Inherent Vice script
Inherent Vice (2014)
Synopsis: In a California beach community, private detective Larry "Doc" Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) tends to work his cases through a smoky haze of marijuana. One day, Shasta, a former lover, arrives out of the blue to plead for Doc's help; it seems that Shasta's current beau, rich real-estate tycoon Mickey Wolfmann, has a wife who may be plotting to commit him to a mental hospital. When Mickey and Shasta both disappear, Doc navigates a psychedelic world of surfers, stoners and cops to solve the case.

1 OVER BLACK 1

A sweet, young woman’s voice narrates.

SORTILEGE (V.O.)

She came along the alley and upthe back stairs the way she alwaysused to. Doc hadn’t seen her for

over a year. Nobody had. Back

then it was always sandals, bottomhalf of a flower print bikini,

faded Country Joe & the Fish T-

shirt. Tonight, she was all inflatland gear, hair a lot shorterthan he remembered, looking justlike she swore she’d never look...

FADE IN:

2 INT. DOC’S APARTMENT (GORDITA BEACH) - DUSK (1970) 2

DOC SPORTELLO sits half awake on his couch. He looks up,

notices someone standing at his door: SHASTA FAY

HEPWORTH (20s).

DOC:

Is that you, Shasta?

SHASTA:

Think you’re hallucinating...?

DOC:

No... just the new package, I

guess...

SHASTA:

... I need your help, Doc.

DOC:

Come in. (... you know I have anoffice now and everything? Just

like a day job.)

She walks in, Doc gets a slow rising BONER in hispants... casually tries to cover it up.

SHASTA:

I looked in the phone book andalmost went over there, but then Ithought better for everyone ifthis looked like a secret

rendezvous.

DOC:

Somebody keeping a close eye?

2.

SHASTA:

... I just spent an hour on

surface streets trying to make it

look good.

DOC:

How about a beer?

Doc moves to the fridge, Shasta looks around, they sit

down at the kitchen table:

SHASTA:

So there’s this guy...

DOC:

Gentlemen of the straightworld

persuasion?

SHASTA:

Okay, Doc. He’s married.

DOC:

And the wife -- she knows about

you?

SHASTA:

But she’s seeing somebody, too.

Only it’s not just the usual -- I

think they’re working on some

creepy little scheme.

DOC:

To make off with the hubby’s

fortune? I think I’ve heard this

one once or twice...

SHASTA:

They want me in on it... they

think I’m the one who can reach

him when he’s vulnerable, or as

much as he ever gets.

DOC:

Bare-ass and asleep?

SHASTA:

I knew you’d understand.

DOC:

Are you still trying to figure out

if it’s right or wrong?

SHASTA:

Worse than that. How much loyalty

I owe him.

3.

DOC:

I hope you’re not asking me.

Beyond the usual boilerplate,

people owe anybody they’re fucking

steady...?

SHASTA:

Dear Abby said the same thing.

DOC:

Emotions aside, let’s look at the

money. How much of the rent’s he

been picking up?

SHASTA:

All of it.

DOC:

Pretty hefty?

SHASTA:

For Hancock Park.

DOC:

You’re giving him IOUs for

everything, of course...

SHASTA:

You fucker, if I’d known you were

still this bitter I wouldn’t have

come --

DOC:

Me? I’m just trying to be

professional. How much are the

wifey and boyfriend offering to

cut you in for...?

BEAT...

DOC:

So, this... this isn’t just a

couple of X-rated Polaroids, then.

Dope planted in the glove

compartment, nothin’ like that.

SHASTA:

It isn’t what you’re thinking,

Doc.

DOC:

Don’t worry, thinking comes later,

what else?

SHASTA:

I’m not sure, but it sounds like

they want to commit him to some

kind of loony bin.

4.

DOC:

You mean legally? Or a snatch of

some kind?

SHASTA:

Nobody’s telling me, Doc, I’m just

the bait...

CLOSEUP - SHASTA’S FACE

Looking at Doc.

ANOTHER ANGLE:

He looks at her. Can’t read her face.

DOC:

Are you still taking those acting

classes?

SHASTA:

Thing is:
I heard you’re seeing

somebody downtown.

DOC:

Oh, you mean Penny. Seeing?

Well. Nice flatland chick out in

search of hippie love thrills,

basically.

SHASTA:

Also some kind of junior D.A.?

DOC:

You think somebody there could

stop this before it happens?

SHASTA:

There’s not too many places I

could go with this, Doc.

DOC:

Okay, I’ll talk to Penny, see what

we can see. So your happy couple.

Do they have a names?

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Paul Thomas Anderson

Paul Thomas Anderson (born June 26, 1970) also known as P.T. Anderson, is an American filmmaker. Interested in film-making since a young age, Anderson was encouraged by his father to become a filmmaker. more…

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"Inherent Vice" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 22 Nov. 2017. <http://www.scripts.com/script/inherent_vice_595>.

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