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48 Hours - Wikiscreenplay

48 Hours

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Beatsheet
Title48 Hours
GenreBuddy Love - Professional Love
Year1982
Runtime96 mins
AuthorPerfischer
Movie Database48 Hours
Screenplay48 Hours on Dailyscript.com
Log LineWhen a tough cop has a cool convict as a partner and 48 hrs to catch a killer, a lot of funny things can happen in . . . 48 HRS
Moral Premise{{{MoralPremise}}}
   
Opening ImageTBDEndless green hills bisected by a ribbon of highway. A road gang clearing brush by the side of the road. Twenty-five men in prison fatigues sweating through their mid-afternoon labor." Billy Bear arrives to rescue antagonist Ganz from a prison work gang. Ganz gets a kick out of killing (police).
Theme StatedTBD(ELAINE) I work in a bar, right? I can't read a list of my academic credentials to every booze-hound that comes in the place... You are what you do...
SetupTBDBilly and Ganz goes to work, intercut with our hero Cates getting up in the morning to go to work. They are criminals, Ganz is crazy, cold, Billy his stupid loyal-to-the-death right hand man. Cates is police, he is a slob who drinks whisky for breakfast, who wants no commitment, who can't express his love for Elaine, not even kiss her when he leaves the morning after. Cates can't take care of himself. He's a loose cannon, a loner and doesn't do things by the book.
Catalyst12Ganz and Cates face to face in the hotel lobby after gunfight. Ganz takes Cates's gun, shoots a police officer with it and escapes. Two officers dead, and Cates has lost his .44 Magnum.
Debate12 - 25What happened? Read the report. (Ruth:) Ya know, there are some very bad people out there in the world. (Cates:) Look at it this way, Ruth. If there weren't, what would there be for us to do? Cates gets an idea of Ganz's gang, and that one of them, REGGIE, is still in prison. Cates wants his gun back.
Break Into Two25Cates decides to go for the only lead he has and to pursue Reggie, to (primarily) get his gun back, but also clear his name from the hotel shooting.
B Story30Cates visits Reggie in prison. It's love at first sight: Get this. We ain't partners. We ain't brothers. We ain't friends. I'm puttin' you down and keepin'you down until Ganz is locked up or dead.
Fun and Games30 - 55Cates releases Reggie 48 hours to help him track down Ganz, and together the rampage through town interrogating witnesses, each doing "their thing" in different ways. Cates doesn't seem to get any closer to his goal.
Midpoint55Reggies admits that he has the cash from the robbery hidden in a car parked long-term in a garage, and thus fooled Cates from the start.
Bad Guys Close In55 - 75Cates and Reggie follow Luther, who picks up the car with the money. At a subway station it comes to a shootout with Ganz, who is there to collect the money from Luther. Ganz and Billy Bear escape. Reggie goes after Luther, still carrying the money, and Cates also loses track of Reggie.
All Is Lost75Cates got nothing, lost track of the bad guys, Reggie, the money and losing his girlfriend. Having tracked Luther again, Reggie calls Cates, and they get back together. Cates: "Look, I'm sorry I called you Watermelon nigger...those kinds of things. I was just leanin' on ya, doin' my job." Reggie: "Bein' good at your job don't explain everything, Jack ..." Reggie's got a gun. He wants Ganz. Just like Cates.
Dark Night of the Soul75 - 85Showdown on the bus while Reggie and Cates are chasing. Luther is killed, shootout and Cates crashes his car into a road sign. The car won't start again while they see the bus disappearing in the distance. Cates gets shouted at by his boss, and defends Reggie with "He's got more brains and more guts in one corner of his asshole than any cop I've worked with."
Break into Three85Cates cuffs himself to Reggie and takes him to see his Porsche, which he has had impounded. Then wants to buy Reggie a drink before taking him back to prison. He opens the cuffs and throws them away. At Elaine's bar she makes Cates realise that Billy Bear's girlfriend is all they've got. But "What do I know? I'm just a bartender."
Finale85 - 110Shootout at Billy Bear's girlfriend. Billy Bear is killed, yet Ganz escapes yet again. Cates chases Ganz through Chinatown and finally shoots him after a standoff similar to the hotel foyer shootout in the beginning. But this time Gates doesn't hand over his gun to save Reggie, but shoots Ganz instead.
Final Image110Cates and Elaine back together, Hammond gets laid by Candy. Cates tells Reggie he's going to hold on to the money until he gets out of prison. Reggie says he's into legit investments from now on.
NotesScreenplay by Roger Spottiswoode and Walter Hill & Larry Gross and Steven E. De Souza
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