Havana (1990) - full transcript

Cuba, December 1958: The professional gambler Jack visits Havana to organize a big Poker game. On the ship he meets Roberta and falls in love with her. Shortly after they arrive in Cuba, Roberta and her Cuban husband, the revolutionary Arturo, are arrested and tortured. Arturo is reported "shot while trying to escape," but Jack manages to get Roberta free again. He can't, however, keep her from continuing to support the revolution. Jack has to make a choice between the beautiful woman who keeps putting herself in harms way and the biggest poker game of his life; between the man he could be and the man he is.

I've been in a lot of places
since Pearl Harbor.

I like something about every one of them.
Even Vegas.

But there's only one city I miss.

General Batista had been running
the country for almost 30 years.

But this was 1958.

We weren't paying attention
to the rebels in the hills.

All we knew about Havana was...

... the lights in the Prado
never went out...

... and you had a damned good chance
of having the time of your life.



Bet $10.

$10, raise $20.

You guys know something I don't?

- Raise $25.
- Come in.

Sorry, Captain, but Tony the bar boy
saw some guys breaking into the cars.

Wait a minute. What was your bet?

- See you and raise you $25.
- I told them they cannot do that.

But they say they're SIM
and they can do what they want.

- $25?
- Take your time, Captain.

Christ. Look, I call.

I'll be right back.

- What the hell is SIM?
- S-I-M. Military intelligence.

Batista's gestapo.

This is an American ship,
so as you're concerned, it's American soil.

- There are arms on this ship.
- Have you found arms on this ship?

Here's the license number. Maybe
we'll have to detain the ship in Havana.

You can't hold a ship
because of one solitary pistol.

That deck is off-limits except to the crew.

You're violating every
international maritime law there is...

...and unless you can show me
a search warrant...

...I'm reporting you to the US Embassy.

We've been advised there's contraband
on this ship.

Advised by who?

Just because your military can't control
some kids throwing...

It's mine.

- This your car, sir?
- You copied the wrong plates, amigo.

That's my gun. Why? Is there a problem?
Want to see my permit?

It's prohibited to bring weapons into Cuba.

Could we talk about this outside?

- I'm sorry for the fuss, Captain.
- After you, sir.

Okay, everything's settled.

Just relax. Have a nice time.
Have a Christmas drink on the house.

Mrs. Duran?

Marion Chigwell.

We met the last time I was in Havana
at Nettie Greenfield's.

Of course. Hello.

I don't know if Nettie told you.

I'm writing an article on Caribbean cuisine
for Gourmet Magazine.


She said you know a woman
who has the best cook in Havana.

What will happen to that man
who owned the gun?

They'll probably give him a hard time.

- Can I buy you a drink?
- Thanks, no. Excuse me.

It's no joke, my friend.
It's a very serious offense.

I see no permit here, sir.

Maybe I got it right here.

Maybe I need a new permit.

Come on, guys. It's Christmas Eve.

We are no longer issuing permits, señor.

The fresh air woke me up.
Tell me about your article.

See if you like this.

- I'm crazy about it.
- A pinch of ground coffee.

Another for the lady, por favor.

What were you doing stateside?

- Palm Beach parties?
- No, just...

Just last minute Christmas shopping?


That's a lot of money.

Could you excuse us?
There's a guy really sick in here.

Use the one downstairs, please. Thanks.

- $400.
- You just said $300.

- You're ungrateful.
- Okay, I...

...make it $350.


It's a kind of picante sauce.
It's extraordinary.

- Wait a minute, man.
- What?

Where's my gun?

You go out on the deck,
and look over the railing...

...way over.

He uses fresh cilantro instead of parsley.

I'm so sorry. Excuse me again.

Dance, Sailor?

You look surprised.
Don't women ever ask you to dance?

Not women as beautiful as you.

Thank you, sir.

And the ones that do usually find it easier
than you did.


I said all that fuss over one little gun.

They got a tip, they say.

- Is that the end of it, you think?
- End of what?

- The searching.
- Probably not. Why?

- Bringing in something you shouldn't?
- Perfume.

That's going the other way.
Smells good, though.

It wasn't your gun, was it?

- Excuse me, miss. I've got some friends...
- $500.

- No, thanks.
- I haven't told you...

Okay. What?

- It's silly, really.
- Is it?

Because you don't seem silly to me.

Let me guess.

You want to drive your car off the boat
but you've suddenly developed a problem.

Come here.

You can't be doing this for a living.
You're lousy at it.

I'm not doing it for a living.

People know you in Havana?

I live there.
I'll pay whatever. It takes. $600.


You really want this, don't you?

Will you do it?

It would be against my principles,
if I had any.

One, two, three, four, five, six.

The way it works is half now, half later.

That way I won't run away
with your "perfume."

The Lido.

Pardon me?

Where I'll take your car.

Fine. I'll see you at the casino
at 10:00 for...

The payoff.

Thank you.

Want to tell me what kind of car,
or should I just try them all?

A green Town and Country.

Mine's a Cadillac convertible.



Please get out of the car, sir.

- What's in the boxes?
- What?

What's in the boxes?

- Probably hand grenades.
- Open them.

- Take a couple for the kids.
- Thank you, sir.


- Ramos, where's the story?
- How are you?

Right here,
interviewing your fellow Americans.

It's amazing. No one is afraid.

Should we be?

You don't take any of this seriously,
do you?

I know. It's like pesos to you.

Or any foreign currency.

If it's not an American dollar,
it's worth nothing.

Jack, I'm telling you we are in the middle
of a revolution.

This revolution is real.

It's too early for this bullshit.
Have you seen Joe Volpi?

- Never mind.
- Welcome back.

How are you?
You ought to check your messages.

I've been trying to reach you for a week.

I've been putting together a stake.
Can't run a game without one.

It's off. There's no game to run.

Mike McClany on two, Joe.

- Later.
- You're kidding, right?

Nobody's interested
in high-stakes poker right now.

We got a little confusion going on
down here.

You mean the revolution?

There should be a lot of loose money,
people cashing out.

You know what they do?

They give their wives money,
buy holy statues.

The wife shoves a few grand
up St. Anthony's ass and flies to Miami.

- Forget poker.
- Langan's down three, wants three more.

I'll tell you something
I learned in the Pacific.

Nothing like some gunfire
to stimulate a little action.

Is that right? Somebody blew up
an ammunition dump last night.

- See any big players?
- They're there.

They're not playing. They don't
smell blood. I thought we had a deal.

They're not playing 'cause
they don't know what'll happen.

They're sweating out there. I can smell it.
This is exactly the time to set up a big one.

You just got off the boat.
These people have what we call factions.

One group wants this guy,
the other wants their guy.

Meanwhile, this Castro is broadcasting
shortwave from the mountains.

Talking insurrection.
Change, he's talking about.

Change what?
They don't know what they want.

That's why they'll play.
They can do something about it.

You want to play poker,
play poker in your apartment.

The players I'm talking about...

...they don't walk up three flights.

I can make this thing happen.

They'll walk around the tables.
It would heat things up. A big game.

Nice shoes, Jack. New?

There are other places.

Not really. Meyer still runs this town.

Think it over, Joe.

But don't take too long.
The revolution might go away.

No more bets.

Twenty-two, black.

Place your bets, folks.

Gonna bet seven, right?

That's what people usually bet
when they don't bet their birthdays.

This way you lose also.
It just takes longer.

Nineteen, red.

I got it. Never mind. I got it. Sorry.

Cigarette lighter, cigarettes...

...passport, US, wallet.

- Want a daiquiri?
- Ginger ale, please.

Ginger ale and a daiquiri.

Let me give you your money.

Here's the parking ticket and...

Six, seven, eight. It's all here.

Aren't you impressed?

You think I'm just a jerk
trying to pick you up?

- Why should I change my mind, Mr...
- Weil.

You can call me Jack.
And what's your name?

Millicent Smith.

No, it's not.

What do you do, Mr. Weil?
Are you a magician?


Shirley no, not Shirley.

- Catherine.
- Roberta.

What are the radios for, Bobby?

- Did you think I wouldn't check?
- A worthy cause.

Worthy enough to get me stuck
in a Cuban jail?


Are you some kind of fanatic?

Thank you for helping.

- Green Town and Country for the lady.
- Yes, sir. Thank you.

- I'd like to see you again.
- I told you. I'm married.

No, you didn't.

I'm sorry. It was unintentional.

That's too bad.

This isn't like the States.
People fool around here.

I think it's the climate.

I keep a place here. A small flat.

It's in one of the old buildings.
A lot of charm, discreet.

You're very straightforward,
aren't you, Mr. Weil?

I can be suave.

Believe me. But I figure you know
a lot of suave guys.

I got no edge that way.

But how many crude guys do you know?

You are seriously beautiful.


It's very important
that nobody know about this.

If it's important to you,
it's important to me.

- I hope you know what you're doing.
- I do.

Silk blouse, fancy car.
Why do you need a revolution?

You did me a favor.
I'm very grateful, but you're arrogant.

What do you really know about Cuba?

Who's in charge and how to stay out
of trouble. What I know about any place.

That's not enough.

Can I have that?

For luck.

- Do you believe in luck?
- Nope.

I really have to go. Thank you.

I got a message for Joe Volpi.

This is Jack Weil.
Tell him I'm out playing cards.

The ante is dos pesos.

We're playing straight draw.

You bluffed me, man. I know it.

What's the word for "bluff"
in this language?

Bluff is the word.

It'll cost you a grand.

I'm in.

All for you, amigo.
Also some coffee, when you get a chance.

It's Baby Hernandez.

So what they say is true, Jackie?

- What?
- That you'll play anywhere.

Anywhere they'll have me. You in?

Deal. I got to make a call.

Deuce, trey. Possible straight.

Nine to five, office hours. Pair of ladies.

Four of clubs. Suicide king.

Seven and three belong to me.

Ladies bet.

I will bet $300.

I'm in.

Good action. Congenial surroundings.

It's all I ask for.

- I got impatient.
- You're in no position.

Got your attention, though.

I always said if you thought about anything
but snatch and poker...

...you'd be a remarkable man.

Look at those poor sons of bitches.

They'll trade in that schmuck Batista
for what? Some other schmuck.

What do you think, Joe? You worried?

You know they spit on Nixon
in South America?

They spit on the Vice President
of the United States.

And The New York Times
thinks Castro's Jesus H. Christ.

Younger than me, Castro.

Okay. You can run one game at the Lido.
Ten percent rake, the way we said.

That's not enough.

I want more, Joe.

I've played every Elk's club and Moose hall
in America, Joe.

I remember every hand of every game...

...and now I want a shot, one shot...

...at a game I could never get near before...

...with guys who don't even think
how much they're playing for.

I want the house to back me.
I want you to talk to Meyer.

Yesterday you were begging to run
a game. Now you want to get bankrolled?

- Didn't I save your life during the war?
- I was in Vegas.

I would have.

What is this? I don't think I remember you.

Funny thing happened to me
last week, Joe.

I realized I wasn't going to die young.

This is the time for me.

Right now. And this is the city.

You're a little tired, Jack.
One game, the way we said.

We'll see how that goes.

One world at a time, my friend.

I find an old-fashioned strongman
like Batista sort of charming, funny.

- To us that joke is now stale.
- But who is he? Castro?

Just a voice on the radio.
Is he a Communist?

What is a Communist?
In Russia, Communism is boring.

Bring it to the Caribbean. Cha-cha-cha.

By the way, it's the daiquiri here
and the mojito at the Conuco.


Hi. Do you speak English?

- All the time.
- I told you he was American.

- Listen. We can't decide.
- What you want is a daiquiri.

Daiquiris. Dos.

- And what if I don't like it?
- You will.

My name's Jack Weil, by the way.

I'm Diane...

...and she's Patty.

Down here marlin fishing?

Merry Christmas, señoritas.

- Your first trip to Havana?
- Where's the story?

These two beautiful flowers are the story.

Welcome to Hemingway's favorite bar.

We know. We hoped we'd see him here.

I'm Diane and she's Patty.

Hello. He didn't tell you?

Tell us what?

Son of a gun. That's so like you, Ernie.

Ernest Jack Hemingway.

- Where's the beard?
- He's traveling incognito.

Hello. I'm Marion Chigwell.
I write for Gourmet.

How are you? Hello.

Were you on the Key West ferry
a few nights ago?

- Was I wearing a beard?
- No beard.

Hey, what about Castro and them?
Is all this dangerous?

Excuse me. Nice meeting you.

- Ladies.
- Shoving off?

I still have three restaurants to try
before midnight. I'll see you.

- You think he's a fruit?
- He's lying about something.

Okay, let's start at a place
where the tourists don't drink.

- Want to try a mojito?
- Sure. I want to try everything.

All right.

- How about you, Diane?
- I'm Patty.

Right, just testing you.
Want to try everything, too?

I sure hope so.
See the guys at the end of the bar?

Dressed in white.
They're Batista's secret police.

S-l-M. SIM.

What do they want?

They want to keep something
from happening.

That'd be too bad.

My God.

- It's Duran.
- What?

It's Arturo Duran.

Is he a friend of yours?

I know his family. He's a doctor.

I met him once.

They say he's been in the mountains,
meeting with Castro.

I think he's a very important man
in the resistance.

Are we going to eat here or what?

- Who's the woman?
- That's his wife.


It's been a long time.
Do you have a moment?

For you? Are you kidding?

- Good evening.
- Señora Duran.

I didn't know your husband
knew Jack Weil.

- Yes.
- I'm Diane and this is Patty.

Sorry. Ramos is okay...

...but he's a reporter, after all.

- Yeah.
- You don't know who I am, do you?

Just that Ramos gets all choked up
when he talks about you.

You know Latins.

I wanted to thank you for what you did.
My wife says you were amazing.

Can you have supper with us?

- No...
- Of course you can.


It would make us very happy.

I think you will like the food.

- I've eaten here.
- Mr. Weil keeps an apartment in Havana.

You spend a lot of time in Havana?

I come down here to play cards.

- Gambling?
- I keep the gambling to a minimum.

- How do you do that?
- By being good at it.

These guys in the shades
they don't worry you?

Not so much. Not because I'm brave.

For Batista there are two classes
of people in Cuba...

...the torturable and the non-torturable.

I come from a well-known family...

...an old one, rich.

Too rich.

I hope you know how important it was,
what you did for us.

It's okay. I'll take your word for it.

You're a card player.
A good one, I assume.

If I asked you to do something more...

No, I don't play cards for that.
That's politics.

That's very American.
Politics is what your life is all about.

- But you're not interested.
- Not my life.

Everyone's life, Mr. Weil.

Isn't politics just a kind of hope?

It's still politics.

What about fairness?

I'm sorry?

As a gambler,
doesn't fairness interest you?

Very much.

Outside of the casinos here, it's not so fair.

Children in the country die of TB.

And those that don't die,
when they get hungry enough...

...they come to Havana
and sell themselves.

- Some of us are trying to change...
- You're making Mr. Weil uncomfortable.

I'm sorry. I'm being a bore.

You see, it's just that we have
one objective in mind...

...to get rid of him.

You cannot do that nicely.

Please don't misunderstand me.

In fact, I'm fascinated by men like you...

...how you keep a kind of innocence.

Perhaps it isn't innocence at all.
Perhaps Mr. Weil...

...really doesn't give a damn.

I know politicians. I play cards with them.

And I love to because they're easy to beat.

It's the only place an ordinary man
can beat a politician.

I think I ought to join my friends.

- It was good of you to take the time...
- Why are they easy to beat?

Because sometimes in poker it's smarter
to lose with a winning hand...

...so you can win later with a losing one.

And politicians never can quite
believe that...

...because they want the power now.

I think you know more
than you admit, Mr. Weil.

Someone has to be responsible
for changing things.

Maybe so, but I don't really feel qualified
to decide who.

Then why did you help?

- It was a business deal.
- Then why did you give back the money?

She told me the envelope was in her purse
when she got home.

Perhaps you do believe
in something after all.

Perhaps you believe
in beautiful women, Mr. Weil.

Blow job, americano señor?

Santos, how's it going?

Twilight of the gods, Jackie.

Well, well.

You're full of surprises.
How do you know him anyway?

We went to junior high school together.
I miss anything?

Having a good time, ladies?

It's okay, but...

- I want to see the real Havana.
- Yeah?

- Where are the lights?
- Don't turn on the lights.

Snow White. Come here.

This is what you came down for, isn't it?

Patty, where are you?

Which one are you?

Which one are you?

Anejo and a cup of coffee.

Lost you last night.

You hear the one about the prostitute,
the parrot and the pig?

A prostitute, a parrot and a pig
are floating along in a raft.

And the...

The parrot says to the pig...

Do you want to hear this?

Taken in the morgue this morning.

SIM finally got him.

They say he tried to escape
and they had to shoot him.

What did he say last night? Anything?

Was he worried? What did he say?

He said he was non-torturable.

Right. So they just killed him.

Goddamn SIM.

Joe Volpi has been looking for you.
He said he was able to arrange the party.

Varadero Suite at the Lido.

Are you not telling me something
I should know?

What about the wife?
What happened to her?

Newspaper says "disappeared."

Your husband was a fool.

But he was a Cuban fool.

You, I cannot understand.

This government is the protector
of your class!

Tell me you understand that!

Do you understand that?

Are there others like you
from the country club?

Tell me!

Perhaps you know them
from the hairdresser or the yacht club?

What am I gonna do with you, señora?

The heavy hitter's Roy Forbes.

Canadian. Tin mines. Loaded.

- Who are the wrestlers?
- Bodyguards.

One of our players is unpopular lately.

Colonel Menocal. Runs SIM.

Gentlemen. Who do you know, Jack?
You know Willy?

Somebody said you were sailing
off Venezuela.

You know Baby.

Roy Forbes, Jack Weil.

- Captain.
- Lieutenant. Faustino Coro.

Buy-in's a grand.

- Give me three.
- Just gonna stick your toe in the water?

You're letting this bum in the game, Joe?

I let you in, Mike.
Who the hell am I gonna refuse?

- Colonel Menocal. Jack Weil.
- Mucho gusto.


Table stakes. $20 ante. Dealer's choice.

We playing against Joe Volpi's money
or yours?

All mine.

In honor of you, Mr. Forbes.
Canadian stud.

You know how to play?

Sure. Four cards straight.
A flush beats a pair.

Okay with you?

Of course.

I seen your friend, Dante de Cenzo,
in Miami.

Did he tell you I own this joint now?


The feds made him sell.
Since the Kefauver...

...you can't own a joint in Vegas and Cuba.

Louder, Mike. The bugs may not have
picked up every word.

- This is public knowledge.
- It is now.

When you play poker you got to ante first.
One of the main rules.

It's Christmas firecrackers.

- Ten bets.
- It's getting to be like Shanghai.

I was there in '49.

It was sensational, but I stayed too long.

The Communists came in. I lost a fortune.


Trick is to get in and to get out.

This is not Shanghai, Willy.

This is Havana, Cuba.

Any chance Mrs. Duran is alive?

Play poker, Jack.

Whose bet?

It's Jack's bet.

Wait, señora.

Surely you know something of value,
something I can tell my colonel.

It would please him.
I would be sergeant maybe.

Come in here, señora.

I want to show you something.

What can happen.

You see what can happen?

You know this pretty girl?

Her name is...

...Monica Eloy.

She's 17 years old.

She was a drama student at the university
before it was closed.

She had a scholarship.

She made her own clothes.

She could sew very well,
and she made her own clothes.

She made that dress.

I'll drown before I tell you anything more.

You'll die a corporal, you son of a bitch.

What am I supposed to think?

When you raised,
I thought you had sevens back to back.

Now you want me to think
you have hearts.

But then you wouldn't have checked.


Your eight.

Five more.

I'm out.

I think you're trying to steal it.

I have aces, my friend.

Four hearts beats a pair, right?

It's up to you, Mr. Forbes.
Want to call it a night?

You're too lucky, Jack, and I'm too tired.

It doesn't pay to underestimate you.

Mrs. Duran is being questioned
by authorities.

- You're the authorities, aren't you?
- Yes, I am.

Buy you some breakfast, Colonel?

- I assure you...
- Sure.

- Everything satisfactory, Mr. Forbes?
- Except for the losing.

Sandwiches were great.

Maybe we can make it more interesting
for you next time.

I might try it again. See you, Weil.

How'd it go?

You know how it went.
I remember you now.

- You still play a decent game of poker.
- You gonna talk to Meyer?

What were you doing with the colonel?

- I was just curious.
- Stop it!

If you want broads, pick them
with better political affiliations.

There's a lot of foolish people
in Havana these days.

Why'd you take a marker
from the lieutenant?

He's a jerk.

You know it'll take a Cuban lieutenant
10 years to buy back his marker?

Joe, are you gonna talk to Meyer?

I don't know yet.

Rank has its privileges.

Boss goes home to sleep...

...and here you are.

- Is there something l...
- Yeah.

This little marker.

Señor Weil...

...it will take me a little time to...
- Volpi says 10 years.

- Well, no...
- If you're lucky.

Which you definitely are not.

Till now.

First class.

By the time your boss wakes up,
you're in a Miami hotel...

...sitting by the pool sipping a sloe gin fizz.

Why would I do that?

Because the political situation stinks
down here.

And it's getting worse.

Because they'd pass you for promotion
if you let a friend of mine out of here.

The woman you asked about?

American passport.

She shouldn't be here.

Nobody should be here.

And to pay for the sloe gin fizz...

...and dinner?

$2,000. American.

Do you have any friends where you can go?

I'd like to walk a little.

I'd like to get a cup of coffee
and I'd like to walk a little.

Do you have a cigarette?


Could you eat something?

What'd they do to you?

What are you, a gangster?

Do I look like a gangster?

You can see the fish.

Listen, I don't know
that this is gonna work or not...

- Where are you from?
- I don't know. Philadelphia.

I have friends in Philadelphia.

I bet I don't know them.

I think we ought to get out of here.

- I'd like to walk.
- Walk?

- Where?
- Home.

I don't think you should go home.

Fried egg sandwich okay?

- I'm not hungry.
- You will be. Sit down.

Go ahead.

What day is it?

- Sunday.
- Someone has to get to Santa Clara.

Why? What's going on in Santa Clara?

Just before Santa Clara,
Arturo's family has a finca...

...a country house...

...just this side of Santa Clara, sometimes
the rebels use it. They don't know that...

Where are you from?

- I mean, where did you grow up?
- Sweden.

I thought a Scandinavian country.

Do you have family there?

Are you in touch with them?

No. Christmas.

- It's Christmas now.
- Not this Christmas.

You ought to be in touch with them.

You really ought to make a point of it.

So you came down here from Sweden?
What? To warm up?

I was in California. I lived in California.

- Hollywood.
- Hollywood!

You get around.
What were you doing in Hollywood?

I saw Garbo when I was a kid.


Oh, right! Swedish!

She was in Camille with Robert Taylor.

- No kidding?
- He was Armand.

He was so pretty.
I wanted to meet him. So I...

I came to California to be an actress.

To be pals with Taylor.
That's one way to do it.

You came down to Cuba
from sunny California.

I came here from Mexico.

Hold it. What happened to California?

I married a writer. He was blacklisted,
so we had to leave the States.


I've known good ones,
and I've known bad ones.

He wrote Westerns.

I like Westerns.

I don't know what they have to do
with anything, but I like them.

He hated Mexico.

He started drinking,
and then it was finished.

- I should have got some clean clothes.
- We'll get you some.

How did it go for you in Mexico?
I mean, did you get any acting jobs?

I did.

I was always la gringa.

My favorite was when I played
the daughter of a mad scientist...

...and he replaces my brain.

He replaces my brain
with the brain of a gorilla.

And my sweetheart
doesn't know this, but...

...he comes to the lab one night
and he says:

Querida, ¿qué pasa?
Te comportas de un modo bastante raro.

And I go:

I met a lot of nice people in Mexico.
I met Arturo.

In the past seven years I've spent
maybe 10 days in the States.

What's it like these days?

Dodgers moved to L.A.

Giants moved to San Francisco.

And you can see yourself on television
in front of the RCA building.


Do you want to go back?

I can get you a seat anytime. Anywhere.

I don't think it's safe for you here anymore.

Why are you doing all this?

For old time's sake.

Do you want to rest for a while?

I'd like to take a shower.

It's over there.

He almost did it.

We were so close.

I'm sorry.

He was a good guy.

Yes, he was.

You have no idea.

He said...

...he'd like to play poker
with you sometime.

I'd rather take a nap in here.

- Here. I'll close the shutters.
- No!

That's why I like it.

You don't have to stay.

I live here.

Would you put on a record?

Congratulations. Meyer's interested.

Forbes has a couple of heavyweight
Canucks coming from Montreal.

Something wrong?

- Nothing's wrong.
- Good.

Be at Meyer's party tonight.
He want's to get a look at your face.

With any luck,
I can set this up in a day or two.

Get there around 11:00.
Meyer won't be there before then anyway.

What's this?

- What are you up to?
- What's going on?

It's a simple question.

What are you up to?

Looking for the big one,
just like everybody down here.

Only this time you did a favor
for a woman.

I was brought up that way.

You know she's political, this woman?

- And she's also beautiful.
- Beautiful women are all over Havana.

This one's exceptional.

$2,000 is high.

Even if she's exceptional, it's high.

First class seats are difficult
during the holidays. Don't waste them.

Come on, Colonel!

She's pretty. I did her a favor. That's it.
What do I want with a revolutionary?

- Do you think I care about this stuff?
- But you need to care.

You need to, because your father didn't
manicure his nails and neither did mine.

My old man coughed up his lungs
in the cane fields.

And do you know who owned those fields?

Arturo Duran's family.

His people get tired of fucking you
one way, they fuck you another.

We have a good life, you and I.

These people want to bring down
everything you're here for:

The food, the fucking,
the gambling, the shows.

They think this is all
for a government to decide.

- What do you think?
- I made a mistake.

Yes, you did.

But you're a damn good poker player.

You know what I'd like to do with my life
if I weren't a policeman?

What you do.

I love the game.

Don't start doing the wrong thing
with your life.

Wait a minute!
You gotta celebrate with me tonight!

We were discussing three at a time.

I gave myself a Christmas present:

Chinese, a negrita,
and I think the other one was Danish.

- How was it?
- I felt left out.

Celebrate with me.

You said we were on the same boat.

- We were.
- There was a very elegant lady.

Roberta Duran. You danced with her.
She's a friend of mine.

- It's terrible about her husband.
- Have you seen her?

- Disappeared, they say.
- Disappeared?

- Come on! Disappeared!
- She was released.

I'm glad.

It's easy to lose track of people in Havana.

- Damn right! I was trying to find her!
- Excuse me? I must find the head.

Can you imagine what it looks like
in this place?

I've been trying to find her
for an interview.

But the government closed down
the paper. The editor's in jail.

- You're kidding?
- No. He's leaving Havana tomorrow.

What are you gonna do?

I was going to join Fidel,
but you have to bring your own gun.

- So I'm going to Miami Beach instead.
- You're not going...

No! It's the tragedy
of the Cuban middle class, my friend.

We know what should be done,
but we go to Miami Beach instead.

We're paralyzed by self-doubt
and intellectuality...

...and by you.

- We want to be so much like Americans.
- You're getting messy, chico.

And we need to be ourselves.

Have something to eat.
The food is terrible in Florida.

No food, Baby. All right?

I'll miss you.

- You be careful, okay?
- Yeah.

I'm hearing rumors...

...about big poker, no limit.

It might be true. Where's Joe?

Down the hall getting the bad news.

Joe, are we gonna set up in the same...

What's he saying?

Take off.

Nobody's serving out there! What is this?

They're fighting in Santa Clara.

Rebels just cut the island in half.

Our half is smaller than their half, Jack.

- Meyer, this is Jack Weil.
- Where's the offensive I paid for?

- It's supposed to be an armored train.
- An armored train.

Like China, like Siberia,
like the Boxer Rebellion!

- We promise...
- Shut up and listen!

Here's what you're gonna do tomorrow:

You're gonna talk to Batista's people.

You're gonna explain to them
how upset I am...

...and they better get off their asses
and start fighting soon...

...or they'll go back to being a bunch
of banana eaters.

Remind them that the only reason
there's civilized plumbing in this country...

...is because the Americans came here
in '98 and beat the shit out of Spain.

Batista's palace had an outdoor crapper
before we put one inside!

The only reason he's got an army
is because we gave him one.

He better start using it or he'll wind up
on a corner selling beans, like he started.

We invented Havana!

And we can goddamn well move it
someplace else if he can't control it.

Now you explain that to him.

Do you want to go for a walk, Jack?

Why not?

What do you think, Joe?
Are we rained out?

No. The game's still on.
He said he'd back you, he will.

He's full of tantrums.
Doesn't interfere with business.

Listen. The professor, is he around?

The professor's here.
Still screwing widows at the Nacional.

Some things never change.

Not him. He's seen it all.

I need to talk to him.

I like this town, Jack.

They call it the pearl of the Antilles...

...the Paris of the Caribbean.

- It's a city.
- There are other cities.

Believe me. New York is good. Chicago.

How long can they hold off the rebels?

I don't know. If Batista takes a powder,
it's all over. Havana's closed.

Forget the army. Forget the generals.
They'll all be running for their yachts.

This town's crawling with spooks now.

Used to be all you had was the FBI
on your ass. No more.

- You take any heat from them?
- They don't deal with people like me.

These guys went to Yale.
They play bridge.

They fuck each other.

You know, they won't let me back
in the States.

I'm not a citizen anymore.

Not a citizen?

What'll you do. If the rebels take the city?

Meyer's talking about Santo Domingo.

Ever been there? It's nowhere.

Maybe I'll go to Costa Rica.

I got a friend there. Retired.


Meyer's got his money both ways.

He's making deals with the rebels,
trying to buy insurance.

He thinks I don't know.

Not gonna work.

I'm gonna go stick my head in church.

When are you leaving?


Hi, sonny.

- Hi, Professor.
- Joe Volpi said you were back.

Spending time at the Nacional?

Twin sisters from St. Louis
and loaded with mazoola.

Rebels are fighting in Santa Clara.

Yes. History's overtaking us, my boy.

The wheel turns.
I hope you stay till the bitter end.

I'm going. One more game.

Want to come with me?

Take the ferry. Drive to Vegas.
You want to go to Vegas?


Atom bombs and sandy pussy.
What's your hurry?

I always stay here too long.

Every time I came down here I thought:
"This is where anything's possible.

"I can find the best fuck
and biggest game of my life."

I'm ahead, way ahead, man. It's...

...stupid for me to stick around too long.

I met this woman.

I know her 72 hours...

I don't know.

You stick with her.

Take the advice of an old man.

There's nothing like a woman, or two.
They love men. Even jerks.

The biggest jerk you ever knew somehow
has a woman that's nuts over him.

Women are perfect. The rest is bullshit.

I can't. She took off.

I think I know where she is.
She's down where they're fighting.

Goddamned if I know why.

It's time to get out, Professor.

So when are you leaving, sonny?

After the game.

I just get this...

What are you gonna do?

Hell, I don't have to do anything.

But you do.

I got somebody I gotta get out of there.

Santa Clara. I got a friend in there.

Speak Spanish!

I gotta get her out.

Señora, what has happened here?

Where's the woman with the car?

Where's the...

Woman, señora.


Finca! Duran. Oh, shit!

It means lost, right?

Bye-bye, Yankee!

I got your note.

How did you get through?

By not speaking Spanish.

I didn't think I'd see you again.

That's how I thought it would go, too.
What is this place?

This is Arturo's family home.

- What are you doing?
- The rebels have a transmitter out back.

I don't understand why you came.

Are you sorry?

What's the transmitter for?

They'll try to contact Havana tonight,
to contact our group. They don't know.

When I was in prison I saw Bufano.

Who's Bufano?

He's with us. He's supposed to be with us.

Talking with the police.
I don't believe it, but I saw him. I'll try...

So you tell the rebels
not to contact the group. Then what?

- I don't know.
- Menocal's looking for you.

He missed you
by just a few minutes yesterday.

- I think I'm safe here.
- Nobody's safe here!

Jesus! I just drove through it!

There are soldiers all over the road!
There is no front line in this war!

If he looks for you,
he'll check the airport and ferry!

- What do you expect me to do?
- Get out of Cuba.

Just for a little while.

- I know a guy with boats.
- I can't leave now.

Why not?

You think one out-of-work actress
will make any difference?

Come on!

What has this got to do with you anyway?

This isn't our business!
This is their business!

You put this place on like a costume!

You've got your lines in español.

You're not poor. You're not hungry.
You're sure as hell not Cuban!

I don't have to be Cuban
to know when things are unfair.

Things are unfair! Where have you been?

- I don't want to live that way.
- You don't marry into a revolution!

If you need war,
you'll run the rest of your life!

Don't tell me how to make sense
of my life! I don't know you.

All you see here is a place for a card game
because there's a fever to gamble now.

That's not what's going on!

People's lives are ending!

Families are tearing apart!

You don't really understand any of this...

...because you spend your life
playing cards.

I feel more honest playing cards than I do
believing these mountains are mine.

Oh, shit!

Does this phone work?

They haven't slept for weeks.
They are so excited.

Can you imagine how they feel?

How close they are, how far they've come!

Listen, Bobby.

I don't know about a lot of things.

But the things I know, I know well.

I try to keep out of the way
of stuff I don't understand.


All this is like living your life
in the newspapers.

Like you read what to do.

But they make too much out of everything.

Most of the time, nothing's going on.

Just everyday stuff.

You take a walk. You buy a necktie.

You eat a sandwich. Life.

Jesus! You can't live ideas.

Most things that are alive
don't even have ideas.

What's really going on
happens before ideas.

Before talk.

Before anybody says anything.

And after.

In the quiet.

It isn't an idea.

It's a feeling. It's like...

...being part of something
more than yourself.

Like a song some people sing together.

I don't think this is anything I can explain.

You mean, not to me.

I'm not in there singing, am I?

Something is happening.

I bailed you out, what...

...48 hours ago? I made you a sandwich.

I drove all the way to...
I don't even know where this place is.

Then why are you here?

You want to change the world, Bobby?

Change mine.

How can I?

What about my world?

If I go with you...

... what will happen to mine?

It's gonna be okay, Bobby.

What are they bombing?
There's nothing to bomb!

I'm not doing this. This is somebody else.

You got a cigarette?

I came 200 miles after you
without a cigarette.

I've never heard it this quiet.

What's this?

I don't know. Nothing.

A scar.

- No, it isn't. Tell me.
- Why?

Because you don't want to.

- It's a diamond.
- What?

- I swallowed it.
- Please.

Tell me.

I knew this old hustler when I was a kid.

You know, a mechanic.

A crooked player.

He showed me how he had this diamond
sewed into his arm by a doctor.

So when I was in Yokohama, I bought
a diamond and had a Jap doctor do it.

See the idea was...

...that no matter how bad things got,
no matter what they did to you...

...no matter what...

...you still have this last chance.

You'd always have this diamond.

You still feel that way?

I was in my twenties.

I do.

Tell me about the boat.

Our boat?


You know about boats?

Do I know about boats?

Where do you want to go, pal?

You want to go to California?

Are you going with me?

Sure, I am.

I haven't been there in a while.
Any place else?


Anywhere in the world.

- Where you been?
- Out of town.

- Tell me about the game.
- It's tonight.

- What time?
- You got a schedule problem?

- What's going on?
- What are you talking about? Nothing.

Is this about a broad? About that broad?

It's about a card game. What time, Joe?

They want to start early. 6:30, same suite.

You feeling lucky?

It's coming in from the Keys.

I can have it hosed down and refueled
by midnight.

- Midnight?
- Yes.

They start blowing horns, kissing,
nobody notices one little boat.

- Listen, the lady's traveling alone.
- Yes?

Can you get her set up okay?

Say, the Edgewater? Nice room?

It's high season in Miami.

But I know a guy who can clear up a room
for me.

Just for the night. I'll try to get out
of here sometime tomorrow.

No later than midnight for the lady.

After that, who knows?

Boats get impounded, funny things happen.

- He wants her out of the country.
- What?

Do you understand me?
He wants her out of Havana. Now!

- Who?
- Arturo.

Do it!

- What happened?
- It's okay.

You've no idea how fried people can get
over one boat.

- What happened?
- Honest to God!

Everybody's trying to get out.
I don't know what's going on.

- Do you have some antiseptic?
- Soap's fine.

I tried to buck the line.

Boy! Some people have a short fuse.

And these were women and children.

It was really over a boat?

Yeah, a 72-footer.

Hell, it's worth a couple of punches.

It's arranged?

About midnight.

- My things are at the house.
- You can't go there.

I know.

I gotta get the guy with the boats paid off.

There's a friend of mine, Joe Volpi...

...he's holding some dough for me
at the Lido.

Now, it's gonna take a while.
Are you gonna be all right here?

You're good at this.

I like doing it.

Maybe you should go with a prizefighter.

No. You.

Are you sure?

Do you mean...

...do I miss Arturo?

Of course I do.

You shared a lot.


No. He just made me feel...

I wanted to be simpler
when I was with him.

More honest. Myself.

How many times have you lost everything?
Lots of times, yes?

Maybe it's possible to come back
from that.

There are so many ways to be happy,
and I...

I feel that with you sometimes.
But sometimes...

...I feel...

...terrible about the thought of being
happy with you, because if it weren't...


Don't say it.

I'll be back as soon as I can.
Remember the phone.

One ring, and if it rings again...

...it's you.

So long.

You say something, Mr. Weil?


What'll you have?

- How's the book coming?
- Good. Quite well.

What happened to you?

Aren't gamblers pacifists?
Like musicians, afraid to hurt their hands?

You here collecting recipes?

No. I'm off duty.

I thought you guys didn't sleep?

Not cookbook writers.

You guys.

What's this about?

Is Arturo Duran alive?

- Arturo Duran. Why would I...
- Where is he?

Who has him?

- You're in a funny mood, Jack.
- Yes, I am.

I'll tell you how funny.

I'm going to stand up in this bar,
and I'm going to make an announcement.

I'm going to announce how a fake fairy
from Gourmet Magazine is a spook.

You are, aren't you?

Quiet down, Jack.

I'll break your face.

No, you won't.
Not in front of these people.

That's what you are, isn't it?
Some kind of spy?

Menocal works for SIM and for you,
doesn't he?

The OSS, the CIA
whatever it is you call yourselves now.

Don't do anything stupid.

I think I will. Everybody!
I want to tell you something!


Talk to me.


Here's what I want.

I'm Jack Weil. I got some information
for Colonel Menocal.

Holiday traffic, Mr. Forbes.

Something to report?

Nothing to report.

Why do you come?

I work for some people.

- What people.
- You've done business with us.

I see.

A joke.

Not at all.

They want Arturo Duran alive.



He's dead.

Now let's not fuck around.

They're not interested in details.
They want what they want.

Do they know...

...that Mrs. Duran is in your apartment...

...right now?

Sure. They sent me to Santa Clara
to bring her back.

Doesn't do her justice.

Either of you.

It was a good idea,
but finally it didn't work. He spit on it.

See, there? Spit.

Let's save some time, okay?

Marion Chigwell's laid it all out.

- I can call him.
- Call him.

Remember Wilson?

Wilson's prepared to offer you asylum.
Here it is.

What the fuck is going on here?

You people pay me to keep
the Communists under control...

...and now you say,
"Let this one go. We need him."

You need him for what?

You're crazy.

You're like, I don't know,
like pregnant women.

- You have a whim...
- I just do what they tell me. Come on!

And what happens to me?

I'm your trash collector, but when I go
to the embassy I'm treated like shit!

Asylum. Virginia. And it's beautiful.
Now, where is he?

- And I live on what?
- $25,000 and a job.

Another joke?

Okay, $50,000. All cash.

I'll need a few hours to get the authority.

- Where is he?
- I haven't said yes or no.

- How do I know you can deliver?
- I'll show you photographs.

Touch. Feel. Talk to.

They're going to make him part
of the new government, aren't they?

Christ, you're fools.

They just want to talk to him.
Where is he?

You won't get a fucking thing out of him.

He's a real Cubano.

- Yeah? Then what do you want him for?
- Insurance.

In case it goes the other way.

You son of a bitch.

What are you doing here?

No, it's all right.

- Where is she?
- She's all right. Listen.

I'm going to get you out of here.

- He thinks I'm with the CIA.
- He's been swindling the CIA for years!

Why the hell
do you have to be so ignorant?

- Where is she? Right now?
- She's safe.

- We're doing this tonight.
- You can't!

- Yes, I can. Just do what I tell you.
- Why aren't you playing cards?

- We don't have time for this.
- Why?

Once I asked you for help, and you said no!

I changed my mind.


Are you gonna make it?
Or am I just wasting my time?

Come on.

What are you getting out of this?


You're a liar.

She's beautiful, isn't she?

More than that.

I want to thank you for seducing my wife.

I mean it.

The anger kept me going.

It was like strong, cold coffee.

Sometimes when it was bad...

...the only way to keep my mind together...

...was to concentrate
on ways of killing you.

She's a hell of a lady.

Does she know I'm alive?

She buried you, man.


Better make it fast.

It's like meat going bad.

He won't keep.

Have him at his house, cleaned up, 11:00.
The money will be there.

You want buy a young girl?
Some enchanted evening?

What happened? I was so worried.
The telephone kept ringing.

- We have a boat?
- Everything's all right.

I washed this blouse and dried it
in the oven.

Well, almost dry.
You don't have an iron. It's so wrinkled.

You look fine. No, I don't have an iron.

I never had an iron.

I can get some new things in Miami.

Are we going?

There's one more thing to do.

- Then do it.
- I will.

- Is a 72-footer a big boat?
- Yes, it's pretty big.

- We'll take it to Miami and then where?
- Bobby...

It doesn't matter.
Maybe from Miami we can take a train.

A long trip and not worry
about where we get off.

Listen, kiddo.

- People don't say that anymore.
- Listen to me, will you?

It's from the '20s.

If I had never met you...

...I'd have lived my life...

He's alive.

Arturo's alive.

He's at your house.

And he's okay, and he's waiting for you.

Oh, God.

There's nothing to say, Bobby.

For a moment...

...for one moment...

...I was lost...

...in a sweet place.

But lost.


Let me take you there.


Batista's left the country! Come on!

Come on! Let's go!

It's all over.

That's my car!

You stood up a lot of guys.

They're upstairs playing right now.
It's not too late.

Yes, it is.

It's 1959, Joe.

Where's the lady?

She's with her husband.


I always said you were a noble guy.

We're nothing but cocks
leading our brains around...

...just like the nuns told us, right?

Who's ahead?

Looks like fun.

Time to leave, Jack.

Anejo and coffee.

Things go well?


How about you? You win or lose?

It's never over, so we never lose.

Then you never win either.

All passengers prepare to board.

Please stand by your cars.

- Have passports ready.
- Menocal's looking for you.

He's probably at the embassy.

He's been there and gone.

Last night.

Gone? Where?

Probably Virginia.

And I'm off to the Far East,
writing a new book:

The Cuisine of Indochina.


Where's Indochina?
I mean, I know, but I don't know.

It's a long way away, Jack.

I'll see you.

Pick a card.

You're not celebrating.

It wasn't my fight.

How is he?

He's wonderful.

He's with them.

You too?

But I thought you might be here.

It's funny.

I didn't know I was leaving
until 20 minutes ago.

Were you waiting for me?

All my life.

All passengers should prepare to board.

Please stand by your cars.

That old trick.

The other one was a quarter. This is a half.

Where are you going, Weil?

Don't know. California, maybe.

How did you get Menocal to let him go?

I lied...

...about a few things.

You don't quite believe
what you know, do you?

I do.

I know I love you, Bobby.

And I know a butterfly can flutter its wings
over a flower in China...

...and cause a hurricane in the Caribbean.

I believe it.

They can even calculate the odds.

It just isn't likely.

And it takes so long.

All passengers and all autos...

... should be boarding immediately.

Have your passports ready.

You know where to find me.

Walk into any casino...

...and ask any high-stakes poker player...

..."Where is Jack Weil?"


So long, pal.

I do this sometimes.
Drive down from Miami.

It isn't that I expect her.
The ferry doesn't run anymore.

But it happens sometimes.

I see a boat offshore and...

... something goes faster in me.

Hope, I guess.

What the hell. Fidel Castro
was on the Jack Paar Show.

So anything can happen.

I even read the newspapers now.

Not just looking for point spread,
the odds or the morning line.

Human interest, that's what I read.

A dozen lines about what happened
on a street corner in Indianapolis...

... or identical twins meet after 30 years,
smoke the same brand of cigarettes...

... and both married
to somebody named Shirley.

Like that.

Somebody came out of Havana...

... told me Baby Hernandez
was the big winner that night.

Lives in Jersey now.

And I got a postcard from Joe Volpi...

... postmarked Santo Domingo.

So I guess he's still doing it,
running things for Meyer.

It's a new decade. Things are different.

We got our own kind of revolution going.

I'm doing okay these days.

I'm way ahead.

But it's not the same.

I sit with my back to the wall,
watch the entrance.

You never know who's gonna walk in.

Somebody blown off course.

This is hurricane country.