Synopsis for
"Leverage" The Van Gogh Job (2011)

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An older man named Charlie (Danny Glover) admires a roller skating rink. He's remembering its heyday in the 1940s when a man comes up and asks him about looted art. Charlie sniffs out his badge as fake, but the man warns him his boss will hunt Charlie until he gets the painting. The threat makes Charlie's heart race. He slumps over.

Nate meets with an old insurance investigator peer named Owen. Owen tells him he's closer than ever to finding a painting. He found love letters from a Nazi infantryman named Conrad Becker in which Becker referenced it. He was stationed at the museum where the lost Van Gogh went missing from. The trial leads to Oregon. Becker was killed by US troops a few years later and they think Charles Lawson ended up with it. Owen makes a plea for Nate to help Charlie because the people who want the painting will stop at nothing to get it.

Nate and Sophie both have fond memories of chasing the lost Van Gogh. At condo HQ, Nate tells Eliot he sent Hardison and Parker on ahead. Sophie explains the museum that held the painting was hit by allied bombing during WWII. It'd be worth about $100 million. They worry what someone would do for that 10 percent finder's fee.

At the hospital in Oregon, Parker tells Charlie that she and Hardison are there to keep him safe.

Sophie and Nate head to Willamette City to visit 88-year-old Charlie. He denies he has the painting. They all go to leave, but Parker grabs Hardison's hand and suggests they not give up. The gesture speaks to Charlie somehow and he agrees to talk only to Parker.

Eliot checks out the house where Charlie Lawson grew up in, posing as somebody with the gas company (he does a scan and tells her she has 84 percent "LOL"). He's about to go inside when she tells him the mold inspector is in back. Eliot goes to the back yard and finds the man from the opening. He knows him as Frank.

Eliot and Frank start fighting. Eliot picks up a nearby pink bat to fend him off. The house owner comes around back and Frank runs off. Eliot asks if she knows of any of the house's original features to pinpoint its age. She doesn't, but mentions she found some old art.

Charlie tells Parker that it all started at the Roller Palace when he was a kid. That's where he met Dorothy Ross, the white daughter of Alfred Ross, a lumber baron in town. He tells the story of getting to know her and realizing she felt trapped like he did. He remembers talking about where they each wanted to travel (in flashbacks, he's Hardison and she's Parker).

At the house, the woman brings out an old poster of Paris.

Charlie explains Dorothy's dad bought her French lessons and she in turn taught him. He had an ear for languages. He joked about going there someday with her and she said she's like that. They were interrupted by her father.

He thought he got away with the crime of hitting on a white woman, but later that night a man who worked in Mr. Ross' mill confronted him, ready to beat the crap out of him. He was stopped by the sheriff (played by Nate in flashback).

The sheriff warned him he'd be on his own after he shipped off to war and the deputies wouldn't protect him. Charlie wanted to do something to change Ross' mind about him. He decided maybe he was ready to go to France. Dorothy goes to find him one day at the roller rink, but someone tells him Charlie enlisted.

Overseas, Charlie drove a supply truck and used his language skills to trade with the locals. After D-Day they were clearing a village of Germans when their supply truck was ambushed. Charlie picked up a rifle and fired at the German sniper and killed him. He didn't understand why the man would be alone. He lifted his letter before the others could see.

Hardison comes back from the hall of records to report that Dorothy got married to a man named Van Buren but died three years ago. Her daughter lives in town.

Back overseas, a man in his unit got all the credit for killing the sniper. Charlie confronted his superior officer (Eliot in flashback) who admitted Charlie would get no medal because the country didn't give medals to black men then.

Charlie read the letter of the man he shot, which referenced the valuable painting. Charlie remembered they collected the sniper's gear after he was killed. Charlie went and found the painting -- the Van Gogh -- rolled up in the dead soldier's gear.

Sophie meets with Dorothy's daughter, who mentions her aunt Cecelia taught her mom how to play the organ at the Roller Palace.

Flash back to Sophie as the aunt teaching Dorothy/Parker and Charlie/Hardison returning from war.

Charlie tells Parker about returning to see Dorothy.

Hardison calls the daughter to give Sophie room to snoop around her house. She finds a safety deposit box key.

Charlie shows Dorothy the painting and suggests they can sell it and move to Paris. She says yes. They plan to leave the next night while she's playing at the Roller Palace because the whole town will be there. Nate the sheriff comes to pick up Cecelia/Sophie the aunt. He sees Charlie leave.

Sophie and Hardison pose as FDIC agents at the bank to get access. Eliot is waiting outside when he recognizes another recovery agent. He remembers Randall owes him money for a Paul McCartney guitar. They duke it out in the parking lot.

At the Roller Palace, the goon reports to Mr. Ross that Charlie is back in town.

Charlie waits under a train trestle.

Dorothy plays the organ during a roller show. Cecelia slips in and takes over at the organ, bringing Dorothy's things.

Out in the woods, Charlie is intercepted by Mr. Ross and some of his men.

Dorothy races to get out of the Roller Palace, but finds that sheriff Nate has barred the door, angry that she involved his wife.

Mr. Ross' man pulls a knife, but Charlie reaches into his bag and pulls the pin on a grenade -- it's a dud, from the bunch Charlie collected overseas.

Charlie finds Dorothy waiting for him under the train trestle. Mr. Ross's men run at them, but sheriff Nate steps out and shoots at them, scaring them off. They head to the train, but Dorothy worries that her father will do whatever it takes to catch her where ever she goes. She doesn't want to put Charlie in that danger.

He gives her the painting and tells her to keep it safe. They kiss good-bye and he tells her he loves her. He hops the train the leaves her crying in the mist.

Back in the hospital, Charlie tells Parker that was the last time he saw Dorothy. He came back to the town to see her, but was a couple years too late. He doesn't think it matters where the painting is.

In the safety deposit box, they find $70,000. They think Dorothy sold it, but Nate announces he knows where it is.

At the Roller Palace, Nate tries out each key on the pipe organ. He finds one that doesn't play true. The woman who works there says it's been like that for years.

They take down the pipe and Nate finds a tube inside -- it's the painting. Nate's admiring it when his friend Owen shows up behind him with the gun and two goons.

Nate lights the tube on fire. Eliot whacks the goons with the piece of organ pipe. Nate pulls the unharmed painting out from his coat.

They meet with Charlie, who has decided to donate it. Nate relays Dorothy's daughter telling Sophie about her mom's fight to preserve the organ and the roller palace. He tells Charlie she kept her promise to keep the Van Gogh safe.Charlie says good-bye to everyone, including Parker. He grabs her hand and tells her not to waste time. She looks at Hardison and they leave holding hands.


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