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15 Minutes (2001)
Synopsis: 15 Minutes is a 2001 American action crime thriller film starring Robert De Niro and Edward Burns. Its story revolves around a homicide detective (De Niro) and a fire marshal (Burns) who team up to stop a pair of Eastern European murderers (Karel Roden and Oleg Taktarov) who are videotaping their crimes in order to become rich and famous. The title is a reference to the Andy Warhol quotation, "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes."

FADE IN:

on the words CZECH AIRLINE. We are panning across the words

on the side of the plane.

INT. AIRPLANE

ANGLE DOWN:

on a tray table. Crumpled Czech bills and coins are on it.

Hands are counting the money. The airline hostess announces

the arrival at JFK - in CZECH. A hand reaches into a breast

pocket - pulling out two passports. One is opened. Belongs

to EMIL SLOVAK. The next passport belongs to OLEG RAZGUL.

The hand passes the Oleg Razgul passport to the man next to

him. We notice several empty airline bottles of vodka and a

small disposable camera on Oleg's tray table. The passport

is set down. Oleg picks it up. We hear Emil's voice in

CZECH. The scene is subtitled in ENGLISH.

EMIL (V.O.)

Just do what I do. Say the same thing I

say. Don't open your mouth.

OLEG (V.O.)

Okay.

INT. PASSPORT CONTROL - KENNEDY AIRPORT - DAY

CAMERA DOLLIES down a long line of passengers. They are

split into two lines - one for Americans, the other for

visitors. CAMERA finally arrives at EMIL SLOVAK. An

unshaven Czech in his mid-30's. Tall, scraggly beard.

Piercing blue eyes. He's dressed in an outdated suit. His

eyes are alert, cunning and smart.

OLEG RAZGUL, stands in line behind Emil. Oleg is big. Not

tall - but wide. A wrestler's body. Emil looks at Oleg.

(The following is in CZECH and subtitled in ENGLISH.)

EMIL:

Don't fool around.

OLEG:

Okay.

Oleg holds up his disposable camera - at arms length - to

take a picture of himself.

EMIL:

Did you hear what I said?

OLEG:

I want to document my trip to America.

IMMIGRATION OFFICER

Next.

(Emil steps up)

Could I see your documents, please?

EMIL:

Yes sir.

He hands the passport to the officer who runs it through an

image swipe. Emil glances furtively back to Oleg.

IMMIGRATION OFFICER

What is your intended purpose of your

visit to the United States?

EMIL:

Two weeks holiday.

IMMIGRATION OFFICER

How much money are you carrying with

you?

EMIL:

I have five-hundred dollars.

IMMIGRATION OFFICER

Can you show me? Sir, no cameras in the

FIS area!

Oleg was about to take a picture of Emil and the Immigration

Officer. Oleg puts the camera away. Smiles sheepishly.

IMMIGRATION OFFICER (CONT'D)

(to Emil)

Is he with you? Are you travelling

together?

EMIL:

Yes.

IMMIGRATION OFFICER

Please join us.

(to Oleg)

Come on forward.

EMIL:

Is there a problem?

IMMIGRATION OFFICER

No, you're travelling together. I want

to talk to you together. Hi, how are

you? Can I take a look at your

documents?

(takes Oleg's passport)

Are you related?

OLEG:

Yes...he's my friend.

IMMIGRATION OFFICER

Okay. You're a Czech national and

you're a Russian national. How do you

know one another?

Oleg starts to speak, but Emil cuts him off.

EMIL:

We are both from Prague.

IMMIGRATION OFFICER

(to Oleg)

How long are you planning to stay?

EMIL:

Two weeks.

IMMIGRATION OFFICER

I'd like to speak for himself, okay?

EMIL:

He doesn't speak English.

OLEG:

I speak English.

IMMIGRATION OFFICER

(to Oleg)

Then answer my questions. Where were

you planning to stay during the two

weeks that you're here?

OLEG:

New York.

IMMIGRATION OFFICER

Yes, we're in New York now. But where

are you planning to stay in New York?

OLEG:

A cheap hotel.

IMMIGRATION OFFICER

What are you coming here to do?

OLEG:

I'm here for movies.

IMMIGRATION OFFICER

Movies...to be in the movies or to see

movies?

OLEG:

Yes. No. Both. When I was a boy, I

see movie at school called "It's a

Wonderful Life" directed by Frank Capra.

Ever since I want to come to America.

Land of the free. Home of the brave. A

land where anyone can be anything. As

long as they are white.

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John Herzfeld

John Herzfeld is an American film and television director, screenwriter, actor and producer. His feature film directing credits include Two of a Kind, 2 Days in the Valley, 15 Minutes and The Death and Life of Bobby Z. more…

All John Herzfeld scripts | John Herzfeld Books

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