Screenplay by Quentin Tarantino
INT. LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT – DAY
We hear the rhythm of funky seventies SOUL MUSIC.
Then SHE steps into FRAME.
She is JACKIE BROWN, a stewardess dressed in her CABO AIR
uniform. (A little shuttle airline that flies from Los
Angeles to Cabo San Lucas. Approximate flight time: forty
Jackie stands still as a people-mover slowly inches her
through the airport. The CREDITS APEAR and DISAPPEAR in
front of her.
Jackie Brown is a very attractive black woman in her mid
forties, though she looks like she’s in her mid-thirties.
The people-mover reaches the end of the line, she steps
She breezes through Customs and we follow her with a
STEDICAM as she strides through the airport… She gets
to her gate disappears inside the plane for a moment
comes back out sans flight bag picks up the microphone.
Flight 710 Cabo San Lucas, now
boarding Gate 12, first class only.
With a smile on her face, she collects passengers’
boarding passes as they board the plane.
FADE TO BLACK
FADE UP ON:
EXT. FIRING RANGE – DAY
A chorus line of six beautiful bikini-clad women, all
holding different automatic weapons, BLASTING away.
The cheap VIDEO TITLES to:
“CHICKS WHO LOVE GUNS”
Play over this image.
One bikini beauty is singled out. She’s a gorgeous
brunette named SIDNEY. Sidney stands facing camera
holding a TEC-9 and describing it.
Hi, I’m Sidney. And I love to TEC-9.
The popular TEC-9 is advertised by
its makers as being tough as the
SIDNEY’S STATISTICS: Age, height, measurements, date of
birth, appear at the bottom left-hand corner. As Sidney
continues her sales pitch/demonstration, a BLACK MAN’S
VOICE begins talking over the video.
BLACK MAN (O.S.)
That’s a TEC-9. It’s a cheap ass
spray gun outta South Miami.
After a CLOSEUP of the TEC-9, Sidney FIRES the weapon.
BLACK VOICE (O.S.) (CONT’D)
Cost three-eighty retail. I get them
for two hundred and sell ‘em for
INT. MELANIE’S BEAHC APARTMENT – NIGHT
The Black Voice belong to forty-five-year old ORDELL
Ordell wears clothes nice and likes wearing nice clothes.
Stylish, athletic wear (Reebok), heavy, black leather
jackets (Hugo Boss), warm-colored berets and baseball
caps to cover his balding head are Ordell’s “look.” At
this moment Ordell’s wearing an open silk shirt.
Ordell narrates the video playing on the big-screen V.
(the most expensive thing in the apartment). He holds a
cocktail in one hand (screwdriver, his drink of choice)
and the remote control in the other, pacing the floor in
his I-can-talk-anybody-into-anything voice.
LOUIS GARA, who looks like he does his shopping at the
Salvation Army (dressed in a Hawaiian shirt and
dungarees), sits on the sofa staring blankly at the
video, drinking Jack Daniels on ice. Louis, white, also
in his mid forties, has lived over half of his life in
penal institutions. The experience has affected both his
body language and his thought process.
While acutely aware of the rhythm of life inside a
correction facility, in the real world his timing is
thrown. It’s like a song he doesn’t know the lyrics to
but attempt to sing anyway.
The third person watching the video is the person who
lives in this apartment, MELANIE RALSTON. Melanie, thirty-
three, is a tanned, blonde, California beach bunny. Like
the kind you se in the old Crown International movies
from the seventies like “Pom Pom Girls” “Malibu Beach”
and “Beach Girls,” except Melanie is older than any of
those girls ever are. She’s dressed in her Melanie-
uniform of stringy Levis cutoffs and a stringy bra top.
So far Melanie has been able to make a living out of
lying in the sun, always finding a generous, wealthy man
more than willing to pay her rent and pick up her tabs.
In her prime (twenty two) it was Japanese industrialists,
film production guys, and Middle Eastern businessmen who
kept Melanie. And it was places like the Bahamas,
Acapulco, and the Virgin Islands where they kept her.
But now, at thirty three, she lives in an apartment in
Hermosa Beach, California that Ordell pays for an drops
in and out of. She’s curled up in a reclining chair,
smoking weed from a pipe, reading Movieline Magazine and
paying no attention to the video.
This TEC-9? They advertise it as
being the most popular gun in
American crime. Can you believe that
shit? It actually says that on the
little booklet that comes with it.
“Most Popular Gun in American Crime,”
like they’re proud of that shit.
Ordell hits the fast-forward on his remote control.
Sidney is rushed off the screen and replace by CINDY, a
pretty, blonde bodybuilder clad in a red, white and blue
bikini, holding a Styer Aug.
Check out this body-builder chick…
Now see what she got. That’s a Styer
aug. Styer Aug’s a bad motherfucker.
Ordell punches up the volume.
Cindy BLASTS the Styer Aug, loud.
Ordell imitates the sound of the weapon.
Shit’s expensive, man. Comes from
Austria. My customers don’t know shit
about it, so there ain’t no demand.
Baby, I could use some more ice.
Melanie puts down the magazine, takes his cocktail glass
from him and moves to the kitchen.
But put that bad boy in a flick,
every motherfucker out there want
one. I’m serious as a heart attack.
Them Hong Kong movies came out, every
nigga gotta have a forty-five. And
they don’t want one, they want two,
cause nigga want to be “The Killer.”
What they don’t know, and that movie
don’t tell you is a .45 has a serious
fuckin’ jammin’ problem. I always try
and steer a customer towards a 9-
millimeter. Damn near the same
weapon, don’t have half the jammin’
problems. But some niggas out there,
you can’t tell them anything. They
want a .45. The killer had a .45,
they want a .45.
Melanie comes back, hands Ordell his screwdriver, then
sits where she was.
Who’s your partner?
Ordell sits down on the couch. Melanie’s reading
“Movieline Inside” magazine.
Mr. Walker. He runs a fishing boat in
Mexico. I deliver the merchandise to
him, gets it to my customers. On all
my bulk sales, anyway. Nigga didn’t
have a pot to piss in or a window to
throw it out ‘fore I set ‘em up. Now,
motherfucker’s rollin’ in cash. He
got himself a yacht, with all kinds
of high tech navigational shit on it.
(back to video)
AK-47, the very best there is.
GLORIA, a tall, Amazonian, bikini-clad, black woman faces
camera and describes the AK-47.
When you absolutely, positively,
gotta kill every motherfucker in the
room, accept no substitute. That
there is the Chinese one. I pay eight-
fifty and double my money.
The phone rings.
Get that for me, will ya baby?
You know it’s for you.
Ordell just stares at her.
Girl, you better not make me go over
there and put my feet to ya.
Louis keeps staring at he screen.
Melanie gets up, goes over to the counter that separates
the living room from the kitchen, picks up the phone,
Puts the phone down and says;
It’s for you.
Before Ordell knows it, Melanie is back in the reclining
chair, reclining back all the way.
Ordell, pissed, looks at her a moment before taking the
Hey, Junebug, what’s up
Louis sits on he couch, drinking his Jack Daniels,
watching the video.
Melanie lies back on the reclining chair, takes a hit off
her pipe, then says in a ‘holding in smoke’ voice;
(referring to the tape)
It’s boring, isn’t it?
I can sit through it once.
He thinks he’s Joe Gunn now.
I’m impressed. He knows a lot.
He’s just repeating shit he
overheard. He ain’t any more a gun
expert than I am.
Holding up her pipe.
Want a hit?
Louis takes a hit off the pipe.
When did you get out of jail?
Four days ago.
Two months shy of four years.
Really, I’m impressed.
Louis takes a drink of whiskey.
Four years that’s a long fuckin time.
Louis nods his head in agreement.
Ordell hangs up the phone.
Ordell comes back, sitting down on the other side of
See, what did I tell you? Man in New
York wants a 9 millimeter Smith and
Wesson Model 5946. Why does he want
it? It’s the gun that nigga on “New
York Undercover” uses. Because of
that nigga, I can sell it to this
nigga for twelve-fifty.
What’s your cost?
As low as two.
Are you serious?
That’s what I been tellin’ you. Start
adding these motherfuckin’ figures
up, and you tell me this ain’t a
business to be in.
The phone rings again.
Ordell looks at Melanie.
Melanie looks at Ordell.
They have a bit of a staring contest before she gets up
and gets the phone.
I got me five M-60 machine guns.
These came straight from the Gulf
War. I sold me three of them so far,
twenty grand a piece.
That’s good money.
Louis, this is it, man. I’m gonna
make me a million dollars out of
this. I already got me a half-a-
million sittin’ in Mexico. When I do
this last delivery, I’m gonna make me
I get out. Spend the rest of my life
Melanie sits back down in he chair.
Who is it?
Ordell, drink in hand, picks up the receiver.
Beaumont¢Ordell. What’s the problem?
What the fuck you doin’ in jail?
What the fuck you doin’ that for?
Ain’t you got better sense than to be
drivin’ drunk carrying a goddam
He listens to Beaumont on the other line – it’s obvious
Beaumont’s starting to freak out. Ordell changes his
– Beaumont. Beaumont. Listen to me.
Number one, you need to chill out,
nigga. Bad as this shit is, this shit
ain’t as bad as you think it is.
Course you’re scared. That’s what
these motherfuckers get paid for
scarin’ the shit outta ya. That’s
their job. And my job is to get you
the fuck home so let me tell you what
is gonna happen… May I speak?…
Thank you… You gonna spend the
night in jail; it’s too late to get
you out now. Tomorrow, they gonna
take you into court. I’m gonna be
there. Judge gonna set your bail. I’m
gonna pay your bail, they gonna cut
you loose. By tomorrow night, you’ll
be back home, I promise.
So just calm your ass down, and I’ll
see you tomorrow.
You owe me a helluva lot more than
Ordell hangs up the phone.
EXT. CHERRY BAIL BONDS – DAY
The store front window of Cherry Bail Bonds in Inglewood,
California. The name of the business is spelled out on
the window, which also includes a drawing of a fat red
Ordell’s BLACK MERCEDES CONVERTIBLE pulls up.
Ordell in the driver’s seat. Louis in shotgun position.
INT. CHERRY BAIL BONDS – DAY
Inside Cherry Bail Bonds, looking out through the picture
window. We can read the name on the glass backwards.
Ordell and Louis appears in the window and enter the
building. Ordell carries a L.A. Lakers athletic bag.
An unidentified MALE VOICE, obviously on the telephone,
can be heard.
Ordell goes toward the voice and tells Louis to “hang
MALE VOICE (O.S.)
… the judge doesn’t give a fuck
about that. He’s ready to habitualize
you. Is that what you want – you
wanna look at ten years?
The voice belong to MAX CHERRY, bail bondsman. Max, a
regular-Joe-type white guy in his fifties, sits behind
his desk talking on the phone. His eyes raise as he sees
Ordell approach him.
Just overnight is all. Tomorrow I’ll
get you out, I promise. But it means
I gotta pick you up tonight.
Ordell motion to the chair in front of Max’s desk. Max
motions for Ordell to take a seat.
Reggie, there ain’t no two ways about
it. You’re spending the night in
jail, but I already told you I’ll get
you out tomorrow. Now where are you?
You’re at your mother’s house, aren’t
Ordell lights up a cigarette. (Viceroy).
He notices a picture on the wall of Max with his arm
around a big, powerfully built black man. They’re both
Louis pours himself some coffee from a coffeemaker into a
small, white styrofoam cup. He picks up a jar of powdered
non-dairy creamer that’s so dry he has to break off a
rock. Louis adds the rock of coffeemate to his beverage.
Okay. Just stay put till I come for
Reggie, do yourself a really big
favor and be there when I get there.
He hangs up the phone.
Ordell sits in front of the desk, smiling at him and
How can I help you?
(indicating the Viceroy)
Where would you like me to put my
Max looks at him for a moment.
Use that coffee cup on the desk.
Ordell picks up the coffee cup, which still has a little
bit of coffee in it, and flicks his ash.
And I need me a bond for ten
Max throws a look past Ordell to Louis.
Oh, that’s just my white friend,
Louis. He’s got nothing to do with my
business. We just hangin together.
We’re on our way to a cocktail
From across the room, Louis nods his head in Max’s
Max looks at him a moment, then back to Ordell.
(returning to the photo)
Who’s that big Mandingo nigga you
gotcha arm around?
Max looks at him a moment and says;
That’s Winston. He works here.
He’s a big one. You two tight?
It was our idea to take the picture,
Max looks at Ordell, getting his drift, then says;
So, you want a ten-thousand dollar
bond. What’ve you got for collateral?
Gonna have to put up cash.
You have it with you?
Ordell picks up his Lakers bag and puts it in the empty
chair next to him.
It’s in my bag.
You have cash. What do you need me
C’mon, you know how they do. Black
man comes in with ten thousand, they
wanna fuck with ‘em. First off, they
gonna wanna know where I got it.
Second, they gonna keep a big chunk
of it – start talkin’ that court cost
shit. Fuck that shit, Jack. I’ll go
Cost you a thousand for the bond.
I know that.
Louis just stands, feeling uncomfortable, in the other
room drinking coffee.
Who’s it for? A relative?
Fella named Beaumont. They have him
up at county. It started out drunk
driving, but they wrote it up
“possession of a concealed weapon.”
Dumb monkey-ass had a pistol on him.
Ten thousand sounds high.
They ran his name and got a hit. He’s
been in before. Besides, Beaumont’s
from Kentucky, and I think they’re
prejudiced against black men from the
South out here.
He takes off and I gotta go to
Kentucky to bring him back, you pay
You think you could do that?
Max taking papers out of the drawer…
I’ve done it.
… picking up the pen…
What’s his full name?
Beaumont. That’s the only name I
Max looks at Ordell, but doesn’t ask him the obvious
Max picks up the phone.
Max on hold, looks at Ordell.
(back on the line)
Hello, this is Max Cherry. Cherry
Bail Bonds. Who’s this?
Hi, Vicki. Look, Vicki, I need you to
look up the booking card and rough
arrest on a defendant named Beaumont.
That’s all I have. I believe it’s a
surname but I’m not sure. Thanks.
Louis enters the area, standing over Ordell.
I’m going to wait in the car.
We almost done, ain’t we?
You go wait in the car. Wait a
Ordell pulls out a heavy-duty keychain with a shitload of
keys on it.
Take the keys, man. Listen to music.
Which one is for the car?
Ordell finds it. While he goes through the keys, Vicki
comes back on the line.
Max speaks with her as he fills out his papers.
(holding a key)
This one’s for the ignition…
(holding a little black
… but you gotta hit this thing to
shut the alarm off and unlock the
What do I do?
You ain’t got to do nothing. Just
point at it and push the button.
You’ll hear the car go “bleep.” That
means the alarm’s off and the doors
Now play the volume as loud as you
want but don’t touch my levels. I got
them set just the way I want ‘em.
Louis nods and goes out.
EXT. CHERRY BAIL BONDS – DAY
Louis walks out of the office. He goes up to Ordell’s
black Mercedes. He points the little black box at it. The
car goes BLEEP.
He gingerly approaches it, opens the door and climbs
INT. MAX CHERRY’S OFFICE – DAY
Max hangs up the phone.
On his prior, he served nine months,
and he’s working on four years’
You don’t say.
Do you know what he’s on probation
Haven’t a clue.
Possession of unregistered machine
Will they consider this a violation
of his probation?
They do consider this a violation of
his probation. Your boy’s looking at
ten years, plus the concealed weapon.
Man, he won’t like that. Beaumont
don’t got a doin’ time disposition.
I need your name and address.
Ordell Robbie. O-R-D-E-L-L. R-O-B-B-I-
E. 1436 Florence Boulevard. Compton
House or apartment?
Now I need you to count your money.
Ordell hands him the Lakers bag. Max takes the money out
putting it on the desk.
Hope you don’t mind me askin’ where
you keepin’ my money till I get it
back. In your drawer?
Max begins counting it.
Across the street a Great Western. It
goes in a trust account. You’ll need
to fill out an Application for
Appearance Bond, an Indemnity
Agreement, a Contingent Promissory
Note. That’s the one, if Beaumont
skips and I go after him, you pay the
Beaumont ain’t going nowhere.
(he takes a pen out of
Where do I sign?
Max pulls the forms from his desk, and lays them in front
of Ordell. Max goes back to counting the money. Ordell
reads the first agreement then says;
(reading the form)
(still counting money)
(still reading form)
I was wondering. What if before the
court date gets here, Beaumont gets
hit by a bus or something and dies.
(he puts the form down
and looks at Max)
I get my money back, don’t I?
A BLACK FINGER
Pressing a BLACK BUTTON next to the name, “BEAUMONT
INT. BEAUMONT’S APARTMENT – NIGHT
BEAUMONT LIVINGSTON, wearing no shirt, sweatpants, and
smoking a fatty answers the intercom, which buzzes
loudly. We can hear JAY LENO interviewing a CELEBRITY on
(into the speaker)
Who is it?
EXT. BEAUMONT’S APARTMENT – NIGHT
Ordell stands outside the security gate of Beaumont’s
EXTREME CLOSEUP – Ordell’s lips talking into the intercom
It’s your benefactor, nigga. Buzz me
EXTREME CLOSEUP – Beaumont’s finger pressing the entry
EXTREME CLOSEUP – The doorknob on the security gate,
BUZZING. Ordell’s hand comes into frame twisting it open.
Beaumont opens his apartment door, fatty between his
fingers. He sees Ordell approach.
Ordell greets him, arms spread out in hug mode, with a
big smile across his face.
Look at you and your free ass. Come
over and give me a motherfuckin’ hug.
Ordell and Beaumont embrace.
What the fuck can I say? I’m serious,
man. What the fuck can I say? Thank
you… thank you… thank you.
Who was there for your ass?
You were there for me.
Laughing his hustler’s laugh and bumping Beaumont’s fist
You goddam right!
You see,ïit works like this. You get
your ass in trouble, I get your ass
out. That’s my job. And I don’t mind
tellin ya, nigga, it’s steady work.
I’m still scared as a motherfucker,
Ordell. They talkin’ like they
serious ’bout me doin’ that machine
Naw, man. They just tryin’ to put a
fright in your ass.
If that’s what they want to do,
they’re doin’ it.
How old is that machine gun shit?
Three years. That crime’s old, man.
They ain’t got room in prison for all
the motherfuckers out there killin’
people. How they gonna find room for
That’s not what they’re tellin’ me.
That’s why they call it “fuckin’ with
ya.” Now you wanna hear how we
Beaumont takes a hit off the fatty and nods his head.
Tomorrow I pick you up, take you to
Century City, meet my lawyer. Now let
me tell you a little bit about my
lawyer. His name is Stacin Goins and
this nigga is a junkyard dog! He’s my
own private Johnie Cochran. In fact,
he’d kick Johnie Cochran’s ass. And
like Johnie Cochran, dude hates
fuckin’ cops. I’m serious, this man
lives to fuck with the police. So as
a favor, I had him look at your case.
Stacin told me you aint got shit to
worry about. They just fuckin’ wit
ya. So we sic the junkyard dog on
their ass, make ‘em –
(he bumps fist with Beaumont)
… Stop fuckin’ wit ya!
Beaumont gesture inside his apartment.
Hey, c’mon in, man. I was just – you
know – smokin’ a fatty, watchin’ TV.
Naw, man. I gotta be someplace. I was
kinda hopin you could come with me.
What’d ya mean?
Look, I hate to be the kinda nigga,
does a nigga a favor – then BAM –
hits a nigga up for a favor in
return. But I’m afraid I gotta be
that kinda nigga.
I need a favor.
That requires me goin out tonight?
Aaaaawww man, I wasn’t plannin’ on
goin no place. It’s twelve o’clock,
man. I’m home, I’m high –
Why the fuck you at home? Cause I
spent ten thousand dollars gittin’
your ass home.
Look, I gotta problem. I need help,
and you can help me.
This has the desired effect.
WITH ORDELL WAITING OUTSIDE THE DOOR
Beaumont comes out of the apartment, sporting Nikes and a
Queen Latifah t-shirt. He locks his front door and walks
with Ordell to his car. They talk the whole way. We
STEDICAM in front of them the whole way.
What’s the problem?
Well, it ain’t so much a problem a a
situation. Remember I sold those
three M-60 machine guns outta the
five I got?
I’m gonna sell the other two tonight.
This group of Koreans in Koreatown
have started a Neighborhood Watch
kinda thing. And they want a few
weapons so the neighborhood niggas
know they mean business. So I’m gonna
sell ‘em my two machine guns tonight.
Only problem, I aint never dealt with
these Koreans before. Now I aint
worried. Asians are by and large real
dependable. They don’t want no
trouble. You might argue about price,
but you aint gotta worry about them
shootin’ you in the back. But I got
me kind of a rule. Never do business
with nobody you ain’t never done
business with before without backup.
That’s why I need you, backup.