Phone Booth (2002)
Stu: I have never done anything for anybody who couldn't do something for me. I string along an eager kid with promises I'll pay him money. I only keep him around because he looks up to me. Adam, if you're watching, don't be a publicist. You're too good for it. I lie in person and on the phone. I lie to my friends. I lie to newspapers and magazines who, who sell my lies to more and more people. I am just a part of a big cycle of lies, I should be fuckin' president. I wear all this Italian shit because underneath I still feel like the Bronx. I think I need these clothes and this watch. My two thousand dollar watch is a fake and so am I. I've neglected the things I should have valued most. I valued this shit. I take off my wedding ring to call Pam. Kelly, that's Pam. Don't blame her. I never told her I was married. And if I did she, she would have told me to go home. Kelly, looking at you now, I'm ashamed of myself. All right? I mean, I work so hard on this image, on Stu Shepherd, the asshole who refers to himself in the third person, that I only proved I should be alone. I have just been dressing up as something I'm not for so long, I'm so afraid no one will like what's underneath. But here I am, just flesh and blood and weakness, and uh and I love you so fucking much. And, um, I take off this ring because it only reminds me of how I've failed you, and I don't, don't want to give you up. I want to make things better, but it may not be my choice anymore. You deserve better.
The Caller: Nice shoes. Italian. You hung up, Stu. I didn't even have a chance to say goodbye. I feel bad about the pizza guy. But I couldn't miss seeing you and Kelly reunited. You don't have to thank me, nobody ever does. I just hope your newfound honesty lasts. Because if it doesn't, you'll be hearing from me.
Stu: [voice echoing, gasping] Help. Help, help. Help.
The Caller: [voiceover] Isn't it funny? You hear a phone ring and it could be anybody. But a ringing phone has to be answered, doesn't it?
The Caller: Doesn't it?
The Caller: You can't understand the pain of betrayal until you've been betrayed.
Stu: [to Caller] Stay the fuck out of this!
Capt. Ramey: Who do you keep talking to on the phone?
Capt. Ramey: Your ah... your friend, your parent, your lover? Who?
The Caller: Careful, Stuart. Careful.
Stu: My psychiatrist.
The Caller: [laughs] Excellent! I should have thought of that.
The Caller: You'd shoot me if you had the chance, wouldn't you?
Stu: With a big fucking smile on my face.
The Caller: There's the spirit.
The Caller: You're in this position because you're not telling the truth.
Stu: No, I'm in this fucking position because YOU HAVE A GUN!
[Stu is not answering The Caller]
The Caller: Stu, don't do this. Please, come on. My sainted mother used to do this. She used to dish this out... Stu, please don't this. Stu, you're bringing back my unhappy childhood. Stu, talk to me, please! Talk to me! I can't take it Stu... Ahh!
[the Caller laughs]
The Caller: I'm kidding. I had a very happy childhood.
Felicia: Goddammit, man! You gone made me hurt my dick hand.
Stu: Ooooh! I'm sure you're just as good with the other hand.
[Caller starts laughing]
Stu: Go away!
Felicia: I'll be back, bitch!
Felicia: Get out of my way!
The Caller: I was worried for you there, Stu. I thought she was going to poke an eye out with that... that *hand*.
Stu: You shoot the guy, and I'm responsible?
The Caller: It looked that way from up here.
Stu: I don't know what I did to you, but whatever it was I'm glad. Alright, I wish it had been worse, I wish you had fucking died.
The Caller: Yes! Finally some honesty.
[the Caller cocks his gun]
The Caller: Now doesn't that just torque your jaws? I love that. You know like in the movies just as the good guy is about to kill the bad guy, he cocks his gun. Now why didn't he have it cocked? Because that sound is scary. It's cool, isn't it?
The Caller: Well, there is someone I'd like you to call.
Stu: Name it.
The Caller: Try the number you dialed when you first got into the booth.
[Stu laughs nervously]
Stu: I don't know what you're talking about, pal.
The Caller: No? Lucky you then, because I wrote it down. I can see every number you pressed. Let's see if Pam is still at work.
The Caller: Then I guess I'll have to do it.
Stu: Look, don't!
The Caller: Too late. It's already ringing. I'll put her on speaker so you can hear.
Stu: Yer fucking kiddin'!
The Caller: Stu, I never kid.
The Caller: If only you had dealt with the man decently, this might not have been necessary.
Stu: I offered him money. I offered him my watch.
The Caller: But not your respect, which is what he really wanted. You were dismissive just as you were to the nice pizza guy. You are guilty of inhumanity to your fellow man.
Pizza Guy: [knocks on phone booth] 'Scuse me.
Stu: I'm tryna make a call here.
Pizza Guy: This is for you. Half pepperoni, half mushroom, extra crisp.
Stu: You ever heard of delivering a pizza to a fucking phone booth? I don't think so.
Pizza Guy: [Reads address label on Pizza] Gentleman occupying phone booth, 53rd between Broadway and 8th.
Stu: It's a mistake.
Pizza Guy: What am I supposed to do with the pie? It's all paid for.
Stu: Homeless guy just ran the block, give him the pizza and say 'You can turn away from it but you can't make it go away', how's that?
Pizza Guy: [Tries to open phone booth door] But, they always...
Stu: [Stu gets agitated] GET OFF THE FUCKING PIZZA ALRIGHT?
Pizza Guy: That language is uncalled for.
Stu: Holy shit. I'm sorry. Please return to sender. FUCK OFF! Here you go, $5, eat the pizza yourself, you look like you could use a good meal.
Stu: You can see me right now?
The Caller: Uh-huh.
Stu: What am I doing?
[Stu scratches himself]
The Caller: You're scratching your ear. Now you're brushing your hair back.
[Stu gives the finger to the windows in the buildings around him]
The Caller: That isn't very nice, Stu.
Stu: Did you call me Stu? Who's Stu? I don't know any Stu.
The Caller: Why, do you prefer Stuart?
The Caller: And I wanted to fuck her.
Stu: And I wanted to sleep with her.
The Caller: No, and I wanted to fuck her. Say it. SAY IT!
Stu: And I wanted to fuck her. I'm sorry.
Kelly Shepard: Whatever you did, I don't care.
Kelly Shepard: Please just... come out of the booth, okay?
Stu: That's all I did. That's all I did, I'm sorry.
[to the Caller]
Stu: All right, I've done what you asked. That's it. I've had enough of this game.
The Caller: I haven't.
Stu: You said you'd let us go.
The Caller: I changed my mind.
Stu: You miserable fuck! You can't do this... you can't do this to me. I took all your shit... I did everything you fucking asked!
[the Caller starts laughing again]
Stu: All right, you lied to me. I've had enough of this game. I've fucking had enough. You go fuck yourself. Later.
Stu: So you'd just whack me for no particular reason?
The Caller: Oh, I've got plenty of reasons. And you keep giving me more.
The Caller: What they don't know, we do to them in our minds, isn't that right?
Stu: You sick fuck!
The Caller: Perfect violation.
The Caller: If you have to ask, you're not ready to know yet.
The Caller: Do you see the tourists with their video cameras, hoping the cops will shoot you so they can sell the tape to Goriest Police Shoot-outs?
The Caller: Wait till it goes national. ABC, CBS, CNN, UPN, you're gonna have the whole alphabet.
Stu: You shoot a gun here, there'll be pandemonium, cops will be swarming all over the block.
The Caller: Think so? Let's see. One...
The Caller: Two. That won't help you. Three!
[fires gun and shoots a toy robot next to the phone booth - no one notices]
The Caller: Oh Stu, look at everybody. Look at all the people yelling, Stu. Here come the cops, sniper on the roof. Gunfire. Hit the deck.
[the Caller phones Stu's girlfriend Pam]
Pamela McFadden: Hi, who's this?
The Caller: It's a good friend of Stu's. And he hasn't got many.
Pamela McFadden: You know Stu?
The Caller: I know he lies.
The Caller: What if I told you I was just above the theater four floors up? See the pink curtains? There you go, Stuart, yes... Yoohoo... Yoohoo.
Stu: Why did you do that?
The Caller: Because it's fun!
The Caller: Think about it. Why would a guy with a cell phone call a woman everyday from a phone booth?
Pamela McFadden: He said it was quiet.
The Caller: Pam, that's just stupid.
The Caller: Stu, you just gave that man $10 to walk away and saved his life. You have human emotions after all.
Stu: You're not going to let us go. I know a thing or two about lies, and I know a thing or two about liars.
The Caller: Then why the confession?
Stu: [looks at Kelly] I didn't do it for you.
Stu: [to Ramey] Look, I got issues I can't talk about!
The Caller: Yeah, lethal issues. Tell him to stay back.
The Caller: This is exciting. You get to choose between them. Kelly. Pam. BAM BAM!
Stu: [to "Corky"] Get the fuck outta here before I call Hillary and have you deported to New Jersey!
Capt. Ramey: Who's your lawyer?
Kelly Shepard: We don't have a lawyer.
Capt. Ramey: He specifically asked that his attorney be brought down here to negotiate his surrender.
Kelly Shepard: Well, we never needed one.
Capt. Ramey: Well, you need a good one now.
Sergeant Cole: Captain, what the fuck is up with the phone calls, man?
The Caller: The odds are even now, Stu. Isn't that what you wanted? You know where I am and you have a gun. If you have it in you, you can take me down.
Stu: Fuck! They'll kill me before I can get a shot at you.
The Caller: Ah, you're probably right. I wasn't really there anyway. You would've just spoiled some nice lady's curtains.
Felicia: Get done in there, gotta hit this trick spot before the next bitch take my score.
Stu: Look, go away!
Felicia: Go away? Hang up the fuckin' phone, nigger!
[Stu looks at Felicia and then closes the booth]
Felicia: This motherfucker, you don't eyeball me. Bitch!
[Felicia walks away]
The Caller: Stu, if you hang up, I will kill you.
Stu: What are you gonna do about it up in your fucking high window with your goddamn binoculars?
The Caller: I never said I had bincolars. I have a highly magnified telescopic image of you. Now what kind of a device has a telescopic sight mounted on it?
Stu: What, you mean like a rifle?
The Caller: A 30-calibre bolt-action 700 with a Carbon One modification and a state-of-the-art Hensoldt tactical scope. And it's staring straight at you.
Stu: Yeah, how's my fucking hair?
The Caller: [laughs] At this range, the exit wound ought to be about the size of a small tangerine.
Stu: Nice try pal, go to hell.
The Caller: [cocks gun] Now doesn't that just torque your jaws? I love that. You know like in the movies just as the good guy is about to kill the bad guy, he cocks his gun. Now why didn't he have it cocked? Because that sound is scary. It's cool, isn't it?
The Caller: If this is true Stuart, then I have to take somebody with me don't I? And since Kelly is the most important thing in your life, I'll take her.
Stu: No, take me! Take me! I'm the one you want!
Stu: I already told you this is a private conversation. Now, what the fuck do you want?
Capt. Ramey: I just want you to know, that it's safe outside the booth.
The Caller: No, it's not.
Stu: Always get out of the booth. I like in the fucking booth. It's my whole world now, this is my booth and I'm not coming out ever. You hear me? Never.
The Caller: [about Stu's wife, Kelly] You think she didn't know she was being watched.
The Caller: But beautiful women always know. That false indifference, superior air. It's just a tease. They want eyes on them. Why does she put on her make up? Do her hair? Dress so nicely? Not for her husband which she hardly ever sees, no, it's for somebody else to notice... I notice.
The Caller: [about Pam] I think she needs a new headshot.
The Caller: It's not in your best interest to disconnect me...
Stu: [to caller] What are you gonna do about it up in your fucking high window with your goddamn binoculars?
The Caller: Stu, you didn't tell your wife the truth, you're cheating.
Stu: I'm not cheating on Kelly, I never have!
The Caller: Oh, then what do you call it?
Stu: Look, you're a guy. Sometimes you wanna know it's a possibility, all right? You know it's like having a beautiful home, but you still dream of that quick vacation down there, you know, some nice hotel, a great view, I don't know, maybe a pool. But it's a just a fantasy because you'll never really leave home! Do you hear what I'm saying?
The Caller: [laughs] Kelly is a home and Pam is a motel. I'm sure they'll both appreciate that.
Stu: Oh fuck you!
The Caller: Hey, that kind of language is uncalled for.
Big Q: Voodoo on you-do, motherfucker, from Big Q to Big Stu!
The Caller: At least now you'll die with a clean conscience.
Stu: No, you're the one who's gonna fucking die.
Felicia: You better get out of there before he come back and kick yo' ass.
Felicia: [sung to the tune of nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah] He gonna kick yo' aa-ass... he gonna kick yo' aa-ass...
Stu: The first step to being noticed is being mentioned.
Stu: Where? Where are you?
The Caller: There are hundred of windows out there. Why don't you check them out?
Pamela McFadden: Look, I may be from Montana, but we have men there also.
The Caller: Come on Stu. You're a selfish guy. Just pick one of them and save yourself.
The Caller: [after Stu hung up] Hi Stu! Now,you've had your little tantrum, and you've said some things in anger that I am willing to forget. Let's start over.
Stu: So you're an actor?
The Caller: Yes, one of your pathetic failed ones. You don't have to come find me and ruin me, I can't get work as it is. I've done some off-Broadway, some off-Manhattan, but that dried up. Now I wait tables, clean toilets, anything I can to make the rent. I'm a walking cliché.
The Caller: Look at these guys. You can smell the fear.
Stu: 10 cops.
The Caller: This reminds me of 'nam.
The Caller: Yes, Vietnam.
Stu: I was too young to go, but I've seen pictures.
The Caller: Well, pictures can't do it, Stu. You can't imagine the fear, the stench, pigs eating napalm-charred bodies. Children leaving grenades in your boots.
Stu: [sputtering] A-and then you got blamed for the war.
The Caller: I came home and people spat on me.
Stu: This countr - this country owes you an apology. Look, I just had this vision of you coming back from the war, you know. Inured to the killing, not able to get work, isolated. I think that could be made into a pretty affecting story and one that, you know, everyone understands. And I think cops...
[the Caller starts chuckling]
Stu: I think they're on the side of vets.
The Caller: You are pathetic, Stu. Why don't you wake up? "Napalm-charred bodies"? I'd have to be 50 to be in that war!
NARRATOR: [narrating first lines] there are an estimated eight million people in the five boroughs in New York, twelve million in the greater metropolitan area. There are almost 10 million telephone exchange lines, over fifty phone services. Three million New Yorkers are cell phone users. It used to be a mark of insanity to see people talk to themselves now it's a mark of status, and speed dial is quickly replacing the drop of a coin. Despite an increase usage of cellular devices, an estimated four and a half million residents and two million visitors still utilize payphones on a regular basis. This is the telephone booth on 53rd and 8th, perhaps the last vestige of privacy on Manhattan's west side. It's the last booth of its type, still in regular operation. Three hundred calls originate here on a daily basis. This location has been burglarized forty-one times in the last six months. Version has scheduled this structure to be torn down and replaced with a kiosk as of 8am tomorrow. Hardly two blocks away, meet the man who will be the final operator of that booth.