Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Film Breakdown - Drama - One False Move (1992)


1. 1:14 - Opening credits. Ends: 0:01:14

2. 3:22 - An attractive woman in her mid 20’s arrives in a Los Angeles residential neighborhood. (She is not dropped off by a taxi.) She knocks on the front door of a home and announces herself to be Fantasia (Cynda Williams). She is let in and a birthday party of adults is in progress. After a few minutes, Fantasia opens the front door from the inside on a pretext of having left her purse in the car; this allows entry of two men into the home, one of which is armed. The armed man is called Ray (Billy Bob Thornton) and they all know him. He’s wanting to know where Marco lives and when no answers are forthcoming, he repeatedly beats on a female occupant of the house - Jackie - until a male occupant - Bobby - volunteers to take them to Marco. Ends: 0:04:36


3. 1:34 - Bobby takes Ray over to Marco’s house; Fantasia accompanies them. Marco isn’t happy to see Bobby but thinking he’s alone, he invites him in to his home. We next see everyone bound inside the home. Ray is torturing Marco’s female companion while Fantasia stands helplessly watching. We next see what Marco must have divulged - the secret location of his drug & cash hoard inside the home. Ray is excited. Ends: 0:06:10


4. 1:34 - Ray’s companion is back at Bobby’s house; he sits alone guarding the original hostages and slowly consumes a meal. The phone rings and he picks up to briefly hear Ray’s news. Hanging up, he puts down his food plate and purposefully moves slowly throughout the bound hostages with the tools of his trade. The cold and calculated manner in which he then murders the hostages is pretty chilling (though not specifically graphic). In sharp counterpoint, while he murders the first victim, the television set immediately behind him throughout this act displays video of the same victim who only hours before was so full of life partying with her friends. Ends: 0:07:44


5. 2:13 - Back at Marco’s house, a bound hostage is suffocating from a bag over his head. His kicking disturbs Ray who is sampling some of the drugs. Now standing over the unmoving victim, Ray tells Fantasia that there should be a child somewhere in the house and orders her to look for him. Fantasia eventually finds a young boy crying in a bedroom. Ends: 0:09:57

6. 0:41 - Match cut to a crying child in a different home, and of a woken father comforting his child in Star City, Arkansas (revealed via SUPER). The mother enters the bedroom and takes the child from him. He is identified as Dale (Bill Paxton). Before turning off the light, he pauses to listen to the call of a bird outside. Ends: 0:10:38

7. 1:58 - Dissolve to the Coroner arriving at the crime scene that is Marco’s house. Two police detectives survey the scene and witness the identification of Bobby and leave. A policewoman carries the young boy away. Ends: 0:12:36


8. 0:54 - The two police detectives make their way over to Bobby’s home nearby and survey the outside of the quiet house. The front door is unlocked and they let themselves into the house and find the bodies of the other victims. Ends: 0:13:30

9. 2:03 - The police are examining the video recording evidence obtained from Bobby’s home. They reveal that a witness identified Ray’s car parked outside the previous evening. Ray’s companion is revealed to be someone called Pluto (Michael Beach) who was spotted driving Ray’s car away from the house. Fantasia is mentioned as being Ray’s girlfriend. The cops analyze the recording of the home video and hear mention made of Star City. Ray’s robbery arrest paperwork from 1979 reveals Ray’s next-of-kin to be his Uncle, who lives in Star City, Arkansas. Ends: 0:15:33

10. 0:40 - The man known as Dale seen previously is now revealed to be a Sheriff - he’s on the radio answering an inquiry about Ray who he’s investigated as being a former resident of Star City but who hasn’t lived there for twenty years. Dale is excited at the prospect of being in the center of a major investigation - the authorities are anticipating that Ray, Pluto and Fantasia might flee Los Angeles and head for Ray’s Uncle’s house. Ray is going to the house to provide stakeout the property. Ends: 0:16:13

11. 4:06 - The police in Los Angeles put together a press release of the suspects sought in connection with the very violent murders. The police speculate as to whether it would be worth their while traveling to Star City, Arkansas. Pluto is revealed to be “a piece of work” with an IQ of 150 and fond of the knife as a weapon of choice. The Star City Sheriff, Chief Dale Dixon, calls in and they put him on speakerphone. Dale’s character is folksy and simple, easily impressed with the big-time City Cops and their major investigation. With his intimate knowledge of the area, Dale has found the Uncle’s property in a secluded area outside of town. Ends: 0:20:19

12. 0:25 - The gang comprising Fantasia, Ray and Pluto are driving at night through New Mexico (SUPER). Pluto drives while Ray appears to be snorting drugs. Ends: 0:20:44

13. 1:00 - Sheriff Dale Dixon is on duty and drives into a service station. He chitchats amiably with some locals (is there anyone he doesn’t know, even at this time of night?) but is distracted by seeing a man and a young boy leaving the store. Ends: 0:21:44

14. 4:24 - In a cheap motel, the gang of three rests up in Deming, New Mexico (SUPER) after a day of driving. Fantasia emerges from having taking a shower but appears unwell at the prospect of all those dead people back in L.A... Ray continues eating his bucket of fried chicken while Pluto reads a newspaper quietly. Ray is excited by all the drugs they stole from Marco... Pluto tells him it’ll only last until Houston, at which point the drugs will be sold and then he’s off to Chicago alone. Pluto easily overpowers Ray in a moment of anger and tells him to hold on to Marco’s $15,000 cash but Pluto will hold on to the drugs for now. Ends: 0:26:08


15. 1:27 - Dissolve to a plane landing in Little Rock, Arkansas (SUPER). We next see the two L.A. detectives driving through the country when a police car speeds up behind them with the lights flashing and the siren blaring. It is Sheriff Dale Dixon and he recklessly pulls up alongside them while still speeding to say Howdy and to welcome the boys to Star City. He spotted them a while back, figured out who they must be and is offering to show them the way to their hotel. He has a busy day planned for them. Though driving on the wrong side of the road - and in the path of an oncoming truck - the Sheriff continues to talk to the detectives in the other car before pulling out in front of them and leading the way. Ends: 0:27:35

16. 2:54 - Cut to a typical Southern diner where the two cops Dud (Jim Metzler) & John (Earl Billings), plus the Star City Sheriff are having breakfast. The waitress calls the Sheriff “Hurricane” but he tells the cops he doesn’t know why they call him that. Hurricane is trying hard to impress the cops from California but isn’t listening real well to what others have to say; he’s also selfish and insensitive. Ends: 0:30:29

17. 2:14 - On the way to the Malcolm place, “Hurricane” resolves a domestic dispute between a violent drunk husband wielding an axe and his frightened wife who has locked him out of the house. He tells the California detectives (who have each drawn their weapons) that it’s okay and that he’s out there twice a week doing this. Ends: 0:32:43

18. 1:11 - The gang drive through El Paso, TX (SUPER) and Pluto sits in the back reading a newspaper. He reads a front-page article of the six murders in L.A. and sees his picture and that of Ray sought as suspects. Ray pulls of the side of the road and attacks Fantasia, accusing her of having allowed the child to live (the child presumably having described Ray and Pluto to the police). Fantasia swears there was no kid in the house. Pluto tells Ray to get rid of her. You can see that Ray is tempted but the only thing he decides to do right then is to drive off. Ends: 0:33:54

19. 1:46 - “Hurricane” leads his Deputy and the two L.A. detectives to the old Malcolm house (Ray’s Uncle) out in the country. The detectives urge caution but “Hurricane” blunders straight to the house... he gets nothing out of the old Uncle who is almost deaf and can’t answer any of the Sheriff's questions about Ray. Ends: 0:35:40

20. 0:36 - The gang of Fantasia, Ray and Pluto descend on a used car lot. Not a word is uttered by the gang as the salesman descends on them ominously. Ends: 0:36:16

21. 1:08 - “Hurricane” invites the two L.A. detectives to his house for a family BBQ; he’s cocky and carelessly utters racial epithets. Ends: 0:37:24

22. 0:59 - Outside a gas station in Texas, Fantasia waits for Ray & Pluto to return from the nearby grocery store. Fantasia tells Ray she’s glad they didn’t murder the salesman in the car lot earlier - Ray is insulted (“who do you think we are”?). As Ray & Fantasia make out, Pluto stands and observes the couple nearby. Ends: 0:38:23

23. 0:41 - Nighttime finds the two L.A. detectives consuming vast quantities of alcohol at the home of “Hurricane”. The detectives admonish “Hurricane” for blundering into the Uncle’s property like that - anything could have happened. “Hurricane” defends himself by explaining he’s been Sheriff there for six years and has yet to draw his gun. Ends: 0:39:04

24. 2:03 - Inside the house, “Hurricane”s wife Cheryl Ann (Natalie Canerday) is putting their child to bed. Dud comes in to replenish his drink and she apologizes to him for “Hurricane”s earlier racial slur. She admits that Dale has never been this excited before... the prospect of catching the gang is the biggest thing that has ever happened and that he looks up to the two detectives from the big city as some kind of heroes. Dud reassures her that he & John are far from being that... she asks that they tell “Hurricane” that... he (Dale) doesn’t know any better & watches tv... she reads nonfiction. Ends: 0:41:07

25. 1:41 - Outside the house, Dud confides in “Hurricane” that the gang are basically their problem and that Dale can get as involved as he wants in their possible apprehension. Dale reaffirms his commitment to help but Dud points out that he has a pretty good setup (subtext: you have a lot to lose). Ends: 0:42:48

26. 3:18 - At an all-night convenience store in Odessa TX (SUPER), Fantasia and Ray are inside stocking up on snacks for the road. Outside, a Texas Highway Patrol officer rolls up to the store - Pluto watches quietly and whispers out-loud to himself for Ray to stay cool and not do anything stupid. Inside, Ray eyes the trooper who has entered the store to chitchat with the store clerk. Ray is convinced that the officer recognizes him and begins to make moves to draw his weapon. Fantasia tries to reason with him... she convinces him to relax and pay for their groceries and leave the store. Ends: 0:46:06

27. 6:05 - While driving on the highway at night, the gang observes a Highway Patrol car following close behind. Pluto urges Ray to slow down but Ray is rattled. It is the same trooper from back in the convenience store. Inside the trooper’s car, the radio tells him the car on which he’s made an inquiry has been newly purchased and that there are no registration details available. The trooper asks the person on the radio to check the teletypes - seems he does recall a recent bulletin from California to be on the lookout for a gang. Before the trooper can get any concrete results from Dispatch, he decides to pull the suspects over. The trooper ambles over and asks to see their paperwork; the situation is tense. Fantasia is doing a good job of putting the trooper at ease when Ray blurts out something inane which annoys the trooper... who then asks them all to exit the car. While Ray and Pluto are outside under the trooper’s control (he’s drawn his weapon), Fantasia slips out of the passenger seat and shoots the police officer in the head. Ray is excited and they all get back into their car but this time Pluto drives and heads back in the direction from which they came. Ends: 0:52:11

28. 2:37 - Early Sunday morning and “Hurricane” is watching the Uncle’s house. Dud and John arrive, slightly hung over from the partying the night before. Dale pulls Dud aside and admits to having made a mistake in approaching the Uncle in such a cavalier manner the other day - he could have jeopardized their investigation. Dud tells him not to worry about it. Dale then asks for some advice - he’s been thinking of moving to L.A. and joining the police force... thinks he and Dud and John would make a great team. Their conversation is interrupted by a Deputy who tells them a trooper was murdered last night in Odessa, TX by what is believed to be their gang of fugitives from L.A... “Hurricane” is now convinced the gang are making their way over to Arkansas. Ends: 0:54:48

29. 2:57 - In a Star City diner, the two L.A. detectives eat a meal and begin to discuss “Hurricane”. Dud tells John about his conversation that morning with Dale and slowly the two L.A. detectives begin to ridicule “Hurricane” amongst themselves... however, they fail to notice that Dale has come into the diner and accidentally overhears their conversation. The cops are embarrassed but Dale’s pride glosses it over and he busies himself with a radio call from his Deputy to say that the surveillance photos have arrived from Little Rock... they can now see who the suspects are in the murder of the state trooper in Odessa. Everyone rushes out to the police station nearby. Once they have all seen the picture, John speculates that the girl in the photo must be Fantasia... “Hurricane” admits her name is not Fantasia, but is in fact someone named Lila Walker. Ends: 0:57:45

30. 3:53 - The gang arrives in Houston, TX (SUPER) at the home of Beaver, a friend of Pluto. Beaver lets them all into the home and asks about the drugs. Pluto doesn’t answer but wants to know where Billy might be. Beaver tells Pluto that Billy is still in New Orleans but will be there tomorrow... Pluto and the others invite themselves to stay and wait for him. Later, Fantasia is wanting to phone someone but Ray won’t have any of it. She reaffirms her intent to go to Star City and wants only that Ray and Pluto pick her up once she has visited her family. Surprisingly, Pluto thinks this is a good idea. Ends: 1:01:38

31. 4:18 - “Hurricane” is parked outside the home of Fantasia’s mother & brother. John is still unclear as to how Dale knows this Lila Walker. Dale says only that he arrested her about five years ago for shoplifting and she then disappeared to go to Hollywood. Dale doesn’t believe she could kill anyone, citing as evidence the fact that she discovered the child in Marco’s house and he’s still alive. Inside the home, the police question Fantasia’s mother and brother... neither claims to have heard from Lila recently. “Hurricane” watches forlornly as Lila’s small child comes out of his bedroom wanting his grandma... we realize Fantasia’s brother and this small child were the people we saw earlier (scene #13) being observed by “Hurricane”. Outside, the L.A. detectives now know that Fantasia is coming home eventually to see her kid. John again asks Dale about explaining his involvement with Fantasia and Dale is angry about having to explain himself. Later at home, Dale prepares for bed and caresses his sleeping wife, then checks on his sleeping kids. Ends: 1:05:56

32. 1:27 - Montage - in the morning, Ray finds his cash has mostly disappeared. We see Fantasia on a bus headed through Texarkana, Arkansas (SUPER) - away from Ray and Pluto. In Star City, “Hurricane” stares out the window of his Sheriff's office. Fantasia is dropped off by the bus at a field being sprayed by a crop duster. Ends: 1:07:23

33. 2:22 - Fantasia is picked up by Ronnie, her brother. He tells her she can’t go home because the cops are after her. He tells her it was Dale Dixon and confirms she used to “know” him. Her brother offers to help in getting her to see her child... offers to have her hole up in the empty home of a friend of his. Ends: 1:09:45

34. 1:17 - “Hurricane” tells his wife he’s going out alone to undertake surveillance on Fantasia’s mother’s house. “Hurricane”s wife is worried and asks if the others can’t go along to help him - he gets upset at thinking he needs help for such a trivial task. Thankfully he doesn’t storm out in a huff, instead softens and reassures his wife that he loves her and their little girl (subtext: won’t knowingly do anything foolish). Ends: 1:11:02

35. 0:54 - Late at night, “Hurricane” is watching the house when he spots Fantasia’s brother exit the home quietly with the small boy. He tails their car. Ends: 1:11:56

36. 1:37 - Back in Houston, Billy has now arrived and is explaining to Pluto how he doesn’t have the money for the drugs. Billy reveals that he knows that he & Ray are on the run and offers to give them a portion of the money (that’s all he has and they need all they can get). Pluto pounces by stabbing Billy and Ray draws his gun to shoot the remaining two. They take whatever money they can find and quickly leave. Ends: 1:13:33

37. 0:59 - Ray drives Pluto away from the Houston home. Pluto wants to be dropped off somewhere to disappear to Chicago as originally planned; he asks for half the cash and he’ll surrender half of the drugs. Ray reveals that Fantasia took all the cash. If Pluto wants any money, they’re going to have to go to Arkansas. Ends: 1:14:32

38. 4:57 - At the hideout, Ronnie tells Lila that he & her son have to be going. Lila wants a few more minutes but Ronnie is insistent (it is almost 4 am). In the dark, “Hurricane” watches the exchange from a distance. We hear Lila tell Ronnie to put the money in the bank. Once they’re alone, “Hurricane” draws his gun and enters the home to confront Fantasia/Lila. When asked, she reveals that Ray & Pluto will be there soon. Dale wants to call the L.A. detectives but Lila threatens to not speak to Ray/Pluto when they call if the L.A. cops are involved. Dale backs down but admits he cannot help Lila in her predicament. She reveals that Dale took advantage of her while she was still a teen (a threat?) and confirms that her boy is Dale’s son. Ends: 1:19:29

39. 5:10 - Dale and Lila sit quietly in the dark. Lila wants to turn on a light but Dale doesn’t want to be surprised by Ray & Pluto’s arrival. Lila scoffs and reminds him that they were going to call ahead and as yet have not done so. Dale diverts the attention away from talk about his family; Lila then forces some of “their” son’s birthday cake upon him. When that doesn’t work, she turns up the heat sexually and by now Dale is completely irritated by her actions. In turn, Lila is fed-up with being victimized. Ends: 1:24:39

40. 3:51 - In the morning, Dale and Lila continue to wait for the call. Meanwhile, Dale’s Deputy is trying to contact him without any luck. Ray and Pluto arrive at a gas station and Ray makes a phone call to Ronnie who gives him Fantasia’s number. The cops show up at Lila’s mother’s house and question Ronnie about knowing Lila’s whereabouts. He denies it but the Deputy has proof that Ronnie was out late last night somewhere with Lila’s son. Dud questions the little boy who reveals that Ronnie told him to lie about not seeing Lila. Ends: 1:28:30

41. 2:56 - Lila pleads with Dale to let her go free - he can’t be letting her go to jail. The phone rings and it’s Ray. Fantasia speaks to him and tells him they’re about ten minutes away and gives him directions to the house. Ends: 1:31:26

42. 0:13 - Dale’s Deputy - together with the L.A. detectives John and Dud - all drive the small boy around in the police car, hoping to jog his memory as to where he went last night with his Uncle Ronnie to visit the pretty lady. Ends: 1:31:39

43. 0:30 - Dale instructs Lila on what to do when Ray & Pluto get there. He wants her out of the line of fire & he promises that he’ll eventually let her go free. Ends: 1:32:09

44. 1:07 - Series of Shots - A local plays a Blues harmonica. Skinned frogs legs are put into a cooker. The police continue to drive Lila’s son around hoping he’ll recognize where he was last night. He finally recognizes a landmark and the cops follow the narrow road. Meanwhile, not far behind come Ray & Pluto. Ends: 1:33:16

45. 1:17 - Montage - Dale waits for the arrival of Ray and Pluto. Dale’s wife and daughter have breakfast in their home. The local continues to play his Blues harmonica. Ray lights a cigarette while driving. Pluto sits quietly. Dale stares out the drawn curtains. The patrol car comes to a dead end, revealing that the little boy inadvertently led them down a wrong way. The local plays more spirited Blues harmonica. Dale lights a cigarette. Dale’s wife washes dishes and looks out the kitchen window. More Blues harmonica playing. Ray & Pluto’s car is getting closer . Ends: 1:34:33

46. 3:14 - Ray & Pluto’s car arrives at the house. “Hurricane” confirms with Fantasia that she knows what to do - she does and he hides with his gun drawn as she heads out to the front door to greet Ray & Pluto. She motions them inside the house while she packs her things. They reluctantly do so... once inside, “Hurricane” leaps out of hiding and at gunpoint tells them to get on the ground. Distracted by Lila, Dale takes his eye off Pluto who leaps forward and stabs Dale in the chest. Dale in return shoots Pluto in the stomach. Ray makes a run for it and “Hurricane” shoots at him but misses... Ray fires back but misses Dale also. Fantasia screams and runs out to where Dale is now chasing Ray... she deliberately causes Dale to miss shooting Ray in the back as he flees. Ray meanwhile turns around and shoots Fantasia in the head and Dale in the shoulder. With his final strength, “Hurricane” fires at Ray and shoots him in the backside. Now at a stop, Dale stumbles over and shoots Ray again in the back of the shoulder. As Ray makes a move to shoot Dale once again, Dale fires a fatal round into Ray’s chest. Pluto stumbles outside and falls outside the front porch, still clutching his beloved knife. No cliché ending here... Pluto dies without moving further. Ends: 1:37:47


47. 4:13 - “Hurricane” gingerly makes his way over to his patrol car, bleeding heavily. He calls his Deputy on the radio and gives his location... the police quickly arrive on the scene. Eventually Lila’s little boy gets out of the patrol car and asks a wounded “Hurricane” if he’s dead. He’s not and probably for the first time he talks to his son. Ends: 1:42:00

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