Quote of the Week

EXT. MAN KOW CAFE – NIGHT

Chinese – Cantonese Restaurant, downtown. Old, oriental section.

INT. CAFE – NIGHT – FULL VIEW

Old. Worn booths; out-dated restaurant, two cockroaches race up the wall; few Chinese customers. On large, round table in rear of dining section, near entrance to kitchen, Fiore, Josie and Phil are seated in that order around table.

PHIL DIONE: Fiore’s friend is 44, husky, medium weight and height, pleasant. He has a long time crush on Josie.

Fiore is wearing his colorful bib, chop sticks in hand. Adorning the table are six platters of exotic food. Waiter brings out last platter, sets it on table.

FIORE

(watering at the mouth)

Now it’s complete. That’s my favorite: pigtails and peanuts… smell that sauce…

(inhales)

…Toa deea (thank you, in Chinese)

Josie and Phil are surveying all the gourmet dishes.

FIORE

(spreading his arms)

Boy! King Faruk had nothing on us… if people only knew what they are missing…

JOSIE

Then, we couldn’t get a seat.

FIORE

Let me have your plates.

Takes Josie’s and Phil’s plate, large spoon and proceeds to load them up with food.

FIORE

Chow toy…

(smells)

mmm…

(Ground pork with pickled spicy green roots or preserved garlic tops.)

Phil laughs.

JOSIE

He swears by this food.

FIORE

Son of a bitch; what an incredible edible.

CLOSE VIEW ON FIORE

picking around food with chop sticks.

FIORE

Black mushrooms from Tibet in oyster sauce… mmm…

Fiore with his chop sticks, picks up and devours a large dripping black mushroom. Fiore is in ecstasy.

FIORE

I feel like this is my last meal before the execution.

FULL VIEW

Phil and Josie start withdrawing their plates, loaded with food, ready to dig in.

FIORE

Hold it! You gotta try this. Sweet and sour Rock Cod. Fileted fish and those pickled lemon rinds, fresh ginger, pineapple, green peppers. Fantastic!

He puts it on their plates, deftly picks up a piece, gulps it down.

FIORE

How hun hoh (tastes good)

Phil and Josie take their plates.

FIORE

Squid.

Takes Josie’s plate, piles on more food, does the same with Phil.

JOSIE

That’s enough, Fiore!

She takes her plate.

FIORE

Hey, waiter!… where’s the plum sauce and mustard! More hot tea please. Got to have it so hot, it’ll burn your lips.

Waiter hurriedly brings small dishes with plum sauce and hot mustard. Phil and Josie are eating away with forks.

FIORE

(shakes head)

Use chop sticks… that’s the only way to eat Chinese food.

Phil, mouth full of food, shakes his head, swallows.

FIORE

(demonstrates with pigtail)

Spot of sauce, dash of mustard…

CLOSE ON FIORE

Fiore, with his chop sticks, expertly samples every platter, then touches it, Chinese-style, to his bowl of rice, before eating it.

FIORE

Let me show you the Chinese custom… take the bowl in your left hand like this, hold your chop sticks like a pencil, pick up what ever you want… you touch it to the rice first, bring the bowl to your lower lip, take your chop sticks and scoop the rice into your mouth, like so.

PHIL AND JOSIE

eating but not really enjoying it.

CLOSE ON PAUL LEE, the chef, standing at kitchen entrance smiling.

FIORE (O.S.)

Paul Lee is the world’s greatest Chinese chef… Long live Man Kow!

PAUL LEE

Thank you.

CLOSE ON FIORE

as he picks up a piece of squid, letting the tentacles dangle from his lips.

O.S. Phil and Josie burst out laughing.

FIORE

After this I’m taking you to a Chinese philosopher.

– Timothy and Doris Carey, Fiore (an original screenplay or three-hour teleplay); final draft May 1982

He'll Never See Daylight (1975)

From the Baretta episode “He’ll Never See Daylight”, but obviously the Fiore spirit is there. Also, I’m hungry for Chinese food now.

2 responses to “Quote of the Week

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