The Big Switch (1968) Movie Script

This, as you may
or may not know, is London.
Headquarters of devaluation, socialism
and the permissive society.
The people who live
here are quite ordinary.
Clean living, unostentatious human beings.
And this is where
the would-be non-conformists shop.
This, on the other hand is where
the more knowledgeable shop.
The more knowledgeable dine,
the uninitiated eat.
Relaxation is a multitude of these.
And even more of these,
for the older and more respectable members
of our permissive society.
Mr John Carter,
the central character of the epic
you're about to see,
could, under the circumstances
be described as a misfit,
having reached his prime
in the days of rock'n'roll.
Now nearing the ripe old age of 30,
he's kind of old for Carnaby Street
and not quite hard up enough for this.
The small chapter in his quiet mundane life
starts here,
on a warm evening, for December,
and in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Leaving already?
Are you kidding? It's bloody 2:00.
Scotch, cock.
Hi! You're too late. Everybody's gone.
Yeah, I know. Bit of a dull party.
Never mind. I'm available.
Oh, sure. Any new talent?
Yeah. Flashbeat.
Your type, called Samantha.
She's on the floor. Have a look-see.
I'll do that.
- All right?
- Not bad.
What's the strength?
Been around for a couple of weeks.
Mendez has shown some interest.
- Mendez?
- Yeah, the boss, right.
- Want an introduction?
- Introduction?
No, thanks.
May I cut in?
Dance is finished.
Who's dancing.
Do you want a drink here
or do you want a drink in my pad?
No, I don't want a drink here.
Then let's go back to my pad.
Let's go to mine.
You certainly are an
accommodating girl.
All right, John?
What do you think?
Don't look at me, sweetheart.
Is this it?
Looks cosy.
You'll find out.
Looks as if I'm set for the night.
Don't think I'm that easy, boyo.
But you're very attractive, you know.
I don't usually make a habit of picking up
strange men in discotheques.
Anyway, you're not strange really.
Yeah. I know, I know.
Hey, have we any cigarettes?
No, I don't smoke 'em. It's fadsome.
- Where can I get some?
- Oh, just around the corner.
There's a supermarket.
- Oh, thank you.
- My pleasure.
Where did you say
I could get some cigarettes?
Oh, sorry. It's just around the corner,
the supermarket.
Okay. Back in a minute.
Second floor. I'll leave the door open.
Which service, please?
Emergency. Which service, please?
This I can do without.
All right, kid.
That's the sort of shot I want.
All right, fine. Jump a bit, love, huh?
Super. Super, great.
Here, arch the eyebrows up, will you?
Yeah, yeah. Great now.
Open your eyes. Just a bit more.
Look, try Janet more.
Try from here.
No, it won't work here.
I'm trying to tell you.
But you've got to. I mean,
otherwise the product doesn't show.
All right, all right.
You're the Art Director.
Come. Move around like that.
Try a little here.
Come on. No, arch those eyebrows, hon.
A bit more sex.
Yeah. Great, great.
Open up a bit more,
so you can see those lovely lashes.
Girls, turn around now, will ya?
Janet, show us, will you?
We're selling girls, not deodorant.
Let's see that.
Gotta reload now, loves.
Think we'll have to drape
you a little more next time, girls.
You got your bikini tops?
How's it going?
You get all the best jobs, don't you?
That's the way it goes.
- Seen Hornsby-Smith, yet?
- No, not this morning.
Why, is the old man looking for me?
Yes. I saw him about an hour ago
tearing around like a blue-arsed fly
and he told me he wanted to see you.
Well, we're just wrapping up here.
I'll go up and see him now.
Okay, Ken.
I think that one shot will do it.
See you, girls.
Come in, John, old love.
Grab a chair.
- How are you doing with the B.O. job, eh?
- Okay.
Just finished the final session.
A bit worried about the client
trying to sex it up, though.
But I think I've managed
it pretty tastefully.
I'm sure you have.
They were happy enough about the
shaving cream job you did for them.
Between ourselves, we got this account
virtually on the strength of it.
- Cigarette?
- I'm on, thanks.
I don't know
quite how to put this,
but I wanted to put it to you face to face
as it were.
Without sending one of those
stupid inter-office memos.
You know what I mean.
No. What do you mean?
Have you crossed one of
the big white chiefs lately?
Might have pulled one
of the shareholders' birds. Why?
I've got to fire you.
It came up this morning in the board
meeting. Right out of the blue.
No reason?
- No.
- Well, maybe they think I'm too wild.
Maybe they object to their personnel
keeping late nights.
I have no idea what it is, old love.
But there it is.
But I've always said this place
gets more like the Kremlin everyday.
You never know whose
head's gonna roll next.
I'm sorry.
I do want you to know
I did my best for you.
But I was completely outvoted.
I'm only the managing director here.
But frankly, John, you do know
that you've always been my blue-eyed boy.
I always said it and I still maintain it.
You're worth three of those
chinless wonders downstairs.
Even though
I would prefer my staff to wear a tie.
Well, that's it, then.
Do I leave now?
No point in keeping you.
I expect you'll be wanting to look around.
I suppose I'll have to put Justin
on the deodorant job.
Oh, I have arranged
a month's pay with Personnel.
- Well, good luck and I'm sorry.
- Thanks.
Oh, John. Don't forget,
if you want a reference,
just get them to call me personally.
I'll make out.
- Now, what's happening, fellows?
- It's up to you with two pairs.
I'll have a little fiver on that, love.
- A fiver, Mike?
- That's right.
Put your money where your mouth is.
It's too strong for me.
I didn't know I was throwing a party.
Who are you lot?
Well, this is worth a tenner.
- I'm out.
- I see.
I'll just have to see you
then, won't I, darling?
Full house. Tens and twos.
Ah! Oh, I'm sorry. Look at that.
Four little sevens.
Looks like I'm gonna have it tonight,
don't it, darling?
Do you dress like this at Crockfords?
Well, you see, she hasn't got any money.
Have you?
What do you mean?
You sat in on a party on Saturday night
at Pete Fenton's.
And you left owing 385.
Who's Pete Fenton? Look, pick up
this scrubber and get out of here.
You musn't talk like that, Carter.
You see, Sally's my girl.
What about this money?
Look, I don't know who put you up to this
but I don't know anything about this guy
Fenton or a poker game last Saturday
and I don't know you.
So now, gentlemen, gag's over.
Let's go, shall we?
So we don't get the loot then, eh?
I think he needs
a little lesson, fellows.
Would you mind taking him
into the other room?
I don't want anything
to happen in front of Sally.
You know how squeamish she is.
Oh, and keep the blows low, fellows.
He's got such a nice-looking face.
All right, mate?
Yeah, we're coming.
- You want to do it?
- Yeah.
Now the other side.
Oh, what a baby.
How long do you think it's gonna be
before you start screaming, Carter?
I'm all for that.
- Again?
- Anywhere you like, sweetheart.
Come on, just here.
That's it.
He's a bit of a mess, isn't he?
One more just here.
- He is a brave man, isn't he?
- Yeah, too tough.
How about here?
- I think he's laughing.
- Not any more he's not.
- Is he out?
- I think so.
Go on. Rough him up, fellas.
Come on, sweetie.
We'll be back tomorrow for the
loot, Carter. All right?
You must be joking.
I don't feel like dancing tonight.
Okay. What have I got to lose.
43.12 for two bloody steak and chips.
Well, you can tell your manager from me
I'm not paying it. It's bloody mad.
Well, you did have two hostesses
with you, sir.
I didn't want them, either.
Six guineas each
for two blooming nightdresses.
Well, I have spoken to
the manager about it
and I'm afraid there's
nothing we can do.
We're not gonna get any change here, Jeff.
Okay, let's go to the bar
and drown our sorrows.
Whittle away another fiver.
Hi, John. What's happened to you?
Shaving trouble. Think mine's on the house.
Well, Mr Mendez is expecting you.
If you'd like to go into the bar
I'll tell him you're here.
Scotch, please.
Hi. How's Samantha?
Oh, hi, Bunny. What did you say?
I said, how's Samantha?
Well, you left Lulu's with her, didn't you?
No, no. She went after I left.
Oh, a tease, huh?
Hmm. I seem to get 'em, don't I?
I seem to arrive too late always too.
This place closes earlier
than a discotheque.
We cater for the older men here.
John, Mr Mendez will see you now.
Yeah. Charming.
- She's got a good bust.
- Oh, yes.
It's important really to any model
nude dancing, we can teach you that.
Can we use her in the show?
Yes, I'm sure we can.
She's a very good dancer.
All right, my dear.
You can start on Monday.
What's this?
Setting me up for another fight?
Make yourself comfortable, Carter.
I'll stand.
Just as you please.
- Drink?
- No, thanks.
I understand, Carter,
that you are in a bit of trouble.
Mike tells me that you owe a man
called Fenton quite a lot of money.
Do I?
I've also heard that currently
you're unemployed.
Well, I can't do very
much about the former,
but I might be able to offer you something
that would be of interest to you.
I don't think I'm in your line of business.
We're starting a new project.
It's gonna be quite big.
5,000. Short term engagement.
2,000 in advance.
Doing what?
Well, to start with,
we're going to give you a holiday.
Where? Winter in the Bahamas?
No. Actually,
I thought of winter in Brighton.
I've got quite a nice flat there.
I think you'll enjoy yourself.
Listen, I've had enough gags for one night.
Do you mind if I turn in?
Carter. One minute.
Do you know this girl?
Some bird I met last night.
The police should be finding
her body just about now.
Listen, don't try to implicate me in that.
I might not be trying to implicate you.
But perhaps this will.
You don't want to put
some more fingerprints on it, do you?
I think we understand each other.
Here's the two thousand advance. You'll
find the Brighton address on the back.
I can expect to see you down there
by luncheon tomorrow, hmm?
What happens in Brighton?
You'll be told.
Oh, by the way, I want you to
give a lift to a friend of mine.
Oh, Karen, this is John Carter.
He'll be taking you down
to Brighton tomorrow.
Where would you like him to pick you up?
Kensington High Street.
Outside that big hotel will do.
I don't want to appear forward
but what am I gonna do?
Workwise, I mean.
You'll be told. Oh, don't worry,
we'll keep you fully occupied.
Glad to have you with us.
I don't seem to have
much alternative, do I?
Yeah, we are very glad
to have you with us, Carter.
You... You animal!
Sorry to spoil your evening.
Welcome to the fold.
Glad to have you with us.
The last person who said that
regrets it somewhat.
Look, why don't you do yourself a favour?
Join a monastery.
Wring out wash leathers
for a one-armed window cleaner.
You don't look the sort of guy
that needs someone like Mendez.
Are you kidding?
I'm broke, jobless
and number one murder suspect.
If the law doesn't get me, the boys will.
- Murder suspect?
- Sure. Ask your boyfriend.
Haven't you heard,
I'm swinging London's ace lady-killer?
Who knows, somewhere between
London and Brighton, you may be the next.
I hope everything will be all right.
I hope so, too.
You haven't said a word
since we left London.
What do you do? Are you a model?
Yeah. For toby jugs.
Just my luck.
I always saw Brighton as a place where
the filthy rich went for dirty weekends.
Pity you're not rich.
I wonder what all that was about.
He's been following us since London.
- Come on, Karen, what's happening?
- I don't know.
Sure you don't.
Then why the maternal
advice last night?
Oh, forget it.
No, I'm serious.
What did you mean?
I just thought that, perhaps...
Oh, it doesn't matter.
Look, if we're gonna
share a pad together,
you can't expect me
to do all the talking.
I'll try better next time.
You can see it's Mendez's place.
It looks like a nightclub.
Right on time.
Come on in, won't you.
Yeah. That's our roof garden up there.
It's another open plan
entrance to the lounge.
This is your room, John.
And this is yours through here.
Karen, isn't it?
Come along, John.
Let's go into the lounge for a drink.
Sit down. Make yourself comfortable.
There isn't much in the way of drink in,
had a bit of a session last night.
- Scotch and rye?
- With soda please.
- Me too.
- Karen.
I remember Mendez raving about you
when he picked you up.
He didn't pick me up.
Sorry, Karen, just figure of speech.
Yeah, kind of flipped.
How touching.
You were a model, weren't you?
Surely you remember, John.
Swimwear your speciality, wasn't it?
What happened?
Maxi skirts came in.
- What's the setup down here?
- I'm sorry.
Well, I assume you all work for Mendez.
So, what's the deal down here?
I don't know, John.
We just act on instructions.
- We?
- Yeah.
Cathy, Jane, Al, and myself.
And what instructions
are we acting on at present?
Just keep you here
and make you comfortable.
- Get us a Coke.
- No, you get one.
Hey, Gerry, get us a...
So this is John Carter.
Not bad.
Maybe we could make
a new scene down here.
Lay off, Cathy.
Crazy acid heads.
Some can take the stuff, they can't.
- Acid heads.
- They used to have nightly trips.
Now it seems permanent.
That'll be Al.
Is he yours?
How about another drink, huh?
The bloody panic stations.
Oh! They're here, good. Hi.
Listen, the heat's on.
We've got to take those pictures
as soon as possible, right?
Right, we'll take you first.
Karen, would you mind coming with us
for a moment?
- What is this?
- All right, John.
We're just going to take some pictures.
Won't be a moment.
Sounds fun.
Come on, buck up, love.
Right. Bring her in.
Okay, sit her down.
Okay. Like this. That's it.
Let's see you smile there.
Turn your face to the left-hand side.
Smile darling. What's the matter with you?
That's lovely. That's... Yes, lovely.
- Lift up higher.
- Chin up. Lift your chin up.
Right girls, get her gear off.
Come on, darling!
A bit more, a bit more!
Do we have to do something to you?
So come on.
- Any noticeable birthmarks, Al?
- Smile.
What's the matter with you?
I think that will do fine.
Better get that geezer.
What's his name?
- John Carter.
- Yeah.
- He's going to be a lot tougher.
- Is he?
Well, you'd better take this then.
Come on.
This should be great.
Okay, John, your turn.
Like hell. Look...
Come on, John.
If you put it that way.
You'll need that.
Okay, sit down there.
Come on, sit down.
We haven't got all day.
Once more, let's see you around here.
Right, that'll do.
Now take your shirt off.
You must be joking.
Come on, John.
All right now, that's enough.
Okay, girls, he's all yours.
I've checked.
Leads to a roof garden
and the door is locked.
- Any idea what this is all about?
- No.
What's the setup?
- How come you got involved with Mendez?
- I work for him.
Yeah. So do I, as from this morning.
He treats his employees well, doesn't he?
- How long have you known him?
- About nine months.
You worked in one of his clubs?
- Are you kidding?
- Oh, yes, I forgot. You modelled.
- What happened?
- Just one of my many mistakes.
I moved in with a photographer.
He was doing well at the time. So was l.
- Sounds groovy.
- It was.
Then he hit a bad patch.
Seems his clients only used him
because they wanted me.
I guess he got kind of jealous.
Anyway, he moved out,
went back to his wife.
She had all the bread, of course.
Oh, it's the usual story.
Sounds as if it's happened before.
Two or three times.
So, out of the frying pan into the fire
with Karl Mendez.
I figured, this time,
I'd choose a really notorious bloke.
At least I'd know where I stood.
Any idea what this pantomime's all about?
I just thought it was his
way of blowing me out.
He's petting a new bird at the moment,
- Samantha?
- Oh, you know the piece.
Mendez has taken a lot of trouble
framing me for her murder.
- That's strange.
- Why?
Who is it?
Yeah, exactly what time does Miglio arrive?
Well, we've got to start
the operation for...
Well, it's too hot!
We've got to do it within an hour
of him landing.
Miglio. Miglio.
- What was all that about?
- Something about an operation.
Bruno Miglio, of course.
He and his wife were deported,
don't you remember?
About four years ago. Property deals.
- No.
- He was in clubs.
That call was something about him arriving.
They're trying to get him
back into the country illegally,
but where do we figure in?
Well, we won't get anything
out of Gerry or Al.
I've seen them around in London.
They do all of Karl's dirty work.
Protection and things like that.
No, but we will out of those two hippies.
- Hippies?
- Those two birds.
Let's hope I get a suitable opportunity.
All right. That's it then?
About 1:00 tomorrow.
- When are the others coming?
- Oh, various times.
You can't be too careful.
We're picking them up from odd spots
all over Brighton.
It'll be good to have some organisation
around here again.
I'm scared.
I think we got good reason to.
Still the iron hard man, huh?
Why the chip on your shoulder?
What's life done to you?
What's life done for me?
When I was a kid... Oh, you know how it is.
I always used to dream
that I would meet someone like you.
Look what I got myself involved in.
Don't worry, honey.
You'll be all right.
I'll see to that.
Everything all right, doctor?
I understand. Don't worry.
You're going to have a fully equipped
operating theatre,
and a properly trained staff.
I hope so.
What time do we leave tomorrow, Karl?
I don't think that there is going to be
any room in the car for you.
But anyway, we'll see about that, won't we?
- Fresh tea. Anybody want some more?
- Yeah, I will have another cup.
Not hungry, love?
- You'll need it.
- Why?
- When do we start working?
- Soon, Johnny boy, soon.
- All set then, Gerry?
- Right with you.
Forget the tea, love.
Have you given her the thing?
- Come here a moment, Cathy.
- Okay.
- We're just going out, John.
- We're going shopping.
Won't be long. Right, let's go then.
Do you know,
I don't like leaving her here on her own.
She'll be all right
as long as she locks the lounge door.
Yeah. Come on, let's go.
- Keep that lounge door shut.
- All right. It'll be all right.
Don't forget.
You sure you know how to use that thing?
I wouldn't need a gun to keep you here.
I'm sure you wouldn't.
- You don't mind if I get some cigarettes.
- I'd better come too.
Al told me to lock the door.
You wouldn't really use that, would you?
The day I have to use a gun on a man,
I'll give up.
I do hope Bruno Miglio
is going to make love like you, too.
- What do you mean?
- Nothing.
I shouldn't say anything, should I?
Are we being bumped off?
I hope they're not serious about that
but I think they are.
How about filling me in, eh?
A condemned man has a right to know.
Maybe we could have a long scene together.
- What about the girl?
- She'll have to come with us.
Then we'll dump her in London
and we're away.
Come on. What's the setup?
- Well, there's this man Bruno Miglio.
- Mmm-hmm.
And he wants to come back into England
but they won't let him.
So they're going to smuggle him
and his wife back into the country
and make them look like you and the girl
by plastic surgery.
And then dispose of us.
It all figures.
What about the murder?
Murder? Oh, that? That was all a joke.
The joke, dear boy,
I'm afraid is on you.
You better make the most
of your last moments, Carter?
Stupid bitch.
Come on. We're behind schedule.
The final link.
- He knows the setup.
- That doesn't matter.
Just keep him under closer guard.
Now hurry up. Get him dressed.
Fine time for this sort of caper.
Go on. Get on with it.
Up, Carter. Up.
Get the girl.
Hello, friend.
Hi, sucker.
You stay here love.
Come on.
Let's go.
Shoreham Airport.
But it must be here in a moment.
Gerry and Mendez are late as well.
- What about the Customs?
- Oh, they should be okay.
There's only been two on spasmodic duty.
Nothing happens at this place
at this time of the year.
They'll be another hour for lunch yet.
Look, I think you'd better get
off to the nursing home. All right?
- Any sign yet?
- What kept you?
One of your stupid birds blew the gaff.
Here it is.
Not a word. Just do as you're told
and you'll be all right.
Just a minute.
You like your new face, huh?
Well, it's to the nursing home.
Sorry, Al.
Run for it, Karen.
Come on. The pier.
- What the hell is happening?
- My God! They're getting away.
It's snowing.
Don't worry.
They won't get far in this weather.
We might as well kill them now, as later.
- You have the photographs, yes?
- Of course. Come on.
Through the gate.
Look, there they are.
This way, Cathy.
They've got her!
Behind here.
Come on.
Ghost train. Karen, this way.
Come on, this way.
- Come on. This way Karen.
- Wait.
Come on.
You lost him.
Follow him!
Kill him!
Shoot him down!
Come on. Get out of there quick.
Oh, this one's dead.
- We better call an ambulance.
- Come on, get that car.
Get him out of there quickly. Grab him.
Come on, you.
There are two others.
The patrol cars got them, sir.
We'd like you
to come down to the station then.
Give us a statement, if you'll be so kind?
- To get your side of it straight.
- Sure.
Get you cleaned up down there, too.
Give you a cup of tea?
Perhaps a little bit stronger, eh?