Noir Script – First Draft

Creative Commons License
Untitled Noir Short by Matthew T. Price is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License

Noir 1st Draft

               FADE IN:


               EXT. DOWNTOWN - NIGHT


               Two MEN (we'll call them MANDELBAUM and MANFRED) meet in the
               shadow of the Library Tower.  One hands the other a CD.

               ACROSS THE STREET:

               SHOOTER watches through his camera lens.  As the men part
               ways, he sets the camera down.  Time to act.

               INT. PARKING GARAGE - NIGHT

               Mandelbaum approaches his car, with a spring in his step and
               a jaunty tune whistling across his lips.

               UNDER THE CAR,

               SHOOTER waits, knife ready.  He listens as Mandelbaum unlocks
               his car door, then slices Mandelbaum's ankle.

               Shooter is already rolling out from under as Mandelbaum
               falls.  He covers Mandelbaum's mouth with a gloved hand and
               stabs him in the neck.

               Shooter hoists the body up and drops him into the driver's
               seat.  After positioning him properly, he shuts the door.

               He flips open his phone and sends a text: "Job 1 complete."

               EXT. ALLEY - NIGHT

               Manfred sits on a ledge, holding a lighter under the disc.
               He clicks it off, admiring the burnt side of the CD.

                                   SHOOTER (O.C.)
                         Hand over the disc.

               Manfred looks over at SHOOTER, across the rooftop, pistol
               aimed squarely at him.


               He tosses it like a frisbee.  Shooter takes a look at the
               burned side, then drops it.

                         Where's the information?

                         Well, jeez, be more specific next
                         time.  It's not here.

               Shooter cocks his pistol.


                         You think you can threaten your way
                         to the List?  Buddy, I ain't gonna
                         tell you, and we both know it.

                         Then there's no reason not to shoot
                         you right now.

                                   MOOK (O.C.)
                         Sure there is.

               Manfred's thug steps out of the shadows, pushing a woman
               (ANGEL) in front of him.  Her hands are bound behind her, and
               her mouth is duct taped shut.

               Angel and Shooter's eyes meet.

                                                       CHRIS NOLAN
                                                       STYLE, MUTED
                                                       FLASH BACKS:

               EXT. PARK - DAY

               Angel and Shooter are sitting on a picnic blanket.  He has a
               deck of cards, which he fans out.  Studying them closely, he
               draws one and holds it up for her.  Angel smiles brightly.

               INT. WAREHOUSE - NIGHT

               Angel and Shooter are crouched behind some crates.

               Shooter fires a few rounds over the top, until he's empty.
               He pops the clip, then realizes he doesn't have a spare.

               Angel tosses him one.  As he locks it into place, a GOON
               comes around the corner, drawing a bead on Shooter's head.

               BLAM BLAM BLAM!

               The Goon falls.  Shooter looks over at Angel, with her
               smoking gun.  She smiles and tips him a wink.

               INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT

               Angel climbs out of Shooter's bed, offering a nice view of
               her bare back.  She looks over her shoulder, tips him another

                                                       BACK TO:

               EXT. ALLEY - NIGHT

               Manfred regards Shooter disdainfully.

                         Did you really think I wasn't
                         expecting you two?

               Shooter looks uncertainly from Angel to Manfred.

                         If I kill you, no one knows where
                         the List is.

                         True, but then again, your friend
                         over there is gone.  Here's the
                         deal.  Set the gun down, and slide
                         it over to me.  I have no interest
                         in killing two spooks today.  It's
                         a lot of paperwork, you know?
                         We'll all walk away, and have
                         ourselves another confrontation in
                         a month or two, like we always do.

               Shooter looks back to Angel.  Their eyes meet.  Then, she
               closes both eyes.  He has a job to do.

                             (to Manfred)
                         Sorry, not part of the job.

               He SHOOTS, blowing off the back of Manfred's head.

               The Mook FIRES the gun at Angel's back.

               She goes down, and Shooter blows the Mook away.

               Shooter runs over to Angel, dropping to his knees.  Her chest
               is a gory mess.  Panicky, he tries to staunch the flow of
               blood, but it does no good.

               As SIRENS approach, their eyes meet-- it's too late for her,
               and getting himself arrested won't do anyone any good.  She
               lets him go.

               Reluctantly, Shooter rises.  He flees the bloody scene,
               unseen by anyone who will be alive in the next ten minutes.

                                                       FADE TO:

               INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT

               Shooter sets a shot glass on the counter and shakily pours
               straight Vodka.  He shotguns it, sets the glass down, then
               fills it again.  After downing that, he pulls out his cell.

               "Job 2 complete.  I'm out."

                                                       FADE OUT.

                                    ACT OF CONTRITION

                                    ONE YEAR LATER...

               INT. BEDROOM - MORNING

               Shooter sleeps in his clothes from the night before, a three
               quarters empty bottle of gin still in his hand.  He hasn't
               shaved in days, and probably hasn't showered, either.

               His cell phone VIBRATES.

               He grabs it and looks at the message with one half-closed
               eye: "Got a job for you."

               He hits reply and starts typing, "I said I'm out."  Thinking
               better of it, he erases the message and types: "Fuck off."

               He hits send and drops the phone.

                                                       FADE OUT.

               INT. KITCHEN - DAY

               Shooter stands at his sink, pouring a glass of orange juice.
               He downs two asprins and chugs the juice.


               Hearing the sound, Shooter goes to his front door; a manila
               envelope has been slid under it.

               Shooter walks it over to his desk.  He pulls out his paper
               shredder and shreds the still-sealed envelope.

               He takes the basket and carries it to the window.  He opens
               the window and dumps the confetti outside.

                                                       FADE OUT.

               INT. APARTMENT - DAY

               Shooter comes in carrying two sacks of groceries.  One is
               full of frozen dinners, which he unloads into the freezer.
               The other is full of booze, which he sets out on the counter.

                                   ARCHIE (O.C.)
                         Now, wadda ya need all those for?

               Shooter turns to ARCHIE, the nondescript man of indeterminate
               age sitting on his couch.  He continues unloading bottles.

                         I'm having guests over.  You're the
                         first to arrive.  How gauche.

                         Funny.  'Bout as funny as this gag.

               He tosses over an eight by ten of Shooter emptying his
               shredder basket.  Shooter smiles.

                         Yeah, that was pretty funny.

                         You created a lot of work for us.
                         We don't make copies of those.

                         I know.  I said it was funny.

                         I have a job for you.

                         Got one.  I'm opening at the Laugh
                         Factory every Thursday.

                         It's not your comedic skills we're
                         interested in.

                         Then I'm not interested.

                         You'll be interested in this.

               He pulls another photo from his file and hands it over.  It's
               the Mook who shot Angel.  Shooter regards Archie cooly.

                         You're into archival photos, now?

                         That was taken three days ago.
                         Check the date stamp.

                         The fake date stamp.  If this were
                         real, he'd be dead by now.

                         You're right.

               He tosses over another photo, this one of the Mook lying on
               the ground, a bloody halo spreading around his head.

                         Good.  What do you want from me,
                         then?  Congratulations?

                         That'd be great, if we did it.  But
                         we didn't.

                         Who did?

                         That's why we need you.

                                      BALANCING ACT

               INT. APARTMENT - DAY

               Shooter sits at his desk, going through the file Archie gave
               him.  As he flips through more surveillance shots of the
               Mook, we hear the following conversation--

                                   SHOOTER (V.O.)
                         I'm a shooter.   I don't find guys,
                         I kill them.  Why not have your
                         people find him?

                                   ARCHIE (V.O.)
                         Because they're my people.  When
                         you killed Manfred, we closed the

               Shooter comes to a page of known acquaintances and hangouts.

                                   SHOOTER (V.O.)
                         But with this mope still breathing
                         three days ago, you think the List
                         is still out there?

                                   ARCHIE (V.O.)
                         Unofficially, yes.  Officially,
                         he's just another dead mook on the
                         east side.

               His finger settles on a particular name-- Flint Hawley.

               EXT. CLUB - EVENING

               Shooter waits in his car, as people go into the nightclub.

                                   SHOOTER (V.O.)
                         We've known each other a long time,
                         haven't we, Archie?

                                   ARCHIE (V.O.)
                         Sure have.  Remember Auckland?

               EXT. CLUB - NIGHT

               Shooter waits, as people pour out.

                                   SHOOTER (V.O.)
                         Yeah.  But I'm not doing this one
                         for you.

                                   ARCHIE (V.O.)
                         I know.

               As the flow of people slows to a trickle, Shooter finally
               sees the man he's waiting for: FLINT.

               Flint gets into a car, flicks on his headlights, and pulls
               away from the curb.  A moment later, Shooter follows suit.

               EXT. HOUSE - NIGHT

               Flint pulls into the drive, parks, then goes inside.  Shooter
               drives past, unnoticed.

               EXT. HOUSE - MORNING

               Shooter waits patiently, shuffling and reshuffling his deck.

               The front door of the house opens, catching Shooter's
               attention.  Flint emerges, clad in running gear.

               He takes off down the sidewalk.  Flint watches him go, then
               sets his deck down.

               EXT. JOGGING PATH - LATER

               Flint follows the path under a busy road.  What Flint doesn't
               realize is,


               is hiding behind one of the support beams.

               He steps out and POPS Flint in the jaw, sending him flying.

               Shooter pounces on him, kneeling on his chest.  Flint gasps.

                         Where's the List?

                         I... can't... bruh- bruh-

                         Can't breathe?

               He pinches Flint's bloody nose shut and covers his mouth.

                                   SHOOTER (CONT'D)
                         How 'bout now?

               Flint flops around, but he has no leverage.  Finally, Shooter
               lets go.  Flint gulps air.

                                   SHOOTER (CONT'D)
                         Where's the List?

                         Don't... know...

                         Who does?

                         Don't.... D-don't know...

               Shooter cuts off his mouth and nose again.  He holds it for a
               long, long time.

               When Flint's eyes roll back in his head, Shooter lets go.


               Flint manages only a wheezy exhalation.  Shooter slaps him.

                                   SHOOTER (CONT'D)
                         A name!

               Flint whispers inaudibly.  Shooter leans in close to hear...

               And Flint BITES him!

               Shooter recoils, grasping his bloody ear.  Flint bucks,
               knocking Shooter off.  He tries to run, but Shooter grabs the
               tail of his T-shirt and swings him into the column.

               Shooter rises, and looks down at the unconscious Flint.  He
               kicks him, just to be sure.  Flint doesn't move.

                                   SHOOTER (CONT'D)
                         Damn it.

               EXT. HOUSE - DAY

               Shooter's car is parked in the driveway.  Flint sits shotgun,
               seemingly asleep, except for his bloody temple.

               INT. HOUSE - DAY

               Shooter has turned the place inside out-- furniture
               overturned, clothes strewn about, drawers yanked out.

               Shooter is at the computer, searching through files.  Buried
               deep in a system folder, he finds Master.txt.

               It's a huge file, with names, dates, and coordinates.  He
               makes a few key strokes, then grabs a blank CD off the shelf.
               He sticks the CD in, drags the file over, and hits burn.

               Just as the CD tray ejects, a car door SLAMS.  Shooter looks
               over.  Shit.  He grabs the CD and pockets it.

               He creeps over to the front window and peeks outside--
               ANOTHER CAR is parked in the driveway.  Shit shit.

               He sneaks over to the kitchen, starts pulling out drawers,
               looking for a knife, a fork, any fucking thi-


               Shooter hits the tile clutching his chest.  He looks up at--

               A WOMAN

               approaching with her smoking gun still on him.

               Shooter's eyes go wide.  ANGEL.

               She keeps her gun trained on him, but she's not afraid.  She
               reaches into his pocket and removes the CD.

               She twirls it on her finger as she turns and walks away.

               She stops...

               Turns to him...

               And winks.

                                        ACT OF GOD

               INT. HOUSE - LATER

               A trail of blood leads from the kitchen back to the office.

               Shooter drags himself to the computer.  He starts

               INT. CAR - DAY

               Shooter struggles to pull the door open while carrying the
               computer.  He spills it onto Flint's lap as he flops into the
               driver seat.

               Flint begins to struggle awake, until Shooter PUNCHES him,
               bloodying his nose again.

               Shooter fumbles with the keys, trying to get them in the
               slot.  He's losing blood, woozy, and his vision is going

               The car STARTS.  He backs out of the drive.


               EXT. STREET - DAY



               Shooter realizes he's lying on the pavement.  Half of him,
               anyway; his legs are still in the car, which is,
               miraculously, parked on the side of the road.

                         Can you make it inside?

                         I think-

               INT. ARCHIE'S PLACE - LATER



               Shooter looks around.  He's on Archie's couch, shirtless, his
               wounds covered with makeshift bandages.  He closes his eyes.

                             (it's hard to speak)
                         How long?

                         Not as long as Auckland.  Six
                         hours, maybe.

                         No.  How long have you known?

               Archie doesn't want to say, but he knows he has to.

                         We got surveillance footage of her
                         three months ago.  We suspected
                         maybe a month before that.

               Archie grabs his laptop, calls up a video and shows Shooter-- 

               A woman walks up and shoots a man in the back of the head.
               We only see her from behind, it's obviously ANGEL.

                                   ARCHIE (CONT'D)
                         That was Pierson.

                         How... How did she-?

                         It was a bad night for Jane Does.
                         Seven gunshot wounds in the area,
                         five didn't survive.  Based on your
                         report, we didn't think we needed
                         to risking showing our faces to
                         identify the body.

               Shooter tries to rise, grimaces in pain, then collapses.

                         How bad is it?

                         Through and through, didn't hit any
                         bones or major organs.  Nothing a
                         tube of superglue and some gauze
                         couldn't fix.


                                   ANGEL (O.C.)
                         It ain't luck.  You gotta be damn
                         skillful to miss that good.

               Angel stands in the doorway, a gun trained on Archie.

                                   ANGEL (CONT'D)
                         I needed you alive to take me here.

                         Why?  You already have the List.

                         I've got a CD with a bunch of
                             (tosses it to Shooter)
                             (to Archie)
                         But I wasn't really looking for the
                         List, anyway.


               ACROSS THE STREET:

               SHOOTER watches through his camera lens.  As the men part
               ways, he sets the camera down.  Time to act.

               As he heads off, REVEAL Angel beside him.  She follows.


               Mandelbaum's BODYGUARD is lighting a cigarette, not paying
               attention to his boss.

               He looks up when he hears Mandelbaum go down with a THUMP.
               The Bodyguard breaks into a run, but Angel pops out from
               behind a support pillar, leveling with a haymaker.

               Then she kicks him, before heading off.


               Angel slips stealthily around the building.  Her phone
               vibrates-- "Job 1 complete."

               She quickly types a reply-- "I'm going around south.  You go
               north, and flank them."

               Angel reaches the top of a large staircase.  At the bottom of
               the stairs, she sees--

               ARCHIE AND MANFRED.

               Archie is holding his laptop.  He ejects the CD and hands it
               over to Manfred.  The part ways, Manfred already pulling out
               his lighter.

               Angel stares, mouth agape.  The Mook slowly emerges from the
               shadows behind Angel...

               INT. ARCHIE'S PLACE - DAY

               Shooter looks from Angel to Archie.  Archie whirls around to
               face Shooter.

                         You-  You're not gonna believe her,
                         are you?  She shot you!

                         I couldn't be sure if you were in
                         with Archie, like Pierson was.

                         She's gone crazy.  You see that,
                         right?  She's not making sense.

               Shooter looks at his friend good and long, perhaps for the
               first time.

                         What's on your computer, Archie?

               Archie looks back at him.  Shit.

                         Another bullshit file.  Manfred
                         never had anything.

               He throws the computer at Shooter.  Shooter throws up his
               arms, but it still hits his bad shoulder.  He CRIES OUT.


               As Angel reaches out for her lover, Archie reaches under his
               desk and pulls out a pistol.

               He whirls and FIRES.  Angel dives out of the way, shooting
               back.  Archie runs deeper into the apartment.  Angel goes to
               Shooter's side.

                                   ANGEL (CONT'D)
                         Are you-

                         I'm fine.  Go!

               Angel goes to the BEDROOM, only to find the window open, and
               Archie nowhere to be found.  She starts climbing out.

               EXT. STREET - MOMENTS LATER

               Archie runs to Shooter's car, expecting to find the computer
               in Flint's lap.  Neither are inside.

               He looks around, and spots a trail of blood (from Flint's
               nose) leading around the building.


               Flint runs between apartment buildings, clutching the
               computer to his chest.  He checks over his shoulder, then-


               Runs straight into a fist.

               A MOMENT LATER:

               Archie rounds the corner.  He sees Flint on the ground.  He
               looks around, wondering where the computer went.

               He hears a SCUFFLING noise overhead.  He looks up at--

               SHOOTER AND ANGIE,

               Standing on a ledge above, smiling.  Angie drops the



               EXT. BEACH - SUNSET

               Angel and Shooter lie on the sand.  He's shuffling his deck
               of cards, while she idly watches kites in the sky.

               Above her swimsuit, we can see the scar on her chest.  She
               traces her fingers along his chest, pausing at his now-healed

               He holds up a card.  She smiles.


               And on that, we...

                                                       FADE OUT.

Script created with Final Draft by Final Draft, Inc.


One comment

  1. […] If you’ve read both the first draft and the current draft of the script, you may have noticed some changes. (Of course, it’d be […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: