1 EXT. MANHATTAN SKYLINE – NIGHT 1
MOVING IN FAST MOTION — a kaleidoscopic jewel box —
glittering, shining and speeding PAST our eyes.
2 ANGLE 2
MOVING south TO north FROM the Battery and the World
Trade Center, streets and buildings FLIPPING PAST like
black diamonds spilling INTO our peripheral vision and
DISAPPEARING as we SPEED uptown TOWARD…
3 FIFTH AVENUE – NIGHT 3
Cars and people caught in the same frantic ballet of
shining lights as we RACE UP the avenue, and the voice
of Peter Fallow speaks to us…
Yes. We’re getting closer. Can
you feel it. Can you see it?
The heat. The brilliance. Moving
fast into the heart of it. Buzz.
Buzz. Can you feel the buzz? The
city is pulling you in. The city
of light. The city of diabolical
promise. The city of answered
4 OMITTED 4
A11A EXT. STREET – LIMOUSINE – NIGHT A11A
pulls up to the World Financial Center and drives into
the lower garage.
A11B INT. LOADING AREA – LIMOUSINE – NIGHT A11B
pulls up. A male and female aide — both carrying
walkie-talkies — rush to open the door. They pry PETER
FALLOW from the back seat. He is wearing a tuxedo and
dark glasses. He is very drunk, disheveled and cheerful
beyond his means. CONTINUE IN ONE SHOT as…
try to lead Fallow into the building. Fallow is clutch-
ing a whiskey decanter and a seltzer bottle. He leans
heavily on the aides, stumbles and can barely stay on his
)T( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 5/25/90 2. *
A11B CONTINUED: A11B
approaches. The aides flag it down and throw Fallow onto
the cart. The cart carries him past the garbage con-
tainer into a long tunnel-like corridor.
sways on the cart, trying to mix a drink for himself —
he pulls a glass out of one pocket and some ice cubes out
of another pocket. But he is physically incompetent.
jumps onto the cart and tries to hold him up. The male
aide runs alongside the cart.
in black tie carry covered silver trays as they trot
through the tunnel.
come running in the other way, pushing carts filled with
dirty dishes and glasses.
comes to the end of the tunnel and jerks to a halt.
Fallow loses his balance and sprays the female aide with
pulls Fallow off the cart and continues to lead him
through a dark, red-lit area. Several security guards
run to meet them. The guards and the aide now escort
Fallow through the area.
A FEW PHOTOGRAPHERS
pop out of nowhere, trying to get a picture. The guards
push them away and lead Fallow into a lighted corridor.
and his wife and daughter join the entourage as they head
for an elevator. The diplomat offers Fallow a pen and a
book to autograph.
Fallow misses the pen and falls face down into the
breasts of the diplomat’s daughter. The guards pull him
into the elevator.
)T( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 5/25/90 3. *
A11B CONTINUED: (2) A11B
CART OF FOOD
is in the elevator — a tray of salmon mousse in the
shape of a three-foot salmon. The elevator starts to
move. Fallow falls into the mousse. The aide pulls him
up and tries to clean him off.
open. Fallow is led out of the elevator. Several other
aides approach him and pull off his soiled jacket and
shirt and change them for fresh ones as they move.
SOME BROADWAY AUTOGRAPH HOUNDS
rush Fallow, snapping pictures with little Instamatics
and trying to get an autograph.
is led through the corridor and into…
A ten story glass atrium. A black tie party. A sixty-
foot banner with Fallow’s name on it. Wild applause.
But before Fallow can get his bearings…
WALL OF FLASHING CAMERAS
obliterate the view. Fallow staggers, clutching his head
11A EXT. PARK AVE. APARTMENT – SKYLIGHT – EVENING 11A
THROUGH the skylight we can see Sherman McCoy on his
hands and knees on the green marble foyer of this lavish
apartment chasing the family dachshund, trying to attach
… And it begins on a rainy
night, only a few months ago.
Come on, Marshall. Come here.
Stay. Come on. Stay.
12 INT. McCOY APARTMENT – SHERMAN – EVENING 12
The dog escapes. Sherman smacks his perfect WASP knee
on the perfect marble floor.
)T( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 5/25/90 3A.
12 CONTINUED: 12
Our hero, Sherman McCoy, was about
to make a simple phone call. And
despite the existence of eleven
telephones and seven different
lines in the fourteen rooms of his
six million dollar plus apartment,
this was a phone call he could not
make at home.
What on earth are you doing?
13 ANGLE – JUDY McCOY 13
standing over Sherman, who continues to struggle with
BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/18/90 4.
13 CONTINUED: 13
I am taking the dog for a walk.
You are not taking the dog for a
walk. You are taking ‘Marshall’
for a walk. Marshall has a name.
He is one of our family. And,
anyway, it’s raining.
I know that.
The DOG GROWLS and snaps at Sherman.
So does Marshall. I don’t think
he wants to go. Do you, Marshall? *
Sherman gets the leash fastened. He stands up, pulls
on a rubberized British riding mac. Judy flicks a tiny
plastic bag out of a cleverly-concealed container and
hands it to Sherman.
Have a nice time.
14 OMITTED 14
15A INT. McCOY APARTMENT BUILDING – LOBBY – SHERMAN – NIGHT 15A
pulls Marshall out of the elevator. MARSHALL SQUEALS and
drags his nails across the lobby, trying desperately to
avoid this walk.
He don’t look too happy about it,
Neither am I, Bill.
15A CONTINUED: 15A
Tony, sir. My name is Tony.
Yes, of course. Come on, Marshall.
15B EXT. APT. BUILDING – SHERMAN – NIGHT 15B
is dragging Marshall out of the building as a limo pulls
up and the immaculately-dressed POLLARD BROWNING gets
out. He looks at Sherman, Sherman’s clothes and Sherman’s
dog. He doesn’t approve. As they pass each other under
Good evening, Pollard.
You know it’s raining, don’t you?
Yes. As a matter of fact, I did
Ah, Sherman. A true friend to
man’s best friend.
Pollard, you old phrase-maker.
I beg your pardon.
I mean, is that the best you can
do? Is that as witty as we get?
As Pollard enters the building and Sherman drags Marshall
I don’t know what you’re talking
about. And furthermore, if you
plan on being wet when you return,
I suggest you take the service
16 ANGLE – PHONE BOOTH 16
Sherman drags Marshall to the phone.
16 CONTINUED: 16
They are both
already soaking wet. Sherman dials a number. A woman
Maria! Hello. It’s me.
Oh. Sorry. May I speak to Maria?
Who is this?
Brief pause, then…
Sherman is about to say “yes” when he catches himself.
17 INT. McCOY APARTMENT – JUDY – NIGHT 17
is on the phone.
Sherman, is that you?
18 EXT. PHONE BOOTH – SHERMAN – NIGHT 18
realizes what he’s done. He freezes. Then he hangs up.
19 INT. McCOY APARTMENT – JUDY – NIGHT 19
looks at the phone, then puts it down.
20 EXT. APARTMENT BUILDING – SHERMAN – NIGHT 20
is dragging Marshal back into the building.
21 INT. McCOY BEDROOM – JUDY – NIGHT 21
is on her exercise bike, pedaling furiously. She can
hear Sherman coming into the apartment.
Well, we’re back!
22 ANGLE – DOG 22
comes scampering into the bedroom followed by Sherman.
Well, you were right. I got
soaking wet and Marshall didn’t do
He heads for the bathroom, grabs a towel.
Sherman, if you want to talk to
somebody named Maria, why do you
call me instead?
Sherman pokes his head into the room.
If I what? Whatever do you mean?
Please don’t lie. It makes your *
forehead crinkle. *
About what? Wait a minute. What
are we talking about?
You should see your face. It’s a *
veritable roadmap of tension and *
I’m sorry, but I don’t get it.
Have I missed something?
Darling, the only thing you’re *
missing is common sense. You’re *
going to stand there and tell me
you didn’t call here and ask to
speak to some Maria?
22 CONTINUED: 22
You think I don’t know your voice?
Judy, I was out walking the dog.
I was not on the telephone.
Crinkle, crinkle, crinkle. *
I’m not lying. I took Marshal for
a walk, and I come back in here
and wham — I mean I hardly know
what to say. You’re asking me to
prove a negative proposition.
‘Negative proposition’?! Oh, God,
Sherman. Listen to the way I
sound. Listen to the stress. Can *
you hear it? I don’t want to be *
this person. I don’t. I am thin.
I am beautiful. I don’t deserve
She gets off the bike, grabs a robe and heads for the
There’s the phone. Why don’t you
just call her from here? I don’t
care. I really don’t care. You
are cheap and rotten and a liar, *
and you are dripping on the *
Aubusson carpet. *
She goes. Sherman collapses in a chair. He looks at
She was right, of course. And
Sherman knew it. Christ. How
could he have been so stupid? A
simple phone call…
23 INT. McCOY APARTMENT – CAMPBELL McCOY – DAY 23
is running through the apartment toward the front door.
She is seven years old.
24 ANGLE – SHERMAN 24
descending the five-foot wide walnut staircase that leads
from the second floor to the marble foyer. In this view,
we can see that Sherman McCoy — like his surroundings —
is impeccably designed and dressed.
The next morning, Judy’s words
were still ringing in his ears.
Cheap. Rotten. And a liar.
Alright. But was it really his
fault. In a way she had brought
it on herself, hadn’t she?
He intercepts Campbell at the foot of the stairs.
Campbell, honey. Are we ready?
I’m out of here.
Slow down. Where’s your mother?
She’s crying on the lifecycle.
On the lifecycle again. You see?
Like all those other women she
spends so much time with. So
drawn, so pale. You could see
lamplight through their bones…
As Sherman picks up his briefcase and a copy of the
newspaper, Campbell opens the door and rings for the
25 ANGLE – JUDY 25
approaches them looking pale and thin and drawn, dressed
in exercise clothes, sweating and still crying. She
looks like she’s spent a sleepless night.
She won’t kiss me because I’m all
Campbell, kiss your mother.
Campbell kisses Judy.
25 CONTINUED: 25
But Judy walks away without speaking to him. Sherman
26 HIS POV – JUDY’S REAR END 26
looking pretty unappetizing in her soggy sweatpants.
He was still a young man, in the
season of the rising sap. He
deserved more than these… these
… social X-rays. And she was
turning into one of them!
27 EXT. APARTMENT BUILDING – SHERMAN AND CAMPBELL – DAY 27
come out of the building.
Dragging themselves to their
sports training classes, they keep
themselves so thin, they look like
X-ray pictures. Sports-trained to
‘Morning, Mr. McCoy.
Bill, sir. My name is Bill.
Yes, of course. Campbell, say
hello to Tony.
Sherman is distracted by…
28 HIS POV – ANOTHER REAR END 28
Fuller, firmer and excruciatingly wrapped in a pair of
yellow shorts that are screaming for attention.
28A ANGLE – SHERMAN 28A
puts Campbell on a school bus. The bus pulls away…
Sherman was a master of the
universe. He deserved better.
29 OMITTED 29
32 INT. BOND TRADING ROOM – SHERMAN – DAY 32
walks into the chaos and moves through the din, a smile
of pleasure and anticipation on his lips. We catch
bits of conversation.
I said pick up the fucking phone,
please. I’m asking nice. I’m
asking you to pick up the fucking
If you can’t see the goddamn
screen, then I can’t help you. If
you can’t see what the hell we’re
talking about, then what are we
Well, then why do you think
everybody’s stripping the twenty
33 ANGLE – BLACK SHOESHINE MAN 33
finishes one man’s shoes, collects three dollars and
moves on to the next. (Except for giving him the money,
nobody registers his presence.)
Bid eight and a half. And then I
want you to work hard on this,
see what’s happening with the
escrow, do they forfeit or no?
This Goldman order really fucked
things up. And the banks are
calling it 73. Why are they
pissing on us like that?
)O( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/26/90 12.
33 CONTINUED: 33
Look, look, look. Let me say this
again so we’re clear. I want the
turkey rice soup. I don’t want the
chicken rice, I want the turkey
I’m telling you somebody’s painting
you a fucking picture! Can’t you
see that?! I’m telling you to
swap them. You got all this
downside protection if the Jap
market rallies. Just do it, do
it, do it!
34 ANGLE – SHERMAN 34
approaches his own desk, his own telephone, his own
computer terminals. He dials a number.
TAPED VOICE (V.O.)
Hi. This is 555-8771. Leave a *
message and I will get back to
you as soon as is humanly possible.
Maria, where are you? I’ve been
trying to reach you for days.
Please call me at the office. I
have to speak to you.
RAWLIE THORPE comes running up to Sherman.
Gene’s on from London. Let’s go!
Calm down, Rawlie. Let’s not get
Yes, Sherman. Sorry.
Calm. Cool. Colated. Let’s not
lose our composure over a few
hundred million dollars.
Jesus Christ, Sherman. You must
be made of ice.
BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/18/90 13. *
34 CONTINUED: 34
Just remember, Rawlie. A frantic
salesman is a dead one. A dead
35 INT. CONFERENCE ROOM – DAY 35
Sherman and several men are seated at attention facing an
Adam bowfront cabinet. The cabinet is richly painted
with scenes of bucolic splendor and ornate borders. On
top of this museum piece, a black plastic SPEAKER over
which the voice of Gene Lopwitz is addressing his
But what the hell is this crazy
Giscard deal going to cost us,
I need six hundred million to buy
up the bonds…
Jesus. You want us to sit on six
hundred million dollars worth of
French government bonds?!
I’m confident on this, Gene. It’s
a real sleeping beauty.
A THROTTLED ROAR comes out of the SPEAKER.
Where are you, Gene?
Tottenham Park. At a cricket
match. Somebody’s just hit the
hell out of the ball. The ball’s
kind of dead, though.
Don’t get technical on me, Rawlie.
Bunch of nice young men in white
What do you say, Gene. Are we in
)P( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 5/10/90 14.
35 CONTINUED: 35
Gold has to hold steady. And if
the franc starts to drop…
Bernard Sachs is already in for *
three hundred million. Does that
make you feel better?
Sherman, you’re going to make me
an old man.
A rich old man, Gene. A rich old
Another ROAR of the CROWD comes over the SPEAKERS.
What was that? Oh. It’s over.
Is it over? The game’s over.
Well. That’s that, I guess.
I guess you had to be there.
35 CONTINUED: (2) 35
What? What was that?
Sherman flips OFF the speaker.
At ease, gentlemen.
The meeting breaks up.
36 ANGLE – SHERMAN 36
moving through the bond trading room to his desk. *
The roar enveloped him. Music to
his ears. The sound of educated
young white men baying for money
on the bond market. Six hundred
million in his hands. Six million
off the top for Pierce & Pierce.
One point seven million for
Sherman. All in a day’s work.
He was there. At the top —
impervious, untouchable, insulated
by wealth and power. A great
height from which to view the rest
of the poor world. A great height
from which to fall.
36A ANGLE – FAX MACHINE 36A *
SPITTING OUT the message: “Sherman, Arriving New York *
on the Concorde tonight. Best, Maria.” *
37 EXT. KENNEDY AIRPORT – NIGHT 37
The sky is a labyrinth of planes taking off and landing.
38 INT. INTERNATIONAL ARRIVALS – MARIA – NIGHT 38
comes out of the customs area into the lobby. She is
a vision — young, beautiful, ultra-chic in her big-
shouldered electric blue Norma Kamali type jacket, her
miniskirt, her lizard shoes. The sweaty hordes of
panting tourists all seem to part like the Red Sea as
Maria passes through them, followed by a porter and a
trolley full of luggage.
39 ANGLE – SHERMAN 39
moving toward Maria. They embrace clumsily.
)W( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 7/9/90 16.
39 CONTINUED: 39
Sherman, you are an absolute angel
coming all the way out here.
I had to talk to you. I did the
most stupid thing last night.
Oh, dear. Are we going to talk
about it right now?
Yes. We have to.
Don’t you want a little poon tang
Maria. Please. This is important.
Alright. Tell mama all about it.
40 EXT. MERCEDES – NIGHT 40
moving off the Van Wyck and onto the Grand Central
41 INT. MERCEDES – SHERMAN AND MARIA – NIGHT 41
Maria is laughing. She is fiddling with the back of
Sherman’s neck and chewing on his ear while her other
hand is in his crotch. Maria is laughing. *
I know it has its funny side but
it isn’t funny.
Well, it’s your own fault for *
getting caught like a red herring. *
You mean red-handed. *
That’s what I said… Couldn’t we *
just forget about your wife and *
go on over to our little hideaway *
on 59th Street and hide away a *
)W( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 7/9/90 17.
41 CONTINUED: 41
I think she knows. *
Well, of course she knows. That’s
not the point.
Oh, Sherman, honey. You are so
sweet. I could eat you alive, if
I could get this zipper down.
Sherman, aren’t we supposed to
42 HIS POV – SIGN 42
reading “Manhattan” way off to the right, several full
I’m sure that’s the turnoff to
Well, I can’t get over there now.
We’ll have to exit and get back
43 OMITTED 43 *
44 THEIR POV – MORE SIGNS 44
“EAST BRONX NEW ENGLAND” and “EAST 138TH BRUCKNER BLVD.”
45 EXT. MERCEDES – NIGHT 45
veers onto ramp and heads toward the 138th St. exit. *
46 OMITTED 46 *
47 EXT. MERCEDES – NIGHT 47
is suddenly off the expressway and driving at ground
level — a dark street, piled at one side with car *
tires — totally bleak. *
)W( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 7/9/90 18.
48 INT. MERCEDES – SHERMAN AND MARIA – NIGHT 48
Sherman, where are we?
We’re in the Bronx.
What does that mean?
It means we’re going north. All I
need to do is make a left and go *
west and find a street back to
49 EXT. MERCEDES – NIGHT 49
makes a right out of the traffic and suddenly…
50 ANGLE – STREET LIFE 50
surrounds the car — people, MUSIC, cars, colors. A
boulevard of dizzy sounds and sights.
51 INT. MERCEDES – SHERMAN AND MARIA – NIGHT 51
As it stops for a red light.
Where are all the white people?
A LOUD SCREAM.
52 THEIR POV – PIMP 52
is being pursued by a prostitute. She is stoned, moving
in slow motion, screaming. She grabs him from behind;
he elbows her in the stomach. She falls to her knees
right in front of the Mercedes.
53 ANOTHER ANGLE 53
Christ. She’s not touching the car,
Sherman, I’m from the South and
I’m beginning not to like this
54 PROSTITUTE 54
leans on the hood of the car, stands up and continues her
pursuit of the pimp.
55 ANGLE – SHERMAN 55
leans out the window.
Excuse me, please don’t touch the
56 ANGLE – MARIA AND SHERMAN 56
Sherman, get us out of here. *
I have a red light.
A face appears at the window next to Maria. A YOUNG
LATIN MAN. He laughs.
56 CONTINUED: 56
Hey, baby. We having a party?
Maria leans toward Sherman and presses her foot down on
the accelerator. The car jerks into motion.
Drive, Sherman. Just drive.
57 EXT. MERCEDES – NIGHT 57
leaps across the intersection and continues down the
58 INT. MERCEDES – SHERMAN AND MARIA – NIGHT 58
Look, there’s no need to panic.
That’s what you think. I have
all my luggage with me.
I just don’t want to do anything
stupid. If we keep our heads,
we’ll be perfectly fine.
Christ. We’re in the middle of
a goddamn war zone and you’re
worried about doing the right
thing. Look! There!
59 EXT. STREET – SIGN 59
reads “895 EAST GEO. WASH. BRIDGE.” And just beyond the
sign, a ramp leading up to the expressway.
There! George Washington Bridge,
you see it?!
60 INT. MERCEDES – ANGLE THROUGH WINDSHIELD – SHERMAN AND 60
MARIA – NIGHT
As Sherman pulls toward the ramp. Another pothole jolts
the car. Maria’s luggage flies forward, hitting Sherman
in the back of his neck. At the same time, Maria sees
something in the road ahead of them.
60 CONTINUED: 60
Sherman! What’s that?!
Sherman hits the brake. The CAR stalls and comes to a
It’s a body.
It looks like…
It’s an animal.
I think it’s a…
Is it dead?
It’s a wheel, that’s all. It’s
It’s a dead tire!
Calm down, Maria. Please. It’s
a tire and some ash cans or
Sherman starts to get out of the car.
What are you doing?!
Well, I can’t drive around it, can I?
You’re going to move it?
Yes. That’s exactly what I’m going
For God’s sake, be careful of your
61 EXT. MERCEDES – SHERMAN – NIGHT 61
gets out of the car.
61 CONTINUED: 61
He leaves the door open. Above him, the tremendous
CLANGING noise of CARS POUNDING along the expressway.
But he can’t see them. He can only hear them and feel
their vibration. He stands there a moment, taking in the
strangeness of the place and of his own situation — the
tire, Maria, his wife, his life. A little chill of lone-
liness hits him. He shakes it off and walks to the tire
— a simple, inevitable move toward a destiny he could
never have imagined.
62 ANGLE – TIRE 62
as Sherman approaches. He tries to pick it up without
getting his suit messed up. Suddenly…
He turns, tire in his hands and sees…
63 HIS POV – TWO FIGURES 63
walking toward him. One big, young, powerfully built
(ROLAND AUBURN). He looks dangerous. The other slight,
hesitant, a few steps behind the first one (HENRY LAMB).
They are both black.
Yo! Need some help?
64 QUICK CUTS – SCENE 64
Sherman is standing there holding the tire. The two
young men are moving steadily toward him.
What happened, man? You need some
No thanks. Hi. No, I don’t think
so. No. Thank you very much.
Sherman is confused. He doesn’t move. Maria gets behind
the wheel of the car. Roland reaches slowly into his
jacket pocket. He smiles and keeps moving toward Sherman.
Sherman sees the hand moving out of the jacket pocket.
He is still frozen. Maria BLOWS the HORN. Sherman wakes
Excuse me. I have to go.
64 CONTINUED: 64
He starts to move toward the car, still carrying the tire.
Roland steps in front of him. They both keep moving.
Where you going with that tire?
Oh. Is this yours? Here. You
Sherman pushes the tire toward Roland. Roland pushes it
back at him. Sherman throws up his arms. The tire
bounces off his arms and knocks Roland down.
Oh. Sorry. I’m sorry, I didn’t
65 ANGLE – MARIA 65
HONKS the HORN again and drives the car toward Sherman.
66 ANGLE – SHERMAN 66
turns toward the car, and bumps into Henry. They both
67 ANGLE – ROLAND 67
gets to his feet and moves toward the car.
68 ANGLE – MARIA 68
opens the car door for Sherman.
Sherman, get in this car.
69 ANGLE – SHERMAN 69
jumps into the car, pulls the door shut and hits the lock
mechanism just as…
70 ANGLE – ROLAND 70
grabs the door handle on Maria’s side. Maria SQUEALS
71 ANGLE – CAR 71
jerks into motion. But it is now sideways on the ramp
and almost hits the guardrail.
72 ANGLE – MARIA 72
hits the brakes and puts the car into reverse.
73 ANGLE – ROLAND 73
is charging toward the car with the tire. He throws it
at the windshield.
74 ANGLE – MARIA 74
SQUEALS into first gear as the tire bounces off the
75 ANGLE – SHERMAN 75
looks back at the flying tire and sees…
76 HIS POV – HENRY 76
moving around the rear end of the car.
77 ANGLE – MARIA AND SHERMAN 77
Maria pulls the wheel hard to the right. The car
Be careful. There’s…
But before he can say it, a loud, dead sound — THOK!
Sherman looks back…
78 HIS POV – REAR OF CAR 78
as before — except that Henry is gone. Roland is run-
ning after the car.
79 ANGLE – SHERMAN AND MARIA 79
moving too fast up the ramp toward the traffic on the
expressway. Maria hits the brakes and then GUNS the gas.
80 EXT. MERCEDES – NIGHT 80
The car careens recklessly into the traffic. Other cars
swerve and BLOW their HORNS as the Mercedes forces its
way into the flow of traffic heading toward Manhattan.
81 ANGLE 81
A sign above the traffic reading “Manhattan.”
82 EXT. MERCEDES – NIGHT 82
pulls off the Drive onto 59th Street. The car pulls into *
a parking space. Sherman and Maria get out. They move
toward a brownstone apartment building.
I wonder if we should report this
to the police.
I mean we were almost robbed and I
think maybe it’s possible you… we
hit one of them. There was this kind
of… There was this sound. Did you
hear it? Like we hit one of them.
Did you see him get hit?
Neither did I. So if the question
ever comes up, all that happened
was, two boys blocked the road
and tried to rob us and we got
away. That’s all we know.
They go into…
83 INT. BROWNSTONE – SHERMAN AND MARIA – NIGHT 83
climbing the stairs.
But if we called the police now…
Yes, let’s call them and invite
them over here to our little love
nest. They would love to get
their hands on us. The police
and the press and all the rest of
83 CONTINUED: 83
Yes. Newspapers, radios,
televisions. I can see it now.
Mr. Sherman McCoy of Park Avenue
and Mrs. Arthur Ruskin of Fifth
Avenue, recuperating after their
adventures in the Bronx —
explain that to your wife.
Yes. You have a point.
Maria unlocks the door and they go into…
84 INT. MARIA’S APARTMENT – SHERMAN AND MARIA – NIGHT 84
I’d just feel better if…
Maria drops everything and turns on him…
You don’t have to feel better,
Sherman. I was the one who
was driving. And I’m saying
I didn’t hit anybody, and I’m
not reporting anything to the
police! And if you are a
gentleman, you will support
me in that decision.
Silence. They are both out of breath. They look at
each other. Then Maria starts to unbutton her blouse.
(very sexy now)
We were in the jungle… we were
attacked… we fought our way
It’s true. We could have been
We fought. I feel like an animal.
You drove the hell out of that
The hard part was getting into the
seat, getting over that gear shift.
)J( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/25/90 27.
84 CONTINUED: 84
She opens his shirt. She is suddenly all over him.
It was instinct.
He was big… wasn’t he?
You were bigger, Sherman. You
We were both great.
This could be the best sex we’ve
had in a long time.
I don’t know. I still think…
Don’t think, Sherman. Don’t think.
85 INT. COURTROOM – STATUE – DAY 85
A thirty foot rendition of “blind justice” — a gigantic
woman with the scales of justice in one hand and a bronze
sword in the other.
JUDGE WHITE (O.S.) *
86 ANGLE – JUDGE LEONARD WHITE – DAY 86 *
is up on the bench leaning forward, chin down, eyes
blazing, his bony skull and beaked nose sticking out
of his robes — he looks like a buzzard perched for
JUDGE WHITE *
Where is Mister Son-nenberg?
87 ANGLE – COURTROOM 87
in chaos —
)J( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/25/90 28.
87 CONTINUED: 87
— children running about as if they were in a day care
center, clumps of people in the spectator section waiting
their turn, people talking, going in and out paying
little attention to the Judge until…
JUDGE WHITE *
Where the hell is Mister
Everyone freezes — including the kids.
88 ANGLE – JUDGE WHIT 88 *
addresses the DEFENDANT.
JUDGE WHITE *
Alright, Mr. Lockwood, you sit
down. And if and when your lawyer
deigns to favor us with his
Two to six, Judge.
He points at Ray Andriutti, the assistant D.A.
Two weeks ago he told me two to
JUDGE WHITE *
Two to six or we go to trial…
JUDGE WHITE *
Nobody wants to go to trial, Mr.
I’ll go to trial.
JUDGE WHITE *
Listen, you son of a bitch.
You’re a nice boy, you’re young,
you got a lot going for you. Try
to understand me. We got 7,000
felony indictments in the Bronx
every year. And we got room for
650 trials. And you are not going
to be one of them.
I go to trial.
)R( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 5/8/90 29.
89 ANGLE – JED KRAMER 89 *
coming into the courtroom and moving toward Ray
90 ANGLE – WHITE 90
You go sit down, that’s what you
go do! And when your asshole
lawyer shows up, you’re gonna take
whatever plea bargain we give you
and you’re gonna kiss my ass and
thank me that I didn’t put you
away for twenty-five years.
Which, if this case ever did come
to trial is exactly what you would
get. Now get out of my face.
91 ANGLE – KRAMER 91
sits at the table next to Ray Andriutti. As they talk,
Kramer takes a pair of black shoes out of a plastic bag.
He takes off the Reeboks that he’s wearing and puts the
(referring to Lockwood)
What did he do?
He pulled a knife on a seventy-
year-old lady, robbed her, raped
her and then shoved her in a
Welcome to the South Bronx.
92 ANGLE – THE SCENE 92
as the Clerk announces the next case.
People versus Harold Williams.
Indictment number 294721. *
This case was dismissed three
)J( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/25/90 30.
92 CONTINUED: 92
Go get him, tiger.
JUDGE WHITE *
What is this case doing here?
May I approach the bench, Your Honor?
JUDGE WHITE *
Who the hell are you?
Uh, Kramer, sir. Assistant
JUDGE WHITE *
You’re new here, Mr. Kramer. Let
me explain something to you.
This case is what we call a piece
of shit. Which means, loosely
translated, that you have no
Your Honor, the District Attorney,
JUDGE WHITE *
I know who the district attorney
is. I know Mr. Weiss. And the
only reason Mr. Weiss is interested
in the case is because Mr. Williams
over there is a white man who lives
in a nice big house in Riverdale.
I don’t follow, sir…
JUDGE WHITE *
Because this is an election year.
Because ninety-nine percent of the
people you shovel through here are
black and the other ninety-nine
percent don’t even speak English.
But they do vote.
)P( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 5/10/90 31.
92 CONTINUED: (2) 92
JUDGE WHITE (CONT’D)
So Mr. Weiss, your boss, the
District Attorney — who dreams
every night that someday he is
going to be mayor of New York City
— what he needs is a white man.
He needs to find him, book him,
and throw him in jail. Then he
looks good to everybody. The
press likes it, the voters like
it, even your mother will like it.
You follow me now, Mr. Kramer?
Yes, Your Honor.
So you go tell your boss, the
district attorney, Captain Ahab
Weiss that I know he’s out there
looking for the great white
defendent… but Mr. Williams over
there is not it.
93 INT. CORRIDOR – KRAMER AND ANDRIUTTI – DAY 93 *
come out of the courtroom. *
Don’t take it personally.
Maybe he didn’t like your shoes.
Are you Andriutti?
94 ANGLE TO INCLUDE DETECTIVES A.J. MARTIN AND STEWART 94
I’m Martin. This is Detective
Goldberg. We just come from
Lincoln Hospital. You got a
)P( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 5/10/90 32.
94 CONTINUED: 94
Yeah, what do you got? *
They move down the corridor. *
We got a kid named Henry Lamb, *
showed up at the hospital last *
night with a broken wrist. *
So they fixed him up in the *
emergency room and they sent him *
So this morning his mother brings
him back, he’s got a concussion.
He goes into a coma and now they
classify him likely to die.
You talked to him?
No. He was already out.
He’s in a coma.
Oh, yeah. *
No. There’s a nurse there busting
my balls. She says the kid told
his mother he was hit by a car. A
Mercedes. And the car left the
Hit and run.
The mother tell you this, too?
)P( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 5/10/90 33.
94 CONTINUED: (2) 94
The mother won’t talk to us.
She’s got a shitload of parking
tickets and she doesn’t want to
talk to the police.
So why are you coming to us? You
got a victim who’s unconscious,
you got no witness, no driver —
you got what we call here a piece
of shit. Ain’t that right, Mr.
Martin and Goldberg look at each other.
What we got here is a problem.
You ever hear of Reverend Bacon?
Oh, no. Not me. Kramer, this is
all yours. I’ll see you gentlemen
Andruitti turns and goes.
95 OMITTED 95 *
96 96 *
97 INT. REV. BACON’S CHURCH (HARLEM) – CLOSE ON CHOIR OF 97
BLACK WOMEN – DAY
in the middle of a hymn.
PULL BACK to include: Rev. Bacon in the middle of a
97 CONTINUED: 97
This is a tragedy. A fine young
man has been struck down. God-
fearing, church-going, never in
trouble, graduating from high
school, ready for college — and
somebody comes along — some rich
white people in a rich white man’s
car and wham! They run him down
and never even stop. Now what are
we going to do about these parking
PULL BACK to include Kramer, Martin and Goldberg. Kramer
Well, uh… first of all, Reverend
… Is it Reverend?
Is, was, and always will be.
First of all, Reverend, we have
no evidence of…
This is your evidence…
98 ANGLE TO INCLUDE MRS. ANNIE LAMB 98
coming up the aisle behind them. *
Oh, sorry, ma’am. I didn’t see…
Mrs. Lamb is not speaking to the
police. Until we have proper
counsel, I will speak for her.
Alright, then. Let me see if I
have this straight. The boy was
hit by a car…
On Bruckner Boulevard. Innocently
walking along, minding his own
business… A clear case of
98 CONTINUED: 98
No, Reverend. I’m sorry. But you
see, you have no witness. Without
a witness, there’s no case of
anything at all.
You got what he told his mother.
That’s hearsay. You may believe
it and I may believe it, but it’s
not admissable in a court of law.
If this boy was born on Park Avenue
and he was run down by two niggers
in a Pontiac Firebird, then you’d
have a case! Wouldn’t you?!
I work Park Avenue and I work
Bruckner Boulevard, Reverend.
There’s good and bad in both
places. Now we’ll do everything
we can for this lady. But we don’t
have a hell of a lot to go on.
Gentlemen, I want you to make an
investment here. An investment in
That’s right. Steam control.
Because a righteous steam is building
up in the souls of my people and
that steam is ready to blow.
I see. Well…
Now, on judgment day, I am your
safety valve. Because when it
blows — and it will, my friend —
how grateful you will be that I
am on your side — the one nigger
who can control the steam and save
your lily white ass from being
burned off the face of the earth
so to speak.
98 CONTINUED: (2) 98
You think this car was driven by
a white man, huh?
I seldom think. I just plain *
Well, Reverend. I’ll see what I
Kramer, Martin and Goldberg start to go. Bacon puts his
arm around Mrs. Lamb.
The next time you gentlemen hear
from us, it will be through our
Mrs. Lamb goes to Kramer.
He said it started with an ‘R.’
That was the first letter. The
second letter was an ‘E’ or a ‘B’
or maybe a ‘P.’ Those were the
first two letters of the license
plate. If that’s any help to you.
99 EXT. ROAD – LICENSE PLATE – DAY 99
of Sherman’s Mercedes — RPH 633.
100 ANGLE – CAR 100
101 INT. CAR – SHERMAN 101
is driving. Judy and Campbell are with him. No one is
We should move out here.
Have you ever thought, I mean,
what if we moved out of New York?
What do you think?
101 CONTINUED: 101
Do you think we could leave New
My father did it.
You are not your father.
PETER FALLOW (V.O.)
She knew how to hurt a guy. No.
He was nothing like his father.
His father, the lion of Dunning,
Sponget and Leach. His father, who
took the subway to work every day
of his life. His father, who still
believed in principals and ethics,
whose repeated lessons concerning
duty, debt and responsibility had
whistled through his son’s head.
No. Sherman McCoy was nothing like
102 EXT. BEACH HOUSE – PORCH – DAY 102
Sherman and Judy are having drinks with Sherman’s FATHER
and MOTHER. Over the following, Campbell is tugging at
Judy’s sleeve, asking repeatedly, “But what does he do?
What does Daddy do?!” To which, Judy replies, “He sells
bonds.” Sherman is, at the same time, searching through
a newspaper for any news of the accident.
MRS. McCOY (MOTHER)
… And she said to me, ‘I like my
older customers best of all.
They’re the only ones who drink
‘My older customers!’
MR. McCOY (FATHER)
She thought you were twenty-five.
All of a sudden I’m married to a
102 CONTINUED: 102
Sherman, what are you looking for
in that newspaper?
Nothing. I… uh… no, nothing
But what’s a bond?
Oh, yes, Sherman, do explain it.
Yes. Your mother and I really
want to hear this, Sherman.
A bond is a way of lending people
money. Let’s say you want to
build a road or a hospital and you
need a lot of money. Well, you
issue a bond…
Do you build roads?
No, I don’t actually build them…
I think you’re in over your head.
Here. Let me try. Darling, Daddy
doesn’t build roads or hospitals
or anything, really. Daddy just
handles the bonds for the people
who raise the money.
That’s what he said. Bonds.
Yes. See, just imagine that a
bond is a slice of cake. Now you
didn’t bake that cake, but every
time you hand somebody a slice of
that cake, a little bit comes off,
little crumbs fall off. And you’re
allowed to keep those crumbs.
102 CONTINUED: (2) 102
And many a man has sold his soul
for those little crumbs.
Yes. And that’s what Daddy does.
He passes somebody else’s cake
around and picks up the crumbs.
But you have to imagine a lot of
crumbs. And a great golden cake.
And a lot of golden crumbs. And
you have to imagine Daddy running
around picking up every little
golden crumb he can get his hands
on. That’s what Daddy does.
Well, you can call them crumbs
if you want to…
That’s the best I can do. Excuse
She gets up abruptly and leaves. Mrs. McCoy goes after
Judy. Sherman and his father sit there without talking.
Of course, in my day, there was
some integrity to it…
Now it’s not about anything, is
it? Except the money.
I don’t make the rules.
All the more reason not to play
We’re having a little… It’s
nothing serious. Really.
103 OMITTED 103 *
)O( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/26/90 40.
104 INT. LEICESTER’S RESTAURANT – CLOSE ON PETER FALLOW – 104
Peter’s face is flat on the bar. He looks bad — drunk,
out of shape, disheveled and probably unclean.
Of course, up to this point in our
story, I was blissfully ignorant.
I had no idea of the storm that
was gathering. Never even heard
of Sherman McCoy. Hadn’t the
faintest notion that soon his name
would be inexorably tied to mine.
That his fate would be inextricably
bound to my own destiny.
104A ANGLE – BARTENDER 104A
nudges Peter awake and puts three drinks into Peter’s
hands. Peter staggers away from the bar, carrying the
I had my own problems. And I
simply had no idea that Sherman
McCoy was the solution I was
105 ANGLE – CAROLINE HEFTSHANK AND FILIPPO CHIRAZZI 105 *
enter the restaurant. He is handsome and young. She is
older and not as pretty as he is. Peter intercepts them.
Caroline. You devil. Come and
have a drink with us.
Peter. You pig. I’m with someone.
Peter steers them to a table filled with people.
Yes. And a very pretty someone he
This is Filippo Chirazzi, the artist.
This is Peter Fallow, the has-been.
Enchante. We’re a little crowded.
105 CONTINUED: 105
Why don’t you squeeze in next to
Billy Cortez. Billy, you keep your
hands to yourself. Now, Filippo,
you sit down on top of Billy and
I’ll see if I can get Caroline to
sit down on my face.
Peter sits in a chair and tries to pull Caroline into his
lap. Caroline grabs Filippo.
No thanks, Peter. The last time I
sat on your face, I ended up with
a yeast infection.
They leave. Peter laughs and almost falls off his chair.
106 ANGLE – GERALD MOORE 106
standing over Peter.
Good evening, Peter.
Gerald. Well. Hello.
He tries to get up.
No, don’t get up. You know my
daughter, don’t you?
Yes. Evelyn. How are you?
This is one of my invisible
employees. One of the many
journalists who are supposed to
be writing for my newspaper.
You’re very fortunate to see him
because I hardly ever do.
Peter struggles to his feet.
Gerald, have a drink. Please,
I can explain.
106 CONTINUED: 106
Thanks, no. We’re having a
private little dinner in the back.
Ah. Yes. Well…
As they move across the room…
You know, I was at a dinner party *
last night. And in the middle of
the pudding, this four-year-old *
child came in pulling a toy wagon
around the table and on the wagon
was a fresh turd. Her own, I
suppose. And the parents just
shook their heads and smiled.
I’ve made a big investment in you,
Peter. Time and money. And it’s
not working. Now I could just
shake my head and smile. But in
my house, when a turd appears, we
deal with it. We dispose of it.
We flush it away. We don’t put it
on the table and call it caviar.
I see. Yes. Yes, of course.
Well, I am on to something right
now… and I think I’ve got…
it’s just a matter of… this is
something that is really going to
Moore just looks at him. Then…
I sincerely hope so, Fallow. I
sincerely hope so. Come, Evelyn.
They march into the back room of the restaurant.
It was the end of the road for me.
I could see it coming. See it
coming? Christ, it was here!
)U( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 6/11/90 43.
107 EXT. STREET – PETER FALLOW – DAWN 107
is sitting on a park bench. He’s been up all night. He
staggers across the street into the City Light newspaper
I’d had my chance and I’d blown it
away in a bottle. It was over.
And I had to face up to that fact.
108 INT. FALLOW’S BEDROOM – PETER – MORNING 108 *
In bed. *
I could always go back home.
Small town, small newspaper. Or
I could take the time off, write
a novel or two. Or I could slit
my wrists. This last suggestion
actually seemed the most appealing
because, in fact, it required the
least amount of effort.
The TELEPHONE RINGS.
And then the telephone rang.
Hello? Peter Fallow speaking.
109 INT. LIMOUSINE – ALBERT FOX – MORNING 109
is on the phone. His ASSISTANT sits next to him typing
into a word processor. The car is a mini-office.
Peter? Albert Fox. Yeah. You
sound terrific. Any pulse? Ha.
Ha! I called the office, but *
nobody seemed to know where you *
were or even who you were. *
Anything I should know? *
Nothing to know, I’m working at *
home today, that’s all. *
)U( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 6/11/90 44.
109 CONTINUED: 109
Good, good, good. I got something *
I want to talk to you about, Peter.
I think there’s a hell of a story
110 OMITTED 110
114B INT. TV SET – HOSPITAL ROOM – ALBERT FOX – DAY 114B
is standing by a bed.
In the bed is a midget — a man. He has a bandage around
his head. Standing with Albert is another midget — a
woman. She is crying.
… and the cause of these little
people will always be dear to my
heart, whether it be discrimination
or job security or simply the right
to have urinals at the proper
height so that accidents like this
do not happen.
PULL BACK to include: Two DOCTORS (McDonald Carey and
Dr. Hunter), a newspaper reporter (Jennifer Horton) and
Have you ever thought of giving *
up the law and becoming an actor? *
I am an actor. *
And a damn good one too. *
Well, thank you. *
Albert shakes hands. *
When the rights of any people are
threatened — no matter how big or
how small — Albert Fox will always
be on the case.
)U( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 6/11/90 A44A.
114B CONTINUED: 114B
Your help is greatly appreciated,
Albert. Not only by us but by
They shake hands. Albert then picks up the midget woman
and kisses her on the cheek.
VOICE FROM BOOTH (O.S.)
And cut. Thank you, ladies and
gentlemen. And thank you, Albert
Fox, for being our guest.
114C ANGLE – STUDIO 114C
As everyone applauds. Albert shakes hands and moves
114D ANGLE – PETER FALLOW 114D
on the sidelines, looking through a folder of papers.
Cute, aren’t they?
)U( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 6/11/90 44A.
114D CONTINUED: 114D
And they weigh a ton. You want a
drink? You look like you could
No. No. No. No. No. Thanks.
Fox’s Assistant approaches. They all move toward the exit. *
Do you want to cancel City *
No. I got to do it. It’s *
(to Peter) *
For one thing, it’s the only place *
I can still get laid. These girls *
all want to sleep with their fathers. *
And if you’re old and famous, and *
you know how to use a condom they’ll *
fuck your brains out. *
)U( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 6/11/90 45.
114E EXT. STUDIO – NIGHT 114E
Fox, Peter and the Assistant come outside and descend *
the escalator.. *
You look at the Henry Lamb
Well, yeah, but… Look, it’s an
unfortunate situation. But I’m
not altogether sure there’s a story
A poor, innocent black kid, walking
down the street, minding his own
business. And boom! Hit and run.
There’s a story in it for somebody,
Peter. The black community is up
in arms. And I’m telling you, when
Reverend Bacon gets a feather in
his ass, the shit flies high.
I see. Yes, but what’s your
I’m a lawyer, Peter. I want to see
justice done. That’s all. And, of
course, Reverend Bacon is a friend
of mine. This would be good for
him. And knowing a little about *
your situation, I thought if you
were the one to break the story…
)O( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/26/90 46.
114E CONTINUED: 114E
Your boss was at my house for
dinner the other night. He said a
Fox and the assistant get into the limo. Peter follows.
114F INT. LIMOUSINE – NIGHT 114F
The Assistant fixes Fox a drink from a portable bar.
Fox throws it down and gives the glass back to the
Do you have a daughter?
Yes. I do. A little girl.
Does she have a little toy wagon?
Yes. I think she does. Yes. Why?
I’ll have a Scotch and water. *
Good. Good. Get in.
They get into the limo.
115 INT. MOTOR VEHICLE OFFICE – COMPUTER SCREEN – NIGHT 115
The letters RE are being punched up and then a series of
license plate numbers beginning with those letters
YOUNG MAN (O.S.)
I could lose my job for this.
What are you going to do with
116 ANGLE – FOX’S ASSISTANT AND YOUNG MAN 116
You’ll read all about it in the
newspapers. Come on. Let’s do
R.E., R.P. and R.B. and see what
117 EXT. LONG ISLAND SUBURB – ED RIFKIN – DAY 117
is in his driveway sipping a beer and painting a “For
Sale” sign. An ’81 Corvette is parked in the driveway.
Henry Lamb? Who’s that?
118 ANGLE TO INCLUDE PETER FALLOW AND RIFKIN 118
He was a student of yours at
Ruppert High. In your English
He was? What’s he done?
He was seriously injured. I’m
a journalist. I write for a
Oh. I don’t remember him.
What I would like to find out is
what kind of student he was.
Well, if I don’t remember him,
I guess he was okay.
Would you say he was a ‘good’
‘Good’ doesn’t really apply to
Ruppert High. They’re either
cooperative or life-threatening.
There’s no in-between.
His mother says he was considering
going to college.
Well, she means City College.
They have an open admissions
policy. So, if you live in the
city and you graduate from high
school and you’re still breathing,
they have to take you.
118 CONTINUED: 118
Well, is there anything at all you
can tell me about his performance
or aptitude — anything at all?
I got sixty-five students in
Do you have any of his written
Oh, Jesus, there hasn’t been any
written work at Ruppert High
since… oh, fifteen years.
Well, there must be some record
of how he measures up to the
No. See, you’re thinking about
grades and honor students and high
achievers. We don’t make those
kinds of comparisons. We’re just
trying to keep them off the
street. At Ruppert High, an honor
student is somebody who comes to
class and doesn’t piss on the
Well, by that standard, is Henry
Lamb an honors student?
Well, he never pissed on me. So
by that standard, yes. I guess he
119 INT. SHERMAN’S OFFICE – CLOSE ON NEWSPAPER HEADLINE – 119
HONOR STUDENT IN COMA
COPS SIT ON HIT AND RUN
119A ANGLE – FELIX 119A
is shining Sherman’s shoes and reading the newspaper.
I think you’re exaggerating the
120 ANGLE – SHERMAN 120
who is cool and confident.
… The franc is no problem. We
can hedge that to next January or
to term or both.
And then he sees…
121 HIS POV – THE NEWSPAPER HEADLINE 121
upside-down, reading, “Honor Student in Coma.”
122 ANGLE – SCENE 122
as Sherman tries to read the article upside-down and talk
No. I don’t think that’s
And then shock as Sherman recognizes…
123 ANGLE – NEWSPAPER PHOTO 123
of Henry Lamb dressed in a cap and gown.
124 OMITTED 124
127 ANGLE – SHERMAN 127
is losing control.
Look, Bernard… uh, we’ve had a
few minor — hell, they’re not
even problems. So let’s not get
ourselves whipped up into a-a-a
coma. Jesus Christ! No, not you,
Bernard. Felix, let me see that
127 CONTINUED: 127
Felix hands him the paper. Sherman tries to read the *
article and talk to Bernard at the same time. *
‘Wait’? What do you mean, ‘wait’?!
What the hell are you talking
about? Now you listen to me,
Bernard. We can’t wait! We’ve
got to move now! You’re raising
phantom issues here. It doesn’t
matter what happens to gold and
francs on a day-to-day basis!
We’ve got to pull ourselves
together and just fucking do it!!
Look, Bernard. I’m sorry. No.
Wait a minute. Wait, Bernard.
Bernard! Don’t leave me! Don’t
But it was too late. It was gone.
Six hundred million dollars. On
Wall Street, a frantic salesman
was a dead salesman. And Sherman
He puts down the phone and stares at the newspaper. He
sits there in his two thousand dollar Saville Row suit
and his New and Lingwood cap-toed shoes and he sweats.
Around him, voices come out of the chaotic room.
VOICE #1 (O.S.)
Feds buying all coupons! Market
VOICE #2 (O.S.)
Holy fucking shit. I want out! I
128 OMITTED 128 *
129 129 *
130 EXT. STREET – SHERMAN – DAY 130
is standing outside Maria’s apartment building. A cab
pulls up. Maria gets out. She is carrying a large *
portfolio-type case, suitable for transporting a *
painting. Sherman intercepts her. *
Sherman, darling. I was just
thinking about you. Where have
130 CONTINUED: 130
(showing her the
Have you seen this? Have you seen
this perversion of the truth?
Don’t I get a kiss first?
Have you read it?
Oh, Sherman, you know I only read
the newspapers spasmodically.
Sporatically, Maria. Sporatically.
Yes. Me, too. Now come on in and
have a drink. I know just what
Absolutely wrong! All of it. And
who is this Peter Fallow? He has
everything wrong. They don’t even
mention the other boy. And what
about the ramp and the tire?!
They’re talking about a little
saint here who was on his way to
get milk and cookies for his
As they go into the building…
131 INT. MARIA’S APARTMENT – WORKMAN – DAY 131
has just finished installing a new intercom system near
the open door of the apartment. Sherman and Maria appear
in the doorway.
Excuse me, but what is going on
We’re putting in a new intercom
system. All the apartments. The
super let me in. Are you…
)O( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/26/90 52.
131 CONTINUED: 131
(checking a piece
Miss Caroline Heftshank? I need
you to sign a receipt.
Well, uh… I don’t live here.
I’m just a guest of Miss Heftshank.
Okay. No problem. I’m all done.
He packs up and leaves.
Maria closes the door after him. She laughs.
Christ. That was close.
What’s going on?
Nothing. Caroline pays $351 for
this place. It’s rent controlled.
I sublet it for eleven hundred a
month. But it’s not legal. They
would love to get Caroline out of
here. But they have to prove she
doesn’t live here.
You don’t think it’s weird this
fellow showed up today. After
that unconscionable piece in the
Oh, Sherman. You are completely
paranoidical. Look, I have to
leave for the airport in twenty
minutes. So we don’t have much
You don’t think they could possibly
trace the car to me?
)O( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/26/90 53.
131 CONTINUED: (2) 131
How? They don’t have the full
number, they don’t have a witness,
and the only one who could
recognize you is in terminal
Right. There is the other boy,
however. Suppose he came forward.
If he was gonna materialize, he
would have done it by now. And
the reason he hasn’t, is because
he’s a criminal. Would you get my
blue jacket out of that closet?
Sherman gets the jacket. Maria starts putting a painting *
into her portfolio. *
What a wretched painting.
Filippo Chirazzi. He’s a friend
of Caroline. Do you know him?
I hope not. God, Maria, it looks
No. No. How could it be? Come
on, give me a hand. I’m taking it
Where are you going?
The airport. I told you. I have
a car coming in — oh, God, ten
minutes. We have time for a
quickie. What do you say?
I’m upset, Maria. I just lost 600
million dollars. And possibly my
job. I don’t feel terrifically
sexy at the moment.
BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/18/90 54.
131 CONTINUED: (3) 131
You know I’m a sucker for a soft
Maria, you are incorrigible.
She kisses him.
I suppose we could still go to the
police. We could get a very
And put our heads right into the
horse’s mouth? I’m the one who
was driving the car. Don’t you
think I’m the one who should make
the decision? And I say, no. No,
Sherman. Trust me. Nothing is
going to come of this little
newspaper article. Absolutely
They are making love as we…
132 EXT. BRONX STREET – LARGE WHITE VAN – DAY 132
pulls up in front of the Edgar Allen Poe housing
project. Signs on the van read, “Channel 1 News – The
Live 1.” The streets are empty.
133 OMITTED 133
135 135 *
136 ANGLE – PETER FALLOW 136
getting out of a taxi. He approaches Buck.
Peter Fallow, from City Light.
Oh yeah. Right.
Where are all the people?
)J( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/25/90 55.
136 CONTINUED: 136
They’ll be here. Soon as they see
the tower. Reva! Give this man
137 ANGLE – TO INCLUDE REVA 137
a demented-looking white woman who is passing out Xeroxed
literature under the heading…
“The People Demand Action
In The Henry Lamb Case”
Ohhh. There’s Robert Corsaro! *
138 ANGLE – ROBERT CORSARO 138 *
coming from the TV van.
Peter Fallow, City Light.
Oh, you’re the reason we’re up in
this godforsaken place. You and
your little newspaper article.
Sorry about that.
139 OMITTED 139
140A ANGLE – HOUSING PROJECT 140A
Reverend Bacon comes out of the building with Annie and
the gospel singers who take their places in the rubble.
Bacon goes to Fallow and Corsaro.
Mr. Fallow. Our hero. I feel as
if we already know each other.
And Mr. Corsaro. You have an *
exclusive here. You understand
me? I could have had every
newspaper and T.V. station
spreading this news thinly, too
thinly across the airways. But I
have chosen only you two. And I
expect big coverage, in-depth
)J( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/25/90 56.
140A CONTINUED: 140A
(going back to
Well, then let’s get to work.
Look, Reverend, aren’t you afraid
we may be trying to make a mountain
out of a mole hill here? I mean,
Honesty has nothing to do with
this, Mr. Fallow. This is show
business. And I’ve never known
the two to go hand in hand.
Well, I am a journalist…
You’re a drunk, Mr. Fallow. That’s
what I’ve been told. And you’re
almost out of a job. Aren’t you?
Or am I misinformed?
I think maybe you’ve got the wrong
Oh, I don’t think so. I don’t
think so at all. Get with the
program, Mr. Fallow, you may have
been a knight in shining armour
back in Kansas. But this is New
York City. And I’m telling you,
when you come to work in a whore
house, there’s only one thing you
want to be — and that’s the best
whore in the house.
Corsaro returns. *
We’re about ready here.
Bacon leaves Peter.
141 ANGLE – REMOTE TOWER 141
A silvery shaft with bright orange cable wrapped around
it rising two and a half stories above the street now.
People start coming out of the buildings to see what’s
)O( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/26/90 57.
142 OMITTED 142
147 ANGLE – REVEREND BACON 147
speaks to the crowd.
Brothers and sisters. I stand
before you with a heart that is
broken. And I stand before you
with a heart that is angry. Heart
broken because our brother, our
neighbor, our son, Henry Lamb has
been stuck down in the prime of
his young life. And now he lies
in a hospital, broken like my
heart. But my heart is also
angry. Angry because the driver
of that car did nothing for him!
And neither did the police. And
neither did this man — Mr.
Bacon holds up a Weiss campaign poster — a photo of
Weiss reading —
“WEISS FOR MAYOR
JUSTICE FOR ALL” *
This man has turned his back on
Henry Lamb. And I, for one, am
not going to stand for it. No
During the above, a group of kids are pushing and shoving
and laughing behind Bacon, trying to get on camera. Also
during Bacon’s speech…
148 OMITTED 148
148A ANGLE – BUCK 148A
passing out placards to Rev. Bacon’s audience. “Weiss
justice is white justice.” “Lamb slaughtered by
indifference.” “Hit ‘n’ run ‘n’ lie to the people.”
148B ANGLE – CORSARO 148B *
approaches Fallow while Bacon is speaking.
He’s something, isn’t he?
)J( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/25/90 58.
148B CONTINUED: 148B
Yes. He certainly is.
But, listen, he’s on the level
with this one, isn’t he? I mean
this is a legitimate story.
Peter hesitates. Then…
Oh. Yes. Sure. Yes.
I mean this Henry Lamb is… was
… is a nice kid. No record,
neighbors seem to like him, an
No question about it.
Because, well, I don’t give a
shit, but he’s gonna be a saint
by the time we get through with
him. So it would be good if it
were true. You know?
148C ANGLE – ANNIE LAMB 148C
is being led by Rev. Bacon to the forefront. The crowd
goes quiet. The choir sings. Bacon puts Annie in front
of the crowd as if he were introducing a queen or a
)V( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 6/12/90 59. *
149 ANGLE – ANNIE 149
dressed in black, looking small and frail. Slowly, she
raises her right arm, as if to wave. And then her hand
changes to a clenched fist and she screams…
Justice! Justice! Justice!
The crowd goes berserk, screaming with her. A man in the
crowd hurls a JAR of mayonnaise at the poster of Abe
Weiss. As it SPLATTERS…
150 INT. DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE – DAY 150
Kramer, Weiss, Ray Andriutti and several aides are watch-
ing the TV coverage of the demonstration.
Look at this shit! Look at it!
They’re throwing shit right in
Weiss flips a channel. Corsaro reports. Behind him,
a graphic portrays the Weiss poster with graffiti
scribbled on it:
“WEISS JUSTICE IS WHITE JUSTICE”
And while authorities are dragging
their feet, the protesters were
sending a message to Bronx district
attorney and mayoral candidate
Abe Weiss — ‘If you don’t launch
an investigation, we’ll do it
That’s my name. That’s my own
This is a fuck-up.
Who the hell are you?
Kramer, sir. I’m…
On TV we see Corsaro interviewing Albert Fox, who’s at
his limo, with his aide.
)V( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 6/12/90 60. *
150 CONTINUED: 150
So, Albert, why are you here?
I am here to join with the black
community in expressing not only
its grief but also its outrage.
And, of course, whatever I can
do to help Mrs. Lamb, I will do.
Now they’ve got Albert Fox with
Weiss switches channel to an Anchorwoman. Behind her,
a graphic portrays a Mercedes and licence plate number
with five question marks.
… while at the same time, sources
at Motor Vehicle say there are less
than 200 Mercedes with plates
beginning with the key letters…
RE, RB or RP. There was no comment
from the District Attorney’s office
about Reverend Bacon’s demand for
justice. Meanwhile, protestors
are threatening if Bronx district
attorney and mayoral candidate
Abe Weiss doesn’t launch an
investigation — Quote ‘We’ll do
And how did they get this
information out of Motor Vehicle?
Whose side are they on?!
Calm down, Abe. We had this
information a week ago.
Then why aren’t we doing anything?
Why aren’t we tracing the car?
What am I, the Wizard of Oz, I
don’t know anything!?
Trace the car, what for? We don’t
have a witness. We don’t even
know where it happened. We don’t
even know if it happened.
)V( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 6/12/90 60A.
150 CONTINUED: (2) 150
Trace the car, Ray.
We don’t have a case, even if we
find the car. Even if we find the
owner and the owner says, oh, yeah,
gee, yeah, I hit this kid, yeah,
the other night, and yeah I didn’t
stop and I didn’t report it. I did
it. I did it. Then we have a case.
Just trace the fucking car.
Ray leaves. Weiss sits down looking sadly at the
Yesterday I was a respected Jewish
liberal. Ten minutes of news like
this and all of a sudden I’m a
hymie racist pig.
151 OMITTED 151
153 ANGLE – TV 153
The crowd screaming “Justice! Justice! Justice!”
154 ANGLE – BACK TO SCENE 154
The Italians will love this, the
Irish, too. And the Wasps. They
love this shit more than anybody.
They love laughing at me. And
they won’t even know what they’re
He goes to the window. The sun is setting over the New
All the rich sons of bitches.
They still think they own this
city. They sit in their co-ops,
Park Avenue, Fifth, Beekman Place,
snug like a bug, twelve-foot
ceilings, one wing for them, one
for the help. They think money is
going to protect them? Stupid
sons of bitches. I’d like to
light a bonfire under all their
lily-white asses. Let them see
what this feels like. Let the
whole Third World see the smoke
and come after them. Let them
feel what it’s like when every
Puerto Rican, West Indian, Cuban,
Korean, Chinese, Albanian,
Filippino, black man from every
corner of every borough — you
don’t think the future knows how
to cross a bridge? You laugh.
(turns and faces his
Alright. Now this is what we’re
going to do. We’re going to turn
this thing around. If it kills
us. We’re going to prove to these
black motherfuckers — excuse my
155 ANGLE TO INCLUDE BLACK AIDE 155
smiles acknowledgement of the apology.
We’re going to prove to these
niggers that this administration
155 CONTINUED: 155
No matter what it takes. I am no
racist Hymie. By November, they’re *
going to be thinking of me as the
first black District Attorney of
Bronx County. They’re going to beg *
me to be mayor. We’re going to *
walk away with that election. *
That’s what we’re going to do. If
we have to screw every white asshole
from Albany to Park Avenue — that’s
what we’re going to do.
156 OMITTED 156
174A EXT. STREET SIGN – DUSK 174A *
Reading: “PARK AVE.”
174B EXT. SHERMAN’S APARTMENT BUILDING – SHERMAN – DUSK 174B *
gets out of a taxi and walks into…
174C INT. FOYER – MARTIN AND GOLDBERG – DUSK 174C *
are talking to the Doorman as Sherman approaches.
Ah. Mr. McCoy.
Sorry to bother you. I’m
Detective Martin. This is
Detective Goldberg. We’re
investigating an automobile
accident. Maybe you heard about
174C CONTINUED: 174C
Martin holds up a copy of the City Light article.
Oh, yes, yeah. On television.
Last night. We said — my wife
said, ‘Good Lord, we have a
Mercedes and the license starts
with an R.’
You and a lotta people.
The elevator arrives.
Are you going up, sir?
Ah. Well. Yes. Sure. Would
you…? Do you…?
Is this a bad time?
No. No. Not at all. Come up.
174D INT. ELEVATOR – SHERMAN, MARTIN AND GOLDBERG – DUSK 174D *
We just need to ask a few
Sure. Yes. Go ahead.
So. Let’s see. Can you tell us
if your car was in use the night
When exactly was it?
Tuesday a week ago.
I don’t know. Let me think. I’d
have to figure…
174D CONTINUED: 174D
Anybody else use your car?
My wife. Sometimes. And the
people at the garage.
You leave the car with the keys
and they park it.
Could we go there and take a look
The elevator stops. The doors open.
174E INT. FOYER – SHERMAN – DUSK 174E *
unlocks the apartment door.
Soon as we leave here. We could
take a look. There’s things
that’s consistent with an incident
like this. We don’t find those
things, we move on down the list.
And we’re out of your hair.
174F INT. APARTMENT – SHERMAN – DUSK 174F *
leads Martin and Goldberg inside.
So you want to take a look at the
174F CONTINUED: 174F
We don’t have a description of a
driver. So we gotta look for the
car. And that means bothering a
lot of innocent people. We’re
sorry about the inconvenience.
But it’s a routine sort of thing.
I understand. But if it is a
routine, well, I should, I guess
I ought to… well, follow the
routine that’s appropriate to me,
to someone with a car in this
situation. You see?
Martin and Goldberg look at each other. Then they follow
174G INT. LIBRARY – SHERMAN, MARTIN, GOLDBERG – DUSK 174G *
No. I don’t follow.
Well, I mean, if you have a
routine in an investigation like
this — I don’t know how these
things work, but there must also
be a routine for a person like me,
an owner of a car with a license
number — I think that’s what I
need to consider. The routine.
We just want to look at the car.
That’s what I mean. You see?
Excuse me, Mr. McCoy. But is there
something you want to tell us?
)O( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/26/90 66. *
174G CONTINUED: 174G
Well, I… how do you mean?
Because, if there is, now is the
time to tell us. Before things
No. I just think… I think that,
just to be sure, certain, safe…
Let me put it this way, if you
want to cooperate, that’s great.
If you have reasons for not
cooperating, then I should tell
you that you don’t have to say
anything. That’s your right. If
you want, you can say nothing at
all. You also have the right to
an attorney. I mean, for that
matter, if you lacked the ‘funds’
for an attorney, the state would
provide you with one — free of
charge. If that’s what you
Goldberg sits down on the edge of Sherman’s desk.
Well, look. I guess what I should
do is, I should… I should talk
this over with an attorney.
175 INT. CRIMINAL JUSTICE BUILDING – HALLWAY – KRAMER – 175
is moving fast as he talks with Martin and Goldberg.
… But mainly, it’s the look on
his face. Ain’t that the truth,
Yeah. All of sudden, the bitch
starts coming out of him.
So I read him his rights — as
casual as I can do it.
)O( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/26/90 67 *
175 CONTINUED: 175
And then he sits down on the guy’s
What’d he do?
Nothin’ at first. But he’s
confused. And his eyes are getting
bigger and he’s double-talking like
a son of a bitch. I’m thinking
there’s something there.
176 OMITTED 176
176A INT. CRIMINAL JUSTICE BLDG. – STAIRCASE – EVENING 176A
As they reach Weiss.
I think we got him.
Got who? What do you got?
McCoy. Sherman McCoy. We got him.
You think it’s him?
Well, we think so, yeah, but…
It’s him. We got him. This guy
is Park Avenue. His old man ran
Dunning, Sponget and Leach. He’s
got his name in the columns. His
wife is a fucking socialite.
Does this put an end to this white
Ray Andruitti interrupts him.
)O( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/26/90 68.
176A CONTINUED: 176A
Abe. We got zip on this guy.
I think he’s the type we could
smoke out. Bring him in for
questioning. Go public.
Go public?! You got nothing here.
Your only witness is in a hospital
likely to die. Don’t listen to
this shit, Abe. You got to get
to Manhattan. You got a speech *
I’ll tell you what you got to do,
sir. You’ve got to send a signal
out to the poor people of this city.
You got to let them know that
justice is blind. You got to let
them know that if you’re white and
rich, you get the same treatment
you get when you’re black and poor.
You got to give people hope!
You mean, we nail the wasp.
To the wall.
I like this man. I like him.
Look. What’s the kid’s condition?
Any chance he’ll regain
What if he does? He can’t talk.
He’s breathing from a tube down
No. But maybe he can point.
)O( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/26/90 69. *
176A CONTINUED: (2) 176A
Yeah. I got an idea. We take a
picture of Sherman McCoy over to
the hospital, to this kid. And
three or four other guys, white
guys, and we put them by the bed,
the pictures. And the kid comes
to… and he points to McCoy’s
picture. And he keeps pointing…
Nobody believes what they’re hearing — except Kramer.
Might work. That might work. It’s
a long shot, but it might work.
An AIDE rushes up to Kramer and pulls him aside.
Yeah? What do you want?
You’ll kill him. He wakes up out
of a coma and sees four white men
in suits and ties staring at him
from the end of the bed, he’ll
shit and die.
It’s worth a try.
I don’t believe what I’m hearing!
Some poor gook with a tube down
his throat pointing at a picture.
That’s your case?! It’s never
gonna stand up.
I know that, Ray. I know that.
I just want to bring the guy in!
Just bring him in. That’s all.
We get the press. We get the
attention. Then we can relax and
do the right thing.
Look at me, Abe. Watch my mouth.
Read my lips. No. We cannot do
that. No way.
)O( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/26/90 69A. *
176A CONTINUED: (3) 176A
Weiss growls in frustration. Kramer leaves the Aide and
goes to Weiss.
I think we got a witness.
I think we got a mother-fucking
177 INT. CRIMINAL COURTS BUILDING – ROLAND – DAY 177
is having his mug shots taken. He is immediately
recognizable as the other young man who was with Henry
BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/18/90 70.
178 ANGLE – KRAMER 178
talking to CECIL HAYDEN as they watch Roland. (Hayden
… So I walk up to him and I
say, hello, I’m from Legal Aid,
I’m your lawyer. And he says,
‘Fuck you, mother. I don’t want
no nigger lawyer. I want a Jew.’
This is his third drug arrest.
He wants a deal.
And he’ll say he was there, at
He’ll say whatever you want him
179 CLOSE ON ROLAND 179
180 INT. TOM KILLIAN’S OFFICE – SHERMAN – DAY 180
is standing in front of KILLIAN who is seated at his
I’m telling you, they got nothing
on you, Mr. McCoy.
(picks up a phone)
Get me Andruitti over in the Bronx.
Tell him it’s urgent about this
Henry Lamb shit.
But suppose the other fellow comes *
forward. I swear there was
another one. He was big… *
I believe you. It was a set-up.
They were going to take you off.
Sounds to me like he’s got good
reasons not to come forward. You
just sit tight. That’s what you
180 CONTINUED: 180
Look, you were recommended as the
best criminal lawyer around. I’m
not disagreeing with you. But I
didn’t come here to… I mean, I
want to pre-empt this whole
situation. I don’t want it to go
What does that mean?
It means I want to take the
initiative. I want to go to the
police with Maria — Mrs. Ruskin
— and just tell them exactly what
happened. I mean, I don’t know
about the law, but I feel morally
certain that we did what was right
— in the situation we were in.
And I don’t see…
Ayyyy! You Wall Street honchos
are real gamblers. Ayyy!
Whaddaya whaddaya! They would
devour you. They would eat you
Forget it’s already a political
football. Forget the T.V. and
Reverend Bacon and Weiss has an
election coming up. Forget that
and remember that when you work in
the D.A.’s office and every day
you prosecute people with names
like Tiffany Latour and Sancho
Rodriguez and Chong Wong and
Shabazz Kazan Tamali, you are
dying to get your hands on a nice
white couple like you and Mrs.
Ruskin. Biscuit city, ehhh! You
open your mouth and they will
arrest you. And they will make a
big show out of arresting you.
And it will be very unpleasant.
BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/18/90 72.
180 CONTINUED: (2) 180
Sherman sits down. He is depressed. The PHONE RINGS.
That is guaranteed. Believe me,
you do not want to be arrested in
the South Bronx.
(picks up the phone)
Yeah. Oh. Put him on. Yeah?
I need to talk to your friend,
Mrs. Ruskin, too.
I understand you went to Yale.
Yeah. You, too. Huh?
What did you think of it?
It was okay. As law schools go.
They give you the scholarly view.
You know. It’s terrific for
anything you want to do — as long
as it doesn’t involve real
Hey, Andruitti, you guinea, how
are you? Yeah. Well, I’m sitting
here with Sherman McCoy. Yeah.
That’s right. Well, I don’t know
if he needs a lawyer. What do you
(winks at Sherman
Uh-huh. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
So what does that mean? Okay.
Yeah. Sure. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
He puts down the phone and looks at Sherman.
We got a problem.
What? What is it?
They’re going to arrest you. *
BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/18/90 73. *
181 EXT. McCOY BUILDING – CHAUFFEUR – NIGHT 181
gets out of a limo and speaks to the Doorman. The
Doorman picks up the house phone.
182 INT. McCOY APARTMENT – JUDY – NIGHT 182
is on the house phone. She is wearing a formal dress
with gigantic shoulders.
Tell him to wait. We’ll be
FOLLOW her TO…
183 INT. BEDROOM – SHERMAN – NIGHT 183
is sitting half-dressed in black tie. He is on the
Judy comes into the room.
I know it was six hundred million,
Rawlie. Just stop saying it.
I’ll straighten it out with Gene
first thing in the morning.
Well, not first thing. I have a
Sherman. Please. What is the
matter with you? You’re not even
dressed and the car is already
What? What car?
No, Rawlie, I can’t change it.
Leon and Inez Bavardage. They are
taking us to the opera. Eight
o’clock. Tonight. And the car is
Rawlie, I’ll call you later. Just
But why do we need a car? They
only live six blocks from here.
BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/18/90 74.
183 CONTINUED: 183
Because after the opera we’re
going to the museum for the Benefit.
We could walk.
I can’t walk down the street in
this dress. A small wind would
turn me into a kite.
Then let’s take a taxi.
Why are we having this conversation?
Because a car is going to take us six
blocks and wait there for five and a
half hours and then drive us another
six blocks home and it is going to
cost us three hundred and forty-six
dollars?! We are hemorrhaging money,
Judy. It is pouring out of us with
every beat of our heart. Isn’t that
worth talking about?!?
Judy sits down and thinks.
You’re right. It might be cheaper
in the long run to hire a
We’ll talk about it later.
We have to talk now.
We can’t hire a chauffeur in
the next fifteen minutes.
We haven’t talked about anything
for the last three weeks.
Well there’s no reason to start
)O( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/26/90 75.
183 CONTINUED: (2) 183
Yes, there is. Something is
happening here. You have to
know about this. Tomorrow
Sherman, this is a very important
evening. It will determine
whether or not I will be chairman
of the museum benefit this year.
I cannot be upset now. We can
talk about it later.
I’m going to be arrested in the
Really, Sherman, you’d do anything
to ruin this for me. Wouldn’t you?
Now please. Get dressed.
184 INT. OPERA HOUSE – ONSTAGE – NIGHT 184
The last scene of Don Giovanni is being played out. The
Commandatori has the Don in his grip, urging him to
“repent.” The Don refuses. The MUSIC THUNDERS
185 OMITTED 185 *
186 ANGLE – SHERMAN 186
in a box with Judy and Leonard and Inez Bavardage.
Sherman is transfixed by what he is seeing on the stage.
He flips through his libretto.
187 HIS POV – TEXT 187
and the word “repent” in English and Italian.
188 ANGLE – STAGE 188
as the floor opens up around Don Giovanni. Flames and
demons reach for him.
189 ANGLE – SHERMAN 189
breaking into a sweat. He reaches for Judy.
190 ANGLE – STAGE 190
as Don Giovanni screams and falls into the jaws of hell.
191 INT. MUSEUM – DIARAMA – NIGHT 191
depicts a jungles scene — a lion is eating a just-killed
zebra. A pack of hyenas are hovering.
192 ANGLE – SHERMAN 192
looking at the scene. The museum party is in full gear.
AUBREY BUFFING (O.S.)
There he is, Don Juan, in the vise- *
like grip of fate, facing his *
crime, facing his entire life of *
selfish consumption and profligate *
wasting of himself and others… *
Sherman turns and bumps into Aubrey, spilling his drink. *
193 ANGLE – SALLY RAWTHROATE 193
grabs him by the arm and pulls him into her conversation *
with Aubrey. *
You’re Judy McCoy’s husband.
I’m in real estate. And, darling,
I’ve seen your apartment. Any time
you even think about selling…
Well, it’s unlikely.
Sherman looks across the room and sees…
194 HIS POV – MARIA 194
is walking across the room with her husband, ARTHUR
195 ANGLE – SHERMAN 195
195 CONTINUED: 195
Have you met Aubrey Buffing the
poet? He’s on the short list for
the Nobel Prize.
He has AIDS.
We were talking about the opera…
(holding on to
‘The wrath of heaven must be at *
hand, its justice will not tarry.
I see the deadly thunderbolt
poised above his head! I see the
fatal abyss open before him.’
During the above, Sherman sees…
196 HIS POV – JUDY 196
is being introduced to Maria on the other side of the
197 ANGLE – SHERMAN 197
extricates himself from Aubrey.
198 ANGLE – ARTHUR RUSKIN 198
speaking to Judy.
… My wife lives on airplanes. *
She goes back and forth to Italy *
like a Ping-Pong ball. She took a *
house on Lake Como. She’s crazy *
now all of a sudden for anything
BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/18/90 78. *
199 ANGLE – SHERMAN 199
comes up next to Judy.
Sherman! Have you met Bobby
Shalfet, from the opera? And
Nunnally Voyd — oh, and Arthur
Ruskin and his wife Maria.
And what do you do, Mr. McCoy?
Well, the only bonds I know about
are bail bonds.
The group laughs and turns away from Sherman.
I was arrested last year in Montreal
for pissing on a tree…
As Judy tries to rejoin the group…
Sherman, couldn’t you try just once,
to be a little bit interesting.
Sherman pulls her away.
I want you to meet Aubrey Buffing.
The poet. He’s on the short list
for the Nobel Prize. He has AIDS.
You’ll love him.
BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/18/90 78A.
199 CONTINUED: 199
Sherman, we are alone in the middle
of the room. A married couple,
talking to each other. You simply
don’t do this. Now go and mingle.
She leaves him.
200 ANGLE – AUBREY BUFFING 200
walking and speaking to a woman. As they pass an
enormous table of food…
And even when repentence is offered,
he refuses. He refuses to deny his
life. The food, the drink, the
flesh — fatal as they may be —
he cannot resist them…
Aubrey continues talking as he passes…
)O( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/26/90 79.
201 ANGLE – MARIA 201
talking in French to BORIS KARLEVSKOV, a ballet dancer.
Sherman! We have to stop meeting
like this. Do you know Boris,
the ballet dancer?
Boris, je te presente Monsieur
McCoy. Sherman, voila Boris
Karlevskov. He’s defective.
You mean he defected. *
I mean he doesn’t speak any English.
Are you sure?
Yes. Watch. Boris, darling,
would you like me to eat your ass?
Encore du champagne, s’il vous
You see? It went right over his
Maria, I need to talk to you.
Something very… unexpected is
Of course, darling, but keep
smiling. My husband is watching me.
Look at him. He’s so pleased with
himself. He’s just closed a new
deal. A charter business. He’s
going to take Arabs to Mecca on
Sherman tries to smile throughout the following. Boris
smiles and nods — although he doesn’t understand a word
201 CONTINUED: 201
(with a social grin)
I’m going to be arrested in the
Of course, the airplanes are all
By the police, I imagine.
He’ll make a fortune.
I don’t think it will be too bad.
My lawyer — if you can call him
that — has received assurances
that it will all be handled in an
He called me a whore today. Right
in front of the servants. I mean,
really. How does he expect me to
run the house if he humiliates me
in front of the help?
Yes. Well. You have a point.
I’m sorry, Sherman. What are we
The other guy has come forward.
He says I was driving the car.
I’m going to be arrested tomorrow
morning. I need to know from you
… I mean, what do you want me
Oh, Sherman, what…?!
But MRS. BAVARDAGE swirls up to them and whisks the now
terrified Maria away.
Maria, darling, I need your advice
about something. My designer has
gone bonkers about jabots and chintz.
201 CONTINUED: (2) 201
MRS. BAVARDAGE (CONT’D)
Jabots and chintz, jabots and chintz
As she leaves with Maria, she grabs Aubrey Buffing and
steers him toward Sherman.
Sherman, have you met Aubrey
Buffing? He has AIDS.
Like so many of us now, with death
and retribution waiting for us. Yet
we go on whirling about each other…
Sherman is looking past Aubrey. He sees…
202 HIS POV – MARIA 202
goes to Arthur, whispers something in his ear. They
leave quickly. For a brief moment, she looks back at…
203 ANGLE – SHERMAN 203
walking with Aubrey, trying to see where Maria went.
We are unable to stop, until death
itself takes us into his arms and
burns us with the fever of living,
dragging us like Don Juan into the
bonfires of hell. The words of the
ghost ringing in our ears… ‘Repent!
204 OMITTED 204 *
206 206 *
207 EXT. APARTMENT BUILDING – SHERMAN – DAWN 207
comes out of the building and stands waiting as the rain
pours down on this bleak day. A police car pulls up.
Sherman gets inside.
208 OMITTED 208
210 INT. POLICE CAR – KILLIAN, MARTIN, GOLDBERG – DAWN 210
‘Morning, Mr. McCoy.
As Sherman climbs into the back seat…
Be careful of your clothes. My
kid got all this Styrofoam shit
back there. They stick to your
How do you feel?
Top notch. Look. You said this
was just a formality.
No problem. They promised me.
I told Maria. I saw her last
night. In case we need her.
That explains it. She left the
country this morning. You know
some Italian painter named Filippo
Sharutti, something like that?
I don’t know. Why?
I think your girl friend found
a new boyfriend.
It’s not going to be so bad. This
is routine. I talked to Andruitti
again last night. He promised me.
We’ll be in and out of there. No
problem. Nobody is ever going to
know it happened.
We got to cuff him.
)R( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 5/8/90 83.
210 CONTINUED: 210
The zone captain is gonna be there.
And the press.
Wait a minute. What the fuck?!
What press?! I talked to Ray last
night. He promised no bullshit.
This is Weiss. Weiss gave the
order this morning.
Somebody is going to pay for this.
211 EXT. CRIMINAL COURT BUILDING – SIDE ENTRANCE – MORNING 211
A line of men near a little metal door and a crowd of 50
people standing in the rain. Very still. Jed Kramer *
is there, too.
212 ANGLE – PETER FALLOW 212
off by himself, close to the curb where…
213 POLICE CAR 213
pulls up containing Sherman. Peter peers into the car.
Excuse me, Mister McCoy?
Don’t talk. What’s going on here?!
214 ANGLE – CROWD 214
near the door to the building comes alive. Slowly, at
first. They turn their heads toward the car and then
they start moving, walking, running, racing toward the
215 ANGLE – SCENE 215
as this mob of reporters and cameramen attack the car in
the pouring rain.
You don’t know me but I’m…
But Peter is buried in the onslaught before he can say
216 INT. CAR – MORNING 216
Jesus Christ! Get out and get
that door open or we’ll never get
him out of the fucking car.
Bullshit reigns. Put the cuffs
Martin goes. Killian climbs over Sherman. Goldberg
puts cuffs on Sherman.
I’m going to jail. Aren’t I?
Let me get out first. Now listen.
You don’t say anything. Don’t
cover your face. Don’t hang your
head. You don’t even know they’re
I’m going to jail.
217 EXT. CAR – MARTIN AND KILLIAN 217
help Sherman out of the car and all hell breaks loose.
SOMEONE sticks a camera into Sherman’s face.
Sherman! Hey, shitface. Over
Goldberg, Martin and Killian try to push through the mob.
Goldberg swings at a camera and knocks it down.
Hey, Sherman, how you going to
Peter Fallow falls to the ground. Sherman and Goldberg
step on him as they push ahead.
You ever been arrested before?
Who’s the brunette? What were you
doing in the Bronx? Why didn’t you
stop, Sherman? Sherman! This way!
This way! How’s your wife taking
A microphone is shoved into Sherman’s face.
)X( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 7/12/90 85.
217 CONTINUED: 217
How much did you make last year?
Hey, fuckhead! How do you like
this cocktail party? Why’d you
hit him? Give us a statement.
Come on, Sherman, give us a break.
Give us a little something, you
Kramer is enjoying all this.
218 ANGLE – SHERMAN 218
assaulted by cameras, microphones and people as he is
pushed through the metal door. Killian is being left
(screaming over the
noise of the mob)
Don’t make any statements! Don’t
talk to anybody, especially in the
pens! I’ll be upstairs when they
bring you up for arraignment…
You may have a long wait, Mr.
Killian. If I have anything to
say about it.
Yeah? Fuck you, too, Kramer.
219 ANGLE – PETER FALLOW 219
pulls himself up off the ground. He is more dazed than
220 OMITTED 220
221 QUICK CUTS 221
A) Sherman’s cuffs are removed.
B) The contents of Sherman’s pockets are laid on
C) Sherman removes his belt. His pants drop to his
D) Sherman removes his shoelaces and drops them on a
)X( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 7/12/90 85A. *
A222 ANGLE – SHERMAN’S FEET A222
coming out of his shoes as he tries to walk.
B222 ANGLE – SHERMAN B222
walking through a metal detection gate. The
Whoa. Whoa. Give me your coat.
Okay. Try it again.
Sherman walks back through the gate. The ALARM SOUNDS
What the fuck? Wait a minute.
Come here. Bend over.
Sherman looks terrified.
I ain’t going to touch you. Just
bend over at the waist and back
through the gate. Real slow.
Sherman bends over at a ninety-degree angle and, holding
up his trousers, shuffles backwards through the gate.
Slow. Slow. Slow. A little
farther, little farther. Little
farther. Little farther…
As Sherman’s head goes through the gate, the ALARM
SOUNDS. Goldberg jumps up and down and claps his hands
Hey, Martin. Come here. Look
Okay, Sherman. Do that again.
)X( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 7/12/90 85B. *
B222 CONTINUED: B222
Sherman repeats the humiliating action. When finally
his head reaches the gate, the ALARM SOUNDS again.
It’s his head! Swear to Christ.
It’s his head. Open your mouth.
Sherman opens his mouth. Goldberg grabs his jaw and
angles it toward the light.
Look in there. You want to see
Jesus Christ. Set of teeth look
like a change-maker.
They ever let you on an airplane?
C222 ANGLE – SHERMAN C222
D222 ANGLE – SHERMAN’S HANDS D222
)X( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 7/12/90 86.
222 ANGLE – SHERMAN 222
is led quickly toward the cells. His shoes flop, his
pants sag, he trips and almost falls. A cell door opens.
Sherman is pushed inside. He turns to look back. The
door bangs shut.
223 INT. COURTROOM – CLERK – DAY (LATER) 223
is calling out…
224 ANGLE – OFFICER 224
opens a side door. We wait. Nothing. Then the sound
of FEET SHUFFLING. Finally, Sherman appears. He looks
like a man who has been dragged through hell — his
body, his clothing, the look in his eyes. He staggers
toward the bench.
225 ANGLE – REV. BACON AND ANNIE LAMB 225
seated in the front row of the spectators.
226 ANGLE – SHERMAN – DAY 226
is facing Judge White. Killian is next to him. Kramer
is representing the District Attorney’s office.
Mr. McCoy, you know the charges
that are being brought against
We want to know how you plead to
I am sorry.
)J( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/25/90 87.
226 CONTINUED: 226
I am very sorry. Please forgive
Just say, not guilty.
For my life. For everything.
I am truly sorry.
Your Honor, the defendant is under
extreme stress. He pleads not
I repent all the sins of my past
life. I repent…
Just shut up, Sherman. Defendant
pleads not guilty!
Sudden commotion in the courtroom. Sherman turns to
227 ANOTHER ANGLE 227
Press and spectators are already buzzing out of control.
JUDGE WHITE *
Bail has been set at $10,000…
No bail! No bail! Lock him up!
Bang it shut!
We do not believe it will serve the
interests of justice to allow this
defendant to go free on a token bail…
Your Honor, Mr. Kramer knows
Given the emotions of the community…
)J( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/25/90 88.
227 CONTINUED: 227
This is patent nonsense. Bail
has already been agreed to.
The Spectators are booing and yelling at Killian to
JUDGE WHITE *
(bangs the gavel)
Quiet! Where the hell do you
think you are?!
I have a petition from the
community with an appeal to the
District Attorney that justice
be done. And Mr. Weiss himself
has instructed me to request bail
in the amount of $250,000. Cash.
Yeah! Yeah! Tell him! Tell him!
JUDGE WHITE *
If your office has information
bearing upon the bail status of
this case, I instruct you to make
a formal application. Until then,
I am releasing Mr. McCoy under a
bond in the amount of $10,000. Now
get this side show out of my court.
Your Honor, your action will do
irreparable damage not only to
the People’s case…
JUDGE WHITE *
Mr. Kramer, I have spoken.
… But to the cause of the people
JUDGE WHITE *
It ill-behooves the criminal
)J( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/25/90 89.
227 CONTINUED: (2) 227
JUDGE WHITE *
Kindly behoove me no ill-behooves!!!
JUDGE WHITE *
Mr. Kramer, the court directs you
to shut up!!!
The crowd goes crazy, screaming and booing and chanting…
No bail! Put him in jail!
Killian grabs Sherman and pulls him toward the exit.
The court officers form a wedge to help them through
the screaming mob…
Murderer! Motherfucker! — Say
your prayers, Park Avenue — Tear
you a new one — You mine,
needlenose! — Count every breath,
228 CLOSE ON SHERMAN 228
who is humiliated.
228A EXT. COURTHOUSE – PETER FALLOW – LATE AFTERNOON 228A *
is sitting on the steps of the courthouse. He is still
covered with mud from having been trampled earlier. He
takes a long swig from a bottle wrapped in a paper bag.
He is drunk.
It was too much for me. All of it.
Sherman McCoy had been swept away
from me. Before I could even speak
to him. And as the day progressed,
I began to appreciate the power, the
magnitude of the force that had been
unleashed by my little story.
228B ANGLE – MOVING CROWD 228B
of reporters, television people, photographers, etc.
They run up the steps past Peter as they head toward the
entrance to the courthouse. As they pass…
It’s over! He’s coming out! Let’s
go! Let’s go!
228C ANGLE – PETER 228C
dodges the onslaught, pulls himself up, and starts
moving in the opposite direction.
Jackels. Dogs. Yapping at the
heels of their prey. And I was
one of them. Well, let them have
it. Enough is enough. I was
finished. I summoned what little
dignity I had left and decided to
Excuse me, do you know where I can
find a taxi?
228D ANGLE TO INCLUDE SHERMAN MCCOY 228D
who has just come out the side entrance of the building.
Peter is flabbergasted.
Yes. I know. I know that. What
I need a taxi.
You need to get out of here.
228E ANGLE – CROWD OF REPORTERS 228E
change direction and start moving away from the front
entrance and toward the side entrance. As they go…
The other way! Other way! He’s
coming out the back! Move! Move!
228F ANGLE – FALLOW AND SHERMAN 228F
see the mob moving toward them. Fallow grabs Sherman
and pulls him toward a subway.
This way. Come on.
228F CONTINUED: 228F
Uh. I don’t normally ride the
Me either. Especially on a first
date. But we don’t really have a
They enter the subway.
228G INT. SUBWAY CAR – SHERMAN AND PETER – DAY 228G
Sherman is dazed, still in shock. He looks very
Are you alright?
Oh, fine. Yes, thanks.
Look, I owe you an apology…
No, you were very helpful.
You don’t know who I am.
That’s alright. Thanks. I should
Look. Sit down. Just sit down a
minute. I’ll get you home. *
They do. Peter offers Sherman his bottle.
Would you like a drink? I happen
to have a little something…
Sherman looks with some caution at the bottle in the
228G CONTINUED: 228G
Uh. No. Thanks.
Go on. Fuck it. What are they
going to do? Arrest you?
Sherman smiles and takes a drink. He looks around the
car. It’s a rough crowd.
Does this train go anywhere near
Not in a million years.
My father took the subway every *
day of his life. *
Yeah. But he didn’t live in the *
South Bronx. Did he? *
They both laugh.
I look terrible.
You look like shit. And you smell,
I think, when I was in the jail,
I pissed in my pants.
They laugh again. Sherman gets caught somewhere between
laughing and crying. He starts to lose control.
Take it easy.
I can’t think.
)O( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/26/90 93.
228G CONTINUED: (2) 228G
It’s okay. Have another drink.
Sherman takes a long drink.
228H INT. TUNNEL – TRAIN – LATE AFTERNOON 228H *
CLATTERS through the darkness.
228-I INT. SUBWAY CAR – PETER AND SHERMAN – LATE AFTERNOON 228-I*
as the car slows down. Sherman is slightly drunk.
… and then this newspaper thing
started, this Peter Fallow person,
and all the facts were wrong, total
disregard for the truth. Why do
they do this?
This is you. You’ll be right on
They call me by my first name.
Like they know me. Like they own
me. Newspapers, lawyers, police,
people I don’t even know. How did
I get to be so important?
You’re not important. You’re just
dinner. You know what I mean? And
a week from now, a month — nobody
is even going to remember what they
The car stops. Sherman steps onto the platform. Peter
remains in the car. Sherman looks back at him.
I should have called the police
right away, when it happened. But
I couldn’t you see? It wasn’t
really my decision.
How do you mean?
I mean, I wasn’t driving the car.
BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/18/90 94.
228-I CONTINUED: 228-I
The doors to the train start to close. Peter tries to
Wait a minute! Wait a minute!
228J ANGLE – CLOSE ON PETER 228J
as the doors close and the train pulls away.
229 EXT. PARK AVENUE – DEMONSTRATORS – NIGHT 229
are marching up and down in front of Sherman’s apartment
building. Among them are five very tall black men play-
ing with a basketball.
230 ANGLE – SHERMAN 230
stops near the building. The basketball flies toward
him. He catches it. Before anyone sees him, he enters
through the service entrance.
231 OMITTED 231
232 INT. ELEVATOR – SHERMAN – NIGHT 232
looks like he feels — unclean, unshaven, slightly drunk,
his clothes soiled, torn and disheveled. He seems to
stoop slightly under the weight of his humiliation.
233 ANGLE – ELEVATOR DOORS 233
open and suddenly we are in the midst of…
234 ANGLE – PARTY 234
in high gear. Most of the guests are recognizable from
the previous party at the museum. Sherman is shocked.
But before he can get his bearings…
BOBBY SHALFET *
Sherman! You sly fox. Great
to see you. Everybody! It’s *
Sherman! Bravo! Bravo! *
They all turn and applaud. As Sherman moves through *
NUNNALLY VOYD *
Sherman, my boy. Whatever you do,
don’t let the newspapers get you
BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/18/90 95. *
234 CONTINUED: 234
Fruit flies. That’s all they are.
They swarm. They hover over the
faces. You take a swipe at them,
they run away.
Yes. But they always come back to
the shit. Don’t they?
And I always thought of you as
such a dull person.
MAN WITH PONYTAIL
Sherman, has anybody talked to you
Uh… no. What? *
MAN WITH PONYTAIL
We’d have to play down the racial
thing and try to make you a little
more sympathetic. You know,
235 ANGLE – RAWLIE THORPE 235
Sherman. Gee. Hi.
Sorry. I didn’t mean to interrupt
Gene asked me to come by…
Yeah. I haven’t really been able
to talk to anybody.
BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/18/90 96.
235 CONTINUED: 235
He just wanted you to know,
anything we can do…
Oh, well. I should be down there
in a day or so…
Oh, that won’t be necessary.
That’s what I came to… I was
sent to tell you. I mean, you
don’t have to… I mean, you
shouldn’t come down. I mean,
they don’t want you to come down.
Oh. I see. Well.
Jesus, Sherman. I’m sorry. But
between all this and the way you
handled Bernard on the Giscard deal. *
I mean, six hundred million… *
That’s final, huh?
Well, the firm feels…
Yes. Yes. Of course. Excuse me.
FOLLOW him INTO…
236 INT. KITCHEN – SHERMAN 236
finds Judy and Bonita putting dinner together.
Judy. What is going on?
This is a dinner party. It was
planned weeks ago. If you ever
bothered to look at your calendar…
But Judy, I mean, under the
BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/18/90 97/98.
236 CONTINUED: 236
Yes. I know the whole story. I
heard it — saw it all on
television. On television?!
I’m sorry. I am. Believe me.
You betrayed us, Sherman. Me.
Campbell. Even yourself. On the *
other hand, I am going to chair *
the museum benefit thanks to you *
and your escapades on the public *
airways. What can I say? Life *
goes on. I can only make the best *
of an absolutely appalling situation
and carry on.
But can you forgive me?
I suppose I can forgive anything,
but not television. I’m leaving *
you, Sherman. After the party. *
Now if you’ll excuse me, we have *
237 ANGLE – TO INCLUDE SALLY RAWTHROTE 237
as she sails into the kitchen, she sees Judy leave.
Oh, my darling, is this a bad
I beg your pardon…
What am I saying? Of course it’s
a bad time. But I just wanted to
see if I can be of any help.
237 CONTINUED: 237
Well, that’s very kind of you.
You know I haven’t been in this
apartment since the McCleods had
it. That was before the
Kittridges. I hope I’m not being
out of place.
Not at all… uh…
Anyway, thank you.
No, really, anything I can do.
With the apartment, is what I
I find people often need to be as
liquid as they can in these
situations and I know I can get
you seven-and-a-half right at
this moment. Fabled aristocratic
tycoon — it’s the celebrity
appeal. Maybe eight. If we act
quickly this kind of opportunity
doesn’t come along every day. You
have to ride the wave.
Excuse me. I have to… uh…
238 INT. LIVING ROOM – SHERMAN 238
comes out of the kitchen. As he tries to make his way
through the living room, trying to avoid the guests…
239 ANGLE – POLLARD BROWNING 239
intercepting Sherman. Sherman keeps walking. Pollard
239 CONTINUED: 239
Pollard. How are you?
Sorry to interrupt your dinner.
Not at all. The more the merrier.
I’ve been in touch with the co-op
board, well, most of them, and we
want you to know you have our
You know, at first I wanted to die.
Standing there in court, people
calling my name…
Yes. Of course. Hard to believe.
And then I thought, I have a gun.
Twelve gauge. Double barrel…
FOLLOW them INTO…
240 INT. STUDY – SHERMAN 240
goes to the closet and pulls out the shotgun.
Here it is.
Sherman, we’ve known each other
a long time. We went to Buckley
together. My father knew your
father. I speak as a friend. But
also as president of the board.
Is that a gun?
I wonder if I can get both barrels
into my mouth. That’s what I was
thinking. And how do you pull the
trigger. I read somewhere about a
man who took off his shoe and
pulled the trigger with his toe.
Yes. This can’t be a comfortable
situation for you.
240 CONTINUED: 240
And where would I do it? Who
would find me?
Exactly. Yes. Have you
considered… changing residence
until things quiet down?
You want me to leave?
This is my home…
I understand that…
This is the only safe place I
have. People are threatening my
life. I have to protect myself.
He loads the gun and fills his pockets with shells.
There are people demonstrating in
front of our building. Black
people with basketballs! You’re
putting everyone at risk. It’s
not your fault. But that doesn’t
alter the facts.
FOLLOW Sherman and Pollard OUT of the study TO…
241 INT. LIVING ROOM – SHERMAN AND POLLARD 241
Alter the facts?! The facts are
that I have no place else to go!
And you want me to move out?! Is
that what you’re saying, Pollard.
You want me to move out of my
The guests begin to listen to this exchange.
You are a shareholder in a
cooperative. Look, we’re not
asking you to do anything of
a permanent nature…
241 CONTINUED: 241
Why don’t you move out, Pollard?
If you’re so fucking terrified!
And you can start by moving out
of this apartment right now.
Sherman points the gun at Pollard.
I came here in good faith.
Oh, Pollard, you were a ridiculous
fat blowhard at Buckley and you’re
a ridiculous fat blowhard now.
Everyone watches as Sherman holds Pollard at gunpoint and
steers him out of the room.
I will have to enforce the
provision concerning unacceptable
Another word out of you, Pollard,
and there’s going to be an
unacceptable situation right up *
your ass! Now march! *
The guests applaud. Sherman turns to face them.
And that goes for the rest of you,
too. Out. All of you.
The guests look confused, they don’t really believe
him. Sherman aims the GUN at the ceiling. He FIRES.
EXPLOSION. People scream.
242 ANGLE – SHERMAN 242
waves the smoking shotgun at them.
Out! Stinking lot of anorexic
parasites. Get out of my house!
BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/18/90 103.
242 CONTINUED: 242
He FIRES another SHOT. The room clears. Judy comes
running from the kitchen.
Out of my house, out of my life!
The DOG comes BARKING into the room. Campbell follows.,
Judy grabs her.
Say goodbye to Daddy. *
‘Bye, Daddy. See you later. *
(as they go) *
You can see him on television. *
Sherman reloads and keeps FIRING until everyone is
gone. LAMPS EXPLODE, furniture splinters, plaster
Sherman McCoy is dead. Sherman
McCoy of Park Avenue and Wall
Street and Southampton — gone.
Dead. I will never be Sherman
McCoy again. Never!
242A OMITTED 242A
248 INT. LEICESTER’S – CLOSE ON PETER – NIGHT 248
who looks very depressed.
That same evening, just a few
blocks away, I was being praised
and congratulated. It should
have been a very triumphant yours
truly at Leicester’s. But it
PULL BACK to include Peter surrounded by fawning packs of
well-wishers, including Gerald Moore.
… my little encounter with Sherman
McCoy was spoiling everything. The
truth has a way of doing that.
BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/18/90 104.
248 CONTINUED: 248
Beautiful stuff, Peter. First rate.
He looks like a real killer, this *
McCoy fellow. Doesn’t he? *
You can see it in the photographs.
You can see it in his chin.
Arrogant son a bitch, isn’t he? I
hope they throw the book at him.
Evelyn Moore approaches Gerald.
Yes, darling. Shall we have Peter
here come along with us?
Gerald and Evelyn lead Peter toward the back dining room.
I want to give this story our full
attention, Peter. It makes us look
better and better, the more we do
for this Lamb family. Poor little
Lambs, poor little fuzzy-wuzzy wogs.
Caroline Heftshank intercepts them. She is very drunk.
Excuse me, Peter. There’s a phone
call for you upstairs in the office.
Peter makes excuses to Gerald and Evelyn and follows
249 OMITTED 249
250 INT. UPSTAIRS OFFICE – PETER AND CAROLINE – NIGHT 250
come into the office.
Where’s the phone?
BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/18/90 105.
250 CONTINUED: 250
I lied. I wanted to see you alone.
I’m going to do you a favor. *
Don’t tell me I’m finally going
to get into your panties.
You don’t deserve this, Peter. But
I’m going to tell you something. *
She reaches under her skirt and pulls off her panties.
She drops them on the floor.
Listen, Caroline. I’m sort of
with some people tonight.
Relax, darling. Do you remember
my pretty little Italian friend?
Yes. Yes, I do. Franco or
Filippo. The little shit.
Caroline climbs up on the desk, lifts her skirt and sits
down on the Xerox machine.
Caroline, you’re absolutely soused.
Well, Filippo has run off with
a little slut you should know about. *
She switches ON the MACHINE, which starts PHOTOCOPYING
Caroline, isn’t that dangerous?
Or at least unsanitary?
Shut up, Peter. You’re not listening.
Her name is Maria Ruskin.
BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/18/90 106. *
250 CONTINUED: (2) 250
She was subletting my apartment.
She was also subletting Filippo.
And, as it turns out, she was also
in the car with Sherman McCoy when
the accident happened.
I never joke. She was in the car.
But how do you know all this?
The apartment was bugged. They
had a wire in the intercom. They
were trying to prove that I
wasn’t living there. Which I
wasn’t. Now I’ve lost the
apartment and the boyfriend.
You don’t know where they are?
No. But I’m trusting you to find
them. And when you do. Give
them this. Tell them this is the
little lady who turned them in.
She takes one of the Xerox copies and hands it to Peter.
Peter leaves. Caroline looks at the Xerox copy.
Maybe I should advertise…
251 OMITTED 251
252 INT. RESTAURANT – MAITRE D’ – DAY 252
points Fallow toward Arthur Ruskin’s table.
Monsieur Ruskin is already here.
253 ANGLE – ARTHUR RUSKIN 253
seated at a table as Peter approaches. The Maitre d’
seats them side by side on a banquette.
BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/18/90 107. *
253 CONTINUED: 253
Arthur. Thanks for meeting me on
such short notice.
Yes. We’ve never met but I’m a
good friend of… your wife.
My wife! My wife! I’m glad she’s
not here. Otherwise I couldn’t
have a drink.
Give me a Couvoisier V.S.O.P.
No. Put it in a sidecar.
Yes. Uh… where is Maria, by the
Italy. Every time I turn around,
she’s in Italy. I’m not supposed
to drink. But I love a sidecar.
It was Willi Nordhoff introduced
me to them. So. You’re on the
Uh, yes. And we’re doing a little
profile piece. We’re calling it
the ‘New Tycoons.’ And, naturally,
we thought of you.
Good. Good. I like that. New
tycoons. So what do you want to
Oh, there’s no hurry. So Maria
is in Italy. Where abouts?
She’s in Lake Como someplace.
Well, there are some great hotels
in Lake Como. Is she at the
BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/18/90 107A.
253 CONTINUED: (1A) 253
What do I know? I just pay the *
bills. Well, she’s young. She
needs young people. I’m not
stupid. I know what goes on.
We should order. I don’t have
too much time.
I’d like to talk to her, too.
If I could. If I could get in *
touch with her… *
253 CONTINUED: (2) 253
Call the office. I’ll give you
her number. She’s something. I
always said it as a compliment,
but she’s a lot of pussy to handle.
Excuse my language. What do you
want to eat?
254 ANGLE – WAITERS – LATER 254
are bringing the main course to the table. Arthur is
guzzling wine as he talks. Peter is bored silly.
… But the best is just a few
weeks ago, one of these jackass
pilots, he lands long and the
plane goes off the runway. I was
there. I was on the plane. We’re
going into Mecca, see. And the
plane is full of Arabs and all these
animals — sheep, goats, chickens.
They won’t travel without their
animals. We had to put plastic
in the cabins. You know, they
urinate, they defecate…
Anyway, the plane goes off the
runway and we hit the sand with
a hell of a jolt and the right
wing tip digs into the sand and
the plane skids around in a circle!
360 degrees before we stop! We’re
scared shitless. Panic. And we
look into the cabin and there’s
everybody calm, quiet, they’re
picking up their luggage and their
animals and they’re looking out
the window at the little fire that
started on the wing and they’re
waiting for the doors to open like
nothing happened. And then it
dawns on me. They think this is
He starts to laugh as he talks.
They think this is the way you
stop an airplane.
254 CONTINUED: 254
You stick one wing in the sand and
you spin around until you stop.
(coughing as he laughs
harder and harder)
What do they know? They never
rode in an airplane. They think
this is how you do it!
Peter tries to laugh with Arthur. But Arthur’s coughing
turns into a spasm. He pushes his head back against
the banquette. He seems to be humming. And then his
head drops forward and he slumps against Peter.
He tries to signal a waiter.
Excuse me. Hello? Excuse me.
The Maitre d’ approaches the table.
Mr. Ruskin seems to have suffered
some kind of — well, I don’t
Oh, dear. Oh, dear. Oh, dear.
I think you’d better call someone.
Arthur drops forward suddenly, his face hitting his
plate. A woman at the next table squeals.
Freddy? Attention, s’il vous
Two waiters help the Maitre d’ pull the table out.
Arthur slips off his plate and falls onto the floor.
Some people notice. But, in general, the activity
in the room continues.
The Maitre d’ gives orders to the waiters.
A MAN approaches Peter.
254 CONTINUED: (2) 254
Is he choking? Let me give him
the Heimlich maneuver.
Excuse me, Monsieur Roberts. You
are not a doctor. And there are
Yes, I see, but…
For your own protection and mine
and my restaurant, we leave
Monsieur Ruskin in the hands of God
and we go back to our escargots.
Well, somebody has to do something.
Peter tries to perform the Heimlich maneuver on Ruskin.
We have called the police. An
ambulance is coming. There is
nothing more we can do. Would
you like some coffee or dessert?
Gee, buddy. I think he’s dead.
Peter lets go of Ruskin. Ruskin slides to the floor —
(drops a card
in front of Peter)
L’addition, s’il vous plait.
The bill, monsieur. Thank you.
And we do not accept credit cards.
BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/18/90 111.
255 EXT. AIRPORT – 747 – DUSK 255 *
256 INT. AIRPORT – MARIA – DUSK 256 *
comes out of Customs. She is wearing black and has a
veil over her face.
257 ANGLE – FALLOW 257
approaches her. They walk as they talk…
My name is Peter Fallow. I just
wanted to offer my sympathy.
How very kind. Did you know
Ah, well, yes. I was actually
quite close to him when he died.
I’ve reprobated myself over and
over again for being away…
258 EXT. TERMINAL – MARIA AND PETER – DUSK 258 *
move toward Maria’s waiting limousine.
Well, thank you for the kind
words. I must go now.
Yes. Just one other thing. I
understand you’re a friend of
258 CONTINUED: 258
Yes. I gather you were not only
in the car with him when he had his
unfortunate accident in the Bronx.
But I understand you were driving.
Maria turns and looks at him — hard and cold.
Sherman would never tell you that.
I was hoping you might tell me
exactly what happened that night.
Look, Mr…. Mr….
… Peckerhead. I am here for my
husband’s funeral. Understand?
Now go away. Disappear.
She gets into the car. Fallow watches the car pull away.
259 OMITTED 259
259A EXT. HOSPITAL – NEWSSTAND – DAY 259A
The headline on the City Lights reads:
“FINANCIER’S WIDOW IS
MCCOY MYSTERY WOMAN”
259B INT. HOSPITAL ROOM – HENRY LAMB – DAY 259B
is lying in a coma — a beatific smile on his face.
259C ANGLE TO INCLUDE FOX, BACON, ANNIE LAMB AND PETER FALLOW 259C
around the bed.
What kind of muckracking yellow
journalist are you!? You print
a story like this without so much
as a by-your-leave to me or to
Reverend Bacon here! Who the
hell do you think you are.
BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/18/90 113. *
259C CONTINUED: 259C
Please, you have to keep your
Look, don’t you understand? It
is very possible that Sherman
McCoy was not driving that car.
And I can almost prove it.
So what?! So what?! So what?!
This is our case.
He gestures toward Henry Lamb.
Right here. You see? It’s the
hospital that’s the guilty party.
The hospital?! What are you
A young man comes in here with a
cerebral concussion and they treat
him for a broken wrist. That is
our case! That is the lawsuit
that we are going to bring
against this hospital. That is
what we have been working toward
all this time. And you are
confusing the issue! Do you
Alright, alright. But Christ,
Albert, this is a great story.
This is my exclusive. And it’s
also the truth!
It’s a little late for you to
start telling the truth, isn’t
I can’t just drop this now. I
can’t just let it go.
BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/18/90 114. *
259C CONTINUED: (2) 259C
Sure you can. There’s gonna be
other stories, other exclusives.
Don’t worry. We’ll take care of
That’s right. You’re our boy,
Peter. You take care of us and
we’ll take care of you. I promise
you, that’s going to be a very
profitable relationship for all
Suddenly, Annie starts to weep.
Annie, I know that nothing can
heal the wound that you have
suffered. But ten million dollars
in damages will certainly make
your grief more comfortable.
Well, yes, I could use a few
things, Reverend, thank you. I
been worried about my clothes for
instance. I feel that the
presentation of my person should
be carefully designed. As a model
to black mothers everywhere, I
think I should have the right
wardrobe. So if you could have
Mr. Fox’s limousine pick me up in
the morning, I could do some
I’ll need some furniture, too.
And a new refrigerator.
And although I should probably
continue to live in that shithole
of an apartment at least until
after the lawsuit is settled, I
would like to start looking now
for a co-op in Manhattan — for me
and my son — something with a view
of the river and preferably in a
neighborhood that is at least
Pause as they all look at her.
)O( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/26/90 115.
260 CLOSE ON PETER 260
How could I turn my back on the
plight of this grief stricken
woman? How could I turn my back
on a ‘profitable relationship’? I
was touched to the depths of what
was left of my soul… and my bank
260A OMITTED 260A
262A 262A *
262B INT. WEISS’S OFFICE – CLOSE ON NEWSPAPER – DAY 262B
The headline reads:
“CITY LIGHT EXCLUSIVE
DID NEGLIGENT HOSPITAL SLAUGHTER LAMB?”
So I printed their little story.
Well, why not? Why not be the
best whore in the house? And
anyway, I was beginning to see
even greater possibilities in my
The shades are drawn; the room is dark. Weiss sits at
his desk. Andriutti and Kramer are with him.
Now they’re going to sue the
hospital. You see? All they want
is money. Imagine using a terrible
tragedy like this for your own
Yes, sir. It is terrible.
Shut up, you asshole.
)O( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/26/90 116.
262B CONTINUED: 262B
What’s happening to my case? The
People versus Sherman McCoy?
Where is my issue? Where is my
cause? Where is my hope?
I think we better talk to this
You go to the press. You tell
them we’re going to question the
woman, and if she is the woman who
was in the car, she faces possible
charges, etcetera, etcetera.
And you, Mr. Wise-Guy-Know-It-All-
Shitface, you’re the one got us
into this, you’re going to get us
out. You go to this broad, you
tell her she’s in a whole lot of
trouble, lay it on. But, but, but
— if she is willing to cooperate,
if she will say what we want her
to say, then we will grant her
Go on, go. What are you waiting for?
Well today is her husband’s funeral. *
I don’t care if today is her *
mother’s bar mitzvah, you go talk *
to her!!! *
As Kramer exits…
A262B EXT. APARTMENT HOUSE (59TH ST.) – FALLOW – DAY A262B
Approaching the building.
BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/18/90 117. *
B262B INT. HALLWAY – FALLOW B262B
Is knocking on a door that has a sign reading “Super-
intendant.” The door opens. We recognize the workman
who was fixing the intercom in Maria’s apartment.
I understand you been doing some
creative wiring in this building.
Peter and Leach continue talking.
In less than three minutes, I had
what I was looking for. It was
more than a story. I had the
makings of a book here. A great
book. A prize winning effort.
All I needed was a big finish.
Leach opens the door wide and Fallow steps into the apart-
ment. As the door closes…
So I shipped off a little present
to Sherman McCoy’s lawyer and I
waited for the fireworks…
262F INT. McCOY APARTMENT – CLOSE ON CASSETTE PLAYER 262F
Killian’s hand flips the switch, the TAPE PLAYS.
Where are you going?
The airport. I told you. I have
a car coming in — oh, God, ten
minutes. We have time for a
quickie. What do you say?
262G ANGLE TO INCLUDE SHERMAN AND KILLIAN 262G
That’s us! That’s me! That’s
Maria! How did you get this?
BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/18/90 118.
262G CONTINUED: 262G
Killian lets the tape fast forward. Then…
I suppose we could still go to the
police. We could get a very
And put our heads right into the
horse’s mouth? I’m the one who
was driving the car. Don’t you
think I’m the one who should make
the decision? And I say, no. No,
Sherman. Trust me.
Killian switches off the machine.
You mean the apartment was wired *
— bugged — all that time? *
Yeah. I checked it all out. *
Whoever sent me this tape is *
either a big fan of yours or a not *
so big fan of Maria Ruskin. *
Then we have this as evidence.
No. It’s an illegal tape. Totally
illegal. The guy who did this
could go to jail for this. Now if
this were your tape, it would be
legal. But it’s not.
What do you mean, ‘my tape’?
Well, if you were wired and you
recorded your own conversation
that would be okay. But there is
no way that this tape can be used
as evidence in a court of law.
Then what good is it?
)R( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 5/8/90 119.
262G CONTINUED: (2) 262G
It gave me an idea.
An idea about what?
An idea about what to wear when
you go to this funeral.
263 OMITTED 263
264 EXT. FUNERAL PARLOR (MADISON AVENUE) – DAY 264
A procession of limousines pushing through a crowd of
press and bystanders to deposit the mourners at the front
door. Among those arriving, we see Jed Kramer. *
265 OMITTED 265
269B INT. FUNERAL PARLOR – MARIA – DAY 269B
dressed in black enters and walks down the aisle. People
stop her and offer condolences.
269C ANGLE – KRAMER 269C
comes into the chapel.
269D ANGLE – SHERMAN 269D
wearing dark glasses and a raincoat, hiding near a door-
way that leads into an adjacent “family room.” As Maria
passes, he signals her. FOLLOW Maria INTO:
269E INT. CRYPTS – SHERMAN 269E
closes the door as Maria enters.
Sherman! Whatever are you doing
I’m sorry, Maria. I have to talk
BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/18/90 120.
269E CONTINUED: (A1) 269E
You seem to be doing all your
talking to the newspapers these
Believe me, I had nothing to do
with that. We didn’t want your
name in the papers any more than
I see. Well, here we are,
Sherman. The couple that all New
York is talking about. And we’re
not even a couple anymore.
269E CONTINUED: 269E
I thought you’d run out on me. I
didn’t even know where you went.
And I was left sort of holding the
bag, trying to protect you.
Oh, Sherman. Would I do that to
you? Sherman, Sherman, Sherman.
She embraces him, her hands moving toward the hidden
recorder. Sherman takes both her hands and pulls them
to his chest.
What are we going to do with you?
You have to help me, Maria.
But how can I help you?
Well, I know this may sound like
a strange request, but you could
start by telling the police what
Oh, Sherman, you are the sweetest
thing. But I’m not sure anybody
knows what really happened. Not
anymore. And if anybody does
know, it certainly isn’t me.
But you were driving the car that
Was I? I don’t remember. Isn’t
it funny how a little thing like
that can slip your mind?
(she kisses him)
God, there’s something about
funerals that is so stimulating.
My panties have been wet all
She kisses him again.
)O( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/26/90 122.
270 INT. VIEWING ROOM – DIRECTOR 270
is still at the microphone.
And now, in accordance with the
wishes of Mr. Ruskin…
271 ANGLE – KRAMER 271
is moving around, trying to find Maria.
… Manny Leerman will play a
medley of Arthur’s favorite songs.
272 ANGLE – MANNY LEERMAN 272
A lounge singer in a pale blue suit hops onto the stage,
sits at the piano and launches into a totally
inappropriate rendition of “September in the Rain.”
273 ANGLE – KRAMER 273
leaving the viewing room.
274 INT. HALLWAY – KRAMER – DAY 274
looking from room to room.
275 INT. CRYPTS – MARIA – DAY 275 *
is trying to embrace Sherman. He remains “hunched” over,
trying to stay away from her and keep her hands off his
Sherman. What’s wrong with you?
Then why are you all hunched over?
Her hands slide down his back.
Maria, we have to talk.
Sherman, what’s this on your back?
275 CONTINUED: 275
This lump, this piece of metal,
this thing on your back?!
I don’t know — my belt, belt
You don’t have a belt buckle in
the back. There’s some sort of
subterfuge afoot here. Isn’t
Don’t be silly.
You are secreting something on
I want to see what it is.
She rips open his shirt.
Maria, are you crazy!
And a wire! A wire!
She pulls the wire. Sherman yelps in pain. As he spins
around, Maria grabs the tapedeck and pulls it off his
back. More pain.
You rotten, dishonest bastard!
Maria, I didn’t want to do this,
but you gave me no choice.
A KNOCK at the door. They freeze.
)R( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 5/8/90 124.
275 CONTINUED: (2) 275
Go away whoever you are!
This is Jed Kramer. From the *
district attorney’s office.
My, my, my, Mr. McCoy. I’d say
your goose was just about home-
I have protected you, Maria. I
have been a gentleman. I have
done my best to keep your name out
of this. But you have got to help
me. You have got to do the right
Never. Never. Never. I hope you
die and hang in the electric chair!
Sherman heads out the back door.
276 INT. HALLWAY – KRAMER – DAY 276
… I’m with the District
Attorney’s office. I wonder if
I might have a few words…
The door flies open…
He just ran out that back door.
277 INT. LIVING ROOM – KRAMER – DAY 277
runs in, not sure what he’s doing…
)R( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 5/8/90 125.
277 CONTINUED: 277
I’m sorry if I alarmed you. But
he was acting very strange. My
name is Maria Ruskin.
Kramer, Jed Kramer, Jed. I’m *
the Assistant District Attorney
for Bronx County.
Oh. I see. And what a handsome
District Attorney you are, too.
Kramer is smitten.
I’m not the… uh… I’m the
Well, you and I have a lot to
talk about. Don’t we?
Yes, we do.
Yes. Because if I’m going to
testify I’m going to want to know
exactly what I should… and
should not say.
278 INT. SHERMAN’S APARTMENT – SHERMAN – NIGHT 278
is sitting alone in the empty apartment. Almost every-
thing is gone — furniture, rugs, paintings. Sherman has
a tape recorder in front of him. In his hand he holds
There is a KNOCK at the door.
279 ANGLE – FRONT DOOR 279
as Sherman opens it. Sherman’s father is standing there.
)Y( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 7/19/90 126.
279 CONTINUED: 279
Ah. They weren’t sure downstairs
whether or not you were here.
I usually come in the back way now.
I see. May I…?
Yes. Sure. Sorry. Come in.
FOLLOW them INTO…
280 INT. LIVING ROOM – DAY 280
It’s all gone. Everything.
Yes. Judy… uh…
She’s gone, too?
She moves quickly.
She has a good lawyer.
I’m not sure I ever really liked
her. Your wife.
No. Of course not. Jesus.
Or this apartment for that matter.
For what it cost, for what you
paid for it. Or the furniture…
)Y( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 7/19/90 127.
280 CONTINUED: 280
Or my car, or my work, or my
clothes, my life, my money… For
Christ’s sake, you didn’t come
here now, you didn’t come all the
way here on a fucking subway
probably to tell me now…
No. I didn’t.
I mean, I’m not going to get, at
this late date, I’m not going to
get the ethics and morality
speech, not now, when I have to *
do what I’m going to do in that *
courtroom tomorrow, if that’s what *
you’ve come to give me, Jesus… *
No. No. I’m sorry. I came here
to… I don’t know how to do this.
You didn’t call. We wanted to
help. I came here to tell you that
we are here for you. That you are
our son and that we love you. ‘We.’
I don’t mean we. I mean I. That I
love you. That’s all.
Mr. McCoy offers his hand in a handshake.
Sherman takes his hand. Mr. McCoy puts his arm around
him and hugs him awkwardly but effectively. They
Well. What you want to do? *
There’s only one thing I can do. *
I want to see the truth come out *
and burn every one of them. And *
there’s only one way to do that. *
)Y( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 7/19/90 128. *
280 CONTINUED: (2) 280
What is it?
Well, you know I have always been
a great believer in the truth.
I’ve lived my life as honestly as
I know how. I believe in the
truth as an essential companion
to a man of conscience, a beacon
in the vast and dark wasteland of
our modern world. And yet…
And yet, if the truth won’t set
you free, yes. Why not? Lie.
281 INT. COURTROOM – JUDGE WHITE – DAY 281
is banging his gavel, trying to silence the overflowing
282 ANGLE – STATUE OF BLIND JUSTICE 282
Some demonstrators are climbing on the statue to get a
283 ANGLE – MARIA 283
On the stand as Kramer questions her.
… And this incident occurred
on the ramp to the expressway or
on the avenue itself.
BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/18/90 129.
283 CONTINUED: 283
Why, on the avenue. Right on the
And was there any obstruction or
barricade of any kind that caused
the car to stop?
Oh, no. Nothing like that at all.
Finally, one last question. Can
you tell us, Mrs. Ruskin, who
was driving the car when Henry
Lamb was hit?
Why, Sherman never let anyone
drive his car.
Sherman McCoy was driving the car.
A roar goes up from the crowd.
284 VARIOUS ANGLES – EVERYONE 284
Sherman and Killian at the defense table. In the
audience, Bacon, Fox, Gerald Moore, Weiss and finally
Peter Fallow taking notes.
And there it was. The end of
Sherman McCoy. And it wasn’t the *
ending I was hoping for. He was *
finished. She might as well have
put a gun to his head and pulled
the trigger. There was no hope
now. The darkness closed in around
him. And then I noticed the most
peculiar thing. Sherman was smiling.
285 ANGLE TO INCLUDE SHERMAN 285
)J( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/25/90 130.
285 CONTINUED: 285
… and I wanted to report the
incident but he wouldn’t let me.
He said he was driving and it
was his decision to make.
You were surprised?
I was shocked. There are certain
qualities of virtue that I admire
in a human being, virtues that I
hope I possess myself…
Suddenly, Maria’s RECORDED VOICE BLASTS into the courtroom.
We have time for a quickie. What
do you say, Sherman?
I don’t feel terrifically sexy at
White bangs his gavel. Everyone is looking around for *
the source of the sound.
JUDGE WHITE *
What in hell…?!
You know I’m a sucker for a soft
Maria, you are incorrigible.
The court goes crazy. White regains order. Sudden *
silence in time for everyone to hear…
I supppose, we could still go to
the police. We could get a very
)J( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/25/90 131.
285 CONTINUED: (2) 285
And put our heads right into the
tiger’s mouth? I’m the one who was
driving the car. Don’t you think
I’m the one who should make that
Absolute pandemonium. Fallow starts to laugh. Kramer
pulls Sherman’s briefcase off a chair revealing a hidden
tape recorder. He bangs and kicks the recorder, trying
to make it stop. Maria faints on the stand. Killian is
amazed and amused. He looks at Sherman. Sherman smiles.
Killian takes the tape from the recorder.
286 ANGLE – KILLIAN, KRAMER AND SHERMAN 286
approach the bench. The courtroom grows more quiet.
JUDGE WHITE *
Whose tape is this, Mr. McCoy?
That tape is mine, sir.
Killian is shocked. They continue speaking in whispers.
If Your Honor please…
JUDGE WHITE *
Shut up, Mr. Kramer. Mr. McCoy,
I remind you that you are still
under oath. Now, did you record
Oh, yes, sir, I did. I recorded
this conversation on this tape.
My tape. This is my tape of my
conversation. I recorded it.
Yes, sir. Yes, sir, three bags
JUDGE WHITE *
Get out of my face. All of you.
Sherman, Killian and Kramer return to their seats.
The court starts screaming again.
JUDGE WHITE *
I want some fucking order in here!
)J( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/25/90 132.
286 CONTINUED: 286
He bangs the gavel until the noise subsides.
JUDGE WHITE *
So you insist on testing the will
of this court!!!! Now you shut up
and sit down!! All of you! Very
well. In the case of the People
versus Sherman McCoy, the Grand
Jury has returned an indictment.
Based on the evidence contained in
(holds up the tape)
… and pursuant to my authority
to supervise the Grand Jury’s
)J( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/25/90 133.
286 CONTINUED: (2) 286
JUDGE WHITE *
… I am ordering the indictment
dismissed in the interests of
justice, without prejudice and
with leave to re-present by the
The courtroom explodes. Screams fill the air — “Racist!
Peckerwood! Pussyface! Motherfucker!” etc. The sound
Sherman and Killian shake hands. The demonstrators are
chanting, “Justice! Justice! Justice!”
287 ANGLE – DOORS OF COURTROOM 287
burst open. Reporters and photographers rush into the
288 ANGLE – WHITE 288 *
rises on the bench like an eagle. He pounds the gavel
Justice. We want justice!!! We
JUDGE WHITE *
Justice! You want justice?! I’ll
give you justice!
Finally, the courtroom goes quiet. White looks around. *
Everyone is quiet. And then a single VOICE rings out…
You racist pig!
JUDGE WHITE *
You dare call me a racist! Well,
I say to you, you — a mob who
dares to come into these walls —
I say to you, what does it matter
… the color of a man’s skin?
If witnesses perjure themselves…
and a prosecutor, a sworn officer
of the court, enlists the perjurers
… and a district attorney throws
a man to the mob and lawyers carve
up that man for his money… and
men of the cloth, men of God take
the prime cuts! Now you tell me —
IS THAT JUSTICE?!
)S( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 5/18/90 134.
288 CONTINUED: 288
I don’t hear you!
More silence. He comes down off the bench, facing the
I’ll tell you what justice is not.
Justice is not the will of the few
and it’s not the will of the many.
Justice is not politics. Justice
is the law. And the law is man’s
feeble attempt to set down the
principles of decency. Decency!
And decency is not a deal. Or an
angle, or a contract, or a hustle
or a campaign or a trick or a bid
for sympathy. Decency is not the
beast that bays for money, power,
dominion, position, votes and
blood! Decency is what your
mother taught you! Decency is
in your bones! Do I make myself
clear! Now go home. Go home now.
Be decent people. Be decent.
A moment of quiet as White comes down and faces Sherman.
You’re free to go, Mr. McCoy.
289 ANGLE – COURTROOM 289
as another blood-curdling roar goes up from the crazed
mob. They close in on the Judge and Sherman.
290 ANGLE – REVEREND BACON 290
with a bullhorn, egging on the crowd.
You bald-headed Uncle Tom pussy!! *
(to the crowd) *
Are you going to take this Park *
Avenue justice!? Are you? *
291 OMITTED 291 *
292 ANGLE – CROWD 292
closing in on Sherman and the Judge. The Judge grabs *
Sherman and pulls him through the door. *
)S( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 5/18/90 135. *
292A INT. CORRIDOR – SHERMAN AND JUDGE 292A
come out of the courtroom, pursued by the spectators.
They are pressed against a huge statue of “blind justice”
at the end of the corridor.
292B SEVERAL ANGLES – MOBS OF PEOPLE 292B
rushing at Sherman and the Judge from different sides.
292C ANGLE – STATUE 292C
292D ANGLE – KRAMER 292D
in the mob, pressing toward Sherman and the Judge.
We’re not finished with you,
McCoy. You’ll be back in this
courtroom. This decision will
be appealed until I see you
behind bars! You hear me, Judge.
Get your fucking face out of my
This fucking face is going to see
you shining shoes in Grand
More pushing until…
293 OMITTED 293
295 ANGLE – STATUE 295
falls. People scream and scatter. The statue shatters
as it hits the floor. The bronze sword slides across the
floor and comes to rest at Sherman’s feet.
296 ANGLE – SCENE 296
The Judge is hit on the head by some debris. He
stumbles, blinded by the plaster dust. Sherman grabs
(taunting the Judge)
This fucking face is going to see
you selling pencils, you black
son of a bitch.
)S( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 5/18/90 135A. *
296 CONTINUED: 296
Sherman whacks Kramer with the sword. Kramer falls away.
Sherman helps the Judge down the corridor.
296A ANGLE – BACON AND FOX 296A
coming out of the courtroom, intercepting Sherman.
Sherman McCoy! You shall not
escape. You shall live in fear on
this island, in the mighty sea of
people, for the people — and
justice — are waiting for you!
Sherman whacks Bacon. The choir women start to wail.
Fox approaches Sherman offering his card.
You’ve been woefully misrepresented
here, Mr. McCoy. I think you
should give me a call…
Sherman whacks Fox with the sword and continues down
the corridor with the Judge.
296B ANGLE – WEISS 296B
giving an interview for a TV news team.
… and I promise you and the
people of this city that Henry
Lamb will not be forgotten.
Henry Lamb will live, like the
Alamo, as a symbol of slaughtered
Weiss sees Sherman and attacks him.
And this man’s name will live in
infamy. Like Adolf Hitler! Like
Son of Sam! Like Idi Amin! John
Wilkes Booth! Ted Bundy! Jesse
Sherman smacks Weiss with the sword and moves toward the
stairs with the Judge.
297 OMITTED 297
297A ANGLE – FALLOW 297A
)S( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 5/18/90 136. *
297A CONTINUED: 297A
Sherman! Sherman! Congratulations.
This is going to make one hell of
You again! Who are you?!
Oh, sorry. I’m Peter Fallow. I’m
Peter Fallow. Ha. Ha. Ha.
Sherman looks at him for a moment. Then he lets out a
screaming war cry and smacks Fallow with the sword.
297B ANGLE – FALLOW 297B
falls to the ground. He looks up. He smiles.
Thanks. I needed that.
298 ANGLE – SHERMAN AND JUDGE 298
move down the stairs and out the iron gates of the court-
298A EXT. COURTHOUSE – SHERMAN – DAY 298A
pulls the gates shut and slides the sword through the
door handles, locking the crowd inside the courthouse.
They pound on the gates as the courtroom guards try to
hold them back.
Are you alright?
I’m alright. Damn hooligans.
He walks up to the iron gates. The faces of the demon-
strators are pressed against it. The Judge shakes a
tired fist at them. Then he turns to Sherman.
And you. You, too. You go home
now. And be decent. You hear me?
I hear you, Your Honor.
The Judge shakes his fist at Sherman, too. Then he opens
the fist and offers his hand to Sherman. Sherman takes
it. They shake.
)S( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 5/18/90 137. *
299 ANGLE – PETER FALLOW 299
through the iron gates.
It was the last I saw of Sherman
300 ANGLE – SCENE 300
Sherman turns and walks away down the corridors of
justice. The Judge watches him go. Sherman disappears
into a great whiteness as we hear:
And so we come to the end of our
story. Sherman, you see, who
started with so much, lost
everything. But he gained his
soul. Whereas I, you see, who
started with so little, gained
301 OMITTED 301
303A INT. WINTER GARDEN – FALLOW – NIGHT 303A
coming out of the wall of flashbulbs we saw at the
beginning. A vast crowd of black ties and evening
gowns surge toward him, cheering, applauding. A voice
rings out on a microphone…
… the winner of the Pulitzer
Prize, the National Book Award and
just about every other prize you
can win, ladies and gentlemen, Mr.
)J( BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES – Rev. 4/25/90 138.
304 ANGLE – PETER 304
As he rises unsteadily to his feet the room goes wild
with applause. Peter waves and makes his way toward the
But what does it profit a man if
he gains the whole world and loses
… Ah, well. There are
Peter reaches the podium and faces a standing ovation.
Cameras begin to flash. END CREDITS BEGIN.
305 SERIES OF STILL SHOTS 305
BEGINNING WITH Peter at the podium and CONTINUING to
include SHOTS of everyone congratulating Peter — Albert *
Fox, Reverend Bacon, Abe Weiss, Gerald Moore, Fillippo
Chiarazzi, Kramer, etc. Finally the flashing cameras
fade and we…
306 INT. HOSPITAL ROOM – HENRY LAMB – NIGHT 306
lying in his bed. Perfectly still. And then his nose
twitches. His hand comes up and scratches his nose. His
eyes open. He sits up, looks around, figures where he
is. He gets out of bed, disconnects the I.V.
307 EXT. HOSPITAL – HENRY LAMB 307
comes out of hospital, he smiles and walks away down
THE END[amazonjs asin=”B000IU3A6I” locale=”JP” title=”虚栄のかがり火 DVD”]