Escape Clause (1996) - full transcript

A man finds out from a would be killer that his wife has paid $10,000 to have him killed. But is this mysterious man telling the truth? When both the killer and the wife turn up dead, everyone is a suspect, and the investigation takes an unexpected turn



Probably wouldn't want to
insure this roofing company.

But what about
situations like this?

A storm
in a hurricane zone

that, since records
were kept,

has never been
the site of a storm
with winds like this.

A railway crossing

A driver's misjudgment
at a railway crossing

that had never been
the site of
an accident before.

Should we have insured
the railroad company,

a company with a perfect
safety record, as we did?

Or the merchants
and the homeowners

in the hurricane area,
as we did?

Were these
acceptable risks,

even if they could
have been foreseen?

Now, I know
some in our industry
don't like to hear this,

especially some of
our more senior members.


Maybe that's why
they called my work
the Ramsay Curve.

Or maybe it's because
I happened to be on
the other side of the street

working for
the consumer's union
at the time.

In any case, it's time
to step up to the plate.

What the Ramsay Curve
boils down to is this.

Simply because a person
has been injured,

he or she can no longer
be presumed to be just
an innocent bystander.

In fact, time and again,
in Casualty and Liability,

the case studies show,
the greater the degree
of victimization,

the more responsibility
the victim has
for his or her own plight.

You don't leave
the front door unlocked

if you live in
a high-crime neighborhood.

You don't change a tire
at night on the
traffic side of the car.

Now, if that's true
for ordinary people,

why isn't it true
for companies, too?

Well, it is.

We cannot keep
blaming trial lawyers

and passing on
our bad risks
to the consumer.

The public will not
stand for it, and frankly,
why should they?

The consumer
can no longer be expected
to pick up the tab

for our indifference
to the facts of life
as we know them today.



Thank you.



DJ ON RADIO: That was
Bill Bentley, in the wake up
hour here on WCTO Jazz FM,

Insurance city
to the world.







It's 6:30.


Well, if you don't move,
it's gonna be 7:00.


Thought I heard the kids.



RICHARD: Anyway,
we're allowed.

As long as we don't
scare the horses.

Of course,
we don't have any horses,
but if we did...

Where would
we put them?

You're kidding.

I only have
a couple of pages left.

When else am I
gonna get to read?

Graham Greene?

We're supposed to
be glowing.

You are.



Momma, Daddy,
are you up yet?

Hi, sweetie.
Hey, honey.

Hey, hey, hey! Hey!

You keep that up,
your finger's
gonna fall off.

It will not!

Cereal causes
hair loss.

Only uneaten cereal.

Does not.


It's okay. No worry. No cold.
Just too much smell flowers.

Good morning!

Hey! Don't you
look great.

Well, Harvard's offering
a six-week Business and Arts
course again,

that Leslie thinks
I ought to get into

if I'm thinking
of getting back
into gallery work.

Martha can pick
up the kids.

Yes, I pick up.

What about New York?
The conference?

You were gonna drive down,
meet me after.


Yeah. We were gonna
spend the night.

Oh, my God.
Why didn't you remind me?

Well, looks like
I have to these days,
doesn't it?

I didn't even check
with my parents about
arrangements for the kids.

Are we going
to Granddad's?

Looks that way, huh?

That's all right.
Forget it.

I'll call you later.
You look great.

Bye, little monsters.


WOMAN ON PA: Flight 212,
shuttle to New York
now boarding at Gate 10.

So did you have
any luck?

Can you believe it?

Two hours on
the fucking phone.

A loyal customer
for five years,

and insurance won't
pick up more than $2,000
damage on my Corvette.

Who's your company?

We are!


You're right.
gotta be done.

Yeah. How's my
beautiful Sarah?


She returns to
gallery work, yes?


Well, she told me.

Sunday drinks,
at your house.

An old
Hartford tradition.

Ah, you see?

I am not a husband.
I listen
and pay attention.

See that lady?

43%, within a reduced
statistical sample,

that she is already
spoken for.


We are
actuaries, Richard.

Actuaries do it
by the numbers.

We are
the fortunetellers
of insurance.

We're supposed to
know the odds
of what's gonna happen.


Oh, the question
we're always asking is,

"Are the capital reserves
realistically invested?"


Oh, thank you.

The temperature in Boston's
a balmy 62

with increasing overcast
and possible showers expected

over the Boston and
Cambridge areas tonight.


Personal responsibility.

You put your finger
right on it,

and I didn't
fall asleep at all.

Ever think of
going into politics?

I'm just getting
used to insurance,

Ask him about jazz
or early rock and then
you'll hear him talk.

Congressman Page,
Abe Shinoda.

Are you here to learn the way
we do business, Mr. Shinoda?

No, Congressman.
Are you?


Abe's on our side, Vic.
One of our executive team.


Richard convinced him
to leave National Casualty
at my request.

They've known each other
since MBA days
at Harvard Business.

A citizen of Japan,
but a Yankee at heart.

My family sent me here
to get rid of
my American crush,

and, boy,
did they make a mistake.

We're targeting Tokyo
as our flagship
when we expand overseas.

We expect Abe
to head it up.

He couldn't have
a better teacher.

Ah! Well, you're
Andre's boy, 100%.

He'll offer you
the Century 2000 and Beyond
study, and then... Bingo!

We're all part of
the same team, Abe.

Oh, yeah. Where?
Back in Tokyo?

With a father waiting
to cut off my balls
if I do something on my own?


RICHARD: Hi, sweetheart.

Richard, hi!
How'd it go?

Maybe I'll go
into politics.

I bet you were
a big hit, as always.

How about you?

Cambridge was fine.

Kids are asleep,
but I had to send Martha home
with a 102-degree allergy.

We'll be lucky
if we don't all come down
with the damn thing.



What's that?
Oh, Leslie.

She went with me
to Cambridge today.

She says hello.
I asked her to stay on
for the kids.

She's on her way
to New Haven tonight.

How about you?
Did you get any time
for yourself?

Ah, you should've
been here.

Next time.

Well, I'll be back
in the office by morning.

I'll see you and the kids
tomorrow night.

You know I miss you.

Me, too.

All right. Bye.


Hi. Can I get
some aspirin, please?

Yes, sir.



Not my cup of tea,
but my lady friend says
I'm missing something.

Leave it to
the ladies, hmm?


ABE: Richard!

Join us for a drink?

Hey, come on.
A nightcap.

Uh... Good night.

Hmm. Well, shall we?

I'm gonna
call it a night.



Thanks very much.


RECEPTIONIST: Good morning.
Century Insurance.
May I help you?

Eli wants to know
if you need
the file footage any longer

or should he
return it to Legal?

Back to Legal.

And Tom Blatt's waiting,
then it's Carlisle, Nye...

I couldn't find
my glasses
last night, Janet.

...and John Tapper
for division review.
They're on your desk.

Tom, good morning.

Look, Neal does not need
to send these up to us
for an opinion.

Tell him that's what
he's being paid for.

Besides, his
loss-control scenario,
it stinks.

I have your permission?

You have
my blessing.


I always do that.


It sounds like
early Oscar Peterson.

Who is this?

(LISPING) Mr. Ramsay?


You don't know me,
Mr. Ramsay.
Your wife hired me.

Uh, look...

But I thought I should
talk to you first.

Look, if my wife hired you,
why don't you talk to her?

It's almost
the 21st century.

Women are very capable


I'm trying
to tell you,

your wife hired me,

but you still got a chance
to do something about it.

About what? The lawn?

Look, I'm at work,
for Christ's sake!

About me
not killing you.

Ten thousand dollars
she's paying me, Ramsay.

But you're
an important fella.

I figure you're worth
more than that.

For another 10,
I could forget all about it.

Who is this?

Think of it

A cheap, whole-life policy.

I'll call again,
when you've had more time
to think about it.


Janet, who was that just now
on the private extension?

I don't know.
That's direct dial.

I've got nothing
to do with it.

Anything I can do?

Everything okay?

Yeah. Fine. Just...

Hi, Richard.

Janet will get you
some more coffee.
Hi, Abe.


Go ahead, sweetie.

Sarah, hi.

Is everything all right?
The kids, are they okay?

I'm just picking them up
from school. Why?

What's wrong, Richard?

Nothing. Just...

Just give 'em a hug for me.
Keep 'em safe
till I get home.

(SIGHING) Okay. Bye.


Abe, have a seat.


Get under there.

Get some sleep.


I love you, Dad.

I love you,
too, kiddo.

Hi, sweetheart.

There you are.

What was that today
at school?

The phone call?
You scared me.

Oh, it was nothing.
It was just, you know,
one of those feelings?

Somebody walking
over your grave.
It's nothing.

I'm gonna turn on
the news, all right?

Oh, I may be going into
Cambridge again this week.


There's a sublet
that might be coming up
during the course.

I thought for six weeks
it might be worth it

instead of
commuting every day.


I know there are problems
with scheduling and the kids,

but there's Martha
and my parents.

I thought I'd just take it
one step at a time.
See how things work out.

Whatever you think.




you got till noon Friday.

Listen to me,
you twisted son of a bitch.

Life's too short.

I'm no glutton
for punishment.

I know
she's good for her 10.

Have the money on you.

I'll make contact.



the phone company can't
do anything without us.

You're gonna need
a report number.



He says he's been getting
some annoying phone calls.

Okay. Have him
fill out a report.

Gil Farrand.
I'll see you
in a couple of minutes.

Thank you.

What kind were they?

Or just plain nuisance?

What would you say was
the specific substance

of these phone calls
you received?

Listen, I'm gonna
have to come back

when I have
a little more time,

when we can
do this properly.




Oh, by golly!
I've known this renegade
father-in-law of yours

since we were both pups
in Central Intelligence.

Now, why haven't
we had you up
for membership before?

JESSOP: Well, he wouldn't
allow it before.

You see, Richard believes
in making his own way
in the world.

He even refused
a senior year scholarship
at Andover

so that he could
finish up public high school
in New York.


Besides, I suspect
he secretly thinks
we're irrelevant.

Well, there's nothing wrong
with being a self-made man,

just so long as
you remember the friends
that made you that way.


HITZIG: Gentlemen.

Brightening up
the premises, I see.
Hello, Leslie.

Owen. Richard.

John. Horace.
You both know Leslie
Bullard, of course.

She runs one of
the better galleries
in town.

Which she has to
get back to.

JESSOP: Well, in that case,
don't let us keep you.

A pleasure.

Nice to
see you again.


In any event, I hope
you follow the Jessop lead in
another direction, too, Dick.

Join your lovely wife
by opening an account
at our bank, as well.

Sarah? Doing her own
double-entry bookkeeping?
Well, good for her.

I'm sorry, Horace.

I said it was a pleasure
helping her set up
her commercial account

at the Mercantile.

It'd be a privilege knowing
you were doing your banking
there with us, too.

Well, that's certainly
a very generous offer.

Thank you.

I'll just get the car.


Hi. Thank you.

Well, whatever it is,
it can't be that serious.


Tell Sarah
that, yes,

I will be at Nora's
soccer game on Sunday,
with refreshments.

All right.
And have her call me.

Yes, have her call me
because my phone
is on the fritz.

This is what you get
for not staying
with AT&T.

Didn't you talk to her
about this on Monday?

Love to the kids.

Leslie, wait! Wait!
Wait! You drove with her
back from Cambridge.

You stopped by the house
afterward Monday.

Did you
or didn't you?

Yes, I did.
I was at the house
on Monday.

Okay, sorry.

If you'd had the week
I've had, you would be
confused, too.

Tell her, will you?
I'm sorry. Yeah, of course.

Bye- bye.


How come you didn't tell me
you opened an account
at the Mercantile?

What for?

Some of the bonds
bought for me
when I was in college

finally came due.

I thought they should
remain separate.


Well, for expenses,
when I start work again.

If I ever start
work again.

Look, I don't understand.
Mine? Ours? I...

I don't keep what I earn
separate from you.

How much?

I don't know.
They were under the trust.

I thought there might be
tax consequences.

Why? Do you want
an exact accounting?

What's this?

The kids. I told them
to get it together
for tomorrow.

When did you
decide this?

Well, you're always saying
we don't spend
enough time together, right?

But not now.
Not tomorrow.

Why? What's wrong
with tomorrow?

It's Friday. Extra day.
Commonly called
a three-day weekend.

Yeah, but the kids
can't just be
taken out of school.

Why didn't
you ask me first?

I thought it was important.

Of course it's important.

Well, maybe we should
just clear everything
with each other first, huh?

You know, maybe we should.

Like bank accounts.

Among other things.

What's wrong with you?

I'm trying to put my life
into some kind of order.

Why? What's wrong
with the way it is now?

Not a thing!

But I have been
a good Hartford housewife
and a devoted mother,

and I would like to
get back to doing
something for myself.

But I never seem
to get any support.

What kind of support
would you like?

Any kind!

Why are you
drifting away from us?

I'm always here.

Only some of us have been
a little too preoccupied
to notice!

What the fuck
does that mean?

Who do you think
pays for this?

I was not born with it.
In case you have forgotten,

I have worked and slaved
for every fucking thing
that we have,

and I hate it!
I fucking hate it!

Would you
keep your voice down?


I suppose that I should
go have a chat
with the shrink now, huh?

A little fireside chat
with Warren.

Warren doesn't know
anything. Warren Hitzig
is a fucking joke!

Look. Sarah.

I love you.

You and the kids
are the only thing
that mean anything to me.

I can't talk to you
when you're like this.
I'm going to bed.


I don't...
I don't want to...

come on.




I'm sorry.
I'm sorry, baby.

there's a party
for Tapper.

He's getting engaged.

SARAH: You're kidding.

I know. Listen,
I'll be home as soon
as I can, all right?


I love you,
in case you didn't know.

I had a suspicion.

All right. Bye.


Goodbye, Charles.
John, I gotta go.

Oh, you're not leaving?

But we haven't even
poured the cake yet.

Bang, bang.
She shot me down.



Blonde bitch.


In Tokyo bars,
she'd be selling it,

and lucky
if anybody was buying.

Can't even eat fuckin'
peanuts with this thing.

A rip-off piece of shit.

Fuckin' dentist.

I'm no glutton
for punishment.

Leave that to the ladies.

American women.
(SCOFFS) You don't know.
You've got Sarah.

Hey, maybe you could
give me lessons, huh?

You've had too much
to drink, Abe.

Maybe you can...
Hey, tell them
I do it different!

Richard! Tell them
I do it sideways!

Told ya I'd make contact.

Now you're gonna be
a statistic.

Another mugging
that just sort of
went awry.

Unless you got
20 grand right there,
like I told ya.

You asshole.

I could've had double.




Tough guy, huh?







Nora! Teddy!





Mr. Ramsay!
Hartford Police!

Mr. Ramsay.
We got a report, sir.

Your call from
downtown. You...

If you could
just give me
one minute, Officer.


It's Lillian Jessop.


You couldn't have called
at a worse time.

Why? What is it?

Well, I'm gonna give Nora
another half hour
of finger-painting

before I rush her
off to bed.

They're there?
The kids, with Sarah?

And Grandpa and Teddy
are finishing off
their fleet, I think.

Sarah and the kids,
are they there?

Well, the kids are here.

Sarah dropped them off
this afternoon.
For the night.

That sublet business.

Suddenly, it's now or never.
She said she tried
to get a hold of you.

Where is she?

She's in Cambridge.

But I think
it's good for her,
going off on her own.

Don't you?

These professional plans
are just what she needs.

This is very
embarrassing, Officer.

There seems
to have been
a misunderstanding.

I'm so sorry.



MAN: Ramsay?

Look, it's gotten
out of hand.

We... We gotta talk.
I never intended this.

Where are you?

Meet me at Elizabeth Park.
The pavilion.

There's no time.

Where is she?

I don't know.

Honest to God.

It's no trick.

All right.

MAN: Ramsay!


No tricks.

I'm a man of my word.


All right. Now, you said
that the shots came from
the shadows on your right.


Did you get a look
at the assailant?

Any idea at all?

Belsen, the dead guy
in Elizabeth Park,
did you know he was a cop?

I emphasize "was,"

because the department
got rid of him
about six years ago.

There was some problem
with impounded goods
or something.

Guy's a real charmer.

All right.

Now, Mr. Ramsay,
this is going to
be difficult.

You understand that.

But I have to cover
all the bases.

How would you describe
your relationship
with your wife?

There's no problem
with me and Sarah.

You got married
right out of college.

Pretty early.
Everything pretty good?



Then, in your home life,
were there any surprises?

Were there any
sudden financial crises

or any new personal
interests or relationships
on your wife's part?

She has nothing
to do with this.

I understand.

My wife is innocent.

In your day-to-day

do you have reason to
believe that there was anyone
who would want to harm you,

who would want to
extort money from you?

No. No.


Well, the way
you explain it,

and the way
we have it figured, this is
an extortion scheme.

You're a successful guy.

Let me ask you
a question.

Did you tell your wife
about these phone calls?

Because I know
when you were here
the other day,

you weren't
specific with us.

Why not?

I didn't want to
worry her.

Don't you think
it would have helped?

Well, I wasn't gonna
let some maniac
with a telephone

disrupt my life.

What about
the break-in?

What break-in?

Your wife called us
last month
about a break-in.

There was no break-in.
Someone came out.

But nothing was missing,
nothing was found.

My wife simply found
the front door open.

And you made
no connection?

There was no break-in.

Mr. Ramsay,
domestic problems usually
have domestic reasons.

Until now, you were
a happily married man

with a lovely wife
and two beautiful children,

until someone
threatened to kill you.

And that someone
is dead now.

You think I killed him?

No. No.
Why would I think that?

You said you didn't,
and apparently your gun
hasn't been fired recently.

But somebody
put three rounds
into this man.

And the only other person
mentioned in all of this,
your wife Sarah,

is suddenly
nowhere to be found.

Mr. Ramsay, do you have
any life insurance?

Lieutenant, Mr. Ramsay
is very prominent
in insurance.

I didn't
know that.

How big a policy?

That's not the problem.

Humor me.
100,000, 200,000?

I don't know.
Two million. Maybe more.

They're with the company,
company policies.

I don't even keep track.

Two million.

And your wife is
the principal beneficiary?

You have no right
to pass judgment on my wife.

Money is not the problem.
She doesn't need money.
She has money.

Sergeant Dine tells me
she was studying for
a new career of her own.

What are you doing?
What the fuck
are you doing?

Mr. Ramsay...
My wife is missing!

She's the one
that needs the help.

Mr. Ramsay...

I don't want to hear it.

What are you doing for me
and my family, or do I
have to do it myself?


I'm Richard Ramsay.

Sarah's husband.

Yes, I know.

I guess you know
that we've had our problems,
our difficulties.

Most couples do.

It doesn't mean anything.

Where is she?

I don't know.

Look, I know
that you and Sarah,
you're old friends.

I understand that.

I wouldn't hold it
against her
if she and you...

Did you?

You don't have to
say anything. You don't
have to confirm it.

All you have to do
is deny it.

Silence is assent, right?
All you have to do is deny.

Last summer, right?

When she came up here
to audit the course
last summer.

That was it, wasn't it?

Where is my wife?

I think you need to
talk to somebody.

Hi, Dad!

Put your jacket on.
You're coming
home right now.

Dad, look.
Where's your sister? Nora!

Hi, Dad.

Come on, sweetie.
Watch your head.
Teddy, put your...

JESSOP: Richard, what do
you think you're doing?

Tell Sarah
I've got the kids.

If she wants to
see them, she knows
where she can find them.

Come on, Teddy.

And just where are you
taking them, Richard?


Teddy, time for bed,

When's Mommy coming?

Soon, sweetie.
Just get in
your pajamas.

I'll be right back,
all right?




WOMAN: Robertson,
can you take a look at this?


I don't think
the lacerations
and contusions

should impede

There are also

suggestive of
burns from rope
or restraints

on the wrists
and forearms.

Don't know yet
about sexual assault.









Just relax.

Get off!
Take your hands
off me!

Just lay still.


I'm all right.


HITZIG: Wait a minute.
Just take it easy.


It's all right, Teddy.
Teddy, it's okay.
It's okay.

HITZIG: I dropped by
Owen and Lillian's
on the way over.

The kids are doing fine.

And Leslie's
been a big help.

Richard, don't
rush anything.

It's only been
a couple of weeks.

It's okay, Warren.

I appreciate it,
but it's really
not necessary.

I've got my whole life
in front of me.

Drugs and time.

I'll recover.


May I come in?


How you doing?


I just thought I'd drop in
because I was thinking,

that night at the station,
I was a little rough on you.

No need to apologize.
You were just doing your job.

Well, don't let me
off the hook so easily.

I lost a great gal
of my own last year.

Still, you always wonder
if there was something
you could've done

that would've made
a difference.

That's why I came.
To let you know
you're not alone.

Anything you need.

There were two of them.
Had to be.

And I'm not giving up.

Not until I find
the other guy who did this.


Red, reading
Kiddie Time
again, huh?

Hey, what did
the first elevator say
to the second elevator?

The medical examiner's
final report
on Sarah Ramsay.

"I think
I'm comin' down
with somethin'."

You're gonna be
lieutenant any day
with that. Don't worry.

No answer on
the sexual assault.

No visible trauma
or semen.

There was a trace,
however, of nonoxynol-9,
a common spermaticide,

found in the labial folds,
uncertain how recent.

And by the way,
you got a visitor.

A guy named
Lowell Devens.



SARAH: Hi. You've reached
the Ramsay residence.

We can't get the phone
right now.

Leave a brief message,
and we'll get back to you
as soon as possible.



He was on the phone
when you walked
into his office.

Do you know
who he was
talking to?


He didn't
tell you?


Who else would know
his private office number?

Well, special business...

Or sometimes friends.

Of course, not many.
Just some.

(CHUCKLING) Like me.

Do I need a lawyer?

What do you got?

Eight years ago,
December 14th.

And I thought you were crazy
putting us through
a search like this.

A family-dispute-
in-progress call
at 22, Whitby.

That's where
they used to live
at that time.

A Mrs. Sarah Ramsay
reported assault,
a possible 10-70,

against her
by her husband Richard,
9:46 p.m.

You should hear
the dispatcher's tape.
And that's not all.

The responding officer
on the call,
guess who it is?

Patrol Officer
Lyle T. Belsen.

FARRAND: Did your son-in-law
have reason to believe

that your daughter
wanted to hurt him?

You see,
prior to her death,

Richard Ramsay
reported getting
threatening phone calls,

and he also reported,
according to the caller,

that it was
your daughter, his wife,
who was responsible.

Now, he said
he didn't
believe it.

We were never told.

We didn't
tell anyone.

And as I said, he said
he didn't believe it.

But a man by the name
of Lowell Devens
recently came to see us...

Yes, we know Lowell.

So what is
your point,

I thought you were supposed
to be investigating
our daughter's death.

According to Devens,

Richard Ramsay accused him
of having a relationship
with your daughter.

This is monstrous.

What are you suggesting?
That Richard somehow
blamed Sarah for all of this?


We located a record
of the call

reporting your son-in-law's
assault on your daughter
eight years ago.

But there was no formal
complaint ever filed.
Why is that?

It was a private
family matter.

Because it was
nothing serious.

He didn't hit her.
He just frightened her.

And he agreed to speak to
somebody about the problems
that were bothering him.

Dr. Hitzig.

That's an old
family friend?

Yes. There were only
a few visits.

What were the problems?

We don't know.

We don't believe
in washing our linen
in public, Lieutenant.

According to the terms
of the will that was filed,

all of the assets
ever received by Sarah
from you

go directly
to the children.

Your son-in-law
is not even a trustee.

No. That was put into
the prenuptial agreement.

By whom?

By us.

FARRAND: You don't want him
controlling her money.


Don't you trust him?

Is that why he felt
he had to keep in force

the two million dollar
life insurance policy
he had on her?

What is the question
you're really asking
here, Lieutenant?



MAN 1: That's it.
MAN 2: Nice shot, Eric.

Good shot!

Dr. Hitzig?
Lieutenant Farrand,
Hartford police.

I'll have to
catch up with you.

I'll see you later.

I'd like to ask you
a couple of questions

about your patient,
Richard Ramsay.

That domestic quarrel
eight years ago,
you treated him for that.

Not as family doctor,
but in your capacity
as psychiatrist.

What was that for?

I'm sorry, Lieutenant,
but you know
as well as I do

that I can't
talk about this.

Yes, but this
is very important.

The cop who answered
the call that night,
Lyle Belsen,

the same Lyle Belsen
who is now dead

and who was behind
all those phone calls
that started all of this.

Did you know that?

Now, that may explain
why he went after Ramsay
for his extortion scheme,

but it doesn't explain
why Ramsay wouldn't
admit to knowing him.

And it doesn't
explain a lot of
other little things,

like why there were
just enough witnesses to
back up Ramsay's story,

but not even one
to really prove it.

My God! You
can't be serious.

There's no reason
Richard should
remember Belsen.

The incident with Sarah
came at
a very painful time.


More painful
than telephone calls
threatening your life,

instigated by the woman
with whom you've been
living, for how many years?

Doctor, do you know
what the Ramsay Curve is?

I'm generally
familiar with it.

Then you know
it's what he made
his reputation on

back at Harvard
Business School.

It was based
on insurance cases
that he studied.

The less likely
an accident is
to happen, it says,

the greater
the probability

that when it does,
it's your fault.

Simply because
why would it happen?

That's it.
Simple, huh?

It's an approach,
a strategy.

How to set up
a situation

so that the burden
of proof is always
on the injured party.

I think you're
misstating it.

Am I?

Do you have any idea

how much money
the insurance industry
has saved on this?

You see, everything
is upside down now.

Innocence equals guilt.

The victim is
always at fault,

and the party who's
supposed to be liable,

all of a sudden turns into
the party who's been hurt.

In that case,
why don't you ask what's
wrong with our society?

It's the common sense
of our time.

In the same way that
Sarah, Richard's wife,

after all the suspicion and
after all the phone calls,

was finally turned
into the guilty party.

And Richard turned
into the perfect
picture of innocence.

The Ramsay Curve.

What kind of mind
would come up with
something like that?

I'm sure that's not
what he intended.

Richard can't be blamed
for putting the truth down
on paper as he sees it.

It was a way of
reminding everybody,

business and public both,
of their responsibility
to cut costs.

Doctor, what were you
treating him for?

I'm sorry,
but there's a doctor-patient
relationship involved here.

Indeed, and paper
covers rock.

And a subpoena is paper.

And why don't you
just avoid all
the hassles for us,

because you know
the judge is gonna
grant my request.

Certain temporary
paranoid disorders.

It's not as bad
as it sounds.

He was under
a lot of pressure.

So he cracked,
is that it?

He came in for counseling.

This guy's
a walking time bomb.

You're talking
about schizophrenia.

No, I am not.

I am talking transient
delusional episode.

It's not at all uncommon.

As long as it doesn't
lead to the disintegration
of the personality,

it's hardly to be
commented on.

Richard came from a broken,
disadvantaged home.

Everything he's got,
he's got on his own.

He's not some
self-indulged yuppie.

He's accomplished something.

It's been eight
years, Doctor.

How do you know that
in the last eight years,
he hasn't been disintegrating?

He had plenty of motive.
Plenty of reason.

His wife cheated on him.

Because it was
my considered opinion
at the time,

and nothing since has
prompted me to alter it.

I wanna go home,
Dad, to our house.

I know. I know, sweetie.
I miss Mommy, Daddy.

Come on, children.
Come on, now.

Come on now,
it's time to go to bed.

You have to go
to bed...
Let's go. Come on.

Good night.

CHILDREN: Good night.

TEDDY: Good night, Daddy.

Good night, guys.
Sweet dreams.

Richard, the situation
with the children,

it's just a little
uncertain this way.

What Lillian means is that
we think we should
formalize the arrangement.

To take the burden
off you, now and in
the immediate future.

Oh, you've already done
more than enough, Owen.

No, Richard.
You don't understand.

What do you want,

Just a little more time.



Hi, Charley.
Hey, Rich.

Don't get up.

Uh, can I get
you something?

Uh, no.

Uh, look,
I'm real sorry about what
happened to your wife.

I know she, uh...
She must've been
a fine lady.

Tough tracking
you down, Charley.

Well, I... (COUGHS)

I been out of the business.

I need your help.

Someone I can trust.

Well, uh... I don't know
what I can do, Rich.

Takes me a drink or two
to get through the day now.

Hey, but we go back a way,
don't we? 10 years.

Me checking 'em out,
you making your notes...


You're still one
of the best, Charley.

Well, cops do that
better these days.

No. The cops
don't know anything.

Look, she was
beaten, Charley.

Her hands were tied
behind her back,
and she was beaten.

You help me find
who did this to her.

Sure, Rich. Sure.



Richard, how are you?

Welcome back,
Mr. Ramsay.

Everything still
under control, Janet?

Of course.

Mr. Willard wants to see you
in the boardroom right away.

Federal regulation?
Not if I can help it.

Don't worry, Andre.
The public won't buy it.
They're too smart.

Fortunately they know
how delicate and difficult

the business of
insurance really is.

Fortunately they don't,

God help us if insurance
ever does stop
boring people to death.

It's the only thing that
keeps their hands off us
altogether. It...

Thank you, Vic.
We'll be in touch.

it's good to see you.

Thank you, Andre.


I wanted to reassure you,
now that you're back,

set your own pace,
take whatever time
you need.

Abe will take up the slack.

He's been invaluable.
Simply outstanding,
in your absence.

He'll be taking over
responsibilities for the
Century 2000 and Beyond study.

But we'll have to reconsider
who we assign to Tokyo
when we launch overseas. Hmm?

Does it please you, Richard?

I'm overwhelmed.

It's wonderful, Abe.


Thank you.

Sarah and I used to come
here all the time as kids.
We'd ride the carousel.

(SIGHS) Everything
comes back to haunt you.

Sarah told me that
when she first saw me on
campus, she was with you.

Just the two of you.
And you flipped a coin.

Well, you looked

Aren't you glad
you didn't win?

I don't know what
you thought of me
all these years.

Not much, I'd say.

A little too much
East Coast finishing school.

Maybe you were even
a little bit jealous

of how close Sarah and I
were growing up together.

But I think that gives me
even more authority to
say what I have to say.


See, people screw up,
you know.

Living together,
they get divorced
or get pissed off

and somehow
see it through.

I mean, God knows
I've had my share of
learning experiences.

She saw Lowell one time,
when things got really bad.

Once. That was all.

And when he called her
to start up again,

she went and met him
in Cambridge to tell him no,

because she loved you.

And nothing that happened,

nothing should
ever change that.

ABE: It's got to be
ready by 6:00 tonight.


All right.

Mr. Ramsay?

Hello, Diane.

I'm working with
Mr. Shinoda now.

I know.

He asks me to collect
his mail at the post
office on my way in.

I don't mind,
if I have the time.

But he opens it
in front of me.

Grown men there, I hear,
read these kinds of things.

I guess it's a cultural thing.

I don't care what he does
in his spare time,
but I'm not interested.

And I don't want
to have to file suit
against this company.


So you wouldn't call
yourself a close friend?

Of Richard's?
I don't know.

Did he ever offer you
anything more
than just friendship?


So then, that would never
have become a problem
between you and his wife?

No. Of course not.

What about your family?

They had a bad
with insurance.

Uh, no better or worse
than anyone else...

Like everybody, huh?

My mother.
A medical malpractice suit.

But she's all right now?

Yes. Thank you.

Thank you.


So now I hear
you're draggin' the pond
in Elizabeth Park.

You wanna tell me
what the hell's
going on here?

I'm lookin' for a gun.

You're lookin' for a gun.
Jesus Christ.

I am your
superior officer.

I get a call
from Owen Jessop.

He wants to know about
the investigation
of his son-in-law.

What investigation
of his son-in-law?

What am I supposed to tell
the former deputy director
of the CIA,

when I don't even know what
the fuck he's talking about?

Did you ask them
for their help?

What is this,
this is a joke now?
We're joking?

Why don't you tell them
to go screw themselves.

I got 30 more
days on this job.

Until that time is up,
I'm gonna do what
I'm supposed to do,

what I'm paid to do.
Something stinks here!

What the hell are you
doing to yourself?

Who's gonna inherit
your pension when you don't
even survive disability?

The doctor says
I'm gonna live forever.

Get another doctor.
You look like shit.

Goes with the territory.

This time, I'm gonna hide.
You guys turn around.

Count to 20.
Don't come find me until
you've finished counting.

CHILDREN: One, two,
three, four, five, six,
seven, eight, nine, ten...

It's for the good of
the children, Felix.

For their future.

No, he can't be expected
to provide a suitable
home life for them.

Yes, that's right.
Permanent legal
guardianship, Felix.

You're my attorney.
You know I won't settle
for anything less.

You know who to call.


ABE: You know why
I love this country?

Everything is possible.
Rock and roll, everything!


My idea to come here.
To school.

Mine. Not theirs.

My father hated it.

"Maybe," he said.
"Okay, for the training."



For the freedom. (CHUCKLES)

No more "Yes, Father.
No, dear Father."

in its fucking place.

Who is going back?
You know what I mean?

The possibilities, the risk!



All right. You know
I value your input.

I want it.

You are still
part of the team.

You will always be
a part of the team.

Don't look at them.

They'll think
we're interested.

Are we interested, ladies?


Oh, yes.

You don't have to be
interested, Richard.

No, no. It's okay. Why not?


MAN ON TV: He's alive
and you're still alive,
so what happened next?

Well, we were all in...



You want a drink?



Don't worry
about your friend.


He'll be fine.

Look, um...

What about you?

What do you want?
Hmm? Nothing?


Oh, yes, baby. I want to.
Let me see if I can get
something started.

WOMAN: Stop!

WOMAN: Let me go!

It's okay! You ask her!
She likes it!

Abe, shut up!

WOMAN: Get off some other way,
you fucking motherfucker!

She likes it!

Abe, Abe! Get out!

WOMAN: Don't touch me!


Who do you think
you are kidding?

Your wife is not even cold
in the ground, and you're
already chasing pussy!


She was getting ready
to go to Cambridge.

Someone interrupted her
and got her out of the house.

Someone she knew
and trusted.

Somebody twisted
and sick and diseased!


Why are you saying that?

Was it you, Abe? Was it?

No! No, I would never
hurt you or Sarah!


You were my friends.
Don't you know that?

Go ahead, hit me! Hit me!

Maybe you have nothing
to be ashamed of.

Maybe you have
nothing to hide.


I, um, was walking.

Come on.

Dr. Hitzig, please.

Warren, Richard's here.
Yeah. Last night.

No. No, he didn't
tell me anything.

No, he's sleeping.

Uh, not now.
Later, in your office.

Yeah, I'll let you know. Okay.



Mr. Richard?




Oh, my God.
I'm sorry.

I thought
you could
use some help.

Martha said you might
like Sarah's clothes
put away

and that you could
use the help.

Yeah, like with Warren?
Why did you call him?

I didn't know what
else to do, Richard.

Are you my friend, Leslie?

I hope so.

You were Sarah's friend.


Can I trust you?


Then why did it
never feel that way?

I didn't want to be

Misunderstood? Why?

I didn't win
the coin toss,

I had no business
being in your life.

Lyle Belsen?
Lyle was a cop!

I might've guessed.
Yeah, we had
some good times.


Did, uh, did he ever
say who hired him
to make the calls?

Nah, I didn't know
what he was doing.

Did you ever see the guy?

Who said it was a guy?
Maybe it was a gal.

A person.

Nah. Lyle just said
he had a client.

Well, you know Lyle.
Always flying high.


No. No, I don't.
But let's keep talking and
maybe I'll get to know him.

If you make it a double.




Hello. You've reached
the Ramsay residence.

We can't take
your call right now...

Ah, shit! leave a message and
we'll get back to you
as soon as we can.

Yeah. Hi, Rich,
it's Charley.
Give me a call.

I got something
for you. Bye.



(SCREAMS) Dad! Dad! Dad!


Where's Dad?

Sweetheart, you're
having a nightmare. Aw!

It's Nana.
Nana and Granddad
love you very much.

Where's Dad?

Aw, we love you.
Okay, come on,
back to sleep.

He's gonna
lose everything.

Most of all,
the children, if he keeps
going on like this, Warren.

I don't get it.
What's happening?

Even Lieutenant Farrand
was sending out signals.

Leslie, this isn't
your problem.

Oh, no. Right, yeah. I'm just
supposed to keep looking out
for number one all the time.

I know you're still
trying to sort out your
own feelings about him.

This isn't about
my feelings, Warren.

And I know you've done
a pretty good job of not
showing them till now.


No. Not so good,

You've got nothing
to be ashamed of.

Leslie, it's not
just Sarah's death.

There were phone calls,
he told the police.

Phone calls threatening him,
which he says
Sarah was responsible for.

No. I don't believe that.

No. Of course not.
Nobody does.

Nobody wants to.

Leslie, the police are working
from the very real possibility
that Richard hired Belsen

to make those calls.

Stay out of this.

Richard gave up a lot of
what he was to become
what he wanted to be.

We may just now be
finding out the cost.


All right, take it.

The manager found him
at 8:00 this morning.

His name is
Charles Wallace Ives.

He used to be the
chief insurance investigator
for the Seavers Agency.

Apparently, he was
one of the best.

I found something.

PPK .380, seven-shot clip,
three shells expended.

Okay. Run it
through Ballistics.

Anything new,
I'll be in touch
right away.

Thanks very much.
Thank you.

I just spoke with Felix.
Papers should be on their
way to your chambers now.

Thank you, Harry.
Yes, yes, it is.
Very unfortunate.

Harry Bolles at
superior court.

I'm requesting that
he grant us a temporary
restraining order.

Why? What did
Farrand want?

A man, a friend of Richard's
was found this morning
downtown, bludgeoned.

Ives, that insurance

who helped Richard with
his research at Harvard.

They also found a gun.

They're checking it now.

Now, if this Ives
was the man that was
involved with Belsen...

And Farrand thinks
this could be definite.

I mean, it could seriously
implicate Richard
in Sarah's death.

This order will keep
Richard away from
the children,

until we have
permanent legal custody.

Teddy and Nora
are Sarah's children.

They're Jessops.
That's all that counts.

He never did
accept us, did he?

Ask Louisa to
get the children
packed and ready.

We're going to Essex,
to the cottage.


Louisa, hi! Would you open
the door? It's locked!



Louisa, where are the kids?


Louisa, where
are the kids?

What? Who is this?
Who is this?

ON PHONE: Mr. Ramsay,
this is Felix Caudell,
attorney for Owen Jessop.

Your father-in-law has
requested that I inform you

that you have been
temporarily enjoined by the
Connecticut Superior Court

from seeing
or visiting with either
or both of your children,

and that if you persist,
a permanent injunction
will be issued against you.

May I also suggest
that you leave the
premises immediately,

as you are presently
guilty of criminal entry
and trespass.


Teddy, Cousin Agnes
is expecting us.

Granddad will take you
on the boat tomorrow.
Come on.

Pinky promise.



Do you know that
there are men, hunters,

the last that you'd expect
to take out a policy,

and then they blow off
a leg, an arm.

They don't care
what they lose,
just so that they can collect.

You've been under
a lot of strain.

Let's go back
to the cottage.
We can talk.

Tell me that it's not
true! Tell me that you
are not responsible.

There are... There are
people that can see...

You know, I can't sleep!

I go home, I can't sleep.
And then today, why not Owen?

So much to gain,
money, posterity.

He's made murder
an instrument of
national policy.

Why not domestically?

You just didn't realize
that it would backfire
and kill your own daughter.

This is madness.

Where are my children?
You're not taking
my children!

(GRUNTS) Richard!






Hey, pull it over there!

Owen, grab the pole!

Help! Over here!

MAN: Hang on, Owen.


It's open.

I've just come from
the cottage. Owen's fine.

He's a tough old goat.

But he'll still be
pressing charges,
and, uh...

They'll be looking
for you, Richard.

Call Farrand.
He can help you.

Tell him your
side of the story.

I've been looking in all
the wrong places, haven't I?

I mean, it all just comes
right back here to me.

You know that Teddy and Nora
think that you're great.


Richard, don't do
this to yourself.

They need someone
that they can count on.

Someone that
they can trust.


No. Lieutenant Farrand
is not here. Is it important?

Yeah. He told me
to call anytime.

Fridays Lieutenant Farrand
usually spends at
the Ridge Center,

just outside of town.

If it's important.


The markings from Ives' gun
sure as hell resemble

the markings from the bullet
that we pulled out of Belsen.

And you're right
again, genius.

We lifted a print off
of Ives' gun, which
is very interesting.

It matches Ramsay's.


We'll be issuing
a warrant to pick him up.

But somebody still has
to tell the Jessops.

I've come this far.

They're at their
cottage in Essex.

I know.

You don't sound
very happy.

It's not over yet.

Well, keep me posted.

I'll talk to you.

Thanks, Liz.

More than welcome,
Lieutenant. Now,
that's as of the fourth.

I can check,
but I don't think it
includes payments for Bobby

that insurance won't cover.

Are you okay, Lieutenant?

I'm okay. It's just
every now and then my back
wants to show me who's boss.

Excuse me. I was looking
for a Lieutenant Farrand.


Oh, try the pool.
First exit. Left.

Can I help you?

Hi. Yeah, I'm looking
for Lieutenant Farrand.

Oh. He left
a little while ago.

Are you a friend
of Bobby's?

Bobby Buckner,
Lieutenant Farrand's

Though you'd
never know it.

He treats Bobby like
he was his very own.

Visits him every
chance he gets.

Well, his mom
died last year.

She wasn't too well,

Not that she was hurt
in the accident, but she
was suffering ever since.


The train accident.

The Tylerville crossing.

She was driving.
The signal wasn't working.

Freight train
plowed right into them.

Worst part,
insurance company
for the train,

they said it was her
fault. Driver's error.

Bobby's mom,
for not paying
more attention.

He'll have to transfer
to county pretty soon.

I don't see how else
the Lieutenant's
going to do it.

It's already taken
every penny he has.

The results of the tests
on that gun mean nothing.

The prints
could've been lifted.

There're a million ways
those prints could've
gotten there.

I understand that, but at
the moment it's not my
business to prove anything.

All I know is
I cannot afford to put
any of you at risk.

And the department can't give
you adequate protection here.

You want us
to return
to Hartford?

It would be easier,
and safer.


Hello, Teddy. How would
you like to see the
inside of a police car?

Oh, yeah!

Do you mind
if I take him
on ahead?

JESSOP: No, I think
that would be fine.

Be my pleasure.

Just take me a moment
to get his things ready.

Be a good boy,
now, Teddy.

This'll be cool,


Where's the case
file footage?

The footage used
in your presentation?

With Legal.

That was returned
a while ago.

All right.
Call Garber in Legal.

Four years ago,
a liability case.

A railway crossing
accident. Buckner.

At Tylerville. I want all
the raw, unedited footage
you can get.

Were we or were we not
the underwriting company?

ANDRE: Richard? Richard?

What is it?

All set?

We appreciate your
concern, Lieutenant.

We'll meet you
at the house.
Yes. Very good.

Thank you.

All right, Teddy.
Let's go.

ANDRE: Richard,
I know, but there
are procedures, liability.

We can't just go
opening up company files

and making available
unedited case footage,
not even in house...

What are you
talking about, Andre?

It's me.
I created those files.

Now, the plaintiff's
name was Buckner.

Look, were we the
underwriting company?

Richard, I'm really sorry,
but this is policy!

Yes, we were.

stay out of this.

He filed suit against
Mid-Atlantic Rail and us
for over ten million.

There's no reason
for you to remember it.

It was just
one of those times.

Abe, that's enough!

You've found a place
with us here at headquarters.
Don't jeopardize it.

One of what times?

There will be
no more discussion
of confidential information.

Insurance operates
in a hostile environment!

One of those times when you
were asked to testify as
an expert insurance witness.

The first time, though,
in a case of
our admitted liability.

Teddy, that side
sometimes sticks.

Come on, we'll go
around the other way.


Go on, scoot over.

TEDDY: Whoa!

That's a good boy.

Bye, Grandma.


Can you outsmart
speed traps, too?

It was a faulty railroad
crossing signal,

but Legal argued
driver error.

At least, that's
what they told you.

They needed you to testify,
to present the Ramsay Curve
to question blame.

It was their only chance.

Ten million dollars.
And it worked.

Your testimony made
all the difference.

The jury decided in
our favor unanimously.


That's him.
That's the boy.

You lied, Andre.
You twisted it.

How many times?
How many lives?

Come on. It's policy.

It's a general principle.
You said so yourself.


Get your fucking
hands off me!



Leslie, it's me.
Listen, listen, the kids.

Tell Owen and Lillian
to keep them there,
no matter what.

All right, now listen
to me, Leslie.

Four years ago,
there was a railway accident
in Tylerville at a crossing.

A boy was crippled,
a woman was injured
and never really recovered.

They sued, they lost.

Richard, what does
all this mean?

Leslie, the woman was
Lieutenant Farrand's wife.
The boy was his stepson.

Leslie, it's Farrand. The man
who killed Sarah is Farrand.

He planned it all
because of me,
because I testified.

He hired Belsen
and killed him.

He killed Ives because
he holds me responsible.

Who is it?
Let me talk to him.

Leslie, I am not insane.
I have seen the boy.


Richard, stop him, Farrand.

He's got Teddy.
In the car.
They just left.


Hartford. Oh, God, Richard.
Tylerville is on their way.

Owen, what could it hurt?

It only would take
one phone call.

The train is going
through there at 3:25.

So he's drawn you
in, too, has he?

So now it's
Lieutenant Farrand
who's responsible?

But they'll
listen to you!

No! I certainly will
not call Bill Morris
at Mid-Atlantic Rail

and ask him to delay
the only scheduled run
he has for the day!

I'm not a fool.

We are talking about
the life of your grandson.

No, we are not.
We are talking
about Ramsay,

the man who murdered
my daughter.

I thought you had
some affection for
Sarah's memory.

God damn you.

Richard never had
a chance with you,
did he?

You would rather risk your
own grandson's life just so
you can have it your own way!

Trains used to run here
all the time. No more.

Everything's changed.
Nothing means the same

Good people
are called bad.

When I was growing up,
good people were
never called bad.

I knew your mother, you know.

One time, when she thought
there was a burglar,
I came out to investigate.

But it wasn't a burglar,
it was me.

In fact, I was the last
one to see her alive.
That's how close we were.

You didn't
put on your seatbelt.
Put on your seatbelt.

This won't take long.

TEDDY: Let me go!



Don't cry.
It won't help to cry.



No! Let me go!

Oh, my God,
I'm heartily sorry for
having offended Thee.

Because of thy
just punishment,

but most of all because
my sins offend Thee, my God,

who are all-good
and deserving
of all my love.

I firmly resolve,
with the help of Thy grace,
to sin no more...



Come on. Come on.


Dad! Dad!

No! No! Don't! Don't!


(GRUNTING) Teddy...

TEDDY: Let go!


Dad! Dad!



Give him back to me!

Doesn't take much,
does it?

You can't really insure
yourself against it, huh?

A few phone calls,
a few pressure points.

What do we make such
a fuss about it for?

Give him back!

Huh? Life's one big
fucking accident anyway!

You let him go!
He's not responsible!

That's the dirty
little secret, isn't it?

Insurance, the real
extortion racket.

Pay up and you'll be safe,
when they can't really do shit
about making anything better!

TEDDY: Dad...
It's all right, Son.

He won't hurt you.

Let him go.

Nothing I can do is wrong.
You understand?


I am suffering personally.
I bet you they'll even
let me file for stress.

You let my boy go.
He had nothing
to do with this.

Even that first time,
when I checked out your
house, it wasn't my fault.

The door was unlocked.
How about that!

Just like you said,
"No crime there!

"A break-in that wasn't
even really a break-in."

You killed my wife! You did!

And what about me?
What about my Mary Ann?


It was hard enough
to see the boy,

but to watch her go,
it was something that
she thought she did!

Somebody's gonna pay!

No. No. It all
ends right here.

The fault, the victims...

It all ends right here.
You just let my boy go.

Do you miss her,
Ramsay? Do you?

Good. 'Cause now we're even.


(SIGHS) Go on, Teddy. Go on.