- anti-steele your heart away -- act
Date: Monday, March 12, 2001
- Susan Deborah Smith <email@example.com>
okay to archive
"ANTI-STEELE YOUR HEART AWAY"
a teleplay by Susan Deborah Smith
(with respectful apologies to and much admiration for Brian
EXT. PARK - FENCE, ROAD AND DITCH - DAY
As Tony and Laura come tumbling over a flimsy chain link fence
and drop into cover in the ditch below it. They gingerly peer
off to where the police car comes bowling along the road through
the park on the other side of the fence, beyond a swale of grass
The police car comes to a halt. Oliver gets out with his gun
and looks around. The police car backs up to meet him. Oliver
looks around one last time and heads back to the road.
TONY: Let's go!
Laura and Tony each start off in opposite directions and are
yanked back by the handcuffs that shackle them together
TONY: Come on, Laura. One of us has gotta lead.
LAURA: Right. Follow me.
She tugs Tony her way. Oliver reacts as he starts to get in the
car and catches a glimpse of them heading away on the other side
of the ditch, heading toward a deeper part of the park. He takes
a couple of shots at them as:
EXT. PARK - GRASS AND TREES - DAY
Laura and Tony come running up TO CAMERA and on past as we TRACK
them heading into a more woodsy part of the park. Laura hesitates
to get her bearings. Tony determinedly grabs her hand and, brooking
no argument, he tugs her away on HIS chosen course - a course
that takes them into the thickening cover of the ancient shade
trees. En route, they find themselves hampered by some shrubs
that each tries to avoid in either direction.
TONY: I've just remembered something.
TONY: A quotation - something about the left hand not knowing
what the right hand is doing. (as they get entangled again) This
is worse than being married.
LAURA: You can say that again.
She gets no further because Tony suddenly grabs her and pushes
her down to the ground, face first, he almost lying across her
behind a big tree. Laura's face is buried in dead leaves for
a moment, then she manages to rise up and splutter:
LAURA: Will you -
Tony pushes her down into the leaves again - holds her down -
and she might protest again - but at this moment we HEAR the
low purr of the police car inching along the road nearby.
EXT. PARK - ROAD NEAR TREES - DAY
As Posy drives slowly, Oliver gazes alertly out the window, his
eyes taking in everything - almost. The car moves past.
EXT. PARK - TREES - DAY
Tony releases Laura at last. She sits up to indignantly brush
away dirt and dead leaves from her face and hair.
LAURA: Would you -
TONY: How about calling a truce? For both our sakes.
In answer, Laura spits out a leaf.
TONY: Good. Now . . .
He gently turns her head to look down a slope where, at the edge
of the park, there are some old two story buildings.
TONY: Agreed? Before my arm gets yanked out of its socket again.
And together, they get up, hold hands and start to sprint toward
EXT. RIDING STABLE - DAY
It's a brick building among a cluster of others on the edge of
the park. Tony and Laura run up to the door but find it secured
with a large padlock.
Tony kicks it, then kicks it again. Taking a step back, he hurls
himself against the door - and drags Laura off-balance in the
Laura tugs Tony away from the door to seek other possibilities.
They move quickly along the side of the stable and see a window
fairly high up. Tony pulls an old crate around and, still hampered
by the handcuffs, they climb up onto it and somehow get each
other through the window.
INT. STABLE LOFT - DAY
As Laura, then Tony, climb through the window - lose their balance
and fall . . . almost disappearing in the mound of hay just this
side of the window. They have fallen into a hayloft, set above
Tony sits up with straw in his hair.
TONY: Where the hell are we?
We HEAR a car come up and stop outside. Laura and Tony press
deeper into the hay. A beat - and then we HEAR the door rattle
Oliver and Posy enter and look around. They open a stall at the
far end - look in - close the stall - and then Oliver looks up
at the hay loft. He grabs a pitchfork that's leaning against
the wall - and moves to start thrusting it up into the hay.
LAURA AND TONY
lie almost nose to nose, tensely listening to the sound of the
pitchfork stabbing into the hay around them. Then the tines of
the pitchfork stab through between them - missing their faces
Steps back - tosses aside the pitchfork as:
OLIVER: They must've headed back into the park. Let's go.
Oliver and Posy move to exit.
TONY AND LAURA
Remain unmoving until they - and we - HEAR the car start up and
move away. Then Tony sits up - and jerks Laura up with him.
TONY: Close call.
LAURA: Very close.
They glance around, examining their surroundings. Then Tony begins
to test the hay the same way he'd test a mattress. Laura sighs,
regards him unhappily.
TONY: Aw, come on. It's not all bad. (beat) This is pretty cool,
actually. Like being in a movie or something.
LAURA: The Thirty Nine Steps.
TONY: The what?
LAURA: It's a Hitchcock movie, about two people who are handcuffed
together and fleeing from the police or something. You've never
TONY (mystified): Nah.
They sit in silence a moment. Tony folds his arms, dragging Laura's
hand across to lie on his thigh. Laura jerks her hand away.
TONY: How was it?
TONY: This movie you're talkin' about.
LAURA: It was okay.
TONY: æCause I'm thinking - if it was a romantic kinda
movie - we could - you know (smiles) re-enact the good parts.
LAURA: Not a chance.
Tony gestures around the stable, Laura's hand limply following
his at the other end of the handcuffs.
TONY: Nothin' else to do.
Laura looks at Tony. Tony looks at her with eyes that both offer
LAURA: I'm a married woman, Mr. Roselli.
TONY (hopeful): Happily married?
LAURA: Very happily.
Tony takes this in. Then:
TONY: So (beat) where's your husband?
This discomfits Laura.
LAURA: I told you. He's on a case.
Tony sees he has an opening.
TONY: Yeah? Where? For how long?
LAURA: I don't know. He and Mildred -
TONY (interrupting): Mildred? Who's Mildred?
LAURA: Our indispensable assistant. Right now, I'm alone at the
agency with only you to help me and -
TONY (trying to work this out): Wait a minute. Your husband is
off somewhere with the secretary, and you're having second thoughts
about a roll in the hay with me?
LAURA: It's a long, complicated story, Mr. Roselli.
TONY: Yeah? Well, one thing I do remember is how much I hate
long, complicated stories.
He pulls her close, kisses her and, in a daze, she lets him -
not sure what emotional strings he's plucking just now. As they
ease back onto the hay, the tune "That's Amore" starts
to PLAY IN A PECULIAR, TINKLING ARRANGEMENT.
Laura dreamily opens her eyes.
LAURA: That's amore.
Tony strokes her hair with his free hand.
TONY: It sure is.
And, as he goes for another kiss, the song continues to PLAY.
Laura suddenly sits up. Her eyes are wide. She can't believe
what almost happened.
LAURA: No! That music. It's "That's Amore".
Tony reacts. He traces the source of the sound to his pocket
and pulls out the big pocket watch we saw earlier. He stares
at it - as it continues to tinkle out the cheerful tune.
LAURA: Where did you get this?
TONY: I dunno.
Laura takes the watch. She presses it and it pops open to reveal
an inscription on the inside of the case.
LAURA (reads): "To J.R. - from A.R." Who's J.R.?
TONY: A guy who got shot? (off her look) Sorry. How should I
LAURA: A.R. Those are your initials.
TONY: You said my name was Tony.
LAURA: Short for Anthony.
TONY: People call me that?
LAURA (shrugs): Your friends call you Tony. My husband calls
you "Antony" - but I think he's just yanking your chain.
(beat) You must have been planning to give this to someone.
Tony takes the watch back and examines it.
TONY: Maybe I'm married.
Laura reacts. The initials suggest such a possibility.
TONY: Oh, my God. I think I'm going out of my mind.
Laura takes his hand in both of hers and pats it with her free
LAURA: I know how you feel, believe me but - (abruptly) - Oh!
TONY: You thought of something?!
LAURA: No - someone just kissed my leg.
And, as one, they move to lean over the edge of the loft and
look down to where there now stands a horse made distinctive
by a narrow blaze surmounted by a white crescent on its forehead.
It has obviously gotten out of the stall that Oliver neglected
to close properly. With the toe of her shoe, Laura scratches
the horse behind its ear - its eyes close in pleasure.
TONY: Well - he's got good taste, I'll give him that.
Tony's smile fades as he remembers something.
TONY (cont'd): Horses! It's got something to do with horses .
. . and - and a man named - Bud - or is it Bill? -
LAURA: Go on, go on!
TONY: I'm trying, I'm trying! (concentrates) He works for a company
called -- The Company. I've gotta see a guy at the Company.
He holds up the watch and stares at it.
TONY (cont'd): That's why I came to New York. To see a guy at
LAURA: But isn't CIA headquarters in Virginia?
Tony looks at her, still struggling with his unreliable memories,
then at the watch.
As we TIGHTEN on the spinning watch:
INT. OFFICIAL OFFICE - NIGHT
Through the window, the Washington skyline. PULL BACK to reveal
Poppy seated at his desk, looking balefully at Fawn.
POPPY (tsking): So they lost æem, did they?
FAWN: Well, so far we haven't heard anything from the police
- or any other agency.
POPPY: I wish the missus were here to guide me through these
treacherous waters. (sighs; leans back) The oil business gone
belly-up - not a darned thing to do in this job but sit and wait
- a little friendly rivalry heating up but good is about the
only thing --
FAWN (interjects): And not much for the rest of us to do around
POPPY: Is that all you're thinking about, Ms. Hall? Your career?
I'm talking about beatin' that fella at his own game!
Fawn glances at her watch.
FAWN: Your car's downstairs, sir. We want to be back in New York
in plenty of time.
POPPY: You make sure that Posy and Ollie keep an eye out for
Roselli and the girl. You know what they say - better safe than
EXT. MANHATTAN STREET - NIGHT
A bus lumbers to the curb and the doors open.
Laura and Tony, holding hands to conceal the handcuffs, get off
the bus. Tony stares up at the building. Laura drags him inside.
INT. HIGHRISE LOBBY - NIGHT
Laura consults the building directory on the wall.
LAURA: Suite thirty nine oh nine.
They cross to the elevators where Tony presses the UP button.
INT. HIGHRISE CORRIDOR - NIGHT
Tony and Laura look through the glass doors at the OFFICE LOBBY
we saw earlier. It's darkened now, with a light shining through
an open door.
LAURA: Anything familiar?
Tony rattles the door but it doesn't open.
LEO'S VOICE: Hey!
Laura and Tony turn to face Leo Stern, an affable, thirtyish
guy, who is coming along the corridor.
LEO: Hey, Tony, great to see you again!
Tony puts his cuffed hand behind his back, forcing Laura to put
her arm around his waist. Tony and Leo shake hands.
LAURA: Do you two know each other?
LEO: Know each other? We worked together down in South America.
TONY: We - (gestures between himself and Leo) - worked together?
LEO: Sure! It was great seeing you at the party the other night.
Bud told me -
Leo pauses and looks up and down the hall.
LEO (cont'd): Come on inside.
He types a code into the keypad on the door, opens it and urges
them to slip inside.
INT. OFFICE - INNER HALL - NIGHT
Leo leads Tony and Laura from the lobby down a hallway between
several small interior offices.
TONY: So I was here?
LEO (hesitates): Weren't you?
TONY: You tell me.
Leo regards Tony suspiciously. Tony is no less wary.
LAURA: Mr. Roselli is suffering from amnesia.
Leo is delighted by this news and gives Tony a shove - like kids
on a playground.
LEO: Get outta town!
Tony glances at Laura.
LAURA: It's true. Can you help us, Mister - ?
LEO: Stern. Leo Stern.
He puts out his hand, but Laura doesn't shake it. She smiles
and nods instead.
TONY (quickly, to distract): So, Leo. What was I doing here?
LEO: Old times' sake. (beat) Something about the watch, I think.
TONY: This watch?
He produces the pocket watch.
LEO: That's it - that's what brought you back. That, and the
letter that went with it.
LEO: In your wallet. Which reminds me . . .
Leo disappears into one of the darkened offices. We HEAR drawers
opening and shutting, papers rustling.
LEO: You've gotta be real careful in the city, hey, pal!
Leo re-joins them, holding a billfold.
TONY: What were you doing with it?
LEO: Waddaya think? Guy comes back on an operation none of us
have ever heard of - usual suspects. (winks) Here you go.
Tony takes the wallet and opens it. There's some money; we glimpse
a driver's license and some credit cards. A folded up piece of
paper is tucked in with the money.
TONY: Just checking, huh . . .
LEO: Figured you'd be right back for it. (to Laura) Hell, we
left it lying on the carpet till the last of us went home.
Tony takes out the letter - unfolds it awkwardly with one hand
- regards it and, with Laura reading over his arm:
TONY: "Your dad always wanted you to have this."
He stares from the watch to the letter, to an equally puzzled
LEO: That's why you came back to the Company. To find out about
TONY: Does my dad work here?
LEO: Come on, Tony. What're you working on? (grins) Oops. Can't
tell me, huh? Amnesia, right?
Tony reacts to Leo's wink.
Laura reaches with her free hand to take the letter and reads
it herself over:
LEO (cont'd): You know, there's an old adage about playing with
handcuffs - make sure you know where the key is before you get
LAURA (with a jerk): This isn't -
LEO (appraising): Least you managed to get yourselves dressed.
Not an easy thing, with cuffs like those.
TONY: We weren't -
Leo winks again.
LEO: I think I've got a little something here that can spring
INT. LEO'S OFFICE - NIGHT
Tony and Laura watch as Leo closes a desk drawer and opens a
lock pick kit and selects the appropriate implements. He switches
on a desk lamp.
LEO: Right over here.
They move to stand near the desk lamp.
ANGLE ON HANDCUFFS
Leo's fingers work the pick in the lock. One side springs open,
then the other.
TONY AND LAURA
exchange looks and rub their wrists as:
LEO (cont'd): Never know when this baby might come in handy.
TONY (back to business): Was it you I came to see?
LEO: Nah. It was Clines. You seemed to think it was a message
LAURA: Who is Clines?
LEO: Another guy we used to work with in South America. Those
were the days! (beat) He's moved on. Runs a business over in
Brooklyn, I think. Putting the spy game behind him.
TONY: Pool hall?
LEO: Yeah. You went there?
As they talk, Laura picks up a newspaper from Leo's desk.
TONY (rubs his head): I think so. Yeah.
LAURA (looking up): You guys are spies. Who's the greatest spy
LEO: Mata Hari.
Tony and Leo glare at each other in disbelief.
TONY: Mata Hari?
Laura rolls her eyes.
LAURA: What about James Bond?
LEO: Oh, man! One of the greatest.
TONY: I've seen every one of those movies. Twice.
In not very close harmony, they start to HUM the James Bond theme.
LAURA (interjects): What else did they call him?
TONY: Double oh seven.
LEO: Of course.
LAURA: Good answer!
She turns the paper so that Tony can see.
ANGLE ON NEWSPAPER
The sports section is emblazoned with a headline: "DOUBLE-OH-SEVEN
- WORLD'S RICHEST RACE HORSE TO RUN AT BELMONT"
There is also a big picture of the horse - with the narrow blaze
topped by a crescent. The same horse we saw in the stable!
As Laura and Tony exchange an incredulous look:
EXT. BROOKLYN BRIDGE - NIGHT
A taxi drives across from Manhattan.
INT. CAB - NIGHT
Laura and Tony sit in the back seat.
LAURA: How could I have left my purse with those fake cops?
TONY (amused): You're talking to me about forgetting stuff?
They exchange a look. Then Laura, faintly embarrassed, turns
to gaze out the window on her side. Tony watches her a moment,
then turns away to regard the passing view. Then:
TONY: Did I ever tell you I'm married?
LAURA (shakes her head): No.
TONY: I sure don't feel married.
LAURA (reminds): "Your dad always wanted you to have this."
TONY: But I'M "A. R". The watch is FROM "A.R."
Laura shrugs and looks out into the night.
TONY (cont'd): I can't remember my dad.
LAURA: You can't remember anything.
TONY: I mean - something's wrong. I have a - a -
LAURA: A feeling.
TONY: That's right. I have a feeling that something's not right
between us. Between my dad and me.
Laura turns to look at him.
HOLD on Tony and Laura's concerned look, and then:
INT. STABLE - NIGHT
Empty - then the door opens and, in the pale light of the moon
Tony and Laura enter and look around. The horse is gone.
LAURA: It was here, it was Double-Oh-Seven - I'm sure of it.
A horse with a narrow blaze and that crescent moon on his forehead
. . .
TONY (paces up and down in front of the stalls): "Mint juleps
on Derby Day."
TONY: That's it! The sign on that bar was trying to tell me something!
LAURA: The Derby is in Kentucky.
TONY: But there's a track around here, isn't there? (pulls out
a memory) Belmont. We've gotta get to Belmont.
EXT. HIGHWAY - DAY
An official government limousine, flanked by motorcycle police,
rolls down the road.
INT. LIMOUSINE - DAY
Fawn and Poppy sit in the back seat. Oliver, dressed in a black
suit and sunglasses, sits opposite, glaring alertly around.
Poppy is on the car phone.
INT. GOVERNMENT OFFICE - DAY
The other towers of Manhattan are visible through the window.
An American flag in the corner, a framed photo of Ronald Reagan
on the wall, but this office is more designed for work: computer
terminal, filing cabinets, a desk piled with paper.
McFarlane, whom we saw earlier at the dream party, barks into
MCFARLANE: DAD! That's what I said D - A - D - Dad.
POPPY (v.o.; phone filter): I dunno, Bud. I'm out of the loop
MCFARLANE: The password he gave was . . .
INT. LIMOUSINE - DAY
Poppy leans forward, listening.
MCFARLANE (v.o.; phone filter): . . . "Your dad always wanted
you to have this."
Poppy listens and ponders.
POPPY: Bud. I'm telling you - I'm out of the loop. Any operation
the old boys are running called "Dad" just isn't part
of my job description thing these days. Maybe you oughta give
Bill a call.
Poppy hangs up.
OLIVER: We should've eliminated them, sir.
POPPY (soothing): Give it a rest, Ollie. We're not "eliminating"
anybody. We're just having a little fun. If Bill's running this
Dad operation on a collision course with us, then we'll deal
with it. Otherwise - we're in the homestretch. We'll terminate
only if we have to.
EXT. RACE TRACK - DAY
As the gates open - racehorses plunge out - the race is on, and
around the track, people begin to cheer on the runners.
We are at Belmont Park - and we PICK UP Tony and Laura moving
amid the crowds.
A BIG TOTE BOARD
Fills the screen, carrying the numbers and odds for the horses
for the next race.
CLOSE ON PROGRAM
in Tony's hand. He runs his finger down the list of horses, comparing
them to the information on the board.
Horse number five is Double-Oh-Seven.
LAURA AND TONY
look up at the board. The word "SCATCHED" shines beside
#5 on the board.
LAURA: Isn't running. They've pulled him out of the race.
TONY: And I bet we know why.
EXT./INT. OWNER'S BOXES - DAY
A clubby atmosphere with windows overlooking the race course.
Everyone is very well dressed - this area is obviously off-limits
to the hoi polloi.
Poppy, trailed by Fawn and Oliver, approach JOHN, a tall Texan
with a drink in his hand.
POPPY: Well, John. How're things?
JOHN: Good enough. Good enough.
POPPY: Fine day for a horse race.
JOHN: Sure is.
Poppy surveys the track and the scene and a TV SCREEN conveniently
located to view (either overhead, or set into the wall behind
As on the tote board, only with better graphics, we SEE that
horse #5 is scratched.
POPPY: Double-Oh not running today?
JOHN: Quarter crack. Hasn't healed properly. We're letting him
Poppy claps him on the back.
POPPY: You're a heckuva lot more easy going than I am, Johnny.
JOHN: How's that?
POPPY: Millions on the hoof - missing. Insane ransom demands.
Glue factory right nearby. (beat) I'd be deployin' the troops
JOHN (faintly riled): I'm not sure I get what you're getting
POPPY: Word around town is they want eight million - that is,
if you want to see that stallion alive again.
HOLD on John's reaction. In the background, "they're off!"
END OF ACT THREE
- TO ACT