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California gal
SS senior field agent

USA
8378 Posts

Posted - 11/15/2009 :  09:40:35  Show Profile
CBS-TV
GARRISON PRODUCTIONS





THE WILD WILD WEST

THE NIGHT OF THE BIG BLACKMAIL

[formerly called The Night of the Deadly Blades]



by

David Moessinger




Second Draft
April 23, 1968





THE WILD WILD WEST

THE NIGHT OF THE BIG BLACKMAIL

PRODUCER
BRUCE LANSBURY

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
LEONARD KATZMAN

STORY CONSULTANT
HENRY SHARP

WRITTEN BY
DAVID MOESSINGER

SETS
EXT. WASHINGTON, D.C.
EXT. EMBASSY
INT. BALLROOM
INT. ALCOVE
INT. EMBASSY LAB
INT. STUDY
EXT. WINDOW
INT. EMBASSY LIBRARY
INT. HALLWAY
INT. GRANT’S OFFICE
EXT. SKY
INT. VARNISH
INT. STUDY – QUINCY HOME
INT. QUINCY OFFICE
EXT. WATERFRONT AREA
EXT. WATERFRONT STREET
INT. WATERFRONT APARTMENT
EXT. VARNISH
INT. GAZEBO
EXT. REAR OF EMBASSY
INT. EMBASSY KITCHEN
INT. SUBTERRANEAN CHAMBER
INT. SUBTERRANEAN CORRIDOR
INT. CONTROL ROOM
INT. PASSAGEWAY
EXT. WHITE HOUSE
INT. BOILER ROOM
INT. END OF CORRIDOR
INT. PRESIDENT’S CARRIAGE
EXT. EMBASSY GATE
EXT. WATERFRONT APARTMENT
INT. JANUARY’S ROOM
EXT. REAR KITCHEN

CAST

JAMES WEST – ROBERT CONRAD
ARTEMUS GORDON – ROSS MARTIN
PRESIDENT GRANT
GRUBER
BARON HINTERSTOISSER
HESS
ZIEGLER
MRS. QUINCY
HILDA MYERS
DICK JANUARY
COUNT HACKMAR
DIPLOMAT
GIRL
AIDE

TEASER

FADE IN:

1. EXT. STOCK OF WASHINGTON, D.C. – NIGHT

Moonlight bathes the Capitol dome.

2. ESTABLISHING – EMBASSY BLDG.

A three-story structure with lights blazing from its windows.

3. EXT. EMBASSY – NIGHT

HOLDING the polished escutcheon of a small Teutonic nation. CAMERA PULLS BACK slowly, reveals a decorative iron gate… two guards at rigid attention… and a circular drive that sweeps to the porch of the embassy. SOUND of dueling… the CLACK and CLATTER of foils… drifts out into the darkness through a half-open window.

4. ANGLE THROUGH WINDOW

CAMERA SHOOTING DOWN into a lavish ballroom. Tables and hairs have been drawn back to make room for two fencers who leap and prance in grateful combat. A small audience… diplomats, lovely ladies, distinguished-looking dignitaries… follows each move the contestants with rapt attention. [The script actually says “with rape attention!!]

5. REVERSE ANGLE

JAMES WEST, in formal attire, is dangling precariously on a thin metal wire beside the top of the window. His hands grip the bar of an “automatic lifting device.” We now realize that the PREVIOUS SHOT was HIS P.OV.

6. THROUGH THE WINDOW AGAIN

West has singled out ARTEMUS GORDON and PRESIDENT GRANT. They’re sipping champagne and smiling wooden smiles… apparently enjoying the contest. But, now, Grant … less skillful at the game of intrigue than Artemus… displays anxiety by glancing at his watch.

7. BACK TO SCENE

West, too, becomes aware of time. He presses a button on the bar. A drum between his hands begins reeling in wire, causing him to rise toward the floor above… CAMERA FOLLOWS his ascent, HOLDS when he stops at a second story window.

8. WEST’S POV – INSIDE

An embassy TECHNICIAN … mustache, spectacles, white laboratory jacket… is advancing along a corridor, hands delicately cradling a sturdy metal box. CAMERA ZOOMS toward the box, signifying a sudden and important focus of West’s attention.

9. BACK TO SCENE

West’s eyes traversing with the box.

10. HIS P.O.V. – INSIDE

GRUBER, an embassy aide, approaches the technician from the opposite end of the corridor. A short whispered conversation. Gruber seems to be asking questions about the box. The technician keeps nodding, answering affirmatively. Finally Gruber smiles as if satisfied and retreats from the corridor. The technician wheels, begins mounting a flight of stairs.

11. BACK TO SCENE

West rises to the third floor, forces a window, ENTERS the embassy.

12. INT. BALLROOM

Gruber ENTERS hurriedly, weaves his way through the spectators, approaches a chunky, gruff-looking man, the presiding officer of the embassy, BARON HINTERSTOISSER.

13. GRANT AND ARTEMUS

Looking across the room.

14. THEIR P.O.V. – HINTERSTOISSER AND GRUBER

Gruber leans toward Hinterstoisser, whispers in his ear. Hinterstoisser nods and smiles excitedly.

15. BACK TO SCENE

Grant and Artemus exchange a secret look of concern.

ARTEMUS
Correct me if I’m wrong, sir… but I’d say the Baron just received some very good news.

GRANT
Good for him… bad for the United States.
(glancing quickly at his watch)
What the devil’s holding up West?

A sudden SHOUT arises from the spectators.

16. DANCE FLOOR

One of the contestants is attacking furiously… the other, backing away in desperation. Foils flash and fly. The attacker parries, lunges, plants the tip of his blade directly in the center of his opponent’s heart.

17. SPECTATORS

APPLAUDING enthusiastically.

DIPLOMA
Well placed, sir!

ANOTHER
Magnificent!

STILL ANOTHER
Bravo!

18. WIDER ANGLE

Hinterstoisser steps onto the dance floor.

HINTERSTOISSER
Ladies and gentlemen… we have a winner!

APPLAUSE increases. The victor raises his mask, revealing a face cruelly deformed by scars of combat.

HINTERSTOISSER (CONT'D)
And now, to make the presentation… the President of the United States… Ulysses S. Grant.

Grant moves forward. Gruber hands him a large trophy.

GRANT
Thank you, Baron Hinterstoisser.
(facing the audience)
Ladies and Gentlemen, the President’s cup was initiated by the Honorable James Buchanan in 1857. It gives me great pleasure to carry on that tradition by presenting it to this year’s winner… Captain Bruno Richter of Austria!

He extends the trophy and shakes hands with Richter. The spectators resume their APPLAUSE.

19. INT. THIRD FLOOR CORRIDOR

West inching along cautiously. Suddenly, from behind, VOICES and FOOTSTEPS. He ducks into an alcove which leads to a heavy wooden door.

20. THE ALCOVE

as West leans out, peering back into the corridor.

21. HIS P.O.V. – CORRIDOR

a pair of ferocious Great Danes – round INTO VIEW, pulling TWO huge embassy security guards – a beat, they start sniffing, then, as one they lunch against their leashes, setting up a CLAMOROUS DIN, obviously scenting an intruder—

– and also as one, both guards whip out business-like revolvers, cock them, then prepared for the kill, they allow their dogs to lead them to the quarry the dogs are scenting, as we

FADE OUT

END OF TEASER

ACT ONE

FADE IN:

22. THIRD FLOOR CORRIDOR – NIGHT

we seen the same SHOT of the guards, pistols very much at the ready, being pulled along by their eager Great Danes, frantic with the nearness of their quarry…

23. CLOSE SHOT – WEST

tight-lipped as he listens to the SOUNDS of his APPROACHING PERIL –

24. ANOTHER ANGLE

-- then West reaches into his pocket, produces an object that he hurriedly proceeds to wind with an attached key, pushes a lever on the mechanical object, aims it at the corridor, and lets it go.

25 AND 26 . OMITTED

27. THE GREAT DANES

Their ears go up like a shot.

28. THEIR POV – MECHANICAL OBJECT

We see that it is a rat, skittering along the corridor. Hess and Ziegler, practically dragged, come INTO VIEW, holding tight to the leashes.

HESS
Stop! Thor… Odin!

The dogs tear their leashes out of their masters’ hands and rocket after the rat.

29. THE MECHANICAL RAT

rounds a corner, grinds to the end of the corridor, hits a wall, bursts into flame, disintegrates without a trace. A second later, the dogs APPEAR and sniff about vainly—followed, shortly after, but a pair of equally baffled guards.

30. INT. EMBASSY STUDY – NIGHT

President Grant ENTERS, the door being held open for him by a solicitous Hinterstoisser, followed by Artemus and Gruber, who watch from a respectful distance as Hinterstoisser holds up a decanter:

HINTERSTOISSER
A brandy, Mr. President?

GRANT
Now there’s an idea good enough to rank with the fine show you just presented in there.

HINTERSTOISSER
(as he pours)
We are all honored that you lent luster to it with your presence.
(handing Grant snifter)
If I may propose a toast – to your health, sir! And to the perpetual friendship of our two great nations!

31. INT. ALCOVE

West steps out into the corridor. More FOOTSTEPS. He ducks back in.

32. HIS POV – CORRIDOR

The technician is approaching with the metal box… heading directly for the alcove.

33. BACK TO SCENE

West has only one way to go. Wheeling, he tries the heavy wooden door. It’s open. He slips through and eases it shut behind. An instant later, the technician appears, swings into the alcove, reaches for the door.

34. INT. EMBASSY LABORATORY

as the technician ENTERS and glances about.

35. HIS POV – LABORATORY

Beakers, test tubes, jars of chemicals, a work bench and two cameras mounted on tripods. The room is empty.. as if West has vanished into thin air.

36. BACK TO SCENE

The technician bolts the door, crosses; as he passes a window, CAMERA HOLDS. West’s face is visible in the shadows outside.

37. INT. STUDY

Hinterstoisser lighting a cigar for Grant.

HINTERSTOISSER
By the way, Mr. President… I’m holding a reception tomorrow at noon—and it is my fondest hope you and the members of your cabinet will honor my Country once more by your attendance.

GRANT
(exhaling smoke)
A reception?

HINTERSTOISSER
A kind of “entertainment.”
(smiling)
But I beg you not to ask for details, sir—I want it to be, ah—a complete surprise.

He selects a cigar for himself, bites the tip sensuously.

38. ARTEMUS

reacting to the news… attempting to hide his deep concern.

39. BACK TO SCENE

Hinterstoisser lifts a candle from his desk and lights his cigar.

HINTERSTOISSER
(continuing)
I’ve sent couriers to all the other embassies. But I wanted to invite you personally. I wanted to be absolutely certain that you’d attend.

GRANT
(turning to Artemus)
I don't know what there is scheduled for noon, but as of now, it’s canceled.

HINTERSTOISSER
Wonderful! I think I can promise that you will find it – memorable.

Smiling, he crosses and pushes a button beside a tiny door in the wall.

40. INT. LABORATORY – CLOSE ON BELL

RINGING urgently… positioned just above a tiny door, similar to the one just seen in the study.

41. WIDER ANGLE

The technician, who is examining the lens of a camera, turns in response to the bell. He lifts the metal box from the bench and moves toward the tiny door.

42. EXT. EMBASSY

West standing on a narrow ledge, beside the third floor window.

43. HIS POV – INSIDE

The technician opens the tiny door, inserts the metal box into a miniature elevator.

44. BACK TO SCENE

West moves… as if his very life depended upon speed. Leaps down to a roof projecting just below a second story window. Rolls to his feet. Struggles desperately with the window which seems to be jammed.

45. INT. LABORATORY

The technician closes the tiny door, begins cranking a wheel which lowers the elevator.

46. EXT. WINDOW

Finally, the window gives. West leaps through.

47. INT. EMBASSY LIBRARY

West races to a tiny door in the wall, opens it, watches the miniature elevator descend INTO SIGHT. When it draws abreast, he reaches in, grabs the lowering ropes, pins them together with a spring-loaded clamp.

48. INT. LABORATORY

The wheel freezes. The technician reacts in puzzlement

49. INT. LIBRARY

West slides the metal box from the elevator, opens the lid, removes a velvet bag containing a bulky round object.

50. INT. STUDY

Hinterstoisser opens the elevator door and stares into the shaft.

51. ANOTHER ANGLE

Artemus has edged to Grant’s side.

ARTEMUS
(low)
Sir, I have a feeling this is going to be worse than we thought…

52. INT. LIBRARY

West grabs a book from one of the library shelves and places it in the meal box as a weight compensation for the velvet bag. Closing the box quickly, he shoves it aboard the elevator and releases the clamp from the ropes.

53. INT. LABORATORY

The technician feels the lowering wheel go free. Relieved, he resumes his cranking.

54. INT. STUDY

Everyone staring toward the shaft.

GRANT
(attempting to sound casual)
Baron, I received a significant piece of information tonight.

The elevator descends INTO SHAFT.

HINTERSTOISSER
Did you?

GRANT
Something undoubtedly concerns your… “entertainment.”

HINTERSTOISSER
(removing the metal box)
What would that be, sir?

GRANT
Count Hackmar arrived in the country. Late this afternoon. He’s on his way to Washington.

HINERSTOISSER
(crossing with the box)
You’re well informed, Mr. President. And, quite right. Count Hackmar will be our guest of honor.

He places the box on his desk.

GRANT
Then I can assume that it’s something of extreme importance.

HINTERSTOISSER
(exuberant)
You can, sir. So important that I want everyone here. Including you, Mr. Gordon. I want you to come… and bring your associate –
(pretending to be suddenly puzzled)
-- But where is Mr. West?

Artemus shifts uneasily… remains silent.

GRANT
Well, Gordon?

ARTEMUS
(haltingly)
Well, sir—he said something about showing the Big Dipper to the daughter of the Lithuanian ambassador…

GRANT
(mock angrily)
I see.

HINTERSTOISSER
No great tragedy, Mr. President. It’s spring, after all.
(turning)
Gruber, see if you can rescue Mr. West from the young lady’s clutches.

Gruber bows and EXITS.

55. INT. HALLWAY

Hess and Ziegler have stationed themselves outside the study. Gruber approaches them urgently.

GRUBER
West! He’s missing!

HESS
(to Ziegler)
Upstairs! I’ll search down here!

Ziegler sprints off in one direction… CAMERA FOLLOWS Hess in the other. He rounds a corner and stops dead in his tracks.

56. HIS POV – WEST

On a loveseat… locked in embrace with a beautiful GIRL.

57. BACK TO SCENE

Hess advances to the loveseat, taps West gruffly.

HESS
You’re wanted.

Wheeling, he strides back toward the study.

58. CLOSER ANGLE – LOVESEAT

West rises, dabbing lipstick from his mouth with a handkerchief. The girl opens a fan and thrusts it in front of her face. Her almond eyes stare out with coquettish annoyance.

GIRL
(a thick accent)
You kiss a lady… and then you run away…

West bends toward her, holding his finger to his lip.

GIRL
But who are you, sir?

WEST
(whispering)
I know you… that’s the important thing.

He turns and follows Hess.

59. INT. STUDY

Hess holding the door. West ENTERS, regards Grant with feigned embarrassment.

WEST
I’m sorry, sir… I —

HINTERSTOISSER
(grinning)
— Where was he, Major?

HESS
With the daughter of the Armenian ambassador.

ARTEMUS
I could’ve sworn she was Lithuanian…

HINTERSTOISSER
(chuckling)
Armenian… Lithuanian… it doesn’t matter as long as she was attractive.
(crossing to his desk)
You’re invited to a reception tomorrow, Mr. West. I was about to show your honorable president something quite special.
(lifting the metal lid dramatically)
It’s in here, gentlemen… the essence of tomorrow’s little entertainment.

He raises the lid gently… as if to open the box.

60. WEST – CLOSE

Holding his breath.

61 WIDER AGAIN

Hinterstoisser slams the lid with a teasing smile.

HINTERSTOISSER
No… you’ll all have to wait.

He lowers the box, tips a burning candle next to the lid. Wax begins to pool in the seam.

HINTERSTOISSER (CONT'D)
You’ll enjoy it much more if it’s a complete surprise.

62. HINTERSTOISSER – CLOSE

He presses his ring into the hot was on the lid, imprinting the official seal of the embassy.

63. WIDER ANGLE

Hinterstoisser crosses, carrying the box to the elevator.

HINTERSTOISSER
So, until the reception, gentlemen… until then, you’ll just have to wait.

He places the box on the elevator and presses a second button.

64. ELEVATOR – CLOSE

as the box descends slowly out of sight.

DISSOLVE TO:

65. INT. HALLWAY – NIGHT

Grant, West, and Artemus leaving the embassy. As they approach the loveseat, West edges to Grant.

WEST
(low)
Sir, I think you just dropped your hat.

GRANT
What?
(catching on)
Oh, I see…

He makes an awkward move, collides with West, allows his hat to fall beside the loveseat.

WEST
Excuse me, sir.

He bends, and while retrieving the hat, slides the velvet bag from beneath the loveseat.

66. CLOSER ANGLE

as West slips the bag inside his coat.

67. INT. STUDY

Hinterstoisser, Gruber, Hess and Ziegler.

HINTERSTOISSER
(to Hess)
I will repeat your orders! Do not let West and Artemus out of your sight; if they start sniffing about—and they will, I promise you—stop them—any way, and by any means!

Hess and Ziegler turn, hurry out the door.

DISSOLVE TO:

68. INT. PRESIDENTIAL CARRIAGE – NIGHT

The carriage is in motion as West carefully removes the article from it’s velvet bag, then carefully riffles through the series of attached “flip type” postcard size photographs, all attached to a metal core, with President Grant and Artemus looking on.

GRANT
What the devil is that?

WEST
A series of sequence photographs, sir—
(to Artemus)
Right, Artie?

ARTEMUS
(examining them)
Right, Jim; like the kinetoscope shows they have in Penny Arcades, on a considerably more refined scale.

GRANT
But—what for?

ARTEMUS
Sir, I have a sneaking idea we’ll see what for as soon as we can run this off…

FLIP TO:

69. GRANT’S OFFICE – NIGHT

in the semi-darkened room, we see a flickering series of projected images issuing from the projector of the period, with Artemus supplying the manual labor as he turns a crank on the side of the projector, President Grant and West looking on.

70. THEIR POV – WALL

a choppy primitive movie is unfolding… WE SEE A PERFECT REPRODUCTION OF GRANT’S OFFICE.

GRANT’S VOICE
So now we know; that’s my office!

WEST’S VOICE
Almost, sir; they made one mistake. Look at the portrait of Washington… it’s facing the wrong way.

The move continues… “PRESIDENT GRANT” ENTERS THE ROOM.

71. GRANT – CLOSE

Reacting to see “himself” in the movie.

GRANT
By George, even I would think that’s me.

WEST
I don't know where they found him, sir. But he could easily pass an your twin brother.

72. THE MOVIE

AN ASIAN DIPLOMAT IS ENTERING THE OFFICE.

ARTEMUS’ VOICE
(narrating)
Enter Mr. Sumi Igo, foreign minister of a nation very much in the news, today.

“GRANT” AND IGO SHAKE HANDS.

GRANT’S VOICE
Look at that! And actually I’ve never even met the little devil!

WEST’S VOICE
No, sir—but on the basis of this little charade, you’d have a great deal of trouble convincing other nations about that.

IGO REMOVES A DOCUMENT FROM HIS COAT.

GRANT’S VOICE
(grimly)
Obvious enough what that little document’s suppose to be—a defense pact!

ARTEMUS’ VOICE
It all seems to be very clear, sir…

“GRANT” LOOKS OVER THE DOCUMENT AND NODS HIS HEAD.

ARTEMUS’ VOICE (CONT'D)
The United States, and the highly unsavory nation of Mr. Sumi Igo, are entering into a secret defense agreement…

“GRANT” SITS AT “HIS DESK” AND SIGNS THE DOCUMENT WITH A FLOURISH,

WEST’S VOICE
… all of which will incur the indignation and distrust of the entire civilized world, much to the glee of Baron Hinterstoisser….

ARTEMUS’ VOICE
… whose nation will then proceed to make its own brand of diplomatic hay while the sun shines.

The kinetoscope photos “flaps” runs out… harsh light flickers on the plaster wall.

ARTEMUS’ VOICE (CONT'D)
(glumly)
The end…

73. REVERSE ANGLE

West turns up the room lights. Artemus removes the drum of photos from the projector. Grant paces solemnly. No one speaks. All are too depressed by Hinterstoisser’s diabolic scheme.

WEST
Mr. President, it may not be exactly the same show the Baron was counting on.

73A. REACTION – GRANT

we see a dawning realization of what West is referring to.

ARTEMUS
(removing the film cartridge from the stroboscope)
The main problem is getting this back into Baron Hinterstoisser’s little security chamber, and we don’t have too much time, so if you’ll excuse us sir…

GRANT
Wait!

West and Artemus are almost at the door at this point—they turn:

GRANT (CONT'D)
Gentlemen, I think there’s something you should know—
(pulling a paper out of desk drawer)
In the last three months, seven of our personnel have gone into the Embassy on one security errand or another—
(a long beat)
None of them has returned—and we must presume that they are—dead.

There is a long beat, during which West and Artemus exchange glances, then:

WEST
That ought to lend a certain interest to the proceedings, sir.

They both let themselves out of the office. CAMERA MOVES IN to a…

74. CLOSE SHOT – GRANT

… smiling a tight-lipped, wry smile; HOLD, as we

FREEZE FRAME:

END OF ACT ONE

James: Thanks, Artie.
Artemus: "Thanks Artie"! Is that all you can say to me? I've just come back from the grave, risen like Lazarus, and that's what you say? "Thanks, Artie"?
James: Thanks, Artie.
Artemus: It's a pleasure.
- TNOT Pistoleros

California gal
SS senior field agent

USA
8378 Posts

Posted - 11/15/2009 :  09:41:33  Show Profile
ACT TWO

FADE IN:

75. INT. WEST’S RAILROAD CAR – NIGHT

West is seen studying a diagram of the embassy grounds, which he has drawn on a wall-mounted blackboard—then, tossing aside his chalk, he picks up a large envelope and moves to the door of an adjoining room.

76. INT. LAB CAR – NIGHT

AT DOOR; West enters then reacts, staring off…

76A. HIS POV

We see Artemus hanging onto a handle with both hands—a handle attached to a chain, which, in turn, is attached to a pod that looks very much like a ping-pong ball smashed against the ceiling of the car.

ARTEMUS
(staring up at the pod)
… seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven…

WEST
Artie, I hate to intrude, but…

ARTEMUS
(making shushing motions)
… fourteen, fifteen…

The pod suddenly starts to stretch away from the roof of the car, and as sixteen is reached, snaps away.

ARTEMUS (CONT'D)
Sixteen!

He lands lightly on his feet and swings around in a classical arms-outstretched gesture, inviting applause.

ARTEMUS (CONT'D)
Tah-dahhhh!

WEST
(applauding)
What history-making demonstration have I just witnessed?

Artemus picks up another one of several pods from the table, and we see that it shaped very much like a ping-pong ball, to which a fine length of chain is attached, terminating in a handle.

ARTEMUS
(proudly)
My new chemical leech.

WEST
Chemical what?

ARTEMUS
Leech.
(pointing to pod)
This pod contains a batch of a new chemical compound with such highly refined adhesive powers that it will actually support a man’s weight for approximately sixteen seconds.
(grasping pod in fist)
All you have to do is slam it against a solid surface, and the pod ruptures, allowing the adhesive to…

WEST
(cutting in)
Later, Artie, if you don’t mind.
(extending envelope)
The data from Washington arrived a short time ago—
(removing sheet from envelope)
Listen to this;
(reading the message)
Embassy constructed 1852. Architect and builder Jasper P. Mannis.
(with emphasis)
additional subterranean improvements, 1871. Architect and builder, Ellwood R. Quincy!

Artemus is drying his hands.

ARTEMUS
Three cheers for the research department!
(excitedly)
Of course, you know who Quincy is, don’t you?

WEST
(crossing to wall)
I knew he built the vaults in the Treasury Building.

He tests the spring mechanism on his sleeve derringer. Artemus is putting on his coat.

ARTEMUS
He’s the foremost security architect in the world. Where do we find him?

WEST
(pulling on a coat)
Here, in Washington.
(glancing at the tissue message)
We’ve got a home address and an office address. Take your pick.

77. INT. STUDY OF QUINCY HOME – NIGHT

CAMERA HOLDING MRS. QUINCY, a middle-aged woman, clutching the neck of her robe. She’s biting her lip; a beat, then:

MRS. QUINCY
(tonelessly)
He’s—dead.

ARTEMUS
Oh – I’m sorry, Mrs. Quincy.

MRS. QUINCY
(shrugging)
He died the week after he completed his work at the embassy.

ANGLE WIDENS… Artemus is facing Mrs. Quincy, who obviously has just be aroused from bed. His spirit sinks at the unfortunate news.

MRS. QUINCY (CONT'D)
It was so wasteful—a wonderful human being—cut down by a runaway carriage as he was crossing the street—

She breaks off with a helpless shrug.

ARTEMUS
Forgive me, Mrs. Quincy, but did you husband ever talk about any of his employment at the embassy?

MRS. QUINCY
My husband never talked about any of his projects; they were all of a secret nature.

ARTEMUS
Who was his assistant at the embassy?

MRS. QUINCY
No assistants. There never were.

ARTEMUS
(frustrated)
He must have worked through local contractors…

MRS. QUINCY
All the actual labor was done by Baron Hinterstoisser’s own artisans.

ARTEMUS
(glumly fatalistic)
I suppose it would be silly to ask you about plans. He probably burned them and buried the ashes.

MRS. QUINCY
No, Mr. Gordon. His plans are still at his office.

78. INT. QUINCY’S OFFICE – CLOSE ON REVERSED SIGN – NIGHT

In reverse, cracked lettering reads: ELLWOOD R. QUINCY, ARCHITECT. CAMERA PULLS BACK, reveals West’s shadow as he picks the lock. After a second, the tumblers CLICK. He eases the door and enters.

79. ANGLE – WEST

West lights a torch, searches the empty drawers of a dusty desk. Now, crosses quickly to a rack of cardboard mailing tubes.

80. CLOSER

As West checks tubes labeled, TREASURING BUILDING and JEWEL ROOM, PRADO MUSEUM. Each contains a set of rolled-up plans. A third tube marked EMBASSY SECURITY CHAMBER is covered with cobwebs. He dusts it off and inserts a finger.

81. STILL CLOSER

The tube is empty… West immediately realizes the implication…

… and as he is thoughtfully replacing the tube we see him react alertly at the SOUND of a STEALTHY CREAK: he whirls…

82. ANOTHER ANGLE

… just in time to meet the head-long rush of Ziegler, the other Embassy guard, and THREE OTHER TOUGHS, who emerge from a large nearby closet in a rush; West leaps about the room, kicking, punching, battling furiously. Most of the sparse furniture is demolished… the rack of plans tips, the desk overturns, a chair splinters, etc. But now.. almost as suddenly as it began… it’s over. All four assailants lie unconscious on the floor. As West reaches to retrieve his hat, he notices something wedged beneath a shattered drawer.

83. CLOSER

West leans toward the drawer and picks up a cracked glass photographic plate.

84. INT. WEST’S RAILROAD CAR – THE DESK – NIGHT

We see Artemus holding the photographic plate found in Quincy’s office; he looks up from plate to West, doctoring a couple of minor skin abrasions.

ARTEMUS
… and you left all four of them in Quincy’s office, sleeping it off, eh?

WEST
(wryly)
They were all Embassy security men—when they come to they can always report they were attacked by sixteen U.S. Marines.
(indicating photo)
What do you think of that?

84A. CLOSE – ON PHOTO

We see a group of foreign-looking laborers posed stiffly before a wall. Above, scrawled in white ink, is a date… May 6, 1871. ANGLE WIDENS to include the faces of West and Artemus.

ARTEMUS
These are the boys who did the job all right. Look at the date. It must’ve been taken the day they finished.

West picks up a magnifying glass, squints intently.

WEST
I thought Mrs. Quincy said they were all imported buy Hinterstoisser…

Artemus leans closer.

85. THEIR POV – THROUGH MAGNIFYING GLASS

The face and aproned torso of a giant Negro.

ARTEMUS’ VOICE
I guess she was wrong.

86. BACK TO SCENE

as West and Artemus continue to peer through the glass.

WEST
Five’ll get you ten he’s a stonemason. See… in his belt… that’s a trowel.

ARTEMUS
(straightening unenthusiastically)
Yeah… now all we have to do is find him…

CUT TO:

87. EXT. WATERFRONT AREA – NIGHT (STOCK)

Fog drifts from the Potomac. HORNS and SHIP BELLS SOUND in the harbor.

88. EXT. WATERFRONT STREET

West and Artemus appear, hurrying along.

89. MOVING SHOT – WEST AND ARTEMUS

FOOTSTEPS… following from the rear. They stop. The FOOTSTEPS stop.

90. ANOTHER ANGLE

West and Artemus duck into an alley.

91. ALLEY

West and Artemus spring to the opposite end, disappear.

92. MOUTH OF ALLEY

FOOTSTEPS again… hurrying in pursuit. Two men round into view… the embassy guards Hess and Ziegler.

93. END OF ALLEY

A swaying figure materializes in the fog. Artemus… whiskers, eye patch, striped T-shirt… impersonating a drunken British sailor. He staggers forward, collides with Hess and Ziegler.

ARTEMUS
(cockney)
‘Scuse me, mates… I didn’t see you comin’. This ‘ere bloody fog’s enough to kill us all.

Hess tries to shove him aside. Artemus grabs his lapels.

ARTEMUS (CONT'D)
Please, captain…. I’d be obliged if you’d spare me a moment of your precious time…

HESS
Not now!

ARTEMUS
You see, I’m stranded on foreign soil… without a quid in me pocket, or a friend to lend me a helping hand…
(struggling to hang on)
I’m only askin’ for a hot meal to sustain me! And a bed to rest these weary bones!

Hess swings furiously at Artemus with the back of his gloved hand – and miraculously, Artemus manages to evade the blow.

HESS
(swinging again)
Swine!

Artemus ducks again, bringing Hess’s fury to a boil – then Hess breaks off and races after West…

94. MOVING SHOT – HESS AND ZIEGLER

As they rush to the end of the alley… now stop in frustration.

95. THEIR POV – AHEAD

Fog swirls about an empty street. West is nowhere in sight.

96. EXT. WATERFRONT APARTMENT – NIGHT

PIANO MUSIC and ASSORTED NIGHT SOUNDS. West approaches, ascends the outside stairway, pauses before the door of an apartment.

97. CLOSER ANGLE

West KNOCKS. No answer. He tries the door… finds it open… ENTERS.

98. INT. WATERFRONT APARTMENT

West trying to orient himself in the total darkness. Suddenly, like a panther, a huge Negro, DICK JANUARY springs from behind the door. He shoves the muzzle of a pistol in his back.

JANUARY
Move, and you die!

West ignores the warning—spins—ducks, then comes up with his own derringer; a beat as January and West stare at each other, then, by unspoken agreement, both lower their guns.

WEST
(a statement, not a question)
You’re Dick January…

JANUARY
You don’t say; who the devil are you?

WEST
I’m St. Nicholas—the Boogie Man—or I’m a Secret Service Agent; take your pick.

January’s eyes travel the length of West—he spits, then:

JANUARY
So you’re a Secret Service Agent; is that supposed to impress me?

WEST
I don’t care it impresses you or not; I’ll settle for a small conversation.

JANUARY
Make it real small, secret service agent—then get out.

West hands January the photographic plate. January studies it, his lips tightening.

WEST
You take a nice photo, Mr. January.

JANUARY
(harshly)
You’re confusing me with another guy who likes to mind his own business.

West squints thoughtfully at January, then he sighs resignedly:

WEST
I see; they must have done a first class job on you.

JANUARY
What are you talkin’ about?

WEST
They gave you a working over, didn’t they?

JANUAY
(tautly)
Get out!

WEST
And told you there was more where that came from, if you did an unforgiveable thing like—talking freely; right?

January crouches, his muscles tensed for a spring at West.

JANUARY
Mister, I said get out!

West turns his back to January and saunters to the door during the following.

WEST
Keep a night light burning and the boogie-man won’t get you.

January springs forward and slams the door shut that West has started to open.

JANUARY
You got the idea I’m scared?

WEST
I don't know; are you?

JANUARY
Mister, I’ll let you in on a little secret—I got me a very special program; know what it is?

WEST
Tell me.

JANUARY
It’s to stay alive, see? It’s not to get myself killed over something that don’t put a penny in my pocket or add up to a row of beans in my sweet life!

WEST
Very interesting.

He reaches out to open the door—but January keeps a huge hand against it; then:

JANUARY
Here’s another interesting item; yeah, they gave me a working over, all right; came close to killing me.

West nods, listens silently; a beat, then:

JANUARY (CONT'D)
(bursting out with)
But I’m tired of living with a knot in the pit of my stomach, see?
(a beat; slow)
Mr. Quincy was murdered—I suppose you know that.

WEST
I kinda figured that, yeah.

JANUARY
He was scared too—all the time he was at the embassy. He must’ve known it was coming…

WEST
Why were you hired? All the rest of the workers were foreign.

JANUARY
The had a stonemason—one of their own. He was killed in a fall. Mr. Quincy came to me and asked if I wanted to make some quick money. When I said, sure—that’s when he warned me; whatever you do, he said, keep your eyes to yourself and don’t ask any questions.

WEST
Can you draw a sketch of the work you did?

99. JANUARY – CLOSE

Shaking his head dubiously.

JANUARY
Wouldn’t help you none; by the time I got there, just about all the work was finished, except for a big old dumbwaiter I worked on.

99A. CLOSE SHOT – WEST

reacting with growing excitement to what January has said—

FLIP TO:

100. INT. WEST’S RAILROAD CAR – NIGHT

CAMERA HOLDING West as he stands staring at the blackboard… a diagram of the embassy… the laboratory, library, and study, during which

ANGLE WIDENS to show Artemus busily stuffing equipment into a knapsack.

ARTEMUS
(excitedly)
Well, well, well! He just worked on a little old dumbwaiter!

West draws a square on the blackboard, labels it KITCHEN. Now he sketches a shaft descending into a large square beneath the study.

WEST
From the kitchen to the basement. They told him it was for lowering garbage…

ARTEMUS
… neglecting to point out that you don’t lower garbage to the basement—you take it out the back door!

WEST
So we can thank Mr. January for a very valuable piece of information.

101. CLOSE SHOT – JANUARY

eyes closed—sleeping; a CREAK, and his eyes suddenly fly open, as if he had mastered the knack of never sleeping too soundly…

101A. INT. JANUARY’S ROOM – NIGHT

… and now we see that January is sprawled on the bed, fully dressed—staring off…

101B. ANOTHER ANGLE – AT DOOR

--where we see the door swinging open, to disclose a gunsel holding a gun on January; then, from behind, Ziegler comes into the room, followed, last of all, by Hess, who slowly takes out a glove and slips it on his right hand during the following:

HESS
Well, Mr. January, you had a visitor, didn’t you? And you and he had a nice, long conversation…

January remains frozen… doesn’t move or speak. Hess and Ziegler move toward January…

102. INT. WEST’S RAILROAD CAR – NIGHT

West stands by, watching Artemus release a lever. Two cardboard cut-outs begin to move back and forth across the desk.

102A. ANOTHER ANGLE – AT FIREPLACE

as West and Artemus come up, take a last look around, then West lingers long enough to set a timer—a sand clock, attached to a metal bracket; then Artemus presses the button, the fireplace swings out…

… and both EXIT through the opening.

103. EXT. NEARBY CLUMP OF BUSHES

The foliage parts, revealing the faces of Hess and Ziegler.

104. POV – TRAIN – NIGHT (STOCK)

105. HESS AND ZIEGLER

Peering through the bushes.

106. CLOSER – THEIR POV – RAILROAD CAR WINDOW

Silhouettes of figures move back and forth on the shades.

107. BACK TO SCENE

Ziegler glances at HESS.

ZIEGLER
(sotto)
What now, Major?

HESS
(sotto)
Nothing; as long as they’re in there, everything is fine.

108. EXT. REAR OF EMBASSY – NIGHT

CLOSE SHOT – A COUPLE OF EMBASSY GUARDS—patrolling, with rifles—very much on the alert; CAMERA ANGLES…

109. ANOTHER ANGLE

… to show West and Artemus—West in coveralls, Artemus with an overcoat draped around him, moving along cautiously; reaching a corner, they halt, eyeing the unaware guards.

110. BACK TO SCENE

Artemus reaches into the knapsack, removes a “popper” … a spring-loaded metal tube. He aims the popper toward the embassy and releases a catch. A steel ball catapults into the darkness.

111. EMBASSY ROOF

The ball hits, bounces, now rolls NOISILY down the tiles.

112. THE GATE GUARDS

startled by the NOISE.

113. RAIN BARREL

The steel ball PLOPS in and sinks OUT OF SIGHT.

114. THE GUARDS

sprinting toward the NOISE.

115. WEST AND ARTEMUS

rushing toward a shadowy section of the wall.

116. THE GUARDS

pause to listen… now split up and search in opposite directions.

117. WEST AND ARTEMUS

They help each other over the wall.

118. FIRST GUARD

searching near the rain barrel.

119. WEST

The two men crouch in the darkness and listen. They react to:

120. POV – GAZEBO

A latticed structure quite near to the embassy’s kitchen entrance.

121. WEST AND ARTEMUS

rise, creep to the gazebo, ENTER.

122. INT. GAZEBO

West and Artemus quickly remove their overcoats. Artemus is wearing a spotless white chef’s uniform… West, tight-fitting coveralls.

WEST
(peering through the latticework)

Artemus hurries back out into the night. West shoulders the knapsack and crouches in the shadows.

123. EXT. REAR OF EMBASSY KITCHEN

Artemus walks to the kitchen door, positions a cylindrical chef’s cap, takes a deep breath, ENTERS boldly.

124. INT. EMBASSY KITCHEN

Artemus in doorway, glancing about.

125. HIS POV – KTICHEN

completely deserted.

126. BACK TO SCENE

Artemus exhales relief. Crosses quickly to a dumbwaiter containing two garbage cans. Starts to remove the first. FOOTSTEPS RESOUND in a nearby corridor.

127. HIS POV – INTERIOR DOOR

A hinge SQUEALS… the door beings to open… the gleaming blade of a knife thrusts forward into the kitchen.

FADE OUT:

END OF ACT TWO

James: Thanks, Artie.
Artemus: "Thanks Artie"! Is that all you can say to me? I've just come back from the grave, risen like Lazarus, and that's what you say? "Thanks, Artie"?
James: Thanks, Artie.
Artemus: It's a pleasure.
- TNOT Pistoleros
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California gal
SS senior field agent

USA
8378 Posts

Posted - 11/15/2009 :  09:42:33  Show Profile
ACT THREE

FADE IN:

128. INT KITCHEN – NIGHT

The door swings wide. HILDA MYERS, a plump, middle-aged cook, stops in the threshold. Her right hand is clutching a butcher knife.

HILDA
Who are you?

129. WIDER ANGLE

Artemus smiles and bows. As Hilda continues to look him over, puzzled.

ARTEMUS
I’m the new night chef; weren’t you notified?

Hilda studies him suspiciously, now crosses and deposits the knife in a drawer.

HILDA
No one ever tells me anything –
(a beat)
Well, don’t stand there like a statue. Count Hackmar is due at any moment.

ARTEMUS
So I was told.

HILDA
Rice imperatrice is his favorite dessert.
(disdainfully)
I can only hope you know how to make it…

ARTEMUS
Madame, rice imperatrice happens to be one of my specialties.
(pondering professionally)
Let’s see… I’ll need sugar, eggs, milk, heavy cream, currant jelly, and Kirschwasser; first, the Kirschwasser.

HILDA
You’ll find it in the wine cellar.

ARTEMUS
(stealing a glance toward the dumbwaiter)
I was hoping you’d be kind enough to get it for me.

HILDA
(flaring)
Supervisors don’t run errands for Night Chefs!

ARTEMUS
(staring intently)
Say that again…

HILDA
I said supervisors don’t –
(a beat)
Why should I say it again?

ARTEMUS
When you say “supervisors” you nose twitches adorably; did you know that?

HILD
(flattered; overwhelmed)
Really? I didn’t know…

ARTEMUS
And, to think… I resisted my transfer to America!

HILDA
(suddenly beaming)
I’ll tell you what, Hans. I’ll get the Kirschwasser. You start preparing the eggs.

She scurries toward the inner door.

ARTEMUS
Oh – and don’t forget the brandy?

HILDA
(puzzled)
Brandy? For rice imperatrice?

ARTEMUS
No – to toast the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

HILDA
(giggling)
You’re a devil, Hans. I can see that already…

She DISAPPEARS through the interior door. Artemus opens the rear door, motions frantically. Now, rushing to the dumbwaiter, he removes both garbage ans. West ENTERS on the run.

WEST
Trouble?

ARTEMUS
(shoving him aboard the dumbwaiter)
The things I do for my country!

He hops in beside West. Both men tug the lowering rope. The dumbwaiter lumbers slowly downward. The second it’s out of sight, Hilda returns with two bottles.

HILDA
(smiling coquettishly)
Hans, I was just thinking that we might –
(glancing about in bewilderment)
Hans?

CUT TO:

130. EXT. WEST’S RAILROAD CAR – NIGHT

The shadowy silhouettes are still moving back and forth across the shades.

131. HESS AND ZIEGLER

peering from behind the bushes… cold, tired, uncomfortable – but game.

132. INT. WEST’S RAILROAD CAR

The cardboard cutouts… the cause of the silhouettes… are traversing along their tracks on the desk. CAMERA PANS to the time clock. The final grains of sand filter to the bottom. Weight tips the instrument and depresses a lever. CAMERA PANS to an ancient phonograph. The tone arm descends lightly to a rotating sound drum. The VOICES of West and Artemus issue from a cone-shaped speaker.

WEST’S VOICE
I think our friends outside are expecting to hear us engaged in conversation.

ARTEMUS’ VOICE
Let me start the ball rolling; “Four score and ten years ago, our fathers brought forth…”

133. EXT. WEST’S RAILROAD CAR

Hess and Ziegler listening to the SOUNDS of MUFFLED VOICES, both now satisfied that West and Artemus are inside. Hess and Ziegler exchange solemn, satisfied nods.

134. INT. SUBTERRANEAN CHAMBER – NIGHT

The dumbwaiter lowers downward into VIEW.

135. LOW ANGLE

As the dumbwaiter bumps to a halt, the bottom depresses a rod into the floor.

136. INT. CONTROL ROOM

A cubicle beside the chamber. A ball rolls from a slot, CLANGS against a bell. A guard rises, stretches casually, now moves to a slit in the masonry wall.

137. HIS POV – THROUGH SLIT

West and Artemus disembarking from the dumbwaiter.

138. BACK TO SCENE

The guard registers shock.

139. INT. CHAMBER

West and Artemus stop short, stare down past their feet.

140. THEIR POV – THE GRINDER

A grotesque contrivance for human destruction. The floor of the chamber becomes a square stone funnel, angling down sharply to an opening of approximately four feet. Two wooden drums, bristling with gleaming razor-sharp blades, run side by side across the opening.

141. BACK TO SCENE

West and Artemus staring in disbelief.

142. INT. CONTROL ROOM

The guard reaches for a bank of colored levers… blue, yellow, green and red. He pulls the blue.

143. GRINDER

The drums rotate in opposite directions. The intermeshing blades whirl with terrific speed.

144. WEST AND ARTEMUS

turn, alarmed by the sight, ready for a retreat to the dumbwaiter.

145. INT. CONTROL ROOM

The guard pulls the yellow lever.

146. INT. CHAMBER

West spots the slit in the masonry.

WEST
(pointing)
There!

Before he or Artemus can react, a wall creeps forward past the dumbwaiter, sealing off escape.

147. INT. CONTROL ROOM

The guard grinning in anticipation.

148. INT. CHAMBER

West and Artemus throw their shoulders against the moving wall. Despite their most determined efforts, they’re forced back toward the edge of the funnel.

149. WEST

glances to his rear.

150. HIS POV – GRINDER

The WHINING, whirling blades.

151. BACK TO SCENE

West redoubles his efforts, strains against the wall with every ounce of strength. It does no good. A horrendous fate seems inevitable.

152. LOW ANGLE

Two pair of feet sliding toward the brink.

153. WIDER

West reaches desperately into his knapsack as he and Artemus are swept over the edge.

154. INT. CONTROL ROOM

Two MUFFLED SCREAMS shatter the silence. The guard lifts the yellow lever to its original position.

155. INT. CHAMBER

The moving wall recedes. A section of masonry pivots back. The guard hurries from the control room to inspect the results of his work.

156. REVERSE ANGLE – SHOOTING ACROSS PIT

West and Artemus are using chemical leeches to enable them to secure a hold on the wall. The guard turns.

157. INT. CHAMBER – GUARD

As he reacts, and in his surprise loses his balance. He clutches thin air, now plummets into the whirring death below, SCREAMING.

158. NEW ANGLE

West and Artemus stare at the grinder in horror.

WEST
So now we know what happened to those seven who disappeared.

ARTEMUS
Just think – we almost made it nine…

The SOUND of the whirling blades seems to increase as he and West continue to stare.

159. EXT. WEST’S RAILROAD CAR – NIGHT

Hess and Ziegler are still at their post, enduring the cold, watching the shadowy silhouettes, listening to the muffled voices…

… then, as they watch, we see Hess react, then point off, his eyes wide and staring; Ziegler follows suit, and we see his eyes widen too, as he stares off…

160. THEIR POV

a monstrous, winged creature, huge ominous in its antediluvian bulk, is perched on one of the two silhouetted figures, wings beating the air.

160A. BACK TO SCENE

Another stunned beat, then Hess rushes toward the door of the car, followed by Ziegler.

161. EXT. RAILROAD CAR

Hess and Ziegler leap forward, enraged at the deception. They scamper onto the platform of the car and try the door. It’s locked.

HESS
Stand back!

He aims his pistol and BLASTS the lock.

162. INT. RAILROAD CAR

as Hess and Ziegler bull their way in, then Hess points off.

163. THEIR POV

on one of the two cardboard figures, still moving around on the tracks, is a small moth, casting an enormous shadow.

164. BACK TO SCENE

Ziegler is gesturing.

ZIEGLER
Look, Major!

165. THEIR POV – PHONOGRAPH

WEST’S VOICE
Once more, Artie – with feeling this time.

ARTEMUS’ VOICE
Four score and ten years ago…

166. BACK TO SCENE

Hess, in a towering rage, rushes to the desk, bats the cutouts to the floor.

HESS
The swine! I’ll kill both of them1

167. PHONOGRAPH – CLOSE

-- and we see a string attached to one side, snap.

168. WIDER ANGLE

All hell breaks loose in the car… an ALARM SOUNDS, doors slam, bolts drop into place, panels descend over the windows. Hess and Ziegler glance about in panic. Hess rushes to a door, attempts to free the bolt.

HESS
Help me!

As Ziegler hurries to assist, thick yellow smoke jets from pipes in the walls. Within seconds, the room is engulfed. Hess and Ziegler cough, clutch their throats, and drop to the floor.

CUT TO:

169. INT. CONTROL ROOM

West and Artemus examining the bank of colored levers.

WEST
(indicating a lever)
Blue controls the blades.

He pulls it down. The WHINING of the blades can be heard through the open section of masonry. When he raises he lever, the SOUND stops.

WEST (CONT'D)
(touching a second lever)
Yellow makes the wall move.

ARTEMUS
The Baron has a real flare for colors.

WEST
(indicating the last two levers)
That leaves green and red.

He pulls the green lever. The second of masonry swivels shut, sealing them off from the chamber.

ARTEMUS
Very impressive.

West reaches for the red lever… the last on the panel.

ARTEMUS (CONT'D)
Did you ever stop to think that red might mean danger?

WEST
(pausing)
For instance?

ARTEMUS
Well… let us say red could signify fire. The fire of an explosion.

WEST
Who would they want to explode?

ARTEMUS
(matter-of-factly)
People who fool around with their levers.

WEST
You’re absolutely right, Artie.

A beat, then as one, West and Artemus depress the red lever boldly. A GRATING SOUND causes them to glance toward the wall.

170. THEIR POV – WALL

A concealed door slides open, revealing a passageway.

171. BACK TO SCENE

For West and Artemus… a significant discovery.

ARTEMUS
I take it all back. Red means, security chamber.

WEST
Trouble with us, Artie, we’re too inclined to be pessimists.

He hurried toward the opening, EXITS. Artemus follows.

172. INT. SUBTERRANEAN PASSAGEWAY

West and Artemus start cautiously along the passageway. As they approach a juncture… a corridor joining the passage way at a 45-degree angle… VOICES draw them to a halt.

173. THEIR POV – AROUND THE CORNER

On the opposite wall, twenty feet down the corridor, is the open door of a boiler room. Guards are lounging about… one directly on the threshold.

174. BACK TO SCENE

West and Artemus huddle for a whispered conference.

ARTEMUS
Doesn’t make sense. They wouldn’t put the embassy heating plant right in the middle of their security chamber.

WEST
Whatever it is, we have to get past.

CUT TO:

175. INT. EMBASSY HALL – NIGHT

Someone is POUNDING imperatively on the front door. Hinterstoisser… slippers and velvet robe… ENTERS SCENE, shouting irascibly as a BUTLER starts to swing open door.

HINTERSTOISSER
Where is everyone around here? Don’t we even have anyone to open the door?

The butler opens the door, disclosing…

176. HIS POV – PORCH

COUNT HACKMAR… fifty, cold, ascetic… is standing between two uniformed aides. A pile of luggage rests on the steps behind them.

177. BACK TO SCENE

A sycophantic grin spreads across Hinterstoisser’s face.

HINTERSTOISSER
Count Hackmar… welcome to the United States!

178. INT. PASSAGEWAY – NIGHT

West and Artemus waiting impatiently at the corner. A sudden burst of LAUGHTER causes them to peer out.

179. THEIR POV – BOILER ROOM

The guards are huddled in a corner, playing cards. The man near the door stretches and ambles toward his friends to join the fun.

180. BACK TO SCENE

West nods. Artemus follows him toward the far wall of the corridor.

181. MOVING SHOT

West and Artemus sliding along the corridor wall. VOICES and LAUGHTER grow louder as they proceed. West halts inches from the door.

182. CLOSER ANGLE

West peeks into the boiler room, rotates toward Artemus, nods. Artemus takes a deep breath and, with pounding heart, glides past the door. He and West glance at each other from opposite sides, wait, listen.

183. WEST – CLOSE

After a moment, he ventures a second look through the door.

184. HIS POV – BOILER ROOM

The guards are grouped around a table, totally engrossed in their game.

185. BACK TO SCENE

CAMERA TRUCKS with West as he eases past the door. He and Artemus hurry way and round a corner.

186. INT. WEST’S RAILROAD CAR – DAWN

Hess and Ziegler sprawled on the floor near the door. The yellow smoke has evaporated. After a moment, Hess stirs, gets to hands and knees, crawls to the shattered phonograph.

187. HIS POV – PHONOGRAPH

The string that was attached to one side runs into a tiny hole in the wall.

188. BACK TO SCENE

Hess yanks the string sharply.

189. WIDER ANGLE

The ANGLE stops, the window panels recede, the bolts slide from the doors. Hess rises, prods Ziegler with his toe.

HESS
Ziegler?

Ziegler opens his eyes, groans, sits up.

HESS (CONT'D)
Baron Hinterstoisser must be warned!

CAMERA MOVES IN on the wild-eyed expressions of Hess and Ziegler, as we

FREEZE FRAME:

END OF ACT THREE

James: Thanks, Artie.
Artemus: "Thanks Artie"! Is that all you can say to me? I've just come back from the grave, risen like Lazarus, and that's what you say? "Thanks, Artie"?
James: Thanks, Artie.
Artemus: It's a pleasure.
- TNOT Pistoleros
Go to Top of Page

California gal
SS senior field agent

USA
8378 Posts

Posted - 11/15/2009 :  09:43:37  Show Profile

ACT FOUR

FADE IN:

100. INT. GRANT’S OFFICE – DAY

Grant seated at his desk, drumming his fingers nervously. A young AIDE ENTERS.

AIDE
Mr. President, it’s time to dress for the reception.

GRANT
(eagerly)
And word from the boys?

AIDE
No, sir… none.

Grant sighs, rises slowly, EXITS with the aide.

CUT TO:

191. INT EMBASSY STUDY – DAY

A fire crackles in the hearth, giving the room a feeling of warmth and security. Count Hackmar is slouched wearily in an armchair. The Great Danes are napping near his feet. Hinterstoisser approaches carrying two snifters of brandy.

HINTERSTOISSER
(handing one to Hackmar)
This should warm your blood.

HACKMAR
I don’t like journeys, Hinterstoisser. Your reception had better be worth three thousand miles of travel.

HINTERSTOISSER
It will… I’d stake my life on it…
(raising his glass)
To your health, Excellency. And to the long awaited expansion of our sovereign nation.

He downs his brandy dramatically. Hackmar sips his perfunctorily, continues to hold Hinterstoisser with his eyes. Near his feet, one of the Great Danes wakes from its nap.

192. GREAT DANE

The nostrils widen, the eyes swing to the far wall, a low GROWL rumbles in the throat.

193. HIS POV – WALL

The door of Hinterstoisser’s elevator.

CUT TO:

194. INT. SUBTERRANEAN CORRIDOR – DAY

West and Artemus at the foot of the elevator, examining its construction.

ARTEMUS
So much for the elevator. Now all we need is the metal box…

They press on quickly. A few yards ahead, sunlight filters from an airshaft in the ceiling. West taps Artemus's shoulder.

195. THEIR POV – END OF CORRIDOR

The gleaming arm of a strange mechanical device runs from wall to wall.

196. BACK TO SCENE

West and Artemus sprint forward. The arm of a piston projects from the right wall. The end is welded to a steel plate, pressed against the left wall. The plate covers an opening which serves as a safe. Steam HISSES from the spot where the piston bushing penetrates the masonry.

ARTEMUS
(fascinated)
Incredible! Absolutely fantastic!

WEST
It’s the safe, isn’t it?

ARTEMUS
Sure… under here… It’s held closed by this…

He touched the piston arm… which turns out to be red hot.

ARTEMUS (CONT'D)
(shaking his stinging fingers)
Tons of steam pressure…

WEST
That explains the boilers.

Artemus shakes his head gravely as he examines the metal plate.

ARTEMUS
We’ve got problems, Jim. I doubt if we could pry it open with an elephant.

WEST
It all seems pretty basic to me. No steam… no pressure.

Artemus pivots, obviously jarred by the implication of West’s statement.

CUT TO:

197. INT. EMBASSY STUDY – DAY

A light, respectful KNOCKING.

HINTERSTOISSER’S VOICE
Come in.

Door opens. Gruber pauses on the threshold.

GRUBER
You sent for me, Excellency?

198. WIDER ANGLE

Hinterstoisser and Hackmar rise from their chairs by the fire.

HINTERSTOISSER
Gruber, take Count Hackmar to his room. He wishes to change for the reception.

GRUBER
Yes, Excellency.

Hackmar starts out, now pauses.

HACKMAR
Oh, by the way, Hinterstoisser, I’ve been instructed to tell you that if things turn out as well as anticipated, you can expect a significant promotion.
(beat)
That comes straight from the Emperor himself.

He turns, follows Gruber OUT. CAMERA MOVES toward Hinterstoisser to catch his moment of glory.

CUT TO:

199. INT. SUBTERRANEAN CORRIDOR – DAY

West inching toward the boiler room. The VOICES and LAUGHTER of the guards drift from inside. West halts, peers through the door… now charges in recklessly.

200. INT. BOILER ROOM

The guards drop their cards in shock. West becomes a windmill of kicks and punches. He attacks, karate style, pivoting, shuffling, gliding from opponent to opponent. One by one, they fall… and now, in a matter of seconds, it’s over. Four guards like sprawled on the floor.

201. WEST – CLOSE

Rushes to a control panel, pulls a throttle labeled: PRESSURE RELEASE. The needle of a steam gauge drops to zero.

202. INT. END OF CORRIDOR

Artemus watches the steel plate inch away from the wall.

203. INT. BOILER ROOM – DAY

West releases the throttle as if to leave. A hidden spring snaps it back to its original position. The needle begins to climb again.

204. INT. END OF CORRIDOR

The steel plate crashes back against the wall.

205. INT. BOILER ROOM – DAY

West pulls the throttle again, realizes with dismay that he’ll have to hold it until Artemus finishes his job.

206. INT. END OF CORRIDOR – DAY

Artemus kneels, removes a hunk of clay from the knapsack.

207. HIS POV – SECURITY SAFE

The arm of the piston recedes slowly, drawing back the steel plate to reveal a recess, much like a cylinder sleeve which receives the piston. In the center of the receiving end is a hole, in which are stacks of embassy records and the metal box.

208. BACK TO SCENE

The steel plate has withdrawn to the opposite wall. Artemus positions himself in front of the hole, bends forward, presses the clay against the wax seal on the lid of the box.

209. CLOSER

Artemus removes the clay and examines a perfect impression of the embassy seal.

210. INT. BOILER ROOM

West holding the handle of the steam release. Behind him, one of the guards begins to stir.

CUT TO:

211. EXT. WASHINGTON STREET – DAY

Hess and Ziegler running as fast as their legs will carry them. They tear past CAMERA, round a corner, DISAPPEAR from sight.

CUT TO:

212. INT. END OF CORRIDTOR – DAY

Artemus delicately inserts a knife blade behind the wax seal and pries it from the lid of the box. Laying the seal aside, he opens the box and removes the book, substituted by West to compensate for the weight of the film cartridge.

213. INT. BOILER ROOM

The guard rises cautiously, attacks West from the rear. West retaliates, momentarily losing his grip on the throttle.

214. INT. END OF CORRIDOR

A HISSING causes Artemus to turn in alarm. The steel plate starts forward… now, halts and recedes again.

215. INT. BOILER ROOM

West has managed to grab the throttle again. A second guard regains consciousness and joins the fight.

CUT TO:

216. INT. CARRIAGE – DAY

Grant, riding to the reception. His face is drawn and grave.

CUT TO:

217. INT. END OF CORRIDOR – DAY

Artemus fishes in the knapsack, removes the bulky velvet bag, places it in the metal box, closes the lid.

218. INT. BOILER ROOM

West clinging to the throttle, defending himself mainly with his feet.

219. INT. END OF CORRIDOR

Artemus positions a lighted candle against the floor. Now, removing a tiny iron ladle from the knapsack, he holds it just above the flame and inserts the wax seal.

220. LADLE – CLOSE

as the wax begins to melt.

221. WIDER ANGLE

The piston HISSES again. Artemus glances over his shoulder nervously. The steel plate jumps forward… now, back again. Artemus returns to his work. Tips the ladle, pours the melted wax into the clay impression. Now, pivots quickly, slaps the clay against the lid of the box.

CUT TO:

222. INT. EMBASSY STUDY – DAY

The door opens. Hinterstoisser ENTERS, checks his watch, crosses to the elevator, pushes one of the buttons.

223. INT. SUBTERRANEAN CHAMBER

A bell is RINGING above the door of the elevator.

224. INT. END OF CORRIDOR

Artemus holding the clay against the box, reacting in alarm to the bell.

225. INT. BOILER ROOM

The BELL continues. West battles the two guards desperately.

226. LOW ANGLE

A guard is jolted into consciousness by the RINGING.

227. WIDER ANGLE

The guard eases up behind West and slams him with an elbow. West staggers back, releasing the handle.

228. CONTROL PANEL

The valve snaps open. The needle of the pressure gauge rises quickly. CAMERA PANS away… to West and the guards as they scuffle.

229. INT. END OF CORRIDOR

Artie carefully removing the clay from the lid of the box. A perfect representation of the embassy seal is wedged in the seam. As Artie regards it with satisfaction, steam HISSES for the third time.

230. HIS POV – PISTON FACE

rocketing toward him with devastating force.

231. BACK TO SCENE

Artemus scoops the metal box from the shelf and dives. The piston crashes against the wall inches above his head.

232. INT. BOILER ROOM

West forgets the valve, directing his total efforts against the guards. He destroys them, one by one, now dashes out the door.

233. INT. STUDY

Hinterstoisser pressing the elevator button impatiently.

234. INT. END OF CORRIDOR

Artemus pinned against the door, the back of his chef’s jacket wedged beneath the … [text missing]… arrives, begins tearing the material.

ARTEMUS
(listening to the BELL)
Jim, we’ll never make it together—go on alone!

A final savage tug frees Artemus. West helps him to his feet, grabs the metal box, springs away down the corridor. Artemus shoulders the knapsack and follows.

235. INT. CORRIDOR

as West and Artemus arrive at the foot of the elevator. West shoves the box aboard. Artemus turns the operating wheel furiously.

WEST
(checking his watch)
The reception starts in seven minutes. We’ve gotta get there with Grant.

ARTEMUS
We can’t go through the kitchen. We don’t have time.

236. INT. STUDY

The elevator ascends into sight. Hinterstoisser removes the box, examines the seal, now leaves the room.

237. INT. CORRIDOR

West and Artemus dash to the airshaft. West removes a dart pistol from the knapsack and FIRES it up into the shaft. A coil of thin line, attached to the dart, unravels and snakes upward out of sight.

238. THE LINE

Continues to uncoil… now, stops and goes slack. The dart, apparently, has embedded above the airshaft.

239. WIDER ANGLE

West tests the line, now, hand over hand, begins to climb toward the shaft. As he reaches the ceiling, the line snaps, sending him tumbling back to the floor.

WEST
(staring up)
The crossbeam up there is rotten—it’ll never hold our weight!

240. INT. CARRIAGE – DAY

Grant checks the dial of his watch and grimaces.

241. INT. CORRIDOR – DAY

Artemus removes a small explosive charge from the knapsack, positions it directly beneath the air shaft. West drags a piece of heavy steel pipe from a nearby pile of scrap material, places it over the charge. He sprints back to the pile, now returns with a board just slightly larger than the opening of the pipe.

242. CLOSER

As West sets the board on top of the pipe. Artemus tosses him a coil of rope.

243. WIDER AGAIN

West hooks the rope to his belt, hops up onto the board. Artemus lights the fuse of the explosive, steps back.

ARTEMUS
All yours, Jim!

FIZZ… CRASH… the corridor fills with smoke. West, driven by the board, rockets into the airshaft.

244. INT. GAZEBO

Flower pots CRASH to the floor as West shoots out of the end of the airshaft. He just manages to grab a beam that supports the roof, preventing himself from falling back into the shaft. Leaping to the floor, he unhooks the coil of rope, begins feeding it into the shaft.

245. INT. EMBASSAY GATE

A carriage arrives. Two guards snap to attention as Grant dismounts.

246. INT. GAZEBO

West pulling madly on the rope. Artemus’ head appears above the airshaft.

247. EXT. STREET NEAR EMBASSY

Hess and Ziegler come INTO VIEW, panting and puffing. As they pass an alley, two massive hands appear and snare their collars, drag them OUT OF SIGHT. THUDS… GROANS… CRASHING garbage cans… the terrible SOUND OF BATTLE… now, complete SILENCE. After a moment, Dick January emerges from the alley dusting his palms, and walks nonchalantly away.

248. EXT. EMBASSY GATE

The guards salute Grant, who prepares himself for the worst and starts for the porch.

249. INT. GAZEBO

Artemus rips off his chef’s uniform. West removes his coveralls. Both are dressed in formal attire. Straightening their ties, they hurry out the door.

250. EXT. EMBASSY FRONT ENTRANCE

CAMERA TRUCKS West and Artemus through some bushes. They step out into the drive, fall in beside Grant as the door swings open. Without a word, they accompany him into the embassy.

251. INT. EMBASSY ENTRANCE

as Grant, West, and Artemus ENTER. Hinterstoisser approaches with a warm smile.

HINTERSTOISSER
Well, gentlemen… I was just about to give you up.

DISSOLVE TO:

252. INT. EMBASSY BALLROOM – DAY

Diplomats and ambassadors, seated in rows of chairs, facing a blank wall. Grant, West, and Artemus are near the front. Hinterstoisser and Hackmar are standing off to one side.

253. WEST – CLOSE

as he leans toward a diplomat wearing a turban.

WEST
(a stage whisper)
What’s this all about? Do you know?

The diplomat shrugs.

254. FRONT OF ROOM

Hinterstoisser ushers Hackmar to a seat, bends toward him with a confident smile.

HINTERSTOISSER
You and I are about to change the course of history…

He turns dramatically, moves to the front of his guests. The room stills.

HINTERSTOISSER
Gentlemen, as you know, my country has maintained diplomatic relations with the United States for over thirty years. This has not been altogether easy. On more than one occasion, our patience has been stretched to the limits of endurance. Only maturity and great understanding has kept us from severing all ties.
(beat)
Last week, however, the United States passed the point of no return. Their own president… General Ulysses S. Grant… committed a deed of such shocking magnitude that we can no longer forgive, we can no longer tolerate, we can no longer endure!

255. WIDER ANGLE

The diplomats BUZZ excitedly. All eyes swing to Grant.

256. HINTERSTOISSER AGAIN

waiting for silence.

HINTERSTOISSER
Fortunately, our agents were able to catch General Grant in the act. And due to the revolutionary advances of our scientists and technicians, we were able to capture his unforgiveable deed, and record it for the archives of history.
(signaling)
I show it to you now.

He steps back quickly. The lights dim.

257. OPPOSITE WALL

A movie unfolds. It starts the same way as the one WE SAW before… .”GRANT’S ENTRY… AND THE ARRIVAL OF SUMI ITO…

258. THE DIPLOMATS

MURMURING at the sight of Igo.

259. THE MOVIE

“GRANT” SHAKES HANDS WITH IGO.

260. THE DIPLOMATS

Their MURMURING increases

261. HINTERSTOISSER

elated by the reaction.

262. THE MOVIE

IGO REMOVES A DOCUMENT FROM HIS COAT. A CLOSE-UP REVEALS, “DEFENSE PACT.”

HINTERSTOISSER’S VOICE
For those of you who cannot read English… the document Mr. Igo is holding is a defense pact.

263. PANNING SHOT – DIPLOMATS

Total shock. Several bend toward each other in urgent whispered conversation.

264. COUNT HACKMAR

pleased despite his cold façade.

265. GRANT, WEST, AND ARTEMUS

watching expressionlessly.

266. THE MOVIE

“GRANT” EXAMINES THE DOCUMENT AND NODS HIS HEAD. But now, strange things begin to happen… as “GRANT” SITS AT HIS DESK, A SECTION OF HIS BEARD PARTS FROM HIS CHEEK.

267. HINTERSTOISSERS

leans forward, unable to believe his eyes.

268. THE DIPLOMATS

All MURMURING stops.

269. THE MOVIE

“GRANT”… Artemus in disguise… READJUSTS HIS BEARD AND PICKS UP A PEN TO SIGN THE DOCUMENT. THE BEARD PARTS AGAIN… THIS TIME FROM CHEEK TO CHIN.

270. THE DIPLOMATS

Smiling, SNIGGERING… as if they suddenly realize they’re being subjected to a marvelous practical joke.

271. HINTERSTOISSER

rotates angrily.

272. HIS POV – REAR WALL

The projector light beaming from a small square opening.

273. BACK TO SCENE

Hinterstoisser turns to Hackmar in panic.

HINTERSTOISSER
Something is wrong!

274. THE MOVIE

AS “GRANT” SIGNS THE DOCUMENT, HIS BEARD FALLS TO THE TABLE. HE RETRIEVES IT FRANTICALLY, POSITIONS IT AT A RIDICULOUS ANGLE.

275. THE DIPLOMATS

roaring with LAUGHTER.

276. THE MOVIE

AS “GRANT” RISES FROM THE TABLE, HIS TROUSERS FALL TO THE FLOOR. WITH CHAPLINESQUE EMBARRASSMENT, HE TAKES THEM BACK UP TO HIS WAIST.

277. THE DIPLOMATS

BELLOWING… wiping away tears of laughter… rocking in their seats.

278. HINTERSTOISSER

leaps to his feet, shouting maniacally.

HINTERSTOISSER
Stop! Stop it at once!

His voice is almost completely lost in the LAUGHTER. Totally frustrated, he looks down toward the seat beside him.

HACKMAR
(through his teeth)
Don’t bother; you’ve gone this far, let them see the rest of your little comedy!

279. HIS POV – HACKMAR

The face turns slowly… the eyes swing upward… the expression conveys death.

DISSOLVE TO:

280. INT. BALLROOM – DAY

Last of the diplomats are exiting swiftly. Hinterstoisser stands along beside Hackmar. Grant, West, and Artemus approach.

GRANT
Baron, I’d like to congratulate you on a piece of marvelously funny entertainment. I’m only sorry the members of my cabinet weren’t here to see it.

He turns with a mocking bow. West and Artemus follow him out.

HACKMAR
(a death warrant)
You have provided the world with some very charming amusement. Perhaps I can do the same for you when we return to the homeland…

Hinterstoisser gulps, nods, and with bowed head, starts away. CAMERA HOLDS the implacable features of Count Hackmar.

FADE OUT.

END OF ACT FOUR

James: Thanks, Artie.
Artemus: "Thanks Artie"! Is that all you can say to me? I've just come back from the grave, risen like Lazarus, and that's what you say? "Thanks, Artie"?
James: Thanks, Artie.
Artemus: It's a pleasure.
- TNOT Pistoleros
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