Hunted (1972) - full transcript

A man holds a real estate agent hostage in an office.

Well, if you'd like
to come with me, Mr Drummond,

I'll show you the office.

Here we are, Mr Drummond.

Mr Drummond?

This is the office, Mr Drummond.

Oh, er...

Please excuse the state it's in.

I'm afraid it hasn't been
in use for some time.

There's no resident porter
in this building,

and therefore no-one to keep it
in a presentable condition.

Still, all it needs is a face-lift,
a duster, and a strong arm.

Oh, that... that doesn't matter.

Ah, yes.

It overlooks the high street,
as you wanted.

It's not very crowded down there.

Well, it's not quite lunchtime yet.
It's only twenty to twelve.

Oh, yes, yes.

Yes, of course.
At twelve o'clock.

Will this office be
suitable for your purposes?

Oh, yes, it'll be fine. Fine.

The previous holders of the lease
were theatrical agents.

There was always
a steady procession

of eager young men and women
coming in and out.

They all looked alike, too.

The agency folded six weeks ago.

It's rather expensive, I'm afraid.

It's fifteen pounds a week,
but then it is in a choice location.


Yes, it is.

What business are you in,
Mr Drummond?


Oh, aye, I know.
No dark suit or tie.

Shoes not polished.

No brolly, briefcase,
or copy of the Financial Times,

Is that what all businessmen
are supposed to look like, eh?

- Well...
- Or perhaps I...

perhaps I don't want to
rent an office after all.

Perhaps I'm just lonely,
and need a bit of company.

You know, I looked round
every estate agency in the area,

until I came to yours.


What made our agency so special?


- Me?
- Yes.

I stood outside watching you
for quite a long time. Er...

I think perhaps you must have felt
my presence, because you looked up.

I wanted to find out
what your reaction was.

Do you remember what it was?

Not offhand.

You smiled.

The first person who smiled at me
all the morning.

So, I walked in, and I...

sat down.

I saw your name there on the desk
in big gold letters.

"Miss Margaret Lord."

It was very aristocratic.
Rather like yourself.

Then I thought, "Oh, you're
way out of your depth here, man."

Then you asked me what I wanted.
Well, I could hardly say,

"You seem to me to be
a very nice person, Miss Lord.

"I wonder if I could have
a few moments of your time?

"Er... if you don't charge, that is."

I mean, I could hardly say that,
could I?

And then I saw this office
was to let,

from the window there,
with the name,

so I asked if I could rent it.

I must admit, a flat or a bedsit
would have been much more credible.

I might not have wondered
about you at all then.

Well, if you wondered about me,
why did you bring me over here?

- Well, I wasn't sure.
- Oh, I see.

Were you afraid I might
make advances to you?

Not really.

Why not?

Just a feeling.

Supposing I did?

I have been advanced on before,

and there are other people
on this floor.

And you seemed very anxious
to see this particular office.

Oh, no, Miss Lord.

To see from it.

Did you come into the agency
just for some company?

I came into the agency

because its name was on
the board outside this office.

I had to come in with someone.

- Well...
- Oh, there, look.

They're getting busy
down there now.

All the people.

All rushing around,

ignoring all the other people
surrounding them.

All wrapped up
in their own little worlds.

Whole lives centered on themselves.

You know what I mean?

You know, people are
so, so arrogant.

They don't believe that anything
could interrupt them

or stop them in their tracks.

Not even death.

I suppose that's why we invented
God, a religion, an afterlife.

They can't believe that
our own existences

could, in the end, amount to
only a handful of dust and ashes.

We feel there must be something else,
more to it than that,

or else why would we be here?

That we were too important
just to die.

To disappear.

There must be something
more than that.

It's a game, isn't it?

Well, if you'd like to
return to the agency with me,

we can finalize
the details of the lease.

How long would you like it for?

A year, six months, or three months?

- Oh, just for today.
- What?

Just this morning.

You can't rent an office
for a morning.

Why not?

Because we don't operate
on a daily basis.

- But I won't need it after.
- After what?

- After this morning.
- Mr Drummond...

I am very busy,
and I do have other clients to see.

Now, do you want this office,
or don't you?

- Tell me, does that lock?
- What?

The door to the office here.
Does it lock?

I was coming up the stairs behind you.
I couldn't see if you unlocked it or not.

Could you show me, please?

Is this it?

- Why are you locking us in?
- Is this it?

Find it yourself.

Process of elimination, eh?

That's it.


I was wrong.

You don't seem very frightened.

Why should I be?

You haven't timed your move
very well, have you?

You should have left it
ten more minutes.

Then all the people on this floor
would have gone to lunch.

As it is, you take
one step towards me,

and I'm going to scream until enough
people come to break that door down.

Oh, no, you're not.

You just listen to me.

If you make one sound,

if anybody comes
outside that door,

if anybody tries to break
that door down, to stop me,

I'll kill them.

Kill them?

Now, you wouldn't like that
on your conscience, would you?

And me?

Oh, I...
I don't want to hurt you.

I don't want to touch you.
I don't even want to see you.

I just need you
to be here with me.

Now, it won't take very long,

and, at the end of it,
you can go free.

You'll not be harmed in any way,
unless you try to escape.

Unless you try to stop me.

And, if you do that...

I'll kill you.
Now, do you understand?

At the end of what?
Stop you from doing what?

- Do you understand?
- No!

Listen, I...
I don't want to hurt you, Margaret.

Do... Do you mind
if I call you Margaret?

I don't want to hurt you.
Now, do you understand that?

I won't make a move.

Not for anything.

All right?

That's fine.

That's fine.

Where are they all, hmm?

There should be a crowd down there.

Should be fat women
with shopping baskets,

and screaming kids, and...

young businessmen walking across
to the pub to drink their lunch.

See, it-it-it-it should be
crowded down there!

Should be people
turning into each other,

and falling over each other,
dragging each other down with them.

And then they realise
there are others around them,

other people who are moving
just like them.

And then, suddenly, they...
they need their help.

They no longer want to be alone in
their own little worlds.

They want somebody else
to protect them, but...

but it's too late then.

Do... Do you see?


No, I don't see.

You see, unless...
unless there's a crowd,

there's no panic.

U-u-u-unless there's...

nowhere to turn.

Nowhere to escape.

Escape from what?

What time is it?

Er... about quarter to twelve.

No, no, no, exactly.

Thirteen minutes to.

That's good, that's good.

Thirteen minutes more.

Be a lot of people
down there by then.

What's going to happen
at twelve o'clock?

At precisely twelve o'clock,

the people down in that street
are going to find their

arrogant, self-important little lives

somewhat interrupted.

I'm going to fire into them.

You can't.

Are you going to stop me?

But why?

It's something I have to do.


Why? There must be a reason.

What, to kill people?

There's no more reason
than to kill anything else.

A sniper is just a...

a hunter with human targets,
that's all.

You know, I sat up in trees
during the war,

and I picked off Germans, and Japs,
and then Koreans, then Viet Cong.

They were the same trees,
same guns.

Just different targets, that's all.

You know, I was up
in that tower in Texas.

I was in that room in Glasgow.

Snipers are just hunters.
That's all they are.

Just hunters.

You know, my... my father,

he owned a gun shop in Ballater.

Oh, there were guns,
guns of all kinds,

and we... we used to go hunting,
you know, my father and I.

I used to go hunting
with him for deer.

We used to stalk them,
side by side, father and son,

him holding a gun.

And then, suddenly, suddenly we'd
see one of those beauties, you know?

Standing stock still,
its head up,

listening, feeling our presence.

My father would take aim,

and he'd make no more sound
or movement in doing that

than he'd done in
approaching the deer.

But it would know.

In that instant, it would know
that its life was in danger.

And then it would spring away.
See? Like that.

That very second.

But it would be too late,

'cause he'd fire.

And the animal would fall,
with a bullet in its heart.

There... There was
something about it, you know?

The feeling of holding a gun
and seeing your target

almost larger than life,
in your sight,

maybe 400 yards away,
but right there.

Right there close,
it would have no idea

that its life was
about to be ended.

Well, it should have no idea.

But it does. It always does.

But not a human being,
though, you see.

No, a human being
has no idea.

Doesn't even have the
animal awareness that his life is...

is about to end.

No awareness of danger at all.

My father, he used to say that...

that killing a man like that

couldn't have any satisfaction,
because he didn't know what's hit him.

But I thought, no, no,
just for that very reason

it's even more satisfying.

A hunter...

is just a sniper...

with human targets.

But they're not targets!
They're people!

They're targets.

Like deer.

Or grouse. Or a row of
clay ducks in a shooting gallery.

You're not trying to kill them.
Not really.

You're just knocking 'em over.

As long as they go down.
That's what matters.

- That's what's really important.
- But what's the sense in it?

What's the sense in
hunting any animal?

I don't mean just for food,
but for the head, the trophy.

Animals are living, too, aren't they?
I mean, they're...

they're all God's creatures.

You know, I... I...

I had my first gun
from my father when I was...

sixteen years of age.

Said I was old enough to kill then.

After the first one,
the rest are easy.

I remember that day
he shot a deer,

and he told me
to stay where I was,

in some tall grass,
while he ran towards it.

I... I followed him along
the sight of my gun, and I...

I watched.

I watched him reach
the animal, examine it.

It was all covered in blood
and shattered bone. I... I felt sick.

And he was right there before me,

as helpless and more unsuspecting
than the deer had been.

He was an easy target,
even for a novice. You see, his...

his big back was there, unmoving,

and my finger was
tensed on the trigger,

and for one moment
it seemed so easy

just to squeeze that trigger,

and to watch him,

with a bullet in his heart,

covered in blood
and shattered bone.

My own father.

Well, he...
he turned and saw me, and...

there was the gun,
pointed at him.

He started running towards me,
waving his arms and shouting.

It unnerved me a little, and I...

Well, the feeling passed,

and I lowered the gun.

When he reached me, you know,
he was really very angry.

He said he wouldn't let me...
he wouldn't let me kill anything

if I didn't learn not to
point a gun at a human being.

"Never, ever let your gun
pointed be at anyone."

Oh, well, I mean, I didn't...

I didn't see it made any difference,
but, you know, I didn't say anything.

I just apologized.

Well, what's the difference?
Hmm? You tell me.

A great difference.

- There's none.
- Of course there is!

A human being is... is...

Is what?

Has a human being
any more right to live

than the animals he kills?

The people down in this street
aren't hunters or killers.

They're just people.

They're just ordinary, everyday people
going about their business.

They've done nothing against you.

They're unarmed.
They're helpless!

Let me tell you something.

An animal kills for food.

For survival.

A human being only kills for revenge.

For the sake of killing.

Like you're going to do.

I have to do
what I have to do.

But why do you have to do it?

Because I have to.

I've thought about that day a lot.

The day I almost killed my own father.

I thought about it every time
we went hunting after it.

I thought about it
every day until he died.

How did he die?

It was a shooting accident.

What kind of accident?

You think I killed him, don't you?

You think the feeling was
too overwhelming for me.

You think I killed him.

Is that how it happened?

Did you murder your father?


Who's talking about murder?
I was talking about hunting.

- That's not murder.
- Did you?

He was... cleaning his gun
in his workshop.

That was his first rule to me.

"Always make sure
your gun is unloaded...

"before you clean it."

"You only need to be careless once,"
he used to say.

Just... Just once.

But I remember when I heard that shot,
I thought, "He hasn't unloaded it.

"How about that?
The bastard's forgot to unload it!"

When I burst in,
he was lying on the floor,

and his face was all
covered in blood,

and he looked in death just as...

as I'd always imagined he'd have looked
if I'd squeezed the trigger that day.

I mean, he looked just like...

like one of his animals.

But it was my gun, you see.

You see, he cleaned his gun,

then he decided to clean mine.
It was a sort of...

fatherly gesture, if you like.

I was his son, you know.
I was his son.

Like father, like son.

He always unloaded his gun.
I always unloaded my gun,

but that day I just forgot,
and I don't know why.

I just forgot.

Of course, he...
he should have checked it.

Why didn't he check it?



Now don't you dare
make a move like that again.

Do you want to be killed?

You're going to kill those people
in the street. What's the difference?

The difference is
that you're not down there.

You're not a target.


It isn't twelve yet.
It isn't time.

- You can't do it before it's time.
- What time is it?


Then you've got seven minutes
to talk me out of it.

You don't want me
to fire into them, do you?


Well, then, give me some reasons.

Give me one reason.

Just one reason,
and I won't go through with it.

It's up to you, Miss Lord.

If you shoot into those people,

well, the police'll be
here in minutes,

and they'll surround the area.

Even if you escaped from
this building, from these streets...

well, they'll hunt you down
and kill you.

I'll not be hunted.

Of course you will!

And they're especially armed
in cases like this.


that sniper in Glasgow.

The police shot and killed him.

He may have been a sick man
in need of help, reassurance...

to have someone
to listen to him,

to understand him,
and take care.

But he never had a chance.

And neither will you.

Oh, is that what I need, Margaret?

Someone to talk to?

Someone who'll listen to me?

Well, I'm talking to you,

but you're not really listening,
are you?

Not really.

You're frightened.

You're worried about yourself,

and, even while you're
listening to me, you're thinking,

"What can I do?
How can I escape?

"What can I do
to stop this madman?"

I mean, you're not really
interested in me,

or even worried about me.

You're interested in yourself,

and those fat, stupid women

with their shopping bags,
and their children.

All those young men
with their dolly birds

with the painted eyebrows
and the painted eyelashes.

Those senile old men
who can hardly cross the road.

Them, and yourself.

Not me.

I do want to help you.

Put down the gun,
and unlock the door.

We'll go to my office,
and we'll talk.

I'll listen.

I'll try and understand.
I promise.

I'll do anything I can.

- For me?
- Yes.

Well, why?
Why should you care?

I don't know.

Well, thanks,
but I don't need your help.

But you do.

Why? Am I sick?

Unbalanced? Disturbed?

There's something gone
a little haywire in my brain,

and it is slowly
destroying itself, hmm?


There is nothing crazy about me.
I know exactly what I'm doing.

So you keep your sympathy,
and your pity,

and your understanding,
for somebody who needs it.

Well, is that all you've
got to say, Margaret?

It's not a very convincing
argument, is it?

And your time's running out.

Do you want to die?

- What?
- Well, why not?

What makes you any different
from your intended victims?

Because I'm the hunter!

- That's what makes me different.
- No.

Because you don't want to be killed,
and neither do they.

Well, perhaps they'd
be better off.

There'd be no more fear.

No more plans
that can never succeed.

No more dreams
that can never come true.

There's... There's no more un...

But you can't decide
that for them!

What if you were
down in that street,

and somebody else was
up here in this office

with a gun pointed
down at you?

You wouldn't want your plans
and dreams to end, would you?

They all ended
a long time ago.

Well, then, make new ones.

It's too late.

Oh, it's never too late!

"It's never too late."

It is for me.

What about your wife?

What do you know about my wife?

Well, does she know where you are,
and what you're going to do?


Well, look, how's she going to feel

when she reads in
the evening paper that some man

murdered innocent victims
from an office window,

And how the police hunted him down,
and killed him in some...

some back alley, or pub,
or wherever it is they find him,

and she sees your picture,

and reads your name,

and realizes that
her husband is the killer.

She won't think anything.

Of course she will!

- No.
- But she must.


Why not?

She left me.


Oh, about a month ago.

- What happened?
- She said she'd had enough of me.

Couldn't take any more.
That I'd driven her to it.

I wonder what that means?

I mean, I can't be any different
from the man she married, can I?

I mean, I can't have changed
all that much, can I?

I can't help being me, can I?

Did you have a row?

No, no, we...

we didn't have a row.

Nothing as simple as that, you know,
nothing as open as that.

No angry words, or smashed cups,
or scenes, you know? Just...

silence, and looks.

A few bitter words
and accusations, that's all.

But only short, you know.

never enough to start something.

I... I married her a few years
after I came down to London.

Just a few years, that's all.

The hunting trips, you see.

I went up to Scotland,
oh, once a year.

Took her with me,
but she hated them,

the killing, and the blood,
and the...

the smell of death.

You know, the stench.

But, most of all,
she hated me because...

because when I held a gun,
she said she didn't know me anymore,

I wasn't a husband anymore then.
I was just a killer.

Those were her words.

She said I enjoyed it.

And did you?

Oh, yes, yes.

She watched me the way I would...

watch my father.

The way our sons
would have watched me

when they were old enough
to come with me.

That's what she said.

What she said on her last night.

She didn't want our eldest son
ever to reach the age of sixteen

if it meant that I'd
give him a gun on that day,

if it meant that he'd come shooting
animals with me as my father...

had taken me.

That's what she said.

She didn't want him to kill,
she said.

She was crying, too.

That was odd, because
she'd never done that before.

It wouldn't have been so bad,
you know, if she'd just...

gone away on her own,
but no, no, no.

She took the kids with her.
The three boys.

She got them out of bed.
They were blinking in the light.

Didn't understand what was happening.

Told them to get dressed,
that they were leaving.

It was like a big adventure,
you see.

Middle of the night,
pitch black outside.

Six years old, five years old,
and three years old.

I mean, how could they know
what she was doing?

They couldn't make up
their own minds, could they?

They couldn't make up their minds
who they wanted to stay with.

Anyway, they've
got a new daddy now.

- She left you for someone else?
- Well, of course she did!

She wouldn't leave otherwise.
She's got three kids to look after.

She needs somebody
to support her.

She's pretty well off,
as far as I can tell.

And, in time, the boys will come
to look upon him as their father.

I'll be a memory somewhere
at the back of their minds.

You know, something
distant, unreal,

and I won't be part of
their world anymore.

Oh, well, it'll be something
they're better off without.

Well, there must be
something you can do.

I haven't seen her or the boys
since that night.

Well, does she intend
to divorce you?

No, she won't get the chance.

- Do you know where she is now?
- Oh, yes.

Yes, I know exactly where she is.

Number two, Cumberland Gardens,
London W2.

Well, Cumberland Gardens is just...

around the corner.

It's a two-story house.

White paint, blue door.


on the window ledge.

Very pretty.
Nice curtains, nice furniture.

She was always one for
keeping things nice.

It's very clean, too.

There's a white fence
around the garden.

I think that he must have
brought Jason...

That's my boy's name, Jason.

I think he must have
brought him a tricycle.

There's one upturned
in the driveway.

He has a ready-made family.

No sweat.

No work.

And I don't know
anything about him.

I don't even know his name.

If she lives
just around the corner

she must do her shopping
in the high street.

Well, there's nowhere else
near enough.

What time does she go shopping?
Twelve o'clock?

You don't care about those
faceless people down there, do you?

Your real target's your wife.

Or will he be with her?

Is he your real target?

What about the children?

She could have
the children with her.

You could miss Lesley,
and kill them.

Look, is what you've told me
sufficient reason to kill them, too?

Do you want to punish them, too?

Is that what you want?

Is it?


Give it to me.

No, no! No!

No! Somebody help us!
There's a gunman here! Stop him!

Please, stop him!

Please, stop him!
No! Stop him!

Please, don't!

I've got one left.

Don't make me use it.

Don't try to come through that door!

- I'll fire through it!
- He means it! Go back!

One. Two. Three.

Just like a row of ducks.

You didn't even know
where it was coming from!

So easy!

I mean, anyone can do it!
Anywhere, any time!

You can always depend on
human beings to panic.

You know, just create enough
confusion for you to escape.

Then what are you waiting for?

You can get past
those men in the corridor

by using me as a hostage.

Well, that's what you
kept me for, isn't it?

Well, get on with it.
Let's get out of here!

You can do what you want with me.

But do it!

I wanted you here with me
because I needed your company.

So, you see,

I did need your help,
after all.

I didn't give you help
just to kill people.

Don't cry.

- You're not down there.
- But I am.

I am, and your wife,
was she there too?

Or was that just for fun?
A practice round?

Are you still waiting
for her to come?

I'm not waiting for her.

Then what are you waiting for?
Why don't you escape?


where to?


I just... I just don't like
to see you crying.

Look, I... I wouldn't hurt you.
You know that, don't you?

Do they call you Maggie?


You know, do they call you
Maggie? From your name?

My friends call me Maggie.

You shouldn't have let them.

It's common.

And you're not common, are you?

Now, you make them call you Margaret,
because Margaret's a lovely name.

Maggie isn't good enough for you.

It's like my name.
You see, my name is...

John. John Drummond.

But Lesley, she always calls me Jack,
you see, because she says that...

"John" sounds too dignified.

She doesn't have very much
respect for me, you see.

Do you think she'll have
any more for you now?

No, no, no.

Because she...
she won't realise, you see.

She won't understand.

She'll only know what she
reads in newspapers.

And, like you said, it'll shock her,
seeing it there in print.

You know, my...
my name, maybe my picture.

But it won't be a personal shock
to her, you know what I mean?

Something she shares with other people,
you know, with everybody else.

It'll embarrass her,
it'll upset her,

but at least she'll have to take
some notice of me, won't she, hmm?

At least she...

she won't be able to
shut me out of her mind then, will she?

And maybe she'll even feel some...

kind of remorse.

Is that why you did it?

Just to make her take
some notice of you?

Oh, no, no.
No, I did it for myself.

They're coming.



I thought they'd be here before this.

Police station's
not all that far away.

Is that why you've been waiting?

For the police to come?

I told you.

I would not be hunted.

But once they get here, you won't
have a chance of escaping.

Keep away from that window.

Look, you can't
hold them off indefinitely.

You haven't got that many bullets.

Or time.

And time's on their side. Look...

if they can't talk you out,
or blast you out,

they'll just surround the
whole building, a... and wait.

Or they'll starve you out.

Look, you'll have to
give yourself up in the end.

Will I?

Do you intend to use me as a hostage?

Will you look at them all down there?

Running around in their blue uniforms.

Like mice who've cornered a cat,

and they don't quite know
what to do with him.

Do you?

I told you.
Don't go near the window.

This is Detective lnspector Grant.

The building is surrounded
by armed police.

You have two minutes
in which to surrender.

He's right.

You don't stand a chance.

Two minutes.

It's not very long to make
a life and death decision, is it?

You don't have to make a decision.

That's why you kept me here.

To escape through me.

You know, I didn't think
there was anybody left who...

who cared.
But you do, don't you?

I hadn't expected that.

Pity it's too late.

Do what the Inspector says.

We'll walk out together.

I'll stay with you. I swear it.

Please, John.

I can't.

I've made up my mind.

It was the only thing left to do.
I made a decision.

I'm not very good at that.

Making decisions, I mean,
and carrying them out.

But, this time,
I've got to go through with it.

Do you understand that, Margaret?
This time, there is no going back.

I have to finish
what I've started.

You do understand, don't you?

Go on.

They're blanks.

They're all blank cartridges.

They wouldn't hurt you.

Not unless you were too close,
and then they might give you...

a nasty burn.

Can you get up on that roof?

John, talk to them.

- No, it's too late.
- Of course it's not too late.

Give yourself this last chance.

Get outside, Margaret.

Don't let them kill you.

Get outside.

- Margaret...
- No!

Keep back there, please.

Farther back.