basic instinct
Script created with Final Draft by Final Draft, Inc.

[ bottom ]

                                   BASIC INSTINCT
                         by

               Joe Eszterhas

                                   BASIC INSTINCT



               INT. A BEDROOM - NIGHT 

               It is dark; we don't see clearly. a man and woman make love
               on a brass bed.  There are mirrors on the walls and ceiling. 
               On a side table, atop a small mirror, lines of cocaine.  A
               tape deck PLAYS the Stones:  "Sympathy for the Devil." Atop
               him... she straddles his chest... her breasts in his face. 
               He cups her breasts.  She leans down, kisses him... JOHNNY
               BOZ is in his late 40's, slim, good-looking.  We don't see
               the woman's face.  She has long blonde hair.  The CAMERA
               STAYS BEHIND and to the side of them. She leans close over
               his face, her tongue in his mouth... she kisses him... she
               moves her hands up, holds both of his arms above his head.
               She moves higher atop him... she reaches to the side of the
               bed... a white silk scarf is in her hand... her hips above
               his face now, moving... slightly, oh-so slightly... his face
               strains towards her. The scarf in her hand... she ties his
               hands with it... gently... to the brass bed... his eyes are
               closed... tighter... lowering hips into his face... lower...
               over his chest... his navel.  The SONG plays. He is inside
               her... his head arches back... his throat white. She arches
               her back... her hips grind... her breasts are high... Her
               back arches back... back... her head tilts back... she
               extends her arms... the right arm comes down suddenly... the
               steel flashes... his throat is white... He bucks, writhes,
               bucks, convulses... It flashes up... it flashes down... and
               up... and down... and up... and...

               EXT. A BROWNSTONE IN PACIFIC HEIGHTS - MORNING

               Winter in San Francisco:  cold, foggy.  Cop cars everywhere. 
               The lights play through the thick fog.  Two Homicide
               detectives get out of the car, walk into the house.

               NICK CURRAN is 42.  Trim, good-looking, a nice suit: a face
               urban, edged, shadowed.  GUS MORAN is 64.  Crew-cut, silver
               beard, a suit rumpled and shiny, a hat out of the 50's: a
               face worn and ruined:  the face of a backwoods philosopher.

               INT. THE BROWNSTONE

               There's money here -- deco, clean, hip -- That looks like a
               Picasso on the wall.  They check it out.

                                   GUS
                         Who was this fuckin' guy?

                                   NICK
                         Rock and roll, Gus.  Johnny Boz.

                                   GUS
                         I never heard of him.

                                   NICK
                             (grins)
                         Before your time, pop.
                             (a beat)
                         Mid-sixties.  Five or six hits.
                         He's got a club down in the
                         Fillmore now.

                                   GUS
                         Not now he don't. Past the
                         uniformed guys... nods... waves...
                         past the forensic men... past the
                         coroner's investigators... they get
                         to the bedroom.

               INT. THE BEDROOM

               They walk in, stare -- it's messy. It's like a convention in
               here.  LT. PHIL WALKER, in his 50's, silver-haired, the
               Homicide guys:  JIM HARRIGAN, late 40's, puffy, affable;  SAM
               ANDREWS, 30's, black.  A CORONER'S MAN is working the bed.

                                   LT. WALKER
                             (to Nick and Gus)
                         You guys know Captain Talcott? 

               They nod.

                                   GUS
                         What's the Chief's office doin'
                         here.

                                   CAPT. TALCOTT
                         Observing.

                                   LT. WALKER
                             (to the Coroner's Guy)
                         What do you think, Doc?

                                   THE CORONER'S GUY
                         The skin blanches when I press it --
                         this kind of color is about right
                         for six or eight hours.

                                   LT. WALKER
                         Nobody say anything.  The maid came
                         in an hour ago and found him. She's
                         not a live-in.

                                   GUS
                         Maybe the maid did it.

                                   LT. WALKER
                         She's 54 years old and weighs 240
                         pounds.

                                   THE CORONER'S GUY
                             (deadpan)
                         There are no bruises on his body.

                                   GUS
                             (grins)
                         It ain't the maid.

                                   LT. WALKER
                         He left the club with his
                         girlfriend about midnight.  That's
                         the last time anybody saw him.

                                   NICK
                             (looks at body)
                         What was it?

                                   THE CORONER'S GUY
                         Ice pick.  Left on the coffee table
                         in the living room.  Thin steel
                         handle.  Forensics took it
                         downtown.

                                   HARRIGAN
                         There's come all over the sheets --
                         he got off before he got offed.

                                   GUS
                             (deadpan)
                         That rules the maid out for sure.

                                   CAPT. TALCOTT
                         This is sensitive.  Mr. Boz was a
                         major contributor to the mayor's
                         campaign.  He was Chairman of the
                         Board of the Palace of Fine Arts --

                                   GUS
                             (to Nick)
                         I thought you said he was a rock
                         and roll star.

                                   LT. WALKER
                         He was a retired rock and roll
                         star.

                                   CAPT. TALCOTT
                         A civic-minded, very respectable
                         rock and roll star.

                                   GUS
                         What's that over there? We see the
                         white powder laid out in lines on
                         the small mirror on the side table.

                                   NICK
                             (deadpan)
                         It looks like some civic-minded,
                         very respectable cocaine to me,
                         Gus.

                                   CAPT. TALCOTT
                             (evenly, to Nick)
                         Listen to me, Curran.  I'm going to
                         get a lot of heat on this.  I don't
                         want any... mistakes. Nick and
                         Talcott look at each other a beat,
                         then --

                                   NICK
                         Who's the girlfriend? Lt. Walker
                         looks at the notepad in his hand.

                                   LT. WALKER
                         Catherine Tramell, 162 Divisadero.
                         Nick writes it down.  He and Gus
                         turn, leave.  Captain Talcott
                         watches them.  He looks disturbed.

               INT. THE LIVING ROOM

               as they head out --

                                   NICK
                         Talcott doesn't usually show up at
                         the office 'till after his 18
                         holes.  What are they nervous
                         about?

                                   GUS
                         They're executives.  They're
                         nervous about everything.

                                   LT. WALKER (O.S.)
                         Nick! He stops, turns, sees Walker
                         behind them.  Walker comes up to
                         them.

                                   LT. WALKER
                             (to Nick)
                         Keep your three o'clock.

                                   NICK
                         Do you want me to work the case,
                         Phil, or do you want me to --

                                   LT. WALKER
                         I said keep it.

               EXT. A VICTORIAN ON DIVISADERO - DAY

               It is more a mansion than a house.  They ring the bell.  An
               Hispanic MAID answers.  They flash their badges.

                                   NICK
                         I'm Detective Curran, this is
                         Detective Moran.  We're with the
                         San Francisco Police Department.
                         We'd like to speak to Ms. Catherine
                         Tramell.

                                   THE MAID
                             (after a beat, an accent)
                         Just moment.  Come in. She leads
                         them into a lavish, beautifully
                         done living room that offers a
                         sweeping view of the Bay.

                                   THE MAID
                             (continuing)
                         Sit, please.  Just moment. They
                         look around, impressed.  There is a
                         Picasso on the wall here, too.

                                   GUS
                         Ain't that cute?  They got his and
                         her Pig-assos, son.

                                   NICK
                             (smiles)
                         I didn't know you knew who Picasso
                         was, Gus.

                                   GUS
                             (grins)
                         I'm a smart sonofabitch. 
                         I just hide it. Nick smiles -- and
                         at that moment a beautiful BLONDE
                         walks into the room.  She looks
                         like she has been asleep.  She is
                         in her early 20's.  She wears a
                         very sheer robe.

                                   NICK
                         We're sorry to disturb you, we'd
                         like to ask you some --

                                   THE WOMAN
                         Are you vice?

                                   GUS
                             (after a beat)
                         Homicide.

                                   THE WOMAN
                         What do you want?

                                   THE WOMAN
                             (continuing)
                         Is he dead?

                                   NICK
                             (after a beat)
                         Why do you think he's dead?

                                   THE WOMAN
                         You wouldn't be here otherwise,
                         would you?

                                   GUS
                         Were you with him last night?

                                   THE WOMAN
                         You're looking for Catherine, not
                         me.

                                   NICK
                         Who are you?

                                   THE WOMAN
                         I'm Roxy.
                             (a beat)
                         I'm her -- friend. She looks at
                         them a beat.

                                   ROXY
                         She's out at the beach house at
                         Stinson.  Seadrift.  1402.

                                   NICK
                         Thanks. They start to head out.

                                   ROXY
                         You're wasting your time. Catherine
                         didn't kill him. A beat, they look
                         at her, and go...

               EXT. SEADRIFT - STINSON BEACH - DAY

               Foggy.  Cold.  It is an expensive spit of land on the ocean. 
               Multi-million dollar "beach houses" with gardens and swimming
               pools.  There are two Ferraris in the driveway -- one black,
               one white. They get out of the car in front of the house. 
               They see a woman in back of the house, sitting on a deck
               chair, staring at the sea, a blanket around her. As they get
               to her --

                                   NICK
                         Ms. Tramell? She takes a long look
                         a Nick, then looks away. CATHERINE
                         TRAMELL is 30 years old.  She has
                         long blonde hair and a refined,
                         classically beautiful face.  She is
                         not knockout gorgeous like Roxy;
                         there is a smoky kind of
                         sensuousness about her.

                                   NICK
                             (continuing)
                         I'm De--

                                   CATHERINE
                             (evenly)
                         I know who you are. She doesn't
                         look at them.  She looks at the
                         water.

                                   CATHERINE
                             (continuing)
                         How did he die?

                                   GUS
                         He was murdered.

                                   CATHERINE
                         Really.  Maybe that's why you're
                         from Homicide.  How? Nick glances
                         at Gus.

                                   NICK
                         With an ice pick. She closes her
                         eyes a beat and then, still staring
                         out, we see a thin smile.  They see
                         it, too, and glance at each other.

                                   NICK
                             (continuing)
                         How long were you dating him?

                                   CATHERINE
                         I wasn't dating him.  I was fucking
                         him. They glance at each other
                         again.

                                   GUS
                         What are you -- a pro? Catherine
                         looks at him -- that thin smile
                         again.

                                   CATHERINE
                         No.  I'm an amateur. She looks
                         away.

                                   NICK
                         How long were you having sex with
                         him?

                                   CATHERINE
                         About a year and a half.

                                   NICK
                         Were you with him last night?

                                   CATHERINE
                         Yes.

                                   NICK
                         Did you leave the club with him?

                                   CATHERINE
                         Yes.

                                   NICK
                         Did you go home with him?

                                   CATHERINE
                         No.  We had a drink at the club. We
                         left together.  I came here.  He
                         went home.

                                   NICK
                         Was there anyone with you last
                         night?

                                   CATHERINE
                             (looks at Nick)
                         No.  I wasn't in the mood to have
                         sex with anyone last night. They
                         look at her a beat.

                                   NICK
                         Let me ask you something, Ms.
                         Tramell?  Are you sorry he's dead?
                         Catherine looks at him.

                                   CATHERINE
                         Yes.  I liked fucking him. They
                         stare at her.  She looks out at the
                         water.

                                   CATHERINE
                             (continuing)
                         I don't really feel like talking
                         anymore.

                                   GUS
                         listen, lady, we can do this
                         downtown if you --

                                   CATHERINE
                         Read me my rights and arrest me and
                         I'll go downtown. She doesn't even
                         look at them.

                                   CATHERINE
                             (continuing; quietly)
                         Otherwise, get the fuck out of
                         here.  Please. A long beat as they
                         look at her.

               INT. A CORRIDOR - POLICE HEADQUARTERS

               The door says:  Dr. Elizabeth Gardner, Counseling.  Nick
               opens the door, peeks in.  The receptionist is not there. A
               clock says 3:15.

               INT. THE COUNSELING OFFICE

               He walks in -- sees the inner door open, walks in.

                                   NICK
                         I'm sorry, Beth.  I -- I got hung
                         up in Stinson.

               DR. ELIZABETH GARDNER, the police psychologist, is a very
               good-looking, dark-haired woman.  She is 30.

                                   BETH
                             (smiles)
                         How are you, Nick?

                                   NICK
                         I'm fine.  Come on, Beth!  You know
                         I'm fine!  How the hell long do I
                         have to keep doing this?

                                   BETH
                         As long as Internal Affairs wants
                         you to, I suppose.  Sit down, Nick.

                                   NICK
                         It's bullshit.  You know it is.

                                   BETH
                             (smiles)
                         I know it is -- but sit down anyway
                         so we can get it over with, okay?
                         He sits down.

                                   BETH
                             (continuing)
                         So -- how are things?

                                   NICK
                             (after a beat)
                         Things are fine.  I told you.
                         They're fine. She watches him
                         closely.

                                   BETH
                             (after a beat)
                         How is your -- personal life?

                                   NICK
                         My sex life is fine.
                             (a beat)
                         My sex life is pretty shitty
                         actually since I stopped seeing you
                         -- maybe I should think about my
                         Electrolux again. That embarrassed
                         her; she looks away from him.

                                   NICK
                             (continuing; after a beat)
                         Sorry. She shrugs.  A beat.

                                   BETH
                         How about the booze?

                                   NICK
                         It's been three months.

                                   BETH
                             (after a long beat)
                         How about the coke?

                                   NICK
                         No.

                                   BETH
                         No?

                                   NICK
                             (hard)
                         No!  I'm working my tail off.  I'm
                         off the sauce, I'm not even smoking
                         anymore. She smiles.

                                   BETH
                         How's not smoking?

                                   NICK
                         It's fucked -- now will you please
                         tell I.A. that I'm just you average
                         healthy totally fucked-up cop and
                         let me get out of here?

                                   BETH
                             (after a beat; smiles)
                         Yes.

                                   NICK
                         Thank you. And he starts heading
                         out.

                                   BETH
                             (behind him)
                         I still miss you, Nick. He doesn't
                         even turn, pretends he didn't hear.

               INT. THE DETECTIVE BUREAU

               He walks in.  Gus Moran gets up from his desk as soon as he
               sees him.

                                   GUS
                         Talcott's in there.  They're
                         waiting. They start heading for Lt.
                         Walker's office.

                                   GUS
                             (continuing)
                         How'd it go, son?

                                   NICK
                         She misses me.

                                   GUS
                             (grins)
                         Hallelujah.

               INT. LT. WALKER'S OFFICE

               He and Gus sit there with Lt. Walker, Harrigan, Andrews and
               Captain Talcott.

                                   HARRIGAN
                         Sixteen stab wounds to the chest
                         and neck.  No usable prints, no
                         forcible entry, nothing missing. No
                         prints on the ice pick, either --
                         it's available at any Safeway. The
                         scarf is Hermes, expensive -- they
                         sell about 20,000 a year worldwide.

                                   ANDREWS
                         The powder was cocaine, high-
                         quality, high-content.  He inhaled
                         it; there were minute quantities on
                         his lips and penis.  Mr. Boz leaves
                         five million dollars, no insurance,
                         no direct survivors.  He liked his
                         coke, he liked his girls, and he
                         liked rock and roll.

                                   NICK
                         He liked the mayor, too, right?
                         Talcott gives him a look.

                                   GUS
                         What about his girlfriend?

                                   TALCOTT
                         Is she relevant here?  I didn't
                         know she was a suspect.

                                   LT. WALKER
                         She's a suspect.

                                   TALCOTT
                         On what basis?

                                   LT. WALKER
                             (looks a notes)
                         Catherine Tramell.  Age 30.

                                   LT. WALKER
                             (continuing)
                         No priors, no convictions.  Double
                         major, magnum cum laude, Berkeley,
                         1980.  Literature and Psychology.
                         Daughter, sole survivor -- Marvin
                         and Elaine Tramell, killed in a
                         boating accident, 1978, Catherine
                         Tramell sole heir.  Estimated
                         assets:  $110 million. It hangs
                         there.

                                   NICK
                         Are you kidding me?

                                   LT. WALKER
                             (continues)
                         Formerly engaged to Roberto
                         Vasquez, deceased --

                                   ANDREWS
                         Bobby Vasquez?

                                   LT. WALKER
                         Bobby Vasquez, former middleweight
                         contender, killed in the ring
                         Atlantic City, 1984.

                                   NICK
                             (smiles)
                         I love it.  She's got a hundred
                         million bucks.  She fucks fighters
                         and rock and roll stars.  And she's
                         got a degree in screwing with
                         peoples' heads.

                                   LT. WALKER
                         You forgot her degree in
                         literature.  She's a writer.  She
                         published a novel last year under a
                         pen name.  Do you want to know what
                         it's about? They just stare at him.

                                   LT. WALKER
                             (continuing)
                         It's about a retired rock and roll
                         star who is murdered by his
                         girlfriend. It hangs there a long
                         beat.

               INT. NICK'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

               His apartment is very bare -- very few things -- with wide
               open spaces.  There is a lot of chrome.

               He sits on the couch, reading a book.  It is a paperback. We
               see the title -- Love Hurts, by Catherine Adams.  He puts the
               book down a beat, then picks the phone up, dials.

                                   NICK
                         Page 67, pop.  Do you know how she
                         does the boyfriend?  With an
                         icepick, in bed, his hands tied
                         with a white silk scarf.

               INT. A POLICE DEPARTMENT CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY

               Nick, Gus, Lt. Walker, Harrigan, Andrews, Captain Talcott --
               and Beth Gardner.  With them is an older, white-haired man,
               DR. ANDREW LAMOTT.  There are copies of "Love Hurts" around
               the table.

                                   LT. WALKER
                         Dr. Gardner?

                                   BETH
                         I've asked Dr. Lamott to consult
                         with us.  This isn't really my
                         turf.  Dr. Lamott teaches the
                         psycho-pathology of psychopathic
                         behavior at Stanford and is also a
                         member of the Justice Department's
                         Psychological Profile team.  Dr.
                         Lamott?

                                   DR. LAMOTT
                         There are two possibilities.  One:
                         The person who wrote this book is
                         your murderer and acted out the
                         killing described in ritualistic,
                         literal detail.  Two:  Someone who
                         wants to do the person who wrote
                         this book harm read the book and
                         enacted the killing described to
                         incriminate the writer.

                                   NICK
                             (after a long beat)
                         What if the writer did it?  What
                         are we dealing with?

                                   DR. LAMOTT
                         You're dealing with a devious,
                         diabolical mind.  This book must
                         have been written at least six
                         months, maybe years before it was
                         published.  That means the writer
                         planned the crime, at least in the
                         subconscious, back then.

                                   DR. LAMOTT
                             (continuing)
                         The fact that the writer carried it
                         out indicates psychopathic
                         obsessive behavior in terms not
                         only of the killing itself but in
                         terms of applied advance defense
                         mechanism. A long beat.

                                   GUS
                         Most times I can't tell shit from
                         shinola, Doc.  What was all that
                         you just said? Some grins, titters.

                                   BETH
                         She anticipates the book to be her
                         best alibi.

                                   DR. LAMOTT
                         Correct.

                                   BETH
                         She's going to say:  Do you think
                         I'd be dumb enough to kill anyone
                         in the exact way I've described in
                         my book?  I wouldn't do that
                         because I'd know I'd be a suspect.
                         A long beat -- as they think about
                         it.

                                   NICK
                         What if it's not the writer?  What
                         if it's someone who read the book?

                                   DR. LAMOTT
                         You're dealing then with someone so
                         obsessed that he or she is willing
                         to kill an irrelevant and innocent
                         victim to place the blame on the
                         person who wrote this book.  We are
                         talking about deep-seated,
                         obsessional hatred; an utter lack
                         of sense of proportion or
                         perspective.

                                   GUS
                         We've got a top-of-the-line, once-
                         in-a-lifetime loony-tune either way
                         you cut it -- that's what you're
                         saying, right, Doc?

                                   DR. LAMOTT
                         You're dealing with someone very
                         dangerous and very ill.
[ top | next ]

Script created with Final Draft by Final Draft, Inc.