A Walk Among the Tombstones

Synopsis: Matt Scudder is a former cop now a private eye. He is asked by a drug dealer to find the men who kidnapped his wife. It seems like they killed her even after he paid them. Scudder refuses. But the man later goes to see him and tells him how his wife was killed. Scudder takes the job. He does some research and thinks the men he is looking for have done this more than once. And that everyone they grabbed is connected to a drug dealer. He was about to give up when they grab another girl and Scudder tries make sure she's returned alive.
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
Director(s): Scott Frank
Production: Universal Studios
  1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
114 min


- You need some help, man.

- Oh, God.

I don't care.

You want to mess up your own sh*t.

But you're going to mess up mine, too.

I need to know you got my back.

Not that you're going to come falling

through the door behind me...

Don't worry your pretty

little spic head off.

Anyway. That was all I wanted to say.

Is that it?

F*** you.


Remember us?

Okay, get out. Both of you.

I told you last night that we...

Oh, my God!

Is everybody okay?

Get down!

Get behind me! Get down!

Move it!

- Stay low!

- Duck inside!

Hey, Matt.

It's me, Peter.

You know, Peter Kristo...

Oh, Peter. Hi.

Do I know you, Peter?

Yeah, I led a meeting a few weeks ago.

You know, I'm a painter,

got hooked on smack in art school...

Oh, yeah.

You're the guy did the

Jackson Pollock number

on the wall of the john

with the blood from your...

- Syringe.

- Yeah.

- Yeah, that was me.

- I enjoyed your story.

Oh! Thanks. Appreciate it.

Do you mind?

Sure, sit down.

Can't smoke in here, honey.

- Yeah.

- Something wrong, Peter?

It's my brother, you know?

He needs your help.

What kind of help?

I think it would be better if

you came out to Clinton Hill,

talked about it there with him.

Clinton Hill.

Yeah, he'll pay for your cab out

there and back, and your time.

Whether you take it or not.

Please, just hear what he got

to say, that's all I'm asking.

When does your brother

want to have this chat?

Well, you know. Right now.

That's what I was afraid

you were gonna say.

- Here you go, Matt.

- Thanks, Jenny.

Yeah, I'm sorry.

You're eating.

I'll come back.

Yeah, if you're...

Jenny, would you keep this warm

for me, please? I'll be back.

Half an hour, right there on the right.

That's it. Yeah,

it's a nice place, right?

All right, Mr. Matt. Go on up.

Kenny don't like me smoking

in the house, so...

Hey, Kenny.

Mr. Scudder. Come in.

Can I get you something to drink?

Not a "drink" drink, I know

you know Peter from AA,

but there's coffee made,

or I can offer you a soda.

I'm fine.

So you're a private detective,

is that right?

- Unlicensed.

- What's that mean?

It means that sometimes

I do favors for people,

and sometimes, in return,

they give me gifts.

Gifts. But you used

to be a cop, right?

Yeah, I was with the 6th Precinct

in the Village for a while.

And before that, I was

over here with the 75th.

So why'd you quit?

I didn't like the hours, Mr. Kristo.

Nah, the corruption got to you, huh?

Not really.

It would have been hard to

support my family without it.

So, what can I do for you?

Well, this was really my brother's idea,

you know, bringing you out here.

You want, I can leave.

Someone's kidnapped my wife.

That's a federal matter.

They said not to call the cops.

Naturally they would.

When did this happen?


You should be talking to the FBI.

- I'm talking to you.

- Look, Mr. Kristo...

- Kenny.

- Kenny.

If you're asking me to run

a bag, deliver money,

that is not something I do.

I already paid them.


Last night.

How much?


And your wife? Where is she?

She's dead.

I paid them, but they killed her anyway.

I see.

- I'm sorry.

- I don't want you to be sorry.

I want you to find the men who

did this and bring them to me.

You say you paid them

the 400 the same day?

That's right.

You mind if I ask what kind

of business you're in, Kenny?


What exactly do you construct?



Then I guess Peter's standing

outside right now because he what?

Doesn't like your building methods?

Peter's not supposed to

associate with people like me.

People in my profession.

Since when is drug dealing a profession?

I mean, that's the reason, isn't it?

I'm sitting here and not the cops?

You're a dealer.

Properly speaking, I'm more

of a trafficker than a dealer.

You understand the distinction.

I really don't give a sh*t

one way or the other.

But whoever it was took your wife

didn't just pick your name out of a hat.

They must have had some idea

you had that kind of cash on hand.

That's exactly what I

want you to find out.

Who did this?

Now there's $20,000.

Consider it my gift to you.

There's 20 more, you find

the two fucks who killed her.

So that you can kill them.

I'm sorry, but I can't help you.

Woulda been nice, you told

me what your brother was.

Yeah, you wouldn'ta come.

That's right. I wouldn't have.

I stopped drinking that day.

Just wasn't as much fun after that.

Well, I guess I'm just a...

Anyway, I'm eight years sober.

And I... Well...

That's all. Thanks.


Hurt yourself?

Found it out back by the dumpster.

Mrs. Dolgren in 202

left it there when Mr. D

stroked out last week.

Any messages?

I never told you her name.

I don't want you to think that I'm cruel

or don't care.

I just can't say it.

What happened?



Carrie Anne, what's your game now?


She never came home, right?

Excuse me?

We've got your wife, fucko.



Baby, you up there?

What is it you want?

We want to help you get your wife back.

If you want her back, that is.

Of course I want her back.

Good. Then stay by the phone,

don't call the police,

and we'll be in touch. Very soon.

It was maybe 10 minutes

before they called again.

How much does your

wife weigh, Mr. Kristo?

110, 120?

Somewhere in that neighborhood?

Something like 50 kilograms,

you might say?

Rate this script:5.0 / 1 vote

Lawrence Block

Lawrence Block (born June 24, 1938) is an American crime writer best known for two long-running New York–set series about the recovering alcoholic P.I. Matthew Scudder and the gentleman burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr. Block was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America in 1994. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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