BRIDGE OF SPIES
by
Matt Charman
and
Ethan Coen & Joel Coen
Final Shooting Script
12.17.14
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
1.
TITLE OVER BLACK: 1957.
The height of the Cold War. The United States and the Soviet Union fear each other’s nuclear capabilities - and intentions. Both sides deploy spies - and hunt for them.
INSPIRED BY TRUE EVENTS
CLOSE ON AN ELDERLY MAN
Reflected in a grimy mirror. The mirror is propped up on a chair next to an open window looking out from the fourth floor onto a Brooklyn skyline.
Pull back to show the man sitting in a shabby workshop/studio. He looks from the mirror down at a canvas in front of him as he daubs paint onto a self-portrait.
The telephone rings.
The old man rests his brush on the easel and walks to a table cluttered with papers and shortwave radios. He picks up the phone and listens but doesn’t say anything.
FULTON STREET
The old man, Rudolf Abel, emerges from the building, walks along the street.
TITLE: BROOKLYN
An Agent follows Abel.
SUBWAY TRAIN INTERIOR
The Agent watches Abel as the train stops at Broad Street. The Agent, now joined by a second Agent, follows him at a distance. Abel dabs at his nose with a handkerchief. The agents lose him in the crush of commuters. They emerge from the station and consult two other Agents. No sign of Abel. First Agent heads back down the stair, smashing BANG right into Abel, who’s coming up the stairs.
Abel looks up, surprised. Then mildly:
ABEL
Excuse me.
The agent equally surprised watches as Abel makes his way around him.
(CONTINUED)
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2.
CONTINUED:
A distant siren fades up and crosses the cut to:
INT. CAR
The Agents drive past Abel, who is seated on a park bench overlooking the East River, painting.
AGENT (to Driver)
Go ahead and park around the corner.
AT THE RIVERSIDE
Abel sets down his palette.
Close on his hand, adjusting his easel, then feeling under the bench. His hand closes on something held by a magnet to the bench’s steel frame below the wood seat-slats: it is a nickel.
Back to Abel sitting. Picks up his palette...
MANHATTAN STREET
A seedy part of town. Abel walks toward a building, the HOTEL LATHAM.
INSIDE THE ROOM
As Abel lets himself in. A very modest room. He sets down his portable easel and case. Sets his work-in-progress canvass on a standing easel, drapes his jacket over a chair, hangs his hat on the easel. He turns on a table fan.
He fishes the nickel from his pocket, retrieves a razor from the bathroom and uses it to carefully to open it. It is hollow.
Inside is a piece of paper, folded accordion-style into a small square.
Abel unfolds it. Holds it up to a magnifier lamp. Written on the paper, a sequence of numerals.
STREET OUTSIDE HOTEL
Two government cars skid to a stop and the Agents pour out.
HALLWAY
The Agents run down the corridor.
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
3.
ABEL’S ROOM
Its door is being busted in.
The Agents swarm in. They have guns. They come up short.
The small room is empty. The easel with a work in progress upon it stands before the window, which stands open, gentle wind playing at the sheers.
Outside, a fire escape. The man seems to have left.
An Agent inspects a closed door. The bathroom -- Rudolf Abel steps out, in his briefs. Standing in the doorway, cigarette in mouth, we see him as a frail, vulnerable old man.
He freezes, not scared, just surprised. He looks at the men. They look at him.
At last he speaks, with colorless, quasi-British accent.
ABEL
Visitors.
A beat.
ABEL (CONT’D)
...Would you mind if I fetch my teeth?
Two of the agents, Blasco and Gamber, look at each other, confused. Abel gestures back towards the bathroom.
BLASCO
Colonel, would you turn around please.
Blasco turns Abel around, checks to make sure he’s not armed.
BLASCO (CONT’D)
Sit down. On the bed.
Blasco and Gamber walk him to the bed. He sits.
ABEL (gesturing toward bathroom)
The teeth are on the sink...
(CONTINUED)
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4.
CONTINUED:
GAMBER
Look at me! We are agents from the federal government.
Abel scans the Agents who surround him.
GAMBER (CONT’D)
Look at me! I’m talking to you. We have received information concerning your involvement in espionage. You can either cooperate with us right now or you’ll be under arrest. Do you understand, Colonel?
Blasco heads into the bathroom.
ABEL
Not really. Why do you keep calling me “Colonel”?
Blasco returns and with care hands him his teeth. Abel puts them in.
BLASCO
You need to get dressed.
GAMBER
We have to search your apartment.
Abel points at the art materials on the table.
ABEL
Would you mind if I cleaned my palette? The paints will get ruined otherwise. Just behind you there. I have a cloth, myself...
Abel stands. Blasco hands him his palette.
ABEL (CONT’D)
Thank you.
BLASCO
(to the other men) Start searching, please.
ABEL
Would you put this out in the ashtray. On the windowsill there.
(CONTINUED)
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5.
CONTINUED: (2)
While an Agent does this and the other Agents begin the search, Abel, holding the palette, grabs a small scrap of paper -- the one from the nickel bearing a series of numerals.
As the agents explore the room, Abel uses the paper to wipe the palette clean.
ABEL (CONT’D)
Don’t want this to get spoiled.
The wet paint obliterates the code. As the agents continue
to toss the room...
PRE-LAP
Mellow jazz piano...
DISSOLVE TO
INT. THE HARVARD CLUB
Two middle-aged men sit in club chairs facing each other. Each holds a tumbler of scotch.
DONOVAN
Don’t say “my guy.” He’s not “my guy.”
BATES
Yes he’s your guy. Who’re we talking about?
DONOVAN
We’re talking about a guy who is insured by my client. So don’t make him “my guy.”
BATES
Okay, fine, my point is he -- the guy insured by your client -- he doesn’t deny any of these things happened --
DONOVAN “These things?”
BATES
Yes. These five things.
DONOVAN
Wait. Hold it, hold it, hold it.
Not five things, one thing.
(CONTINUED)
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6.
CONTINUED:
BATES
Clearly, it’s five things.
DONOVAN
Well -- I’m sorry -- it’s not clear to me. Five things? Explain it to me.
BATES
It’s self-evident.
DONOVAN
Okay, then tell me what happened, tell me the story in a way that makes sense. For five things.
BATES
Fine. Absolutely. Your guy --
DONOVAN
Not my guy. Insured by my client.
BATES
The guy insured by your client -- is driving down State Highway 19 when he loses control of his car, hits my five guys. The five guys who hired me to represent them because you’re not honoring your claim.
DONOVAN
You mean my client is not honoring the claim. The insurance company.
BATES
Mr. Donovan: we’re all clear on who’s who here.
DONOVAN
Except, my client honors every claim. They do, Mr. Bates, every single legitimate claim. Up to the limit of their liability, which is $100,000 per accident in the case of this man’s policy. And this is one claim, according to your description. “He hit my five guys.” The guy insured by my client had one accident, one one one, losing control of the car and hitting five motorcyclists.
(CONTINUED)
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7.
CONTINUED: (2)
BATES
From their point of view, five things happened.
DONOVAN
Look Bob -- may I? Bob? (gestures to self)
Jim. If I go bowling and I throw a strike, one thing happened. Ten things didn’t happen.
BATES
Jim. My clients are not bowling pins. As much your guy might have treated them so --
DONOVAN
Lemme finish. If your house is insured to $100,000 and a tornado carries it away, it carried away one house. It didn’t pick up every stick of furniture and destroy it in a separate incident. If that’s what you’re saying, well, then there is never any limit to our liability and that is the end of the insurance business. And then, Bob, nobody is safe.
RECEPTION: WATTERS, COWAN AND DONOVAN
Donovan steps into a plush office suite. The receptionist works a busy switchboard.
RECEPTIONIST (ON PHONE)
Watters, Cowan and Donovan, how may
I direct your call?
Alison, Donovan’s secretary, steps over with his mail.
DONOVAN
Good morning, Alison.
ALISON
Morning, Mr. Donovan. I moved your nine a.m. with Prudential, sir.
DONOVAN
Why did you do that?
WATTERS (O.S.)
I asked her to --
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
8.
CONTINUED:
Donovan turns to find his senior partner, THOMAS WATTERS JR (70s), watching him closely.
DONOVAN
Everything alright, Tom?
WATTERS
Why don’t you leave your stuff with
Alison, c’mon inside.
Donovan sets his briefcase, mail and hat down and follows Watters.
WATTERS (CONT’D) Something pretty important has come up and there’s someone here to see us. Natalie’ll get your coffee.
(To Watters’ secretary Natalie)
Nescafé, no cream, two lumps. Right?
DONOVAN
That’s right, thanks.
He looks concerned.
WATTER’S OFFICE
Lynn Goodnough (50s), Chairman of the New York Bar, smiles as Watters and Donovan enter. Goodnough shakes Donovan’s hand.
GOODNOUGH
Jim, nice to see you again. How’s the family?
DONOVAN
Great, good, thanks. How’s Annie?
Natalie enters with Donovan’s coffee, sets in on desk.
GOODNOUGH
Homicidal, we had the in-laws for the holiday.
Watters sits on his desk.
DONOVAN
Well, if she acts on it she’ll have good representation.
Chuckles.
(CONTINUED)
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9.
CONTINUED:
DONOVAN (CONT’D)
What’s up?
Natalie leaves. All three men take their seats.
GOODNOUGH
Okay. Here’s the thing. The Soviet spy they caught. We want you to defend him. (pause) Here’s the indictment.
Slap! -- he drops a thick document onto the coffee table.
Silence.
Donovan looks at it but doesn’t reach for it. He is absorbing the news.
DONOVAN
Well.
More silence.
DONOVAN (CONT’D)
...I’m not sure I should pick that up.
WATTERS
The accused doesn’t know any lawyers. The Federal Court tossed it into our lap. The Bar Committee took a vote. You were the unanimous choice.
GOODNOUGH
It was important to us -- it’s important to our country, Jim -- that this man is seen as getting a fair shake. American justice will be on trial.
DONOVAN
Well, of course, when you put it that way, it’s an honor to be asked. But -- Lynn -- I’m an insurance lawyer, I haven’t done criminal work in years.
GOODNOUGH
Well it’s like riding a bike, isn’t it? You distinguished yourself at Nuremberg.
(CONTINUED)
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10.
CONTINUED: (2)
DONOVAN
I was on the prosecution team.
GOODNOUGH
Not the point: you’re no stranger to criminal law. Jim, look at the situation. The man is publicly reviled.
DONOVAN
And I will be too.
GOODNOUGH
Yes, in more ignorant quarters. But that’s exactly why this has to be done -- and capably done. It can’t look like our justice system tosses people on the ash heap.
Thinking beat.
DONOVAN
Suppose I did...what’s the evidence look like?
GOODNOUGH
Pretty overwhelming.
DONOVAN
Great. Great. Everyone will hate me, but at least I’ll lose. (to Watters) What do you think, Tom? The firm’ll suffer, I have work here.
WATTERS
I think it’s a patriotic duty, this is an important mission. I told Lynn the firm can’t say no, and you’d have a tough time saying no too. I think you have to defend the sonofabitch.
DONOVAN’S OFFICE
On young attorney Doug Forrester.
DOUG
So you’re doing it?
DONOVAN (O.C.)
Doing what?
(CONTINUED)
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11.
CONTINUED:
DOUG
Defending Abel, the Soviet spy.
Widen to include Donovan, seated at his desk, Forrester standing in front of him.
DONOVAN
I may be. Hey how do you know? Did they post it on the bulletin board?
DOUG
I was just talking to Richard --
DONOVAN
If I do this? I’m going to need your help.
Doug sits, beams, until -
DONOVAN (CONT’D)
Can you work tonight?
DOUG
Well, I have a dinner date, sir...
Donovan gives him a hard look.
DOUG (CONT’D) (back-peddling)
It’s Tuesday, right? No I can cancel. No problem.
As Doug stands and exits, Donovan chuckles to himself.
DONOVAN HOME -- DINING ROOM
The family is at the dinner table. Mary exits from the kitchen with plates of food.
DONOVAN
...But it’s also an honor. And the bar association asked me because they want to demonstrate that even this spy gets a capable advocate.
We hear the door opening, off.
MARY
Well maybe it’s the kind of honor we can do without. People are scared, they’re --
Carol walks in.
(CONTINUED)
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12.
CONTINUED:
DONOVAN
Hi honey, what are you doing home?
CAROL
I got stood up.
DONOVAN
What? That’s despicable. Who’s this knot head?
CAROL
I’d rather not say.
MARY
Well sit down, we just started. (to Donovan)
...People are scared, they’re building bomb shelters to protect themselves from people like this man.
DONOVAN
Roger. Make another place setting for your sister.
Roger does as instructed.
MARY (to Donovan)
I go to the store, people are buying canned foods and potassium tablets. It’s all about this man and what he represents, he’s a threat to all of us, a traitor --
ROGER
Who’s a traitor?
DONOVAN
The Rosenbergs were traitors --
ROGER
Who are they?
DONOVAN
They gave atomic secrets to the Russians. They were Americans, they betrayed their country. But you can’t accuse Abel of being a traitor, he’s not an American.
(CONTINUED)
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13.
CONTINUED: (2)
MARY
Listen to yourself. You’re defending him already. You’re rehearsing it on me. You said you were just thinking about taking it.
DONOVAN
Well I am just thinking about it -- just very hard. Everyone deserves a defense. Every person matters.
MARY
Jim, what do we deserve? You know how people will look at us? The family of a man trying to free a traitor?
DONOVAN
He’s not a traitor, Mary--
The doorbell.
MARY
Roger get that.
ROGER
Why do I have to do all the work around here?
Peggy reaches for a dinner roll.
MARY
Wait till we say grace!
PEGGY
I’m hungry!
MARY (to Donovan)
He’s about the most unpopular man in the country -- and you’re trying to take second place.
CAROL
Yeah, and I’m third.
DONOVAN
No, Carol, you just made a date with the wrong guy.
(to Mary)
Mary, don’t make us disagree if we’re not disagreeing, you’re against the guy, I’m for him?
(MORE)
(CONTINUED)
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14.
CONTINUED: (3)
DONOVAN (CONT'D)
Huh-uh. I’m not for the guy, I’m not for Russians spying on us. I’m for his right to have a defense in a court of law. That’s why we call it a court of law...
Roger walks back in leading Doug Forrester who is carrying a stack of books.
Carol stiffens.
DOUG
Hello, sir, sorry -- didn’t mean to interrupt your dinner.
DONOVAN
(still focused on Mary)
A court of law and not a...not a...
Hey, Doug. And not a kangaroo court.
MARY (to Doug)
Oh not at all, hello Doug -- Jim was just flailing.
DONOVAN
I’m not flailing...go ahead, Doug, you can join us for dinner, we’re having meat loaf tonight.
MARY
(ignoring Donovan, eying Doug’s books)
So you came over to help Jim think about whether he’s taking the case.
Doug, deaf to the irony, is innocently enthusiastic:
DOUG
Oh, we’re taking it! It’s exciting, isn’t it?
Mary stares daggers at Donovan. Doug realizes he’s stepped in it. Donovan, abashed, starts saying grace, extends his hand to Mary, who doesn’t hold it so much as slap it...
BROOKLYN COURTHOUSE
Abel is led by a guard into a detention room where Donovan awaits.
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15.
DETENTION ROOM
DONOVAN
Good morning, sir. My name is Jim
Donovan. These are my credentials --
Both men stand looking at each other, Abel still at the threshold.
After a beat he moves in further, his gaze holding on Donovan who glances at papers on table
DONOVAN (CONT’D)
I’m a partner at Watters, Cowan and
Donovan. I was admitted to the New
York Bar in 1941.
As the guard slams the door shut, Abel picks up the papers and inspects them. Donovan watches him, trying to read him.
DONOVAN (CONT’D)
...You’ve been charged with three counts and nineteen overt acts; conspiracy to transmit United States defense and atomic secrets to the Soviet Union; conspiracy to gather secrets; and failing to register as a foreign agent.
ABEL
Do many foreign agents register?
Only now does Abel look up from the credentials up to Donovan. Donovan takes a moment, not sure if he’s being kidded. He takes a seat at the table.
DONOVAN
If you don’t mind my asking, sir, since your arrest: where have you been?
ABEL
I couldn’t say for certain.
DONOVAN
You don’t know.
Abel takes a seat.
ABEL
They drove me to an airport, put me on a plane. They took me off the plane. Somewhere hot.
(CONTINUED)
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16.
CONTINUED:
DONOVAN
It’s hot here.
ABEL
Hotter. Very humid. They put me in a room.
Abel attends to his runny nose with a handkerchief.
DONOVAN
Were you beaten?
ABEL
No. I was...talked to. Offers were made.
DONOVAN
What do you mean?
ABEL
Offers of employment. To work for your government. I was told if I cooperated no further charges would be made against me, and I would be given money.
DONOVAN
And you declined.
ABEL
As you see.
DONOVAN
Well of course, I can’t endorse that. I feel duty bound to urge you to cooperate with the U.S. Government.
ABEL
Well, I said no. Perhaps you could relay to your friends at the CIA that I meant it.
DONOVAN
No no, I don’t work for the agency. I don’t work for the government. I’m here to offer my services as your legal counsel. If you accept them as such, I work for you.
ABEL
If I accept you? Are you good at what you do?
(CONTINUED)
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17.
CONTINUED: (2)
DONOVAN
Yeah, I’m pretty good.
ABEL
Have you represented many accused spies?
DONOVAN
No. Not yet. This will be a first for the both of us.
Abel chuckles, looks again at Donovan’s credentials.
ABEL
All right.
DONOVAN
All right you accept?
ABEL
Yes, all right.
DONOVAN
Good, okay, let’s start here. If you are firm in your resolve not to cooperate with the U.S. government --
ABEL
I am.
DONOVAN
Yeah, then do not talk to anyone else about your case. Inside of government or out. Except to me -- to the extent that you trust me. I have a mandate to serve you. Nobody else does. Quite frankly, everybody else has an interest in sending you to the electric chair.
ABEL
All right.
DONOVAN
You don’t seem alarmed.
Abel shrugs.
ABEL
Would it help?
Abel watches Donovan for another moment. Amused. Pulls out a pad of paper and starts writing.
(CONTINUED)
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18.
CONTINUED: (3)
ABEL (CONT’D)
I’d like materials. To draw with.
DONOVAN
That’s not possible.
ABEL
A pencil. A piece of paper. And cigarettes. Please.
The show of manners surprises Donovan. Abel watches him.
ABEL (CONT’D)
Mr. Donovan, you have men like me doing the same for your country. If they were caught, I’m sure you’d wish them to be treated well.
MOTEL
A cheap room with the curtains drawn.
An athletic-looking man in uniform is seated on a chair.
VOICE
What’s your name?
MAN
Francis Gary Powers.
Wider: he is strapped to a lie detector.
INTERROGATOR
Rank, service.
POWERS
First Lieutenant. United States Air
Force.
INTERROGATOR
Do you have any association with the
Soviet Union, Lieutenant Powers?
POWERS
Are you kiddin?
INTERROGATOR Just answer the questions,
Lieutenant, yes/no or as simply as you can. Do you have any association with the Soviet Union?
(CONTINUED)
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19.
CONTINUED:
POWERS
Hell no.
INTERROGATOR
Do you know why you’re here?
POWERS
Uh-uh.
INTERROGATOR
Is that a no?
POWERS
Yes. I mean no. It’s just no. (turning to the interrogator) Yes, I have absolutely no idea why I’m here.
INTERROGATOR
Eyes front, Lieutenant.
Powers turns back.
POWERS
Yes sir.
EXTERIOR MOTEL
We are wide looking at the fluorescent-lit arcade of rooms of a motel with a cheap neon sign. Night crickets. The door of one room opens and Powers and an escort emerge: Powers is led down the row of doors to another, and he is shown in.
NEW ROOM
Three other pilots are inside, smoking, playing cards, waiting.
MURPHY
How’d ya do in there, Gary?
POWERS
Pretty good. Think I got my name right.
MURPHY
Probably outscored Shinn, then.
Powers sits.
POWERS
Who’s winnin’?
(CONTINUED)
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20.
CONTINUED:
MURPHY
That would be me.
POWERS
Deal me in.
An officer enters the room and the banter stops. The pilots stand. The officer chuckles and gestures for them to sit. He turns off the flickering TV, takes a seat.
WILLIAMS
Okay, drivers, here’s the deal. You have been selected for a mission which you are not to discuss with anyone outside of this room. No one. I don’t care who you trust -- wife, mother, sweetheart, the good lord when you pray at night -- you don’t tell any of ‘em anything of what I’m about to tell you. Each of you drivers has met certain qualifications -- high level security clearance, exceptional pilot ratings, in excess of the required hours flight time in a single seat aircraft. We are engaged in a war. This war does not -- for the moment -- involve men at arms. It involves information. You will be collecting information. You will be gathering intelligence about the enemy -- the intelligence you gather could give us the upper hand in a full thermonuclear exchange with the Soviet Union. Or it could prevent one. For public purposes -- as far as your wife or mother or sweetheart or the good lord above -- your mission does not exist. If it does not exist you do not exist. You cannot be shot down. You cannot be captured.
He stands.
WILLIAMS (CONT’D)
You work for the CIA now.
He smiles, turns, and exits.
On the now wary pilots.
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21.
BROOKLYN COURTHOUSE -- JUDGE BYERS’ CHAMBERS
Judge Byers fixes his tie in a mirror.
JUDGE BYERS
So, Jim, I heard your guy is speaking with a phony accent. Does he keep that up all the time?
He turns to Donovan and Assistant Attorney General William Tompkins.
DONOVAN
Actually I’m pretty sure that’s just the way he talks. He’s got the Russian name but a British passport.
TOMPKINS
Well I doubt that’s genuine.
JUDGE BYERS
So, Jim, where are we at? I see here you, uh...
He is leaning forward, peering through his glasses at a paper on his desk. He takes a seat, as do Donovan and Tompkins.
DONOVAN
Yes, Judge, I -- I just don’t think three weeks is gonna do it here; we’ve got a massive amount of evidence here --
JUDGE BYERS
You wanna postpone --
DONOVAN
Six weeks, I mean there’s just myself and my associate, basically --
JUDGE BYERS
Jim. Is this serious?
DONOVAN
Sir?
JUDGE BYERS
Is this serious?
DONOVAN
Yes. Indeed it is. It’s, you’ll see in the filing --
(CONTINUED)
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22.
CONTINUED:
JUDGE BYERS
Jim, this man is a Soviet spy.
DONOVAN
...Allegedly, yeah --
JUDGE BYERS
C’mon counselor.
DONOVAN
Your honor!
JUDGE BYERS
Of course I salute you, we all salute you for taking on a thankless task. This man has to have due process, but let’s not kid each other.
A knock at the door.
JUDGE BYERS (CONT’D) He’ll receive a capable defense and, god willing, he’ll be convicted. C’mon, counselor, let’s not play games with this.
He stands and heads for the door. Donovan and Tompkins stand.
JUDGE BYERS (CONT’D)
Not in my courtroom. We have a date and we’re going to trial.
He opens the door and walks through it.
OUTSIDE BOROUGH HALL
It is evening. It’s pouring rain.
Donovan exits the building with his briefcase and umbrella. A taxi approaches.
DONOVAN
Taxi!
But it passes straight by.
Donovan yells after it:
DONOVAN (CONT’D)
I see your light on! Sonofabitch.
(CONTINUED)
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23.
CONTINUED:
He sees another man across the street and says, re: the cabbie:
DONOVAN (CONT’D) Can’t wait to get back to Manhattan... His light was on, right?
The man just stands, smoking. Donovan looks around, still angry. No cabs.
He starts walking.
DONOVAN (CONT’D)
...Sonofabitch.
He walks on.
He hears another set of footsteps. He looks around. A man behind. Donovan experiments with picking up his pace.
The man behind seems to match it.
The pursuer is briefly blocked by several men exiting an apartment building.
Donovan uses this moment to crouch behind a car, trying to control his breathing. Quiet.
The pursuer runs as far as the corner.
The footsteps stop. A beat as the pursuer surveys the empty street.
Then they resume, coming closer, and the man circles the parked car to look down at Donovan.
MAN
Mr. Donovan.
Donovan is unsure whether to be embarrassed or afraid.
DONOVAN
What?
He rises and stares the man down. Donovan’s angry.
DONOVAN (CONT’D)
What?
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24.
BAR
Donovan faces the man, looking at identification, which he hands back.
DONOVAN
CIA.
MAN
Yeah. Just wanted to chat. How’s the case going?
DONOVAN
The case is going great. Couldn’t be better.
MAN
Uh-huh. Has your guy talked?
DONOVAN
...Excuse me?
MAN
You met him, has he talked? Has he said anything yet?
Donovan stares at him. Then:
DONOVAN
We’re not having this conversation.
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
25.
CONTINUED:
The man nods agreeably.
MAN
No, of course not.
DONOVAN
No, I mean we’re really not having it. You’re asking me to violate attorney-client privilege.
MAN
Oh c’mon counselor, you --
DONOVAN
And I wish people like you would quit saying “Oh c’mon, counselor.” I didn’t like it the first time it happened today, a judge said it to me twice, and the more I hear it, the more I don’t like it.
MAN
Ok, well listen, I understand attorney-client privilege. I understand all the legal gamesmanship and I understand that that’s how you make a living. But I’m talking to you about something else -- the security of your country. I’m sorry if the way I put it offends you, but we need to know what Abel is telling you. You understand me, Donovan? We need to know. Don’t go Boy Scout on me -- we don’t have a rule book here.
Donovan takes a beat, sizing the man up.
DONOVAN
You’re agent Hoffman, yeah?
MAN
Yeah.
DONOVAN
German extraction?
MAN
Yeah, so?
DONOVAN
My name is Donovan, Irish. Both sides, mother and father.
(MORE)
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
26.
CONTINUED: (2)
DONOVAN (CONT'D)
I’m Irish, you’re German, but what makes us both Americans? Just one thing, one one one. The rule book. We call it the Constitution. We agree to the rules, and that’s what makes us Americans, it’s all that makes us Americans. So don’t tell me there’s no rule book and don’t nod at me like that you sonofabitch.
The man stops nodding and just looks at Donovan appraising him. Donovan smiles and gets up from the table, gathers his things.
MAN
Do we need to worry about you?
DONOVAN
Not if I’m left alone to do my job.
He grabs a peanut from the dish on the table and walks away as he pops it into his mouth.
AIRPLANE HANGAR
The doors of the hangar split like a metal curtain and roll back. Powers and the other pilots stare in, expectantly.
TITLE: PESHAWAR AIR STATION, PAKISTAN
Sitting in the shadows is a huge black aircraft. The streamlined body of a glider, enormous wings. The U-2. The pilots begin to surround it, examining it.
WILLIAMS
From this moment forward, you will not refer to the U-2 as a spy plane or reconnaissance aircraft. You will refer to it as “the article.” “The article” has an eighty-foot wingspan. Powered by a single Pratt and Whitney J57 P37 engine. 10,000 pounds of thrust. Maximum speed of 430 miles an hour. She may not be quick but at your cruising altitude of 70,000 feet, nothing will come close to you.
POWERS
Seventy-thousand.
(CONTINUED)
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27.
CONTINUED:
WILLIAMS
The idea is the enemy doesn’t even know you’re there.
Powers smiles; it’s the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen. The other pilots fan out. Joe Murphy looks at the tail attached with three short bolts.
MURPHY
Looks kinda flimsy.
WILLIAMS
Every extra pound of weight costs a foot in altitude and we need to accommodate the cameras.
The pilots gather around a structure on which is mounted several camera lenses.
WILLIAMS (CONT’D) That’s a thirty-inch lens. A pin-
sharp panoramic camera. Four times as powerful as any aerial reconnaissance cameras we’ve ever used. You’re gonna be taking pictures. Lots of pictures. At 70,000 feet “the article” can photograph 2,000 square miles of territory in one pass. Now, drivers, give Agent Sumner your undivided attention.
Sumner directs them to a table festooned with gear of all kinds.
CIA AGENT
The items you will need on your mission are here.
FBI FIELD OFFICE -- EVIDENCE ROOM
Donovan and Doug Forrester stand in front of twenty-five large trestle tables covered with the equipment seized from Abel’s studio. Agent Blasco is reading through a list.
BLASCO
hollow-handled shaving brush; a complete set of cipher tablets on edible silver foil; specialist photographic equipment --
DONOVAN
Yeah, we get the idea. Thank you.
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
28.
CONTINUED:
Blasco grudgingly hands over the list and steps away.
Donovan examines the list. He notices something on the paper.
DONOVAN (CONT’D)
Excuse me, agent Bosco. Blasco?.
BLASCO
Sir?
DONOVAN
There seems to be a sub-section to this list here.
BLASCO
Well most of this stuff came from his studio. But the rest was from the hotel room he was holed up in. Where we found him.
DONOVAN
The hotel room you searched?
BLASCO
Well, yeah.
DONOVAN
Can I see the warrant?
BLASCO
What?
BROOKLYN COURTHOUSE -- JUDGE BYER’S CHAMBERS
Donovan watches as Judge Byers looks through his half-glasses at a document on the desk before him. Forrester is standing further back by the door as is Asst. Attorney General Tompkins.
JUDGE BYERS
Yeah, explain this to me? There was a warrant.
DONOVAN
Well, there was warrant, a civil detention writ -- for the arrest of an alien. But there was no search warrant for suspicion of criminal activity.
(MORE)
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
29.
CONTINUED:
DONOVAN (CONT'D)
So that search, and the evidence that is the fruit of that search, that’s all tainted and should not be admitted.
TOMPKINS
What protections is he due, your honor? The man is not -- the man is, what, “Rudolf Ivanovich Abel,” he is a Soviet citizen, he is not an American.
DONOVAN
1886, Yick Wo v. Hopkins, the court held that even aliens, in that case, Chinese immigrants, could not be held to answer for a crime without due process of law...including any alien that entered this country illegally --
JUDGE BYERS
The Department of Justice has its first allegiance to the United States. I don’t see how an alien, if he’s here illegally, how he suffered deprivation of rights. Rights as what? An American? Rights as what, counselor?
He stands. In no uncertain terms:
JUDGE BYERS (CONT’D)
We are in a battle for civilization. This Russian spy came here to threaten our way of life. Now we have a courtroom of people waiting. Get out there, sit beside the Russian, and let’s get this over and done with. And your motion is denied.
COURTROOM
As people take their seats, Tompkins turns to the man next to him and glancing at Donovan, says:
TOMPKINS
He should take some insurance out on himself.
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
30.
CONTINUED:
Abel is sitting next to Donovan.
ABEL
How did we do?
DONOVAN
In there? (gropes) Not too good. Apparently you’re not an American citizen.
ABEL
That’s true.
He dabs at his nose with his handkerchief.
DONOVAN
And according to your boss, you’re not a Soviet citizen either.
Abel is always mild:
ABEL
Well...The boss isn’t always right but he’s always the boss.
Donovan looks at him.
DONOVAN
Do you never worry?
ABEL (shrug)
Would it help?
A door opens by the judge’s bench and Judge Byers enters. There is general movement as the bailiff calls:
BAILIFF
All rise.
CLASSROOM
Every child rises to his feet. With hands on hearts, they begin to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
PULL-DOWN SCREEN. FROM THE BLACK A FLASH OF WHITE LIGHT AND AN ATOMIC BOMB IS DETONATED -- IN BLACK AND WHITE AND ON FILM.
NARRATOR
First, you have to know what happens when an atomic bomb explodes.
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
31.
CONTINUED:
Kids watching in a classroom. Roger Donovan is among them.
NARRATOR (CONT’D)
...There is a bright flash, brighter than the sun.
Onscreen we see footage of trees rocking wildly from the blast.
An animation of an idyllic house. with a tree and hayricks in a field. Suddenly an atomic explosion rips the house sideways. Glass flies, branches are blown through the air, straw and leaves are sucked violently past.
Faces of students -- riveted, hardly breathing -- a girl scared to tears.
NARRATOR (CONT’D)
...It can smash in buildings, and break windows all over town. But if you duck and cover, like Burt --
Animation of Burt the Turtle.
NARRATOR (CONT’D)
You’ll be much safer.
ON ROGER, apprehensive.
NARRATOR (CONT’D)
There are two kinds of attack. With warning, and without any warning...
DONOVAN HOME -- BATHROOM
Donovan opens the bathroom door. He looks in on his son, who has filled the bathtub to the very top with water. Roger has a bruise under one eye.
DONOVAN
Hm. what’s going on in here?
ROGER
Okay Dad, this is really important. When the war begins, the first thing they do is cut off all the water and all the electricity. So the first thing we should do is keep this filled, and use the shower in your room, use the sink downstairs, the garden house outside --
(CONTINUED)
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32.
CONTINUED:
DONOVAN
Those are good ideas. But Roger, I don’t see this as being something you ever have to worry about.
ROGER
But when you hear the sirens, there may not be enough time to fill up the tub and the sinks.
DONOVAN
There are not going to be any sirens. What is this?
Roger lifts a drawing he made, from a small table strewn with magazine articles.
ROGER
When the bomb comes, the Reds will aim for the Empire State Building. But the bomb goes off at 10,000 feet up. In Life Magazine, it’s called an airburst and if the bomb is 50 megatons, the “blast wave” goes out, and out, and out, and melts everything from here to here (points to his drawing)-- including where we live...here.
Donovan takes the drawing, sits down on the covered toilet.
DONOVAN
Roger, nobody’s dropping atomic bombs on us.
ROGER
But the Russians want to. You know the guy you’re defending, he’s here to get things ready for the guys who drop the bombs...
DONOVAN
He isn’t here for that. And he’s not even a Russian...he was born, we think, in Northern England.
ROGER
But he’s a spy for Russia. I don’t even understand what you’re doing. You’re not a Communist, so why are you defending one?
(CONTINUED)
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33.
CONTINUED: (2)
DONOVAN
Because it’s my job.
ROGER
It never used to be.
SUBWAY
Donovan, seated on a crowded train, looks around at other passengers reading the various newspapers. A page four banner headline reads:
“AFTER TEN DAYS OF TESTIMONY -- ABEL SPY CASE GOES TO THE JURY”
There is also a picture of Donovan standing next to Abel. A few passengers on the subway lift their eyes from their papers, recognizing Donovan. Donovan feels like everyone’s looking at him and not kindly.
COURTHOUSE
The foreman of the jury stands, sensing every eye on him. The public gallery is full.
CLERK
In the case of the United States of America versus Rudolf Abel, as to the first count in the indictment, how do you find the defendant? Guilty or not guilty?
Donovan stands next to Abel.
FOREMAN
Guilty.
CLERK
As to the second count?
FOREMAN
Guilty.
CLERK
As to the third count?
FOREMAN
Guilty.
DONOVAN
Your Honor, I make a motion to set aside the guilty verdict as against the weight of evidence.
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
34.
CONTINUED:
JUDGE BYERS
Denied. The jury is discharged, thank you all. I would like to add that if I were one of you I would have reached the same verdict. Sentencing will be on November fifteen.
DETENTION ROOM
Donovan paces in a detention room. He turns to see Abel standing just inside the door.
DONOVAN
The death sentence is not a foregone conclusion, don’t worry --
ABEL
I’m not afraid to die, Mr. Donovan.
Although...
A Guard closes the door.
ABEL (CONT’D)
...It wouldn’t be my first choice.
Donovan opens his briefcase and removes Abel’s sketch pad.
DONOVAN
You left this behind.
ABEL
Oh, thank you.
Donovan also hands him a packet of cigarettes.
ABEL (CONT’D)
Oh thank you very much.
Donovan lights Abel’s cigarette. Abel draws on it and smiles.
ABEL (CONT’D)
You’ve never asked me if the charges were true. If I am indeed a spy.
DONOVAN
This is how we do it: the case against you matters. Making them prove it matters. The fiction is, whether you did it or not doesn’t matter. The state has to prove it, that you’re a spy.
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
35.
CONTINUED:
ABEL
So you’re not curious?
DONOVAN
No, not really. I always assumed you were an artist.
Donovan chuckles.
ABEL
My wife, she’s the artist. She’s a musician. In the children’s orchestra of Moscow.
DONOVAN
What instrument?
ABEL
The harp.
DONOVAN
Oh. Then she’s an angel.
Abel, now seated at the table, smokes, regards Donovan.
ABEL
You know, sitting there like that -- you remind me of a man who used to come to our house when I was young. My father used to tell me, “Watch this man.” So I did. Every time he came, and never once did he do anything remarkable.
DONOVAN
And I remind you of him?
ABEL
This one time, when I was the age of your son, our house was overrun -- by partisan border guards. Dozens of them. My father was beaten. My mother was beaten. And this man, my father’s friend -- he was beaten. And I watched this man. Every time they hit him, he stood back up again. So they hit him harder. Still, he got back to his feet. I think because of this they stopped the beating. They let him live. Stoikey Muzhik, I remember them saying. Stoikey Muzhik. That sort of means, like, uh, Standing Man.
(MORE)
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
36.
CONTINUED: (2)
ABEL (CONT'D)
(beat) Standing man.
Donovan is moved.
BROOKLYN BROWNSTONE DOOR
It is swung open by a middle-aged woman, hair done, evening dress, ready to go out.
MILLIE
Hello, Jim!
DONOVAN
Millie. You’re a vision.
MILLIE
Mortie’s busy getting kitted out, but c’mon in.
Donovan enters the house.
MILLIE (CONT’D)
Scotch, Jim?
DONOVAN
Oh yes, please. Thank you. Just a drop of water.
BYERS’ HOME -- LIVING ROOM
Judge Byers is working on bow tie at a mirror in which he sees Donovan entering. There is a scotch in a tumbler on the bureau top.
DONOVAN
Your honor.
JUDGE BYERS
‘Lo, Jim, just going out, got a couple minutes though. March of Dimes thing. Millie is active.
JIM
Well thank you for seeing me. I just wanted to give you my two cents on the sentencing, and I thought maybe I should -- pester you at home, as...not all my points are...narrowly legal.
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
37.
CONTINUED:
JUDGE BYERS
Yeah well it’s that kind of case. I hope I wasn’t too scratchy during the trial but it’s exactly what you say: nothing about this is narrowly legal. There are bigger issues.
He can’t quite get his tie right, rips it off.
JUDGE BYERS (CONT’D)
Bigger issues.
He moves into the dining room, tries again with the tie in a nother mirror. Millie enters with Donovan’s drink, hands it to him and exits.
DONOVAN
Um...sir, I think it could be considered in the best interests of the United States that Abel remain alive. He --
The Judge turns to face him.
JUDGE BYERS
Why? I’m not saying I’ve made up my mind but, if he was going to cooperate, work with the government, he’d have done it already.
DONOVAN
True, but if he --
Very sharp, nettled at the interruption:
JUDGE BYERS
Excuse me. (a beat of silence to make clear that the floor is his, then moves into the next room to try at yet another mirror) You can’t say it’s in the best interests of the United States that he spend the rest of his days in a prison cell. How is this the national interest.
He looks at Donovan as if he’s an idiot. He sets the glass down and turns back to the mirror and his tie.
(CONTINUED)
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38.
CONTINUED: (2)
DONOVAN
Yes sir. Not the incarceration itself, but...It’s possible that in the foreseeable future an American of an equivalent rank might be captured by Soviet Russia. We might want to have someone to trade.
JUDGE BYERS
Wow. That sounds like...spinning what-ifs. You could do that til the cows come home.
DONOVAN
That’s my business, what-ifs. I’m in insurance. There’s nothing implausible about this one, it’s entirely in the realm of what could happen. It’s the kind of probability that people buy insurance for. If we send this guy to his death we leave ourselves wide open. No policy in our back pocket for the day the storm comes.
Byers is still working on his tie, unimpressed.
JUDGE BYERS
Nice speech.
Donovan clears his throat, and is controlled:
DONOVAN
Sir, there’s also the humanitarian argument. Should he die for doing the job they sent him to do.
The judge is satisfied with his tie now. He turns away form the mirror. Finishes off his drink.
JUDGE
All right counselor, I gotta run.
Good seeing you, Jim.
He walks past Millie, who is holding Donovan’s hat, and up the stairs.
MILLIE
I’ll walk you out.
COURTROOM
ON ABLE’S HAND, sketching on a pad.
(CONTINUED)
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39.
CONTINUED:
BAILIFF (O.C.)
All rise.
The crowd silently rises, waits for the judge to take his seat.
BAILIFF (CONT’D)
The United States District Court for the eastern district of New York is now in session. The honorable Mortimer Byers presiding.
The judge sits.
BAILIFF (CONT’D)
Be seated.
The crowd sits. Watters watches. Mary watches. Tompkins Tompkins watches.
JUDGE BYERS
The defendant will please rise.
Abel and Donovan stand up. They are apprehensive.
JUDGE BYERS (CONT’D) In the measured judgment of this
Court the following sentence, based upon the jury’s verdict of guilty as to each count of the indictment, is believed to meet the test which has been stated. Pursuant to the verdict of guilty as to all counts, the defendant is committed to the custody of the Attorney General of the United States for imprisonment in a Federal institution to be selected by him, for a period of thirty years.
He reaches for his gavel, bangs.
JUDGE BYERS (CONT’D) Marshals, you may take the defendant into custody...
The crowd is immediately alive, and unhappy. A hostile murmur.
Abel looks at Donovan.
ABEL
No electrocution?
(CONTINUED)
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40.
CONTINUED: (2)
Donovan, surprised, smiles.
DONOVAN
No... No. No.
The hostile noise in the crowd has grown louder, and grows louder still when the judge leaves. It all but drowns out the drone of a bailiff giving his boilerplate summation, and one man in the crowd stands up and shouts:
MAN
Why aren’t we hanging him?
Why in God’s name aren’t we hanging him?
The judge bangs his gavel.
JUDGE BYERS
Sit down!
The crowd stands and erupts in shouted agreement with the man. The judge bangs his gavel again.
HALLWAY
A press of people around Donovan who has been joined by Mary. They are escorted by the court officers who seem to be rather necessary given the hostile crowd. Reporters shout out “Just one question!”
COURTROOM
Abel retrieves his hat amid the chaos.
LOBBY OF COURTHOUSE
Cameras flash among the throng. Mary seems panicked.
WATTERS
Nobody here has a comment.
DONOVAN
We’re in firm ground for a case on appeal.
This draws a concerned look from Watters.
Donovan’s point of view: through many bodies, another figure being escorted the opposite way: Abel, walking unsteadily in his over-sized suit. More bodies intervene -- he is lost to view. Donovan and Mary walk away, across a floor littered with spent flashbulbs.
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
41.
LOBBY OF COURTHOUSE
Tom Watters, Donovan in the middle, Mary on the other side.
WATTERS
Jim, you did a great job. You fulfilled your mandate, and then some. But the man is a spy, and the verdict is correct, and there’s no reason to appeal it.
DONOVAN
There’s ample procedural reason. We know the search is tainted, and the Fourth Amendment issues are always going to weigh more heavily in an appellate forum -- we’ve got a good shot.
WATTERS
What the goddamn hell are you talking about -- We were supposed to show that he had a capable defense, which we did, why are you citing the goddamn Constitution at me?
DONOVAN
Tom, if you look me in the eye and tell me we don’t have grounds for an appeal. I’ll drop it right now.
WATTERS
I’m not saying that. You know what
I’m saying.
MARY
Tom is saying there’s a cost to these things, Jim.
WATTERS
That’s right!
MARY
A cost to both your family and your firm.
Donovan gives a helpless look at her.
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
42.
PRISON -- DETENTION ROOM
Donovan sits at one end of the meeting table. Abel, smoking, at the other end. Between them, a radio plays classical music.
ABEL
I’ve missed music.
DONOVAN
They checked the radio to make sure there was no transmitter.
Abel smiles.
ABEL
I’m sure they did. (a beat as he smiles, both men listen, Abel’s gaze drifts up) ...Shostakovitch.
They listen.
ABEL (CONT’D)
A very great artist, Shostakovitch.
Donovan is deep in thought.
DONOVAN
I think our strongest grounds for a reversal, are Constitutional. Our best chance is if the Supreme Court agrees to review our case.
Abel switches off the radio, removes his glasses.
ABEL
Jim. You should be careful.
Donovan smiles, but uneasily.
ABEL (CONT’D)
Careful.
DONOVAN HOME -- LIVING ROOM
Carol, in curlers, watches TV on the sofa, snacking on peanut butter and crackers.
Suddenly, the window shatters. Several gun reports, shattering objects. Carol drops the peanut butter jar, crawls under the coffee table.
(CONTINUED)
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43.
CONTINUED:
CAROL
(screams)
MOM!
OUTSIDE
A car screeches away.
DONOVAN HOME -- LIVING ROOM
Mary and Donovan rush to her as she runs to Mary’s arms.
DONOVAN
What in God’s name happened? Honey are you all right? Are you hurt?
MARY
Peggy and Roger. Upstairs!
Donovan bounds up the stairs.
DONOVAN HOME -- UPSTAIRS HALLWAY
Donovan races and squats to put an arm around Peggy to comfort her.
Roger is the only one not fearful -- excited, in fact:
ROGER
I sat with my back against the wall,
Dad!
Donovan’s face comes up from where he has been nuzzling Peggy’s head.
DONOVAN
...What?
ROGER
I sat with my back against the wall, away from the windows!
DONOVAN
Good...good... good boy. It’s okay.
They’re gone. They’re cowards.
They’re gone.
DOWNSTAIRS -- MINUTES LATER
Roger inspects the shattered living room window as Donovan walks out to the veranda with a plainclothes police lieutenant.
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
44.
CONTINUED:
LIEUTENANT
We’ll have detectives canvasing the neighborhood, maybe we’ll find a description of the car. I don’t think it’s very - -
DONOVAN
We’re going to need protection.
LIEUTENANT
I have instructions to leave two cars here, it’ll be pretty obvious this is a secure--
DONOVAN
For how long? I have to be in
Washington later on this week --
A uniformed cop nearby has been listening.
COP
What’re you doin? What’re you doin to your family?
DONOVAN
Pardon me, officer?
COP
You’re still defending this guy.
What’re you fighting for him for?
LIEUTENANT
Okay, knock that off, officer --
COP
Knock off nothing. I was in the third wave at Omaha Beach. Wuddya think about that, buddy?
DONOVAN
I did my time in the service --
COP
-- fighting these guys? And you’re defending him? What am I not gettin’ here?
DONOVAN
Just do your job as an officer of the law!
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
45.
CONTINUED: (2)
LIEUTENANT Okay, I’m sorry
(to the cop) Let’s get outside.
DONOVAN
No, let’s forget about him --
COP
What am I not gettin’ here?
LIEUTENANT
Outside, officer.
56He moves him down the stairs and two other uniformed cops follow them into the street swarming with cop cars, onlookers, reporters.
Donovan walks back into the now-quiet living room, where a shell-shocked Mary, Carol and Becky lie together on the sofa. Donovan returns to the open front double doors and slams them shut.
PESHAWAR USAF BASE - HANGAR
Williams is briefing the pilots. He stands before a blackboard -- a quick sketch of the U-2 instrument panel.
WILLIAMS
Should it become necessary to abandon the aircraft over Soviet territory, then there’s a two and half pound explosive charge contained within the fuselage.
He picks up such an explosive from a nearby table and demonstrates.
WILLIAMS (CONT’D) First, you activate the circuits. But to start the seventy-second timer you need to flip the switch marked destruct.
Williams points to a button marked DESTRUCT and he looks meaningfully at the pilots.
WILLIAMS (CONT’D)
It is imperative that these flights remain a secret and this equipment does not fall into enemy hands.
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
46.
CONTINUED:
POWERS
And what about us?
Powers is smiling, a half-joke.
WILLIAMS
I don’t know if you’re kidding, Lieutenant, I’m not. What you know about the plane is as secret as the plane itself.
Silence as this sinks in.
WILLIAMS (CONT’D)
If capture is a foregone conclusion you go down with your plane. If you think you can ditch and get away -- if you’re close enough to a border -- fine, you know the ejection protocol. But if you ditch...
He opens a balled fist to show a silver dollar.
WILLIAMS (CONT’D)
...you bring the dollar with you. There’s a pin inside.
He withdraws the pin.
WILLIAMS (CONT’D) Scratch your skin anywhere. It’s
instantaneous. If you think you are about to be captured you use it. Drivers, you understand me? Spend the dollar.
OUTSIDE THE HANGAR
suited-up Powers climbs into a jeep with Murphy and a driver.
SUPER: UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT
As Donovan walks up the white marble steps.
JEEP
Pulling up to the U-2 on the airstrip with Powers.
The U-2, mechanics finishing their work in service.
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
47.
DONOVAN
Entering Supreme Court chamber.
POWERS
Suited up, being fitted with a parachute by Murphy.
SUPREME COURT
Deafening quiet. Donovan stands at the bench before the justices.
DONOVAN
Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the court. “The Cold War” isn’t just a phrase, Your Honors. It’s not just a figure of speech. Truly a battle is being fought, between two competing views of the world. I contend that Rudolf Ivanovich Abel -- Colonel Abel as he was called even by the men who arrested him -- is our foe in that battle.
AIRSTRIP
Powers in the cockpit, Murphy going over final checks with
him. Auxiliary power, oxygen supply...
SUPREME COURT
Donovan continues speaking.
DONOVAN (CONT’D)
...He was treated as a combatant in that war until it no longer suited our government to so treat him.
Accordingly he was not given the protections we give our own citizens. He was subjected to treatment that, however appropriate to a suspected enemy, was not appropriate to a suspected criminal.
AIRSTRIP
Powers finalizes his checks. Murphy shakes his hand. The U-2 taxis and then soars into the sky, engine roaring.
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
48.
SUPREME COURT
DONOVAN
I know this man. If the charge is true, he serves a foreign power -- but he serves it faithfully. If he is a soldier in the opposing army -- he is a good soldier. He has not fled the battle to save himself; he has refused to serve his captor, he refused to betray his cause, he has refused to take the coward’s way out. The coward must abandon his dignity before he abandons the field of battle. That, Rudolf Abel will never do. Shouldn’t we, by giving him the full benefit of the rights that define our system of governance, show this man who we are? Who we are: is that not the greatest weapon we have in this Cold War? Will we stand by our cause less resolutely than he stands by his?
STRATOSPHERIC SPACE
U-2 banks left into view, its single engine roaring.
U-2 COCKPIT
Powers moves his hand to the camera trigger, looking into the lens.
The telephoto lens at the front of the U-2 lets fly, rapid- firing as it focuses on the earth below.
U-2 COCKPIT
Powers is focused on his instruments.
A missile trail flashes past to the left: a miss.
A violent WHUMP in the cockpit. Powers holds his breath.
Powers checks his dials: everything is in one piece. Just then he notices his right wing dipping. He pulls left on the stick to level the plane and the plane responds: we seem to be getting back to normal.
A deafening impact: more violent than the first.
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
49.
CONTINUED:
Complete shaking, rocking, diving loss of control. The canopy spiderwebs with cracks.
Powers looks down, his legs trapped under his instrument panel. He tries to wriggle free as the U-2 drops at two hundred feet a second.
As the plane continues to fall, the earth rushing into view, Powers opens the DESTRUCT button and the canopy shatters, sucking him out of the cockpit. Powers’ faceplate freezes instantly in the sub-zero air. He falls alongside the U-2 as it spirals downward and cracks apart, tied to the cockpit by his oxygen tube.
The plane’s instrument panel begins to freeze over. The DESTRUCT button remains open but unpressed. Power’s oxygen pipe, secured to a tank in the cockpit, begins to rip loose.
Using the oxygen pipe Powers hauls himself back towards the aircraft. He reaches for the DESTRUCT button but cannot quite reach it.
The pipe shears away from its tank and Powers separates from the plane.
Man and plane continue to fall alongside one another. Then, at 15,000 feet, Powers’ parachute automatically opens.
A piece of the fuselage barely misses him as he pulls off his frozen face plate. He drifts down, the landmass of Russia rising toward him.
Powers rips off his faceplate, sucks in air. Far below now, the shattered tail of the U-2 shears off. Both wings are torn clean off as the plane hurtles away.
SLOW DISSOLVE TO
A WHIRRING TABLE FAN
ANNOUNCER (V.O.)
The President announced that a NASA weather plane disappeared four days ago, north of Turkey...
PRISON RECREATION ROOM
Abel is working on a painting. The newscast continues, its source the radio that Donovan gave Abel in their last meeting.
(CONTINUED)
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50.
CONTINUED:
ANNOUNCER
...and the space administration fears that its pilot died in the crash...
A brush enters to continue working on the painting.
ANNOUNCER (CONT’D)
...Radar showed the plane wandering off course, deep into Soviet territory before contact was lost, complicating any effort to recover it or the remains of the pilot. Now to news out of Washington: in a close vote today the Supreme Court affirmed the conviction of Russian spy, Rudolf Ivanovich Abel, five votes to four.
The brush stops momentarily.
Wider on Abel, paused at his work.
ANNOUNCER (CONT’D)
...The case presented civil liberties issues according to the Russian’s lawyer, James B. Donovan.
DONOVAN HOME - KITCHEN
Mary stands at the open refrigerator, holding grocery items, listening attentively to the same broadcast.
ANNOUNCER (CONT’D)
When asked how he felt about today’s loss, Mr. Donovan simply said, “Tired.” I’ll have more news for you after this message.
Mary breathes a sigh of relief.
MARY (to herself)
It’s over...
WATTERS, COWAN & DONOVAN
Donovan walks through the busy office to a desk.
DONOVAN
Marty, I’ll be danmed if I can find the file on that Prudential case.
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
51.
CONTINUED:
The young men stands.
MARTY
I, uh...Mr. Watters asked me to move it over to Jack Elwe’s office. Along with the first draft of the appeal.
DONOVAN
He did?
MARTY
He redrafted and filed it last week.
While you were in Washington.
CONTINUOUS
Donovan approaches Watters’ office, where Tom Watters is in a meeting with what appears to be the principal partners in the firm.
WATTERS
How long have we been together now, and you act as if I’ve never closed a deal? Set up a meeting, someplace fancy.
The door stands ajar. Watters looks up and sees Donovan, who waves. He meets Donovan’s look, without warmth, and pointedly turns back to the table to continue.
WATTERS (CONT’D)
I’m betting Mr. Young would like some of the finer things New York has to offer.
Donovan listening -- no invitation to join. Natalie exits with a tea pot and the door closes in his face.
Allison is sorting mail. As Donovan walks away she approaches him with a letter in her hand.
ALISONL
Do you know anyone from Leipzig?
DONOVAN
More hate mail? From Germany now?
ALLISON
From East Germany.
She hands it to him.
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
52.
PRISON -- EXERCISE YARD
Abel is reading the letter. He still has the sniffles. Donovan stands next to him, waiting for him to finish reading.
DONOVAN
Is it your wife?
ABEL
No, no, no, no. She pretends to be, but it’s not even good pretense.
He looks back down at the letter, reads:
ABEL (CONT’D)
...”I am taking this liberty to write to you after having learned from the newspapers about your most humane attitude towards my beloved husband, Rudolf Abel.”
He looks up, chuckling.
DONOVAN
And do I write back?
Abel shrugs.
ABEL
Ya, ya, ya -- what’s the next move when you don’t know what the game is?
He hands the letter back to Donovan.
HALL OF TRADE UNIONS -- MOSCOW
A man standing beside Powers, translating the Russian judge’s voice that is being amplified by loudspeakers:
TRANSLATOR
... U.S.S.R. laws on criminal responsibilty for state crimes, to ten years of confinement, with the first three years to spent in prison. The term of the confinement...
He drones on as a stricken Powers absorbs the translation.
Widen to show the thousands gathered in the majestic hall, now standing and cheering the sentence.
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
53.
CIA HEADQUARTERS -- LOBBY
Donovan sits, waiting, and staring at the CIA seal on the wall.
CIA HEADQUARTERS -- DULLES’ OFFICE
As Donovan enters.
DULLES (O.C.)
Mr. Donovan, thank you so much for coming.
DONOVAN
It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mr.
Dulles. It’s an honor, sir.
Allen Dulles (70’s) hands Donovan a cup of coffee.
DULLES
Nescafe, cream, two lumps.
DONOVAN
Thank you.
Dulles lifts the letter from a sideboard.
DULLES
Okay. This letter you received. It seems pretty clear that the Soviets are making an overture here.
They’re doing it through East Germany because they still don’t want to acknowledge Abel is a Soviet citizen much less a Soviet spy. So, a lot of fiction going on.
DONOVAN
Yes sir. But -- to what end?
DULLES
They’ve got our guy, our spy pilot, we’ve got their guy.
He hands the letter to agent Hoffman.
DULLES (CONT’D)
A prisoner exchange. I think that’s what they’re after. Which could hardly be a surprise to you, counselor: it’s an eventuality that I think you foresaw.
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
54.
CONTINUED:
DONOVAN
Yeah, I sure did. And I’m so rarely right.
Dulles chuckles. The three men cross the large office to Dulles’ desk, where he takes a seat and Donovan and Hoffman do the same.
DULLES
Well congratulations. Red-letter day. Now, we have our man over there, Powers -- a good man -- but with a...with a head full of classified information. Abel has a head full of classified information, too, but he hasn’t given us a lick.
DONOVAN
And, sir, take it from me -- he won’t.
DULLES
Yes, we know that but the Russians don’t. They want their man back before he cracks and we want Powers back for the same reasons.
DONOVAN
I think you’re saying, sir, there might be a happy ending for everybody --
DULLES
Yes, if we, um, indulge their fiction.
He lights a pipe, studies Donovan.
DULLES (CONT’D)
We want you to negotiate the swap because you’re a private citizen, so it’s not governments talking. They don’t acknowledge Abel as a Soviet citizen and we don’t acknowledge East Germany as a sovereign country. We haven’t recognized East Berlin since it was annexed by the Soviets in ‘45.
DONOVAN
So I act as negotiator, representing
--
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
55.
CONTINUED: (2)
DULLES
You’re not representing anybody. You’re not a government official, you have no official standing.
DONOVAN
So...some fiction on our side as well.
DULLES
Correct. Which means of course you can’t rely on any acknowledgment or help if things go south. The CIA can’t be responsible, we can’t be embarrassed.
DONOVAN
And where do they want this negotiation to take place?
DULLES
There.
DONOVAN
...There?
DULLES
East Berlin.
DONOVAN
But isn’t East Berlin getting rather...
DULLES
Well, yes, the place is getting...complicated.
HOFFMAN
Yeah, complicated. The Soviet side has been setting up checkpoints for the past few months to try to stop people hemorrhaging to the Western sectors. It hasn’t worked. We have intelligence to suggest that they may go one step further and wall off the entire Eastern sector.
Donovan is concerned, thinking...
DULLES
Okay -- that’s it in a nutshell. The decision is entirely yours. If you need time to kick it around...
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
56.
CONTINUED: (3)
After a pensive beat --
DONOVAN
No. No, I don’t.
DULLES
Well fine! Fine!
He rises to shake Donovan’s hand.
DULLES (CONT’D)
Of course it’s be best if this all remains confidential. Let’s not discuss any of this with, uh...(a discreet look to an open file on the table) Mary, or with anyone else. Share the correspondence only with us. It’ll let us know what they want to do, and when.
All three men walk toward the door.
DONOVAN
I have no client, no wife, no government. Don’t quite know what I’m doing, or when, or who for.
DULLES
You’re doing it for your country. But your country doesn’t know that yet.
DONOVAN
What about my client, the other person in this equation -- my guy.
DULLES
“Your guy”? You mean the Russian? He’s not your guy any more, counselor, your guy is Francis Gary Powers now.
DONOVAN
And what do I tell Rudolf Abel?
DULLES
Tell him not to drop dead.
SUPER: BERLIN, GERMANY
A tank and a fleet of army trucks with Soviet markings in the streets of Berlin. Easst German soldiers work with pick-axes and shovels. Soldiers break up the concrete ground.
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
57.
CONTINUED:
Hundreds of East German digging a foundation through the heart of the city.
Two parents rush by, carrying their child, trying to cross.
Pryor, a young American student walking his bike, watches. He mounts his bike and rides along the wall, a camera around his neck and a satchel slung over his shoulder.
Eastern Berliners trying to cross are dragged back by soldiers.
One mother with her children shouts across to her husband stranded on the Eastern side.
As the wall reaches further upward, more and more people arrive on both sides. Some climb down from apartment windows, dangling, while others below try to catch them.
ON THE STREET
Pryor, now walking his bicycle, arrives at a gap in the construction. Supplies here are piled up but no workers have yet been dispatched to this section.
A brief look back and forth, and then Pryor pushes his bike into the Eastern sector.
TITLE: EAST BERLIN
Pryor pulls up outside an austere-looking apartment block. He leans his bike against the wall, enters the building.
APARTMENT INTERIOR
The door is ajar, German radio coming from inside. Pryor enters.
The apartment is the book-crowded domain of an academic. Pryor projects over the sound of the radio.
PRYOR
Professor?
A young woman -- Katje -- emerges from the kitchen.
KATJE
Papa went to the University. You shouldn’t be here, Frederic.
PRYOR
They’re having classes today?
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
58.
CONTINUED:
She shrugs.
KATJE
He went to see. It’s where he goes.
What’re you doing here?
PRYOR
I came to get you and your father. You have to come with me. You might not get out tomorrow.
KATJE
Just -- leave?
PRYOR
Yes, yes, yes, leave. Right now.
MINUTES LATER
The young man and young woman push their bikes quickly, amid tanks and soldiers.
Up ahead is the street where he crossed through, into the East. Soldiers are now at work there.
PRYOR
Go back. Go back.
A few armed soldiers notices the couple. They start toward them.
PRYOR (CONT’D)
I’ll be okay, I’m American. Go back to your father’s, we’ll find another way, just go.
She eases off, starts to walk away.
The soldier calls to her in German. She turns, walking backwards, shrugs, answers in German, still retreating.
The soldiers are upon Pryor. Pryor holds his palms up in apology.
SOLDIER
Papers. Please.
PRYOR
Ich bin Student. Frederic Pryor, I -
-
(CONTINUED)
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59.
CONTINUED:
The soldier yells at him as he reaches forward, grabs the camera round his neck and yanks it, snapping the strap. He shakes the camera in Pryor’s face, yelling.
A second soldier grabs his bike and tosses it aside.
PRYOR (CONT’D)
My name is Frederic Pryor. I’m an economics student. Student.
He withdraws a binder from his satchel.
PRYOR (CONT’D)
It’s my dissertation, my thesis.
The Foreign Trade System of the
European Communist Nations.
The soldier takes it from him.
PRYOR (CONT’D)
There’s a lot of work...
The soldier hands it off to another soldier.
PRYOR (CONT’D)
(as he reaches for it) And that’s my only copy --
The reach was a mistake: as the second soldier knocks him down. Katje, watching from a distance, is terrified for him.
DONOVAN HOME -- MASTER BEDROOM
A rushed DONOVAN is tossing dress shirts into an open suitcase on the bed. MARY watches tersely.
DONOVAN
Came up at the last minute. They have offices in London. These clients, not my idea, Scotland, a fishing expedition.
It’s obvious to Donovan that she doesn’t believe a word. Mary’s too smart for this, and of late, their life has been far too strange.
MARY (pointedly)
What kind of fishing, Jim?
DONOVAN
Salmon fishing...
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
60.
CONTINUED:
MARY
Just tell me that you’re not going to be in any danger. That it’s a routine business trip, and I won’t worry.
Donovan keeps moving; he doesn’t have time to pause.
DONOVAN
I need my passport.
She opens the dresser drawer so he can retrieve it.
MARY
Just give me something to hold onto.
I don’t even care if it’s the truth.
Donovan reaches for her, gently holds her waist.
DONOVAN (the truth)
I am doing this for us.
TITLE CARD: BERLIN
A black sedan drives through the snow, away from the central airport.
Donovan is in the back seat middle, Hoffman and Agent Pinker on either side.
HOFFMAN
Mr. Michener here is your Berlin escort. He’s an attaché with the US Embassy.
He refers to the State Department man in the front passenger seat. The driver is someone with an extremely thick neck and fleshy ears.
Michener has his arm hooked around the seat to talk back.
MICHENER So...it’s gotten goddamn complicated.
DONOVAN
Uh-huh.
MICHENER
As you know, the last letter from “Mrs.
(MORE)
(CONTINUED)
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61.
CONTINUED: (2)
MICHENER (CONT'D)
Abel,” whoever she is, talks about her lawyer in East Berlin, Mr. Vogel, whoever he is. “Representing her interests,” she says.
DONOVAN
Yeah. Vogel says he’s gone to the Russian embassy in East Berlin, and they may be ready to trade Abel for Powers. We don’t know who’s who, but they’re all basically the Russian, right?
MICHENER
Well, Soviet -- we think so.
DONOVAN
Wuddya mean? Can we turn up the heat in here?
Michener talks to the driver in German. The man shrugs, tweaks a knob on the dash.
MICHENER
There’s a wrinkle -- uh -- uh -- they might try to throw you a curve ball, try and get you to accept another prisoner other than Powers.
DONOVAN
Another American?
MICHENER
The East German Stasi picked up an American student -- Frederic Pryor -- a kid they found on the wrong side of the wall. He’s a grad student out of Yale, came over here to study economics. So, they’re making noises about trying this kid for espionage, grave offense, capital crime. Well: Vogel got in touch with us, said he represents Pryor.
DONOVAN
Wait a minute. Vogel represents “Mrs. Abel,” and this kid?
MICHENER
Yeah, he’s -- busy.
(CONTINUED)
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62.
CONTINUED: (3)
DONOVAN
So -- what is he? He really is East
German? Or Russian?
MICHENER
Well -- try to figure it out when you meet him. Russian Embassy, East Berlin, noon tomorrow. Hoffman will show you how to get there.
DONOVAN
Show me how to get there? But I’m going to have an escort.
Uncomfortable silence; Donovan notes it.
DONOVAN (CONT’D)
...Right? Michener is uncomfortable:
MICHENER
Well, that was the plan, but -- like I said, there’s a wrinkle. I won’t be taking you. The decision has been made, no U.S. government personnel are to cross the border until further notice.
DONOVAN
How come?
MICHENER
Too dangerous. The East Germans grabbed this kid. There’s a degree of impunity, uh, that we had not anticipated. The point is that the East German agenda, and the Russian agenda, may not be the same thing. You try to figure it out. And act accordingly: try to make a deal -- Powers for Abel.
DONOVAN
Well what about this college kid,
Pryor?
HOFFMAN
Don’t fall for that. We can get him out another time. Powers is the whole ballgame.
The sedan pulls up to a remote looking house - a safe house.
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63.
INSIDE
A bedroom with an disheveled unmade bed. The living room is piled with old newspapers. Donovan turns to Hoffman. It’s so cold in here you can see the men’s breath.
DONOVAN
Where’s your room?
HOFFMAN
I’ll be staying at the Hilton. It’s not far.
He hands Donovan a slip of paper.
HOFFMAN (CONT’D) This is a number here in West
Berlin. Memorize it, and give it back to me.
Donovan puts it in his shirt pocket.
HOFFMAN (CONT’D)
No. I mean now.
Donovan sighs, looks at the paper.
HOFFMAN (CONT’D) The Soviets keep cutting
international lines, but local calls are okay. Someone will pick up day and night.
Donovan hands the piece of paper back. Hoffman takes out a lighter, burns the paper and drops it into an ashtray.
HOFFMAN (CONT’D) (holding up Donovan’s passport)
Now this docket, attached to your passport, will serve as your ticket into and out of the Eastern Soviet sector. The meeting with Vogel is set for noon tomorrow.
He unfolds a map on the table.
HOFFMAN (CONT’D)
There are only a few routes left to the East. You take the S-Bahn, the station we showed you on the way in.
(MORE)
(CONTINUED)
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64.
CONTINUED:
HOFFMAN (CONT’D)
You’re going to get off at the Friedrichstrasse Station, here, and walk to the Soviet Embassy on Unter den Linden, here. Look at the map now -- you shouldn’t take it with you. You’re looking at a map, you’re an American, you’re a spy, you could well be detained. Just avoid interaction with people, generally -- you don’t belong, so don’t stick out. Food is scarce over there and things have started to fall apart. There are gangs; rule of law is less...firmly established over there. And definitely stay away from the Wall. On their side, there’s a line cleared of buildings, along the Wall, they call it the Death Line. Cross it and you’ll be shot.
DONOVAN
Is there any outcome here where I’m not either detained, or shot?
HOFFMAN
Don’t worry too much about what
Michener said.
DONOVAN
No, now I’m worried about what you’re saying. This kid Pryor, that the East German’s have. How old is he?
HOFFMAN
Twenty-five, why?
DONOVAN
That’s the same age as Dougie.
HOFFMAN
Who?
DONOVAN
An associate of mine...
EAST GERMAN POLICE/PRISON FACILITY
Katje is sitting at a table in a bare room. Very still.
KATJE
Frederic Pryor.
(CONTINUED)
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65.
CONTINUED:
Katje is holding a picture of Frederic Pryor. The official doesn’t even look at it, continues reading his newspaper. The following exchange is in German, subtitled.
OFFICIAL
I’m sorry, there is nothing I can tell you.
After a deflated beat, a plea:
KATJE
He’s not here, or you can’t tell me he’s here? Where is he?
The man shrugs.
OFFICIAL
I can’t tell you.
PRISON CELL
Pryor sits at a small table in his cell, eating.
INSIDE A TRAIN
It is a gray day. Donovan sits looking out. His point-of- view: approaching the Wall. It comes at us, foreshortening, and then sweeps by: a ragged line stretching into the background, punctuated by guard towers. On its far side is a swath of cleared land.
Even beyond this Death Line many of the buildings of the East are bombed out, the war damage still largely unrepaired. There is not much life in the streets.
FRIEDRICHSTRASSE STATION
Passengers disembarking, Donovan among the last.
A long line stretching up to a checkpoint. Only one soldier checks papers, though many soldiers stand about.
Donovan looks at his watch. Tense.
He thinks, decides.
He steps out of the line and marches to the front, drawing looks.
Approaching the checkpoint: the soldier checking papers look up at him, surprised. This doesn’t happen.
A couple soldiers tighten grips on their guns.
(CONTINUED)
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66.
CONTINUED:
Donovan holds out his passport and summons a degree of sternness as, in broken German, he tries to explain his plight. The soldiers search his passport and wallet as he points at his watch urgently.
The soldiers search his documents and slowly all of them begin to relax when they see he’s American. They let him pass.
STREET
Donovan walking. It is snowing heavily. He reaches an intersection. Several youths are gathered there -- mangy strays.
They eye Donovan as they approach, slowing.
He eyes them, not slowing.
They pass, but several paces on Donovan senses something wrong. He turns.
One of them, the biggest of the group, speaks to him in German.
Clearly it is a question. They all look at him, awaiting an answer.
Donovan stares, uncomprehending.
The big guy repeats the question. This time impatiently.
He grabs Donovan’s coat by a lapel. Examines the material
HEAD YOUTH
So.... We apologize. If this offends?
Donovan realizes they are demanding his coat. He asks for directions to Unter den Linden. The Head Youth points out the directions.
Donovan shrugs out of the coat, ceding it.
WIDE
Looking towards the street: Donovan is a small figure. He wears only his suit. He’s freezing. He runs.
New angle: he stands before an imposing building, in good repair: the embassy. He heads for its door.
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
67.
INSIDE
Donovan comes to a reception desk.
DONOVAN
Do you understand English?
RECEPTIONIST
Yes, sir.
DONOVAN
I’m James Donovan. I’m here to meet a Mr. Vogel.
RECEPTIONIST
Mr. Vogel?
DONOVAN
He doesn’t work here. I’m just supposed to meet him. That’s all I know.
OFFICE
Some minutes later. The receptionist is showing Donovan into though a series of magnificent rooms to a parlor of sorts.
There are three people in the room: a woman in her fifties, a much younger woman, and an older man in a three-piece suit.
The older woman is effusively emotional and charges Donovan, weepily:
WOMAN
Mr. Donovan! So we finally meet you!
She hugs him, Donovan stiffly unresponsive.
WOMAN (CONT’D)
...I am Helen Abel! How is our husband? How is Rudolf?
DONOVAN
He’s... good as can be expected --
HELEN
And we will get him back, yes? This is our daughter, Lydia...
DONOVAN
How do you do? (to the older man)
And you’re Mr. Vogel?
(CONTINUED)
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68.
CONTINUED:
The man is momentarily thrown. He recovers, laughing:
MAN
No no no no. Not Vogel, no. I am cousin Drews.
He vigorously shakes Donovan’s hand.
HELEN
This is Rudolf’s beloved cousin
Drews.
DONOVAN
Yes. Cousin Drews.
DREWS
I am Cousin Drews.
DONOVAN
Cousin Drews, yes.
HELEN
I’m Helen Abel!
An awkward pause...
HELEN (CONT’D)
When will you see him?
She pulls him down to a small sofa.
HELEN (CONT’D)
When will your government release him?
DONOVAN
I’m sorry, I’m a little...lost here.
I’m supposed to meet a Mr. Vogel.
LYDIA AND DREWS
Yes, Mr. Vogel is our lawyer.
DONOVAN
Yes, and I thought we were supposed to negotiate the exchange.
HELEN
To bring Rudolf here.
DONOVAN
Well yes...yes, to bring him here, but it doesn’t happen unilaterally.
(MORE)
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
69.
CONTINUED: (2)
DONOVAN (CONT'D)
Do you understand? It has to be an exchange...
Helen bursts into tears.
Lydia puts an arm around her to comfort her. Cousin Drews kneels in front of the sobbing woman, comforting her as well. Donovan dubiously watches this show.
A door clicks open -- not the one Donovan entered by but one set into a panel of the wall near the mirror behind the desk.
A man enters.
MAN
Mr. Donovan.
Donovan rises, extending a hand.
DONOVAN
Mr. Vogel?
Shaking hands, his manner dry, urbane:
SCHISCHKIN
No no, no. My name is Schischkin, Ivan Schischkin. I am second secretary of the Soviet Embassy. It would not be appropriate for Mr. Vogel to join us; he is a German national.
DONOVAN
So you are...here to...
SCHISCHKIN
To facilitate this meeting. (to the group on the couch) Perhaps Mrs. Abel would like to compose herself privately? And let Mr. Donovan and myself to talk?
The group takes the cue and leaves by the main door, faces suddenly stern.
Now the room is quiet. A beat.
DONOVAN
So, I’m confused...
SCHISCHKIN
Yes.
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
70.
CONTINUED: (3)
DONOVAN
I don’t care who I talk to if it’s about an exchange of...personnel. Are you the person to talk to?
SCHISCHKIN
Yes yes -- of course we should talk.
Please, have a seat. Sit down.
They sit opposite one another at a small table.
SCHISCHKIN (CONT’D)
So, how did you arrive in the
Eastern sector?
DONOVAN
The train. The S-Bahn.
SCHISCHKIN
You were alone?
DONOVAN
Yup.
SCHISCHKIN
And you are credentialed --
DONOVAN
You must know about me, sir. I’m a private citizen, a lawyer in Brooklyn -- in the United States -- and I’ve taken some time out of a busy schedule to help my client, Rudolf Abel. I’m authorized to arrange an exchange of Abel for Francis Gary Powers -- this is a full pardon of Abel (handing a paper across) that will be signed when the exchange actually takes place. That’s the only reason I’m here. I hope and expect to make this arrangement quickly -- Abel for Francis Gary Powers (a measured beat) and -- Frederic Pryor.
SCHISCHKIN
We don’t have Pryor.
DONOVAN
No? You don’t?
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
71.
CONTINUED: (4)
SCHISCHKIN
I’ve heard of Pryor. But he is held by German Democratic Republic, not by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
Schischkin hands him back the pardon.
DONOVAN
Well, I’ll tell you the first problem, the names of your countries are too long.
Schischkin smiles.
SCHISCHKIN
If we release Powers it is only to promote good will between our countries. So it cannot be an exchange. Perhaps you could release Abel as a token of good will to our friends in Germany, and then some months later we would release Powers, there’s an idea.
DONOVAN
No, that won’t work for us at all, you see we need this to be an exchange. You can call it what you want, but an exchange it must be. We can have Abel within forty-eight hours. We need Powers at the same time we give you Abel.
SCHISCHKIN
Well this is -- can we call this “The Impatient Plan”?
DONOVAN
Call it whatever you want.
Donovan’s cold’s getting worse. He blows his nose.
SCHISCHKIN
I can relay your Impatient Plan to Moscow, see what they say. But they will wonder, why so Impatient?
DONOVAN
Because I have a cold, I don’t live in Berlin, and I want to get home.
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
72.
CONTINUED: (5)
SCHISCHKIN
They will think, well, the Americans must have gotten all the information that Abel had to give. And now they are now impatient to trade him, hoping to get in return this man Powers who perhaps has not yet given up the information that he has to give. This is not an equitable trade, sir.
DONOVAN
But you’re saying, if Powers has given up everything he knows, then Moscow would trade? Why wouldn’t they? As for Abel, if he dies in an American prison, the next Russian operative who gets caught might think twice about keeping his mouth shut...(and now he tries something new) and, you never know, Abel might want to see the sky again and start to trade Russian secrets for very small American favors.
SCHISCHKIN
How can we know this. We little men, we just do our jobs.
DONOVAN
Like Lt. Powers. He’s just a pilot.
SCHISCHKIN
He was making photographs from seventy thousand feet when he was shot from the sky. People in my country consider this an act of war.
DONOVAN
We have to get off this merry go round, sir. The next mistake our countries make could be the last one. We need to have the conversation our governments can’t.
Schischkin takes a moment to think. Donovan watches him and waits.
SCHISCHKIN
I will ask Moscow. Who knows what they will say? A lot of people, Mr. Donovan, don’t want this exchange to ever take place.
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
73.
CONTINUED: (6)
He rises. As does Donovan.
SCHISCHKIN (CONT’D) Can you come back tomorrow and discuss their answer? Powers for Abel.
DONOVAN
And Frederic Pryor.
SCHISCHKIN (patient)
As I said, Pryor is in the hands of the organs of state security of the German Democratic Republic.
DONOVAN
I’m confident you can make arrangements.
SCHISCHKIN
I am merely a secretary in the embassy of a foreign power.
DONOVAN
Okay.
SCHISCHKIN
You’ll have to see Mr. Vogel. I’ll give you his address.
Donovan looks at him for a beat.
DONOVAN
...There actually is a Mr. Vogel?
SCHISCHKIN
Why would you imagine otherwise? It’s a short cab ride. (writing) And please, Mr. Donovan, wear an overcoat in this weather.
DONOVAN
I had mine stolen from me.
SCHISCHKIN
What did you expect? (handing him the address) It was from Saks Fifth Avenue. Wasn’t it?
On Donovan, as this sinks in.
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
74.
BUILDING -- INNER OFFICE
A secretary shows Donovan in. A man better-dressed than his office would lead you to expect, is pouring two scotches: Wolfgang Vogel.
VOGEL
Mr. Donovan!
DONOVAN
Mr. Vogel.
VOGEL
Please come in!
VOGEL (CONT’D)
Sorry about the embassy, the Soviets decided not to host us, very irritating.
DONOVAN
I am still trying to grasp each party’s...
VOGEL
Status?
DONOVAN
Yes. And interest, in the proceedings.
VOGEL
Yes, a new world, all very disorienting isn’t it.
He hands Donovan one of the tumblers, and they both drink.
VOGEL (CONT’D)
Let me tell you what I have to offer. I am a good friend -- friend, no, he is older -- protégé -- of the Attorney General of the German Democratic Republic. Sit down please.
They sit across from each other at Vogel’s desk.
VOGEL (CONT’D)
This unfortunate Frederic Pryor, well, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. But every accident, properly viewed, is an opportunity, isn’t it Mr. Donovan?
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
75.
CONTINUED:
DONOVAN
Well --
VOGEL
Your country refuses to recognize the German Democratic Republic. They prefer to make up stories -- that the GDR doesn’t exist, for instance.
Donovan signals that his glass is empty.
VOGEL (CONT’D)
Sorry.
He rises to refill it.
VOGEL (CONT’D) As a means of forcing your
government’s recognition of this real place, sir, in which you find yourself -- the GDR. The Attorney General is happy to negotiate with you, as a representative of your government, for Mr. Pryor’s return.
DONOVAN
Mr. Vogel, I’m not here as a representative of my government.
Silent beat.
VOGEL (sadly)
All right. I think that’s childish, Mr. Donovan.
Donovan shrugs.
DONOVAN
Well, I have no official status.
VOGEL
...Fine, you do not represent the USA, I do not represent the GDR. My client is Lydia Abel, Rudolf’s wife, and I have also --
DONOVAN
Lydia is the daughter. Helen is the wife.
A beat, Vogel resentful at having his thought derailed.
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
76.
CONTINUED: (2)
VOGEL
Well. I -- am prepared to offer
Frederic Pryor’s exchange, for
Rudolph Abel’s.
Donovan stands, faces off with him.
DONOVAN
Well let’s be clear. We will produce Rudolf Abel. At the same time, you will produce, the student Pryor. At the same time.
VOGEL
Absolutely.
Vogel takes a photograph from a file on his desk top. The photo is of an incarcerated Pryor, looking very young and very scared. He hands it to Donovan.
VOGEL (CONT’D)
The exchange on offer is a Russian at the end of his life, for an American student at the start of his.
Donovan stares at the photo of the innocent young man.
SAFE HOUSE
Hoffman strides toward Donovan, who is wrapped in a blanket for warmth, and sets down a cup of tea for him and a bottle of wine. Michener and Pinker read newspapers in the background.
HOFFMAN
“Schischkin”? He’s not an embassy secretary. Ivan Schischkin is the KGB’s chief in Western Europe.
DONOVAN
Well -- okay. Whatever he is. He’s relaying the proposal to Moscow and they’ll decide -- could I borrow your coat? I lost mine.
Hoffman stares at him, thrown by the veer off-course.
HOFFMAN
How did you lose your coat?
DONOVAN
You know. Spy stuff.
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
77.
CONTINUED:
Hoffman gazes at him, deadpan. Finally:
HOFFMAN
I’ll get you another coat.
DONOVAN
Good. Good. So -- who is this
Vogel?
HOFFMAN
Him we don’t know. He might be what you said he is, friend of the Attorney General. Just some guy the GDR tapped to handle this. Sounds like the East Germans are fighting for a place at our table. The GDR gets Abel back for the Russians, winning their respect, and captures the headlines for their cause. Which of course puts East Germany on the map. But we don’t care about their map. Stick with the Russians. Stick with the Russians. It’s Powers for Abel.
DONOVAN
So, does all this mean it might actually -- happen?
HOFFMAN
That’s what you seem to be telling me. We’ll put Abel on a plane, he’ll be here Friday. So if Schischkin gets the okay, all that’s left is the mechanics of the trade, how we swap our guy for their guy.
DONOVAN
Our guys. Two guys. Powers and
Pryor.
HOFFMAN
No! Don’t go bleeding heart on me! Powers is the whole ballgame. Forget this Ivy League boy, who obviously thought it was a good idea to study Soviet economics in Berlin in the middle of the Cold War. Powers is who we need.
DONOVAN
You don’t even like Powers. Everybody hates Powers.
(MORE)
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
78.
CONTINUED: (2)
DONOVAN (CONT'D)
He didn’t kill himself, he let the commies parade him on television, he’s the most hated man in America. After Rudolf Abel, maybe. And me.
AN OVERHEAD LIGHT BURST ON
PRISON CELL
Gary Powers, fitfully sleeping.
Two guards reach in to haul him up.
POWERS
No, no...
HALLWAY
Gary Powers being marched down a hall.
GARY POWERS
Being pushed down onto a seat in a dark interrogation room. He blinks blearily as a bright overhead light ignites.
POWERS
I need to sleep. I need to sleep.
MAN
I told you: you can sleep once we talk. But we need to talk. You must focus on me. Your government does not care about you. You know that. Any of you. You know that twelve U-2 pilots incurred brain damage. They are vegetables. Because of altitude, insufficient oxygen. But they keep you flying, Gary. You and your friends. They gave you this, didn’t they?
(holding out the silver dollar)
A scratcher, yes, potassium cyanide? (pops open the coin)
Does that look like they care about you?
HALLWAY
Gary Powers being marched back to his cell.
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
79.
GARY POWERS’ CELL
Gary Powers is escorted to his bed, where he flops down, instantly closing his eyes. The overhead light goes out. The cell door slams closed. A time jump...
Now the overhead light glares on. Gary Powers’ door is flung open. Two men pull him to his feet and drag the still sleeping Powers out into the hallway.
HALLWAY
Powers marched down the long hall.
INTERROGATION ROOM
Powers in the chair. His eyes fluttering between wake and sleep. A bucket of cold water poured over his head. Four men interrogate him.
MAN 1
What is the construction of the destructor unit? By what means is this unit operated?
MAN 2
With what explosives is the unit charged? And what destruction is it capable of?
POWERS
I don’t know. The pilots were never shown any of the equipment.
MAN 3
How wide-far can the radar map an area during an overflight?
POWERS
I don’t know! I don’t know!
MAN 1
Were you making the overflight on April 9th, over the industrial area and the bomber base.
POWERS
I was not. This was my first overflight.
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
80.
CONTINUED:
MAN 4
I need to know about engine out-to- glide ratio-- how the plane get so high. We know it reaches altitude of 70,000 feet. Gary, we know this. I need to know where the planes have flown. Where they have flown, Gary. And we must have this talk now. Now. And then, you can sleep a little.
HALLWAY
Powers locked back into his cell.
PRISON CELL
Abel sleeping.
A hand enters to shake him awake.
VOICE
Sir...
Abel stirs, looks up.
A civilian, not a guard, stands over him. This is Avalon. Two other civilians linger at the door.
MAN
Sir, could you come with me please? We need to move, could you come with me?
Abel groggily sits up, swings his legs out.
ABEL
...What time is it?
MAN
It’s late. But we need to talk, and then get on a plane.
EMBASSY MEETING ROOM
Donovan sits before Schischkin.
SCHISCHKIN
So, I have received a favorable decision from Moscow on your proposal that we help our friends in the German Democratic Republic, by exchanging Mr. Powers for Mr. Abel.
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
81.
CONTINUED:
DONOVAN
That’s swell!
SCHISCHKIN
May I suggest the Glienicke Bridge as a place for the swap.
DONOVAN
Why not Checkpoint Charlie?
SCHISCHKIN
Well, we are not looking for publicity! Glienicke Bridge is very quiet. Especially early morning.
DONOVAN
Glienicke Bridge, I’ll run that by our side. We can have Abel here on Friday, so -- Saturday morning?
SCHISCHKIN
Always impatient, yes?
DONOVAN
Yeah, I’ve gotta get back home and get into bed. So, Saturday morning?
SCHISCHKIN
5:30?
DONOVAN
All right. We’re done here. This is a number (writing)...in case anything should come up...Someone will answer, at any hour.
SCHISCHKIN (taking the paper)
All right. I don’t expect to use it. Shall we toast the arrangement?
DONOVAN
Why not.
Schischkin heads for a sideboard, holds up a bottle.
SCHISCHKIN
Armenian brandy. Good bracer for your cold.
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
82.
CONTINUED: (2)
DONOVAN
Thank you. Would you mind -- it’s not part of our business but I’d like to ask a couple of questions? You do not have to answer.
SCHISCHKIN
I shall answer what I know.
Schischkin returns with the drinks.
DONOVAN
I like this guy. Your guy. What happens to your guy...when he gets home?
SCHISCHKIN Well. We have to make a
determination whether our guy is now...your guy.
DONOVAN
As I said to you before, he’s acted very honorably. He’s still your guy, believe me.
SCHISCHKIN
Of course: you would say this if it were true, and if it were not true.
DONOVAN
Yeah. I guess it has come down to that... Forgive me for pushing, but...is he in any danger? If the determination is made...
SCHISCHKIN
Well, goodness. As things are now, everyone is in danger. Cheers.
He raises his glass. Donovan toasts him in Russian.
The toast is interrupted by a knock. A secretary puts his head in.
SECRETARY
A message for Mister Donovan...
VOGEL’S OFFICE
The familiar squalid counterpoint to Schischkin’s Louis XIV swank.
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
83.
CONTINUED:
Dapper Vogel in a new change, as incongruously fine in this office as was his last one. But his manner is different, not at all the happy fixer of yesterday. His tone is cold as Donovan, dabbing at his nose, is shown in.
VOGEL
There will be no exchange on
Glienicke Bridge.
Vogel rises and reaches for some files he puts into his briefcase.
DONOVAN
Excuse me, sir.
VOGEL
There will be no exchange. Not for
Frederic Pryor.
DONOVAN
Mr. Vogel. I thought yesterday -- we agreed --
VOGEL
We agreed on an exchange: Abel for Pryor. Now I learn you are a rug merchant selling the same rug to two customers. Abel for Pryor, you sell to us. Abel for Powers, you sell to the Soviets.
Vogel’s secretary helps him on with his overcoat and scarf.
DONOVAN
...I’m not sure I understand the problem. If the arrangement satisfies two parties, or three, or four, what difference --
VOGEL
The arrangement does not satisfy this party.
He exits into the corridor and Donovan follows.
DONOVAN
Now Mr. Vogel, please --
VOGEL
Obviously you do not know who you are dealing with.
(MORE)
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
84.
CONTINUED: (2)
VOGEL (CONT'D)
Here is the interest of the German Democratic Republic: to deal with, and to be seen to be dealing with, another sovereign power, the United States. An equal power. Instead you treat us as stooges for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
DONOVAN
Can we just call them “the Russians” -- it’ll save time.
VOGEL
I have an appointment sir. I think it is you who are wasting time.
He heads down the stairs; Donovan follows.
DONOVAN
Tell me if I’m describing this wrong. You have a kid, a university student, somebody you know is not a spy, and no threat to you. In exchange for this person, worthless to you, you play an equal part in an exchange with two other powers, the Americans and the Russians.
OUTSIDE
The two men emerge from the building.
DONOVAN
It’s one transaction, between us and the two of you. We’re not trying to do two different things here. It’s one thing. One one one. And it’s hard for me to see how the Republic of East German Democrats is being slighted.
VOGEL
You arranged with the Soviets without consulting me. Is this a negotiation -- or a conspiracy?
DONOVAN
For it to be a conspiracy, there would have to be some harm to you, sir. There’s just benefits here. We have agreeing interests --
Vogel is climbing into a fancy sports car parked at the curb.
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
85.
CONTINUED:
VOGEL
No. You decide they agree.
DONOVAN
Where’s is your appointment, sir?
VOGEL
In the West.
DONOVAN
Good.
Donovan opens the passenger door and climbs inside.
DONOVAN SITS IN; THE CAR TAKES OFF WITH A ROAR: A LOT OF POWER, A LOT OF SPEED. VOGEL RAISES HIS VOICE OVER THE ENGINE:
VOGEL
Look around you.
The car is racing through a desolate cityscape. Donovan does look around; takes it in.
VOGEL (CONT’D)
How does the Eastern sector compare to the West? (no answer) Our Russian friends have decided that we should not rebuild our capital city. We live in this ruin. Made by our Russian friends. Go ahead, make your deal with these Russians, but we won’t be part of it.
DONOVAN
There is no deal without Pryor.
We’re not leaving him here.
The car rounds a corner at speed.
VOGEL
Is that your position, or your government’s?
DONOVAN
I’m here. I’m talking to you.
VOGEL
But you’re not a representative of the government. You don’t know who you are. Neither do we. You should be careful. This is not Brooklyn, Mr. Donovan.
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
86.
CONTINUED:
The speedometer, the needle at 120kph
DONOVAN
Sir: you must know that in the respect that matters, I represent my government. You know who I am.
VOGEL
Do I?
DONOVAN WATCHES VOGEL SLIDE INTO TOP GEAR, GUTTING THE ENGINE INTO TOP GEAR, GUTTING THE ENGINE AS IT SPEEDS ALONG. A SIREN. VOGEL’S GAZE SWITCHES TO THE REAR VIEW MIRROR. HE SMILES.
VOGEL
Uh-oh.
Donovan looks behind. A police detail comes up on their tail. Vogel downshifts, lifting his foot off the gas.
Vogel pulls over. Donovan is suddenly nervous as they skid to a stop. The police sedan pulls up behind them.
VOGEL (CONT’D)
Do you have the proper papers? Oh, no of course you don’t. It doesn’t matter. An expensive American lawyer like you can talk your way out of anything. Can’t you.
Vogel gets out of the car. He speaks to the cops in German/ Nods toward Donovan, saying he’s an American. The cops treat Vogel deferentially -- but not Donovan.
POLICE OFFICER (sharpy, in German, to Donovan as he opens the passenger door.)
You, get out now.
Donovan climbs out of the car, hands over his passport.
POLICE OFFICER (CONT’D)
(in German)
Passport.
Donovan hesitates, he looks at Vogel.
The checkpoint guard checks Donovan’s passport, shouts something in German to another guard, and then to Donovan in English.
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
87.
CONTINUED:
GUARD
Go with him.
DONOVAN
Why?
GUARD
Passport. Problem.
DONOVAN
What? What’s wrong with it? What problem?
The other guard has stepped in, hand on his gun.
GUARD
Go with him.
As Vogel is led away:
VOGEL
And remember. We control the fate of Frederic Pryor.
CELL -- EAST GERMANY
Pryor is awake. Pacing. His light is off as he can see an armed guard positioned on the grate above. Pryor is utterly terrified.
CELL -- RUSSIA
Powers, eyes open, alone in his cell and staring at the paper and pencils on the table in front of him.
CARGO PLANE INTERIOR
Avalon leads Abel to a seat. Abel is holding a cardboard tube.
INDETERMINATE TIME LATER
HOLDING ROOM
A holding room door is opened. Donovan rises from the uncomfortable bench he’s been on.
S-BAHN
Donovan asleep in a train seat. He opens his eyes. His cold is worse.
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
88.
CONTINUED:
The train chugs along. A bleary look to his window.
Point-of-view: lit by the beginnings of day, the Wall is coming at us, foreshortening, opposite-ways from when we saw it on Donovan’s first trip in. As it sweeps by there is movement and a shout goes up.
Donovan stands, gazes out the window in horror.
Four figures at the wall. They are riddled with gunfire, two dangling and dropping to the eastern side, the other two dropping dead to the western side.
Inside the train the passengers react in horror and Donovan collapses back into his seat, devastated.
HILTON
Donovan, haggard, in the restaurant, looking at a menu. A waitress approaches.
DONOVAN
I’ll start with some coffee, please. And then I’ll have the Hilton Combo, and the American Breakfast. And coffee.
WAITRESS
Both breakfasts?
DONOVAN (handing menu back)
Yeah. Yeah.
WAITRESS
One first, or...
DONOVAN
Both first. Both, whenever they’re ready. And coffee.
The waitress moves off. Hoffman approaches, sits.
HOFFMAN
You shouldn’t be here.
DONOVAN
Well sometimes in Germany you just want a big American breakfast.
Michener and Pinker cross and takes seats at a nearby table.
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
89.
CONTINUED:
HOFFMAN
What happened? Where were you last night?
DONOVAN
Mr. Vogel arranged for me to spend some time in the East.
HOFFMAN
Jesus.
DONOVAN
Not much worse than what you got for me here in the west. So the Russians are fine with the exchange, but Vogel now says the East Germans won’t do it. We’re not gonna get Pryor.
Hoffman stares at him.
HOFFMAN
Great. Good. So the Soviets are set. We get Powers. We get Powers. Well done.
He gives a thumbs up to Michener and Pinker, sitting at a table nearby.
DONOVAN
No, the East Germans won’t do it. We won’t get Pryor. And look, that kid matters, every person matters.
HOFFMAN
Sure, that’s why we tried. Abel’s on his way, so we’re all set for tomorrow morning.
DONOVAN
Wait a minute --
HOFFMAN
Makes things simple.
DONOVAN
But we’re not getting the kid.
HOFFMAN
Yeah, I understand. We’re set. We can ignore the message we got this morning.
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
90.
CONTINUED: (2)
DONOVAN
What message?
HOFFMAN
From from the East Germans. They called the number I gave you, said they wanted to speak to you today.
DONOVAN
Vogel called?
HOFFMAN
No. Office of Harald Ott. East
German attorney general.
DONOVAN
Wanting what -- what does he want?
HOFFMAN
To talk to you, but -- it’s okay, I can’t ask you to go back there. Listen, you seem to be persona non grata to some elements. We won’t push our luck.
DONOVAN
So he wants to see me. What time?
HOFFMAN
No no no, now listen, you don’t need to go -- in fact, you shouldn’t go. In fact you can’t go. We’re set with the Soviets, we don’t want to screw it up.
DONOVAN (rising)
I’m not going to screw it up.
HOFFMAN
You’re not going, don’t be a pain in the ass.
DONOVAN
Oh, I ordered. Enjoy your big
American breakfast.
He leaves. Several waitresses deposit mountains of food before an abashed Hoffman.
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
91.
CONFERENCE ROOM
Architecturally grand in a beaux-art manner but cracked and peeling. Furnishings sparse and poor.
A heavy middle-aged man shakes Donovan’s hand. A male secretary to one side sits taking notes as the Ott and Donovan take their seats at Ott’s desk..
OTT
I thought it should be negotiated at the highest level. As a courtesy to you.
DONOVAN
Well I thank you sir.
OTT
I don’t know how things became so confused.
DONOVAN
Well... I guess sometimes they just do.
Female servers clear a large conference table of dishes.
OTT
For sake of clarity, I say we are fully prepared to exchange the so- called student Pryor for Rudolf Abel. I understand from Mr. Vogel that Pryor is very important to you.
DONOVAN
Yes sir. But --
OTT
We will do a memorandum to that effect.
DONOVAN
memorandum.
OTT (generous)
Certainly. We commit to a bilateral exchange --
DONOVAN
Yes, sure, I’m not sure what you mean, but -- my country also insists on Francis Gary Powers.
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
92.
CONTINUED:
OTT
(rising and pounding on the table)
No!!
One of the women drops her dishware, apologizes.
OTT (CONT’D)
-- this is how things became confused. Powers -- what use is he, sir? You want him back for punitive reasons? What’s done is done, he has divulged what he will divulge, as no doubt Abel has also. We are offering instead someone who you insist is innocent. And this is right. This is who you should retrieve. The future! Look to the future.
A phone among a bank of phones rings. Ott picks up a receiver.
OTT (CONT’D)
Ott!
Oops, wrong phone. He picks up another.
OTT (CONT’D)
Ott.
He speaks in German for a while, then, to Donovan:
OTT (CONT’D)
I’m sorry. If you could give me a moment, sir.
HALLWAY
Big echoing public space. Donovan is seated on a hard bench. Bicycle messengers whiz by in both directions.
The secretary’s footsteps echo as he crosses to Donovan.
SECRETARY
I am very sorry sir. The Attorney General regrets that he had to leave on urgent business.
DONOVAN
...He -- left?
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
93.
CONTINUED:
SECRETARY
Yes, many apologies.
DONOVAN
I’ve been waiting for over an hour to --
SECRETARY
Very sorry, sir.
He turns and walks away, echoing footsteps, Donovan staring.
Suddenly Donovan projects:
DONOVAN
Young man!
The young man stops, looks back.
DONOVAN (CONT’D)
...C’mere!
Hesitation.
DONOVAN (CONT’D)
...It’s all right, c’mere.
The secretary crosses back.
DONOVAN (CONT’D)
Take a seat.
He taps the bench next to himself.
DONOVAN (CONT’D)
Oh c’mon, c’mon, sit down.
Somewhat bewildered, the young man complies.
Donovan is friendly:
DONOVAN (CONT’D)
...You like your job here?
SECRETARY (genuine)
It’s a very good job, sir.
DONOVAN
Must be. Must be interesting.
SECRETARY
Yes sir.
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
94.
CONTINUED: (2)
DONOVAN
And important too. And your English is... good.
SECRETARY
Yes, I hesitate to say excellent, but it is excellent, sir.
DONOVAN
Good. Good. Good. See, I just lost my negotiating partner and I need someone to talk to. You seem like a reasonable young man -- can I talk to you?
The secretary is lost. His look to Donovan is open, genuine, and uncomprehending.
Donovan helps him:
DONOVAN (CONT’D)
...It’s all right, I just...I...I need you to give a message to your boss. But it has to be very very very clear. You understand?
SECRETARY
Yes sir. But perhaps you should wait until he --
DONOVAN
No, no, the thing is, I have this cold, I want to get back home, get into bed. (blowing his nose)
Can you give the message?
SECRETARY
Certainly.
DONOVAN
This is the message. There is no deal for Abel unless we get Powers and Pryor. Understand?
SECRETARY
Yes sir.
DONOVAN
It is arranged for tomorrow morning. It will not happen unless we get two men. Those two men. Two two two.
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
95.
CONTINUED: (3)
The secretary is looking into Donovan’s eyes in order to conscientiously remember every word.
SECRETARY
Yes sir.
DONOVAN
If there is no deal, your boss must tell the Soviets. He has to tell the Soviets that they are not getting Rudolf Abel.
SECRETARY
Yes sir.
Donovan rises.
DONOVAN
And tell him this: so far Abel has been a good soldier. But he thinks he’s going home. If we have to tell him he’s not going home, the Soviets don’t want him, that he’s never going home -- I imagine his behavior might change. And who will be held responsible for that. (He chuckles) That’s a long message! Ya got it all?
SECRETARY
Yes sir. Got it!
DONOVAN
Good. You’re a good man. (steps away; turns back with one last thought) Oh -- and also tell him, no deal unless they let us know by the end of business today. He has the number. If the exchange isn’t gonna happen, no reason for everyone to get up first thing in the morning.
SECRETARY
No sir. That would be pointless.
BUSY STREET IN BERLIN -- NIGHT
Donovan is walking with purpose, pulling change from his pocket. Hoffman is just trying to keep up with him.
HOFFMAN
You’re kidding me. You’re kidding me. You’re kidding me.
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
96.
CONTINUED:
DONOVAN
Well. Not really . Need some change!
HOFFMAN
(pulling into his pocket for change)
That’s exactly what you weren’t supposed to do.
DONOVAN
My instructions were to feel out the situation.
HOFFMAN (explosive)
Your instructions were to get Powers! Not Pryor!! That was not the original deal! You fouled it all up.
DONOVAN
How do you know? I feel pretty good about it.
Hoffman hands him the change, almost too angry to speak --
HOFFMAN
You fucked it all up!
DONOVAN
Oh don’t worry, I think it’ll be fine.
Donovan reaches a phone booth, enters.
HOFFMAN
How do you know?! You don’t know that!
Hoffman is still staring at him, anger fading as he digests the implications. He looks around at where they are and how public it is. Donovan drops in the coins, in broken German places a long distance call to New York.
DONOVAN (to Hoffman)
Look, the whole thing was just to feel me out, will I swap one-for- one. And which one. So I said No, two-for one, so they know where we stand, so it’ll be fine.
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
97.
CONTINUED: (2)
HOFFMAN
What if they think about it, say forget it, you keep our guy, we’ll keep your guys?
DONOVAN
Well then, I have fucked it all up. (suddenly brightens)
Hey, honey, it’s me!! Yeah! The fishing’s been great!
(throws an evil look to Hoffman as he shuts the door on him)
I’m in London. Just for one more meeting, then I’m on my way home. Yeah, yeah I remember that marmalade. It’s that shop right by Regents Park. All right, I will if I have the time. Hey, could I say hi to Roger? Can I say hello to the girls? Is anyone not busy?
Have they even noticed I’m not around?
SAFE HOUSE
Hoffman is sitting quietly, waiting. So is Donovan. They are freezing -- breath visible in the indoor air, and now Hoffman has a cold. A telephone sits in the center of the room on a small table, under a ratty lamp.
The the phone rings! Both go for it, as do Michener and Pinker, entering from another room. Hoffman picks it up.
Donovan turns and watches Hoffman’s face. Hoffman looks at Donovan. Donovan looks at Hoffman. Both unreadable. Slowly, Hoffman hangs up the phone. Unreadable. Finally Hoffman cracks the smallest smile.
HOFFMAN
We’re on. Two for one.
DONOVAN
Hot dog! Let’s have a drink.
He reaches for a bottle on a table.
HOFFMAN
One wrinkle.
DONOVAN
What’s that?
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
98.
CONTINUED:
HOFFMAN
They won’t release Pryor with Powers. Not at the bridge. They’ll release him at the same time -- when the Russians give us Powers on the bridge, they’ll release Pryor over at Checkpoint Charlie.
DONOVAN
...What does that mean?
HOFFMAN
I think it means, “We wanna have the last word.”
DONOVAN
...But they will do it.
A shrug.
HOFFMAN
You tell me. You felt ‘em out.
MORNING
TITLE: THE GLIENICKE BRIDGE
The snow-covered Glienicke Bridge. Mid-February: it’s just before dawn. Morning fog. Gray-blue light.
Hoffman and Donovan are at the foot of the bridge, looking east.
The other side: some guard presence, but no officialdom, no prisoner.
Some pacing from Donovan.
DONOVAN
Where’s our guy? Where’s their guy - - they’re late.
HOFFMAN (looking through binoculars)
Nobody’s late. We’re early.
DONOVAN
May I?
He takes the binocs. His look catches on something:
Two men in a tower, holding rifles. Snipers.
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
99.
CONTINUED:
Donovan squints, looks.
DONOVAN (CONT’D)
Hoffman.
HOFFMAN
Yeah.
DONOVAN
I think they have... snipers.
HOFFMAN
I’m sure they do.
DONOVAN
Why are they sure they do?
HOFFMAN
Because we have snipers.
Hoffman swings to the buildings on our side of the bridge, revealing our snipers. For the first time Donovan feels the extent to which he is out of his depth, not in control.
Engine noise nearby: two cars approaching, from our side.
They pull up. Avalon emerges, walks to opposite side passenger door and opens it.
AVALON
Step out, sir.
Rudolf Abel steps out, takes in the environment, sees Donovan on the bridge, waiting for him. His clothes are too big on him as Donovan’s coat is too big on Donovan. Abel, carrying his suitcase, walks to Jim, hand extended.
ABEL
Dear Jim. How are you.
Donovan clasps his hand, shakes it.
DONOVAN
Happy to see you.
ABEL
Have you arranged all this for me?
DONOVAN
Well...let’s see what this is before
I take credit for it.
Donovan gives a look to Michener on a field telephone.
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
100.
CONTINUED: (2)
DONOVAN (CONT’D)
Anyone word from Pryor at Checkpoint
Charlie?
Michener speaks into his phone.
CHECKPOINT CHARLIE
As at Glienicke Bridge, there is a small military presence. The checkpoint itself is quiet: no traffic.
Pinker is summoned to a phone.
PINKER
Nothin cookin yet.
GLIENICKE BRIDGE
Michener on the field telephone gives Donovan a headshake.
Donovan nods acknowledgment.
A plainclothes official walks up with a young man in uniform.
VERONA
Excuse me, sir. This is Lieutenant
Joe Murphy. United States Air
Force. Here to identify Powers.
DONOVAN
Lieutenant Murphy.
MURPHY
Sir.
Abel takes Donovan aside.
ABEL
There may be a “glitch.” I was a young man when I left; who will they find to identify me?
DONOVAN
I hope it’s not your East German family. I don’t think they could identify each other.
A WHISTLE. A sniper gestures to the other side.
Engine noise from the other side of the bridge.
Two cars arrive. Small figures get out.
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
101.
CONTINUED:
Our snipers raise rifles.
Long lens finding the emerging people, focusing on them. Schischkin is among them. A young man -- Powers -- also among them.
Hoffman peering through the binoculars.
HOFFMAN
Looks like our party.
A beat as the small figures on the opposite side sort themselves out, survey our side.
The two parties gazing at each other.
Schischkin and another man start walking Powers toward the middle of the bridge.
HOFFMAN (CONT’D)
Well. Let’s go. You can stay here,
Donovan.
DONOVAN
Not likely. (to guard) Open the gate.
He accompanies Abel, Hoffman, and Murphy toward the middle of the bridge.
Silent beat walking. Then, to Abel:
DONOVAN (CONT’D)
...What do you think’ll happen? When you get home?
ABEL
I think...I’ll have a vodka.
Silent walking.
DONOVAN
But will they -- Rudolf -- is there not the possibility --
ABEL
That my people are going to shoot me?
DONOVAN
Well...yes. You’re not worried?
Abel is ever placid:
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
102.
CONTINUED: (2)
ABEL
Would it help?
Murphy is apprehensive as they approach the midpoint, reacting to the quiet.
The men stop, just short of midway. A waiting beat.
Abel talks to Donovan to his side, but his look remains forward, directed at the men approaching from the other side of the bridge.
ABEL (CONT’D)
To answer your question, my friend: I acted honorably. I think they know that. But sometimes people think wrong. People are people. We’ll see how they greet me.
DONOVAN
What can I look for?
ABEL
If I’m embraced. Or just shown the backseat.
Quiet. Crisp footsteps approaching.
The other party stops, just short of midway.
Total quiet.
Floodlights burst on, illuminating both sides.
Schischkin steps forward, projects a few words in Russian toward Abel.
Abel sets down his suitcase and takes off his hat and glasses, to be more easily identified. He and Schischken exchage words in German.
Schischkin motions for Powers to step forward.
DONOVAN
Take off the hat.
Powers removes his hat.
Murphy is looking at the young man many yards away. He calls out:
MURPHY
Hey, Powers.
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
103.
CONTINUED: (3)
POWERS
Hey, Murph.
Utterly superfluously, to Hoffman:
MURPHY
Yeah, that’s Powers.
Schischkin projects:
SCHISCHKIN
All right, Mr. Donovan. We go now!
DONOVAN
Hang on.
He looks back to their side of the bridge: Michener on the field telephone. Feeling their look on him the man looks up, talks into his phone.
CHECKPOINT CHARLIE
Pinker with his phone.
PINKER
Believe me, I’ll tell you. There’s no one here.
GLIENICKE BRIDGE
Another headshake from his contact.
Abel is looking inquisitively at Donovan: what is this?
DONOVAN
They’re releasing another man at Checkpoint Charlie. Just waiting for confirmation that he’s there.
SCHISCHKIN
Now -- as per plan, if you please!
HOFFMAN
Okay, let’s go. Pryor’ll show up, or he won’t; let’s go.
DONOVAN
They’re waiting to see if we’ll do it without him. We just have to stand here, show them we won’t.
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
104.
CONTINUED:
HOFFMAN
I don’t give a shit what they want, we have our objective. Go ahead Abel. Go ahead sir, you can go.
SCHISCHKIN (projecting)
If it is not to plan, we go home. We exchange now or we go home.
Abel doesn’t understand the back-and-forth. To Donovan:
ABEL
We’re waiting for another man?
DONOVAN
Yup.
ABEL
You want him too?
DONOVAN
I want him.
HOFFMAN
Doesn’t matter what he wants, sir, I’m in charge and you are free to go. Please go. Walk across.
Abel is looking at Donovan.
ABEL
Stoikey Muzhik.
A beat; he decides.
ABEL (CONT’D)
I can wait.
Hoffman stalks off.
CHECKPOINT CHARLIE
The contact alerts Pinker in the guard house. Pinker picks up the phone as a car approaches.
PINKER
It’s something...not sure yet.
GLIENICKE BRIDGE
The contact nods, acknowledging. Calls out to men on the bridge.
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
105.
CONTINUED:
CONTACT
Hang on!
CHECKPOINT CHARLIE
The sports car comes to a stop. Vogel and Pryor emerge. Vogel escorting the young man to Pinker.
GLIENICKE BRIDGE
The contact gives a thumbs up to the men out on the bridge.
CONTACT (CONT’D)
We got him!
ABEL
I sent you a gift, Jim. It’s a painting. I hope it has some meaning to you.
DONOVAN
I’m sorry I didn’t think to get you a gift.
ABEL
This is your gift. This is your gift.
Abel starts across the bridge. As does Powers, from his side.
He and Powers pass each other at the center of the bridge. They do not look at each other.
Powers is arriving. He and Murphy embrace.
He and Murphy embrace. Hoffman is urgent.
HOFFMAN
Go. Go. Go.
The men move off, all but Donovan who stands facing the other side. He and Abel regard each other from across the gap, as Schischken helps - or steers? - Abel into the back seat of his car. Not friendly, not unfriendly.
The floodlights go out as Donovan stands there, watching the car with Abel pull away.
AIRPORT
Two sedans pull up outside a cargo plane. The Agents, Donovan and Abel get out.
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
106.
CARGO PLANE INTERIOR
Powers and Donovan are seated next to each other. Engines are revving.
Plainclothes Avalon approaches.
AVALON
Mr. Donovan. Colonel Abel asked me to give this to you.
He hands him a cardboard tube.
Powers is looking around, bewildered and apprehensive. To Pinker as he passes:
POWERS
Pardon me, sir?
Pinker keeps on walking. Hoffman’s behind him, and Power snags him.
POWERS (CONT’D)
Were you in charge of this thing, sir?
HOFFMAN
(curt) Yeah.
POWERS
Well I gotta thank you, I gotta thank somebody --
Hoffman does not acknowledge. He brushes past him to take a seat further back.
Powers, hung out to dry, watches him go.
With a hurt look he turns to Donovan, only because Donovan is next to him.
POWERS (CONT’D)
I gave them nothing. I gave them nothing.
DONOVAN
It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter what people think. You know what you did.
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
107.
CONTINUED:
Donovan opens the cardboard tube, withdraws a rolled-up painting. An excellent portrait of himself.
DONOVAN HOME
Donovan stands outside his house, gazing at it, suitcase by his side. He removes his hat, lifts his suitcase and approaches the front steps as a beaming Mary emerges onto th veranda.
MARY
Well. Welcome home!
Donovan climbs the steps and sets down his suitcase and hat.
DONOVAN
What a trip.
They kiss and embrace, him holding her a little closer and longer than ordinary.
MARY
...You okay?
DONOVAN
Yeah. I’m fine.
MARY
You get the marmalade?
DONOVAN
Yes, yup, yup.
He retrieves a jar and hands it to her.
MARY
Good. (she inspects it) Jim!
DONOVAN
What.
MARY
This is from Arno’s! On the corner!
DONOVAN
Well, honey, I was busy --
MARY
Oh for Pete’s sake...
DONOVAN
I’m sorry, we were so busy. Where’s
Roger, is he home?
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
108.
CONTINUED:
MARY
He’s home. Carol’s home. Peggy’s home. Everyone’s home.
Roger’s voice is heard shouting from another room.
CAROL (O.S.)
Mom, come quick! Look!
She runs into the house.
DONOVAN HOME -- LIVING ROOM
Mary arrives at the threshold to watch Roger, Carol, Peggy, and Doug crowded in front of the TV. Mary holds her breath as the President’s press secretary, PIERRE SALINGER, addresses the nation’s media.
SALINGER (ON TV)
Francis Gary Powers has been released from prison in the Soviet Union, and turned over to American authorities early this morning in Berlin. The president has commuted the sentence of Rudolf Abel. Mr. Abel has been deported, and has been released in Berlin.
In B.G. Donovan enters the house and continues on past the living room.
SALINGER (ON TV) (CONT’D)
Efforts to obtain Mr. Powers’ release had been underway for some time -- in recent efforts, the United States Government has had the cooperation and assistance of Mr. James B. Donovan, a New York attorney.
Mary can’t believe what she’s hearing.
PEGGY
I thought Daddy was fishing. For salmon.
Mary turns, expecting to see Donovan behind her, but he’s not there. She moves toward the staircase, sees his suitcase on the floor.
DONOVAN HOME -- MASTER BEDROOM
Mary comes up the stairs and enters the room.
(CONTINUED)
12.17.14 FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
109.
CONTINUED:
Donovan is face down on the made bed, fully dressed, and finally sound asleep.
Mary picks his hat up off the floor and just stands there looking at him, her eyes filling with tears.
TRAIN
Subway, the next day. Donovan riding into work. He sits by the window as he did on the S-Bahn but now, finally, looks like he’s had a good night’s sleep.
Passengers on the train are reading their newspapers, headlines about the spy exchange. One woman - the same woman who once looked at him disapprovingly - looks below the fold and sees a photo of Donovan. Recognizes him sitting across from her. She smiles. He is uncomfortable, but then he smiles too. His look drifts to his window.
His point-of-view: Brooklyn sweeping by. More benign than was Berlin. His peaceful expression darkens as the train passes backyards where a group of kinds are climbing a fence, dropping to the other side... The camera holds on the train interior, Donovan continuing to gaze out the window...
TITLES:
Following his return to Russia, Rudolf Abel was reunited with his wife and daughter. He was never publicly acknowledged by the Soviet Union as a spy.
Gary Powers died in a helicopter crash in 1977, while working for KNBC News. He was posthumously awarded the CIA Director’s Medal and the USAF POW Medal in 2000 and the Silver Star in 2012.
In 1962, Frederic L. Pryor received his Ph.D. in Economics from Yale University. He is currently professor Emeritus of Economics and Senior Research Scholar at Swarthmore College.
Following the successful conclusion of the Powers-Abel exchange, Donovan was asked by President Kennedy to undertake further negotiations on behalf of the US. In the summer of 1962 he was sent to Cuba to discuss with Fidel Castro terms to obtain the release of 1,113 prisoners held after the Bay of Pigs invasion.
When Donovan finished negotiations, he had secured the release of 9,703 men, women and children.
FADE TO BLACK




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