God’s Banker

God’s Banker

The following is NOT in Final Draft-screenplay So I’ve format to word.

EXT. AN ELEVATED ROCK OUTCROP – DAWN (Exterior/Interior)

Palermo Italy (location)

 

(Below-scene, action, characters)

A MAN is harnessed suspended behind a waist-high rock. He’s peering through binoculars across a valley to the rear garden of Villa half-a-mile away. He grips between his knees a high-powered rifle with telescopic sights

Despite being chair-bound DAVID BRYANT, looks a fit 56-year old. He lets the glasses drop to hang around his neck, then carefully picks up the rifle. After wrapping the sling around his left forearm several times, he pulls the butt into his right shoulder, then nudges his chin behind the… and squints through the sights.

EXT. REAR BALCONY OF VILLA – SAME TIME

A bald portly middle-aged ITALIAN in a dressing gown steps out onto a balcony toward a swimming pool. As he nears the pool a naked YOUNGER WOMAN appears and trots after him.

EXT. AN ELEVATED ROCK OUTCROP – SAME TIME

A shot echo across the valley, squawking birds take flight. Suddenly their noise is drowned by a Helicopter angling around the outcrop, it stops hovering above Bryant. A rope drops and a MAN slides down, after hitching Bryant’s chair to four kleets, the man picks up the cartridge grabs the gun, then tugs the rope.

The Helicopter tilts up and quickly climbs away.

EXT. MANSION SWIMMING POOL – SAME TIME

The Mistress screams, hands cover her cheeks. The Italian man floats upside down in blood-stained water.

What’s happened here? Bryant did an old friend a favor (want something) he’s a multi-millionaire, returns the favor; his chopper, security guys, flies him from Palermo to his Monaco pad. The mafia have no idea who, why or where did he escape to?

EXT.  MOUNTAIN ROAD – NIGHT

Swiss Italian border the Swiss Alps.

A sports car headlights full on inches forward on a snow-packed high alpine pass. It’s snowing hard, fat snow-drops splatter across a sports-car windshield. The wipers stack the snow against the front side pillars until the wipers stop vertical. The car stops the engine running. The FEMALE DRIVER gets out, slips over and yells. The passenger door opens. A WOMAN exits, leaning on car bonnet eases to the other woman who starts to get up. Both stare behind as car headlights flickers through the snow.

The women climb back in the car.

INT. CAR – SAME TIME

They brush the snow from themselves, the driver looks in the rearview mirror.

WOMAN #1 “Thank god.

EXT. MOUNTAIN ROAD

A pick-up truck stops behind the car. Two men get out tie a rope to the car rear bumper, get back in the pick-up, and reverse, tugging the car backward.

INT. CAR – SAME TIME

Both women shriek.

WOMAN #2 “What the hell, what are they doing?

WOMAN #1 “Lock the doors, just in case.

WOMAN #2 “In the case of what?

INT. SUMPTUOUS LIBRARY/DEN – EVENING

An overweight, cigar in mouth “DON” looks at two subordinates, his eyes flashing.

DON. “Whatcha mean, they’re dead?

The two Men look at one another.

MAN #1. “You said you wanted to send a message, we sent a message.

MAN #2. “Just like you said, boss.

The Don slowly rises and goes around the desk and prods one of the Men with his stubby forefinger.

DON. “I said “send a message” I didn’t say anything about killing women.  WE don’t kill women!  God almighty you mother fuckers, what were you thinking?

The two men stand nervously looking at one another and back to the Don as he paces around them, the cigar in his mouth unlit.  He finally throws the cigar away from him and turns angrily on the two men.

DON. “Clean up your mess.  I don’t care how you do it, just do it.  WE DONT KILL WOMEN!  That sends the WRONG message, you goons got that?

The two nod, lick their lips and begin to walk out of the room.

DON. “Let me know when it’s done, or you’ll be done.  Got it?

They nod and hurry from the room.

EXT. MOUNTAIN ROAD – BITTERLY COLD EVENING

The two Men are seen walking around and prodding the snow banks with shovels and picks, to no avail.  They cannot find the car buried under mounds of snow.

Disgruntled, their pant legs sopping wet and their breath spiraling on the freezing air the two return to their truck and sit looking through the windshield as night falls.

MAN #1. “Well, what do you suggest?

MAN #2. “Suggest we get the Hell out of here and as far from the Don as possible.  Ain’t no way we are going to find that car before the spring thaw, and by then.

He tries to start the engine but it won’t kick over.  He tries again with the same results.  The two look at one another in disbelief.

MAN #2. “Try it again.

As the first Man tries to rev the engine the sound of a fast approaching car is heard and headlights pick out the road ahead of their truck as the sports car rounds the bend.  The two Men are blinded by the glare of the approaching headlights and cover their eyes as the sports car approaches.  In the next instant, their windshield shatters and blood and brain matter explode all over the screen as the sports car slews on by.

Note: Some years later the car is found in a snow drift. The women’s necks are broken. Coroners verdict: Caused when the car skidded off the road in a drift. In fact, they were murdered. They were well-connected ladies, wealthy husbands, killed for revenge. I’ll get the facts.

 

On screen: January 11, 1999

EXT. LONDON BRIDGE. NIGHT.

Beneath an arch of this Bridge spanning the river Thames. Is a long taught rope dangling from the street level ironwork? On it, a man is hanging by his neck. His hands tied behind the back.

Static lettering:  JANUARY 1982. BLACKFRIARS BRIDGE, LONDON, ENGLAND.

BRYANT a Paris-based FBI Agent now seconded to MI6.

EXT. RIVER-LEVEL FOOTPATH. NIGHT

Two detectives look at swaying body.

BRYANT. “So who is he for Christ sake?

FORBES. “He doesn’t look hard up.

BRYANT

Why the hell does guy choose the coldest night of the winter?

FORBES. “Perhaps it wasn’t his choice.

BRYANT. “Ya, why bother to dress up, wrap a rope around the railings, tie your hands behind your back, and jump?

EXT. FOOTPATH. NIGHT

Three policemen lifting corpse over railings.

1ST POLICEMAN. “He weighs a lot for a little bloke.

2ND POLICEMAN. “He’s wearing a brick vest.

FORBES and BRYANT head up the steps to the street above. A POLICEMAN” s searching the corpse laid on FOOTPATH.

POLICEMAN. “No wounds sir.

BRYANT bends down looks over the body. Pulls well-used, crumpled passport from inside-jacket-pocket, flips it open.

BRYANT. “Italian Gian Roberto Calvi, born 1922, so he’s sixty. That coat’s not from Marks and Spencer’s, and those shoes cost two-fifty of anybody’s money. Okay, guys take him St. Bart’s. Rope off the area we’ll be back in the morning. Thanks for your help.

Scene explaining who Calvi is, his connection with the Mafia-style gangs targeting European cash – and Brussels admits it is powerless to prevent them. Hundreds of millions of taxpayer’s money is disappearing into fraudsters” pockets and Swiss bank accounts with more than 50 international crime syndicates now unmasked by the European Commission’s anti-fraud unit UCLAF. In charge:  Bryant an American FBI agent has been assigned to try and clear it up. Bryant’s an expert on the Mafia. They murdered his father and brother.

INTERIOR. MORGUE. NIGHT

BRYANT, BOB SHARPLES-Forensic expert look at the body.

BRYANT. “Twenty-Three thou? That’s a lot of cash to be carrying around.

SHARPLES. “Twelve pounds of bricks and masonry. Odd combination, don’t you think?

BRYANT. “Cash is various European currencies, mostly Lire.

SHARPLES. “Who he is for the records?

BRYANT. “Roberto Calvi past President of Italy’s Banco Ambrosiano.

SHARPLES. “Mafia?

BRYANT, “Had to be, we cannot connect him to any family.

SHARPLES. “So he’s got a record?

BRYANT. “In eighty-one found guilty by an Italian court of illegally exporting twenty-six point four mill US dollars to Switzerland. Four-year suspended. Ordered to pay a fine of seven point three mill.  A week later made the chairman of the Bank, closely linked with the Vatican Bank. A number of highly questionable transactions. An investigation by Bank of Italy. How come loans of one-point-four-billion-dollars to subsidiaries to several companies registered in Panama, owned directly by the Vatican Bank. Run on Ambrosiano’s shares. Eleven days later Calvi vanishes mysteriously in Rome, using false passport fled to Austria. No-ones saw him since last night.

SHARPLES.   “I hear you are into the Mob.

BRYANT       “We go deep. Calvi’s secretary kept some special books. She jumped or was helped out of the fourth floor window.

SHARPLES    “Want my view?

BRYANT”      Anything.

SHARPLES    “I believe the bricks and masonry signify he was a Freemason. See that knot?

BRYANT       “What’s is it?

SHARPLES    “It’s a Cable-tow knot used by Masons. Do you know if he was a Mason?

BRYANT       “No idea, one secret outfit’s enough.

SHARPLES    “So it could be the Mafia? Or he’s been ritually done to death. Or suicide.

BRYANT       “You been watching too many Godfather films.

SHARPLES    “In Italy, the logo of the Brotherhood is the figure of the Blackfriar.

BRYANT       “The Bridge.

SHARPLES    “Blackfriars Bridge is where you found him?

BRYANT       “The same.

SHARPLES    “He travels late at night from his hotel, carrying bricks-which he’s got to get. Fills his pockets, climbs over the bridge on to the scaffolding that he could not have known was there – and perform the elaborate task of arranging a heavy rope-which he’s got to get, presumably bought for the purpose and launch himself off the scaffolding. It would have been easier to throw himself out of the same window as his secretary. Or if the idea of suicide only came to him when he reached London. That’s a long way just to kill yourself. Why not do it in the comfort of your Hotel with this expensive leather belt around your neck?

BRYANT       “Figures Bob. He suffered from Vertigo. You a Mason?

SHARPLES    “No, but I know quite a bit about it.

BRYANT       “Remember the Director-General of MI5 Hollis? He was in charge during the crucial years fifty-six to sixty-five.

SHARPLES    “Was he one?

BRYANT       “His phenomenal promotion rate after entry by way of a Masonic Lodge in Shanghai in the thirties. Traveled extensively in Russia for years. The KGB got to him; he was their spy for thirty years. The China man report draws attention to the KGB is an almost certain use of Freemasonry for placing operatives in positions of authority. It also states British Freemasonry, unknown to its members, is a major target for so-called “Special Political Action” by the KGB.

SHARPLES    “You’re obviously not in the Brotherhood!

BRYANT       “Been too busy. Anyway, the inherent dangers in any secret society with cellular forms devised by the founders for the security of movement, can and are readily “Hoodwink the leadership who become “Front men” for unsavory and illegal activities.

The scene not in sequence into the outfit.

LONDON, ENGLAND. DAY

Static lettering. 10 years later

EXT. CLASSY LONDON RESIDENTIAL STREET. DAY.

A 45-year-old woman waiting outside a front door. A 40-year-old man opens it and smiles.

TREE  “Good morning.

GRANT          “My names is Grant. I wonder if we can have a talk?

TREE  “About what exactly?

GRANT          “It’s about some work. I am not selling life insurance.

TREE  “Just as well. l can’t afford it. Anyway, you don’t look the type. Paid work that is?

GRANT          “Yes.

TREE  “Then come in.

GRANT turns, signaling the chauffeur driven Jaguar car. Tree looks at her and smiles, ushers her in, notes the odd CAR number plate, closes the door behind her. She follows him along the corridor.

TREE  “Nice colour-the jag. Coffee?

GRANT          “Black, one sugar.

TREE  “Not worried about your weight?

She ignores the remark. They walk into the lounge.

TREE “This is Thaddius. He’s a good friend.

THADIUS      “How do you do? I” II get the coffee, you can talk.

Tree looks at Grant as she sits and crosses her shapely legs. He smiles waiting to hear what she has to say.

TREE  “What sort of work had you in mind? And just who are you?

GRANT          “I work for the government, looking after things they don’t have the stomach for that crop up from time to time and need cleaning up.

TREE  “You mean it’s illegal?

GRANT          “In a loose sense.

TREE  “How bloody loose?

GRANT          “Can we be frank?

THADIUS enters with tray, percolator, cream, sugar, foot’s papers off Table, spills coffee as he plonks it down, begins pouring.

THADIUS “We’ve got to get that woman back to clean up.

TREE  “This lady’s a crook Thadius.

THADIUS      “She’s too good looking for that. Black?

GRANT          “Yes.

THADIUS      “We can’t afford to have a record.

GRANT pulls two folders from her case, opens them.

GRANT          “Your files. You’ve each been inside for five or three. Zac, I believe you like to be called. Insurance fraud of one and a quarter million. Ex-SAS. Thadius dealing in suspect antiques and art fakes. You are both broke. Each has several banks, and finance companies chasing you. Bankruptcy notices are imminent. The Inland Revenue is also very anxious to talk to you both; at the moment they do not know where you are.

THADIUS      “Ouch. That’s below the belt.

GRANT          “I was aiming for your balls.

THADIUS: “Are you implying they could find out where we are?

GRANT          “Government departments are not the most efficient. Getting quality staff is proving most difficult.

TREE” Okay. We see “where you’re coming from.

THADIUS

And we don’t like it one single bit. What do you want us to do? And how much money are you paying?

GRANT          “Eighty a day. I must mention, no one knows you. I don’t, if you are caught, you are on your own.

Thadius and Grant look at each other.

THADIUS “That sort of work?

TREE

That’s each of course?

GRANT          Yes.”

THADIUS “A car?

GRANT          “No.

TREE  “Expenses?

GRANT          “Bare essentials. You’ve a car, we’ll cover fuel.

TREE  “Needs insuring, taxing and an MOT.

GRANT          “I’ll cover those.

THADIUS      “Eighty’s tight. Make it a hundred.

Grant pauses sips her coffee.

TREE  “You can authorize that surely. Chauffeured Jag, you don’t have to ask your boss. You are the boss, aren’t you?

GRANT          “You’ll be paid in cash weekly signing for each. How you deal with the Inland Revenue is your business.

THADIUS “I thought you said, the Government don’t know us if things go pear-shaped?

GRANT ignores that one.

THADIUS      “That’s a five-day week. Saturday and Sunday double-time?

GRANT          “You’re a mercenary bastard aren’t you?

THADIUS “No. You know we’re broke. Now if you’re the boss. I am sure you can keep the banks, finance companies and the tax man at bay for the time being. Till we get on our feet.

TREE “After all not exactly in your interests if we get nabbed.

GRANT          “See what I can do.

TREE  “The down side. What do we have to do to earn this money?

GRANT          “Find the culprits behind the EEC fraud?

THADIUS      “Which one! There are thousands of them. You know as well anyone else. They’re the biggest frauds in the world, and out of control. Arrest the politicians.

GRANT          “Get me the evidence.

TREE  “You’ve got something we can start with no doubt?

GRANT          “Nothing in writing.

TREE  “You want us to sit in front of a Computer?

GRANT          “You any other suggestions?

TREE “Sure. Your driver delivers an Assignment-I think that’s what you call them. We read it, shred it.

GRANT          “I’ll think about it.

THADIUS “Zac was an officer in the SAS. You know I worked in intelligence for years. So you can bet we don’t leave incriminating papers lying around. So come on. It’s our skins, not yours, and believe me, we are pretty attached to them. We need a computer. Nothing is downloaded. Floppies are destroyed. It’ll work.

GRANT          “I’ll have your phone connected. Private stuff only.

TREE  “You collect the account?

Grant acknowledges.

TREE  “Latest PC with all the business.

GRANT          “Anything else.

THADIUS “My address in Kent. Need a phone there.

GRANT          “You moving?

THADIUS      “When I can afford a new roof.

GRANT          “Address.

THADIUS      “The Oast House, Marden Road, Headcorn.

GRANT          “Sounds nice.

THADIUS      “It is. When I have the moving in party, you can come.

GRANT          “Look forward to it. That about wraps it up for now. Any questions.

TREE  “Need cash on account, two mobiles. (did they have “em then)

Grant pulls an envelope from the case.

GRANT          “Sign here. Five hundred on the account. Who looks after your books?

TREE: “Books? We’re not keeping any. Officially we don’t exist, do we?

GRANT          “I’ll be in touch.

TREE  “How do we contact you?

GRANT          “You don’t. Ring this number anytime, leave a message, it’s passed to me within minutes. Oh by the way. I am not the boss. You’ll meet him soon.

Not in sequence:

INT. LONDON BUILDING. DAY.

The camera pans up to a 2nd story window. Dissolves through window revealing TREE, GRANT & THADIUS sitting, talking.

TREE  “You didn’t tell us there would be some big guys out there with big guns!

GRANT          “We’ll give you bigger guns.

THADIUS      “And the bigger guys?

GRANT          “Take up weight training or martial arts

TREE  “That’s a lotta good. You know how fast a bullet travels?

GRANT          “……. feet per second at sea level. Decreasing by feet per second per second for every 100 feet of altitude.

THADIUS      “Forget the guns. The only way you’ll stop these guys is to put a submerged nuclear powered Trident missile sub in Lake Geneva. Then every time you want to take someone out, use a twenty-foot long Tomahawk with a 2,600-pound high explosive warhead.

GRANT          “You know how much the Americans charge us for those?

THADIUS      “No! But you’re going to tell us.

GRANT          “£75,000 a copy.

TREE  “That’s peanuts compared to what they’re pinching daily from under their noses.

GRANT          “I don’t believe the Swiss will allow us to launch a Tomahawk from the Alps.

THADIUS      “How about a smaller sub? A Trident’s pretty large at that.

A light flashes above a door.

GRANT          “Okay let’s go in.

They walk into Bryant’s office.

BRYANT       “I hear you want bigger guns!

TREE  “And more of them.

THADIUS “You’ve been listening?

Bryant gets up, walks to the large window overlooking the square.

BRYANT       “Magnums are the heaviest we supply. You can pick two up when you leave. I hear you want more money.

THADIUS: “Due to a raise after six months.

BRYANT       “Sure, I’ll go along with” that. Two-fifty a day plus expenses. You straight with the banks and tax man?

TREE  “Not exactly.

THADIUS      “I am working on it.

BRYANT       “What you mean is, no one has found you yet?

TREE  “Saves problems in advance.

BRYANT       “Only if you stay alive. When you’re out of the country if you need funds contact Grant she’ll get it to you within 24 hours. You’ll collect it from a Bank, signing of course. And when you collect the guns, read and remember the contact numbers for further ammunition. Don’t write them down.

TREE  “How will a bank teller know who we are?

BRYANT       “Pin numbers.

BRYANT       “Any idea how much revenue was lost during 90 to 95?

They shake their heads.

ECU 975 million or, 685 million pounds. Cigarettes by far cause most concern, these account for 47% of the sums involved. So we are looking at 321 million-64 mill annually, 1.25 mill weekly, or 176 thou daily, or 7 thou 400 hundred an hour. That’s a lotta smokes gentlemen. Grant will bring you up to speed. The stuff’s vanishing by truckloads. The last count was 175 fully loaded trucks. If they don’t vanish, the forged documentation is so good it’s impossible to detect, and until we crack a method of incorporating a chip in the documents it’s all uphill.

THADIUS      “You’ve got some leads?

BRYANT       “They ain’t good. But it’s a start. The growth trend has been that of the budgetary rise. But now the Dragons of the East are sniffing around. 400 million computer diskettes exported from Macao, under cover of certificates of non-preferential origin, although they could not have been assembled there. They were imported from China under false descriptions then re-exported from Macao. Some came from Thailand and assembled from Japanese, Korean, and US components. In these circumstances, anti-dumping duties applicable to diskettes of Chinese origin will have to be paid on all these falsely declared goods of Macao origin. Some Dragons copped 18.7 mill in 21 months. We’re now looking at years preceding these investigations. No doubt that sum will top at least 100 mill. I won’t bother you with the 523,241 bikes from Vietnam. Which cost 10 mill. Or the 14 mill clothing items from China. So you see the stakes are high.

TREE  “Lot of paper work for someone.

THADIUS      “What’s the success rate collecting these oversights?

BRYANT       “Don’t ask embarrassing questions. It could put us all out of a job. We got enough problems getting to all the countries involved. Nepal, Mexico, Argentina, Gabon, United Arab Emirates, Laos. You name it, and without exception, every country in the world is used generally without its knowledge as the country of origin. When our official guys go and check. Ten-out-of-ten cases are with fake docs.

THADIUS      “If it’s that bloody easy, and we know the dodges, why are we mucking about on 250 a day! When the cigarette guys are collecting nearly eight-grand.

All look at Tree, as if to say, why didn’t I think of that.

THADIUS” I was kidding.

BRYANT       “One last thing. The Asian Dragons play very dirty. Take no risks with these guys. Any questions.

TREE  “Who takes over your job when you retire?

GRANT          “Me.

BRYANT

When I took the job, I spent most of my time in the field at the sharp end. Stuck in here for days on end looking at this dreary weather, ain’t my idea of work.

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