The Grifters script
The Grifters (1990)
Synopsis: Hard-as-nails Lily Dillon (Anjelica Huston) works as a swindler for dangerous bookie Bobo (Pat Hingle), probably the only man she fears. Arriving in Los Angeles on "business," Lily looks up her son, Roy (John Cusack), a small-time con artist content with paltry sleight-of-hand cheats. Roy's girlfriend, Myra (Annette Bening), looks like an All-American type but is a grifter looking to pull off another big-time con. The convergence of the three hustlers inevitably means trouble for all of them.

AN ANGLE on a high-dollar betting window, as Lilly

approaches, taking bank-banded wads of bills from her bag.

EXT. TOTE BOARD - DAY

A change of numbers sweeps across the board.

EXT. RUIDOSO DOWNS - DAY

Lilly moves away from the betting window, tucking betting

tickets into her bag.

ECU, Lilly's bag, compartmented, with stacks of money, small

envelopes and notes on notepaper in each compartment. Lilly

carefully files the betting slips.

AN ANGLE on Lilly looking out at the tote board.

EXT. TOTE BOARD - DAY

CU, number 3. Odds 32-1.

EXT. RUIDOSO DOWNS - DAY

AN ANGLE on Lilly, not satisfied. She turns and goes back.

AN ANGLE at the betting window as Lilly arrives and makes

more bets.

EXT. TOTE BOARD - DAY

CU, number 3. Odds 32-1. CROWD NOISE INCREASES. The numbers

shift:
odds 26-1.

CALLER (O.S.)

And they're off!

INT. JEWELER'S OFFICE - DAY

Very quiet, stately; abrupt contrast with the track. A slow

ticking clock.

Myra sits in the client's chair, while at the desk sits the

JEWELER, a pleasant but overweight man of 40, who studies a

jeweled bracelet through a loupe. He sighs, drops the loupe,

shakes his head regretfully.

JEWELER:

Mrs. Langtry, I'm sorry.

MYRA:

Why? What's wrong?

JEWELER:

(personal emotion mixed

in)

You are a valued customer, as you

know.

MYRA:

But what's wrong?

JEWELER:

I can't understand a thing like

this. It's something you almost

never see.

MYRA:

What is?

JEWELER:

(holding up bracelet)

This is some of the finest

filigreed platinum I've ever seen.

But the stones, no. They're not

diamonds, Mrs. Langtry.

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Donald E. Westlake

Donald Edwin Westlake (July 12, 1933 – December 31, 2008) was an American writer, with over a hundred novels and non-fiction books to his credit. He specialized in crime fiction, especially comic capers, with an occasional foray into science fiction and other genres. He was a three-time Edgar Award winner, one of only three writers (the others are Joe Gores and William L. DeAndrea) to win Edgars in three different categories (1968, Best Novel, God Save the Mark; 1990, Best Short Story, "Too Many Crooks"; 1991, Best Motion Picture Screenplay, The Grifters). In 1993, the Mystery Writers of America named Westlake a Grand Master, the highest honor bestowed by the society. more…

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