Absence of Malice (1981) Movie Script

He's dead since June, boss.
The man, Santos Malderone.
And here comes our boy,
Michael Colin Gallagher.
Forty-three here, 47 now.
Tommy Gallagher's only kid,
nephew of Santos Malderone.
Occupation, wholesale liquor.
MAN 1: Look out, punch is coming.
MAN 2: Duck, Waddell.
Hey, where were you
when I needed you?
Hi, Donna.
Oh, hi, Meg.
Did somebody rob a bank?
Wish somebody would.
Anything new on Diaz?
Oh, sure, lots.
We're just not ready
to discuss it yet.
So where is everybody?
Oh, no place you'd care about.
They're all watching the movies.
What movies?
Surveillance film.
Tommy Gallagher's funeral.
It's pretty funny. Bob Waddell
gets slugged at the end.
Who's Tommy Gallagher?
One of the bad guys.
He got dead before you got here.
All the crooks showed up,
so we took pictures.
Ask Bob to let you see it sometime.
He's still crazy
about you, Meg.
He's a nice guy.
I've been here three years.
Why would they be interested
in a guy that's been dead that long?
That got him busted for
assault. That's all we got
on Michael Gallagher.
For those of you who are new,
his old man, Big Tommy,
handled five states' worth of liquor
and kept the longshoremen
out of Miami for 15 years.
He played rough.
If he'd been alive when Diaz got hit,
he'd have been Suspect 1.
Since he was dead,
he's not involved.
Big Tommy had a stroke in '67,
brought Mike down from Chicago
to run the family store.
Word is, Little Mike's clean.
I don't buy it. I wanna find out.
Meersma, IRS gets his last six years.
Six? Come on.
Work it like a net-worth case.
I wanna know every nickel he's got
and how he got it.
I wanna know his mortgage,
his car payments, and his 2106s.
Mac, you guys crawl
all over his union stuff.
Bob, Bureau gets the rest.
Friends, neighbors, butcher shop.
I wanna know where he was
when Diaz went away.
I want this guy to know
we're in town, okay?
Hey, Bob, Eddie.
How come the streets
aren't safe?
Disadvantaged youths.
You spent all morning
at the movies?
What movies?
The Gallagher funeral.
Donna said you might show it to me.
Donna's on her way out.
Hey, wait a minute, take it easy.
She didn't do anything.
What are you doing for lunch?
Sorry, I've got a date.
WOMAN 1: He's under arrest.
MAN 1: What for?
Sent him to a homicide
on Southwest 8th Street.
Did you hear him yelling at me?
Rosie, line four.
It's the electric company.
Why do they talk in my teeth?
It's the only way
they can reach you.
MAN 2:
Apalachicola. A-P-A-L-A-C-H...
Sue, there's a story in here
on a Michael Gallagher.
I'd like to have a copy.
Make sure this is on the son,
Michael Gallagher, not Tommy.
Okay, fine.
Thank you.
Bob Waddell's office, please.
Sorry I'm late.
It's okay.
Got hung up on a rewrite.
Glad you called. What's up?
a vodka martini, rocks.
I wanted to make sure that
Donna didn't get into any trouble.
She's gotta be careful.
She didn't tell me anything.
She just said you were looking
at the Gallagher film.
Yeah, well, let's forget it, okay?
I'm buying.
No, no, put it on mine.
MAN: Hey, Meg.
Hi. How are you?
Did you know he has a son?
I called you last night. I thought...
Oh, I got in very late last night.
How'd you know he had a son?
Oh, I met him once at a party.
Oh, you cut your hair.
Well, it looks terrific.
He seemed nice.
Listen, I'm gonna tell you something.
You don't wanna have anything to do
with Mike Gallagher, not ever.
Especially not now.
Why not now? You gonna bust him?
He's already been busted.
For what?
For assaulting a federal officer.
Are you getting off
on gangsters now?
What is the matter with you?
Let's talk about something else.
Hey, can I buy you dinner?
Not tonight, I'm busy.
I just wanted to make sure
you didn't send Donna to Siberia.
That's all, huh?
Come on.
You'd let me know if you wanted me
to quit asking, wouldn't you?
I don't wanna be a jerk.
You're not a jerk.
Mac, I think the strike force
is onto something.
Must be an accident.
Guy by the name
of Michael Gallagher.
Son of a bootlegger,
Tommy Gallagher.
What have they got?
I don't know.
It must have to do with Diaz.
That's all they're working on.
What else have you got?
Supposedly, he sells liquor.
He's got a warehouse
on the channel.
Makes sense.
I ain't got it yet.
Work Quinn. He wants us to love him.
I'm not sure he knows.
He's DA, but Rosen runs
the strike force.
How about Rosen?
Christ, if he said word one,
it would be the first time.
Yes, sir?
Grace, there's a reporter
on her way here to see me now.
When we come in the office,
give me a minute and then buzz me.
Hey, Elliott?
Michael Gallagher.
The guy who hit Diaz.
You solved
the crime of the century.
Where'd you hear that?
If I revealed my sources,
you wouldn't talk to me.
That would be terrible.
The public has a right to know.
Where does it say that?
There's a sign on my desk.
Yeah. Well, it'll be
a dull conversation,
but come on in.
You want some coffee?
No, thank you.
What can you tell me
about the investigation?
I can neither confirm nor deny
any investigation in this office.
Not for attribution.
No confirm, no deny.
Can't help.
Off the record.
Off the record?
No comment.
You're a real sweetie.
I told you it was gonna be dull.
All right, I'll be there
in a minute.
Cheer up.
Maybe you'll get lucky.
I gotta go to a meeting.
Oh, take your time.
Have a little coffee.
"Under investigation," weak.
Can't we say he's a suspect?
I don't know what he's suspected of.
The murder of Joey Diaz.
Kidnapped. No murder, no body.
Presumed murder.
You're missing six months,
you're dead.
The prime suspect.
I don't know he's prime.
Maybe they have somebody primer.
"The key."
"A key."
McADAM: Christ,
you want anybody to read this?
You keep watering it down.
"Informed sources."
If he wanted to leak
the story, why didn't he
tell me off the record?
Instead of talking out of school,
he got you snooping through files.
Smart guy.
"Sources in the federal building"?
That sounds like the janitor.
"Knowledgeable sources."
"Knowledgeable sources."
Why did Rosen want it out?
Maybe he's trying to be a nice guy.
Maybe he wants us to owe him.
Maybe he likes your legs.
If we try to figure out why people
leak stories, we'll publish monthly.
Davidek better read this.
Oh, he's gonna love it.
Now, then, madam, you propose to
say that Mr. Michael Colin Gallagher
is the proximate cause of the demise
of the esteemed Mr. Diaz.
That's not what it says.
He's under investigation.
Gallagher will think
we make him out a murderer.
As will his friends, his neighbors.
Let us assume he is neither
a murderer nor the subject
of investigation.
Let us suppose that your story
proves to be false on its face.
This story's true.
If papers printed nothing but truth,
they'd never employ attorneys,
and I should be out of work.
I read the file.
I'm not interested
in the facts.
The question is not whether
your story is true,
the question is: What protection
do we have if it proves to be false?
Now, then, Mr. Gallagher
is not a public official,
nor is he likely
to become one. Pity.
Is he a public figure?
He's not going to sue, for God's sake.
So, what does it take
to make him a public figure?
If I knew, I should be a judge.
They never tell us till it's too late.
I'd be more comfortable if he were
a movie star or a football coach.
Football coaches are
very safe indeed.
Have we spoken with
Mr. Gallagher?
We don't call the Mafia
for comment.
Please make the attempt.
All right.
If he talks to us,
we'll include his denials,
which will create
the appearance of fairness.
If he declines,
we can hardly be responsible
for errors
which he refuses to correct.
If we fail to reach him,
at least we tried.
What are you telling me?
I'm telling you that the truth
of your story is irrelevant.
We have no knowledge
the story is false, therefore,
we're absent malice.
We've been both reasonable
and prudent, therefore,
we're not negligent.
We may say whatever we like
about Gallagher.
He is powerless to do us harm.
Democracy is served.
Who comes this night
This wintry night
As to the lowly manger
The wise men and the kings
Did come
To welcome in the stranger
Brother Joseph bring the light
TERESA: Yes, Mother?
What are you doing?
You've been away
from the office for an hour.
Are you ill?
I'm not feeling well, Mother.
Shall I send for the nurse?
No, no, Mother, I'll be all right.
If you're coming down
with something, perhaps
you should go home.
We don't want
the whole school infected.
Yes, Mother.
And put out that cigarette.
Yes, Mother.
To lay their hearts before him
I'm Michael Gallagher.
What do you want?
Where did this story come from?
What can I do for you?
I wanna know
where this story came from.
I can't tell you that.
Oh, yeah? Who can?
If you want the matter clarified,
speak to the government.
I already spoke to it.
It's not talking.
Mr. Gallagher, were you involved
in Joey Diaz's disappearance?
Can you prove
you were not involved?
I don't have to.
If you're not involved,
why are you being investigated?
I don't know. That's why I'm here.
Have you ever met Mr. Diaz?
You write about everybody
being investigated?
Everybody we find out about.
What do you write about
when the investigation's over
and the guy's innocent?
Well, they never tell us
when the investigation is over.
Mr. Gallagher, to the best
of our knowledge, our story is true.
We appreciate your coming in
to talk to us,
but, uh, I'm not sure
there's anything we can do.
We have an obligation
to report such things.
You got an obligation
to tell the truth?
Of course.
Well, if you wanna know
what's true,
how come you don't talk to me
before you write what they say?
I tried to reach you.
There was no answer.
You should've called back.
I'm around.
I don't think
this is getting us anywhere.
Is there anything else
we can do for you?
Are we investigating
Mike Gallagher?
Yes, we.
The Justice Department, remember?
Where you worked
before you went into politics.
Real smart.
That's why they move you.
Wanna drive to Cleveland?
It says we're investigating
ROSEN: That's true.
Says he's a Diaz suspect.
Oh, that's not true.
What is he suspected of?
What's the difference?
Stop screwing around.
Look, I run the strike force.
And I run the DA's office.
I tell you anything, it's courtesy.
And I'm telling you
I wanna know what you're doing.
No calls.
It's Jerry Peters,
Committee for a Better Miami.
Hi, Jer. How's the golf?
Listen, I tried, but I just
can't do both. It's too far.
Please tell them remarks,
no speech.
See if I can do cocktails one,
dinner at the other, okay?
Thanks, buddy.
Joey Diaz was an honest guy.
He would've run a decent local.
Some creeps made
him disappear.
We got no footprints.
Six months and we're nowhere.
We beat our brains out
talking to people, and we got zip.
We're looking like dopes.
We got $50,000 on the street,
and we don't get a postcard.
I gotta have help.
So you're squeezing Gallagher?
Hey, you got somebody better?
He's Tommy Gallagher's kid.
He's Santos Malderone's nephew.
His old man dealt booze
from Atlanta to Miami.
Those guys kept the union out
of here for 15 years.
He knows those people.
He can get to them if he wants to.
Is he clean?
Oh, that's not the point.
I'm not trying to convict him,
I'm trying to get information.
Diaz got dead. Gallagher's
just getting squeezed.
I suppose you got him
under surveillance too?
You think he knows anything?
He can sure find out if he wants to.
I'm trying to make him want to.
Still don't like it.
You worried about
the ACLU endorsement?
Wanna be a cowboy, go to New York.
Think of the credit you'll get.
Elliott, I want you to talk to him first.
Give him a chance to cooperate.
Then, okay, investigate him
if you have to, but no harassment.
If we nail the Diaz people,
you might get elected to something.
Hey, Mike.
Twelve Bacardi Silver
and 16 Bittersweet
out to the Lullaby.
to the office. You've got visitors.
Mike, to the office.
The fuzz.
Where's your camera?
This is Eddie Frost.
We'd like to talk to you.
Am I under investigation?
Well, that's not
why we're here, Mike.
Do you know anything
about Diaz?
If you do, we'd like you to know
we'd make special arrangements.
I don't need
any special arrangements.
It might be in your best interest
to cooperate, Mike.
It would go...
Know where that story came from?
Call me when you do.
Where were you May 25th, 1980?
You got a warrant?!
Get the hell out of here.
Come on,
let's get out of here.
What are you doing here?
TERESA: I read the paper, Michael.
What's going on?
Aw, nothing, nothing.
Don't worry about it.
Called the school today.
They said you were sick.
Oh, no. I was just worried
about you, that's all.
Come on in.
I'll get you something to eat.
Oh, how's your dad?
What did the doctor say?
He's fine. He's fine.
He'll outlive us all.
Want a beer?
Michael, tell me what's going on.
I don't know.
TERESA: Well, is this true?
They investigating you?
I don't know
what the hell is going on.
I went to the paper.
What did they say?
You ever try to talk
to a paper?
What are you gonna do?
You don't need that.
What are you gonna do?
I don't know yet.
How about some spaghetti?
I'll make you some.
I don't understand. I...
The FBI came around
this afternoon,
so something's going on.
FBI? What does that mean?
What'll they do?
Snoop around,
talk to people.
They might even ask you
some questions.
Oh, my God.
Hey, it's no big deal.
Just answer them.
Hey, shouldn't we call John
and Lena and...?
Michael, don't you remember
where we were?
When that guy,
that union guy, went away
or got kidnapped or whatever.
No, what?
We were in Atlanta, Michael.
Don't you remember?
You brought up the papers.
The headlines were all about it.
I'm sorry. I wasn't thinking.
Well, what kind of questions
are they gonna ask me?
I don't know. Do you know me?
How do you know me? Stuff like that.
Should I say no?
No, no, no. Don't say no.
I mean, of course you know me.
Oh, my God, Michael.
Hey, come on, take it easy.
Maybe they will,
maybe they won't.
How do you know me? Hm?
How do you know
Michael Gallagher,
Ms. Perrone?
I've always known him.
He used to take care of me.
What's your relationship now?
He cooks me spaghetti
and he nags me about my smoking.
He's my best friend.
The week that Joey Diaz
was reported missing,
did you see Michael Gallagher
that week?
Will they ask me that?
I don't know.
Answer it.
If they ask you that, just say,
"I don't remember."
I don't remember.
On May 25th, 1980,
uh, did you see
Michael Gallagher that day?
I don't remember.
Where were you on that day?
Mike, line four. Mike, line four.
Mr. Gallagher,
this is Megan Carter
from the Standard.
I was thinking about what you said.
My name is on that story.
If there's anything wrong,
I'd like to know about it.
I would like to hear your side.
Don't expect the truth
unless you're willing to tell it.
Do you eat lunch?
I'll pick you up in 20 minutes
in front of the building. Tan wagon.
I'll put a couple of stiffs
on the hood.
Mac, where's that
little tape recorder
you used to have?
What do you want
with that?
I'm going to lunch with Mr. Gallagher.
How'd you manage that?
Where's that stickpin
with the microphone in it?
Hey, wait. You didn't tell him
you were gonna write this?
He didn't ask.
I better send a photographer.
I can't do this with a photographer
sitting on my lap.
Who have we got in the pool?
Walker's the only one available.
Walker, terrific.
I want somebody
who knows where you are.
If anything weird starts
to happen, he can call me.
Are you sure Walker
knows what weird is?
Hi. Pretty day.
How long you got for lunch?
As long as I want.
Good job.
Where we going, anyway?
To the boat club.
All warmed up
and ready to go, Mike.
Where you going?
We can eat on the water.
What's the matter? Are you scared?
Of what?
How old is this thing,
Who owns a wood boat
anymore? You must spend
all your time fixing it.
Does it have a name?
Rum Runner.
Why Rum Runner?
My old man was a bootlegger.
How far out are we?
Was your father really a bootlegger?
For a while. He did a lot of things.
What else did he do?
Was he crooked?
Is that what you mean?
I guess you'd say he was crooked.
Want a beer?
Yes, please.
People say he ran Miami.
He just had a lot of friends.
Do you?
Not the kind you mean.
Yeah, once.
A pretty lady,
but she was no friend.
I thought bootlegging went out
with prohibition.
My old man was stubborn.
He had this import business.
Daytime, bananas.
After midnight, booze.
No tax stamps.
Same boat, same crate,
same warehouse.
It used to work pretty good.
Used to?
I don't like working nights.
When did you get out?
I don't mean jail. When did
you get out of bootlegging,
or whatever you call it?
I never got into whatever you call it.
Why not? Sounds lucrative.
It's against the law.
Aren't you hot in that?
Oh, no. No, thanks a lot.
So you were never
in the business?
That's right. You sorry?
Are you?
Yeah, sometimes.
When business is bad.
Then you were tempted?
I had no choice.
My old man said no.
When he said no, it was no.
You really look uncomfortable.
No, no. This is very lightweight.
You have a record.
Yeah, assaulting a federal officer.
The FBI came
to my old man's funeral.
They brought cameras.
They came to the church, cemetery,
so I slugged one of them.
What else you wanna know?
As much as you wanna tell me.
Look, I really do
wanna be fair about this.
One of those up-front ladies, huh?
I try to be.
Who's the guy
in the Volkswagen?
And who the hell
am I talking to?
Oh, shit.
What do we do now?
This is good. What is it?
It's a Bordeaux,
What do you call this?
I'm a reporter. What did you expect?
Don't try to make me feel guilty.
You think I had something
to do with Diaz, huh?
It's a distinct possibility.
If there's nothing there,
why are they picking on you?
I gotta know
where that story came from.
"Knowledgeable sources,"
you said. Now, who is that?
Somebody's trying
to get to me. Somebody
with no face and no name.
You're the gofer.
You listen to them,
you write what they say,
and then you help them hide.
You say you got a right to do that
and I got no right
to know who they are.
I'm sorry, Gallagher,
I can't help you.
How old are you?
How come you're not married?
Maybe I am.
How come you don't wear a ring?
Ever heard of liberation?
Most of them are ugly.
Was that supposed to be
a compliment?
Look, if they clear you,
I'll write about that too.
What page?
You say somebody's guilty,
everybody believes you.
You say he's innocent,
nobody cares.
That's not the paper's fault,
it's people. People believe
whatever they want.
Who puts out the paper?
If you knew I was gonna write
about you, why do all this?
I'm a publicity hound.
No, really.
I mean, why the boat
and the picnic and everything?
I didn't want you
running out of a restaurant
before I got some answers.
Did you get any?
Not the ones I wanted, but some.
Are you Megan Carter?
Are you all right?
We'd better get out of here.
I'll catch a cab.
Take care of yourself.
You got no authority here.
Those men belong
to the longshoremen's union.
The union says they don't work.
It's your union he's talking about.
You people know Mike.
Make up your own minds.
You wanna keep your cards,
you don't work here today.
We got other work for you.
And tomorrow, the same.
Mike. Mike, we have a problem.
What's going on?
Motormouth from the union,
one of Diaz's guys.
He's trying to shut us down.
What's the beef?
I know you. I know your sentiments.
You don't like us,
we don't like you.
So work without us.
I had nothing to do with Diaz.
That's not what we hear.
And we don't work for you.
Joseph Diaz was a saint for us.
Joey was a loudmouth
and a jerk, but there was
nothing bad between us.
I hope you will be many years
in the prison.
That goes for you too.
I don't want you
crossing no picket line.
Come on, guys.
We may have had problems,
but it was strictly business.
I had nothing to do with Diaz.
It ain't about Diaz, Mike.
They pull our card,
we don't work. Nowheres.
You pick up at Gallagher's,
you're handling struck work.
Gallagher's is closed.
Jesus Christ.
Am I out of work?
What are they going to do?
They ain't working.
What are we gonna do?
We're going hunting.
I'm just saying, it's messy.
Were you all there when
Contini walked up to me?
He starts quoting
from the union rules
about how he must get paid
time and a half.
He's just going on and on.
Are you just
passing through?
It's a nice joint. Free nuts.
Oh, John Orrega,
Megan Carter.
You've heard of her.
Nice meeting you.
Nice meeting you.
Are you looking for me?
Is that the only thing you got on?
You're crazy, man.
He's gonna be in there all night.
He would lay on the front lawn...
Ha, ha, ha.
- With the lights off
so I wouldn't know he was there.
He was trying to catch me.
One night,
I was on my third date,
and I opened the door
to shake hands with Ralph,
and I happened to turn on
the lights.
There was my father
laying on the front lawn,
spread-eagle. Ha, ha, ha.
And the guy didn't
say anything...
Are you finished
with your dinners?
Yes. So we just all stared at him.
Nobody said anything for a long time.
And then Ralph said,
"Good night, Mr. Carter."
And I said, "Good night, Dad."
And I just shut the door
and locked him out.
Your friend John
doesn't like me very much.
He's kind of scratchy today.
The longshoremen struck us.
I didn't know
those guys could read.
Is your old man still?
Oh, yeah, he's still around.
Does he work?
Oh, yes.
He's an investment banker.
My old man did that too.
You're kidding.
Only it was called loan-sharking.
There must be a difference.
My old man did time for it.
Mine just hasn't been caught yet.
Let's see, I was 15
when they sent him up.
And during
this little extended vacation,
a couple of kids and me
stole a car, went joyriding.
And when he got out,
he found out about it.
He took me
in the woods to a cabin.
It had a dirt basement.
He locked me in and left.
Three days.
Who was he to preach?
He wasn't preaching.
He said if I wanted to be a thief,
I ought to know what the life was like.
This guy Quinn, this DA,
what's he like?
I see.
You're hustling me.
And you aren't even hustling me.
I don't know
what you're talking about.
I'm very sorry you got struck,
but it's not my fault.
I will not tell you
where that story came from.
It's the truth. That's enough.
Okay, quiet down...
Quiet down?
Is that the only way you like
your women? Nice and quiet?
Are you getting a little crocked?
You want me to?
What I want...
I'm not hustling you.
I just need you to get
to know me fast. Okay?
Waiter? Check.
Oh, no, no, no. I'll pay.
Unless you think
that would make you impotent.
You got some mouth.
We would be there
about 8:00.
Where's your car?
Back at The Pen and Pencil.
Are you gonna follow me?
Uh, not tonight.
You said you wanted me
to know you fast.
You're not interested?
Maybe I'd like to think it was my idea.
I'd like that too.
Gallagher, I'm 34 years old.
I don't need courting.
I'm from the Stone Age.
I guess I do.
I'll send you a dozen roses.
I can save you a lot of time.
Tell Santos I'll meet him tomorrow.
At the ball game.
Light's green.
He's gonna steal.
He's gonna steal.
How are you, Uncle Santos?
MAN 1: All right, here we go.
MAN 2: Come on.
Come on.
You look good, Michael.
You too.
Everybody asks for you.
They wanna know how you are.
How are you?
I'm okay. I've been better.
What do you got guys
following me for?
I told you he was
gonna steal. Wake up.
Tony, don't fall asleep on me
out there, please.
I don't like to read about you
in the newspapers.
I'm not crazy about it myself.
Is somebody setting me up?
What are you talking?
Well, you know,
maybe somebody you know.
You got a lot of friends.
What are you talking?
You're my nephew.
Heh, heh.
You're family.
You're looking
in the wrong place.
Know what I think?
It's downtown.
They got nobody for Diaz.
They're in trouble.
They're embarrassed.
Maybe they think you'll help
if they push you.
You know a lot of people.
That's why your guys
are following me, huh?
What are you gonna do?
Are you gonna help them?
It's not my business.
They can make you think
it's your business.
Don't sell them short.
They got ways.
Good, good.
A lot you remind me of Tommy.
You're all right.
Be well. Take good care.
I'm Teresa Perrone.
I'm Megan Carter.
Thank you for meeting me like this.
Would you like a cigarette?
Oh, no, no, I'm trying to quit.
Well, Michael hates it.
I have a story for you.
Michael Gallagher is innocent.
You were with him
the night they got Diaz,
you'll swear to it in court.
I'm used to dealing
with girlfriends.
Why do you think
I'm a girlfriend?
Just a hunch.
No, I've never been
Michael's girlfriend.
I've known him since
childhood. We're friends.
Of course you think
he's innocent.
No, I know he's innocent.
Well, because I was
with him at the time.
But I don't want you
to say it was me.
I see.
Where were you?
I can't tell you that.
Well, how do you remember this?
I mean, it was 10 months ago.
Do you remember
where you were the day
Kennedy was shot?
Can you prove it?
I don't know.
Ms. Perrone, you're very loyal,
if that's what it is.
But I can't write that someone claims
to know Michael is innocent
and won't say how or why
or even give her name.
I am assistant to the principal
at San Ignacio School,
and the publicity would be...
I just can't.
Suit yourself.
But you printed that other story.
That was different.
I knew where it came from.
You don't believe me?
I've never met you before.
You want me to write
that Michael is innocent,
and I can't use your name.
You say you were with him
and won't tell me where.
What would you do?
If I told you,
I mean, just you, would it
have to be in the paper?
If it has nothing to do with Diaz...
I mean, it's private.
I can't promise anything.
I'll speak to my editors,
but I can't promise anything.
Couldn't you say
you spoke to someone
who was with him the whole time?
I'm a reporter.
You're talking to a newspaper
right now, understand?
You said you could keep it out.
I did not.
I said I would discuss it
with my editors.
Look, if you have
some information
about where Michael Gallagher
was that night
and you want to help him...
You don't understand.
There was this guy...
Michael hates him.
Maybe he's not so hot,
but, you see, I'm Catholic.
Ms. Perrone, look,
I really don't wanna be rude,
but I don't understand
what you're trying to tell me.
I have a deadline. I have to get back.
I had an abortion.
I got pregnant
and I didn't know what to do.
I got a name in Atlanta.
And Michael took me.
It was three days.
He stayed with me
every day, every hour,
and that's what happened.
That's not such
a terrible thing.
Have you told
anybody else this?
Oh, God.
Oh, you're not Catholic.
Look, it's 1981.
People will understand.
Are you crazy?
Not my people. Not my father.
I don't even understand it.
How old are you?
You believe me, don't you?
Yes, I do.
Well, then don't write this.
You're a friend
of Michael Gallagher's.
He's in trouble.
You've told the truth
about something
that will help him.
No one's gonna hate you
for that, really.
Do you have ticket stubs
or receipts
or anything that will prove
that what you're?
Eight and a half cases short
and he drops us after 12 years.
Thank you, that's fine.
Mac, if it has no bearing
on the case, then why run it?
What does it mean?
Let the readers decide
what it means.
I'm beginning to feel funny
about mentioning the abortion.
Isn't being with Gallagher
what's relevant?
The reason I believe the story
is because of the abortion.
Don't tell me it's not relevant.
Are you sure you're right?
I'm never sure I'm right.
She's the alibi witness
for a key suspect in a major crime.
People have a right
to know the alibi.
You got something going on
with Gallagher?
Good night, Mac.
Mac, about this construction worker...
Meg, we've had, um...
There's been an accident.
It's Teresa Perrone.
What happened?
She killed herself.
They found her about an hour ago.
Her father woke up
and found her.
She was living at home.
Did she leave a note?
They don't think so.
Want me to do the story?
No, no, no. I'm gonna do it.
Do you wanna go home?
She cut her wrist
with a razor blade.
It turns out she was
seeing a psychiatrist.
People get caught up
in things.
Remember the woman
in San Francisco
a few years ago,
took a shot at Ford?
The guy in the crowd
grabbed her arm
and saved the president's life,
and he was a hero.
It turned out
he was also gay.
That's news, right?
Now the whole country
knows that too.
Did he kill himself?
Meg, let me take you home.
It was not your fault.
Then why do I have to go home?
You don't wanna come in here.
I'm warning you.
Michael, if I could just talk to you...
Shut up!
I don't wanna hear it.
I don't wanna hear any of it.
What the hell
are you doing here?!
Is that what you want?
Details, okay.
They found her naked
in the tub.
God, she didn't even
wanna make a mess.
No water, just naked in the tub.
You interested, huh?
You're interested in how she felt?
She picked up a newspaper,
for chrissake,
and there it is
for everybody to see.
Everybody to look at it.
She must have felt like...
Just raped!
Aah! No, Michael!
Goddamn it!
She must have felt...
No! Let go! Oh, God!
Know something I didn't know?
When you kill yourself,
it's a homicide,
so they do an autopsy.
They're gonna get a knife.
They start here.
They're gonna split her open.
When they get here,
they use shears.
They use shears!
Oh, goddamn you!
Get away from me.
Excuse me, Michael,
but I can't go home like this.
I need something to wear.
I'll have this returned to you.
Couldn't you see
what it was to her?
Couldn't you stop
scribbling for a second
and just put down
your goddamn ballpoint pen?
Didn't you see her?
Didn't you...?
Didn't you like her?
It was Rosen.
It was Elliott Rosen.
He runs a strike force.
He's the one that leaked
the story about you.
I don't know why.
I have to go now, Michael.
I'm very tired.
ROSEN: Were they in Atlanta?
Got them on the manifest.
Doesn't mean he's clear.
Doesn't mean anything. He did it,
or he knows who did it,
or he can find out who did it.
He sure isn't easy.
Why don't you see
if Meersma's got
anything from IRS?
Think we ought to let this cool down?
I'm sorry about Perrone.
I got a job to do.
This thing isn't just gonna go away.
I still gotta find who hit Diaz.
That's what they're paying me for.
The hour has come for
the son of man to be glorified.
I solemnly assure you,
unless the grain of wheat
falls to the earth and dies,
it remains just
a grain of wheat.
But if it dies,
it produces much fruit.
The man who loves his life
loses it,
while the man who hates
his life in this world
preserves it
through life eternal.
Grant her eternal rest, O Lord,
and may your light shine
on her forever.
Who is it?
Michael Gallagher.
I need to see my uncle.
Yes, Michael?
I got a job to do, uncle.
I need some information
about this guy Elliott Rosen.
Uh, this is Michael Gallagher.
I'm somewhere else right now.
If you wait for the tone,
leave your name and number,
I'll get back.
How large is the search area?
Can you give me
the boundaries?
Are there sharks in that area,
do you think?
Okay, great. Thanks, lieutenant.
No, I think I'll be working.
Maybe lunch. Bye-bye.
I don't think they're
gonna find those guys.
It's been two days now.
You might wanna go easy
on the sharks.
Don't scare the tourists.
The rule is, it's a shark
if it walks out of the water,
stops traffic, and bites a cop.
If they're just swimming,
call them fish.
Okay. Fish-infested waters.
Want some coffee?
It might keep me up.
It's decaffeinated.
I've been thinking it might be time
for you to come on the desk.
I'm not over the hill yet.
I think you'd make
a damn fine editor.
you ever miss being on the street?
Too many people out there.
A lot of news is bad news
for somebody.
You stay out there too long,
the somebodies start adding up.
Ever think about
doing anything else?
But you won't?
Mondays are always
different from Tuesdays.
You don't have to lie a lot.
Once in a while,
you nail the bad guy.
I know how to print what's true.
And I know how not to hurt people.
I don't know how to do
both at the same time,
and neither do you.
Maybe you're tougher than I am.
That Medicaid arraignment
is tomorrow.
You want art?
You betcha.
I think they ought to get
their pictures in the paper.
I want you to think about the editing.
You're a good newspaperwoman,
And if you delete "newspaper"?
I like you all right.
Your meeting, your agenda.
I want a deal.
What you got in mind?
Whatever I find out,
you get. After that,
you're on your own.
But none of this
federal-witness stuff.
I wanna stay in town.
I don't wanna testify,
and I don't wanna deal
with anybody except you.
Why with me?
Maybe I don't trust this guy.
What's his name? Rosen?
What do we do for you?
The investigation you guys
are running on me is over now.
I want you to make
a statement clearing me.
I want it in the papers.
What do you think
you can come up with?
Well, whatever it is,
it's more than you've got.
We don't make statements
clearing people.
We don't talk about an investigation
until somebody's been indicted.
Well, someone sure as hell
talked about this one.
This Waddell, does he go with
that newspaper lady?
The one that wrote about me?
Megan Carter?
They used to see each other.
I don't think they do anymore.
Who knows you're here?
You know what
would happen to me
if this leaks?
We can protect you.
Oh, yeah, sure, sure. Heh.
Okay, um...
We can call off
the investigation.
I'm not sure about
a statement in the paper.
Then we've got
nothing to talk about.
Here's a number.
Leave a message.
When I read
in the paper what I want,
you get in touch.
Let me think about it.
Would you like to come in?
Could I fix you a drink?
Oh, I don't think so.
You work long hours.
I was just writing a letter
to my father.
The loan shark.
Keep in touch, huh?
Yes, we do.
Most people
nowadays telephone.
It's not the same.
It's easier to phone,
but then what have you got?
Yeah, my daughter
used to write letters.
I mean, you know, she'd stick crayon
to paper, but she phones now.
How old is she?
I was, um...
trying to explain to my father
what happened.
You know, the other day
when I took it all out on you...
uh, it isn't that simple.
That's not an apology.
I just wanted to set
the record straight.
That cost you, didn't it?
Telling me about Rosen.
Well, thanks.
I didn't do it for you.
I know that. Anyway...
It's a new blouse.
I'll get you your sweater.
What I told you about the story,
was it of any help?
Maybe see you
one of these days.
I'd like that.
It's not against the rules?
I'd like it anyway.
I'd like it to be your idea.
Candidate's coming out
of the closet, huh?
Come on in, Elliott.
Get everybody in the courtyard.
See you guys in 10 minutes.
WOMAN: Gentlemen.
You want my endorsement?
I'm flattered.
I'm terminating
the Gallagher investigation.
Like hell you are.
Okay, let's call Washington.
And say what?
You say whatever you want.
I'm gonna say you're running
a bogus investigation,
that you're trying to coerce
a private citizen into becoming
a federal witness.
You knew what I was doing.
I should have stopped you then.
I'm gonna stop you now.
You wanna join me
in a statement?
No, thanks.
They're your cards.
You play them.
I have a short, very short,
statement to read.
The Organized Crime
and Racketeering Strike Force
has completed an investigation
of Michael Colin Gallagher
with regard
to his possible involvement
in the disappearance
of Joseph Diaz
and has found no grounds
to proceed against Mr. Gallagher.
Because this investigation was
inadvertently reported in the press,
it is the feeling of this office
that it is only proper
to acknowledge its conclusion.
That's it.
WADDELL: I don't get it.
You don't?
Quinn blew the whistle
on both of us. You went
after the wrong guy.
I wrote about it.
What the hell's going on?
Good question.
You ought to join the FBI.
I don't know either.
It doesn't make any sense.
Got any ideas?
Sure. Early retirement.
I got a couple.
I want 24-hour surveillance
on Gallagher, not close.
And I want taps on three phones:
Gallagher's warehouse,
Gallagher at home, Quinn's house.
Wait a minute. Where are we gonna
find a judge who'll let us tap Quinn?
I'm not gonna ask a judge.
It's no good in court.
I'm not in court, not yet.
You really think
Gallagher bought him?
I don't know.
Do you think he's for sale?
Mr. Gallagher?
A letter from the Standard.
What are you doing?
Are you leaving?
What time is it?
Five-thirty. I gotta go.
Why? What happens at 5:30?
I'll call you.
I'm free every night but Friday.
How about Friday?
Uh, this is Michael Gallagher.
I'm somewhere else right now.
If you wait for the tone,
leave your name and number,
I'll get back.
This is... This is Webb.
We'd better get together to talk.
Just keep watching, buddy.
Our boy's getting nervous.
He wants a meeting.
And then there's one
that says, "Our boy
is getting nervous.
He wants a meeting."
"Our boy," huh?
Matheson Hammock,
day after tomorrow.
That's Thursday, 11 a.m.
Nine thousand
in cashier's checks
payable to the
Committee for a Better Miami.
Committee for a Better Miami?
Wait a minute.
Anonymous contributions
to a nonprofit organization
with political interests,
specifically Mr. James Quinn.
Absolutely legal.
Nicely laundered.
Except we caught him.
All of it arranged
on a Code-A-Phone so
we can't prove he got them.
Gallagher's no dummy.
Oh, yeah? Your meeting's arranged.
Eleven tomorrow,
Matheson Hammock.
Well, it's a professional job.
We know that.
There's talk that
it might be two guys
from New Jersey.
We know that too.
The papers said that,
for chrissake.
Well, maybe they're right.
I got my neck stuck out
for you, Gallagher,
and you'd better deliver.
Now, I held up my end.
You'd damn well better
start holding up yours.
Hey, you've been
on this job for six months.
I've been on it for a week.
Now, I need something,
and you'd better start
delivering soon.
Soon as I know.
Hey, Meg.
Hi, Bob.
Sorry, I'm late.
I think you'll wanna hear this.
Between us.
They can have my job for this.
What are you talking about?
Gallagher paid off Quinn.
That's why he called off
the investigation.
I don't believe you.
Get in the car.
Those are his checks, Meg.
Political contributions to Quinn.
He's under surveillance,
and when you're with him,
Rosen will bust him if he can.
Get out of it, Meg.
Why are you telling me this?
I don't want you hurt.
You can't use this, Meg.
You sure as hell can't tell Gallagher.
It would mean my job.
Hi. Come on in.
What did you bring?
A friendly Bordeaux.
Pretty good year.
You want some right away?
Smells good.
The wine.
Is something bothering you?
Quinn clearing you,
did you know he was
gonna do that?
He didn't tell you?
No. It was a nice surprise, though.
I bet.
I'm taking the boat
down to Bimini.
Wanna come?
How far away is that?
Oh, three, four hours.
What else is around it?
A lot of water.
What happens if we miss it?
You're gone for a long time.
Why do you think he called
that conference?
Quinn. Why do you think...?
What are you, working?
They don't usually do that, you know.
Yeah, okay, yeah,
you've told me. I remember.
What do you think you know,
Would you tell me the truth?
I'd just please like to know the truth.
Tell you or the whole world?
What's the difference?
The truth is the truth.
You wanna know the truth?
You wanna ask me as a person?
I'll tell you.
Ask me as a reporter, no comment.
That's not fair.
Not fair to who?
Wait a minute.
You don't write the truth.
I mean, you write what people say.
What you overhear, you eavesdrop.
You don't come across
truth that easy.
I mean, maybe
it's just what you think,
what you feel.
I don't need
your goddamn newspaper
to decide what
they're gonna do with me.
Or who I am.
Then you tell me, who are you?
You mean you're not sure yet?
I guess you'll just have
to decide for yourself.
I mean, who I am
and what you are.
would you just answer me
one question?
Quinn's statement,
did you do anything wrong to get it?
What's wrong?
You know what wrong is.
That's right. I do.
Well, tell me.
I'm sorry, I won't.
I guess you just did.
Things are not
what they seem, not always.
You ought to know that.
They usually are.
Mac? It's Meg.
Jim, listen,
I'm sorry about this,
but I have a story that
says you're suspected
of taking bribes.
I would like to hear your comment.
You've got your information
mixed up.
Either that or you're fishing.
Wait a minute, now,
that was off the record.
My question was on the record.
No comment.
Now, tell me
what you're talking about.
Did you get to him?
I need someone for dictating.
Okay, go.
This is insert A after the fifth graph
ending XXX clearing Gallagher.
Paragraph. Quinn denied...
What the? Ha, ha, ha.
Elving, go yourself
down the hall there
and collect our friend.
QUINN: Hello, Jim.
ROSEN: Hi, Jim.
Morning, fellas.
Angeline, quickly, please.
What are you doing?
We'll be just a second here, please.
Have a seat, folks.
Well, now, let the record show
that I'm James J. Wells,
assistant attorney general
for the Organized Crime Division
of the United States
Department of Justice.
With me here are...
Hell, Angie, you know
who these folks are,
just write them in.
I've had no conversation
with anyone here
prior to the beginning
of this record.
I'd like to inform all present
they have the right to remain silent
and the right to retain counsel.
I inform them further that
anything they say during
the course of this... Uh... Uh...
What the hell is this?
- This inquiry may be taken down
and used against them.
Anybody here
want a lawyer?
Ms. Carter,
you brought your own.
Mr. Gallagher,
do you want a lawyer, sir?
WELLS: Good.
No more room in here anyway.
Anybody wanna read the paper?
You got a story in here that says,
"Strike force investigating a DA,
suspecting bribes."
It's the damnedest story
you ever read.
Nobody in this department
ever read a story like that.
Tell you what we're gonna do.
We're gonna sit right here
and talk about it.
Now, if you get tired of talking here,
Mr. Marshall Elving Patrick
will hand you
one of them subpoenas he's got
and we'll go talk
in front of the grand jury.
We'll talk all day if you want to.
But come sundown, there's gonna be
two things true that ain't true now.
One is that the United States
Department of Justice
is gonna know
what in the good Christ...
Excuse me, Angie.
- Is going on around here.
And the other is I'm gonna have
somebody's ass in my briefcase.
Fine. All right, Elving,
hand whichever of these fellas
you like a subpoena.
We'll go and talk
in front of the grand jury.
Gallagher's a government witness.
A wonderful thing, subpoena.
He's working on Diaz,
reporting to me.
Your arrangements include
campaign contributions?
What are you talking about?
I'm talking about $9000.
Cashier's checks. It's all in the file.
What file?
This file.
Rosen's investigation file.
You can't have an investigation
without a file, Jim.
Let me see.
I'll save you looking.
It says you met with Gallagher
and didn't report it.
It says Gallagher gave money to
some committee thinks you're pretty.
I got phone taps, not legal,
mind you.
I got phone taps of you talking
on Gallagher's answering machine.
You son of a bitch.
He don't think much
of your investigation.
Jim, why didn't you report
that meeting?
That was Gallagher.
Those were his rules.
He said he wanted
to deal only with me.
We had had a leak.
WELLS: You'd had a leak?
You call what's going on
around here a leak?
Boy, the last time
there was a leak like this,
Noah built himself a boat.
But look, I don't know anything
about any cashier's checks.
Now, Gallagher said that he would
listen for us if we quit hassling him.
He wanted a public statement.
He got it.
Robert, where'd you get
the authority to run those taps?
No place. I just did it.
You wanna tell me why you'd go
and do a fool thing like that?
You see, we had reason to believe...
He was acting on my instructions.
He don't get paid
to act on your instructions.
He gets paid to abide by
and to enforce the law.
Elliott, how come
you're investigating the DA
without telling the department?
It was preliminary.
We had cause but no case.
Do you think you have
a case now?
Think so.
Make it.
Here? In front of them?
Do you know something
that ain't all over the newspapers?
Go ahead and make your case.
It'll be good practice for you.
Mr. Gallagher, you know Mr. Quinn?
How do you know him?
He asked me if I would help him
find out what happened to Joey Diaz.
I show you photostats
of two cashier's checks
drawn on
the Flagship National Bank,
made payable to the
Committee for a Better Miami.
Have you seen them before?
Yeah, they're mine.
For what purpose
did you make these checks?
To contribute
to the committee.
Well, why was that?
Because they do good work.
You aware the committee
is interested in the political
career of Mr. Quinn?
That's okay with me.
Let me point out
that these checks were drawn
immediately before
and immediately after
your meeting with Mr. Quinn.
What do you make of that?
What do you make of it?
Come on, now.
You're trying to say
that you just got
an urge to contribute
to his committee
before you met him, then
you got another urge after?
Yeah. I came into
some extra money
a couple days later.
All right.
You made these contributions
anonymously. Why?
I wanted them to be anonymous.
ROSEN: I'll bet. Tell us why.
I didn't want other people
asking for contributions.
The reason is
that you were paying off.
Prove it.
Mr. Gallagher,
if you in fact told Mr. Quinn
that you would act as
a government informant...
No, wait a minute.
I said that I'd see
what I could find out.
ROSEN: What are you finding out?
Nobody wants to talk about it.
You son of a bitch.
You're trying to frame me.
He set me up.
He arranged the meetings.
He is the one who got me
on his machine.
He's got the cancelled checks.
He's trying to frame me!
What's his motive?
To get even, you dummy!
You guys ought to get married.
Mr. Gallagher, are you that smart?
You're damn right he is.
Ms. Carter,
you seem to know a lot
about what's going on.
I'd like to ask you
where these stories came from.
My client is not...
You save your objections, counselor.
This ain't a courtroom.
Now, Ms. Carter, this story
about Mr. Gallagher, the first one.
I had reason to believe
the strike force was
investigating Mr. Gallagher.
I confirmed it. I wrote the story.
WELLS: How did you confirm?
Objection. You are asking...
Wait a minute. Wait a minute.
I wanna answer this.
I read the file.
WELLS: Did you, now?
How did you come
to read the file?
I was talking with Mr. Rosen.
It was lying on his desk.
When he left his office,
I read it.
Did you ask Mr. Rosen what
in the name of Christ he was doing
leaving the file on his desk
for you to read it?
He intended me to read it.
WELLS: Why would that be?
So I would write a story
that made Mr. Gallagher look bad.
This story.
Did Mr. Rosen give you
that one too?
Go ahead, Ms. Carter.
I'm sorry, I can't tell you.
I think I know
where we're headed here.
Before we get there,
I wanna say something to you.
You know and I know
that we can't tell you
what to print or what not to.
We hope people in the press
will act responsibly.
When you don't, there ain't a lot
anybody can do about it.
But we can't have people go around
leaking stuff for their own reasons.
It ain't legal.
And worse than that,
by God, it ain't right.
I can't stop you,
but I can damn well stop them.
I wanna know
where them stories come from.
Under the First Amendment,
my client is not required to reveal...
That's all horsepucky.
The First Amendment don't say that,
and the privilege don't exist.
Now, do you understand
I can ask you these questions
in front of a grand jury?
And if you don't answer,
you can go to jail?
I know it's possible, yes.
Oh, it's more than possible,
Ms. Carter, it's damned likely.
I ain't anxious
to be locking up reporters.
But I'm gonna tell you something.
I don't like what's going on.
May I say something, please?
I don't wanna go to jail,
but this has got to stop
A lot of damage has been done.
I'm responsible for a lot of it.
I know that.
I don't know. I keep thinking
there must be some rules
to tell me
what I'm supposed to do now.
But maybe not.
The person who told me
about the investigation of Mr. Quinn,
they were not leaking it.
They did not intend
for it to be printed.
I did that on my own.
I'm scared to death of going to jail,
but if I tell you who it was,
you'll have to do something about it,
and someone else will be hurt.
So it's really very simple.
I can hurt someone
or not hurt someone.
No rules.
I can't tell you.
Mr. Gallagher.
I seem to wanna ask
if you set all this up.
If I do, you ain't gonna tell me,
are you?
I'll tell you something.
You're a smart fellow.
Don't get too smart.
I'm pretty smart myself.
Everybody in the room is smart.
And everybody's
just doing their job.
And Teresa Perrone's dead.
Who do I see about that?
Ain't nobody to see.
I wish there was.
You're excused now, sir.
Ms. Carter, you can go too.
Later today I'll have
a statement for the media.
You ain't gonna like it.
It's gonna say Mr. Quinn here
may not be the smartest DA
we've ever had,
but there's no evidence
suspecting him of anything.
And it's gonna say you were
suckered by Mr. Rosen here
who has some peculiar ideas
on how to do his job.
It's gonna say it was premature
and real wrong
that these investigations
ever got reported in the first place.
You don't have to print it, of course,
but it's gonna wind up in the paper.
you and Elving go on ahead.
Robert, you can go too.
I'll be along in a minute.
Jim, you're in a bad place,
I could talk myself blue
clearing you, but wouldn't
nobody believe me.
You got a hell of
a publicity problem.
I could sue.
You can't win.
Absent malice,
what can you prove?
Saying I should resign?
The president appointed you.
I ain't the one to be kicking you out.
But I'd suggest it.
I'll talk to you later.
That's really too bad. I'm sorry.
He's a nice guy.
He just forgot about the rules.
What did you figure you'd do
after government service?
I'm not quitting.
You ain't no presidential appointee,
The one that hired you was me.
You got 30 days.
Would you excuse me
for a moment, please?
You got us all, didn't you,
You got yourselves.
How'd you know I'd get the story?
I knew somebody would.
I'm sorry it was you.
How'd you know I'd print it?
It's news, isn't it?
nothing's done yet.
Make sure that this is...
Davidek filled me in on it.
We're not gonna retract
anything, but we've got
a lot of explaining to do.
Sarah's gonna write the story.
We'll handle it the best way we can.
I need to know how to describe
your relationship with Gallagher.
Mac said to quote you directly.
You can say whatever you want.
say we were involved.
That's true, isn't it?
But it's accurate.
Hot, huh?
Not so hot, really.
I went by your house.
There's a "for sale" sign out.
Yeah, it's sold.
Got a good price.
You got some sun.
Yeah, I've been sitting on the beach.
We were pretty famous for a week.
Did you read the story?
You want a beer?
Where are you headed?
I don't know.
I guess I got a couple
of moves left in me.
But you don't know where?
Not sure.
People are going south and west,
but, uh, I think I'll go north and east.
You can go clear
to the Hudson River.
I mean, clear to Canada,
on the inland waterway.
The Northeast.
I was raised in the Northeast.
I had my first job there
the summer when I was 16
on the Berkshire Eagle.
I wonder if they'd have me back.
Feeling sorry for yourself?
I know you think
what I do for a living...
is nothing.
But it really isn't nothing.
I just did it badly.
I get the feeling going
northeast has something
to do with your daughter.
You probably are
a hell of a reporter.
Not yet.
Have a good trip.
I get the feeling I wanna say:
"Could I write?"
I'm afraid to hear your answer.
Maybe see you one of these days.
I'd like that.
Be well.
You too.