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Snish
SS novice field agent

873 Posts

Posted - 10/16/2009 :  18:02:17  Show Profile
THE WILD WILD WEST

"NIGHT OF THE BURNING DIAMOND"

Revised First Draft 2/11/66

TEASER

FADE IN:

1. INT. SERBIAN EMBASSY - RECEPTION ROOM - FULL SHOT - DAY

CAMERA LOOKS toward a wide, paneled door as it opens and
TWO GUARDS in dress uniform enter stiffly, followed by
JAMES WEST, in formal diplomatic day wear, with swagger stick.

FIRST GUARD
(announcing)
Your Excellency...an emissary of
the United States Government --
Mister James West.

The guards step aside, remaining at attention, and West
advances down the reception room.

2. REVERSE ANGLE - SERBIAN AMBASSADOR

The AMBASSADOR is in his forties, imposing, bearded. He
wears formal diplomatic costume, adorned by a sash bearing
his decorations. He advances to meet West.

AMBASSADOR
... an honor.

West ENTERS SCENE, makes a slight formal bow of greeting.

WEST
Mr. Ambassador...my deepest
respects to you and your government.

AMBASSADOR
To what do I owe the pleasure of
meeting the redoubtable James West.

WEST
We share a problem of great
importance... and some delicacy.

West glances meaningfully at the Guards. The Ambassador
raises his hands and claps once. The Guards march stiffly
OUT, closing the door after them.

3. CLOSER ANGLE - TWO SHOT

AMBASSADOR
A problem?

WEST
Concerning the International Jewel
Exhibit to be held next week.

AMBASSADOR
(nods, smiling)
A unique event -- and a diplomatic
triumph for your young country to
lure the official treasures of
so many nations.

WEST
We understand your government has
decided to exhibit the Orloff Diamond.

AMBASSADOR
(proudly)
A most unusual gem, Mr. West -- a
full eighty carats, flawless, in
a regal setting.

WEST
I know. My government would like to
take certain measures to safeguard
this priceless treasure.

The Ambassador frowns, considering a moment.

AMBASSADOR
I am convinced my own safety
measures are adequate.

WEST
We mean no reflection on your
judgement... But there have been
several daring and mysterious
diamond thefts in recent weeks,
as you no doubt know.
(brief pause)
In Amsterdam the diamond-cutting
house... in London a museum...
in New York a famous jeweler... and
here in San Francisco --

AMBASSADOR
(interrupting)
What is it you wish to do?

WEST
The United States government wishes
to take your diamond into protective
custody until the International
Exhibition opens.

The Ambassador hesitates a moment, then gives a small chuckle.

AMBASSADOR
Mr. West, you must be joking...
did you have an easy time getting
into this room?

4. ANGLE FEATURING WEST

WEST
(recalling it)
I was challenged by armed guards
at the front gate... the Embassy
entrance... and the corridor to
your private chambers.
(brief pause)
My credentials were checked three
times... I was searched twice --
discreetly, of course.
(pause: smiling)
And I am now being observed from
a peep-hole disguised by the
portrait of your esteemed ruler.

5. TWO SHOT - FAVORING AMBASSADOR

He chuckles again, favoring West with a look of admiration.

AMBASSADOR
You merit your reputation, Mr. West.
(beat)
If at any moment there had been a
slightest doubt of your identity
or intentions -- you could have
been cut down instantly... That's
why this room is a perfectly safe
place for the Orloff Diamond.

WEST
This room?

6. WIDER ANGLE

The Ambassador turns, gestures for West to follow, then
walks to a long, heavy table which dominates the far end
of the room. CAMERA FOLLOWS West and the Ambassador, who
shoves aside a large bowl of flowers on the table. A
center panel of the table folds down, and up into view
rises a square case about two feet each way, covered with
a heavy cloth.

AMBASSADOR
Only for the most privileged guests
... a private showing.

The Ambassador takes hold of the cloth draping the case and
whisks it off.

7. CLOSER ANGLE - FEATURING THE JEWEL CASE

The case is entirely of glass, save the base. Within, a huge
diamond glitters brightly, catching and magnifying the light.
A beauty... very impressive, and it impresses West.

WEST
Give me two of those and I'd have
such a set of cufflinks!

AMBASSADOR
Eh? Oh. A joke. You Americans do
like your jokes, don't you?

WEST
We also like flawless, eighty-carat
rocks. It's quite a stone.

AMBASSADOR
One of the world's finest. That's
why I don't wish it to leave the
perfect protection we have provided
for it.

WEST
Every place that's been robbed
lately has been perfectly protected...
or at least people thought so.

AMBASSADOR
Relax, Mr. West. Nothing can happen
to the Orloff here, There is only
one door to the room. The hall
outside is patrolled twenty-four
hours a day. And we Serbians are
jealous of our national treasures.
As for the windows...

The Ambassador and West move OFF to observe the windows.
CAMERA HOLDS a moment on the diamond, the case left elevated
above the table.

8. FULL SHOT OF ROOM

West and the Ambassador stand in the f.g. at one of the
windows. Beyond them the table and jewel case are visible
at one end of the scene, the only door at the otehr end.

AMBASSADOR
(gesturing at window)
You see -- the walls are sheer...the
fence is high...the guards are ever
vigilant, with orders to shoot if
necessary. This room is as safe --

The Ambassador is cut off in mid-word by an astonishing
occurrence. Simultaneously the door flies open and slams
shut, all in less than a second; the glass jewel case on
the table shatters, hurling glass in all directions; a rush
of air. Before West and the Ambassador can even turn from
the window, it's all over.

9. CLOSER ANGLE - TABLE AND JEWEL CASE

West and the Ambassador spring for the table, West well in
the lead. Newspaper pages are still spiraling gently to the
floor. Fragments of glass are embedded in the table top.
The glass portion of the jewel case has completely vanished --
and the base is glaringly empty.

AMBASSADOR
The Orloff! It's gone!

CAMERA GOES IN FOR A TIGHT TWO, HOLDING their stunned reaction
for just a second, then we

FADE OUT:


END TEASER

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-


ACT ONE

FADE IN:

10. INT. SERBIAN EMBASSY - WEST AND AMBASSADOR - DAY

The scene as before, a few seconds later. West annd the Serbian
Ambassador are still staring in disbelief at the empty base of
the jewel case. West is the first to move -- he reaches out
and attempts to pull loose one of the larger hunks of glass
embedded in the table top.

WEST
That glass exploded with
tremendous force.

West's voice seems to jar the Ambassador from his shock. He
manages a brief, forced chuckle.

AMBASSADOR
All right, all right. You have
made your point, Mr. West.

WEST
It was made for me.

AMBASSADOR
(grudging smile)
Even before I arrived in this
country I heard strange accounts
of your talents... but I was not
informed that you are a magician.

West looks at the Ambassador with growing concern and
irritation.

WEST
Magician?

AMBASSADOR
I suggest that your trick was most
effective -- though perhaps not in
the best of taste.

11. TWO SHOT - FAVORING WEST

West is getting angry. He gets a grip on his temper, then
makes one final effort at the polite language of diplomacy.

WEST
Mr. Ambassador... this event is as
mysterious to me as it is to you.

The Ambassador lifts his hands and lightly pantomimes a bit of
audience applause.

AMBASSADOR
A perfect performance, carried to
logical conclusion...
(loud; hard)
Now tell me at once what you have
done with our diamond!

WEST
(pointing)
I was standing over there at the
window with you -- remember?

AMBASSADOR
But that is the essence of magical
performances -- to make it appear
impossible for the conjurer --

WEST
Look, I'm a government agent --
and my job was to warn you your
diamond could be stolen. That's
all!

12. NEW ANGLE - FEATURING AMBASSADOR

The Ambassador and West are both steamed up now. There's a
momentary tableau in which it seems the Ambassador considers
grabbing West by the throat -- then decides he'd better not.

AMBASSADOR
(very cold)
You will return the diamond at once --
this minute!

West sees he's dealing with a fixation which makes further
argument useless.

WEST
As long as you think that way, sir,
you've got a lot of problems.

West turns abruptly and moves toward the door.

AMBASSADOR
Within this Embassy you are on
Serbian soil, Mr. West. I warn
you -- unless we recover our
diamond, you will not be allowed
to leave here alive.

13. ANGLE FEATURING WEST

He turns. There's no doubt the Ambassador means the threat.
West's eyes quickly check the terrain for an easy exit, finding
none. Nothing for it but to try a quick fake and run.

WEST
All right... look under the statue
of your esteemed ruler.

14. FULL SHOT

The Ambassador hurries to a sculptured bust mounted prominently
on a pedestal. While he searches under and around it. West
moves cautiously for the door. But the Ambassador looks up
too soon.

AMBASSADOR
Guards! ... Guards!

The door bursts open and the two Guards rush in to confront
West.

15. CLOSER ANGLE - FEATURING WEST

One of the Guards swings his rifle to fire point-blank at
West, but West grabs the gun barrel, yanks the guard toward
him and cools him with a sharp rap of the swagger stick. The
other one gets off one wild SHOT before West seizes him and
sends him sailing with a judo throw.

Then West charges for the door again, but is met by the ENTRY
of two more armed Gurads -- and behind him two more. He's cut
off -- forced to retreat.

16. CLOSE ON WEST

Desperate, he siezes his swagger stick in both hands and yanks
the gold head off it. Dense smoke immediately pours from it.

17. FULL SHOT

Waving the swagger stick, West quickly lays an impenetrable
smoke screen. SOUND of one or two wild SHOTS, as the room is
almost totally obscured. Chips of rock fly from the bust.
SOUND of breaking glass, with just a glimpse through the smoke
of West going out the window without the formality of opening
it. COUGHING and CHOKING is heard from the Guards amid the
smoke.

18. ANGLE ON AMBASSADOR

As he runs to the broken window, leans out, yells:

AMBASSADOR
Stop him! Stop that man!

ZIP PAN TO:

19. EXT. MIDAS MANSION - FULL SHOT - DAY

The house is a large, ornate Victorian structure typical of old
San Francisco wealth. A closed horse-carriage waits at the
curb. Down the long flight of stone steps from the front door
comes MORGAN MIDAS and CLIVE, the huge Negro major-domo of the
household staff. Between them they bear a large steamer trunk,
with Clive ahead, bearing most of the weight on his immense
shoulders. The trunk appears to be very heavy.

MORGAN
(guiding trunk)
Easy now... Careful, Clive.

Together they ease the trunk into the carriage. At close
range now, we see that Morgan Midas is a strong, handsome
fellow of about 30, blonde, with an engaging smile. He gives
the steamer trunk a casual slap and says, offhand:

MORGAN (CONT'D)
Have a nice trip, old girl.

Then he vaults easily up beside Clive on the driver's seat.
Clive flips the reins and they drive OFF. CAMERA HOLDS on the
spot at the curb, as a horse-cab moves INTO SCENE and stops.
Out of the cab jumps ARTEMUS GORDON.

20. NEW ANGLE - FEATURING ARTEMUS

He flips a coin to the driver, who smiles his thanks and then
quickly drives OFF. Artemus stands a moment at the foot of
the steps, sizing up the Midas house, then he moves quickly up
the stairs, CAMERA PANNING.

21. ANGLE AT FRONT DOOR

Artemus RAPS briskly with the ornate metal knocker. In a
moment the door is opened by RUDD, a squat, dwarfish anthropoid
who gives an impression of inhuman strength and subhuman
intelligence.

ARTEMUS
(a brief take)
Uh, good afternoon. I wish to see
Lady Margaret Midas.

Rudd continues to stare silently at Artemus. It is apparent
that he likes Artemus less with each passing second. His lips
part in a grimace that reveals sharply pointed teeth. Quickly,
in as many foreign languages as he can handle, Artemus tries:

ARTEMUS (CONT'D)
Quiro ver la Senora de la casa.

And so on, in German, Chinese, and whatever. No luck.
Just when it seems Rudd's open hostility is about to
explode into attack, a startlingly beautiful woman
appears in the doorway behind him. This is LUCRETIA
IVRONIN. She speaks sharply to Rudd.

LUCRETIA
Ikklat! Ga bretz dubanov.

Rudd makes a short, awkward bow to her, then backs off,
obviously disappointed at not getting a chance to strangle
Artemus.

ARTEMUS
(relieved, cheerful)
Thanks. I wasn't getting anywhere
with your servant. I guess I don't
speak his dialect.

LUCRETIA
(coolly)
Very few people do.

ARTEMUS
You're too pretty to be Lady Margaret.

Lucretia glances past Artemus down the street, as though
letting her gaze follow the recently departed carriage.

LUCRETIA
Lady Margaret has recently departed.

ARTEMUS
It's very important that I see her.
When do you expect her?

LUCRETIA
I think... not for some time.

22. NEW ANGLE - FEATURING ARTEMUS

He's getting nowhere. There's a momentary silence during
which Lucretia studies Artemus coldly. She has long
black hair and dark eyes. She speaks with a trace of
indefinable accent, suggestive of the Near East.

ARTEMUS
Have you any idea where I can
contact her?

LUCRETIA
That would be very difficult.

ARTEMUS
(growing impatient)
Look, Lady Midas was expecting me.

LUCRETIA
She did not mention it.

ARTEMUS
She asked for federal protection for
the Queen Anne Triplet....the diamonds
she plans to exhibit at the International
Jewel Show. I'm here to give her that
protection.

23. ANGLE FEATURING LUCRETIA

This last speech makes an impression on her, but it is
shown only in a momentary widening of her large eyes
and a brief flash of misgiving. Then she is impassive
again.

LUCRETIA
She said nothing of this.

ARTEMUS
(giving up)
Just tell me where I can find her.

LUCRETIA
It is difficult to say.

ARTEMUS
I don't mean to be impertinent...
but just who are you?

Lucretia's answer is to look over her shoulder and make a
brief signal. At once Rudd moves INTO SCENE, stepping between
Lucretia and Artemus. He glares briefly at Artemus, then
slams the door in his face. SOUND of locks being thrown.

24. CLOSE ON ARTEMUS

Reflecting his frustration.

ARTEMUS
We must get together sometime
for another cozy chat.

ZIP PAN TO:

25. INT. WEST'S RAILWAY CAR - ANGLE ON WEST - DAY

West still has on his formal pants, but his shirt is off, and
he's dressing a few minor wounds. One arm already bears a
narrow bandage, and he's working on a small cut on the
opposite shoulder.

ARTEMUS'S VOICE
(from O.S.)
Didn't your mother ever tell you
not to jump out of second-story
windows?

WEST
I don't recall that the subject
ever came up.

ARTEMUS'S VOICE
What a barren childhood you must have
had.

West turns toward Artemus's voice, and CAMERA ANGLE WIDENS to
show Artemus perched atop the billiard table in the inverted
lotus yoga position. Propped a short distance from his face is
an encyclopedia -- upside down to us, right side up to him.

WEST
I don't mean to pry, but just
what are you doing?

ARTEMUS
Reading about diamonds. Did you
know that in pure oxygen a diamond
can be made to burn with a flame
above four thousand degrees hot?

WEST
That's very warm...Didn't your
mother ever teach you to read
right side up?

ARTEMUS
Of course. If she told me once,
she told me a hundred times...

WEST
So why are you upside down?

ARTEMUS
A Hindu friend taught me this
position. It's good for your
health and stamina.

WEST
What has it done for you so far?

Artemus carefully lets himself down to a normal position before
he answers.

ARTEMUS
It's given me two big calluses
on my elbows.

WEST
I'd be more interested in calluses
on your thinking equipment. What
about these diamond disappearances?

26. TWO SHOT - FAVORING ARTEMUS

Artemus thoughtfully ticks off the points on his finger, as:

ARTEMUS
I've been brooding about those. And
I've got an idea. You'll love it.
First the facts. The diamonds always
disappear in broad daylight, without
anyone ever seeing a thief.
(beat)
Nothing is ever missing except
diamonds. Other valuable gems in
the same case are left untouched.
(beat)
There's always an indication of
some tremendous force having been
present...like shattered glass.

WEST
Intriguing, but not especially
illuminating.

ARTEMUS
One thing at a time. Maybe the
diamonds aren't being stolen at
all. Maybe...through the application
of some force...they're being made
to...will you believe this?.....
explode. From inside.

WEST
Well, it's a thought. Do you
believe it?

SOUND of a firm, heavy knock on the door, bringing a quick
reaction from both men.

27. NEW ANGLE - TOWARD DOOR

West quickly pulls on a shirt and buttons it, as Artemus moves
cautiously to the door. With his derringer close at hand,
Artemus opens the door part way, revealing THADDEUS BAINES.

BAINES
I want to see James West.

ARTEMUS
West?...West...the name is vaguely
familiar...

BAINES
I'm Thaddeus Baines, special envoy
from Washington.

He shows Artemus a card, and Artemus steps aside to let Baines
enter. Baines is about 45, a ramrod-stiff, no-nonsense career
diplomat, heavy-set and forceful. West advances to meet him.
Baines regards both of them rather coldly.

BAINES (CONT'D)
West and Gordon. The unconquerable
duo. I wish I could say I was
pleased. I am not. I've just come
from the Serbian Embassy.

WEST
That must have been jolly.

BAINES
I don't know you, West, so perhaps
I should not be surprised that you
have caused an international incident.
The Ambassador has lodged an official
protest. Our government has been
placed in a most embarassing position.
To say that you failed in your
assignment is an outrageous understatement.

Unperturbed, West picks up a billiard cue and chalks it.

WEST
Where do you fit into this
picture, Mr. Baines?

BAINES
I'm the President's special envoy,
charged with seeing that this
International Jewel Exhibit reflects
credit on our government.

West bends over the table, lines up his shot, strokes the cue.

28. ANGLE ON TABLE

West makes a three cushion shot.

29. BACK TO SCENE

BAINES
Very nice. Too bad you don't
demonstrate the same efficiency
in your work.

West lines up another shot while he talks.

WEST
What happened at the Serbian
Embassy today follows the pattern
of the other diamond thefts...
There was nothing I could do to
prevent it.

BAINES
Mr. West, do you realize the
diplomatic effort which went into
this project? And the effect it
could have on us?

WEST
Yes. It could prove we've come of
age as a country...or it could become
the most costly fiasco in our diplomatic
history.

BAINES
Right! So do you have any clues
so far?...Any theories?

ARTEMUS
Well... I thought -- just possibly
the diamonds might have been...
somehow...exploded.

Baines snorts with disdain. He grabs up the billiard ball
which West is about to shoot and shakes it at Artemus.

BAINES
Exploding diamonds -- nonsense!
Inert objects do not explode! A
diamond could no more explode than
this could!

30. ANGLE FEATURING BAINES

ARTEMUS
(alarmed)
Don't shake that!

West moves quickly, reaching Baines, yanking the billiard ball
from his hand and hurling it through a window. SOUND of a
muffled grenade EXPLOSION from outside. Big reaction from
Baines.

ARTEMUS (CONT'D)
You never know about inert objects.

ZIP PAN TO:

31. EXT. NARROW STREET - HORSE CARRIAGE - NIGHT - (STOCK)

A closed carriage rattles down the cobblestoned street
behind a briskly CLIPCLOPPING horse. A gas streetlamp
throws Gothic shadows. MUSIC suggests an air of mystery
and suspense.

32. INT. CARRIAGE - WEST AND ARTEMUS

SOUND of the rattle carriage and hoofs in b.g.

ARTEMUS
You should come to the exhibit hall
with me. I'll be able to use all the
ideas I can get.

WEST
I'd better take a crack at the
Midas house. Something smells.
The old girl's too methodical to
play free and easy with her jewels.

ARTEMUS
Believe me, they're safe. It would
take an army to get past that gorilla
at the door.

WEST
That gorilla's another point. Lady
Margaret was never interested in
zoology.

ARTEMUS
Lots of luck, pal. You'll need it.

WEST
I've got winning ways.
(glances out window)
Here's her place. See you later.

The carriage stops. West quickly gets out

33. EXT. MIDAS MANSION - ESTABLISHING

West pauses a moment to look up at the juge old Victorian
mansion silhouetted against the night sky. SOUND of the
horse carriage moving off into the distance. Lights show
in the first and second story windows of the house. West
moves quickly up the stairs to the front door.

34. ANGLE ON FRONT DOOR

West RAPS the knocker. In a moment the door is opened by
Clive, the huge, powerfully built Negro. His clothing reflects
his status as general manager of the household, not a mere
butler or servant.

WEST
Lady Margaret Midas, please...
James West calling.

Clive stares hard at West for a moment, then steps aside and
beckons him in.

35. INT. MAIN ROOM - FULL SHOT

The principal downstairs room is of imposing dimensions,
decorated to reflect old-line wealth and taste. At the far
end of the room a stairway leads upward to a balcony, off which
are seen doors to second-floor rooms. Clive leads West to a long
couch, indicates it briefly with a gesture.

CLIVE
Please be seated. I shall
announce your presence.

Clive EXITS through a door at one side of the room. Instead of
sitting, West wanders about the room, looking things over.

36. CLOSER ANGLE ON WEST

On a brocade cushion West finds a large Persian cat, regarding
him intently, ready to spring up and run away.

WEST
Hello, Sultan. You're looking
fat these days.

West gently pets the cat, who settles back, reassured.

MIDAS' VOICE
Good evening, Mr. West.

West turns quickly toward the voice.

37. MEDIUM SHOT - WEST, MIDAS AND LUCRETIA

Coming forward to meet West are Morgan Midas and Lucretia, who
make a very handsome couple. In contrast to the hostility he
had expected, their charm puts West on his guard.

WEST
Good evening. Is Lady Margaret
at home?

MIDAS
Unfortunately, my Aunt departed
recently on a long voyage. I am
Morgan Midas -- and this is my
fiancee, Lucretia Ivronin.

WEST
Your Aunt must have altered her
plans rather suddenly.

MIDAS
She had a recurrance of her old
ailment, the gout. The only
remedy is the mineral waters of
Germany.

LUCRETIA
She asked us to care for her house
until she returns.

West considers this briefly. It seems possible.

WEST
Then I presume she informed you
of her promise to show her diamonds
in the International Exhibit next
week.

Morgan looks puzzled and disturbed.

MIDAS
No...she didn't mention it...

WEST
My partner, Mr. Gordon, was here
to discuss the matter this afternoon.
He got a very cold reception.

Morgan exchanges a look with Lucretia, then forces a brief
laugh.

MIDAS
That must have been the caller she
mentioned to me...
(beat)
I was out at the time -- and my
fiancee has not been long in this
country. In the part of Europe she
comes from, it's the custom to be
very cautious of strangers.

LUCRETIA
I am sorry I did not understand.
...I apologize.

38. NEW ANGLE - THREE SHOT - FEATURNING WEST

WEST
All right...But that still leaves
the problem of the three large
diamonds she was going to show --
the Queen Anne Triplet.

MIDAS
I'm sure you realize, Mr. West, that
I couldn't allow the gems to leave
this house without the specific
consent of my Aunt -- and it will
be most difficult to reach her...

WEST
We already have it -- in writing.

Midas looks more and more worried as West gets out a letter
from his coat pocket and hands it over. Midas quickly unfolds
the letter and scans it.

WEST (CONT'D)
You'll recognize your Aunt's
handwriting...She sent this letter
to Thaddeus Baines, our envoy from
Washington.

MIDAS
(reading)
Yes...yes, I know Mr. Baines
slightly...through my Aunt...
(looking up)
I can't imagine why she forgot to
tell me of this. It must have
been her illness.

39. ANGLE FEATURING MIDAS AND LUCRETIA

They are clearly under pressure now. They look at one another
as though each hoping the other will come up with something.

LUCRETIA
But her entire collection is in
the safe, is it not?

MIDAS
Yes -- that's right. And I don't
even know the combination.

WEST
I'll open it for you.

MIDAS
Really, Mr. West, I can hardly --

WEST
(relentless)
It's my job to locate and protect
those jewels until the exhibition.
...I intend to do my job.

Midas can see that West means it. He might even go looking
for Auntie, and Midas can't have that.

MIDAS
Very well. You can try, I suppose.
But it's a very good safe.

WEST
I'm a very good safecracker.

MIDAS
Show him the safe, Lucretia.
(beat)
I'll be back in a moment.

There is something significant in the way he says it.
Lucretia nods, leads West over toward the ornate, gilt-
framed mirror, as Midas quickly turns and disappears up
the staircase. CAMERA MOVES IN ON MIRROR as Lucretia
pulls it away from the wall, revealing the wall safe.
West moves to the safe, puts his ear to it, begins to
turn the dial.

40. FAVORING LUCRETIA

A little nervous, she stands by and waits. CAMERA PULLS
BACK FOR A TWO SHOT as the tumblers drop into place, and
West opens the safe. He looks inside, feels inside, turns
back to Lucretia with a smile on his face.

WEST
Imagine that. There's nothing
inside.

LUCRETIA
I...I don't understand.

WEST
Neither do I. But I'd like to.
I'm afraid you and your fiance will
have to come with me.

She suddenly moves very close to him.

LUCRETIA
Surely that's not necessary. Can't
we...discuss it?

WEST
What kind of discussion did you
have in mind?

Her eyes flit quickly in the direction of the staircase, and
then her arms go around Jim's neck.

LUCRETIA
This kind?

WEST
Well... it's a starting place.

They kiss. And then, SUDDENLY, they seem to explode
apart. West's head flies back, and he is slammed across
the room by some incredible force. He lands, completely
unconscious. Lucretia recovers herself, stares at West,
smiles.

LUCRETIA
I'll bet you've never been kissed
like that before. Has he, Midas?

And suddenly, out of nowhere, the figure of Midas MATERIALIZES,
standing over the body of West, looking down at him, and
smiling.

41. OMIT
FADE OUT

END ACT ONE

Snish
SS novice field agent

873 Posts

Posted - 10/16/2009 :  18:04:01  Show Profile
ACT TWO

FADE IN:

42. INT. JEWEL EXHIBITION ROOM FULL SHOT DAY

WORKMEN are carrying in display cases, CARPENTERS are
building support tables and railings to guide traffic
the place is in a flurry of preparation.

43. ANGLE ON ARTEMUS AND BAINES

Artemus is working on an enclosed wooden lighting box above
a display case. Baines is kibitzing.

BAINES
I have heard so much about your
ingenious devices, Mr. Gordon.
I hope you can contrive some
effective burglar alarms here.

Artemus withdraws himself from his work, repressing a weary
sign of irritation. Baines has been continually bugging
him.

ARTEMUS
Touch the display case...
(pause)
Go ahead, just touch the outside
of the case.

Baines stands behind the spectator railing. Since the case
is beyond easy reach, he uses his swagger stick to reach
over and tap the glass case. Instantly ALARM BELLS clang
loudly and there's a bright FLASH with a puff of smoke
rising above the lighting box. Baines recoils, startled.
Artemus reaches inside the ligting box to shut off the
alarm. SOUND ceases.

BAINES
(flustered)
Well...what was that flash?

ARTEMUS
You just had your picture taken,
at one hundredth of a second...
If you like I can send you a copy.

BAINES
(recovering poise)
I'm afraid my expression would not
be typical of me.

44. NEW ANGLE PANNING

Artemus walks over to another nearby display case, isolated
by a spectator railing, with Baines close after him.

ARTEMUS
Satisfied?

BAINES
Not entirely. Alarms are well
and good but we need some more
positive sort of protection.

ARTEMUS
The place will be surrounded by
soldiers, won't it?

BAINES
Of course. But humans are all too
fallible.

ARTEMUS
(indicating)
This case will hold the most
precious gems in the exhibit.
...believe me, it's protected.

BAINES
Oh, really?

Before Artemus can protest, Baines reaches out with his
swagger stick and lightly taps the glass. From the lighting
box above the case a guillotine blade drops suddenly,
chopping Baines' stick into two neat pieces as easily as
if it were a straw.

45. TWO SHOT FAVORING BAINES

He draws back the stub of his stick, staring at it.

BAINES
I see what you mean.

ARTEMUS
(sweetly)
I'm so glad...Now if you'll let me
get back to work, I'll have this
place ready for them to bring in
the jewels tomorrow.

BAINES
Very well...But tell me, what
is that odd apparatus by the
front entrance?

ARTEMUS
That will be the ultimate in
burglar traps if you give me
time to finish it.

BAINES
All right...But I want to impress
upon you that our government is
assuming full responsibility for
the safety of this exhibition.
(beat)
And if there are any thefts from
it, heads will roll. Yours.

ARTEMUS
I'll try to prevent that.

Artemus lifts the guillotine blade back up into the lighting
box and secures it during the conversation.

BAINES
By the way where's West today?
I was informed that you always
work together.

ARTEMUS
We work together separately.

BAINES
Considering the importance of this
job, I'd like to be able to get
in touch with either of you at
all times....Where is West?

ARTEMUS
I don't know for sure...But wherever
he is, he's all right.

Baines gives a curt nod, turns and walks OFF.

46. CLOSE ON ARTEMUS

ARTEMUS
(to himself)
I wish I believed that.

FLIP TO:

47. INT. MIDAS' LAB ANGLE ON WEST DAY

West is hung up literally. He's dangling by his knees
from a metal bar between two upright supports. His hands
are pulled back behind him, with his wrists tied to his
ankles so that his body forms an arc in midair. Midas
strolls INTO SCENE, speaking gently and politely to West.

MIDAS
Sorry to place you in this
uncomfortable position, Mr. West
...But it's quite essential to
insulate you from surrounding
objects.

West arches his back and cranes his neck to look around.

WEST
Quite a set up.

48. FULL SHOT

The lab is a converted study, with a long table running
clear across one end of the room. On the table are flasks,
beakers, retorts, etc. A distilling apparatus of some
complexity is the central feature of the table. West
dangles not far from the lab table and an electrical control
panel.

MIDAS
Yes, isn't it...You see, I'm
somewhat of a scientist, and I
have a small experiment in progress.
(pauses; probing)
But I presume you know something
about that.....

WEST
Why should I?

MIDAS
I thought perhaps that's why you
were so insistent on seeing my
Aunt's diamonds.

WEST
I told you it was my job to
protect the gems for the exhibition.
...Apparently I'm too late.

49. CLOSE ANGLE FEATURING DISTILLING APPARATUS

Midas smiles, moves to the lab table, beside the apparatus.
At the heart of it is a small, intense blue white flame.

MIDAS
Time, sir, is relative. But I'm
afraid you're right. You are too late.
(indicating flame)
Bright, isn't it? Burning at four
thousand degrees. You see, my project
requires a great, direct heat.

WEST
Four thous... diamonds burn at
4000 degrees.

MIDAS
Quite right. They do. Then you
do know something about my work.
But how much?

50. ANOTHER ANGLE FEATURING CONTROL BOARD

Midas moves to the electrical control panel, throws a
switch, then turns a handle. SOUND of crackling static.
West twitches and jerks on the bar from muscular spasms
induced by the current. Midas cuts the switch off, smiles
benignly at West.

MIDAS
That was only a gentle reminder,
Mr. West. The truth is your only
protection against unbearable
shocks.

WEST
Is that what you did to your Aunt?
Electrocute her?

MIDAS
(scowling)
I told you my Aunt is travelling
to Europe for her health.

WEST
Everyone knows she takes her cat
with her, wherever she goes.

Annoyed, Midas flips the switch again, and again the current
hits West.

51. MED. TWO SHOT FAVORING WEST

The current fades off. West struggles to regain his
composure.

WEST
All right, you win. She's travelling
to Europe.

MIDAS
I see you're a practical man. Now,
to avoid further discomfort, tell
me exactly why you came here.

WEST
I told you....

Midas gives him another jolt. West contorts. Midas turns
it off.

MIDAS
I know what you told me. I want
the truth.

WEST
All right. The diamond thefts.

MIDAS
You think I had something to do
with them?

If it's possible to shrug hanging upside down, West does.
Midas throws the switch again. Then he turns it off.

MIDAS (CONT'D)
You were saying?

WEST
I....I don't remember.

MIDAS
I musn't give you too much. The
current has the effect of sometimes
interferring with memory. Perhaps
...on the other hand, if I gave you
more...you might forget all about
my little experiment.

Midas turns the current far up. West contorts, and then
goes limp, swaying gently.

52. FULL SHOT

As Lucretia ENTERS, crossing toward Midas. She glances at
the limp, dangling form of West.

LUCRETIA
(alarmed)
You're not going to kill him?

MIDAS
(tolerantly)
You're too soft hearted, Lucretia.
It was you who insisted I spare
the cat. That was a mistake.
(beat)
However, I may not have to kill him.
I may just destroy his memory. A
bit tough on him, perhaps...but this
is a game for high stakes.
(leaving)
Watch him. I'll be back.

He turns and EXITS. Lucretia hesitates, picks up a beaker
of water from the lab table, crosses to West.

53. TWO SHOT WEST AND LUCRETIA

She pours a little of the water on her fingers and gently
bathes West's face. Slowly he regains consciousness.
Then she holds the water up and supports his head so that
he can drink a few drops.

LUCRETIA
I just saved your life, Mr. West.

WEST
Thanks....I'll never forget you.

LUCRETIA
Oh yes you will. Very soon.

WIPE TO:

54. EXT. MIDAS MANSION FULL SHOT DAY

A distinguished, gray haired European nobleman, a Prussian
count, is climbing the steps to the front door of the
Midas mansion.

55. ANGLE ON FRONT DOOR

The Prussian count raps briskly with the knocker. The
most astute observer will detect that this vintage
nobleman is the faithful Artemus Gordon, suspicious about
his missing pal. The doors open to reveal Clive, the
giant Negro major domo.

ARTEMUS
Count Felix von Schlesweig und
Holtzbergen to see Lady Midas.

Clive gives Artemus the usual scrutiny, then opens the
door for him. Artemus enters, adjusting his monocle.

56. INT. MAIN ROOM FULL SHOT

Midas is crossing, just about to go up the stairs as Clive
enters from the front hall, with Artemus following.

CLIVE
Count Felix von Schlesweig und
Holtzbergen to see Lady Margaret,
sir.

Midas stops, turns from the chairs and crosses, barely
concealing his irritation with this interruption.

MIDAS
Count Felix...I'm afraid Lady Margaret
isn't in at the moment.

ARTEMUS
Of course she is. I told her I vas
coming. I will vait.

MIDAS
But she isn't here!

ARTEMUS
She vill be. We are the oldest of
friends.

MIDAS
You've seen her...recently?

ARTEMUS
No, no, no...but ve have her correspondence.
We meet a long time ago, in Heidelberg.

MIDAS
I wasn't aware that my aunt was ever
in Heidelberg.

ARTEMUS
Und I vas not avare zat your aunt has
the nephew. She is a great one for
secrets, no. I vill vait.

MIDAS
But...but....

ARTEMUS
Go about your business, sir. I vill
be perfectly comfortable here.

57. MED. THREE SHOT

Midas sees that he can't easily shake this caller.

MIDAS
If you'll excuse me, Count Felix, I
have some urgent work in progress.
I'll send my fiancee down to entertain
you in a moment......
(turns to Clive)
Get the count a glass of brandy, Clive.

Clive nods curtly and EXITS via the side door. Midas
heads for the stairs again.

ARTEMUS
Go ahead, do your vork...
I vait right here.

Artemus seats himself on the couch, as Midas goes quickly
up the stairs and through the door to the lab. As soon
as he's out of sight, Artemus is up, examining the place
carefully.

58. INT. MIDAS' LAB MEDIUM

West is still dangling by his knees, ankles tied to wrists.
Lucretia is at the lab table, looking at the distilling
set up. Midas crosses quickly to the table.

MIDAS
There's some old fool downstairs
who claimes he's a friend of
my aunt. He wants to wait for
her.

LUCRETIA
That may take a while.

MIDAS
Go down and butter him up,
then get rid of him. I've
got to tend to the process
here.

LUCRETIA
It's almost to the critical
point. There's another drop
forming.

Midas busies himself at the lab table, measuring fluids,
adjusting balances, etc. Lucretia moves toward the
door.

LUCRETIA
West was conscious, but only for
a moment.

MIDAS
(working away)
I'll take care of him later.

Lucrteia EXITS, closing the door after her. Midas continues
to make adjustments to the distillation process at the lab
table. (note: the brilliant flame is always visible in
the apparatus.)

59. ANGLE ON WEST

West is conscious. He arches his back for a look over at
Midas, then he begins to carefully maneuver his tied hands,
loosening the rope at the wrists enough to enable him to
reach the top of his left boot.

60. CLOSE ON WEST'S ANKLE

As his hand slips inside the boot, coming out with a slim
knife. It pops open and a short, sharp blade flicks out.

61. BACK TO WEST

West now maneuvers his hands to bring the rope against the
blade, sawing his wrists back and forth to cut the rope. One
strand pops, then another.

62. INT. MAIN ROOM MEDIUM ARTEMUS AND LUCRETIA

A decanter and glasses have been set out, and Lucretia is
pouring a small snifter for Artemus. She hands it to him.

LUCRETIA
I have the strangest feeling
... that you somehow seem
familiar...

ARTEMUS
I have ze same feeling about
you, my dear.

LUCRETIA
I'm afraid Lady Margaret may be
very late in returning today.

ARTEMUS
I do not mind. It is most urgent
zat I talk to her... about a
friend of mine. I fear he may
be in some slight difficulty.

63. INT. MIDAS' LAB ANGLE ON WEST

Sure enough. West is having some slight difficulty cutting
the ropes without *****ing his wrists. But he's making it.
Only one thick strand to go now. Sweat beads his forehead.
He's a bit tired of hanging upside down.

64. ANGLE AT LAB TABLE MIDAS

Midas about has his work under control. He sets down some
test tubes, then turns to check on West with a glance.

65. CLOSE ON WEST

Out of the corner of his eye he sees Midas turning. With
that fraction of a second warning, he forces the final strand
of rope across the blade, hard. It snaps, and West's arms
swing free. His ankles remain tied together.

66. MEDIUM SHOT PAST MIDAS TO WEST

Midas sees West break free, and immediately lunges toward him.
West, dangling by his hooked knees, seems helpless. But as
Midas rushes him, West seizes the bar with his hands, pulls
his torso up even with the bar, then suddenly straightens
his body and lets go with his hands, swinging in an arc by
his knees, bringing his locked hands up just in time to catch
the onrushing Midas a smashing blow under the chin. Then
West finishes his arc by hooking his knees and dropping to
a standing position on the floor. (A simple trick known on
Muscle Beach as a "Giant Drop".)

67. ANOTHER ANGLE FEATURING WEST

Midas staggers back from the blow, crashing against the lab
table then falling to the floor, momentarily stunned. West
drops down, and starts cutting at his ankle ropes. Midas
shakes his head and starts groggily to get to his feet.

68. INT. MAIN ROOM FULL SHOT

SHOOTING PAST Artemus and Lucretia in the f.g. toward the
stairs. SOUND of a heavy thump and crash from upstairs
brings Artemus to his feet.

ARTEMUS
What is zat?

LUCRETIA
Oh... the servants are moving
some furniture. They're so clumsy.

SOUNDS of another rumbling crash the unmistakable clatter
of a fight from upstairs. Artemus starts to move, but Lucretia
blocks his way with the decanter.

LUCRETIA
More brandy?

ARTEMUS
No thanks I'd better go help
the movers.

LUCRETIA
Your accent what?
(sudden recognition)
You!

She swings the decanter at him, but Artemus ducks the blow,
brushes her aside, then heads for the stairs. Lucretia turns
and yanks the bell cord for the servants, calling:

LUCRETIA
Clive! ... Rudd!

69. ANGLE NEAR STAIRWAY

Clive, the huge Negro, comes bursting into the room to block
Artemus' path to the steps. From another door Rudd, the squat
anthropoid type, also comes running. They converge on
Artemus from opposite sides. Clive launches a crushing blow
with a ham sized fist, but Artemus ducks and the punch catches
Rudd, knocking him clean off his feet. He gets up again
immediately.

70. FULL SHOT

Artemus grabs up an antique wooden chair (breakaway
Chippendale) and smashes it over Clive's head and shoulders,
but it doesn't faze him. He continues to close on Artemus
and Rudd attacks from the other direction. Artemus
goes down struggling.

ARTEMUS
What a way to treat an old man!

71. INT. MIDAS' LAB MEDIUM SHOT

West and Midas are slugging it out, on equal terms for a
moment, then West gets in a one two that sends Midas staggering
back into the wall beside the door. Midas has had enough
he wrenches the door open and goes OUT. West runs after him.

72. INT. MAIN ROOM FULL SHOT

Midas lurches across the balcony and starts down the stairs.
West comes running out after him but stops short as he
looks down and sees Artemus getting the worst of the battle
with Clive and the two Henchmen. West vaults the balcony
rail and drops smack into the group beating on Artemus,
scattering bodies in all directions.

73. ANGLE ON STAIRS FEATURING MIDAS

Midas pauses near the head of the stairs, getting his breath
now that West is off his back for a moment. He looks down
and sees that West and Artemus are more than holding their own in
the brawl with the household staff. Then Midas turns, hurries
back up the stairs and re enters his lab, slamming the door.

74. MEDIUM FULL THE BRAWL

Clive gets knocked back against a chest by West. He wrenches
open a drawer and comes up with a gun which he levels at West.
But Artemus rips down a drape and tosses it over Clive's
head as he fires. The shot goes wild. West karate chops him
through the material, left right, and down he goes in a pile
of fabric. Artemus cools one groggy henchman and West drops
the other.

WEST
Let's go!

75. FULL SHOT TOWARD STAIRS

They move rapidly toward the stairs, West in the lead. Just
as he starts up the stairs, the door to the lab bursts open so
rapidly it nearly flies off the hinges but no one is seen
coming out. Abruptly West is hit by some invisible force
which hurls him over the stair railing, crashing to the floor
below. Almost simultaneously, Artemus is hit and dropped,
hard.

76. CLOSER ANGLE WEST AND ARTEMUS

They're both knocked out. Suddenly the absolutely motionless
form of Midas materializes, standing over them, smiling.

FADE OUT:

END ACT TWO
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Snish
SS novice field agent

873 Posts

Posted - 10/16/2009 :  18:10:16  Show Profile
ACT THREE

FADE IN:

77. INT. MIDAS' LAB - MEDIUM SHOT - DAY

At the end of the lab opposite the workbench and distillation
set-up, we see West and Artemus chained to the wall. They are
semi-conscious, dozing, and they show many scars and bruises
from their recent battle. The door opens and Lucretia ENTERS,
bringing some water for them to drink.

78. CLOSER ANGLE - THREE SHOT

Lucretia crosses first to West, who rouses himself and lifts
his head to drink the water. Artemus also wakes.

WEST
Thanks.

LUCRETIA
Feeling better?

She gives water to Artemus. He drinks.

ARTEMUS
Miss...would you mind telling us...
what hit us?

LUCRETIA
You wouldn't believe me if I
told you.

WEST
Try us.

LUCRETIA
All right. It was Morgan.

WEST
That's impossible. I'd have seen
him.

LUCRETIA
No one could have seen him. He was
moving too fast to be seen.

West and Artemus stare incredulously at her, but she is not
putting them on.

LUCRETIA
I told you you wouldn't believe me.

ARTEMUS
Moving too fast? Look, lady...

LUCRETIA
He distills a fluid...using the burning
diamonds. It does something to the
metabolism. He explained it to me,
but I don't understand it. All I
know is, what seems like a second
to you is an hour to him. No
one can possibly fight him. No one
can stop him.

WEST
Moving too fast to be seen? Look,
Lucretia, that's pretty farfetched.

LUCRETIA
Who do you think hit you both on the
head?

ARTEMUS
That's a very good question, Jim.

WEST
All right. I don't have any other
explanation.
(to Lucretia)
How about you? How do you fit in?

LUCRETIA
I'm a very practical girl. I want
a lot of things. And Midas is
invulnerable after he's taken the
fluid. He can do anything...

WEST
You mean he's a good provider?

LUCRETIA
Can you imagine a better one? The
whole world is spread out for his
taking. Money...power...anything.
You might as well stop fighting him,
Mr. West. You can't win. Besides.....

WEST
Besides?

LUCRETIA
I rather like you. You are very....
attractive.

WEST
But not as attractive as Midas.

LUCRETIA
I told you I was very practical.

WEST
You could help us.

LUCRETIA
Midas wouldn't like that... No,
thank you. I'd rather live.....
and enjoy the finer things in
life.

She bends and kisses Jim quickly on the lips.

LUCRETIA
Goodbye. I do wish you were going
to live a little longer.

She moves off quickly. SOUND of the door OPENING AND CLOSING.
CAMERA MOVES IN for TIGHT TWO SHOT of West and Artemus.

ARTEMUS
You know, I wish the same thing
she does.
ZIP PAN TO:

79. INT. JEWEL EXHIBITION ROOM - FULL SHOT - NIGHT

It's opening night of the International Jewel Exhibit, a
a special showing for distinguished citizens and visitors. The
display cases glitter with remarkable gems. We see whatever
the budget can stand in the way of society folk in rich
costume of the period.

80. CLOSE ON DISPLAY CASE

Within the case are the largest and most expensive pieces of
the exhibit -- a dazzling display. CAMERA ANGLES SLIGHTLY to
INCLUDE the face of Morgan Midas peering intently into the
case.

MIDAS
(softly)
Most interesting...

81. TWO SHOT - MIDAS AND LUCRETIA

Lucretia stands beside Midas, also gazing at the jewels. She's
wearing an expensive and beautiful dress, and looks great.

LUCRETIA
Will it be...enough?

MIDAS
Over a thousand carats in all,
I should say. And at a hundred
carats a drop ----

LUCRETIA
Enough to distill ten drops.

MIDAS
Enough to give me the power...to
take whatever I please...to remove
whoever I please.
(brief pause)
Enough to set up the organization
that will make me invincible.

LUCRETIA
But this place... all these people...
if something goes wrong.....

MIDAS
Nothing will go wrong. I have enough
of the fluid left to do what must be
done. And even a little extra. Relax
girl. The diamonds are as good as
ours.

82. ANOTHER ANGLE - MEDIUM FULL

A short distance from Midas and Lucretia is Baines, in
formal regalia, looking around watchfully at the spectators.
Midas takes Lucretia's arm and leads her over to Baines.

MIDAS
Mr. Baines?......I'm Morgan Midas
-- Lady Margaret's nephew.

BAINES
(cordially)
Ah, yes....I believe we met once a
few years back.

MIDAS
Indeed. May I present my fiancee,
Lucretia Ivronin. Lucretia, Mr.
Baines is a most distinguished
diplomat.

A polite AD LIB exchange of greetings between Baines and
Lucretia.

BAINES
You were in Europe last I heard,
Morgan...studying with some obscure
German scientist.

MIDAS
Who died, unfortunately...so I
returned home.....
(brief pause)
I trust you received my Aunt's
letter about why she could not
show her diamonds....

BAINES
Yes. A shame she had to alter her
plans so suddenly....But I believe
we have an outstanding exhibit
anyway -- the finest jewels of
many great countries.

MIDAS
And I understand the entire affair
is your responsibility.

BAINES
Yes...it's been a considerable
burden. But it looks like a smashing
success if we just....

LUCRETIA
If what, Mr. Baines?

BAINES
If we can avoid that epidemic of
diamond thefts sweeping the world.
...You know about it?

MIDAS
(nods)
Oddly enough, I was in Amsterdam
when the diamond house there was
cleaned out.

BAINES
Shocking....But I must say, I feel
we are thoroughly and ingeniously
protected here...I have two of Washington's
finest special agents on this job.

LUCRETIA
Really?... Who are they?

BAINES
James West and Artemus Gordon....
And believe me, Gordon has rigged
up some fantastic burglar alarms
and traps here.

83. THREE SHOT - FEATURING MIDAS

He controls his reaction, but it's clear he's very interested.

MIDAS
Has he, indeed?

BAINES
You would not believe some of the
devices. Brilliant...Only Gordon
could think of them.

MIDAS
How interesting. I do wish I could
talk with him sometime.

FLIP TO:

84. INT. MIDAS' LAB - ANGLE ON WEST AND ARTEMUS - NIGHT

Still chained to the wall, their faces are drawn and stubbled,
showing the effects of their confinement. A single light burns
in the lab, casting long shadows. CAMERA PULLS BACK as the
door OPENS and Midas ENTERS, wearing the same outfit he had
on at the Jewel Exhibition, from which he has just returned.
He smiles broadly as he comes in.

MIDAS
Well, gentlemen, comfy?

WEST
Just fine. We always sleep
standing up.

MIDAS
I admire a man who keeps his sense
of humor under even such...serious...
circumstances.

He crosses, takes down a brandy decanter, pours himself a
snifter, lights a cigar, exhales with pleasure, pulls up a
chair and puts it down before them. He sits, stretches out.

MIDAS
I have a little proposition to
make you.

ARTEMUS
(quickly)
I accept.

MIDAS
Perhaps you may. You would be wise
to.
(beat)
I am an ambitious man, gentlemen,
but not a greedy one...nor particularly
selfish. What would you say if I offered
you totally unlimited power...and all
that goes with it. Wealth, luxury,
influence...

WEST
And a great, big catch.

MIDAS
A small catch, Mr. West. You see, you
are ingenious men. Capable, resourceful
...formidable. To an ordinary man,
your opposition would probably be too
much to overcome.

WEST
But you are not an ordinary young
man.

MIDAS
You noticed. No, sir, I am not.
I am most extraordinary.

WEST
Well, you've at least got
extraordinary reflexes.
(beat)
About your proposition?

MIDAS
Come to work for me. With me. I
assure you, the pay will be much
better.

WEST
I don't know...we work for an old,
established company...

ARTEMUS
With marvelous retirement benefits.

MIDAS
But my company is young -- with a great
growth potential...it will grow.
And if you're smart, you can grow
along with it.

WEST
Why do you need us?

MIDAS
I don't actually need you. But you've
shown considerable skill and daring.
Such men are valuable.
(beat)
Think carefully. I'm offering you a
chance to become my partner...and I
think you have some idea of what that
could mean.

WEST
Be more specific. Just what would we
do?

85. MEDIUM THREE SHOT

MIDAS
You can start by helping me acquire
all the diamonds from the International
Exhibit. I know Mr. Gordon has arranged
a few booby traps there, and it would be
simpler to avoid them.

West and Artemus twist themselves to exchange a look -- a look
which implies they might play along and see what happens.

ARTEMUS
Just for the record -- what if we
refuse?

MIDAS
I'll probably kill you. Or, as a
special favor to Lucretia, I might
just destroy your minds and turn you
loose.

WEST
You're all heart.
(pause)
I think I'd rather accept your
offer.

86. ANGLE FEATURING MIDAS

He rises from the chair, smiling.

MIDAS
Good....I know what you're thinking,
of course -- that you'll go along
with me only until you see a chance
to trip me up.

ARTEMUS
He reads minds, too.

MIDAS
But I have a way to insure your
future loyalty....I'm going to
give you a taste of the diamond
elixir -- so you can see for
yourselves the power it confers.

ZIP PAN TO:

87. EXT. EXHIBITION HALL - ESTABLISHING - NIGHT (STOCK)

It looks like opening night at the Opera -- blazing lights, a
crowd of elegant carriages, people in formal wear of the
period. The best the film library has to offer.

88. INT. CARRIAGE - WEST, ARTEMUS, MIDAS, AND LUCRETIA

SOUND of hoofs and carriage wheels on cobblestones. Midas and
Lucretia sit on one side, West and Artemus on the other.
Lucretia holds a gun pointed firmly at them. Midas pulls
back the curtains and looks out the window.

MIDAS
Almost there. Let's check
those restraints once more.

West and Artemus extend their adjoining arms and legs to reveal
that they are handcuffed together at the wrist and ankle, on
one side only. Midas checks that the cuffs are securely
fastened, then he gets out a small flask of water and a tiny
metal vial of the diamond liquid.

89. EXT. ALLEY - MEDIUM - CARRIAGE

Clive turns into the alley near the Exhibition Hall entrance,
reins in the horses and brings the carriage to a stop.

90. INT. CARRIAGE

Midas indicates that West and Artemus should get out first.

MIDAS
After you, gentlemen. I need
hardly warn you not to run away.

ARTEMUS
I was never much good at the
three-legged race.

Rather awkwardly, West and Artemus manage to get out. Then
Midas follows, telling Lucretia:

MIDAS
We'll be back before you know
it, my dear.

91. EXT. ALLEY - ON CARRIAGE

Midas closes the carriage door, then speaks to his coachman.

MIDAS
Clive -- turn the horses around
and be ready to leave again in
ten seconds.

CLIVE
Yes, Mr. Midas.

Clive maneuvers the horses around, turning the carriage in the
narrow alley. Meanwhile, Midas empties the tiny vial into the
cap of his flask -- two drops only -- then fills the cap up
with water. He lifts it in a mock toast.

MIDAS
It takes just a few seconds to
take effect. There will be a small
sip for each of you....But twice as
much for me.

Midas tilts up the cap and drinks, then hands it to West, who
takes a sip then passes it on to Artemus. It appears that
Midas gets more -- a couple of good swallows. West and Artemus
immediately react to strong internal sensations.

MIDAS
You feel a burning - a dizziness.
It's a normal sensation -- it will
pass quickly.

92. TIGHT THREE SHOT - WEST, ARTEMUS, MIDAS

SPECIAL EFFECT ELECTRONIC SHIMMER of the image and a SOUND
EFFECT, high vibrating whine, rising quickly to a crescendo
and fading quickly as the picture stabilizes to normal.

MIDAS
There.... feeling better?

ARTEMUS
Everything's normal, so far as --
(breaks off; reacts)
Jim! Look!

West is also staring at the thing that stuns Artemus, namely:

93. ANGLE ON HORSES AND CARRIAGE - FREEZE FRAME SHOT

There's Clive, still turning the horses and carriage, with
everything motionless: the whip straight out in the air, the
horses' hoofs poised off the pavement -- all motion stopped.

94. BACK TO THREE SHOT

MIDAS
Interesting, isn't it?

Midas lets go the water flask and pulls his hand away from it.
The flask hangs motionless in the air.

WEST
But it must be falling...

MIDAS
Oh, yes -- at sixteen feet per
second. But in the quarter of a
second that (it) would take to reach
the ground, we'll be halfway
through our jobs. Come, gentlemen.

Midas retrieves his flask.

CAMERA PANS with them as they turn and walk out of the alley.
(NOTE: In the entire sequence following, these three will
seem to move at a very normal pace; their intense speed will
be shown by the relative slowness or immobility of things
around them.) West and Artemus move awkwardly, of course,
having to synchronize their footsteps.

95. INT. JEWEL EXHIBIT ROOM - FULL SHOT - FREEZE FRAME

The exhibition room is comfortably filled, but not crowded,
with spectaters, all frozen in mid-stride, mouths open in
mid-word. There is an odd, arrhythmic clicking SOUND, not loud.

96. ANGLE NEAR FRONT DOOR - PANNING SHOT

As West, Artemus, and Midas enter and move toward the display
cases. They pass a few motionless couples on their way, and
West and Artemus can't help staring in amazement.

ARTEMUS
Absolutely incredible...

MIDAS
Yes, isn't it.... I have only one
warning -- don't remain still in any
one spot for long, or they may get
a glimpse of you -- but you'd have
to remain motionless so long you'd
get bored for that to happen.

WEST
What's that odd sound? Like a lot
of clicking...

MIDAS
(brief smile)
These people with their mouths so
comically open are talking. What
you hear are the separate vibrations
of the sound wave.

WEST
And they can't hear us...

MIDAS
Right. Because our longest sentence
is far briefer than the tick of a
watch.

ARTEMUS
But how can our bodies stand this?

MIDAS
Simply because our reflexes are so
incredibly fast. We react before
we allow our momentum to injure us.

97. NEW ANGLE - BY DISPLAY CASES

WEST
Then we're invulnerable? There's
no danger in this state?

MIDAS
There is one -- air friction. On
my first successful experiment I
got carried away with enthusiasm,
and badly scorched my clothes.
One must not move too rapidly.

A low WHISTLE from Artemus the scientist at the remarkable
powers and hazards of this drug. Now our threesome has reached
the display case on which we saw Artemus working in an earlier
scene. Midas suddenly produces a dagger from a sheath under
his coat and puts it to West's throat.

ARTEMUS
Hey -- what's this?

MIDAS
Sorry to be so primative, but I
must insure your cooperation -- and
bullets are far too slow for us.
(beat)
Now, Mr. Gordon, tell me of any
devices protecting this display,
or your friend dies. And he would
be quite a burden to you.

ARTEMUS
(swiftly)
Don't worry, I'll cooperate. There's
an alarm and a flash camera to be
set off if the case is touched.

MIDAS
Disconnect them, please.

Artemus crawls under the railing, then reaches in under the
wooden supports of the display case. In a moment he finds and
pulls loose a wire, letting it dangle.

ARTEMUS
There -- it's safe.

Midas steps inside the railing and very gently takes hold of
the glass case covering the jewels. It's about a foot wide
and three feet long.

MIDAS
At first I enjoyed breaking the
cases with a flick of my finger --
but I found I wasted time sorting
the diamonds from the broken glass.
So...

Midas gives the glass case a gentle upward lift. It leaves
his hands and sails slowly upward.

MIDAS
There. We'll be out and away before
it comes down.

West and Artemus watch helplessly as Midas quickly picks all
the diamonds from among the jewels in the exhibit and pockets
them. He keeps the knife in one hand, discouraging mutiny.
The glass case continues to sail slowly up and OFF.

MIDAS
Come along. Let's get the really
good ones next.

They move off down the line of display cases.

98. ANOTHER ANGLE - RICHEST DISPLAY CASE

This case holds the largest and brightest stones. Nearby,
Baines stands frozen, hand upraised and mouth open, caught in
the second of talking with a dignified middle-aged couple.
Midas, West and Artemus ENTER SCENE, approaching the case.

MIDAS
Well, well -- our noted envoy from
Washington, Mr. Baines.... It might
be amusing to...no, there's no time.
(beat)
Well, Mr. Gordon -- what did you
devise for this case?

ARTEMUS
There are guillotine blades in the
lighting box above it. Simpler to
trigger them off than to disconnect.

MIDAS
Very well, then.

Midas grabs the swagger stick, a new one, from Baines' hand
and reaches in with it to gently touch the glass of the case.

99. CLOSE ANGLE - CASE AND LIGHTING BOX

From the lighting box above, the guillotine blade slowly,
slowly begins its downward descent.

100. MEDIUM THREE SHOT - MIDAS, WEST, ARTEMUS

Midas looks at Artemus and shakes his head critically.

MIDAS
For shame, Mr. Gordon -- is that
the best you could do?

ARTEMUS
I powered it with the strongest
springs I could find.

Midas laughs. He lets go the swagger stick, which hangs
motionless horizontally in the path of the slowly descending
blade. Then Midas reaches in, removes the glass case as before
and gently sends it floating upward. Then he begins rapidly
picking the choice diamonds from among the other gems in the
exhibit. While he is engrossed in this, West and Artemus
back off just a little to try to exchange a word.

101. TIGHT TWO - WEST AND ARTEMUS

WEST
(tense whisper)
We've got to stop this!

ARTEMUS
(whisper)
I'll set off the floor trap by
the door. There's a sunken cage...

WEST
(whisper)
Too slow...unless we can get hold of
him and throw him into it.... Worth
a try.

102. NEW ANGLE - MEDIUM FULL

Midas finishes cleaning out the display case and pockets the
diamonds. He steps clear while the swagger stick begins a
barely perceptible downward motion, and the guillotine blade
is about half way down, still falling slowly. Midas looks
around, sizing up the other display cases.

MIDAS
I don't believe the other displays
are worth bothering with, gentlemen.
I examined them last night.... So,
shall we go?

He turns and moves toward the front door, with West and
Artemus following. But Artemus detours, reaching in
under a display case to press a button, then hurrying
on. West looks the question, and Artemus nods briefly.

103. THREE SHOT - PANNING

As they walk along toward the front door, Artemus
suddenly clutches his chest.

ARTEMUS
Oh....sharp pains...

WEST
Me too. Just now...

MIDAS
That means the drug is wearing
off...for you. I took more, of
course. You'd better hurry along,
the effect ceases quite rapidly
once it starts.

Midas quickens his pace, but West and Artemus have trouble
keeping up with him. They are laboring like men running
through molassas. Sweat stands out on their faces with the
effort, but they move more and more slowly.

104. ANGLE BY FRONT DOOR

Midas has almost reached the door, several feet ahead of
West and Artemus. He turns to urge them on.

MIDAS
Come on, come on!

As they near him, the floor beneath Midas' feet begins to
open -- a double trapdoor which folds downward. He reacts
quickly. Before it can open more than a few inches, he steps
off, onto the solid floor. West and Artemus are not so
lucky. They are on the other end of the trapdoor, nearly
immobilized now, sinking like dinosaurs in the tar pits as
the opening widens beneath them. Midas gives a burst of
wicked laughter.

MIDAS
For shame, gentlemen. You didn't
really think it would work, did you?

He watches as West and Artemus, like bugs trapped in
molassas, slowly begin to fall into the pit. Then he
scowls, snarls at them.

MIDAS
I gave you your chance. I
offered you the world. Now,
since you've made your own bed
you can lie in it....I only wish
I could be around when you try
to explain all this!
(beat)
I may see you...in about twenty
years when you get out of prison.

Midas turns and quickly EXITS. CAMERA HOLDS ON West and
Artemus, now virtually motionless...dropping, slowly, oh
so slowly, into the pit.

105. CLOSE SHOT - DISPLAY CASE

As the guillotine blade chops the swagger stick in two.
SOUND of a loud alarm bell suddenly fills the air.

106. MEDIUM FULL - SPECTATORS

A well-dressed MAN looks up, then thrusts the two WOMEN with
him aside to safety as a glass display cover crashes down
into the aisle next to them, shattering. SOUND of SCREAMS
mingle with the ALARM BELL.

107. ANGLE AROUND RIFLED CASE

People pointing at the scattered display and SHOUTING.

108. FULL SHOT

As much pandemonium as we can show in one shot -- everybody
in the exhibit hall confused and panicked.

109. ANGLE BY FRONT DOOR - DOWN INTO TRAP

There in the cage built below the floor are West and Artemus,
fully revealed by the retracted doors. An angry group is
already gathering around them. Up to the edge of the trap
stalks Baines, livid with rage. He stares down at them,
shaking the stump of his swagger stick.

BAINES
You two! ... Thieves! ... You'll
suffer for this! Oh, how you'll
suffer!

West and Artemus exchange an eloquent look. How to explain?

WEST
Well... it was fun while it
lasted.

FADE OUT:

END ACT THREE
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