by drunks in the tank and his fellow officers,
Stensland goes wild. He's joined by Lentz, Crumley and
Tristano. Shaking his head, Jack Vincennes moves away.
INT. SQUAD ROOM - NIGHT
Bud types his report with one finger. Jack looks in.
White, you better get a lease on
Stens before he kills someone.
INT. CELL BLOCK - NIGHT
Followed by Jack, Bud forces his way through the crowd. The
men who see it's him quickly clear a path. Swigging from a
pint of gin, Stensland works skinny GARCIA. Head saps. The
kid drops to his knees drooling blood. Bud grabs Stensland,
hauls him off of Garcia who looks up.
Fuck you, pendejo.
And fuck your mother too.
Bud sees red. Letting go of Stensland, Bud White picks up
Garcia by the neck. There are cheers, "Attaboys" and "Holy
Fucks" as Bud bangs Garcia's head on the ceiling.
Stop, Officer! That's an order!
Cops block Exley's way. As Bud looks over, Garcia kicks him
in the balls. A dangling shot. Bud keels into the bars, Garcia
stumbles out of the cell, smack into Jack. Jack looks down
aghast at blood on his cashmere blazer, then puts Garcia
down with a left-right. Exley pulls a pad of paper and pen
form his pocket.
You're going in my report! All of
Exley has just started taking names when Bud grabs him by
the scruff of the neck and hauls him off balance into...
As Exley struggles, a cop opens the door to the store room.
Bud slings Exley inside, then slams the door tight. Exley is
locked in. As Bud moves off, we hear POUNDING.
Let me out! That's an order!
The Herald Reporter and photographer enter unchaperoned and
unnoticed. Stensland swings like a madman. That's when a
flashbulb goes off. Freezing everyone in black and white.
INT. CHIEF'S OFFICE - DAY
The CHIEF sits behind a desk in a four-star uniform. Dudley
Smith sits to his left, D.A. Ellis Loew to his right. Seen
earlier at the Mickey Cohen press conference, Loew is the
only civilian. Bud White stands across from them. There to
Officer White, you've refused to
cooperate with Internal Affairs. But
you should know this is bigger than
a police board. Indictments may be
handed down. Quite frankly, we need
police witnesses to offset the damage
done to the Department's image. Will
Bud glances to a gray tinted mirror, then to the Chief.
No, sir. I won't.
The Chief sighs, looks to Loew.
District Attorney Loew.
Loew steps to Bud, holds up a newspaper with the cell block
photo. The headline: "BLOODY CHRISTMAS."
Bloody Christmas. The press love to
label. You and Officer Stensland
brought the liquor into the precinct.
Stensland was already drunk. Do you
see how appearing as a voluntary
witness against him could offset the
damage you've done to yourself?
I won't do it.
(staring at mirror)
I won't testify against my partner
or anyone else.
This man is a disgrace.
Your badge and gun, Officer.
Bud sets them on The Chief's desk.
This is the new L.A.P.D., White.
You're suspended from duty and
Turning, White shoots the mirror a stiff middle finger as he
makes his way out. Dudley Smith hides a smile.
OTHER SIDE OF GLASS
Exley watches, involuntarily leans back as Bud passes on the
other side of the glass.
THE CHIEF'S OFFICE
Dudley, Loew and The Chief wait as Exley enters.
Ed, your observations have been
astute. What's your assessment of
The public demands justice, sir.
This was a full-fledged riot of
policemen. Shift the guilt to men
whose pensions are secured. Force
them to retire. But someone has to
swing. Indict, try and convict
Stensland and Bud White. Secure them
jail time. Feed them to the sharks,
sir. Protect yourself; protect the
Dudley gives Exley a look. He's angry with him.
Stensland's a disgrace. Straight D
fitness reports from every C.O. he
ever served under. But White is a
White's a mindless thug.
No, Edmund. He's a man who can answer
yes to those questions I ask you
from time to time.
The Chief interrupts with his own concern.
I want to know who we give the public
in contrast? The department needs
role models. Clean-cut, FORTHRIGHT
men the public can admire.
I'll testify, sir. I'm not afraid to
do what's right.
And I'll promote you. You'll be a
Exley seizes the moment, going over Dudley's head.
The Chief and Dudley exchange a look. Neither approves.
Ed, you're 30. Your father didn't
make lieutenant until he was 33.
I know that, sir. I also know that
when he made lieutenant, it was as a
Before we start polishing our laurels,
it would look better if we had a
That'll be hard to come by. The men
hate a turncoat.
Jack Vincennes. He's the technical
advisor on 'Badge of Honor,' sir. He
lives for it. That's the way to get
All right, Ed.
(into desk intercom)
Call Sergeant Vincennes.
As Exley starts out, Dudley pulls him aside, speaks low.
You'll reap the benefits, but are
you truly prepared to be despised
within the department?
Yes, Dudley. I am.
So be it.
Looking sharp, he strides down the hall, enters the...
Round two. Centered on Jack. Exley is gone.
Sergeant, we'll get right to it.
Nine civilian witnesses have
identified you as hitting Ezekiel
But my office has a stellar witness
who will tell the grand jury that
you hit back only after being hit.
What do I have to do?
Testify against the three officers
who have already earned their
pensions. Our key witness will testify
roundly, but you can plead ignorance
to questions directed at the other
I'll guarantee you a slap on the
wrist. A brief suspension followed
by a temporary transfer from Narcotics
to Ad Vice.
When you transfer out of Vice, you'll
be back on the show.
The show, sir?
Badge of Honor, Vincennes. We need
to tone down your profile for a bit.
The Chief just got Jack where he lives.
John, I doubt you've ever drawn a
stupid breath. Don't start now.
Okay. I'll do it.
Smiles all around. Loew smiles at the two-way. A move not
lost on Jack who wonders who might be on the other side.
Jack leaves. The Chief steps to the mirror, looks through.
So be it. DETECTIVE Lieutenant.
OTHER SIDE OF GLASS
Exley clenches his fist in victory. The Chief continues.
Ace them at the grand jury tomorrow,
son. Wear the smart-looking suit and
ace them. And, Ed? Lose the glasses.
INT. ROOM 114 (GRAND JURY WITNESS ROOM) - DAY
Glasses off, Exley waits, looks up as Jack enters.
You're the key witness?
I should've known. What's the Chief
Yeah, Exley. What's the payoff?
You're the payoff expert. I'm just
doing my duty.
You're playing an angle, college
boy. You're getting something out of
this so you don't have to hobnob
with the fucking rank and file cops
who'll hate your guts for snitching.
If they're making you a detective,
watch out. Some Bureau guys are gonna
burn in this and you're gonna have
to work with friends of theirs.
What about you?
I'm snitching three old timers who'll
be fishing in Oregon next week. Next
to you I'm clean. And smart.
At that, a CLERK steps in from the hallway.
Edmund J. Exley to chambers.
As Exley's about to go...
Just remember, Bud White'll fuck you
for this if it takes the rest of his
life. They already suspended him.
Just pray he cops a deal and stays
on the Department because that is
one civilian you do not want on your
INT. TWILIGHT LOUNGE - NIGHT
An old black guy in a frayed, threadbare tux plays piano.
Bud, nursing a highball at the bar, steps over to a REDHEAD
with too much make-up on too many miles.
That an old fashioned you're drinking?
(as she nods)
My name's Bud.
Nobody was born with the name Bud.
They stick you with a name like
Wendell, you look for an alias.
What do you do, Bud?
I'm sorta between jobs. Look, what
do you say we, uh...
A hand on Bud's shoulder. He turns to see Dudley Smith.
Lad, may I have a word with you?
This business, Captain?
Say goodnight to your friend and
join me by those back tables.
Dudley starts off. Bud turns back to Redhead, but she's
already talking to a sailor.
Dudley sits at a table. A newspaper is opened, a little mound
underneath. Bud joins Dudley.
Does that paper say we've been
indicted? Does it say Exley's a hero
for squealing me and Stensland off?
He made his play and he got what he
wanted. They're making him a
Captain, what do you want?
Call me Dudley.
Dudley, what do you want?
Lad, I admire your refusal to testify
and your loyalty to your partner. I
admire you as a policeman,
particularly your adherence to
violence as a necessary adjutant to
the job. And I am most impressed
with your punishment of wife beaters.
Do you hate them, Wendell?
Yeah, I hate them.
And for good reason judging from
what I know of your background.
Bud looks back over. Dudley's getting too personal.
What's going to happen to Stensland?
He'll give himself cirrhosis over
this. HE'S ONE YEAR FROM HIS PENSION.
It would've happened years ago if
you hadn't carried him. Why the
He helped me out once. That's all.
Your partner's through. Department
scapegoat on the Chief's orders.
He's been billed, he'll be indicted
and he'll swing.
Him and me both. FUCKING EXLEY.
Don't underestimate his skills. As a
politician he exceeds even myself.
But the department needs smart men
like Exley and... direct men like
What do you want?
Wendell, I want you to come to work
Doing what? Mowing your fucking lawn?
Smith yanks the newspaper revealing Bud's badge & .38 Special.
Bud can't believe his eyes.
They're yours. Take them.
I knew you had juice, but... There's
no goddamn bill on me?
Four of the defendants recanted their
Dudley dismisses the question with a wave of his hand.
I need you for an assignment the
Chief's given me the go-ahead on. A
duty few men are fit for, but you
were born for. You'll be working out
Homicide? A detective?
Your talents lie elsewhere, Wendell.
It's a muscle job and shooting job.
You'll do what I say and not ask
questions. Do you follow my drift?
Will you work for me?
Of course... But how?
How what, Wendell?
How'd you get them to retract?
Dudley lays brass knuckles on the table. They're chipped,
caked with blood.
Over the pop song "STRANGER IN PARADISE."
A) EXT. GRAUMAN'S CHINESE - NIGHT
Frank Sinatra at the premiere of From Here to Eternity.
B) INT. KLUB ZAMBOANGA - NIGHT
Charlie "Bird" Parker makes magic before an appreciative,
mostly black crowd.
C) TORCH SONG TAVERN (RIVERSIDE) - NIGHT
Nate Janklow exits with his latest flame. A mob lieutenant,
Nate was last seen with Mickey Cohen outside the Federal
Courthouse in the opening montage. A CAR SCREECHES up. TWO
GUNS aim and Nate and his date do down in a proverbial HAIL
D) EXT. FREEWAY - DAY
A groundbreaking. The Mayor scrapes at the ground with a
gold shovel. Pierce Patchett is among the distinguished
END OF MONTAGE
EXT. HOLLYWOOD HIGH SCHOOL - DAY
The marquee gushes: "Today Sgt. Joe Reno: Badge of Honor
Star Brett Chase."
INT. HOLLYWOOD HIGH SCHOOL - AUDITORIUM - DAY
A nerdy 14-YEAR-OLD asks Brett Chase:
Why'd you become a policeman?
I'm not a policeman. I just play one
on television. But I think I can
answer for them. To help people.
That's why I do the show.
Chase looks over and winks at Jack who waits in the wings.
To protect and serve. It's not just
As the kids applaud, Chase joins Jack who gives him a quick
drag of a cigarette. A nervous PA joins them. Chase points
out a fetching girl in the second row.
That one. In the sweater.
They also serve who only stand and
Chase and Jack watch the PA ask "Sweater" a question while
pointing to Chase. Maybe sixteen, she nods "yes" eagerly.
Jack, I'll see you Monday on set.
I won't be there. They're toning
down my profile.
The latest issue of Hush-Hush flies through. On the cover:
"Gail Russell Caught In Love Nest. Nymph or No?"
INT. CITY JAIL - DAY
Bud White flips through today's booking slips, finds one
that's interesting. Reading to himself...
Domestic. Assault and battery.
Containment Squad strong-arms, BREUNING and CARLISLE pause
as they pass.
Ready to go, Bud?
I'll be there in five minutes.
CITY JAIL - HALLWAY
Bud walks to a door covered in sheet metal. He opens it to
reveal a holding tank with a burly, jumpsuited PRISONER.
I hear you like to hit women.
My wife. She's dropping charges so
it's none of your business.
Bud enters, closes the door behind him. A beat, we hear the
sounds of FISTS ON FLESH. It's Bud's business now.
INT. BEVERLY HILLS MANSION - STUDY - NIGHT
Deuce Perkins (the Mickey Cohen narcotics lieutenant seen
earlier) stands at the bookshelf. He pulls down books to
reveal a shoe box. He sets it on his desk, pulls back the
cover to reveal several bags of white powder. Heroin. A BRANCH
SNAPS outside. Perkins opens a drawer, fishes a revolver.
Turning off the light, he heads to the window. His finger
parts the curtains. At that instant, he staggers, falls as
GUNFIRE rips into him. The heroin just sits there on the
EXT. MCNEIL PENITENTIARY - DAY
Grim-faced guards scan the yard from machine-gunned towers.
INT. MCNEIL PENITENTIARY - VISITOR BOOTH - DAY
Mickey Cohen sits across from visitor Johnny Stompanato.
Cohen is going off the handle.
What do you mean Deuce Perkins got
clipped last night?!
They shot him in his library.
I don't want a floor plan; I want to
know who! Who's taking the ticket
for this, Johnny?
Nobody. At least not yet.
And what about the merchandise Deuce
was holding for me?
Gone. Not a trace.
Some ferstunkener is moving in and
we don't know who?! Maybe we should
ask Hedda Hopper!
As "STRANGER IN PARADISE" ENDS, so does the MONTAGE.
INT. BRIEFING ROOM - AD VICE - DAY
Addressing the squad, a no-nonsense VICE CAPTAIN picks up a
stack of magazines.
Picture-book smut, gentlemen. There's
been a bunch of it found at collateral
crime scenes lately. Mostly narcotics
and prostitution collars.
As the Vice Capt. hands it out for the men to examine, new
member Jack Vincennes arrives late.
Look who's back from suspension.
We're honored, Sergeant Jack.
The men laugh. Jack sits, flips a magazine. Men and women.
Men and men. Girls and girls. Girls and horses.
Gee. The Great Jerk-Off Book Caper
Vincennes, is there someplace you'd
Yeah, Cap. Back in Narcotics.
Oh? Anyplace else?
Working whores with squad two.
Maybe you should have thought of
that before you made Bloody Christmas
Vice Capt. retrieves the magazines, hands them to Jack.
They're yours. Make a major case,
Sergeant. It's the only way you're
getting out of here.
Exaggerated "oohs" and "aahs" from the men.
As they go, Jack sees the books are stamped: "Fleur-de-Lis
Whatever you desire." Jack takes the matching business card
from his wallet, the one he found on Christmas Eve.
Roll, Vincennes. No sidetracks. This
is Ad Vice, not Narco.
INT. HOLLYWOOD STATION - NARCO PEN - DAY
Jack Vincennes is at his desk. Holding the Fleur-de-Lis card,
magazines spread before him, Jack dials the number.
INT. HUSH-HUSH MAGAZINE OFFICE - DAY
Sid Hudgeons sits behind his desk, answers the phone.
Hush-Hush. Off the record and on the
Sid, it's Vincennes.
Jackie, are you back on Narco? I
INTERCUT WITH Jack at his desk:
No. But I've got something going
with Ad Vice.
Don't know. I'm chasing picture books.
Fuck shots, but the posers don't
look like junkies. It's well done
stuff. I thought you might have heard
Hudgeons reaches into a stack of papers, pulls out a magazine
like the one Jack has.
Not a word.
What about Fleur-de-Lis? Their
slogan's 'Whatever you desire.'
No. No, I've heard bupkis. Jack,
I'll talk to you later. Call me when
you get something I can use. Smut's
from hunger. For sad sacks who can't
get their ashes hauled.
The LINE CLICKS off. Jack hesitates a moment before cradling
the receiver. Something's not right here.
EXT. HOLYWOOD STATION - PARKING LOT - TWILIGHT
As Exley pulls in, his two-way drones:
Park Rangers report three Negro youths
discharging shotguns into the air in
Griffith Park. Suspects are driving
a late model purple Mercury Coupe.
As the report ends, Exley switches off the two-way and gets
out of his car.
INT. HOLLYWOOD STATION - SQUAD ROOM - NIGHT
Accompanied by Bud, Dick Stensland crams the contents of his
desk into a box. Well-wishing cops pat him on the back, offer
words of encouragement, but Stensland looks like he's going
to cry. It's very bad timing as Exley enters, comes face-to-
face with them. This is hatred. Acting on impulse, Bud goes
after Exley. It's a mauling. Four vicious body shots. A
potentially lethal head shot sails wide as Exley falls to
the ground. As four men move to hold Bud back, Exley looks
up at him.
You're just a thug, White. That's
all you'll ever be.
Dudley steps into the fray. He helps Exley to his feet.
You should stay away from a man when
his blood is up.
His blood's always up.
Four cops are genuinely having trouble holding Bud back.
Dudley watches with something bordering on admiration.
Then maybe you should stay away from
him all the time.
EXT. HOLLYWOOD STATION - PARKING LOT - NIGHT
Accompanied by Bud, Stensland reaches his car, loads his box
of stuff into the trunk. Bud is moody, pensive.
Don't look so down in the mouth,
Bud. You nailed him good.
Yeah, sure... I got a couple of hours
before I have to be at the Victory.
Want to grab a beer?
Rain check me, partner. I got
something big going on tonight.
What? That new mystery girl you've
No. I'll tell you sometime. Not now.
Don't want to jinx it. But it could
take the edge off that jail time I
What are you talking about?
It's confidential, Bud. Like that
magazines Vincennes scams for. Hush-
I'll see you tomorrow. And hey, if
it works out, you'll get a piece of
Stensland gets in the car, drives off. Bud is left alone.
INT. HOLLYWOOD STATION - SQUAD ROOM - NIGHT
Exley sits alone in a sea of desks. The SQUAWK BOX DRONES.
Exley squints at the clock on the wall, can't make it out.
He takes his glasses from the inside of his jacket. 2:00
A.M. Finally, something to do. He walks to the wall calendar,
tears off Feb. 28 to reveal Mar. 1. As Exley sits, the call
SQUAWK BOX booms to life.
Squad call! Nite Owl Coffee Shop One-
eight-one-two-four Cherokee! Multiple
homicides! Multiple homicides! Code
EXT. HOLLYWOOD AND CHEROKEE - NIGHT
Patrol cars. Blues setting up a crime scene blockade. Exley
pulls up, DOUSES his SIREN. PATROLMAN #1 runs over.
Loads of people down. Men. Women. I
stopped for coffee --
Exley pushes him aside, heads for the door. It's wide open.
INT. NITE OWL - NIGHT
Exley takes mental snapshots. Ten stools front a counter.
The side wall mural-papered: winking owls perched on street
signs. On the right a string of tables. Three in disarray.
Food spilled, dishes broken. A high-heel pump by an upended
chair. Heel drag marks across the linoleum floor heading
back toward the kitchen. Exley follows. Past an open, empty
cash register. Outside -- SIRENS.
Crisscrossed drag marks connect, lead to a walk-in...
Blood-soaked bodies on the floor. Five, maybe six in a tangle.
Dozens of shotgun shells float in the pools of blood. As
Exley struggles to maintain his composure...
Holy shit fuck...
Exley looks at a green-faced ROOKIE in the locker doorway.
S-s-sir, there's a captain outside
wants to see you.
Don't get sick! Not in here!
Exley shoves the Rookie, puking, out the door.
EXT. NITE OWL - NIGHT
Patrolmen hold back a swarm of reporters and rubber-neckers.
HORNS BLAST. Motorcycles run interference for meat wagons
cut off by the crown. As Ed emerges, reporters surge, shout
questions. Exley hurries past, finds Dudley in command and
Sir, I took the call. It's my case.
Edmund, you don't want it and you
can't have it.
Yes, I do, sir.
It's mine. I'll make you my second
Exley spots a photographer moving in. He looks properly
serious as the flash bulb pops.
INT. NIGHT OWL - NIGHT
Forensics Chief RAY PINKER walks Exley and Dudley through.
We got a total of forty-five spent
12-gauge Remington shotgun shells.
Three men with five-shot-capacity
pumps. All of them reloading twice.
Hold on... We need to canvass. See
if a purple Mercury was seen around
We got a call earlier on three Negro
youths. Firing shotguns in Griffith
Park from a late-model purple Mercury
(to his adjutant)
Get on it.
A FORENSICS COP approaches Pinker.
We got an I.D. on one of the victims,
sir... I think it's Dick Stensland.
Exley and Dudley react, look at each other.
EXT. VICTORY MOTEL - DAWN
Set in a no-man's-land of bulldozed homes. A sign proudly
announces the impending arrival of the freeway. The motel is
surrounded by a barbed-wire fence. Abandoned but for a pair
of LAPD cars and a light burning in room 6. An unmarked pulls
up and Exley and Dudley step out. They start forward, but a
SCREAM inside 6 stops Exley short.
With Mickey Cohen in prison, Los
Angeles is organized crime free. The
Chief wants it to stay that way,
Edmund. The means are not for the
INT. VICTORY MOTEL - ROOM 6 - DAWN
Bare. A table and chair bolted to the floor. A tough FLAT-
NOSED GANGSTER is cuffed to the hot seat. On the table are a
.45 and a fat roll of $100 bills. Breuning and Carlisle watch
as Bud White delivers a couple of short, stiff body shots.
Flatnose is not used to being on the receiving end. All the
same, we get the idea Bud's a bit reluctant. Bud's back is
to Dudley and Exley who enter behind him.
Come, Wendell, you can do better
Bud turns, sees Exley and Dudley. A beat. As Bud looms over
Flatnose, the gangster babbles. Snitch-frenzied.
I know things. I hear things. Like
with the Mick inside, things are on
this weird slowdown. These shooter
teams, bang bang bang, they're 86-
ing Mickey Cohen's men.
We know all that, lad. Tell us, who
do these shooters work for?
I don't know. No one knows. Maybe
they're mavericks. You want a prostie
roust? Huh? Some narco action?
What do you want?!
We want you to go home.
Uncuff him, Michael.
Dudley turns to Exley.
Mr. Sifakis is a known loan shark
from San Francisco. He arrived this
afternoon at Union Station. Looking
for business opportunities in our
fair city. An organized crime
associate in need of re-education in
the ways of polite society.
Uncuffed, Flatnose rubs his wrists. Wary. As Breuning steps
back, Flatnose snatches the .45 off the table.
Exley dives for cover, but the other four cops just stand
there. Dudley looks down on the floor at Exley.
It's part of the play, Edmund. A
Flatnose looks at the gun a beat, then squeezes the TRIGGER.
CLICK CLICK. No bullets.
Sit him back down.
CLICK, CLICK. They shove Flatnose back in the hot seat. Dudley
offers a hand to Exley, helps him to his feet.
Wendell, you need to accompany
Detective Lieutenant Exley on official
police business. I'll finish up here.
INT. EXLEY'S PLYMOUTH - DAY
They drive in silence. No love lost here. Finally.
Where are we going?
It's a surprise. You like surprises,
don't you, White?
EXT. COUNTY MORGUE - DAY
Exley pulls up. Bud looks to him. Really curious now.
INT. COUNTY MORGUE - HALLWAY - DAY
Exley and Bud walk. An orderly wheels a covered corpse toward
them from the other end of the hall. Bud's spooked. The
orderly wheels the body in to the examination room. As Bud
and Exley pass, the CORONER pulls back the sheet, is surprised
at the sight of a woman who we don't quite see.
Call me crazy, but for a second I
thought it was Rita Hayworth.
MORGUE MEAT LOCKER
Exley and Bud walk past a wall of drawers to where a coroner's
We need you to I.D. the body. There's
no next of kin and you knew him best.
So tell me...
The assistant pulls open drawer 12. A naked man. A tag on
his toe and half his face blown off.
Is that Dick Stensland?
Stunned, Bud stares at what's left of his old partner.
Yeah, that's Stens.
Hell of a way to avoid a prison
Bud's torn between wanting to smash Exley and finding out
why Stensland is dead. He squeezes out the words.
Someone held up a coffee shop,
panicked and killed six people.
Then, from the hall...
Not my baby! Not my little girl!
INT. COUNTY MORGUE - EXAMINATION ROOM - DAY
HILDA LEFFERTS, 50, enters with the coroner to ID the body
of her daughter, Susan. There's stray buckshot in the upper
chest and shoulders, but a sheet hides the real damage. It's
the girl Bud saw outside Hollywood Liquor. Without the black
eyes, she does look like Rita hayworth. As Bud and Exley
appear, Mrs. Lefferts looks confused.
Is this your daughter, Mrs. Lefferts?
I -- I don't know.
We know this is difficult. Just take
your time and look again.
Exley doesn't realize, but Bud recognizes the deceased.
It seems like my Susan, but...
When was the last time you saw her,
At Christmas. We had fought. I didn't
like her boyfriend. I -- she has a
birthmark on her hip.
The Coroner lifts the sheet. Mrs. Lefferts gasps.
It's her. My baby. Dear God...
As Mrs. Lefferts swoons, Bud and Exley both hold her up.
INT. LAPD HEADQUARTERS - BRIEFING ROOM - DAY
The room buzzes, jammed to the rafters with every detective
standing ready. The Chief waits as Dudley Smith takes the
mike, holds up an L.A. Times headline.
'Nite Owl Massacre.' Hyperbole aside,
this is a heinous crime that requires
a swift resolution. The public will
demand it and this department will
provide it. Six victims. One of them,
one of our own -- Dick Stensland.
(as the cops react)
As it happens, he was a Nite Owl
regular. In the wrong place at the
Bud White listens, not too sure. Stensland said he had
something big going on...
Robbery looks like the motive. We
have rubber glove prints on the
register and preliminary forensics
strongly lean toward a trio of gunmen.
We do have one hot lead, so listen
well. Three Negro youths were seen
last night discharging shotguns in
the air at Griffith Park. A park
ranger I.D.ed them as driving a 1948
to 1950 Mercury Coupe, purple in
color. An hour ago, a canvassing
crew found a news vendor who saw a
purple Merc Coupe parked across from
the Nite Owl around 3:00 A.M.
The room goes loud, a big rumbling. Dudley holds up a list.
The D.M.V. worked all night to get
us a registration list on '48 to '50
purple Mercs. There are 142 registered
to Negroes in L.A. County. Fifty two-
man teams will shake three names
apiece. Hot suspects you'll bring
here. Interrogation rooms have been
set up. They'll be run by Lieutenant
Edmund Exley. Hollywood Squad.
Catcalls. Boos. The Chief steps to the mike.
Enough on that. Gentlemen, just go
out and get them. Use all necessary
force. The people of Los Angeles
The men exchange knowing looks. The real message: kill them
clean. Exley doesn't approve. As the men hurry out...
He might as well have put a bounty
INT. SQUAD ROOM - DAY
Detectives pairing up and moving out. Scanning his three
name list, Bud joins his PARTNER for the day.
Can you take them? I got I got
something I gotta do.
Christ, I don't know. What if one of
What I gotta do is for Stensland. My
The guy looks at him a beat, nods. As Bud heads off...
watches everyone go. Wishes he could be part of the action.
He spots Jack talking to his REDNECK partner for for the
JACK AND REDNECK
Redneck chews tobacco, has a Texas drawl.
Where to, Trash?
If we go by the list, we have about
zero chance of making the collar.
But I know a guy who knows what's
going on south of Jefferson. I'm
betting he could put us at 50/50.
I don't know...
As Redneck thinks, Exley steps up. He's overheard.
I'll take those odds.
Take off. We got it from here.
Jack stares. Redneck shrugs, spits tobacco juice in a cup.
Between the two of you guys, you
should bring along a photographer.
INT. HOLLYWOOD LIQUOR - DAY
Last time we saw the Owner was Christmas Eve. He looks up
from a customer as Bud strides in, badge out front.
I need an address on a customer of
yours. Her name was Lynn.
That's all I have to go on?
Yeah. And I think you already know
who I mean, so cough it up.
Lynn Bracken. There's a billing
address and a delivery address.
Give me both. Billing first.
EXT. 1184 GRETNA GREEN, BRENTWOOD (PATCHETT'S) - DAY
A big, pink Spanish mansion with lots of tile. Also last
seen outside Hollywood Liquor on Christmas Eve, Pierce
Patchett is in the front yard, chipping golf balls over a
koi pond. They land in a tight grouping. As he tees up:
You must slay 'em at the country
Bud's halfway up the walk. Patchett sees the cuffs hooked to
his belt. Patchett is cool as can be.
Are you Pierce Patchett?
I am. Are you soliciting for police
charities? The last time, you people
called at my office.
I'm a homicide detective. Where were
you last night?
I was here, hosting a party. Who was
killed and why do you think I can
I don't know him. Mr...
Officer White. How about Susan
Lefferts? You know her?
You know I do or you wouldn't be
here. How did you find me?
We met outside Hollywood Liquors on
Christmas Eve. This is where Lynn
Bracken's booze bills go.
Sue Lefferts died at the Nite Owl.
Patchett studies Bud a beat, weighing his options. Patchett's
burly BODYGUARD starts over from the house.
Everything alright, Mr. Patchett?
(waves him off)
Fine, Philip. Thank you.
Where's the other guy? Buzz.
He no longer works for me.
Find Susan's killer, Mr. White. I'll
give you a handsome reward. Whatever
If only Jack had been around to hear that.
Thanks, but no thanks.
Against your code?
I don't have one. Lefferts looked
beat-up Christmas Eve, but didn't
act it. How come?
Do you care about criminal matters
peripheral to Susan's murder?
Then you wouldn't feel obligated to
Then listen closely, because I'll
only say this once and if it gets
repeated, I'll deny it. I run call
girls. Lynn Bracken is one of them
and so was Susan Lefferts. I treat
my girls very well. I have grown
daughters, myself, and I don't like
the thought of women being hurt. I
sense you share this feeling.
Why were Lefferts' eyes black?
I think she'd been hit in the face
with a tennis racket. She is -- was --
a big doubles fan.
You wanna go downtown and discuss
Wait. Our deal still holds?
Bud nods, his patience running thin.
I needed a Rita Hayworth to fill out
my little studio.
What little studio?
There's Gardner, Hepburn, Grable,
Turner. Lynn Bracken is my Veronica
Lake. I use girls who look like movie
stars. Sometimes I employ a plastic
That's why her mother couldn't I.D.
her... Jesus fucking Christ.
No, Mr. White. Pierce Morehouse
Patchett. Now, I sense you're on
your best behavior, but that's all
I'll give you. If you persist, I'll
meet you with my attorney. Now, would
you like Miss Bracken's address? I
doubt she knows anything, but --
I got her address.
Of course... this is personal with
you, isn't it, Mr. White?
Bud turns, heads down the walk. Patchett hits his golf ball.
It lands just past the koi pond, with the rest. Ice.
EXT. 1736 NOTTINGHAM, LOS FELIZ (LYNN BRACKEN'S) - DAY
A modern-looking triplex. A projector's flicker strobes
against the closed curtains. We hear a PHONE RING.
INT. 1736 NOTTINGHAM (LYNN BRACKEN'S) - DAY
The film is This Gun For Hire with Alan Ladd and Veronica
Lake. It's projected on a wall in front of which stands Lynn
Bracken and an OLDER GENTLEMAN, in his underwear. Lynn's
long, blonde hair hangs down over one eye. She looks more
like Veronica Lake than Veronica Lake. The film flashes over
them as they kiss. The PHONE RINGS. Lynn ignores it as long
as she can before breaking away to go answer it.
Is it the cops?
She waves him off. As he practices pointing his finger like
Ladd points a gun, Lynn reacts to the news on the phone.
EXT. 9781 SOUTH DUQUESNE - DAY
A South Central plywood and tar-paper dive. A BLACK BOXER
pounds a heavy bag/speed bag combo bolted to the porch. Wiry,
a welterweight, he doesn't see Jack and Exley till they're
almost on top of him.
The Boxer leans on the bag to catch his breath. Looking them
over, he finally nods.
How's the left these days?
What's it to you?
I saw you fight Kid Gavilan. I like
What do you want, Mr. Policeman?
You got a brother up in Folsom. I
know because I put him there.
How'd you like to make it 1960? I
know the judge and Sergeant Exley
here is friends with the D.A.
Exley nods, this is true. The Boxer's still listening.
We're looking for three colored guys
who like to pop off shotguns. One of
'em owns a purple Merc coupe.
You wanna get me a fuckin' snitch
You wanna buy your brother ten
years...? You don't have to say
anything. Just look at this list and
Jack holds the DMV list out to the Boxer, who waves it off.
He's bad, so I'll just tell you.
Sugar Ray Coates. Drives a '49 coupe,
a beautiful ride. Don't know about
shotguns, but he gets his thrills
killing dogs. He is righteous trash.
Jack and Exley scan the list. Jack's finger stabs down on,
"Coates, Raymond, 9611 South Central, Room 414."
That's five minutes from here.
EXT. 1736 NOTTINGHAM (LYNN BRACKEN'S) - DAY
Lynn does her best to usher the slightly disheveled Older
Gentleman out the door.
I don't understand, doll, we just
I'm sorry, but I'll make it up to
you. I promise.
Gosh, kitten, I don't know...
As he begins to mash up against her...
Hit the road, gramps.
Bud's standing at the bottom of the stairs. The Older
Gentleman strikes a pose. He still thinks he's Alan Ladd.
Alright. This time I'll go, but next
L.A.P.D., shitbird. Get the fuck out
of here or I'll call your wife to
come get you.
Sputtering, the Older Gentleman exchanges a look with Lynn
then hurries away, giving Bud a wide berth.
I've been expecting you. Pierce
called. Told me what happened to
INT. 1736 NOTTINGHAM (LYNN BRACKEN'S) - DAY
A nice breezy feel. The perfect place to shack up.
It's Officer White, isn't it?
Bud nods, eyeballs the place.
Can I get you a drink?
Yeah, plain scotch.
Bud watches her move to the bar. God, she's beautiful.
I was friendly with Sue Lefferts,
but we weren't really friends. You
know what I mean?
Are you sorry she's dead?
Of course I am. What kind of question
She steps back with a scotch for both of them.
Have you ever heard of Dick Stensland?
No I haven't. Do you know why Pierce
is humoring you?
You use words like that, you might
make me mad.
Yes. But do you know?
Yeah I know. Patchett's running whores
and judging by his address, probably
something bigger on the side. He
doesn't want any attention.
That's right. Our motives are selfish,
so we're cooperating.
Why was Susan Lefferts at the Nite
I don't know. I never heard of the
Nite Owl till today.
Did Lefferts have a boyfriend?
Like I said we were friendly, not
How'd she meet Patchett?
Pierce meets people. Sue came on the
bus with dreams of Hollywood. This
is how they turned out. Thanks to
Pierce, we still get to act a little.
Tell me about Patchett.
He's waiting for you to mention money.
You want some advice, Miss Bracken?
Miss Bracken, don't ever try to
fucking bribe me or threaten me or
I'll have you and Patchett in shit
up to your ears.
Lynn smiles again. She likes Bud. A beat.
I remember you from Christmas Eve.
You have a thing for helping women,
don't you, Officer White?
Maybe I'm just fucking curious.
You say 'fuck' a lot.
You fuck for money.
There's blood on your shirt. Is that
an integral part of your job?
Do you enjoy it?
When they deserve it.
Did they deserve it today?
I'm not sure.
But you did it anyway.
Yeah, just like the half dozen guys
you screwed today.
Actually, it was two. You're
different, Officer White. You're the
first man in five years who didn't
tell me I look like Veronica Lake
inside of a minute.
You look better than Veronica Lake.
Now, PIERCE PATCHETT.
He takes a cut of our earnings and
invests it for us. He makes us quit
the life at thirty. He doesn't let
us use narcotics and he doesn't abuse
us. Can your policeman's mentality
grasp those contradictions?
He had you cut to look like Veronica
No. I'm really a brunette, but the
rest is me. And that's all the news
that's fit to print.
Lynn starts toward the door. Bud watches her a moment, then
follows. She takes his glass at the door.
It was nice meeting you, Officer.
Out the door, Bud turns back. Blurts:
Look. I want to see you again.
Are you asking me for a date or an
I don't know.
If it's a date I think you'd better
tell me your first name because I --
Forget I asked. It was a mistake.
Lynn watches thoughtfully after Bud as he walks away. He
opens his car door like he's going to tear it off. A last
glance back at Lynn and as he gets in the car...
EXT. TEVERE HOTEL - DAY
An L-shaped walk-up. Jack coasts the car to the curb. He
leaps out with Exley. Exley holds up at the sight of a late
model sedan. He leans down to look in the window at the two-
way on the dash.
SHIT. Someone beat us here.
VOICES from the carport ahead. We see a chrome bumper, the
purple fender of a '49 Mercury coupe. A door slams. Drawing
a .45, Jack starts over with Exley, .38 in hand.
Toting shotguns, Dudley's boys from the Victory Motel,
Breuning and Carlisle, stand by the purple Mercury. Jack and
Exley come around the corner, lower their guns.
Breuning wheels, pumps a round into the chamber. He very
nearly fires before he sees who it is.
What the fuck are you guys doing
Think of us as back-up.
What do you got?
As Jack moves to peer through the Merc's window.
Three Ithaca pumps, an empty box of
double-ought buck and cash.
Jack spots them. Three shotguns on the passenger side floor,
an empty box of shells and loose dollar bills.
So long, Vice. Badge of Honor, here
Fuck you, Vincennes. It's our collar.
Breuning actually has to restrain his partner.
Quiet. I'm ranking officer here. We
go as a team. End of story.
INT. CORRIDOR - TEVERE HOTEL - DAY
Breuning and Carlisle lead the way with Jack and Exley
bringing up the rear. Squinting, Exley reaches to his pocket
for something. Not there.
Just don't shoot me.
The door to 414. Two men on either side. Breuning rears back.
Jack rears back. They kick at the same instant. The door
flies off its hinges to reveal two young black men, LARRY
FONTAINE and TY JONES, waking from a couple of flop
Fontaine jumps up. Entering, Carlisle aims, but Exley grabs
his arm. The BLAST rips the ceiling. Jack aims.
Fontaine freezes. Jones doesn't dare get up.
Ace him, Jack.
Shut up, Carlisle!
Jack and Exley burst into a...
Another black, RAY COATES, passed out on mattress, surrounded
by empty beer cans. Jack sticks his .38 in his back, starts
to cuff him. As the cuff ratchets down...
INT. OBSERVATION ROOM - DAY
Dudley watches intently as Ed Exley skims a report, memorizing
names and dates. Jack and other brass are also here along
with a stenographer. So's Bud. One of these guys killed
Stensland. Through tinted glass, the three suspects in three
Casitas Youth Camp... Coates twenty-
two, a boxer... Manager saw them
Satisfied, Exley sets the report down.
Ed, I want confessions.
I'll break them, sir.
As Exley steps into the #1 room, Jack joins Dudley.
You think golden boy can handle it,
I think you'll be surprised what
Edmund's capable of.
INT. #1 ROOM - DAY
Exley closes the door. Ray Coates is cuffed to a chair,
dressed in baggy County denims. One eye swollen shut, lip
split, a smashed nose with one nostril split. Exley unlocks
his cuffs. drops cigarettes and matches on the table. As
Coates rubs his wrists...
They call you Sugar Ray because of
They say Robinson can throw a four
punch combination in one second. Do
you believe that?
Coates just stares at him.
You're twenty-two, aren't you, Ray?
Say what and so what.
Did one of the officers work you
over a little?
No bite. Coates just stares back.
You look like Robinson after that
last LaMotta fight. 'Course LaMotta
looked a lot worse. So you're twenty-
Man, why do you keep asking me that?
Just getting my facts straight. Twenty-
two makes it a gas chamber bounce.
You should have pulled this caper a
couple of years ago. Get life, do a
little Youth Authority jolt, transfer
to Folsom a big man. Orbit on some
of that good prison brew, get yourself
a sissy --
I never truck with no sissies!
That fucking Larry. I almost believed
That Larry, he's a pisser. You did
the Casitas Youth Camp with him,
Man, why're you talkin' about Larry?
His business is his business.
Unseen by Coates, Exley reaches under the table, takes hold
of one of three toggle switches.
Sugar, Larry told me you went sissy
up at Casitas. You couldn't do the
time so you found yourself a big
white boy to look after you. He said
they call you 'Sugar' because you
gave it out so sweet.
Exley flips the toggle.
The speaker over Larry Fontaine's head crackles to life.
Larry gave it at Casitas! Man, I was
the fuckin' boss jocker on my dorm!
Larry's the sissy! Larry gave it for
Exley flips up the second toggle.
Ray, you protected Ty and Larry up
in Casitas, didn't you?
You ain't woofin' I did. Stupid down
home niggers got no more sense than
a fuckin' dog.
Exley flips the switches off.
I heard you like to shoot dogs.
Dogs got no reason to live.
Oh? you feel that way about people,
Man, what're you saying?
Ray, we got the shotguns.
I don't own no shotguns.
Why were you throwing clothes in the
You guys were arrested this morning,
but none of you have last night's
clothes. YOU were seen burning them.
Add to that the fact that you hid
the car you were cruising around in
last night and it doesn't look good.
I got nothin' more to say till I see
Were you on hop? You were passed out
when you got arrested. Were you hopped
Ty and Larry fuck with that shit,
Where do they get their stuff? Come
on. Give me one to feed the D.A.
Just a little one.
Coates nods. Exley flips up the toggles as he leans in.
Roland Navarette. Lives on Bunker
Hill. He runs a hole-up for parole
absconders and sells red devils.
Exley flips down the switches, stands.
I'm going to take a break.
Exley opens the door, looks back in afterthought.
You know, Ray, I'm talking about the
gas chamber and you haven't even
asked me what this is all about. You
got a big guilty sign around your
Masterful, Edmund. Your father
would've been proud.
This one's on the verge.
Exley looks through the glass into #2. Larry Fontaine is
weeping. A piss puddle on the floor by his chair.
Fontaine next, but give Jones the
newspaper. I want him primed.
Fontaine tries to control his sniffles as Exley enters.
Larry, Ray Coates ratted you off. He
said the Nite Owl was your idea. You
want to tell me about it?
I think it was Ray's idea. Talk and
I think I can save your life.
Larry, this is a gas chamber job. If
you don't talk, you'll be dead in
Son, six people are dead and somebody
has to pay. It can be you or it can
Larry, he called you queer. He said
at Casitas you took it up the ass.
He said --
I DIDN'T KILL NOBODY!
The voice is strong, full of conviction. Exley glances at
the mirror. Then...
Why'd you burn the clothes?
I just wanted to lose my cherry. I
didn't mean to hurt her.
Exley can't hide his surprise at this.
Hurt who? Was she a hooker? Hurt
But Fontaine is gone. Head lolling, eyes squeezing out tears.
Exley steps out of the interrogation room. Dudley braces
Don't get sidetracked. Stay with the
She may still be alive, whoever she
Bud's all ears.
Reading, Jones has his feet on the table. Exley bursts in.
This newspaper shit ain't shit.
Where's the girl? Did you kill her?
No answer, but Jones looks nervous.
You wanted Larry to lose his cherry,
but things got out of hand. Is that
Everyone's attention is riveted, particularly Bud's. They
watch, listen over the speaker.
Kick loose, Jones. I know you made
her bleed, but that doesn't mean you
No answer, but Jones is squirming.
If that girl's alive, you've still
got a chance on this one.
I think she's alive.
Jack turns to Dudley.
He's good. I'll give him that.
They don't notice as the chair back begins to splinter in
Exley sits across from him, tries to wrap it up.
Where is she now?
Did you leave her someplace?
Did you sell her out? Give her to
some of your buddies? Tell me where
the girl is!
The door blasts open. Bud slams Jones up against the wall.
As Exley stands, he bangs his knee on the table. Pulling a
.38, Bud breaks the cylinder, drops 5 shells on the floor.
One in six. Where's the girl?
Officer White, put down that weapon
Bud shoves the barrel into Jones' mouth, pulls the trigger
twice. CLICK, CLICK. Jones starts to slide down the wall.
Bud jerks him back up, roars.
Two more clicks. Jones spills.
S-sylvester F-fitch one-o-nine and
Avalon gray corner house...
EXT. AVALON BOULEVARD - EVENING
A four cordon. They coast up to a GRAY CORNER HOUSE. Dudley
Smith behind the wheel of the lead cruiser. Bud White rides
shotgun, reloading his revolver.
Give me one minute.
You've got it, Wendell.
Bud is out the door and scooting down an alley. Exley moves
to follow, but Dudley cuts him off.
We're going through the front.
Bud vaults a fence, pads up the back porch. A screen door.
Bud slips the catch with a penknife and walks inside.
Bud heads for a blind-covered door. Unlocked, he enters...
Light bouncing from side rooms. We hear the opening spiel of
"Badge of Honor" from the left. Bud wheels into a...
A NUDE GIRL spread-eagled on a mattress. Bound with neckties.
One in her mouth. Her eyes grow wide at the sight of Bud,
then flicker to the adjoining room. Directing him. Raising
the .38, Bud enters...
Sylvester Fitch sits naked at the table wolfing Rice Krispies
and watching "Badge of Honor" on a flickering TV. He looks
up, sees the .38 before he sees Bud beyond it. Fitch drops
his spoon, raises his hands. Bud SHOOTS him in the face.
Dead, Fitch just sits there. Bud moves behind him. Pulling a
spare piece from an ankle holster, Bud FIRES back at the
door from Fitch's line of fire, then puts the gun in Fitch's
hand. We hear the FRONT DOOR CRASH OPEN. As Fitch slides off
the chair to the floor, Bud dumps the Rice Krispies on him.
EXT. GRAY HOUSE - NIGHT
The Girl on a stretcher. Being carried to an AMBULANCE. Bud
White walks alongside, looking like some ferocious pet pit
bull. The ATTENDANTS get her inside. One joins her. The other
closes the door, pauses to light a smoke. Bud rips the
cigarette out of his mouth, nearly taking the guy's lips
Get her to the fucking hospital.
One look at Bud, and the Attendant is running around to the
driver's side. Exley arrives, steamed.
A naked guy with a gun? You expect
anyone to believe that?
Get the fuck away from me.
Bud starts away, but Exley gets right in his face. Other
cops begin to take notice. The ambulance pulls out.
How's it going to look on your report?
It'll look like justice. That's what
that fat fuck got. JUSTICE.
You don't know what the word means,
you dumb bastard.
Bud goes after Exley, but ten hands pull them apart. Dudley
on Exley. Four cops genuinely having trouble on Bud. And as
if things couldn't get crazier, shouts from the cops on the
street. POLICE RADIOS CRANKED UP.
Repeat, three suspects escaped from
the Hall of Justice jail. The Nite
Owl killers: Raymond Coates, Tyrone
Jones and Larry Fontaine. They are
considered armed and extremely
dangerous. Descriptions are as
INT. SQUAD ROOM - DAY
Electrified, "Nite Owl Killers" on everyone's lips. Exley
strides through with purpose, beelines to a filing cabinet.
Exley pulls the file he's looking for. He scans an
interrogation transcript, reads to himself the words he's
'Give me one to feed the D.A....
Roland Navarette. Lives on Bunker
Hill. Runs a hole-up for parole
INT. HOLLYWOOD STATION - JACK'S DESK - DAY
Police rush back and forth. Exley hurries over to the desk,
but he's not there.
Anyone seen Jack Vincennes?
A few cops mumble they haven't. As Exley decides what to do,
Carlisle from the original arrest steps over.
Is something up, Lieutenant?
EXT. 1ST & OLIVE - DAY
Exley and Carlisle pull up across the street from a four-
story Victorian with paint peeling off the clapboards. They
jump out of the car toting SHOTGUNS. Carlisle waits as Exley
checks the mail slots: "R. Navarette, 408."
INT. STAIRWELL - VICTORIAN BUILDING - DAY
Exley and Carlisle take the steps two at a time.
INT. 4TH FLOOR HALLWAY - VICTORIAN BUILDING - DAY
Exley squints, reaches to a pocket. NO GLASSES. He passes an
elevator, rounds a corner. There's 408. Exley pumps the
shotgun, nods to Carlisle who kicks the door in.
NAVARETTE LIVING ROOM
Exley and Carlisle burst in on four men eating sandwiches.
Fontaine and Caucasian NAVARETTE at a table. Coates on the
floor. Jones by the window. Exley squints.
Fontaine and Navarette raise their hands. A jostled BEER
BOTTLE CRASHES to the floor. Reacting, Carlisle JERKS the
TRIGGER. Fontaine goes down. Navarette draws a .38, SHOOTS
Carlisle twice in the chest. Exley BLASTS Navarette.
Screaming, Jones pulls a .45 from his belt. Exley FIRES,
blowing him right THROUGH the WINDOW. Coates draws and FIRES,
makes a run for it. A bad pull takes out half a back wall.
Coates is out the door.
Coates makes it inside, frantically pushes buttons.
Here comes Exley. Stumbling, wiping Navarette's blood out of
his eyes, he closes on the...
Coates watches as the elevator doors begin closing.
The shotgun barrel juts through. The doors bang against it.
TONY BENNETT belts "BOULEVARD OF BROKEN DREAMS."
INT. HOLLYWOOD STATION - DAY
Exley returns to grudging respect. His white shirt flecked
with blood, he's clapped on the back by Dudley who dubs him
"Shotgun Ed." Exley doesn't enjoy it. He's numb, stumbling
along. As he notices the blood on his hands...
INSERT - NEWSPAPER HEADLINE
NITE OWL HERO! Over a photo of Exley.
EXT. CEMETERY - GRAVE - DAY
A coffin is lowered into the ground. A WIDOW leans on the
Chief's arm, accepts a tri-folded American flag from Dudley
Smith. Exley drops a handful of earth on the casket, has
trouble getting the wet dirt off his hands.
We mourn the passing of a good man.
The loss of Sgt. William Carlisle is
the loss of his wife, his family and
the entire Los Angeles Police
A sea of dress blues. Jack looks bored, dressed too flashy
for a funeral. Bud looks grim, rain dripping off the brim of
his cap. As a TWENTY-ONE GUN salute is FIRED...
EXT. CEMETERY (SOUTH CENTRAL, L.A.) - DAY
Larry Fontaine's mother mourns alone as her son is buried.
INT. CITY OF ANGELS HOSPITAL - RECEPTION AREA - DAY
Exley talks with a tough, starchy NURSE.
I need the girl to give me a
chronology of events. No details.
Absolutely not. She barely remembers
her own name.
I was told the case was closed. Should
I call your superior to double-check?
No. that won't be necessary.
The Nurse turns, marches away. Exley is left with a nagging
EXT. ORANGE GROVE (ANAHEIM) - DAY
People cheer as bulldozers mow down orange trees. A banner
heralds the future: "On this site: The World's Biggest
Amusement Park." Cartoon characters dance among the fallen
INT. STATE ASSEMBLYMAN'S OFFICE - DAY
Sitting behind a desk is the Older Gentleman last seen doing
his best Alan Ladd impersonation at Lynn Bracken's. He stares
emphatically at the SMARMY LAWYER who stands before him
holding a manila folder.
You tell Mr. Patchett I have no
intention of changing my vote.
The Lawyer simply hands him a stack of photographs. From
Lynn Bracken's apartment. The first is the Older Gentleman
naked except for his socks and garters.
INT. STATE ASSEMBLY - CHAMBER - DAY
The Older Gentleman rises for an assembly vote.
It may surprise some, but a mature
man, enlightened by the facts, can
change him mind...
EXT. 1736 NOTTINGHAM (LYNN BRACKEN'S) - NIGHT
Rain. A limo disgorges a heavy-set man who climbs steps,
knocks on the door. Lynn answers in an evening gown. He gives
her a peck on the cheek and continues in past her. Lynn's
about to follow him in when she pauses to deadpan a look
down the street. Bud's Packard is parked there and we can
see his darkened silhouette behind the wheel. Smiling a bit
sadly to herself, Lynn disappears inside. This is no stake-
out. Bud watches after her with yearning.
INT. TROCADERO CLUB - NIGHT
Cigarette girls and club photographer make the rounds. Johnny
Stompanato enjoys the frenzied floor show.
EXT. WILSHIRE BOULEVARD - DAY
A horse parade, heavy on the law enforcement contingent, Out
of place in his suit and tie, District Attorney Ellis Loew
awkwardly rides atop a sleek Palimono.
INT. OLYMPIC AUDITORIUM - NIGHT
The crowd in a frenzy as Vincennes' snitch, the welterweight
black boxer, beats the shit out of a white fighter.
INT. MIDDLE CLASS LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
A father holds out his hand, counts along as Jack slaps $100
bills into his palm. Maybe four thousand dollars. Jack says
something about "We appreciate your understanding during
this difficult time." As "Badge of Honor" comes on the TV,
the father responds with "Goddamn actors." Leading, Jack
looks through an open door where Brett Chase's high school
"Sweater Girl" is being comforted by her mother. As she locks
eyes with him an instant...
INT. PIERCE PATCHETT'S HOUSE - NIGHT
The monied johns watch horny as hell as "Ginger Rogers" twirls
around the room with a female "Fred Astaire." Clothes fly as
they spin. Still, most eyes turn to Lynn Bracken as she enters
oozing that cat-girl grace.
EXT. POLICE HEADQUARTERS - DAY
Reporters scribble as the Chief speaks. Uniforms everywhere
along with Exley and Loew. Bus sits in the back.
Edmund J. Exley has amassed a
brilliant record in his seven years
with the L.A.P.D. Recently he evinced
spectacular bravery in the line of
duty. It is my honor to present him
with our highest honor, the Medal of
Exley steps up. The Chief hangs a gold medallion around his
neck. Flashbulbs pop as the two men shake hands. Exley then
accepts a handshake from Dudley. The policemen stand on cue,
applaud without enthusiasm. Dudley lifts the medal from his
Your father would've been proud.
Exley uses the noise to have a private chat with Dudley.
There are loose ends out there,
Dudley. I --
There always are. But there are also
three men and three guns. Matched
forensically. A few loose ends don't
Something's wrong. I feel it inside.
Doesn't that sound crazy?
Dudley puts an arm around Exley's shoulder, smiles out as
more bulbs flash.
Breaking a big case sticks you in a
whirlwind. A little self-doubt? It's
natural. Just keep it inside. Between
you and you.
Exley considers his medal. It is an appealing thing. In the
back, Bud stays sprawled in his seat. No one's watching as
he takes out his gun, kisses it, and blows pretend smoke off
the barrel. As the song ends...
INT. VARIETY INTERNATIONAL PICTURES - STAGE 4 - NIGHT
"Badge of Honor" fund-raiser for D.A. Loew's re-election
campaign. Hot dogs and sauerkraut. Fishbowls stuffed with
cash. Jack is here, returns a smile half-heartedly. Loew
sits with his wife and teenage daughter as Brett "Joe Reno"
This election is about the future of
law enforcement in Los Angeles. Ellis
Loew represents that future. So dig
deep and let's get a moral man re-
Applause. Leaving the podium, Chase smiles at Ellis Loew's
daughter who absolutely gushes. Chase then winks knowingly
to Jack who returns a tired, humorless smile. Jack scans the
room. An odd moment as Jack catches his own reflection in a
mirror across the way. He puts a hand to his face. Is that
Big V Jack Vincennes!
Jack turns to see Sid Hudgeons approaching.
You're back, boychick.
Sid, how are they hanging?
Down around my ankles.
Hudgeons scans the crowd, points someone out.
You remember Matt Reynolds?
Jack spots Matt Reynolds -- one of the young actors Jack
arrested on Christmas Eve.
The Grauman's Chinese pot bust. He
just got off the honor farm.
What's he doing here, Sid?
You tight with the D.A., trash?
Sure, he just tried to throw me off
the force last Christmas as a little
How'd you like a little payback? Not
to mention a donation to the widows
and orphans fund. Did you know Loew
was a swish?
He's queer too. Metro paid him two
grand a week to fake it with ingenues.
On screen and off. I'm getting him
to fuck the D.A. for a hundred bucks.
That's twice the fifty you got for
wrecking his career.
Even Jack's not immune to a comment like that.
Matt! Over here!
As Hudgeons heads over, Hudgeons points out...
That's D.A. Loew right there.
Reynolds gets a nervous bead on Loew. Hudgeons realizes:
You need a drink, kid... Jack, look
after him a minute. Kid, this is
Jack. No secrets between me and him.
Hudgeons heads off. Reynolds nods at Jack.
Have we met before?
Jack doesn't really feel like talking to him. Reynolds' nerves
won't let him stay quiet.
Was it a party?
Something like that.
Oh, I know. A Fleur-de-Lis party,
Jack remembers the name, plays along for what it's worth.
Fleaur-de-Lis. 'Whatever you desire.'
Dope, liquor, hookers that look like
movie stars. Pierce Patchett has it
Jack recognizes the name, bluffs for more information.
Yeah. Me and Patchett go way back.
Pierce isn't like regular people. I
dig him, but he scares me too.
(shakes his head)
You know, when I came out to L.A.,
this isn't exactly where I saw myself
Yeah. Me neither.
Reynolds looks like he's going to cry. Hudgeons returns with
a double Scotch straight up and a hot dog with sauerkraut.
He hands the drink to Matt.
Dutch courage, kid. Drink up.
Reynolds downs a few gulps, looks across the room at Loew.
I don't know if I should do this.
Hey, it's not like you don't know
how. And Jack here has connections
on 'Badge of Honor.' Pull this off
and there'll be a part for you. I
smell a comeback. Don't you, Jack?
Reynolds looks to Jack who gives a noncommittal shrug.
Loew's free. Congratulate him.
Reynolds nods, drains his glass and heads off. Hudgeons hands
Jack a folded slip of paper.
If Reynolds works his charms, which
he will, this is the address where
they'll be. Meet me at midnight. I
guarantee all sorts of illegal
Hudgeons takes out a President Grant $50 bill. Jack doesn't
Sid, why would a guy like Pierce
Patchett get involved with running
dope and hookers?
Where'd you hear that?
Jackie, all I know is what you know.
The man is very rich. And he's
invested in freeway construction so
he's gonna get a lot richer. But
that's it. Patchett's what I like to
call 'Twilight.' He ain't queer, he
ain't Red, he can't help me in my
quest for prime sinuendo.
Jack takes the $50 as Reynolds returns, shaking his head.
I can't do it.
Talk to him, Jack. Tell him about
the opening on the show.
I'm pretty sure I can get you a part
on the show... But tonight? Pretend
it's an acting job, kid. Showbiz.
And no one'll know about this?
It'll be our secret.
Emboldened by Jack's promise, Reynolds heads off. Jack and
Hudgeons watch as he strikes a conversation with Loew who's
captivated. Hudgeons chomps a bite of his hot dog, gives
Jack the high sign, but Jack just feels like a pimp.
INT. VICTORY HOTEL - ROOM SIX - NIGHT
Screams. A cauliflower-eared Cleveland mob enforcer on the
hotseat. Breuning works him with a rubber hose as Dudley
asks unanswered questions. Bud watches, revulsion growing.
Where did you intend to start.
Go back to Cleveland, lad. This is
the City of Angels and you haven't
got any wings.
More screams as the hose thwops down. Bud looks away, then
shuffles blindly out of the room.
INT. VICTORY HOTEL - BATHROOM - NIGHT
Bud runs water in the sink to drown out the SCREAMS. It
doesn't work. Finally, he leans down and sticks his head
under the stream of water. That doesn't work either.
EXT. VICTORY HOTEL - NIGHT
Hair dripping wet, Bud makes it to his car. The tires spit
gravel as he tears away. Dudley appears in the doorway,
watching curiously. As cauliflower continues to SCREAM...
INT. BUD'S PACKARD - 1736 NOTTINGHAM (LYNN'S) - NIGHT
Bud watches Lynn Bracken's apartment, Colored lights play on
the windows. Shadows pass. Finally the front door opens.
There's Veronica Lake, all sparkles and spangles, kissing
another distinguished gentleman goodnight. Bud watches the
man into a waiting limo. As it pulls away...
INT. 1736 NOTTINGHAM (LYNN BRACKEN'S) - LIVING ROOM -
Now Lynn just looks tired. As she puts away Scotch bottles
and picks up empty glasses, there's a KNOCK on the door.
Lynn sighs, becomes sultry Veronica Lake before our eyes.
INT. FRONT HALL - NIGHT
Did you forget some --
Bud stands there, filling up the door frame.
I wondered when you might ring the
bell again, Officer White.
Bud looks at Lynn a moment, then down at his own feet.
Embarrassed. She smiles.
You should see yourself. You look
like you're ten years old.
Bud looks back up. Lynn's smile fades as she studies his
face. She's not going to ask questions. Lynn looks at him a
moment more, then runs a hand through the blonde hair covering
If you'd called first, I wouldn't
look this ridiculous.
INT. LYNN BRACKEN'S (1736 NOTTINGHAM) - BEDROOM - NIGHT
Lynn comes to Bud naked, her hair brushed back. Bud goes
slow, gently, takes time with his kisses: like she was a
lonely woman he wanted to love to death. Lynn plays off his
timing: her kisses back, her touches. Finally, Bud forces
himself to stop. He pulls back so he can see her.
You're wondering if Patchett told me
to be receptive.
Bud doesn't answer, but yes.
It doesn't matter. I like you, Bud.
I really do.
She kisses him. Softly, drawing it out. Not a job. She wants
to make love to him. And as Bud stops thinking...
EXT. 5261 CHERAMOYA AVENUE (HOLLYWOOD) - NIGHT
Jack sits in his car waiting. He checks his watch... 1:30.
Well past midnight.
Come on, Sid. Where are you?
Jack decides. MOVE WITH him as he gets out and crosses the
street. The apartment is dark, the front door a few inches
ajar. Suspicious, Jack listens. Dead quiet. He enters...
INT. 5261 CHERAMOYA AVENUE - NIGHT
No one here it seems. Till Jack nearly trips over a body.
Matt Reynolds. Soaked in blood. Throat slit. Jack looks down
in horror as Reynolds seems to stare back up at him. Jack
stumbles out the door. We hear his CAR DOOR SLAM shut, the
SCREECH of RUBBER down the street.
EXT. 2345 HALBORO (HUDGEONS' HOUSE) - NIGHT
Jack pounds on Sid's door till lights switch on.
It's Vincennes! Open up!
Hudgeons opens the door. He's in his pajamas.
Jackie! You got some good scoop for
Sid, cut the crap. I --
Give me some Narco skinny. I want to
put out an all hop-head issue.
Shvartze jazz musicians and movie
stars. Maybe tie it into the
Rosenbergs. You like?
Jack grabs him, jerks him into the door frame.
What's wrong, Trash?
What happened with the kid and Loew?
You didn't get my message? It got
called off. The kid chickened out at
the last minute.
He's dead. I was just there. Somebody
slit his throat.
Jesus. Jack, that's a story. 'Swish
Actor Gets The Gay Blade.' Let me
get my camera.
Hudgeons starts away, but Jack grabs him.
Loew didn't go with him. You're sure?
I put Reynolds in the cab myself.
The night cost me a hundred scoots
and I got bupkis.
Jack lets go of him, starts to ramble off into the night.
Jackie! Big V! Let me get my camera!
Where are you going?!
INT. AFTER HOURS CLUB - NIGHT
The BARTENDER walks down the bar to where Jack arrives.
What'll it be, Jack?
(pulls out wallet)
A bottle of Scotch.
As the Bartender turns for one, the only bill Jack finds is
the President Grant fifty. The things he's done for fifty
bucks... As he looks up with despair at his reflection in
the bar mirror, the Bartneder sets down a bottle and shot
glass. He plucks the fifty from Jack's hand. Jack grabs the
bottle and starts out.
Hey! Your change!
INT. 1736 NOTTINGHAM (LYNN BRACKEN'S) - BEDROOM - NIGHT
Spent, Bud and Lynn lie in bed. She traces a finger over his
bicep as he muses on the ceiling.
Who was that guy who was here earlier?
Lynn's tracing finger stops on Bud's shoulder -- a small
It doesn't matter. All they get is
Veronica Lake. You got the real Lynn
Where'd this come from?
When I was ten, my old man threw a
bottle at my mother. I guess I got
in the way.
So you saved her.
Yeah. But not for long.
Bud looks away. Lynn sees he doesn't want to talk about it.
Do you like being a cop, Bud?
I used to. What I do now is strong-
arm. Sitting duck stuff... No, I
don't like it. If I could work
Homicide like a real detective...
Lynn listens sympathetically. Bud's opening up.
There's something wrong with the
Nite Owl. That prick Exley shot the
wrong guys. But they made him a hero
and whoever killed my partner is
still out there.
Frustrated, Bud pokes at his own chest.
In here I know it. But I can't prove
it. I'm not a detective. I'm not
smart enough. I'm just the guy they
bring in to scare the other guy
Bud looks away, embarrassed to have shown so much of himself.
Lynn reaches over, turns his face back to her.
You found Patchett. You found me.
You're smart enough. Be a detective
if that's what you want.
That simple, huh?
Lynn nods. That simple.
INT. HOLLYWOOD STATION - EXLEY'S OFFICE - NIGHT
Exley looks up as a CLERK enters holding two files.
I got the rap sheets on the black
guys, sir. Coates and Jones got
charges a mile long. But except for
some kid stuff, Fontaine's clean.
More or less.
Until he gunned down six people.
EXT. GRIFFITH PARK - DAY
Exley stands in the trees as a PARK RANGER approaches.
I asked my men, Lieutenant. No one
remembers any colored guys firing
Then who phoned in the report?
INT. FORENSICS LAB - DAY
Ray Pinker looks up from his microscope as Bud enters.
Bud White, what brings you down to
I got a few Nite Owl questions.
I don't know if you read the papers,
but that case is closed.
I'm tying up loose ends. Padding my
report. You know how it goes.
What do you want to know?
Anything off. Anything that didn't
You mean beside the fact that thirty-
five out of forty-five rounds were
gratuitous? I can't think of anything.
Pinker is ticked as Bud steps over to where a group of Nite
Owl crime scene photos are posted on the wall. Bud pauses at
a photo which shows the floor around the table. We see a
high heel shoe, blood smears across the floor.
If she was sitting here, then it's
facing the wrong way. What are these
smears in the blood?
It looks like she was flailing, trying
to get away.
But she's moving away from the door.
Who was sitting at this table?
Had to be dumb panic. If she knew
him she would've been sitting with
Bud wonders, maybe a puzzle piece just fell into place. Pinker
You know, there is one thing.
Pinker rummages a shelf for a glass jar which he hands Bud.
Inside are two wax-saturated cotton balls.
Cotton balls. I found them just inside
the meat locker door.
Exactly. At least one of those animals
had the brains to protect his ears.
It doesn't exactly play like dumb
What do you mean?
It's like they knew they were going
to kill everyone before they went
Bud just stares at the picture of Susan Lefferts.
EXT. LEFFERTS' HOUSE (SAN BERNARDINO) - DAY
A shingle shack dump. Bud walks the front steps, RINGS the
BELL. Hilda Lefferts answers. She doesn't look so good.
Mrs. Lefferts, I'm Officer White
with the L.A.P.D. I'd like to ask a
couple of questions.
Let my daughter rest in peace.
Five minutes. That's all.
INT. LEFFERTS' HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - DAY
Pictures of Susan smile down from four walls. Vamp poses on
a nightclub floor. Mrs. Lefferts is all twitchy and nervous,
her eyes darting to a closed door.
Tell me about the boyfriend she had.
The one you mentioned at the morgue.
First I want to go on record as saying
that my Susie was a virgin when she
Ma'am, I'm sure she was.
Mrs. Lefferts talks directly to a photo of her daughter.
Susie, I told you I didn't approve
of that boyfriend. He was too old
for you. You let him come into this
house and be fresh to me. I went out
one day and old Mrs. Jensen next
door saw Susan's boyfriend and another
man and thought she heard a ruckus.
What was that boyfriend's name?
We were never properly introduced.
Susan and I were fighting that day.
She called him by a nickname. Muns
or Lunts or something.
Stens? Was it Stens?
Maybe. I don't know.
Look at a picture for me.
Bud hands her a snapshot of Stensland taken in Tijuana. Out
of uniform. She recognizes him.
That's him. That's him.
You said a neighbor heard a ruckus.
Was it outside, inside?
Mrs. Lefferts' eyes go crazy, darting to a closed door. Rolled
towels are crammed against the bottom of it.
I don't know. You'll have to leave
Bud starts for the closed door.
What's through here?
No! Please leave!
Bud kicks away the towels, opens the door, steps into...
Innocuous except for the smell. It hits Bud right off.
Don't mind the smell. I think a rat
died behind the wall... My Susie was
a good girl!
Easy. Tell me about the ruckus.
I came home that night and there was
blood on the floor. Susan said Stams --
Stens had cut himself. They were
acting nervous. And that Stens kept
going under the house.
As Mrs. Lefferts goes shrill, Bud beelines out the door.
EXT. LEFFERTS' HOUSE (SAN BERNARDINO) - DAY
Holding a flashlight, Bud crawls under the house, into...
Bud elbow-crawls over the dirt, between wooden pilings.
There's a long burlap sack ahead. It smells bad. Bud rips
burlap. A rat's nest explodes. Bud sweeps a forearm at them.
As they clear, he sees a gristle-caked human skull staring
back, a .38 hole in the forehead.
Undaunted, Bud tears the burlap back further. He pats the
corpse's pockets, comes up with a wallet. Bud checks the ID.
"Turner Meeks." Bus knows him by that name and another.
Buzz Meeks... Holy shit.
EXT. LEFFERTS' HOUSE - DAY
Bud crawls out, blinking sunlight and gulping fresh air.
Mrs. Lefferts is there. She's scared.
Was it... a rat?
Yeah. A great big one.
Bud opens Meeks' wallet, pulls out a couple hundred bucks
and gives them to Mrs. Lefferts.
Here. Compliments of the Los Angeles
INT. FORENSICS LAB - DAY
Ray Pinker looks up from an autopsy as Exley enters.
Hey, just in time for our stomach of
the week. Frankfurters with
sauerkraut, French fries, Coca-Cola,
alcohol and sperm. Jesus, what a
The stiff is Matt Reynolds! Pinker continues working away.
The Nite Owl. Anything bothering you
about the case?
Yeah. The fact that you guys won't
let it get filed away.
What are you talking about?
Bud White grilled me on it this
morning. You know, he's not as dumb
as I thought.
As Exley's head swims...
EXT. LEFFERTS' HOUSE (SAN BERNARDINO) - DAY
Mrs. Lefferts waters the grass, watches as a car pulls up.
Exley gets up, starts toward her. She drops the hose and
runs for the front door Exley cuts her off.
Let my Susie rest in peace!
Mrs. Lefferts, I just want to ask a
That other policeman already checked
under the house and found not a thing
A sweet man.
(thinking out loud)
Under the house.
All he found were rodents. No signs
of foul play. So there.
Exley spots the entrance to the crawlspace. He hurries over,
enters nearly flat on his belly. Mrs. Lefferts calls in after
My daughter was a virgin!
I don't doubt it -- Oh, God.
INT. HOLLYWOOD STATION - JACK'S DESK - DAY
Jack sits unshaven and hung-over, the dregs of the Scotch
bottle on the desk. He considers a framed "Badge of Honor"
photo: Jack and Brett Chase, before a banner "To Protect and
Serve." Jack punches a fist through it.
INT. LAPD - FORENSICS LAB - DAY
Exley walks alonside as a body bag is wheeled into the lab
atop a gurney. Pinker steps over.
I need an I.D. ASAP. You talk only
to me on this one.
INT. JACK'S DESK - DAY
Sitting in disgust, Jack spots something amidst all the
clutter -- the Great Jerk-Off Books of 1962. He flips one
over, looks at the Fleur-de-Lis stamp. Jack remembers
something Matt Reynolds told him. He dials the phone.
Yeah. Sergeant Jack Vincennes
requesting. I need the home address
on a Pierce Patchett.
Please hold, Sergeant...
As Jack waits, Exley appears in front of him.
I need to speak to you.
Give me a minute, will ya?
Exley clicks off the phone.
I want you to follow Bud White.
Even I'm not that crazy.
It's not a request. I need to know
what White knows. Follow him or I'll
have you pulled off 'Badge of Honor.'
Yesterday that might've meant
something. Pull me off. You'd be
doing me a big favor.
Yesterday yes, today no. What happened
Transfer me, suspend me. Just leave
You make a mistake?
Yeah. My whole life.
Jack stands, heads out. Exley follows; he needs help.
Listen, I think I made a mistake,
I ain't a priest, Lieutenant. I can't
hear your confession.
Do you make the three Negroes for
the Nite Owl killings?
It's a simple question.
You should be the last person who
wants to dig any deeper into the
Nite Owl, LIEUTENANT.
Exley watches as Jack continues down a hall. Then:
Jack stops, looks back at him.
Is there more to that, or do I have
Rollo was a purse snatcher. My father
ran into him off duty. He shot my
father six times and got away clean.
No one even knew who he was. I made
the name up to give him some
So what's the point?
Rollo's the reason I became a cop. I
wanted to catch the guys who thought
they could get away with it. It was
supposed to be about truth and justice
and Rollo. But somewhere along the
way I forgot all that... How about
you, Jack? Why'd you become a cop?
Jack looks like he might cry, but smiles instead.
I don't remember...
Both men are quiet a moment.
I'm trying to figure what angle you're
playing THIS time, but I sure as
hell can't see one.
I've given up angles for awhile. I
just want to solve this thing.
The Nite Owl was solved, Lieutenant.
I want to do it right. So does Jack.
Okay, college boy, I'll help you.
But I want half the collar.
A third. I don't think we can make a
case without Bud White.
EXT. BROWN DERBY - DAY
A Packard pulls up out front. Bud gets out, heads inside.
Another car pulls up across the street.
CLOSE ON JACK
Watching Bud. Jack gets out, starts across the street.
INT. BROWN DERBY - BAR - DAY
At the bar, Johnny Stompanato looks over as Bud joins him.
Stompanato isn't happy about it, but he smiles anyway.
Wendell White, how's tricks, paesano?
I ain't your paesano, you wop
Nervous, Johnny taps his pinkie ring on a bottle of beer.
What do you want, OFFICER?
You remember an ex-cop named Buzz
Meeks? He works for a guy named
Johnny taps his ring harder. The bottle almost tips.
His file listed you as a known
associate. Now spill.
Oh, yeah. That was a long time ago.
Before your day. The last few years
he's been muscle for hire. But I
heard he's disappeared.
More's gonna cost you.
Bud's hand flashes out, grabs Stompanato by the crotch.
How 'bout I give you your balls back?
(in considerable pain)
Before Meeks disappeared he was
popping off about trying to move
eighteen pounds of heroin.
Bullshit. Where would a two-bit ex-
cop get 18 pounds of heroin?
Deuce Perkins. Mickey C's narcotics
lieutenant. The night he got clipped,
eighteen pounds of Mickey's heroin
Bud loosens his grip. Stompanato gasps for air.
Jack peels in, catches a glimpse of Bud and Stompanato. Too
far away too hear anything, Jack quickly ducks out.
Meeks is probably in Rio or someplace
like that by now.
He's under a tract house in San
Berdoo. And he don't smell too good.
What happened to the heroin, Johnny?
I don't know. I swear it!
Bud starts to raise a hand. Stompanato cringes, but Bud just
slaps a twenty down on the bar and goes.
INT. BROWN DERBY - PHONE BOOTH - DAY
Jack's on the phone to Exley.
He's in the Brown Derby with Johnny
(sees Bud exit)
Check that. I gotta go.
EXT. 1736 NOTTINGHAM (LYNN BRACKEN'S) - DAY
Jack pulls up, sees Bud knock on the front door. It opens
and Bud steps in. Jack doesn't see who opens it.
EXT. BUSHES - 1736 NOTTINGHAM (LYNN BRACKEN'S) - DAY
LEAVES RUSTLE. There's movement in the underbrush. Jack
appears, followed by Exley. Jack pulls a gun as they near a
What's that for?
Bud White. He sees us and we're dead.
They press up to the glass for a partial view. Bud White
sits on a footstool massaging a pair of women's feet. Jack
and Exley exchange a long, curious look. This isn't the Bud
White they're used to. A pair of woman's hands take Bud, the
arms covered in glitter and satin. The woman, Lynn Bracken,
leans forward to kiss her policeman. It may have been a long
day, but she's every inch Veronica Lake. Only the hair's not
over her eye. They stand, kiss again. Lynn's gown spills
down around her ankles. Bud scoops Lynn into his arms and
the two of them disappear into a bedroom. A long beat
Jesus... Maybe White's not so dumb
Rita Hayworth at the morgue and now
Veronica Lake with White. What the
hell's going on?
Movie star hookers. Whatever you
desire... It's Fleur-fr-Lis again.
High line whores. With plastic surgery
to look like movie stars. And who
knows what else? It's run by this
guy Pierce Patchett. You want to
talk to him?
Yeah. But first I want to brace
INT. BROWN DERBY - ENTRANCE - DAY
Exley and Jack enter.
Check the bar. I got the restaurant.
Exley scans. There's Stompanato with a girl who looks
amazingly like "LANA TURNER." Engrossed, Stomapanato doesn't
look up till Exley's nearly on top of him.
Hey, you want an autograph, write to
Since when do two-bit hoods and
hookers give out autographs?
As Stompanato stands, Exley flashes his badge.
L.A.P.D. Sit down.
Who in the hell do you think you
Take a walk, honey, before I haul
your ass downtown.
WHO IN THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU
You are making a large mistake.
As Jack arrives, Lana tosses a drink in Exley's face.
Get away from our table!
(grabs her wrist)
Shut up. Being cut to look like Lana
Turner doesn't mean you are Lana
Jack pulls him aside.
She is Lana Turner.
She IS Lana Turner.
INT. EXLEY'S PLYMOUTH - SUNSET
Rolling. The sky glows ahead.
How was I supposed to know?
A moment before Jack begins to laugh. Exley joins him.
EXT. 1184 GRETNA GREEN (PIERCE PATCHETT'S) - NIGHT
Exley's Plymouth is parked on the street.
INT. 1184 GRETNA GREEN (PATCHETT'S) - LIBRARY - NIGHT
In a silk robe, the unflappable Pierce Patchett smiles at
Exley. Jack stands alongside.
I believe the Nite Owl's your area
of expertise, Mr. Exley. I saw you
on television getting your medal.
(turns to Jack)
And you're that other celebrity
Hollywood policeman, aren't you?
A beat. Exley and Jack don't look like they appreciate being
joked with. Patchett finally sighs.
I'll tell you what I told Officer
White when he asked me about Susan's
(a look to Jack)
Bud White's been here?
For the last time. I may suborn women
into illicit activities, but they're
handsomely compensated, I treat them
well and make sure the men they deal
with show them every due respect.
Is the Veronica Lake look-alike one
of your whores?
A vulgar term, but yes.
What's her name?
Why's she seeing Bud White?
Why do men and women usually see
Anything else you want to add before
I talk to her?
Not good enough.
Then try talking to my lawyer. Good
EXT. 1184 GRETNA GREEN - NIGHT
Exley and Jack head for the car.
Guy's as cool as they come.
A call CRACKLES in over Exley's RADIO. Exley picks up.
This is Exley.
Ray Pinker wants to talk to you,
Lieutenant. Says he has your I.D.
Tell him Sergeant Vincennes is coming
in to talk to him.
What are you going to do?
I'm going to Lynn Bracken's. I'll
meet you at the Dining Car.
Great. You get the girl, I get the
INT. LIBRARY (1184 GRETNA GREEN) - NIGHT
Watching Exley and Vincennes from the window, Patchett picks
up the phone, dials.
Hush-Hush. Off the record and on the
INT. 1736 NOTTINGHAM (LYNN'S) - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
KNOCKING on the door. Lynn answers to reveal Exley.
Miss Bracken, I'm Lieutenant Exley.
I know who you are. You're the
policeman Bud told me about.
Really? What did White say?
He said you were smart. He also said
you were competing with your dead
father. How did he put it? Trying to
measure up to a ghost.
Exley lets it pass. As he enters...
Let's concentrate on my smarts. Pierce
Patchett made you, didn't he? He
taught you how to dress and talk and
think and I am very impressed with
the results. But I need some answers
and if I don't get them, I'm going
to take you and Patchett down.
He can take care of himself and I'm
not afraid of you. And you forgot
one thing, Lieutenant. Pierce also
taught me how to fuck... Can I get
you a drink?
Exley can't help but smile. Lynn smiles back.
Exley watches her as she steps over to fix the drinks.
I'm curious about you.
She hands him his drink.
Because Bud hates you more than he
Exley stews. Lynn watches him over the rim of her glass.
It galls you that I know so much
about you. You don't have information
Don't underestimate me, Miss Bracken.
The way you've underestimated Bud
Exley's had it. A menacing step forward. Lynn's smile becomes
a laugh. Lost to himself, Exley leans in and kisses her.
Lynn pulls back, then kisses back. In a beat, they're rolling
to the floor, shedding clothes. As they trash the furniture,
Lynn looks over his shoulder at her own reflection in a closet
REVERSE ANGLE - INSIDE CLOSET
Two-way glass. Sid Hudgeons is in here SNAPPING pictures. As
Lynn and Exley continue with their frantic lovemaking...
INT. FORENSIC LAB - NIGHT
Ray Pinker rubs his tired eyes.
God bless dental records. Stiff used
to be a cop. Turner Meeks.
You knew him?
Of him. He was around when I first
joined the force. A bad egg.
Pinker could care less. As Jack's wheels turn...
INT. LAPD - RECORDS ROOM - NIGHT
Jack searches dusty filing cabinets with dates like 1939 and
1940. Reading one headed "Meeks," Jack lets out a low whistle.
He's found something.
INT. PACIFIC DINING CAR - NIGHT
Jack waits at the bar, watches the door anxiously.
Come on, Exley. Where are you?
INT. 1736 NOTTINGHAM (LYNN'S) - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
Spent, Exley and Lynn sit, half-dressed, on the floor. They're
quiet. Then, through a smile:
How was I?
Oh, the best I ever had. Absolutely
You sound like you mean it.
The silver screen's loss is your
How about White?
You want to know what Bud's like in
She actually embarrasses him with that one.
I want to know why you see him. Is
it a Patchett payoff?
I see Bud because I want to. I see
Bud because he can't hide the warmth
he has inside him.
I'll take your word for it.
I see Bud because he makes me feel
like Lynn Bracken and not some
Veronica Lake look-alike who fucks
for money. I see him because he
doesn't know how to disguise who he
is. There's more if you want to hear
Exley shakes his head. He's heard enough.
Does all that make it harder for you
to hate him or easier?
I don't hate White. I really don't.
It's just, in my business, it's the
wild cards you have to watch out
You don't like that you don't know
how to play him. He doesn't follow
the same rules of politics you do.
That makes him dangerous.
You cut to the heart of things, don't
you? What about Lynn Bracken? She
going to be a hooker all her life?
I came out here with a dream. That's
gone, but I settled for reality.
No. This is the means to the reality.
But I'm not going to tell you what
Because you'll use it against me.
Exley doesn't answer, but the answer is yes. Lynn smiles.
You're tougher than Bud thinks you
You're the first person to ever call
Like recognizes like. I'm pretty
You, me and White, huh?
Actually, Bud's only tough on the
As Exley kisses her...
Exasperated that he's still stuck in here, Sid Hudgeons checks
his watch, shakes his head in disgust.
EXT. 9608 VENDOME (SILVERLAKE) - NIGHT
Jack knocks at a darkened house. The porch lights come on.
The door opens to reveal Dudley Smith in his bathrobe.
John Vincennes. It's three A.M.,
Two minutes, Dudley. It's important.
Lucky for you that my wife and four
fair daughters are at the beach in
INT. 9608 VENDOME - KITCHEN - NIGHT
Jack sits at the table while Dudley makes coffee.
You remember Buzz Meeks, Dudley?
A disgrace as a policeman. Straight
D fitness reports from every C.O. he
ever served under. What about him?
Twelve years ago he worked a vice
roust with Dick Stensland. They
arrested a Pierce Patchett on an
extortion scam. Guy ran hookers.
He'd have them photographed with
their johns, then double-dip for
some blackmail. Charges got dropped.
Insufficient evidence. You were
supervising officer on the case and
I was wondering if you remember
anything about it.
What's this all about, lad?
Part of it has to do with a murder.
I've been working with Ed Exley on
You're Narco, lad, not Homicide. And
since when do you work with Edmund?
It's a private investigation. I fucked
something up and I want to make
Don't start trying to do the right
thing, John. You haven't had enough
Dudley walks over, hands Jack his coffee.
Have you discussed this with anyone
Not even with Exley?
Jack shakes his head. Dudley raises a REVOLVER. He FIRES it
at point-blank range, right into Jack's heart. Jack hits the
floor, his cheek pressed flat on the linoleum. Jack opens
his mouth to speak. His lips form the words, but no sound
comes out. Dudley crouches down beside him.
Have you a valediction, lad?
Dudley leans low, gives Jack an ear. As he dies...
Dudley frowns in ignorance at the name.
INT. LAPD HEADQUARTERS - BRIEFING ROOM - DAY
Nothing mobilizes the police like losing one of their own.
Dudley is at the podium along with Exley. Dozens of detectives
take notes, including Bud White.
Sergeant Vincennes' body was found
in Echo Park at ten o'clock this
morning. Killed by a single .38 round
to the heart. One of our own,
gentlemen. We cannot tolerate it.
Justice must be swift and merciless.
As the men move out, Dudley approaches Exley.
Edmund, a word with you. We received
a tip this morning. Did Vincennes
ever mention the name Rollo Tomasi?
Exley tries to look like he's thinking as Jack calls from
the grave. Screaming the name Dudley!
No... Where'd the tip come from?
Anonymous. Probably nothing.
As Dudley moves off, Exley watches him go. Scared.
INT. LAPD HEADQUARTERS - BUD WHITE'S DESK - DAY
Bud looks over as Dudley sits down across from him.
You're perplexing to me these days,
Wendell. You're not your old, cruel
self anymore. I need proof that the
extracurricular work I had planned
for you remains within your grasp.
I've long been involved in containing
hard crime in such a way that myself
and a few colleagues might someday
enjoy a profit dispensation. That
day will soon be here and you'll
share handsomely. Grand means will
be in our hands, Wendell. Imagine
crime limited to the criminal element
who perpetrate it. Imagine the means
to keep the nigger filth sedated.
But don't stop there. Extrapolate.
Imagine the police in control. It's
You lost me, Dudley. I don't know
what you're talking about.
You have your extracurricular secrets,
I have mine. We'll hold a
clarification session soon. For now,
I need your fearsome old habits at
the Victory Motel. We're going to
brace a man who may know who killed
Jack Vincennes. Can I count on you?
Sure, boss. Sure you can.
INT. FORENSICS LAB - DAY
Pinker looks up as Exley enters.
I want to know what you and Jack
Vincennes talked about last night.
Anything and everything. Start with
the I.D. on the corpse.
A put-upon Pinker sighs.
An ex-cop. Buzz Meeks. I pulled his
police academy photo.
Pinker goes to his desk for a twenty-year-old photo of Meeks.
He hands it to Exley, whose wheels are turning.
We got a dead ex-cop and a girl who
looks like Rita Hayworth at the Nite
Owl. Another dead ex-cop under the
house of Rita's mother. It's not a
good week for ex-cops.
I got Vincennes in the next room.
It's not a good week for cops in
EXT. VICTORY MOTEL - DAY
A RAIN STORM has turned the courtyard into a mud bath. As
usual, a light burns in room six. Bud White parks alongside
the other cars already here. He makes a dash for the door.
INT. VICTORY MOTEL - ROOM SIX - DAY
Sid Hudgeons is cuffed to the hot seat. Dudley sits across
from him. Dudley's henchman Breuning looms. Bud enters.
This is Mr. Hudgeons, Wendell.
I'm happy to cooperate. You don't
need to tie me down.
It's for your own safety. Now what
can you tell us about Sergeant John
Trashcan Jack. The Big V. I can tell
you he's on the Night Train to the
Breuning cuffs Hudgeons in the side of the head.
Take it easy! I didn't have anything
to do with him getting killed if
that's what you mean.
But you were business associates?
What does that have to do --
Breuning cuffs him again.
Okay so we worked together. It was
an information exchange. I got him
first class collars and he got me
good stories. We were friends for
Alright. We'll drop that line for
now. Next topic. Please comment on
Bud looks over at mention of the name.
You think he had something to do
with Vincennes getting iced?
Dudley sighs, looks to Bud.
Wendell. I want full and docile
cooperation on all topics.
Hudgeons flinches as Bud steps up, twice Breuning's size.
Okay. Okay. Everyone knows Patchett's
worth a boat-load of greenbacks.
From aviation, freeway construction.
But the man has hobbies, too. He
bankrolls B movies under the table
and runs movie star look-alike
hookers. And try this on: he's rumored
to be a periodic heroin sniffer. All
in all a powerful behind-the-scenes
Bud digs a fist into Hudgeons' gut. As Hudgeons gasps to get
his breath back.
Reciprocity, Mr. Hudgeons, is the
key to all relationships.
He runs call girls. Primo tail. Fixed
up like movie stars.
Bud looms, rests his hands on the back of Hudgeons' chair.
He doesn't like where this is going.
In my car. Blackmail shit. The trunk
under the carpet. Patchett got me to
photograph a cop fucking this gorgeous
cunt Lynn, looks just like Veronicaaa --
Wooden slats pop as Bud tears the bolted chair right out of
the floor. Hudgeons and the chair land sideways.
Bud can't hear him. He uprights the chair one-handed. As his
fist cocks back, he's restrained by Breuning and Dudley.
This is no act. They can barely hold Bud back.
Get him away from me!
Bud breaks free, heads outside.
EXT. VICTORY MOTEL - HUDGEONS' CAR - DAY
Bud jams a tire iron into the trunk seam and pops it with a
ferocious yank. He tears at the carpeting. A manila envelope.
Bud rips it open and 8x10 glossies of Exley and Lynn spill
out. Raindrops dot them, as Bud's in his Packard and tearing
out of there.
INT. VICTORY MOTEL - ROOM 6 - DAY
Dudley and Breuning watch from the door.
I wouldn't trade places with Edmund
Exley right now for all the tea in
Breuning laughs. So does Hudgeons.
Dudley, I thought you were gonna let
the dumb bastard kill me.
And you! Learn to pull those punches
a little better.
Dudley and Breuning stare at him. A bit grimly.
You can uncuff me now, fellas.
But no one moves to do so.
We had a deal. You, me and Patchett,
We're a team!
Come on, we're friends. We're --
As Hudgeons protests, Dudley slaps a hand over his mouth.
As Breuning and Carlisle move in...
INT. RECORDS ROOM - LAPD - DAY
A wormish CLERK searches dusty filing cabinets with dates
like 1939 and 1940. The same ones Jack looked through. Exley
steps over from another row.
So on active duty, Meeks didn't make
an arrest from 1938 to '43.
Someone must've pulled the records.
Exley ponders the implications. Taking out the photo of Meeks,
he gets an idea.
Where are the police academy files?
I don't have time. I have --
Just show me where they are!
EXT. 1736 NOTTINGHAM (LYNN BRACKEN'S) - DAY
Blue, Lynn sits on her porch watching the rain come down. A
SCREECHING on the wet street as Bud's PACKARD pulls up. She
watches as he gets out and starts for the house. Lynn stands,
holds her arms out. Bud stops short on the steps, out of
reach, the rain soaking him.
Did you talk to Exley?
Come in out of the rain. In the
morning we'll have both our stories
Lightning flashes. Bud shakes hs head.
I want to know about Exley.
He's the opposite of you. He's more
like me. Cold, calculating.
How'd you get to know so much about
More lightning. Lynn looks God-awful sad.
Come in out of the rain, Bud.
You gonna tell me what happened with
you and Exley?
So tell me about it.
In the morning.
You fucked him.
Too tired to lie anymore, Lynn finally just nods.
I thought I was helping you. I thought --
Bud backhands her, hard. Lynn faces straight into the next
one as Bud hits her again. A third time as the sins of the
father are visited on the son. Bud stops short as the self-
realization slams home. Lynn waits stoically. She doesn't
start crying till Bud turns and runs back into the rain.
INT. RECORDS ROOM - LAPD - DAY
Drawers are open. Files are everywhere. Exley's reached the
end of the line. As he looks through one last file, he finds
a stack of official photos. Then he stops short. There's a
photo of four cadets and an academy instructor. Two of the
cadets are IDed as Turner Meeks and Dick Stensland. The
instructor is Dudley Smith! Exley looks up at the sound of
FOOTSTEPS and Bud is there. Fury. He slams Exley, knocks him
Bud's here to kill him. He hauls Exley up, pummels him, then
throws him over the table. Then up into a wall. Plaster
cracks. Bud's on some gonzo animal plane. Bud strangles him.
Exley gags. It'll be over in moments. Until Exley's flailing
hands finds Bud's .38. Yanking it from his waistband, Exley
smashes Bud in the forehead. Bud reels. But, blind with rage,
he moves back in only to have the barrel of the .38 placed
right between his eyes.
She told you?
Bud shakes his head. He's coiled, ready to make a move.
Who told you? Did Dudley have anything
to do with you finding out?
Bud hesitates, the answer obvious.
Listen to me. Dudley killed Jack. It
has something to do with Buzz Meeks.
Exley points out the academy photo on the floor.
Look. Dudley and Meeks go way back.
Bud sees, but does he really? As Bud reaches for the photo,
Exley relaxes slightly. Bud slaps the gun away, drops Exley
to the ground. He grabs, begins slamming his head into the
Think, goddamn you. Think...
Exley's almost out. But maybe Bud heard him. The attack slows,
stops as Bud does think. Exley stays conscious.
I knew Stensland and Meeks knew each
other. Meeks was with Sue Lefferts
on Christmas Eve. The night I met
Lynn. Lefferts' mother I.D.ed
Stensland as Lefferts' boyfriend,
but Stens pretended he didn't know
either one of them.
Stensland and Meeks. What were they
Johnny Stompanato told me when Meeks
disappeared, he was trying to move
the 18 pounds of heroin that went
missing when Deuce Perkins was shot.
STENSLAND AND BUZZ MEEKS. Two-man
triggers knocking off Mickey Cohen
lieutenants. When they killed Deuce
Perkins, they got heroin as a bonus.
Then something goes wrong. Meeks
gets killed. Maybe Stens got greedy,
killed Meeks and left him under his
The night he died, Stens was all
mysterious. Said he had something
big going down.
The Nite Owl! Stensland was going
there to sell the heroin.
Somebody got wind of it, killed them
It wasn't the Negroes. The Griffith
Park report was a phony. And, who
says the purple Merc was spotted
outside the Nite Owl?
The first guys to the car when Jack
and I got there were Bruening and
They didn't find the shotguns. They
It all keeps coming back to Dudley.
It's Dudley for the Nite Owl.
They just stare at each other a beat as it sinks in.
Pierce Patchett figures in, too.
That's the angle Jack was working.
Dudley must work for Patchett.
Let's just kill them.
For Jack, for Stensland, for anybody
else who got in the way. I've been
trying to be smart. A detective. But
killing those two fuckers, that would
Stay smart, Bud. We build a case. We
play by the rules.
There are no rules! Why the fuck are
you doing this? The Nite Owl made
you. You want to tear all that down.
With a wrecking ball. You want to
help me swing it?
Bud smiles. For a second he likes Exley.
Let's go see Pierce Patchett. Run a
Which one are you and which one am
EXT. 1184 GRETNA GREEN (PIERCE PATCHETT'S) - DAY
Exley and Bud make their way up the walk. Bud pulls his .38
from its shoulder holster, shoves it in his waistband.
You expecting problems?
Patchett uses a lot of ex-cop muscle.
Exley RINGS the BUZZER. Looking back, Bud sees a pitching
wedge and pile of golf balls abandoned in the grass. A single
ball floats in the koi pond. Bud's eyes narrow at the sight.
Not like Patchett at all.
And Bud shoulders the heavy door right off its hinges.
INT. 1184 GRETNA GREEN - HALLWAY - DAY
Bud draws his .38 as he strides in. Exley tries to keep up.
(a screaming whisper)
Double doors on the left open into a library. Bud stops short,
slowly lowers his gun. Exley steps up beside him.
Hanging from a ceiling light, Patchett's body slowly twists
around, a toppled chair beneath him.
I don't think his ex-cop did him
Bud goes to the body while Exley heads for a side table on
which rests a typed sheet of paper. Bud checks Patchett's
right hand, the knuckles are split, two of the fingers badly
It's a suicide note. Says he killed
Jack because Jack had figured out a
pornography scam Patchett was running.
He had help getting up there. Two of
his fingers are broken.
We had one thing figured wrong. I
don't think Dudley worked for
At least not anymore.
Patchett's dead. He sent you after
me. I'd say Dudley's tying up his
(it hits him)
Bud dashes to the PHONE, dials. It RINGS. No one answers.
I got a guy who owes me in the
Sheriff's department. West Hollywood
station. He can be at her house in
Bud shoves the phone into his hand.
EXT. 1736 NOTTINGHAM (LYNN BRACKEN'S) - DAY
A county sheriff's unmarked parked out front. A DEPUTY behind
the wheel. Exley's Plymouth pulls up behind. The Deputy gets
out. MOVE WITH him as he steps BACK TO Exley, who's rolling
down his window.
Is she inside?
We took her to Hollywood Station for
safekeeping. Someone worked her over
pretty good. She wouldn't say who.
Exley looks at Bud. Bud looks down in shame.
Hold her as Joan Smith. No one sees
her unless I okay it.
You got it, Exley. And now we're
As the Deputy moves off.
What about him?
Jack thought he was up to his neck
in all this.
INT. DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OUTER OFFICE - DAY
A SECRETARY looks up as Bud and Exley beeline Loew's door.
You can't go in there!
Loew looks up as they burst in.
Do you want me to call the police,
Ask for Captain Dudley Smith. We'll
have a party. Hot dogs and sauerkraut.
A beat as Loew considers his options.
It's okay. These are police
(as she leaves)
WHAT do you want?
I want D.A. bureau men to tail Dudley
Smith twenty-four hours a day; I
want you to get a judge to authorize
a wire tap on his home phone; I want
authorization to check his bank
records and I want it all in an hour.
On what evidence?
None. Call it a hunch.
Absolutely not. Dudley Smith is a
highly decorated member of this city's
police department and I won't smear
his name without --
Without what, his smearing yours
first? What's he got on you, Loew?
Pictures of you and an out of work
actor with your pants down?
Do you have any proof?
The proof had his throat slit.
So far you're not denying it.
I'm not going to dignify you with
answers. If you'll excuse me, I've
got a Jack Vincennes press conference
to prepare for.
Loew enters his bathroom. Bud looks to Exley who nods: Go.
Loew is at the mirror clipping a few stray nose hairs. Bud
enters full of menace followed by Exley.
Unless you're here to wipe my ass, I
think we're through.
Bud just glares at him. Loew shakes his head.
Don't try this good cop/bad cop with
me. I practically invented it. And
so what if some homo actor is dead.
Boys, girls, ten of them step off
the bus to L.A. every day.
The MIRROR SPIDERWEBS as Bud slams Loew's face into it. Bud
swings him around, forces him forward and shoves his head in
the toilet. He holds it there, finally lets Loew up for
breath. Then backhands: one, two, three.
Dudley Smith. Spill.
Call him off, Exley!
I don't know how.
More backhands. Holding Loew by the scruff of the neck, Bud
marches him past Exley and back into the...
Bud heaves up the window, practically throws Loew through
it. Loew catches hold of the window framing. Bud hammers his
hands loose with a fist and pushes him through.
Bud holds his leg. Loew screams as coins, comb and wallet
spill from his pockets, plummet toward the street below.
Bud shakes Loew, could drop him at any time.
If I let you go, there'll be ten
more lawyers to take your place
tomorrow. They just won't come on
the bus, that's all.
We hear Loew's PANT LEG TEARING loose.
Okay! You're right! Dudley's got
photos of me and Reynolds.
What's Dudley's scheme?
More TEARING. Loew's life may depend on the answer.
Dudley's rotten to the core. He's
taking over Mickey Cohen's rackets,
his own hand-picked cops'll be the
new franchise holders. Because of
those pictures I won't be able to
prosecute. Oh Jesus pull me up!
Exley helps pull Loew back inside. Bud dumps him on the floor.
Bruised and bloodied, Loew looks up at Exley.
Dudley's got everyone under his thumb.
Not just me, but the Chief of Police,
the lieutenant governor, everybody!
Exley pulls his .38, shoves it into the side of Loew's neck.
NOT EVERYBODY. You tip-off Dudley
and Officer White visits you alone
Loew looks at Bud, nods, his face a bloody mess.
EXT. CITY OFFICE BUILDING - DAY
Exley and Bud exit. Bud's wheels are turning.
They never made a match on the shotgun
serial numbers. What if Breuning and
Carlisle took them from the evidence
room? Couple of cold pieces that had
been hanging around a year or two.
We should check the records, and, we
should talk to Lynn.
Bud just stares at him a beat.
You want to talk to her?
Bud looks away, shakes his head "no." Finally...
You do it. I'll check the files.
INT. SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT - HOLDING ROOM - DAY
Lynn looks up as Exley enters. Her face is puffy, swollen.
If I knew you were coming I'd have
baked a cake.
Forget everything else for a second,
Lynn. Is there anything you can give
me on Dudley Smith?
A blank look from her.
A police captain. I think he's behind
all of this.
(shakes her head)
I work for Patchett. I had a feeling
that there was someone else, but I
never knew who.
Okay. Look, if it helps, Bud hates
himself for what he did.
I know how he feels.
A beat as Exley wonders how he should interpret this.
I don't know if it's pathetic or
romantic, but when this is all over
I'd like to see you again.
Lynn looks away, can't help an ironic smile even as she starts
to cry. As Exley gives her his handkerchief...
INT. LAPD - EVIDENCE ROOM - NIGHT
Bud waits at the cage window as a RECORDER returns with some
I got your guns, Bud. Signed in April
3rd, 1950. Remember the First Western
bank robbery? They were used in that.
I want to see them.
No can do. I can't find them.
As Bud thinks, a ROOKIE-TYPE approaches.
Uh -- Sergeant White?
Dispatch just got a call for you.
Lieutenant Exley wants you to meet
him at the Victory Motel.
EXT. VICTORY MOTEL - SUNSET
Bud's Packard crests the rise looking down on the Victory.
Exley's Plymouth is in the courtyard.
INT. VICTORY MOTEL - ROOM 6 - SUNSET
Exley in the hotseat. Sitting there thinking. At a CAR DOOR
CLOSING, he goes to the door.
Exley opens the door as Bud approaches, toting a shotgun.
The sun is down. The sky is just a dull glow.
You wanted to meet here?
Me? You called it. I got a message
As the reality sinks in, Bud and Exley hear TIRES on the
GRAVEL; CARS are COMING. Being in a concavity, they don't
see them yet. Then the CARS STOP. But still Bud and Exley
can't see anything. They hear the CLICKS of CAR DOORS OPENING,
but they don't hear them shut. There are FOOTSTEPS, MURMURED
WHISPERS. More CARS PULL UP.
Shit... Come on.
Exley starts for his car, but Bud holds him back.
A beat. Resigned, Exley nods. They retreat back to Room 6,
disappear inside. A beat. There's MOVEMENT in the shadows to
the left. To the right.
INT. VICTORY MOTEL - ROOM 6 - NIGHT
There's a big back window. Bud covers most of it with a ratty
old mattress. He pumps the shotgun. He pulls a .45 automatic
from his waistband.
He throws the auto to Exley, pulls out a .38. Bud's armed
You figured this was a set-up? And
you showed up anyway?
A lot of bad stuff happened here.
It's as good a place as any for it
Bud switches off the light. They wait in silence. Then:
You know, all I ever wanted was to
measure up to my father.
I spent years trying not to live
down to mine.
We should block off the bathroom.
They could come through --
A CREAK outside the front door. Bud levels the SHOTGUN. BOOM!
The DOOR is BLOWN OFF ITS HINGES. We see the figure of a man
sprawl back in the dirt. In the darkness beyond, MUZZLE
FLASHES from all around. Exley and Bud RETURN FIRE.
We hear the BACK WINDOW BREAK under a MUFFLED BLOW. Bud
charges back, yanks down the mattress revealing two men
climbing through. Sitting ducks: torn apart by THREE TRIPLE-
AUGHT ROUNDS close in. A beat, then...
We got him!
Bud smiles, in on the plan as there's an answering WHOOP. A
third man looks through the window. BOOM! Bud nails him. Bud
motions Exley to stay put, then slips out the window.
EXT. VICTORY MOTEL - NIGHT
Bud crouches, looks between the cinder blocks supporting the
room. Two sets of feet shuffling along. Bud FIRES the SHOTGUN.
Shrieks as the men go down. Bud extends the .38 to fire point
blank headshots. Then... Bud flattens himself as a wicked
CROSSFIRE TEARS UP ROOM
INT. VICTORY MOTEL - NIGHT
Exley is forced down as well, lying flat as plaster rains
down. The door frame splinters as more Dudley men charge in.
Four men with rifles. One is Patchett's Burly Bodyguard.
They spot Exley lying there. Hushed whispers as they approach:
"Dead meat." "Be careful." Kicks in the side. The men look
at each other, sneer. Exley jerks a foot. The foot man
stumbles as Exley spins around SHOOTING. FIRING the .45 and
his own .38. All four men go down. Exley stands, digs into
his pocket to reload. Bud scrambles back through the window.
Exley looks over and smiles as Bud reloads the shotgun. It's
I'm thinking we might walk away from
At that instant, Dudley steps through the bathroom door.
He's got Exley dead to rights. As he squeezes the trigger,
Bud leaps forward, pushes Exley hard to the ground. The SHOT
passes through Bud's back by his left shoulder blade.
It spins him around. A SECOND SHOT to the stomach slows him
to a walk as he charges Dudley. A THIRD ROUND SHATTERS Bud's
jaw, but still he comes. Driven by rage, his hands reaching
for Dudley's throat. He even gets hold before a FOURTH SLUG
tears his chest. Bud falls hard. Dudley swings his aim to
Exley who's just managed to shake the cobwebs of being
flattened by Bud. A frozen moment.
I'm loathe to kill my brother
Tell that to Jack Vincennes. To
Jack was a shame, but Dick Stensland
had the audacity to try to sell me
my own heroin. Through his whore
girlfriend. I sent him to make the
buy. The rest is history.
A vacuum, Edmund. That's what we
have in Los Angeles. Sending Mickey
Cohen up created it. My containment
work maintained it. Certain
photographs guarantee it. Organized
crime has been held back, but there's
still a demand for the services it
And now you'll provide them.
Absolutely. Prostitution and gambling
are victimless crimes. The heroin
we'll run down to the coloreds.
Anesthetize them. As long as it's
not a middle class problem, no one
will care. It's still a crime free
city... for respectable people.
Dudley aims the .38, cocks back the hammer. We hear DISTANT
This isn't politics, Edmund. There
won't be winners and losers when
Dudley doesn't see Bud stir, reach into a pocket.
Just the living and the dead. It's
always been that way in the Bureau.
You should've realized that before
you became a detective. It's over.
Dudley's finger tightens on the trigger. But Dudley screams
as Bud buries a switchblade into his left calf. It took all
Bud had left. As he collapses... Dudley wails; Exley dives
for Bud's shotgun. Dudley FIRES, misses. A wild SHOTGUN BLAST
takes out half the wall. Dudley stumbles out the door. SIRENS
EXT. VICTORY MOTEL - NIGHT
Dudley drops his gun as the cruisers stream down. Exley steps
out behind him, but doesn't drop the shotgun. The two of
them are bleached white by headlights. Dudley raises his
badge over his head.
Let me do the talking. They'll make
you Chief of Detectives.
Exley steps ahead to block his way.
Why not, lad? Absolute justice?
Something like that.
REALLY? Would you be willing to rig
crime scene evidence to support a
prosecuting attorney's working
Exley doesn't answer. Dudley smiles.
Would you be willing to beat
confessions out of suspects you knew
to be guilty?
Exley glares. Laughing, Dudley brushes by, limps toward the
Are you willing to shoot hardened
criminals in the back to offset the
chance they'll --
The SHOTGUN BELCHES flame. Dudley goes down, shot in the
back. Exley drops the gun, raises his hands over his head.
"RAGS TO RICHES" PLAYS.
EXT. ROSE BOWL PARADE - DAY
Riding in a convertible, waving to the crowds is the Grand
Marshal -- the new Vice President, a young Richard Nixon.
INT. OBSERVATION ROOM - NIGHT
A midnight assembly. The Chief, D.A. Loew and several high
ranking brass. Their attention riveted THROUGH the one-way
INT. ROOM #1 - NIGHT
Bloody, exhausted, Exley sits across from two INTERNAL AFFAIRS
INTERNAL AFFAIRS #1
You have a lot of explaining to do,
Yes. I do.
As Exley begins...
Where we're informed that tonight's episode of "Badge of
Honor" is: "Dedicated to the memory of technical advisor
Sergeant Jack Vincennes."
EXT. VENTURA FREEWAY - CAHUENGA PASS - DAY
A ribbon is cut. Eager motorists roll down the blacktop.
EXT. GRAUMAN'S CHINESE THEATER - DAY
Ronald Reagan applauds as Jane Wyman plunges her hands into
fresh sidewalk cement.
INT. OBSERVATION ROOM - NIGHT
The brass exchange concerned looks and raised eyebrows as
they watch Exley THROUGH the glass, his VOICE heard OVER the
INT. UNION STATION - DAY
The Flatnose Frisco loan shark and Cauliflowered Cleveland
enforcer seen earlier at the Victory Motel return to L.A.,
ready to fill the vacuum.
EXT. NEWSSTAND - DAY
Hush-Hush is delivered. The headline: "Actor Reynolds in his
Final Role: Conductor of the Night Train to Slice City."
INT. ROOM #1 - NIGHT
Exley stares across at the Internal Affairs Detectives.
That's it. That's the whole story.
As Exley looks to the gray-tinted wall mirror...
Loew leans over, whispers to the Chief.
The press would have a field day
When in doubt, feed them a hero. In
this case, we'll need more than one.
LOS ANGELES EXAMINER HEADLINE:
R.I.P. DUDLEY SMITH Fabled L.A. Cop Dies Defending City from
INT. LAPD HEADQUARTERS - BRIEFING ROOM - DAY
Exley in his dress blue uniform. The Chief smiles, pins gold
stars to his shoulders.
Captain Edmund Exley. Chief of
Detectives. Los Angeles Police
Applause. Flashbulbs. Lynn watches from the back as Exley
runs a handshake gauntlet. Finally, he spots her. She's
returned to her natural brunette. Looks even better. Exley
I tried to throw it all away and
they give it back in spades.
EXT. PARKING LOT - DAY
Exley walks Lynn out.
Where will you go?
Bisbee, Arizona. The air's good for
pensioners and I know where everything
Right now, before I back down.
Where is he?
Lynn gestures ahead. They walk to her car. She opens the
back door. Bud's in the back. Braces on his legs, head
sutured. Jaw wired shut and tubes running in and out. But
his hands still look strong. Bud forces a smile through the
wires, tries to say something, but can't.
Thanks for the push.
Exley takes his hand. Bud squeezes till both men wince.
You just did what you did. No rank,
Exley slips his Medal of Valor into Bud's hand.
From me to you. It'll mean something
if it's yours.
Bud takes it, turns away so Exley won't see the tears.
We should go now.
As Exley steps back, Lynn closes the door. PARTY noises drift
from upstairs. Exley looks to Lynn.
Do you think I ever could've been in
Some men get the world. Others get
ex-hookers and a trip to Arizona.
A beat. Exley wishes he'd gotten the trip to Arizona. She
kisses him on the cheek, gets in the CAR. STARTS it. Exley
looks back at Bud. Bud presses his hands to the glass. Exley
touches his side, palms half the man's size. Hands against
hands. The car moves. A turn into traffic, a good-bye TOOT
on the HORN. Exley's all alone. As he watches them go...
FADE TO BLACK
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