The Key part 2
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                                                                        THE KEY - part two

 

INT. - GOLDFISH's VILLA. BATHROOM SALOON - NIGHT

FRANK

Buy for a tenth of the original price.

DOCTOR FRITZ ([filtered])

But...

FRANK

No buts. Just follow my orders and dont do anything else!

 

EXT. - DESERT - DAY

The bewildered official is still standing with the satellite phone in his hand. He shouts to the Bedouin 

chief

DOCTOR FRITZ

We'll buy it!

The chief opens his eyes wide and then bursts into laughter. He translates the words into Arabic 

arousing a new burst of laughter among his men.

 

INT.- GOLDFISH's VILLA. BATHROOM - NIGHT

Marilyn Two is massaging Frank, while Jeeves places the candelabra on a shelf and then goes straight 

into the shadowed area. He grabs the unsuccessful murderer by an arm and drags him out of the 

bathroom.

FRANK

Bring that over here, Marilyn. It's more romantic with candles.

 

INT. - GOLDFISH's VILLA. KITCHEN - NIGHT

Jeeves switches the light back on. The intruder is none other than Eileen.

JEEVES

I apologize, Madam. I did it for your well being.

EILEEN

That bastard is entertaining in MY house, MY bathroom and drying his ass with MY towels. I couldn't bear it!

JEEVES

It's his right, madam. Your husband wanted it that way.

EILEEN

Impotent, ungrateful eunuch. What do I care for what he wanted?

JEEVES

Remember the will. If you die, he gets your share too.

EILEEN

But what if he drops dead...

JEEVES

He cannot die.

EILEEN

Why not? Is he immortal?!

JEEVES

No, better than that. He's very lucky. Didn't you read his biography in Time?

EILEEN

I don't like to read obscene stories.

(embracing him)

And you? Don't you love me anymore?

JEEVES

No, madam. It is no longer in my job description.

EILEEN

Help me get rid of that bastard and his share of the money is yours.

JEEVES

My lady, Im beginning to feel a great love for you again.

 

EXT. - BASEMENT APARTMENT STREET - DAY

A Ferrari parks in front of the basement apartment. Frank gets out of the car, leaving the door open 

and the keys in the ignition. He enters the building.

Jeeves and Eileen advance towards the Ferrari. Jeeves throws a small packet inside, and continues 

walking as if nothing happened.

 

INT. - BASEMENT APARTMENT - DAY

The basement apartment has been cleaned up but the furniture is the same. The hen pecks the corn 

from its cup that Brooks put there moments before. Frank enters.

MISTER BROOKS

Sir Frank the Great, what a nice surprise!

FRANK

What did she say to you?

MISTER BROOKS

She? Who, sir?

FRANK

The hen, you blockhead!

MISTER BROOKS

Oh, the hen. It didnt say anything. I swear!

FRANK

Did she ever insult you? Did she ask you to kill her?

MISTER BROOKS

Never. But I think she loves me.

Frank stoops to examine the hen

FRANK

What kind of game are you playing, McNugget? Brooks, continue to keep an eye on her.

Frank throws some money at Brooks who bows in a obliging manner

FRANK

Did you see Miss Mara by any chance?

MISTER BROOKS

No, Frank the Great. She never came back.

FRANK

If you see her, send her to me immediately.

Frank gives a casual look through the window and sees:

 

EXT. BASEMENT APARTMENT STREET - DAY

A strange man gets into the Ferrari and drives away very fast.

Frank sees the incident and shouts

FRANK

Stop, thief!

Suddenly the car explodes.

Jeeves and Eileen, hidden behind a parked car, are wounded from the fragments of the explosion.

 

INT.- HALL TWIN TOWERS- DAY

In the hall directory, two workers are removing the Financial Goldfish Inc. nameplate and are replacing

 it with a Financial Marcucci Inc. one.

Frank and Marilyn Two cross the hall between a flurry of flashes. They get into one of the elevators.

 

INT. ELEVATOR TWIN TOWERS- DAY

Frank and Marilyn Two are smiling. The woman is excited seeing the floor numbers racing at dizzying speed to number 93.

 

INT. FINANCIAL GOLDFISH OFFICES- DAY

Workers are changing the nameplates on the doors from Goldfish to Marcucci.

Frank and Marilyn enter. The Board of Directors are lined up at the sides of the room, like soldiers. 

Niels Liedhom holds out his hand and goes towards Frank and Marilyn.

NIELS LIEDHOM

What an honor, Mr. Marcucci! Miss Marilyn,

you shine more brilliantly than the sun!

FRANK

Im here for the Libyan question.

NIELS LIEDHOM

Those ten thousand square kilometers of desert worth absolutely nothing.

NIELS LIEDHOM (cont.)

Goldfish believed there was oil, but instead we discovered that our experts accepted a bribe and its only a giant kitty litter box.

FRANK

I know, so what?

NIELS LIEDHOM

Our man in Libya told us you ordered him to buy. Of course, it must have been a misunderstanding.

FRANK

Of course you asshole!

(to Marilyn)

Excuse me darling.

MARILYN

Excused, my love.

FRANK

Listen, you! Learn this lesson one--what I say is law. Okay?

Niels Liedhom turns red from anger but bows obediently. Everybody bows as Frank turns his back 

on them

FRANK

Let's go back to Frisco, my love.

He leaves the room and is followed by Marilyn.

NIELS LIEDHOM

If we don't stop this jerk soon, he'll ruin our plans.

DIRECTOR

Perhaps it's better if we don't explain Project Freedom to him.

NIELS LIEDHOM

He wouldn't understand.

OTHER DIRECTOR

However he has to keep financing us.

NIELS LIEDHOM

Ill send him General Culverton. If he doesn't listen to him, the next message will be a bullet. News from Houston?

DIRECTOR

They are waiting for fifty million to move. The brothers from Alabama and Georgia are almost ready.

NIELS LIEDHOM

Talk about the glorious South. They will follow us like sheep.

 

INT.- TELEVISION SET.- DAY

Makeup artists and hairdressers are bustling around Frank for last minute touch ups.

FRANK

I don't like to be seen from my right side. Take my profile from the left. And don't overdo it with the hair gel. My hair should look natural, not like its glued to my scalp.

A camera man tries the frames.

INTERVIEWER

May I call you Frank?

FRANK

Only in private.

INTERVIEWER

Whenever you want, Frank. It would be a honor. And in public?

FRANK

Call me "The Great."

INTERVIEWER

Okay. The Great, are you ready?

FRANK

I'm always ready.

TECHNICAL

Be quiet. Four, three, two, one, roll!

INTERVIEWER

"The man of the day," introduces you to "The Great," the new tycoon of Wall Street, Mr Frank Marcucci!

The sign "APPLAUSE" lights up and the audiences claps.

INTERVIEWER

It was recently that you were just an unknown. Whats the secret to your success?

Frank toys with the key around his neck

FRANK

The key to everything is...work, work, work.

INTERVIEWER

Of course one must work. But Mr.Goldfish would not have entrusted his empire to a hard working man of good morals.

FRANK

Goldfish had some problems. I just mended his sail and now his boat is going full speed.

The signal "APPLAUSE" lights up and the audience claps.

 

INT. - DIRECTOR'S - DAY

A technician tells the director

TECHNICAL

He fixed it all right, you know, with a bomb.

DIRECTOR

Closeup of the lying bastard.

FRANK (on the monitor)

We must work hard, like our fathers did before us. Thats what made America great!

EXT. - PIER 39 - DAY

Mara, dressed as a gypsy reads an old PRIEST's palm. In a store window, Frank's face on twenty 

television sets.

FRANK (TV)

We are not a great country because we are powerful, but we will be more powerful once we become greater.

The audience applauds.

PRIEST

What do you see in my hand? Not that I believe this pagan activity.

MARA

Father, you must not sleep with your maid anymore. Your heart is weak. It's probably in Hell already.

The priest stands up, puts his hand to his chest and collapses to the ground. The HOUSEKEEPER 

hurries to his side, a woman in her fifties

PRIEST'S HOUSEKEEPER

What have you done, God, what have you done to him?

MARA

What have you done to him! At his age, a man who makes love is bound to drop dead.

 

EXT. - STUDIOS TV STREET - DAY

A herd of journalists and press photographers crowds around Frank. On the other side of the street, 

sitting comfortably in a convertible, Eileen, bandaged and plastered, spies on Frank through dark 

glasses. Some girls are shouting

GIRLS

The Great! The Great!

Frank gets into his Rolls.

A JOURNALIST

Is it true youre thinking about sponsoring a mission to Mars?

FRANK

We need a New Frontier.

ANOTHER JOURNALIST

Will you marry the new Marilyn Monroe?

A THIRD JOURNALIST

What do you think about the Middle East?

A FOURTH JOURNALIST

Did you put the bomb in Goldfish's yacht?

Frank stops and shouts

FRANK

Who asked that last question?

The crowd quiets down for a moment, and then under the flash of the reporters, the women begin to 

chant again

GIRLS

The Great! The Great!

The Rolls drives away driven by Jeeves. The driver has a large bandage on the head, visible under 

his cap. Eileen starts the engine and follows the Rolls.

Jeeves checks the rear view mirror.EXT. - A STREET IN SAN FRANCISCO - DAY

Jeeves drives the Rolls. He presses a button. A prolonged hiss, and a discharge of gas infiltrates the back of the car.

Frank takes a deep breath

FRANK

Jeeves, do you smell...almonds?

And faints. Jeeves turns to look at him. Hes wearing a gas mask and nods.

JEEVES

Sweet cyanide, sir.

 

EXT.- CLIFF HOUSE. - DAY

Eileen stops her car behind the Rolls, which is already parked at the edge of a cliff, in front of Seal Rock. She runs towards Jeeves who quickly exits the Rolls and removes the gas mask

EILEEN

Everything OK?

JEEVES

Sleeping like an angel. But he'll wake up in Hell.

Jeeves pulls Frank out of the back seat and places him in the driver's seat.

EILEEN

All clear. No one in sight. I'll give him a push.

Eileen gets into her car and gently pushes the Rolls over the cliff which crashes into the gorge.

A tire explodes, and the Rolls changes course. It lands on a rock which acts like a diving board. The Roll flies towards the ocean.

Astonished, Eileen and Jeeves track the car's trajectory.

The Rolls, after a long flight, lands on a barge transporting sand. The impact causes one of the 

windows to shatter.

The broken window allows clean air to enter the vehicle and Frank wrinkles his nose.

EILEEN

Damn! Let's go!

She drags Jeeves to her car and drives away.

 

EXT.- GOLDEN GATE COAST- DAY

The barge goes toward the Golden Gate. The barge driving it, drunk on beer, hasn't noticed anything.

 

EXT.- EL CAMINO DEL MAR - DAY

Eileen drives along the coast, continually checking the barge's course.

EILEEN

It's heading toward the bay. Let's take the short cut through the Presidio and we'll get there before the barge.

She makes a sharp turn and changes direction.

EXT. - GOLDEN GATE AREA - DAY

The wonderful view of the bay: the sand-filled barge with the damaged Rolls, passes under the bridge.

Frank recovers for a moment and sees the incredible sight of the suspension bridge

FRANK

Hey Jeeves, where are we going?

He closes his eyes again.

 

EXT. - SAN FRANCISCO STREETS - DAY

Eileen arrives at Pacific Heights and directs her car down the steep descents to Marina.

JEEVES

I would recommend dropping the matter, Madam.

EILEEN

Id rather die.

And in fact at the intersection a large truck runs the stop sign and smashes into Eileen's car. The collision is frightful.

 

EXT. - CEMETERY- DAY

Eileen's coffin is buried. There is a small crowd of photographers. Frank, in a dark suit, and Jeeves, in a wheelchair, his arms and legs in casts.

MINISTER

Earth to earth, ashes to ashes. Goodbye sister Eileen. We will meet again in heaven.

JEEVES

I doubt it.

Frank crouches towards Jeeves

FRANK

I think someone wants to murder me. I need bodyguards.

Jeeves studies Frank with his unbandaged eye

JEEVES

Really?

 

INT.- FRANK's OFFICES. WAITING ROOM - DAY

The waiting room is filled with people. John is also present. Frank enters escorted by two bodyguards. Everybody gets up. A WOMAN embraces him

A WOMAN

Do you remember me? I'm the cousin of your milkman. Remember, when you were a child at Newton Highland?

One of the bodyguards leads the woman away. John grabs Frank by his jacket

JOHN

At last my friend! I've been trying to reach you for days!!...You get it?

FRANK

Do you want to give me one of your old suits again?

JOHN

It was just a joke! You know Ive always had a lot of respect for you. You're my best friend, Frankie boy.

FRANK

But you're not mine.

JOHN

Always kidding around, old pal, just like the good old days!

FRANK

These are the good old days. Is Mara with you?

JOHN

Not anymore. Shes in love with you, even though shes doesn't deserve a great guy like you. But hey, who does? Get it? I wanted to speak to you about my plan...a chain of porno shops?

FRANK

I think you're full of it, John. Come back when you dont weigh so much!

John is seized by a bodyguard and pushed away. Everyone crowds around Frank

MAN WEARING JEANS

I'm Joey, we went to the same elementary school, remember? I need ten thousand dollars. What are ten thousand dollars to a man like you? You got it all now.

A woman hands her crying child to FRANK who jumps back. An elderly man grabs him

OLD MAN

Frank, you have to find me a house! You owe it to me. I helped your father out when we were both boys.

A FAT LADY

You remember my son, Jack. You were like brothers. When I was fired last year I lost my health insurance and now I need a hernia operation. Look....

The lady lifts her skirt but she's stopped by the bodyguards.

Frank disappears behind the door of his office and the two gorillas stand guard.

INT.- FRANK'S OFFICE - DAY

Through the glass window, the San Francisco Bay and a view of Alcatraz island.

Frank sits down in his leather armchair. The sunlight behind him creates a halo around his head.

FRANK (to the intercom)

Throw everybody out!

RED HAIR SECRETARY (filtered)

Yes, sir.

FRANK

Have you located Mara?

RED HAIR SECRETARY

(filtered)

No. Maybe she left the city.

FRANK

Maybe! I dont want to hear maybe! Find her even if she left the planet!

RED HAIR SECRETARY (filtered)

Yes, sir.

COMPUTER VOICE

Good morning, Frank the Great.

An enormous computer sits in the corner of the office

COMPUTER VOICE

My name is Hallie and I'm your electronic servant. Your first appointment is with General Culverton.

Two stunning young secretaries enter the room, smiling, sexy,and dressed in designer outfits and flashy jewelry.

BLONDE SECRETARY

It's the computer you ordered, Mr. The Great.

RED HAIR SECRETARY

It can do everything a secretary can do...well, almost.

She bends over to pick up a pencil on the carpet. Frank signals both women to come closer and begins caressing their fishnet- stockinged legs

FRANK

Do you like me?

RED HAIR SECRETARY

What do you think? You are The Great and no woman can resist you!

BLONDE SECRETARY

Youre every woman's fantasy come true.

FRANK

Because I'm disgustingly rich?

RED HAIR SECRETARY

Because youre incredibly handsome and you can give a woman everything she wants.

BLONDE SECRETARY

Thats right. When a woman meets a man who can fulfill her every wish, she finds him extraordinarily appealing.

A bell rings

COMPUTER VOICE

Remember at six o'clock you have the Splash party, The Great.

FRANK

Okay Hallie, you're batting a thousand. Let the General in.

 

INT. - SAUSALITO. BAY RESTAURANT - DAY

John cracks a crab shell with his bare hands. In front of him, Mara.

MARA

Did you speak to him, yes or no?

JOHN

Yes, I spoke to him, but when people get rich, they also become jerks, get it?

MARA

He was a jerk even when he was poor. What did he say about me?

JOHN

He told me, Hey John, you fuck the little bitch all you want, and dont come around breaking my balls no more.

MARA

He said that?

JOHN

He said exactly that.

Mara gets up abruptly and throws John's dinner, with all the sauce, in his face. She races out while 

John looks at her in amazement.

 

INT. - FRANK's OFFICE - DAY

Frank's secretaries hand him papers to sign. In front of him sits General Culverton. The red headed 

secretary drops some papers

FRANK (to the General)

I wonder why all the idiots in the world work for me.

The redhead smiles as if she had received a compliment.

GENERAL CULVERTON

I was saying that the Board of Directors of your Financial company recommends.

FRANK

Listen General, I don't give a damn what the Board of Directors recommends. If you don't have a written agreement, I won't give you a cent. And I care even less about the fucking OLD South.

One of Frank's phones rings and Frank answers

FRANK

I told you to buy! Our analysts don't know anything. I want that network. That's an order!

He slams the receiver down

GENERAL CULVERTON

Youre new here. Don't make hasty decisions about things you know nothing about.

FRANK

I dont make hasty decisions. I only make right decisions. Always. I'm not capable of making wrong decisions.

GENERAL CULVERTON

We have the National Guard on our side. It's not worthwhile for you to oppose our movement.

FRANK

I'm against everyone, like it or not. I've discovered that for every lucky person theres one unlucky son of a bitch. The score? You: dead. Me: alive.

A phone rings, the blonde secretary hands the receiver to Frank

BLOND SECRETARY

Senator Morris.

FRANK

It's the NRA lobby. Tell him they can stick their shotguns up their asses.

A bell rings. Frank pushes the intercom button

INTERCOM VOICE

The governor is here, The Great.

FRANK

He can wait. General, I think our meeting is over.

GENERAL CULVERTON

Don't be so sure.

FRANK

You people are a den of profiteers, thieves and assassins.

GENERAL CULVERTON

Why do you say "you"? We all are. You wouldn't be here if Goldfish were alive. Goldfish dealt with the business association. Once we crush the centralist opposition and the subversives, then, Mister Marcucci, you will reach great heights.

FRANK

Oh yeah? I got news for you--I'm already flying high and feeling lightheaded.

GENERAL CULVERTON

What a pity. When you fall from the top it's very painful.

 

INT. - SPLASH SALOON - NIGHT

A tray with Sevres cups filled with steaming coffee. The Splash chairman pours a packet of white powder into one of the cups and stirs it with a silver spoon.

He takes the tray and crosses the roomful of guests, going towards Frank and Marilyn Two.

AN ADULATOR

Sir, everything you say is explosive!

FRANK

What do you mean?

Everyone laughs at Franks naive question. The Splash chairman places the tray next to Frank

SPLASH CHAIRMAN

I'm proud to offer you, Mr. Marcucci the Great, the first sample from our Brazilian coffee crop.

FRANK

Our?

SPLASH CHAIRMAN

Oh excuse me! Yours, of course! It was just...

FRANK

...a figure of speech, I remember. What are you doing here? Didn't I fire you?

SPLASH CHAIRMAN

Oh yes sir, but then in your immense generosity you rehired me...as your janitor.

Frank takes the cup that the Splash chairman hands him. The key around Frank's neck glitters.

Suddenly a lady screams. A tiny white mouse scurries across the Persian carpet. Frank puts the cup 

down and cracks his knuckles. The mouse stops and runs towards Frank who picks up a cup, but 

not the poisoned one. The Splash chairman doesn't notice the switch. Frank offers his free hand to 

the mouse--who jumps up on it. Everyone applauds. A guest picks up and pets the rodent

A TECHNICIAN

It must have escaped from our laboratory. Come on, baby, come on.

Frank drinks a sip of his coffee and the Splash chairman smiles. All the other guests take the cups and drink. Only one cup remains on the tray--the poisoned one.

FRANK

Dont you like my coffee, janitor?

SPLASH MANAGER

Very much! I'm sure this is the best coffee ever.

The Splash chairman takes the last cup and sips his coffee.

Frank is drinking too. The Splash chairman puts his hand to his chest. The cup falls to the floor. 

He staggers, his eyes wide open and collapses to the floor.

 

EXT. - TWIN TOWERS - NIGHT

The 93rd floor is completely illuminated

NIELS LIEDHOM

... then it's unanimous.

 

INT.- FINANCIAL GOLDFISH OFFICES- DAY

Niels Liedhom stands and speaks to the directors gathered around the table

NIELS LIEDHOM

We will become a public company.

The directors laugh and clap. Niels glances at the wall clock

NIELS LIEDHOM

In San Francisco it's now ten o'clock. It will happen in half an hour.

 

INT.- GOLDFISH's VILLA. BEDROOM - NIGHT

The moon lights up the big bed on which Frank and Marilyn Two are kissing

FRANK (whispering)

Would you love me if I wasn't rich?

MARILYN TWO

Would you love me if I wasn't Marilyn Monroe?

FRANK

Today someone tried to poison me. The poison in the coffee was for me.

MARILYN TWO

Maybe that poor man had a simple heart attack. From too much caffeine.

FRANK

More likely it was too much cyanide.

MARILYN TWO

Who would want my Frank The Great dead? By the way, did you name me in your will, darling?

                    FRANK

Of course not, my love. I didn't think you could survive my death.

They make love. Marilyn Two pretends to howl with pleasure but is staring at the large diamond on 

her ring finger, raised behind Frank's neck.

In the darkness, a man points the barrel of a gun at the two lovebirds.

Marilyn Two sees him and screams. Frank, sexually aroused, mistakes it for an orgasm

FRANK

Yes, my love, yes!

Marilyn pushes Frank off the bed and, at the same time, she rolls off the other side. The gun shot is 

deafening and the bullet pierces the mattress. Frank rolls under the bed

FRANK

Ill give you a million bucks if you stop shooting!

The killer takes a footstep forward, clasping the gun. He is wearing a black hood with two slits around

 his eyes

KILLER

Sorry, Mr.Marcucci. Come out or I kill the woman!

Marilyn is cowering in a corner, frozen by terror.

MARILYN TWO

No, not me! I have nothing to do with this! Shit, kill him! Hes the one you want!

Frank gets up and, while he moves, the key around his neck sparkles in the moonlight

FRANK

OK, try to shoot me. You fool. You should have accepted the million dollars.

KILLER

Nobodys ever going to offer me a million bucks like this for another hit, but if I don't kill you, they'll rub me out. Christ! This is a losing proposition.

FRANK

If you pull the trigger, it'll really be a losing proposition. And youre the one whos going to lose...plenty!

The killer isn't listening anymore and shoots. The gun backfires and explodes in his hand. The man, 

in a dizzy state, staggers, lets the weapon fall and runs away. Frank, naked, runs after him.

 

EXT. GOLDFISH's VILLA. PARK - NIGHT.

The killer runs toward the gate where his car is parked. Frank, naked, is still chasing him. 

The killer climbs over the gate and falls to the other side. A man gets out the car with a machine gun. 

Frank stops, panting, in front of the gate.

The man with the machine gun begins shooting, but all the bullets hit the bars on the gate. 

Frank is unharmed. The man is stunned. He makes a second attempt, but nothing happens.

MACHINE GUN MAN

What the hell?! Whats going on?

FRANK

Whats going on is that when a bad-assed unlucky son of a bitch like you meets a lucky guy like me, he's screwed!

The man shoots another round, but the machine gun explodes and backfires into his groin. 

He shrieks in pain.

 

INT.- FRANK's OFFICE.- DAY

Frank's armchair rotates on its axis. Tot is sitting in it, his face hidden by dark glasses. 

Frank stops short in the middle of the room

FRANK

Who are you? Get out of my chair!

TOTO

My name is Antonio, Tot to my close friends. I was a good friend of Goldfish, capisci? Of course you do. Hey! Youre Italiano.

FRANK

Third generation. Now Goldfish is dead and I...

TOTO

...and you inherited everything. Rights and duties. Listen, amico, twenty years ago Goldfish was a little crook singing on the Mississippi to make ends meet. Are you so coglione to think he got to be one of the richest men in the world without a little assistance, ha?

FRANK

Why not? I did it.

TOTO

Minchia, you had some fucking good fortune. You found everything on a silver platter. However, we gave Goldfish that money.

FRANK

Who is "we"?

TOTO'

Amici! Friends and friends of friends.

FRANK

Mafia?

TOTO

Picciotto, the mafia doesn't exist. We gave him money and protected him.

FRANK

What do you want from me?

TOTO

The same gratitude.

FRANK

Sure, amico...provided that you stop protecting me. I prefer protecting myself.

TOTO

You cannot refuse our friendship. You can't be lucky forever.

He glances at his watch and continues

TOTO

Half an hour ago a man fell from a New York skyscraper. He was the man who paid to kill you.

The phone rings. Frank picks up the receiver

MASCULINE VOICE (filtered)

I'm calling from New York, Mr. Marcucci. I've got good news and bad news. Mister Liedhom fell from a high-rise. Theres nothing left even to bury; he's only a stain on the asphalt.

FRANK

And the bad news?

MASCULINE VOICE (V.O.)

That was the bad news. The good news is that desert oasis you bought has an underground lake. We could irrigate the Sahara! A colossal opportunity! Congratulations for your smart business sense, Mr. Marcucci.

FRANK

Great. Plant arugula there.

Frank interrupts the communication but holds the receiver

FRANK

I'm calling the police.

TOTO

What the hell are you going to tell the fucking police? Are you in business, or what? If some unhappy competitor shoots himself, does that make you a murderer?

Tot takes the receiver from Frank and places it in its cradle.

TOTO

The smart ones win, the jerks lose and if to win you need to eliminate some jerks, hey! It's jerkicide. Thats not a crime.

Frank extends his hand toward the phone.

TOTO

You can own the whole world or a wooden box. Take your time and decide.

Tot gets up and leaves. Frank calls through the intercom

FRANK

Security? Someone follow the man whos leaving my office. I want to know who he is and where he lives.

BODYGUARD (filtered)

Nobodys going out, boss.

The blond secretary enters

FRANK

There was a man here. Who let him in?

BLOND SECRETARY

Nobody went in and nobody came out. I didn't see anyone.

FRANK

I got it. He's the Invisible Man.

COMPUTER VOICE

I recorded the conversation. If you want I'll call the police.

FRANK

No. Forget it.

 

INT. - BASEMENT APARTMENT - DAY

A key turns and Mrs. Brooks enters with a package of corn, grumbling

MRS. BROOKS

Even hens now,...that stupid jerk!

She hears a cry coming from the bathroom. Mrs. Brooks approaches the door and opens it quickly.

 

INT. - BASEMENT APARTMENT. BATHROOM - DAY

Mara shouts. She's putting perfumes and soaps in a bag. Tears are rolling down her cheeks.

 

INT. - BASEMENT APARTMENT. - DAY

MRS. BROOKS

I didn't mean to frighten you dear. I didn't know you had returned.

MARA

Just to pick up my belongings.

MRS. BROOKS

With all the money your boyfriend has now, why bother taking this stuff? But why are you crying?

MARA

I have no boyfriend! The jerk doesn't want to see me anymore, but he is going to see me and Ill throw all this stuff in his face!

MRS. BROOKS

Doesn't want to see you anymore? Cheer up, my dear, what the matter? Frank loves you and when a man loves a woman shes always in control of the situation.

MARA

I don't think so.

MRS. BROOKS

Relax, wash your face, put some makeup on and make yourself pretty. Then you should go to Frank, smiling and happy.

MARA

I dont want to lie.

MRS. BROOKS

The essence of the man-woman relationship is already a lie. Women have always deceived men, since Adam and Eve in Paradise, silly, dont you remember?

MARA

I'm not that old.

They burst into laughter.

 

INT.- FRANK'S OFFICE.- DAY

There is a new big metal closet. The computer is spitting out data but Frank, sitting in his armchair, is staring out the window.

COMPUTER VOICE

Merchant France, profit: one million one hundred thousand French francs. Spanish Corporation, profit: one hundred thousand million pesetas. Texas Exen...

FRANK

Cut it out, Hallie. I don't care about money anymore. Tell me something that will cheer me up.

COMPUTER VOICE

You are the most intelligent man on the face of the Earth. All the women fall madly in love with as soon as they see you.

The red headed secretary peeps in

RED HAIR SECRETARY

The Great, sorry to bother you....

FRANK

I told you I didn't want to see anybody!

RED HAIR SECRETARY

That girls been found.

FRANK

Mara? Where is she?

RED HAIR SECRETARY

She's here, but if you want I'll tell her to come back another time.

FRANK

Let her in, you idiot!

RED HAIR SECRETARY

Yes sir.

Frank goes toward the door, then stops and returns to sit down. He picks up the receiver, then picks 

up another one, and then puts both down. He puts his feet on the desk and immediately removes them 

looking for a more important position.

Mara stops on the threshold and looks at the lavish office. She takes two footsteps forward.

Above the metal closet a flashing red light appears and a warning bell starts to ring. Mara stops and the

 metal closet opens. A bodyguard jumps out with a gun pointed at Mara

BODYGUARD

Security! Throw your bag on the floor, and keep your hands up!

FRANK

Stop! I know her! I almost married her!

BODYGUARD

Just a moment, boss.

He takes Mara's purse and empties it on a table. Among the usual objects in a woman's purse, some 

amulets and an iron horseshoe

BODYGUARD

A pound iron! The metal detector played a symphony.

FRANK

Go back to your station and don't bother us!

BODYGUARD

Boss, if I make a mistake just once, you die and I lose my job.

The man returns to the closet and the doors automatically close. Frank looks at Mara, who is visibly 

shaken and annoyed, and he starts to laugh. She replaces her belongs into her purse

MARA

Go ahead and laugh, you blockhead. You've made a fortune and I'm poorer than ever.

FRANK

Fortune has nothing to do with it. It's stochastic.

MARA

What? Oh, forget it. Did you drown the poor millionaire who owned all this?

FRANK

It was an accident.

MARA

Wonderful, we have misfortune but no fortune.

FRANK

You haven't changed. You only open your mouth to say something nasty. Where were you? I couldn't find you anywhere.

MARA

I was very upset. You broke my crystal ball.

FRANK

I didn't break it on purpose. Now, if you want, I can give you a thousand of those balls.

MARA

I don't need it anymore.

FRANK

Why not?

MARA

Im in a different position now. Youd have been poor forever with that crystal ball, Mr. Frank The Great.

FRANK

Call me Frank, like always. Come on, Mara, come here. Now that I'm wealthy, don't you like me anymore?

MARA

Don't you have that blond, the Monroe look alike?

FRANK

Marilyn Two?

MARA

Do you number them not confuse them?

FRANK

Certainly not! She was the woman of my dreams.

MARA

Okay, Frank. Congratulations and goodbye.

FRANK

Wait! Not the real dream. Don't you remember? Win a lot of money, a with Marilyn Monroe on a desert island...You were suppose say those things to your clients!

MARA

Sure, lies. Now I read cards and lying is easier.

FRANK

Do they pay you?

MARA

Sometimes.

FRANK

You don't seem very happy to see me again.

MARA

I don't know. You look different.

FRANK

Better or worse?

MARA

Worse would be very difficult. Was Goldfish gay?

FRANK

Certainly not!

MARA

If you didn't give him anything, why did he give you everything?

FRANK

I saved his life. Do you see this key?

He shows her the lucky key shining on his chest

MARA

Is it the key to your bachelor pad?

FRANK

Do you think I need a place like that? Mara, do you know it's dangerous to be rich? A lot of people want me dead.

MARA

Of course its dangerous. Whoever has something to lose has to protect himself. Even the Pope has his Swiss Guards.

The computer voice startles Mara

COMPUTER VOICE

New York Stock Exchange: IBM plus an eighth. ATT plus a quarter.

FRANK

Enough. Let's talk in a hour, Hallie.

The terminal goes off.

FRANK

I call him Hallie, the diminutive of Hal. Come here, please.

MARA

Im not interested in a quickie, thank you very much.

FRANK

Forever, if you want.

MARA

It's hard to say no.

Frank kisses her and Mara kisses him without enthusiasm.

FRANK

What's happened to you? Your kisses used to be full of passion. This was like a candidate kissing a baby.

MARA

Are you interested in politics now?

FRANK

Now I have a million reasons to be interested in politics. When you don't have money you get interested in politics, hoping it will get you some. Then you preach against the redistribution of wealth to the worthless masses.

MARA

Thats philosophy.

FRANK

He who has money keeps it, "rien ne va plus". The way the Republican Right thinks. You vote to the left, Democrat, right?

MARA

Democrat, right-handed, left-handed, I have no idea anymore. You tell me. Am I rich or poor?

She kisses Frank with great passion

MARA

Now you're kissing like a senator at a fundraising gala.

FRANK

I think the mob has a hand in Goldfish's business affairs.

MARA

And now the hand is yours?

FRANK

You cant cut off certain relationships. And, you know, at certain levels, ethics and moral standards have a completely different meaning.

Frank studies Mara's reaction

MARA

Maybe youre right.

FRANK

I just told you Ive some business dealings with the mob. The Mara that I knew would have spit in my face.

Mara spits in his face. Frank jumps back and wipes the spit clean with his bare hand

FRANK

Are you crazy? It was just a figure of speech!

MARA

I hate figures of speech.

She dries him with a handkerchief and he laughs good naturally. He embraces Mara, throws her on the 

couch, and starts to unbutton her blouse. She stops him

MARA

What are you doing? What about the man in your closet?

FRANK

He's not a man. Hes a gorilla. Don't worry about him.

He lifts her skirt and his hands slowly climb up her thigh, but Mara stops him again

MARA

You want to make love with a man spying on us?

FRANK

He isn't spying. He's guarding us. It's different. That's why I pay him. He doesn't get off until two o'clock.

MARA

Then we'll get it on when he gets off.

FRANK

...we'll get it on now.

Frank raises his fingers, and begins counting, one finger at a time, a few inches from the Mara's face

FRANK

From two to nine o'clock therell be another bodyguard. They work seven hour shifts.

MARA

So we'll always been a threesome?

FRANK

Foursome. Three seven hour shifts, and a retired policeman who comes three hours at night. If you want to make love to a VIP youll just have to get used to it.

Frank kisses Mara again and this time she allows him to continue

FRANK

Is it OK?

MARA

I guess I have no choice. Its this way or not at all, right?

FRANK

McNuggets not a hen.

MARA

What is it, a camel? If you tell me it's a camel I'll believe you.

FRANK

It's a capon. It cost less money and I never believed your story that it really had to be a hen.

He withdraws, waiting for a slap which never comes. Instead, Mara's hand gently caresses the nape of his neck

MARA

It worked.

FRANK

Your feathered amulet? It worked, yes, when I threw it in the toilet.

MARA

You did well, dear.

FRANK

It's unbelievable that a man like me lived with you in that basement for such a long time.

MARA

There were times when we were happy. Why don't I help you take off your clothes?

FRANK

First, I have to tell you something.

MARA

After, darling.

FRANK

I always considered you a little...how can I say it? A little...

MARA

A little what ..?

FRANK

...stupid.

Mara eyes him angrily, but it lasts only an instant

MARA

Not that stupid, since I knew from the beginning that we were special.

Mara's hand searches in Frank's pants

FRANK

You made love with me in such a hurry when we met, I thought I was supposed to pay you.

 

MARA

You always said, stupid and cheap, that's the woman of my dreams.

FRANK

And paranoid, too, since you wanted to be in control by predicting the

future.

Mara continues to caress Frank

MARA

Don't you want to make love with me?

FRANK

I thought I did, but I'm so tired. I have to satisfy so many women all the time, I dont know if I can now, with you.

MARA

Poor darling. I understand. Don't worry. I can wait.

 

FRANK

You'd stay with me even if I couldnt... you know?

MARA

Sex isn't everything.

FRANK

And youd want to stay with me even if I called you stupid, paranoid and cheap?

Mara nods. Frank gets up

FRANK

No way! Yell at me and accuse me of being in cahoots with the mob, of being an immoral jerk! Walk out on me!

MARA

Why should I?

FRANK

Because if you dont, you really will be a stupid slut who puts up with my insults just so she can get paid!

 

FRANK(continuing upset)

When I was poor, half of a thoughtless word from me was enough to get you up in arms...now you swallow your pride and let me insult you!

Mara is ready to explode

FRANK

You used to look at me honestly, but now you just look at me like a safe deposit box full of cash!

MARA

If you really want to know the truth Im looking at the same old asshole, in better clothes, but still a jerk!

FRANK

Before, I would continue arguing with you. But I dont have the strength anymore. I dont even have to try. This key has changed everything.

MARA

What kind of magic does it have?

FRANK

None. Go back home. If I find the courage to turn my back on all this good fortune, Ill come home.

MARA

You try it, Frank, and youll come home to an empty apartment. For all your other women, diamonds and champagne arent good enough. But for me, cockroaches and water? Im supposed to want you to come home and give me that?

FRANK

Mara.

MARA

I came here because I was worried about you. I read your cards three times and always saw the Queen of Spades.

FRANK

What does that mean?

MARA

Death!

FRANK

Death always comes sooner or later.

MARA

For you, its as soon as the first three cards.

FRANK

You can't frighten me with your fortune telling "truths." What are you going to tell me next? That a trains going to run me over, or my fingers going to fall off?

Mara picks up her purse

MARA

Right. You want to hear my truth? Im broke and I came here to share your final three days...and get my first three million dollars. Happy now?

She leaves, passing by the metal closet. The alarm goes off. The closet opens, the gorilla jumps out 

with his gun and Mara hits him with her handbag. The blow throws him back into the closet. 

The closet shuts.

 

INT.- BASEMENT APARTMENT. - NIGHT

The hen opens one of its eyes for a quick look. FRANK is sitting on the floor with his face against 

the bars and has practically finished half a bottle of scotch. He kneels down in front of the hen and it 

follows his gaze with her head. FRANK's cellular phone rings, but he ignores it

FRANK

My capon, hen or whatever or whoever you are. I know I'm a son of a bitch who didn't stick to our deal and killed all those people just so Id be lucky. Is it always necessary to hurt others in order to be successful?

The hen looks at him with a perplexed look. The cellular phone rings again and Frank smashes it 

against the wall.

FRANK

Everyone is falling over themselves pretending to like me. Even the only woman who ever truly loved me now only wants me for my money. Do you know what she told me? That Im going to die soon. Will the key allow me to be killed?

Frank grabs the hen by its neck and it flutters.

FRANK

Did your key do this to me? Take away my will to live and offer me a better solution--death? Am I right? Is all this just your idea of revenge? I wouldnt kill you, so you gave me the key just to get even. Right? Answer me! Or else I'll break your stinking neck!

He frees the hen

FRANK

That's what you want, isnt it? You're making me angry so I'll kill you, right?

He looks out the window

FRANK

Why was I so miserable when I was happy?

 

INT.- FRANK's OFFICE. HALL - DAY

Frank gets off the elevator with his bodyguards. An employee bows

AN EMPLOYEE

Senator Morris has been waiting for you for twelve minutes, The Great. I tried to get you on the cellular but no one answered.

 

INT.- FRANK's OFFICE. - DAY

Senator Morris, salt and pepper hair, goes to shake Frank's hand

SENATOR MORRIS

Nice to meet Mr. Goldfish's heir! I introduced myself over the phone. About those business transactions. Remember?

FRANK

No, I don't. Could you give me recap?

SENATOR MORRIS

Iran will deposit twenty one million dollars as a settlement and is ready to sign a new contract for the same amount with your oil company.

FRANK

And what do I have to do?

SENATOR MORRIS

Just sign on the dotted line. Theres an eight percent commission fee to pay to the Singapore bank.

FRANK

Eight percent on twenty one million means more or less..

COMPUTER VOICE

One million six hundred thousand dollars.

FRANK

Thank you, Hallie. Not a bad bribe.

SENATOR MORRIS

Eight per cent is a fair commission in this business, besides half of it goes to the Iranian middle man and your profit will be at least triple.

FRANK

And what do we sell?

SENATOR MORRIS

Weapons instead of oil.

FRANK

Legal?

SENATOR MORRIS

Yes..in a sense. Theres an old embargo against Iran but nobody cares and officially we send our weapons to Dakar.

FRANK

I don't like weapons. Im not signing anything.

SENATOR MORRIS

But you produce them!!

FRANK

Which factory?

SENATOR MORRIS

Are you joking? Sintex Corporation, of course, listed on the NY Stock Exchange!

Frank takes a phone and gives an order

FRANK

Immediately sell all our Sintex stock. Yes, of course at the best possible price.

SENATOR MORRIS

If you flood the market, the price will collapse.

FRANK

Thats my business. You can go now, Senator.

Frank puts down the phone. Senator Morris hesitates, then leaves slamming the door.

Frank toys with the gold chain and the key around his neck

FRANK

Maybe the mystery of the key is simple. I carry it around my neck like a primitive savage wearing a talisman, believing that it has the power to bring me luck...and because Im convinced of its power, I'm lucky. Am I right, key? Can you hear me? Am I right?

 

EXT - PEAR 39 - DAY

Mara is reading tarot cards to a homeless man sitting on a stool

MARA

I see that you are going to win a huge jackpot, meet the love of your life and become the next President of the US..

TRAMP

Me?

MARA

Yes, you.

The vagabond gets up

MARA

That will be ten dollars for the reading, please.

TRAMP

Ten dollars? Three dollars per lie? And another dollar for a tip? Screw you, lady!

The vagabond disappears. Mara nervously shuffles her cards, whispering

MARA

Frank, you idiot...thats what you know about telling people their future. Let's see what it holds for you.

She puts down two cards. The second one is the Queen of Spades.

MARA

My God...

 

INT.- BRITISH EMBASSY IN WASHINGTON.- NIGHT

There is a gala to honor the Queen of England.

Among the guests we find FRANK and Senator Morris. FRANK is drunk but continues to drink.

SENATOR MORRIS

How did you know that Iran would have broken the contract with Sintex? An hour after you sold your shares, the stocks collapsed.

FRANK

How did I know? Maybe a little castrated birdie told me.

MASTER OF CEREMONIES

Her Majesty the Queen!

Frank takes another drink from a waiter's tray and gets closer to the Queen.

FRANK (aloud)

Actually, Im not capable of making a mistake. I can do nothing wrong. If you threw me out of a window, I'd instantly grow wings and a turbojet.

SENATOR MORRIS

Be quiet. The queen!

The QUEEN wears an evening dress with a long train. The women bow and the men bend their heads.

FRANK (aloud)

The Queen? Watch this!

Frank puts his foot on the Queen's train and the tulle rips. The train comes off, along with her skirt 

and the Queen is left in her underwear.

A chorus of indignant cries are heard. One of the Queen's ladies in waiting points at something in the 

middle of the train--a gigantic scorpion arching its poisonous tail. One of the guards crushes the 

scorpion under his boot

QUEEN (to Frank)

Thank you very much, sir.

FRANK

Just a day in the life of Frank the Great, Queen.

 

INT. - FRANK's OFFICE.- DAY

On Frank's desk there is a package of newspapers extolling his rescue of the Queen. Some headlines:

AN ATTEMPT AT THE BRITISH EMBASSY.

               A SCORPION PUT BY IRA?

                AN AMERICAN TYCOON SAVES THE QUEEN!

                FRANK MARCUCCI APPOINTED KNIGHT OF THE GARTER

The plaque honoring him as Knight lies on the pile of newspapers. Next to it is a

postcard that reads:

   NOW THE QUEEN OF SPADES IS COMING OUT AS THE SECOND CARD.

BE CAREFUL! MARA

Marilyn Two sweeps everything off Frank's desk, obviously very upset, and then

hurls the plaque against the metal closet, which sets off the alarm. The bodyguard runs

out pointing his gun.

Marilyn Two is looking into the drawers, bending and revealing her legs and thighs.

She turns to him

MARILYN TWO

Damn! That bastard Frank always carries that fucking key around his fucking neck!

 

INT.- PHYSICIAN's OFFICE.- DAY

Frank is in a white paper patient gown, stretched out on an examining table

PHYSICIAN (V.O.)

Heart rate 72, blood pressure 120/80, perfect cholesterol, normal blood count, even your urine smells like apple juice.

The PHYSICIAN, silvered hair, a true snob, is preparing an injection

PHYSICIAN

...reflexes like a panther and a testosterone level that would make a bull jealous. Youre the poster boy for the perfect male...this shot is for your mind, not your body.

He gives Frank the shot.

FRANK

Its in the second card now.

PHYSICIAN

Sir Frank, if you die before youre hundredth birthday, it means someone wants you dead.

FRANK

I have a good luck charm against accidents.

The physician looks at him sympathetically

PHYSICIAN

An amulet. Interesting.

FRANK

A notable of international fame, a university professor, a Chief of Staff physician and a total incompetent!

The physician swallows and forces himself to smile, admonishes Frank with a

waving finger

PHYSICIAN

Double the bill, Sir.

FRANK

And a blockhead, if you think that a powerful man like me believes in the power of amulets.

The physician stands up. He plays with the medical chart and is thinking that hed

like to throw it into Frank's face.

PHYSICIAN

Triple the bill.

FRANK

I can make a government fall with one phone call, start a war with two, with three...

PHYSICIAN

When the Queen of Spades appears the third time, you'll wet your pants because a phoney little soothsayer told you.....

FRANK

Wed better multiply your bill by ten.

PHYSICIAN

Why, Sir?

FRANK

Because Im going to punch you in the mouth.

PHYSICIAN

How dare you...

FRANK

Multiply it by a hundred. Turn around and face me and don't make such a fuss!

PHYSICIAN

Even if you are a powerful multimillionaire, Im not a poor slob and I don't give a damn about your money!

FRANK

Multiply by a thousand!

PHYSICIAN

A thousand? Are you serious? My bill is seven hundred dollars. That would amount to seven hundred thousand.

FRANK

Youre also a great accountant.

PHYSICIAN

As you wish, Sir, just to cure your psyche.

The physician offers his jaw and Frank is getting ready to punch him, but stops and

begins to get dressed

FRANK

It's not fair. If I can do everything, then I don't want to do anything. Consider yourself punched in the mouth.

 

INT.- FRANK OFFICE. HALL. - DAY

Secretaries and employees bow

CHORUS

Good morning, Sir! You are the greatest in the world!

Frank crosses the hall without answering.

INT. - FRANK's OFFICE - DAY

Frank goes straight to the computer:

FRANK

What appointments do I have tomorrow.

COMPUTER VOICE

7 AM breakfast and jogging. Then Jacuzzi and massage. 8:45 AM barber. 10 AM press conference at the Embarcadero. 12:00 lunch with the executives of the Microsoft Corporation. 2 PM flight to Washington.

Blonde secretary enters carrying a drink. Frank doesnt pay attention to her.

COMPUTER VOICE

4:15 PM local time, appointment with the Secretary of State. 5:15 PM local time, Kamasutra lesson with Calcutta team. 6:20 PM local time, private jet to New York. Dinner aboard. 9 PM local time, show in your honor at Radio City Music Hall with a choice of escorts for an evening of pleasure on your private jet coming back to San Francisco.

FRANK

Cancel all my appointments.

COMPUTER VOICE

Tomorrow?

FRANK

Tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, the day after that...all the way to the end of my life! Kaputt! Cancel, delete,

tabula rasa! Blank! Empty your RAM, your ROM, your ramma-ramma-ding-dong and all the other crap you've got inside!

COMPUTER VOICE

Even the escorts?

FRANK

Yes, fucking yes!

COMPUTER VOICE

Can't one ask a question without causing such an irrational reaction, master?

FRANK

I don't want to argue with a machine! It made more sense plucking feathers off the ass of a hen! Check if I have to go to my funeral on Tuesday or Wednesday.

COMPUTER VOICE

Tuesday no appointments. Wednesday no appointments. Thursday no appointments. Friday no appointments. Satur...

Frank throws a paperweight against the computer monitor, which explodes.

COMPUTER VOICE

..day no appoint...

 

INT. GOLDFISH's VILLA. LIVING ROOM. NIGHT

Frank sits in an armchair, in his pajamas, very drunk and still drinking. Marilyn is

coyly trying to steal Frank's key from his neck, but Frank stops her.

MARILYN TWO

If you loved me, you wouldn't keep me locked up in this villa. Just one call and you could get me a leading role in Hollywood.

FRANK

If you stay with me, no! Actresses are all ignorant sluts!

MARILYN TWO

Dear Frank, when you met me I was an actress.

FRANK

Exactly!

JEEVES (entering)

Senator Morris is here. He says

its very urgent.

FRANK

Tell him to go screw himself!

JEEVES

If I could take the liberty, sir, I think the Senator is here to propose you as Republican candidate for the next presidential elections. Must I advise him all the same to engage in auto-erotic activities?

Frank fiddles with the lucky key

FRANK

You don't lose a stroke, do you, McNugget? Win a bunch of money, a week with Marilyn on a desert island, then of course, the presidency of the United States.

Marilyn Two ecstatically embraces him

MARILYN TWO

Sweetheart, sweetheart! Wow! I never thought Id be the First Lady!

She kisses him, but Frank rejects her and belches

FRANK

First Lady? You mean youre the Last Lady!

 

EXT.- GOLDEN GATE - NIGHT

A full moon enlightens the bridge arcade. FRANK leans out of the parapet, fiddling

with the golden chain of the lucky key.

FRANK

What do I have to do, McNugget? To throw or not to throw? As soon as I throw it, do I die?

 

INT.- PIAKRON POLL OFFICES.- DAY

Sitting around a big oval table, are three people: MR. MOUTH,70, bald, Senator Morris and Tot.

MR. MOUTH

Mister Marcucci, Im going to be honest. I know you aren't what you seem to be, but lets face facts...what seems to be is more important than what really is.

FRANK

Let me be honest too. Youre a shmuck.

MR. MOUTH

Thank you, but were not here to exchange pleasantries. My friends are convinced you could be an excellent candidate for the presidency.

FRANK

Presidency of what?

MR. MOUTH

Mister Goldfish ordered us to conduct a poll about the type of President people would like.

FRANK

A poll? Like for a new soap?

MR. MOUTH

Yeah...soap, Presidents. Theyre both marketed in the same way.

FRANK

A minor detail, gentlemen. I don't want to be President of the United States.

He gets up but Tot blocks him

TOTO'

Minchia, always impulsive, ha!

SENATOR MORRIS

You will be the first President of the Disunited States. We must stop the subversives and the radicals in the United Nations. Only then will our States be free. If you say the right things, well be on our way!

 

FRANK

And what are the right things Im supposed to say?

SENATOR MORRIS

The usual stuff--freedom, money, an end to taxes, a happy life.

FRANK

Like in horoscopes.

MR. MOUTH

Yeah, right! Horoscopes and charlatans are extremely successful.

Frank removes the lucky key from his neck.

FRANK

I find success disgusting.

He throws the key out the window.

 

EXT.- PIAKRON POLL STREET - DAY

The key bounces on the street and in the middle of traffic. A dirty, skinny dog

trembles and swallows it.

Fifty feet away, two police cars make a U-turn. A refrigerated meat truck approaches.

It stops short to avoid running over an old woman. Then the driver turns abruptly and

crashes into a bus. The impact flings open the back doors and a large side of beef

 falls in front of the dog. It happily begins to eat it.

The police enter the Piakron offices.

 

INT.- PIAKRON OFFICE.- DAY

TOTO'

Mr.Marcucci, ours is a proposal you cannot refuse.

FRANK

I'm afraid, gentlemen, you won't be able to propose anything for about twenty years.

The door opens and five policemen run in, pointing guns.

FBI AGENT

Hands up! Youre all under arrest for conspiracy against the United States

of America.

FRANK (smiling)

I'm Sir Frank Marcucci. I'm the one who called you and....

The FBI agent strikes him with his gun butt. Frank faints.

FBI AGENT

You have the right to remain silent.

Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.

Of course Frank won't be saying anything for the moment.

 

INT. - FIREWORKS FACTORY.- NIGHT

A foreman is standing in the middle of a large room filled with boxes. Around him

are policemen with their guns pointed. One of them is smoking and the technician

gestures to him, indicating the danger involved

MANAGER

Mr. Marcucci at last! Heres the Police! Were accused of selling explosives to terrorists!

 

INT.- FRANK'S OFFICE.- NIGHT

Frank stands behind his desk, disheveled and bleeding.

FRANK

I've already straightened out the matter. Tell them to call The White House.

 

INT.- FIREWORKS FACTORY.- NIGHT

The technician gestures to the policeman, who looks for an ashtray to extinguish his

cigarette.

MANAGER

Thank you, Mr. Marcucci, now I can tell them.

The policeman throws his cigarette on the ground and crushes it with his boot.

A spark ignites some explosive dust, which races towards one of the boxes.

There is a large explosion, followed by a colorful display of fireworks.

 

INT.- FRANK's OFFICE.- NIGHT

Frank hears the explosions over the phone.

FRANK

What's happened?

Another explosion deafens Frank.

 

EXT.- FIREWORKS FACTORY.- NIGHT

The factory explodes in a magnificent display of fireworks.

 

INT.- FRANK's OFFICE.- NIGHT

The blonde secretary enters

BLONDE SECRETARY

I quit, Mr. Marcucci. Turn on the TV, theyre talking about you.

Frank picks up the remote control from his desk and pushes a button--it doesn't

turn on the TV but opens the metal closet.

The bodyguard is dressed only in boxer shorts. His eyes are closed, and he's

grasping Marilyn's buttocks. She is wearing a bra and panties. He doesn't even

notice that they are being watched.

Marilyn, surprised and terrified, looks fearfully at an astonished Frank.

The red hair secretary and some employees go in, all ready to quit.

Marilyn tries to free herself from the bodyguard's embrace but the strength of the

man prevents her from doing so. She cries in desperation:

MARILYN TWO

Sorry, Frank, but he had so much free time on his hands!!

FRANK (to his bodyguard)

Damn! At least don't do it here during work hours! Show some discretion! Youre screwing my woman in my office...at my expense!

The bodyguard opens his eyes and Marilyn can finally break loose. She covers her

body with her dress.

FRANK

Modesty? All of a sudden? You ashamed in front of me, him or the rest of the world?

MARILYN TWO

Listen, Mr. Great Big Asshole with the key. I've slept around to get places in my career but do you know what you are? A homicidal jerk who killed his trusting benefactor, just to get his money!! And you know what else you are? Pitiful in bed!!! Ha! So who do you think youre you kidding, Sir Frank, the Not-so-Great?!?

Marilyn leaves. The bodyguard pulls his pants back on.

BODYGUARD

Lucky for you Im feeling generous. I won't even bother to touch you...Id break your face. Find yourself another babysitter!

He turns and leaves

FRANK

Where will you find another boss who pays you so well!! All those fringe benefits like paid vacations, insurance and Marilyn Monroe?!

A telephone rings

BLOND SECRETARY (answering)

For you, Marcucci. It's from Africa. Gaddafi has confiscated all your assets.

She hands the receiver to Frank. Another phone rings and the red hair secretary answers

RED HAIR SECRETARY

It's Wall Street. The Goldfish stock has been revoked.

She hands the receiver to Frank. A third telephone rings and a third employee answers

 and gives the receiver to Frank.

AN EMPLOYEE

The FBI has concrete proof of our arms supply to Iraq during the Gulf War. Goldsmith was dealing with them...but youre the one theyll put on trial.

The phones keep ringing. Another employee answers

ANOTHER EMPLOYEE

They've closed down your TV network-- illegal advertising.

Frank answers all the incoming phone calls

FRANK

The factory is burning? Bring the children to see the fire! Thirty six million dollars fine? Sell my New York office. Wow! It's all already been confiscated? Wonderful! Sell the oil drills in the North Sea! Are they exploding? Well! Hello? All my shares are collapsing? Perfect!

REPO MAN (V.O.)

Frank Marcucci Inc.?

Frank turns his head. At the door stands the repo man, wearing his mirrored sunglasses.

Its the same man who visited the basement apartment

FRANK

Hi! We meet again! I thought you were in jail!

REPO MAN

I think youre the one going to the slammer, my friend.

Frank throws the phone on the floor and embraces him

FRANK

I'm just getting out of it! Pawn everything, Im a free man!!!!!

He dances around the room, waving his arms.

REPO MAN

These millionaires are all nuts.

 

EXT.- BASEMENT APARTMENT STREET - NIGHT

Sweaty and out of breath, Frank arrives at his basement apartment and collides

with Mr.Brooks, who is exiting the building

BROOKS

I was looking for you, Marcucci. The news is airing some horrible reports. I always knew you were a cheat!

FRANK

Horrible? Theyre wonderful! I'm completely ruined! Do me a favor...call me Frank the Jerk again, like in the good old days!

BROOKS

Okay, jerk! Your adoring girlfriend came back. Now the two of you can feed and clean up after your dirty little bird! But not in my apartment! I want the three of you out of here!

He throws a fist of corn in Frank's face

FRANK

Mara's back?

 

INT. - BASEMENT APARTMENT - NIGHT

Frank opens the door quietly, but Maras not there.

On the table there are two packs of cards, a box of french fries a loaf of bread,

some fresh fruit and a pack of chewing gum. FRANK hears the water running in

the shower.

 

INT.- BASEMENT APARTMENT -BATHROOM - NIGHT

Mara is taking a shower. Sensing that shes being watched, she turns and sees

Frank peeping through the shower curtain.

MARA

When I heard the news, I figured youd be back.

She wraps herself in a towel and sits down on the old Splash detergent box. She

begins to polish her nails

FRANK

I cant live without you.

MARA

Too bad, Frank. I can live without you.

FRANK

You've never been able to tell a lie. When you came to my office, you wanted me, not my money. Right?

MARA

Wrong. I'm an ignorant slut, remember?

FRANK

I behaved like an idiot, an imbecile. A real jerk.

MARA

Don't flatter yourself.

FRANK

I love you.

MARA

                                        Uh-huh.

FRANK

Mara, don't do this to me. Itd feel better if youd just slap me and get it over with.

MARA

And ruin my nails?

Mara laughs, waving her hands in his face.

FRANK

I said I love you. Don't pretend you didn't hear me.

MARA

I heard you...but I'm not listening.

FRANK

When a man says "I love you" with the same certainty that he says "the sun is shining", you have to listen!!

MARA

I heard the news this morning. Youre completely ruined and you should be happy they havent locked you up and thrown away the key.

FRANK

When things come too easily, theres no fun in the getting. When you consume too much, you get a stomach ache. If all you need is a shrug to love me, then love is just a game. And it doesnt mean anything. Mara, having everything doesn't guarantee happiness... it actually takes it away.

Mara continues to polish her nails, putting a foot on the Splash detergent box

MARA

More philosophy. The truth is that, once again, youre a just poor slob without a dime.

FRANK

Yes, but I love you.

MARA

The newspapers said you were going to be a candidate in the next the presidential election.

FRANK

I don't care. I love you.

Frank tries to embrace Mara, but she pushes him away

MARA

Somethings burning...My god, McNugget!

She runs to the pot simmering on the stove. She lifts the lid and steam escapes

and floats towards the ceiling.

Frank looks into the pot and is taken aback with horror. McNugget's dead body is

simmering in the pot. Mara pushes Frank out of the way and places the pot under

cold water.  More steam arises.

FRANK

You killed McNugget!

Mara shoves him out of the way with her hips and puts the pot on the stove

MARA

It's not really murder. At least I hope not. Ouch!

She sucks one of her burnt fingers

MARA

Believe it or not, this morning McNugget spoke to me! I swear...I'm not crazy! It...she...he...asked me to kill him and in return, he laid an egg. And you'll never guess what was inside!

FRANK

A key.

He's staring at the small key, on a chain around Mara's neck

MARA

How did you guess? McNugget told me that the key would bring me good luck. Poor McNugget! He wanted me to hurry and strangle him because he had to go someplace important

FRANK

Throw it out.

MARA

McNugget?

FRANK

No, the key. He gave one to me too. Don't you remember? I showed it to you.

The doorbell rings and Mara runs to put a robe on

MARA

Can you answer the door?

Frank collapses on the bed. The doorbell rings again and Mara, half-dressed, goes to answer it

MARA

Some things dont change. Lazy as always, eh Frank?

Frank doesn't answer. At the doorway stands a handsome young man. He looks

admiringly at Mara. He speaks to her in a sensual voice, in an attempt to seduce her

SALESMAN

Lovely creature, divine vision, it's quite obvious that you are also a very lucky woman!

MARA

What do you want?

SALESMAN

Only one thing, now that my eyes have gazed on your beauty.

FRANK

Go away! Nobodys home!

SALESMAN

You shouldnt belong to only one man.

You can have anyone!

MARA

Why are you here?

SALESMAN

You've won the Gum Seeth Award. The gum Seeth that doesn't stick to your teeth.

MARA

Really? This would be the first time Ive ever won anything!

She puts a hand on her breast and fondles the key

MARA

The key! It really works! What's the prize?

SALESMAN

A necklace with 32 genuine diamonds, worth one hundred thousand dollars. Thirty two shiny little jewels. Just like your 32 pearly-white teeth.

MARA

Frank, did you hear that? I won a genuine diamond necklace! McNugget was right!

SALESMAN

Theres only one small formality.

MARA

What is it?

SALESMAN

You have to have a pack of Seeth at home, the gum that doesn't stick to your teeth!

MARA

I have it! I bought it today! My God, what luck! I don't even know why I bought it. I don't even like gum... but where did I put it?

Mara searches on the table for the pack of gum, but its disappeared.

MARA

Frank! Don't sit there like a silly goose! There was a pack of Gum Sweet here! Have you seen it?! Help me look for it. I'm sure it was here. I put it near the cards.

FRANK

Just think of me, and how much I love you. My love is the real precious gem around here...not some stupid diamond necklace.

MARA

What in the world are you talking about? Where's the damn gum? I bet you know where it is!

Mara shouts impatiently, her eyes filling with tears.

MARA

Just sit down please, and give me a second...

SALESMAN

Sorry, lady. I can't stay here all day.

Frank puts his arms behind his back. Hes clenching his fists tightly

FRANK

Have you seen the Queen of Spades in my cards lately?

MARA

No, not anymore. Can we discuss the cards some other time? Look under the rug.

MARA

You took it!

FRANK

The Queen of Spades?

MARA

The gum! It was here on the table! You bastard! You don't want me to be rich and independent!

She hurls herself at Frank and begins searching in his pockets. She doesnt notice

that Frank has put the gum, completely wrapped in silver foil, into his mouth.

MARA

Your hands! Open your hands!

Frank opens and shows her his empty hands.

MARA

Key or no key, Im still unlucky. What happens if I don't find the gum?

SALESMAN

You win a giant pack of Gum Sweet, the gum that doesn't stick to your teeth.

The Salesman gives her a pack of gum and leaves.

Frank runs to the bathroom and spits the chewing gum out.

Mara explodes and throws the pack of chewing gum at the door.

MARA

You idiot! Keep your lousy gum!

FRANK (V.O.)

Yeah! And it's not true that it doesn't stick to your teeth!

Mara looks at Frank who is walking out of the bathroom, two fingers in his mouth trying

to free his teeth from the chewing gum

MARA

You bastard!

Frank embraces her and Mara doesn't resist. She stares at him

FRANK

I did it for us, Mara. I already went through all that.

Mara thrusts her knee into Frank's crotch. Frank keels over and Mara throws everything

 possible at him.

MARA

One hundred thousand dollars! I lost one hundred thousand dollars because of you!

Mara grabs the boiling pot and throws it in Franks direction. He hides behind the

bathroom door

FRANK

No, not the pot! No! It's scorching hot! Ouch!

Frank grabs the hen by the neck and waves it like a flag

FRANK

In the name of McNugget, listen to me!

Mara collapses on the bed, crying hysterically. Still holding the hen, Frank approaches

 her and caresses her hair softly

FRANK

My love, be reasonable. If you really believe in that key, then you must accept everything thats happened. If you didn't love me, if it werent meant for us to be together, then something would have taken you away from here, from me, to that one hundred thousand dollars. Dont you see?

Mara looks at him and now begins to wail

FRANK

Dont cry. It happened to me when I thought I didn't love you anymore. I had you but I thought I wanted Marilyn, money and power... to make me understand what I really wanted, I had to go through all that...to free myself from empty dreams. When I finally understood, I threw away the key and came back to you. Or maybe it was your key that brought me back ....

MARA

I dont want to throw it away, Frank. I still have plenty of dreams of my own....

FRANK

You're right. Don't throw it away. My good luck was to come back to you and yours was that I return. We have the lucky key. Its the key to our future. Together.

MARA

You remind me of my grandmother who told me never to marry and never have children. She said that when she was young, her grandmother told her the same thing. Who knows how many generations of grandmothers have given the same advice? Nobody listens to lessons learned by others. I cant give up my dreams without trying to make them come true.

Frank puts down the hen, caressing Mara's body and gently kissing her closed eyes

FRANK

You don't have to give up your dreams. You have the key and everythings going to come true. Look...

He puts his head through the chain holding the key around Mara's neck

FRANK (kissing her)

It's our fortune...until death do us part.

MARA

We don't have a cent. The landlord wants us out of here tomorrow. We don't even have a hen anymore. Where am I going to get a supply of feathers? Youre crazy to want to stay with me.

FRANK

Not so crazy, honey. Dont you know there isn't a millionaire in the world that doesn't have plenty of money stashed away in a secret Swiss bank account?

Frank winks at Mara. She smiles at him and they begin to make love. The half-cooked

hen opens one of its eyes and stares into space.

SPECIAL EFFECT

A fast zoom through the window and out beyond, running at the speed of light towards

the star-filled sky

McNUGGET VOICE

Inspectors! Another screwup and I'll break your rukis! I left the key to those poor things living in this Godforsaken universe. Tune in tensors, I'm coming! I'm coming!

Its clucking voice blends with Mara and Frank's who are in bed together, making 

love and giggling happily

 

                                                                    THE END

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