A Stranger Is Watching (1982) Movie Script

Oh, no. No.
Help! No!
...go back!
Stop it!
Julie, run!
It's all right, baby.
It's all right. I'm here. I'm here.
He's not gonna come back,
is he, Daddy?
No, baby. No.
He's not gonna come back.
No, no, no.
I promise you.
Unless his lawyers can get a stay,
this man, Ronald Thompson...
...will be the first man to die under the
state's tough new capital-punishment law.
- That is such a fucking clich.
- Yeah, but it works.
Leave it for now.
Go to the Steven Peterson bit.
Steven Peterson, editor
of News Today magazine...
...and his daughter...
What are we using on them here?
I told you, that shot of him
blubbering in the limo.
His wife was raped and murdered in front
of his kid. He has the right to blubber.
Question is, does America need
to watch him do it two years later?
Jack, come on. Isn't there
something else we can use?
It's good stuff, Sharon.
Friend or no friend.
Okay, we go with it.
Give me the stuff
on Thompson's lawyer.
- Aren't you finished yet?
- Art takes time, Marty.
I'd like a little less art and a little
more product. We air in 53 minutes.
And Ronald Thompson dies in 72 hours.
- Just get me the piece on time, will you?
- Yep.
I got local stations
screaming for a rundown.
Oh, Julie.
Come on, hon, time to go to school.
- Do I have to?
- Well, what do you think?
Come on. Out you go.
Mr. Peterson, Miss Sharon's on TV.
Thank you.
Daddy, help!
- What?
- It's freezing.
You scared me to death.
Mrs. Lufts, tell your husband
there's no hot water here.
Yes, Mr. Peterson.
Here's Sharon Martin
with an in-depth look...
...at the growing controversy surrounding
the pending execution of Ronald Thompson.
- Sharon.
- Thank you, Roger.
Since before the biblical injunction...
...to trade an eye for an eye
and a tooth for a tooth...
...societies have debated the morality of
and even wisdom of capital punishment.
Should a civilization protect itself
by taking the lives of those...
...who have themselves taken a life?
Unless his lawyers can get
a stay of execution in 72 hours...
...Ronald Thompson
will be he first person...
...to be put to death
in this state in 28 years.
The facts of the case
are relatively simple.
Two years ago in Carley, an exclusive
New York bedroom community...
...Nina Peterson, wife of News Today
magazine's editor, Steven Peterson...
...was savagely raped and killed
while her 8-year-old daughter...
...looked on helplessly.
Thompson, a 19-year-old delivery boy...
...has steadfastly maintained
that the real killer of Nina Peterson...
...escaped just before he arrived.
And that Peterson's daughter mistook him
for the man who had murdered her mother.
Psychiatric studies of criminals
indicate that in most cases...
...homicide is an act of passion...
...and that a murderer is not likely
to think about the death penalty...
...in the heat of the moment.
It would seem that the man
who killed Peterson's wife...
...and raped her before her daughter's eyes
was not deterred by the knowledge...
...that the state
would trade his life for hers.
Thompson's lawyer, long-time
civil-rights advocate William Kurner...
- Julie, let's move it!
- Coming!
- Has spent his career in the forefront
of the fight against capital punishment.
- Some more coffee?
- Thank you.
No, thank you.
Are you okay?
Say, Sharon's coming out
tonight for supper.
You don't like that.
It's all right.
On a scale of one to 10?
- She gave you an eight.
- Eight?
Yeah, you lost out on congeniality,
and you can't twirl a baton.
You got your arithmetic?
- How about your lunch money?
- That's tomorrow.
- Hi, Mr. Perry.
- Hi, Julie.
- How's Mrs. Perry?
- Pretty good today.
- She said thank you for the card.
- Say hi for me.
I'll come by after school.
Excuse me. I'm here
to see Mr. Peterson.
- Sharon Martin.
- Oh, yes. I know.
- I recognized you.
- Did you?
Miss Martin is here to see Steve.
- You saw the show this morning?
- I did.
I am.
Oh, Steven, we're both
in the news business.
If there's a story, we have to cover it.
Ronald Thompson being executed,
that's news, not me and Julie.
You pulled that tearjerk shit
out of the files just to sell dog food.
Oh, and News Today magazine
isn't gonna cover the execution.
Yeah, but not quite the same way.
There won't be a full color blow-up
of the condemned man's mother...
...grabbing the warden by the ankles,
begging him, "Please don't kill my son. "
- I think that's unfair.
- Yeah?
You're supposed to be a reporter,
not a goddamned advocate.
I'm a goddamned human being.
Jesus. You know, we just
keep going over the same old stuff.
I know.
Give me a hug.
I love you.
Well, I'm still planning on
coming out for dinner tonight...
...if my invitation hasn't been rescinded.
No, of course not.
- Julie will be happy to see you.
- How about you?
Well, I'll be happy when all this is over.
- How is Julie?
- Rough.
Look, I already told the Lufts
that you were coming out, so...
I guess you gotta.
- Wanna take the early train with me?
- No. I have to work.
- I'll drive up. It's all right.
- Okay.
I'll see you tonight.
- Cheerful?
- Well...
- Tired?
- No, not really.
- I'll race you to the gate.
- Okay.
- On your mark, get set, go!
- On your mark, get set, go!
- Hey.
- I'll be right there!
- Can we drop Jessica off?
- Sure. Come on.
How you doing this afternoon?
- Fine.
- Good, thank you.
- Have a good day?
- Yep. Great.
Last call from the kitchen, Julie.
No, thanks. I'm not very hungry.
I'll get some more wood
for the fireplace for you before we go.
Miss Sharon called and
she'll be here in a few minutes.
I'd stay, but we'd miss
the beginning of the movie.
Are you sure you won't mind?
No. No problem.
Are you sure, honey?
All right.
I wonder who that is.
Kind of early for Steve Peterson
to be home, isn't it?
Would you reach me my pills, dear?
- Which ones?
- The cortisone.
- You're sure?
- I'm sure I'm sure. Thanks.
There was somebody
moving around out there.
Old Bill Lufts probably.
Staggering around trying to find out
where he hid his last bottle of rotgut.
- Roger?
- Yeah, it is Bill Lufts, all right.
There's plenty of food
in the refrigerator if you get hungry.
- Have fun.
- Thank you.
Here, kitty-kitty.
Mindy, it's time for supper.
Oh, Mindy.
Where were you?
Oh, Mindy.
Mindy, not up there.
- Hello?
- Hello, baby.
Hi, Daddy.
Hey, baby. Listen,
I'm in Grand Central still.
- Is Sharon there yet?
- No.
- Everything okay?
- Yeah, sure.
- Remember that history test I took?
- Yeah.
- And I forgot to study?
- Yeah.
- And I thought I got all messed up on?
- Yeah.
- Guess what I got.
- Forty-two.
No, 94. I couldn't believe it.
That's terrific, honey. Didn't I tell you
those things have a way of working out?
Did Mr. Lufts fix the hot water yet?
Dad, when are you gonna be home?
I'll be there at 8 if the train's on time.
- Take care of Sharon till I get there.
- One minute, Dad.
Daddy, help!
Mrs. Lufts?
Anybody home?
Don't say nothing or I kill the kid.
What was the first thing
that you noticed?
- Find anything?
- Just the note so far.
- He entered through an upstairs window.
- Right.
The fucking people
left my daughter all alone.
- I know how you must be feeling.
- The hell you do.
We got your wife's killer, didn't we?
We're gonna get this guy.
We're gonna get your little girl back.
How well do you know Sharon Martin?
What's that got to do
with anything?
How committed is she
to saving Ronald Thompson's life?
Could she have taken Julie?
Is it possible that she's being used
by the anti-capital-punishment people...
...as a means of saving Thompson?
No way.
Okay. Then we're gonna treat this
as a double kidnapping.
I'll be outside.
Let me out.
Please. I can't breathe.
Listen, girlie...
...if you wanna get out of here alive,
keep your mouth shut. Understand?
I seen the window
outside was open.
I came in, went upstairs...
...and I shut it.
- That was the first I knew of it.
- Knew of what?
I mean, I seen the window was open,
but I didn't think nothing of it at the time.
Maybe I should've.
Do you think I should've?
Did you tell anyone
that you were going out tonight?
I can't think.
No. I don't think so.
Wait a minute.
Three, two, one.
- Peterson residence.
- Hello. Sharon Martin, please.
It's for Miss Sharon.
Who is it?
Who's calling, please?
My name's Kurner. She knows me.
Would you put her on the phone, please?
Tell him she's gone back to the city.
I'm sorry, Mr. Kurner, she just left.
She's gone back to the city.
- Thank you.
- You're welcome.
Come on. This van over here. Come on.
- Go watch.
- I'm going.
- Come on. Forget it.
- Come on.
- Man, you wanna be cool with the noise?
- I'm sorry.
- What the fuck was that?
- I don't know.
- I heard it again.
- It's in there.
What the goddamn...?
Get the fuck away from that truck!
I'll kick your ass, motherfuckers!
You better run.
I'll kill you, you little sick punks!
Fucking people.
Fucking people.
Listen up, bitch.
That little girl is gonna die
if you get cute. Get me?
Don't scream, don't yell or nothing.
Put this on so that no one recognizes
the famous Sharon Martin.
God, let her out of the bag...
You'll be nice to me if I do?
- I'm gonna show you some things.
- Please...
The little girl.
You can have anything you want.
I know, Sharon.
I know I can have anything I want.
Julie. Are you okay?
- I threw up.
- It's okay.
All right. Cut the shit.
You want to stay alive?
You just sit tight.
You don't move.
I can kill you any time I want.
I don't give a rat's ass.
What are you gonna do to us?
I'm scared.
So am I, honey.
Oh, God. So am I.
Hey, you!
- What are you doing down here?
- None of your fucking business.
Listen, you pussy.
What do you got in that bag?
I got a bottle. You want a drink?
I was in the United States
Marine Corps 27 years.
I had a pension and a goddamn jeep
of my own any time I wanted it.
I don't need your bottle, pussy.
I bet you got no pecker.
Let's see your pecker, huh?
A man on the telephone
said this would be in my mailbox.
Be careful with it, Steve.
I got your daughter and I got the girl.
You wanna see them alive,
it'll cost you $ 182,000.
Don't call the cops.
Don't play hero.
Tomorrow at 10 a. m.,
I want you to be at the phone booth...
...outside Grand Central Parkway
gas station, exit 22.
I said I'd kill this kid,
and I will if you try to job me.
Don't be stupid.
Oh, baby.
- Thank you, Mr. Perry.
- Steve, if there's anything...
Get this to the lab
and have it checked out.
Do you recognize that voice at all?
Have any idea why he mentioned
that odd sum of money?
I mean, $ 182,000.
That's exactly the amount that Julie
inherited from her mother's estate.
He could've had access to probate.
It was in the papers.
Go ahead. Pick it up.
- Hello.
- This is William Kurner.
Sorry to bother you, Mr. Peterson, but it's
imperative we interview your daughter...
...concerning the testimony
that she gave in court.
Mr. Kurner, I'm sorry.
That won't be possible.
Peterson, I understand your reluctance
to have your child undergo further trauma...
...but we're talking about a man's life.
I'll get a court order if I have to.
I've got everything...
Mr. Kurner, you can get
your court order if you want to...
...but you can't see my daughter.
- Now, listen. Wait. Peterson...
Fucking lawyers.
Mr. Peterson...
...we just wanted to say
how sorry we are.
I know.
We'll be in our room
if you need anything.
Hold it up more.
Oh, God.
- Stand back. I don't wanna hurt you.
- What are you doing?
I'm gonna try to pry... Get back here.
I'm gonna try to pry it open.
Dirty scum! Dirty scum!
Oh, my God!
- What did I tell you people?
- We didn't do anything!
- Stop. No!
- Stop it! Stop it!
Lying slut.
You understand that, Miss Sharon Martin?
I'm talking to you, you bitch.
You never had a real man before.
A real man doesn't put up with that shit.
Goddamn you.
Damn you.
How much did you ask for?
- How much did you ask for?
- Money?
None of your business.
I'd like to know what we're worth.
When will you get the money,
do you think?
- You know what this is?
- Your science project?
It's a bomb.
You're not serious.
Hey, don't leave us in here
with that goddamn thing!
Stay away from the door,
and you'll be okay.
I'll be back.
It's a button.
- Julie, come here.
- What?
Help me get this stuff
off the table. Come on.
Can we move it?
It's an old dumbwaiter.
- A what?
- A dumbwaiter.
It probably goes upstairs
to a restaurant.
They must have sent their
dishes here to be cleaned.
God, I wonder if it works.
Here, stand back. Let me check it out.
Now, I'm gonna put you in
and try and see if I can pull you up.
- Okay?
- Okay.
Oh, good girl.
Because I can't do it alone.
We'll work together.
We'll pull the rope together. Okay?
In you go.
Put your back against this wall,
and keep your knees up.
All right. Keep your hands
out of this area.
We'll pull the rope together.
Now, listen, when you get up there,
get somebody's attention.
Scream, yell, bang on the wall...
...I don't care, as long as you get
somebody's attention.
Are you ready? Okay.
Now we pull up.
Good girl.
Just work with me.
Oh, God, please let this work.
Are you okay?
I'm okay.
Have you reached the top?
I think so.
Can you see anything? There should be
a light or an opening up there.
There's a little door.
With a wall behind it.
Yell, honey. Yell, scream.
I'm trapped in here!
I'm gonna lower you now.
- I think I see something.
- What is it?
It looks like a tunnel.
A tunnel?
- Is it okay? Can you fit inside of it?
- I guess.
Well, try, sweetheart.
I'm okay.
There's no way out up there.
Stop it!
- Run, Julie, run!
- No!
No! Please. No!
What happened?
Julie, run!
Honey, it's okay.
You were just having a bad dream.
- It was him. It was him.
- Him?
Who? Who are you talking about?
The man who kidnapped us.
He's the one who killed my mother.
He killed my mother.
But you said in court that
Ronald Thompson, the other man, did it.
I know.
But when Ronald Thompson came in...
...the other man ran out.
But you were so sure, Julie.
It was the flashbulbs.
I couldn't see.
And then Mr. Thompson was there.
Oh, God.
They're gonna execute him,
and he was innocent all the time.
- How you doing, champ?
- Are Julie and Sharon all right?
They're all right. Now, listen to me.
I want the money tomorrow at 2 a. m.
And no new bills.
No consecutive bills.
- Nothing bigger than a 50, right?
- Right.
And I want you to have it
in a United Airlines flight bag.
Wait. Wait.
How do I know they're okay?
Look, I need some proof
that they're all right.
- Forget it.
- Listen.
Why are you doing this to us?
Just let them go.
We won't press any charges.
- Did you get it?
- Waiting for a readout.
No. There's not enough time. All we
could get was a Manhattan exchange.
I'm sorry, Steve.
- Hey, man, got some change?
- Get your fucking hands off me.
Why don't you ask your dad,
you punk bastard.
I already told you what I got for you.
I got something for you, man.
Give us your wallet
or we kill you, man.
Come on, coo.
Look, there's no reason
to get pissed off, man.
If you want it, it's yours, all right?
Fucking A.
Oh, shit.
Oh, shit.
Anything broke?
- Are you hungry?
- Yeah.
Yeah, me too. I'm starving.
I could really go for a cheeseburger
with bacon, lettuce and tomato.
Yuck? What's yuck about it?
All of it.
Oh, yeah?
What would you rather have?
Three scoops of mocha
chocolate chip ice cream.
It's terrible for your complexion.
It was my mother's favorite.
Your mother still alive?
- Father?
- No.
He died when I was
about your age, I guess.
I'm sorry.
Yeah, so am I.
Boy, what a funny guy.
He used to drive a red convertible.
Told corny jokes all the time.
Hugged me a lot.
Still miss him?
Oh, yeah.
Especially when I do something
very well, you know?
Do you miss your mother, honey?
What would it take
to make you like me, Julie?
I think you could use
an older woman friend in your life.
I like you.
- What happened?
- What do you care?
You should really wash it first.
Do you have a handkerchief?
- I'm all right.
- Lean your head back.
You know where you are now?
You're right under the Oyster Bar.
I used to wash dishes right at this sink.
They got an elevator in here
nobody knows about.
It was Franklin Delano Roosevelt's
private elevator...
...to take him to his private railroad car.
You've got soft hands.
Julie, run!
- Sharon!
- Run. Run!
Okay. We're gonna go down this way.
Take my hand,
and keep as quiet as you can.
Keep going! Run that way.
Are you all right?
Look here.
Please help us.
We're lost. Do you understand that?
Please, we've been kidnapped.
Got any money?
Yes. I do.
I've got money.
And I'll give it all to you if you'll
just point the direction to get out.
Here. A quarter.
And a dollar.
That's all I got.
Come on.
Follow him.
I see it now. Let's go.
I'm Detective Taggart. There's
a $500 reward for these people.
He's not a cop!
You haven't got much
upstairs there, have you?
I didn't do nothing to her.
Oh, no.
- What'd you get out of that tape?
- It's clean.
We distributed the photos of Julie
and Miss Martin to the N.Y.P.D.
We can expect to hear
from them any time now.
Excuse me, sir, you can't come in.
- Kurner.
- Peterson, what the hell is going on here?
- He's got a court order.
- Damn right I've got a court order.
So where's your daughter, Peterson?
I've got a right to talk to her in your
presence or juvenile court or both.
She isn't here.
- No. I won't buy that.
- Hold on. There's been a kidnapping, mister.
Come on.
You can't con me by hiding her
and pretending she's been kidnapped.
That's obstruction of justice.
I see I won't have to worry
about finding a phone.
I'm paying the ransom.
So if you wanna talk to my daughter...
...you're gonna have to wait and hope
that they let her go in time.
- Hiya, Willie. How's the boy?
- Artie.
- Want a beer?
- Yeah. Thanks.
- Everything okay?
- What happened to you?
- Is Julie okay?
- They're still all right.
Well, what do you got to tell me?
Mr. Peterson got the money
this afternoon.
It ain't marked or nothing.
They're gonna have cops
crawling all over, just like you said.
What did I tell you?
Who was right, huh?
What's the matter?
I don't trust them.
- They're gonna catch us.
- No, they ain't.
You ain't even scared?
What can they prove?
They'll never find the bodies.
What do you mean?
Willie, we can't leave
those broads alive.
Want another beer?
You said you wouldn't hurt nobody.
We can't leave any witnesses, Willie.
How about some egg salad?
I got some fresh from the deli.
Julie's just a baby.
You can't hurt her.
I said I'd help you
if nothing happened to her.
Your Germans make
your best egg salad.
You're crazy!
I got some cheddar in here someplace.
I won't let you hurt that little girl.
- Hi, mister.
- Yeah?
You owe me for two weeks.
- Keep the change.
- Thank you.
I won't let you.
You won't let me, huh?
- How was this delivered?
- Found it in the mail slot.
I thought it was a demo tape.
I wasn't even gonna play it.
Punch it up on six.
Vic, you're on your own.
Okay, kid, go on. Talk.
Hello, Daddy? This is Julie.
Sharon and I are okay. Please pay
the man so we can come home.
- Please.
- Okay, Peterson. You got your proof.
Bring the money
tomorrow morning at 2 a. M...
...to the parking lot
at 9th Avenue and 49th.
I want you to be alone.
No surprises. No cops. No nothing.
Otherwise, your daughter and your girlfriend
and a whole shitload of people...
...are gonna blow sky-high.
Ever been to Arizona?
They've got this magazine,
Arizona Highways.
It shows all these places.
When I get this money,
I'm going to get me a place there.
Get a ranch.
I'll raise horses.
I love horses. They're dynamite.
No chickens.
Jesus Christ, I fucking
hate chickens. Dumbshits.
No more.
No more, please.
No more, please.
A lot of things gonna change
when I get this money.
When you got money,
you can give everybody the finger.
Regular. No sugar.
That's very nice.
I'd like to go to the bathroom, please.
What are you looking at, huh?
You know, don't you?
I hate you.
You killed my mother.
So why did you tell them it was
that dumb sucker Thompson for?
I thought it was.
Too bad for him, huh?
Why did you kill my mother?
It's part of the deal, kid.
It's gotta be.
The hell with you.
Get in the bag.
- What?
- Help her do it.
- Why?
- Insurance.
I don't want to.
It's okay, honey. I'll be with you.
- Where are we going?
- We ain't going no place.
- Well, what are you gonna do with...?
- I don't like you.
You're always talking high and mighty
unless you want something.
You think you're better
than everybody else, don't you?
Somebody ought to
take you down a peg.
Well, what are you going...?
Oh, my God.
Oh, please.
That's how you take
them down, Sharon.
That's how.
- Hello?
- Peterson? Listen up.
- Daddy? Daddy, are you there?
- Julie!
What the hell's going on?
Don't hurt my little girl.
I've got the money.
What do you want?
Okay. Get in your car, get over
to the subway yards there...
...at Queens Boulevard and 68th Street.
And don't tell anything to your cop pals.
Any tricks and I'll kill your kid.
Go ahead.
Unit one.
Where are we going?
- How old are you, kid?
- Eleven.
You got a boyfriend?
What the hell? Damn.
I know you're here.
Come on out. I just wanna
take you back to your daddy.
- Help me. Please, help me.
- A kid.
Take it easy, honey.
Somebody was chasing me.
He won't hurt you now.
- Julie!
- Daddy!
Help me, please.
Let me help you up.
I'll get you.
All in good time.
Good time. Good time.
- Wait, wait, wait.
- Don't stop.
- Bitch, you're dead meat.
- No!
Son of a bitch!
Goddamn you!
Don't try no shit.
Oh, my God.
Come on, move it!