BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

 

"The Beast Within"

 

 

by

 

 

Andrew Laskos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOUSE DRAFT

 

 

July 17, 1987


BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

"The Beast within"

 

ACT ONE

FADE IN:

INT. D.A.'S OFFICE - OUTER - DAY

Through the morning swirl, we PICK UP CATHY pouring herself coffee from the machine, sipping its bitter brew. She carries her cup and an armload of files to her cubicle, passing JOE coming out of the D.A.'s office.

 

CATHY

What's going on in there?

 

JOE

Looks serious. Marino says

to stick around until they're

done.

 

CATHY

Why do I get the feeling I

better cancel lunch with my

father?

 

JOE

Be happy to make it up to you

with dinner... ?

 

CATHY

Sounds wonderful.

 

JOE

(stunned)

You're kidding?

 

CATHY

(playful)

I'm sure dad would love to

have dinner with you sometime.

 

Joe gives her one of his looks... as EDIE passes with a newspaper.

 

EDIE

Hey, Cathy, congratulations. "That

Catlady Reinstated" case? A real

gumshoe masterpiece.

 

JOE

See how good we are

to you, Radcliffe?

You get the headline cases.

 

Behind them, the D.A.'s door opens. MARINO shakes hands with a delegation of weary-looking tough men in dark suits -- officials of a waterfront local.

 

EDIE

Damn right. No corporation

has the right to fire an employee

just because she feeds stray

cats in their parking lot.

 

CATHY

(laughs)

One small case for Cathy Chandler...

 

Edie spots Marino heading their way with a dour expression.

 

EDIE

-- One giant meow for the Rum Tum Tugger.

 

Edie makes her escape as:

 

MARINO

Looks like you're going to be

spending a few days in the port

of New York, Chandler.

 

CATHY

Anything to get off cat patrol.

What's up?

 

MARINO

The mob's trying to get back into

one of the longshoreman's locals.

(gestures after his visitors)

Those union guys are scared stiff.

It isn't just any mob. It's Mitch

Denton's.

 

JOE

Denton? Didn't you put him away

five years ago?

 

MARINO

(nods)

Extortion and violence. He beat

the murder rap.

 

CATHY

And now he's out?

Marino hands Cathy a bulging folder.

 

MARINO

The Waterfront Commission files.

Read 'em and weep. Then call De

Corsia at the union. He'll take

you down to the docks. See if

you can't get a few leads

on what Denton's up to.

 

CATHY

Wait a sec. The guy Denton was

supposed to have beaten to death

with his own hands five years ago...

wasn't he a federal investigator

doing the same thing?

 

MARINO

(grim smile)

Better than the Rum Tum

Tugger, huh?

 

On Cathy's apprehensive reaction:

 

EXT. THE PORT OF NEW YORK - ESTABLISHING - DAY

 

The energy of the waterfront. The rumble of trucks and trains and forklifts, the clatter of cargo, the grumble of tugs, the counterpoint of ships' whistles. Giant cranes heave containers, some as large as boxcars, loaded and sealed in faraway lands, from the decks of ships to the backs of 18-wheelers. Hundreds of longshoremen. There's a movement and force to the waterfront as awesome as the sea itself.

 

EXT. PIER DAY

 

We PAN from the open hatch of a cargo ship as the crane lifts a giant turbine generator... to a car pulling up on the dock.

 

MITCH DENTON

 

gets out of the car. Recently released from prison, his face is worn and lined, but he's charismatic, good-looking in a cruel way, a man given to sudden volcanic violences that come and go in a breath, often replaced by a sardonic laugh. He has a need to dominate that is truly dangerous.

A muscular hiring boss, NAT, comes over.

 

NAT

Six hundred and twenty-three guys

at five bucks a head. Not a bad

slice from these piers.

 

DENTON

(unimpressed)

It's a start. Any trouble?

 

NAT

(a shrug)

You've been off the docks a few years.

Everybody don't know

you're back. Some of the

importers figure --

 

DENTON

Tell them I'm doing the figuring

from now on. Next time I'll pull

a walkout. See how they like

their Nip cars sitting on the

docks for a month.

 

NAT

Don't worry about it --

 

DENTON

I'm not worried.

(beat)

What about Fraser?

 

NAT

He's working in the hatch. I hear

he hasn't changed his mind about

talking to the union.

 

DENTON

(a smile)

Hasn't he...?

 

Nat understands, nods... turns back to the ship and jumps down on the deck.

 

INT. FREIGHTER HATCH - DAY

 

Longshoremen are unloading another generator. CHARLIE FRASER steps away as the empty pallet descends. He's tough, good, natured, something of a leader among the men.

 

ON DECK

 

Nat catches the eye of the crane operator high above.

 

CRANE OPERATOR

 

as a wordless message passes between them.

 

EXT. PIER - DAY

 

Cathy approaches the ship with union official DE CORSIA, a beefy no-nonsense longshoreman who graduated up to a white collar.

 

DE CORSIA

They say the waterfront spits poison,

breaks the backs of its workers, and

harbors the scum of the world.

That's all true, Miss Chandler --

(a smile)

-- but God help me, I love this

place, stink and all.

 

Cathy gazes around, awed by the power of the docks.

 

CATHY

It's pretty overwhelming. I'm afraid

my waterfront education began and

ended with Marlon Brando.

 

DE CORSIA

Some things never change.

Long as there's piers and 'shoremen,

there's bloodsuckers to prey on them.

 

CATHY

You're the union. You must know

things we could use against people

like Denton.

 

DE CORSIA

(shrugs)

We know lots of things -- But prove them ... ?

This is the waterfront. Nobody talks.

 

They start to board the cargo ship.

 

DE CORSIA

(continuing)

But I've managed to line up

a longshoreman who might know

a thing or two. A guy with real

guts who's sick and tired of having

a mob noose around his neck.

Name of Charlie Fraser.

 

THE DECK

 

as Nat yells down into the hatch.

 

NAT

Fraser! Move it up!

 

IN THE HATCH

 

Fraser gives him a rude sign, finishes hitching the generator to the pallet.

 

NAT

(yells to crane)

Okay, take it away.

 

THE TURBINE GENERATOR

 

rises out of the hatch, watched by longshoremen. One of them, a mean looking jock called CUJO, inches closer to Fraser.

 

MITCH DENTON

 

watches from his car... waiting.

 

CATHY

glances up at the generator as De Corsia gets a worker to point out where Fraser is.

 

THE CRANE OPERATOR

 

suddenly appears to lose control.

 

THE GENERATOR

 

plunges downwards.

 

CHARLIE FRASER

 

in the middle of the hatch... He jerks his head up as the generator hustles back towards him. Cujo pushes him  forward.

 

LONGSHOREMAN

Fraser!

 

A longshoreman tries to yank Fraser out of danger. Too late. The generator crashes down on him.

 

CATHY - ON DECK

 

rushes to stare down into the hatch.

 

CATHY

Dear God!

 

MITCH DENTON

 

motions his driver with a sour smile.

 

DENTON

Now everybody knows I'm back.

 

As the car pulls away:

 

CATHY

 

joins De Corsia and the others around Fraser's crushed and broken body.

 

DE CORSIA

(grim)

Welcome to the waterfront.

On Cathy's stricken face:

 

EXT. WATERFRONT NEIGHBORHOOD - ESTABLISHING - NIGHT

 

Burned out piers, tenement streets lit by dim lamps. A BOAT WHISTLE cries in the night. Some of the buildings are terrible, others are okay. We MOVE IN on one tenement that has its share of garbage, graffiti and grit, but doesn't have any windows broken out. It's like an old person trying to hold itself together -- doesn't look great but still trying.

 

We HEAR VINCENT'S VOICE reading:

 

VINCENT (V.O.)

"The deck was deserted, and

he crawled to the extreme end

of it, near the flagpole. There

he doubled up in limp agony. His

head swelled; sparks of fire

danced before his eyes; his body

seemed to lose weight, while his

heels wavered in the breeze."

 

INT. SAM'S TENEMENT - NIGHT

 

CAMERA PANS across this ancient and cracking place to pick up VINCENT reading from an old leather-bound first edition of Kipling's "Captains Courageous" to an arthritic older man with failing eyesight, SAM DENTON, propped up in bed on several pillows. Sam's a gaunt, rawboned man with a face that looks as if it were carved in granite... as if infinite suffering has been met with dogged, unyielding spiritual strength.

 

A young boy from the underworld, LUKE, 14, sits with them. Tough, intelligent good looks with the blood of several races mixed in with a defiant but vulnerable nature.

 

VINCENT

(reading)

"He was fainting from seasickness,

and a roll of the ship tilted him

over the rail on to the smooth

lip of the turtle-back. Then a

low, gray mother-wave swung out

of the fog, tucked Harvey under

one arm, so to speak, and pulled

him off and away to leeward; the

great green closed over him "

 

Vincent stops. Sam's eyes are closed in reverie.

 

VINCENT

(continuing)

Sam... ?

 

He gently puts his hand on Sam's arm. The old man coughs, opens his eyes.

 

VINCENT

(continuing)

Sam? Are you all right?

 

SAM

(weary smile)

Gave you a scare, did I?

 

VINCENT

(softly)

What were you dreaming about?

 

SAM

A great adventure... Being washed

overboard from a luxury liner...

being rescued from the waves by

the crew of an Atlantic fishing schooner...

 

VINCENT

(smiles)

It's late. You're tired.

I should get Luke home.

 

LUKE

You just take it easy, Mr. D.

I'll be back tomorrow.

Bring your medicine, too.

 

Sam smiles his appreciation.

 

SAM

Thank you, Luke.

 

VINCENT

We'll read some more tomorrow night.

 

Vincent and Luke prepare to leave.

 

SAM

"Captains Courageous." I like

this book. Never did get around

to reading Kipling.

 

VINCENT

Never to read Kipling is almost

as bad as never being young ...

or never dreaming of sailing your

own boat across uncharted seas

to mysterious lands.

 

SAM

Vincent ... ?

 

Vincent motions Luke to wait, leans over the old man.

 

VINCENT

What's wrong, Sam?

 

SAM

Maybe you shouldn't come

again, not for a while.

 

VINCENT (beat)

You're thinking about your son –

 

SAM

He'll come back and hurt you –

 

VINCENT

Try not to worry.

(lightly)

Don't you want to hear how the

fishing schooner sails to the Great Banks?

 

SAM

Don't care so much, Vincent.

Not about people --

(voice fading)

People always let you down.

 

Vincent covers him up to let him sleep, turns off the light.

 

VINCENT

You never let us down.

I'll always be here for you.

 

Vincent leaves quietly with Luke.

 

INT. TUNNELS - NIGHT

 

Vincent and Luke return home.

 

LUKE

The book's okay, I guess.

But who wants

to read about sailing

to mysterious lands... ?

I want to do it.

 

VINCENT

You will. Someday.

(smiles)

Thank you for coming tonight.

I know Sam appreciates your help.

 

LUKE

(cocky)

Helping Sam or punishment chores

building walls? Easy choice.

This way, I get to skip a few

lessons.

 

VINCENT

(disapproving)

You've skipped too many lessons

lately. What have you been up to?

 

LUKE

(defensive)

Nothing. Other kids've done lots

worse than play hookey –

 

VINCENT

I know that. Why are you so

angry?

 

LUKE

(shrugs)

I'm not really angry. I just

haven't been feeling so great.

 

VINCENT

What have you been feeling? Can

you tell me?

 

LUKE

(grimaces)

I don't know. I'm fourteen years

old and everybody but you treats

me like a kid. I want to get out

of the tunnels for a while... have

some fun... do something

important.

 

VINCENT

Maybe you'd like to come up to

the Brooklyn Bridge with me one

night?

 

LUKE

The Brooklyn Bridge? Not exactly

my idea of a big night out. Now

if you said a ride in a Corvette --

 

VINCENT

(smiles)

There are ways. That might be possible.

(beat)

But we have to make a deal. Sam

helped us for a lot of years,

didn't he? Where do you think

we got so much of our food from?

Helping him isn't much to ask in return,

is it?

 

LUKE

(nods)

I guess not.

 

VINCENT

He needs our help, so we help him.

That's our way.

 

They're interrupted by KIPPER running to meet them.

 

KIPPER

Got a message for you, Vincent.

 

He hands Vincent the written message. He reads it quickly.

 

VINCENT

I have to go. We'll talk later, Luke.

 

LUKE

Remember ... a Corvette!

 

Vincent gives Luke an affectionate touch... hurries away.

 

LUKE

One day I'm gonna go up top

as often as Vincent.

 

KIPPER

That right?

 

LUKE

Nobody tells Vincent, «Stay off

the streets.» No one pushes him

around. No one tells him who to

hang around with or what to do.

That's for me –

 

Luke stares down the tunnel after Vincent.

 

EXT. CATHY'S TERRACE× NIGHT

 

CLOSE on photos, clippings and police records on Mitch Denton ... WIDENING to Cathy trying to absorb them. She sighs in frustration. There's a SOUND She turns as Vincent appears behind her.

 

CATHY

Vincent...

 

VINCENT

It's been too long, Catherine.

They almost embrace... hold back.

 

VINCENT

I'm glad you sent word. There

are many things I need to

talk about.

 

CATHY

I need you, too. I feel so

angry... helpless. A brave man

was murdered today because

he wanted to talk to me.

 

She throws the Denton files down bitterly, stares out across the city.

 

CATHY

(continuing)

I used to love the breeze from

the river. Now I can only think

of the death that comes with it.

 

VINCENT

(comforting)

Not always death. Sometimes I

go out to the harbor to see the

ships and I can sense the life

and feelings of men and women

in faraway lands. Their energies

and passions --

(sadly)

Of course, it's not true. Feelings

are not the same for everyone.

How could they be?

 

CATHY

Vincent... what's troubling you?

 

VINCENT

I don't know how to say it...

There are certain feelings that confuse me.

 

CATHY

Can you describe them?

 

VINCENT

(hesitates)

The feelings that come from caring

about a child... a child like Luke.

 

CATHY

(surprised)

The boy you told me about last

time? You said he's been in and

out of trouble for years.

 

VINCENT

Not so much anymore. He's scared

and lonely. He hides his feelings

behind a protective wall.

(heartfelt)

Catherine... I don't know how it

happened... Luke's slipped into

my life, day by day. I've started

to feel as if he's my own flesh

and blood.

 

CATHY

That’s wonderful. I don't believe

any of us are given feelings of

love simply to hide them.

 

VINCENT

You know what I am. You and

Father are the only family I have.

Luke's changed that. He was

abandoned as I was... needing

someone to guide him as I needed

Father to guide me. I want him

to have a chance for a decent life --

 

He looks at her, eyes filled with longing.

 

VINCENT

(continuing)

Did you mean what you said? About

not hiding feelings of love... ?

 

CATHY

(softly)

Do you need to ask?

 

They are suddenly very still, very aware of each other. Vincent moves to touch her hair ... then withdraws his hand.

 

CATHY

(continuing)

I found something in my father's

library. It's from the Greek.

I wanted to give it to you –

 

VINCENT

Tell me.

 

Cathy picks up a sheet of paper with a poem written on it.

 

CATHY

«Thus every race on earth of men

and beasts, And the creatures of

the sea, The herds and birds of

brilliant hue, Are swept with

passion. Love is the same for

all."

 

VINCENT

(echoing)

Love is the same for all –

 

His hand closes over hers with deep love.

 

EXT. WATERFRONT NEIGHBORHOOD - DAY

 

Early morning. Luke whistles, carries a sack of groceries down the street to Sam's building... slows at the sight of a big car pulling up opposite.

 

LUKE'S POV - MITCH DENTON

 

gesturing his driver to stay... crossing the street.

 

BACK TO LUKE

 

watching curiously as Denton enters Sam's building.

 

INT. TENEMENT LANDING - day

 

Denton climbs the rickety stairs, stepping over loose boards. He knocks on Sam's door. The old man opens it, supporting himself on crutches.

 

SAM

C'mon in, Luke. I was just --

 

He stops, stares at Denton's crooked grin.

 

DENTON

Hello, Sam. How are you?

 

SAM

What're you doing here?

 

DENTON

Aren't you glad to see me? After

five years –

 

SAM

I didn't ask you to come back.

What do you want now?

 

DENTON

What kind of talk is that? I

heard the old ticker gave out on

you while I was in the cage. I

was worried. Can't I come in?

 

SAM

(angry)

I don't want you here.

 

DENTON

Easy, old man. The last guy who

talked to me like this --

 

SAM

(nods slowly)

You're a killer, all right.

Underneath that fancy suit –

 

DENTON

Come on, Sam. You're my old man.

We've had enough wasted years

between us. Let me give you this

--

 

He pulls out a roll of bills.

 

SAM

Keep your blood money.

 

DENTON

Have it your way. But I'm setting

myself up again in the old

neighborhood. I just thought we

could make up.

 

SAM

How do you make up for all the

innocent people you've hurt and

killed? They should've kept you

locked up in prison.

 

DENTON

(flaring)

The way you kept me locked up for years?

 

ANGLE TOP OF STAIRS

 

where Luke has crept up to listen. He's startled by this confrontation.

 

BACK TO SAM AND DENTON

 

SAM

I tried to do the best I could for you.

 

DENTON

Sticking me down in

those tunnels like a rat?

 

SAM

That's not the way it was!

The city was going to take you away

–- put you in some foster home

 

Denton looks at him with a hard expression.

 

DENTON

At least I would've breathed

fresh air every day.

 

He storms away downstairs, past Luke pressed against the shadows. Sam hobbles out after Denton on his crutches.

 

SAM

I did my best for you --

 

There are tears in Sam's eyes. A pain and longing behind the rage that he cannot express. Luke stares at him in confusion as Sam's voice breaks:

 

SAM

(continuing)

My son --

 

INT. TENEMENT LOBBY - DAY

 

Denton comes downstairs, angrily slams his fist against the stairwell, gains control of himself. He starts out into the street... has a thought... looks down the stairs into the basement. A bitter smile plays on his face. He decides to go down another flight.

 

INT. BASEMENT - DAY

Denton pushes open the door against piled rubble and old boxes. He knows what he's looking for as he pulls a rotting old furnace aside to reveal a hidden area of crumbling brick. He pulls several bricks away, uncovers a tunnel entrance.

 

ANGLE - LUKE

 

watching from the basement door, stunned by Denton's knowledge of the tunnel.

 

INT. TUNNEL - DAY

 

Denton climbs through, clicks his lighter on to illuminate the way. He carefully heads down the tunnel, stops to cock his head at the distant CLANGING PIPES... nods to himself in recognition at the sound... moves on.

 

LUKE

 

far behind in the tunnel ... quickly finds a pipe, and a stone, taps out a message of warning to the underground.

 

INT. FATHER'S CHAMBER -×DAY

 

Vincent and FATHER are studying some plants and flowers.

 

FATHER

I've always loved flowers. Except

for Aphrodite, there's nothing

lovelier in the world than a flower.

 

VINCENT

You really believe they have feelings... ?

 

FATHER

Of course. We only think they

lack feelings because we don't take

the time to watch and learn from them –

 

Kipper bursts in.

 

KIPPER

Intruder! Luke just sent a warning.

There's an intruder in the tunnels –

 

On their alarm:

 

INT. STEAM TUNNELS - DAY

 

Denton's feet echo as he moves along the pipes... reaches an ancient heavy iron door. He hesitates, opens it, goes through. We SEE Luke following at a distance, deeply curious.

 

INT. SUBTERRANEAN CAVERN - DAY

 

Denton climbs down a rusty ladder set in the old brick. He looks around... frowns. This is unfamiliar. There's an old red-brown arch, filthy with decay... a deep black well. From the other side of the walls, there is a RUMBLE of drainage water. Denton gropes along the side of the well, looks down unhappily... decides to retrace his steps. As he reaches for the ladder again, there's a sudden GROWL from the darkness around him. He jumps back in fear.

 

DENTON

Who's there...?

 

LUKE

 

looks down from the top of the ladder, trying to see what's happening.

 

DENTON

 

stares at the shadow coming closer... looming over him.

 

Then suddenly... he laughs.

 

DENTON

Jesus! You scared the life outta me!

 

VINCENT

 

emerges into the dim light. He's a powerful, intimidating figure. But Denton gets to his feet, unafraid, grinning.

 

DENTON

(continuing)

Hello, Vincent. Don't you recognize me?

I've come home, old friend. I've come home --

 

VINCENT

(fierce)

Why are you here? You're not welcome.

 

DENTON

Don't get so excited. I couldn't

resist. Came back to see the old

man, thought I'd check out the

tunnels –

 

VINCENT

So you could find me?

 

DENTON

Why would I want to do that, old

friend?

(grins)

Just because you refused me

sanctuary down here five years

ago? Because you chained me to

a pipe in the cellar of a police

precinct house? Those are old

headlines.

 

VINCENT

What do you want?

 

Denton shrugs, looks around at the cracks and ledges and round black mouths of passages.

 

DENTON

Told you. I was curious... You

changed the tunnel entrances.

I got lost.

 

VINCENT

We change them all the time...

to keep out scavengers.

 

DENTON

Now you've hurt my feelings. Me,

a scavenger? Hey, remember how

afraid you were of the drainage

water going out to the harbor --

 

VINCENT

(growling dangerously)

What I remember is that you

murdered a man... that you chose

to live by violence. I remember

that you ceased to be one of us

years ago.

 

DENTON

What are you trying to do? Tell

me off? Why, you lousy freak --

 

VINCENT

Leave the underground. Now. If

you come again, I can only

believe you intend us harm.

 

DENTON

(sneers)

Come back here? You think I'd

want to hang around this hole?

Eight years I lived down here

and what did it get me -- ?

 

VINCENT

You were a fool. You had a

chance for a better life -- if

you'd had the sense to see it.

 

DENTON

Living like a rat? I got a chance

at a better life -- but I took it!

After I ran away from here, I had

to sweat blood to get work in the

stinking hold of a cargo ship.

Taking over the docks took a little

doing, you know. Some pretty

mean guys were in the way--

 

VINCENT

And you had them killed

 

DENTON

(taunting)

If you believe that... kill me.

You're a dangerous animal,

aren't you? Kill me now.

 

Vincent's fangs draw back. But he turns away, opens a grill doorway.

 

VINCENT

I'll show you the way out.

Don't ever come back.

 

DENTON

(cynical smile)

I knew you couldn't hurt me.

Same old noble Vincent. The

animal who thinks he can walk

like a man.

 

Denton saunters out. On Vincent's barely restrained rage

 

FADE OUT.

 

END OF ACT ONE

 


 

 

ACT TWO

 

FADE IN:

 

INT. TUNNEL - DAY

 

CLOSE on bricks and mortar being used to block up a tunnel entrance... WIDENING to Vincent directing Kipper and several other kids at work.

 

VINCENT

Block off all the entrances around

here. He mustn't be allowed to find

his way back down.

 

KIPPER

Be done in a couple of hours.

 

As Kipper moves off to direct the building crew, Luke appears at Vincent’s side, carrying the leather-bound "Captains courageous."

 

LUKE

Thought I'd go up top and see

Mr. D. Maybe read to him a bit.

 

VINCENT

What's this? You're volunteering?

 

LUKE

(shrugs)

I like old Sam.

 

VINCENT

(a smile)

He'll be happy to see you again.

Luke turns, hesitates.

 

LUKE

(intrigued)

I used to hear some of the older

kids talk about Mitch Denton.

How he really made it big on

the surface.

 

VINCENT

He didn't make anything,

Luke. He broke and

destroyed human beings.

 

LUKE

I guess he must've done a lot

of rotten things. But he sure

showed everybody he was

something special and could

do what he wanted.

 

VINCENT

(forceful)

You don't know anything

about him. Denton was like

a cancer in our community –

 

LUKE

I heard what he said to you.

I know what he meant.

He was sick of being nothing.

 

VINCENT

Listen to me, Luke. If you'd

seen the things Denton has done --

 

LUKE

I've seen enough things.

(bleak)

I've seen my moma bleed

to death like a pig 'cas some

junkies slit her. She was

falling and trying to stay

on her feet... I watched her

die. I was crying.

(defiant)

Well, I ain't never gonna cry again!

 

Moist-eyed, he hurries away before Vincent can stop him.

 

VINCENT

Luke!

 

But the boy's gone. On Vincent's concern:

 

EXT. THE WATERFRONT - ESTABLISHING - DAY

 

INT. UNION OFFICE - DAY

 

Cathy's pleading with the union official, De Corsia, and several longshoremen, whom we should recognize from the cargo hatch earlier. JACK SWEENEY is the young longshoreman who tried to push Fraser to safety. McQUADE is a hard little bantam of a man. SHANKS a good-natured, hulking longshoreman.

 

CATHY

If you could just give me one

piece of evidence linking Denton

to your friend's murder, we'd have

a start.

 

DE CORSIA

Come on, guys. We can't help you

unless you help us. I know each

one of you puts in a few bucks

every day to Denton to keep

working –

 

SWEENEY

Big help the union's been --

(bitter)

I told Fraser there'd be no use

talking to you. Keep quiet, we'll

all live longer.

 

McQUADE

Denton killed Fraser and I don't

aim to be next.

 

CATHY

(exasperated)

Then why did you agree to meet

me now?

 

SHANKS

Because Fraser was our friend.

He thought the union and the D.A.

could help.

 

DE CORSIA

(sighs)

Our union investigators confirmed

the crane operator's story.

Mechanical malfunction.

 

SWEENEY

Mechanical malfunction, my ass!

Who paid off those investigators?

I saw Cujo push Charlie Fraser

right under that generator.

 

CATHY

Then give me a sworn statement --

 

SWEENEY

And risk my family's lives? Sorry, lady.

 

McQUADE

We live, work and die on the waterfront.

No matter how much we hate Denton,

we can't stand up in court and testify

against him.

 

CATHY

That's exactly what you have to do.

You've got to fight back.

 

SHANKS

(bitter)

You and the union -- you're

supposed to do the fighting, not us.

 

SWEENEY

We already took a big chance

coming here. I guess we were

dumb to expect you to do anything.

 

They turn to leave.

 

CATHY

Mr. Sweeney, please --

 

SWEENEY

I'm sorry. We've done all we can.

 

Cathy and De Corsia sadly watch the men file out.

 

DE CORSIA

He's right. Took a lot of guts

to show their faces here.

 

CATHY

I feel so helpless. If they'd

just stand up for themselves.

 

DE CORSIA

Difficult to stand up for yourself

when Denton's thugs are coming

at your family with steel pipes and

baseball bats.

 

On Cathy's helplessness:

 

INT. TENEMENT LANDING - DAY

 

Luke comes up the stairs, carrying «Captains Courageous.» He’s surprised to find Sam's door ajar ... pushes it wider.

 

LUKE

Mr. D...?

 

INT. SAM'S TENEMENT - CONTINUOUS - DAY

 

Luke enters, tentative, sensing something wrong.

 

LUKE

It's me, Luke. I got your

groceries. Hey --

 

A hand suddenly lifts him bodily by the scruff of his neck.

 

A SCAVENGER THIEF -- grungy, scarred, doped out of his mind.

 

The SECOND SCAVENGER has Sam trembling at knifepoint, crutches kicked out from under him.

 

SCAVENGER

Get in here, kid.

 

LUKE

(struggles)

Let me go!

 

The scavenger backhands him across the room.

 

SAM

Leave the boy alone!

 

SCAVENGER

Stay down, you old buzzard!

 

The second Scavenger presses the point of his knife against Sam.

 

SECOND SCAVENGER

Start talking, grandpa. You gotta

have something around here

that's worth more than ten cents.

 

SAM

Take whatever you want --

for God's sake, don't hurt the boy

--

 

SECOND SCAVENGER

Old man's wasting our time.

 

SCAVENGER

Cut him.

 

The second scavenger's breathing hard, eyes lit up in orgasmic bliss as he fondles his knife. But he doesn't get any further. Mitch Denton bursts into the apartment, heaves the knife-wielder off his feet with maximum force... cannons him into the wall. The first scavenger throws the bedside lamp. Denton ducks. The lamp smashes. Luke scrambles to pull Sam free of the melee as Denton brings his knee into the scavenger's groin. SHOUTS of anguish. The scavengers run for their lives.

 

DENTON

(breathing hard)

Sam -- you okay?

 

Denton helps Luke get Sam upright in a chair.

 

SAM

I'm fine -- fine --

 

DENTON

What the hell happened?

 

SAM

Scavengers! Lousy scavengers!

I was asleep when they broke in.

 

DENTON

Lucky I came back.

 

SAM

Why the hell did you?

 

DENTON

Is it so terrible to want

to see my old man? I've

been having a yen to mend

our fences. You complaining?

 

SAM

Can't complain about your timing.

(gruff)

I guess a small part of you's

still the old Mitch.

 

DENTON

That's more like it, Sam.

(at Luke)

Who's the kid?

 

SAM

(suddenly wary)

He helps me. Brings me stuff.

 

LUKE

(bravado)

My name's Luke.

 

DENTON

Luke, any friend of my old

man's a friend of mine.

 

Denton curiously picks up the fallen copy of «Captains Courageous» as Luke reaches for it.

 

DENTON

(examines the book)

«Captains Courageous?»

I used to know another kid

who liked Kipling --

 

SAM

(uneasy)

Let the boy go, okay?

 

DENTON

What're you getting so excited about?

(examines book)

I'll be damned -

(whistles softly)

You're one of Vincent's kids --

 

Luke senses danger. He backs off, raises his fists, body tense.

 

LUKE

Don't come near me, man.

 

DENTON

I wasn't going to.

 

LUKE

Like hell you wasn't.

I've seen that look before.

I know what it means.

 

DENTON

You think so?

(amused)

Regular sack of snakes, aren't you?

 

LUKE

Just don't mess with me, okay?

 

DENTON

Whaddaya know? One of Vincent's

kids ...

 

He gazes curiously at Luke.

 

INT. FATHER'S CHAMBER - DAY

 

Father paces restlessly, deeply disturbed by Vincent's report.

 

FATHER

This is bad news. Denton is a

force of evil. Pure.

Intelligent. Vicious. At war

with the world and himself.

 

VINCENT

What am I to do if he comes again?

He's a danger to us all. I tried

to reason with him --

 

FATHER

Reason with that man? For

centuries, we've struggled to

break the chains that bind us to

evil. Buddha in India...

Confucious in China... Plato and

Aristotle in Greece... they lit

the beacon fires, gave us the dawn

of hope and knowledge and

reason... yet still, still we

confront the eternal evil. No,

Vincent. Don't try to reason with

a man like Mitchell Denton.

 

Kipper enters, disturbed.

 

FATHER

(continuing)

It's all right, Kipper. What is it?

 

KIPPER

I'm not sure, Father. One of the

runners just saw Luke near the

east steam tunnels.

 

VINCENT

(a smile)

He's' got exactly five minutes to

get back in time for his lesson.

 

KIPPER

I don't think he's coming back

for his lesson. The runner saw

him with Mitch Denton.

 

VINCENT

Denton --

 

KIPPER

That's what he said. Luke's

brought Denton back into the

tunnels --

 

On Vincent's shock:

 

INT. TUNNELS - DAY

 

CLOSE on the initials "M.D." inscribed in old brick...

 

WIDENING to Denton showing them to Luke.

 

LUKE

You're "M.D?" And I thought this

was my special place.

 

DENTON

My special place, too. Had to

bloody a lot of noses to keep it

just for me.

 

LUKE

Me, too.

(grins)

You still fight pretty good. The

way you handled those scavengers

-- that was great.

 

DENTON

Maybe I'll teach you a few tricks

when you come up top again. How'd

you end up down here, anyway?

Run away from home?

 

LUKE

I didn't run away from home. Home

ran away from me when my mom

became a dopey. Our place was

a real shooting gallery.

 

DENTON

(sympathetic)

Tough. What happened to your old

man?

 

LUKE

I never knew him. How come Mr.D

sent you down here for Father to raise?

 

DENTON

Sam was too ill to raise me

himself -- after mom died.

I used to hate him for that... until

a few years in the can gave

me time to think things over.

I don't hate him any more --

(hard)

But I hated every day I was

down here. The tunnels were

meant for freaks like Vincent --

 

LUKE

Hey, don't call Vincent a freak.

He's my friend.

 

DENTON

He's not a man -- not like you and me --

 

Something hard and ominously sharp grips Denton's neck. He freezes... as Vincent emerges from the shadows, holding Denton with his claw, able to rip his throat in a single movement.

 

VINCENT

Luke? Are you all right?

 

DENTON

(gasping)

It's not what you think. I wasn't--

 

VINCENT

(an order)

Father's waiting for you,

Luke. Go to him.

 

Luke takes off at a run. Denton swallows with difficulty, sweat breaking out all across his face.

 

VINCENT

(continuing)

I told you what would happen

if you came back.

 

DENTON

Vincent -- Please!

 

VINCENT

That boy is like a son to me.

 

Vincent's claws dig into Denton's neck. Denton finds himself lifted almost off the ground.

 

VINCENT

Leave the boy alone.

 

He drops Denton free. Denton scrambles away, clutching his throat, hissing resentfully.

 

DENTON

That's a good one. Like a son to

you? That kid's like me, not you.

(taunting)

Dream about it all you want,

Vincent -- but a freak can't be

a father to anyone.

 

He scuttles away down the tunnel, leaving Vincent stricken with pain and rage.

 

EXT. ALLEY -- TUNNEL EXIT× DAY

 

Denton bursts through a coal chute to an alley in the outside world. He's startled to find Luke waiting.

 

LUKE

(defiant)

I'm not a kid. Vincent shouldn't

push me around.

 

Denton smiles with cynical pleasure.

 

DENTON

That's right, Luke. You're not

a kid any more.

 

He puts a fatherly arm around the boy. And as they head off together:

 

FADE OUT.

 

END OF ACT TWO

 


 

ACT THREE

 

FADE IN:

 

EXT. D.A.'S OFFICE AND STREET - DAY

 

Cathy returns to the office. Kipper dashes up and drops a message into her hand, quickly zips away. Cathy reads the message... understands, hurries away from the office.

 

EXT. CENTRAL PARK - NEAR DRAINAGE DUCT - DAY

 

Cathy glances around... enters the duct.

 

INT. DRAINAGE DUCT - DAY

 

She finds Vincent waiting in the darkness.

 

CATHY

(anxious)

Vincent... ? What's wrong?

You've never called me here

during the day --

 

VINCENT

(urgently)

Catherine, I need your help.

Luke's run away. He's gone with

Mitch Denton.

 

CATHY

Why would he go with Denton?

 

VINCENT

There's a side to Luke that's

tough and hard. Denton is

drawing it out to get back at me.

Can you help ?

 

CATHY

Of course. But it'll be tough.

I'll need a search warrant for

Denton's office and home ...

all the waterfront holes he might

be keeping Luke. God, I don't

know if I can get one --

 

VINCENT

I've got to find Luke.

If Denton harms him --

 

CATHY

He has no reason to harm him.

 

VINCENT

(rising anger)

I should have torn his throat out

when I had him in the tunnels.

 

CATHY

(appalled)

Vincent --

 

VINCENT

Do I shock, you, Catherine? You

know there's something inside me

that waits for my anger... feeds

on my rage... and strikes without

mercy.

 

CATHY

No! You've only harmed others

when there's been danger --

 

VINCENT

When I feel pain... emotional

pain. I feel that for Luke. If

Denton were here now, something

evil inside me would make me

destroy him --

 

CATHY

You're wrong, Vincent. There's

no evil in you, not the smallest

trace. The emotion you feel for

Luke is the love any father feels

for a child he cares about.

 

VINCENT

The more I feel for Luke, the more

I sense this terrible rage. How

can I hold it back? The only way

is to love Luke less --

 

CATHY

You could never do that.

 

VINCENT

No --

 

CATHY

It's the price we pay for love.

You feel, you need, you hurt --

 

VINCENT

(despairing)

Therefore I must live with this thing

inside me -- this thing I cannot control --

that makes me want to kill --

 

She sees the depths of Vincent's pain. As tears fill Cathy's eyes.

 

EXT. BRIDGE - ESTABLISHING - DAY

 

An old rusty bridge spanning a less travelled part of the river.

 

EXT. RIVER'S EDGE - BASE OF BRIDGE - DAY

 

Luke gazes with fascination at the barge tethered under the bridge as several muscular men unload cargo crates and carry them into a couple of old shacks, once used to house equipment for the bridge. We PICK UP Denton wheeling and dealing with a few associates, including the hiring boss, Nat, and the longshoreman, Cujo (both seen earlier during Charlie Fraser's murder.) Luke goes over to him, concerned.

 

DENTON

Get away with those video units last night?

 

CUJO

I faked the bills of lading.

Customs won't even know

they're gone.

 

DENTON

What I like to hear. Give me

a tally on this, will you, Luke?

 

He hands Luke the bills of lading.

 

LUKE

You want me to count these?

 

DENTON

When I was your age, I used

to count the boss' cut every day.

 

LUKE

(pleased)

Well, sure --

(uncertain)

But... is all this stuff stolen?

 

DENTON

("offended")

I did some favors for a few guys,

that's all. How'd you like this

boat? Maybe we'll take a trip

on it later, okay?

 

LUKE

Well, okay.

 

Denton ruffles Luke's hair... moves off with Nat.

 

NAT

Taking a chance, aren't you, with

this kid?

 

DENTON

He's okay. He's got brains and

he'll never tell what he sees.

 

NAT

(grunts)

You're sure?

 

DENTON

I know this kid like I know

myself.

(twisted smile)

I also know an old friend who's

not going to like Luke being with

me one little bit. And that's

the best reason of all to have

him here.

 

Luke brings the bills back over.

 

LUKE

Mitch? I count four thousand,

three hundred and sixty dollars

here.

 

DENTON

Good work, Luke. How'd you like

to do a little more work for me?

Make yourself some pocket money?

 

LUKE

(getting into it)

Sure. Help me get that Corvette!

 

DENTON

(manipulating him)

You know, thinking about what you

want is a lot of fun. But it's

just a lot of daydreaming unless

you get down to a few cold hard

facts of life. I could help you.

 

LUKE

How do you mean?

 

Denton looks at him ... shakes his head as if having second thoughts.

 

DENTON

I don't know. I need a kid I can

trust. If you're chicken --

 

LUKE

I'm not chicken! You can trust me.

 

DENTON

Everybody who works with me's got

to have pride in themselves. You

got that kind of pride, Luke?

 

LUKE

Just try me. I can do anything

you want, Mitch.

 

DENTON

("deciding")

How'd you like to help me with

a little job tonight... ?

 

He's got Luke hooked.

 

INT. D.A.'S OFFICE - OUTER AREA - DAY

 

Cathy hustles to keep up with the D.A. as he heads out to the elevators.

 

MARINO

Don't want much, do you?!

 

CATHY

(assertive)

Intensive surveillance for at

least twenty-four hours.

Including phone taps.

 

MARINO

Excuse me, Miss Chandler. It’s

the end of the day and I've got

the Mayor's reception on my mind.

But did I miss something? Like

reasonable cause... ?

 

CATHY

So forget phone taps. But if we

pull out all the stops... put

as many people on Denton as we

can spare...

 

MARINO

That's crazy. I'm already

understaffed. Until you get

something I can take to a judge

--

 

Joe crosses their path in time to hear:

 

CATHY

I've already got a longshoreman

who saw the guy who pushed Charlie

Fraser under the generator.

 

JOE

Where is he? Where's his statement?

 

CATHY

(reluctantly)

He won't come forward yet.

 

MARINO

You give me that longshoreman --

then you get your surveillance

order.

 

CATHY

(distraught)

We can't wait. For God's sake --

 

She catches herself. Marino and Joe are staring at her.

 

MARINO

Tell me, Chandler, why did you

want to work in the D.A.'s office?

 

CATHY

Because I wanted to make a

difference. What's that got to do--

 

MARINO

That's fine and dandy. But if

you don't mind my saying so,

you've had kind of a rarefied

upbringing. This isn't Camelot.

I don't send knights into battle

against dragons. We're down and

dirty. That means a lot of sweat

and legwork so that we can

prosecute according to the law.

Evidence, Chandler. Evidence!

 

Marino steps into the elevator. Discussion's over. As the doors close on him, Joe gives Cathy a sympathetic look.

 

JOE

Better learn how to grow

an extra layer of skin.

 

CATHY

(sharp)

You mean pretend I don't care?

 

JOE

Low blow, Radcliffe.

 

CATHY

I'm sorry, Joe

 

JOE

(softly)

We all know you care, Cathy.

Sometimes that just isn't enough.

 

On Cathy'S frustration:

 

EXT. WATERFRONT WAREHOUSE DISTRICT NIGHT

 

We PAN from a dark warehouse to a couple of trucks parked in shadows... tough guys assembling... to Denton's car further back. Nat and Cujo leave the car to join the other men. Denton holds back, pointing out a high window in the warehouse to Luke... who's increasingly uneasy.

 

DENTON

When you get through the window,

keep to the stairs and come down

to the first level. You know how

to unlock a fire exit?

 

LUKE

That window? You're kidding.

 

DENTON

I'm kidding? Do I look like I'm kidding?

 

LUKE

I didn't figure on something like this,

Mitch. I mean, I want to work with you --

(at the trucks)

But this is a heavy duty heist.

 

DENTON

A few high tech micro-computers...

Nobody's even going to know

they're gone.

 

LUKE

I don't want to mess with it, okay?

 

Denton grabs him by the arm, twisting. Luke grimaces in pain.

 

DENTON

What's the matter with you? I

thought you knew something. I

thought you learned something from me.

 

LUKE

I don't want to go up there. It's stupid --

 

DENTON

(fierce)

You're stupid, kid. I'm going

to give you two seconds to get

hold of yourself. Then you're

going through that window. You're

not going to make me look bad in

front of these guys.

(deadly)

And if you screw up, I'm gonna

bust you. I can do a whole lot

of wicked stuff to you --

 

And as Luke writhes in terror:

 

INT. WATERFRONT BAR - NIGHT

 

Cathy enters, finds Jack Sweeney in a back booth, brooding over a drink. She goes over.

 

CATHY

Buy you a drink?

 

SWEENEY

Don't give up, do you?

She slips into the booth.

 

CATHY

I need a sworn statement that you

saw Denton's man push your friend

under the generator.

 

SWEENEY

You're crazy. Only way to smash

Denton is with a steel pipe in

a dark alley. Maybe one night

I'll do just that.

 

CATHY

Denton will kill you and plead

self-defense. Help me fight him

in court with the D.A. and the

union behind you.

 

SWEENEY

You know what you're asking?

You're asking me to --

 

CATHY

(appealing)

Please, Mr. Sweeney. What if I

tell you a young boy's life is

at risk ?

 

SWEENEY

My family's lives are already at

risk. In God's name, what do you

want from me?

 

CATHY

Wrong question, Mr. Sweeney. What

do you want from yourself... ?

 

On Cathy's appeal and Sweeney's anguish:

 

EXT. WAREHOUSE ROOF - NIGHT

 

Luke peers over the edge. A long way down. Nat finishes unrolling a rope ladder down past the window. Cujo hands Luke a canvas bag. The boy shoulders it, swings over the edge of the roof onto the ladder. The rope sways dangerously. But there's no escape for Luke. He grits his teeth... moves down until he reaches:

 

THE WINDOW

 

Luke pulls out a chisel and crowbar from his bag. A precarious moment. He jimmies the window open, heaves himself inside.

 

ANGLE - MITCH DENTON

 

down below, seeing Luke vanish from sight.

 

INT. WAREHOUSE STAIRS - NIGHT

 

Luke uses a flashlight from his bag... creeps down past a door. The light and sounds of a security guard's TV.

 

GUARD'S VOICE

Who's there?

 

Luke snaps off his light... freezes.

 

GUARD'S VOICE

(continuing)

Hey, down there!

 

FOOTSTEPS from above. Luke races down the stairs. The guard FIRES. CRACK! The bullet whacks into a wall. Luke gasps as slivers of brick cut the side of his face.

 

EXT. ANOTHER PART OF THE WATERFRONT - NIGHT

 

Vincent is brooding across the dark waters... jerks his head up at the sound of ALARMS.

 

EXT. DENTON'S CAR - NIGHT

 

Denton rages as ALARMS sound. He yells to the trucks.

 

DENTON

Take off! Take off!

 

He dashes back to his car.

 

EXT. WATERFRONT - NIGHT

 

Vincent throws caution to the wind... races with the speed of a lion.

 

EXT. WAREHOUSE AREA - NIGHT

 

Luke breaks free of the fire exit... runs like crazy for Denton's car.

 

DENTON

Over here! Kid! Over here!

 

Denton's driver squeals the car towards Luke to pick him up. Denton holds his door open.

 

LUKE

 

is suddenly transfixed in an overwhelming glare -- the headlights of one of the trucks careening around to escape.

 

VINCENT

 

arrives... sees what's going to happen... his horror.

 

VINCENT

Luke! No!

 

LUKE

 

spins around... the truck is upon him. There's a sickening crunch. His body hits the ground.

 

DENTON

 

sees Vincent... slams his door shut.

 

DENTON

Get outta here!

 

VINCENT

 

rushes to Luke's unconscious body. Behind him, guards and lights and alarms. They haven't spotted him yet.

 

VINCENT

Luke --

 

A sob breaks from him. He tenderly cradles Luke in his arms. The boy seems dead. And as Vincent's grief erupts in a terrible bone-chilling CRY of pain and despair and rage...

 

FADE OUT.

 

 

END OF ACT THREE

 


 

 

ACT FOUR

 

FADE IN:

 

INT. D.A.'S OFFICE - CUBICLES - NIGHT

 

Late. Edie looks in on Cathy, brooding at her desk.

 

EDIE

Penny for them?

 

CATHY

What... ? Oh. I don't know.

Nothing. Everything. My job.

The waterfront. A friend in

trouble. Sometimes, I feel as

if I'm no use to anybody.

 

EDIE

Easy, girl. All part of life's

rich pageant.

 

CATHY

(laughs)

Come on. Buy me a drink.

 

She reaches for her coat... stops at the sight of Jack Sweeney. He smiles awkwardly.

 

SWEENEY

I talked to my wife. Kids, too.

We all figure the same. It's time

to stop letting Mitch Denton walk

all over us.

 

CATHY

(lighting up)

Mr. Sweeney, I could kiss you.

In fact, I think I will!

 

She hugs him joyfully... as the phone rings. Edie picks up.

 

EDIE

D.A.'s office... She's right here.

(to Cathy)

The hospital -- ?

 

CATHY

(takes phone, puzzled)

Hello... ? Yes... What... ?

(beat)

... I don't understand...

(stunned)

... oh, God, no... of course...

I'll be there right away...

 

Edie and Sweeney stare at the shock on Cathy's face:

 

INT. HOSPITAL - CRITICAL CARE AREA - NIGHT

 

The distraught Cathy rushes in. A NURSE moves to stop her.

 

NURSE

You'll have to stay outside --

 

Cathy runs to where the DOCTORS are working full-speed on Luke. She stops short, devastated by the sight of him. His head is bandaged. Plastic tubes feed oxygen into his nose. Needles feed a colorless potion into his arm. White discs like suction cups on his smashed and bloody chest. The rhythms of his heart blipping on a screen.

 

NURSE

Please... The doctor has to give

his full attention to the boy.

 

CATHY

How bad is it... ?

 

NURSE

He's in critical condition. His

right lung isn't exiting air.

Either it's full of blood or its collapsed --

 

CATHY

Luke –

 

NURSE

Is that his name? We didn't know.

Somebody carried him here. There

was just a note with your name on it.

 

CATHY

If I could see him for a moment --

 

NURSE

That's impossible. There's been

brain injury. A ruptured artery.

If you'll just wait --

 

Cathy stares back at Luke as the nurse tugs her away.

 

INT. TUNNEL ENTRANCE - NIGHT

 

CLOSE on Vincent as a CRY of pain bursts from him...

 

WIDENING to Cathy, sadly gazing at him.

 

CATHY

They'll be operating all night.

 

VINCENT

He's dying --

 

CATHY

We don't know that. You got him

to the hospital in time. Luke

could pull through.

 

VINCENT

I let him down. I should have

protected him.

 

CATHY

Don't blame yourself. You did

everything you could. When the

police find Denton –

 

Vincent's eyes glitter with hatred.

 

VINCENT

I know where Denton is. I sent

runners out.

 

CATHY

Where... ?

 

VINCENT

I can't tell you. Forgive me,

Catherine. I have to do this

alone.

 

CATHY

What are you talking about? I've

got a witness. We can move against

Denton now --

 

VINCENT

It's too late. This time he has

to die.

 

CATHY

That won't help Luke. You're in

pain. Don't let your feelings

take over –-

 

VINCENT

I loved Luke. If I were truly

his father, wouldn't I have the

same need -- ?

 

CATHY

(appalled)

The need to punish ... not to kill.

 

VINCENT

Do I repel you now, Catherine?

You find me very ugly -- like a beast?

 

CATHY

I love you, Vincent. Nothing can

change that. But what you're

doing is wrong. Very wrong.

 

VINCENT

I keep seeing Luke broken in my arms --

(eyes lost)

You said it yourself. "Love is the same for all --"

 

He turns into the darkness... and the full horror of what he intends to do hits Cathy.

 

ON VINCENT - MOVING SHOTS

 

as he travels through the shadows... different kinds of tunnels... moving faster... until he is hurtling at incredible speed. Steam begins to swirl around him. A warrior in the mists.

 

EXT. DENTON'S BRIDGE - NIGHT

 

The sweep of steel, arching across the sky... the movements

of armed men on guard.

 

INT. BRIDGE TOWER - GENERATOR ROOM - NIGHT

 

Denton stares from the open door at the darkness and the glow of the city beyond the river. Behind him: old machinery in what might have been a generator room to provide electricity to light the bridge. Nat joins him.

 

NAT

You scared of this guy? How do

you even know he'll come after

you?

 

DENTON

The kid must be dead. He'll come.

 

NAT

I still don't get it. Who is he?

What's he look like?

 

DENTON

When he comes... you'll know him.

On Denton's bleak look:

 

INT. SUBWAY TUNNEL - NIGHT

 

Vincent lies on his stomach, gripping the roof of a subway car as it hurtles through the darkness.

 

INT. UNDERGROUND CHAMBER - NIGHT

 

Cathy paces anxiously ... turns quickly as Father appears.

 

CATHY

Thank God you came. Do you know

what he's gone to do?

 

FATHER

(sadly)

I know. I tried to stop him, too.

There's a fire in Vincent that

has to burn itself out.

 

CATHY

Do you know where he is? We have

to stop him.

 

FATHER

You can't stop him. I've always

been afraid a time like this would

come. When that instinct to kill

would rise up from deep within

Vincent --

 

CATHY

We have to stop him! One half

of Vincent is struggling against

the other.

(voice breaking)

If that instinct triumphs over

the man --

 

FATHER

He will never allow himself to

go on living.

 

CATHY

Tell me where he's gone!

 

FATHER

(long beat)

To a bridge --

 

EXT. RIVER - NIGHT

 

Vincent explodes through brick and wood of a walled up old duct. He scrambles to the surface, stares breathlessly out at the river. Turns... and sees the bridge.

 

EXT. BRIDGE - NIGHT

 

CLOSE ON an armed guard looking out over the river. Vincent's arm reaches INTO FRAME and hooks him around the neck, pulling him down into the shallows. A GURGLING sound... silence.

 

Vincent leaps up the bank towards the huts at the base of the bridge. He scans the land with feral instinct... He senses Denton's presence behind a high lighted window. His fangs draw back. A low growl.

 

There's the ratchet-click of an automatic weapon being recocked. Another guard, searching for his partner. He turns... sees Vincent charging down upon him with terrifying force. Vincent rips the guard apart. Bullets spew wildly.

 

THE TOWER DOOR slams open. The gunfire brings YELLS inside. Glaring light frames a shadow with an automatic weapon. Vincent lets go a blood-curdling snarl... and again life leaves a guard. Vincent slips inside the tower.

 

INT. BRIDGE TOWER - UPPER LEVEL - NIGHT

 

On a high balcony overlooking a chamber filled with rusting equipment, Denton stands holding a pistol as Nat and Cujo run out of another chamber with guns.

 

DENTON

Get down there!

 

Nat and Cujo clatter downstairs.

 

INT. GENERATOR ROOM - NIGHT

 

Vincent's cloak vanishes behind machinery, into the shadows as Nat and Cujo burst inside... crisscross the room with bullets. They stop firing. Silence--

 

INT. UPPER BALCONY - NIGHT

 

Denton nervously moves away from the stairs. He can just about see the door Nat and Cujo ran through. He hears a SCREAM. Then a SHOT. SNARLS. The SOUND of something human being ripped to shreds. And silence.

 

DENTON

Nat... ? Cujo... ?

 

Denton backs into:

 

INT. UPPER CHAMBER - NIGHT

 

A kind of old office. Cramped. Broken furniture. A window overlooking the river. Denton nervously waits. He HEARS a SOUND from outside. Somebody coming up the stairs. He stands rigid, off to the side by the window, waiting, gun extended.

 

EXT. BRIDGE ROAD - NIGHT

 

Cathy's car careens to a halt. She runs out... sees the fallen guards. Fearing the worst, she runs to the tower.

 

INT. UPPER CHAMBER - NIGHT

 

CAMERA FRAMES the open door. Suddenly the FRAME is filled by the sweaty, distorted face of Denton as he readies to fire. The SOUND comes closer. Nat staggers inside, ripped and bleeding, steps into Denton's arms. Denton pushes him away in horror as:

 

VINCENT

 

explodes through the window, shattering glass, thrusting his gloved hand through to grab Denton. He's climbed up the outside wall. Denton SCREAMS as Vincent draws him out backwards through the window.

 

EXT. BRIDGE - ANGLE ON GIRDERS - NIGHT

 

Vincent hurls Denton out onto a high girder. Denton scrambles away in terror, almost falling. Vincent's a fierce, dramatic figure, fangs bared, cloak billowing as he's raked by high winds.

 

DENTON

Mother of God! Please!

Please, don't!

 

He crawls out to a dangerous exposed point on the girders, clings to it.

 

DENTON

(continuing)

I didn't hurt the kid --

it was an accident --

 

Vincent growls. His ferocity is frightening and awesome. He starts forward to finish Denton off.

 

CATHY (O.S.)

(shouting)

Vincent! No!

 

Vincent turns to see Cathy at the shattered window.

 

VINCENT

You shouldn't have Come here.

 

CATHY

I had to come. Don't do this terrible thing.

 

VINCENT

He doesn't deserve to live.

 

CATHY

(pleading)

But you can choose to let him live.

In your heart, you know that's right.

 

VINCENT

In my heart I feel only pain.

 

CATHY

Your pain is for Luke.

For his life... for his love.

 

VINCENT

You know what I am --

 

CATHY

(reaching out)

You're you -- my Vincent.

My kind and gentle love. Don't give in

to that other instinct inside you.

 

VINCENT

In your world, people give in to this instinct --

 

CATHY

Frightened, bitter lonely people. Like him --

 

She points to Denton.

 

CATHY

(continuing)

Come home, Vincent.

Come back to us --

 

And on Cathy's appeal... and Vincent staring down at Denton:

 

INT. HOSPITAL ROOM . NIGHT

 

CLOSE on Luke hooked up to the machines, head and body swathed in bandages. He could be dead. There's the sound of the curtains being drawn... then Vincent's hand ENTERS FRAME... hovers over Luke's face. We WIDEN to REVEAL Vincent. It's late, the ward is silent and dark.

Luke's eyes flutter. He stares up at Vincent with a kind of wonder.

 

VINCENT

Don't say anything. You're going

to be all right.

 

LUKE

(a whisper)

I'm sorry --

 

VINCENT

You fought for life, the doctors said.

I'm proud of you.

 

LUKE

(with difficulty)

I never meant to hurt you...

I didn't want to be a nobody...

 

VINCENT

You could never be that, Luke.

 

LUKE

I guess I made a big mistake.

A whopper.

(eyes fluttering)

Vincent... ?

 

VINCENT

I’m here...

LUKE

(almost asleep)

Still gonna get that Corvette.

 

Vincent sees the slightest hint of a smile on Luke's sleeping face ... looks down. The boy's hand has taken his own. And as we PULL BACK SLOWLY from Vincent keeping a silent vigil:

 

EXT. CATHY'S TERRACE - DAWN

 

Cathy has fallen asleep in her chair as light begins to streak the night sky. She suddenly blinks, sits up. Vincent is there.

 

VINCENT

Luke's strong. He's going to make

a wonderful recovery.

 

CATHY

(nods)

Things will be better when he

comes back home.

 

VINCENT

(shakes his head)

Luke was never meant to live in

the underworld. I'll find him

a good home in your world.

 

CATHY

My world... ? I feel so sad every

time you say that. My world...

your world. Can't they ever be

the same?

 

VINCENT

I don't know, Catherine. I wanted

a man's life last night. Wanted

to kill --

 

CATHY

Don't... it's over...

 

VINCENT

Is it? Denton called me a beast

pretending to be a man... and

I found another beast within

myself...

 

CATHY

(eyes welling)

There are many men who are more

beasts than you... but they hide

it. You have the finest heart

of any man.

 

VINCENT

You're crying... for me...

 

CATHY

...and for myself. I feel your

pain... and your love.

 

They're both choked with emotion.

 

VINCENT

Even with two worlds between us...?

 

CATHY

"Love is the same for all -- "

 

And as they move to a tender embrace...

 

FADE OUT.

 

THE END