October 6, 1980
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EXT. NIGHT SKY
Flames in the night sky. Distant SIRENS. PULLING BACK,
we see that the burning building is mostly hidden by dense,
black shapes that define the oceanside skyline of Miranda
Beach, Florida. We’re watching from across town. The
sound of a bathroom SHOWER comes to a dripping stop at
about the same time we see the naked back and head of NED
RACINE. We continue to PULL BACK INTO —
RACINE’S APARTMENT – NIGHT
Racine, dressed in undershorts, is standing on the small
porch off his apartment on the upper floor of an old house.
Racine lights a cigarette and continues to stare off at
the fire. We’ve passed him now, into the bedroom of the
apartment, and the shape of a young woman, ANGELA, flashes
by, drying her body with a towel.
My God, it’s hot. I stepped out of
the shower and stared sweating again.
… It’s still burning? Jesus, it’s
bigger! And I thought you were making
me hear those sirens.
What is it?
The Seawater Inn. My family used to
eat dinner there twenty-five years
ago. Now somebody’s torched it to
clear the lot.
Angela reappears briefly, gathering her clothes. She
sits on an unseen bed to get dressed.
That’s a shame.
Probably one of my clients.
(back still turned)
It’s four a.m.
On the bed, Angela snaps on her bra.
I go on duty at Miami Airport at
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I wouldn’t mind having breakfast…
What do you care? You’re watching
the fire. You’re done with me. I’m
just getting into my uniform here…
She is, in fact, slipping on the blouse of her Avis Rent-
a-Car uniform. There’s a smile on her lips as she buttons
up, watching Racine.
You’ve had your fun. You’re spent.
(trying for a
I’ll just slip into my uniform here
and slip away.
My history’s burning up out here.
Hey, I don’t mind. I’m leaving.
Why do they make these damn skirts
so hard to zip…
Now, for the first time, Racine turns to look at her.
She is sitting on the edge of the bed, half into her
uniform. Racine smiles broadly at the sight and moves
into the room. He pushes her back and they both disappear
from sight, fabric rustling.
Where’s your hat?
… don’t wrinkle it!
‘You’re spent.’ Where’d you hear
We are left looking out over the porch at the night. And
we go back there, across the rooftops, to the flames.
INT. COURTROOM – DAY
An Assistant County Prosecutor named PETER LOWENSTEIN has
been conferring at the bench with JUDGE COSTANZA and now
they both wait as Racine comes into view to join them.
The Judge is irritated.
Mr. Racine, I do no longer care
whether these alleged toilets were
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JUDGE COSTANZA (CONT’D)
ever actually en route from Indiana
or not. I think we’re wasting our
time here. It’s pretty clear your
client has attempted to defraud the
county in a not very ingenious manner.
(he nods at
The Assistant Prosecutor has made
what I consider a generous offer.
And given that you’ve failed to
generate even the semblance of a
Judge Costanza, perhaps when I’ve
presented all —
Yeah, yeah. If I were you, I’d
recommend to your client that held
quickly do as Mr. Lowenstein here
has suggested — plead nolo
contendre, file Chapter Eleven and
agree never to do business with
Okeelanta County again.
Racine is surprised and pleased.
You would look favorably on that?
He can walk. But don’t test my
patience for even five more minutes.
If he hesitates, I’ll nail him.
I’ll talk to him.
Racine starts to turn.
Mr. Racine. Next time you come into
my courtroom I hope you’ve got either
a better defense or a better class
Thank you, Your Honor.
Racine goes back to his client, a Businessman of enormous
confidence and extravagantly untrustworthy appearance.
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INT. STELLA’S COFFEE SHOP – FIRST STREET – DAY
Racine and Lowenstein are seated at the counter. Racine
drinks beer while Lowenstein drinks a tall iced tea very
rapidly and signals for another. This place is across
the street from the courthouse/police station and there
are plenty of lawyers and cops around, several of whom
acknowledge Lowenstein and Racine with pats or nods.
A single unit air conditioner is blowing away above the
door, but it can’t compete with the blasts of hot air
that come in with each new patron. All of these people,
like the pedestrians outside the window, have stripped
down to essentials In the infernal heat. The lawyers all
carry their Jackets, but even so their shirtsleeves are
sweaty. The town is sizzling.
— I think I’ve underestimated you,
Ned. I don’t know why it took me so
long. You’ve started using your
incompetence as a weapon.
My defense was evolving. You guys
got scared. Costanza doesn’t like
me. What’d I do to him?
He’s an unhappy man, Thinks he should
be Circuit Court by now. Here he is
in a state with really top-notch
corruption and he’s stuck with the
I’m surprised you weren’t in on that
toilet caper. Could have been that
quick score you’ve always been
Maybe Costanza was in on it. That’s
why he was mad.
STELLA, the owner of the coffee shop, writes and places
separate checks in front of the two men.
What’s the word from the hallowed
halls of justice? Anything juicy?
Maybe Stella was in on it.
(finished his tea)
Stella, when you gonna get a real
air conditioner in here.
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You don’t like it there’s lots of
They don’t have you. Gotta go.
He stands fishing for change, but Racine takes his check
and places it with his own. Lowenstein nods and moves for
You can’t buy me. No sirree, I don’t
Just before he reaches the door he does a strange thing —
he takes several graceful dance steps in the Astaire
Lowenstein, you’re a fag.
Lowenstein spins out the door, where he is blasted by the
heavy air. His body droops as he disappears.
Why does he do that?
He’s pretty good, that’s the weird
Did you hear about Dr. Block?
No. Do I want to?
(leans toward him,
That must have been Mrs. Block’s
idea, some kind of punishment.
It was! How’d you know? Christ,
you’re plugged in better than me.
So you must know about Mrs. Block’s
friend in Ocean Grove.
Racine winces, gets up, and puts money on the counter.
He lights a cigarette.
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Stella, this is beneath even you.
Things must be slow.
Stella agrees with a shrug as Racine heads for the door.
It’s the heat.
EXT. FIRST STREET AND MAIN STREET – DAY
Racine makes his way up First to the corner of Main and
crosses diagonally to his building on Main. He is well-
known here, greeted through glass by many of the shop
owners. The heat dominates much of the pantomimed
conversation. Racine goes in a doorway and heads up the
stairs to his office.
INT. RACINE’S OFFICE – DAY
Racine’s secretary, BEVERLY, is behind the desk in the
modest reception room. She’s a pretty girl barely past
twenty. She pushes some phone message slips toward Racine
and nods toward the sofa. A middle-aged woman client,
MRS. SINGER, sits there clutching a walking stick. Her
face suddenly is contorted in pain. Racine glances
meaningfully at Beverly then turns his full solicitous
charm on Mrs. Singer.
Mrs. Singer, I would have gladly
come to the house.
He helps her up and leads her slowly to his office.
No. no, the doctor says I should
walk and I had some shopping. Not
that that quack knows what he’s
talking about. I tell you, Mr.
Racine, I’m not sure his testimony
is going to be very useful.
Don’t worry about it. I’ll find you
a doctor who’s more understanding.
Is it bad today?
Oooh, you can’t imagine. Nothing
can make up for the pain they’ve
How well I know. We’ll sue those
reckless bastards dry. Excuse my
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As Mrs. Singer disappears into the office, Racine flashes
a grin at Beverly.
Don’t apologize. That’s the kind of
attitude you’ve got to have these
EXT. THE BEACHFRONT – NIGHT
The hottest January in fifty years has brought the crowds
to the beach in search of relief. But they’ve been
disappointed. Even the breeze off the ocean seems blown
from a hair dryer. Still, the nights are a trifle better
and the Beachfront, the penny arcades, the ice cream stands
and bars are busy, even now in the middle of the week.
Racine comes out of a bar and lights a cigarette, idly
watching the passing parade. There is a free band concert
in progress at the band shell. Racine wanders in that
EXT. THE BAND SHELL – NIGHT
The Miranda Beach High School Orchestra is playing to a
full, sweating house; the audience is a sea of orange
programs fluttering away as fans. People come and go
The atmosphere is as innocent and informal as the music
the band is playing now.
Racine leans against the back rail, smoking, his eyes
playing over the scene with no expectations.
Then, down near the center aisle, a WOMAN rises. As the
band plays on, this extraordinary, beautiful woman, in a
simple white dress, moves down the aisle. She moves
wonderfully. The dress clings to her body in the heat.
Racine watches, mesmerized, as she walks directly toward
him. She passes within a few inches of him, her eyes
lowered. Racine’s body sways a moment as she goes by, as
though buffeted by some force. But they do not touch.
She goes out onto the Beachfront walkway.
EXT. THE BEACHFRONT WALKWAY – NIGHT
The Woman, MATTY, has walked to the rail. She stands
there now lighting a cigarette. She presents her face
to the ocean, hoping for a breeze. We move in on her,
Racine lights a new cigarette and smiles at her. She
looks at him and, for an instant, her eyes race over his
body, then she looks back at the ocean.
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You can stand here with me if you
want, but you’ll have to agree not
to talk about the heat.
She looks at him, and there is something startling about
the directness of her gaze. When she speaks, she is cool
without being hostile.
I’m a married woman.
Meaning I’m not looking for company.
She turns back toward the ocean.
Then you should have said — ‘I’m a
happily married woman.’
That’s my business.
How happy I am.
And how, happy is that?
She looks at him curiously. She begins walking slowly
along the rail. He walks too.
You’re not too smart, are you?
Racine shakes his head “no.”
I like that in a man.
What else you like — Ugly? Lazy?
Horny? I got ‘em all.
You don’t look lazy.
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Tell me, does chat like that work
with most women?
Some. If they haven’t been around
I wondered. Thought maybe I was out
She stops again at the rail as a small breeze blows in
from the ocean. She turns her back to it and, with her
cigarette dangling from her lips, she uses both hands to
lift her hair up off her nape. She closes her eyes as
the air hits her. Racine watches very closely.
How ‘bout I buy you a drink?
I told you. I’ve got a husband.
I’ll buy him one too.
He’s out of town.
My favorite kind. We’ll drink to
He only comes up on the weekends.
Matty lets her hair fall and again begins moving down
walkway. She drops her cigarette and steps on it.
I’m liking him better all the time.
You better take me up on this quick.
In another forty-five minutes I’m
going to give up and walk away.
You want to buy me something? I’ll
take one of these.
They have come upon a Vendor selling snow cones.
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Make it two.
The Vendor scoops and pours as Racine lays some change on
You’re not staying in Miranda Beach.
(she shakes her
I would have noticed you.
Is this town that small?
Racine hands her a snow cone. They walk over to the rail.
Racine watches her eat the snow cone with enormous
Pinehaven. You’re staying up in
Pinehaven, on the waterway.
(she gives him a
You have a house.
How’d you know?
You look like Pinehaven.
How does Pinehaven look?
She looks out at the ocean.
Yes, I’m well tended, all right.
Well tended. What about you?
Me? I need tending. I need someone
to take care of me. Rub my tired
muscles. Smooth out my sheets.
I just need it for tonight.
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For the first time, Matty laughs. A moment later, she
spills the snow cone over the front of her dress. It
makes a bright red stain against the white. The thin
material clings to the line of her breast.
Good. Nice move, Matty.
Matty. I like it. Right over your
At least it’s cool. I’m burning up.
I asked you not to talk about the
Would you get me a paper towel or
something? Dip it in some cold water.
Racine starts toward the restroom nearby.
Right away. I’ll even wipe it off
You don’t want to lick it?
This causes a momentary hitch in Racine’s retreat, but
then he hurries off.
INT. MEN’S ROOM
Racine comes in, snaps some paper towels from the rack
and turns on the water. The room is full of smoke. A
fifteen-year-old Boy is leaning against the wall. After
looking Racine over a second, he brings the smoking joint
he’s been holding behind his back into view and takes a
toke. He nods at Racine, who nods back and stands up
with his wet towels. As he walks out, Racine takes a
EXT. THE BEACHFRONT – NIGHT
Racine comes out of the structure. And stops. Matty is
gone. Racine looks around without much hope. Finally,
he puts a wet paper towel to the back of his neck. We
begin to HEAR a strange, measured thumping, and then —
EXT. THE BOARDWALK (82ND STREET) – DAWN
Racine is running. The THUMPING is the sound of Racine’s
battered running shoes hitting the weathered wooden planks
of the Boardwalk.
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Racine wears old gym shorts and a torn tee-shirt with
“F.S.U.” fading from the front. The raised wooden walk
works its crooked way through lush, tropical vegetation,
first coming close to the wide, white beach, then jutting
back inland, swallowed by greenery, then shooting out
again toward the sea. Racine hits this last stretch at
top speed and launches himself flying out onto the gleaming
EXT. BEACH – DAWN
Racine is running on the sand now, on a raised, hardened
section that bisects the beach. His shoes make a weird
whooshing SOUND each time they break the compacted surface
and sink an inch below. The sun is just rising from the
ocean to his right, yet the day is already broiling.
Racine’s shirt is drenched. The WHOOSHING is hypnotic,
steady; his expression indicates that it is just this
sound which keeps him going.
EXT. THE BAND SHELL/THE BEACH – DAY
Further on, Racine runs by the Band Shell where he’d seen
EXT. THE PIER – DAY
The THUMPING returns, as Racine runs the long, straight
pier directly out to sea, toward the rising sun. A
lifeguard boat with an outboard motor is on the left of
the pier. Racine watches it as he runs until it disappears
beneath him, then reappears on his right and turns out to
sea, so that it is running beside him. Racine speeds up,
really kicking, racing the boat to the end of the pier.
The Lifeguard on board isn’t even aware of Racine, but he
beats the runner nonetheless, then veers off to continue
Racine pulls up, breathing hard. He walks it off a bit,
watching the boat, then turns and starts walking back
along the pier. He reaches into the waistband of his
shorts and takes out a pack of cigarettes.
INT. RACINE’S OFFICE – DAY
Racine is behind the desk. Occupying the two seats in
front are a married couple rapidly approaching divorce.
They are arguing now, each trying to convince Racine of
their view. Racine nods occasionally, looking from one
to the other. But he is also looking between them, through
the open door out to the reception room, where his
secretary Beverly is kneeling before the lowest drawer of
a filing cabinet. Her back is turned and her jeans are
tight across the bottom. There’s nothing especially
provocative about her pose. She’s just there. Working
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Racine walks across his office and closes the door. He
goes back to his seat. The couple continues.
EXT. THE BAND SHELL – NIGHT
Another concert going on, a trio of musicians. Racine
moves down the sidewalk away from the audience. He looks
around as he lights a cigarette. She is nowhere in sight.
Racine opens the door to his car, a nicked-up red ’64
EXT. PINEHAVEN – DAY
Racine drives past a neat sign —
“You are entering
Please drive carefully”
There’s money here. Many of the homes are not visible
from the street — only their gates announce their
presence. Those that can be seen are sprawling and lavish.
The Waterway appears to the left. A large white yacht
cruises slowly by.
INT. RACINE’S APARTMENT – DAY
Racine sits in bed smoking a cigarette. At the mirror, a
Nurse in a fresh white uniform steps into her white shoes
and begins attaching her cap with bobby pins.
INT. COCKTAIL LOUNGE – PINEHAVEN – NIGHT
Dark. Almost classy. The place is half full. Matty is
drinking at the end of the bar, her cigarettes next to
her glass. The bar chairs near her are empty.
Racine comes in, looks around, walks over and sits in the
seat next to her. She looks up, surprised.
Look who’s here. Isn’t this a
Racine looks at her, almost as though he can’t place her.
But he doesn’t push that effect hard. He lights a
I know you.
You’re the one that doesn’t want to
talk about the heat. Too bad. I’d
tell you about my chimes.
What about them?
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The wind chimes on my porch. They
keep ringing and I go out there
expecting a cool breeze. That’s
what they’ve always meant. But not
this summer, This summer it’s just
Do I remind you of hot air?
The Bartender has come up.
Bourbon, any kind, on the rocks.
She thinks, then nods her agreement. The Bartender moves
What are you doing in Pinehaven?
I’m no yokel. Why, I was all the
way to Miami once.
There are some men, once they get a
whiff of it, they’ll trail you like
The Bartender brings their drinks and leaves.
I’m not that eager.
What is your name, anyway?
(offers his hand)
She takes his hand and shakes it. Racine reacts strangely
to her touch and doesn’t let go right away. She gently
frees it, then refers to his look as she picks up her
Are you all right?
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Yes. My temperature runs a couple
degrees high. Around 100 all the
time I don’t mind it. It’s the engine
Maybe you need a tune-up.
Don’t tell me — you have just the
I don’t talk that way.
How’d you find me, Ned?
Racine gives her a look.
This is the only joint in Pinehaven.
How’d you know I drink?
You seemed like a woman with all the
You shouldn’t have come. You’re
going to be disappointed.
Racine looks out over his drink. Several of the Men in
the place are looking at them.
(referring to the
What’d I do?
A lot of them have tried that seat.
You’re the first one I’ve let stay.
(spotting a few
You must come here a lot.
Most men are little boys.
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Maybe you should drink at home.
Maybe you shouldn’t dress like that.
This is a blouse and a skirt. I
don’t know what you’re talking about.
You shouldn’t wear that body.
Natty leans back in her seat and glances down at herself.
I don’t like my body much. It’s
never been right.
Racine has been looking at her body too. With her line,
he just laughs. Matty watches him, then leans over her
drink. Her tone is different.
Sometimes, I don’t know. I get so
sick of everything, I’m not sure I
care anymore. Do you know what I
(he’s not sure)
I know that sometimes the shit comes
down SO heavy I feel like I should
wear a hat.
Matty laughs, studies him.
Yeah, that’s what I mean.
Ratty drains her glass and stubs out her cigarette.
I think I’ll get out of here now.
I’m going home.
I’ll take you.
I have a car.
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I’ll follow you. I want to see the
You want to see the chimes.
I want to hear them.
She looks at him a long time.
That’s all. If I let you, that’s
I’m not looking for trouble.
I mean it. I like you. But my life
is complicated enough.
Racine again accepts.
This is my community bar. I might
have to come here with my husband
some time. Would you leave before
me? Wait in your car? I know it
I don’t know who we’re going to fool.
You’ve been pretty friendly.
She gives him a look and then slaps him hard! Everyone
turns toward them.
Now leave me alone.
She stands up, takes her purse and her cigarettes, and
walks to the other end of the bar, where she sits down.
Racine watches her with amazed eyes. He stands up and
throws some money on the bar.
Lady, you must be some kind of crazy!
He stalks out of the bar.
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INT. RACINE’S CAR – NIGHT
CLOSE on his face as he drives. His look is intense,
expectant. He’s feeling lucky as he watches up ahead.
RACINE’S POV out the windshield. Matty’s shiny Mercedes
450 SEL is gliding down the road ahead of him. She puts
on the blinker, slows and turns into a gated drive. The
drive is canopied by heavy trees, the vegetation crowding
the road with a primeval lushness. The headlights create
sinuous welcoming shadows. It is as though Racine were
entering some separate, parallel, jungle world. Eventually
the house comes into view.
Matty’s car swings around in the parking area and stops.
Racine pulls the Stingray up next to it, facing the other
way. He watches Matty slide her long legs out of the
car. She glances at Racine and for an instant there is a
hint of self-consciousness under the weight of his gaze.
We begin to HEAR the soft tinkling of chimes.
EXT. THE WALKER HOUSE – FRONT TERRACE – NIGHT
Racine follows closely behind Matty as they go up the
stairs. At the door, Matty turns suddenly and looks at
Remember your promise.
Racine agrees. Matty looks him over a moment, then turns
to unlock the door.
INT. ENTRY HALL/SECOND FLOOR HALL – NIGHT
Matty comes in and puts her purse on a hall table as Racine
moves forward to look around. Despite the night gloom,
it’s clear the place is expensively decorated in a manner
entirely consistent with the exterior of the house. Fine
antiques, carefully chosen fabrics, and a meticulous
selection of accessories have given the place the look of
an affluent home of Thirties America. And yet the overall
effect is almost contemporary, so burnished are the woods,
so fresh all the elements. It works.
Just like my place.
Matty gives him a searching look, then leads him up the
stairs, flipping on only an occasional light in their
path. In the second floor hall, Matty moves to the front
of the house. Racine glances into the gloom that hides
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She goes home nights.
You’re not nervous alone?
Matty pauses at the doors to the porch, unlocking them,
and looks at Racine as though she barely understands the
EXT. SECOND FLOOR PORCH – NIGHT
The TINKLING is distinct out here. Matty and Racine come
out onto the porch. There are about thirty wind chimes
of various, lovely designs — crystal, metal, wood hanging
at intervals from the rim of the wide porch awning,
completely encircling Matty and Racine.
Halfway down the long lawn is a white gazebo. Beyond it,
the waterway is shimmering in the moonlight. At the edge
of the water is a small boat house.
Racine walks along under the chimes, looking up at them.
A smile plays across her face. He looks back at Matty,
You do have chimes.
He looks out at the boat house.
No, out there.
What is in there?
Racine moves back and stands very close to her. He looks
at her in the moonlight, but she concentrates on the
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It’s a mess. There’s a row boat, a
lot of lounge chairs… things like
Racine puts his hand up under her hair, on her nape. She
closes her eyes at his touch, then moves away, as though
by an act, of will, to the door, half opening it.
I think you should go now.
I just got here.
You’ve seen them. Please go.
Racine steps toward her, but she ducks inside and moves
through the intermittent light of the hall and down the
steps. Racine follows her.
INT. ENTRY HALL
Matty stops at the entry hall, leaning against the wall.
You didn’t bring me here to see your
He puts an arm on each side of her, caging her against
the wall. She looks up at him.
Yes, I did. I said what I meant.
Do you ever do that?
No. not very often.
He kisses her light on the forehead. Again she reacts,
but fights it.
I don’t think you want me to go.
He kisses her lightly on the nose.
There’s nothing to be afraid of.
There is for me.
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Matty slips under his arms and quickly steps out the front
door. She stands just outside watching him. Racine shakes
his head, goes out there.
EXT. FRONT TERRACE – NIGHT
Racine stops next to Matty. She doesn’t move away.
Thank you. I’m sorry, I shouldn’t
have lot you come.
Racine looks at her a long time.
You’re not so tough after all, are
No… I’m weak.
She kisses him on the lips and steps quickly inside the
front door. She closes it, looks through the window at
him, then moves away.
EXT. PARKING AREA – NIGHT
Racine stands looking at the door a few moments. Then he
walks to his car. Again he stops. He looks back at the
house. The wind picks up a bit and the TINKLING of the
wind chimes gets louder. And then louder.
Racine goes back up onto the porch fast. He goes to the
front door and looks through the window.
EXT. FRONT TERRACE – NIGHT
RACINE’S POV. Matty is standing at the bottom of the
stairs in the hall. She is looking directly at the front
door. Frozen in the spot.
Racine tries the door. It’s locked. He shakes it hard,
but it’s solid. He looks to his left. There are windows
down the wall there. He moves to them. They go into the
living room but their shutters are closed. He looks
through a broken slat at Matty, who watches him from the
same spot, through the living room door. Racine tries
them. They won’t budge. Racine moves to his right past
the front door, to the windows off the dining room. He
pushes at them as his eyes lock with Matty, who watches
from the hall. The windows won’t move, Racine spins and
picks up the nearest object, a wooden rocking chair. He
lifts it, turns and smashes the big window. Glass showers
into the dining room.
Matty watches. She hasn’t moved.
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Racine pushes the broken window out of his way. He comes
in, like a violent gust of wind.
Racine crosses the dark living room fast. As he reaches
Matty, she lifts her arms to match his embrace. They
come together hard and tight. They kiss. And kiss again.
Her hands travel over his body, as though she’s wanted
them there for a long time.
They turn once slowly along the wall, into the dimness of
the central hall. Then he rotates her body away from
him, holding her close.
Then she is just nodding. Racine puts his face deep into
her hair, closing his eyes as the smell of her washes
Matty turns in his arms and kisses him hard. Racine pulls
her close to him and they sink to the floor.
That’s right… that’s right.
CLOSE ON Matty’s face, a look that might be anguish. She
bites her lip in expectation. Racine moves over her.
Please, please …
She pulls him tightly to her, clinging like a drowning
INT. MATTY’S BEDROOM – NIGHT
Racine and Matty lie under a sheet on her big bed. Her
eyes are closed. There are more wind chimes on the second
floor of the verandah, which is off this room, and Racine
is listening to their TINKLING. Racine looks over in
RACINE’S POV. The moonlit, sheer white curtains on the
window roil to a light breeze. Racine’s gaze travels
over the luxurious bedroom; here too, it is in the Thirties
style. Their clothes are haphazardly thrown across a
divan and on the floor nearby. A delicate fern sways in
the wind. Finally, he is looking at a lovely writing
desk against the far wall. Some tissue-thin stationery
flaps in the breeze, kept in place by the weight of a
pen. Then, as he looks, the paper stops flapping and the
chimes gradually STOP TINKLING. Racine looks toward the
window. It is still open, but the air had died.
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The curtains hang still.
Racine’s face. The world has stopped.
I didn’t want this to happen. But I
didn’t try hard enough to stop it…
Because I wanted you. I wanted you
here, like this … This is bad for
me. I know it. Now nothing’s going
to be the same anymore.
FROM ABOVE THEM, we see them framed by the bed.
EXT. STREET IN FRONT OF WALKER HOUSE – DAY
Near the front gate of the Walker place, a heavyset, middle-
aged woman, BETTY, THE WALKER’S HOUSEKEEPER, has been
waiting on a bus stop bench. Now she lifts her tired
body to board a public bus.
Down the Street, just around a corner, Racine watches her
go. He puts the Stingray in gear and drives to the
EXT. WALKERS’ BOAT HOUSE – SUNSET
Lights are going on across the waterway, sending shimmers
toward the boat house.
INT. WALKERS’ BOAT HOUSE – SUNSET
We’re looking out a dusty window at the waterway. We
HEAR Racine and Matty disentangle and roll apart o.s.,
Racine grunting his exhaustion. After a moment, Racine
rises up into frame, looking happy. He looks down to
where he was and rests against the wall.
I like this place. It’s got a nice
You were on top.
So it could use a better mattress.
See to it, will you?
Racine turns and stares out at the ocean. Matty rises up
behind and hugs him from the back. She kisses his shoulder
blades and presses her cheek against his spine.
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Hey, gimme a break here. It takes a
It’s your fault.
It takes me a good thirty seconds.
Are you sure? I just want to make
She pulls him down.
On the lounge cushions that are spread across the floor,
Matty rolls on top of Racine. Racine reacts with
exaggerated pain to the roughness of the cushions.
Jesus, I think you’re right —
(he rolls over her)
— you better be on the bottom.
No, you misunderstood —
(she rolls over
— this is my new saddle, and I just
want to —
Wow! No, I must object —
Laughing, they roll again and we’re on Racine’s face as
INT. MATTY’S BEDROOM – NIGHT
Racine’s face; he is still rolling, but he is alone. He
has just rolled off the bed. He lies there like a dead
INT. MASTER BATHROOM – NIGHT
Racine is at the sink, having just washed his tired face.
He opens the medicine cabinet and looks at all the
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toiletries of Matty’s husband. He selects a cologne, is
impressed by its expensive look, and slaps a little on
his jaw. He doesn’t like the smell. He closes the cabinet
and moves back into the bedroom.
INT. MATTY’S BEDROOM – NIGHT
Matty, wrapped in a thin white terrycloth robe, is
stripping the bed of its sheets. Racine watches from
across the room.
What are you doing?
I’ve got to wash these.
You’re afraid of your maid?
That’s right. My mother told me
“knowledge is power.”
This is an interesting interpretation.
Is that why you’ve started smoking
Matty straightens with an armload of sheets.
No one must know. Promise me, Ned.
He promise with a gesture.
INT. RACINE’S APARTMENT – DAWN
Racine comes in, beat. He throws his jacket across a
chair. Out the windows to the porch, the sun is rising
out of the Atlantic. Racine goes there and closes the
curtains. In the gloom he walks to his bed and sits on
the edge, kicking off his shoes. He picks up his alarm
clock and begins setting it.
EXT. WALKER HOUSE – LAWN/GAZEBO – NIGHT
Racine has just parked his car and is walking back across
the lawn. Matty is standing in the gazebo, her back
turned, looking out at the Waterway.
She is dressed in white and from here she looks very much
as she did when they first met. There are wind chimes
hanging from the gazebo.
Hey, lady, wanna make love?
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The lady in question turns around, surprised. It is not
Matty at all. It is MARY ANN. She’s attractive, but a
little cheap-looking. She looks him over.
I don’t know. Maybe This sure is a
Racine is nonplussed. He doesn’t know what to do.
(mock hurt feelings)
You are? You mean the offers no
Racine comes up on the porch.
I feel like a jerk.
Mary Ann gives him a salacious smile.
Maybe you were supposed to deliver
it next door?
You must be looking for the lady of
Unbeknownst to either of them, Matty has been watching
from the lawn. Now she moves up into the gazebo. In her
right hand she has an envelope, well-filled and sealed.
A block away from the station, the patrol car races toward
an intersection. Suddenly, a WOMAN steps into the street,
pushing a baby buggy. Pat slams on the brakes, and the
car skids sideways toward the intersection, where it rocks
onto two wheels and stops just a few yards short of the
buggy. Sam sticks his head out the window.
Are you crazy, lady? Didn’t you
hear the siren?
The woman dives to the ground as the BABY sits up in the
buggy — he is a midget with a cigar in his mouth and a
tommy gun in his hands. Pat jerks Sam to the floor just
as the midget opens fire.
The midget riddles the car with bullets. Headlights
explode, windows are smashed, the grill is torn to shreds,
and steam mushrooms into the air.
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All four tires are flattened, a bumper is sheared off,
and still the blasting goes on.
There’s almost nothing left of the patrol car as a dark
sedan wheels into the intersection to pick up the woman
and the midget. The sedan speeds away, and Pat and Sam
climb out of the rubble, unhurt but very shaken.
INT. TRACY’S CAR
Siren off, Tracy cuts the motor and silently glides into
Cullen Park, stopping just under a low-hanging weeping
Approaching the boathouse carefully, Tracy takes out his
pistol. The front door is ajar. Tracy pushes it, and it
creaks open. He enters cautiously.
The boathouse is dark, lit only by moonlight and park
lights that shine through the windows. Tensely, Tracy
listens for sounds, then moves very carefully past stacked
up rowboats and canoes.
Traced against a window at the far end of the boathouse,
Tracy sees the silhouette of a man. Gripping his pistol,
he moves silently toward that silhouette, closing in on
it while keeping alert for movement.
Ned, this is Mary Ann.
Matty hands the envelope to Mary Ann, who puts it in her
We were just meeting. Ned made me
feel very welcome.
I’m an idiot. Nice to meet you.
Are you staying in town?
No, no, just passing through. Nice
area. A little hot for my tastes.
It’s unusual. We’re famous for our
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There is a pregnant pause as Mary Ann looks him over,
fighting some private amusement.
(to Mary Ann)
Do you want to stay for dinner?
Got to go, got to go.
She pecks Matty on the cheek, then steps close to Racine
to shake his hand.
You two have fun now.
She’s smiling as she leaves the gazebo and walks across
the lawn. Matty takes Racine’s arm as they watch Mary
Ann get into her little sports car, which has been pulled
up close to the house. She pulls out waving.
I didn’t see her car. I’m sorry. I
got to be more careful.
Matty turns to him and puts her arms around his neck.
Mary Ann’s an old friend. She’s
like a sister to me. She wants me
to be happy.
EXT. LAWN/LAGOONS – WALKER HOUSE – NIGHT
Matty’s Mercedes has been pulled out onto lawn next to
the lagoons which border the grass. Racine and Matty can
be seen, intermittently rising into view in the back seat,
grappling, then disappearing again. Matty is giggling.
(not in a jovial
You know, this has never been one of
my pleasures. Car. I considered
the time I spent making it —
(grunts, sits up)
— like this … penance for some
I never knew. Maybe worshipping
women instead of God. But it never
did anything for me.
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Not even a Mercedes?
(Racine shakes his
With genuine calf skin upholstery?
Matty rises up, wraps her arms around his neck and kisses
him deeply. She pulls him out of sight.
INT. MATTY’S BEDROOM – NIGHT
An ashtray, full to overflowing, on the rug next to Matty’s
bed. And, above it, Matty’s hand, clutching the sheets
on the side of the bed.
INT. MASTER BATHROOM
Racine and Matty lie together in the full bathtub. On
the floor beside the tub is the container that catches
the ice from a refrigerator’s automatic icemaker.
You’re killing me.
Is there any more ice? I’m burning
Racine gropes for the ice container and dumps the remaining
ice cubs Into the tub with them. Matty snatches one out
of the water and holds it to her forehead.
He’s coming up tomorrow.
I can’t stand the thought of him…
He’s small and mean… and weak.
Racine watches some water run through his fingers. He
cradles her head in an embrace that has nothing to do
with sex. She looks sad.
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EXT. GROUNDS – WALKER’S PLACE — NIGHT
The Middle of the Night. A light FOG has rolled in.
Racine is walking slowly through the shadows of the heavy
foliage. He stops beside a rubber tree.
RACINE’S POV. The Walker House. In front sits a huge
white Cadillac. All the lights in the house are out.
The wind chimes TINKLE softly.
Racine lights a cigarette.
INT. RACINE’S OFFICE – DAY
Racine stands at the window staring down at the busy Main
Street. He is far away.
INT. ENTRY HALL – WALKER HOUSE – NIGHT
Racine has just entered. Matty is calling from somewhere
out of sight.
Just do what I say! Go into the
Come on! It’s been three days. I
want to see you —
I’m going to make it up to you
tonight. But you must behave. Now
I’m going. I’m going.
INT. LIVING ROOM
Racine goes into the living room and sits down on the
Matty comes in carrying a tray with two drinks on it.
And she is dressed in the uniform of an airline stewardess,
complete all the way to her little cap. She cannot keep
a straight face, despite her efforts. Racine begins to
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(choking back her
Good evening, sir… welcome to…
to Flight 413 … nonstop to …
She hands him a drink, but he takes it and the tray and
puts them on the floor. He pulls her down across his
lap. They are both laughing hard. He kisses her.
What do you take me for?
Don’t you like it?
You think I’m a kid?
You don’t like it? I thought you
went for this stuff.
He pushes her back across the sofa.
Wait … wait … I want to tell you
about the thing… the thing that
will drop from the ceiling… in
case the cabin suddenly depressurizes —
EXT. DRIVING RANGE – NIGHT
A dozen Golfers are practicing, spotted along the row of
hitting pads under floodlights. Most are drenched with
sweat from their exertion in the muggy air. Their randomly
timed swings send streaking white bullets into the
darkness. But what is hypnotic, what so captures a hot
night in sound, is the irregular CRACKING of clubs meeting
balls: CRACK, CRACK-CRACK-CRACK, CRACK-CRACK!
In the darkness of the overlooking parking lot, behind a
high fence, sits the Stingray, with Racine in the driver’s
seat and Matty close beside him. They sit in silence.
What are we doing here?
I love that sound.
Matty listens, but her eyes are on Racine.
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I want to be in bed.
Is that all you ever think about?
Racine watches the Golfers, listening intently. Then he
sees that Matty is crying. He comforts her.
Hey! I’m kidding.
Matty looks straight ahead and her tone is somber.
Yes … that’s all I ever think about
… You and me. Your body near mine,
close. I’m not right when you’re
not with me. I get the shakes. And
each time, when I first see you, I
shake even more. For a while. And
then I get calm. I feel safe …
I’ve never been this way. I can’t
remember how I lived before.
He knows it’s true. It’s the same for him. He wipes her
cheeks with his hand. CRACK, CRACK-CRACK, CRACK.
EXT./INT. WALKER HOUSE (SERIES OF SHOTS) – NIGHT
WATERWAY/BOAT HOUSE — The water laps against the pier.
Gently. The quiet sound almost overpowered by the
insistent buzz of the night insects. The CAMERA MOVES
toward the house.
LAGOON/GAZEBO — A giant palmetto bug leaps from a lily
pad into the water, creating a tiny ripple. The CAMERA
MOVES toward the house.
STAIRWELL/HALLWAY — Quiet and dark. The CAMERA MOVES
along the shiny white posts of the stairs. Upward.
INT. MATTY’S BEDROOM – NIGHT
Racine and Matty are in bed. Matty is sound asleep, her
back close to Racine. But he is not asleep. He is propped
up, looking down at her. We’ve never seen his face like
this before. Never this open, never so much in repose.
She stirs, and then is still again. He touches her hair
lightly. She sleeps.
INT. STELLA’S COFFEE SHOP – DAY
Same courthouse/cop crowd as before. Racine finishes a
sandwich at a table as Lowenstein sits down with two tall
glasses of iced coffee, both of which he drinks down.
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You look terrible. Don’t you sleep?
I had a dream last night that was so
boring it woke me up. I was afraid
to go back to sleep. Where the hell
have you been?
What do you mean, I been around.
I’ve barely seen you for a month.
Wait a minute — it’s some new quiff,
isn’t it? What’s wrong with me.
Racine dismisses this with a gesture.
You’ve never been shy about that
At this moment, DETECTIVE OSCAR GRACE, a big, powerful
black man comes in. He’s a plainclothes cop in shirt
sleeves, his jacket in his hand. As he passes Racine on
his way to the third seat at the table, he squeezes
Racine’s shoulders with his huge hands, by way of greeting.
Hey. You weren’t at the Y last week.
He’s getting discreet. I can’t
Stella comes over.
Whatcha got in pie today, Stella?
Cherry, cherry… and cherry.
What do you recommend?
I like the cherry.
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Bring it on. And a gigantic Coke.
I’m really disappointed, Racine.
I’ve been living vicariously off you
for years. If you shut up on me,
I’ll have just my wife.
There’s nothing to tell. I lead a
Right. And it’s gonna snow later
… And people are basically decent..
… Must be someone I know. Let’s
see — someone in uniform…
Grace laughs. Racine shakes his head in mock exasperation.
…no Army personnel around.
Waitress… Could it be…
(like Brando in
Stella arrives with Grace’s order. Lowenstein looks her
over as a possible for Racine, but shakes his head. Stella
lingers. Lowenstein spots someone, speaks to Racine in a
loud, excited whisper.
I know, I know — you finally got to
Across the restaurant, GLENDA, a Meter Maid, is talking
with some other women.
How was it? Did she let you into the
no parking zone?
I’ll have you know Glenda is seriously
involved with a narc from Palm Beach.
There you are.
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A narc from Palm Beach? Is that his
How’s the cop business, Oscar?
Real good. Always starts hoppin’ in
weather like this. When it gets hot,
people try to kill each other.
It’s true. I could tell you some
people who’ll be dead if we don’t
get a break soon.
She leaves. The three men exchange amused looks.
We’ve got more of everything bad
since the wave started. It’s the
crisis atmosphere. People dress
different, feel different, sweat
more. They wake up cranky and they
never recover. Look at Lowenstein.
(a flash of smile)
Things are just a little askew. Pretty
soon people think the old rules aren’t
in effect. They start breaking them.
Figure no one’ll care, cause it’s
emergency time… time out.
He takes a big bite of pie.
Oscar, I just don’t understand how
you could be doing advanced
theoretical thinking like that and
still be stuck working in our little
Lowenstein dreams of bigger things.
Assistant County Prosecutor isn’t
the end for me, fellows.
Hell, no. Someday — Deputy County
When the truth comes out about some
of the dirt I’ve been involved in,
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my future in this state will be
Glenda the Meter Maid passes their table on her way out.
She has eyes only for Racine.
She goes out. Lowenstein and Grace look at Racine, then
at each other. Grace smiles hugely.
EXT. LIGHTHOUSE/SAND DUNES – NIGHT
The big beacon turns in the distance, throwing an
intermittent bridge of light across the water toward us.
The undulating dunes stretch off as far as we can see.
Racine’s Stingray is parked on the dirt access road. Below
it, Racine and Matty sit close in the warm sand.
Don’t say it, if you don’t mean it.
Please, Ned, don’t.
I do. I want you with me.
She looks at him a long time. There is real joy in her
face. And tears in her eyes. We’re very close to those
eyes as she wipes the tears away. Racine puts an arm around
her. She looks out at the lighthouse.
I’m going to tell Edmund I want a
divorce. I won’t stay any longer. I
would have, if you hadn’t come along.
The life is comfortable. I was
willing to go on. But you’ve reminded
me of what it can be… I know now
that these last three years I’ve
been living half a life. It’s my
fault, I don’t deny it. You have to
let yourself be bought. I did. I
let it happen. I’ve lived so much of
my life with nothing. When you have
no money, you have no choices. I
don’t care what they say — money is
freedom. That’s something they don’t
teach you in school. But I found
out. And when Edmund came along when
I saw a chance to stop struggling I
took it. I’m not ashamed.
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He got what he wanted… he has a
knack for that. But no more. I’m
ready to walk away from the money.
I have to be with you.
(kisses her, smiles)
It is conceivable I’ll make a buck
(hugs him closer)
Oh, I know you will, darling. I didn’t
mean that. I know you will. But it
doesn’t matter. It’s you I want.
Anyway, you’ll come out all right.
Of the divorce?
Yeah. He’s ripe.
Matty is silent for a long beat.
No. I signed a pre-nuptial agreement.
He insisted. He blamed it on his
sister Roz — she’s always hated me —
but I know he wanted it too.
How is it?
Bad. I get some money for a year.
Not much. That’s it. But I don’t
care, Ned. Not if I can be with you.
She searches his face, almost frightened.
Does it matter, Ned? Tell me the
truth please. I’ll understand, I
swear to you.
The truth? I wish you were going to
be loaded. Does it matter? No. No.
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God, you’ve made me happy.
(she pulls away)
It’s time for your present.
She jumps up and runs back to the car. Racine walks back
there as Matty takes a wrapped package out of the car.
She hands it to Racine, who leans against the car to unwrap
From now on, when it starts coming
down on you, I’ll be there to protect
Racine opens the box and smiles broadly. It is a hat a
fedora in the classic style.
Put it on! I’ll bet I guessed the
Racine puts on the fedora. It fits. He looks simultaneously
old-fashioned, a visitor from the Forties, and also very
chic, a present-day fashion plate. But most of all, he
looks exactly right. Matty squeals in glee at the sight.
I love it.
I want to see.
Racine tries to see his reflection in the car’s side view
mirror but he has trouble. Matty, very animated in her
delight, steps up and kisses him quickly.
Look in my eyes. Can you see yourself?
Racine tries for a moment, then gives up with a laugh.
Matty opens the door of the Stingray and sits in the
passenger seat with her legs out. She rolls up the window
in that door as Racine stands before it. The glass capture
the moonlight to make a perfect mirror. As the window
goes up, Racine’s reflection appears on the glass, posing
in his hat. At the same time, Matty’s face disappears
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INT. RACINE’S OFFICE – DAY
Racine lies on the couch. He spins the fedora Matty gave
him on his finger, Beverly comes up and leans against the
doorjamb. She’s wearing a tee-shirt and tight slacks; she
looks good. She watches him for a moment.
Big weekend planned?
Nope, Small weekend. Tiny little
There’s jazz tonight at the beach…
if you’re not doing anything…
Beverly, do yourself a big favor and
Whatever you’re thinking.
She shrugs.. She turns back to her desk, unconvinced.
INT. BAR – NIGHT
Busy weekend crowd. Racine sits drinking alone at the
bar. He signals for another.
EXT. STREET IN FRONT OF WALKER PLACE – NIGHT
Racine drives slowly by, head craning to peer into the
darkness. We begin to HEAR the thumping again —
EXT. THE PIER – DAY
Racine has been running. Walking now, breathing hard, he
takes his cigarettes from his shorts. At the end of the
pier he folds his body over the rail so that it looks as
though he will topple over the edge. But he does not; he
lights up and looks down there.
RACINE’S POV. The water following against the thick
pilings. Then, TILTING UP, UP, AND OVER, past the ocean’s
horizon to the perfect blue sky, which fills the screen.
Racine is looking straight up, blowing his own clouds.
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INT. RACINE’S APARTMENT – DAY
Racine lies smoking in bed, bathed in sweat, a beer nearby.
A fan is pointed at him, but it’s blowing hot air. He
looks at the telephone.
EXT. PORCH OF RACINE’S APARTMENT – NIGHT
Fog. Thick and heavy. Racine’s cigarette glows in it as
he sits in the gray limbo. The phone in the apartment
INT. RACINE’S APARTMENT
Racine comes in from the porch and picks up the phone.
Come to me.
Did you tell him?
(filtered, after a
No… I couldn’t.
Racine’s face relaxes. He looks relieved.
Okay, I’m coming.
EXT. SECOND FLOOR PORCH – WALKER PLACE – NIGHT
Same thick fog. The wind chimes TINKLE softly. Light
seeps out from Matty’s bedroom windows, half-revealing
Racine and Matty lying together on a lounge. Matty is in
her white terrycloth robe, Racine just shorts.
How do you know?
I saw the will once. He showed it
to me. He was trying to prove
something … how much he loved me
How’d he get so fat?
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The stock market, investments, real
estate. He doesn’t tell me anything,
but I’ve picked up a little. I know
they own a lot of land along the
(she doesn’t know)
He’s never introduced me to anyone.
I’m not sure if they’re all
(snorts at the
odds of that)
I wonder what they call themselves.
Maybe I’ve heard of them.
They own that old place in Miranda
Beach, The Breakers… I know that.
The Breakers? I thought Hermie Fisher
owned that land.
Edmund mentioned it once.
Racine lights another cigarette and gazes off into the
fog, thinking. Matty presses her cheek against his chest
and closes her eyes tight.
Ned, it scares me to talk about these
No. I don’t.
Let’s just not, okay? Let’s not
think about all he’s got.
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What is it, Matty? Tell me exactly
what frightens you.
I’m afraid… because when I think
about it, I wish that he’d die. That’s
really what I want. It’s horrible
and ugly and It’s what I most want.
Racine looks off into the night for a few beats, then he
lifts her face so he can look into her eyes.
That’s where we’re at, isn’t it,
What do you mean?
That’s what we’re both thinking —
how good it’d be for us if he were
gone. It’d be real sweet for us.
Don’t talk about it, Ned. Please
don’t. Talk is dangerous. Sometimes
it makes things happen, it makes it
Don’t let it scare you. Because he’s
not gonna die. There’s nothing wrong
with him, is there? There’s no reason
to think he’s gonna die, is there?
Matty shakes her head “no,” lays it in his chest again.
That’s right. So we might as well
forget about it, It’s not gonna just
happen to make things nice for us…
It won’t just happen.
Racine lifts her head and kisses her on the mouth.
I’m afraid, Ned.
Maybe that’s a smart way to be now,
Matty. Maybe we both should be.
Racine takes a last drag on his cigarette and flicks it
out into the fog,
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The only thing wrong with your husband
right now… is us.
INT. BAR – PAY PHONE AT BACK
Again, Racine is getting no answer. He gives up, goes
back to his seat at the bar.
EXT. TELEPHONE BOOTH – MAIN STREET – DAY
Late afternoon. Racine, sportcoat slung over his shoulder,
listens to repeated ringing at the other end of his call.
He’s surprised there’s no answer. People drag by, making
their way home from work in the heat. Finally, Racine
Racine comes out of the phone booth. He has nowhere to
go. He ambles down the street. A few people say hello.
He walks diagonally across the street toward a restaurant
INT. TULIO’S RESTAURANT – DUSK
The best restaurant in Miranda Beach. Racine slips on
his jacket as he comes in the door. He waves to the
Hostess across the dining room, indicating he’ll be alone
tonight. She signals a short wait. He steps toward the
bar, bringing him suddenly face to face with Matty.
Well, well. Hello to you —
The panic which shoots across her face, cuts him off in
mid-sentence, a split second before EDMUND WALKER appears
behind her. Matty’s face goes calm and she smiles
She turns to her husband. He is not what Racine expected.
He may, in fact, be mean, as Matty described him, but he
looks neither small nor weak. A handsome man, he is bigger
than Racine and in terrific shape. Dressed in an expensive
summer suit, he radiates vigor and controlled physical
power. He wears sleek, metal-framed glasses.
Darling, I’d like you to meet Mr.
Racine. I’m sorry. I don’t know your
He offers his hand and Walker encloses it firmly in his.
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Edmund Walker. Nice to meet you.
Mr. Racine is the lawyer I told you
You remember. He had a client who
wanted to buy the house. I told him
we weren’t selling.
That hasn’t changed, has it?
No, we’re very happy with it.
I can understand that. It’s a
Walker nods, looking at Racine carefully. He motions
toward the dining room.
Are you going in?
I was just going to grab a bite.
No. Thanks very much, but I don’t
want to interfere with —
The Hostess has come toward them.
Don’t be silly. Come on.
We have room for three, don’t we?
The Hostess nods and leads the way. Walker gestures Matty
ahead, then puts a big hand behind Racine’s elbow and
ushers him into the dining room.
I’ve heard this place is great. But
you can’t get near it on the weekends
and I don’t get down during the week
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Is that right?
They have finished their salad at a table toward the back.
A Waiter comes and takes away their dishes. Walker has
taken off his glasses and is cleaning the lenses with a
lovely handkerchief. He does this cleaning with enormous
care and inordinate relish. His manner is a mix of gruff
charm and hinted menace. There’s something dangerous
about the man and it’s perfectly distilled in his smile,
which is quick, frequent and vaguely threatening.
I was a lawyer. Still am, I guess.
But I don’t practice. Went to
F. S. U.
Good school. I got bored with it
quick. I guess I didn’t have the
temperament. I wanted to make the
money faster. Is there a living in
I can afford to send my shirts out.
And eat here once a month, if I don’t
order an appetizer.
Walker smiles, re-folds his handkerchief carefully and
puts it back in the cheat pocket of his jacket.
I figured an honest lawyer doesn’t
make much and the other kind was too
slimy for me. I’d rather be upfront
about shafting somebody.
Edmund, really. It’s Mr. Racine’s
That’s all right. I don’t like it
What’s to like. That’s the way of
the world. Most people despise their
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Walker picks up a wine bottle and pours more into each of
their glasses, emptying it.
No. I love it. But it’s not a job.
What is it, exactly?
Walker signals to a distant Waiter for another bottle of
wine. He does it with a small flick of his finger.
Various things. This and that.
Here and there.
You don’t have to be specific.
(that smile again)
Finance, basically. Venture capital,
Investments, real estate. We’re
into a few things.
Yeah? Around here?
Some. We own some things here.
Edmund’s company owns The Breakers.
Is that right?
For a second, Walker’s eyes flick over Matty like a whip.
It’s not that simple. We have an
interest in a few places along the
shore. For the land. You know.
Someday. There’s no explaining it
I’m too dumb. Woman, you know.
She picks up her purse and stands up with a good-humored
smile. The men rise.
I’ll be right back.
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Then maybe we can talk about pantyhose or something
She walks away. Walker watches her go with a satisfied,
possessive grin. They sit.
She’s something, isn’t she?
A lovely lady.
Yes, she is. I’m crazy about her.
If I ever thought she was seeing
another guy… I don’t know.
(he takes a sip of
I’d understand how it could happen.
Her being the way she is. I’d
understand it. But I think I’d kill
the guy with my bare hands.
Walker looks at Racine and laughs. As he begins to speak,
he focuses intently on Racine. He seems to be trying to
communicate something other than what he’s saying.
You wouldn’t believe the dorkus she
was with when I met her. The guy
came to us with a business
proposition. We’re always looking
for opportunities. If the conditions
are right. We’re willing to take an
occasional risk, if the downside
isn’t too steep. But this guy hadn’t
done his homework, he didn’t know
the bottom line. That’s how I knew
he was full of shit. You’ve got to
know the bottom line. That’s all
that really counts.
Again Walker takes off his glasses. He holds them up to
the light and then rubs them again with his handkerchief.
He didn’t have the goods, this guy.
He was like a lot of guys you run
into — they want to get rich, they
want to do it quick, they want to be
there with one score.
He puts his glasses back on, stares at Racine.
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But they’re not willing to do what’s
necessary. Do you know what I mean?
Racine looks at him in silence for a moment.
I’m not sure. You mean, lay the
groundwork? Earn it?
No. I mean do what’s necessary.
The two men stare at each other a few beats.
Yeah. I know that kind of guy. I
can’t stand that. It makes me sick.
I’m not like that.
Walker ROARS with laughter. A huge, powerful burst that
shakes the table. And Racine laughs with him.
EXT. WALKER HOUSE – NIGHT
Matty’s bedroom window, from a distance. The light goes
out, Racine is watching from the shadows of the gazebo.
He stares up there. The TINKLING of the wind chimes rises
and rises. It crests and begins to fade, replaced by the
EXT. BEACH – DAWN
Racine runs south along the beach. The WHOOSHING slows.
He is looking at something. He takes out his cigarettes
as he slows to a walk. When he is directly across from
what he’s staring at, he sits in the sand, He lights up.
RACINE’S POV – “THE BREAKERS,” an ancient wooden beach
hotel, of medium size, sits at the edge of the beach. It
is closed down, boarded up, deteriorating horribly in the
EXT. MAIN STREET – DAY
Lunchtime. Racine is headed toward his office, briefcase
in hand. Beverly appears out of the noon crush; she’s
going the other way in a hurry.
There are some messages on your desk.
Be back in an hour. Got to run.
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INT. RACINE’S OFFICE – DAY
Racine comes into the reception room from the hall. He’s
surprised the door is unlocked. He crosses the room and
opens the door to his office.
Matty is sitting in one of the chairs in front of his
desk. She jumps up at the sight of him and moves up to
Jesus! Did Beverly see you?
Matty kisses him on the mouth, then shakes her head “no.”
I waited till I saw her leave. Please
don’t be angry with me.
Angry? I’m not angry — How’d you
It didn’t lock. Oh. Ned, hold me.
Please just hold me, God, I love
Racine reaches over and locks the door to his office.
He left this morning. I had to see
I couldn’t call. I’m afraid to call.
I was afraid you wouldn’t let me
Yes, that’s right. You can’t call.
Never call. We have to be very
careful now about the phone. The
phone company keeps records.
I’m careful. I hated it, Ned. I
hated sitting there with the two of
you. I thought I was going to scream.
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You did good.
(finds his thought)
You’ve called my apartment from the
No? Those two times —
I went to phone booths. I’m afraid
of him, Ned. I’m always afraid.
That’s good. We have to be careful
about the phones now.
Why, Ned, why do you say this now?
(in his own thoughts)
We could account for a couple calls.
We’ve had some contact. That would
Matty grasps his face in her hands and looks into his
Why, Ned? What’s happened?
Because we’re going to kill him. We
both know that.
Matty’s face looks different than we’ve seen it. There’s
a fire burning behind there and the heat it’s throwing is
bringing her equal portions of dread and relief. She
stares at him,
That’s what you want, isn’t it? We
knew it was coming. It’s the only
way we can get everything we want,
Matty’s nod is barely perceptible.
The man’s gonna die for no reason
but we want him dead.
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He doesn’t deserve it. Let’s not
ever say that. We’re doing it for
us. And you’re going to inherit
half of everything he owns. That’s
what the will says, right?
Again, the tiny nod. He pulls her head close, so he
doesn’t have to look into her eyes anymore.
That’s it then. We’re gonna kill
him. And I think I know how.
Matty reacts to this.
It’s real, then?
Yeah, it’s real all right, and if
we’re not careful, it’s gonna be the
last real thing we do.
EXT. FISHING HARBOR – STREET ACROSS FROM DOCKS – NIGHT
Matty sits at the wheel of her Mercedes at the curb. She
smokes her cigarette nervously. Racine walks over to the
car from the docks and leans down to the window.
I know where he is. It’s not far
from here. I don’t want you with
I thought we settled that. I’ll
wait in the car, but —
(she puts a hand
— I want to take the risks with
you. We’re both doing this.
Racine gives her a look of resignation and moves around
INT. TEDDY LAURSEN’S WORKSHOP – NIGHT
TEDDY LAURSEN, rock’n roll arsonist, is keeping the beat
and mouthing the words along with the Bruce Springsteen
tape on his workbench. Teddy is in his mid-twenties,
dressed in a black T-shirt and jeans. His arson workshop
is located in the basement of an old building. All around
him are the tools and supplies of his trade: wire, rope,
cans, vises, alarm clocks, chemical containers, and a
huge assortment of mechanical implements. He keeps all
his small accessories in dozens of cigar boxes, unlabeled.
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He knows where everything Is. Teddy is watching Racine,
who is kneeling on the floor before a compact incendiary
device. Teddy winces at the way Racine clips two wires
together. He reaches over to turn down the tape slightly,
then squats down next to Racine to demonstrate the proper
Whatsa matter, you can’t think with
a little music?
Like this, I said.
Racine nods then duplicates the clipping. Teddy goes
back to his stool, slapping the beat of the music on his
thigh. Racine pulls out the alarm lever on the clock
attached to the device and stands up. He throws a look
to Teddy and Teddy nods that, yes, the device is now set.
(nods to the music)
It’s fast. It’s hot. It’s simple.
You can use the clock or rig it to
something that moves. It starts big
and it’ll go with just the mag clips.
If you want more, splash a little
Just regular gasoline?
Regular, unleaded, supreme — whatever
you like, counselor. I got to tell
you, though, this mama has a big
It’s easy to spot, even after the
meltdown. They’ll know it’s arson.
I don’t care about that.
(looks at Teddy)
That’s all there is to it?
Teddy is offended.
No. No-no-no-no. That ain’t all
there is to it.
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You gotta get in, you gotta get out.
You gotta pick the right spot and
the right time. And you gotta try
not to get famous while you’re in
(gestures at the
If that was all there was to it, any
idiot could do it.
Hey, now I want to ask you something,
Are you listening, asshole, because
I like you?
I got a serious question for you.
What the fuck are you doing? This
is not shit for you to be messing
with. Are you ready to hear
something? See if this sounds
familiar. Anytime you try a decent
crime, there is fifty ways to fuck
up. If you think of twenty-five of
them you’re a genius. And you’re no
genius. You know who told me that?
Racine remembers telling Teddy that.
Listen, man, maybe you should let me
do it for you. Gratis. I’ll do it.
I wouldn’t even be on the street if
it weren’t for you.
Racine looks him over, shakes his head “no.”
I hope you know what you’re doin’
you better be pretty damn sure about
it. If you ain’t sure, don’t do it.
Of course, that’s my recommendation
anyway — don’t do it.
(he puts a hand on
Because I tell you, Counselor, this
arson, this is serious crime.
Racine looks at him.
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INT. ENCLOSED SIDE VERANDAH – WALKER HOUSE – NIGHT
Racine sits smoking, watching Matty fill their tall
highball glasses with ice at the bar.
I don’t know why he’s so crazy about
her. Maybe because he never had any
of his own. She’s a cute little
girl, all right, but other than
that… I know this, though, her
mother has worked plenty hard to
keep Heather on Edmund’s mind, Always
bringing her around, reporting
everything she does in school. That
Roz is a smart one. And you know
that anything Heather inherits goes
straight to Roz. Heather won’t even
get a look at it. That’s the part I
can’t stand. That’s why it seems so
wrong to have half of it go to her.
She hands him his glass and stands next to him, her hand
playing with his hair.
That’s the way it is. There’s nothing
we can do about it.
She kneels beside him.
Are you sure, Ned? I’ve been thinking
about it. Maybe there is. The will
is with his lawyer in Miami I know
that. What if I could get him to
bring it home? He did it once, he’d
do it again. If I could swing it,
couldn’t we rewrite it? Change it.
Then when he dies, I could find the
new one. We could just change it a
little. Every little change would
mean a lot to us, End. You’re a
lawyer. You know how to write it.
It wouldn’t seem so odd. I could
say he brought it home and we talked
about it and decided to make some
changes up here. And I knew you
Racine is shaking his head.
No. Forget it.
I just don’t see why Heather should
take half —
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Racine puts down his drink and turns to look down at her.
Listen to me, Matty. Nothing strange
can happen in his life right now,
not one thing out of the ordinary.
That’s vital, that’s the main thing.
If anything does, the chances double
that we get caught. You and I are
walking out there on the edge every
second now. One false move and we’re
gonna fall off. It’ll be all over.
You’ve got to remember that all the
(he studies her
You’ll get half of everything and
it’ll be plenty. No matter what it
is, we’re gonna be satisfied. We’re
not gonna get greedy. If we do,
we’ll get burned. You gotta believe
me, baby, the odds that we’ll get
burned are good enough without looking
She studies him with frightened eyes, then nods her
agreement and lays her hand in his lap.
You’re right, darling. I’m sorry.
I know you’re right.
EXT. “THE BREAKERS” – NIGHT
Middle of the night. No one in sight. Now comes the only
movement — a Miranda Beach Police Patrol Car drives slowly
up the street next to the old hotel and turns south on
Ocean Avenue. When it is gone, all is dead again.
EXT. THE BEACH – NIGHT
Racine has watched the patrol car from the darkness of
the beach. Now he sits in the sand again, his back against
the raised bank of sand on which he runs. He lights a
flashlight and makes a notation in a small notepad.
INT. “THE BREAKERS” – NIGHT
Racine’s footsteps creak through the blackness. Then his
flashlight reveals a corridor in the crumbling basement
of the old hotel. Racine is not the first to have violated
the premises — scattered about are beer cans, whiskey
bottles, beds made of newspapers, the remains of food.
Rats CHITTER and scamper in the shadows. A lizard scoots
over the pipes.
Racine goes through a doorway and is in what used to be a
supply area at the bottom of a stairway.
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Scattered about are empty wooden food crates. The walls
are lined with tall wooden shelves; one of these units is
tipped over across the room, Racine shines his light in
that direction and sees what caused the shelves to fall.
One of the beams which cross the ceiling has rotted loose
and dropped one end to the floor.
Racine has found what he wanted.
EXT. WALKER HOUSE – PARKING AREA – MIGHT
We’re CLOSE ON RACINE’S WATCH; it reads 2:30.
Okay. Gotta go.
Racine, at the wheel of the Stingray is looking at his
watch. Matty is leaning down to the window dressed only
in a robe.
I’m just going for a ride. I wish
it was all this dangerous.
She kisses him deeply.
I love you.
He looks at his watch again and pulls away. Matty stands
EXT. FROM PINEHAVEN TO “THE BREAKERS” – SERIES OF SHOTS –
Racine drives his murder route. The roads are almost
totally deserted. Intermittently he passes signs welcoming
him to the towns as he travels south.
A. The first stretch of his trip, Racine travels on a
deserted back road with overhanging trees. A Teenage
Hotrodder passes him and he is alone again. As he turns
off the road, he checks his watch.
B. He drives through a neighborhood of neat houses. No
C. He turns onto a four line interstate. More traffic
here — long haul truckers, late night drinkers.
D. He drives across a graceful drawbridge, rimmed by
lights, over a canal.
E. He drives toward the ocean beside a pretty lake in a
park. A patrol car passes the other way. Racine checks
F. At “The Breakers.” Racine follows the same path as
the police car he’d watched.
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INT. COUNTY JAIL – CORRIDOR OUTSIDE VISITING ROOM – DAY
A seedy-looking Thief is brought out of the visiting room
by a Uniformed Deputy, followed by Racine, briefcase in
hand. Racine shakes the Thief’s hand. The Deputy leads
the Thief away down the hall. Racine glances at his
departing client, then heads in the other direction.
Before he has gone too far a heavy, metal, barred door at
the other end swallows up the Thief with a piercing CLANG!
Racine jumps. He puts a hand against the wall.
INT. BED – MATTY’S BEDROOM – NIGHT
Racine and Matty, just their heads on one pillow, inches
apart. They look at each other in silence. Finally —
The side door.
Two A.M. I send him down.
We won’t talk again after I leave
here tonight. I’ll be in Miami by
noon Friday. You won’t be able to
reach me. When I see you again,
he’ll be dead.
Matty nods. She begins to cry. Racine touches her.
I’m so frightened.
So is Racine.
INT. RACINE’S STINGRAY – INTERSTATE 95 – DAY
Racine looks off to his left. Miami rises out of the
EXT. INTERSTATE 95 – DAY
The red Stingray whips off the Interstate toward the
skyscrapers of Miami.
EXT. BUDGET RENT-A-CAR OFFICE – DAY
Racine, on foot now, comes down the sidewalk and enters
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INT. WALKER HOUSE – DAY
Matty unlocks the door side of the house. She tests it
once from the outside.
EXT. EMPTY LOT – MIAMI – DAY
A Real Estate Agent leans against his car reading a
newspaper at the front of a huge, empty lot beneath a
causeway. There’s a big “For Sale” sign up.
Racine pulls up in the Stingray. The Real Estate Agent
throws his paper in his car and goes over to shake hands
with Racine. They turn to look at the lot.
EXT. ENTRANCE – SHERATON HOTEL (MIAMI) – DAY
Racine pulls up in the Stingray. He takes an overnight
bag from the car and goes inside as a Parking Attendant
wheels the Stingray into an underground garage.
EXT. FRONT TERRACE – WALKER HOUSE – DAY
Matty sits on the porch drinking a highball. She stubs
out another cigarette in the overflowing ashtray and looks
at her watch. Her foot swings nervously.
EXT. ROUTE ALA – NEXT TO BEACH – DUSK
Edmund Walker’s big white Cadillac zips north.
INT. FRONT DESK – SHERATON HOTEL (MIAMI) – NIGHT
Racine jokes with the female clerk at the desk. She likes
him; she’ll remember him.
INT. SECOND FLOOR WINDOWS – WALKER HOUSE – NIGHT
Matty watches the lights of Edmund’s Cadillac come up the
EXT. FRONT TERRACE – WALKER HOUSE – NIGHT
Matty comes to the end of the porch, a big, welcoming
smile on her face.
Edmund is getting out the driver’s side.
Hello, sweetheart. Have I got a
nice present for you.
The passenger door of the Cadillac swings open. Pretty
nine-year-old HEATHER KRAFT pops out with a grin.
Hi, Aunt Matty!
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Matty’s smile fades for an instant, but she manages to
put it back.
Heather. What a surprise.
INT. DINING ROOM – WALKER HOUSE – NIGHT
Matty, Edmund and Heather have a late dinner. Edmund and
Heather joke together, Matty joins in.
INT. CORRIDOR – SHERATON HOTEL (MIAMI) – NIGHT
A “DO NOT DISTURB” sign is still swinging on Racine’s
hotel room door as he slips into the stairwell at the end
of the hall.
INT. SIDE DOOR – WALKER HOUSE – NIGHT
Matty appears, quickly looks and tests the door, then
EXT. SIDE STREET – MIAMI – NIGHT
Racine unlocks a rented, gray Oldsmobile and gets in.
INT. SECOND FLOOR HALLWAY – WALKER HOUSE – NIGHT
Through an open door, Edmund can be seen kissing Heather
goodnight in the guest room. He gets up, comes to the
door and switches off her light. He starts to close her
door, but she speaks to him. He nods and leaves the door
INT. RACINE’S RENTED OLDSMOBILE (INSERT CU) – NIGHT
Racine’s face, intermittently lit by the road lights, is
set, intense. We MOVE IN on it and —
INT. MATTY’S BEDROOM – NIGHT
Matty’s face, her head on a pillow, turned away from her
husband, away from the bedroom door. Her look is just as
intense as Racine’s. Her eyes are focused on –
An alarm clock on the nightstand — 1:15.
There is the SOUND of a car somewhere outside and Matty
reacts to it silently. She listens with her whole being.
The wind chimes TINKLE.
EXT. SIDE DOOR – WALKER HOUSE – NIGHT
Racine’s hand takes hold of the doorknob. He tries it. It
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Racine’s face. Puzzled. He gives an irritated glance
upward. Then he moves along the wall.
INT. MATTY’S BEDROOM – NIGHT
The alarm clock — 1:42.
Matty watches. Matty listens. She tries to confirm that
Walker is sleeping without looking there. Matty begins to
move her legs slowly toward the side of the bed, to get
Suddenly, the bed lurches. Matty gasps and whips her head
around to look. Edmund is standing next to his side of
the bed in his undershorts. He puts on his glasses and
looks at her.
Jesus, take it easy. I thought I
What are you doing?
I can’t sleep. I’m going down and
get something to drink.
Matty watches with panicky eyes as Edmund moves toward
door. When she speaks, her voice is different, husky.
He turns to look at her. She moves once on the bed,
I can’t sleep, either.
He peers at her in the darkness.
Lock the door, darling.
Edmund studies her, then walks over and locks the door.
INT. MATTY’S BEDROOM – NIGHT
Edmund’s alarm clock – 2:05. Edmund rolls into view, his
breath ragged. Matty’s hand is on his chest.
Edmund looks at her and laughs.
You trying to kill me?
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Matty, flat on her back, smiles weakly and looks at the
ceiling. Again, the mattress moves. She looks at Edmund.
He has pulled on his shorts and is walking toward the
I’m going downstairs. Do you want
He disappears into the bathroom. Matty slips out of bed.
She is wearing a silky nightgown. She hurries to the
(calling softly to
I’ll go down with you.
She opens the door and steps into the hall.
INT. SECOND FLOOR HALL – NIGHT
Matty looks across the hall toward the open door to the
guest room; it is dark. She hurries to the stairs, peering
down into the darkness. She starts down the steps.
INT. FIRST FLOOR HALL – NIGHT
MATTY’S POV as she comes down the steps. Each shadow,
doorway, and alcove threatens to erupt with life.
Matty reaches the bottom of the stairs and peers around.
She starts back along the dark hall of the house just as
Edmund comes out of the bedroom upstairs; he is still in
his undershorts. He reaches the top of the stairs as Matty
moves back along the hall. The alcove under the stairs is
in black shadow. Matty is focused on it.
Just as she reaches it, the lights in the hall snap on.
Racine is standing under the stairs, poised to strike the
figure in the hall with a heavy wooden plank about two
feet long. Matty gasps at the sight, but it is covered by —
(at the top of the
Christ, woman, did you ever hear of
turning on the lights?
Racine doesn’t breathe. Matty is frozen in the spot,
directly in front of Racine and five feet below Edmund,
who now starts down the steps.
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What is it?
(whispering up at
Put on a robe or something. What if
Heather wakes up and comes down.
Edmund frowns, goes back up the stairs.
Damn. She’s not going to wake up at
2 o’clock in the morning…
Racine and Matty lock eyes. Racine slips back through
the alcove door.
EXT. PARKING AREA – WALKER HOUSE – DAY
Matty watches Heather give Edmund a big goodbye kiss and
run off to talk to Betty, the Walker’s Housekeeper, who
is sweeping the front terrace. Edmund gets in the
Cadillac. Matty leans down and kisses him goodbye.
You don’t really mind, do you?
(Matty shakes her
Roz will pick her up on Friday. And
don’t worry, Roz won’t stay overnight.
She can do whatever she wants.
(gives her a
Listen, I don’t know if I’ll be able
to come up next weekend. I’ll know
more later. I’ll call you.
He gives her a once-over, proprietary look and drives
away, honking once to Heather, who waves.
HEATHER’S STAY/RACINE’S WEEK – SERIES OF SHOTS
A. Matty sits on the dock dangling her feet in the water
as Heather plays in an inner tube.
B. Racine stands at his office window, staring down at
the traffic on Main Street. He wipes the sweat from his
brow with his finger.
C. At night, Matty comes upstairs with a highball in her
hand. She pauses and looks across the hall to the half-
open door of the guest room. There is just blackness
there; no way to know if Heather is asleep or watching.
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Matty goes out the hall door to the verandah and sits
down with her drink. The wind chimes TINKLE.
D. At night, Racine runs sweating along the Boardwalk,
E. Daytime. Matty is in a phone booth in a gas station,
speaking urgently. She hangs up.
F. In his office, Racine hangs up, disgruntled. His
feet up on his desk, he has been toying with the fedora
Matty gave him. Now he sails it across the office at the
hook of a coatstand. It hits and bounces off onto the
floor. Racine gets up, walks over and picks it up. He
walks away from the coatstand, then turns and floats the
hat through the air to land on the hook. From his new
position, he can see out into the reception area. Beverly
is working at her desk. Racine watches her small
movements. Beverly looks up and sees him.
G. Evening. Heather is happily watching television in
the enclosed side verandah in the Walker house. Matty is
in a big chair. She watches Heather, not the television.
She puts a cigarette in her mouth then reaches out to
strike a wooden match against the rough surface of the
porcelain match holder. As it bursts into flame, it
H. The flame at the end of Racine’s match. He is drinking
alone at a bar and now lights another cigarette.
EXT. FRONT TERRACE – WALKER HOUSE – NIGHT
Matty comes out. She’s wearing a light, simple shift.
She walks over to a small table and begins putting some
dirty dishes and glasses on a small tray. Suddenly, Racine
takes her into his arms from behind. She GASPS in terror;
he turns her to him. He is wearing only cut-off blue
jean shorts and his body is wet, glistening. His hair is
soaking, slicked straight back. He looks different. She
sees who it is and kisses him deeply. They whisper —
My God, you scared me. You shouldn’t
be here. Heather’s still here.
I miss you so badly. But it’s too
She won’t wake up now.
You’re all wet.
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I’ve been out there waiting for two
The door from the house squeaks open and Heather puts one
foot onto the porch; she looks only half-awake as she
peers into the gloom. Racine has turned at the SOUND and
for one moment he is sideways to her, his head turned in
Heather’s eyes suddenly discern the scene. Racine turns
away at the same instant that Heather stumbles backwards
through the door and out of sight. Heather’s FOOTSTEPS
patter swiftly away.
Matty and Racine look at each other.
INT. SECOND FLOOR HALL – NIGHT
Matty comes up the stairs and looks toward the guest room.
The door is closed.
INT. TERRACE BREAKFAST AREA – WALKER HOUSE – DAY
Morning. Matty sits with coffee and toast at the table.
The Walker’s Housekeeper moves about in the kitchen.
Heather comes in and takes her place opposite Matty. She
seems perfectly normal. But she doesn’t look Matty in
Good morning, Aunt Matty.
(to the Housekeeper)
Matty watches over her coffee as Heather butters a muffin.
Is there any more of that strawberry
EXT. PARKING AREA – WALKER HOUSE – DAY
ROZ KRAFT, Edmund Walker’s sister, closes the passenger
door of her station wagon behind Heather. Matty stands
What do you say?
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Roz gives Heather a look.
Thank you, Aunt Matty.
Roz walks around the car and gets in.
Thanks, Matty. We appreciate it.
Any time, Roz. She’s a pleasure.
Roz smiles, waves and pulls away. Matty watches them go,
INT. RACINE’S APARTMENT – NIGHT
The lights are out. There’s enough moonlight pouring in
the open windows to see Racine sitting on the bed in his
shorts, his back propped against some pillows at the
headboard. A fan WHIRS on a table. He lights another
cigarette and takes another drink; a bottle of bourbon
sits on his nightstand. From where he sits, he can see
the ocean. There is a KNOCK at the door.
It is me.
Matty comes in. She peers into the darkness until she
sees him. She locks the door and turns to face him. She
is dressed in a pale silk suit and blouse, very carefully
put together. She looks as good as she ever has; she
seems to create her own light.
Why haven’t you answered your phone?
You took a chance coming here.
He’s not coming up this weekend.
Why haven’t you answered?
I didn’t want to talk. I just wanted
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(nods; then, after
Can I get in with you?
Racine just stares at her.
I don’t know what Heather will tell
Roz. Maybe nothing. Maybe she’ll
be embarrassed or afraid. Maybe
she’ll think she imagined the whole
Maybe we all did.
We’ll know if she does tell. Roz
will report to Edmund quick enough.
It’s exactly what she’s always wanted.
Matty disappears for a moment into the shadows.
I’ve been thinking, too.
And what have you got?
Matty emerges from the darkness and sits on the edge of
the bed next to Racine. She looks into his eyes.
I think we should give it up. We
haven’t done anything criminal, yet.
Racine has been thinking along the same lines. He stubs
out his cigarette.
It’s not too late to back out.
That’s right. I don’t think we can
What do you mean?
Things have already started to go
wrong. I feel like we got to the
edge and looked over and, well, it
was too much. We’ll just have to
live with that.
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She sits down on the bed.
I’ll divorce him. And we won’t have
his money. Part of me wants it so
bad. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t.
But it’s the worst part of me, the
She leans back against him.
All that matters is that we’re
(after a moment)
You don’t think I can pull it off.
It’s not you, it’s us. I’m sure
I’ll make some mistake.
That’s not what you really mean, is
Yes it is.
(very calm, flat)
No, it isn’t. You think he’s too
much for me. You think I’ll fuck it
up, get us caught.
Matty turns toward him.
No, darling. Don’t talk that way.
It’s not true.
Racine studies her face.
No? Well that’s what I’ve been
You’re wrong. Don’t think that,
ever! I know you could do it.
But all I care about is you. The
money doesn’t matter.
It does in this world, the one we’re
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Matty presses her head against his chest.
Why torture ourselves about it?
Racine laughs; he doesn’t know what’s funny.
When’s he coming back?
That’ll be it, then. Nothing will
Is that what you really want? Are
Yeah. I wasn’t before, but I am
Racine reaches over her, gets another cigarette and lights
it. After he takes a deep drag, she takes it from him
and takes a puff too.
This time you’re going to know how
to reach me. I don’t want any more
SLOW DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. CITY STREET – MIAMI – DAY
Racine locks up a rented Ford on a side street and walks
back two cars to where his Stingray is parked. As he
bends to unlock the Stingray, he looks around and a passing
car catches his attention.
RACINE’S POV, PANNING with the car as it drives by him.
There is only one thing extraordinary about this particular
car. The driver, hunched and intent on the road ahead,
is a Clown, in full costume and makeup.
Racine watches as the car disappears. For a moment, Racine
looks like a dead man.
INT. MASTER BATHROOM – WALKER HOUSE – DAY
Matty is reclining in the soapy water, slowly scrubbing.
She HUMS to herself.
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EXT. HILTON HOTEL – MIAMI – DUSK
A Parking Attendant takes Racine’s Stingray, as Racine
goes into the lobby.
EXT. FRONT TERRACE – WALKER HOUSE – DUSK
Matty is leaning against one of the posts that flank the
porch stairs. Headlights pass across the front of the
house and Matty’s body. She smiles a welcoming smile to
the unseen Edmund.
EXT. TWO-LANE HIGHWAY – NIGHT
A light fog is settling into the dips of the road. Now
Racine’s rented Ford appears out of one such depression
and moves into a clear stretch.
INT. RACINE’S RENTED FORD – NIGHT
Racine eyes the fog with concern.
EXT. WALKER HOUSE – NIGHT
The FOG is much heavier here. It rolls in past the house
in thick waves. The only light burning is on the front
porch. The wind Chimes TINKLE softly.
EXT. SECOND FLOOR PORCH – NIGHT
The wind chimes TINKLE, nudged by the same breeze that
floats the FOG around them.
INT. MATTY’S BEDROOM – NIGHT
The alarm clock — 1:50.
Again, Matty lies on her side, turned away from Edmund,
eyes wide, watching the clock. Again, the bed moves
suddenly! Matty rolls over to look.
Edmund is sitting up in bed, putting on his glasses.
Edmund motions for her to be silent.
I think there’s someone downstairs I
He swings out of bed; he is in his undershorts.
Are you sure?
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Again he silences her. He walks silently over to his.
closet and disappears inside.
Should I call the police?
(low, from the
Will you be quiet? I’m going to
nail the bastard.
Edmund comes out of the closet checking the safety on a
shiny nickel-plated .38 revolver.
Edmund, what’s that?
Will you be quiet?
I’ve never seen that.
(at the bedroom
I’ve got a surprise for this fucker.
Edmund, be careful!
But he is already out the door, silently. For a moment
Matty is frozen, then she slides out of bed.
INT. SECOND FLOOR HALL – NIGHT
Edmund has stopped at the top of the stairs. He listens
for sounds from below. He starts down the steps in the
INT. STAIRWELL – NIGHT
Edmund comes slowly down the steps, his gun pointing here,
then there in his perfectly steady grip. The thrill of
the hunt is in Edmund’s eyes. The downstairs is thick
with ominous shadows. At the bottom of the steps, he
stops and listens again. He moves in two quick steps to
the entry hall and looks into the living room and dining
room. He seems to hear something at the rear of the house.
He turns and moves back along the central hall, very
slowly. The alcove under the stairs is pitch black.
Edmund points his gun at that approaching space and stops.
He listens. The TINKLING of the wind chimes rises weirdly,
making it hard for him to hear.
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Edmund’s hand reaches out to the wall. His fingers find
the light switch. He flips it.
For a second, we are blinded by the glare. In the next
Instant, as we see that the space below the stairs is
empty, Matty screams from the top of the stairs —
He has a gun!
Edmund thinks she is warning him. He spins to look.
Suddenly, Racine bursts from the hall closet, the wooden
plank raised above his head. He brings it down fast toward
Edmund reacts instinctively, raising his arm, the arm
that holds the gun, to protect himself. The wooden plank
smashes down — half its force taken by Edmund’s forearm,
half by his head. The gun BLASTS once.
One small window in the front door shatters and the bullet
continues into the night.
Edmund’s revolver slides across the hall floor into a
Edmund is on the floor, blood pouring from his scalp.
But he is coming on like a crazed beast. His glasses
askew, but still on his head, he has grasped Racine around
the legs. With a powerful lunge, he pulls Racine’s legs
out. Racine crashes to the hall floor, losing the wooden
Matty, frozen at the stair railing, cries out.
Edmund is pulling Racine toward him with all his might,
crawling up Racine’s body as they both slide on the wood
floor. Edmund reaches out one huge hand, and pulls Racine
Racine puts his left hand into Edmund’s face, his thumb
flat against the lens of Edmund’s glasses and pushes his
head back. The glasses fly away and Racine loses his
hold. Edmund comes on.
Racine’s right hand gropes — gropes — finds the wooden
plank. He swings it up.
The wooden plank describes a perfect arc into our view,
and then out, finding its mark with a HORRIBLE THUD.
Matty, up the stairs, turns away.
Racine falls back on the floor.
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EXT. TRUNK OF WALKER’S CADILLAC – NIGHT
The trunk is open like a giant maw. A sheet of plastic
has been spread across the inside. Edmund’s body flops
down inside. He has been dressed, his shoes and watch
put on. Racine drops the blooded wooden plank beside the
body, then throws a blanket over the corpse and slams the
trunk. Racine turns to Matty who stands, fully dressed,
shaking in the foggy air.
The cars at the end of the drive.
Spend the fifteen minutes cleaning
up inside, then come. You’re gonna
have to be careful in this fog.
(he looks at her)
Are you all right?
Racine gets in the Cadillac and pulls away.
INT. CADILLAC – ON DESERTED BACKROAD – NIGHT
The first stretch of Racine’s route to “The Breakers”
looks different in the dense FOG. Racine has to take it
He consults his watch. A branch from one of the
overhanging trees looms up abruptly in the windshield,
like a grasping arm. Racine flinches.
EXT. NEIGHBORHOOD – NIGHT
Racine drives through the silent neighborhood. The houses
are invisible in the FOG, their presence indicated only
by an occasional glowing light. Suddenly, a police SIREN
pierces the night, followed by the appearance of a flashing
red light on the street behind the Cadillac.
INT. CADILLAC – NIGHT
Racine’s eyes jump to the rear view mirror and the flashing
red light growing in it. Racine pulls over. The police
car slows as it reaches the Cadillac, pulls alongside,
and then speeds on ahead, SIREN squealing. A light goes
on in the house in front of which Racine has stopped. He
EXT. FOUR-LANE INTERSTATE – NIGHT
The Cadillac pulls up to the interstate from the side
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As on the other night, there is more traffic here. But
it is moving slowly in the FOG.
INT. CADILLAC – NIGHT
Racine has to cross two lanes of traffic to go south. He
peers out through the misted windshield. He starts to
pull out and a sports car appears from nowhere, doing
fifty, sitting on his HORN. Racine hits the brakes. As
soon as it has passed, there is a lull. Racine fishtails
across the road just ahead of a truck and moves south.
EXT./INT. CADILLAC – INTERSTATE – NIGHT
The traffic on Racine’s side of the interstate has slowed.
There’s an accident up ahead. The police car that passed
Racine is on the scene, but the lone Cop is not enough.
Some Passing Motorists have pulled over to help with the
wreck and direct traffic. The FOG is aglow with flashing
red and white lights and burning flares. A Man signals
for Racine to stop. The cars in the opposite lanes are
allowed to pass through. Racine keeps his head down.
A STOCKY TRUCKER comes out of the glowing FOG and walks
up to the Cadillac. He leans down into the driver’s
Hey, man, do you have any flares?
Uh — no. I don’t think so.
Could you check your trunk? We got
kinda of a mess here.
I don’t have them. I told you.
The Stocky Trucker gives him a disgusted look and stands
Don’t put yourself out.
The Man in the road ahead signals for Racine to pull around
into the opposite lanes and move on.
TRACKING along beside the Cadillac, Racine moves slowly
through the nightmare scene. Figures move by carrying
lights and tools. The Injured CRY OUT in pain. Three
cars are meshed in crumpled steel. A clutch of Onlookers
are outlined against the beams of headlights… Racine
might as well be driving into Hell.
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EXT. BRIDGE OVER CANAL – NIGHT
Here is relief. The Cadillac moves all alone across the
bridge. The lights penetrate the FOG at orderly intervals,
barely illuminating the bridge. A huge FOG HORN fills
the air from not far way.
EXT. “THE BREAKERS” – DELIVERY DRIVEWAY – NIGHT
The deserted hotel looms ghostly in the FOG. The Cadillac,
lights out, rolls silently to a stop in the half-hidden
INT. “THE BREAKERS” – SUPPLY AREA – NIGHT
Racine, carrying only a flashlight, has made his way to
the supply area he visited before. His beam probes dark
corners, responds to random CREAKING. Satisfied that he
is alone, he moves a wooden crate and reaches into the
hole in the wall which it hid. He brings out Teddy’s
incendiary device and places it on the floor in the middle
of the room.
EXT. “THE BREAKERS” – DELIVERY DRIVEWAY – NIGHT
Racine grunts under the weight of Edmund’s corpse, flung
over his back. He stumbles back toward the hulking hotel.
The trunk of the Cadillac is closed.
INT. “THE BREAKERS” – CORRIDOR – SUPPLY AREA – NIGHT
Racine sits down hard. He is streaming with sweat under
the enormous dead weight. He adjusts the plastic sheet
so that Edmund’s bloody skull won’t contact the wall.
Racine gathers his strength and half-lifts, half-drags
the body down the corridor, his silhouette that of a
twisted, double-headed monster. His flashlight glows
from ahead at his destination.
IN THE SUPPLY AREA, Racine has dropped Edmund’s body over
some tipped shelves. Now he lifts the heavy ceiling beam
he spotted earlier. He has to change its angle only two
feet in order to let it drop — now — on Edmund’s head.
Racine walks over to the incendiary device. He pulls out
the lever and straightens up. As he does he looks down a
connecting hallway. He sees movement. He snatches up
the flashlight and the wooden plank and rushes down that
AT THE END OF THE HALLWAY, Racine slides to a halt,
breathing hard. Again he sees the movement. A horrible,
sweaty figure confronts him — there is a broken mirror
attached to the wall. Racine looks at himself a long
moment and the tension seems to drain away…
Someone speaks in the shadows!
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Racine jumps and spins toward the sound, which is only a
little more than a MOAN. His flashlight seeks out the
source – a RAGGED BUM is stirring in his sleep on a bed
of newspapers. He wears an old baseball cap.
Racine looks at him a long time, trying to decide what to
do. He looks back in the direction of the supply area.
He looks at the Bum settling again into a deep sleep. He
looks for one final second at himself in the mirror.
EXT. “THE BREAKERS” – BEACH – NIGHT
Racine appears at a run from the fog. He has the Bum
with him, grasped firmly at the neck of the collar and
the seat of his pants. Racine is forcing the Bum to run
along with him. The Bum is mightily confused, not least
by the fact that Racine has jammed the baseball cap all
the way down over his nose — he can see nothing. Racine
lets go, hurtling him across the sand.
(a low growl)
Get the hell out of here and don’t
The Bum is sprawled in the sand. The baseball cap has
come off. He watches Racine’s dark figure recede in the
Come on back here and fight like a
INT. RENTED FORD – SIDE STREET – NIGHT
Matty sits fidgeting in the front seat, trying to peer
through the soupy FOG. She sucks on an unlit cigarette.
Racine appears at the driver’s window. Matty gasps. He
is a horrible sight. He gets in the driver’s seat.
Thank god. I thought —
Racine grabs her and pulls her down out of sight, bending
his body low over her.
The windows are suddenly illuminated by the beams of
headlights. They grow brighter and a police patrol car,
red light slowly revolving on the top, passes next to the
Ford and moves off quietly in the FOG.
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They’re right on time and I’m running
He rises slowly and watches the patrol car disappear.
EXT. STREET IN FRONT OF WALKER HOUSE – NIGHT
The Ford stops at front of the drive.
INT. RENTED FORD – NIGHT
Racine and Matty break from a kiss. He moves her away
We won’t talk for a long time.
She nods. They look at each other. She gets out.
EXT. INTERSTATE 95 – SERIES OF SHOTS – NIGHT
The rented Ford speeds through the foggy night.
INT. RENTED FORD – NIGHT
Racine’s face. He knows that for the first time in his
life, he’s really done it. There’s no turning back.
Racine does something that he’s going to be doing for the
rest of his life. He looks in the rear view mirror.
INT. “THE BREAKERS” – SUPPLY AREA – NIGHT
Everything is as Racine left it. Edmund’s body lies
beneath the beam. It is barely discernible in the gloom.
The only bright spot in the room is the incendiary device,
its shiny surface catching some errant sliver of light.
And then it explodes with a harsh SHRIEK. And the light
of the magnesium chips is white, blinding. The chips are
out in all directions to the waiting puddles of gasoline.
The light goes from white to yellow as huge flames engulf
the room. The flames ROAR. We watch them for a few
moments and then —
SLOWLY DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. SECOND FLOOR PORCH – WALKER HOUSE – NIGHT
Matty stands in the FOG, one arm wrapped around a post of
the porch. Above her the wind chimes TINKLE. She
struggles to hear something else. Finally she does hear
it and her face relaxes and she looks at peace. Listening
to soft, distant SIRENS.
FADE TO BLACK:
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INT. RACINE’S OFFICE – DAY
The fedora hangs on the coatstand. Racine works at his
desk, reading over a long contract. The sun is cutting
through the Venetian blinds behind him in glaring strips
and, as he leans back in his chair, he finds it impossible
to read his document. He gets up, goes to the window and
adjusts the blinds so that his desk goes dark in the shade.
As it does, the PHONE RINGS. Beverly answers out in the
reception room, her conversation muffled through the
slightly cracked door. She hits a hold button and yells,
as is her informal custom.
Ned. Miles Hardin. Do you want
Who is he?
She says he’s a lawyer from Miami.
Racine picks up his phone.
Mr. Ned Racine?
Miles Hardin calling.
The Secretary goes off and Racine is left holding. He
waits five long beats and seems about to hang up when a
Voice comes on, very dry and cold.
This is Miles Hardin of Morris and
Dale in Miami.
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As you know, we represented Edmund
Hardin seems to expect more of a response. Racine is
Yes, well, Mrs. Walker has submitted
the new will you wrote up there.
Racine closes his eyes for a moment. The blood drains
out of his face. He puts a hand out toward his desk.
Yes… I see.
And frankly, Mr. Racine, I think we
may have a problem.
Uh-huh. What problem is that?
Well, I’d rather discuss it in person.
In fact I think it might be best if
we could all get together down there.
That is, if you wouldn’t object.
No no, that would be all right.
Good. We have a relationship with a
firm in West Palm — Shiller,
I know of them.
I’ve arranged to have the use of
their offices. I thought we might
try to make it tomorrow, say ten
o’clock. Would that be possible for
Yes, I think so.
Good. Mrs. Walker told me she would
be back down there by then.
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And I’ve asked Mrs. Kraft, Mr.
Walker’s sister, to join us, also.
I’ll see you then.
Hardin clicks off. Racine hangs up slowly. He stares at
the phone a long time. He gets up, his mind racing. He
goes to the window and parts two of the blinds with his
fingers. The sun makes him squint.
INT. RECEPTION AREA – DAY
Racine opens the door from his office.
Will you get me Mrs. Edmund Walker,
Beverly wrinkles her brow, spins her Rolodex.
I don’t have her. Should I?
I thought the temporary put her in.
She came in while you were on
vacation. Look it up. They were in
Pinehaven, I think.
He closes the door to his office.
INT. RACINE’S OFFICE – DAY
Racine sits at his desk. The phone BUZZES. He picks it
I get no answer at the Pinehaven
Okay. Try again later.
INT. SHILLER, HASTINGS LAW OFFICES (WEST PALM BEACH) –
A Secretary leads Racine DOWN A HALLWAY of the richly
appointed offices and ushers him into a —
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LARGE CONFERENCE ROOM, opulent, with a big skylight.
Seated around the room are Matty, Roz Kraft, and much to
Racine’s surprise, his friend Peter Lowenstein, Matty is
dressed in chic black, MILES HARDIN comes around the big
desk to shake Racine’s hand. Hardin is an impressive guy
in a $500 suit. He greets Racine with icy eyes and a
Miles Hardin, Mr. Racine.
How are you?
I don’t think you know Mrs. Kraft.
(shakes her head)
No. I don’t. My condolences.
Racine comes up to Matty and takes her hand.
Mrs. Walker, I’m very sorry about
Thank you, Mr. Racine.
You know Mr. Lowenstein.
They shake and Lowenstein gives him a cheerful grin.
Racine shakes his hand. Hardin motions Racine into a
chair and moves back around the desk.
I asked Mr. Lowenstein to join us
because he’s handling the inquiry
into Edmund’s death for the County
Prosecutor’s office. He and I have
discussed this matter and he’s made
is possible for us to speak very
frankly here today. Off the record,
so to speak.
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As I’ve told Mrs. Walker, I was more
than a little surprised by the
existence of this new will. Edmund
hadn’t mentioned anything about it
Hardin looks at Racine a beat, but Racine has nothing to
Mrs. Walker explained to me that
when she and her husband decided to
make some minor changes, they just
took care of it up here for
simplicity’s sake. And, indeed, as
you know, the new will is almost
identical to the old but for the
disposition of a few items.
(to the group in
At the risk of oversimplifying, the
thrust of the will is to divide the
estate in almost equal parts between
Heather Kraft and Mrs. Walker. Would
you agree with that assessment, Mr.
Mmmm. And you witnessed the signing
by Edmund Walker along with this
(glancing at papers
on the desk)
— Mary Ann Simpson on July twenty-
first. Apparently, it will be
impossible for us to contact Miss
Mary Ann is a lifelong friend of
mine. She happened to be visiting
on her way to Europe. I’m sure when
she returns she’ll get in touch with
Although it’s certainly not required.
The witnesses to the signing of a
will are not commonly available when
the will is entered into probate.
It’s not standard by any means.
Hardin glances at Lowenstein, who watches impassively.
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Edmund Walker’s death was not
Pardon me. I’m sorry. I’m confused.
Is there some question about the
authenticity of the will?
Racine would like to kiss Roz; instead he turns with a
questioning look to Hardin.
I’m confused, too. Do you have a
problem with the witnessing or the
signatures? What is it you’re getting
No, there doesn’t seem to be any
problem here. This is Edmund Walker’s
last will and testament. I’m afraid
the problem is elsewhere.
He reaches into his coat and brings out a gold cigar case.
Would anyone mind if I smoked?
No one does. In fact, Racine, Matty and Roz all
immediately produce their own packs of cigarettes. The
effect is comical and everyone in the room laughs at the
group reflex. Roz notices that Lowenstein is not lighting
up and offers him one of hers.
I don’t need my own. I’ll just
breathe the air.
Roz smiles and tilts her head to blow a stream of smoke
toward the ceiling. We TILT UP with it as the white smoke
intrudes the clear air and —
The same space, thick with smoke, and TILT DOWN to the
assembled group, all of whom are focused on Hardin, except
for Lowenstein, whose glance dances about the rapt faces.
Everything’s in order up to there.
The problem comes in the language of
the bequest to Heather. It’s a
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In writing the will, I’m afraid Mr.
Racine violated what’s known as “the
rule against perpetuities.
Hardin watches Racine, who reacts minutely.
It’s a small thing, but it’s the
law. It forbids an inheritance to
be passed down indefinitely for
generations. Many general
practitioner lawyers don’t fully
understand it. It doesn’t come up
much for them, because wills this
complex are usually handled by estate
departments in larger firms. Handled
by lawyers who specialize in this
type of work.
Matty turns a confused look to Roz who returns it
sympathetically. Hardin notes it.
I know this is terribly confusing,
but if you’ll bear with me… I
spotted the problem right away, but
since Edmund’s intent was clear, I
thought it in everyone’s best interest
to try and get the will admitted
into probate anyway, even though it
was technically incorrect. I knew
that a probate judge in Miami would
spot the mistake right away. That’s
all they do all day, they’re expert.
So I thought I’d bring it up here to
Okeelanta County — since Edmund had
the residence here — and see if I
could get lucky with a judge who
didn’t know estate law quite so
(dryly, he can’t
Perhaps find one with the same kind
of training as Mr. Racine.
Racine watches him, his mind racing ahead too fast to
bother being insulted. Lowenstein can’t help a small,
wincing smile. Now Hardin gets to his payoff and there
is no amusement in his tone.
Unfortunately, my plan backfired. I
ran into a judge who’d had other
dealings with Mr. Racine. A Judge
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In fact, it seems there were problems
with an estate in a case four years
ago. Very different problems, it’s
true. But on a will Mr. Racine
prepared. It was quite a mess.
Accusations of carelessness, a
I think he called it the Gourson
Racine watches him dully, then concentrates on taking out
Once again, Mr. Hardin, you’ve lost
Yes, what does all this mean?
It means, I’m afraid, that Edmund’s
will is invalid. Edmund Walker died
interstate, as though there were no
will at all.
Roz looks at Matty with panicky eyes.
So… what happens now?
Hardin looks her over coldly. He doesn’t believe she
You don’t know?
No, I don’t.
Perhaps Mr. Racine would like to
Racine is recovering. He gives Hardin a quick, ugly look,
then turns toward Matty, and speaks quietly.
In the state of Florida, when a person
dies without a will, and there are
no children and no surviving parents,
then the spouse inherits everything.
It seems to take a long moment for Matty to fully digest
this. It takes not quite as long for Roz.
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Her face goes through several transformations: confusion
to disbelief to despair, then on in the direction of
Lowenstein’s eyes are flashing around at the faces. He
seems genuinely amused.
My god. You mean… it’s all mine?
Hardin is an unconvinced audience. He nods.
Though that was clearly not your
He intended Heather to benefit —
Hardin and Roz)
Of course, of course, I understand.
As you can imagine, Mrs. Walkers
given the circumstances of Edmund’s
death, none of this is going to
happen… how should I say it…
Matty seems still in shook.
… Of course…
EXT. PARKING LOT BEHIND SHILLER, HASTINGS (WEST PALM
BEACH) – DAY
Matty, Racine, Roz, Lowenstein and Hardin stand talking
in a little cluster near the building. They say their
good-byes with much handshaking. Matty lays a reassuring
hand on Roz’s arm and kisses her on the cheek. As she
breaks from the crowd, Racine walks with her. The others
stand talking a little longer. Racine takes off his jacket
in the blazing Heat. He is very aware of the little group
behind them as he walks with Matty to her Mercedes. When
they are out of earshot —
You look good in black.
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I’ve missed you so badly. I need
At first I couldn’t figure out when
you got ahold of my stationery and
stuff. It finally came to me…
Edmund’s signature must have been a
snap. And you knew I wasn’t gonna
challenge mine —
Please stop. I don’t blame you for
hating me right now.
You’ve really done it, Matty. You
Behind them the group breaks up, Hardin goes back into
the building and Lowenstein walks Roz the short distance
to her car. Matty reaches the door of her car and turns
Will you come to the house tonight?
She takes his hand and shakes it for show.
I want you more right now than I
ever have. I know how you must feel
about me. But please come tonight.
I hope you haven’t done us in.
Matty gets into her car.
At the far end of the parking lots Lowenstein has been
watching them as he makes his way to his car. Now, as he
moves between two rows of cars, he executes a few nifty
dance steps, just like Fred Astaire.
EXT. RACINE’S BUILDING – DAY
Racine, jacket over his shoulder and briefcase in hand,
leaves the Stingray at the curb and goes into the big
house of which his apartment is the top floor.
INT. STAIRWAY – RACINE’S BUILDING – DAY
Racine trudges up the dark steps in the heat. As he
approaches the door to his place, he senses that someone
is there. He tries the knob and the door swings open
slowly, revealing Peter Lowenstein, reading a book at the
bookcase and, lounging out on the porch, Detective Oscar
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Grace. The three look at each other a beat and then Racine
INT. RACINE’S APARTMENT – DAY
Racine gets rid of his briefcase and jacket as Grace comes
in from the porch.
Hi, guys. Just come on in, make
yourself at home.
Sorry about that.
Not me. The door was unlocked,
inviting illegal entry. It’s behavior
like that makes Oscar’s job so hard.
Sorry, Oscar. Would you guys a beer?
No thanks, I already had one.
Oscar indicates “no” as Racine takes one from the
refrigerator for himself and begins unbuttoning his shirt.
I’ve gotta bring my wife up here.
She thinks our house is the hottest
place in the county.
It ain’t great this time of day.
There is a pregnant pause as Racine takes off his shirt
and leans against the refrigerator.
Ned, how did you get involved with
this Matty Walker?
(takes a drink)
What do you mean?
I mean she’s poison, man. Tell me
what you know about her old man’s
What read in the paper. He died in
the fire. Looks like arson–
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Okay, was arson. You don’t know if
he was setting it and messed up…
or if that’s just what someone wanted
it to look like.
Nah, he didn’t set it. Somebody
His people owned the place or
That’s right. A very rough group of
fellows, too. They’re arguing with
the insurance company right now.
It’s possible they wanted to cut old
Edmund out. I’m sure they’re not
too broken up over his departure.
But this just doesn’t seem like a
neat way to handle something like
It’s not their style. They’re very
smooth. They’d rather destroy you
than kill you. And they hate
Racine takes it in, sucks on his beer.
Course guys like that make a lot of
enemies. Coulda been a grudge match
from the outside, I suppose.
(he looks at Racine)
But me, I’m kinda interested in the
Racine looks a little skeptical. He thinks about it as he
moves to a chair.
Her sister-in-law’s got plenty of
ideas along that line, too. She
could barely contain herself today,
I could tell.
But she wants to wait and see how
Matty treats her on the estate. She
doesn’t want to blow it.
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How’d you get involved?
They asked me to re-do the will. I
met with her and Edmund. It was
pretty simple. This Mary Ann Simpson
witnessed it with me. Walker didn’t
seem to think it was any big deal.
What was this Simpson’s story?
I don’t know… old friend of theirs,
good-looking broad. She was just
On her way to Europe?
Racine shrugs, he doesn’t know.
The passport people can’t find any
record of that.
Lowenstein and Grace look at him a long time.
What do you think? About the wife?
Racine considers a moment.
I suppose it’s possible. I don’t
know much about her, except —
— what I’ve seen. Wouldn’t shock
me, either way.
I’ve got a feeling she’s very bad
news. Take some incredibly
intelligent advice and stay away
He’s right for once.
They both get up to leave. Racine watches from the chair.
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Well, I’m sorry, guys. I’m afraid I
can’t do that.
First of all, did you get a look at
They did. Racine grins. He stands up and comes right up
That wouldn’t be quite so meaningful,
except that today she started coming
on to me. And maybe you haven’t
heard but the lady is about to come
into a great deal of money.
They look at him with some concern.
The fact is, she’s invited me out to
her place tonight. And I’m going.
And I’ll keep on going as many nights,
or days, or weekends, as she’ll have
Ned, that lady may have just killed
Racine smiles cheerfully and puts a reassuring arm around
Lowenstein’s shoulder, leading him to the door.
Peter, she’s not gonna inherit
anything by killing me.
Lowenstein is out the door now. He looks at Racine in
wonder. He shakes his head and goes down the steps.
Racine turns, smiling, to Grace, but Oscar is grim.
Ned, you’ve messed up before. You’ll
mess up again. That’s your nature.
But they’ve always been small-time.
This might not be. She’s trouble,
Ned. The real thing. Big-time, major
league trouble. Watch yourself.
Racine reassures his friend with touch and Oscar leaves.
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INT. WALKER HOUSE – ENTRY HALL – NIGHT
Matty closes the front door behind Racine and wraps her
arms around him. She kisses him hard and long on the mouth,
then starts on his neck. He begins to push her away but
she clings to him, eating him up.
I know. I know. I know you’d
probably like to kill me. I know.
But please… you can hate me…
punish me… hurt me if you want,
but don’t talk yet.
She takes his hand and drags him to the steps and leads
the way up, her eyes on him always.
He lets her lead him up the stairs.
INT. MATTY’S BEDROOM – NIGHT
They lie in bed. The wind chimes TINKLE outside.
… Mary Ann and I left Wheaton
together and went to Chicago. We
didn’t know what we were doing. I
got in bad trouble with drugs. Speed.
Really bad. I did things…
(she looks up at
Whatever’s the evilest thing you can
think of me now, I did worse things
then. There’s nothing lower than
the animal I was then. Worse than
you can imagine. I thought I would
die. I prayed I would… And then
a man helped me. He got me clean.
He didn’t want much in return,
either… He was a lawyer and he
put me to work in his office. I
learned a lot there. One time I
even thought I might go to law school.
… That’s where I picked up the
business about making a will invalid.
That happened to him once. I swear
I would never have used that if I’d
known about your case… I was afraid
to tell you, Ned. I knew you wouldn’t
let me do it. I’m greedy, like you
said. I wanted us to have it all.
She moves up over him and looks into his face.
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I don’t blame you for thinking I’m
bad. I am. I know it. I’d
understand if you just cut me off
now. If you never trusted me again.
You’d probably be smart. But you
must believe one thing. I love you.
I love you and need you. I want to
be with you forever.
She puts her head on his chest as Racine lights a
They already think you’re involved.
I don’t care.
There’s nothing we can do about it
now. In a little while we’ll either
have the money or we won’t. It’s
out of our hands.
Racine thinks about this awhile. He exhales a stream of
I fired the housekeeper. We can
stay together as long as we want.
We’re all alone here now.
SLOW, SLOW DISSOLVE TO:
INT. WAITING ROOM – DETECTIVE BUREAU – DAY
Lowenstein makes Heather and Roz comfortable in the waiting
room, then goes through the gate partition, nods at the
Cop Clerk on duty, and goes into Oscar Grace’s office, re-
closing the door behind him.
INT. GRACE’S OFFICE – DAY
It’s cramped, hot, cluttered. There is one other door
out of the office. Grace has his feet up on his desk.
He’s nursing a bottle of Coke and looking at Racine, who
stands across the office, leaning on a file cabinet and
glaring between sentences. Racine gives Lowenstein an
ugly look then returns his attention to Grace. Racine is
angry, but in control.
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I’ve been down there a lot lately.
Isn’t that amazing? Miami. Jesus.
I’m handling the purchase of some
property down there. I’ll be going
back in the future… if that’s all
right, if it’s still legal to go to
There is silence. Lowenstein looks between them, speaks
He is mad.
Nooo. No, I’m not mad. Why should
I be mad just because my friend here,
who I’ve know for years, wants to
know of my whereabouts on the night
of our recent local murder?
It’s not so recent anymore. Maybe
he’s feeling some pressure.
Grace is pained by all this, but his tone is scolding,
You brought this on yourself, man!
I don’t run this department, you
know. There are people watching
this thing. They hear you’re out
there banging the widow every night;
it tends to call attention to you.
So don’t give me shit.
Lowenstein goes to Oscar’s desk and takes a pull from the
bottle of Coke.
That’s my business!
This whole damn case is getting crazy.
Did you tell him about the glasses?
Grace, exasperated, indicates that he didn’t.
Seems Walker always ware glasses —
steel-rimmed glasses. He was a real
fanatic about them.
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Racine is still staring at Grace. He barely seems to pay
But there were none on the scene.
Coroner says they should’ve been
there. He says that even after the
fire the frames should’ve been seared
into his — well, you don’t want to
hear the details.
So it’s looking more and more like
he was killed somewhere else and
brought there in his own car. Your
honey, his wife, says he left the
house in the middle of the night
driving himself to some mysterious
meeting. Is that vague enough for
Look, what is this? What do you
want? Am I supposed to be an
undercover agent for you guys, or
Interesting choice of phrase.
How ‘bout tonight I ask her? ‘Say,
did you kill your husband? My friends
were just wondering…’
Hey, that’s an idea. Ask her where
the glasses are, where she did it…
Anything else I’m forgetting, Oscar?
Just one thing.
Lowenstein looks at him a long moment. Racine watches
Oh, yeah! Right, right. You’ll
love this, Ned, this latest
development. Maybe you’ll be able
to work up a little sympathy for us,
see why Oscar here has a tendency to
get carried away. Tell him, Oscar.
This is rich.
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This is from the sister-in-law, the
Kraft woman. She’s been driving me
batty lately. She’s convinced she
ain’t gonna be out into the will.
It seems that a couple weeks before
the murder, Walker’s niece stayed up
there for a while with your friend
Matty. One night she waxes up, goes
to see her aunt and catches the lady
with some guy.
The three men look at each other. Lowenstein breaks into
Do you get it? In the act or some
We haven’t got all the details yet.
Mrs. Kraft is bringing the little
girl up here today to tell us her
Oh, they’re here. I ran into them
on the way in. They’re waiting
Christ. I’m not sure I’m up to
dealing with this scene.
There is a long pause. The other two look at Racine.
Listen, you probably don’t want to
see the Kraft woman right now. She’s
a little wild. Why don’t you slip
out the back way here?
Racine looks first at Lowenstein, then at Grace.
Are we done here?
(nods, looking at
I’ve got it all here. And, Ned, I’m
sorry I had to ask.
Racine is neutral. He indicates the front entrance.
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I’ll go out this way. I’ve had a
lot of experience with disgruntled
I’ll be over to Stella’s, if you
want to have some lunch.
Lowenstein nods. Racine opens the door and goes out of
INT. WAITING ROOM – DETECTIVE BUREAU – DAY
Racine walks out of Grace’s office. Lowenstein watches
him go. Heather is absorbed in a magazine and Roz is
distracted with her cigarette. Racine could keep on
walking, but instead he walks over to Roz. She jumps
when he speaks to her.
Hello, Mrs. Kraft.
She seems confused about how to act toward him. Heather
looks up casually. Racine shakes Roz’s hand.
Hello, Mr. Racine.
How are you making out?
We’re all right, I guess.
Racine crouches in front of Heather and smiles at her.
You must be Heather.
She nods. He shakes her hand.
I’m Ned Racine, Heather. I’ve heard
a lot about you. It’s nice to meet
Heather nods uncertainly.
I’m sorry our town is so hot for
It sure is.
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Racine walks away. Heather watches him go. Roz turns to
EXT. MAIN STREET – DAY
Racine walks down the sidewalk and enters Stella’s Coffee
INT. STELLA’S COFFEE SHOP – DAY
As Racine comes in the front door, Stella is leaning over
the counter in a gossipy huddle with a Cop and Glenda,
the Meter Maid. When Stella notices Racine, she breaks
off suddenly and moves away. The Cop and Glenda see Racine
and go back to their food with great deliberateness.
Racine takes all this in and settles at the other end of
Hi, Racine. How you doing today?
I’m fine, Stella. I’m fine. What’s
the latest? Any hot news?
Nothing much doing. What’ll it be?
What’s the special?
What day’d you cook ‘em?
They’re fresh this month.
Racine signals for her to bring it on. He swivels around
and looks out at the Court House.
Same shot. Lowenstein appears on the sidewalk across the
street. He crosses over to Stella’s and comes in.
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He spots Racine and comes over to the counter with a light
dance-walk, breaking into actual dance only as he
Pirouettes before landing in the stool beside Racine.
Racine is almost done with his lunch.
The usual, my sweet.
Two ice teas for Fred Astaire.
Lowenstein looks at Racine and smiles.
Are you ready to hear something wild?
I don’t know. I may have had my
share for the day.
No, this is right up your alley.
Stella puts the two ice teas in front of Lowenstein.
Lowenstein has to give her a look before she backs away.
Lowenstein leans in confidentially toward Racine.
Little Heather comes out onto the
back porch, and this dude is out
there with her aunt, see? And he’s
turned away with his pants or shorts
or whatever dropped, so he’s mooning
the little girl, right. And he and
your friend are going at something
which Heather couldn’t quite figure
Lowenstein begins to shake with laughter; he almost falls
off the stool. Racine is confused. Lowenstein recovers
his balance and lowers his voice again. There are tears
in his eyes.
Poor little Heather! She’s never
seen one angry before. But it made
quite an impression on her.
Yessirree! That’s all she can
Lowenstein starts to choke with laughter. He takes a
drink. Racine is smiling now, too.
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One other thing. She says the guy’s
hair was greasy. He wore it slicked
back. “Like a Cuban,” she says. I
(he laughs again)
Can you imagine poor Heather? She
hustled back to bed after getting a
gander at that. And listen to why
she got up in the first place, this
is the capper. She had a nightmare!
Christ, can you imagine what kinds
of dreams she had the rest of the
Lowenstein rocks with laughter. And Racine does too.
INT. ENTRY HALL – WALKER HOUSE – DAY
Matty has been pushed roughly across the entry hall. Her
back hits hard against the wall at the front of the central
hall. She rubs her wrist where the skin is red and looks
with frightened eyes at Racine.
Don’t say that. Don’t say you don’t
I swear to you, I don’t. What’s
wrong with you?
They had to be here when you cleaned
up that night. Think about it, think
hard. They’ve probably got my prints
I must have missed them. I wasn’t
looking for them. I thought they
were on Edmund.
So where could they have gone?
I don’t know.
(suddenly, a look)
Where would she have put them? You’ve
been through his things.
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She might have taken them.
Racine thinks that’s crazy.
Listen to me. That’s why I fired
her. After Edmund’s death she started
acting strange. She was always
watching me, listening to my calls.
That’s crazy. You imagined it. I
know, I’ve been imagining things,
No, Ned, not with her I wasn’t. I
could tell there was a difference.
Maybe she know about us. Maybe she
Don’t you think we would have heard
from her by now?
Matty walks over and sits at the bottom of the steps.
She looks up at him.
I don’t know what to think. I’m
worried. But it’s not about the
glasses. Or your friends. It’s us.
Your first reaction is to accuse me.
What’s happening to you? I don’t
know if we can hold on like this.
Racine sits next to her. He rubs his eyes.
Hardin called today. He said
everything should be cleared up by
next week. I’ll get the money
(a caustic smile)
He apologized for the delay.
They’ve been stalling. They’re
draggin it out, hoping they’d come
up with some way to implicate you.
Matty turns and leans against him, looking into his face,
full of love.
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But they haven’t been able to. Soon
it’ll be all ours. That’s why we’ve
got to hold together, Ned. It won’t
be long, then we’ll get away from
here. Out from under all this.
All we have is each other. I’d kill
myself if I thought this thing would
destroy us. I couldn’t take it.
His arms enclose her.
INT. REGISTRATION DESK – HILTON HOTEL – MIAMI – DAY
Oscar Grace has been talking to the Desk Clerk, who now
disappears and returns with the Hotel Manager.
INT. BOOKKEEPING OFFICE – HILTON – DAY
Oscar and the Hotel Manager watch as a Data Clerk extracts
a sheet of freshly-printed billing information from a
computer. He points to a section of the read-out.
EXT. PARKING STRUCTURE – HILTON HOTEL – DAY
Oscar talks to the Parking Attendant who handled Racine’s
Stingray. Oscar looks around the structure.
INT. CORRIDOR – HILTON HOTEL – DAY
The door to a hotel room is open in the foreground, but
Oscar is down the hall looking at the door to the
INT. MIAMI POLICE DEPARTMENT – DETECTIVE BUREAU – DAY
Oscar sits across the desk from a Plainclothes Cop, who
is talking on the phone. The Plainclothes Cop hears what
he wants on the phone and nods to Oscar, tapping a spot
on a list that lies before him. Oscar gets up and looks
to see where he’s pointing.
EXT. HERTZ RENT-A-CAR OFFICE – DAY
Oscar can be seen inside, talking to the Attendant on
EXT. REAL ESTATE OFFICE – NIGHT
Oscar, totally beat, sits in his car. The Real Estate
Agent we saw with Racine comes up, unctuously ushering
Two Businessmen. As he shows them inside, Oscar approaches
him, getting out his I.D. He and the Real Estate Agent
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EXT. THE MOON AND THE OCEAN – NIGHT
It’s the middle of the night. Bright under a full moon.
And very quiet. The surf can be heard LAPPING at the beach.
And then we hear HUMMING.
EXT. THE PIER – NIGHT
No sign of life. Still the HUMMING; it’s a Broadway show
EXT. END OF THE PIER – NIGHT
Lowenstein is there, all alone, silhouetted in the
moonlight. He uses the rail like a ballet bar, returning
to it each time he finishes a small combination of dance
steps. The moves are not extravagant, there is not
highkicking. Just a nice, smooth little combination that
Lowenstein is repeating, again and again.
He HUMS his own accompaniment. Then, softly at first,
from the distance, comes the THUMPING of running shoes on
old wood. It grows as Lowenstein completes another
repetition. When the THUMPING has gotten close, it slows,
then stops raggedly. Lowenstein looks that way.
(out of breath)
Racine walks up, dripping sweat, already extracting his
cigarettes from his shorts.
What are you doing here?
I’ve been looking for you.
Yeah. You always run this late?
Nah. I’m going to Miami tomorrow.
I’m not gonna have time.
What’s in Miami?
I’m closing this real estate deal
I’ve been working on.
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Lowenstein nods and turns to lean over the rail. Racine
offers him a cigarette. Lowenstein accepts and Racine
lights both of theirs. Lowenstein glances at Racine’s
pack as Racine puts it away.
You’re some kind of health nut.
Matty Walker smokes that same brand.
I noticed that.
Is this gonna be one of those
conversations? Maybe I should have
my lawyer present.
Buddy, your lawyer is present.
They look at the ocean.
You know, that Edmund Walker was a
bad guy. The more I find out about
him, the happier I am he’s dead. I
figure it’s a positive thing for the
You’re not known for being a
Mmm. I have my own standards. I try
to keep them private.
(he looks at his
As far as I’m concerned, I don’t
care who killed him. And I don’t
care who gets rich because of it.
(shakes his head)
But Oscar, Oscar’s not like that.
His whole life is based on doing the
right thing. He’s the only person I
know like that. Sometimes it’s a
real pain in the ass. Even for him.
Lowenstein glances at Racine, but only for a moment.
Oscar’s unhappy right now. He’s in
Why is that?
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Because he likes you. He likes you
even better than I do.
That’s why he’s been busting his
butt trying to locate this Mary Ann
Simpson. They finally found her
place in Miami yesterday, but the
woman herself was gone… looked
like she left in a hurry.
Oscar thought any story she could
tell might help you. He thinks you
Racine turns around, drapes his arms back along the rail
and lets his head loll, like a tired runner.
Someone’s putting you in deep trouble,
my friend. From about three thirty
to five AM on the night Walker was
killed, someone called your hotel
room repeatedly. The hotel didn’t
want to put them through, but whoever
was calling convinced them it was an
emergency. The phone rang and rang,
but you didn’t answer.
Racine looks at him.
Don’t say anything. Save it for some
Other time. It gets worse.
(he stamps out his
Now someone’s trying to give us
Edmund’s glasses. We don’t know who.
We don’t know what the glasses will
tell us. But our negotiations are
Lowenstein steps away, toward the street. He looks sad.
I wish I knew what to tell you, Ned.
But I don’t have any good ideas.
He turns and walks away.
I’ll see ya.
Racine watches him go. He takes out his pack of cigarettes
and extracts one. He stares at the pack in his hand.
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EXT. FRONT TERRACE – WALKER HOUSE – NIGHT
The house is dark. Racine tries the door a last time.
(He’s still in his sweaty running clothes.) No good. No
one here. Racine peers inside one final time. He is looking
through the new glass in the same little window shot out
by Edmund’s gun. The wind chimes TINKLE loudly.
EXT. INTERSTATE 95 – DAY
Racine’s Stingray whips south in the morning light.
INT. RACINE’S CAR – DAY
Racine is shaved and showered and wearing a tie, but he
doesn’t look fresh. His mind is elsewhere. He looks off
to his left. Miami sits on the horizon.
INT. ELEVATOR – SKYSCRAPER – DAY
The elevator is packed with lawyers. They’re heading out
to lunch. They wear expensive suits. Racine is backed
into a corner. He watches them, as though from a distance.
He looks different from them.
INT. LOBBY – SKYSCRAPER – DAY
The lawyers pile out of the elevator. A few carry
briefcases. Racine finally appears. He too carries a
briefcase. He looks across the huge lobby at the entrance
to a restaurant/bar.
INT. RESTAURANT/BAR – SKYSCRAPER – DAY
Racine sits at the bar with a drink. Once more, he glances
diagonally to the end of the bar, at a guy in a three-
piece suit. The guy seems to be looking at Racine whenever
he isn’t watching the front entrance. Finally the guy can
control himself no longer. He picks up his drink and walks
around the bar to the space next to Racine. His name is
MICHAEL GLENN and he’s bright, successful and irritating.
The two men are on the edge of remembering each other.
We know each other, don’t we?
I’m Michael Glenn. With Bashford,
The smile fades from Racine’s face.
It comes back to Glenn in a flash. He wishes he hadn’t
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Christ, I’ve done it again.
I’m just meeting some people.
Racine nods. Glenn looks him over, smiles; he’s
Hey, this is silly. You’re not still
mad about that Gourson business?
takes a drink)
We had to do it. Costanza practically
insisted we sue you. Listen, nobody
at our place likes malpractice against
Glenn remembers something. He smiles confidentially.
I tried to make it up to you.
Racine looks at him blankly.
Did you ever meet a lady named Matty
Walker? You’d remember her. A very
(glances at the
Yeah. I met her at a party. She said
she was going up there and she wanted
to know about lawyers. I gave her
When was this?
(trying to remember)
I don’t know… long time. Maybe
Racine stares at him. Glenn sees his party at the entrance.
He offers his hand.
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Oops, gotta go.
Did you tell her about the Gourson
(a slimy grin)
Hey, I was trying to get you work.
He starts to move away. Racine grabs him by his tie and
pulls him back hard. The people nearby turn in alarm.
Racine speaks very quietly to the startled Glenn.
Did you tell her about Gourson?
Jesus, are you nuts?
Racine twists his grip on Glenn’s tie. Glenn starts to
Maybe I told her how we met. Yeah,
Racine lets him go.
EXT. FRONT OF WALKER HOUSE – DUSK
Racine’s Stingray tears up the drive and SQUEALS to a
stop in the parking area. Racine looks at the house from
the car. It looks deserted as before. He pulls the Stingray
onto the lawn and drives all the way around the house,
then out the drive through his own dust.
EXT. PORCH – RACINE’S APARTMENT – NIGHT
Racine stares out at the ocean. He lights another cigarette
and lifts a glass of bourbon to his lips. Suddenly, he
laughs, short and harsh. But the smile fades quickly.
INT. RECEPTION AREA – RACINE’S OFFICE – DAY
Racine comes in carrying his briefcase. Beverly looks him
over critically; he doesn’t look so good.
Is there something wrong with your
Just off the hook. What?
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Teddy Laursen is in County. He’s
very anxious to talk to you. He
Racine nods, turns back to the door.
Hey, are you all right?
Racine stops for a moment and looks at her. He smiles and
INT. COUNTY JAIL – VISITING ROOM – DAY
Teddy Laursen sits across the table from Racine. Teddy,
too, looks a little ragged. Nervous.
I don’t know. It’s a thing in
Lauderdale. Something must’ve gone
wrong, but they’re not telling me.
I’m a little worried.
I’ll find out.
No, no. That’s not why I called you.
In fact, I got me another lawyer.
Racine watches him.
I think it would be better. You know
Teddy looks around nervously. Racine waits.
This broad came to me last week. A
real looker. She said you told her
how to reach me, I figured you musta,
she knew all about it.
She said you wanted another one.
Teddy searches Racine’s face, trying to see if the story
was true. He’s not surprised that it’s not.
Yeah, I was afraid of that. But I’m
a slow thinker.
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(lowers his voice
She had me show her how to rig it to
a door, with a little delay. Does
any of this mean anything to you?
Racine looks at him blankly.
Then I’m glad I told you. Watch your
Racine pushes his chair back. Teddy seems torn about saying
more. He forces himself to —
Racine… Don’t thank me yet. These
guys here, they’ve been asking me
about The Breakers.
I haven’t told ‘em shit. But I don’t
like the look on their faces.
Racine gets up.
INT. RACINE’S OFFICE – DAY
Racine listens to the endless ringing on the other end of
his call and slowly hangs up. The phone rings in the
reception room and Beverly picks it up, then hits the
Ned. It’s Mrs. Walker. Do you want
(he picks up)
Hello, Ned. Can we talk?
Racine swivels in his chair so that he can see Beverly in
the reception room. Beverly is just replacing the receiver
on the hook and for a moment, she gives Racine a strange,
ambivalent look. Racine watches her as she goes back to
work and speaks quietly into the phone.
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Okay. Where are you?
I’m in Miami. I’ve been running around
like crazy and I could reach you
before I left.
Ned, everything’s going to be all
I’ve got the money. I’ve taken it
and sent it somewhere safe. It’s all
(Racine says nothing)
But that’s not the best part.
What’s the best part?
The glasses. I got them back. That
is, they should be ours by now.
Betty had them. She wanted money.
That’s why I had to come down here.
She made it all very difficult, but
I think it worked out.
Do you have them?
No. She wouldn’t do that. She’s
putting them in the boathouse. In
the top drawer of the dresser in the
boathouse. They should be there
now, if she’s kept up her end.
I think you’d better get them right
away. I don’t trust her.
In the boathouse.
That’s right. The top drawer of the
dresser. Oh. Ned, we’re going to be
all right. I’ll leave here as soon
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as I can. I should be there by seven-
thirty. I can’t wait to see you,
darling. We’ve made it.
Racine is silent.
Are you all right?
She clicks off. Racine puts down the phone and stares at
INT. INTERROGATION ROOM – COUNTY JAIL – DAY
Teddy Laursen watches as Oscar Grace and another Detective
come into the room. They look grim.
Teddy, this is Detective Knapp from
the Fort Lauderdale Arson Squad.
He’s brought some very bad news about
that fire. Seems there were two people
who didn’t get out.
Teddy reacts. It’s the first time for him.
I know, Teddy. It’s not like you.
And I’m willing to make that clear
to anybody who’ll listen. But you’re
going to have to help me out on this
Teddy looks at him. Teddy is hurting.
INT. RACINE’S CAR – DUSK
Racine drives. The Stingray passes the sign —
“You are entering
Please drive safely”
The town looks well tended.
EXT. BOAT HOUSE – WALKER HOUSE – DAY
Racine comes down the lawn. He walks slowly toward the
boathouse. His walk is unsteady. Racine moves around to
the front of the boathouse and steps onto its wooden porch.
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Racine’s focus is on the doorknob of the closed door.
But he moves past it to the window. The curtains have
been carefully drawn across it; it is impossible to see
beyond them into the boathouse. Except… except for one
little slice at the bottom of the window where the curtains
are held apart a fraction of an inch by something. Racine
crouches down to look through the crack.
WHAT RACINE SEES. The curtains are being held apart this
little bit by a wire. A wire which is attached to the
window and runs tautly back into the gloom of the
boathouse. Racine shifts his head an inch and he can see
another wire. It originates from that same spot back in
the gloom and runs toward the door, although Racine, with
this limited view, cannot actually see where the wire is
attached. But Racine is not really trying —
Racine has rocked back on his heels away from the window.
He stands up and steps away from the boathouse. You might
call it a stagger.
INT. GRACE’S OFFICE – POLICE STATION – NIGHT
Lowenstein is in a chair. Grace is turned away, looking
out the window at the dark street. They both look dejected.
After a long silence —
Stupid. That’s always been the
Her mind encompasses his.
I better go get him.
EXT. REAR OF WALKER HOUSE – NIGHT
The house looms darkly. Racine has packed the Stingray in
the black shadows of the big tree behind the house, hiding
it. He starts to walk back around the driveway side of
the house when something catches his eye at the other end
of the house. He walks over there.
Close to that far wall, in shadow as deep as the one he
has just used is, to Racine’s surprise — Matty’s
Mercedes. Racine stares at the car.
EXT. RACINE’S BUILDING – NIGHT
Grace comes out of the house and walks to his car,
INT. EDMUND’S CLOSET – MATTY’S BEDROOM – NIGHT
Racine pushes aside some clothes and reaches up to a high
shelf. He feels around until he’s got what he wants.
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He pulls down the wooden case and opens it. Inside is
Edmund’s .38 revolver.
EXT. DRAWBRIDGE ACROSS THE CANAL – NIGHT
Grace’s car is among a dozen held up by the raised
drawbridge. A sailboat is gliding slowly through. Grace
is outside his car, leaning against it.
EXT. GAZEBO — WALKER HOUSE – NIGHT
Close on Racine’s watch — ten-o-five.
The wind chimes on the gazebo TINKLE. Racine sits smoking
in the shadows. He takes another drink from a glass of
liquor. All the lights on the lawn, gazebo and boathouse
are off. Racine hears something and peers toward the
driveway. Headlights move very slowly up the drive toward
the house. It is Edmund’s Cadillac, glowing in the
The Cadillac stops in front of the house and for several
moments nothing happens. Then Matty gets out of the car
She is wearing the same white dress she was wearing when
Racine first saw her and she is luminous in the moonlight.
Racine watches from the blackness of the gazebo. Silently.
Matty walks twenty feet past the gazebo and stops when
she can make out the boathouse in the gloom. She stares
at it a moment then turns back toward the house.
Racine steps to the edge of the gazebo. Matty seems
startled for only a split second.
Where’s your car?
In the back. With yours.
Why haven’t you turned on the lights?
I could see.
Matty comes up the steps and puts her arms around him.
She closes her eyes as she hugs him. They are one figure
melded in the gloom.
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It’s all ours now, Ned. We could
leave tonight if we wanted. It’s
Yes, it is.
What’s this –?
Suddenly she backs away from him, down the steps, her
white dress moving back into the bright moonlight from
the shadow of the gazebo. She looks up at Racine.
It’s Edmund’s gun. You remember it,
He has it in his hand now. He looks it over casually, but
the barrel is toward her.
What is it, Ned? What’s happened?
I think you know.
No. I swear to you, I don’t!
It’s the glasses, Matty.
Weren’t they there? Didn’t she bring
I didn’t see them.
She promised she’d bring them.
Maybe I missed them. The way you
missed them that night.
Ned, I don’t know what you think,
but you’re wrong. I haven’t done
anything to hurt you. I love you.
You’ve got to believe me.
Keep talking, Matty. Experience shows
I can be convinced of anything.
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EXT. STREET NEAR WALKER PLACE – NIGHT
Grace’s car moves up the street past the gated drives.
EXT. BACK LAWN – NIGHT
Racine is at the bottom of the gazebo steps now. Matty
has backed away, toward the Waterway.
I did arrange to meet you. But, Ned,
it all changed. You changed it. I
fell in love with you. I didn’t plan
Racine laughs, short and bitterly.
You never quit, do you? You just
keep on coming.
How can I prove it to you? What can
The glasses, Matty. Why don’t you go
down there and get them?
Matty is silent. She starts to speak, but nothing comes
out. Now there is real fear in her eyes.
But you said they weren’t there.
I said I didn’t see them.
EXT. DRIVEWAY – WALKER HOUSE – NIGHT
Grace’s car moves down the drive.
EXT. BACK LAWN – NIGHT
Racine has moved closer to Matty, away from the house.
They are only six feet apart. Tears are now rolling down
I’ll go, Ned. I’ll go and look for
She turns and starts walking toward the ocean. Just as
she is about to disappear into the shadows, she turns
back to him.
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Ned… no matter what you think, I
do love you.
AT THE CORNER OF THE HOUSE
Grace has gotten out of his car. He starts toward the
front door, but sees Racine out on the lawn. He heads out
in that direction, but stops as Racine steps into a bright
spot of moonlit lawn and the gun’s shiny silverplate glints
in the light. The gun is pointed at the retreating Matty.
Grace pulls his own gun from a shoulder holster and raises
it. He is about to call out, when Matty disappears
completely in the gloom. Racine lowers the revolver wearily
and stares out toward the boathouse. Grace lowers his
gun and looks out there too. He moves slowly forward.
Close on Racine’s face. It’s changing now. It’s not just
that he’s very tired. The hardness is going out of his
look. As the seconds tick by, and Matty does not reappear,
he begins to lose faith in his view of the world. He begins
to be afraid. Afraid for Matty. Even now.
A sudden breeze starts the wind chimes TINKLING loudly.
No, Matty! Stop! Don’t go in! Matty.
Racine breaks into a run, dropping the revolver on the
grass. He has taken two big strides when —
There is a sound like the ROAR of a dragon, and the roof
of the boathouse lifts and then disappears in a huge BALL
OF FLAME. The air is sucked around Racine’s body, whipping
at his clothes, as he stumbles on the lawn and falls
Grace steadies himself against the side of the gazebo.
Racine knows horror. He struggles to his feet and stumbles
toward the fire. His body is silhouetted against the
leaping, ROARING flames in the night sky.
SLOW DISSOLVE TO:
INT. RACINE’S CELL BLOCK – FLORIDA STATE PENITENTIARY –
Absolute quiet. We move above cell after cell, dark with
We stop at Racine’s cell. It is dark like the rest. Racine
is in there alone. We move down close to his sleeping
form. He looks thinner.
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Suddenly he wakes with a start! His eyes snap open wide;
he is totally and instantly awake. He talks to himself,
with true amazement.
INT. VISITORS CENTER – FLORIDA STATE PENITENTIARY – DAY
Grace sits on the other side of the glass from Racine.
They talk on telephones. Grace’s eyes are sad; they say
he thinks Racine is going crazy.
But what if that was someone else’s
body in there? What if it was already
there when I got there — dead and
waiting for me. Maybe her friend…
Her teeth were left, man. We sent
them back to Illinois. The
identification was positive. That
was her, that was Matty Tyler Walker.
That was her and she’s dead.
You’re not listening to me. What if
she’s been using this other girl’s
name? Since she met Walker three
years ago, since she first spotted
him and decided to take him… one
way or another. Maybe Walker — or
any of us — never knew her real
Why would she want to hide her
I don’t know. Maybe there was
something in her past, something so
bad she was afraid it would queer it
with Walker if he found out — that
he’d never marry her.
Grace is unreceptive to this. But Racine is charged.
Let’s say she’s living as the other
girl, this girl from her past. Someone
whose history she knew and could use
any way she wanted. And there’s only
one person in the world who knows
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(he leans in)
And then just when Matty’s got me on
the line, when she’s finally going
to collect, that one person shows
up. That girl. Finds her. And
threatens to expose her. So Matty
starts paying her off. Maybe she
even promises to cut her in on
Edmunds’ money. Now she’s got to
share it with two people.
Racine peaks, tapping the glass between them as though it
were all there for Grace to see.
But when Matty sees a way to get rid
of both of them at once. A way to
solve all her problems and get clear,
with no one looking for her. At the
boathouse. You find two bodies, me
and this girl. Two killers dead.
Oscar isn’t buying.
You can’t find the money, can you,
Oscar? Doesn’t that tell you
It tells me she moved it and we can’t
find it. And that don’t mean shit.
It could be sittin’ in any bank in
the world waiting for a dead lady to
come for it.
Racine, calmer now, shakes his head “no.”
Do you hear what you’re saying? It’s
crazy. This Matty would’ve had to
been one quick, smart broad.
Racine confirms Grace’s fears with a look that can only
be called half-crazed. There’s the glimmer of a rueful
Oscar, don’t you understand? That
was her special gift she was
Matty was the kind of person who
could do what was necessary. Whatever
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These words have no special import to Grace. He looks at
Racine without hope.
Racine, you got to face something.
You killed Edmund Walker, man. And
you’re going down for it. Two people
are dead. And no matter how you want
to figure it, you ain’t bringin’
either of ‘em back to life.
Grace gives him a long look, then hangs up the phone. He
stands up and walks away. Racine sits and stares.
INT. RACINE’S CELL BLOCK – DAY
Racine, bearded now, comes to the front of his cell to
get his mail. A Trustee hands through a book-size manila
envelope, which has been neatly opened by the prison
authorities. Racine looks at the return address and becomes
very intense. He sits on his cot and slides out a book. A
letter is clipped to the front. Racine scans it quickly
and begins looking through the book.
It is an old high school yearbook. Racine’s fingers are
shaking slightly as they leaf quickly past black and white
scenes of youthful innocence among the Wheaton High School
Cougars of 1966.
He reaches the individual pictures of the seniors and hi
hurries through the O’s and R’s to the T’s.
Racine’s eyes are darting over the pages. Suddenly they
stop. He has found her entry. We see it too —
MARY ANN TYLER
Home Economics “Matty”
TRI-Y 29 39 4. CHORUS
Ambition — “To Graduate”
The picture is not great. The pretty face is a little
cheap-looking. It is not the Matty he knew. It is her
friend from the back verandah, Mary Ann.
Racine’s eyes dart. He thinks. Then, he flips back a few
pages. He finds what he wants —
MARY ANN SIMPSON
TRI-Y 2, 3, 4; CHORUS 2, 3, 4
HOMECOMING PRINCESS 3, 4; SWIMMING 2, 3
Ambition– “To be rich and live in an exotic land.”
We’re very close on the type of her ambition when we pan
up the page to her smiling face. Her smile is so big, she
seems almost to be laughing.
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Racine’s face. That’s the woman he loved.
Back to her picture. We’re moving in on it. Closer. Closer.
And then through it —
To her real face, this Matty, this Mary Ann, alive and
fine in the sun of —
EXT. A HIGH PATIO – AN EXOTIC LAND – DAY
One shot, very close on that lovely face, moving around
it in a tight half-circle that barely lets us glimpse the
sun-drenched, foreign town far below and the tropical
foliage that surrounds the patio. For one brief moment,
she seems to be crying. But no, it is not a tear. It is a
little drop of sweat. She wipes it from her cheek as she
turns to an unseen male COMPANION, who has spoken to her
in Spanish. She wipes her eyes and looks off at him.
It is hot.
She turns her face to the sun.
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