Noir Script 3/18/09 (Current 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 3/18/09 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.  He speaks into his
               cell phone headset.

                         Got 'em.  What's on this List,

                                   ARCHIE (O.S.)
                         Does it matter?

                         Not even a little bit.

               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.
               Having fun, yet?"

               Shooter heads for the stairs.  His phone vibrates, and he
               flips it open: "Nah.  Let's skip the second part and pick up
               a pizza."  Shooter chuckles.

               EXT. ROOFTOP - 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 List, smartass?

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

                         Okay, you know, I don't really care
                         where it is.

               Shooter cocks his pistol.

                         Whoa, whoa, let's not overreact.

                         My boss told me, "Stop Manfred from
                         distributing the List."  Now, if
                         you were to come down with a sudden
                         case of dead, you wouldn't be able
                         to distribute it, right?  Here's
                         your choices: tell me where the
                         List is, or I kill you.

                                   MOOK (O.C.)
                         ...And then the girl dies, too.

               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. ROOFTOP - NIGHT

               Manfred regards Shooter disdainfully.

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

               Shooter looks uncertainly from Angel to Manfred.

                                   MANFRED (CONT'D)
                         Here is the deal.  I have no
                         interest in dealing with two dead
                         spooks.  It's a lot of paperwork,
                         you know?  Instead, we 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 this time.

               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.

               EXT. ALLEY - NIGHT

               Shooter leans against the brick wall, collecting himself.  He

                         Both jobs are complete.  I'm done.

                         What do yo-

               Shooter hangs up.  He closes his eyes.

               FLASH: Angel, smiling, pretty as a sunrise, cocks a pistol,
               turns, and fires.

               IN THE ALLEY: Shooter loses it.  He throws his phone against
               the wall.  It rebounds, he kicks it, but it's not enough.  He
               slams his fists into the wall, beating them bloody.

                                                       FADE OUT.

                                    ACT OF CONTRITION

                                   SIX MONTHS 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.

               In the bed next to him, Angel is NOT.

               His cell phone sits next to a photo of Shooter and Angel,
               smiling on the beach.  It (the 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 done."  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 fans out a deck of cards on his kitchen table.  He
               picks a card, looks at it, then replaces it.  He shuffles the
               deck, and produces the same card, now on top.  He looks
               around, and finds no one to be impressed.


               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 ruefully.

                         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 coolly.

                         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 already.

                         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.  We
                         knew Manfred only had half the
                         List, so when you killed him, we
                         closed his file.

               Shooter comes to a page of known acquaintances and hangouts.

                                   SHOOTER (V.O.)
                         But with this mope still breathing
                         three days ago, you think he's
                         found the other half?

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

               His finger settles on a particular name-- Sarah Carson.


               BUSINESS PEOPLE pour out of the building, CARSON among them.

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

                                   ARCHIE (V.O.)
                         Sure have.  Remember that time in

               As the crowd thins, Shooter passes Carson, heading in the
               opposite direction.

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

                                   ARCHIE (V.O.)
                         I know.

               Shooter turns and hurries to catch up with Carson.  He pulls
               a cell phone from his pocket.

                         Sir?  Sir!

               Carson turns to him, curious.

                                   SHOOTER (CONT'D)
                         I think you dropped your phone.

               Carson checks her purse.

                         No, that's not mine.  Thanks,

               Carson smiles and goes on her merry way.

               Shooter drops his veneer of friendliness.  He ducks into an
               alley, ditching his jacket and pulling on a baseball cap.

               AROUND THE CORNER--

               Carson walks along, unaware of Shooter coming around the

               Shooter bumps into her.

                         Watch it.

                         Hey, you watch it!

               But Shooter is already heading down into the subway.  Carson,
               irked, shakes her head and keeps going.

               INT. SUBWAY - EVENING

               Shooter sits down, pulling a crumpled piece of paper from his
               pocket.  He compares the cell phone's address book with the
               Archie's file.  He starts crossing names off... 

               EXT. HOUSE - MORNING

               Shooter waits patiently, shuffling and reshuffling his deck.

                                   SHOOTER (V.O.)
                         She was a believer, Archie.  She
                         knew she'd die on the job.  She
                         wanted it that way.

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

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

               EXT. JOGGING PATH - LATER

               Flint follows the path.

                                   SHOOTER (V.O.)
                         She thought it was worth dying for.

               SHOOTER is hiding behind a tree.  He takes out Carson's cell
               and dials a number.

                                   SHOOTER (CONT'D)
                         I'm going to make sure she's right.

               Flint checks the caller ID.  Taking the call, he doesn't
               notice Shooter stepping out ahead of him.


               Shooter 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 tree.

               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 at the curb.  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 (V.O.)
                         It used to be fun, Archie.  Me and
                         her, we had fun.

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

                                   SHOOTER (CONT'D)
                         Pretending to be other people,
                         pulling cons, playing spy games.
                         It was fun.

               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.

                                   SHOOTER (CONT'D)
                         It's not fun anymore.

               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. KITCHEN - LATER

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


               Shooter, Archie, and Angel play poker on the table.  Shooter
               has a large pile of chips.

               Archie grabs Shooter's arm, and pulls an ace from his sleeve.
               They all laugh.

               INT. HOUSE - DAY

               Shooter drags himself to the computer.  He starts


               Angel writhes on the couch, bleeding from the stomach.
               Archie tries to patch her up, while Shooter looks on
               helplessly, wiping sweat from her forehead.

               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

               IN HIS REARVIEW MIRROR:

               Archie and Angel laugh and laugh.

               The car STARTS.  Shooter pulls away from the curb.


               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 that time in
                         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 Drost she killed.

                         How... How did she-?

                         That night was a bad one for Jane
                         Does.  Seven gunshot wounds in the
                         area, five didn't survive.  Based
                         on your report, we didn't think we
                         needed to risk showing our faces to
                         identify her 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
                         skilled to miss that good.

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

                                   ANGEL (CONT'D)
                         I needed you alive to bring me

                         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 looking for the List,


               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.  Having fun, yet?"

               She quickly types a reply-- "Nah.  Let's skip the second part
               and pick up a pizza."

               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.  They part ways, Manfred already pulling out
               his lighter.

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

               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!

                             (to Shooter)
                         I didn't if you were in with
                         Archie, like Drost was.

                         And now?

                         I'm convinced.

                         She's gone crazy.  You see that,
                         right?  She's stark raving bananas,
                         seeing conspiracies everywhere.

               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.

                         What's on that List?  What was more
                         important than us?

                         Does it matter?

               He throws the computer at Shooter, and grabs a pistol from
               under his desk in one swift motion.

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

                         Are you-

                         I'm fine!  Get him.  I'll grab the

               Angel goes to the BEDROOM, only to find the window open.  She
               runs to it and-

               BAM-BAM!  She ducks out of the way.

               OUTSIDE, Archie turns and runs.

               Angel starts climbing out the window.

               EXT. STREET - MOMENTS LATER

               Flint stirs.  WHAM!

               Shooter punches him, then reaches inside to grab the


               Angel rounds the corner.  She pulls up short seeing--

               ARCHIE holding Shooter at gunpoint.  Shooter still has the

                         Drop the gun.

                         Shoot him!

               Angel looks back and forth between them.  Archie narrows his
               eyes, ready to kill Shooter.

               Shooter meets her gaze.  He closes his eyes, nods, ready for
               the shot.

               Angel raises her hands.

                         Okay, Archie.

               Archie smiles, swinging the gun from Shooter to Angel.

               Shooter DROPS the computer on Archie's foot!

               Archie CRIES OUT.

               Shooter dives to the ground.  Angel aims, FIRES, blowing out
               the back of Archie's head.



               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. […] are a few other minor changes I’ve made.  You can see them in the latest draft, which is online […]

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