Friday, March 6, 2015

What Makes a Man Start Fires?

The late 70's was a fascinating time in Kansas City history.  A mob war, building collapses, stadiums being built, etc...This story, although fictional, is deeply rooted in the events of this era.  In that place.  At that time.



ext. airport - Twilight.

An airplane lands overhead.

A plane lands and a middle-aged man, LANNY, gets into a taxi.  From the make of cars and the clothing of various extras, it is obvious it is the late 1970's.  Lanny however is dressed like it's still the early sixties.  Straight leg trousers, skinny tie, and a short brimmed fedora.  Only his sideburns hint at a admission of the times.


FRANK CESARE and his wife, CONNIE struggle to open the door to the cookie-cutter suburban ranch-style house.


Get the door.  Get the goddamn door.


I'm trying.


This box is heavy, Connie!

The front door finally opens.  Frank holding a large moving box and Connie attempt to squeeze through the doorway at the same time.  The box being heavy and Frank being stronger, Frank wins out with Connie being shoved out of the way.


Jesus, Frank.

Frank drops the heavy box a few feet from the door.

Frank wears a standard summer detective short sleeve dress shirt.  He sets the box down a few feet from the door.  He is a man in his late-thirties who looks older than he is due to years of living hard but the wear and tear has only served to accentuate his chiseled features.


That's it.  That's the last one.

His wife, Connie, an attractive woman a few years younger than Frank, approaches and inspects the box Frank has just set down.


I've got most of the bedroom stuff unpacked.


Wonderful.  I'm heading out to get a drink.


What?  We've Nathan Juniors's christening tomorrow. 

Connie walks towards the center of the living room, tripping slightly over a small box after a couple of steps.

CONNIE (cont'd)

You promised things would change once we moved out of the city.

Frank leans against the wall, exhausted.


It's Whiff's birthday, his first one since he retired from the force.  I'll go down and make an appearance, you can lay down and take a nap, and I'll be home before you wake up.



Frank plants a kiss on her reluctant cheek.  Connie struggles to hold back her anger.





He grabs his jacket and gun holster and heads out the door.

ext. downtown interstate - night.

His cab makes it's way past the vast rural then suburban expanse before approaching the urban downtown of Kansas City, Missouri.

Day becomes night as the cab speeds into the downtown area.

ext. river quay - night.

The lights from cars and buildings distort the view as lanny's cab speeds downtown and stops in front of Manny's Bar and Grille.  It is one of many bustling restaurants and bars in the river Quay area of downtown Kansas City. 

Many people crowd the street, hanging out, going from bar to bar.

Lanny pays the cab driver and walks through the door into Manny's Bar.

int. manny's bar and grille - night.

Manny's Bar is the kind of place that cops, organized crime guys and wannabe businessmen feel right at home. 

Pictures abound on the walls of happy middle-aged men smiling at the camera.  The place is fairly crowded but revelry rules the air.

Lanny walks towards a crowded table.  Frank sits a the table spinning a yarn that has the men at the table enthralled. 

He talks a notch louder than a sober person would.

frank (o.s.)

I should have waited for backup but there's only supposed to be one guy there.  So, pow! I run in there like I'm Steve McQueen or something and the next thing I know...

Lanny taps Frank on the shoulder.

Frank looks around to see Lanny.

fRANK (cont'd)

Hey, Lanny!

One of the men, VINCENT, a wannabe mobster who is sitting at the table, shakes his head.

Lanny walks up to Frank and they embrace like old friends.


I figured you'd be here.


Where else would I be on Tuesday? Sit down. I'll spring for some dinner.


No, thanks! Eastern served the Salisbury Steak again.

Vincent whispers something inaudible to an older, rather portly man, WHIFF. 

Whiff is wearing a shirt which appears that it might spring from his body should he inhale (It's a tight shirt).


Frank, I'll buy the next round if you finish the story.

Frank eyes Lanny and sits back down in his chair.


Haven't I told this story lately? 

No answer from anyone at the table.

From behind the bar MANNY is heard.


We heard it last week.

Frank soldiers on.


So I barge right into the room where they had the stash....


How much dope was it?


Coke. It was more than 500 kilos.  But they knew I, uh we, were coming.  I can't even remember hearing the bullet.


You were pretty gung-ho back then.


I guess but six months of physical therapy took care of all that and...

Manny puts their drinks on the table.





Frank takes a big gulp out of his Tom Collins.

Vincent seems disturbed and gives Manny the eye.


I got the wrong drink.

Whiff waves at Vincent, trying to discourage him from distracting Frank.


We got those bastards though. We totally put Barbosa out of business.  Of course, my wonderful new partner, the sonofabictch, told Internal I was, I was...




Something like that.


(To Manny)

I didn't order a Vodka sour. I ordered...

Frank looks at Vincent and gets his attention.  Vincent begrudgingly complies.


Jim Harris was my partner.  He lied to the press about me and he became a hero--maybe the next mayor.  And what am I?

Whiff answers.


You're a cop.

Frank shakes him off and turns his focus on Vincent.


What am I?  What am I?

Vincent sits for a moment--looks at the others at the table for a moment.   Then he gets up.


I'll be right back.

Vincent walks to the bar as Frank gets stares from Whiff and Lanny.



No one says anything so Frank raises his glass.

fRANK (cont'd)

A toast.  A toast to our next mayor, James Harris.

Frank takes a hearty swig as the others remain more hesitant.

Suddenly bullets begin flying through the front glass pane of the bar. 

A bullet smashes the pitcher of ice water that is sitting in front of Frank, spraying it's contents on Frank.

People begin diving behind tables and chairs trying to avoid the bullets.  Several are hit. Some are dead, including Whiff.

As soon as it began, the shooting is over and Frank makes his way to the door across the broken glass with his gun drawn. 

A car can be heard peeling out.

Everyone else remains frozen in their positions, except for men who were shot, but not killed.  They writhe around on the floor.

Frank peers out the door, just in time to see a car vanish around the corner.

A Younger man, raises his from behind a table.

younger man

Jesus, they knocked out the TV.


Frank runs out into the night air.  The street is quiet. 

He runs down the street at breakneck speed in the direction the cars took off.

Frank hears a screeching car turn a corner. The car, hitting a dead end reverses at full speed and heads down another route.

He fires his gun at the car blowing out one of the tires.

The car smashes into a fire hydrant spraying gallons of water skyward. 

Two men get out of the car as Frank runs towards it.  As they get out, Frank yells.


Freeze, police!

The men ignore his command and fire a couple of shots at Frank that sail wide and take off in opposite directions.

Frank takes a deep breath in exasperation and hesitates for a second deciding who he should chase. 

Suddenly he sees the man to his left slip a bit and Frank immediately sets off after him.

The mMan turns up a street that is severely uphill and heads towards a brick tenement building.

Frank starts to huff and puff a bit and The Man begins to put some distance between Frank and himself.

As The Man gets to the tenement building, Frank begins to smile.  It appears the building is locked. 

Frank slows down.

The building isn't locked and the man enters through side door.

FRANK (cont'd)


int. tenement building hallway - night.

Frank enters the same door the man entered. 

The building is dark and apparently sparsely inhabited. 

There are few sounds except the distant roar of a television set in one of the apartments. 

Frank looks down the long hallway. 

Only a few of the hallway lights are working with one blinking sporadically. 

He hears a noise in the stairwell.  Frank makes his way to the stairwell door.


Frank enters the stairwell. 

It is one of those old-fashioned type open stairwells with metal stairs. 

Frank peers up the staircase to see what is going on.

A shot from a handgun rings out and ricochets off some of the metal stairs.  The ricochet seems to last forever.

Instinctively, Frank is already running up the stairs even though he is rapidly becoming out of breath. 

Scared, but knowing it is necessary, Frank looks up and sees the man he has been chasing. 

The man is entering the next floor's hallway.  Frank smiles as the old feelings come rushing back.

He races up to the next hallway.


Frank glimpses the man running into one of the apartments. 

Frank runs to the apartment door.

The TV in one of the nearby apartments can be heard blasting the local weather report.

tv weatherman (o.s.)

The forcast looks to be hot and dry until Sunday.  Aseries of intense thunderstorms are due to hit the area sometime tomorrow night or early Sunday morning. Flash flooding and tornadoes are a possibility.

Frank prepares to bust into the apartment just as he was describing it to the fellas at Manny's.

He puts his back against the door and holds his gun up to his face. 

After a moment Frank hesitates. He tries to gather himself to charge in, but he cannot do it. 

Police sirens can be heard outside of the building as Frank slowly slides down the door until he is sitting.  His head is down.

He rubs his hands on his face trying to rub away his cowardice.

ext.  tenement building - night.

Police cars rush up to the building from all sides.

int. detective squad room - day.

It is the next morning and Frank is sitting on his desk holding court and rapping to a couple of young detectives, Aaron and JOHNNY. 

The young detectives sit in chairs beside Frank's desk. 

Frank's desk is conspicuously barren.  Not possessing any of the usual nick-knacks or family pictures that all of the other guys use as decoration.


I was talking to Bobby McClear..

One of the young detectives, Aaron, speaks up to the other detective while Frank is talking.




...while we were wrapping things up last night. Bobby's an old-timer from Benton. Anyway, he thought it might be a turf war startin' up. But when I was in Narcotics we had a similar incident in '71 or was it '72?


I thought you transferred from Auto?


I did! But, I did a couple years in Narcotics.  So anyway...


Didn't you come up in Mayoral detail?


Right! So anyway, I was talking to a couple of friends this morning. They say this whole incident could have been a couple of small time Latin hoods-- Cheech, uh, Cheech, and...

Unbeknownst to Frank, the CAPTAIN, has walked up behind him.



The two young detectives laugh.

Frank does not find the joke funny in the least bit.


No, nevermind.

Frank turns around and before he can get a word out the Captain speaks.


Can I have a word with you?




Yeah, in my office.


I'm supposed to call the phone company.  The guys didn't come out to the new place yesterday.




Man, how the hell can you live all the way out in the boonies like that?

The Captain turns to head towards his office as does Frank. 

But Frank turns around, motioning to the two young detectives that he has no idea what this could be about. 

As soon as they're out of ear-shot, Aaron turns to the other detective.

aARON (cont'd)

He's done.

int.  Captain's office - day.

The Captain's office is small, yet separated from the rest of the detectives. 

There is a plethora of pictures and family memorabilia decorating the walls and desk.  Strewn in corners and in piles on shelves are many papers and folders.

Frank is smiling and brimming with optimism as they walk into the office.


You're off the case.

Frank is shocked.

cAPTAIN (cont'd)

Don't act so shocked. I don't want you involved, personally.  You knew practically everyone that was shot last night.


That's exactly why I should be working this case. I know...those people were my friends.


It's a conflict of interest. 


Oh, come on.


And do your friends include Peter Gallo, one of Johnny the Cat's right hand men?




Gallo was killed there last night.  Manny won't cop to it, but Gallo was part owner of Manny's.


I've seen him in there a few times but...


But, nothing! This could be the beginning of a mob war and I can't have you clouded by your personnel allegiances.

Frank approaches the captain.


This isn't right. There's been plenty of cops working cases about people they knew.  This city isn't big! Hell, my Dad knew every white person and half the blacks in town.


I don't care Frank.  I want you to give detective McCarty any information he needs.  If you want out of this department I can easily get you another transfer. I just can't believe you're the same guy who was the youngest patrolman ever to make detective.

There is an uncomfortable silence while the Captain searches for a document under a pile of folders.


Is there anything else? I've gotta go to my nephew's christening this morning.

The Captain finds the document he was searching for and hands it to Frank.


You're gonna miss it.  A young girl was found floating in the river last night.  They're out at the scene right now.


I should be on the Manny's shooting, sir. I feel I can offer a great deal of...

The Captain interrupts while Frank continues talking.


No, no, no.  It's out by the Interstate four thirty-five bridge. You'll have to hurry.

Frank stands and eyes the Captain for a second but the Captain quickly turns away and begins rummaging through a box of papers.

Frank resigned, his posture slouching, exits the office.


Frank walks past Aaron but Aaron stops him.


You get all moved in yet?

Frank is taken aback by this line of questioning.


Uh, no--not really.


It's never easy.


I am beginning to believe that.


Moving's never easy.



ext. streets of kansas city - day.

Frank drives towards the crime scene through the somewhat deserted streets of the Paseo area towards Vine St.  The area, once a jazz filled playground of vice, is now part of an ever growing slum.

As he drives towards the river his car passes under an overpass that still bears the spray-painted slogan "Viva Heinen!" 

int. frank's car- day.

Frank, after looking up to see the writing on the overpass, reaches down and turns off his police radio.

He begins to adjust his car radio and to fiddle with it. Frank can't find anything decent on the radio-- only disco, country, classic rock. 

He turns the radio off, disgusted.

Frank eyes a favorite coffee shop and turns into the parking lot.

ext. coffee shop parking lot - day.

Frank parks his car at the coffee shop, gets out and enters the coffee shop.

int.  jackson county courthouse - day.

An older man, Professor Edwards, is giving a presentation in a room in the courthouse building to some city council members. 

Professor Edwards is around sixty and fairly disheveled and is wearing an old wrinkled sweater.

He has drawings on an easel that he periodically changes and uses a pointer to emphasize his points.

The councilmen are smartly dressed in the latest business fashions of the day.  The room is conspicuously white and male.

As the professor gives his speech most of the councilmen look bored or aren't even listening except for JAMES HARRIS, a city councilman in his early thirties who seems to hang on every word.



I believe that this downtown entertainment, sports and convention center is the key to attracting the average person back to the city centers.  What I am talking about is a project that will have over 50 million dollars of economic impact per year in the downtown area that will more than offset the one time construction costs of fifteen million dollars.  The crown jewel of the project is, as I've mentioned before, the domed sports stadium that would attract the major sporting events such as the NCAA final-four and the Super Bowl.  Of course we are going to have to rezone certain downtown areas to make room for more hotel space that will surely be needed.

Harris decides he must interject.

james harris

Professor Edwards, as a city councilman and hopefully the future mayor, I have to say to the rest of this committee that the costs of this type of project dooms it from the start.  We can't gamble on inflated figures of economic impact when we are spending this kind of money especially when we have the greatest sports complex in the country out on I-four thirty-five.


What may be true today, sir, is not necessarily going to be true ten years from now and that's where we need to be looking.


I just don't see it, Professor, with all of the projections and growth that have made our city the most livable in the country.  It's out towards places like the airport.  That's where the city is going.  Suburbanization is an unstoppable force. And, what do my colleagues think would the good people of Kansas City be in favor of a tax increase for something we don't really need?

No one answers.  A few councilmen shake their heads.

jAMES HARRIS (cont'd)

Well, there's your answer.  I'm sorry! It's a beautiful structure but we just can't afford it, Professor.

ext. i-435 riverbank - day.

Frank arrives upon the crime scene. 

He walks towards the riverbank where a few cops have gathered waiting for him to show up. 

Frank carries his coffee cup in his hand. 

Before he gets close enough to see the body a uniformed officer stops him.

The uniformed officer, Pat Atkins, is in his late-forties/ early-fifties.  He is a lifer, a typical cop.


Frank, They got you this one?  What took you guys so long?

Frank shrugs off his comment and looks at his watch.


It's only been a half of an hour.

Officer Atkins looks to the ground not wanting to scold Frank.


That damn new M.E. He got tired of waiting, I guess, and left.  Probably had a tee-time.

Frank ignores the Medical Examiner's snub and walks towards the crime scene.

Atkins follows Frank anxiously trying to keep up with him.

atkins (cont'd)

The M.E. said the girl was stabbed a few times. Viciously is what he said and then dumped into the river.

Frank bends down and inspects the body.  The dead girl is naked except for a pair of panties.


Looks like the bag broke. No wonder she floated up so fast.

Frank looks up and sees an old friend, officer JIM MEHL. 

fRANK (cont'd)

Mehl!  How've you been?

Frank nonchalantly leaves the body and walks over to Jim Mehl.


It's good to see you.


That old lady corralled you in. I never see you out any more.


It happens! We've had some problems with our oldest, too.


I'm sure he'll pull through, Joey. Right?  He's a good kid.


Yeah, I know that.


So, what do we got here?

Officer Mehl straightens up.


Take a look.

Frank circles the body.


Just another dead hooker.  Any name?




Any clothes?


None in the bag.

Frank bends down to get a closer look at the dead girl's hand.


Check the Missing Persons reports?


No match.

Frank shakes his head and sighs.


What a loser of a case.  Get some prints.


I would have thought they'd have sent the B-team out on this one.


Maybe they did, Jim. Maybe they did.

int. episcopalian church - day.

Members of Frank's wife's family gather around a christening ceremony. 

The people are dressed in extremely rich looking clothes as if they were going to the country club soon after; in fact, they are. 

The preacher holds the baby up and pours a ladle of water over the small child's head while his father, NATHAN and his wife look on.

At the back of the church, Frank tries to sneak in unnoticed.  He negotiates the pews but knocks over stack of prayer books. 

Several people turn around including Frank's wife, CONNIE.


You're late.

Frank picks up the books.



Connie turns her back on Frank.

The ceremony ends.

ext.  courthouse steps - day.

Councilman Harris makes his way down the courthouse steps.  He is surrounded by several aides.

In front of Harris stands a couple of reporters. 

Harris tries to ignore them until a television crew approaches him. 

He suddenly stops and is happy to answer questions. 

The sky is illuminating a brilliant blue behind him.

The television reporter, a young woman, sticks a microphone in Harris' face.

Reporter #1

Sir, where do you see the city heading as we enter the 1980's?

Behind Harris several of his aides are holding "Harris for Mayor" signs so that they can be seen in the television picture. 


Diane, I believe Kansas City is truly the "Heart of America".  I am dedicated to keeping our city, America's most livable city into the eighties, the nineties, and beyond, without increasing the tax burden on working folks.  We are at the forefront of America's cities today.  Just look at the rave reviews of the recent Republican Convention, the success of our Royals and the state of the art Kemper Arena--the architect for which is being honored this week at the architects convention at Bartle Hall.

The reporter changes her tone.

Reporter #1

What is your reaction to the roof of the Sports Arena caving in this morning?

Harris is thrown for loop but looks genuinely concerned.


My god, is it bad?

Harris' handlers push him off away from the reporters.

Reporter #1

Sir, what is your reaction?

ext. frank's new house in the suburbs - sunset.

Frank pulls up in his car to his house. 

The neighborhood's layout is one house after another, all the same (two story Ranch style houses with the garage attached to the house.) Only the colors of the houses differentiate them from each other. 

Frank's house has yellow siding and a two car garage.  The American dream.

He walks up to the door.


Frank walks into his house, not bothering to turn on the lights.

There are many boxes strewn around the living room.  Some open, some not. 

Frank's posture and facial expressions indicate he is very tired.

He throws his coat on some boxes and moves another box out of the way so he can sit in his favorite chair. 

His gate is a bit wobbly.

The lights turn on and Connie stands over him.


Your captain came by a little while ago.

Frank is surprised but is too tired to react in any sort of animated fashion.


You're kidding.


No, he wanted to know where you were.  He said you're supposed to be working.


Goddamit, Con, you know damn well I'm always working. It's a twenty-four hour a day job.


I'm just telling you what he told me. 

Connie waits a second and then begins to unpack a box.  While she does this, she speaks to Frank.

Connie (cont'd)

Did you call the phone company liked I asked you to?


Uh, I think, uh, no I didn't.


I'll do it tomorrow, myself.

She waits anxiously for Frank's reply.


Fine, whatever.

She begins to unpack the box some more. 

She pulls out some items from the box and begins to unwrap them. 

They are wine glasses and she sets them gently down on the floor once they are unwrapped.


I saw James Harris on television today.




He was trying to talk about the campaign, but they surprised him about the Kemper Arena.


I'm thirsty.


Didn't you hear about it?  Nobody died. 

No answer from Frank.

CONNIE (cont'd)

Gee, I hope all the detectives are aware of what's going on as you are.

Frank gets up quickly from his chair and, on his knees, looks Connie straight in the eye.


What do you want from me?  Should I run for Congress?  Would that make your family happy?


What are you talking about?


C'mon, You know what I mean.

Connie regains her courage which she lost for a moment.


You're drunk.

Frank doesn't answer. He merely rolls his eyes and sits on his butt.

Connie (cont'd)

I want to take your son to the Club so he can play with his cousins and take swimming lessons.


Why can't he go to the Y?


I think he'd rather be where his friends are.


No way.  No child of mine is ever gonna set foot in one those tight-assed WASP factories.

Connie is visibly upset.


Well, he's already started there. You tell him he can't go back.

She heads out to the kitchen.


C'mon, Con.

She speaks as she heads to the kitchen.


Dinner's been cold for hours.

int. FRANK'S kitchen - night.

Frank follows her into the kitchen. 

Connie stands at the new dishwasher putting dirty dishes into it.


I'm sorry.


I've always wanted a dishwasher like this.

Frank puts his arms around her and she turns around.

Connie (cont'd)

Don't you want to spend time with me?  I don't mind hearing about your friend's little mishaps.

Frank acknowledges her statement.


I know I'm not the guy your parents wanted you to end up with.


I can make you a sandwich.

She struggles to make her way out of his arms.  She then begins to make a deli sandwich.


I'll have to take it with me since I've got some stuff to do.

She turns around.

Connie throws the bread and meat into the fridge.


Then go.

Frank shrugs and leaves.

ext. outside manny's bar - night.

Frank walks down a city sidewalk towards Manny's Bar. 

As he walks up to Manny's, he sees the deserted streets where there were so many people just yesterday night. 

Manny's Bar has the entire front boarded up with plywood and the sign above the bar is unlit.  It was struck by a stray bullet the night before.


Frank enters the bar without his usual confidence and energy, The atmosphere inside is rather dead. 

There are almost no people in the place except the bartender and Frank's friend, Lanny.

Lanny sits at the end of the bar slowly caressing his cocktail glass.  He doesn't see Frank walk in.

Frank approaches Lanny and stands beside him.


How's it going, Lanny?

Lanny turns to Frank and gives him a bit of a half-smile.


OK, I guess.  That was one hell of a homecoming last night.


Let me buy you some dinner.


You eatin'?


Not hungry.


You drinkin'?



Lanny looks down to the bartender who is cleaning glasses at the other end of the bar.


Hey, fry me up a burger, will ya?

The bartender looks at Frank and begins to make Frank's drink before he speaks.


Tom Collins.

The two, Frank and Lanny, make their way to a table.


So what's the word on the...


I wish I knew. They put me on some dead hooker case.




The guy who stops this mob war, and that's what it is I guess, is gonna be a local hero, for crissakes.

The bartender brings over Lanny's burger.

Lanny takes a bite before speaking.


So what about this dead hooker?

Frank who was taking a big drink from his glass takes a second to respond.


Oh, the M.E., you know him?




He's new. His name is Warburton.




Yeah, he's a real jackass.  Anyway, prints came back and we got a name...


That's something.


Yeah! Her name is, or was, Jane Halter.

Lanny turns a lighter shade of white and uncharacteristically clams up.

fRANK (cont'd)

I don't really know more than...Hey what's the matter?

Lanny fidgets in his chair.




You're holding some cards aren't you?


C'mon, Frank.


Out with it.  I'm callin'.  Put the 'em on the table, buddy.


Maybe it's not the same girl but Johnny the Cat's main girlfriend of late was... er, is, uh, her name was Jane Halter.


You're serious aren't you?


Yeah.  I saw her a few months ago with Johnny.


The first of June.


How'd you know?


I was there.


You were?


I'll be damned.


You think this has anything to do with last night.

Frank looking excited.


I'll see you later.

Frank puts some money on the table and leaves the bar.

ext. Westport area, city street - night.

Frank walks towards an old house that has been converted into apartments. 

He holds a piece of paper in his hand that contains an address. 

He walks through a neighborhood dominated by hippies, artists, gays and the like.

The building he is headed to is next to one of the rock clubs that dominate the area. 

There is a wide assortment of young people milling about.  Punks, deadheads and disco-ers.

int. hallway, barbara's building - night.

Frank approaches the door to the apartment he is seeking. 

Loud rock music blares from the room.

He knocks on the door.

It seems to take forever for an answer. 

Frank starts to give up on someone answering so he turns around.

Finally, a young woman, BARBARA, opens the door and yells at Frank.


Hey, you want somethin'?

Barbara is young and beautiful, resembling Mariel Hemmingway, but her eyes reveal experience that belies her years.  She wears a tight T-shirt, panties, and a little makeup.  Nsothing else.

Frank pulls out his badge.


Frank Cesare, KCPD.  Can we talk for a moment or two?

Barbara immediately shuts the door almost all the way.  She appears to be high on something.

fRANK (cont'd)

I need to talk to you about your roommate, Jane.

Connie won't let him in but he shoves open the door.  She is thrown back a bit.

int.  barbara's living room - night.

Frank takes a few steps into the tiny apartment.

The place is dirtier than a boy's freshman dorm room.  There is a bunch of cocaine on the coffee table.  Not too much for one person, but almost.


Oh, shit!  Look, uh, that stuff isn't mine--a friend of mine...

Frank steps closer to her.


Look, I don't care about that stuff right now.

She is shaking a little bit.

fRANK (cont'd)

Just get that stuff out of my sight so we can talk.


OK, groovy.  She scrapes the cocaine into a bowl and puts it into a drawer. 


Please, have a seat. You're not in trouble.

She sits cross-legged on her couch. 

Frank takes a seat opposite her in one of those weirdly uncomfortable seventies chairs. 

He tries to remain cool but his face reveals his discomfort.


You thirsty?


Not right now.  Uh, this is an interesting neighborhood.


Don't you get out much?


Not around here.  I just moved out to the Northland.


Really? You don't seem like the white picket fence type.


Hmm, so when was the last time you saw Jane?


Oh, we don't see each other much. We kinda keep different hours.


So, you didn't report her missing?


Is she OK?


We found her this morning.


Found her?

Frank answers her with his eyes.

BARBARA (cont'd)

I knew it!  I knew he'd do it!  I knew it!

Frank takes out a note pad and pen and tries to calm her down. 


Johnny the Cat...



Barbara pounds on the couch.


So, you think Johnny could have had her killed?


Johnny the Cat?  Oh, she called him Daddy. 




He treated her like a queen.  I don't think he loved her. Those guys get new girlfriends every few months or so but he was always such a gentlemen when I talked to him on the phone.  No way.


Was there someone else?


I think so.  She mentioned a "Jim" a couple of times.  I don't think she trusted me very much.



She wipes her nose.


Really.  Jane and I got loaded a few times and she talked about this government guy she was seeing.


What did she say about this guy?


Jane thought it was the coolest thing to play on both sides of the law but I think he was obsessed with her. 




It just seemed like it.  I never talked to him or anything but he would send his button down little aides over here every time he hadn't heard from her in a while.  Those guys have bitchin' dope though.


So, you think this "Jim" guy killed her?


Nixon was a politician, wasn't he?

Frank sits back in his chair.


Still is, I suppose. 

Barbara gets up and flicks on the TV and sits back down.  Prancing in front of him with her long legs and tight butt.

While she is still up Frank turns his head to see what she is doing.  On the TV the news pops on.

fRANK (cont'd)

Hey, did you hear about the Arena today?




Get this--the architect who designed the thing was in town getting some award for Architect of the Year and while that's happening the arena roof falls in?

She laughs.




You bet.

She gets up shaking her head.


You want a drink?

Frank is mesmerized by her smile.


Yeah, what do you have?

Before she answers, he gets up and heads into the kitchen after her.

Before Frank gets there, Barbara comes out of the kitchen with two wine glasses, a bottle of Paul Mason wine and a corkscrew.

She walks him backward towards the couch. 

He almost trips over the couch but manages to compose himself so that he can sit. 

She sets the stuff on the table.  Frank begins to open the wine bottle.

Barbara heads over to her record player.


Do cops like music?


Some do.


And what music do you listen to?


Uh, Sinatra...

She frowns.

fRANK (cont'd)

...and Motown, The Four tops, Temptations.



She reaches for a record and pulls out the Rolling Stones LP "Some Girls". 

She puts the record on their cut of the Temptations' "Just My Imagination".

She hops over to the couch and sits close to Frank.

bARBARA (cont'd)

Is this good?


It's good.

They kiss.  The song continues to play.  They start to make love.

int.  barbara's bedroom - day.

It is early morning and Frank gets out of bed without waking up Barbara. 

He grabs his clothes and walks naked into the bathroom.

int.  bARBARA'S bathROOM - day.

Frank runs the water in the shower and steps in.

He stands in front of the water stream trying to wash away whatever evils his spirit contains. 

He stands.

The water rushes over his face. 

He rubs his hands on his face trying to scrub away something that isn't visible.

Ext.  Italian grocery store - day.

An older Italian man unlocks the front door.

A car peels out behind him.

He turns his head to look at the car.

A huge explosion blows out the entire front of the building, old man included.

int. town-topic diner - day.

Frank sits at the end of the counter at the Town-Topic Diner on Main St. 

The place is tiny, not having any tables or booths, but it's famous for it's extra greasy breakfast entrees as well as being open twenty-four hours. 

Several people sit or mill about near the counter.

Frank sits and eats carefully pondering the events of the last few days. 

A young man in his late-twenties, JOEY, approaches Frank and sits beside him. 


You working the Jane Halter case?

Frank turns and replies with his mouth full of scrambled egg.



Joey looks a little disappointed with himself.


I'm sorry.

He puts his hand out to shake Frank's hand.

joEY (cont'd)

I forgot. You don't know me but I've seen you around.  I am an associate of  Johnny the Cat's. 




Well, Johnny couldn't be here but he says he's sorry.


Well, that's nice.


Right.  Anyway, I just thought I'd ease your mind and tell you that Johnny didn't have anything to do with that girl's death.


I don't need any money right now.


What?  No, no.  Johnny has an alibi.  He and a bunch of us were at the Royals game that night and then we all made it over to the Hertford House for steaks.


Johnny can confirm all this?

Joey grabs a piece of Frank's toast and eats it.


I've had the evidence sent over to your department.


Johnny's gonna have to come and make a statement.


Are you sure?

Frank takes a bite of his food and motions to the waiter behind the counter for more coffee.

joEY (cont'd)

He'll come in.


All right.

Joey gets up from the counter and bends down to Frank.


We'd appreciate it if you didn't make a big show of the whole thing.  OK?

Frank nods and slaps Joey on the shoulder.

Joey leaves and Frank raises his brow out of curiosity.


Later that morning Frank sits in his car down the block from his house.  He sits for a second, making sure his wife isn't home. 

Suddenly, there is a knock on his passenger window.

Frank turns to see a NEIGHBOR of his, dressed in Bermuda shorts and sandals. 

The Neighbor signals Frank to roll down his window.

Frank complies.


Sorry friend, you can't park here. Your rear end is blocking my drive.  The phone guy can't get out.


Huh?  Oh, yeah!  Thanks.


You the new neighbor?




Saw the wife and kid leave a while ago.


Yeah, my son's got lessons at

(clears his throat)

County Club.


Really! What club? Because the missus and I have been talking it over for months now about...


Is the phone guy in your house?


Well, yeah, he's about done.


Good, I want to talk to him.

Frank gets out of the car and purposefully makes his way up to the neighbor's house.

ext.  neighbor's house - day.

Outside in the neighbor's driveway, the Neighbor tries to prevent Frank from walking into his house.


I don't think you can just go up and talk to these guys. The phone company is very precise in it's rules.

Frank, being a cop, isn't deterred by this fool one iota. 


I have a gun.


You've got to call the phone company...



I have a gun.

He pulls his jacket away to reveal his firearm on his shoulder.


Oh, I'm, uh, can I offer you some coffee or donuts?

At this time the phone guy walks out of the house.


Hey, are you scheduled for 1315 today?

The phone guy looks at his clip board.

phone GUY

No.  No one's put it on the schedule.


(to himself)

That's strange.  She said she'd call today.

(to the phone guy)

Why don't you hook up 1315 today.


You're gonna have to call the central office and clear it with dispatch.

Frank pulls out his badge.

phonE GUY (cont'd)

I've got some extra time now.  There's an installation charge.


Bill me.

int.  detective squad room - day.

The squad room bristles with activity.  Detectives, uniformed officers and secretaries move back and forth.

Frank saunters into the squad room looking a bit ragged. 

The young detective, Aaron, sees Frank from his desk and drops the papers he's holding to confront Frank.


Hey, Frank, you... you... Are you wearing the same clothes?

No answer.

aARON (cont'd)

Johnny the Cat's in the interrogation room.  He only wants to talk to you.

int. interrogation room - day.

Frank walks into the room where Johnny the Cat is sitting behind a stark wooden table. 

Frank has a smile and a bounce in his step that was only moments before not present. 

Frank sits in a chair opposite the Cat.

the cat

Listen good.  I will never admit to knowing that girl.


Uhh, will you...

the CAT

My associates and I were at the Royals game and then the Herford House.  It's a restaurant.

Frank's attention becomes total on the Cat.


You know I did some checking.

the CAT

You're kidding.


It checks out.

the CAT

Isn't that what I've been saying?


Why were two of your guys killed at Manny's the other night?

the CAT

I don't know what you're...


Obviously Manny's shooting wasn't an isolated incident or you wouldn't have bombed that grocery today!  Wasn't it?


I'm not gonna even dignify that with a...

Suddenly the Captain barges into the room.


This interview is over!  Mr. Benoni you're free to go.  Thank you for your time.

The Cat quickly exits.


What the hell are you doing?

The Captain shuts the door.

FRANK (cont'd)



You're out of control.  A matter of fact, you've been out of control since you got here. 


Just put me on the Manny's case.


You are going to close the Halter murder and you're going to do it in a timely manner and you are not going to intrude upon the Manny's case in any shape or form.


Innocent people are being killed in the streets and you won't let me help.


If I had the Frank Cesare who finished first in his class at the academy, the man who was the youngest detective in Kansas City history, then I wouldn't think twice about putting him on any case no matter what conflicts of interest there were. But, I haven't seen that man in a long time, a long time.

Frank is crushed.


Captain, there's a mob war going on.


Close the Halter case.

The Captain exits the room.


Frank sits at his desk wadding up paper and throwing at a trash can.  Missing every shot.

The phone rings. 

Frank isn't in the mood to answer it. He lets it ring. 

It rings and rings. 

Aaron tired of hearing the phone ring, picks it up.


Yeah.  Yeah, OK.

Aaron puts his hand over receiver.

AARON (cont'd)

What a prick.

(to Frank)

Its for you.


Cesare.  Yeah, hey, oh yeah! I can. Yeah, sure.  No problem.

He gets up to pick up the paper wads and looks down on another detective's desk and sees today's paper. 

The headline screams "Mob War".  He writes down a number near the headline and rips off the piece of paper.


What the hell was that?

Frank picks up his coat.


My wife's prick brother.

Aaron quickly writes something down as soon as Frank disapears out the door.

Ext.  Pay phone, near the station house - day.

Frank drops a dime and dials the phone.


Yeah. Give me the Metro desk. Thanks.  This is Metro?  Frank Cesare.  I have a message for Glory.  The Grinch that stole Christmas.  Yeah, Jane Halter and Johnny the Cat. 

He looks at the pay phone's number

FRANK (cont'd)

Five, five, five.  Thirteen thirty-two.  OK, thanks.

Frank hangs up the phone and impatiently begins to wait.

A tough looking street guy approaches the phone.  Frank flashes his gun and the guy casually keeps walking.

Suddenly the phone rings. 

He reaches for the phone immediately and then suddenly stops short hesitating like he did in the tenement building. 

The phone rings again-- then again. 

He picks up the receiver.

fRANK (cont'd)


GLORY speaks on the phone line.



Wyeth Hill, six o'clock.

Frank wants to talk but Glory has hung up.

ext. wyeth hill - sunset.

Frank gets out of his car and looks around. 

He looks at his watch, no sign of Glory yet. 

A beautiful orange sunset glows brilliantly from the deserted vista.

Frank leans into his car and turns on radio. 

He plays with the tuner for a second until he comes across a station playing Motown favorites--"Just My imagination" by the Temptations plays. 

Frank turns it up and leans against his car. 

Frank pulls out a Schlitz Tallboy can of beer and takes a big swig. 

He sets the beer on the car hood and lights up one the Winston cigarettes that he is always smoking.

All of a sudden the music is drowned out by the loud blare of Frank's car horn.

Frank turns around and sees a man is leaning down in his front seat.

The man, GLORY, is wearing a ridiculous looking wig and mustache, a Texaco wind breaker, and glasses with very large frames.




Get in.

Frank gets in the passenger side of the car.


Anyone tried to kill you lately?


That's not funny, I write about organized crime.


Let me run some names past you.


Do you think you should be attracting this kind of attention?


I almost didn't recognize you in that get up.


I suppose you know about Jane Halter and The Cat?


Well, yeah, of course I do.


Can't be too sure anymore around you Frank. 


That's not exactly true. I uh...


And, you paid fifteen thousand too much for that house in Woodbridge.


Well, the bank would only...


You and your wife have been arguing lately about your late night carousing and your lack of ambition.  You didn't even come home the other night.


That's enough.

Frank rubs his face with his hands.

fRANK (cont'd)

Do you have any information for me?


There are some people would say that you can't be trusted since you tend to hang out around some disreputable characters.


That's a crock.  I'm not dirty, if that's what you're saying...


OK, but you can't be too careful.


So, what do you know?


I'll help you out because I want confirmation on some things. 




But I need some help from you.  I'll give you some info on the QT now and the rest after you talk to Vernon Schaeffer...

Glory waits for Frank to say something.

Frank sits silently.

gLORY (cont'd)

Vernon Schaeffer?  I guess you don't know him.  He spends a lot of time at Von Josef's on the Plaza.  Find him and get him to talk to me and you'll get what you need.

Glory reaches down on the car floor and puts a grocery bag on the car seat.

glORY (cont'd)

Jane Halter.




Jane Halter was not only seeing The Cat but she was two-timing him with a city councilman.  You probably know this. 





Well, this councilman was probably responsible for Jane Halter's death.  You probably know that, too.




What you probably don't know is that Jane was blackmailing this councilman with information she got from The Cat.




She figured out the councilman was a pawn of the Panetti mob.  The Cat liked to brag to her how he was going to get Panetti by getting to this councilman.


The councilman's James Harris, isn't it?


Very nice.  You just had a gut instinct, but I've got proof. 




Jane came to me.  She wanted to use me.  Well, my column, as leverage against Harris.


Now your source is dead. 


And, you bring me Schaeffer tomorrow night and I'll give you Harris.

Glory extends his hand.


See you then.

They shake.

Glory leaves.

INT. Cadillac, Restaraunt parking lot - night.

Two mobbed up guys, one very fat and short and the other tall and skinny slowly enter the vehicle.

The Fat one sits in the passenger seat while the skinny one put the key in the ignition on the drivers side. 

The fat one belches.


What a meal.  What are you waitin' for?  Let's go.

A DARK DRESSED MAN walks by the passenger window.  He wears leather driving gloves.

The Fat one looks over, soon enough to get a bullet in the head.  Another shot is quickly fired into the Skinny guy.

The Dark Dressed Man opens the car door, pulls out a knife and stabs the two men several times in the guts.

int. small college theater - night.

It is a small theater at the University of Missouri at Kansas City. 

There is a television crew shooting the debate that is taking place between James Harris and the other major candidate for mayor, Eldridge Woods. 

There is a moderator, a college history professor, who wears a beard and an ill-fitting herringbone jacket with patches on the sleeves.

The crowd is about half-capacity, populated by mostly elderly people.

James Harris is standing at a podium with his name written on the outside of it.  He is smartly dressed and looking good on television. 

His opponent, Mr. Woods, is a short, overweight black man who talks with the cadence of a preacher.


Mr. Woods?


Yes, well, my opponent so eloquently points out what he likes to refer to as the "inner city problem".  What he doesn't understand is that crime is only a symptom.


Mr. Woods?


The inner city has been left to rot by...


Mr. Woods, please I must respond.


Let Mr. Woods finish.


As I was saying before I was interrupted so rudely...

Harris rolls his eyes.

mr. WOODS (cont'd)

What I was trying to say was that we need to put money into projects that attract folks back to the city, not drive them further out into the suburbs.  Projects like the proposed convention/entertainment center.


Councilman Harris.


It may surprise some of you that I don't agree with what Mr. Woods is saying at all.  I have never been and never will be one of these "harbingers of doom".  Bad mouthing our great city.  I live in what is becoming the most important city in the Midwest.

Loud applause.

hARRIS (cont'd)

And this city will become, under my Mayorship, a model for every other city in the Midwest that hopes for a place of prominence in the U.S economy of the future.

Even louder applause.


Sir, I uh...


You may see problems in this city but I see nothing but success and achievement ahead.

Standing ovation.


Let me see if we can get a question in here...

Mr. Woods shakes his head as Harris smiles and then sips a glass of water that lies on his podium.


Tanner's is a place all the young professionals come to watch the sporting event of the day.  It lacks the colorful nature of the River Quay area establishments.

Frank is making his way through the crowd in this downtown bar. 

He runs into Lanny's back.


Man, there you are.  Why the hell didn't you want to meet at Manny's?


Its a war zone down there.

Lanny motions for Frank to follow him.

They walk to the a remote corner of the expansive bar.


Lanny, you're acting strange.


They're trying to kill me, Frank.


Who's trying to kill you?


Panetti! Johnny the Cat! the CIA! I don't know but someone is definitely trying to kill me.


I've known you for a long time so I feel comfortable in saying this, you're nuts.


Have you seen the news?  They sliced up two of the Panetti crew.

Lanny nervously fidgets with his glass.


You owe some money don't you?


I'm down.


How much?


Way down.


I can't help you if you don't tell me everything.


Three G's.


I can maybe talk to the guy in a couple of days...

Lanny interrupts Frank.


No, that won't work.  I mean, I gotta have it. I mean...have it.


With the mortage, I don't if I can swing three.


Don't worry about it. I'll just get out town for awhile.

Frank pulls out his check book.


You'll have to go somewhere different this time.  You got a pen?



He hands him the pen.

lANNY (cont'd)

I need to go to Vegas.


I'll give you five hundred but you can go anywhere but Vegas.  OK?


OK, but you'll have to put a C-note on the Cosmos for me this weekend.


The Cosmos?




You're betting on soccer now?


They got Pele, Frank.  Pele!

Frank smiles.


Whatever...get out of here.

Frank good-naturedly shoves Lanny.

ext.  gas station - night.

Frank's car is parked at an old Standard Station in a quiet part of town. 

A light rain peppers the ground as the lights from the station produce an other-worldly glow.

int.  gas station, phone booth - night.

Frank stares at the phone and then dials the operator. 


I need a listing for Frank Cesare, C-E-S-A-R-E...No the line was supposed to have been connected today.  Can you try again?...OK, there must have been a problem with the hookup or something. Thanks.

Frank slams the phone down.

fRANK (cont'd)


int.  frank's house - night.

Connie is in the new kitchen of their house preparing a special meal for two. 

She is looking in a box for the good silverware. 

Finding some she carries them into the dining room where boxes outline the room but there is enough room cleared out to eat dinner there. 

Standing in the dining room is a woman, MARY, older than Connie (around Frank's age). 

Connie sets the silverware down and picks up some matches and lights the candles that sit in the center of the table.


I love that silverware.  Where did you get it?

Connie sets the matchbook down.


OK, he'll be here any second.  I'll come pick Donnie up and take them both to school in the morning.


They'll have fun. Your Donnie hasn't been over to our house in a while.


I know. If something happens you'll have to call our neighbor's number.

She hands Mary a piece of paper.

connie (cont'd)

The phone company left a note saying they'd have to come back tomorrow.


How come?


He didn't have the right connector or something?


It's always something.


Thanks for everything Mary.


Just remember what we talked about.


I will.

Mary leaves. 

Connie continues to set the table. 

After a few seconds she collapses in a table chair. 

She puts her head on the table.

The sound of something in the kitchen boiling over can be heard. 

Connie raises her head and covers her face with her hands.


Frank is on the phone.


Aaron, did my wife call the squad room lately?

aARON (filtered)

Only about fifteen times?



Fifteen?  If she calls again tell her I'm going to be a little late. I've got to go meet someone.


aARON (filtered)

Frank, just between you and me, you should be working the Manny's shooting.  McLear is a dumb-ass.


Hey, he might seem stupid and old but he's closed more cases than the rest of our unit combined.

No reply.

fRANK (cont'd)

If Connie calls again, tell her I've got to work late. 


Sure.  I told her that you were...

He hangs up the phone.

ext. glory's office - night.

Frank pulls up in his car to a building near the old Municipal Stadium and sits. 

The building is labeled: Midtown Dry Cleaners.  The area is practically a ghost town. 

The streets are quiet as the small rain has turned to an ever present mist. 

Frank gets out of his car and takes a crow-bar out of his trunk. 

He walks around to the back of the building and tries to open the door but it is locked. 

He takes his crow-bar and smashes the glass on the door and then reaches through the broken glass to open the door.

int.  glory's office building - night.

Frank enters the dry cleaning building. 

There is a large ladder that leans up against a wall behind the dry cleaner's counter.  

He heads up some back stairs to an office on the second floor. 

int.  glory's office building, second floor - night.

Frank makes his way to the door of the actual office which is locked with about thirteen different locks.

He looks out the hallway window to see a fire escape balcony with no stairs leading up to Glory's office.

ext.  glory's office bUILDING - NIGHT.

Frank carries the ladder that he had seen earlier out in the dry cleaner's back office.

He takes it out to the fire escape.

He sets the ladder up, climbs up the ladder, and then reaches up to grab the fire escape.

But Frank is still about a foot or two, too short.

He decides to take sort of a leap of faith, and jumps up from the ladder.

Barely, he grabs the bottom of the fire escape.

While he jumps, his foot knocks the ladder over.



Frank is hanging by one arm from the fire escape. 

He swings himself upwards so he can maybe grab part of the escape with his feet.  Otherwise, Frank is just about ready to fall. 

He swings himself up towards the fire escape but catches his feet on the fire escape. 

As he does so, Frank's gun falls out of his holster. 

He looks down disgusted--Frank has dropped his gun.

fRANK (cont'd)

Dammit.  Dammit!

Frank pulls himself up onto the fire escape huffing and puffing the entire way. 

He takes one more look down at his lost gun. 

He then tries to open the window but it is painted shut. 

Frank takes a deep breath and slams his elbow into the window.

The window BREAKS.

fRANK (cont'd)

God-dammit, Glory.  Where the hell are you?

Frank then pries a big sliver of glass out of the meat of his arm wincing while he does so.

Next he punches away the remaining glass in the window so that he can crawl through the opening more easily.

Finally Frank enters Glory's office. 

The office is a mass of piles and piles of papers and photos and audio tapes of all kinds. 

He searches around a bit and comes across a file cabinet that is locked so he pulls out his keys and uses the bottle opener tool that he keeps on his key chain to open the cabinet. 

Frank spies a file labeled "Jane."

He opens the file and sees, not information on Jane and James Harris, but pictures of Jane and Glory in bed, having dinner, and dancing.

fRANK (cont'd)

Jesus, Glory.

Suddenly, Glory bursts through the door.


Gets your hands up, now!

Glory puts the gun to Frank's head.

gLORY (cont'd)

Never trust a policeman.

Frank doesn't appear to be too worried.


I especially like the picture of you two dancing.  I had no idea you could do the hustle.


I'd call the cops, but...


...what good would that do?

Frank smiles.

fRANK (cont'd)

Believe it or not, I'm on your side.  Just do me a favor.


No favors.


Just put the fuckin' gun down.


OK, back yourself over to that side of the room.

Glory points to the opposite side of the room.

Frank puts his hands down and slinks over to that side of the room. 


Man, I hate having those things pointed at me.


Even when it's your gun?

Frank nods knowingly.


You were seeing Jane Halter?

Glory shrugs.


Just get Schaeffer to talk to me and I'll give you Harris.

Frank's eyes get big.


You've got proof on Harris?

A screeching car is heard by both men.


That doesn't sound good.


We gotta get out of here. Give me my gun.

Glory tucks the gun in his waist band.

fRANK (cont'd)

Give me the gun!

Glory heads down the hallway and down the stairs.

Frank heads after him.


They get down to the first floor where they spot two gunmen trying to enter the front door.


Give me the gun, Glory.

Glory looks at Frank with a look of absolute terror and then heads as fast as he can to the back door.

fRANK (cont'd)

What are you doing?

Frank watches Glory exit the back door. 

He turns and sees the two gunmen smashing open the front door.

Frank heads towards the back door.  When he gets there he is met with gunfire.

fRANK (cont'd)


He ducks down below the broken glass on the back door. 

From his vantage point Frank can see the two gunmen entering the building from the front. 

Frank heads back upstairs as the men spot him and chase after him.

Frank heads back out the window. 

There is a one story drop that seemed like a good idea at the time. 

Frank hears the men climbing up the stairs and puts himself over the rail. 

He hangs down as far as he can until he hears the men get to the window. 

Then he lets go.

Frank falls down into a large water puddle that has accumulated from the precipitation that has been falling all night.

gunman (O.S.)

You go around to the front.  I'll get him.

Frank is soaked. 

He tries to get up but twisted his ankle is twisted pretty badly and he can barely walk.

A gunshot skims Frank's ear.

Frank ignores the pain and limps away as quickly as a man can when he is being shot at with a bad ankle.

Loud screaming can be heard from the back of the building followed by several shots.

ext.  mid-town streets - night.

Frank limps down the street-- water combined with sweat pouring off his face and limbs.

He runs as fast as his damaged body will let him. 

Frank turns the corner and comes upon a large group of people having a party in the street. 

There are about fifty to sixty people hanging out in the street and in several front yards where they are drinking and listening to music that is blaring from somewhere. 

MUSIC:  "Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe" by Barry White-UP Full.

Frank tries to mix in with the revelers but they all make way for him as he passes through the crowd.

A young TEENAGE GIRL addresses Frank as he stumbles through the crowd.

teenage girl

You lookin' for something mister?

Frank thinks for second but can't think of an answer for her question. 

He turns around and tries to look to see if he is still being chased but his vision is suddenly clouded.


They must have let me go.


There's beer in that cooler over there.

Frank is still looking around trying to get his bearings straight.


Great, thanks.

Frank makes his way to the back of a neighboring house.

He leans his back up against the wall much like in the first shoot-out and slides slowly to the ground.


Connie sits alone in dim candlelight. 

The candles she had lit earlier are burned almost all the way down. 

She is writing a letter with a determined although not sad demeanor.

A record player skips at the end of a side again and again. 

ext.  city streets - night.

Several blocks from Glory's office Frank limps down a city sidewalk. 

He appears lost but only looks forward.

Frank walks by a corner store. 

A drug DEALER hands out a baggy of heroin to a KID no older than high school age.


What's up with him?




Yeah, Yeah.

The kid hands the dealer the money, hops on his banana bike and rides away.

Frank keeps going ignoring all activity around him. 

He puts his hand through his wet hair.

The precipitation has subsided for now.


Frank spies his car from across the street behind a dumpster. 

He waits for a second and looks to make sure no one dangerous is still hanging around the area. 

He then walks over to his car and begins to put the keys into the lock.  Frank stops suddenly.


Frank walks over to the back door of the building while still wincing from his fall. 

He looks at the building's wall and spies two fresh gunshots. 

He feels them with his hand almost caressing them.


Frank's car pulls up outside his house. 

It is late and all the lights are off in his house as well for the rest of the neighborhood.

His wife's car is no longer in the driveway.

int. FRANK'S HOUSE, dining room - NIGHT.

Frank struggles to find a light to turn on in the living room. 

A lot of banging can be heard and finally he finds the over-head light. 

Frank comes into the dining room which is connected by a wide doorway and flips the light switch. 

Many of the boxes are gone as well as some of the furniture, too. 

A note lies on the dining room table next to a candle which is almost burned out. 

Frank sits and reads the note aloud.


Frank, Donnie and I have gone to stay with...

Frank folds up the note neatly and stuffs it into his shirt pocket. 

He takes a deep breath and coughs rather violently. 

Ext.  NEIGHBOR'S HOUSE - night.

Frank walks with purpose towards his neighbors door. 

He bangs on the door.

The neighbor opens the door.  Frank walks right in.


Frank walks into the living room and looks around.


What the heck are you doing, mister?


I need to use your phone.

The neighbor smiles.

FRANK (cont'd)

Where is it?

The neighbor points to the far wall end table.

Frank walks over, picks up the phone, and dials.

FRANK (cont'd)

Is she there?  Goddammit Nathan, put her on the phone.



She's sleeping.  Give a call tomorrow.


Listen, you little prick, get her on the phone.

A click and a dialtone is heard.

Frank slams the phone down.


You handled that well.

Frank throws the phone at the neighbor.  The neighbor runs down the hallway.

ext.  newspaper building, downtown -  night.

That same night Frank takes off downtown and heads to the Kansas City Star Newspaper. 

The building is an old huge brick expanse of a building.

Frank walks inside.


Frank walks up to the area where the Metro writers' desks are located. 

The place is abuzz with activity of the next morning's deadline which is quickly approaching. 

A tv plays the local news.


Look like we're going to get thundershowers on Sunday, could be severe.



Has anyone heard from Glory tonight?

No response from anyone.

Frank raises his amplitude.

fRANK (cont'd)

Has anybody heard from Glory!

Still no response.

Frank, in a bit of a hurry, takes his arms and in one swoop pushes all of the papers, pictures, pens, etc... that were lying there off the desk in a big crash.

A REPORTER motions at his other compadres.

Reporter #2

Just a second.

(to Frank)

You need something?

Frank stands looking like someone with whom you would not want to mess.

He speaks slowly.


Have you or any of these other clowns heard from Glory tonight?

Reporter #2

Who are you?

Frank pulls out his badge.


Cesare, Homicide.  I was with him earlier tonight.

Reporter #2

Were you with him when he got nabbed for cocaine possession?



Reporter #2

About a half-an-hour ago.  Are you really a cop?  Let me see that shield again.


Thanks for your help.

Frank leaves the area.

Reporter #2

(to himself)

I bet they planted the coke on him.


Frank walks the streets in the River Quay area where Manny's is located. 

Frank walks around the couple of blocks the area occupies.

Instead of teaming with people, as it was two nights earlier, the area is pretty much deserted except for a few hard-core STUMBLING drunks.

ext.  CHARLIE'S - night.

As Frank limps by, the strip club called Charlie's is bustling with people inside.

He shakes his head and smiles thinking that some things never change. 

ext.  outside manny's - night.

Frank turns the corner and views Manny's from a distance.

Every hint of people is gone. 

The mob violence seems to have scared away everyone.

Frank walks up to Manny's. 

It's hard to tell if it's even open because of the plywood that lies over the shredded windows.

He opens the door and a shaft of light beams out towards the street.



Hey, Frank!

Frank tries to smile.


Reporter #2 sits as desk typing away on a keyboard.  Another reporter, M. Scanlon, approaches the man, Reporter #2, that spoke to Frank.  M. Scanlon is a much older man than Reporter #2 and more sloppily dressed.

M. Scanlon

Hey, what was that cop's name Frank Cesare?

Reporter #2


M. Scanlon throws down the next day's front page section on the desk.


Tomorow's edition.

The top headline screams, "Mob Cop to Be Indicted" with a picture of Frank whooping it up at Manny's with several mobster, including Johnny the Cat.




It is the wee hours of the morning and Frank is looking and acting very drunk. 

He stumbles up to Barbara's apartment and bangs on the door. 

As she opens the door Barbara already looks pissed for being bothered at this hour. 


Oh, my God.

Frank clears his throat a little longer than most sober people would.  He puts on a big smile.


Hey, uh, hi!


What are you doing here?


Wow, you look beautiful in the moonlight.


We're indoors.


I was just thinking about you, and us, and I thought you might wanna have a drink or something.  You know, I think I could really love you.

Frank smiles.



Frank tries to move forward into the apartment but she pushes him back with one arm.

bARBARA (cont'd)

Here's the deal.  You don't love me or anyone else.



Barbara leans in towards him to be better understood.


If my boyfriend hears you out here, he's gonna kill you.  You understand?  He hates cops and so do I.

Frank's face contorts as he tries to comprehend these unforeseen events.

bARBARA (cont'd)

I don't want to see you again and I don't want anything to do with you.  It was a nice night and now it's over.


Are you sure because...


Go.  Now!

She shuts the door.  The sound of door locks are heard.

Frank starts to walk away but his ankle gives a little and he trips and hits the deck.  Face first in a large puddle of water.

He remains on the ground, reveling in the muck.


The next morning Frank arrives late to work wearing a long night's beard and a tongue that weighs around seven stone.

Everyone seems to be moving at twice the speed Frank is moving at the moment. 

Frank walks with an albeit slow but assured sense of purpose as he heads past the stares of the other detectives.

Aaron who stands at the coffee pot addresses Frank.


What the hell happened last night?

Frank ignores Aaron and everyone else as he heads straight into the Captain's office.


Frank opens the door and before he can get a word out the Captain covers the phone he is holding and speaks to Frank.


Why haven't you put a warrant out on Johnny The Cat?


Why don't you finish your phone call?

The Captain looking severely irritated winds up his call.


I'll talk to you later. No, later! OK, bye!

(He looks at Frank)

My God, what the hell have you been into?


I was working.  Tell me why I should bring in The Cat.


All right.  The commissioner is very concerned about the mob war going on in the Quay.




So, he feels... I feel, that if we could take a major mob player off the street it could take some of the heat off of all of us.  Comprende?


I don't care about that shit. That's your problem but what I know is that The Cat didn't kill that girl.


I'll bite. Who killed her then?  The CIA? Breshnev?


I can't reveal that right now. I need to talk to another source.

The Captain picks up today's newspaper.


This is what I was afraid of.

He throws the paper at Frank.

The headline reads, "Detective Friend of The Cat" with a picture of Frank and ten other people including Johnny The Cat toasting a Royals' victory at T.J.'s Bar.

The phone rings.  The Captain picks it up.

CAPTAIN (cont'd)

Yes sir...He happens to be right here.  I know, I just saw it right now...I understand.

The Captain slowly hangs up the phone.

cAPTAIN (cont'd)

I don't want to do this but I'm gonna have to.


That picture's been up at Manny's for years.


Guess what?

Frank sets his badge on the Captain's desk.

Frank looks at the picture in amazement.


I don't know any of these guys except for Lanny.  I didn't realize The Cat was in it. He's all scrunched in the corner.


Honestly, I don't know what to believe.


So, you're suspending me?


Until Councilman Harris has exonerated you or indicted you with his organized crime committee.


James Harris?


Yeah, so everything will be fine.  I'll need your gun.

Frank looks embarrassed.


Uhh, my gun. 

A moment of silence passes.

The Captain shakes his head in disbelief.


Get it for me.  Soon.  I'm sure everything'll be fine.  You'll see.

Frank tosses the paper on the Captain's desk knocking some family photos over and then leaves.

The Captain carefully readjusts his photos to the state they were in before Frank had knocked them over..


Frank stands at his desk putting his personal effects into a small box.  He doesn't have many things so the box looks rather empty.

Aaron sits on Frank's barren desk.


He suspend you?

Frank looks over at him with eyes of death and continues looking through another drawer where he spots a pencil with a nice eraser. Frank puts the pencil in the box.

aARON (cont'd)

You hear about that Metro reporter, uh...?




Yeah, how'd you know?


What about it then?.


Oh, well, he killed himself in the Platte County Jail last night.

Frank stops what he is doing.  He looks a bit more devastated than before.

aARON (cont'd)

Crazy world today, but you know that, huh?


I've got some packing here to do, so if you don't mind.


Sure, OK.

Aaron leaves, coffee mug in tow.

Frank sits at his desk pondering his next move.

The SECRETARY walks up to Frank's desk and hands him a package.


This came last night, I don't know where it's from.



Frank opens the package and pulls out an audio cassette and a picture of Harris shaking hands with Panetti.  The names of the people are written with arrows pointing to the correct faces.

A note inside says, "Don't lose the tape".

Aaron comes back over to Frank and tries to hand Frank a business card.

Frank doesn't take it.

fRANK (cont'd)

Now what?

Aaron puts the card in Frank's shirt pocket.


My uncle Tim is a lawyer.  He's cheap but he's pretty good.

Frank takes the card and flicks it back at Aaron.


aARON (cont'd)

I, uh, just thought that I'd try to help.


Why don't you try thinking once in awhile?

Aaron slinks away.

Frank starts to leave the squad room in a hurry, but he eyes a tape recorder on the desk next to his. 

He takes the recorder forgetting his box of stuff, but carries his package from Glory.

ext.  police station - day.

Frank walks up to his car and opens the front door.  He reaches under the seat.  He searches under the driver's seat for a while.  Giving up he reaches under the passenger seat and pulls out an old revolver that he keeps as a spare.

He puts the revolver into his shoulder harness and gets into the car and speeds off.

int. fRANK'S CAR - DAY.

Frank starts to fiddle with the tape recorder as he drives. 

He fumbles with the tape and has to swerve to avoid a car in the other lane.

Frank finally gets the tape in and hits "play." 

ext. fRANK'S CAR - DAY.

On the tape the voices of Harris and Panetti are heard.  Music is heard in the tape's background like it was taped in a quiet restaurant.

While the tape plays we see Frank's car driving through the downtown area, through midtown. 



Mr. Panetti you've got to help me.  I might have killed the girl.

Panetti (O.S.)


What do you want me to do?  You said she's already dead.

harrIS (O.S.)


You've got to help me get rid of the body, I don't know what to do.

paNETTI (O.S.)


And I do?  You go talk to J.J. down at Chubby's and he'll help you but you're going to owe me big time.



It is, what it is.

int. von josef's restaurant - day.

It is around the lunch hour. 

Von Josef's is a posh eatery on the swank Country Club Plaza, an outdoor shopping area a few blocks south of downtown Kansas City.  It's the kind of place you take your grandma when she comes to visit.  Clean, lots of shops and restaurants plus danger. 

Many business people congregate in the restaurant. 

It isn't the kind of place that requires a jacket and tie but no man inside is without one. 

Frank walks past the Maitre'd who tries to stop Frank and asks him if he wants something. 

Frank, of course, is still looking rather ragged, not having shaved or bothered to alter his already rustled appearance.

He heads straight towards the bar area and leans against the bar.

The bartender, BOBBY, sees Frank and recognizes him. 

He motions at a patron that he'll be back in a second and heads over towards Frank.


Frank, my man!  How's Connie?  Her brother comes in here all the time.


Good to see ya.  Got the lunch shift, kid?  Maybe you can point me in the direction of a guy named Schaeffer.  Looks like an accountant.

Bobby looks like he just shit his pants so Frank tries again.

fRANK (cont'd)

Look, I know this guy hangs out here.  I just need to talk a little shop with him.

The bartender leans his head towards the man sitting to Frank's right at the bar.

The man, VERNON SCHAEFFER, slowly turns his neck towards Frank.  Schaeffer is dressed very conservatively and looks like he just stepped out of the Kennedy administration. 

His hair is almost a crew cut and he sports round wire-rim glasses.


My name sir, is Vernon Schaeffer and I must tell you that I will not speak to you now or at any other hour in any day.

With that Schaeffer makes his way out of the bar area towards a table in the dining room.

Frank, unfazed by this turn of events, motions at Bobby.


I'm sorry about that Bobby.  I'll make it up to you.


Don't worry about it.


I need a favor though. I need a bottle of your best Scotch and put it on my father-in-law's tab.



Bobby reaches over behind the bar and hands Frank a bottle.


Let the rich bastard pay for it.

Bobby merely shrugs and heads down the bar to wait on some customers.

Frank makes his way to the dining room.

int. vON JOSEF'S RESTAURANT, dining room - DAY.

Frank spots Schaeffer sitting alone at a corner table. 

He walks up to Schaeffer's table and sits opposite him.

Frank pours of bunch of scotch into Schaeffer's water glass that is mostly empty.


What the hell are you doing?


Drink up! It's the good stuff.

Frank drinks out of the bottle.


You must excuse me.  You look familiar, but I don't know your name.


You read the papers?


No paper you're familiar with, I'm sure.  The Times and the Wall Street Journal, mostly.


Right.  Well, my name's Frank Cesare.  I'm with the KCPD.


I'm going to have to ask you to leave now.

At this moment a waiter comes over and sets a water glass down and tries to pour water into Frank's glass.

Frank motions for the waiter not to pour the water.


Just the glass, please.

Frank loads the glass up with scotch and takes a big drink.

fRANK (cont'd)

We're gonna need a few more minutes to decide.

The waiter leaves.

fRANK (cont'd)

Oh, yeah! I'll leave as soon as you have a drink with me.

Schaeffer begrudgingly complies.

fraNK (cont'd)

Great!  Now we're having fun.

Frank toasts him.

They drink.


What do you want?


I figure you're smarter than that.  Hmm, maybe you're not.  Look, Glory is dead.  Panetti's people got to him.  Which means...


I know.


...that, you're next.


What can I do?


Tell me where the books are kept.

Schaeffer laughs.

fRANK (cont'd)

All I want are the books that show payments from Panetti to Harris.


That's not enough to prove corruption.


I don't care about corruption.  I just want to nail a murderer.  I'll leave corruption to the professionals.

Schaeffer raises his glass.


To the politicians.


That's the spirit.

They drink.


I'll tell you where we keep those books but I want time to get out of the country. I'm sorry but I don't trust the police.

Frank raises his glass.


Who does?

They laugh and share another drink.


That same afternoon Frank walks up to his house door.  He seems eerily happy, whistling "Just My Imagination". 

He fumbles with the new keys and the lock.

He hears the noise of a car pull into his driveway.

He turns around and his smile turns to concern as a professional looking man with a briefcase walks towards him. 

When the MAN WITH THE BRIEFCASE GETS near Frank he pulls a piece of paper out and extends it towards Frank.


What the fuck is this?

man with briefcase

You are being summoned to appear before the city's organized crime committee. 

The man backs up a step anticipating some sort of violent reaction out of Frank.

Frank stuffs the summons into his pocket and continues opening his door. 



Frank slams the door.

ext.  connie's parent's house, mission hills -  day.

Frank is standing at the front of door of a very large mansion in the posh area of town.  He rings the door-bell.  There is no answer.  Then Frank rings it more forcefully but still there is no answer.

Sounds of people laughing and playing tennis can be heard from the back of the house.

ext.  conNIE'S PARENT'S HOUSE, backyard -  DAY.

Frank walks across some flower beds and over to Connie who sits lounging in a deck chair watching her father and her older brother, Nathan, playing tennis on their backyard tennis court.

Frank's young son, DONNIE, is playing with some of his cousins.  Donnie sees Frank and runs to him before Frank can get to Connie.



Frank, who appeared pretty ragged a moment ago, now has a smile from ear to ear.


Donnie, how ya doing!

The two of them embrace in an emotional hug.

fRANK (cont'd)

You keeping your head up, kiddo?

Donnie nods.

Connie grabs Donnie gently.


Honey, why don't you let me talk to your father for a second.

She pushes him away subtly.


What are you doing to me, Baby?


I'm trying to do what's right.

Frank re-adjusts himself.


OK.  I'm sorry for going out so much.  I'm sorry for ignoring you and Donnie.  I know that I was wrong and that is what's so beautiful about all this.  I can finally see clearly now.  I can see what's important for us, for Donnie, for me.  It's like you said.  I've been asleep for eight years but now I'm up now and I finally have a chance to do something right.  Can't you see?


No, I don't.  You do nothing for me, you do nothing as a cop.


That's what I'm saying.  I realize all that now but I think I can make up for all that.


Frank, Daddy and I read the paper this morning.


That's part of it.  I mean, all that's just bull.


Is it.


Connie, you know me.  You know I'm not dirty.


Maybe if you come clean to the authorities they could get you some sort of immunity.


I'll make it up to you, baby.

Connie turns and walks away from him and goes inside with Donnie.

Donnie cries out from a distance.


Bye, Dad!

Frank slowly closes his eyes.

fade TO:

ext.  used car lot - day.

It is late afternoon.  Frank walks around looking at the used cars on the lot. 

He spies a blue '68 Mustang. 

Frank runs his hands down the lines on its fender.


Bitchin' car.


I used to have one just like it but I sold it when I married my first wife.


Tragic.  So, what did you want to talk to me about? I've got things to do.

Frank stands up and looks Joey straight in the eye.


We have some mutual interests.


I'm listening.


Would you like to hurt Panetti?.


I wanna kill that motherfucker.  The sonofabitch killed my brother.


I'm sorry about that. I met him once. He was a hell of a card player.


Well, he's not anymore.


There are some accounting books that can prove bribery of a government official that are kept in an office building out in Lenexa.


Fuck, yeah!  The Sinclair Real Estate office.  There's like, two guys and a secretary there.


Can we get in there tomorrow?


We won't get any help from The Cat.  That's for sure.  He's under too much heat.  But, I can get a delivery truck.  We'll be fine.

ext.  city stREETS, independence - early evening.

Frank drives from his house in the suburbs to historic Independence, Missouri, as night begins to fall. 

MUSIC:  "Miracles" by Jefferson Starship- UP FULL.

He drives down the main strip in town, past the hookers and dope fiends that populate this once shining example of small town wholesomeness.

ext.  ciTY STREETS, Raytown - sunset.

Frank drives through the suburbs of Raytown.  He sees kids playing basketball in a driveway in this working-class neighborhood. 

A child runs out in the street after the basketball. 

Frank has to slam on his brakes to avoid hitting the kid.

A parent walks towards the curb as Frank picks up his speed.  Frank waves at the man. The man waves back.


Frank heads towards the Kemper Arena.  The lights of the downtown skyscrapers that seem an unreachable distance away can be seen. Construction equipment and scaffolding surround the building whose roof fell only days before this moment.

ext.  hill in johnson county - night.

Frank stops on a hill where you can view sub-divisions as far as the eye can see.

The music fades into the background.

Frank gets out of his car. 

A dog runs by him and barks.

He looks towards the other car that is parked on the hill. 

Two young kids sit in the front seat making out.

Frank sets a six-pack of Oly on the hood and leans back against the car.  He opens a can and stares in the direction of Lenexa.

int.  jACKSON COUNTY COURTHOUSE, harris' office - NIGHT.

Harris sits at his desk with two of his head campaign aids, PEGGY and WALTER, sitting opposite him.  It's night after the day's official work is over.

Walter is a young black man who dresses like he's attended an Ivy League school. 

Peggy is an attractive woman dressed conservatively considering her tiger-like demeanor. 


OK, so how are we looking for the rest of the month?


Well, we've got enough money to pay for all the print ads, mailers, signs and all that stuff.


What about TV?

Walter looks at Peggy.

Harris then directs the question to Peggy.


Well, I like the "get to know you's" we did but I'd like to run something past you.



Peggy and Walter exchange encouraging glances.


Well, our people did some digging on Woods. Uh, you OK'd it.


Go on, Peg.


So anyway, well! We've got some pictures of Woods with a hooker James.


Oh, my God!  I can't believe it.


Believe it! And, what we were thinking was that we should let the pictures somehow slip into the hands of the press.

Peggy jumps in.


The man's a hypocrite. He practically lives in the churches and at night he's screwing whores.


Hey, hey!  I don't care what he does in private.


It'll never get back to us, sir. And once the news is out, we can allude to it ever so slightly in our ads.


No.  If there's even a hint of the press getting this, even if you didn't have anything to do with it, you're fired! You understand?


Well, sir! I, uh..


That's it! I'm going home early tonight.

ext.  Joey's mamma's house - day.

It's an overcast dank day.  The smell of rain is in the air.

It is well past nine o'clock in the morning.  Frank is frantically knocking on the door.

Joey answers it.  He is dressed in a brown UPS jump suit.


You're late.


We'll be fine.

Frank pulls out his gun and starts to inspect it.


Jesus Christ, this is my mother's house you idiot.  Here, dress in the truck! I guess I'll have to drive.

Joey hands the jump suit to Frank.


I can drive. It's no big deal.


I said I'd drive.  Let's go.

ext.  small office building - day.

A few minutes later, Frank and Joey pull up in the UPS truck to a small office building located in a strip mall in Lenexa, KS.  Lenexa is a town that isn't as rich as many of the others in the Johnson County, Kansas suburbs of K.C.

int.  ups truck - day.

Joey checks his gun while sitting at the wheel of the truck.


Just keep 'em under control. Try not to kill anybody.

Joey cracks a small smile.


Right! Just don't wait too long before you come in.



Joey gets out of the truck and leaves the truck running.  He carries a package and heads into the real estate office building.

Frank waits a moment or so after Joey enters the building.

fRANK (cont'd)

One thousand-one, one thousand-two, one thousand-three, one thousand-four, one thousand-five.

He exits the truck with a gun tucked in under his brown UPS jump suit.

A slight drizzle rains down upon him.

ext. small office building - day.

Frank walks towards the building.  He gets a few steps short of the door before gun shots ring out.

He opens the door to the building and a hail of bullets come flying towards him.



Frank is grazed on the left arm by one of the bullets.

He sees Joey dropping to the ground a few feet in front of him.  Blood pours out of the young man.

fRANK (cont'd)


Frank runs to the UPS truck and speeds off.

Panetti's men jump in a Buick Riviera and chase after Frank.

int.  ups TRUCK - DAY.

Frank's arm is bleeding pretty bad.  He looks in the mirror and sees the car chasing after him.

ext.  streets of johnson county - day.

Frank is being chased through the quiet residential neighborhoods of Johnson county.

Frank makes a turn and heads down a commercially zoned street almost hitting several cars.  The UPS truck nearly tips over.

The Buick continues to tail him.

A slow steady rain begins to fall.

At the last second, Frank makes a turn onto a cross street. The truck slides as it makes the turn.

The Buick smacks an oncoming car and loses some ground but keeps coming.

Frank is driving down a big hill. At the bottom of the hill there is a busy intersection. 

Frank guns the truck and heads full speed down the hill towards the intersection.

int.  upS TRUCK - DAY.

Frank grips the wheel for dear life.


Hang on.


Frank hits the intersection at full speed.  His side has a red light. 

Luckily, there is a small space in the traffic so that Frank can squeeze the truck through. 

The Buick at the last second tries to brake but the rain and their rear-wheel drive only cause the car to skid into several vehicles which until now were innocently making their way across the metroplex.

int.  upS TRUCK - DAY.

Frank finally exhales.


Frank turns immediately and slows down a bit.

For a moment there is a break in the rain


Frank pulls up in the UPS truck to Joey's place.  Out of control a bit, Frank comes to a screeching halt in the middle of the front yard. 

Joey's mother, MAMMA, comes out of the house in a tizzy.

Frank heads over to his car. A dark wet patch of blood has developed on his left arm.  In his haste he has never taken the brown UPS jump suit off.


Is everything OK?

Frank hesitates for a second.


It'll be fine.

He grabs the cassette player and package out of his car and takes off in the UPS truck.

ext. jackson county court house - day.

The rain begins to fall again as dark clouds and thunder begin to roll.

Frank pulls into the parking lot under the building. 

He stuffs the audio cassette tape that Glory gave him into his pants pocket.  He grabs a random box from the truck and carries it with him.


Alone in the elevator, Frank checks his gun and puts it back beneath the UPS outfit.

The elevator doors open.

int.  jACKSON COUNTY COURTHOUSE, harris' reception room - DAY.

Frank power-walks past Harris' secretary, GAYLE.  He tosses the box aside and pounds open the office door.

int.  jaCKSON COUNTY COURTHOUSE, harris' office - DAY.

Frank barges into the office as Jim Harris sits at his desk. 

Harris puts down the microphone he is using to dictate into a cassette recorder.  He does not appear startled.

The secretary runs in.


Hello, Jim.


Councilman Harris, I'm sorry!  This man ran right past me. I can call Security.


No, no, Gayle! Don't do that.  This is an old friend of mine who seems to have found new employment rather quickly.  So how's your boy?  Was it, you're third marriage?

The secretery leaves them.




You must be looking for Panetti's books.

Harris waits for Frank to respond but when he doesn't Harris continues.

hARRIS (cont'd)

Well, just so you know, I've got them right here.

He pulls an accounting book out of his drawer and lays it on the table.

haRRIS (cont'd)

You know, you have no business being here.  Don't you read the paper? 

Frank takes a few small steps towards Harris.


I know you killed Jane Halter.

Harris sits back down.


Frank, I made a mistake.  A terrible regrettable mistake, but I am not going to let that get in the way of leading this city into the next decade.


You killed her, Jim, You killed an innocent young girl!


She was far from innocent.  She was more of a criminal than are most of the criminals we know.

Frank moves over to the side of the desk.


I'm bringing you in.


No matter what you think of me, Frank, I help people.  I make their lives better, their businesses grow. I give their children a better education.  That's what I do, Frank.

Frank points his revolver at Harris.

hARRIS (cont'd)

You sit in bars and entertain your criminal friends.  Not exactly the ideal life for a police officer, is it?


Jim, I don't need the books.

Frank puts the tape in the tape recorder and hits "play."

hARRIS (cassette tape)

Mr. Panetti, you've got to help me.  I might have killed the girl.

Frank hits "rewind."

Harris stares at Frank.

hARRIS (cassette tape) (cont'd)

  I might have killed the girl.

He hits "rewind" again.

hARRIS (cassette tape) (cont'd)

... killed the girl.

Frank puts the tape back in his pocket.


Killed the girl, Jim.

A security guard enters the room and stands by the doorway.

security guard

Is there a problem here?


No, you can leave.  Everything's fine here.

The guard spots the blood on Franks jumpsuit.


What's going on here Mr. Harris?

Frank raises his gun at the guard.


Just leave now.

The guard raises his gun and shoots in one motion.  He looks scared. 

Frank dives behind the desk and Harris ducks.

Frank raises up and fires two shots over the guard's ear and the guard takes off for the stairs.

Frank stands to aim the gun, but it's too late.

Harris takes the opportunity to leap and tackle Frank and knock Frank's gun away.

Frank manages to kick Harris away and then leap towards his gun. 

Harris sees he can't get the gun so he makes a run for it.

Frank gathers himself and takes off after him.


Frank looks over the stairwell ledge and sees Harris moving towards the parking garage.

int.  jACKSON COUNTY COURTHOUSE parking garage - DAY.

Frank runs out in the driving lane of the parking garage.

Harris speeds the car aiming at Frank. 

Frank jumps out of the way. 

Harris races to the exit but stops at the kiosk to show his parking ticket. 

A thunder clap is heard and rain begins to fall fairly steady.

A MAN in an AMC Gremlin drives up to Frank. 

He pulls out his gun and stands in front of the car's path.


Get out--now!

Frank opens the door and drags the man out of the car.


Late with another package, pal.

Frank sees Harris speeding off onto the city streets. 

Frank steps on the gas and bursts through the kiosk's gate.

ext. outside jackson county courthouse - day.

As Frank chases Harris, the rain falls in sheets.  Thunder and lightning are intermittent. 

Water is beginning to gather in the low areas.

int.  gremlin car - day.

Frank struggles to see through the windshield as the rain pounds the car like waves crashing against the rocks on Monterrey. 

ext.  city streets - day.

Frank catches up to Harris as they race through the nearly deserted downtown streets. 

It is almost as dark as night although it is still early afternoon.

int.  grEMLIN CAR - DAY.

Frank spots an eight-track player in the car. 

An eight-track of "Led Zeppelin I" sits in the player. 

He pushes it in and hits "play." 

MUSIC:  "Your Time is Gonna Come" by Led Zeppelin- UP FULL.

ext.  ciTY STREETS - DAY.

The rain comes down harder, steadier.  But Harris continues to try to lose Frank.

They rush through lights, stop signs and run down the wrong way of one-way streets. 

There is little traffic so most of this doesn't matter.

Frank takes one turn particularly hard and sideswipes a telephone pole. 

Harris' car disappears from view.

The Gremlin is damaged but still continues on. 

Two cop cars eventually make their way behind Frank. 

Their lights cascading off the raindrops produce an almost prism-like effect. 

Harris decides to hop a median and continue down the other side of it. 

Frank skids and goes around the median. He sees a crossing point a few furloughs ahead.

One of the cop cars tries to take the median but it hits a pole and skids. The car does a 180. 

The other cop tries to avoid the accident but the rain makes braking impossible. 

The second cop car skids into first one.

Frank makes his way through the break in the median.

int.  grEMLIN CAR - DAY.

The rain is coming down so hard now that Frank cannot see out his side windows.  For a second, as he makes his way across the median, Frank can't see where Harris is either.

Frank makes the turn to head in the other direction. 

He guns the car and hopes for the best. 

A distant car, Harris' comes into focus down the street. 

Frank rubs the windshield with his sleeve as he tries to clear away the fog on the windows. 

Water is accumulating more and more in lower areas on the streets.

ext.  citY STREETS - day.

The two men (Frank and Harris) head in their cars towards Brush Creek.  A low lying river that runs through the middle of town, near a park and outdoor shopping area called The Plaza.

They make a turn putting them in the direction of Memorial Park.  Memorial Park is the highest ground in Kansas City. 

As they drive, We see a MAN is stranded on top of his car.  Several feet of water has accumulated on that low side of the road. 

Harris and Frank can barely pass by in their cars through the foot or so of water that has accumulated in the high part of the street.

Harris makes a turn onto Main St.  The turn is slightly down-hill and the Gremlin Frank is driving doesn't make the turn.  He skids into a tree.

Harris continues on albeit slower.

Frank then tries to put the car into  reverse but the car won't budge.

Frank slams his fists into the steering wheel.


Fuck a duck!

Int. Harris' car - day.

Harris laughs.  He is home free.

ext.  main street - day.

Harris continues on.  He slows down before coming upon a low area. 

Harris hits the accelerator and tries to drive through the standing water.

The water is much deeper than it looks. 

The car stalls.

The water level creeps into the car and is rising steadily. 

Harris is caught in a flash flood.  

He tries to open the car door but it won't open so he rolls down the window and the rain pours in.



Good Lord!

Harris crawls out the window and wades over to the side of the street where a small hill rises about ten feet over the street level.

He stops for a second and smiles as best as he can in this torrential storm.

ext.  near memorial park - day.

Frank gets out on foot. 

He reaches into his jump suit's left arm with his right arm and rubs his wound. 

He pulls his hand out and there is some blood that quickly is washed away by the rain.

Frank heads in the direction that Harris was travelling.

ext.  mAIN STREET - DAY.

Frank comes across Harris' car that is under several feet of water.

He sees Harris walking along the bank.


Jim!  Jim!

Harris doesn't hear him.

Frank starts to run as best as he can in this rain and mud.  He awkwardly catches up a bit with Harris.

fRANK (cont'd)


He tries to fire his revolver but it is useless in the storm.

Frank runs as fast as he can towards Harris.

Harris stops,turns, and cold-cocks Frank right in the gut.

Frank doubles over but braces himself before he hits the ground.

Harris tries to run away but Frank reaches out and grabs at Harris' heels tripping him.

Harris lies face-first in the mud.

fRANK (cont'd)

I've always wanted to do this.

Frank kicks Harris in the kidney. 

Frank goes to kick him again but as he winds his foot up his footing gives way and Frank falls to his knees.

Harris gets up and starts to move away.


You're not going to win, Frank.  I am always going to beat you.

Frank gets up and heads after Harris.

They both run for a hundred yards or so.

Frank pulls up gasping for air.

At the same time so does Harris.

hARRIS (cont'd)


It's wonderful weather we're having.




Where'd you move to?




How much?




Wow!  Jesus, Frank, you really got shafted.


Oops, there went my vote.

Frank lunges after him and tries to wrestle Harris to the ground.

Harris manages to knee Frank in the groin.  Frank's grip loosens and Harris runs free again.

Frank writhes around on the ground.

fRANK (cont'd)

You killed the girl.  You killed the girl!

ext.  near brush creek - day.

Harris makes his way in the rain down towards the direction of the Country Club Plaza.  He stops for a second to decide where exactly he is.

Off to his side Harris sees a woman and a small child caught in what has now transformed from a city street to a raging river. 

She is holding onto her child with one arm and to a tree branch with the other arm.  In calmer drier times she would be dangling ten feet in the air.  She is trying desperately to keep her and the child's head above the water.


Someone, help me!  Help!  I have a baby!

Harris turns and squints to see the woman.

Her grip looks shaky with hypothermia possibly starting to settle in as well as the increasing current threatening to drag her and the child off with it.

Harris hesitates for a moment. 

The sound of child crying pierces the air.

He hears the child cry.  Harris shrugs and makes his way down the embankment to the newly formed river.  

Harris takes off his jacket and throws away his tie.  He wades into the water and attempts to swim over to them.

The rushing water pushes him towards the bank.   Harris gets up on the embankment and crawls close to the woman.

woMAN (cont'd)

Please, save my baby, mister!

Harris tries to lean out to grab the woman but it is a few feet too far.


Try and grab my hand.




Grab my...

Frank, sans brown jump suit, yells out defiantly.


(from behind)


Frank points his gun directly at Harris' head.

Harris ignores Frank's command without looking back at him and continues to try to reach out to the woman.  He gets on his knees to extend himself towards her.


C'mon, ma'am.

Frank, looking extra ragged from the fight and wreck, wipes his face with his sleeve.

The rain seems to come down harder, if that's possible.


I said, Freeze!  You're coming with me.

Harris speaks to Frank without facing him.


Do you want the kid to die?

Frank stands motionless still pointing the gun.

hARRIS (cont'd)

You wanna help me?

Frank lowers his gun.

Frank makes his way down to the water's edge.

hARRIS (cont'd)

Hold me while I lean in.


No, I'll do it.

Frank grabs Harris' shoulders with both of his hands and looks him directly in his eyes.

fRANK (cont'd)

I'll do it, Jim.

The woman's grip on the branch begins to slip.

Frank pushes Harris out of the way and lunges at the woman from the bank. 

Frank leans in to grab the woman.

Harris holds Frank by the back of his belt.

fRANK (cont'd)

I'm gonna grab the kid.

Frank shakes his head in a "yes" motion as he makes eye contact with the woman.

FRANK (cont'd)

Hand me the baby.

He lunges forward and grabs at the little kid.

Frank gets inches away from the child but the branch the woman is holding onto breaks. 

The woman loses her grip on the kid.

Frank is not quick enough to grab the small child.  He dives towards the child and Harris loses his grip on Frank's belt.

The kid disappears into the current. 

fRANK (cont'd)


The woman manages to grasp the tree trunk.

Frank furiously tries to locate the kid in the water. 

The woman then plunges herself into the water to find her child.  She is exhausted and does not have the strength to fight the current.  The current pulls her downstream.

Frank continues to dive underwater and search for the child.

Harris jumps in the water and swims after the woman.   

Harris reaches her just as she is about to sink under the water. 

Frank comes up for air.

fRANK (cont'd)

I can't find him!

Frank continues to dive for the child.

Harris drags the woman to the bank alongside what used to be the road. 

The woman isn't breathing.

Harris looks at her for a second and tries to think what the procedure is. 

He presses her chest, squeezes her nose, blows air into her mouth.  He puts his ear on her chest. 

With each attempt he becomes more frustrated.


Frank, I can't remember CPR!

Frank is still thrashing about in the water trying to find the kid.  He ignores  Harris.

hARRIS (cont'd)

Can you help her?  She's not breathing.  I'll look for the kid.

Frank is over by the bank preparing to dive under water again.

Harris gets in the water and floats down to him. 

Harris' and Frank's teeth are chattering from the cold water.

Harris rests his hand on Frank's neck almost lovingly in the armpit high water.

hARRIS (cont'd)

I'll find the kid.  Save the girl, Frank!  Save the girl.


Jim grabs Frank's shoulders with both of his hands in the armpit deep water.  Frank looks into Jim's eyes, everything he hates is staring right back at him.   Everything he could have been.  Suddenly nothing is very important anymore, not his career, the city, or even is former family. 

Frank makes his way over to the bank.  He almost crawls over to the woman who lies motionless several yards upstream.

Harris continues to look for the child downstream.

Frank reaches the woman and begins to perform CPR on her. 

She doesn't respond initially.

He tries the technique even more forcefully.


Wake up baby.

He pumps her lungs full of air with his hands and still nothing. 

Frank tries one more time to blow air into her lungs.  On the last breath he lets out a scream.

fRANK (cont'd)


He sits back and relaxes in exhaustion.

Suddenly the woman spits up some water.

Frank raises her head a bit as the rain starts to let up.


Jim, exhausted, stands motionless in the middle of the water.  The rain letts up a bit.


The kid's gone.

Frank sits next to the woman looking down on her.  She coughs and struggles for air.

hARRIS (O.S.)(cont'd)

He's gone! He's just gone, Frank.

Frank searches his pockets.


I lost the tape.

Frank looks up into the air as the rain has completely stopped.


ext.  kansas city - dusk.

The sun begins to set over the city skyline.  A magnificent orange and red sunset.

The sound of static is heard and then the sound of a television tuning in.

Ext.  City sTREET - DAY.

A car speeds by smashing the audio cassette that could have put Harris away.  Several cars go by smashing it more and more.

newscaster (o.s.)

Coming up, on Eyewitness News, the cop on suspension and the city councilman who saved a young woman during the great flood that killed fifteen people, injured many others, and did millions of dollars of property damage! That, and more, right after the game on Channel Nine, Eyewitness News.