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    An Original Screenplay


    Lawrence Kasdan

    Converted to PDF by


    THIRD DRAFTOctober 6, 1980

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    FADE IN:


    Flames in the night sky. Distant SIRENS. PULLING BACK,we see that the burning building is mostly hidden by dense,black shapes that define the oceanside skyline of MirandaBeach, Florida. We're watching from across town. Thesound of a bathroom SHOWER comes to a dripping stop atabout the same time we see the naked back and head of NEDRACINE. We continue to PULL BACK INTO --


    Racine, dressed in undershorts, is standing on the smallporch off his apartment on the upper floor of an old house. Racine lights a cigarette and continues to stare off atthe fire. We've passed him now, into the bedroom of theapartment, and the shape of a young woman, ANGELA, flashesby, drying her body with a towel.

    ANGELA (O.S.)My God, it's hot. I stepped out ofthe shower and stared sweating again. ... It's still burning? Jesus, it'sbigger! And I thought you were makingme hear those sirens.

    (she giggles)What is it?

    RACINEThe Seawater Inn. My family used toeat dinner there twenty-five yearsago. Now somebody's torched it toclear the lot.

    Angela reappears briefly, gathering her clothes. Shesits on an unseen bed to get dressed.

    ANGELA (O.S.)That's a shame.

    RACINEProbably one of my clients.

    ANGELA (O.S.)I'm leaving.

    RACINE(back still turned)

    It's four a.m.

    On the bed, Angela snaps on her bra.

    ANGELAI go on duty at Miami Airport atseven.


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    ANGELA (CONT'D)I wouldn't mind having breakfast...What do you care? You're watchingthe fire. You're done with me. I'mjust getting into my uniform here...

    She is, in fact, slipping on the blouse of her Avis Rent-a-Car uniform. There's a smile on her lips as she buttonsup, watching Racine.

    ANGELAYou've had your fun. You're spent.

    (trying for astraight face)

    I'll just slip into my uniform hereand slip away.

    RACINEMy history's burning up out here.

    ANGELAHey, I don't mind. I'm leaving. Why do they make these damn skirtsso hard to zip...

    Now, for the first time, Racine turns to look at her. She is sitting on the edge of the bed, half into heruniform. Racine smiles broadly at the sight and movesinto the room. He pushes her back and they both disappearfrom sight, fabric rustling.

    RACINEWhere's your hat?

    ANGELA (O.S.)Hey... hey...

    (giggling)... don't wrinkle it!

    RACINE (O.S.)'You're spent.' Where'd you hearthat?

    We are left looking out over the porch at the night. Andwe go back there, across the rooftops, to the flames.


    An Assistant County Prosecutor named PETER LOWENSTEIN hasbeen conferring at the bench with JUDGE COSTANZA and nowthey both wait as Racine comes into view to join them.

    The Judge is irritated.

    JUDGE COSTANZAMr. Racine, I do no longer carewhether these alleged toilets were


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    JUDGE COSTANZA (CONT'D)ever actually en route from Indianaor not. I think we're wasting ourtime here. It's pretty clear yourclient has attempted to defraud thecounty in a not very ingenious manner.

    (he nods atLowenstein)

    The Assistant Prosecutor has madewhat I consider a generous offer. And given that you've failed togenerate even the semblance of adefense --

    RACINEJudge Costanza, perhaps when I'vepresented all --

    JUDGE COSTANZAYeah, yeah. If I were you, I'drecommend to your client that heldquickly do as Mr. Lowenstein herehas suggested -- plead nolocontendre, file Chapter Eleven andagree never to do business withOkeelanta County again.

    Racine is surprised and pleased.

    RACINEYou would look favorably on that?


    He can walk. But don't test mypatience for even five more minutes. If he hesitates, I'll nail him.

    RACINEI'll talk to him.

    Racine starts to turn.

    JUDGE COSTANZAMr. Racine. Next time you come intomy courtroom I hope you've got eithera better defense or a better classof client.

    Lowenstein smiles.

    RACINEThank you, Your Honor.

    Racine goes back to his client, a Businessman of enormousconfidence and extravagantly untrustworthy appearance.

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    Racine and Lowenstein are seated at the counter. Racinedrinks beer while Lowenstein drinks a tall iced tea veryrapidly and signals for another. This place is acrossthe street from the courthouse/police station and thereare plenty of lawyers and cops around, several of whomacknowledge Lowenstein and Racine with pats or nods.

    A single unit air conditioner is blowing away above thedoor, but it can't compete with the blasts of hot airthat come in with each new patron. All of these people,like the pedestrians outside the window, have strippeddown to essentials In the infernal heat. The lawyers allcarry their Jackets, but even so their shirtsleeves aresweaty. The town is sizzling.

    LOWENSTEIN-- I think I've underestimated you,Ned. I don't know why it took me solong. You've started using yourincompetence as a weapon.


    My defense was evolving. You guysgot scared. Costanza doesn't likeme. What'd I do to him?

    LOWENSTEINHe's an unhappy man, Thinks he shouldbe Circuit Court by now. Here he isin a state with really top-notchcorruption and he's stuck with thecounty toilets.

    (he drinks)I'm surprised you weren't in on thattoilet caper. Could have been thatquick score you've always beensearching for.

    RACINEMaybe Costanza was in on it. That'swhy he was mad.

    STELLA, the owner of the coffee shop, writes and placesseparate checks in front of the two men.

    STELLAWhat's the word from the hallowedhalls of justice? Anything juicy?

    LOWENSTEINMaybe Stella was in on it.

    (finished his tea)Stella, when you gonna get a realair conditioner in here.

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    STELLAYou don't like it there's lots ofother places.

    LOWENSTEINThey don't have you. Gotta go.

    He stands fishing for change, but Racine takes his checkand places it with his own. Lowenstein nods and moves forthe door.

    LOWENSTEINYou can't buy me. No sirree, I don'tcome cheap.

    Just before he reaches the door he does a strange thing --he takes several graceful dance steps in the Astairemanner.

    A VOICELowenstein, you're a fag.

    Lowenstein spins out the door, where he is blasted by theheavy air. His body droops as he disappears.

    STELLAWhy does he do that?

    RACINEHe's pretty good, that's the weirdpart.

    STELLADid you hear about Dr. Block?

    RACINENo. Do I want to?

    STELLA(leans toward him,confidential)

    Agnes Marshall.

    RACINE(the thoughtdisgusts him)

    That must have been Mrs. Block'sidea, some kind of punishment.

    STELLAIt was! How'd you know? Christ,you're plugged in better than me. So you must know about Mrs. Block'sfriend in Ocean Grove.

    Racine winces, gets up, and puts money on the counter. He lights a cigarette.

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    RACINEStella, this is beneath even you. Things must be slow.

    Stella agrees with a shrug as Racine heads for the door.

    STELLAIt's the heat.


    Racine makes his way up First to the corner of Main andcrosses diagonally to his building on Main. He is well-known here, greeted through glass by many of the shopowners. The heat dominates much of the pantomimedconversation. Racine goes in a doorway and heads up thestairs to his office.


    Racine's secretary, BEVERLY, is behind the desk in themodest reception room. She's a pretty girl barely pasttwenty. She pushes some phone message slips toward Racineand nods toward the sofa. A middle-aged woman client,MRS. SINGER, sits there clutching a walking stick. Herface suddenly is contorted in pain. Racine glancesmeaningfully at Beverly then turns his full solicitouscharm on Mrs. Singer.

    RACINEMrs. Singer, I would have gladlycome to the house.

    He helps her up and leads her slowly to his office.

    MRS. SINGERNo. no, the doctor says I shouldwalk and I had some shopping. Notthat that quack knows what he'stalking about. I tell you, Mr.Racine, I'm not sure his testimonyis going to be very useful.

    RACINEDon't worry about it. I'll find youa doctor who's more understanding. Is it bad today?

    MRS. SINGEROooh, you can't imagine. Nothingcan make up for the pain they'vecaused me.

    RACINEHow well I know. We'll sue thosereckless bastards dry. Excuse mylanguage.

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    As Mrs. Singer disappears into the office, Racine flashesa grin at Beverly.

    MRS. SINGERDon't apologize. That's the kind ofattitude you've got to have thesedays...


    The hottest January in fifty years has brought the crowdsto the beach in search of relief. But they've beendisappointed. Even the breeze off the ocean seems blownfrom a hair dryer. Still, the nights are a trifle betterand the Beachfront, the penny arcades, the ice cream standsand bars are busy, even now in the middle of the week.

    Racine comes out of a bar and lights a cigarette, idlywatching the passing parade. There is a free band concertin progress at the band shell.