Neal: It's late
Peter: Yeah. That's not supposed to be one of Monet's lost frames?
Neal: No. Just trying to clear my head.
Peter: Good. About that. Vincent Adler. Seven years ago, he ran a huge ponzi scheme and disappeared with a billion dollars. You knew him?
Neal: He's the man who made me who i am today.
Peter: Mh-hm. He's rained hell down on both our lives. You knew. You knew and you didn't say anything?
Neal: I just figured it out myself, okay? I'm trying to reconcile the Adler I knew with the man responsible---"
Peter: For Kate? For Mozzie?
Peter: So let's get him. Come on. Start talking.
Neal: Yeah, i'm not much of a beer drinker.
Peter: That's why i brought you this.
Neal: Oh. I don't recongize the bottle
Peter: That's because it costs as much as the beer.
Neal : Wow. I don't even need a corkscrew.
Peter: Nope. Okay. Now how do you know Adler?
Neal: It's a long story.
Peter: If we're gonna catch this guy just like i caught you, i need to know everything.
Neal: There's too much to tell.
Peter: You're gonna plead the Fifth?
Neal: A few secrets aregood, Peter. It keeps the mystery alive.
Peter: I get it. This story includes some stuff about crimes i don't know. Yeah. No, you're not holding back from me. We've got all night. I'll make you a deal. Full immunity for anything you say from this moment until the sun rises over that balcony.
Neal: Full immunity?
Peter: Did you kill anybody?
Peter: Then full immunity
Neal: Hm. All right, let's start with this. Mozzie decoded the music box. It's an equation. And this is what it built.
Peter: It's a fractal
Neal: Very good. And i've seen one like it before.
Neal: In Vincent Adler's office when i worked for him.
Peter: How did you meet him?
Neal: If you wanna know about Adler, we gotta start with Mozzie?
Peter: Why am i not suprised?
Neal: It was eight years ago. I was new to the city, didn't know the East Village from the West.
(Neal in his early twenities walking around Manhatthan. He comes across a small crowd of people in the park. A guy is dealing a stack of cards)
Dealer: All right, follow the lady. All you gotta do is follow the lady. I'm mixing fast but if your eyes are faster, you win. Simple as that.
Mozzie: Lady is in the middle.
Dealer: Got good peoples, pal. You wanna double up, buddy?
Mozzie: Sure. Toss them.
Dealer: You think you can follow them but i'm saying you can't. It's all a game of you versus me. All right, here we go. Here we go. Where is she? Where is she? She's a sneaky lady, but i think she likes you.
Mozzie: On the right.
Neal: She's back in the middle
Mozzie: Are you crazy? She's definetely on the right.
Dealer: Hey, it's his money, kid.
(The Dealer flips the card over and it turns out Neal is right. She is in the middle)
Dealer: Aw she's sneaking around on you, boss.
Mozzie: Lucky guess. If you're so good at this, why don't you putdown your own money. Gonna bet or walk away?
Man 1: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Dealer: What you got?
Neal: All right.
(He then pulls a fifty out of his wallet and lays it down)
Dealer: There it is
Mozzie: Fifty? Come on, really take this guy. Time to put up or shut up, kid.
Dealer: It's up to you.
Neal: All right.
(He then pulls several $50 dollar bills out and lays them down)
Neal: Let's go five-hundred.
Mozzie: Now, we're talking.
Man 1: Five hundred bucks!
Man 2: Yeah!
Dealer: All right! Looks like i hooked a whale!
Man 1: Yeah!
Dealer: Lookie, lookie, diddle, diddle. Queen is in the middle. Follow her fast, follow her slow. My hands are fast, your eyes are slow. You see her? Huh? You see her? All you gotta do is show me the smile on the lady's face and you walk away with it all.
(Neal then points to a card)
Dealer: Ah! Are you sure?
Mozzie: Yeah, he's sure
Neal: I'm sure
(The guy flips the card over and there is the Queen. Neal smiles and the crowd stands in misblief)
Neal: Fun game, man. Thank you. You toss the broads really well.
(Neal takes the money. Mozzie notices soemthing odd. He flips the card over. The card deck was original blue but now it is red)
Dealer: You bet, man.
Man 1: Hey, buddy, lend me a hundred!
Dealer: Damn it!
(Mozzie then turns to a kid named KADO)
Mozzie: Kado, you wanna earn 10 bucks?
Kado: You're gonna stiff me this time?
MozzieL Go, you weasel. Follow that guy. He's in my training program
(Neal at his apartment in New York. Someone knocks on his door. He opens it and there stands Mozzie)
Mozzie: I'm the guy from the park.
(Neal slams the door in his face)
Mozzie: Hey, i'm not here to give you hospital time, kid.
Neal: Good because i'm not giving you your money back.
MozzieL Aw, keep it.
(Neal then opens his door)
Neal: What's your angle?
Mozzie: I've been running Find the Lady for years and even i didn't catch that swap.
Neal: Uh-huh. Where's your partner?
Mozzie: I left him.
Mozzie: I need an upgrade.
(Present time: Neal and Peter talking in his apartment)
Peter: Mozzie had a goatee?
Neal: Well, only to distract from his toupee.
Neal: Well, we talked. Mozzie told me about his Detroit days. He had been running street cons since he was a kid.
Peter: Hmm, notice my lack of surprise. What does any of this have to go with Adler?
Neal: Well, he's the reason Mozzie found me.
(Past: Mozzie and Neal talking in his old apartment)
Mozzie: These forgeries are exquisite.
Neal: Who says it's a forgery?
Mozzie: Uh given your living conditions, I do. How did you match the tricolor seal?
Neal: Just eyeballed it.
Mozzie: By eye?
Mozzie: Huh! You are vert talented, kid. With you as my partner we could move way beyond the street hustle.
Neal: What did you have in mind?
Mozzie: A long con. Which, if executed properly, would enable us to purchase and retire on neighboring, temperate zone islands in a mere six months
Neal: I just got to the city and i'm too young to retire.
Mozzie: I'm talking about summiting the Everest of Swindles.
Neal: Who's the mark?
(Present time. Peter and Neal talking at table over wine)
Peter: Vincent Adler
Peter: Oh, now this is getting good.
Neal:It was the first time i heard Adler's name.
Peter: Mm. Those bonds, that's the first time i'd come across you.
Neal: Really? Tell me
Peter: You're stalling.
Neal: No, i'm not. Come on, we got a long time until sunrise. We got plenty of beer and...this. So tell me, did you have to fight to take my case?
Peter: Yeah, it was a real tug of war.
(Past: Peter is sitting at his desk. He has a mustache)
Man 1: Here's another one for you, Peter.
(A black man is sitting in front of Peter. We assume he is probably a colleague or Peter's partner)
Man: Stop hoarding all the new cases, Burke.
Peter: Ha-ha! Bond forgery sent over from N.Y.P.D. Two phony Atlantic Incorporated bonds in six months. Come on. You want it?
Man: Two in half a year?
Peter: Mm-hmm. Atlantic's have never been forged.
Man: I'll pass.
Peter: All right. Wow, this is quality work.
Man: Hmm, so is my kid's drawing on the fridge. It's all yours.
Peter: Okay. I think this guy has a future.
(Present time. They are still sitting at Neal's table)
Neal: What was my nickname?
Neal: Come on. Every case gets a nickname. Haggin was The Dutchman before you ID'd him. What was my nickname?
Peter: Ohh...don't recall.
Neal: Oh, that's too bad. The sooner you remember, sooner we can move on.
Peter: James Bonds.
(Both: Bonds, James Bonds.)
Peter: James Bonds, yes. Yes.
Neal: Would you like another beer?
Neal: Shaken, not stirred?
Peter: Ah, see? I knew it was a mistake telling you. Believe me. Yours was just one file in a giant stack of cases.
Neal: Yeah, but it was on top.
Peter: You weren't that good.
(Past: Peter and his wife Elizabeth setting up their new home)
Peter: This guy is good
Elizabeth: Honey, come on, are we gonna put this away or is that our new coffee table?
Peter: Oh, i'm sorry.
Elizabeth: What about this one that's getting under your skin?
Peter: You really wanna hear about this?
Elizabeth: Well, of course. Always.
Peter: All right.
(Their puppy Satchmo is licking the evidence papers)
Peter: You're tampering with federal evidence.
Elizabeth: Wow, that's a forgery?
Peter: The seal, the signature, the secruity strip. See, most forgers are only experts at one aspect. The man who forged this bond was capable of bigger things. He can do it all.
Elizabeth: Well, so can you.
(Elizabeth then kisses him and quickly pulls away)
Peter: Lose the 'stache?
Elizabeth: Yeah. Sorry, Magnum. I still love you.
Peter: I love you too.
Neal: Satchmo. Elizabeth named him.
Peter: How do you know i didn't?
Neal: Elizabeth likes old jazz, you don't. Don't forget, i knew a fair amount about you before it was over.
Peter: Hm. Know thine enemy?
Neal: Know thyself and you'll win a hundred battle's.
Peter: Mozzie's influence?
Neal: Big student of history.
Peter: Uh-huh. Tell me how you went after Adler?
Neal: He was a big fish.
(Past. Neal and Mozzie out and about in New York spying)
Mozzie: There he is our white whale. What did you find out about him?
Neal: Well, he's the CEO of Adler Financial Management. And he runs their top hedge fund.
Mozzie: Good. What did he bring in?
Neal: I don't know.
Mozzie: Never say that. Know everything. Alder made 150 million last year, up 8 percent from the prior year. "Know thine enemy and you will win." Sun Tzu.
Neal: All right. What's the con?
Mozzie: Well, Adler roots a hefty percentage of his profits into an ccount in the Caymans every six months.
Neal: Tax free.
Mozzie: Exactly. All we need to do to reroute his next wire transfer is two pieces of information. Account number and password. That's where you come in.
Neal: Where does he keep it? Personal safe? Deposit box?
Mozzie: In this head, he's too smart to keep it anywhere else.
Neal: I can't just walk up to him and ask for it. That's impossible.
Mozzie: A wise man once said it's fun to do the impossible.
Neal: Bertrand Russell?
Mozzie: Walt Disney. You should read more. Our clock is five months. You ingratiate yourself. Become a trusted friend. Then convince him to tell you.
Neal: Why don't you just do it?
Mozzie: I'm more the behind-the-scenes guy. All right, look at me. And then look in the mirror. Who has a better chance of charming Adler at the charity dinner on Friday?
Neal: "Antiquities Recovery Project." It's 5 grand a plate. I can't afford that.
Mozzie: Wekk, you can if you cash in a few more of your bonds.
Peter: Big mistake.
Neal: Cashing those bonds was a calculated risk. But it was worth it for the con we were about to run on Adler.
Peter: Yeah, but bankrolling them got us our first visual on you.
Neal: If i recall, i wasn't the only one who made a mistake that day.
Peter: No, hang on. Hang on.
Neal: Yeah. Yeah, it was that bank in Midtown.
(Past: Neal comes out of the bank with a small blue bag full of money. Mozzie is waiting for him)
Mozzie: Did you get it?
Neal: Yeah. The teller was a sweetheart.
Mozzie: Oh, she gave you a sucker. You know, the irony of that would not be lost on Alanis Morissette.
(Mozzie then overhears "Peter" talking to a bank manager)
Peter: This guy is a forger. He's good.
Mozzie: Shh, Brooks Brothers suit.
Bank Manager: Yes, i understand
Mozzie: So that means fed talking to the bank manager. We gotta go
Peter: If anyone ties to cash these bonds, i want you to call me immediately.
Neal: I never met a fed before.
Mozzie: Let's keep it that way.
Peter: Detain him if possible.
Bank Manager: Absolutely.
(Neal then walks over towards Peter)
Neal: Excuse me, sorry, I couldn't help but overhear. Are you with the FBI?
Peter: Speical Agent Peter Burke.
Neal: Wow, i just took some money out of the bank, and i heard you talking about counterfeiting.
Peter: Your money is safe. I'm looking for counterfeit bonds.
Neal: Well, I have some bonds at home. How could i know they're real or not?
Peter: I'm sure they're fine.
Neal: Well, thanks again for all the hard work you're doing, Agent Burke.
(Neal then gives him the lollipop)
Neal: That's for you. Have a good day.
(Later, Neal and Mozzie back at their apartment talking about Peter)
Mozzie: He's not a nanny goat in a petting zoo. He's a fed. Within minutes he could've set up a five-block perimeter. Hundreds of trench-coated G-men.
Neal: It was worth it. We now know two things. We gotta move off bonds. And his name is Peter Burke. Know thy enemy, right?
Mozzie: Fine. Now, you've got the money to pay for the invitation. What name are you gonna use?
Neal: I don't know. Halden. Nicholas Halden.
Mozzie: Quaint. Get yourself a few aliases. You're gonna need them. Oh, pop-quiz, hotshot. Alder's market stratefy, pre-crash?
Neal: Short derivatives. Bullish on commodities.
Mozzie: Ooh, you've learned much, grasshopper.
Neal: Why are you filling that bottole with bargain red?
Mozzie: Have you studied Adler's wine list?
Neal: Is that the '91 Bordeaux?
Mozzie: The one year it was corked in the wrong bottle. Eight hundred dollars a pop. I, of course, got this bottle empty. Best served whent he guests are drunk. And i asked my cleaner to keep an eye out for something in your size.
(Mozzie then hands him a suit)
Neal: Yeah, i don't know if i'm a suit guy.
Mozzie: Eh, you'll be fine.
(Neal then goes to the party and sees Adler for the first time. He is talking to some part guests)
Adler: And i really appreicate you for coming, thanks.
Neal as Nick Halen: Mr. Adler. Nick Halden. Nice to meet you. I brought this from my collection.
Adler: That's very generous. Thanks for coming.
Neal as Nick Halden: Thanks. Hey, nice play on the emerging markets last quarter. You really called Russia.
Adler: It all came down to grains, didn't it?
Neal as Nick Halden: Yeah.
Adler: Where do you think they're going?
Neal as Nick Halden: Bull market. For us, not for Europe. I'd say their imports are up 20 percent.
Adler: Interesting. Enjoy the party.
(Neal walks around the place and finds Adler again admirign some art)
Neal as Nick Halden: Raphael's Saint George and the Dragon. That's a powerful piece.
Adler: Commodities and art. You've got diverse interests.
Neal as Nick Halen: Like you, art is my passion.
Adler: Then you should talk to my assistant. Nick Halden.
(A young woman in a black dress then turns around to face him. It is love at first sight)
Kate: Hi, I'm Kate Moreau.
Neal as Nick Halden: Hi.
(They admire the art piece, well at least Kate is. Neal however is lovestruck by Kate)
Kate: You like it?
Neal as Nick Halden: What? Oh, yeah. No it's....it's breathtaking.
Kate: It's my favorite one.
Neal as Nick Halden: Raphael was a master of balance. Thick brush strokes for the landscape, but the skin tones are almost...translucent.
Kate: Are you an artist?
Neal as Nick Halden: I dabble.
Kate: I tried, but the romance of being a starving artist wore off very fast.
Neal as Nick Halden: Well, you don't find any original Nick Halden's at an gallery downtown.
Kate: What do you do?
Neal as Nick Halden: I'm looking for new opporunities.
(Waiter the comes over)
Waiter: Excuse me, sir. May i take that?
Neal as Nick Halden: Oh, thank you.
Kate: You're here to cozy up to my boss.
Neal as Nick Halden: Yeah, if i worked for Adler, i can go anywhere. Any advice?
Kate: I've seen the seating chart. And you're nowhere near him. That's your first challenge.
(Kate then sees her boyfriend)
Neal as Nick Halden: I like a challenge.
Kate: Good luck, Nick.
Neal as Nick Halden: Thanks.
(Neal sneaks into the dinning room and switches Adler's date card with his own. Later Adler sees Neal sitting next to her)
Adler: It seems my date has been relegated to the Buenos Aires table. You have until the salad course arrives to tell me what you want. Go.
Neal as Nick Halden: I wanna work for you/
Adler: In what capacity, other than your enthusiasm for grains and paint?
Neal as Nick Halden: Acquisitions.
Adler: My team is full.
Neal as Nick Halen: Cameron Singer, you're about to buy his firm
Adler: Speculation has been on the front page of the journal all week. Pass the bread.
Neal as Nick Halden: He's been avoiding that woman.
Adler: Hannah Fields?
Neal as Nick Halden: Nexy week, Hannah Fields will announce her new investment branch. She's buying out Singer. He's gonna back out of your deal and the media will eat it up. Your company will appear unstable. It could spook investorys.
Adler: I'm gonna continue my meal with someone who looks better in a cocktail dress than you.
Neal as Nick Halden: Look into Singer, if it turns out i'm right....call me.
Peter: The Singer Deal, was it it true?
Neal: Absolutely. Mozzie and I had been spying on them for weeks. Adler ditched Singer and brought me in a month later.
Peter: He hired you to find things for him to buy?
Neal: Well, part of my job was knowing everything about everyone Adler dealt with. He had a lot of holdings and a lot of enemies. Turns out i had a knack of rooting them out.
Peter: And Kate was there the whole time?
Peter: Was that when you guys got together?
Neal: No, no. She had a boyfriend.
(Neal as Nick Halden flirting with Kate)
Neal as Nick Halden: Mm. Ooh.
Kate: It's not there.
Neal as Nick Halden: All right. We'll just have to try again
Kate: Remind me again why i let you make my favorite necklace disappear?
Neal as Nick Halden: Because...you like magic.
Kate: Someday you're going to tell me all of your secrets. I mean it.
Neal as Nick Halden: May I? Maybe someday. Come out with me on Friday.
Kate: I um....i have your assignmnt from Adler. He wants you to look into this.
Neal as Nick Halden: Right. Looks like someone has been looking into his recent art acquisitions.
Kate: Nick. Michael asked me to move to Chicago with him.
Neal as Nick Halden: Chicago? Are you gonna go?
Kate: Um i am. In a month.
Neal as Nick Halden: That's a big step.
Kate: Yeah, I know.
Neal as Nick Halden: Well, you'll like Chicago. They....uh....they have a great art museum and decent pizza. A little windy.
Kate: Yeah, i've heard that.
Neal as Nick Halden: I should....i should get this.
Kate: I need to get back to work.
(Later in Adler's office)
Neal as Nick Halden: What is this?
Adler: It's a fractal. A mathematical curiosity.
Peter: It was the first time you'd seen one?
Neal: Yeah. He was obsessed with them. His were similar to that one but none was an exact match.
Peter: Okay. So Kate was going to Chicago with another guy and you were trying to root out whoever was looking into Adler's stuff. Keep talking.
(Past. Neal and Adler's office)
Adler: You found the culprit?
Neal as Nick Halden: She talked her way in. She seemed mostly interested in your South American acquisitions.
Adler: And you got her to come here in person?
Neal as Nick Halden: I had the foundation feed her a story that they were impressed with her research. She thinks she's here for a job interview.
Alder: Bring her in.
Neal as Nick Halden: Yes, sir
(Neal walks over towards the door)
Neal as Nick Halden: Miss Hunter?
(Alex then appears into the room)
Alex: Alex Hunter. It's a pleasure to meet you
Adler: Have a seat. Miss Hunter your passion for antiquities is unusual for such a young woman.
Alex: Well, every object has a story to tell. I find those stories fascinating.
Adler: That was almost convincing. Who are you working for?
Alex: I don't work for anyone....yet. That's why i'm here.
Adler: You can drop the act. Someone is paying you to get into my records. Who is that? Tell me! Why don't you tell me?!
Neal as Nick Halden: Sir, maybe it would be best if we-----
Alder: What are you looking for?
Alex: There were rumors you made some big discoveries. I got curious. I thought you wanted to share your art with the world.
Adler: That's for me to decide. You accessed by private dataase. You made copies of my records. I should bring chargs. Everybody gets one big mistake in life and one opporunity to fix it. I believe in second chances, Miss Hunter. I think you're clever enough to know what i mean. Thanks, Nick.
Neal as Nick Halden: Grateful to be here, Mr. Adler.
Adler: Vincent. Your hard work deserves an award.
(He then gives Neal a check)
Neal as Nick Halden: Thank you. I know i don;t emet the buy in, but---
Adler: Nick, come on. We've talked about this. You know i don't like my people to invest in the fund.
Neal as Nick Halden: You've made exceptions.
Adler: For you.
Neal as Nick Halden: Thank you, sir.
Peter: You invested your money with him?
Neal: Mm. All of it. We all did. He was making us 14 percent.
Peter: You didn't know it was a scam?
Neal: My goal at the time was to prove my loyalty to Adler. The job became my life.
Peter: Then what happened to Alex? I know there's more to that story.
(Past, Neal sees Kate and her boyfriend)
Kate: You're sweet.
(Alex then walks up)
Alex: Nice trick. You got me.
Neal as Nick Halden: You got off easy.
Alex: Too late to apologize?
Neal as Nick Halden: I'm not gonna apologize? It's my job to catch you. It's your job not to get caught.
Alex: Fair enough.
Neal as Nick Halden: What do you want?
Alex: Buy me a drink and we'll talk.
Neal as Nick Halden: Let's go.
(Back at Neal's old apartment, they end up sleeping together)
Alex: Nick Halden, that's a good nam. Not your real one, but i like it. I recongize a fellow grifter when i see one, Nick.
Neal as Nick Halden: All right. Humor me, Alex. What were you really looking for?
Alex: Something Adler doesn't have.
Neal as Nick Halden: He has everything.
Alex: He doesn't have this. It's a music box.
Neal as Nick Halden: Quite the Holy Grail.
Alex: It's worth about as much.
Peter: So Alex turned you on to the music box.
Neal: Yeah. She had been looking for it for years. She heard Adler had information on it.
Peter: Did he?
Neal: He had a rumor. That it was at the Amallenborg Palace in Copenhagen. Said she'd send me a message if she ever neeed my help getting it.
Peter: What kind of message?
Neal: A flower.
Peter: Did she ever send it?
Neal: Yeah. But that's another part of the story. Alex disappeared. And Kate---well, things changed.
(Past, Neal is on the phone with Mozzie)
Mozzie: You're taking a sick day?
Neal: I'm not allowed to fee lousy?
Mozzie: Every day with Adler counts. I've already got the siphon in place. All we need is the password.
Neal: I'll get the password.
Mozzie: You know, i'm sensing your heart isn't totally into this.
Neal: My heart is fine.
Mozzie: Ahhh. This is about the girl. I thought she left for Chicago?
Neal: She left today.
Mozzie: You know, it's probably for he best. Now you can focus.
Neal: I gotta go, okay?
(He walks over towards his door and opens it and there is Kate)
Neal as Nick Halden: Kate? Aren't you suppose to be in Chicago?
Kate: It's a big step in the wrong direction.
Neal as Nick Halen: Why?
Kate: Because you're here.
(He then kisses her. Present time)
Peter: So you and Adler developed a connection and you and Kate were finally together. You had it all
Neal: I was eating the best food, wearing the best suits, drinking the best wine, the kind that has corks. It was the perfect life.
Peter: And it was also the perfect lie. You and Mozzie were still working the long con.
Neal: Trying to make the lie real. But every con has an expiration date.
(Past. Mozzie and Neal in apartment talking)
Mozzie: Adler makes the transfer on Friday. And you still haven't gotten the password yet.
Neal: I said I'll get it. I'll get it.
Mozzie: Oh, good, because i thought you were having second thoughts about abanonding your new town-and-country lifestyle. Don't kid yourself. Kate doesn't even know your real name. None of them do.
Neal: They care about me, okay? She cares about me.
Mozzie: Uh, no, She cares about Nick Halden. And he doesn't exist. I hear the suit's been asking around about you. He has a sketch.
Neal: Where did he get a sketch?
Mozzie: Oh, they always have a sketch or a print or something. Look, it's time to finish this job and move on.