Framing John DeLorean (2019) Movie Script

Okay, John.
Can you hear me alright?
Yes, sir.
I'll be talking to you
over this intercom
when I'm out here. I'm going
to pump up that cuff now.
The test is about to begin.
Is your first name John?
During the first 53 years
of your life did you ever do
anything dishonest,
illegal or immoral?
Uh, yes.
Before 1981, did you ever
engage in an improper
business practice
or put false information
on an official form
or document?
Uh, yes.
Before age 54,
did you ever cheat someone
or take advantage of anyone
in a business deal?
Yes, I would say.
Okay, John. How was it that
time? A little nervous?
Well, like, ahem,
when you get into those
general questions
you start thinking back
about bad used cars
you sold people.
- Oh. Yeah.
- About the..
Maybe the time you..
Yeah, I noticed
that you answered false.
a little adultery, uh..
- Mm-hm.
- You know, those are..
Uh, I-I must say that,
uh, if you really --
Causes you to think back.
Well, you go through
your whole life.
John DeLorean is one of the
maverick rogues of his day.
And there are very few
of those guys around today.
He was a dreamer,
he wanted to push things
beyond where other people
had taken them.
And in a way that's a marvelous
and appealing characteristic
but it's also
extremely dangerous.
John DeLorean was a winner
a loser, a champion,
a relentless fool.
This guy was the
quintessential leading man
that Hollywood producers
dream of
and he was real.
I've always wondered
why a feature film
hasn't been made
of John's life.
I think it'd be a great movie.
Obviously I'd had this dream.
I wanted to build
this, uh, automobile company.
Everybody said
it's inconceivable that
any new automobile company
could survive.
I'm always
interested in the story
of the quintessential outsider
full of ambition and hope
and works his way up
and ascends
to the position he was in.
He had it all,
his own auto empire
a beautiful wife, children.
He was a golden boy.
And of course,
his colossal fall
is almost Shakespearean.
John DeLorean who gave up
a shot at the presidency
of General Motors to build
his own futuristic sports car
is in jail this morning.
The thing that's remarkable
about DeLorean's story
is that it has all of these
incredibly powerful elements.
It's got a marvelous
celebrity couple.
It's got drugs.
It's got drug dealing.
It's got FBI guys.
It's got this incredible
political backdrop.
It's the sort of story
that's, uh, you know
i -- i -- if it hadn't happened,
you wouldn't dare to make it up.
The interesting thing
is all of a sudden now
a number of people
have been back at me
wanting to do
a movie of my life.
It always seemed to be a story
that had been around Hollywood
as early as probably
the early '80s.
Often good ideas, you know
produce several films,
uh, at the same time.
With John DeLorean, I think
it was taken to a new level.
Every single one of these
movies had different people
from John's life,
different family members
different underlying material.
Which made it
this -- this fascinating race
to get the movie made because
each one would have been
a decidedly different story.
Still to this day,
not one's been made yet.
Every so often you hear
"Oh, somebody's gonna make
a movie about DeLorean.
Somebody's gonna make
a movie about DeLorean."
Knock on wood, it'll happen
'cause, uh, I think
i -- it could be great.
He was this kind of
chameleon-like figure
who could appear
one thing to, to one person
and another thing totally
to a, a different person.
And I think in a way,
that's why
so many scripts have been
written about him
because, you know,
he is open to interpretation.
You get the impression that
he is either a beleaguered man
who was discredited
and manipulated
by big business in this country
or he was the greatest conman
to ever come down the pike.
We have an opportunity
this morning to visit with him.
Would you welcome
Mr. John DeLorean.
You shoot him for your purposes
over the arc of how many years?
He ages a bit.
Mostly early '70s
to early '80s..
To early-80s.
So there's a spread
and he ages during that time.
And I wanna see
how his behavior ages.
I need to see clips
that are a range of that.
But driving you all this time
was this desperate need
to make this car thing go.
My pride is so intense
that nothing in the world
would let me let
this business
this car with my name
on it, go down.
That's the corner of his eye.
You draw a straight line
up the brow
overlaps the corner
of the eye.
Well, I think it's got
to come in a little bit.
- It's got to come over?
- Yeah.
the involvement with cocaine.
Talk about that.
Well, it's a peculiar thing
you know, in my life
I have never,
ever seen cocaine
touched cocaine, used cocaine
or been in the presence
of anybody --
All the time
I've looked at DeLorean
before I thought
where is he manipulating
and where are the peeks behind
the curtain of who he really is?
And then when you
play the person
you say to yourself forget
about me looking at DeLorean
as a viewer on a TV show
and saying
what's behind
the curtain with him?
When you start to play him,
you go, no, no, no, no.
He's not guilty of anything.
He didn't do anything.
In fact, it's the opposite.
He's a hero in his mind.
He's a hero.
And you, and you, and you
have to play that.
You have to play
who he thinks he is.
And you present him as who
he thinks he is to the world.
And you let the audience
make up their mind.
And that you suddenly thought
you were involved with the mob.
And you were frightened
for your life
and your children's lives.
Really what happened..
Let me just show my wife.
She just thinks it's funny.
She just thinks it's funny.
She thinks this whole thing..
She's like "Alec,
like I can't believe
this is what they,
they pay you to do this."
Oh, God.
Wait, what are you doing?
You're doing a movie?
We do re-enactment footage
of DeLorean's drama
his caper, his escapades
and shoot them as a movie
and cut re-enactment footage
into documentary footage
of a movie about DeLorean
and what he did
and what he went through.
And the good news is,
I don't have to bother
with any of that. They do.
I'm gonna just go
put the make up on
and go try to be DeLorean.
For John DeLorean,
growing up in Detroit
every kid's dream was to go into
the auto industry.
One thing you have to understand
about John DeLorean
is he was a brilliant engineer.
And so to start with he had
some really good instincts
and he had great talent.
DeLorean thrived in the car
business first at Packard
for a short while at Chrysler.
And somebody sought him out
at General Motors
and offered him
his choice of five divisions.
He took on Pontiac,
which was the old ladies'
division at the time.
And it was really the place
where he could shine the most.
General Manager,
Mr. John Z. DeLorean.
In those days, the late '50s
and early '60s at GM
Pontiac particularly
was exciting to be there
because they, they were almost
ready to be dropped.
And of course,
that was the kind of thing that gave you
the incentive to come up with
new ideas and make them happen.
And I started as a very
unsophisticated young engineer.
And I was given an opportunity
to, uh, attain a success
in a business world
far beyond anything
I had ever imagined
I was capable of.
You know,
this was a special guy
who was gonna change
the industry forever
and truly become
a legend at the company.
Scene two-Alpha,
take three. Marker.
The story on the GTO
is that we were about ready
to do a brand new line
and we had
the '64 Tempest to be
in the garage there with John
and a couple other guys.
- Hey, Bill.
- John, you heading home?
Yeah, I was about to.
Wanted to stop by and see
how you were coming along.
Well, I think she's about as
good as we're gonna get her.
He would, uh,
encourage e -- everybody
to, to do something new
and different.
Was hoping maybe
we'd have something
I don't know, sexier?
- You mean sportier?
- Yeah.
More high performance,
you know?
Well, our bigger 389 engine
has the exact same dimensions
as the 326 in here
so we could swap that out,
no problem.
How would the car handle
the extra power?
That's the thing.
Have to fit the appropriate
transmission and rear axle.
But we do that,
it'd definitely be sexier, John.
Shoot, we could even run
this in NASCAR.
I say we do it.
- Really?
- Yeah, absolutely.
But then what? You think you can
actually sell it?
You let me worry
about that, Bill.
I was just gonna drive
it back and forth to work
and I had
a marvelous time with it.
And I found that every time
I lent it to somebody
to use for a day or two,
I couldn't get it back.
And I said, "Well,
there may be a market
for something like that."
What the hell is this?
That's a GTO.
It stands for
Gran Turismo Omologato
which I think is Italian
for fast as hell.
But, uh, it'll beat every car
on a track or American street
and it's still a Pontiac.
Hold on a second.
Turn that off.
The 14th floor is never
gonna go for putting
such a large engine
in such a small frame.
Well, GM forbade putting
a so-called big block beyond,
I believe, 350 cubic inches
in a medium size car.
The guys upstairs approved this?
I don't need their approval.
It's a new product, John.
All new products need
upper management approval.
And John was interesting.
He loved really just figuring
out ways to bend the rules
as much as possible.
But it's not a new product.
It's an options package
on the new Tempest.
And one that puts a real
tiger under the hood.
- It's manipulative.
- It's marketing.
Pontiac is primarily
the division for older buyers.
What are they gonna want
with a hot rod?
We're the division
for older buyers
because that's how
we view ourselves.
We've got to anticipate
what younger buyers want before
they even know what they want.
And once they realize it,
give them this.
So how many you wanna produce?
You're the sales manager,
you tell me.
I was thinking about 30,000.
- You're outta your damn mind.
- John, be reasonable.
I can't imagine us selling
even close to 5,000
but let's start
with that number
and let's hope that
they don't rust on the lot.
At that time,
the sales manager
of Pontiac thought
it was stupid.
And he refused
to schedule more
than I think about four
or five thousand for the year.
It was an outlaw move.
DeLorean snuck it past
the GM watchdogs
by a sort of sleight-of-hand.
It was just
an options package.
Despite his feeling
it wouldn't sell
I think we sold like,
45,000 the first year.
What he figured out
before anyone figured it out
was that this exploding
youth movement
had interest in cars as
something that would represent
the way they wanted
to look to the world.
It's the perfect moment
in which John was able to marry
both his brilliant engineering
as well as his marketing prowess
to create the muscle car.
The muscle car era really
advanced Detroit.
It made money.
It made Pontiac.
It made those three letters
GTO, legendary.
There's an odd parallel
between the Pontiac GTO
and John Z. DeLorean.
The GTO was a risk taken.
And I think
it convinced DeLorean
that taking a risk
no one else was willing
to step up to
and making it work
at all costs
was how you did it.
And after you
do it once, why stop?
What I see
about DeLorean for me
he took such risks.
And the problem with people
who take risks like that
is that when they win, when
they make their calculated risk
they become emboldened,
they take more risks.
And then they take risks outside
of their normal sphere.
Between this and the other,
it'll generate, uh,
about four and a half
uh, not less than
four and a half mil.
Risk-taking in the automotive
industry and risk-taking
with a bunch
of drug dealers in a hotel
are two different things
when your confidence
in yourself is very, very high.
You don't make mistakes.
You don't see them coming.
This stuff weighs more..
Gold weighs more than this.
Gold weighs more than this
for God's sakes.
- Yeah. Better than gold.
- Better than gold.
Gold weighs more than this,
for God's sakes.
- Hi, John.
- Hi, John.
- Hi.
- Jerry West. We're the FBI.
But in the end,
when he's arrested
and he tilts his head back
and you have a shot
hopefully looking down
from the ceiling
and his head should
crane up and look right up
into a thing
and look off camera
and he's thinking, and
what, what are you thinking?
We should cut
to what he's thinking.
He's worried about his family.
He's worried
about losing everything.
And there were like,
four or five things
if he just made a little
adjustment here
and made this decision
differently there
all of it would have turned
out completely differently.
DeLorean was clearly
a fast mover
at GM in the early '70s.
Whoever makes
the most money at GM
is the most important person.
And everything
he touched turn to gold.
So by the time John
reaches the 14th floor
better known
as the executive level
he's in his mid 40s.
If he just plays
his cards right
he's poised to be the next
president of General Motors
the largest corporation
in the world.
GM was very intentional
on making
executives colorless.
And DeLorean was
a highly Technicolor person.
He wore open collars.
He wore side burns.
He spent his weekends
in California.
And you know what an evil
influence that is.
He gets significant
plastic surgery on his face
to give himself
a stronger jaw.
He starts weight lifting
and losing weight.
He and his first wife separated
and then he started dating
actresses and models
uh, women that were
a lot younger than him
uh, and who
a lot of GM executives
and their wives thought
were age-inappropriate.
I have a reasonably
strong sex drive
which I happen to think is
an important part of any guy.
No man who ever
accomplished something
uh, didn't have
that one characteristic.
He married a second wife, Kelly Harmon.
Blond bombshell.
She was 19 at the time.
The General Motors
PR Department
added a couple years to her age
when the press releases first
went out about the marriage.
She lives there in Detroit
for two or three years
becomes disillusioned with
the marriage and leaves him.
And within a year and a half,
he's married
to Cristina Ferrare
the, at that point,
world's top super model.
Then he ended up, of course,
in the fashion magazines
and that kind of thing.
And while that
enhanced his image
outside of the company,
it created problems
for him within.
GM can't stand this.
It's pissing them off.
And he goes back
to them and says
"Hey, what are
you guys worried about?
Look at the sales numbers."
Tom, how do you feel about our
retail sales job this past year?
How do I feel?
John, I feel great.
Both at Pontiac
and at Chevrolet
he was making so much money
for the company.
And all the executives
that he reported to
who were upset
with his lifestyle
upset with him
couldn't quite figure out
how he was doing so well,
but they could see the numbers
and they knew that showed up
in their bonus checks.
And that was
the interesting dilemma
for GM with John DeLorean.
This is Boston Harbor
and those are Volkswagens.
They're coming in.
One of the tragic flaws
of GM and again
this is something
he knew is that the company
was all too willing
to do what it was doing
year after year after year
because it was working
even though they were
ignoring, for instance
the small car market and let it
go a lot of time to foreigners.
He saw what was coming
from a lot of these imports
these smaller, more fuel
efficient, better quality cars.
And he knew the writing
was on the wall.
Obviously, I saw
the trends very clearly
and I, and I wanted to react
to 'em a little bit
perhaps more aggressively
than other members
of the industry management.
He had big aspirations.
He wanted to stay at GM.
He wanted to be president,
he wanted to do things
take the company in directions
that they weren't willing to do
because they were so comfortable
being the fat cat at the time
being the number one car
company in the world.
And that
leads to his demise.
There were executives
who resented him.
Probably the most prominent
is, is a guy named Roger Kyes.
It was just a total
difference of opinion.
I think he considered me, uh,
capricious and superficial
and I considered him
a pompous ass.
Those enemies in the company
uh, slowly developed
kind of a cabal
if you will, against DeLorean.
In 1972, they tasked John
with putting together a speech
to talk about GM's quality.
The infamous Greenbrier Speech.
They pre-read all the
speeches weeks in advance.
They noticed that the speech
not only criticizes
the quality of the cars,
but it criticizes a lot
of the executives
that are currently there
some of his own bosses.
And they censored
a lot of the stuff
that he could say
in the speech.
But, you know,
he wasn't gonna let it just
rest at that.
There's nothing.
There's something you forgot.
Well, that's the one
I'm actually giving
at Greenbrier on Saturday.
This is the speech
I should be giving.
What I should
be saying is in here
it's somewhere
buried like Kyes wants.
- You think it's personal, then?
- Oh, sure it's personal.
I wonder how much longer
I can do this dance.
I mean, at this rate,
it'll be ten years of me
pushing papers
that I didn't write
before I'm named president.
And that's,
that's not gonna work at all.
Any thoughts on how
you might accelerate that?
As a matter of fact,
I've got a few ideas, yeah.
If this original speech
were to be leaked
there would be
some blowback, sure.
But I'd be vindicated.
And in this
particular situation
what he wants is
for the public and the press
to sort of shame GM
and push them in the direction
that he wanted
the company to go in.
- Good to see you, Roy.
- And you, John.
And he felt that
by calling these people out
that this was gonna somehow
prop him up and propel him
even faster
into the presidency.
His initial speech
leaked to the press
and it was all over the news
that John DeLorean
is highly critical
of General Motors' quality.
DeLorean claimed his enemies
had leaked these
the speeches out.
Became apparent
that people close to DeLorean
had leaked these speeches out.
You gotta remember
this is a person
who was only rewarded
for taking big risks.
Dangerous moves.
It didn't work.
No doubt, DeLorean was booted
by members of the board
and the corporate directors.
And that forced him out
very abruptly in 1973.
DeLorean is ejected
from the company
and what should have been
a very embarrassing event.
However, he finds a way
at making it all heroic.
Being fired or being 1/7th
or 1/10th of some committee
is a very unappealing
thing to me.
Obviously, it was
very rewarding financially
and it would have been
easy to sit there for another
17 years collecting a, you know,
a half a million
or three quarters
of a million dollars a year
but that really didn't
appeal to me very much.
A full career would have been
another 15 years.
Well, what's he gonna do?
He's going to count beans
with the other executives.
Compared to creating
new, cool products
like GTOs,
it's completely different.
There's no way DeLorean would
have lasted to age 65.
Wow. I can't imagine us selling
even close to 5,000
but let's start
with that number.
I've got another car,
a stainless steel car
you're gonna be
crazy about it.
Yeah, okay.
Good luck with that, John.
No, that's what
the line should be.
T -- the bad version would be
next thing you're
gonna be telling us
"You want to build
a stainless steel car."
In the back of his mind
this concept car
was always stirring.
What he called an ethical car.
Oh, we're doing
a sports racing car here.
It's gonna be designed
to have an eternal life.
And so we're using
a non-corrosive material
so that it'll just stay
together forever and ever.
And, so it's gonna be very
beautiful aesthetically.
He wanted to build
a sophisticated
contemporary looking
sports car for the masses.
That wasn't the norm,
you know, if you're gonna get
something that's that exotic
and interesting, you're gonna
have to get a Ferrari
or a Lamborghini where they only
make, you know
a few hundred cars a year.
John was trying to make
a mass-produced car.
He set out to compete
with the big boys.
It's difficult,
if not impossible to
to start up a car company.
Really, the last one
you could name
was Chrysler in the 1920s.
And even Chrysler
went through bankruptcy.
There aren't
many people who'd do that.
Who wanna risk it all.
When he left GM, and he more
or less was forced to leave
that became the, the driving
force in his motivation.
I'm gonna show them.
And so, it was part dream
and part revenge.
There it is.
What we always talked about.
What do you think
about being named
the head of the
entire product program
for the first mass-produced car
since Chrysler?
John, uh, look, obviously
I'm, I'm flattered, but..
No buts, Bill.
And I'm not flattering you.
This is what you
and I were built for.
This is real innovation.
Does innovation
include a pension?
- Who's asking?
- My wife.
Well, you tell Nina
that the greater the risk
the greater the reward.
Besides, this finally puts
you in the driver's seat.
Lemonade, boys?
- Bill.
- Thank you.
- Honey.
- Thank you.
And you've got
the money for this?
Oh, yeah,
we've got several sources
of, uh, initial investment.
You two are quite persuasive.
Lemonade was my idea.
It's delicious.
You talk to your wife.
I probably thought about it
and my wife would say we should
probably not have done it,
having been at GM
where money
was never a problem.
You know, you were sort
of gambling and you hoped
this thing was gonna work out.
The company really has
its founding in two people
that's John DeLorean
and Bill Collins.
Collins never reached
for glory.
He didn't have so much ego
that he needed his name
on the product. He was
always behind the scenes.
He was the guy who made
DeLorean look good many times.
Bill is a super,
wonderful gentleman.
He is one of the
world's finest men.
He really is.
He is a good man.
And, uh, it was like
his dream, was to do this.
I think from the beginning,
John's major concern
always was fundraising.
So my objective was to start out
building the first prototype.
This was definitely
Bill's baby.
I mean, if there was an issue
that had anything
to do with the car
Bill Collins was the guy
leading the charge.
That played out basically
for the first three years
of the project.
When we finished
the first prototype
it was a huge event
because now we could say
you know, this isn't some
you know, dream kind of fakery
here. This is the real McCoy.
We hadn't solved all
the engineering problems yet
but it was exciting,
it turned out
to be a great car,
in my opinion.
To be part of this thing
that might grow into something
that who knows
where it would go
it was electrifying.
This is a presentation of
The DeLorean Motor Company.
Imagine how many
of the men who have headed
each of the major automotive
manufacturers have wanted
to create a product starting
with a clean sheet of paper.
That is what the
DeLorean Motor Company
intends to do.
We were basically a company
with no foundation.
And the less you have
to secure an investment
the more risky
you are to an investor.
And we were pretty risky.
Our asset was John's
background experience.
And so he really had to be
what we initially were selling.
John DeLorean
wants to build a car..
You have to portray him as
being on top of the mountain.
being adored
by the world as a savior
of the auto industry.
And we were the dog
and pony show experts.
We'd do the set up.
We'd do the show.
And then at the precise moment
John DeLorean would come in.
They'd actually see the man
and it looked like
he was levitating.
Most of you have already
seen my lovely wife, Cristina.
I know she's likely the real
reason you're all here tonight.
But in all seriousness,
I do have her to thank
along with many others.
In particular,
I'd like to recognize
the man I handpicked,
essentially stole from GM
to head up the entire
DeLorean Motor Company
private program.
Perhaps the finest
automotive engineer
I've ever met
in my entire life.
Bill Collins.
I know that we may be
the new boy on the block
but I also know
that on this, the bicentennial
of the American Revolution,
we can start making
our version of the
American dream a reality.
Allow me to introduce
the first incarnation
in the evolution of my dream..
...our first vehicle
code-named the DMC-12.
The DeLorean Motor Car.
In the early stages
this was all
but the second coming.
It was described
in Detroit as significant
as the invention
of the Ford Model A.
That this was
gonna change everything.
I don't think I've sat
in one of these probably
since my dad
had one on the farm.
There's not much of a tie..
...for me to the car
as much as people would think.
I don't know
if that makes sense.
Being young when this car
was built
you just don't understand
the magnitude
and the gravity of it.
You know, it's flying over your
head at 1,000 miles an hour.
And you know, it's like
my dad built this car.
You know,
it's got our name on it.
I mean, when I'm in it
or I see it
I see my father,
I feel my dad.
Uh, but between me
and this car
i -- it's a, I think it's a
love-hate relationship,
Half the time, I don't even
know what to think of it
you know,
to be honest with you, so..
Probably the,
the closest person
I've ever been close
to my whole fucking life
was my father.
He adopted me when I was,
I mean, two weeks old.
As far as like DeLorean
or DeLorean Motor Company
you know, it was just
dad going to work
dad's building a car.
I had no clue
how famous he was.
Had no clue how famous
my mother was.
I think we moved to New York
probably I would say in '74
because then my sister
was born in '77.
Throughout my life I understood
that there was
this man John DeLorean.
And with this man John DeLorean
came this history of,
um, all the things
that are again iconically
encompassed by the car.
And then there was my dad.
And I understood
that they were
two different people.
When I was little
my dad was at the peak
of everything.
There are pictures of us..
...and I used to say
it's the royal family.
My mom was always so perfect
and put together.
And my brother always
in his perfect little suit.
Oh, we were so cute.
Like seriously,
we were just so cute.
My dad was my best friend.
He just, he taught me
He taught me how to fish.
He taught me how to drive.
He taught me
how to ride a motorcycle.
This is everything
he had been working for.
This was his dream, I mean,
being married to my mom
having a family,
having an, an apartment
on Fifth Avenue, uh..
...buying a farm out
in New Jersey
having the car company.
That was probably
the best time of his life.
Can you see this well?
Is this lit well enough for you?
Because, I mean, I don't..
I'm a firm believer
that that can't be faked.
And now, how happy
she is, I don't know.
And she seems pretty happy,
but she's a kid.
They're always
fairly happy as a rule.
And, but look at
how happy he is himself
the subject of the film.
I don't think that can be..
I think he's very happy.
And I have a picture
of my family.
And I'm a couple
of years older
than my wife
than he is from his wife.
So I get this. I get this.
And the problem
is that he wanted both.
And when you want both,
you can have both
but that's very tough to do.
Cristina, you have been married
to this man for seven years.
Tell me about John.
Well, I, unfortunately
for everyone else
all of our other friends,
they do not know John
the way I do.
And if they did --
Well, that may be better.
No, no, let -- let me be
more specific about..
Because most of the people
know John as the
as a businessman
and an executive
but I know him as a husband
and a loving father.
And he is a totally unselfish,
gentle, giving human being.
I grew up and married
Prince Charming.
- Really?
- That's exactly how I feel.
- Yes.
- Alright, John.
Describe her to me.
Yeah, of course,
it would take days, but, uh..
I never in my wildest dreams
ever believed
that my life could be
so complete and so happy.
And, uh, when there's any
kind of a family crisis
she suddenly becomes
the Rock of Gibraltar.
She really is the solid,
stable part of, you know
our relationship whether..
She was very perky.
Peppy. Upbeat.
And, and she is that way
in a lot of the footage
that I've seen.
Do you want me to walk you
to the elevator
like I do every morning?
- No.
- No? Okay.
Goodbye, sweetheart.
Have a wonderful day.
Goodbye, darling.
That's John. Anyway.
But, every woman
who has it all
and who works
and who has children
and who is in love
and who has a loving family
like you cannot be
100 percent at everything.
When I was watching footage,
it was to sort of see
what was the public Cristina
versus what was the personal
where the cracks were.
I just found out
a few hours ago. I know nothing.
I caught a plane. I'm here.
She's so composed.
It's amazing, right?
I mean, I feel like
she was caught in between
what she wanted
things to be like
and, and this is just me
speculating obviously
but, like, what she
wanted things to be like
and then what would,
the reality was.
Not yet. We were just
- Sit down. Sit down you..
- What are you doing?
And obviously with what
happened in their lives
with John being arrested,
that's a huge..
I think that's sort of like
the culmination of it all.
And, and along the way I'm sure
that in their relationship
there were moments
where she was very much in love
but wondering... you know
he's incredibly driven
and ambitious
and how does she
fit into that picture?
Eventually the car
will get built
but right now I'm trying
to build a brand.
Well, it concerns me where
we're gonna raise the children.
Well, wherever we set up shop
we won't have
to spend much time there.
All that matters is
which government gives us
the most money.
Well, it matters to me.
And it matters to the kids.
Don't worry. It's gonna be
great for all of us.
Trust me.
Northern Ireland's now
experiencing rioting
on a scale not seen
for many years.
Why pick Belfast, Ireland
to build your, your motor plant?
Oh, it's very simple,
nobody anywhere in the world
would come up with
the financing we needed.
Now, nobody else
would go to Belfast
because it's such a terrible,
dangerous place to be.
I read in the newspapers that
John DeLorean had secured
the investment he needed
to establish his car project
in Northern Ireland
against the background
of the famous troubles
that was rife at that time.
The long civil unrest between
Catholics and Protestants
scares off industrialists
depriving Northern Ireland
of jobs which it needs more
than any other area of Britain.
The unemployment was insane.
It was 30, 40 percent.
And John had something to offer.
The labor government
in Britain at the time
was willing to put
in subsidies, loans
a piece of land.
But here's the catch.
It's got a population that
has never built a car before.
There's no
pre-existing structure
to build a car company there.
And you have to do it
in two years.
I mean, are you kidding me?
And all they have at this point
is a hand-built prototype.
So it was a long list
of things to accomplish
to eventually be able
to productionize the car.
It became clear to everyone
that they needed to have help
to weed out all the problems
and actually engineer
this car to be mass-produced.
Well, Colin Chapman
comes into the picture.
Probably the finest
automobile engineer
I have ever met
in my life, Colin Chapman.
I'll introduce Colin now.
Colin Chapman
is the founder of Lotus Cars.
He was a pioneer
in the racing industry.
He dominated Formula 1.
A deal had been struck
with Lotus Cars as a company
and Colin Chapman as a named
individual to engineer
and develop DeLorean cars
that could enter production.
Well, the idea of working with
Lotus sounded like a good idea.
We would all get together
and we'd become
a joint organization and go
finish the production
design work.
Well, when we first
got to Lotus
I mean, right out of the chute,
it was kind of awkward.
Here Bill and I and some
others had spent years
getting us to this point
and then now it was like
Bill Collins and Bob Manion
and whoever else was involved
they can kinda, like, just,
you know, watch us.
And that of course isn't what
I was gonna do and it certainly
wasn't gonna be what
Bill was gonna do.
This is Bill. John in?
Bill, how the hell are ya?
Look, John, I got
the contract you sent over.
I have to say,
it raises some questions.
You've got a lot
in here about Lotus, John
but nothing about me.
Oh, you don't have
to worry about that, Bill
it's just a lot of paperwork.
Uh, you know what you're doing.
I understand that,
John, but I, I thought
this was supposed to be
a collaboration on the redesign
but Chapman's nowhere
to be found.
Well, they're doing
a lot of R&D, aren't they?
That's the other thing.
This, this company
in here, this GPD
I've never even heard of it.
You don't need to worry
about that, Bill.
It's not going
to affect you at all. Okay?
I don't see how that's possible.
T -- they got a hefty line item
in here on engineering
but that's what
we're supposed to be doing.
It just seems like
you're paying twice
for the same thing, John.
Well, I, I.. It must be some
kind of a tax shelter, Bill.
I don't know.
I'm not a CPA. I'm sorry.
John, what am I doing here?
Why am I even here?
I liked Bill. I think
he'd done a tremendous job.
But the moment I found him
reading the contract
it was quite clear that
what he'd already decided
in his own mind was true,
that he was out of a job.
Colin Chapman was
not gonna have
anybody looking over
Colin Chapman's shoulder.
To do business like this,
don't you have to be pretty ruthless?
Um, I don't think
you have to be ruthless.
I -- I think you have to
be prepared to make
some unpalatable
decisions at times.
'Cause frequently
you're faced with
making a decision
between two evils
and, and you're gonna
hurt somebody.
John DeLorean himself,
he knew.
He'd arranged with Chapman that
that this is the way
it's gonna be.
Nobody had told the -- the
guys from the US team.
It becomes painfully
clear that Bill
and his engineering team
are out of a job.
And not only that, there's
something very fishy going on
with the finances of this deal.
Colin Chapman was going to
be willing to do things
that Bill would never have
been comfortable with.
And for John, I think that
was an important aspect
to this partnership.
And it was the type of thing
that was so important to him
at the time that he was
willing to sacrifice Bill.
"Dear, John, after much
deliberation on my part
"I feel it is obvious to
both of us
"that my participation
in your venture
"is no longer the same
as intended.
"Under the current circumstances
"I feel the only
alternative for me is to
"tender my resignation
"in all my present positions
at this time.
I wish you and the rest
of the team the best of luck."
All these years later.. still looks great.
And it would be nice to
have a brown interior.
Well, it'd-it'd been
a long long time
that we'd been
working on the project
and -- and I felt that I was
being totally undercut by John
and he really owed me
a hell of lot more than to
treat me the way he did.
And it just seemed like
the time to move on.
Do you remember having
the conversation with John
where you said,
"I -- I'm resigning?"
No, I don't remember.
I just..
I think he was happy to
see me go.
- Do you really?
- Yeah.
He didn't try to
stop you at all?
We're all males
but there's something
to be said about
being the guy that's sort of
the guy that bore the baby
as it were
with the DMC-12.
Before we started filming,
we knew nothing..
...about John DeLorean, really.
We basically
came to the project
because a British
television station wanted
to do something on Ireland.
And I was thinking, "Oh, boy
we can do a -- a wonderful
piece on Yates."
They said, "No, no,
we want it to be about automobiles
because everybody in England
just loves automobiles."
Like most of our films,
you know
the idea was to kind of watch
somebody who wants to
fulfill a life dream and,
you know, that's who John was.
John Zachary DeLorean certainly
doesn't smile much.
The reason is simple.
The most important project
in his life
is yet to be accomplished.
He was very guarded
because he had so many things
I guess, on his mind
to get figured out all the time.
Uh, we've had some kind of
criticism right from day one.
First, uh, we were never gonna
get the program together.
Then we'd never get
the financing.
Then we'd never build the plant.
I don't think the motor car
manufacturing industries
whether it be America
UK, mainland,
actually ever thought
that it could be done.
Now the critics are
forecasting our failure
two or three years from now.
So, I think as long as you can
always keep your failure two
or three years in the future,
you're probably gonna do okay.
I think DeLorean's problem
was at that time
he needed cars and he needed
cars in a hurry.
You gotta pick the three or four
big markets and go after 'em.
We can't wait 14 months
to start selling.
It was a constant panic of
racing the clock
and it was a damn the torpedoes
and full speed ahead.
It was such a process of
building the car
and seeing
what -- what was working
and what wasn't working.
We've had problems
on the upper control arm
around the ball joint
but we also had
a torsion rod failure
at 41,000 cycles.
Everybody knew that there
were gonna be problems.
The view you took was, well,
yeah, we expected this.
Fine, let's get on and fix it.
It was crazy. Absolutely crazy.
But it was exciting.
You were an operator on
the floor seeing that lovely
stainless steel car going
together the way it should go.
That was very rewarding.
You felt part of a family
when you went in there.
Uh, there was absolutely
no trouble
no Protestant, Catholic divide.
One of the proudest
achievements, I think
of DeLorean is that it was
a form of social experiment.
You had for the first time
in Northern Ireland
Catholics and Protestants
working alongside each other.
The social experiment was
beginning to work.
You can have a mixed
work force and be successful.
And two years
and eleven months
we had built a factory..
...we had designed the car.
The cars were built.
And that was the best time
I have ever had working
in any company.
When the first six cars
came rolling out
the news crews were all there..
John was the biggest hero
in Northern Ireland that day.
It's incredible
that he got 3,500 cars
into the United States
on a boat.
We actually sailed
on the damn boat, too.
Uh, because I just was so
excited to see that happen
because I knew he showed
them that he could do it.
Buyers are reported to be
queuing up in the United States
for the company's futuristic
Goldwing DMC-12.
And D.A., and Chris,
you watch their movie
and the perception you get at the end
is, this is a success.
Everything was hunky dory
and it was great, you know?
We'd succeeded in October '81.
DeLorean is four or five
little moves away from victory.
He's on the doorstep
of that victory.
You know in -- in the music
of it it's like Bolero.
You know, John just says..
We don't migrate from that.
He's played a pretty
high stakes game
and he really, really stays
calm and very contained.
And the drama is in him
being contained
while everything
collapsed around him.
Things started to
go south very quickly
um, around the fall of 1981
there was a series of
monumental cockups.
So everything's going really
smoothly. But it's -- it's --
Well, I wouldn't say smoothly.
I don't want to, uh, give the
appearance that, you know
everything's just
absolutely, uh, perfect.
When those cars
first came off the boat
they were just a product
warranty nightmare.
The door won't close.
The gaps are all wrong.
The, uh, window wiper
won't work.
The door mechanism won't work.
You know, that happened when
it -- it happened to me once
getting stuck in the car. Couldn't
-- couldn't open the door, you know?
We reviewed the car.
It costs more than a Corvette.
It didn't handle that great.
It was kind of slow.
It was not the car
he promised
this fuel-efficient,
high performance car.
It started to go south when
this happened in the teeth of
uh, a diminishing economy.
Now the dream seems
to be fading.
Sales are way down
in the United States
perhaps for economic reasons
perhaps because of some
dissatisfaction with the car.
In a scenario where
there's a few thousand cars
coming to the US,
there's these quality control issues.
The lesson that should have
been learned from this is
let's slow production down
a little bit more.
Let's figure out a way to
work out all these issues.
that's the opposite
of what John decided to do.
He pulled the trigger on
basically doubling production.
And what happened?
These cars were backing up
like plague rats
you know, on the docks.
And it was just the wrong,
wrong move.
So the question has to be
well, why did he do this?
It was a typical John
move because
he saw a little angle
in the contract
where if you upped the amount of
people that were working there
and increased jobs
then the government was
supposed to be giving him
an infusion of cash.
And so he thought
he was going to take advantage
of this little clause.
Anyone who deals with
the government knows
that there that's a risk
in itself.
What if the politics change?
What if the administration
Well, Margaret Thatcher
We'd had a change
of government by now.
The Conservatives
were in power.
Margaret Thatcher, the arch
privateer, was prime minister.
Between Margaret Thatcher
as prime minister and us
there was a secretary of state
for Northern Ireland,
James Prior.
Well, I suppose my role
with DeLorean
was to keep him under control.
Labor government had started
off the DeLorean business.
The conservative government
took a tougher line
towards subsidies
for Northern Ireland
for DeLorean.
DeLorean wanted another
$76 million from the British.
If not, he said,
"There would be layoffs."
I don't care about the British
taxpayers' money
or my own money.
I think the most important thing
is we have some people there
this is a very, very
important part of their life
and nothing in the world
should be permitted
to interfere with it.
John overestimated the fact
that we had created jobs
and that it was the jobs
that would secure
even more money
to keep us alive.
That was not the way
Margaret Thatcher saw it.
She genuinely took the view
that we couldn't go on
pouring a lot of money
after bad.
And in the end
we had to say no.
The result?
We ran out of cash.
Therefore, we were heading
for insolvency.
And that's at the point when
things got
very serious indeed.
We have a group right now
that, that has got the ability
to come up with, um,
for sure 30 million and up
you know, upwards of there.
And during this whole process
John's back was really up
against the wall.
He had to figure out a way
to pay some of the money back
to the British government
as well as present to them
a feasible way to keep
the company open
and make it profitable
or else they were threatening
to come in, seize the factory
liquidate the assets
and everyone was gonna
be out of a job.
Today DeLorean said he is
looking for outside financing.
All I wanna do is keep
the factory open
so that people can work.
That.. Nothing else.
You last said that
you'd keep the factory open
if it was your last breath.
Do you still stand by that?
I'm still trying.
During the months of, sort of
August, September
we'd had periodic contact
with John DeLorean.
Uh, he on a regular basis
was coming up with
potential funders.
I spent a lot of time
and effort
but I think we're now just
starting out on
um, a very successful
Oh, I think so, too.
It just took a while to put
it together and that's all.
The workers and, uh, the people
closest to him at DMC
were being told, "Hey, listen
"everything's gonna be fine.
I definitely have the sources
coming through."
And we were still at the stage
where we were hoping and hoping
that it would go alright.
In terms of having that -- that
you know the first ten million
it sounds like that's
gotta be Tuesday, right?
I would say I should be able
to get that going very quick.
The impression we got
at that time was that
John had pretty well
gotten the money
by the 17th of October, 1982.
What are you talking about?
We're in the city
in the apartment at 8:34..
Um, the phone rings..
Mom, who was that?
And.. phone call,
my life changed forever.
John DeLorean was
arrested yesterday
after he met
with undercover drug agents
who DeLorean apparently thought
were going to help him make
a huge profit in a cocaine deal
involving more than
100 kilos of cocaine.
DeLorean's wife, Cristina
Ferrare, an actress and model
arrived in Los Angeles
early this morning.
Wait a minute. Wait a minute.
I just found out
a few hours ago. I know nothing.
I caught a plane. I'm here.
Everybody was in total shock.
Uh, nowhere in our wildest
dreams did we think
anything like this would occur.
John DeLorean may be the
perfect proof of the old saying
"The bigger they come,
the harder they fall."
And we might add,
"The more people want to hear about it."
It was just disbelief.
And then the news
just progressively got
worse and worse and worse.
He was expressing
an interest in financing
some type of operation
that would produce quickly
large sums of money
on return from the investment.
I was shocked out of my socks.. see him there in this
position that I've never
I'd never seen him in anything
except being pretty much
on top of the world.
The sensational case involves
more than 200 pounds of cocaine
an elaborate undercover
the end of the DeLorean car,
and much, much more.
It -- it's been said,
it's a cliche now
that the dream had turned
into a nightmare.
Could you imagine how we felt
seeing John DeLorean,
our angel..
I feel like,
there he was going away
and everybody was downtrodden
because we felt sure that, um
he had done so much,
he'd come through again.
But this time
unfortunately, he didn't.
Well, you're walking
out the plant
for the last time today,
how do you feel about it?
- We got nothin'.
- Pretty upset. Yeah.
What're your chances of
getting another job now?
- None at all.
- Not very good at all.
I had to go into
the plant that morning
call the people together.
They'd all heard
the same thing, of course..
And it really was the end.
I was going around
with a auctioneer.
And, uh, he was putting tags
on every piece of equipment.
That was my last day.
The expectation of everybody
working their hearts out
over there to get these cars
built to a good standard
and they felt it was,
it was gonna be their life.
And it all fell apart.
And it was incredibly sad.
I meet up with people
now and then
that... either they worked there
or their dad worked there
or their granddad worked there
and you get the same questions,
"What was it really like?"
It was the best job
that we ever had.
And it was the worst day
of their lives
when it finally closed.
After entering a plea
of not guilty
to all nine
drug charges against him
John DeLorean came out of
the federal courthouse
in Los Angeles with his wife,
model Cristina Ferrare
and the four lawyers
who are now
putting together his defense.
DeLorean said nothing today
but he is reported to
have told his lawyers
he was desperate
to save his company.
DeLorean's lawyers
are preparing to argue
the government
entrapped DeLorean.
Give him some room, guys.
Give him some room.
It was the case of the
century for that year.
Because every year
has a case of the century
trial of the century.
So we were the trial
of the century for 1984.
The sidewalks in front
of the courthouse
will be jammed with reporters
and camera crews
from all over the world.
Unless you were there
and you lived it
you don't know how captivating
it was for the nation.
A young entrepreneur started
hanging around the courthouse
steps today hawking
buttons that say
"John Z. DeLorean Cocaine
Trafficking Trial
Los Angeles, '84."
Our public views these as
if it's a bad guy, get 'em
and if it's not a bad guy,
get the government.
It's all really kind of
entertainment to the public.
John DeLorean had some
bad news today.
The Automobile Association
named him dealer of the year.
A businessman down on his luck
tries to make money
in a dope deal.
I mean that's the, that's
the John DeLorean that I knew.
The case was of
overwhelming strength.
Here's the cocaine
and here's your target.
And he's holding up a glass
of champagne, toasting.
To a lot of success
for everybody.
And says, that this is better
than what was it?
Better than something, uh..
It's better than gold.
Gold weighs more than that,
for God's sakes.
Everybody believed
that the events were
showing John DeLorean in
the middle of a drug deal.
One of the things I asked
the jurors very early on was
"Would it surprise you if I told
you you weren't seeing a drug deal?"
And just hang on
and watch the whole movie.
And at the end,
you're gonna see
it isn't what it
appeared to be.
A real thriller, of course,
which it turned out to be.
Uh -- uh, the case starts with
a guy named James Hoffman.
He was the informant.
He was somebody
who had been a major
narcotics trafficker who had
the bad luck of being caught.
And he decided to cooperate.
Mr. Valestra. It's Jim Hoffman,
your favorite CI.
You're not gonna believe
who I had a call with.
John DeLorean.
When I got the call
from, uh, the CI..
...who's a neighbor of his.
We were neighbors, uh,
out here in California.
I was across from his ranch
in Pauma Valley..
He says to me, CI,
that John needs some money
and the inference of drugs
was right there.
You seen
the kind of dire straits
his company's in right now..
- Uh-huh.
- He needs cash bad.
And, uh, he doesn't care
where it comes from.
You know, he -- he's gonna
be back in Pauma Valley
at his ranch next week.
He wants to meet me.
We've already set it up.
Seriously, Jim?
You're kidding me.
My hand to God.
This is happening.
I said, well,
see what he's got to say.
Go ahead.
See what he has to say.
Have I ever done you guys
wrong before?
I'll be in touch.
So at this point it's 1982..
Reagan's just announced
the war on drugs.
In a comprehensive attack
on drug trafficking
and organized crime.
In this time period,
a confidential informant
like James Hoffman
can actually make a living
by introducing the DEA
to high-level criminals.
- John, great to see you.
- You too, Jim. Been a while.
And in this case
it's the perfect storm
for John DeLorean.
When Jim first approached John
i -- it seemed like
a very farfetched idea
that he'd be actually
able to help John out.
These investors..
But Jim was throwing out some
numbers that seemed
very alluring to John.
Ten, twenty, fifty million.
I thought your investors might
like to see these brochures
that we have made up
that really can show you
how we're all set to --
Yeah. Um, there's no need.
They're not exactly
the kind of guys
that get hung up
on paperwork, you know.
They're Colombian.
- They in the coffee business?
- You might say that.
They met and the first
conversation was not recorded.
So we don't really
know what was said.
And it was when Hoffman
then met with DeLorean.
At that point, Hoffman
comes back to Valestra
and says, "Yeah,
he wants to talk dope."
I say, Really?" I mean, uh,
well, if he, if he said that
we'd better... have him
say it again somewhere.
Which we did.
- How you doing?
- Doing great.
What am I doing,
interrupting your lunch?
And on September 4th
the meeting at
the Lafont Plaza takes place.
That's a one-on-one meeting
with the CI and John.
That, uh, video..
that's pretty explicit stuff.
CI writes it all out.
And the scenarios are right there on
the, uh, on the paper.
During this period of time
John now is supposed to
come up with
uh, the 1.8 mil.
That was where it was left.
So he'd have to put some
skin in the game.
Government attorneys in
the John DeLorean trial
today introduced a videotape
that is perhaps
the most damaging
evidence against
the auto executive.
The tape was played as part of
the testimony of James Hoffman
a paid undercover informer
who was the government's
key witness against DeLorean.
Defense attorneys describe
the meeting in Washington, DC
between John DeLorean
and the undercover informant
as a clever lure.
And as for DeLorean's
in that discussion,
the defense team says
"There's no harm
in listening to someone else
talk about a drug deal."
For three months
during the trial
we moved to my grandmother's
grandfather's house
in Brentwood.
You know, I play it all out
in my head all the time.
Something will come up and I'll
start thinking about stuff
and -- and -- and, uh,
it'll -- it'll spark a memory
or trigger something.
Guys, no matter what happens..
Hey, we're gonna be fine.
Everything's gonna be fine.
My father was looking at
hard-core time.
And to my parents' credit
they did what they could
to make it as best
a situation as they could.
You know, how the fuck
do you tell your kid
that shit ain't okay?
He just asked me if we're
both coming back from court or..
I am not going away for this.
The jury will see how asinine
this whole thing is
and how they set up an innocent
man, for God's sakes.
What do you think
about this tie?
It's fine.
You sure the brown works?
I mean, I had a blue one on
when they snapped
this picture,
but they can't tell
'cause it's in black and white.
- Either -- either way..
- I don't want it to read black.
I mean, I don't want to
send the wrong message.
- To who, the judge?
- No, to everyone.
Next time they snap my picture,
it could be a magazine cover.
John, either one works fine.
'Cause it -- it'll be in color
if it's a magazine.
You have to talk
to the children.
Kathryn. Come and give
Mommy a hug, sweetie.
She seems pretty upset.
Zach, I know you're worried
but I need you pulling for
your old man to win this thing
I just wanna go back
to New Jersey.
So do I. And we will
as soon as this thing is over.
Alright? Zach, look at me.
Your dad's a winner, right?
For me it's a double-edged sword
that I walk all the time.
The evidence is there
that they set him up..
...but common sense
and reality tells me
that he's not a fuckin' idiot.
That he must have known
somethin' was fucked up
at some time.
Come here, sweetie.
I'm gonna wear
the blue tie, okay?
So, it's like, you know,
how the fuck
could you put our family
in jeopardy like that?
Twenty-one days into the
John DeLorean cocaine trial
defense attorney
Howard Weitzman says
there's no question that
John DeLorean can be seen
and heard on tape
talking about narcotics.
But he says, "The question is
"how far can the government go
in dangling a lure
in front of a desperate man?"
When I look back at this case
Hoffman had said if you give me
you know, a million and a half
two million dollars
three million dollars,
I can get you ten
fifteen, twenty million
dollars back.
John didn't have the money.
And logic would tell you
that that's the end
of the investigation.
Are you sure
he can't put any cash in?
At this point, I don't think
DeLorean can scrounge 20Gs
let alone two million.
Listen, I've been poring
through all these tapes
and I just don't think
we have him yet.
I think he's got it
in collateral.
Okay, but if collateral's
all we get
then it's got to equal
at least that much.
And -- and listen to me.
We have got to get it on tape.
This is my first rodeo, Jerry.
I know how it works.
I'm just, I'm just saying
un -- until now
he -- he's been
real careful about
how he parses
all his words, so..
Well, it's different
than a phone call now.
He's about to walk
into a real bank.
He knows your IC is legit.
So he won't for one second
think that I'm not.
Still, the more drug references
you can slip in, the better.
We got this, Jerry.
Throughout the entire thing
they had to continue
changing the script.
It wasn't going to be,
"Here's the two million dollars.
Here's the drug money back."
Boom, you're arrested.
So then it turned into
James Hoffman
the CI convincing him
"Hey, I know this
crooked banker."
- Hey, John.
- Hi, Jim.
- Great to see.
- You too.
Have you been here
in this area before?
I've been in San Jose, uh..
And, of course, San Francisco.
The DeLorean case
was just one of other cases
that I was involved in from
the standpoint of being a
an undercover operator
working at a bank.
So the bank provided
the perfect undercover front.
We finally, uh
shall we say, got together
after all this time.
Yeah, after so many
conversations, right?
Can I get you a cup of coffee?
At this point of the story
John's not gonna put
any actual money into the game.
He can potentially
put up collateral.
Ben Tisa is the one
that's supposed to now set up
an alternative situation
for John.
Uh, we had a particular
suspect, his name was Hetrick
uh, who was a pilot who flew
cocaine in from Colombia.
This particular individual
has been very successful
in his business, okay?
So, the idea came in.
Well, maybe the dope dealer
would invest in
John DeLorean's company.
Uh, John DeLorean being told
the money was going to come
from sale of cocaine.
Would it be possible, um,
to allow this gentleman to have, say a..
I see no reason why I couldn't
do it from my private company.
Great. That's great. That works.
In John's mind, once again
the genius at bending the rules
finding the little loophole.
Hey, I'll take this money
even if it comes
from drug -- drug folks.
But it's coming through
a legitimate bank.
Enter Morgan Hetrick.
He was somebody that was
flying in hundreds
and hundreds of pounds of
cocaine from South America.
So the government
felt that at that point
that was the best opportunity
to bring both John
and Hetrick down
is to merge the cases.
The government told
Hetrick that John had put in
two million dollars
and that he wanted to do
this drug deal with Hetrick.
And he was given an opportunity
to stay in the deal
without putting money in.
And, uh, uh, he took it.
I -- I -- I think it's a
great opportunity for me
from that standpoint.
So in terms of the drug case
you've got hours
of phone conversations
hours of videotape showing John
with these drug dealers
and crooked bankers.
Is the feed secure?
You sure
he's not gonna be able to
hear anything
through this wall?
John still hasn't given
the government anything.
So they have to introduce
this new character
this sort of mob
drug dealer guy.
Show time.
He's really gonna crank
the pressure up on John.
When I meet him
at the hotel room
I would be the one that would
be handling the drugs.
All Jim had to do
was put it together
get a, uh, finder's fee
whatever, and me and my network
would be going out to
quadruple the,
uh, our investment.
I'm asking for what..
What're you putting up?
There's no more money from you.
There's no free lunch, either.
At this point of the story
each participant in this deal
is trying to outsmart
and outmaneuver
the other person
for their own gain.
John wants to get money
to save his company.
You've got Jim Hoffman who's
leeching off of the government.
He begins to enjoy
this lifestyle of working
with the feds.
And then the feds,
they're trying to have that big
big case for Reagan to
tout his war on drugs.
So everyone is hungry
for that one thing
that they want out of this.
When you analyze
a case like this
you realize,
wait, the informant
kind of created this
with the government working
with him and it didn't work.
So they went to a savings
and loan, a legitimate bank
got them to let them
use the premises
you know,
like the set in a movie.
Phase three, they put John
together with Morgan Hetrick
a legitimate, by legitimate,
I mean a real smuggler.
Then they bring in the DEA.
And John Valestra becomes
kind of a mafioso.
And what they
finally came up with
so John would get his ten
twenty million dollars
is they got him to
put up stock certificates.
John with his lawyers,
corporate lawyer, gives them
worthless DeLorean stock
in a defunct company
that had no assets.
Worthless paper.
And the con was reversed
in John's mind.
So he's putting up zero
Mr. Hetrick, the smuggler
goes and gets the cocaine.
And then they call DeLorean..
You're still on the East Coast?
I'm on the East Coast and
I can do anything you want.
Uh, it might be conducive, um.. you being close by
when this thing goes down..
And they say to him,
"Come to Los Angeles
we have ten million dollars
for you. Come get your money."
Maybe we'll pop a, uh,
a bottle of champagne someplace.
That would be wonderful.
And sit back and relax.
And DeLorean
who can only think about
"I gotta get the money
to the company," comes to LA.
And the government picked him
up, took him to a hotel room
opened a bottle of champagne,
toasted to their success.
And one of the agents said
"Now, John, here's the fruits
of our efforts."
So John, what we're
talking about..
It's gonna be, uh..
And went to the closet,
brought out the suitcase of cocaine
and opened it up.
Between this
and the other half..'s gonna generate about
four and a half
not less than four
and a half mil.
This is better than in gold.
Gold weighs more than that,
for God's sakes.
That's when DeLorean said
"This is like gold.
This is better than gold."
This is better than gold.
Gold weighs more than that,
for God's sakes.
Classic line on that tape.
Hi, John..
Jerry West.
I'm with the FBI.
And -- and then
he was arrested.
So he wasn't gonna
take the drugs.
He didn't get
the ten million dollars.
Will you stand up, sir?
And he never was supposed
to take the drugs.
He was only supposed to
get the money.
So why would they bring the
drugs out and show them to him?
And the answer is
pretty simple.
Well, if you're dealing
with twelve laypeople
in the jury box
you're gonna make them think
this was all part of the deal.
John DeLorean says
it's all in God's hands.
That was his reaction
today when six men
and six women began
deliberating his case.
The jurors,
who appeared relaxed
when they arrived
for court today
began their deliberations
shortly before 10:00 a.m.
Los Angeles time.
Outside court, John DeLorean's
attorney, Howard Weitzman
expressed the mood
on the defense side.
This is a very difficult time
when a case goes to the jury
'cause you never really
know what they're thinking
or what they're interested in.
These are very hard cases
and it requires
a unanimous verdict.
If he got convicted
he would have received a
pretty stiff prison sentence
for sure.
And the government was very
confident in their case.
Throughout the case
the DeLorean defense
has hammered away
at the tactics used
by federal agents in their
undercover investigation
of John DeLorean.
Weitzman asked for acquittal
saying, "The government is
in a sense on trial here."
We did not believe
there was an entrapment
defense in this case.
That was a throwaway defense.
After the long trial,
DeLorean's lawyer said
he'll be stunned whichever
way the jury votes.
John DeLorean put it
more simply.
John, how do you feel?
It's in the hands of the Lord.
In the matter of the United
States versus John Z. DeLorean
the jury finds the defendant..
...not guilty
on all eight counts.
Praise the Lord!
Well done, Howard. Well done.
And thank you.
Come on, boys.
Back up. Back up.
We got a guest.
What's up, buddy?
Ah, fucker.
Water everywhere.
Sit. You guys gonna chill?
Uh, yeah, this is my, uh..
Uh, this is where I live.
You know, so.
It's just this, uh,
it's a shitty little apartment.
You know, the paint's
fuckin' peeling, uh..
And, if you find my housekeeper,
tell her she's fired
'cause she doesn't
do a good job
of cleaning
the fuckin' place but..
So it's kinda,
you know, like, uh..
I don't, you guys,
I don't know if you've seen
the apartment
or any of that stuff
but when people know
who I am and who my family is
then they come over,
they're like
"What the fuck?"
You know, in, even today
I'll see the car
going down the street
and I'm just like,
"It's just fuckin' weird, man."
For me there's a lot behind
the meaning of that car
not just my family name on it
but what that fuckin' car
did to our family.
Are you surprised that,
um, a feature film hasn't
been made about your,
your dad and his life?
Yeah. Yeah.
I mean, it's got all the good
shit in it. It's got cocaine.
It's got fuckin' hot chicks.
It's got sports cars.
It's got fuckin',
you know, war torn.
You know, bombed out
buildings overseas.
It's got fucking Margaret
Thatcher, Ronald Reagan
the war on drugs.
You got FBI agents.
You got, you know,
fuckin' hardcore drug dealers
but.. fear with Hollywood is
they're gonna end it
with him
coming out of the courthouse
with Cristina.
fucking acquittal!
Yeah, yeah, yeah!"
Fucking credits. You know?
While that coming out
of the courthouse, you know
ticker tape parade shit
is real..
Look at what it cost him.
The sting operation fell
through. You were acquitted.
Um, your wife Cristina
stood by you
throughout the entire trial
and then
not but several weeks later,
left you.
- Several days later.
- Ah.
You claim to have been shocked
that your wife Cristina
announced her intentions
to divorce you
shortly after the trial.
She appeared on this program,
spoke, uh, of you
and, uh, most wifely of terms.
Here's what she said.
Can't make a judgment right now.
It's not fair.
It's not fair for, for John
and it's not fair for you either
because if you were in
a situation like this
or any one of your loved ones
you -- you will find yourself
defending them
as ardently as
I'm doing with John.
That must make you feel
at the very least
mixed to see that.
It makes you cry, does it?
Yeah, it's pretty,
uh, pretty painful.
At the time,
if I was my mom
the carpet just got pulled
out from underneath me.
She's 31 years old, man.
She's still got another
eight, nine, ten
12 years of being
top dog.
And that whole fuckin' career
pulled out from underneath you.
Your whole career
has fallen apart.
I was at the top of
my modeling profession.
I've been doing it for 20 years.
The last 15 years I've been at
the very top of it
commanding top money.
And this is July and since
January I've had one booking
and I've made $105.
And no one will have anything
to do with me or my name.
Not at all.
I try not to ask my mom
about my dad.
Not because I think that she
doesn't have any good memories.
More because again
I don't want to
draw up any,
any painful ones.
It was terrible and tragic
what she had to go through.
So, she had to do something
different with her life.
She had to leave
all that behind.
Shortly after all of that
she had her show, AM LA.
She defined who she was.
She rebuilt her life
and she rebuilt it in
a fantastic way.
And credit to her, I get it.
I understand it.
That, you know,
you're trying to keep a roof
and keep a normal
stable household
for your kids.
Guess what?
It's fuckin' gone.
Stability and sanity left the
fuckin' house two years ago
when he got arrested.
I had to do an art project
for school
and we had to do appropriation.
So I appropriated
this painting.
On this side,
there's photographs of
everything perfect.
And as it goes on
I started to put in
the articles
from this perfect life
to this destroyed life.
And on the bumper, it says,
"Destroy my childhood"
for DMC.
- Alright, man. You good?
- Uh, yes.
- We get any last looks on Alec?
- We're ready to go.
That's fine. Let's go.
Let's shoot it.
I'd love to figure out
what's the actual turning point?
When does DeLorean
get to a point
where he could have
turned back.
And maybe avoided everything?
And whether he went on to
complete the car project or not
he would have lived
to fight another battle.
You know, and,
or try another
iteration of all that.
And probably succeeded,
'cause he's a very clever guy.
What's that moment where you
could sit there and go
too late?
Is it the cocaine deal itself?
Or is it before that?
Is it a series of things?
Is it a period of time
where he's doing a few things?
When does John
put in all the chips on
the table and he loses?
I saw the drug trial
as a sideshow.
To me much more substantial
was how DeLorean was
handling the money
that he had gotten to build
the car in Northern Ireland.
You know,
every piece of paper tells a story
of what people were doing
and how they were doing it.
Well, this transaction happened
before this transaction
and that led to this
I was brought in to
analyze the affairs of
DeLorean Motor Company
and go deep into its affairs
its activities
and its transactions.
We didn't really understand
that at first,
but it turned out to be
the critical moment
in untangling
the affairs of John DeLorean.
And as it became clear
you start to see yet again
another side of John.
When the company was developing
in those heady days of
excitement and energy around
the company around John
investors all wanted
to get a piece of it.
You know, in -- in trying to
raise all the capital
John was really
selling himself.
He was selling his image.
Ah, you know, the slogan
"Live the Dream"
that's what people were
supposedly buying into
when they invested
in his company.
And John sensing that interest
and wanting to raise money
if it was available
was able to raise
seventeen and a half
million dollars
for the development of
the vehicle.
But as it turns out,
the British government had also
put up enough money by then
that their funds were
actually being used
to pay for the development
of the vehicle.
And therefore this money wasn't
needed so much at that point.
And John, seeing this pot of
money, couldn't resist.
Federal investigators
and bankruptcy lawyers say
they have uncovered
another secret DeLorean deal.
This one arranged at a hotel
in Geneva, Switzerland
long before
the alleged drug deal.
A deal had been struck
in Switzerland
with Colin Chapman,
the chairman of Lotus
and the mysterious organization
called GPD Services.
And what's interesting
becomes very clear that Bill
Collins was onto something
several years earlier
when he was analyzing
the DeLorean-Lotus agreement.
When I looked at the numbers
that they put together
I said to John,
"What's the deal?"
I've never even heard of it.
It just seems like
you're paying twice
for the same thing, John.
Obviously looking back
on it now
there were things going on
behind the scene.
John and Chapman were
trying to figure out
the, uh, game
they were playing with GPD
and trying to get various..
...uh, arrangements
put together.
In the scene we shot yesterday,
he hangs up with Collins.
And everybody who's good
they've all got to go.
You know?
Because their goodness
becomes useless to John.
You know, they just
don't do me any good.
Apart from denying that
he had any of the GPD money
John DeLorean is reluctant
to discuss GPD.
Can you give that an answer
now to those allegations
about the missing $17 million?
So now we fast forward
into the investigation
and we start peeling back
the layers of GPD.
GPD is supposedly
this middleman company
to deliver certain other
engineering services.
In truth,
it had no other engineers.
It had, it had no facilities
to deliver these
engineering services.
GPD was a mailbox.
GPD is a phony,
a shell company
nothing more than a post office
box in a neighborhood branch
of the Geneva Post Office.
Post Office Box 33.
It turns out,
John made a deal with
Colin Chapman at Lotus Cars
that he would send
the seventeen and a half
million dollars from investors
into GPD and then Colin
took the money from there
funneled it into European bank
accounts, split it with John.
John then maneuvered
that money
back to his own accounts
in the United States
therefore converting
the investor money
into his own money.
I think there's a real
fascinating allegory here.
You did sell your soul,
John DeLorean.
You sold it for the greater
glory of John DeLorean
who was going to whip
General Motors and all these
multibillion dollar,
multinational companies
with your own dream car.
And in that vision,
not only did you jeopardize
the well-being of your family
you've risked yourself
for a jail term
got off because
the government blew it.
Now we have other indictments
which, which indicate that
it's possible that, that
your, that your fatigue
and your egomania
have forced you to use money
for your own purpose rather than
the original intent of
the investors.
That's what seems to be
most apparent to anybody
who gives a cursory review
of the evidence in this case.
Well, as I said early on
I think that we will prove
that every single cent was
legitimately and honestly
uh, come by and that all these
charges are totally false.
So, a -- as these questions
are being brought up
and John is preparing to have
to answer these questions
uh, he needed to show
some sort of proof
that made the deal
not look shady.
And that proof was
actually a loan letter
from GPD Services
and a paper trail
that GPD services
was a loan to him
and that he still had
several years before
he had to pay back that loan.
He puts together
these documents
that only he and one other
person would be privy to
and that being Colin Chapman
from Lotus.
Well, several years earlier,
Colin Chapman dropped dead
of a heart attack.
And the only other person
in, you know
this little transaction
was John.
So while I was busy
studying the records
and looking at
financial transactions
the lawyers were busy
talking to Cristina Ferrare.
Cristina testified under oath
that she saw John
working in a large closet
with latex gloves on
signing documents,
backdating them
and then aging the documents
under a sun lamp.
So when the documents would be
forensically examined later on
his fingerprints
wouldn't be on it.
His skin oil
wouldn't be on it
and of course the paper would
have aged under the sun lamp.
And she testified that
she saw him do that.
So, John was very busy
creating a set of documents
in the dark of night,
but his wife was watching him.
After reviewing the records,
there came a time
when the trial started
to recover this money
that John had taken
from the company.
And I started to really get a
good look at John as a person
and the true nature
of his character.
So, he walks in court one day
and then he looks at me
and he says
"I was on the radio
this morning.
I was talking about you
and your testimony."
He goes, "But I'm not sure
I got your name right."
He said, "Is there one H
in Shithead or two?"
And I said, "Wow."
But by then
I also realized we had him.
In other words, he was acting
out because we knew we had him.
Between us having
the financial evidence
and Cristina would testify
that John had been forging
documents and aging documents
John needed to
settle that case
actually cough up the money
that had been stolen
from the investors
in the DeLorean partnership.
Would you deny
therefore that you had
any of that $17 million?
Excuse me a minute.
I have to get a drink.
John DeLorean was not prepared
to answer any further questions
about the missing
$17.6 million.
In the drug trial, John really
could grasp on to that idea of
I was the victim here,
you know?
I got sucked into a situation
of overzealous people
overzealous government that
was trying to take me down
as a legitimate
business owner.
In the case of
the money trials
it's very hard to take the
approach that he was the victim
because all of it
was his own doing.
You start to see, you know,
this real true character
this underlying nature of John,
not the public persona that
he had worked so hard
to cultivate for years.
He had built this giant
bubble of an image
making him believe he could
kind of get away with anything.
This was not
the little guy fighting
the Goliath like GM.
This instead was someone
in his business dealings
who acted like the Goliath
and trampled on
other people's dreams
and really hurt
some individuals very badly.
I'm not a psychiatrist,
but I think that
he was okay in the beginning
and I think he just got
carried away.
I think he could have saved it
if he'd had the right attitude.
But I think he thought it was
more important to make a buck
than to be successful.
That is part of
the real tragedy
in going back to the what-ifs.
You know, what if John and Colin
hadn't embezzled that money
and he had still had seventeen and
a half million dollars at the time
when he needed desperately cash
to keep the company open?
We're the FBI.
By stealing that money
John really painted himself
into a corner.
And he had to find the money
somewhere else.
And to think if he could have
only held on
for a few more years.
- Marty! You made it!
- Yeah.
Welcome to my latest experiment.
This is the big one,
the one I've been
waiting for all my life.
- Wow, it's a DeLorean.
- Bear with me, Marty.
All your questions will be
answered. Roll tape.
When Bob Zemeckis and I first
wrote "Back To The Future"
the time machine was
a refrigerator.
And Bob Zemeckis,
the director, said
"Wouldn't it be simpler
if Doc actually built
the time machine into a car?"
And then he says, "And what
if the car was a DeLorean?"
You know,
it wasn't my idea
but I know damn good idea
when I hear one.
This was a damn good idea.
So I said,
"Yeah, that's great."
When this baby hits
88 miles per hour
you're gonna see some
serious shit.
We, I think,
did a great job
in making the DeLorean
and endearing it to,
uh, generations of
of movie fans and car fans.
Eighty eight miles
per hour!
If only we'd stayed alive
and we'd continued
for another two years.
You can't buy that
publicity now, can you?
"Back To The Future"
makes the car
and the man truly immortal.
A hundred years from now
people will watch that movie
And the last running DeLorean
may have consumed
its last drop of fuel
and eaten its last piston
but that movie will carry on.
After the movie came out,
about two or three weeks later
we got one of the best
fan letters we ever got
and it was from John DeLorean.
He said that
he'd just seen the movie
he thought it was brilliant.
Uh, and he said
"Thank you for keeping
my dream alive."
You know,
back in a time when
I was lead to believe
films about him were
um, percolating
you know, there were
a couple of them
to my recollection
that people were gonna make.
I get a phone call
and it was DeLorean.
And I have to imagine
he was probably
out of the house, the big house,
and living in this apartment
you know, the scene
that we're gonna shoot today.
Yeah, I was on the phone
with him and he was, uh..
He was like, "Alex, this is
John DeLorean calling."
He's very old.
He sounded older.
He said, "I understand
they're making
"this motion picture
about me
"and, uh, I would be
very flattered
if you were to portray me
in the movie."
I thought, "Wow."
I mean, to have the guy
who's the real guy pick you.
And, um,
and then it went away.
I never heard from him again.
But, uh, I mean, to me
DeLorean is a lot of things.
Every day, you,
I think about who is he..
I have a different answer.
You know, today my attitude
about DeLorean
you watch historical footage
and you get kind of inflamed
'cause you see that he did a lot
of bad things to some people
and he hurt a lot of people
and he stole from people.
And at the same time, uh..
I feel like
he was somebody who..
He just, like a lot of
great American stories
he just perverted some dream
that he had.
You remember the DMC,
don't you? Yeah.
How could you forget it?
It was one of a kind.
It really was one of a kind.
As -- as full as John's life
was those first 60 years
the last 20 years are
actually more simple.
This is one of John's bibles
which he actually gave
to his nephew Mark.
He became a born again
Uh, it was a very important
part of his life.
He dated several women
throughout the years
and then ended up
re-marrying late in life.
And then in 2000,
had to declare bankruptcy
in which he lost
his Bedminster Estate
and lived the last five years
of his life
in a one-bedroom apartment.
His whole fucking life,
his whole dream
everything that he worked for
from the time
they broke ground
till the time of
the arrest, gone.
Was it a blow to your pride
to you trying to
shape your life again?
Well, I felt terrible about it
for a long time.
I felt terrible for my children
who've had a..
This has been an extremely
difficult thing for them.
But, you know, life is life.
You go.. It goes on.
Your father is shamed
and goes to jail.
Your family loses
all their money.
Your parents get divorced.
Everything in your world
And for the next 15 years
of your life
you get chased by,
"Is your father in jail?"
and cocaine jokes
and all of these things
that just followed along
with it.
My entire life,
I had to live it down.
It was, it followed me
for a very long time.
It followed me around
until I started to
get involved into
the DeLorean community.
People used to invite
my dad to
all these car shows
all the time.
And I asked him.
I said,
"Dad, dad, let's go.
You have to experience this."
Knowing how much
he was still loved
would definitely make
a difference in his life.
- Thank you.
- Thank you.
It was an amazing experience.
It was, it was everything
I hoped it would be
and then some..
I just met John DeLorean
for the third time.
Document that.
The man is unbelievable.
He really did get to bask
in his glory
a little bit again.
Do you consider
the whole DeLorean dream
to have been a failure?
Oh, I think that
I showed a lot of people
that whether, uh
you know, you survive or not
the key is,
it's like Shakespeare said
"It's better to have
loved and lost
than not to have loved at all."
I gave it the best shot I had.
I tried as hard as I could.
And I think that
I did reasonably well.
I think DeLorean was
very much alone.
Part of the fallout from
compartmentalizing his life
the way he did
is that he really
didn't have anybody
who knew him
through and through.
This is not a man who's
looking at his family life
or his friends to qualify
his reason for living.
It's, "What have I accomplished?
What have I done?
What am I doing next?"
That in his mind,
this is what really
reflects on him
as a human being.
When we come around here,
what I'd like to do is
repeat this action.
And just put this down here
and then look up at the car.
And I wanna say something very
specific to him about the car.
No film can tell the definitive
story of anybody's life.
Anyone's life is just
too vast
and complex for one film.
But a film could certainly
create the legend of
John DeLorean
and we print the legend.
The legend is what we love.
That's what we should have.
Let's just hypothetically say
that when he went into
the hotel that night
he knew he was walking out
with a suitcase
full of cocaine.
I can't necessarily blame him.
How far would you be
willing to go
to save something you worked
your whole life
for your life's dream?
What would you do
to see that succeed
no matter what?
He always kept trying.
He never gave up the dream.
He never quit believing
that there was a potential
for him to recover
that he was going to invent
the next great thing
that he was going to be able
to reclaim his former glory.
He was John DeLorean
and he was John DeLorean
until the day he died.
You know, I think he was still
trying to make fucking deals
on that DMC-2
when he got the heart attack.
And I -- I think that would be
a good way to end the movie.
You could have him on the
phone eating some breakfast
um, with,
an -- an open notebook thing
that you'd show investors
with, you know
all the nice little
pictures and stuff.
Talking on the phone and
then it just fades to black.
Because then that
last image would just be him
working to get that
deal done.
And he just fuckin'..
God pulled the plug
on his ass, man.
You're outta here, buddy.
You know?
Then, you know,
it just goes black and then
John DeLorean died in
Morristown, New Jersey
at fucking 80 years old
on this date, you know?
Never to have fulfilled,
you know, another car company
build another car company.
And, you know, and
I -- I'd be okay with that.
And slate. That's good.
Scene 28 alpha, take two.
I mean, if we can't get the
money to distribute this movie
what if we sell cocaine to try
to get this movie distributed?
- Sure.
- We don't want to lose, either.
- No.
- I'm counting on you, Sheena.