Screenplay by Oliver Stone
Based on The Autobiography
by Billy Hayes with William Hoffer
PROLOGUE BLACK SCREEN - SUPERIMPOSE:
THE FOLLOWING IS BASED ON A TRUE STORY.
IT OCTOBER 6, 1970 ISTANBUL,
SOUND UNDER, SHARP: CRACKLE - RIP - SNIP...
A SET OF CLOTHES ON A HOTEL ROOM BED -- trenchcoat, bulky
white turtle-neck sweater, T-shirt, jeans, Western style
boots. SOUNDS continue, Accentuated. MOVE Across open
TRAVEL BAGS On The bed. Clothes, possessions. CONTINUE
Across FURNITURE, WASHBASIN, TOILET...A large room, high
old ceilings And windows suggesting Ancient Europe & design,
A haunting greenish AFTERNOON light.
We MOVE to HANDS, TIGHT - drawing out a strip of adhesive
SCISSORS move in TIGHT...SNIP!
UNDERARM, TIGHT. Tape being laid over it.
BACK OF SHOULDER. TIGHT. Tape going on.
BELLYBUTTON, TIGHT. TAPE going Then: a harsh RIP! SOUND
and the tape comes off the bellybutton.
HANDS with new strip of tape. Moving to:
HASHISH PLAQUE. Four of them, thinly pressed. One on top
of the other. The HAND wrapping a portion of the TAPE around
BELLY, TIGHT. SOUNDS of BREATHING stop. The belly is sucked
in. The TAPE is pulled HARD across, then CLINCHED. We
hear F.X. of HEART BEAT--
MOVE UP THE CHEST TO:
BILLY HAYES - 21, baby-face, attractive, medium build an
aura of innocence. His eyes moving off his belly to:
MIRROR. FULL SHOT. Climax. A creature in a bondage of
his own devise, he is naked in his underpants, his body
criss-crossed by a network of TAPE and 40 tightly pressed
plaques of HASHISH in every conceivable crevice of his
body. The eyes are hard.
NIX THROUGH HEART BEAT, SOUNDS OF AIRPORT.
ISTANBUL AIR TERMINAL dirty, crowded, wooden benches,
peddlers. Turkish flight instructions on LOUDSPEAKER,
followed by mediocre English translations. NOTE: ALL
DIALOGUE IN TURKISH TO FOLLOW WILL BE MARKED OFF BY
PARENTHESIS. A CERTAIN WILL BE SUBTITLED, BUT SOME NOT.
Pan American Flight 1 to Frankfurt,
London, and New York has arrived
and will be ready for boarding at
Gate 7 in 20 minutes.
REPEAT IN ENGLISH over:
BILL walking down a long CORRIDOR. He moves somewhat stuffly
in the clothes we saw laid out on the bed; his face
complicated by dark, rather ridiculous aviator sunglasses
and an increasing edge of nervousness to his actions. With
SUSAN 23, healthy outdoor looks, dressed casually colorful
like an American student abroad.
APPROACHING P.O.V. - a group of TURKISH SECURITY GUARDS,
in rumpled green uniforms, at a security CHECKPOINT inspect
the carry-on bags of several PASSENGERS.
BILLY tensely contemplating the guards as he walks.
SUSAN digging in her bag for her passport as she walks.
BILLY, looking from guards ahead to SUSAN. He suddenly
breaks stride, still a fair distance from the
checkpoint. SUSAN glances at him. He is holding his belly.
I think I've been poisoned.
And you ate two baclavas, right? I
not to touch them, mine was awful.
(his voice strained)
Look, I think I'm going to have to
go to the john again. You go on
through, I'll catch up.
With a sense of panic, he turns and goes back down the
corridor without waiting for a response. SUSAN concerned,
BILLY in the WASHROOM MIRROR, again checks himself out.
His glasses are off, and he has just watered himself down.
But the SOUND of his HEARTBEAT is up, and his nerves are
visible in his eyeballs and he knows it. He dabs at the
sweat on his sideburns. He closes his eyes, takes a DEEP
BREATH. A pause. He puts his dark sunglasses back on.
Turns away from the mirror. No going back now.
ADVANCING P.O.V. - SECURITY CHECKPOINT. The GUARDS again.
Closer, closer, Guns in their HOLSTERS. SOUND of billy's
CLOSE - GUARD smoking a cigarette, bored, uniform, looks
The GUARDS again.SOUND of Billy's in a tattered olive
BILLY PASSPORT. The Guard's tobacco-stained FINGERS take
it open it. Basic information on Billy: Birth Date April
17, 1949. Birth Place: Babylon, Long Island. No wife, no
GUARD gives it back to BILLY.
BILLY opens his shoulder bag, proffers it. The GUARD tosses
it, pushing aside books, grabbing a white plastic dish.
It's a frisbee.
(makes a throwing
gesture of the
You throw, catch it. Game!
Curious, one of the other GUARDS ambles over looking at
BILLY tightens. Cursing the frisbee. Sweat now runs his
sideburns again. HEARTBEAT up.
American game. Baseball.
(puzzled, turns the
Frisbee around and
THE SECOND GUARD studies BILLY curious about the sweat.
Suddenly reaches up, indicates the eyes.
Take off the glasses.
BILLY understanding the gesture rather than the words,
removes his glasses. His eyes. Straight, staring at the
GUARD without trying to look away. A long moment.
FIRST GUARD stuffs the frisbee back into the bag. Scowls.
Takes a puff on his cigarette, coughs. Phlegm rattles around
in his throat.
Reads the International Herald Tribune, seated on a crowded
olive-colored out on the tarmac She has saved him a seat
and pulls her bag off as BILLY sits down.
He waves BILLY through.
BILLY puts his glasses walks past the back the SECOND GUARD
turns away. BILLY walks past the Checkpoint. His HEARTBEAT
SUSAN reads the International Herald Tribune, seated on an
crowded olive-colored BUS out on the tarmac. She has save
him a seat and pulls her bag off as BILLY sits down.
Are you all right?
He looks at her. Relief. A smile, awkward - he wishes he
could tell her.
Lays his head back on the wooden bench. Reaches out:
TAKES HER HAND in his. She returns the grip.
THE BUS DOOR slams shut.
THE TURKISH BUS DRIVER rolls the bus out towards the PLANES
visible in the far distance?.
SUSAN, feeling Billy is better, shows him the Herald
D'you see this? Janis Joplin died
BILLY, his sunglasses removed, looks at the paper, almost
Overdose, in a Hollywood motel.
NEWSPAPER Picture of JANIS JOPLIN. That big, earthy, rugged
BILLY'S P.O.V. - Moves Up page One To The Headline: NIXON
OUT-RAGED AT PALESTINIAN HIJACKERS: CALLS FOR CAPITAL
(a faint voice)
Never Was anybody like Janis.
BILLY, thinking other happier things, reaches over and
playful!.:squeezes her tit twice, rapidly.
Never was anybody like you...
his hand away ,a
clicking sound in
You can't take anything seriously.
Bus stops suddenly. BILLY changes expression.
THROUGH FRONT WINDSHIELD we see TURKISH SOLDIERS in several
HALFTRACKS drawn up in a semicircle blocking the bus. The
Pan American PLANE is directly behind. Also JEEPS and a
POLICEMAN waving the bus down.
BUS BOOR opens and the Turkish Police OFFICER hops aboard
Attention please, Ladies and
Gentlemen. For your own safety
we're conducting a security check
before you board your airplane,
Kindly file out the back. Women
and children in one line. Men in
PASSENGERS. A confused hum.
What's he saying? I don't know...
Marian. Hey Marian, what the
The Turkish-speaking PASSENGERS are gathering together
their items and beginning to exit as:
POLICE OFFICER repeats, in ENGLISH
CLOSE BILLY. The POLICE OFFICER is only beginning the
speech.in English but already Billy realizes, And it's
panic. Silent panic. That horrendous cold feeling all
over his back: Oh God what have I done, what can I do now?
MOVE TO SUSAN rising, fetching her things, irritated.
Jesus, they do everything ass
backwards in Turkey.
Behind her we see the other AMERICAN PASSENGERS beginning
to disembark with the usual chorus of overlapped
conversations, expletives, including:
They're checking for hijackers.
Any Palestinians aboard? Hey Harry,
get rid of your grenades...
Laughter is returned from several of the American
contingent, but we MOVE BACK to BILLY in foreground; all
of a sudden he is on his knees trying to crawl under the
Billy, what's the matter?
She bends down to look, coming FACE TO FACE with him. He
grips her arm.
Susan - forget it. Go get us a
seat on the plane. Now.
(picking up the
real fear in his
What is it? . . . Billy?
(a fierce whisper,
For Christ's sake, just GET on the
His tone stuns her; never before has he spoken to her like
that. A LOOK between them; he has his glasses off now.
She's not a stupid girl by any means and realizes something
is very wrong and for the both of them, she'd best do
exactly as he says. And fast. She moves OUT OF SHOT.
BILLY, crouched low in the aisle starts to work fast, his
finger: shaking reaching into his sweater starting to work
the TAPE loose from around his chest; looking from under
the bench. Still quite a bit of commotion as passengers
are exiting. BUT THEN:
BILLY P.O.V. - UNIFORMED LEGS coming slowly down Isle
Towards him. The muzzle of An M-l RIFLE tapping loosely
Against the side of the kneecap.
PAN WITH and MOVE UP as TURKISH MILITARY LIEUTENANT comes
into view, intersecting outgoing PASSENGERS, eyes casually
coming to rest on:
BILLY looks up from his kneeling position on floor; his
sweater rolled back down; he indicates the passport in his
hand. "Just found it" expression.
MOVE to the LIEUTENANT not necessarily suspecting anything,
but with a customary insolence reserved for young vagrant-
types, he stretches his rifle arms length with one hand
and gently prods Billy up with the tip of the muzzle placed
under his chin. MOVE BACK to the OFFICER, bringing the
rifle back to his side, indicating Billy get off the bus
with the others. All in silence.
BILLY among a group of MALE PASSENGERS funnelling into two
lines that pass on either side of a wooden inspection table.
Thirty TURKISH SOLDIERS with rifles ring the area. It is
open, vast, no place to run or hide. The only apparent
hope is to melt into their regular jostling patterns of
the passengers impatiently waiting.
TWO PLAINCLOTHESMEN (Police) are on each side of the table,
body-searching the male passengers alternately.
SUSAN is in a similar set-up twenty yards away, with FEMALE
ATTENDANTS doing the searching. She glances at Billy as
she undergoes search. She is cleared, passes on, towards
the ramp of the plane.
BILLY, his sunglasses off, smoothly melts among the male
PASSENGERS pulling some books from his shoulder bag. Glides
to the head of the line. MOVE TO:
The FIRST OFFICER patting down a PASSENGER, his back
partially turned to Billy. MOVE AROUND bringing him into
BILLY skirts him in the background, camouflaged among two
other conversing PASSENGERS waiting for the SECOND OFFICER
who now appears in foreground on the lateral TRACK; he is
busy with another passenger. In passing him, Billy replaces
the books in his shoulder bag as though he had already
been searched by the first officer,
Tension. FOLLOW BILLY as he approaches the boarding ramp.
BILLY P.O.V. - SUSAN at the top of the ramp waiting.
Smiling STEWARDESSES. Pan America. Haven.
BILLY - FOOT rising off Turkish soil onto ramp.
TURKISH HAND lightly touching Billy's elbow, then grasping
Just a minute!
BILLY his eyes flattening.
SUSAN in LONG SHOT, reacting.
BILLY turns trying to seem casual; he confronts the SECOND
OFFICER face to face and gestures towards the:
FIRST OFFICER who happens to glance at them.
Nebu? Did you search him?
SECOND OFFICER tightens his grip on BILLY, angry, and pulls
him back to the TABLE. MOVE with them. The officer has
been lied to; in addition he is young, inexperienced, about
(grunts a command, makes a gesture)
BILLY, comprehending, spreads his arms. The OFFICER pats
him down carefully, brushing against his armpits. Precisely
in the area where we saw the hashish. But incredibly he
doesn't notice, continuing to work his way down the hips
CLOSE BILLY eyes on the sky behind the OFFICER, praying
silently for a break.
TURKISH FINGERS moving up the inside of his legs, onto his
belly, touching the hard bulge below the navel. But again
BILLY in limbo, SOUND of his heartbeat.
SECOND OFFICER pausing, his fingers around Billy's chest,
about to let it go, then:
PLACES HIS HAND suddenly flat on Billy's heart.
OFFICER, sensing the accelerated Heartbeat, stares at:
BILLY whose eyes jump, startled by this technique.
FINGERS like excited spiders quickly run back up into the
armpit area. STOP - right on the packets.
TURKISH EYES SWIVEL to BILLY EYES CLOSE. Frozen moment.
Then, sudden blur of movement at the edge of frame.
SECOND OFFICER jumping back, grabbing his pistol from his
holster, crouching on one knee, aiming the gun barrel at
BILLY, hand shaking. He is terrified.
Bomb! He's got a bomb!
AMERICAN PASSENGERS scream and the deck all around.
BILLY stands there, arms straight up in the air, eyes
clamped shut, trying not to breathe. CHORUS of rifle and
revolver CLICKS OFF as:
PULL BACK to OVERHEAD SHOT BILLY surrounded by thirty
SOLDIERS with rifles pointed at him from all directions,
crouched nervously. The PASSENGERS all huddled on the
BILLY, eyes closed. Edge of frame shows a shaky muzzle a
REVOLVER poked into his belly, moving up.
MOVE to THE FIRST OFFICER, older, more experienced but
scared, poking with the revolver; reaches in with his hand
cautiously, starts to pull up the turtleneck sweater. MOVE
with the hand, revealing the HASHISH PLAQUES around the
navel. A pause. His HAND draws the sweater higher. More
FIRST OFFICER'S FACE relaxes. Starts to smile, finding it
It's hashish. just a smuggler.
(in chorus echo,
MASTER ANGLE SOLDIERS REGROUPING. PASSENGERS starting to
rise from the ground.
SUSAN dumbfounded watching all this from the door of the
PLANE, starts back down the ramp. But a flow of upcoming
PASSENGERS slows her descent.
BILLY is led roughly by TWO SOLDIERS parallel to the plane
his hands on his head. He manages a glance at Susan. A
slight but strong movement of the head and eyes. 'No. Don't
come down the stairs'
SUSAN understands it, looks helplessly, hesitates lost
between two worlds. A silent shaping of a puzzled mouth.
She is washed back along in the flow of passengers.
VIP ROOM AIRPORT LOUNGE. The scene moves very fast,
Indicating A sense of chaos. Much smoke. Many phone calls.
Half A dozen Turkish police OFFICERS Are bizarrely seated
In A row of fold up chairs next to A desk. Chattering among
themselves (AD LIB) lighting their Turkish cigarettes.
They hardly pay attention as:
MOVE TO BILLY, scared, sweating - backlit by the huge
windows overlooking the airstrip. In background, we see
the 707 Pan American PLANE beginning to circle towards the
runway. GUARDS have stripped him down to his bare chest
and now knife through the adhesive tape from two sides at
once. Then RIP the tape off. BILLY winces.
ANOTHER ANGLE the room. Billy's luggage Is being Tossed.
Clothes fly through the air. A sweatshirt; Marquette
University Rowing Team. A 35mm camera. A gift package for
his mother ripped open. A silver Turkish kettle, clanging
To The floor. Another package is ripped open and a set of
Turkish tea cups smash and break all over the floor. Very
BILLY watches, bewildered. He is stripped of the last plaque
in of the confusion is that each time another police officer
his navel. FOLLOW the plaque clattering onto the pile of
MOVE BACK QUICKLY to the OFFICER with notebook at the desk.
Part of the confusion is that each time we see another
police officer we see he has another face.
Vi... Vilyum... Vilyum...
(writes it down)
ANOTHER ANGLE --
The OFFICER is puzzled.
New York... New York...
(writes it down)
A LOUD SOUND OFF.
The DOOR flies open and ANOTHER OFFICER strides in.
Paunchy, moustached. The room is suddenly silent as we
TRACK him in, followed by a grinning civilian FLUNKY with
a big portable photo instrument and bulb.
THE FIRST OFFICER jumps up from the desk, makes an
obsequious salute to the SECOND OFFICER who arrogantly
acknowledges it and takes the vacated chair behind the
desk. The FIRST OFFICER moves to the first fold-up chair
in the row, pushing the police officer in that chair further
down. THIS OFFICER, in turn, shoves the next man down. It
goes all the way down the line like a comedy until the
last man in the row stands up against the wall. But this
is all in the background as:
Sharp SOUND OFF of FILM BEING RIPPED FROM CAMERA. He darts
a look at
POLICEMAN stretching the undeveloped film out. Another
loud SOUND OFF, interrupting this--
THE DOOR flies open again and a THIRD OFFICER strides in,
obviously the most important yet, because the SECOND OFFICER
jumps up from the desk, and all the others immediately
move down one seat in the hierarchy without a moment's
hesitation. But the THIRD OFFICER strides right up to Billy,
waves to the SECOND OFFICER. THE CAMERAMAN in background
bubbles with enthusiasm, sliding into position. Billy is
puzzled - what's going on? His arm is grabbed and he is
REVERSE ANGLE - OVER CAMERAMAN
BILLY in the middle, flanked by SECOND and THIRD OFFICER,
grinning like big game hunters, their arms on his shoulders.
The FIRST OFFICER, sticking a bunch of hashish plaques
into Billy's hands, runs OUT OF FRAME. BILLY looks from
side to side. The SECOND OFFICER pats him hard on the back
of the head, meaning 'look at camera'. BILLY glances at
him, sees the grin on both the officers' faces. Thinking
this is the necessary expression, he grins at the camera.
CAMERAMAN disgustedly looks up from his eyepiece.
No.. He's smiling. Make him look
SECOND OFFICER slugs BILLY in the stomach with a quick
back-handed fist. BILLY groans, sinks to his knees. The
plaques fall on the floor.
He growls, grabbing Billy's arm and hauling him up,
gathering the hashish plaques and putting them back in his
arms. The TWO OFFICERS put their arms back on Billy's
shoulders. BILLY, in pain, makes the proper expression of
FLASH! The bulb goes.
THE 707 PAN AMERICAN PLANE, destination New York, roars up
into the sky. PULL BACK all the way to BILLY sitting next
to the window, huddled over, feeling woozy and near
vomiting. He glimpses the plane but it is anti-climatic
now; as he stares down at his boots. Then remembers
ANOTHER ANGLE - ROOM. The Turkish OFFICERS talk AD LIB
among themselves, congratulating, slapping shoulders,
pointing to the hashish plaques, etc.
In center background, we see BILLY submissively lifting
his arm for permission to speak,
THIRD OFFICER nods, approaches, followed by OTHERS.
BILLY slowly, partly out of pain, pulls off one of his
boots, bangs it on the heel and two more PLAQUES clatter
to the floor.
TURKISH MOUTHS drop open.
BILLY finishes the process with the other boot. An awkward
(trying to explain,
I forgot... I really did.
ANOTHER ANGLE. The room explodes with screams and commotion.
(screaming at SECOND
You idiot, you fool. You told me
the American was searched... and
he's pulling hashish out of his
boots! You're all dogshit!
(turning on First
You worthless piece of garbage,
where did you learn to search a
prisoner? He's been in our custody
for an hour, etc.
(screaming at the
Who searched him? Who?
Amid all the screaming TWO POLICEMEN rush over and yank
BILLY upwards, and start to strip all his clothes.
That's it! That's all I have!
BILLY spread-eagled STARK NAKED against the wall. He is
afraid to move. A strange silence.
ANOTHER ANGLE. BILLY naked in center B.G. against the
wall.The OFFICERS and SOLDIERS quietly leering at his trim,
muscular buttocks. Hungry stares. Bisexuality is prevalent
in Turkey.But there is also embarrassment among the
officers; none would do anything openly in front of the
others; instead they just stare and smoke their cigarettes.
Low murmurs. Continued telephone calls. Much thick smoke
all over the room.
Another DOOR opens OFF. Obsequious GREETINGS in Turkish.
BILLY is afraid to look over his shoulder, feeling
Howdy, Billy. Howya doing, Ok?
A perfect Texas drawl. BILLY glances over his shoulder.
TEX a tall, lanky blonde-haired American in a business
suit with boots. Clean cut, very handsome, with a strong
flavour of danger in his blue eyes.
I think these gentlemen have
finished for the time being if
you'd like to put your clothes on.
ANOTHER ANGLE - BILLY, so grateful at last to see a fellow
American, reaches quietly for the clothes, his eyes never
leaving Tex. Release?
TURKISH DETECTIVE sits at the main desk in the room. Unlike
the others, he has no moustache; a skeletal face,
intelligent looking. TEX Is behind, leaning casually up
against the wall. Angled to Billy's side is the entire
array of seated OFFICERS looking on like a tribunal.
Are you afraid, Vilyum?
BILLY, standing to the side of the desk, clothed now,
buckling his belt - afraid.
No, I'm not afraid.
Good. There's nothing to be afraid
of. If you co-operate with us, you
will be on the plane for New York
Good. Now, where did you get the
A cabdriver. He picked me up in
the Pudding Shoppe in the bazaar.
Would you recognize him again?
Yes. I think so.
Good. Would you go back to the
Pudding Shoppe now and point him
out to my men if you see him?
BILLY'S EYES MOVE TO:
TEX who makes a cool affirmative nod of the eyes to Billy.
STREETS, ISTANBUL, AFTERNOON. TEX drives his American CAR;
BILLY in the passenger seat; TWO TURKISH PLAINCLOTHESMEN
in the rear seats . Various BACKGROUND SHOTS of the city.
You decided to fly at a bad time
Billy Palestinian Guerrillas all
over the place blowing up planes
(shakes his head)
Four planes in four days...but I
guess you kids don't read the
newspapers...and what with our
people kicking up a shit storm
'bout the flow of heroin from Turkey
But didn't have heroin.
Well I'm not up on all that. A
drug's a drug seems to me Billy
But it was my first time. I'm not
really a smuggler, was just two
Well, you see Billy, it don't really
matter right now if it's 2 kilos
or 200 kilos. The Turks love to
catch any foreigner smuggling - it
shows the world they're fighting
the drug trade.
I just needed some extra money. I
was broke, the guy offered me the
It sounds bad. Tex looks at him without expression.
Pause.Billy tries to sense a sympathy in this ambiguous
man, a liking towards himself. But feels nothing yet, except
someone who can speak English.
...are you with the Consulate?
(not looking at him)
Something like that. Cigarette?
ANOTHER ANGLE - BILLY nervously takes the pack and matches.
How much you pay this joker...
this cab driver?
Two hundred dollars. It was my
last two hundred.
How much did you figure to make?
BILLY fumbles to light up his cigarette. He is nervous,
grateful to volunteer any information...anything.
Three, four thousand...I don't
know. The guy offered me the hash--
(shakes his head)
...it just seemed like easy money.
I was just going to sell it to
friends. I'm not a pusher, honest.
TEX grins, sceptical of his naivete, changing the subject.
Got a family back there?
Yeah. Parents, brother, sister.
Babylon, Long Island.
What's your father do?
He sells insurance for Metropolitan
(a pause, not looking
Be tough on 'em.
BILLY nods, takes a deep drag on his cigarette.
...She was on the plane.
Tex glances at him, questioningly.
She didn't know anything about...I
wouldn't have wanted her to.
Billy leans back in seat, blowing out the cigarette smoke.
Jeez, she used to say I was the
Let's hope so, Billy. Let's sure
A narrow cobblestone STREET. TEX pulls the car to a halt.
THE PUDDING SHOPPE TWILIGHT Internationally-known cafe,
adjacent BAZAAR. Crowded, noisy. WOMEN dressed in black
hold crying CHILDREN by the hands. FOREIGNERS, mostly
students and hippies, move about laughing, joking. Hawkers,
street peddlers, vendors cooking shishkebab. small GYPSY
BOY leads a huge MUZZLED BEAR on a leash.
BILLY sits at a small outdoor TABLE alone sipping tea and
eating baclava - nervous, very nervous, still trying to
sort it all out in his head. If he doesn't find the seller,
what will happen next?
MOVE across the TABLES, past a middle-aged AMERICAN COUPLE,
to TWO TURKISH PLAINCLOTHESMEN watching him closely. They
look evident. TWO HIPPIES make a wide berth around them.
(in passing, low)
Hey Janet, why don't you go sell
'em some dope.
MOVE ON to another TABLE where TWO MORE PLAINCLOTHESMEN
sit, equally evident, watching BILLY.
TEX sits in his car, in the distance, casually glancing at
BILLY's eyes rove.
INTERIOR PUDDING SHOPPE Large. Many tables. Stairs. A back
ANOTHER GYPSY BOY leads a huge PINK PIG leashed with a
wooden sign around its neck proclaiming "Pig" in Turkish.
Various TURKS point the pig out, laughing at it, some
disgusted by it, making faces and gestures: "Go way, go
way! "Ayip!" The PIG moves past BILLY, who shifts his
POV - CABDRIVER #1 lingering at the curb. PAN to CABDRIVER
#2 PAN to CABDRIVER #3. PAN BACK to #1 and again to #2
indicating no real fix on identity.
BILLY tense now, knowing this is the chance he must take,
nods with his head, pointing at CABDRIVER #2, off.
THE PLAINCLOTHESMEN move out towards CABDRIVER #2.
BILLY tentatively rises, as if to join them, but moves
slyly towards the interior of the cafe.
PLAINCLOTHESMEN move in roughly on a surprised CABDRIVER
#2 who begins to protest LOUDLY (AD LIB).
BILLY moves through the INTERIOR of the PUDDING SHOPPE,
past the tables, past the stairs, towards the back of the
shop, at a normal.to attract attention.
A PLAINCLOTHESMAN looks around, sees he is gone. Tells the
others (AD LIB) They spread out looking, abandoning the
CABDRIVER #2 who spits and curses them (AD LIB).
BILLY, with one backward glance, now eases out the BACK
DOOR, into a bilious sunlight, onto a STREET. Pause.
A HAND with GUN moves into FRAME pointing a six-inch barrel
right at his temple. BILLY freezes, moving just his eyes
TEX looking down at him calm, merciless.
You seem like a nice enough kid to
me Billy, but try it and I'll blow
your fucking brains out.
BILLY - the sense of betrayal in his eyes.
ESTABLISH PRISON - OVERHEAD ANGLE. A large and Byzantine
structure suggesting the 15th Century Sultan's Janissary
Barracks. Irregular crescent various wings; a MOSQUE inside
the prison. The possibly a shapes to the sense of an endless
a decorative an equally in a city, labyrinth built by some
mad Arab architect to suit purpose and now, in the 20th
Century, transformed by mad Turkish bureaucracy into a
prison. It should be preferably made to look like Istanbul.
Faint background atonal Turkish CHANTING. Evening Muslim
prayer."Allah wakbah, Allah wakbah..." on and on, suggesting
to us fear rather than praise.
Dear Mom and Dad. This is the
hardest letter I've ever had to
write. know the confusion and the
pain it will cause you. And the
BILLY - his scalp being shaved off by a prison BARBER in
an un-specified ANTI-CHAMBER, His eyes are staring dead
I really thought knew what I was
doing with my life. I'd hoped
somehow to get out of this quickly
so that you'd never know about it.
But that just isn't possible now.
I don't know what's going to happen.
But what can I say to you? Will
'I'm sorry' make a difference?
Will it ease the pain, the shame
you must be feeling? Forgive
BILLY is now completely BALD, SOUND SHARP OVER:
A CELL DOOR SLIDING OPEN. BILLY steps in, bewildered.
ZIAT VOICE (OFF)
The cell is dark, almost black, an overpowering stench; a
small grey metal bunk is bolted to the floor with a lumpy
mattress. BILLY turns, looking back at the man staring at
him from the door.
ZIAT is quickly summing up Billy's character. This is his
craft.He is a prisoner and trustee. sinister man whose one
motivation in life is the accumulation of money, in the
pursuit of which he has acquired an ugly purplish SCAR
running the width of his throat, various other facial SCARS;
and one blind milky white EYE. He's stocky and strong --
about five ten, with bushy eyebrows, brown cigarette teeth,
big dirty nails, repulsively in need of a bath. What's
surprising is that he is no more than thirty years old
looks and behaves like sixty. The personification of the
denaturalization of a man. Time, body, mind - all of them
BILLY, not yet attuned to his nature, only repulsed, is
still wearing his own clothes and makes a shivering gesture,
enunciating very clearly, hoping he will understand.
Cold. Very cold. Can I get blanket?
(makes a gesture of
a blanket wrapped
ZIAT smiles, showing his stained teeth, and starts to slide
shut the cell door on its ROLLER.
Mo sell...Too late. Tomorrow...
A cobra smile flashes, as the cell door bangs shut.
(through the bars)
You be here tomorrow. "Ayi
BILLY walks around the cell, hugging himself for warmth.
BILLY stops, goes to the edge of the cell.
A BONY BARE ARM motions from the bars of the cell next to
his. We never see the face but hear a thick ITALIAN ACCENT,
hoarse and cracked.
Your cell, no key. Open...!
Blanket. Three cell down. You get
me one. Take...
Extends a stick with a big nail pounded into the end,
twisted over to form a hook.
BILLY takes it. Hesitates.
Ziat go for night. Go!
BILLY cautiously slides the cell door open, amazed that
it's been left open. Nothing makes any sense to him in
ANOTHER ANGLE - BILLY steps out into a WALKWAY. A bare
bulb overhead casts light. He glides past the three cells,
seemingly empty. Finds the cell with blankets, sheets,
towels and various supplies stacked inside. But it's
locked. He slips the stick in between the bars and
stretching, hooks the first blanket.
BILLY asleep with the blankets pulled up to his chin.
Suddenly DIRTY HANDS reach into frame and rip the blanket
off. WIDEN TO:
(tugging the sheet,
Then SLAPS at BILLY. BILLY ducks away. Encouraged, ZIAT
steps up closer to him, sticks his fingers in his chest
You, goddamn you, give me sheet.
And feints as if to hit BILLY again. BILLY reacts to defend
himself, pushing ZIAT off and jumping out of the bunk.
ZIAT, Enraged by the shove, comes back at BILLY, screaming,
arms flailing like a bear to pummel him, but BILLY, not
understanding the Turkish bluster in his mannerisms, meets
him with a sharp right FIST into the front of his face.
ZIAT staggers back, startled into silence; he has misjudged
BILLY waits, ready for the fight in the defensive position.
The guy is bigger than himself. ZIAT, however, now feels
the blood from his mouth and nose and freaks out, running
out of the cell SCREAMING at the top of his lungs as if
BILLY is blindfolded, stumbling down stone steps pushed by
a GUARD, into a dungeon-like basement room. THE PUNISHMENT
THE GUARD removes the blindfold. BILLY, adjusting to the
light, stares around. The cell is spartan, with a series
of pulleys and primitive bondage devices hanging from the
cobwebbed ceiling.A DOOR opens and:
HAMIDOU STEPS in, lowering his head to get through the
door.Chief of the guards. A clean uniform. Four stripes.
The only guard to carry a holstered gun. very frightening
man. He is about six two, two forty, and muscular, and
moves lightly like a fighter on his feet. His skull is
bullet-shaped and completely shaven like Billy's, Enhancing
this effect, he has no eyebrows, and his pale blue eyes
(suggesting a trace of Indo-European stock in his ancestry)
are set deep in his skull somewhat like turtle eyes, giving
nothing away. His nose is a beak of skin his neck broad,
his mouth a small crescent that moves as lightly as his
feet between anger and amusement. He approaches BILLY,
looks into his eyes, drawing out the moment for himself,
enjoying the tension and the fear he instils in others.
BILLY meets his eyes respectfully, then realizing this is
perhaps not the thing do to, looks away. But, fascinated
by the man's features beyond his self-control, he looks
HAMIDOU, amused by eye actions, smiles thinly. The sort of
smile that could imply friendship such is its hint of charm.
(to one of the guards)
(checking a clipboard)
(looking at BILLY,
And slowly his hand moves up to caress the edge of his
hairless upper lip. An erotic gesture in Turkey.
"Its in my memory locked." He slowly extends his right
arm stiff out to his side.
BILLY watches, fascinated.
HAMIDOU lets the arm linger; then:
SMASHES BILLY across the face with an open palm. BILLY
shoots back: and smashes against the wall just from the
force of one blow. Stunned.
HAMIDOU advances, taking a wooden CLUB (FALUKA STICK) about
feet three long and three inches wide from a GUARD.
BILLY scared, emphasizing the words, trying to make himself
It was cold. Cold! I get blanket.
BILLY'S LEG BUCKLES, where the faluka stick has just smashed
him behind the kneecap. He SCREAMS going down.
BILLY looks up from the floor:
HAMIDOU with his club in hand.
(In some sort of
No do. No do.
Raises the club.
BILLY tries to block it with his hand, and the CLUB smashes
his thumb. SCREAM.
BILLY is hoisted upside-down in his UNDERPANTS ONLY with
thick rope tied about his ankles, the legs spread - onto a
PULLEY suspended from the ceiling. He is yanked upwards,
then lowered slightly, his head and backs of shoulders
banging against the stone floor.
THE PULLEY is LOCKED into place. (LOUD SOUND)
BILLY has this surprised look on his face still, through
the tears. What's happening?
Hamidou motions the GUARDS out of the room (AD LIB). Turns
back to BILLY, raises his club.
BRINGS IT DOWN FORCE on the soles of BILLY'S BARE FEET.
SCREAM. He cocks the club again.
BILLY twists To avoid The blow
CLUB catches him On The ANKLEBONE
BILLY SCREAMs louder than ever as we hear The SOUND of
wood On bone. Whimpering SOUNDS follow.
BILLY looking through teary eyes, sure now that he is going
to be killed. The CLUB - OFF - smacks sole skin with the
same force as the first blow. No let up.
BILLY still in the same position, vomits all over himself.
HAMIDOU SPINS the PULLEY to a new position bringing:
BILLY into a steeper, more vertical position. He is on
the verge of fainting, bleary-eyed, looking as:
HAMIDOU moves around in between his legs. Doing something
indistinct with the stick between his legs, then dropping
the stick. Then, with this bizarrely excited expression on
his hairless face, he begins to undo his own pants. But,
for Billy, it all BLURS OUT TO:
JAPANESE SILK SCREEN depicting a fat jovial Buddhist monk,
fishing placidly by a stream. Then moves to soap carvings
of chess pieces Then a bed-sheet hung as a curtain with
astrological symbols paint; on it. SOUND OFF, of a blaring
radio. Atonal TURKISH MUSIC.
Hey man, he's gotta walk, or his
feet gonna swell up worse.
We take him down to courtyard...
Then: ERICH - a gentle long bird's face. Long whitish-blond-
hair, Swedish, well above six feet, 25.
Another FACE moves into view JIMMY BELL, American, 23 fiery
eyes, black hair and moustache, intense, strong.
Smoke this rocket, it'll cool the
ANOTHER ANGLE - BELL puts a huge cone-shaped JOINT with
aluminium foil filter into BILLY'S LIPS. He hardly knows
what it is, Puffing weakly. Though dehydrated and his face
white without color, he has no facial markings.
You gotta walk around some man, or
your feet gonna swell up something
BILLY looks down at
HIS FEET Bloated black and blue with inflamed red points
in various spots. A vicious bruise on his anklebone. ERICH
is running a cold rag from a basin of water over them, his
You've been out for days man,
talking all kinds of shit. Come
on, we'll walk you down to the
BELL eases BILLY up from the bed, as ERICH puts a pair of
clip-clops on his feet.
BILLY nods. They rise together, bracing his shoulder.
BILLY adjusting to the sensation of standing.
How's it feel?
About as good as it looks.
Olsun - "May it pass quickly." I'm
Bell, Jimmy Bell. This is Erich
I'm Billy Hayes... At least I used
A DORMITORY TYPE ROOM with 24 bunk beds set head to head
in horizontal fashion, cramped and with minimal privacy. A
narrow WALKWAY leading towards a TOILET AREA and STAIRCASE.
Looks like a cheap hotel.
Yeah... Only the room service is
lousy. Come on, let me show you
the tennis courts.
Helps him with ERICH to take the first steps.
THE COURTYARD. The THREE of them emerge in a thin AFTERNOON
sun, Billy now disengaging and hobbling on his own power.
Feeling all right?
Yeah. That guy who beat me?
I feel stoned.
(vague, going on)
...He had a bald skull and...
Hamidou. Chief of the Guards.
Don't fuck with him. He almost
killed an Italian dude couple months
ago. Bad news. He try anything
BILLY glances at him, understanding. Pause.
No... I don't remember.
Glances at ERICH.
With these fucking Turks, soon as
the light goes out... I keep one
hand on their feet and their feet
better not grow. You'll meet Max.
He got raped something bad down in
Section 13. That's the pits.
VARIOUS ANGLES The yard is 30 by 50 paces with a wall 20
feet high. Cigarette butts, orange peels crumpled news-
papers, rocks, sticks, broken glass litter the place. No
guards are on the walls; the only GUARDS are unarmed
inanimate lumps of boredom who look as helpless as the
prisoners with whom they intermingle; they have raggedy
olive green uniforms and worn boots (they make $1 a month,
augmented by bribes). On one side of the yard is a 2-story
ROGUS (cellblock) with barred windows from which Billy and
his two companions have just emerged. On the other side
of the yard is another 2-story KOGUS (the children's kogus).
The COURTYARD is colorful, almost like a bazaar, about 8O
people in it - groups of exotically dressed AFRICANS,
AFGHANS, ARABS, MALAYSIANS, EUROPEANS, and predominantly
TURKS pacing back and forth talking in little circles,
hawking wares, trading illegal currencies.
Screaming Turkish STREET URCHINS 10-14 years old, share
the space playing soccer and volleyball with a surprising
viciousness, continually hitting each other and cursing. A
bunch of them vehemently lay bets on the soccer game.
Other aspects of the prison which should become evident:
1) NOISE - continuous, Loud. Radios, Turkish music,
screaming, shouting. 2) CATS - all kinds, some of them
pets, some stray, tolerated because they kill the rats. 3)
THE PRISONERS all wear their own clothing; the foreigners
preferring jeans, clip-clops, sneakers, Sweat suits. 4)
THE HEADS of only the new prisoners are shaved, then allowed
to grow back. 5) MANY PRISONERS have physical disabilities.
Carbuncles on the back from wet mattresses. Boils on the
lymph glands around the neck, buttocks, under-arms,
sometimes SO painful the victim walks with his arms up in
the air. Arthritic in the knees, hips, ankles. Fungus on
the feet. Many limp.
ANOTHER ANGLE - THE PRISONERS glance at BILLY as he walks,
noting the beating he has taken and sizing him up, then
going on with their business.
The kids? Why are they...
Little fuckers are thieves, rapists,
pickpockets, murderers, you name
it - they do it. Don't trust any
BELL's eyes follow a knot of KIDS to:
ZIAT has a window open on the FIRST FLOOR KOGUS and is
selling little cups of tea to the kids from inside where
he works a GAS STOVE. The kids push and punch each other
to get the tea faster.
...They tell Ziat everything. He's
the squeal round here. Goes all
over the prison. Sells watered-
down tea, blankets, hash, black
money, nembutols --anything for a
ZIAT leaves the stove in the hands of an ASSISTANT and
moves down the window to a particularly gaudy AFGHANI a
fierce hawk-faced old man with a chunk of his ear missing.
He wears a colorful flowing robe, various scarves, turban,
trinkets, rings, baggy pants, and pointed curved shoes,
and makes emphatic violent gestures at ZIAT with his
mutilated THREE FINGERS. ZIAT Seems to speak something of
his language and bargains back.
He was an informer on the outside
but he tried to screw the cops out
of 60 kilos of opium. Watch him,
he's a fox.
BILLY says nothing to them about the Ziat incident, sizing
him up for himself.
THE AFGHANI having concluded the deal with ZIAT reaches
deep into his layers of clothing around his crotch and
pulls out several scrofulous $10 bills which discreetly
takes in exchange for a thick wad of Turkish currency, his
eyes moving around, stopping on BILLY. A hooded look.
Whatcha' in for, smuggling? Rash?
BILLY turning his eyes away from ZIAT
(shaking his head)
History, man, history. How much?
The airport. Trying to get on the
plane for the States.
(whistling a kind
Could be ten or fifteen. Maybe
Twenty fucking YEARS, man - YEARS!
I figger ten at the least.
Yeah, what do you think this is,
the good USA? This is Turkey, man...
It's a fucking accident here if
you're innocent. And anyway...
...ain't nobody who's innocent.
ANOTHER ANGLE - all the color and breath seems to have
gone from BILLY.
(his English is
halting but has a
Don't pay too much attention,
anything is possible in Turkey.
You might get bail.
BELL snorts, amused, kicking the SOCCER BALL away hard as
it dribbles towards them.
...If you make bail, you're free.
You can get a fake passport or
sneak across the border to Greece.
The Greeks hate the Turks so much
they never send you back. The Turks
know it. They just keep the bail.
Sure, keep dreaming and see where
that gets you... like Max, up in
the head, you know...
(makes a crazy signal
towards the head)
You gonna eat a lot more fasoulia
beans, Billy baby, 'fore you taste
a hamburger 'gain cause you broke
the law man, and you got caught...
And that... is history.
The law is sometimes wrong.
The Law is never wrong, asshole.
The Law is!
And stalks away, disgusted. A deep anger inside him. ERICH
looks at BILLY who is quiet; by way of apology.
New people sometimes get on his
What did he do?
He was caught steeling from a
Mosque. That's heavy here. He
got 30 years.
Jimmy has more balls than brains.
He didn't tell his parents he was
in jail for a year and a half. He
says he got himself in and now
he's going to get himself out.
He shakes his head, looking at:
BELL him across the courtyard huddling with a cigarette,
bartering angrily. a raggedy GUARD giving him a cigarette,
BILLY and ERICH.
Hashish. Ninety percent of the
foreigners are in for hashish.
What they give you?
How much did you have?
A hundred grams.
It's not fair!
Even ERICH has to smile now.
There is no fair in Turkey, Billy.
It's all "sula-bula" like this,
like that. An Italian hippie had a
car accident and a Turk was killed.
SO, they threw him in here for six
That doesn't seem so bad.
But he was eating lunch a mile
away when the Turk smashed into
He wasn't even in the car?
(shakes his head)
ASLAN - a young big fat heavily moustached Turk, wearing a
black silk double-breasted business suit, grotesque cuff-
links, heavily pomaded hair, is huddling in a section of
the YARD with FIVE other grinning GANGSTER TYPES, all in
Killed a guy. But his father's a
big gangster on the docks. A
"Kapidiye." He'll stay in... twelve
months no more, and get parole. In
Turkey, murder is manly - "erkek".
ERICH Glances back at BILLY
You just got to get yourself a
good lawyer. And some money...
Talk to Max. He's been in the
MAX - "Eskilet" (skeleton). British, tall, straggly long
hair with wire spectacles set crookedly over his nose. An
earing in one ear. The far away eyes of an international
junkie, preoccupied and uninterested in small talk. Tough
in his skinny way, like apiece of old dried leather.
He occupies with his YOUNG STRIPED CAT a bunk in the far
corner of the SECOND FLOOR KOGUS - in the process of
shooting himself up with "Gastro" a smelly brown liquid
stomach medicine. No one is in the vicinity except
ERICH and BILLY who watches repelled as MAX fumbles with a
piece of twine tied around his arm in a tourniquet,
searching for an unused spot amid dirty infected track
marks. PLUNGES the needle in, pumping in the black gunk.
Glances at BILLY.
Gastro. Stomach medicine. Has
codeine in it... Best can do
Pulls out the needle, loosens the tourniquet. His eyes
take on a far away stare.
Yeah... there's no straight lawyers
in Turkey... They're all bent bent
Gives a spoon with a taste of the black residue to:
HIS CAT who is full of spunk, and tries to catch Max's
He looks at BILLY, not remembering him.
MAX is beginning to go. He sits on his bunk.
Who got the Frenchman out?
Oh Yesil... Yesil's his name but
I...don't know anything...
ANOTHER ANGLE - MAX'S head begins to bob back and
forth.Focuses on BILLY.
Best way is get your ass out...
any... way... you can...
What do you mean?
Get the... midnight... express.
MAX smiles from faraway like a Cheshire cat and his head
drops forward onto his knees, nodding off.
HAMIDOU, swinging his falaka stick rhythmically against
his leg and that calm killer look on his face, leads an
uneasy BILLY down a MAIN WALKWAY with a roof overhead; we
gather that the prison contains several separate wings.
ADMINISTRATIVE BUILDING - HAMIDOU glances back at BILLY,
indicates with his stick "come here" and opens an office
BILLY, still bewildered, his bruised feet almost back to
normal, limps in warily eyeing HAMIDOU who follows.
NECDIT YESIL, the lawyer, fleshy, grinning, thin black
hair heavily greased, sits at a conference table. Standing
adjacent is STANLEY DAVIS, the U.S. Consul - eyeglasses,
striped tie, neat summer suit with stripes, trimmed hair,
ivy league look, his eyes moving from Billy to:
OLDER MAN, late 50's white hair, blue-eyed New York
Irishman.A suburban insurance agent, rumpled suit, an
anxious look on his face. Moving towards BILLY fast:
FATHER AND SON embrace; the father's left hand grabbing
Billy's arm tightly as if never to let go.
HAMIDOU looks on, intrigued by the Father and Son; leaves
silently, closing the door.
FATHER looks into his son's eyes, his own eyes moistening.
He looks tired, pain all over his face.
BILLY looks down.
...Don't worry about it.
(managing a smile)
I can punch you in the nose later.
Right now we've got to get you out
of here. You all right?
Yeah. How's Mom?
Bad. She couldn't make the trip.
You know Her boy...
Susan told us before we got your
letter. She's fine; she's trying
to get the money to come back and
see you, but...
No, don't let her! I'll... How
about Peg? Robbie?
Same. None of the neighbors know.
We told them you were in a hospital
in Europe. Oh... this is Stanley
Davis. He's the American Consul
here... And Necdit Yesil, the lawyer
The professional smile from the Consul, but in the handshake
and the eye contact, BILLY is cool. The unanswered question:
Where were you before my father arrived?
I want you to know we're going to
do everything, in our power to get
you out as soon as possible. Believe
YESIL moves forward. unctuous. bubbling with high spirits,
profusely shaking BILLY's hand, exuding confidence in
Vilyum, I am Necdit Yesil.
I know exactly what you feel but
you must not worry, we are acting
immediately, we get the right court,
the right judge, I arrange
everything - just right. And I
think we get you bail. If very
bad, maybe twenty month sentence...
But I think we get you bail...
Pause, BILLY looks at him wondering how to take him in.
You know I have lectured at the
University of Maryland in your
country? Also University Michigan
Very nice country. We both go back.
If I get bail, Mister Yesil, they
say it's easy to cross the border
(pacing up, hungry)
Right! That's what we're shooting
for. Mister Davis and have been
in contact with the State
Department, but right now relations
with the Turks aren't too good,
Nixon's upset the hell out of them.
Our best bet's... right here.
(pauses, glances at
Davis and Yesil,
I'll pay you back for all this, I
Don't worry about it. Right now
money doesn't count. Okay?
A pause. YESIL Shifts, Throats are cleared. BILLY moves to
sit down, limping faintly; he is wearing sneakers and the
bruises don't show.
Where'd you get that limp?
(not wanting to
Nothing. Just twisted my ankle.
Sits down at the conference TABLE.
Where you staying, Dad?
(pulls up a seat
next to Billy)
How do you like it? Istanbul?
Well, it's an interesting place...
(lowers his voice,
a hint of a smile)
Tell you the truth, I think the
food is lousy. The crap they sell
in these little restaurants. I
went out to eat in one of them
last night, and I had to run to
the damn toilet... You shoulda'
seen the toilet.
You mean you got toilets?
FATHER is happy to see his son laugh.
Yeah, with real toilet paper - and
you don't have to use both sides.
BILLY laughs again.
So now I'm eating at the Hilton
BILLY smiles. A pause. A worried look returns to the
Why'd you do it, Billy?
For the money...
I know you kids smoke that stuff,
and we drink booze, but taking it
across a border - it was stupid,
Glances at DAVIS, YESIL back to his father, his voice
beginning to tremble, ashamed of himself for letting it
Dad get me out of here.
ANOTHER ANGLE. The FATHER understands the desperation in
his voice, puts his hand on his son's.
FATHER I promise you, Billy. Just sit tight and don't..
DON'T do anything stupid. Let me work with Mr. Yesil and
Mr. Davis. We'll get you out... Okay? Billy, okay?
All the assurance of the world is written in this kindly
BILLY feels it.
BILLY being led by TWO GUARDS down a huge arched CORRIDOR
in the COURTROOM BUILDING.
PROSECUTOR VOICE (OVER)
THE world is now looking at Turkey.
We are called the Heroin Supplier
of the world. Stories about us
are in newspapers and on television
every day all around the world.
The time has come, your Honor, to
alter this image before we find
ourselves isolated and morally
ostracized by the rest of the human
THE COURTROOM - monolithic, frightening, immense with cross-
currents of greenish light from the enormous windows.
People seem insignificant.
THE PROSECUTOR, wearing dark green glasses, continues,
scowling, gesturing profusely at:
BILLY in the PRISONERS DOCK, baroque design, isolated.
Doesn't understand a thing, Erich's extra-large blue pin-
striped suit makes him look rather absurd.
HIS FATHER, CONSUL DAVIS, YESIL and ANOTHER LAWYER are
seated together at the defence table conferring in low
tones with each other. YESIL looks over at BILLY with a
big reassuring grin, nods his head - nothing to worry about.
TURKISH GIRL from the Press with a yellow legal pad, makes
notes in the Spectator Gallery. Her legs flare out from a
BILLY pries his eyes away to:
PROSECUTOR continuing in front of the THREE JUDGES high on
an Alice in Wonderland podium wearing long black robes
with scarlet collars. One of the Judges is bald, the other
has his eyes closed, could be asleep. The CHIEF JUDGE in
the middle has a sagging somewhat kindly face and short
grey hair. A YOUNG MAN below the podium, is clacking at
an ancient typewriter on a small table.
PROSECUTOR VOICE (OVER)
...We must alter this image by
punishing only our own drug
smugglers-but by handing out
foreigners who infest our culture
with their depravity ungodly and
behavior. We must start now - by
sentencing this American, Vilyum
Hi-yes, to the maximum sentence
for smuggling, to be held up to
the light of the world as an example
of Turkish justice and its intention
to halt the drug trade once and
for all.. .I ask the Court therefore
to sentence Vilyum Hi-yes to Life
He sits, staring malignantly at BILLY.
THE JUDGES rise.
Thank you, Prosecutor. The Court
will now recess to consider its
The JUDGES exit.
ANOTHER ANGLE, General commotion in the courtroom as people
move about. The FATHER and DAVIS and the OTHER LAWYER
consult among themselves, the FATHER vigorously nodding
his head. YESIL approaches BILLY.
BILLY leans forward anxiously in the dock.
What'd the Prosecutor say?
It's not important, just technical
things. We make our case. You
were very good, you spoke well.
The Judge like you. It look good.
Did you ask for bail?
But YESIL is called over by the other LAWYER and hurries
off. A SOLDIER comes over and sits BILLY down.
THE CHIEF JUDGE puts on his glasses, stands to read the
YESIL, standing with the OTHERS, motions BILLY to rise.
BILLY rises, tense.
FATHER looks over at him, manages a reassuring smile.
JUDGE continuing, after preliminaries:
The Defendant has been found guilty
by the Court of the illegal
possession of Hashish...
PROSECUTOR, his expression souring, makes a gesture of
defeat. We wanted a conviction for smuggling, not
BILLY, not understanding sees the Prosecutor's gesture,
and a hint of hope crosses his expression.
JUDGE puts the paper away, looks at BILLY directly.
...Therefore. this court sentences
you, Vilyum Hi-yes to be imprisoned
at Sagamilcar Prison for a term of
four years and two months. This
Case is now closed.
BILLY looking at the JUDGE doesn't understand. Thinks he
might be free. But suddenly TWO SOLDIERS move in, and
start chaining his hands together. He is bewildered, looking
YESIL hastily conferring with Billy's FATHER, more concerned
about making a good impression with him than with Billy.
Four years, two months. It's good.
We appeal it.
BILLY watching this, a lost look.
FATHER is too shocked to do anything but look at YESIL who
You will see, he will have maybe
one year taken off this sentence
for good behaviour. Remember, it
is only for possession; the
prosecutor wanted life sentence
To be honest Mr. Hayes, it is a
BILLY is forcibly removed from the DOCK - in chains.
THE FATHER, in the same CONFERENCE ROOM,
...With good time Billy it works
out to about 3 years... then there's
the appeal. Yesil, Davis, they're
all working for you We're going to
try to make a deal to get you
transferred to a Stateside prison.
And Davis thinks there might be a
political amnesty any month...
Stops. Knows it sounds bad.
BILLY looks down.
Look - I know it sounds tough,
Billy, but we're gonna get you
FATHER grips BILLY by the arm hard.
...I promise you, but I don't want
you to get stupid again. Pull
anything. They can play with your
BILLY nods, acquiescent.
(his voice starting
I'm putting $500 in the bank for
you. Anything you need you write...
BILLY nods. His FATHER points to a stack of ITEMS on the
conference table, picks up a cigarette carton.
There's food, candy, writing paper,
(his eyes start to
...cigarettes, soap, tooth-brush,
down the cigarette
I been writing insurance policies
on people for thirty goddamn
(laughs and cries
at the same time)
And now I gotta see my own
son...Jesus! Jesus! If I could be
where you are Billy, I'd be there...
Goddamn Jesus! These bastards.
HUGS HIS SON BILLY is on the verge of tears.
HAMIDOU enters the room. A morbid curiosity in his
expression about this show of grief. Watches a few moments,
then indicating the visit is over, he taps his falaka stick
lightly a few times on the hollow door. THWACK! THWACK!
FATHER breaks the embrace with BILLY, tears streaking his
cheeks. Silently indicates for him to "Go, go Fast."
BILLY goes, past HAMIDOU
FATHER shaking his finger at HAMIDOU
You take good care of my boy, you
hear, or I'll have your fucking
head, you Turkish bastard!
It sputters out of his mouth, senseless to:
HAMIDOU who closes the door. He has an angry glint in his
BILLY lies on his bunk at night deeply depressed, paler.
Candlelight flutters softly against the stone walls. A
PHOTO of SUSAN taken outdoors with a mountain range in the
background, is on his wall with various SOAP CARVINGS of
little chess piece she has designed.
In the distance, very faintly coming upwards into our sound
consciousness we hear a TRAIN WHISTLING in the night, on
an old railroad track bypassing the prison walls. Two
whistles. Chugging. Then passing off. The Midnight Express.
Dear Susan. 1970 has now passed
into 1971. You can drift in here
and never know you're gone. You
can fade so far out and you don't
know where you are anymore or where
anything else is...
The CAMERA DRIFTS around the SECOND STORY KOGUS revealing
the sleepers: ERICH, BELL, MAX...
I find loneliness is a physical
pain which hurts all over; you
can't isolate it in one part of
your body. I so much need your
softness, your strength. I have
your letters. They charge me, give
me courage.News about amnesty and
getting out - tangled,
The CAMERA LINGERS on ZIAT in a far corner of the Kogus,
top bunk, against a wall. Never secure, he shuffles in
...I feel myself drifting more
heavily into smoking hashish. The
haze helps the time pass. Also I
do soap carvings. Erich taught
me. And I have been learning Turkish
because it helps me to deal with
the guards and the prisoners. I'm
trying hard to maintain some sort
of schedule to my life, but
sometimes it seems like I'm just
trying in order to try...
ZIAT is evidently awake he pulls his RADIO over into the
bed, and peering around to make sure no one is watching,
here moves the screws from the back of it, pulls off the
cover and puts in a sheaf of large denomination GERMAN
MARKS: inside we briefly glimpse a wad of different-colored
CURRENCIES stacked with rubber bands.
COURTYARD. Volleyball game in progress. ERICH is tall and
plays with dexterous grace. BILLY is fast, agile. BELL is
muscular, intense, his hits power-packed.
... In the daytimes we sometimes
play volleyball against the big
THE THREE they play against are hilarious looking in this
context, moving like big clumsy bears, waving their arms
and screaming at each other, disorganized. Ever conscious
of fashion, they have their jackets and vests off but play
in their Elvis Presley shirts rolled up at the sleeves,
shiny slacks, black pointed pumps. The boys wear shorts
and sneakers. On the sidelines we see a group of PRISONERS
laying bets and shouting encouragement.
BILLY leaps up for a ball close to the net and as the
TURKISH OPPONENT backs off, he dinks the ball in just over
the net; the Turk SCREAMS his teammates scream at him.
BELL goes up for another ball close to the net and really
SMASHES it with all his might, and:
BALL bangs right into the eye of a TURK who flails his
arms and SCREAMS with pain, very theatrical.
THE SAME TURK now swaggers around the COURTYARD, wearing
sunglasses so no one will see his black eye.
...To the Turks all foreigners are
"ayip" - unclean, dirty. We don't
shave our under-arms or around our
BELL across the pointyard grins at him and points him out
to BILLY, and ERICH.
Even the yoga I sometimes do is
"ayip" - too suggestive...
THE TURK scowls back at BELL, huddles menacingly with
And you're never supposed to eat
with your left hand. You know why?
Because that's what they use to
wipe their asses with instead of
toilet paper. And yet they hate
pigs. There are no pigs in Turkey.
They're considered dirty...
BELL, smirking at the Turk, turns and walks away.
So is homosexuality. That's a big
crime here but most of them do it
every chance they get. There are
about a thousand things that are
"ayip". But they're really so
hypocritical, like children breaking
the rules. For instance...
Suddenly a CRY OFF and:
THE TURK runs up, pulling a sharp SHIV from his pants, and
using the cloth as a handle he repeatedly STABS BELL in
the ass and backs of his thighs. One, two, three, four,
five QUICK STABS, like a cook hammering veal. In spite of
its violence, the action seems like slapstick.
BELL tumbles to the ground, crying out.
THE TURK stashes the shiv and disappears among his FRIENDS,
his honor restored.
BILLY and ERICH run over to help BELL who is obviously
more in pain than in danger.
...You can stab or shoot some body
the but not above the waist because
that's intent to kill. So everybody
runs around stabbing everyone else
in the ass. That's what they call
'Turkish revenge'. There's also a
lot of "Baksheesh" that's a favorite
Turkish word for bribery...
LONG SHOT - HAMIDOU and ASLAN the young fat Turkish gangster
pointed out previously by Erich, are taking tea together
in the FIRST STORY KOGUS alone except for ZIATR and
Hamidou's two FAT SONS, 7 and 8 years old, both dressed in
little suits listening politely as Hamidou gestures to
them, in couched terms. The voices are distant and, after
a few beats, UNDER BILLY'S VOICE:
Unfortunately my youngest son Arief
is having problems with his teeth;
he needs braces, but dentists are
so expensive these days
(patting Arief on
Poor kid... You know I have a
friend, a very good friend; he's a
dentist; maybe he could get you
some braces at a... reasonable
his hands, shaking
Oh, no...it's out of the
question...wouldn't want to ask
Yes. Please! As a favour... I insist
They go on, each protesting.
Hamidou hints that he needs new
braces for one of his sons. Aslan
of course has a friend who's a
dentist. They bullshit for half
an hour and Hamidou finally accepts
the "Baksheesh" in return...
A BURLAP BAG comes flying over the WALL of the COURTYARD
late at NIGHT. Then another comes over, lands in the yard.
one is around.
Dope and all kinds of shipments
get delivered to Aslan, who re-
sells it through his runners. People
like Ziat. But one night, it
A THIRD BAG comes over, gets caught on a hooknail and rips
right open. HUNDREDS of yellow PILLS spill out.
COURTYARD. The SUN is just coming up in the East. PRAYER
can be heard in the distance. Thousands of bombers are
scattered all over the courtyard.
There were thousands of yellow
nembutols. Aslan as usual had the
privilege of going into the
courtyard before anybody else to
pick up his stuff but...
ASLAN arguing vehemently with a GUARD, in his ragged
uniform, who won't open the cell of the FIRST FLOOR KOGUS
into the courtyard.
...it happened to be a new guard
that day and he didn't understand
No. It's too early.
Open the fucking Gate, you asshole!
Do you know who I am? You want to
get in trouble!
Hey, I your mother! Get back to
ASLAN, red in the face, steps back, suddenly pulling out a
little REVOLVER. He promptly shoots the GUARD in both legs
and stalks back towards his bunk.
PRISONERS rushing out into the COURTYARD, scrambling for
the windfall of free nembutols.
THE PRISON DIRECTOR, A balding unimpressive looking man in
a western suit, is calling up the circular stone STAIRS to
the second story Kogus from the first story. With him are
several GUARDS, equally reluctant to move forward. Hamidou
Aslan...be reasonable. Come down
(from second story)
You come up here and talk!
Aslan... if you give up the gun,
you can keep the bullets
A week later Aslan had a new gun...
A PHOTOGRAPHER, seedy looking, readies a big old fashioned
box of a CAMERA. He snaps the shutter on:
...I know all this must sound crazy
to you, but this place is crazy...
ASLAN and a group of FELLOW GANGSTERS, all impeccably
dressed and grinning for camera, fresh from their victory.
BILLY, ERICH, MAX, form their own group; in contrast to
the Turks, none of them are smiling, MAX has his YOUNG CAT
in hand. The PHOTOGRAPHER is lining up his shot, posing
them like actors.
Everything is "sula-bula" which
means "like this, like that" - you
never know what will happen. One
day one of the new kids was raped
in the children's kogus, so they
picked out six of the worst kids...
COURTYARD. GUARDS pull out SIX KIDS by the ears from a
CLOSE KID being pinned onto his back on the floor in
CHILDREN'S KOGUS: then he is bent over double by a wooden
bench; and TWO GUARDS sit on each end of the bench, holding
him down. A silence,
HAMIDOU appears in a hat and mohair suit with narrow lapels,
accompanied by his two little fat SONS, also in their Sunday
best. With a ceremonious solemnity, HAMIDOU takes off his
jacket, hat, vest, hands them to his sons.
BILLY watches through the WINDOW with OTHER PRISONERS.
HAMIDOU is passed a falaka stick. He raises it high in
the air and begins to whack at the buttocks, legs, and
feet of the SCREAMING KID.
ANOTHER ANGLE - On this cue, the five GUARDS on the other
benches begin whacking away; the KIDS squirm, scream,
struggle but the GUARDS sitting on the of the benches brace
their legs farther apart to keep their balance, In immediate
background, the other KIDS watch, scared.
THE TWO SONS with wide-eyed but passive expressions, stare
at their father at work.
HAMIDOU beating his VICTIM, screams out:
BILLY WATCHES AS:
HAMIDOU is handed back his vest, jacket and hat by his
SONS: Puts them on ever so neatly and leads them off as if
on a Sunday stroll leaving the CRYING behind. On their
backs, we hear, placidly:
You see Mamur, Mamet - what happens
when you're not a good boy.
Then there's Ziat. The more I
know of him...
TEN DOLLAR BILL exchanging HANDS. The dirty nails of ZIAT
clutch the bill, waving it to the candlelight to see if it
is authentic his milky white EYE across the BILL. He is
next to his bunk at night.
...the more hate him.
MAX and BILLY are next to him, MAX eagerly gouging with
his knife into a small bar of SOAP:
PULLS out a ball of HASHISH inside, neatly concealed. Brings
it up to his NOSE, sniffing.
ANOTHER ANGLE - BILLY is watching with glazed eyes - stoned.
Approving of the $10, tucks it into his belly cloth looking
over and scowling at:
MAX'S YOUNG CAT on his bunk scratching playfully at one of
his wool sweaters.
ANOTHER ANGLE MAX holding the ball of hash:
Ten dollars for this shit? You
greedy one-eyed git.
NO! Is good!
(gets his English
Me good shit.
(Meaning my shit is
No! You big shit!
ZIAT thinking MAX is correcting his English, nods and
Yeah! Efe big shit.
BILLY and MAX snigger and ZIAT realizes they are making
fun of him. He hates that and suddenly reaches over and:
SHAKES THE CAT hard off his bunk. A SQUEAL from the cat.
MAX surprised, glares at Ziat.
Then hurries after it, calling its name...
Hikmet come here boy. Hikmet
ZIAT shrugs. So what?
What is it with you man, what the
hell is it?
Cat, ah! Ayip!
(glares at him,
then lets it go)
Look, you don't fuck with me, I
don't fuck with you, right?
But you fuck with me. You fuck
with me all the time. You make
crummy tea. You rip us off on the
I make special tea for you, Hiyes,
okay? We've to live like brothers.
We have to be in here together.
(tired of it)
Oh shove it, Ziat for all the money
you have, you have nothing!
ZIAT grins, shrugs, squats and fiddles with his keys and
You 'Merican. You don't know.
BILLY watches, repulsed and fascinated.
(makes gesture with
...seven years old. I was on street
in Suk. Buy. Sell. No family to
take care. I learn.
ZIAT shrugs. He thinks BILLY is an idiot.
Dog eat dog, Hi-yes. You fuck other
man before he fuck you.
And you must fuck last.
That's a great philosophy.
(shakes his head)
You 'Merican. You don't know.
MAX has followed his cat down to the end of the floor but
it has run up into a rafter which he cannot reach. He calls
Here Hikmet! Come down here boy!
Max gives up.
He shuffles off back to his bunk.
THE CAT is back on ZIAT'S BUNK - NIGHT scratching with his
paw around the radio. of the neck, hard. Suddenly he is
GRABBED by the scruff of the neck, hard.
BILLY jerks up from his bunk as he the hears a loud,
piercing SCREECH, OFF, echoing through the Kogus. Then
ZIAT, industrious as always, is preparing his tea on the
three burners of the small bottled gas' stove in THE
KITCHEN, FIRST FLOOR Kogus; needless to say the area is
filthy with scraps all over the floor, cats and two large
wooden eating tables occupied by some PRISONERS. The Kitchen
opens up in background into a WASHING ROOM with SINK. It
is EARLY MORNING - Muslim CHANTING OFF,
THREE TURKISH PRISONERS walk in, talking (AD LIB), followed
by MAX stoned, who shuffles over to the table, about to
sit, sees something.
HIS CAT, dead stabbed, and lying there neglected in the
corner, just another scrap ready to be swept out.
ZIAT calmly pours the tea for the table, paying MAX no
attention, an excellent actor. Prominently seated, however,
is a GUARD.
MAX quietly glares at ZIAT and the Guard but says nothing;
he has been in prison long enough to know how to hold it
MAX - silently walks over and gently picks up the corpse
in his arms, starts to walk out.
BILLY listening impassively to:
YESIL the lawyer. They are in a booth in the VISITING
CAMBER. Bars separate prisoner and visitor.
The new American Ambassador here
is following your case very closely.
He says there is progress. But
there is another route that is
(lowers his voice
and leans close)
...For the proper amount of money
it is possible I can convince
certain officials to lose track of
your papers before the High Court
in Ankara confirms the sentence of
the Lower Court in Istanbul... You
would not exist; and you could be
in Greece by the time the Turkish
courts discovered a stupid clerical
mistake...But I have to act before
the official sentence is handed
down, and for that I must pay
certain officials in advance...
BILLY closes his eyes as YESIL'S VOICE drones on, explaining
the details, the cast, the simplicity Of it, FADING OUT
BILLY walking the COURTYARD counting his paces 48, 49, 50
Turns, goes back.
...My dearest Billy. I know it is
long and it is hard for you, but
your family and I are thinking
about you all the time. I am trying
hard to make enough money nights
to come and see you. Your father
says that lawyer Yesil wants another
$2000. I know you distrust him
more and more, but your father
wants to do everything he can, and
he is borrowing all he can on the
mortgage of the house. Money seems
to be the only way out of there.
Except of course the other way...
BILLY, MAX and BELL (bandaged around the ass from the
stabbing) are huddled around BELL's BUNK late NIGHT candle
burning, a sheet sealing off some of the kogus. Bell
furtively looks around, pulling out and elaborately
unfolding a set of DRAWINGS from a pack of letters.
...But I cannot say I am for it.
Nor are your parents. They consulted
the priest, and he said to send
you money for that reason would be
like sealing your death.
The prison, man. There was this
German cat an architect in the
hospital. He was helping the Turks
build some shit round the place.
I laid some bread on him and he
let me copy them.
BILLY, puzzled, turns the drawings upside-down, sideways.
THE DRAWINGS are a lunatic mess of scrambled lines, dots,
MAX and BILLY, trying to follow the map, look at each other
Too bad you didn't have a machine.
There's two ways out I figger -
over the roof, but that's only one
person, maybe two. The other way
It's already built! There's a
basement substructure where they
used to keep weapons and stuff,
but beneath that there's these old
catacombs that the Christians built
'bout a thousand fucking years ago
to bury their dead. We're sitting
right on top of it -- here.
INSERT DRAWING, illustrating roughly the structure of the
prison. His FINGER tracing, bubbling with nervous
The Kraut said there's a whole
bunch of hollow sealed shafts sort
of like dumbwaiters running along
this wall; one of them is right in
there, right next to our shower.
We get in there, he says, we can
get down into the catacombs. With
three of us working....
MAX is standing, tapping on the wall, listening, a funny
look on is face.
Gotta be here someplace. Thought
I heard a couple of dead Christians
singing down there.
Stop shitting me, man!
(trying to be serious)
But how would you get into the
I suppose you knock three times
and ask for St. Peter.
(turning on Max)
Hey! I'm getting this together
man and I don't need no fucking
Gastro-head along on this trip!
(a fierce look at
Max then back to
We go through the wall.
(a resigned look on
We go through the wall?
(quite sure Bell is
out of his skull)
We go through the wall.
BELL between BILLY and MAX walking in the COURTYARD
...The Kraut was right! I checked
it out - there's no reinforced
steel in those bath walls. They're
real soft from underground seepage--
BELL reaches the wall, turns around and continues Lowers
his voice occasionally as other PRISONERS intersect them.
--the water like "'weeps" through
the cement, see. Twenty, thirty
years, you can almost push it over.
All we do is use Gastrohead's
screwdriver here and scrape the
mortar out. Pull out 2, 3 stones,
squeeze through, put 'em back, and
get our ass down the shaft, It's a
two night operation, maybe three.
And what do you do when you in the
The catacoombs? Whaddya want, a
door? There's miles of em like a
sewer system but they got to come
up someplace in Istanbul.
Max is fed up with it now, no longer joking.
You gotta be fucking crazy! You
got stabbed in the ass once too
much, sweetheart, cause you're
gonna end up in Section 13, that's
what - not the 'catacombs.
(looking at Bell)
Yeah, for the criminally insane.
(looks at Billy)
I was there once for two weeks and
it ain't an illusion. It's awful.
Namidou runs it like a death camp,
that's where he spends most of his
Where is it?
I don' t know. It's someplace down
(points at the ground)
..deep.. A big door...a wheel....
His eyes go back in time, haunted, vague breaks off.
Hey, you know what's gonna get us
out of here? It's not a map, Max.
It's our balls. You know what I
(straight at Max,
Billy, very sincere,
his eyes almost
...I gotta get laid man, I don't
know 'bout you guys, but if I don't
get it on soon, I'm... I'm not
gonna make it.
(under his breath)
...The roof sounds better to me
than digging through a wall. Ziat's
round there all the time. But the
P.O.V. - THE ROOF, its edges visible over the courtyard.
BILLY shakes his head.
The bullet percentage is awful
A pause. BILLY looks away from BELL'S stare.
If I get caught, Jimmy, I'm facing
another months. I'd be back up to
3 years, maybe more...
BELL understands, deeply disappointed.
Well fuck it! Choose your own
death, babe, I'm taking the roof
out of here!
A LONG DUNGEON CORRIDOR at the end of it, the frame of a
small; DOOR, cracks of light at its edges. TRACK IN - F.X.
of a siren, capture and now BEATING - heavy beating from
behind that door. CLOSER we reach it. The door FLIES OPEN
and HAMIDOU is glimpsed lighting a cigarette. Like a surreal
dream, his hand holding the match has a thick LEATHER THONG
bound around its knuckles and blood speckled on his fingers.
A BLUR of foreground movement a GUARD coming out the door -
BELL by the hair across the floor. His face contorting in
Dear Susan. Poor Jimmy was caught
and beaten so badly he got a severe
hernia and lost a testicle. He's
been in the hospital for months
CLOSE BILLY'S TOOTH BEING PULLED
...In comparison my problems seem
very small. But two and a half
years have now gone by, and in
their own fashion, the Turks are
slowly draining my life away...
WIDEN to a STONE CHAMBER and a crazy looking DENTIST in a
filthy long white smock, puffing on a cigarette holder,
his ashes falling over Billy as he works his mouth. A
motorized drill is plugged into the wall, adjacent a filthy
spittoon covered with blood; dried blood is spattered
liberally around the chamber.
BILLY spits out the blood and looks in the mirror.
...I have problems with my stomach
and my leg muscles feel very weak.
My gums seem to be shrinking and
they sometimes bleed when I massage
them... They've pulled five of my
Suddenly he starts SHOUTING angrily in TURKISH. The DENTIST
screams back at him. AD LIB.
THE DENTIST still screaming, leans BILLY back in the chair
and looks in his mouth.
...sometimes they null the wrong
BILLY is washing himself in his undershorts at the SINK
with ERICH; the hot water is on full blast and billows of
vapor fill the small stone room, like a sauna. He pours a
pitcher full of hot water over his head; his eyes lingering
THE STONES of the wall with their cracked moldings; some
areas are noticeably darker than others - Bell's "wet
spots", the alternate escape route.
...even my dreams don't seem to
work any more. Because the outside
doesn't seem real any more. It's
not even a fantasy...because there
is no fantasy.
ERICH uses a coarse washing sponge on BILLY's back.
Even masturbation has become boring.
It teaches you, like the rest of
prison life, to seal up your
emotions, and this is the greatest
danger, this is what makes so many
of the men change into something
EYES of the ARABS peer through the musky vapors at Billy
and Erich; they loll about the door curious, lecherous for
ERICH massaging BILLY on his bunk in the SECOND STORY KOGUS.
It is Erich who has taught me how
it is to be conscious, to channel
and direct my energy. He has
convinced me to stop smoking
hashish, he is the calmest man I
have ever known. If you don't
control your energy in here if can
blow you apart like with Bell. And
you can't waste it either. You
have to weigh up every one of your
actions - for and against. Too
little sex, too much sex either
will throw you off balance...
ERICH leans forward and kisses a tentative BILLY on the
lips. A gentle kiss. They are standing inside the TOILET
STALL; lower themselves down onto the seat. ERICH looks
back over his shoulder, guarding their privacy. It is late
...he has taught me about feelings,
and the need to express them. And
he has taught me about love...
BILLY closes his eyes, softly - and with hesitation -
returns ERICH's caress. Their hands probe each other's
...and what love really is, beyond
its physical forms.. .I think up
to now I have only considered my
own self, never really another...
ERICH and BILLY do yoga positions together EARLY MORNING
fully clothed, in the FIRST FLOOR KOGUS empty space. ERICH
lies on his belly, his back stiffly arched, feet raised.
BILLY stands silent, balanced lightly on his feet, his
palms pressed together beneath his chin, centering, eyes
...and now strange as it seems,
Susan, without having seen you in
so long I feel myself more inside
of you than ever before. I feel
your female mind. I sense you,
touch you; ...know you; and find
myself falling more and more...
in love with you.
BILLY rises gracefully onto his toes, stretching his arms
out above his head. It is the beginning posture, his body
greeting the day.
BILLY and ERICH sit silently now in lotus position, facing
each other, breathing slowly, relaxing minds still, looking
into each other's eyes. Billy closes eyes.
A prison a monastery a cloister a
Prison monastery cloister cave,
Prison monastery cloister cave,
Prison monastery cloister cave,
Prison monastery cloister...
SOUND OFF, interrupting the clomp of FOOTSTEPS on the
ZIAT comes down, staring at the two of them as he goes
into the KITCHEN to prepare early morning tea.
BILLY's expression changes.
Rises from his position.
THE SUN flowering up over ISTANBUL.
BILLY rises from his BUNK to the chanting drone of "Allah
Wakbah" OFF, and moving to the closest wall, takes out an
old wet rag.
Dear Susan. Erich has been
transferred to a prison back in
Sweden. He has profoundly affected
my life and though I am lonely
without him I am calmer than ever...
BILLY erases out a scraped numeral (54) on the wall and
with a chalky piece of rock, inscribes in bold strokes the
Though I only have 53 days left, I
feel I have never been so well
adjusted to prison and to living
Allah fuck Off!
JIMMY BELL wakes, hearing the perpetual "Allah Wakbah"
(I stick it in his mouth)
He is noticeably pale and weaker than before.
BILLY cuts hair in the FIRST FLOOR there with a disturbed
tight look on his face, work with a pocket mirror. BELL
sits inspecting the
...Though his health is bad he
still won't give up...
GUARD approaching with a slip in hand.
...He still talks of escape.
THE GUARD hands the slip to BILLY who is pleasantly
surprised. A visitor.
BILLY, walking down and turning a CORRIDOR into: in the
PRISON, following a GUARD and turning into:
THE VISITING ROOM where the little booths with BARS separate
prisoner and visitor. Behind the grill is the Consul,
STANLEY DAVIS. His face is grim and grey. BILLY senses it
Sit down a moment, Billy. I'm
afraid I have some bad news for
BILLY sits, tense.
Something happen to Dad?... Mom?
DAVIS swallows hard, not to say it
No... It looks like your going to
have a new court.
What do you mean?
The Prosecutor objected to your
sentence for possession; he wanted
a smuggling conviction and the
High Court in Ankara reviewed it.
We've been notified that they
rejected the sentence...
Billy's face drains of all expression.
There were 35 judges on the High
Court. Twenty eight of them voted
for a life sentence.
BILLY'S EYES. Numb, dazed, surreal.
The Lower Court in Istanbul will
have to go along with the decision.
The Judge likes you and he'll do
the only thing he can do under the
law.... . He'll reduce the sentence
to thirty years... We're notified...
Suddenly he is GRABBED by his ivy-league striped tie and
his face is yanked up to the bars, his glasses falling
BILLY is berserk, his face right up against the bars,
GRIPPING Davis tight.
What do you mean LIFE FOR FOR WHAT!
Commotion OFF as GUARDS run in, HAMIDOU in the lead.
FOR WHAT! FOR WHAT!
The GUARDS try to pry loose BILLY'S strangling grip ON
I HAVE FIFTY THREE DAYS LEFT!
HAMIDOU takes out a KNIFE and cuts the consul's tie in
half. DAVIS falls backwards.
BILLY is hauled now. back, still gripping half the tie.
He is trembling now.
I HAVE FIFTY THREE DAYS LEFT!
DAVIS is shaken. He has red bar marks across his face and
is absent-mindedly trying to adjust half a tie as he looks
BILLY being hauled out by HAMIDOU, SCREAMING something
COURTROOM. Same as before.
BILLY, in the prisoner's dock, addresses the Court; as he
speaks, a Turkish TRANSLATOR. drones underneath his voice
...What is the crime? And what is
the punishment? The answer seems
to vary from place to place, and
from time to time. What's legal
today is suddenly illegal tomorrow
cause some society says it's so;
and what's illegal yesterday all
of a sudden gets legal today because
everybody's doing it and you can't
throw everybody in jail. Well I'm
not saying this is right or wrong.
It's just the way things are....
YESIL the lawyer; DAVIS the consul.
THE PRESS GIRL from the previous trial in the short skirt.
But I spent the last three and a
half years of my life in your prison
and I think I paid for my error
and if it's your decision today to
sentence me to more years, I...
You know my lawyers told me 'be
Billy don't get upset, don't get
angry, if you're good I can maybe
get a pardon, an amnesty, an appeal,
this that and the other thing.'
Well that's been going down now
for 35 years...
YESIL looks over, surprised he is talking like this. Looks
And I've been playing it cool and
I've been good and now I'm damn
tired of being good cause you people
gave me the belief that I had 53
days left. You hung 53 days in
front of my eyes and then you took
those 53 days away, and Mister
Prosecutor! I just wish you
PROSECUTOR looks over, through his dark green glasses.
... stand right here where I'm
standing and feel what that...
...feels like, cause then you'd
know something you don't know you'd
know what means, Mister Prosecutor
and you'd know the concept of a
society is based on the quality of
its mercy means, of its sense of
fair play, its sense of justice...
(shrugs and scoffs
I guess that's just like asking a
bear to shit in a toilet...
TRANSLATOR stops, looks puzzled.
For a nation of pigs, it's funny
you don't eat them. Fuck it, give
me the sentence. Jesus forgave the
bastards, but I can't. I hate you.
Nation. I hate your I hate your
people. And I fuck your sons and
Sits down, disgusted; under his breath:
...cause you're all pigs.
SILENCE in the uncomfortably. courtroom. PEOPLE looking
at each other DAVIS looks down.
YESIL flips some pages abstractedly.
Would Your honor like me to
THE OLD CHIEF JUDGE, the same one as before Shakes his
That won't be necessary
ANOTHER ANGLE - THE JUDGE turns to BILLY in the foreground
rises, and unexpectedly crosses his wrists out in front of
My hands are tied by Ankara!
Makes the gesture of the hands forcefully, with anger.
My hands are tied by Ankara!
I must sentence you, Vilyum Hiyes...
... to be imprisoned at Sagamilcar
for a term no less than thirty
"I must sentence you, Vilyum Hiyes,
to be imprisoned at Sagamilcar for
a term no less than years...
As he translates, the JUDGE unable to control his emotion
exits rapidly, not looking at Billy, followed by the TWO
"May it pass quickly."
THREE OLD GLEANING WOMEN swathed in black like three fates
turn from their sweeping as BILLY is led out COURTROOM
NUMBER SIX down a long stone corridor. Dust floats through
long slanting shafts of yellowish light, like a striped
leotard dream. BILLY walks, his eyes straight ahead -
SONG OVER (BELL)
(old Southern blues
"Mmmmm... got the blues babe,
Got those old Istanbul blues,
Said Yeah, I got the blues babe
Got those old Istanbul blues...
Thirty years in Turkey, babe,
Ain't got nothing left to lose..."
BELL sings it, strumming sloppily but with feeling on his
guitar. BILLY lies, his back up, on his BUNK nearby.
MAX, stoned, sits at the base of the bunk. It is NIGHT.
The song falters, but MAX now joins in, improvising:
SONG OVER (MAX AND BELL)
"Busted at the border
Two keys in my shoes
Said I was busted at the border
with two keys in my shoes
An they gave me thirty years, babe
To learn the old Istanbul blues..."
SEVERAL TURKS are partying it up down at the other end of
the SECOND FLOOR KOGUS, playing a "sas" - Turkish type
guitar, counterpointed by a little drum; the music is
stridently Turkish, and one of the men does a belly-dance
in underpants with two lemons masquerading as breasts under
his shirt. The LOUD TWANGING of Bell's GUITAR can be heard
OFF, interrupting them. They are annoyed.
BELL leading MAX into the next stanza:
SONG OVER (MAX AND BELL)
"I said Lord now save me
Please save me from this pain"
BILLY, touched - listening, thinking.
SONG OVER (OVER)
"I said Lord come and save me,
Come save me from this pain
Come set me free sweet Jesus..."
Hey knock off that shit music...
TWO TURKS from the party walk up, waving at BELL's guitar,
...We're playing the sas.
Omina koyden your sas!
(Put your sas in your cunt!)
THE TWO TURKS tense, the mood changing.
BELL gets even angrier, puts the guitar aside, ready to
...And besides that I fuck Allah
and I fuck your Muslim mother too...
They don't understand but one of them is reaching into his
pants for his shiv.
You got that, shit face? Asina...
KNOCK IT OFF!
ANOTHER ANGLE BILLY is moving fast between the TWO TURKS
and BELL. A new authority in his voice, and controlled
anger in his face.
Cut it! No more fights.
We're getting out of here.
BILLY, with Max's little screwdriver and a metal spoon,
digs hard at the cracks around a dark stone in the SINK
ROOM, FIRST FLOOR KOGUS. With him is MAX working on the
same stone. They are sweating, shirtless, looking back
over their shoulders at:
BELL guarding the STAIRS.
BILLY works the stucco out, jiggling with the stone (about
a nine inch circumference) using his fingers and
screwdriver. Painful work.
Dear Susan. It's taken me a long
time to find out that it's got to
stop somewhere. I've learned
painfully not to trust the Turks,
the courts, the lawyers, the Consul,
the United States Government, and
not even my loving parents. There
is only one way out of here.. The
BILLY kicks with his sneakers at the stone, as silently as
possible. A LOUD NOISE - crumbling dust, stucco.
BELL at the stairs freezes, fearful. Then SILENCE. He
MAX, BELL, BILLY.
(in a whisper)
We're undermining the other stones!
BELL studies it, pointing to the stone above left the one
that has been loosened.
We gotta take a chance and do that
one next -
Then pull out this one -
(pointing to the
one directly left
of the loosened
Just jiggle it, scratch it out,
loose nit up, it's soft real soft!
BILLY has his head pressed close to the loosened stone.
ANOTHER ANGLE - all THREE press their ears to the stone.
A silence. The faintest whisper of WIND and dripping 'WATER -
indicating a shaft of some nature. BELL looks back at BILLY.
I told you, I told you you cock-
suckers! You didn't believe me.
BILLY smiles. MAX reaches over and grabs Bell's face between
his hands, kisses him violently.
Fuck me! You beautiful mother,
MAX now on guard at the STAIRS, looks over at:
BELL AND BILLY - with fresh paste putting the finishing
touches on the edges of the stone which has been replaced
in its original position. Bell's half naked torso reveals
a pair of dice with lucky sevens tattooed on his shoulder.
THE REPLACED STONE. On close inspection, it is apparent
that the stucco around it doesn't match the other stones
one bit, but as we PULL BACK to see ZIAT washing his tea
cups in the SINK during the DAY, this irregularity is lost
in the greater mosaic of the wall structure. At least ZIAT
doesn't notice as:
BILLY nervously comes into the SINK area, watching him,
and calls to him.
Hey, Ziat, hurry up with the tea
(mutters to himself)
Work, work, work, that's all do
I don't hear you bitch about the
BILLY followed by ZIAT into the KITCHEN casts a look of
BELL and MAX who wait at a table with empty tea cups.
A HORDE OF COCKROACHES stream out from a crack in the stone
as BILLY and MAX dig, scrape, jiggle the third stone. Both
covered with sweat, working with confidence now.
A DARK EMPTY SHAFT on the other side. Dripping water. Two
BELL runs over:
Want me to take over?
You want to split your hernia again?
Get off our tits!
Bell turns to go. Suddenly a LOUD CRUMBLING NOISE and:
A FOURTH STONE starts to go - but brakes itself.
BILLY, MAX, BELL all framed in a posture of fear -- not
daring to move.
SECOND STORY KOGUS remains silent.
BELL looks up the STAIRS, tiptoes back, indicating they
MAX AND BILLY. All THREE of them look:
THE THREE A HALF STONE SPACE. Easily big enough for them
to squeeze through. BILLY shines a candle in the shaft,
THE THREE look at each other. The same thought. Eager eyes.
The TRAIN WHISTLES by in the night, OFF.
BILLY looks at his watch, hates to do it. Shakes his head.
No. No time. Put 'em back.
MAX groans to himself.
BILLY tense and restless at his BUNK TWILIGHT. A loud RADIO
OFF - Turkish News.
We go early. Any fuck-ups we should
be back here and have the stones
in by dawn.
ANOTHER ANGLE - MAX, BELL, AND BILLY. A pause.
You got your stuff?
Haps, railroad, bus timetables?
(looks around the
Let's do it.
He extends his hands and the other two cross in a six-handed
MAX signals down the STAIRS - "all clear".
BILLY going through the HOLE in the STONES that NIGHT into:
A DARK SHAFT spookily leading downwards. He lights a thick
CANDLE tied horizontally across his sneakers so as to give
him his light source where his footholds are. His P.V.O:
PART DUMBWAITER SHAFT, PART WATER WELL from a previous
century A series of corrugated mossy old footholds and
iron spikes lead down at irregular intervals.
BILLY, MAX AND BELL, each with their own foot candle, are
spaced along the shaft easing downwards. BILLY looks up at
MAX about ten feet above.
How's your hernia?
Don't make me laugh.
BILLY in a sweat, slips. A tense moment - then he catches
himself. OFF - the TRAIN WHISTLE can be heard, echoing
into the shaft.Mixed suddenly with LOUD TALKING OFF. Arguing
in Turkish. BILLY freezes, signals upwards with a sharp
hiss of breath.
VOICE #1 (OFF)
What do you mean, you forgot, he'll
have my ass!
VOICE #2 (OFF)
Well I can't do two things at once,
you were supposed to be here at
BILLY identifying the relative location of the voices,
eases downwards, coming to a GRILL, looks in at:
A BASEMENT ROOM with FURNACE. TWO TURKISH GUARDS throw the
prison rubbish in the furnace, still arguing, AD LIB.
BILLY signals upwards.
REVERSE ANGLE, from inside the basement, of BILLY slipping
past the grill, his face sharply illuminated by the flame
of the furnace.
Off the walls around the grill we can see the GIANT
SILHOUETTES of the two guards still arguing.
BILLY comes to the base of the shaft. A puddle of scummy
water. Unstraps the candle. A current of WIND He peers
P.O.V. - A WINDING NARROW CATACOMB, WITH BEEHIVE BURIAL
PLACES ON BOTH SIDES.
BILLY, sniffing the stench, unrolls a ball of THREAD ties
it to a marker and heads in.
BILLY, BELL and MAX are in the catacomb. A scratchy hideous
BATS fly out squealing from the ceiling.
THE BOYS hit the ground as BATWINGS flap over them,
colliding against each other, knocking off walls,
SCREECHING, then diminishing in sound. Fewer and fewer.
(looking up, scared)
BILLY looking up.
Nah, just covered with batshit!
(getting to his
They went out over there: must be
some kind of exit.
Heads in that direction.
A HUGE SPIDER scatters off, as BILLY's CANDLE illuminates:
ANOTHER ENDLESS WALKWAY. BILLY comes to a stop -
Let's go back the other way.
INTERSECTION Two walkways. BELL leads in, unwinding the
The fuck are we?
BILLY comes into view, equally frustrated.
What time is it?
ANOTHER MAZE of walkways. The three stop exhausted, faces
blackened. BILLY, in utter rage and frustration starts
kicking the wall.
Shit! Shit! Shit!
(slumping to the
It's a dead end. The Turks musta'
sealed it up.
What the fuck we gonna do?
SILENCE as the three pathetic escapees ponder their fate.
BILLY, getting a grip on himself, thinking.
We go back.
What? You gotta be joking.
We go back, seal it up again, and
come in tomorrow night - every
night 'till we get out of here.
There's gotta be a way. Those bats
got out someplace.
Now let's go. Doubletime!
Takes the THREAD and starts to follow it back.
THE SHAFT. BILLY leads the climbers UP.
MAX reaches a new foothold, stops, getting his breath.
Looks down at BELL heavy breathing OFF. Urging him on.
You gotta have a lot of balls for
BELL, suffering, can't help but grin.
Count me out.
(to himself, shaking
Who ever heard of anybody sneaking
back into a fucking jail?
MAX overhearing it.
Yeah, what if got caught?
BELL starts to giggle.
(up the shaft)
Hey Max, don't make the dummy laugh.
MAX laughing, shaking his head.
Who's laughing? I mean I find
this terribly depressing... Can
you see old Hamidou's face when he
tries to figure this one out?
BILLY can't go on, starts to giggle at the thought.
We'll tell him we were checking
out our escape route. We wanted
to be completely sure before we
ANOTHER ANGLE - the THREE of them, spaced along the shaft,
are all giggling hysterically. Echoing. HOLD ON them.
BILLY comes through the HOLE in the stones in the SINK
AREA. It is still NIGHT. He looks around - silence. MAX
follows through the hole.
BILLY and MAX work fractically to seal up the STONES.
BELL, exhausted, is at the STAIRS guarding. Distant early
morning SOUNDS of prison waking up. We feel they will be
spotted this time, but:
BILLY slumps into his BUNK as the first rays of LIGHT come
up in the sky and the CHANT from the Mosque commences. He
immediately sinks into sleep.
CLOSE on OLD TEA LEAVES being washed in the SINK. A MILKY
WHITE EYE follows into view. ZIAT is preparing his early
morning tea, his good eye now moving to something beyond
the tea leaves. Curious, he straightens, throwing the
withered bunch of leaves the sink.
ZIAT approaches the irregular stucco paste around the
REPLACED STONES; runs his fingers along the ridges, noticing
the paste is fresh.
BILLY snoring from fatigue. BELL wakes him quickly.
Billy, wake up! They found it!
OFF there is a lot of SHOUTING downstairs.
BILLY standing in a group of PRISONERS with BELL and MAX.
He has a look of total despair on his face, as he watches.
THE SINK. PRISONERS are everywhere jabbering excitedly
among themselves. ZIAT is conferring with HAMIDOU as GUARDS
rip out the last stone, revealing the HOLE leading to the
BILLY's gaze shifts to ZIAT fixing all his hatred on him.
ZIAT grinning, moves away, and his falaka stick cocked
like a sergeant major - moves among the prisoners.
They all fall immediately silent. HAMIDOU continues his
walk among them, bypassing:
MAX who shifts his gaze onto:
BILLY. HAMIDOU approaches, his eyes moving over BILLY
with contempt, and shifting him aside with the stick. To
him Billy is the same passive prisoner as before. He moves
on, shifting OTHERS aside and then stops at:
BELL. HAMIDOU swings his stick up slowly and taps him
lightly on the chest. BELL realizes and is afraid.
No do! No do! I tell you I see
you again.. Finish!
He punctuates this last with a theatrical tap on the chest
and he gestures to the GUARDS.
BELL, already broken by bad beatings, shivers.
No! Oh no! No...
GUARDS grab him, hurry him out the Kogus behind HAMIDOU
BILLY holds himself rigid, trying not to break. Bell's
PROTESTS continue OFF.
MAX unable to contain his anger, strides right up to ZIAT,
collars him, livid.
You bastard! This time I'm gonna
kick your fucking brains all over
Fine. Good. Man to man. We fight
now. And when finish I bring
Hamidou and he kick you fuckinq
MAX is about to swing when BILLY grabs him.
Max! Cool it!
(looking at Ziat
Ziat's just doing his job.
ZIAT Glances from BILLY back to MAX fixing on him as BILLY
walks him away.
MAX is at his BUNK that NIGHT; puts away the hypodermic
needle, stoned and speeding at the same time, smoking a
cigarette. BILLY inwardly tense, sits with his head in
Bell's gonna talk. They got to
find out. Man, we gotta out.
Tears have formed in his eyes.
Goddamn Gastro's killing me. Making
me blind. Hey Billy!
I got some acid man. Maybe we can
drop some on the guards huh? In
their tea or something.
BILLY looks away, not even considering. But MAX is caught
up in the notion.
Yeah I got it all worked out.
Billy, listen to me.
(looks at Billy,
his eyes glazed)
That old guard likes you, You drop
some acid on him. When he's Seeing
rainbows yer know. walk out -
Then we're outside the kogus.
After we're outside the kogus?
Oh we... we...
Max... Your BILLY shirt's on fire...
MAX clumsily brushes the burning ash off his shirt where
it's made a hole.
Oh shit! Oh Christ!
His eyes cloud with tears. He sits down, head between his
There just comes a time you know...
you know you're never going to git
Suddenly shifts mood again, stands, pulling out a SHIV,
resolute, eyes brightening.
That's what I'm gonna do.
BILLY looks up wondering.
Cut his fucking throat.
ZIAT... What do I got to lose huh!
What do I got to lose. And I'd
really enjoy it.
Lurches against the bunk.
Max, sit down. You're in no shape
to kill anybody.
I want to cut his throat.
It's already been cut.
Then I'll cut his balls off.
BILLY smiles, shakes his head, then:
If you really wanted to hurt Ziat
MAX slumps back down on the bunk, suddenly tired of killing.
...His money - steal that, you
steal his blood... Could you see
his face when everything he worked
so hard to get got snatched?
(plays with the
thought idly, then
If we knew where he hid it.
(waves it away)
Anyway, steal from him they'd pick
up the whole prison and shake it
sideways. We couldn't hide it
(head bobbing now,
You know where it is?
(a vague grin)
I know where it is.
BILLY glances at him, not sure whether he heard.
MAX gives him a goofy nod - and a grin. Imitating Robert
Newton as Long John Silver.
'Dem dat hides can finds says I'...
I seen him, the clever tit, sneaking
looks at it late at night, talking
(beginning to believe
MAX, distracted, let's his attention wander back. Inaudible
his head bobbing now.
Max - where?
(his mouth hanging
open, eyes closed)
His radio Back of his open, radio...
He lurches over gently on the bunk.
That's why he never plays it...
BILLY surprised, then reflective.
THE BACK OF THE RADIO is unscrewed; the cover pulled off.
MOVE TO ZIAT. The look is as Billy expected. Horror, shock,
anger, fear. ZIAT SCREAMS hysterically like old Greek
BEATING HIS CHEST and tearing at his hair, ZIAT runs out
of the KOGUS wailing, moaning.
THE SECOND STORY KOGUS is being" controlled" by the GUARDS.
WIDE ANGLE reveals a circus of clockwork destruction as
the GUARDS, making abundant NOISE, systematically rip up
each bunk, locker, mattress, picture, book, etc., their
faces flushed with this opportunity for orgy.
THE PRISONERS are lined up in the COURTYARD, each one being
body searched.Prominent are MAX and BILLY, looking up amused
SECOND STORY WINDOWS - feathers from a mattress fly around.
ZIAT Briefly appears, his face at the window, looking at
the prisoners in the yard, frustrated.
HAMIDOU breaks apart a with his bare hands.
ZIAT is stripping MAX's possessions, sure he will find it
Ziat springs up.
GUARD calling out from the STAIRS.
We found it!
ZIAT leaning in CLOSE, OVER THE STOVE in the KITCHEN, framed
by GUARDS. It is the same crouched posture he always uses
to work the stove but now his eyes show complete despair
as he sees:
A THOUSAND SHREDS OF PAPER MONEY floating in his pots amid
his withered tea bags. From ashes to ashes and dust to
ZIAT folds his head into his hands, sobbing then wailing
very human, very sad.
KITCHEN - NEGDIR an Arab, is now running the tea concession.
A jolly ebullient man. Pours a cup for MAX. Several OTHERS
are at the table.
...He sell me tea business -
everything. No the same. Ziat
(makes the gesture
towards the heart
and the gut, using
the Arabic word)
He never had one.
Soon he go back streets Istanbul.
Thousand enemy. No money.
(makes throat cutting
I'll drink to that.
(toasting with the
ZIAT enters the kitchen; he eyes Max with hatred, sits at
the other TABLE and orders tea. Surprisingly, he is wearing
a suit and clean shirt-unlike his usual grimy appearance.
BILLY, looking shaken, enters the kitchen, glances at ZIAT
sits with MAX.
Just got some news on Bell.
Bad. Sent to the City Hospital.
They ruptured his hernia again.
I Guess he didn't talk...Poor
BILLY glances over at:
ZIAT drinking tea.
BILLY AND MAX
Why the suit?
Maybe he's changing jobs.
BILLY looks over to see:
HAMIDOU and a DOZEN GUARDS spreading through the KOGUS,
assembling everybody with shouts of "SAYIM!"
THE PRISONERS are lined up in ranks in the FIRST FLOOR
BILLY glancing at MAX next to him, wondering why.
HAMIDOU goes down the line, his FLUNKIES searching each
A GUARD reaches into ZIAT'S pocket and comes out with a
matchbox. Yells to HAMIDOU who comes over.
(opening the matchbox)
MATCHBOX Containing a small amount of HASHISH.
HAMIDOU reaches over and pulls ZIAT out of the 'line
Starts to slap him around.
BILLY glancing at MAX.
What's going on? Maybe Ziat can't
pay off; Hamidou's taking it out
HAMIDOU smashes ZIAT again, but pulls the punch.
Where did you get this hash?
Raises his arm again.
MAX who stiffens, eyes like cracked eggs.
(under his breath)
You got to be kidding.
HAMIDOU peers at MAX, advances.
What's happening with this hash?
Indicates the matchbox in his hand.
I didn't sell it to him. I don't
have anything to do with this,
I know your face. Where did you
get the hash?
(He knows nothing about it. Ziat's
(turns on Billy, in
You, goddamn you, shut up!
(Back to MAX)
Take him to the cellar)
GUARDS drag off.
Get out of here! He's lying! That
BILLY sits on his his anger building, his imagination
MAX being dragged down a CORRIDOR by his feet. A SCREAM.
BELL, his features distorted, being carried into an
BELL, MAX and BILLY at the wall, digging together, MAX
hugging BELL the time they found the shaft.
MAX twisting out of the grip of a GUARD and, grabbing the
glass from his smashed spectacles, he cuts deep into his
wrist. GUARDS grab him. A LOUD LAUGH OFF carrying over.
BILLY turning on his bunk to see:
ZIAT joking with TWO GUARDS as he enters the SECOND STORY.
The guards back down the stairs.
BILLY already in movement.
ZIAT, in his suit, collecting suitcase from his bunk,
preparing to leave.
Turns and catches a FIST in the side of the face. Staggers
into a bunk.
BILLY, fists clenched, yells a string of Turkish curse
words at him:
Asina covacim, ipnave
ZIAT is bulky, throws the smaller BILLY off and scrambles
past a bunk.
BILLY is up and after him. Jumps back as a SHIV cuts the
air in front of him. His side is cut.
ZIAT holding the shiv, feints, cursing BILLY in Turkish.
BILLY skips back, takes a MATTRESS off the bed and runs it
right into KNOCKING HIM AND THE WHOLE BUNK OVER.
THE TWO scramble around, BILLY tackling him into another
BUNK which also goes over. Chairs break.
ZIAT butts his head into BILLY'S jaw.
BILLY staggers back from the blow and ZIAT jumps him, BITING
into his ear.
ZIAT, getting a better hold, now BITES into BILLY'S NOSE.
BILLY slams ZIAT in the nose hard with the palm of his
hand. ZIAT relinquishes his hold, grabbing at his broken
BILLY beats him around the head but though the blood now
flows and teeth are broken, is like a clumsy bear, hard to
ZIAT scrambles away on his knees under another BUNK now
screaming as loud as he can.
HELP ME! GUARDS! HELP ME!
SEVERAL PRISONERS watching from further down the SECOND
STORY Kogus now move in sync, turning on their RADIOS loud
as possible, drowning out the cries for help, others
watching the stairs.
BILLY takes the BUNK and throws it over, revealing ZIAT
cowering in pure terror. He grabs ZIAT by the hair, hauls
him up and
LAUNCHES HIS KNEE into HIS FACE.
ZIAT thuds onto the floor.
BILLY stomps him in the gut hard.
ZIAT screams unnaturally shrill.
BILLY, driven by supernatural anger, now jumps on him and
CLAMPS HIS MOUTH right on ZIAT'S open SCREAM.
A STRUGGLING KISS ensues.
BILLY pulls back, his mouth filled with blood, spitting
AN UNIDENTIFIED PIECE OF FLESH which Bits the ground with
an odd slow motion grace.
ZIAT - CLOSE in terror; throat cords rippling; eyes bulging
with disbelief, body quivering, mouth open and screaming,
but it is a SILENT SCREAM and the mouth is a dark hole
filled with blood and without a TONGUE.
BILLY, without a moment's mercy, crashes his fist into
ZIAT his strength now broken, collapses on his back.
BILLY crashes his fist again into the hated face. He is
GRABBED now by a GUARD, but:
ANOTHER ANGLE - BILLY shakes the GUARD OFF, then as ANOTHER
GUARD runs up, BILLY SLAMS him aside and, obsessed, lunges
back down on ZIAT and
BOTH HANDS CLAMPED TOGETHER high in the air delivers a
final blow to ZIAT'S face. The bones shatter. Pause. His
ogre unconscious beneath him, BILLY, now in SLOW MOTION,
EXTENDS HIS ARMS IN THE AIR - in the fighter's victory
gesture, and his eyes glow with the fever in them, and
with his mouth and face bloodied, he looks like a savage.
No longer Billy Hayes.
BILLY bound in a thick leather belt (a kiyis) which screws
tightly around the waist and cinches the hands together,
is being HAULED in continuing SLOW MOTION through a huge
DOOR somewhere in one of the cavernous corridors of the
prison.The door is approximately NINE FEET by SIX FEET,
strong and wooden with a circular iron handle which one of
the GUARDS now pulls open; a GLIMPSE of darkness within.
THE DOOR CLOSES. SUPERIMPOSE:
SECTION 13 - ASYLUM FOR THE CRIMINALLY INSANE
A YEAR LATER
MAX, barely recognizable in a torn sheet and with a
blackened face, comes rushing into a crowded ROOM, screaming
louder than any other inmate. marks on his face, He is
enraged, blood dripping from scratch ATTENDANTS in white
smocks chase him over the beds. Max is yelling in Turkish.
Please, will you listen to me?
Will someone please listen to me?
JUST LISTEN To ME!
Hamidou! Get Hamidou! Get the
The ATTENDANTS wrestle with him, but he throws them off,
tearing around the room mindlessly. In the process we see
that not much attention is paid him because everybody else
is crazy! There are 50 other LUNATICS yelling at each
other in fights over sheets, blankets, beds, cigarettes,
jumping: screaming, pushing, shoving; some babbling to
themselves, rocking, crying, chanting, singing. Several
of them (the craziest) are stark naked. some, wrapped in
torn blackened sheets, patrol the room like quick ferrets,
sharp eyes open for anything they can steal. Others move
in meaningless, blank-eyed silence. The walls are filthy
black and join the ceilings in arches rather than angles,
giving the look of an old dungeon. Fifty beds are lined up
right next to each other so that you walk right into your
bed. A constant nerve-racking NOISE.
HAMIDOU bursts into the ROOM, the angry look in his eyes
spelling real trouble for Max. MOVE with him as he sweep
sin on MAX and picks him up with one move and SMASHES HIM
against the wall. Max hardly notices.
ANOTHER ANGLE - HAMIDOU takes the leather kiyis from an
ATTENDANT, moves in on MAX and starts clamping it around
AN ATTENDANT walks through the room with an apron containing
several large pockets bulging with red, green, blue, white
PILLS, which he distributes by the handful.
Hop! Hop! Hop! Full moon. Hop!
THE LUNATICS gobble them up as if they were candy. In some
of the clustered areas, nine lunatics occupy as little as
MAX is tightly bound now by HAMIDOU, but his body arches
against the bindings, his neck straining, his teeth snapping
at the air. HAMIDOU grabs him with one hand by the leather
waist, hauls him high up in the air and
THROWS MAX half-ways across the room, MAX smashing heavily
against some beds, continuing to SCREAM OFF as:
THE ATTENDANT with the pills-now bypasses BILLY on one of
Hop! Hop! Full Moon - take your
BILLY gobbles them up. He has changed. Lines in his face.
No smile, no sense of humor; a brooding silence about him,
a straight ahead look. He pays no attention to MAX off; he
is in grubby white pyjamas and shower sandals. Rolls back
onto hi& bed with its filthy torn sheet, totally ignoring
the surrounding commotion, and
ANOTHER ANGLE - turning onto his shoulder, BILLY suddenly
finds himself face to face with a dark saddened visage.
The MAN is very young and stark naked but for an old black
rag wrapped around his head and clutched under his chin.
His eyes are yellow, the voice pleading.
(pause, same tone,
holds out his palm)
BILLY shakes his head sharply --too sharply --and barks,
Turns on his other shoulder, trying to sleep.
YOUNG MAN (OFF)
YOUNG MAN in a surprisingly meek tone.
S'il Vous plait, Monsieur? S'il
BILLY, really aggravated now, springs up from the bed, and
in the quirky way the mad and the eccentric adopt walks
determinedly away from the young man, looking back to shake
his head bizarrely at him one more time.
BILLY walking down the aisle bypasses MAX int he kiyis,
rolling on the floor, still screaming in Turkish.
Will you listen to me? PLEASE LISTEN
Several LUNATICS are gathered around tormenting him, one
of them yanking on his penis as if it were made of rubber;
another is playing with his ass. A third one, also in a
leather kiyis, is leaning over MAX jabbering and drooling
into his face.
MAX, more enraged by this than the other bodily offences,
lunges up sharply and bites the man's FACE. SCREAMS, etc.
BILLY, paying no attention except for a brief disinterested
glance, keeps going into:
A SECOND ROOM. MORE LUNATICS. A screaming OLD MAN is
chasing after another OLD MAN who has stolen his tespe
beads, waving them back at the first old man who howls
with rage, frantic to have his beads back. The second old
man throws the beads to a THIRD OLD MAN who hops across
the beds with the FIRST OLD MAN chasing him. BILLY
Allah! Allah! Yok! Yok! Yok!
A LITTLE NERVOUS MAN stares into a broken pocket mirror
fingering the large round carbuncle under his eye, trying
to rub it away with little grimaces and flurries of nervous
TWO ATTENDANTS in smocks indifferently finish eating on a
newspaper spread across one of the beds; they shake out
CHICKEN BONES, ORANGE PEELS hitting the floor. A flurry of
movement, as the LUNATICS scuffle like rats over the left-
overs. AD LIB curses, yells.
AN OLD MAN obscenely gestures to BILLY from his bed.
Hey American. Fik! Fick! Come.
His blackened teeth leer.
BILLY, seemingly immune to all of this in some private
island of his own madness, walks in his determined way
past a PARTITION to:
A CIRCULAR STONE STAIRCASE leading downwards, the stones
damp, dark, slippery. BILLY continues with the same straight-
ahead determination to:
A LONER LEVEL. at last BILLY's expression changes to almost
childish relief, for here at last is the refuge he seeks
the relative comfort and silence of THE WHEEL.
It is a grim, squat PILLAR dominating the room and bearing
the weight of the ceiling. And around it some SIXTY LUNATICS
trudge slowly, near silently, in counter-clockwise flow.
It is a hypnotic shuffle and BILLY blends right in, sliding
easily into the sluggish, mindless river, his eyes hanging
loosely on the floor, watching:
THE SOOTHING RHYTHM OF FEET shuffling at a comforting pace.
These are the spokes of the wheel.
TWO TINY BARE LIGHT-BULBS give faint, eerie illumination
to the chamber. One one side, a pot-bellied stove flickers,
etching the shadows of the walkers in a strange orange
SOME LUNATICS, not walking, hover around the stove. OTHERS
are jammed onto a low L-shaped wooden platform that runs
the length of two walls. of these men are naked, covered
with open running sores over their knees, elbows, buttocks.
But they are much quieter than the upstairs crowd. They
are the lowest order of madmen. They have no minds left.
They are the damned.
BILLY walks among them, expressionless. A tall, thin
cadaverous TURK with a grizzled beard now shuffles up
alongside BILLY, looks at him, walks with him. is about
fifty, his pyjamas relatively clean, looking more sane
than the average but his eyes are bright and scary and his
wet hair is matted down on his head, and big clumps of it
have been pulled out. He speaks with a cultured English
You're an American?
BILLY is interrupted but keeps his eyes on the ground.
AHMET doesn't wait for an answer.
Ah yes, America! My name is Ahmet.
I studied philosophy at Harvard
for many many years. But actually
Oxford is my real Alma Mata -
I've also studied in Vienna. Now I
BILLY doesn't notice, shuffles along.
...They put me here. They say I
raped a little boy. I have been
here very long time. They will
never let me go.
BILLY pays no attention, keeps shuffling on. Glances at
They won't let YOU go either.
The smug certainty of his manner reaches some chord deep
inside Billy, because Billy glances briefly at this lunatic
who is smiling. Billy looks back at his feet.
No, they'll never let you go.
They tell you they let you go but
you stay. You never go from here.
BILLY plods on. grins and tries to explain the situation
like a father lecturing a child.
You see we all come from a factory.
Sometimes the factory makes bad
machines that don't work. They put
them here. The bad machines don't
know they're bad machines, but the
people at the factory know. They
know one of the machines that
They walk on. Ahmet's expression changes.
I think we have spoken enough for
today. I say good night to you.
He wraps his rags around himself quite carefully and we
FOLLOW him out of the circle. He drops to his hands and
knees and with a sense of dignity, crawls into the filthy
blackness under the L-shaped wooden platform, disappearing
like a cockroach.
BILLY plods on.
AN OLD WHITE-BEARDED MADMAN the Hoja, grandiose in his
rags, leads MUSLIM PRAYER in the first ROOM. Some of his
followers have prayer mats, others a scrap of sheet or
newspaper; their tones discordant, still pushing and shoving
at each other during the prayer.
TWO SPASTICS can't follow the routine of kneeling and
bending; they tangle up absurdly and fall to the floor in
a ball of arms and legs.
A FALAKA STICK pokes BILLY wake SOUND of the CHANTING fills
room. It is evidently impossible to distinguish night from
day because there are no windows.
ATTENDANTS poke the LUNATICS awake with their "clubs.
Head count! Head count!
A MASS OF LUNATICS in the ROOM all at once. Attendants
take a redundant and comic head count. The place sounds
like a "yadi yadi room" the noise fearsome.
Sixty two, sixty three, sixty
Seventy four, seventy five, seventy
six.. .get back there, you! . . .
seventy five, seventy six....)
ATTENDANTS poke around underneath a bed and pull out a
very old trembling VEGETABLE.
OTHER ATTENDANTS wrap an old DEAD LUNATIC with no teeth
and foam on his open lips into a dirty sheet and haul him
BILLY amid the LUNATICS. We MOVE closer and closer to
him, the head COUNT regressing. The room has become a
torture cell - the NOISE LOUDER, LOUDER, closing in on
BILLY is led down a CORRIDOR by HAMIDOU into:
A VISITING room - Cabins are lined up like narrow wooden
BILLY plods without interest to the specified cabin, closes
the door, sits in the chair. No one is there. He waits -
indifferent to any sense of time. Dirty two glass panes
separate visitor and prisoner booths; bars are between the
panes. An erratic microphone is the method of
communication, giving a weird and distant aspect to the
HAMIDOU opens a small peep-hole in the cabin door, looks
in unseen as:
TEE VISITOR DOOR opens and SUSAN tentatively walks in
holding a large photo album; it takes several moments for
her to react, and then her face shows the shock.
BILLY stares at her, his face rabid, decaying; if he
remembers her even, he doesn't register it because she is
a shock to him as well. Reality, the outside world all at
once. His mind is spinning, unbalanced, unable to grasp
Oh my God...!
Billy, what have they done to
The MICROPHONE makes her voice jarring, gagged. She looks
silently. No sobbing, no big sad looks. Just shock. Shock
of recognition, shock of time gone by.
BILLY looking at her, his eyes moving down to:
BILLY P.O.V. - SUSAN, her neck, her breasts straining
against the thin shirt.
SUSAN fingers the photo album nervously, speaking slow and
distinct; not sure she is communicating.
...Billy, your family is fine.
Senator Buckley just made a special
plea on your behalf in the Senate.
Newsday has written several big
articles about you. They've called
you a pawn in the poppy game between
Nixon and the Turks. The letters
are coming in, Billy. People
Stops, shakes her head. It sounds all wrong in this context.
BILLY is still staring at her breasts. He hasn't seen a
woman for five years and now a hungry animal look comes
into his eyes He moves suddenly pressing up against the
glass, rabid. And in Turkish:
Take it off. Take it off!
Take it off. Take it off!
His voice is savage, demanding.
SUSAN understands, startled. Looks around.
Billy - you'll just make yourself
Take it off! Take it off!
(suddenly in a very
...S'il vous plait?...
A strange look in his eye.
SUSAN slowly, scared, begins to unbutton her shirt.
HAMIDOU looks on silently, does nothing.
BILLY follows every movement with wild-eyed lust.
SUSAN leans up close to the window. With both hands on
the front of her blouse, she slowly draws it apart.
BILLY going wild! Against the window. His hand down in his
HER BREASTS spring free, quivering, full and ripe with a
deep cleavage and hard dark nipples. They hang full and
loose. FULL SCREEN
BILLY'S EYES - FULL SCREEN.
BILLY beats on the window, working his mouth soundlessly.
SUSAN is shattered, scared of Billy's sanity.
Oh Billy, Billy, I wish I could
make it better for you. Please
BILLY tightens dramatically and comes right in his pants,
slumps against the window.
SUSAN realizes he has come, surprised.
BILLY looks at her. Furtive, animal shame. And suddenly he
starts to cry. A flood of feelings locked up too long come
pouring out. He murmurs some words, Turkish SOUNDS
sputtering out in his throat, then:
Softly, working his mouth finding it hard to speak.
SUSAN yearning. Tears sprinkling her eyes.
BILLY straining, not out of physical weakness but an
emotional one. Sputters, eyes closed.
...I love you....
It sounds pathetic, lost.
SUSAN is worked up to the limit, tries to hug him through
Oh Billy... Billy! Don't give up.
Please don't give up. You'll get
out. I know you will!
Remembers something. Grabs the PHOTO ALBUM with all her
strength, holding it up for him to see through the
glass.Then remembering herself, looks around the room to
make sure they're alone and in a contained voice:
Billy, your father gave me this
for you. There's pictures of your
Mom and Dad...Rob...Peg...
BILLY looks at it listlessly.
HIS P.V.O - SUSAN holding the album open to PICTURES of
his MOTHER and FATHER in front of the house, ROB on a
bicycle, PEG in her cheer-leading outfit.
And there's pictures in the back
of your old Mr. Franklin. Remember
him... From the bank?
A certain tone slips into her voice.
He's over in Greece now. He bought
BILLY looks from the album to Susan. Possibly there is a
gleam of understanding in his eyes but it is very faint.
An Attendant BANGS on Susan's door, OFF.
Visiting is over.
SUSAN quickly puts the album away as if it were a hidden
I'll give it to them for you.
She buttons her blouse but her eyes are worried, on Billy.
You were right Billy don't count
on them, you hear, don't count on
anybody but yourself!
The ATTENDANT now swings open her door, annoyed.
Susan stands, about to go, then suddenly leans up close to
the bars, hard and practical.
If you stay you'll die Billy! Get
out of here. Get to Greece, you
Pause. Silence. She closes her eyes, in pain; she doesn't
think she has reached him. She turns to go, resigned.
BILLY looking at her. Behind him HAMIDOU opens the door.
A calm and cunning look on his face, glancing with Billy
A BRIEF GLIMPSE of SUSAN looking back, the album under her
arm. The door closes.
BILLY, with the same deadened expression as before, comes
down the STAIRS towards THE WHEEL. It is early morning and
the walkers haven't started yet. Billy looks at the Pillar
a dire look of reflection passing over his eyes. Then he
starts walking but in a clockwise motion, opposite the
normal pattern; in the same methodical manner as before.
BILLY, on the inner track, passes TWO LUNATICS who are
walking counter-clockwise. They glare at him, motion for
him to turn around. Billy just keeps walking.
BILLY intersects several more LUNATICS going counter-
clockwise They motion for him to turn.
Tries to block Billy's way, but BILLY shakes his head,
brushes by him - determined.
AHMET Slides up next to BILLY in his rags.
Good morning, my American friend!
There will be trouble if you go
this way. A good Turk always walks
to the right. Left is communist.
Right is good. You must go the
other way... It's Good.
More LUNATICS join the flow, gesturing or grunting at BILLY.
BILLY STOPS, turns, looks at the rest of them slogging in
the usual direction, looks as if he 'sees' them; and he
walks out of the wheel, towards the stairs.
AHMET curious about his unusual behavior, follows BILLY.
Why you go? Why don't you walk
the wheel with us?
realizing the answer)
The bad machine doesn't know he's
a bad machine. You still don't
believe it? You still don't believe
you're a bad machine?
BILLY stops and turns to look at AHMET at the base of the
STAIRS. BILLY carries on up the stairs.
(shakes his head)
To know oneself is to know God, my
friend. The factory knows. That's
why they put you here. You'll see.
You'll find out. Later on you'll
BILLY stops and turns to look at AHMET. His eyes glint
with special knowledge and he takes AHMET into his
confidence using the latter's tone of voice:
I already know. I know that you're
a bad machine. That's why the
factory keeps you here.
(Lowers s voice)
You know how I know? I know because
I'm from the factory. I make the
machines.. I'm here to spy on you.
Eyes narrow. Surprise. Fear. He shuffles away.
BILLY looks at him and turns up the STAIRS.
BILLY in his BED. The usual UPROAR. THE ATTENDANT comes by
with the pills, offers a handful to BILLY.
Hop! Hop! Take!
He takes them, puts a few into his mouth, swallows.
Reflective, unsure. A RADIO playing OFF blares suddenly
with the U.S. Armed Forces Station - JANIS JOPLIN singing
"Take another piece of my heat now, Baby" then it's switched
back to a TURKISH STATION, loud. Billy rises.
BILLY enters the TOILET with the PHOTO ALBUM tightly
clutched under his arm. A dark stone room, very shadowy.
Piles of waste on the floor. A vacant-eyed barefoot LUNATIC
shuffles past BILLY who goes to one of the four partitioned
HOLES cut into the floor.
ANOTHER ANGLE - BILLY squats over it and with his filthy
long nails he starts to slit open the back binder of the
album Susan gave him. Flickering shadows. He looks up
THREE LUNATIC FACES stare in at him through wooden slats,
tongues hanging out and drooling - playing with themselves -
BILLY makes a lunatic face and SCREAM kicking at the
THE LUNATICS, petrified, scatter off but ONE LUNATIC skids
in a puddle of urine and crashes onto the tile howling.
BILLY slits open the binder to reveal TEN HUNDRED DOLLAR
BILLS with Pictures of Mr. Franklin' neatly inserted.
BILLY has no particular expression on his face. Reflective,
staring at the money; he looks up.
A LARGE SILHOUETTE is moving towards him.
BILLY just watches, transfixed, not trying to hide the
HAMIDOU comes into a faint light, looking down at him;
glances at the money. Shakes his head gently.
No do! No do!
Reaches for and:
ANOTHER ANGLE - HAMIDOU takes the money from BILLY like
candy from a baby, then takes him by the ear and slowly
lifts him up. Billy is like a vegetable in his hands.
(in his broken
I tell you I see 'gain...
I take you down to bath and your
feet be big like...Breasts
HAMIDOU leads BILLY roughly out of the lunatic room, pulling
him by the ear.
HAMIDOU still Pulling BILLY by the ear, guides him through
the GUARD QUARTERS.
HAMIDOU leads him up a narrow winding flight of STAIRS.
First you make mistake with Ziat,
now you make mistake with money.
You're not a new Prisoner, Vilyum
The tone of his voice indicates a severe reckoning this
HAMIDOU pulls BILLY by the ear into a large echoing BATH.
BILLY looking, bent over by the ear - a hint of awareness
of new surroundings.
ANOTHER ANGLE - the BATH is deserted, spooky with greenish
Yellow fish light flittering down from holes in ceiling
around damp mossy arches. Steam rises off a bath. Benches,
buckets of water. HAMIDOU swings BILLY around until he is
HAMIDOU makes an elaborate gesture of putting aside his
falaka stick and holstered gun; he will use his hands.
(shakes his head)
You've been in prison too long,
He takes that: stiff arm all the way back to its full arc
and WHACKS BILLY up against the wall.
BILLY bounces back off the wall. The print of Hamidou's
fingers is imbedded like a flaring white rainbow in the
redness of his left cheek. SLAM - a backhanded whack.
BILLY bounces right back from the wall. steadies him.
You go crazy here Vilyum Hi-yes.
Many people go crazy here. Best
thing for crazy people is this...
THE BLOW, in SLOW MOTION comes sailing into:
BILLY, and we see the brief boxer's distortion of all his
face as he flies upwards and back into:
THE BENCH smashing it. Echo like jarring F.X.
BILLY is held up by the PAJAMAS, steadied. The Turkish
words seem far away, incomprehensible.
Vilyum Hi-yes. You die here, Hi-
WHACK - ANOTHER BLOW, but:
HAMIDOU this time holds onto the pajamas using Billy like
a punching bag.
WHACK - A REVERSE BLOW.
HAMIDOU increasingly excited.
Babba sikijam! I fuck your mother,
I fuck your sister...
WHACK - ANOTHER BLOW in SLOW MOTION
...I fuck your father, I fuck your
RIP! - a loud SOUND as HAMIDOU moves with a blur of speed,
and shreds BILLY's pajamas with his hands.
BILLY naked, totally passive, semiconscious. HAMIDOU
suddenly shifts position and snaps Billy into a strenuous
wrestling hold across his knee on the steamy floor. He
loosens him up by cracking his bones along his back.
HAMIDOU - sweat pouring off his face, excited.
...And I fuck your grandmother and
I fuck your pretty girlfriend...
And I fuck you Hi-yes!)
A bizarre otherworldly scene. This man is dredging Billy
through a sadistic imagination sparked by the steam, the
sweat, and an ethnic identification with a Turkish steam
bath as a bedroom. He loosens his hold abruptly, rises,
moves off as:
BILLY holds himself on his knees, head sunk on his chest,
gasping for breath, about to vomit. Pause; he looks up
HAMIDOU pouring fresh buckets of water on the floor.
SSSSSSSSSS! The awakened STEAM coils like a snake into
every cranny of the little room.
BLURRED VISUALS - HAMIDOU stripping his shirt off. A huge
muscular flash of chest,
A BELT being snapped open.
A FIGURE moving through the steam, closer.
BILLY backing away from it.
STEAM - a glint of a FACE coming through. HAMIDOU - his
eyes so intense they seem to burn off the steam like sun
cutting haze. Then disappear again.
BILLY pulls back. A pause. Silence. Cat and mouse. Then
A HAND reaches out of the STEAM and GRABS BILLY by the
hair. A GRUNT, OFF.
BILLY his eyes moving fast.
A FLASH of a huge darkened penis, fully erect cutting
forward into the steam like a from drill, detached from
the rest of the body.
A SOUND - grotesque and so sudden after the silence it
jars the senses. A BLURRED VISUAL then:
BILLY Launching forward in SLOW MOTION, desperation
distorting his features and:
STEAM - then BILLY'S HEAD SLAMS through it in SLOW MOTION
SMASHES the penis with its skull. A horrifying GASP.
BLURRED VISUALS - STEAM - HAMIDOU staggering CLOSE -
A FOOT coming up fast through the steam, connecting again
with the genitals. Another SCREAM.
A BODY hitting the tiles.
BILLY groping for the falaka stick. Raises it.
A STRUGGLE - Two bodies thrashing, one of them screaming
now in pain. A definitive sound then a THWACK! Another
thwack! The steam seems to clear and
BILLY is on top of the gigantic HAMIDOU smashing him with
the falaka stick with all his might.
HAMIDOU is in contortions, his nose busted and bleeding.
His HAND gripping BILLY by the neck, forcing him back and
strangling him at the same time. Billy is red in the face,
such is the force of this creature but continues to beat
him, harder, harder. His expression filled with a life
energy, seeded in hatred, that he thought he had lost.
Again, Again -
Babba sikijam, Hamidu! I fuck your
Mother, I fuck your daughter, I
fuck your sons, I fuck your wife!
The BAND slips from his throat, then springs up desperately
again and clenches Billy's whole face with one gigantic
palm, clawing to get in, then just as quickly slips away.
BILLY beats on - again, again.
BLOOD flows fast in agitated swirls into the little pool.
BILLY opens a door gently, moves across an empty CORRIDOR,
dressed in and gun in intense. Hamidou's holster. large
uniform with his He looks shaken, weak, falaka stick dizzy
How about a shoe shine, friend?
BILLY starts, clenches the falaka stick ready to spring,
A LITTLE SHOESHINE BOY is his case down the corridor.
BILLY has not seen a child in a long time. get words out,
then manages: Surprised. Can't get the words out, then
THE KID shrugs, moves on, looking At Billy strangely.
BILLY goes up a flight of STAIRS. Ahead, VOICES passing.
He stops. Goes on.
BILLY goes through an empty GUARD QUARTERS.
BILLY is in another CORRIDOR, approaches
A SMALL PORTAL, daylight at its edges. Locked?
BILLY, tense, tries it. It swings open on:
BILLY squints. Adjusting to the harsh sensation.
AN ISTANBUL STREET - TRAFFIC, SOUNDS. TWO GUARDS
approaching the portal in the distance, drinking soda pop.
BILLY steps back, straightens his clothes, steps out briskly
and at such an angle that
THE TWO GUARDS don't notice him in the traffic as they
enter the open portal.
LONG SHOT - BILLY walking down the street, looking back,
almost bewildered, not quiet believing this.
TIGHT - RAILROAD TICKET being stamped. SOUND - SNAP.
MOVE UP to TICKET CLERK behind a grill.
Edirne to Uzun Kopru?
THE CLERK looks puzzled.
BILLY is on the other side of the grill. A ill-fitting
new Western style suit, a hat over his dyed black hair;
totally paranoid. He hasn't slept in three days and the
bruises from the Hamidou beating now show clearly black
and blue on his face. His eyes are alert, darting around,
his speech clipped and to the point.
What's the matter?
THE CLEF!! Shrugs.
'What are you crazy? There's no
train anymore to Uzun Kopru, it'd
have to go through Greece. The
BILLY taken by surprise.
No more train.
BILLY Moves off a small provincial RAILROAD DEPOT - DAY.
He looks at the:
EMPTY TRACKS - No 'midnight express'.
BILLY, tenser than ever, uses the occasion of buying a
newspaper at an OUTDOOR STAND to study:
THE MAIN SQUARE of the VILLAGE (EDIRNE) - DAY. SOLDIERS
and POLICE are abundant, chattering bustling amid tanks
and half-tracks. Mountains can be seen in the far distance.
BILLY camouflages his face as best he can in the Newspaper
CABDRIVERS in the Main Square. Most of them are older,
grizzled looking standing next to their old battered dusty
cabs talking with stray SOLDIERS. Billy's eyes settle on a
YOUNGER DRIVER with longish hair, possibly an ally.
BILLY glances down at his newspaper as a SOLDIER intersects
and his expression goes stony as he sees:
FULL COLOR DRAWING (first page) of a ridiculously fierce
heavy-muscled barechested MAN beating a facsimile of Hamidou
into the ground. Next to it a blurry badly reproduced
photograph of BILLY with a superimposed GUN in his hand.
You can't really tell it's him.
BILLY, controlling himself, crumples up the newspaper into
a baton, his eyes everywhere. Be the darting A crosses
ANOTHER ANGLE - BILLY, intersecting a POLICEMAN who glances
at him, joins the YOUNG CABDRIVER..
Listen, I have Swedish friends
camping south of the town. I was
supposed to meet them here this
morning but I was late. Can you
take me there?
DRIVER looks at him neutral.
You know where they are?
(anxious to get in
About ten kilometers.
THE DRIVER, noticing Billy's look at the soldiers, gets in
BILLY climbs into the back seat, feeling already he has
made a mistake. There is something too alert, too hard in
this young driver.
BILLY P.O.V. - THE MOUNTAINS as they roll in the taxi.
FORESTS - FIELDS.
Those mountains? are they?
(shakes his head)
Very bad now. Maybe war. Those
Greek pigs try to steal Cyprus
How'd you lose your friends?
BILLY leaning back in his seat, casual.
Oh, I drank a lot of raka last
night in Istanbul. Got into a fight.
Indicates the bruises on his face.
DRIVER looking at him in the rear view mirror. His curiosity
How come you speak Turkish so good?
BILLY casually glances out the window.
Did twenty months in prison in
THE DRIVER studies BILLY in the rear-view mirror. Then:
You want to score some? Cheap?
BILLY looks at him hard. Something's wrong with this man.
Cutting off further conversation, he looks out at:
THE MOUNTAINS of Greece - with longing.
BILLY stares back at:
THE DRIVER whose eyes now move away from the rear-view
mirror under the pressure of the stare. SOUND OFF loud
BILLY turning - in rear window, we see a TURKISH HALFTRACK
pulling alongside the cab, SOLDIERS waving their arms for
the cabdriver to get out of the way.
ANOTHER ANGLE - the HALFTRACK pulls level. The CABDRIVER
slows down, with a curse.
BILLY - beads of sweat trickle his brow
THE PERSONNEL CARRIER, disinterested, pulls past.
BILLY breathes heavily with nervous relief.
THE CAB pulls up to the end of a dirt road.
BILLY has his MAP out, studying it.
The Maritas River? Where is it?
ANOTHER ANGLE - the DRIVER, exasperated, waves southwest.
Two miles! Minefields over there.
Do you know where this campground
is or not?
Not far. Just a little way.
No! I'm not going any further!
It'll wreck my car.
I'll pay extra
ANOTHER ANGLE - BILLY slips him fifty lira. The DRIVER
takes it, muttering under his breath, jams the cab into
THE CAB follows rutted tracks into low HILLS.
INTERIOR CAB - very bumpy.
Where are the minefields?
All over. Turkish Army up there.
It's against the law. They shoot
(looks up in the
You sure you looking for your
BILLY(VERY SHARP NOW)
(very sharp now)
Okay! Ley me out right here. I'm
getting tired of all this bullshit
from you. I'll walk it.
(looks back, then
Ah, look! they probably know where
the campers are
BILLY's entire expression changes. It is all over.
A TANK AND HALFTRACK are sitting there by the rutted track,
with SOLDIERS. And a little LEAN-TO with several POLICE.
Also a couple of attack DOGS on leashes. The Driver honks
his horn on the approach.
Hey officer, we're looking for the
campground. Do you know where it
ANOTHER ANGLE - TWO POLICEMEN and A SOLDIER come sauntering
over, their collars open, beer bottles in hand, slightly
You're not supposed to be here
He's a tourist, what do you want,
he says he's looking for friends
at the campground.
FIRST POLICEMAN glances BILLY
Never heard of one.
Seen any Swedish foreigners in a
SECOND POLICEMAN meanwhile eases his arm down on the OPEN
WINDOW bringing BILLY into foreground. The COP'S mouth is
open and exhaling a wave of beer breath over-BILLY.
BILLY P.O.V. - BEER FACE FOCUS PAST him to SOLDIER at tank
reading "Hurriyet" - the picture of BILLY on page one,
spread for all to see.
DRIVER turning around to address him.
Seen any foreigners in a camper
SOLDIER circles the cab from the other side.
BILLY motions to the DRIVER.
Okay, they haven't seen him, let's
go back to town, it's getting late.
THE DRIVER ignores it. Calls out again, louder to BEER
Foreigners! KAMPER. VOLKSWAGEN
BILLY rigid. This asshole of a driver!
BEER FACE glances at BILLY, pulls his head out the window.
Looks down the road. Takes a sip of beer.
SOLDIER, disinterested, moves back towards the tank.
BEER FACE looks in the other direction down the road,
burps.Very conscious of his authority, shakes his head
without looking at the driver. Moves away.
BILLY nudges the DRIVER.
Okay, let's go.
THE DRIVER impatiently turns and looks straight at BILLY,
aware of his anxiety.
Is no Volkswagen, man! Something
wrong with you?
DRIVER calling out.
BEER FACE turns.
DRIVER leans out the window.
This guy's fishy...I think he might
be trying to get to Greece.
BILLY looks around fast.
BEER FACE starts back lazily, half drunk, with the OTHER
I don't know, there's
His eyes grow big suddenly As he sees the barrel of
Hamidou's REVOLVER right in His cheek.
BILLY all business, very quiet.
Get out -- right now, move!
BEER-FACE advancing looks puzzled, thinks he sees something,
then crouches as:
DRIVER gets out the door crouching, yells.
He's got a gun!
BILLY firing SHOTS off to distract them has climbed over
the front seat, jams the cab into gear. It stalls! Again
he tries, and now shoots off.
THE CAB Roars past the roadblock.
THE COPS AND SOLDIER, scattered by the shots, now scream
at each other. They run. SHOTS are fired.
BILLY guns the cab down the road, flying.
CLOUDS OF DUST trail the cab.
THE TANK starts to roll after it. Full speed. The HALFTRACK
follows, the MEN riding it shouting.
BILLY looks back, then looking ahead sees something.
P.O.V - a speck in the far distance. Another ROADBLOCK.
BILLY decides, then -
THE CAB swerves right off the road and jumps into the gently
rolling FIELD on the border of the road, pock marked with
THE TURKS come roaring down the road, pointing to the cab.
LOW ANGLE - the TANK makes a flat out stop, gears grinding.
THE GUN TURRET swings left.
THE CAB in the far distance, at an angle to the tank, starts
running up an incline.
THE TANK FIRES.
P.O.V. - SHELL BLASTS WIDE OF THE CAB.
BILLY, startled, looks back, guns for the top of the
HIS P.O.V. - ANOTHER SHELL now blasts to his front right,
closer. Something heavy (shrapnel) thuds into the rood of
BILLY drives all out.
P.O.V. - THE INCLINE CLOSER, CLOSER, ABOUT TO MAKE IT,
THEN: A BLAST
TANK P.O.V. - the CAB spinning in the blast of the adjacent
BILLY, shaken but unhurt, staggers out of the cab, looks:
P.O.V. - A WHEEL BLASTED AWAY, FUEL PISSING OUT FROM THE
SHRAPNEL HOLES, SMASHED WINDSHIELD AND FENDER.
THE TURKS are coming up the incline now, like the Cavalry --
some on foot running, others on the HALFTRACK. BULLETS
whistle and pop nearby.
BILLY running. He tears off his jacket.
SOLDIERS pass the wrecked car, at the top of the incline
shouting, pointing and firing at
BILLY in the distance.
ONE SOLDIER seems lighter than the others and takes off in
a sprint as the OTHERS follow.
THE HALFTRACK now crests the incline and gathering full
gear and momentum, roars off down the slope after Billy.
CLOSE BILLY running sweat all over him. In background, the
HALFTRACK and running FIGURES.
BILLY runs into a high dry cornfield with the sun starting
to set ahead of him in the Greek mountains.
MOUNTAINS - must make those mountains.
BILLY running all out - eyes fixed on them, breathing,
THE PERSONNEL CARRIER bypasses the FAST SOLDIER who slows
down, panting. Billy has outrun him.
OTHER SOLDIERS run up in the distance.
BILLY, tireless, obsessed, runs right into a POPPY FIELD.It
is a splendid beautiful scarlet red, set off by the dipping
rays of the sun.
HIS FEET smashing down the poppy plants. Fast - THUCK!
THUCK! THUCK! THUCK! THUCK! THUCK!
CROSSCUT the metal TREADS of the Halftrack into the poppy,
mowing down entire rows.
TWO SOLDIERS on the PERSONNEL CARRIER are waving
encouragement to the driver inside. They have him.
ANOTHER ANGLE the HALFTRACK closing the distance on BILLY
now thirty yards apart.
BILLY looking back, starting to fade. Huge wheezing gasps
SOLDIERS running up looking at
THE HALFTRACK in the distance.
Minefield! Minefield! Come back!
BILLY runs out of the POPPY FIELD into a THIN FOREST.
THE SOLDIERS screaming in the distance, jumping up and
down waving for the halftrack to come back.
LOW ANGLE - the HALFTRACK with the waving SOLDIERS on board
now blasts out of the poppy field at full speed.
BILLY -- he has no chance, In immediate background is the
ONE SOLDIER on the HALFTRACK now looking back to the SHOUTS
of his comrades. Confused. Turns bout back to yell something
ENORMOUS EXPLOSION The HALFTRACK disintegrates in a tank
BILLY thrown to the ground by the force of the blast, looks
A BURNING WRECKAGE. Black spirals of smoke. Secondary
BILLY stumbles up. A gash of blood is on his temple but he
doesn't know it or feel it such is his stress. He runs on,
SHOTS whistling towards him from the poppy field.
TURKISH OFFICER screaming angrily at Billy, cursing, shaking
his fist at the sky.
BILLY, in the forest, is totally out of breath and out of
eyesight of the pursuers. He stops against a tree. FROG
SOUNDS. The gurgle of water. Muddy ground. He looks:
THE MARITAS RIVER rushing ahead. A strong current.
BILLY peels off all his clothing except his pants, not
delaying one more moment. He feels he must keep going. And
he's right. DOGS are barking OFF.
A SNARLING ATTACK DOG is tearing through the minefield,
fast, ahead of the others.
BILLY looks, sees it.
THIRTY YARDS - the huge DOG coming right at him!
BILLY runs for the edge of the bank and plunges in.
THE ATTACK DOG sprints up to the edge of the river bank
and without a moment's hesitation, plunges right in after
BILLY lashing into the current with a fierce breast stroke,
is swept downstream kicking futilely.
THE DOG, its jaws open and clacking, is also swept down
BILLY going under, coming back up - fighting, still
THE DOG struggling sails past as
BILLY hauls himself out of the river, going in a circle,
dizzy. Falls. Struggles up again. Looks back. Must keep
THE BASE OF' MOUNTAIN - hilly, rugged.
BILLY runs, drags, runs again. He is a lamentable sight -
naked except for ripped wet pants, barefoot, bleeding,
muddied. Dimly he makes out:
A FARMHOUSE - TWILIGHT. Some cows, goats, chickens. NO
sign of people.
BILLY staggers towards it. Wears something. A rooting SOUND.
Stops. Something familiar about it.
A FAMILY OF PIGS snort and root in the mud, little piglets
BILLY staggers towards them, muttering to himself.
Then yells in the recognition of it
Pigs... You... Beautiful...
BILLY BILLY falls to his knees in the confined pen; the
pigs run around squealing. Trying to reach out for one of
them, he falls face first into the mud and lies there.
Pause. A wooden DOOR squeaks open OFF. BILLY slowly turns
his muddy eyes over his shoulder.
BILLY P.O.V. - TWO SOLDIERS, khaki-colored uniforms,
helmets, olive faces, mustaches, approach cautiously from
the farmhouse, rifles ready. Following them is an OLD
FARMER, Further behind in the doorway is his WIFE and
BILLY muttering to himself, in Turkish.
THE SOLDIERS approach close, stand above this strange
figure, look at each other.
(What is he saying?)
Mou fainetai san Toupkika
(It sounded like Turkish)
BILLY with dimming strength.
THE FARMER understands, makes a vigorous nod of his head.
(Ah, yes... Greece!)
CAR DOOR SLAMS SHUT - and BILLY, his movements still weak,
moves a few steps from the car and stops. SUBTITLE:
OCTOBER 24, 1975 - BABYLON, LONG ISLAND
Framing Billy are SUSAN and his FATHER, both silent. They
look with him at
HIS SISTER, BROTHER, UNCLE, AUNT, SISTER-In-LAW FAMILY
FRIEND - AND GRANDMOTHER, all on the porch of the ordinary
house in BABYLON, LONG ISLAND - DAY; all of them returning
his gaze in that first SILENT moment. Curiosity.
Recognition. Shock. Love.
And then they move. But we don't hear their movements. It
is SOUNDLESS reunion; the SISTER running out first in SLOW
MOTION, the MOTHER following last, crying; the GRANDMOTHER
too infirm to move, the shaking her head from side to side
in SLOW MOTION, her tears lost somewhere in the wrinkles
of her face.
BILLY surrounded by FAMILY - SLOW MOTION - SOUNDLESS. His
eyes flooding. All the feelings in him. And deep inside -
a solitary question.
EPILOGUE BLACK SCREEN - SUPERIMPOSE:
THE CHARACTER NAMED BELL IS STILL INSIDE.
(ROLL THE LIST OF NAMES)
And OVER this, the SOUND of a PASSING TRAIN rushing by in
the night - UP, FAST and AWAY.