The Last Train To Paris Thriller Script
THE LAST TRAIN TO PARIS by Robert T. Roe 503-998-2479
The most miserable man in Europe the day the war ended was RICHARD BLAINE. He had been prominent in the underground movement since he and his partner, LOUIE RENAULT, had left Casablanca to fight the Germans together four years earlier. Rick excelled at killing the enemy and he and Louie gained notoriety for their courage and leadership.
While the rest of the world partied, Rick sinks into the hiding place of a bottle. Rick felt he had come to his end. He couldn’t return home to America, couldn’t continue to kill Germans, had nothing to go back to in Casablanca, and couldn’t have the woman of his life, ILSA LUND.
Ilsa herself wasn’t all that happy. In Prague where she and her husband, VICTOR LASZLO, had also worked hard in the Resistance, Victor being its true leader, a new threat had lifted its ugly head. While the war’s end should have brought in the spring of life, instead, it brought the Communists.
Victor hates the threat the Communist pose to his beloved Czechoslovakia. Ilsa, however, is tired of war, and has no desire to fight a new enemy. She wants to go back to America where Victor and her had been for a short time after their escape from Casablanca and start a new life. Victor can’t see himself doing this- abandoning his countrymen to the new Russian threat.
As if all this unhappiness weren’t enough for Rick and Ilsa, a different, sinister threat, was stalking them- one that would ironically bring them together again. The brother of Major Strasser, the German Officer that Rick shot at the airport in Casablanca to ensure Ilsa and Victor’s escape, is seeking revenge upon the four assassins responsible for his brother’s murder.
COLONEL STRASSER knows that Victor and Ilsa left the airport the night his brother died as their names are still on the stolen letters of transit. He knows that Captain Louie Renault and Richard Blaine disappeared from Casablanca that same day- both seen last at the airport. He and his family have vowed to hunt them down. Four years later, at the war’s end, Colonel Strasser locates Victor and Ilsa in Prague and goes to kill them. Only by mistake he executes Victor and Ilsa’s best friends- FRANK AND GRACE- who work in the Resistance also. Their graves are marked as Victor and Ilsa’s to fool the authorities. These events sadden Ilsa to no end making her even more determined to get away from the madness of war.
A few days later in Paris, Rick and Louie are awarded metals for their heroic work in the Resistance. A relative of Strasser follows them to Louie’s French Villa and before you know it Colonel Strasser shows up to finish his revenge on Rick and Louie.
Rick overhears Colonel Strasser boast of killing Victor and Ilsa- then confronts the villain and kills him. This news saddens Rick and he takes Louie’s suggestion to use his Presidential Pardon and return home to New York where he hopes to start a new life for himself.
Only at the airport he can’t allow himself to climb the stairs to the plane. “ Victor Laszlo was dead many times, ” he tells Louie. He is suddenly convinced that there is hope that Ilsa is still alive and Louie joins him on a trip to her grave in Prague. As Rick also says-“ I can’t leave Paris till I see her grave.”
Arriving in Prague Rick and Louie visit Ilsa and Victor’s graves. Rick leaves for a local drinking joint and Victor spots Rick. Ilsa was due to escape yet she tells Victor, “ I won’t promise to wait for you in Paris”. At her last visit to Grace and Franks’ graves the new threat in their life, Communist Lieutenant KVACH, discovers their true identity and arrests them. Victor, knowing that Rick is in town, tricks Kvach into parading them around.
Rick and Louie hear the locals yell that Victor Laszlo is alive and being paraded through town, and when Rick runs out to see it for himself he tells Louie, “ What did I tell you about Laszlo? The man can’t die.” What Victor was hoping for happens- Rick and the townspeople come to their aid- leading to one fantastic Hollywood finish full of love and surprises.
GREAT TENTPOLE MOMENTS
As Rick and Louie are about to blow up a group of German soldiers but learn the war has just ended, Louie tells Rick to stop when he goes to blow them up anyway. Instead he says, “You always lose our bets, Louie…besides that plunger will probably slide down on it’s own and kill them anyway.” He stands up on the rock, looks below and yells, “Surrender your weapons are die.” They do to his surprise.
When Victor and Ilsa duck into a dark entryway to avoid a Russian troop carrier, Ilsa says, “Take me back to America. We were happy there. I’m tired, Victor, of all this fighting. Tired of hiding in doorways…tired of being afraid. Let’s get a fresh start together, enjoy life for a change…go to the theater, dancing, have a family.” He answers, “God knows that if anyone deserves such happiness it is you…however. She interrupts, “ For god’s sake, Victor, let someone else be the hero of the next war.”
In that same conversation Ilsa says, “You can’t keep missing the bullets forever, Victor. If we stay, you’ll make me a widow.”
Col. Strasser kills the wrong couple in Prague and has their graves marked.
Ilsa cries at the grave of her best friend who was mistaken for her and killed. They are chilsing Ilsa’s name on the stone when she says, “My god, Victor, this should have been us.”
Rick receives a pardon from the President of the United States. It’s presented to him by three American officers in a saloon in Paris. He’s speechless as all there, stand up and cheer his work in the resistance.
While receiving medals from the French in the town square, Rick, drunk, sees every woman’s face in the crowd turn into Ilsa. ( The music is his head: “As Time Goes By”)
Later, Rick is drunk in the bar. Louie scolds him. “ Four years we’re been fighting together and I’ve never seen you drunk like this.” Rick answers, “I got drunk in secret. Besides, killing Germans kept me happy.”
At Louie’s chateau in France, in a bag of mail, is a LETTER from Rick’s bar. Inside is another letter sent to Rick from Ilsa. It’s two years old when Rick sees it for the first time. After he reads it tells Louie’s mother, “this is a cancer that needs to be cut out of me.”
When Major Strasser’s brother corners Louie at his villa, ready to shot him down for the murder of his brother at the Casablanca airport, Rick catches him by surprise and says, “I killed your brother in a fair fight, and I’ll kill you the same way.”
Standing with Louie at the airplane ramp, Rich pauses, sets his suitcase down and says, “I can’t leave Paris until I see her grave.”
At Ilsa’s grave he spreads the letter he got from her atop her gravestone and says, “I’ve had enough of Europe.”
Ilsa finds her LETTER atop her gravestone and faints. Victor rushes to her, reads the letter, and places it back into her hand.
As the communists parade Victor and Ilsa through Prague, Rick and Louie come from a bar just as the truck of Russian troops stops outside. They catch eyes. A moment later Rick raises his arm and yells, “ Freedom for Cheslavocia!!” The crowd joins in. Victor smiles at him (knowing he is sending Ilsa away with him) Rick attacks the troop carrier that leads to a huge chase with bullets and bombs.
Victor puts Rick and Ilsa on the Last Train To Paris and he becomes the first secret agent.