>>/ Cellular

/ Cellular ( 2)

: / Cellular.

/ Cellular


Theo tries to gather up the money -- flatten it out -- put it back in stacks and secure it inside the attache case. He lays the officer's gun down on the seat while he does this.

Then the cell phone beeps. Theo answers quickly.

THEO I'm here. Where are you?

MALE VOICE We don't see you.

THEO I'm three quarters of the way up the lot behind the concession stand.

MALE VOICE Stay there.

THEO I don't want you within two hundred feet. Park down by the lifeguard station. Nobody gets out.

MALE VOICE It's your call.

THEO Fucking "A" it is! Any argument and I'm out of here.

MALE VOICE Just relax.

THEO I don't need to relax. The woman. Put her on.

MALE VOICE You'll see her.

THEO I don't want to see her later. I want to hear her now.

MALE VOICE (slightly off) Talk to the man.

LENORE Thank you. God bless you for helping us.

THEO Are you okay?

LENORE They wrapped tape around my wrists and ankles.

THEO That's coming off. How about the girl?

LENORE She's awake but she hasn't spoken. I don't know what they did to her. I don't want to think about it.

THEO Your husband?

LENORE He's in back. Lying face down. They haven't hurt him anymore -- but he was crying. I never heard Jack cry before --

THEO You're all three of you in that van?


THEO Now you're going to do just what I tell you to. No discussion. No hesitation.

LENORE Yes sir.

THEO Put the man back on.

MALE VOICE Satisfied?

THEO You already tried to pull one little number on me -- and it didn't work.

MALE VOICE I don't know what you mean.

THEO I still don't see you.

MALE VOICE We're waiting for the light to cross the highway. It just changed. We're in a grey van. It reads "Noble Carpet Cleaners."

THEO'S POV - There it is. The grey Dodge van circa 1992 with the lettering "Noble Carpet Cleaners - L.A. - Santa Monica - Marina Del Rey." The windows in back are painted over.

The van enters the huge empty parking lot and keeps rolling.

THEO That's far enough. What -- do you fucking need a written map? Pull over.

The van stops. There's a huge distance between them. The negotiation continues over the cellular.

MALE VOICE We're waiting on you.

THEO Then just wait. I'm counting this all out and deducting my share. While I'm at it you can be getting that tape off the lady. And her little girl.

MALE VOICE It's in the process.

THEO I make my end of the cash at 184,000. Now I'm trying to figure out the bonds. What the face value is.

MALE VOICE You should've done all this before.

THEO I'm not accepting criticism today. Now don't make me lose count. There's already a half million in this portfolio.

MALE VOICE Her husband said there'd be one million eight. So nine hundred to you.

THEO My pleasure --

MALE VOICE Be careful in disposing of them. You'll have to discount 'em. You'll be lucky to clear a hundred and a quarter.

THEO Thanks for the sound advice. Now ask the woman to get out of the van and walk over here. Alone.

MALE VOICE Negative.

THEO You'll still have the girl and the husband.

MALE VOICE And not a nickel.

THEO Soon as Mrs. Oberfeld is in my car I'll toss out your first third. Then I'll back up 200 feet to behind the public restroom.

MALE VOICE And then?

THEO You pull up -- collect your first installment. Then you let the daughter go. When she reaches me, I'll dump out another third. Same action. I back up again -- you pull forward. Satisfy yourself it's there. Then we do it one last time. The final exchange. And we go our separate ways.

MALE VOICE And they run straight to the cops who start looking for our van.

THEO I won't let 'em.

Lenore's voice is heard shouting near the receiver.

LENORE No! Rachel has to go first.

MALE VOICE I like it better his way.

LENORE I want my daughter out of here!

MALE VOICE Reason with her.

THEO Lenore -- you promised you'd follow instructions. We're almost there. Simply get out when they slide the van open and walk to me.

LENORE I'm not leaving my daughter behind. Not with them.

THEO She's next. In two or three more minutes she'll be free.

LENORE I can't do it.

THEO Don't start thinking about it. Is the tape off?


THEO Can you walk?

LENORE Yes. But I want Rachel to come with me.

THEO They won't allow that. It's one at a time. And you have to be first.

LENORE Why can't it be her?

THEO She's a child. She might panic. She doesn't know me. She might not come to me. She might just run.

LENORE All right. Now that you explain it I see that you're right.

THEO Once you're in the car with me she's sure to come to us.

LENORE I'm sorry. You've thought this out better than I ever could. I'm ready now.

MALE VOICE I'm opening the side door. She'll step out. But before she gets in your vehicle I want to see the first installment put down in plain view. If it isn't there I'm shooting her in the back.

THEO Are you trying to panic the women?

MALE VOICE That's how it is. You see her approaching you toss out installment one.

THEO I'm tying it up in a bundle now. Where is she?

THEO'S POV - In the distance across the parking lot the door to the van slides back. A woman in her thirties can be seen -- a bit wobbly on her feet. Her dark hair is disheveled, her clothes askew and she seems disoriented at first. The bright sunlight blinds her.

She looks back at the van door closing behind her. (The phone is inside with her abductors. She can no longer communicate with Theo.)

LENORE Rachel -- Oh my God.

THEO (to himself) Just start walking. Come on. Walk to me.

Then Lenore begins to walk. Slowly at first. Then picking up momentum. Until finally she's running.

Theo gets ready with the money and bonds which are held together by thick rubber bands.

He opens the passenger door halfway in preparation to throw the loot out onto the ground.

Lenore is still running toward him.

Then she trips and falls.

THEO Get up.

For a moment she doesn't.

Then she rises and begins walking again.

She has almost reached Theo's car when he tosses the stack onto the ground where it can't help but be in plain view. Lenore is only a few feet away by now.

THEO Open the door and get in. Hurry up.

She tries the passenger door.

LENORE It's locked.

THEO Shit. I'm sorry.

He pushes the unlock button. She slumps in beside him. It's only this close that Theo realizes she's beautiful.

LENORE Thank you. Thank you for doing this.

She leans over and kisses his cheek. Her face is wet.

THEO Stop the crying.

MALE VOICE She's yours. What are we waiting on?

THEO I'm backing up.


As Theo backs out from behind the concession stand leaving behind part of the stash.

He backs several hundred feet -- hiding the car from view from the highway behind the concrete public restrooms.


He and Lenore watching the van.

LENORE Rachel was terrified when I left her. I could see it in her eyes.

THEO She'll be with you soon. They're pulling up. They'll realize I kept my part of the bargain.

LENORE She'll never be the same. None of us will.

THEO Include me in that.


Pulling up. The driver's door opens -- the initial package is picked up.

THEO (into cellular) Count it.

MALE VOICE Don't worry.

THEO Next I want to see Rachel. Put her on the phone before she gets out so her mother can tell her exactly what to do. (to Lenore) Keep her calm. Tell her you're fine and that she can join you in this car.

But Lenore has noticed something on the seat next to Theo.

LENORE You have a gun?

Theo covers the mouthpiece of the cell phone so the abductors won't hear.

THEO Now I have -- it's a long story.

LENORE Why didn't you just shoot them?

THEO Because a lot of people would've gotten killed. Probably all the wrong ones.

LENORE You're going to let them get away with this?

THEO We've almost got your husband and your daughter out. So don't get any ideas.

LENORE They tortured us. And you're going to let them have all that money?

THEO So far they're keeping their part of it.

LENORE They put their hands all over me.

THEO Somehow I got along better with you on the phone. (into cellular) It's all there isn't it?

MALE VOICE Seems like it.

THEO Put the girl on.

Without warning Lenore reaches out and grabs the gun off the seat.

THEO Don't be stupid. Put it down.

Lenore has a funny smile on her face.

THEO For Christ sakes don't point it at me. We want to get Rachel out of there in one piece. (into cellular) I'm waiting for the girl. Her mother wants to talk to her.

LENORE Hand me the phone.

Theo keeps looking down the barrel of that police special.

LENORE Hand it to me.

He passes her the phone.

LENORE (into cellular) He had a gun. I have it now.

THEO Why are you telling him that. Are you crazy?

LENORE The rest of the money is here in the car. Why don't you come and get it?

MALE VOICE Yeah. Why don't we?

THEO What are you planning to do when they got here? They'll kill us. They'll kill Rachel.

LENORE I doubt that very much. (a beat) Because right about now she should be doing pirouettes at dance class.

THEO'S POV - The van is starting to roll toward him.

BACK TO THEO AND LENORE - who still has the gun pointed at him. The full impact of her words is like a slap across the face.

THEO You're not Lenore Oberfeld.

LENORE There isn't any such person.

THEO Whose money is this?

LENORE It belongs to the man you took it from. Or should I saw stole it from?

THEO The guy with the transplant.

LENORE Jack Oberfeld in person. Did you kill him?

THEO Damned if I know.

LENORE The video cameras will put you with him in the bank, and I'll bet there were enough witnesses.

THEO At least one.

LENORE Plus they'll remember you going after his daughter at school.

THEO You timed that beautifully.

LENORE They always pick Rachel up early on Thursday.

THEO I got what I fucking deserved. I had it all. I could've kept going!

LENORE As they say -- no good deed goes unpunished.

THEO And all that crap about your driver being murdered by a cop --

LENORE I thought it was inspired.

THEO There was no cop involved. Oh shit! Fuck!

He realizes he assaulted a real L.A. cop on the job. Maybe that cop is awake in the trunk and can hear what's going on. But she doesn't know that.

LENORE Sit completely still with both hands on the wheel -- until they get here.

THEO Why pick me to be your "mark?"

LENORE Nobody's easier to con than a con man.

THEO You knew about me.

Suddenly there's a violent thumping inside the car. The vehicle is shaking. Lenore has no idea what it is. Theo knows immediately.

It's the cop locked up in the trunk. He's conscious and trying to bust his way out.

The distraction causes Lenore to glance toward the rear of the vehicle -- and it gives Theo the chance to clip her across the jaw. With the other hand he twists the gun out of her hand -- even as she is able to fire off one shot. It singes Theo's hair leaving a powder burn across his scalp and shatters the side window.

The van has pulled to a stop six feet ahead of Theo's car. Two men inside are halfway out. A large powerful linebacker and a Haitian with braided hair.

Before they can completely emerge, Theo's foot hits the gas. His car plows straight into the van stunning both me.

Lenore has slumped to the floor of the car as Theo struggles to back up. He's hooked onto part of the torn wreckage of the van.

The larger man inside the van recovers and tries to fire -- but the clip jams. By the time he slams the clip straight Theo is backing away into a hairpin turn.

Several shots are now fired at the departing Chrysler.

TIGHT INSERT SHOT - TWO BULLETS PUNCTURE THE TRUNK -- which holds the unfortunate cop. There's a SCREAM!

WIDER SHOT - Theo smashes through a low barricade and plows down a hillside onto the beach. In a moment he's driving up the Temescal beach -- a totally illegal route -- but the quickest getaway path. An old man flying a kite dashes out of his way.

There's a ramp up ahead down which beach cleaning equipment may gain access. One such large orange vehicle is just accessing the beach.

Theo leans on his horn. The sanitation dept. vehicle pulls up short just avoiding a head-on smashup with Theo who speeds by and up the ramp -- heading back toward the Pacific Coast Highway.


Lenore still lies on the floorboard along with some of the bonds and the money.

Theo has the gun in his right hand as he steers with his left. The cell phone is on the seat.

The thumping from the trunk continues.

LENORE Who's in back?


LENORE Shit. You couldn't be in much worse shape.


Battered but fully operable -- in pursuit.


The phone conversation between Theo and those in the van remains open. Theo's hands are occupied with the wheel and the gun which he holds on Lenore in an effort to make her behave.

THEO Your friends are probably still on the line. Pick it up and say hello.

LENORE There's no way out for you. You have to deal with us.

THEO Assure them that you're being well treated.

Lenore finally lifts the cellular and speaks.

LENORE Nels, are you there? Hello, is anybody there?

The thick voice we've become accustomed to hearing comes on the line. (Now we'll call him by his actual name: NELSON.)

NELSON I thought you said you could handle him.

LENORE I'm doing fine. Theo wants to deal.

THEO Tell them I'm keeping what's left. I earned it. I probably killed some poor bastard for it.

LENORE He seems to think he's entitled to it all.

THEO Not all. They already have a third. The question is how much of that are they willing to give to get you back?

LENORE You won't shoot me. That's not your style.

THEO We might hit a bump and the gun might go off. Ever see that Tarantino movie -- where Travolta blew that guy away in the back seat -- purely by accident?

LENORE Do you have to point that?

THEO Absolutely. And Topanga Canyon has a hell of a lot of potholes if I recall.

LENORE He seems to be headed for Topanga.

THEO I'm not trying to lose them. Nor am I exceeding any speed limits.

LENORE The one thing you don't want is to attract the police.

THEO Granted, the cops are not an alternative. Certainly not with one of their own still locked in my trunk.

LENORE I don't hear him moving around anymore.

THEO Those shots your associates got off may not have done him too much good. That's on their head. All I did I was put him there.

LENORE A typical fuck-up.

THEO What's that supposed to me?

LENORE I knew you were a loser the first night I laid eyes on you.

THEO You, I would've noticed.

LENORE Oh no, you were too busy trying to keep some Croatian from slapping the shit out of his girlfriend. She showed her gratitude by almost taking your eye out with her spiked heel.

THEO You were at the Emerald that night?

LENORE Naturally you didn't learn your lesson.

THEO I guess I ought to stop seeing woman as victims.

LENORE I think it was my tone of voice more than anything else that sold you. And when you thought I was being kicked around, I wish I could've seen your face.

THEO You're enjoying this too much.

Theo squeezes the trigger -- pumps off a shot into the seat beside her.

It's the sound of the shot inside the enclosed vehicle that shocks her. She SCREAMS.

THEO Now you're starting to sound like a victim again.

LENORE You could've hit me.

THEO Only in the leg or the thigh. You'd live but you just wouldn't wear shorts.

LENORE You wouldn't --

THEO Yes I would. Not kill you. But blow off a few toes, absolutely. I'm entitled to that as retribution. It'll help you to remember me in years to come -- every time you put on stockings. They must have prosthetic toes by now -- with little nails on them you can polish --

LENORE Stop talking like that!

THEO Then scream for me. A repeat performance. Let me see how easy you can turn it on. Scream! I want to hear you scream for me!

Lenore fakes the first two screams but then they become more real as she focuses on the gun bouncing around in his hand. Her final screams are not act.

Nelson's voice is heard over the phone.

NELSON What's he doing? Answer me!

THEO Better reassure him.

LENORE (into cellular) I'm still okay.

THEO Inform him the fee is seventy-five large for your return. All parts intact.

LENORE He wants 75 back.

THEO Plus names, addresses and I.D. for the lot of you. We're in this together and I need to know who my partners are. In case I ever need to roll over on somebody.

LENORE Did you hear that?

THEO Let me talk to him. Hold the phone to my ear -- but don't nudge me.

Lenore holds the phone up so Theo can continue driving with his left hand while holding the gun in his right.

THEO Who am I talking to?

NELSON Call me "Nels."

THEO Okay Nels, you can always keep what you've got and haul ass leaving the lovely lady for me to worry about. I'll bet she can be friendly when it's in her best interests.

NELSON If you're looking for a quickie all you've got to do is ask.

THEO I think I've already had a "quickie." Thank you.

Now Theo makes a sharp tight turn off P.C.H. onto Topanga.

THEO Follow me across Topanga.

Theo looks in the rearview and sees the van directly behind him.


CAMERA PANS TO REVEAL - Highway patrol officer in his car -- reporting in.

MOTORCYCLE COP Vehicle matching description 1995 Chrysler convertible maroon wanted in connection with missing L.A.P.D. officer. Has turned north onto Topanga. Two passengers. One believed to be female. Request backup. License number G47495J.


He hasn't told anyone he fears being spotted by the police but he regularly checks his rearview mirror.


Watching the van following but not too close.


THEO These mountains kill the transmission. He's gone. (beat) How's it feel to finally be alone with me?

Theo is deliberately making dramatic turns that toss Lenore around as she continues to stare at the loaded gun.

LENORE Use both hands on the wheel! Goddam it!


Rock slides after recent storms have narrowed the road.


In total control of the situation now. He's been manipulated long enough. Now he's pulling the strings.

Then he hears a SIREN. It echoes off the canyon walls. It could be coming from any direction.

THEO It could be a fire. This is Malibu.

LENORE No, there's a police car way back there. See it, in the distance coming around the turn? The van is blocking it now.

THEO What's Nels' number?

LENORE 259-7881.

THEO Dial him up. We need him to run interference.

Theo watches as she dials -- and since they're much higher in the canyon now the call goes through.

LENORE (into phone) Nels, don't let that cop pass you.

NELSON (V.O.) What am I supposed to do?

She again holds the phone so Theo can speak.

THEO If he pulls me over he gets all the proceeds plus Lenore here.

NELSON And if you ditch us we get zilch.

THEO Sure, I end up with some cash. And a lot of bonds I don't know how to dispose of.


We can clearly see Nelson at the wheel and the Haitian beside him.

THEO You're going to have to see to it that both lanes of this road get blocked.

NELSON The fuck I will!

THEO It's in your interest, Nels, since the additional passenger in my trunk -- an LAPD officer is probably carrying a few bullets in him traceable to the piece you're carrying. (to Lenore) Tell the man.

LENORE Lose the hardware now.

NELSON We'll toss it when we make the blind curve.


Narrowed by the rock slide. As the van hits a blind spot where the cops won't see, the Haitian throws a canvas bag holding the guns out into the canyon underbrush.


THEO (into phone) You researched me. You know where I live. She'll be waiting for you there along with your split.

NELSON There's two police cars now.

THEO Tailgate me. I'll jam on the brakes. You go into a spin to avoid an accident and cut them off.

NELSON You want us to get ourselves killed?

THEO From what I can see you're a pretty fair wheelman. There's a hairpin coming up -- that's the place for it. The cops'll plow right into you.

NELSON And I end up in a fucking neck brace for life!

THEO Then you can sue the cops. Collect from both ends. Tighten your belts. Here it comes. (to Lenore) Ready?

LENORE (yells into phone) Nels, do what he says!


As Nelson's van now speeds forward to tailgate Theo's Chrysler. Behind the van the two police cars now appear around the curve, sirens blasting.

They're reluctant to try to pass on these twisting rock lined roads with traffic coming around blind curves from the other direction. And there's nowhere to pull over.

Then Theo jams on the brakes. The van veers to the left to avoid total disaster plowing into the canyon wall and blocking both lanes.

The first police car can't avoid hitting the van broadside.

The second police car rearends the first.

It's a total pileup as Theo predicted -- a perfectly orchestrated accident.

Then a camper coming from the Valley approaches and passes Theo -- rounds the bend and compounds the accident -- smashing into the disabled van from the opposite side.

Nelson and his Haitian friend are sandwiched between wrecks.

Meanwhile Theo speeds on ahead.


Theo watching in rearview. Lenore is turned around, looking back.

LENORE Do you think they'll walk away?

THEO Ask them.

He passes her the cell phone.

LENORE (into cellular) Are you okay? Nels -- answer me!

NELSON'S VOICE Muthafuck! My shoulder hurts like a bitch. Rodriego puked all over himself. Here come the cops. I'm laying the phone down.

We can hear what's been said, distant but understandable.

COP'S VOICE Are you guys all right?

NELSON You could've killed us.

COP'S VOICE It was the fugitive in the Chrysler that caused this. We were trying to overtake him.

NELSON No reason to kill innocent bystanders. Shit. I can't hardly move my neck.

COP'S VOICE We've already got an ambulance on the way. Don't try to get out.

NELSON I'm not staying in here with him puking all over the place. Get this door open!

Theo and Lenore concentrate on the road ahead.

LENORE They'll have units blocking us up ahead.

THEO That's why we're turning off onto a fire road.

LENORE Some people fall apart in a pinch. But you shine.


As Theo veers off onto a dirt road kicking up dust.


Lenore still listens in on the cellular. There are many voices but they're impossible to decipher. Static, noise.

THEO What's happening?

LENORE I can't hear. Now there's a siren. They must be in an ambulance. (into phone) What about the money? Nels?

THEO Wonderful feeling of security knowing your adversaries are both crippled and unarmed.

LENORE (into phone) The money, Nels ... ?

NELSON (through static) In the backpack with me --

Then he fades out. She's lost him.

He takes the cellular away from her.

THEO I'm learning to love this little invention.

The car plows through backroads that have become overgrown.

LENORE Any idea where you're going?

THEO I was sentenced to a youth camp out here when I was fourteen. We cleared some of these same roads.

LENORE They did some great job of reforming you.

THEO That's where this Chicano correctional officer first taught me to slap paint on a canvas. I could copy any fucking thing he put in front of me.

LENORE Think you could do a picture of me?

THEO I had it in my mind what you'd look like. "Her," I could've painted. You, I'd be afraid to turn my back to mix the colors.

Theo is now turning off down a construction road leading into a partially completed residential project. Several small Spanish style home have been left unfinished.

Construction gear stands gathering rust. Theo pulls in and shuts off the ignition.

THEO Developer ran out of money years back. I'd hate to think about what's living in there.

LENORE Why are we stopping?

THEO I need a break. I've been on a marathon run ever since I had the misfortune to strike up a conversation with you.

He removes the ignition key. Taking the gun, he gets out of the vehicle to stretch his legs. She follows. He has placed the cellular in his pants pocket.

TRUCKING SHOT - Lenore -- as she catches up with him and he pauses to look her up and down with an artist's eye. Her fragile beauty camouflages her true nature.

THEO Who'd ever think, to look at you?

LENORE As a child I hated being told how sweet I looked. That angelic little face wasn't me at all. I had to hurt people to prove to them they had the wrong image. Sometimes words were enough -- but I wasn't beyond inflicting physical pain in order to be taken seriously. I enjoyed seeing the shock on their poor faces when they realized who I was. That same look you gave me when I turned the gun on you.

THEO You've had a lot of fun with me today. (a beat) What would you have done if I hadn't responded to your call?

LENORE We had a backup plan. But I knew you'd come through for me.

She presses up against him. He reaches up with his left hand and caresses her breast.

LENORE Like steering, it's better if you use two hands.

But Theo has no intention of relinquishing the .38.

THEO Yeah, I was waiting for that suggestion.

LENORE Sooner or later you'll learn to trust me.

THEO How about "later?"

She kisses him with an open mouth. He accepts the kiss but gives absolutely nothing back.

THEO What's really on your wicked little mind?

LENORE The cop in the trunk -- he could still be alive.

THEO That's a reasonable possibility.

LENORE He might've heard everything we said in the car.

THEO What's your point?

LENORE We can't leave him to repeat anything.

THEO Which one of us is elected to do the deed?

LENORE You're the man with the gun.

THEO Naturally.

LENORE Naturally.

THEO Maybe your friends already accomplished that chore for us.

LENORE Only one way to find out.

Camera follows them as they cross towards the parked vehicle. The trunk is facing them -- with its two bullet holes quite evident.

He tosses her the keys.

THEO Unlock it.

Lenore inserts the key in the trunk and steps back as the trunk pops open.

THEIR POV - the L.A.P.D. officer is alive and unhurt as he squints up at them. The burst of sunlight bothers his eyes but the bullets have missed him entirely.


THEO Come on, Grillo, climb out.

Officer Grillo doesn't speak. He looks from Theo with the gun to the pretty woman that accompanies him.

LENORE (to Theo) What are you waiting for?

The cop obediently climbs out of the trunk. He moves slowly, with great effort. Being cramped up in there has been painful.

GRILLO Lady, don't let him do it!

THEO You got it wrong. I'm the one that's on your side.

GRILLO You almost brain me and lock me in a fucking trunk and you're on my side? You stupid fuck!

LENORE He's seen both of us now.

GRILLO Look, I've got a wife. I don't care if either of you ever get caught.

LENORE What else did you expect him to say? Do it, Theo -- or give me the gun.

THEO I'm going to cuff you and leave you in that house. It may take awhile but you'll be found after we're long gone.

LENORE That's not good enough.

THEO That's how it's going to be.

At that moment the cell phone in Theo's pocket rings.

THEO Nels reporting in. (to cop) Sit down where you are. Arms folded.

GRILLO Yes sir.

Theo answers the phone.

THEO Yeah?

NELSON (V.O.) I just strolled out of the emergency room while they were admitting Rodriego.

THEO You couldn't be calling at a worse time, Nels.

LENORE If he was here he'd know what to do! Let me talk!

She reaches for the phone, he pulls it away.

THEO I'm handling it.

LENORE (shouting into cellular which Theo still holds) He let the fucking cop out -- but he won't --

As Lenore distracts Theo for an instant Grillo tosses a handful of dirt up into Theo's eyes.

At the same time Lenore makes a grab for the gun.

The cell phone is dropped as the three of them struggle over the weapon.

NELSON (V.O.) What the fuck's coming off?

The cop wrestles the gun from Theo's grasp -- then stumbles backwards covering both of them.

Lenore breaks out into laughter -- like some kind of uncontrollable release.

THEO Glad you're having a good time.

But she continues laughing. The cell phone lies in the dirt halfway between them and Grillo.

Keeping the gun leveled on Theo, the cop crouches down and picks up the phone. He speaks.

GRILLO Nels? You asshole. You almost nailed me inside that trunk. Shit, that was close.


As the realization hits him. He wasn't wrong about the officer after all. The cop was in on it just as Lenore described on the phone.


NELSON (V.O.) How the fuck would I know you were in there?

Grillo turns to Lenore --

GRILLO It took you long enough to get my ass out.

LENORE With all those holes Nels pumped in I knew you wouldn't suffocate.

GRILLO You can tell she was really worried about me.

Lenore walks over to the cop and plants a kiss on him as Theo looks on -- a numbness rapidly overtaking him.

GRILLO (to Theo) I told you I had a loving wife.

Lenore and the officer make a chilling couple.

GRILLO In case you crapped out it was my job to go after that briefcase.

THEO Or relieve me of it later.

GRILLO Only I was sloppy. I let you take me out. That was quite a humiliation.

Grillo now retaliates by clubbing Theo several times with the barrel of the gun.

Theo goes down and is smart enough to stay down.

NELSON (V.O.) Don't fuck around. Pop a cap in him.

LENORE Allow me.

Theo sees what's coming but he's down on his knees in a clearing with no place to run.

Her husband passes Lenore the gun. She can't help but hit him at such close range.

LENORE Hold the phone out so Nels doesn't miss the show.

Lenore takes careful aim.

LENORE In appreciation for services rendered, I'll make it quick.


As she fires. One solitary shot. (We don't see Theo who is on the ground off camera.)

LENORE (into phone) He took it like a man. (to Grillo) Toss him in that drainage ditch.

NELSON There's a taxi stand here. I can meet you.

As Grillo continues listening camera swivels 180 degrees. We expect to see Theo's body lying sprawled and bloody.

NELSON (V.O.) Only be careful nobody "makes" that Chrysler.

GRILLO It's only a few miles and our friend was thoughtful enough to bring spare plates.

LENORE We're switching plates now.

Instead of a bloody corpse we see Theo kneeling where he was before -- without a mark on him.

Lenore has fired the shot entirely for Nelson's benefit. She's conning him just as she conned Theo.

GRILLO (to Nelson) See you at the canyon house.

Grillo hangs up. After a silence Theo finally speaks.

THEO You missed.

GRILLO (to Lenore) Any time you decide to let me in on it.

LENORE You nearly fucked up your end so keep quiet. Get him busy on those license plates.

At gunpoint, Theo is forced to kneel down, remove the plates and replace them with the ones lying in the trunk.

He uses the same small Swiss army knife with which he broke open the briefcase.

While Theo works at it, Lenore and Grillo confer in hushed tones out of his earshot.

LENORE I prefer to have the sucker die at a more convenient location. Once Nels arrives with his backpack full of goodies.

GRILLO So Theo and Nels will appear to have whacked each other out and we never existed. A thing of beauty. Jesus, the shit you come up with!

Theo finishes the license plate switch, turns to face them.

GRILLO Peg that knife into the bushes.

Theo obeys tossing the Swiss army knife away.

GRILLO Now turn around. I'm going to cuff you.

LENORE Put those away. We can't have marks on his wrists.

GRILLO You never miss a trick.

LENORE I'll see that he stays calm. Pack the money up and put it in the trunk.

There's no question about who's calling the shots here -- Officer Grillo gathers the loose money and bonds and stuffs it all in the broken attache case before depositing it back in the trunk.

Lenore forces Theo into the passenger seat in front. She's positioned directly behind him -- the gun at his head.

LENORE Want to try taking it away from me again?

Grillo gets behind the wheel, starts rolling.

GRILLO How do we get back to the freeway?

THEO Bear right till the fire road ends. It's not far.

He reaches out toward the glove compartment. Then he feels extra pressure from the gun on the back of his neck.

LENORE Both hands on your lap.

THEO Nothing but CDs in there. I thought maybe you'd like some Celine or Whitney.

Grillo reaches over and opens the glove compartment, spilling out dozens of CDs at Theo's feet. He's satisfied there's no weapon in there. The glove compartment remains open.

GRILLO I'd like for you to shut up for awhile.

The fire road now widens and down below they can see the freeway -- busy now with afternoon traffic. Grillo continues driving down, finally approaching the on-ramp.

THEO Yeah, I suppose getting whacked has got to be one of your best ways to die. Particularly if you're not expecting it. You don't know what hit you.

GRILLO Can you make him stop!

THEO Mind letting me make the best of a rotten situation?


As Grillo drives down the on-ramp and joins the traffic.


THEO Just sitting here listening to her voice does it to me all over again. No harm admitting I fell in love with the sound of you.

LENORE That's a skill you acquire when you do fantasy phone sex for a living. I must've had thirty regulars salivating at 4.99 per minute.

GRILLO Which is how we hooked up initially. The woman nearly freaked when she learned I was on the force. Figures it was some kind of sting.

They are in speeding freeway traffic now. Lenore is keeping the gun out of sight of motorists in the adjoining lanes.

THEO Some nice fantasy you all cooked up for me.

LENORE Took preparation.

THEO Exactly who was this Oberfeld?

LENORE Local lawyer for Dominican dealers. Off to buy a half interest in a mall in Granada Hills on their behalf.

GRILLO Which is why we had a lot more to worry about than the law. These are people who don't worry about reading you your rights.

THEO I'm the one they'd be looking for.

LENORE And we'll make certain they find you.

They're interrupted by the ringing of the cellular. Is it Nelson calling again?

THEO Want me to answer it from beyond the grave?

Lenore pokes the gun against his neck before answering.


It's Caitlin's voice that comes on.

CAITLIN What are you doing on Theo's line?

LENORE Taking messages.

CAITLIN He ran out on me to be with you? Well fuck him! Everything worked twice as good without him. We didn't need him then and I don't need him now.

LENORE I'm sure he'll be heartbroken.

CAITLIN I know he's there! He doesn't even have the balls to pick up the phone!

LENORE I won't let him. He belongs to me now. Bye, sweetie.

She hangs up.

But Theo hasn't been idle during the exchange on the phone. He's casually reached into the now empty glove compartment.

THEO Know what else is in here?

LENORE Take your hand out of there. Slowly.

Theo does not obey the command.

THEO There's a little button under my finger. And when I push it the trunk pops.

Grillo reaches out and grabs Theo by the throat. He continues guiding the vehicle with his left hand.


On that tiny button.

THEO Think about what's going to happen to your valuables when that trunk flies open at 75 miles per?


LENORE You won't live to see it.

THEO It's going to be some fucking snowstorm.

LENORE Pull over! Pull over someplace.

GRILLO I can't.

They're in the center lane and cars are racing along on both sides of them.

GRILLO I told you I should've cuffed him.

THEO I want the gun emptied. I want to see all six slugs tossed up here. And then I want out. That's all. OUT!


Cars speeding along at better than 70 mph.


CLOSE ON the police service revolver flipped open so the bullets can be removed.

Lenore spills the cartridges out in her hand.

LENORE Five ... six.

THEO Toss them -- one at a time. I don't want to lose count.

She tosses the bullets over his shoulder onto the floor of the front seat -- so Theo can clearly see them.

He's still bent forward with his hand inside the glove compartment -- pressed against that crucial little button.


Construction ahead. The lanes will soon converge. Traffic will decrease to a virtual standstill. Once traffic slows or stops Theo's threat become meaningless.


Theo realizes traffic is slowing. He's got to act now. He's bent forward so Grillo doesn't notice that he's reaching under the seat with his free hand.

Just as he pops the trunk he uses all the force in his legs and all his body weight to slam the seat back -- straight into Lenore's face.

The impact is quick and violent.

She's struck in the nose and forehead and propelled backwards.


The trunk pops open.

The loose cash and bonds in the broken attache case flutter and take flight.

As Theo predicted it's a snowstorm of cash and negotiable instruments.


As bills of high denominations waft through the air landing upon and sticking to the windshields of other vehicles.

The door to Theo's car is flung open. He's trying to jump.

MULTIPLE SHOTS - Other drivers in their cars reacting to the appearance of cash money on the opposite side of the glass.

It's money they can't reach. They're going at better than 60 mph now and the dough is on the outside of their windshield. Some nearly lose control and veer into other lanes.


The front passenger door flung wide open. Grillo panics. His fortune is blowing to hell. Lenore, in back, is still recovering from the blow to the head.

Grillo still has a firm grip on Theo who's attempting to bail out. Theo elbows Grillo, stunning him.

The excavation ahead and the converging lanes have forced traffic to slow to the 40's -- as Theo breaks loose and jumps.


Hitting the surface of the freeway and rolling.

Other vehicles are coming at him --

But he rolls out of their path and into the excavation that has narrowed the lanes at this section of the freeway.

He lies there on his back wondering if any bones are broken. He aches all over -- but he's alive.


A few cars and a trailer truck have pulled to a stop.

Motorists and the truck driver rush out to the aid of the man they saw fall from the car. (The trucker is a thickly built Greek.)

They crowd around Theo.

MOTORIST Talk to me!

TRUCKER Trying to commit suicide, Mister?

Theo has to think of some response.

THEO Reach into my inside pocket. You'll find I.D.

The motorist finds the folder with the fake badge.

FIRST MOTORIST Shit. He's a federal agent.

THEO U.S. Treasury. On the job.

FIRST MOTORIST If I knew you were a tax man I would've run over you.

2ND MOTORIST Hope you know how close you came.

THEO I been accident prone all day.

FIRST MOTORIST This have anything to do with the money I thought I saw flying all over the fucking freeway?

THEO Not allowed to discuss it.

TRUCKER I already called for an ambulance.

THEO You've got a phone?

TRUCKER Doesn't everybody?

That's the magic word to Theo. He starts to get up.

THEO I need a ride. Help me up.

2ND MOTORIST Better wait for assistance.

THEO Just give me a hand. See, I can walk. Hoist me up in there.

They all help Theo into the cab of the truck.


Theo looks at his hands. They're raw, having been badly scraped when he hit the freeway. His pants and jacket are torn at the knees and elbows.

THEO This was once a brand new Armani.

The Greek trucker climbs behind the wheel.

TRUCKER You ought to be examined.

The truck is already in motion.


The bottleneck ahead has opened up. The trailer truck barrels on ahead.


He sees something of interest ahead.


There in the emergency lane to the far right is Theo's Chrysler pulled over.

Lenore and Grillo are out and leaning inside the trunk, trying to organize and secure what's left of their booty. It seems it's not all gone.


Amused. He reaches for the trucker's phone.

THEO Can I make a quick call?

TRUCKER Government business?

THEO Very official. 259-7881, if I recall.

He dials. Nels answers instantly.


THEO Nels! Guess who? A friendly voice from beyond the grave.

NELSON Who's this?

THEO I thought you'd know me by now.

NELSON What does it take to kill you?

THEO I suppose you're in your taxi?

NELSON Why would she want me to think you were on ice?

THEO Intelligent question, Nels. I believe she had plans for both our bodies to be found in close proximity.

NELSON That bitch. What's keeping you from taking off?

THEO My compensation! Somebody still owes me -- big time!

TRUCKER (who's been listening) What kind of Treasury Dept. business is this?

THEO (covering phone mouthpiece) Undercover.

TRUCKER I thought so.

THEO (into phone) Your partners are currently armed and we're not. Our edge is that they don't know we're in touch.

NELSON I can see the benefit in that.

THEO You could always disappear with what's already in your backpack.

NELSON Not without the name of the contact who can discount the bonds. I may need to pry that information out of her. (a beat) What do you stand to gain?

THEO Sweet revenge plus maybe a bit of vigorish off your end.

TRUCKER The 405 is coming up.

THEO (to Nelson) Where is this canyon house where you're supposed to hook up?

NELSON In the hills above Sunset. Just below the Getty.

THEO (to trucker) Take the 405 south.


The truck veers onto the 405.


THEO (into phone) How far off are you?

NELSON Five minutes.

THEO Where do I turn?

NELSON Take the Getty Center exit -- make a right onto Cisco. It'll be a narrow winding road. You can't miss the house. It's a mansion built back in '29 -- Spanish -- boarded up since the quake.

THEO Have your cab wait at the foot of Cisco -- we'll ride up together.

NELSON And make ourselves a hell of a target.

THEO We're gonna get there first.

NELSON How do you know?

THEO Believe me. They couldn't be busier at the moment.

Theo hangs up.

TRUCKER I didn't hear nothing.

The truck barrels along.


As the truck pulls off and takes a sharp right turn. The Getty Museum looms majestically above.


THEO Look for Cisco.

From inside they now see a taxi parked about fifty feet up a narrow side road. The truck pulls over.

THEO (to trucker) Let's have your name and address. The government will want to send you a letter of commendation.

TRUCKER Who the fuck you kidding? (he jots down an address) Send me money!

The Greek trucker hasn't believed a word of Theo's Treasury Dept. bullshit. Theo climbs out of the truck, not without severe discomfort.

TRUCKER You sure know how to take a lot of punishment.

THEO From here on, I dish it out.

The truck pulls off as Theo hikes up the road to the waiting taxi cab.

Nelson gets out to greet him. They've talked on the phone. Nelson has tried to kill him. They've engaged in a car chase. But they've never formally met.

THEO Hello criminal, pleased to meet you.

Nelson gives Theo a quick frisk to make sure he's clean.

THEO Better haul ass if we're gonna be inside to greet them.

NELSON I've got a couple of spare pieces stashed under the floorboards.

THEO Where's the backpack?

NELSON None of your business, but it's in the cab. That's all mine. When we take from them, we divide, eighty-twenty.

THEO At those prices I'd just as soon your cabbie didn't get a look at me.

Nelson returns to the cab, pays the driver and returns with the backpack.

Theo turns away so the taxi driver can't identify him as he pulls off.

Then he and Nelson double time it up the hill to the dilapidated Spanish mansion.


Theo looks up at the massive Getty Museum which dominates the hillside above.

THEO Probably as close to the Getty as I'll ever come. Unless you care to be my "patron," Nels. You wouldn't be the first successful thief to become a patron of the arts.

NELSON In your dreams.

THEO Don't underestimate me. I've got original ideas of my own. Warhol got famous doing a soup can. What would you think of a cellular phone done in acrylics?

NELSON Are you busting my chops or what?

As we draw closer we get a better look at the house. The earthquake has left it rather lopsided. There are cracks evident in the pillars in the front portal. Tiles have fallen off the roof. The lawn is totally overgrown and ivy has invaded the house. Some windows are broken but most are boarded up tight.

NELSON Once was a palace.

He proceeds to the boarded up entrance -- pries the thick planks apart to gain access to the door. He and Theo slip through avoiding long rusty nails which jut out. Nelson carefully replaces the boards, squeezing them back together.


Totally deserted.

The only furniture left is a ratty old sofa and a few beach chairs. There's no electricity in operation and the covered windows allow little light. It may as well be night.

There's a gaping hole in the floor that Theo nearly steps into.

THEO Somebody better tear this down before it falls down.

NELSON Stay put! I know my way around.

Nelson proceeds carefully up the cracked marble staircase to the second level.

Nelson disappears into the darkness above.


Nelson kneels, pulls up what's left of a threadbare rug to reveal the once luxurious maple floor. Several planks are easily pried up and Nelson reaches in and retrieves one of the weapons which have been left here for safekeeping. It's a .45 Glock automatic. The clip is already loaded.

He replaces the rug, then opens his backpack and takes out his own cell phone which he speed dials. Lenore picks up.


NELSON I'm still in my cab -- jammed up in traffic. Are you there yet?

LENORE Any minute.

NELSON I was worried about you. Both of you.

LENORE We've had our share of fuck-ups but it's going to work out fine.

NELSON Give me 20 minutes at least.

He hangs up, stuffs the phone into the backpack, then crosses to the stairs and descends. Theo awaits him.

THEO Who were you talking to?

NELSON Them. They won't be expecting us.

THEO Brilliant -- unless they were close enough to see the cab pull away. In which case you just warned them.

NELSON Nobody can do anything right but you!

Nelson jacks a cartridge into the chamber of the Glock. Obviously Theo is not to be trusted with a weapon.

NELSON First thing they'll see when they walk in is you. And while they're wondering how in hell you got here -- I will be picking Grillo off from behind the staircase.

Theo claps his hands in mock applause.

THEO I'm in awe.

NELSON Following which we will have a serious question and answer session with your girlfriend.

There's the sound of an automobile coming up the road. Lenore and Grillo are making their arrival. We hear them park.

Theo and Nelson silently await their entry through the boarded up front door.

Moments later they're heard prying away the boards Nelson recently replaced.

Nelson, still carrying the backpack, withdraws into the shadows beneath the staircase with the Glock ready to open fire at Grillo.

He motions Theo to move into the center of the entry hall -- where he can't be missed. He'll be spotted immediately.

The boards are being pulled loose. The door is opening inward. But nobody steps inside.

Instead two quick shots ring out.

Nelson staggers out of his hiding place dragging the backpack in one hand and sprawls face down on the cracked marble floor -- blood oozing out of him.

He's been shot from behind. His .45 automatic is still gripped in his trembling hand.

Theo realizes that either Grillo or Lenore must've come in a back way -- while the other directed Nelson's attention to the front door.

No one's shooting at Theo yet. Maybe he can't be seen from the shooter's vantage point -- and nobody expects him to be here.

Nelson raises his head a few inches from the floor. He's looking straight at Theo.

Then with the last bit of strength left in him he skitters the gun across the slick marble floor -- directly to Theo who makes a dive for it.

Then the front door swings wide open -- as Grillo rushes in.

It must be Lenore -- behind Theo in the dark -- who fired the fatal shots.

Grillo spots Theo going for the gun.

GRILLO Lenore -- look out!

Two more shots spray the marble inches away from Theo -- as he grabs the automatic and fires blindly in return.

Grillo rips a heavy plank with rusted nails away from the doorway and makes a mad dash at Theo who's still sprawled on the floor.

Theo stops him with one shot before Grillo can strike a lethal blow.

Grillo tumbles backwards and lies motionless --

Theo fires wildly into the darkness again as he inches forward and reaches out for the strap of the backpack.

Grasping it, he retreats to cover as a bullet aimed at him strikes the backpack instead.

Theo gets to his feet and stumbles down the long hallway. There are half a dozen other rooms on this first level. Plenty of places to hide in the pitch dark.

But Lenore also has many hiding places and she must know the layout of the house better than he does.

CAMERA FOLLOWS Theo from one vacant room to another -- through what once was a huge kitchen. All the appliances have been ripped out. Windows everywhere are boarded up -- blocking out the light. The floor groans under his weight.


She's leaning over Officer Grillo's body, taking spare cartridges from his belt and reloading.


Waiting in the darkness. An idea flashes through his mind.

He opens the backpack, locates Nelson's cellular phone.

Once again a cell phone may be crucial to his fate.

He steps out into the corridor again. The floor creaks as it did before advertising his progress.


There are half a dozen doorways ahead -- on both sides.

She could be anywhere.

A few more steps forward -- then he pauses. Stays absolutely still.

She's heard enough of the creaking to draw her to him.

It's nearly pitch black in that narrow hall.

If he can't see her then she can't see him.

He's ready to put the cellular to use.


As Theo punches REDIAL.


As in the darkness another cell phone begins to ring.

(Theo guessed right. Lenore is still in possession of the cellular that once belonged to him. The cellular Nelson dialed only minutes ago.)

The ringing in the dark pinpoints Lenore's position exactly.

Theo empties his weapon in the direction of the ringing.

There's a scream. Several flashes as Lenore's gun goes off -- as we hear her fall.

Then just the constant unnerving sound of the cellular ringing.

Theo waits. Then he hears her.

LENORE'S VOICE Oh God -- Oh no -- Help me -- Don't let me -- Die.

THEO Didn't we play this scene before?

LENORE'S VOICE Don't leave me here to die -- Theo, please -- you can't let me die --

THEO I'm afraid I've used up all my good deeds for the day.

There's another gunshot fired by her -- a wild shot that blows a hole in the stucco wall inches away from Theo's head.

Then the sound of the gun clattering to the wood floor. A gasp. Then only the continuous ringing ...

After a moment Theo approaches her body. He's still dragging the backpack beside him.

He kicks the .38 away from her cautiously before ascertaining that she's no longer any threat. She won't live much longer. But she can still speak. The phone lying beside her keeps ringing.

LENORE I picked the wrong number when I chose you ... didn't I?

THEO Turns out you did me a favor. You're looking at a rich man.

LENORE -- The phones, Theo. Don't leave any of them behind. The cops could pull up a record of all our calls and -- find you.

Even lying there losing blood she's still trying to call the shots.

THEO You are some control freak, lady.

He bends over and retrieves his own cellular, flipping it off before dropping it in the backpack along with Nelson's phone.

LENORE I've got ... one last number for you, Theo ...

THEO I don't want it.

LENORE My fence in San Francisco ... 305-4410. Maurice. Don't take less than a third on the face value of those bonds.

THEO Sure, like I'm gonna take advice from you.

LENORE I told you ... sooner or later you'd have to trust me ...

She raises her hand and Theo grips it tightly. He can see she's slipping away.

THEO You know, I meant what I said about falling for your voice.

Through the pain she forces an odd smile.

THEO (Cont'd) Now just say goodbye.

But she isn't saying anything more. She releases his hand. Her head slumps to the side. She's dead. He looks at her for a long moment -- sadly -- before leaving her there.


Theo pauses by Grillo's body and searches his pockets. He finds his own car keys.


As Theo emerges and crosses to his Chrysler, peers inside --


All where Lenore and Grillo left them on the seat.


As Theo stuffs everything of value into the backpack and tosses it on the floor next to him.

He starts the engine and backs out.

He executes a turn and heads back down the hill.

He doesn't look back.


As Theo drives safely away.


He hits Sunset and keeps going.

After a moment he reaches over into the backpack and retrieves his own cellular for one final call. He dials 411 --

THEO (into phone) Information -- I need a number for the United Airlines shuttle to San Francisco.

It seems he's taking Lenore's advice after all. But the call is interrupted by a shrill beeping.

The battery has finally run out.

Theo looks down at the phone fondly.

THEO I take back every rotten thing I said about you.

The much despised cellular which got him into this -- has gotten him out of it and made him rich.

The phone continues beeping plaintively as he smiles at it with a warmth reserved for old friend who's shared a lot of grief and whose time is now up.

THEO You did good. Get some rest.

Theo kisses the cellular lovingly -- then flips it off. CLICK! SILENCE!





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