by RON NYSWANER
September 21, 1992
VARIOUS SHOTS OF PHILADELPHIA EXTERIORS (EXT./DAY) ...
which may include the Liberty Bell, the Italian Market, scenes along the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, Independence Square, the Russian Orthodox neighborhood, the ghettos of North Philly.
MAIN TITLES PLAY OVER THIS SEQUENCE which culminates in a SHOT OF...
PHILADELPHIA'S GLORIOUSLY ORNATE CITY HALL (EXT./DAY) ...
TITLE: "Philadelphia City Hall."
CITY EMPLOYEES, JUDGES, COPS, LAWYERS, CRIMINALS, TOURISTS pour into City Hall, into...
TWO STORY HIGH CORRIDORS THAT REEK OF HISTORY (INT-DAY).
Young lawyer JAMEY COLLINS darts through the crowd, carrying an accordion file under his arm like a football.
Jamey elbows his way through a JAPANESE TOUR GROUP.
Jamey trots up a marble staircase, two steps at a time
JAMEY RUNS LIKE HELL DOWN A THIRD FLOOR CORRIDOR, FOOTSTEPS
making a racket...
Jamey rushes toward a door marked "JUDGE TATE."
RAISED VOICES from inside Judge Tate's chambers:
JOSEPH MILLER (OS)
This construction site is causing mortal and irreparable harm to an unsuspecting public!
ANDREW BECKETT (OS)
My client has one of the finest and most respected safety records in the business, Your Honor!
Jamey shoves open the door, REVEALING TWO LAWYERS (BACKS TO CAMERA) STANDING BEFORE JUDGE EUNICE TATE: ANDREW BECKETT (in conservative gray) and JOSEPH MILLER (in pinstripes).
One at a time. Mr. Miller?
Your Honor, since Rockwell Corp. began construction, the surrounding residential neighborhood has been enshrouded in a cloud of foul-smelling, germ-carrying, pestilent dust. My client is being forced to breathe known carcinogens daily! Other residents are coming forth on a daily basis to add their
voices of outrage!
Your Honor, I submit there were no complaints until Counselor began knocking on doors, drumming up business. And the dust, which Counselor refers to,
has appeared on only three occasions. Each time it has been examined and the results...
Behind his back, Andrew wiggles his fingers. Jamey stuffs a document into Andrew's hand.
Limestone. Messy, but innocuous.
Andrew submits the report to the Judge.
Defined by Webster's as harmless.
I know what it means. Your Honor, imagine how the children in this neighborhood have been
made to feel. The pounding of construction ringing in their ears as this skyscraper, a tribute to mankind's greed, grows daily, casting an ominous
shadow over their lives, filling them with dread even as they are surrounded in a black, toxic
fog, blocking out the sun while poisoning their lungs! And Counselor calls it harmless?!
His back turned momentarily to the JUDGE, Andrew mouths to Jamey: "Not bad." But he whips around, serious again:
Your Honor, Counselor is attempting to portray my client as a hideous manifestation of evil and corruption. But nothing could be further from
the truth. Rockwell has generously contributed ten
thousand dollars to this neighborhood's schools, clinics and youth centers! Granting a
restraining order on the construction site will throw hundreds of Philadelphians out of work, and will lend validation to this contemptible and groundless nuisance suit, which speaks directly to the kind of greed and treachery that today is threatening the very fabric of our society.
Judge Tate looks skeptically at both lawyers.
Let's not go off the deep end, gentlemen. I thought we were talking about some dust.
A MAN ON CRUTCHES HOBBLES INTO A COURTHOUSE ELEVATOR AND IS joined by Andrew and Joe, crowding inside (INT./DAY) ...
As soon as the doors close, Andrew whips out a micro- cassette recorder, making notes, and Joe, in the opposite corner of the elevator, does exactly the same thing.
... plaintiff seeks to re- ... whereas decedent had
strain defendants from con- pre-existing asthmatic
tinued improper use of trade condition and ride on
name without... Ultra Loop caused sub-
Andrew and Joe stop at the same time, look at each other...
And turn toward the corner, seeking privacy.
ANDREW (CONT.) JOE (CONT.)
... plaintiff's permission or ... complainant seeks
There's a PERSISTENT BEEPING, Andrew and Joe pull out their portable telephones at the same time.
They look at each other: which phone is ringing?
Andrew resumes his telephone conversation.
The ELEVATOR OPENS: Andrew breezes past the MAN ON
CRUTCHES, saying to Joe:
Client of yours?
Andrew hurries down the corridor. Joe waits a moment... then pursues the MAN ON CRUTCHES.
Excuse me..? Sir? Yo!
ANDREW EKERGES FROM CITY HALL, ONTO DILWORTH PLAZA BUSTLING with PEDESTRIANS (EXT./DAY) ...
... DARTS into the street, hailing a cab.
THE CAB PULLS UP TO A BROWNSTONE ON A RESIDENTIAL STREET, Andrew hopping out, stuffing papers into his briefcase
RUSHING to the door marked "Dr. Roberta Gillman, Internal Medicine."
Coming out is a YOUNG ASIAN MAN with a cotton ball taped to the inside of his elbow.
CLASSICAL MUSIC (INT./DAY) ... AS CAMERA PANS PATIENTS (MOSTLY YOUNG MEN) in a cheerful room... some, like a UPS DELIVERY MAN, are attached to IV's, some sit with arms extended, waiting to be hooked to an IV by TYRONE, a BLACK PHYSICIAN'S AID.
CAMERA FINDS ANDREW sitting quietly, with an IV drip running into his arm. Andrew is wearing a Walkman, the source of the CLASSICAL MUSIC, and he's reading a legal brief. Most of the people in the room look SICKER than Andrew.
DIALOGUE CAN BE HEARD under the CLASSICAL MUSIC (although MUSIC dominates the SOUNDTRACK).
(slapping a thin PATIENT'S wrist)
Gonna have to start looking for veins in your feet, sweetheart.
DR. ROBERTA GILLMAN, passes through, speaking to Andrew:
Andy. Can you stop at my office on your way out?
Andrew is distracted by A HISPANIC MAN across the room, rolling up his sleeve for an IV -- his bare arms, hands, face and neck are marked with PURPLE BLOTCHES.
Andrew closes his eyes, concentrating for a moment on the CLASSICAL MUSIC... then goes back to work.
ANDREW HURRIES OUT OF THE DOCTOR'S OFFICE, HAILING A CAB
ANDREW HOPS OUT OF THE CAB, IN FRONT OF AN IMPRESSIVE skyscraper in downtown Philly, at the end of the work day
Andrew pushes through glass doors into the plush "Wheeler Building," pressing through the tide of WORKERS headed home.
A BLACK PARALEGAL, ANTHEA BURTON, LEADS A YOUNG, BLACK LAW CLERK (in suit and tie) to the elevators, at the sedate, expensively appointed offices of Wyant Wheeler Hellerman Tetlow and Brown (INT./DAY) ...
... up to Tax, on fourteen, and get right back, I need you.
Andrew BLASTS out of the elevator, flashing Anthea a four- star smile. They stride down the corridor together.
Just the dazzling paralegal I wanted to see.
I know what that means, and the answer is no. I have a class tonight. Exploit someone else.
And since you've asked ...
They pass a silver-haired partner, KENNETH KILLCOYNE.
Solid work on the Rockwell situation, Andy. Top-notch.
Thank you. 98. I gotta go...
Andrew reaches the secretaries' station. A cheerful
secretary, SHELBY, shoves documents at him.
Conference call's up. They just started the roll call. Here's the settlement agreement, the
red-lined copy's on your desk. Need me in there?
No. Great. Thanks, Shelby.
(checking his watch)
It's 6:30, go home.
Andrew passes a colleague on her way out, RACHEL SMILOW:
I'm late, I have to pick up Amy from her afterschool but I want to talk to you about that Hansen thing.
Catch me later, I'll be here. And tell Amy, I love her painting, it's on my wall.
Andrew SAILS toward his office.
CONTINUOUS CUT TO:
ANDREW ENTERS HIS OFFICE, KICKING THE DOOR SHUT (INT./DAY).
... DROPPING the documents on his desk, SCANNING them.
... ADMIRING a child's painting taped to the wall.
... PUNCHING into the speaker phone on his desk.
The SCREEN SPLITS, REVEALING A TELECONFERENCE OPERATOR:
... Karen Hargreave, representing
Lloyd Management Corporation?
The SCREEN SPLITS INTO THIRDS: Andrew, the OPERATOR, and HARGREAVE (a sharp, California lawyer.)
As the OPERATOR continues the roll call, the SCREEN
CONTINUES TO SPLIT and HARGREAVE is replaced by a SERIES OF LAWYERS in offices around the country, (MOSTLY WHITE MALES) saying "Present" while in Andrew's section of the screen...
... Andrew dials a number on another telephone line,
Andrew Beckett, representing Saunders International?
Andrew punches into the conference call
The MULTI-IMAGE SCREEN is now joined by SARAH BECKETT, a suburban, 60ish American MOM, in her backyard garden, answering a portable phone.
Hi, Mom. It's me.
The LAWYERS are into the conference, in their portions of the screen, (their VOICES HEARD underneath Andrew's conversation with his mother).
Andy! This is a nice surprise. How are you, hon?
What's Dr. Gillman say?
Hold on, Mom.
(punching into the conference call)
There's no way my client will go along with that.
Andrew Beckett. Hi, Karen. I'm sorry I interrupted...
He punches out of the conference, back to his Mom (glancing over his shoulder to make sure the door is shut).
Gillman says I'm fine. My blood work is excellent. T-cells are up. Just a sec ...
Yes, I think that would alleviate most of our concerns.
(back to Mom)
My platelets look good too.
Are you on one of those conference calls? I hate when you put me on hold.
CUT ON ANDREW'S LAUGHTER TO:
? RON NYSWANER
THE MOON ABOVE THE WHEELER BUILDING LATE AT NIGHT (EXT.)
TITLE: "One-thirty a.m."
ANDREW AT WORK IN THE FIRM'S LIBRARY (INT./NIGHT) ...
Andrew's fingers FLY across the keys of a notebook computer.
Needing a reference, he shoves his rolling chair away from the computer... opens a reference book... grabs a carton of Chinese food... (NOTE: The library may be equipped with a computer terminal which Andrew uses for reference, rather than a book.)
Andrew eats sauteed string beans with chopsticks, finding a relevant citation:
Ah hah! Yes!
(chewing a string bean)
Rentworth v. Pennsylvania... court of appeals affirms jury award of punitive damages for
wrongful interference with prospective economic
A SHADOW falls across Andrew. He IGNORES IT.
ANGLE: TWO MEN IN SILHOUETTE. WALTER KENTON says:
Look at this fucking guy. He's an animal.
Andrew's hands DO NOT LEAVE the keyboard.
The SECOND MAN steps forward, a silhouette becoming visible This is BOB SEIDMAN. He and Kenton wear tuxedos.
Are we interrupting, Andy?
In a word, Bob...
Charles is right behind me.
ANOTHER SILHOUETTED FIGURE APPEARS. This image has a
horror-film feeling to it.
Andrew WHIPS AROUND to face them.
I was just about to take a break. Good evening, Charles.
CHARLES WHEELER, also in tuxedo, remains in shadow.
Andy? Could you step into my office for a sec?
I feel like firing someone tonight.
Andrew throws an arm over Seidman's shoulder.
We're gonna miss you around here, Bob...
CUT ON LAUGHTER TO:
THE RECEPTION AREA (INT./NIGHT): A DOMINO'S PIZZA DELIVERY
MAN, waiting for clearance from a SECURITY GUARD, on
Andrew's dim and quiet floor, WATCHES AS...
Seidman, Kenton and Andrew follow Charles Wheeler up a wide, carpeted staircase. Wheeler finishes a story and everyone LAUGHS...
A BOX OF CIGARS BEING HANDED AROUND (INT./NIGHT) ...
Andy's expressed a keen interest in the Kronos Inc. situation, Charles. Is that correct, Andy?
The lawyers have gathered in Wheeler's spacious office, with its floor-to-ceiling view of the Philadelphia skyline.
The fate of the participants interests me, yes sir.
Wheeler, Kenton and Seidman proceed with the male ritual of preparing cigars to be smoked: snipping the ends with a brass clip, rolling them over their tongues to wet them, sliding the cigars in and out of their rounded mouths.
Andrew, holding a cigar but NOT preparing to light it, watches with a not completely concealed twinkle in his eye.
Wheeler leans back in his chair, swirling a brandy snifter. He exhales cigar smoke with a great deal of pleasure.
It's good to be King, hey Charles?
Kings are out of fashion. I'd rather be thought of as a benevolent tyrant.
It's an anti-trust action.
It is, and it isn't, Charles. Macrosystem's new software copies all the best-known elements of Kronos' spreadsheet program. If they're allowed to
sell it, Kronos will get undersold right out of business. For me, the legal principle, involved is
Bearing in mind that Bill Wright, the chairman of
MacroSystems, is a close, personal friend of mine... which side of this mess would you desire to be
on, Andy? And don't allow my very tight, personal relationship with Bill to influence your answer in
Andrew knows this is a test. And he loves it.
Sorry, Charles, but...
Andrew is distracted -- BY A LIGHT FALLING ACROSS HIS FACE.
I'd like to see Kronos win.
Walter Kenton has shifted a lamp, so that its LIGHT FALLS ACROSS ANDREW'S FACE, REVEALING: a faint purple blotch about the size of a quarter, much like the blotches we saw on the HISPANIC PATIENT in Andrew's doctor's office.
Because they deserve to, Walter.
Andrew lifts his hand, finding that his hair has been pushed back, revealing the blotch.
He stands, nonchalantly running a hand through his hair to cover the blotch.
If MacroSystems wins, an energetic, young company will be destroyed, five thousand Americans will be
out of work. Moreover, the laws of copyright and anti-trust were enacted to prevent exactly the
kind of bullshit Macrosystems is trying to pull.
Andy, do you know who reps Kronos Inc.?
Get with the program, Andy. As of this evening, about 8:05 this evening, right after the soup
course... Kronos Incorporated is represented by Wyant Wheeler Hellerman Tetlow and Brown. Or,
more specifically, senior associate Andrew Beckett.
A moment before it sinks in, then: Andrew clenches his fist in a victory salute.
You'll have to get right on it, Andy, we're up against the statute of limitations.
An ASSOCIATE LAWYER in shirtsleeves taps on the office door.ASSOCIATE LAWYER Tokyo on four, Bob.
Great. Excuse me, fellas.
(picking up a phone, speaking Japanese)
Connichiwa. Itsumo osewa ni nari mashita. Arigato gozaimasu.
Andrew offers his hand to Walter Kenton.
What's that on your forehead, pal?
Whacked with a racquetball.
(taking Wheeler's hand)
I appreciate your faith in my abilities.
Faith, Andy, is the belief in something for which we have no evidence. It doesn't apply to this situation.
(slapping his shoulder)
Go home. I mean, get back to work.
Andrew and Wheeler are eye-to-eye, an intimate moment.
(with a father's affection)
No sweat, buddy.
Smiling, Andrew exits the office.
CLOSE ON WALTER KENTON, THINKING...
CONTINUOUS CUT TO:
ANDREW STEPPING INTO THE EMPTY CORRIDOR, TAKING A FEW STEPS away from Wheeler's office (INT./NIGHT), then...... DOING a JOYFUL END ZONE DANCE, running in place the way football players do when then score a touch down, saying "Yes! Yes! Yes!" to himself, soundlessly.
The SOUND OF CLANGING METAL interrupts Andrew: HELENA, a maintenance worker is emptying a trash can. She's seen his little dance and starts to laugh.
Smiling, Andrew puts the unlit cigar into his mouth, WINKS at Helena and says:
(in a funny, kind of medieval way)
It's good to be King.
ESTABLISHING: ANDREW'S LOFT BUILDING (EXT. DAY)
TITLE: "Ten days later."
CLOSE ON ANDREW'S FACE MARKED WITH FOUR BLOTCHES (WE'RE IN Andrew's loft -- INT./DAY)
It's a mirror image. The BLOTCHES vary from the size of a dime, to the size of a half-dollar. He looks awful.
A YOUNG, BLACK WOMAN'S FINGER applies makeup to Andrew's face, trying to cover the blotches. This is his friend CHANDRA.
You want to apply the foundation as evenly as you can, Andy. You don't want to look like you've
thrown it on with a spoon.
CAMERA PULLS BACK REVEALING Andrew sitting at a table in his loft, a towel around his neck, protecting his shirt from makeup. Chandra applies the makeup gently, supervised by another friend
named ALAN. (Andrew's loft has been turned into a lawyer's command post: stacks of books, documents, etc.). A third friend, BRUNO, sits in the corner, flipping through channels on the TV.
Okay. You try.
Andrew tries applying makeup to his face.
Chandra? Don't you think this color's a little... orange for me?
Tahitian Bronze works best on lesions.
Think of it as the "I just back from Aruba" look.
IN THE BACKGROUND: Andrew's fax machine receives a fax in Andrew's "work area": desk, personal computer, etc.).
I got it.
Bruno removes the fax from the machine, walking it over to Andrew, handing Andrew the fax, while munching an apple.
(giving the fax a quick scan)
(to Alan and Chandra)
I've been out of the office four days. I don't want them to think I've been to the beach.
(searching for something)
Okay. Check this out.
Andrew puts on a pair of big glasses with tortoise shell frames, meant to help conceal the blotches.
Hides everything, right? What do you think?
You know who you look like, Andy? That actor, in that movie. Not the one where he was autistic, the one where he dressed up like a lady on a soap
You want to try Light Egyptian?
Suddenly, Andrew winces, gripping his gut.
(clearly in pain)
Excuse me a sec...
Andrew starts out of the room -- suddenly HAVING TO RUN.
Just like my cousin Fredo.
CAMERA HOLDS ON Chandra, Alan and Bruno. SOUND OF BATHROOM DOOR slamming shut.
Bruno saunters across the room and knocks on the bathroom door.
You okay, Andy?
CONTINUOUS CUT TO:
? RON NYSWANER
TIGHT SHOT ON ANDREW, FACE TWISTED IN PAIN (INT./DAY) ...
Andrew rests his head against the wall, sweat covering his face. A storm of fire has passed through him, and he's hoping it's over for now.
I think I need to go to the hospital.
MIGUEL ALVAREZ RUNS URGENTLY DOWN SPRUCE STREET, DODGING traffic as he crosses Eleventh Street, toward Jefferson Hospital (EXT./DAY). He hustles up the ramp toward the Emergency Entrance...
MIGUEL SHOVES THROUGH GLASS DOORS, INTO THE BUSTLING
Emergency Room (INT./DAY), FINDING
ANDREW sitting on a gurney, holding a cotton ball against his arm, where blood has been drawn, wearing a blanket over his shoulders, fighting chills.
Chandra and Bruno are waiting with Andrew. They exchange quick hugs with Miguel and Andrew, ad libbing greetings and goodbyes.
Thanks, you guys.
Yeah. Thanks, guys.
Miguel puts his arms around Andrew.
Gillman's out of her office today. I told her to take a day off, and she did, can you believe it? Did
you get someone to cover your class?
Miguel touches Andrew's face, checking for fever.
Don't worry about it. They took blood? A specimen?
Andrew holds an empty specimen cup.
Aren't you giving an exam?
I said, don't worry about it.
Miguel places a gentle kiss on Andrew's sweaty forehead.
You got a fever, baby.
Suddenly, the facade cracks and TEARS STING Andrew's eyes.
I almost didn't make it to the bathroom, Miguel. I almost lost control right in front of everybody.
So what? It's nothing to be ashamed of. You have nothing to be ashamed of, okay?
Andrew pulls himself together, brushing aside tears, in control of his emotions once more.
Wait, here's my guy... Hey!
Andrew catches the attention of a harried INTERN, whose surgeon's greens are covered with blood.
Mr. Beckett, I'm sorry...
About my blood work?
Miguel opens a small notebook, making notes.
... meanwhile, I'd like to prepare you for a colonoscopy, so we can take a look inside.
Why do you need to do this?
Who are you?
Who are you? Doctor... ?
This is my partner. We keep
records of hospital visits.
It's not a pleasant procedure, but if the KS is causing the diarrhea, we ought to know right away.
It could be parasites, an infection...
A reaction to AZT...
That's possible, but.
He's not going through some painful procedure until we've cancelled out everything else.
I'm trying to help your "partner." You're not a member of his immediate family, I could have you removed from the ER.
(to the Intern)
He's upset, he's sorry.
Don't apologize for me.
He's not sorry, okay, fine.
Why don't we see what we find out from the blood work? I'll work on getting a specimen, I'm
sure hospital food could help in that direction. Maybe, by then, we'll hear from my doctor, and
we'll go from there. Okay? Everybody happy?
Allright. I'll get on the lab about the blood work.
(to the Intern)
The INTERN walks away. Andrew's BEEPER BEEPS.
That's the third time. I better call the office.
(smiling at Niguel)
Would you relax, please?
I am relaxed.
Andrew HOBBLES toward a pay phone, outside a VISITOR LOUNGE, where weary relatives are watching TV.
Andrew drops a quarter into the phone.
JOE MILLER'S VOICE
"If you or someone you know..."
ANDREW'S POV ON TELEVISION: Joe Miller on the screen, with the words "Negligence... Malpractice... Auto accidents"... and in the background, PHOTOS of MAIMED, BURNED, INJURED CLIENTS.
"... has been injured through the fault of others, you may be entitled to legal remedy...
Andrew LAUGHS. Then, his call is answered:
Shelby? It's me. Jamey's been beeping me, I... Okay, okay, calm down. Put Jamey on.
FIRST YEAR ASSOCIATE JAMEY COLLINS, SITTING AT ANDREW'S DESK (INT/DAY), GRABS THE PHONE when Andrew's intercom BUZZES...
Andy?! This is a disaster! We can't find your revisions on the Kronos complaint!
Slow down, Jamey, for Christ's sake!
I went down to Word Processing to pick up the corrected copy, but they said you haven't
delivered the corrections. I told them you've been working on it at home, and...
Andrew forgets his physical pain, this is more important.
I brought it in last night, around midnight. It's in my computer.
What did you file it under?
Jamey puts his hands on Andrew's computer keyboard.
Jamey types the file name.
Jamey, I don't have to mention, do I, that we're up against a statute of limitations on this
complaint which runs out in...
(checks his watch)
Jamey stares dumbfounded at the computer monitor.
It's not here, Andy.
Andrew closes his eyes. He can't believe this.
You go down to Word Processing and tell those motherfuckers they better come up with that
complaint, now! Or they are fucking dead! You tell them that comes from me!
Andrew SLAMS the phone into its cradle.
He pauses, takes a deep breath, and says to himself:
Every problem has a solution. Every problem... has... a... solution.
Calmer, Andrew returns to the gurney, putting on his shirt.
Every problem has a solution...
Miguel approaches with tea purchased at the canteen.
Why are you getting dressed?
You're not going to like this. Please try to smile...
Andrew puts his arms around Miguel.
Thanks for leaving school, and coming here, and...
(pulling back, putting on his jacket)
I will be back. An hour, tops.
You're going to the office?!
You're not smiling.
Andrew rushes toward the exit doors.
You're leaving the hospital? You're going into the office looking like that? Are you insane?
CONTINUOUS CUT TO:
ANDREW RUSHES TO THE STREET, HAILING A CAB (EXT./DAY) ...
ANDREW STEPS OUT OF THE TAXI IN FRONT OF THE WHEELER
Building, heading for the entrance (EXT./DAY) ...
But he changes his mind, darting to the corner of the block.
Andrew stops to buy a baseball cap from a VENDOR.
He trots down an alley, past bags of garbage, entering the building through a garage door.
FROM A HIGH FLOOR, ANDREW CAN BE SEEN CLIMBING THE STEPS OF
an emergency stairwell (INT./DAY) ...
Andrew passes CAMERA, out of breath. He's wearing the ball cap PULLED TO HIS EYEBROWS to hide blotches on his forehead.
ANDREW OPENS THE FIRE DOOR ON HIS FLOOR AT WYANT WHEELER, removing the ball cap, baring the purple blotches. (INT./DAY)
He walks quickly down the hall. Passing a COLLEAGUE, Andrew pretends to scratch his face, attempting to hide the blotches as nonchalantly as possible.
He dashes past an office, ignoring Anthea.
Didn't expect to see you... ?
He ducks into his office.
CONTINUOUS CUT TO:
SECRETARY SHELBY AT ANDREW'S DESK, FRANTICALLY SEARCHING through papers (INT./DAY) ...
Startled when he sees Shelby, Andrew spins toward the wall.
I'm looking through the files but...
Call the messenger service, have someone standing by...
(she reaches for the phone)
Andrew keeps his face averted, until she's out of the room. He goes to his computer, the monitor already glowing.
Think. You brought the discs in, you transferred...
Rachel comes into his office.
I thought I was supposed to be covering for you.
God, Andy, you look awful.
Fucking Word Processing lost my Kronos complaint. Which must be filed by fucking five o'clock!
If it's late, there's no case...
Every problem has a solution.
What can I do?
Get down to Word Processing. Help Jamey look.
She rushes out.
Andrew begins shoving floppy discs into the slots on his computer, bringing up each disc's directory.
He throws the disc to the floor. Shoves in another.
Shoves in another, bending it in half.
He pulls open a file drawer, dumping legal briefs onto the floor, frantically spreading them around with his foot.
Andrew THROWS a document across the room, takes a breath.
He picks up the telephone.
Bob? Something's come up. With Kronos. I don't want to upset Charles, but...
(letting down his guard)
Oh, shit, Bob, the complaint's due in forty minutes and I can't find it.
No, you don't have to come...
(hanging up the phone)
Great. Fucking great.
Andrew rubs his eyes, this is a nightmare.
He switches off the overhead light. He slants the window blinds, filling the room with shadow
Bob Seidman comes into the office, typically cheerful.
C'mon, Andy, you didn't lose anything...
Seidman is struck by the mess in the office, and Andrew's disheveled appearance.
I don't know what to do, Bob.
You'll never find it in the dark.
Seidman FLIPS ON the overhead light. Andrew flinches.
Seidman approaches. Andrew gives up trying to hide the purple blotches, facing his mentor straight on.
What in God's name... ?
What's wrong with your face?
What's wrong with my face? You want to know what's wrong with my face? I've got a skin condition. Next question, Bob? No more questions? Fine. Now
can you help me find the complaint?
Allright. Calm down.
Seidman sits in front of Andy's computer.
What was the file name?
Maybe you mistyped the name when you were saving it. We'll try combinations of those letters...
Seidman goes to work. Andrew leans over his shoulder.
You're right, I probably just misfiled...
Walter Kenton is standing at Andrew's door. His demeanor is casual. So casual it seems a little forced.
Some sort of problem?
Andrew has kept his face averted. But now he TURNS DIRECTLY TOWARD CAMERA, showing his face to Kenton.
Yeah, Walter. Yeah. Some sort of major problem.
HOLD ON THIS CLOSE UP OF ANDREW...
SOUND OF A BABY CRYING CROSSES THE CUT TO:
? RON NYSWANER
A NEWBORN BEING LIFTED INTO A DOCTOR'S HANDS (INT./DAY) ...
There she is, okay. You can relax now, Lisa.
LISA MILLER has just given birth to a baby girl. She
collapses on her pillow, gasping for breath, moaning in pain, quietly crying a little.
TITLE: "One month later."
The NURSES and the (FEMALE) DOCTOR move professionally around the bed, doing their jobs.
At Lisa's side, Joe fumbles with a camera while darting amazed looks back and forth between Lisa and the baby.
Oh my god... a girl... oh my god... Lisa... oh my god...
You load the film... ? No, on this side... or this side? Don't move the baby!
Give me the camera, Joe.
Lisa pops the film into the camera, hands it back.
Thanks, hon. Oh my god...
With wildly trembling hands, Joe begins SNAPPING PHOTOS.
Oh my god... oh my god, look at her... oh my god...
JOE, WALKING THE HOSPITAL CORRIDOR, STILL WEARING SURGEON'S greens, SPEAKING INTO HIS PORTABLE PHONE (INT./DAY) ...
Go to Famous Fourth Street and buy a pound of Nova. No! She likes Scotch salmon better. Ah heck, get a pound of both! Get a dozen onion rolls. Get some
bagels. Get a dozen. Get a bottle of champagne. Dom
Peringon... A hundred bucks a bottle?! Better get a good California...
Passing a PATIENT IN TRACTION, ROLLING BY ON A GURNEY, Joe drops a business card into the PATIENT'S broken hand.
(to the PATIENT)
Give me a call.
(into the phone)
Get everything over here as soon as you can, she's starved. No, not the baby! Lisa! ... Iris,
listen: any calls I should know about? ... Uh huh... Uh huh... Beckett? Who's Andrew Beckett?
Turning a corner, Joe comes face to face with HIS RELATIVES, who charge at him joyfully:
JOE'S MOTHER/AUNTS/UNCLES, ETC.
Congratulations! How is Lisa?! When can we see the baby?!
QUIET... JOE, LISA AND THEIR BABY CUDDLED TOGETHER IN Lisa's hospital bed, surrounded by debris from a party, paper plates, empty champagne bottle (INT./NIGHT) ...
The relatives have gone. It's late at night.
Lisa holds the baby. Joe holds them both.
AN INTERSECTION IN THE HEART OF OLD, DOWNTOWN PHILLY: A movie palace (now a six-plex) across the street from the Peter Pan Coffee Shop, PHILADELPHIA WORKERS going about the business of the day (EXT./DAY) ...
TITLE: "One week later."
Above the Peter Pan Coffee Shop is a string of large
windows, each of which is painted with a question:
HEART ATTACK? ACCIDENT? MEDICAL MALPRACTICE? DOG BITE?
In bigger letters, across several windows:
D I A L 1 8 0 0 A - L A W Y E R
We hear JOE MILLER'S VOICE-OVER:
How big was this hole you fell into?
CONTINUOUS CUT TO:
A HALLWAY BULLETIN BOARD ANNOUNCING THE VARIOUS DEPARTMENTS of "Macready and Shilts Legal Services" (INT./DAY), including "Auto/DUI/Collisions with Deer... Product liability... Medical malpractice... Pet bites..."
The bulletin board stands at the entrance to a warehouse of lawyers' cubicles formed by office dividers and plastic ferns...
PHONES JANGLING... INJURED CLIENTS LIMPING ABOUT...
JOE (OS) (CONT.)
And this hole was right in the middle of the street?
CONTINUOUS CUT TO:
JOE IS IN HIS OFFICE, A BOX OF CIGARS ON THE DESK WITH PINK bands announcing "It's a girl!" (INT./DAY). On the walls are photos of INJURED CLIENTS (the same photos we saw in the
background of Joe's TV commercial)...
A FEMALE CLIENT (MRS. FINLEY) faces Joe, her arm in a sling.
Why didn't you cross at the crosswalk?
Why should I?
CONTINUOUS CUT TO:
ANDREW IS SEEN FROM BEHIND, SITTING ON A SOFA IN THE WAITING area. Very little hair shows beneath a Phillies ballcap...
A MAN WEARING A NECKBRACE, sitting next to Andrew, RISES, MOVING to a seat opposite Andrew. From this new position the MAN WITH THE NECKBRACE STARES at Andrew.
MAN WITH NECKBRACE'S POV:
The PURPLE BLOTCHES on Andrew's face are beginning,to recede, not as angry looking as before, thanks to chemo therapy. Andrew is dressed casually, in jeans and a softball jacket
(from the Wyant Wheeler team) with "Andy" embroidered over the heart.
Joe's assistant, IRIS, approaches.
Andrew rises, following Iris past office dividers, HARRIED SECRETARIES and overflowing file cabinets.
Iris cannot look at Andrew as she walks beside him.
(Outside Joe's door is a sign: "Beware Mad Dog" with "Mad" written by hand.)
CONTINUOUS CUT TO:
ANDREW STEPS INTO JOE'S OFFICE (INT./DAY). ANDREW GLANCES at the photos while Joe wraps up...
(to the FEMALE CLIENT)
Explain this to me like I'm a six year old, okay? The entire street is clear except for one small area under construction, with a huge hole that is clearly
marked and blocked off, and you decide you must cross the street at this spot. You fall into the
hole and you want to sue the city for negligence? ...
Yeah. Do I have a case?
Of course you have a case! Now, I want you to go with my assistant, Iris, and fill out some forms. She'll tell you about our fee arrangement.
(as they're leaving)
Mrs. Finley? Any back pain since the accident? Dizziness? Nightmares?
Now that you mention it...
Tell Iris all about it.
(leading her out)
Take good care of Mrs. Finley,
Beckett, come in.
Joe offers his hand, getting a look at Andrew's face.
Jesus Christ, what happened to you?
I have AIDS.
Joe WITHDRAWS his hand, before it touches Andrew's.
It's okay. Can I sit down?
Andrew hesitates. Joe doesn't sound sure.
Andrew sits, Joe returns to his desk. (Joe finds himself acutely aware of where Andrew places his hands.)
One week old.
Little baby girl.
Kids are great.
Thanks, Beckett. I'm real
excited about it.
(glances at his watch)
What can I do for you?
I was fired by Wyant Wheeler. I plan to bring a wrongful termination suit against Charles
Wheeler and his partners.
You want to sue Wyant Wheeler Hellerman Tetlow and Brown?
Correct. I'm seeking representation.
I misplaced an important complaint. That's their story. Want to hear mine?
How many lawyers did you go to,
before you called me?
I was diagnosed with AIDS eight months ago. During a bout of pneumonia. I recovered quickly and was back at work in ten days. Since I was doing so well
on the AZT, we decided against telling anyone about it.
My lover and I.
Miguel Alvarez. We've lived together for nine years.
I dove back into work, everything was fine. Until the lesions started...
SUDDENLY PICTURE CUTS TO:
TIGHT ON ANDREW WAUKING THROUGH THE LOBBY OF THE WHEELER Building (INT./DAY). He's wearing MAKEUP, which sort of covers the blotches. (NOTE: PICTURE and ANDREW'S VOICE OVER do NOT match up. This is no ordinary flashback) ...
ANDREW (VO) (CONT.)
First on my leg. Then my forearm, my back. Then... my face. For a short period, I avoided the office during the day, waiting for the chemo therapy to clear up the lesions...
IMAGE: ANDREW RIDING THE CROWDED ELEVATOR ON A WORKDAY.
ANDREW (VO) (CONT.)
But I never let anything slide. I made all my calls from home. I worked sixteen hour days on a
complaint for a 350 million dollar copyright infringement suit.
IMAGE: JOE IN HIS OFFICE, ABSORBED IN ANDREW'S STORY.
ANDREW (OS) (CONT.)
But the day the complaint was due, it disappeared. Erased from my computer. I thought I was losing it, mentally...
IMAGE: ELEVATOR DOORS OPENING, ANDREW STEPPING INTO WYANT WHEELER OFFICES. NOW HE SPEAKS DIRECTLY TO CAMERA:
That can happen, it's called AIDS dementia when it gets into your brain. But miraculously, a
copy of the complaint was located at the last minute, and we got it to court on time...
IMAGE: ANDREW'S POV OF COLLEAGUES, STAFF IN THE OFFICES, GIVING HIM LOOKS, WHISPERING. ANTHEA BURTON NODS HELLO.
ANDREW (OS) (CONT.)
The next morning, I was called to the office for a meeting with the managing partners. Walking
down that corridor was strange. Felt like everyone was staring.
REVERSE ANGLE ON ANDREW AND JOE WALKING AT ANDREW'S SIDE.
Hell, they are staring. What's that shit on your face?
ANDREW'S POV: RACHEL OUTSIDE HER OFFICE, SAYS "GOOD LUCK."
The partners were waiting for me in the main conference room.
CONTINUOUS CUT TO:
? RON NYSWANER
CAMERA TRACKS INTO THE CONFERENCE ROOM, GIVING US ANDREW'S POV as he enters the room where Wheeler, Kenton, Killcoyne, Bob Seidman are waiting (INT./DAY) ...
Sit down, Andy.
Wheeler's secretary, LYDIA, takes notes.
Thanks for coming in.
Bob Seidman CANNOT look directly at Andrew.
Andy. Before we begin, I'd just like to say: everyone in this room is your friend.
You're in trouble.
(NOTE: Joe IS SEEN IN HIS OFFICE, or LEANING AGAINST A WINDOW IN THE CONFERENCE ROOM whenever he speaks.)
I know that, Charles.
More than your friend. Family.
Charles, I must apologize again, for the Kronos mishap.
It was a scary few minutes around here. Wow. But thank God, the complaint was found. And no damage was done.
This time. What about next time?
There won't be a next time, I guarantee it.
Andy. It seems that something has come over you, lately: A kind of... stupor, a fogginess,
a lack of focus... Earth to Andy. Anybody home?
That's right, Andy. The last four, five months you've seemed really out of it...
At least... different, somehow.
(keeping it positive)
Perhaps... you're right. I've certainly been busy. With the Kronos complaint, a preliminary
injunction hearing and the Saunders trial all falling at the same time...
Some people think you have an attitude problem, Beckett.
Really? Who thinks that, sir?
Wheeler seems very grave.
I had no idea there was a concern in that area. Hey:
I'll get to work on it right away.
NO ONE else smiles.
We've been talking it over, Andy. Your future that is... We feel that, because we respect you so much, we have to be honest with you.
Honesty is always best.
Do you really think so, Andy?
Yes, Bob, I do.
(to the group)
Excuse me? Am I being fired?
Let's put it this way, Andy: your place in the future of this firm is no longer secure.
In a word, yes.
We don't think it's fair to keep you here, where your future is limited. But we wish you luck,
Andy, all the luck in the world.
Wheeler rises, wearing a friendly smile.
And I hate to rush you out of here, but...
But he's got lots of other people's lives to ruin...
... we've got a committee meeting.
Excuse me, Charles. With all due respect... this is... preposterous! It doesn't make any sense, it sounds as if we're talking about someone else.
Pardon the lack of humility, but I've had the distinct impression I was kind of... one of the
rising stars around here. And I feel that wasn't just my imagination. And I also think I deserve to know what's really going on here, Charles.
Oh, you're right, Beckett, you don't have an attitude problem.
Take it easy, Walter.
If you'd lost confidence in me, why did you give me the Kronos suit?
I hoped the challenge would improve your performance. You could say it was a carrot.
I buy that.
As in, the vegetable?
Andy, you nearly blew the case, for God's sake! That alone is inexcusable. It would have been
catastrophic for us. Put yourself in our shoes, Andy. There's no coming back from an error like that, regardless of who you are!
I'm sorry, Andy.
Andrew FREEZES -- the full nature of this situation hitting home. He looks each of the PARTNERS in the eye...
Uh huh... Okay... I see...
... at last LOOKING DIRECTLY AT Wheeler's secretary Lydia, whose pen is poised above her notebook, waiting for someone to say something.
Wheeler breaks the silence.
Good luck, Andy.
Wheeler, Kenton, Killcoyne, Seidman and Lydia file out.
Andrew doesn't move.
A SECURITY GUARD enters the room.
Who are you?
I'm here to escort you to your office so you can organize your belongings.
CAMERA PULLS BACK FROM ANDREW, WE'RE IN JOE'S OFFICE (DAY) ...
Okay. Explain to me like I'm a two year old, because there's an element to this I can't get through my thick head: Didn't you have an obligation to inform your employer you had this dreaded, deadly, infectious disease?
Andrew removes his ballcap -- his hair is cut short, to disguise the effects of chemo.
The law says people with disabilities cannot be
terminated, so long as they can perform the duties required by their position...
Okay, okay... They discover you have this horrible, disgusting, terminal illness, and they panic, for any number of perfectly valid reasons. They're frightened for themselves, their families...
Maybe it's the homo angle. Maybe they don't want to rub elbows with someone who's just popped out of the closet with a terminal case of acne. And how
do they explain your status to the client for Chrissake?
Joe, from the day I arrived to the day they fired me, I performed consistently, thoroughly and with absolute excellence. And if they hadn't fired me, that's what I'd be doing today.
Okay... They want you out. It's against the law to fire you for having AIDS, so they make you
look like a fuck up. Which leads us to the mysterious, lost file.
They sabotaged me.
I knew you were going to say that. I don't buy it, and I don't see a case.
Look. I know I have a case. If you don't want to take it for personal reasons...
Correct. I don't.
Andrew rises, thoroughly business-like.
Thanks for your time.
Beckett? I'm sorry about... what's happened to you. It's a fucking kick in the head.
Don't send flowers, Joe. I'm not dead yet.
CONTINUOUS CUT TO:
ANDREW LEAVES JOE'S OFFICE, MOVING DOWN THE CORRIDOR
(still uncomfortable, as Andrew's leaving)
Have a nice day.
Andrew nods, passing one of Joe's colleagues, a hustler named FILKO, who STARES SHAMELESSLY.
Joe approaches Iris's desk.
Find out if Armbruster can see me this afternoon.
What the hell's wrong with him?
THE STREET: ANDREW EMERGES FROM THE LAWYER'S BUILDING
(EXT./DAY). CLOSE ON ANDREW, standing there as an endless flow of people passes by. He watches them go, thinking...
A SUBURBAN DOCTOR'S OFFICE IN A MIDDLE-CLASS NEIGHBORHOOD
DR. ARMBRUSTER (OS)
You had contact with someone who has AIDS, and you're worried.
CONTINUOUS CUT TO:
? RON NYSWANER
A DOCTOR UNRAVELLING A BLOOD PRESSURE GAUGE (INT./DAY)
I'm not worried. What are you doing?
Joe sits in his shirtsleeves on the examining table.
Checking your blood pressure, relax.
The DOCTOR wraps the blood pressure unit around Joe's arm.
I didn't have contact. What do you consider "contact?" We were sitting in the same room, three, four feet... What if you shake hands? Wait. I know the answer. Only sex, or sharing needles. I know that. We didn't shake hands, anyway.
Dr. Armbruster squeezes the blood pressure pump,
The HIV virus can only be transmitted through the exchange of bodily fluids, namely blood and semen.
Joe begins rolling down his sleeve.
Yeah, but Doc, isn't it true they keep finding out new things about this disease? So you tell me, today, there's no danger, and I go home, and I hold my baby, and six months from now I hear on the news: "whoops! We were wrong.' You can carry it on
your clothes, your skin, and now I've got to worry about my kid. What are you doing?
Dr. Armbruster has been preparing a syringe.
We're going to draw blood.
Why are we going to do that?
Joe. I don't care a whit about your private life.
You want to give me an AIDS test?!
Joe HOPS off the table.
The guy sat in my office! You can't get AIDS that way, right?
It doesn't travel through the air, by breathing, or touching, right?
Not by touching, or shaking hands, or hugging, using the same toilet... Even kissing someone with AIDS is
safe. But it there's something in your past you're worried about...
Thanks, Doc, but I don't need an AIDS test. Are you crazy? But thanks for the information. Really.
Joe throws on his jacket, opens the door... then TURNS BACK:
In my past?
IV drug use.
Joe shakes his head.
DR. ARMBRUSTER (CONT.)
A homosexual encounter.
Unprotected sex with a prostitute.
(thinking it over)
Uh.... No. Not really.
Or unprotected sex with someone you didn't know very well, any time during the last twelve years.
Joe returns to the examining table, and rolls up his sleeve.
ESTABLISHING: JOE'S HOUSE IN THE SUBURBS (EXT./NIGHT) ...
LISA (VOICE OVER)
You have a problem with gays,
CONTINUOUS CUT TO:
JOB CRADLES HIS BABY AGAINST HIS CHEST (INT./NIGHT) ...
Lisa eats standing up, at the stove, while Joe walks the BABY in their modern kitchen.
How many gays do you know?
How many do you know?
Karen Berman. Aunt Teresa. My cousin Tommy who lives in Rochester. Eddie Meyers from the office. Joe Cantwell, he's one of the partners. His lover, Greg.
Stanley, the guy who's putting in our kitchen cabinets.
For a moment, Joe is struck dumb. Then he says:
Your Aunt Teresa is gay? That beautiful, sensuous woman is a... lesbian?
Probably since she was born.
Allright. I admit it: I'm prejudiced. I don't want to work with a homosexual. You got me.
I mean, two guys, doing the horizontal thing? I don't get it. Don't they get confused?
"Is that mine? I thought it was yours." Hey, call me old fashioned, call me conservative... I think maybe
you have to be a man to get just how nauseating the whole basic idea really is.
And the way they work out, pumping up, so they can be macho and faggot at the same time... I can't stand that shit. Now I'm being totally honest with you.
That's perfectly clear.
CLOSE ON JOE, LOOKING DIRECTLY INTO CAMERA:
Would you take a client if you were constantly thinking: "I hope this guy doesn't touch me.
I don't even want him to breathe on me?"
THE STREETS OF PHILLY ARE DUSTED WITH SNOW, STORE WINDOWS decorated for Christmas. Joe steps out of the Famous 4th St. Deli, with a package (EXT./DAY) ...
TITLE: "Two weeks later."
JOE SITS AT A TABLE IN THE PUBLIC LAW LIBRARY, SURROUNDED BY books and legal pads, hard at work. He's eating a pastrami sandwich which he hides behind a reference book when a LIBRARIAN saunters by (INT./DAY) ...
A CHAIR SQUEAKS and Joe LOOKS UP TO SEE:
Andrew taking a seat across the room (the blotches have been reduced by chemo, but he's struggling with a cold). Andrew removes notepads and pens from his briefcase. He takes out a package of tissues, blowing his nose.
(under his breath)
Joe slides to the far end of his table, stacking seven or eight HUGE REFERENCE BOOKS in front of him.
JOE'S POV, PEERING THROUGH THE REFERENCE BOOKS:
Andrew opens a book, taking notes. Rubs his eyes. Writes something. Sneezes.
A LIBRARIAN delivers a book to Andrew.
This is the supplement. You're right, there is a section on... (lowers her voice)
... HIV related discrimination.
Andrew takes the book from her -- but she remains.
We have a private research room available.
I'm fine, thanks.
Andrew BLOWS HIS NOSE. Now other PATRONS are watching.
Wouldn't you be more comfortable in a research room?
No. But would it make you more comfortable?
The LIBRARIAN turns away, shrugging to a PATRON, indicating she's done all she can do.
As Joe continues to watch: one of Andrew's NEIGHBORS picks up his books and moves away.
Joe rises, gliding down an aisle of books, keeping one eye on Andrew, who concentrates on his work.
Joe approaches, nonchalantly, as if he just happens to be sauntering by. Suddenly he "notices" Andrew.
Oh, Beckett. How's it goin'?
Andrew goes back to his work.
Who'd you get?
Find a lawyer?
I'm a lawyer. How's your baby?
Huh? Oh. Great. She's great.
What's her name?
Rayisha. Very nice.
Andrew focuses on his work. Joe steps away.
Joe comes back.
How did they find out?
(a second, then:)
One of the partners spotted a lesion on my forehead.
Nearby, a CHINESE PROFESSOR looks up, startled, when she hears the word "lesion."
Andrew concentrates on his work once more.
How do you get from one lawyer spotting a lesion, which could have been a bruise, to the partners deducing you had AIDS and basing a decision to
terminate you on that conclusion?
The CHINESE PROFESSOR moves away.
Andrew removes a legal pad with "KENTON" written in big letters across the top, and lots of notes underneath.
The partner who spotted the lesion, Walter Kenton, used to work for Benton, Myers, in D.C.
There's a paralegal there, Maria Torres. She's had lesions on and off for three years. She says it was common knowledge around the office that her
lesions were caused by AIDS.
They didn't fire her?
No. They didn't fire her.
Andrew goes back to his work. Joe stands there.
So Kenton connected the... lesion, and whatever suspicions he had about your personal life... to this woman, Maria... and blew the whistle on you. Suddenly you're losing files, and it's time to
let you go. But, up to this point, you've been their Golden Boy, their rising star... Their behavior is... inconsistent.
Andrew goes back to work.
There is no relevant precedent.
(not looking up)
Arline decision. Supreme Court.
Andrew SHOVES the legal book toward Joe.
CLOSE ON ANDREW'S HANDS (with one blotch) on the book's white pages.
The book is still facing Andrew. If Joe wants to read it, he'll have to turn it around.
Joe looks at Andrew's hands. A MOMENT.
Joe turns the book around, begins to read:
"The Federal Vocational
Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits
CAMERA CRANES UP, TOWARD THE CEILING... JOE CONTINUES
READING IN VOICE-OVER:
JOE (VO) (CONT.)
"... against otherwise qualified handicapped persons who are able to perform the duties required by
CAMERA GOES HIGHER, LOOKING DOWN ON THE ROWS OF BOOKS AND THE LONG TABLES DOTTED WITH PEOPLE...
JOE (VO) (CONT.)
"Although the ruling did not address the specific issue of HIV and AIDS discrimination..."
DISSOLVE TO SAME ANGLE AN HOUR LATER: Andrew and Joe face each other at their table, but NO ONE ELSE remains at that table, or at the table next to it...
"Subsequent decisions have held that AIDS is protected as a handicap under law, not only
because of the physical limitations it imposes..."
DISSOLVE TO A SAME ANGLE AN HOUR LATER (DAY IS TURNING INTO NIGHT): Joe pacing, Andrew reading. Their section of the library is COMPLETELY EMPTY but for Andrew and Joe.
ANDREW (VO) (CONT.)
"But because the prejudice surrounding AIDS exacts a social death which precedes the actual,
DISSOLVE TO SAME ANGLE, LATER: Andrew and Joe sit on the same side of the table, reading the same book.
"This is the essence of discrimination: formulating
opinions about others not based on their individual merits but, rather, on their membership in a
group with assumed characteristics...
The library is QUIET. Andrew SNEEZES.
Joe scoots his chair away from Andrew by eight inches.
DISCO MUSIC RISES ACCOMPANIED BY THE SOUNDS OF GRUNTING, HEAVY BREATHING AND SLAPPING FLESH AS WE...
? RON NYSWANER
MUSCULAR, SWEATY MALE BODIES SLAMMING INTO EACH OTHER, sounds of GRUNTS, skin SLAPPING against skin (INT./NIGHT) ...
... Hand SLAPPING a butt under satin shorts
... Sweaty armpits... the ROAR OF A CROWD...
... BASKETBALL PLAYERS embracing, twirling each other around, high fiving...
WIDE ANGLE REVEALS: A basketball game in progress, Sixers versus the Celtics in Philly's Spectrum Arena.
ON CLOSED CIRCUIT TV: ROBERT PARISH going for a lay-up...
Watch this guy! Nail him! Ouch!
Charles Wheeler, Walter Kenton, Kenneth Killcoyne, Bob Seidman and SEVERAL LAWYERS and SPOUSES watch the game from a plush, private box, complete with TV, bar, snack table. The lawyers wear Ralph Lauren polos, chinos and ball caps. The place reeks of
cigar smoke. Walter Kenton has a twentyfive year old WIFE.
Charles Wheeler's nine year old GRANDSON sits nearby. Wheeler turns the GRANDSON'S ballcap around, smiling lovingly at the boy.
JUST BEYOND WHEELER: The door to the box is opened by a SECURITY GUARD and a well-dressed, charismatic MAN looks in.
JULIUS ERVING enters, greeted by the LAWYERS.
How's it goin', Doctor?/This is an honor!/etc ...
The door is opened again, by the SECURITY GUARD, REVEALING Joe Miller (in jeans and basketball jacket) and a MARSHALL.
Excuse me. Charles Wheeler?
Wheeler turns. Joe SLAPS a document into Wheeler's hand.
Summons. For you.
NOW the box is QUIET.
Say. What's up, Chuck?
THE BRIGHTLY LIT, RESTRICTED, INNER CORRIDOR OF SPECTRUM Stadium (INT./NIGHT) where Wheeler walks beside Bob Seidman, with Walter Kenton and Kenneth Killcoyne just behind. SOUNDS OF THE GAME STILL IN PROGRESS can be heard, but FAR AWAY.
Occasionally the lawyers are passed by FOOD SERVICE or LAUNDRY SERVICE EMPLOYEES...
... interview every employee, support staff, associates, partners. Did any of them know Andy was sick? How did they know? Did he tell them? Did they notice something was wrong with his appearance? None of this information got to the managing partners. We know that. Make