The Distinguished Gentleman script
Synopsis: In the conniving world of politics, even a professional shyster like Thomas Jefferson Johnson (Eddie Murphy) can find himself outmatched. After using name recognition to get elected, Johnson enjoys many of the same financial perks as other politicians. However, while investigating the connection between electric companies and cancer in young children, he unexpectedly develops a conscience. Unfortunately, fellow Congressman Dick Dodge (Lane Smith) isn't about to let him rock the boat.

FADE IN:

1 A FLASH OF LIGHT 1

A radiant shiny something dazzling in EXTREME CLOSEUP.

BEGIN TITLES.

CAMERA very slowly PULLS BACK. The sparkling surfaceturns out to be a lot of carats. WE SEE the stone, then

the ring, then suddenly, in b.g., something HUGE SWEEPSby. REVEAL a mechanical claw above the ring, hangingfrom a crane. The ring sits in a sea of tiny dolls,

joke eyeballs, and other carnival junk.

The claw descends on the ring again and again, sometimescatching it for a moment then tragically dropping it -accompanied

by OOHS and AAHS (O.S.) of hope and disappointment.

INTERCUT with the HANDS of a young black manworking the controls. The EYES of a young black womanwatching him work. Another guy's HANDS digging in hispocket for change. QUARTERS going into the slot.

MAN'S VOICE (O.S.)

This'll never work, Tommy.

TOMMY (O.S.)

Be positive, Armando. Course it will.

The claw inadvertently snags a rabbit's foot.

TOMMY (O.S.)

Look. See what a lucky fuck I am?

WOMAN'S VOICE (O.S.)

He don't mean the ring, hon, he

means the whole plan.

TOMMY (O.S.)

So do I.

The claw catches the ring and closes on it. QUICK CUTS

of their FACES as the crane rises. A very pretty lady.

A beefy Latino with a two-day beard. Their apprehension.

Tommy's confidence. Then his exceptional smile. He getsthe ring.

2 INT. PENNY ARCADE - DAY 2

TOMMY:

Okay -- one down, one to go.

(returning to theclaw)

You got quarters, Loretta?

END TITLES.

THE DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN - Rev. 4/3/92 2.

3 EXT. FLORIDA LUXURY HOTEL - DAY 3

Palm trees. The smell of money. Valets in ForeignLegion khakis greeting arriving luxury cars.

4 INT. HOTEL FUNCTION ROOM - DAY 4

A big crowd of GUESTS at a cocktail reception. A lot

of lime jackets, cherry trousers, and blue hair. People

wear name tags.

ON Tommy, in pastel bow tie and full waiter drag, confirming

orders for a group of guests. He speaks in aPRISSY, OVER-SOLICITIOUS VOICE:

TOMMY:

That's a diet ginger ale, an extra-

spicy virgin mary no salt, a club

soda -- good choice -- a lime

rickey, and a bourbon and a

planter's punch. Five people,

five drinks... it's Kismet!

Tommy turns away, looking toward the entrance to the

room.

5 INT. LOBBY - DAY - CLOSE SHOT - THE RING 5

glittering on Loretta's finger. LORETTA, stunning indesigner clothing and accessories, enters. Her looks

attract looks.

6 INT. FUNCTION ROOM - DAY 6

Tommy, maintaining his vantage point, repeats anotherorder, this time in a heavy CARRIBEAN ACCENT:

TOMMY:

That's a vodka tonic, a Pellegrino,

lime and no ice, a gin Gibson

straight up with ex-tra onions

-- I am also fond of de onions --

and a Chardonnary spritzer...also

with extra onions -- no, no, do

not worry, that is just a little

joke. There will be no onions

whatsoever in your spritzer!

He LAUGHS HUGELY, rather amused with himself. The guestsaren't.

GUEST:

You don't need to write it down?

(CONTINUED)

THE DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN - Rev. 4/3/92 3.

6 CONTINUED:
6

TOMMY:

Mr. Memory? Do not make me laugh!

He LAUGHS HUGELY, turns, takes two steps away and makesabsolutely no effort to get their drinks. He looks

toward the door.

7 INT. HALLWAY/ENTRANCE TO FUNCTION ROOM - DAY 7

Loretta approaches the function room, where pert DEBBIE,

wearing a JOHNSON FOR CONGRESS button, staffs a felt-

covered table. On a nearby easel, a photo of a silver-

haired Man with a legend in blue and gold: JEFF JOHNSON.

THE NAME YOU KNOW.

LORETTA:

(Eurotrash accent)

I'm not too late, am I, dear?

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Marty Kaplan

Marty Kaplan is the Norman Lear Professor of Entertainment, Media and Society at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism and the founding director of the Norman Lear Center for the study of the impact of entertainment on society. more…

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"The Distinguished Gentleman" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 17 Dec. 2017. <http://www.scripts.com/script/the_distinguished_gentleman_423>.

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