The Relic

Synopsis: The Relic is a 1997 science fiction-horror film directed by Peter Hyams and based on the best-selling novel Relic by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. The film stars Penelope Ann Miller, Tom Sizemore, and Linda Hunt. The original music score was composed by John Debney.
Production: Paramount
  4 nominations.
 
IMDB:
5.7
Metacritic:
55
Rotten Tomatoes:
32%
R
Year:
1997
110 min
510 Views


TITLE CARD... BELEM BRAZIL - JULY...

EXT. BELEM STREETS - NIGHT

A taxi careens down narrow roadways at breakneck speeds.

INT. TAXI - NIGHT

In the back seat is WHITTLESLEY. Early 40's, the wreck of a once

handsome man. Unshaven. Sweat stained. Rail thin. Scratches on his

arms, a fresh scar on one cheek. As the taxi roars downhill towards

the harbor, Whittlesley leans over the front seat. (Italics indicate

Portuguese to be subtitled)

WHITTLESLEY:

Faster! We won't make it.

DRIVER:

You want to die?

Whittlesley pulls out A KNIFE, puts it to the driver's jugular vein.

WHITTLESLEY:

Do you?

Sweat pouring down his brow, the driver re-doubles his speed.

EXT. BELEM STREETS - NIGHT

The taxi swerves around a corner, nearly crashing into a fruit cart,

flies out of sight.

EXT. HARBOR - BELEM - NIGHT

Light rain obscures the bulky outlines of tethered freighters. We hear

faint laughter leavened with Portuguese phrases, distant Calypso music

from waterfront bars. One of the smaller boats, the SANTA LUCIA, is

loading as the TAXI fishtails to a halt.

Whittlesley gets out, sees the boat still at dock. His face floods

with relief.

WHITTLESLEY:

Thank God.

He tosses a handful of bills into the driver's lap, sprints up the

pier as the driver shouts curses after him in Portuguese. Whittlesley

shoves past the dock hands as the last load goes onto the Santa Lucia.

The boat's engines churn to life.

WHITTLESLEY:

I need to speak to the captain!

Where is he?

The sailors hold Whittlesley back.

WHITTLESLEY:

Get your hands off me! I'm trying

to save your lives, you fools!

Several crew members murmur the word "loco". Hearing the commotion, a

squat man wearing a billed hat and smoking a cigar approaches. CAPTAIN

FRANCO.

FRANCO:

American?

WHITTLESLEY:

Yes. Thank Christ somebody speaks

English. I'm Dr. John Whittlesley.

You have some crates of mine on

board. They were shipped by mistake

to the Natural History Museum. We

have to get them off the boat.

FRANCO:

You have I.D.?

Whittlesley runs a trembling hand through his hair, trying to keep

control and appear reasonable.

WHITTLESLEY:

No. Let me explain. I was on an

expedition for the museum on the

Upper Xingu. Something horrible

happened. I'm the only one who got

out alive. I lost everything, my

I.D., everything. I have to make

sure no one else dies. The crates,

the crates were sent out before we

knew. There's something unspeakable

inside. If your boat leaves harbor

with those crates on board, I can't

be responsible. My God, if they

reach New York...

Whittlesley's fists clench spasmodically. Franco looks to his men.

FRANCO:

Loco.

WHITTLESLEY:

No! I'm not crazy! As God is my

witness, I'm telling the truth.

Franco barks an order and several sailors grab Whittlesley by the

arms. They start to lead him back to shore.

WHITTLESLEY:

Don't do this! You have to believe

me. Your lives are in danger.

The sailors laugh. But with an almost super-human strength born of

desperation, Whittlesley throws them off. He pulls out his wallet.

WHITTLESLEY:

Cash. Cash, you see? American money.

Whittlesley throws the money down on the deck. The breeze scatters the

bills across the bow and all the men, including Captain Franco,

scramble for the money, chattering in Portuguese. While they are

occupied, Whittlesley slips by unnoticed and disappears below deck.

INT. HOLD - SANTA LUCIA - NIGHT

Whittlesley ducks between cages of goats, boxes of farm equipment, his

movements jerky with panic. As he continues searching, the camera

moves past him, into the darkness of the hold. We hear Whittlesley

mumbling between low, ragged breaths. At the back of the boat the

camera finds...

A STACK OF CRATES... clearly labeled NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM. Move in on

these as... The CRATES VIBRATE. The boat has started to move!

Whittlesley stands bolt upright, realizing what's going on.

WHITTLESLEY:

No!

Too late. He turns to run back on deck but then stops, sniffs the air.

A look of desperation fills his eyes. With one hand he pulls out THE

KNIFE, and unexpectedly puts it to HIS OWN NECK. Better to kill

himself than face what comes next. The knife touches...

A NECKLACE of TWO ARROWS, one gold, another silver.

Whittlesley stares wide-eyed into the blackness of the hold. The goats

start BLEATING in blind panic. A shaft of moonlight comes through a

porthole as the boat turns. The moonlight falls on

THE CRATES. Whittlesley's eyes lock onto them and he inches towards

them, drawn inexorably closer... closer...

WHITTLESLEY:

No... no...

He begins mumbling a prayer.

MOVE IN ON HIS EYES... filled with dread as he falls to his knees,

staring, always staring at THE CRATES...

EXT. DOCKS - NIGHT

The crew tends to business and the Santa Lucia points out of the

harbor, disappears into the night.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. LOUISIANNA COAST - DAY... TITLE CARD... JUNE

Squad cars roar down the back roads, sirens flashing. In the center of

the column is an unmarked car.

INT. UNMARKED CAR - DAY

At the wheel is a strikingly dignified and imposing black man wearing

a simple, old-fashioned dark suit, narrow black tie, and white shirt.

This is SPECIAL AGENT PENDERGAST, FBI.

A BACH SONATA for violin and harpsichord plays on the tape deck.

Pendergast hums along as he drives. A SMALL TOWN COP rides shotgun.

The cop is intimidated both by Pendergast and the morning's events. He

sweats heavily as he brings Pendergast up to date.

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Amy Holden Jones

Amy Holden Jones is an American screenwriter and film director. Jones began her career as a documentary filmmaker, then entered the film industry editing low-budget films, then studio films, and ultimately began directing and writing. more…

All Amy Holden Jones scripts | Amy Holden Jones Scripts

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