McGill and Moira are leaving a party and help McGill’s drunk American friend, Willard, out to the car so they can take him home. As they get him in, a car drives by and the passenger yells at McGill, calling him Mariocki and saying that they’re going to kill him.
McGill drives Moira and Willard to his place, and Moira is clearly interested in McGill. He tells her that they should take it one day at a time. They stop off at Moira’s first and she invites McGill to a party at her place that night. They kiss and Moira goes inside. McGill gets to his place and lets Willard sleep on the couch. The American sleeps through the phone ringing and McGill finally comes down to get it. The man at the other end calls him Mariocki and says that they’re going to kill him. McGill hangs up and the phone rings again. When he answers it and snaps at the caller, he realizes that it’s Moira. She wishes him good night and McGill hangs up. When the phone rings again, McGill takes it off the hook without answering.
Later that day, McGill hangs up the phone and gives Willard something for his hangover. They have coffee and Willard admits that he drinks because he’s a coward, and that the only brave thing he did was at football practice at college with McGill when he tackled him.
A dry cleaner van pulls up and the delivery man rings the bell. McGill is getting dressed and has Willard answer the door. Once the deliveryman leaves, McGill checks the suits and realizes that they don’t belong to him... and one of them has a nametag, Mariocki. When he explains about the threats, Willard dismisses it as a joke. The phone rings again and it’s the same caller as before. McGill whistles in the phone and hangs up, and then goes after the deliveryman. He accuses the man of taking a bribe to deliver him the clothes but the man insists that he picked it up normally and it had McGill’s name on it.
McGill goes to the dry cleaner shop and discovers that while the bill has Mariocki’s name on it, it also has McGill’s address. He then meets a reporter friend, Jarvis, at a bar and asks him to check the archives for anyone named Mariocki. Jarvis finally agrees to do it in return for a kidney pie.
That night, McGill goes to see Moira at her flat. She tries to cheer him up, having heard from Willard that McGill was threatened again. Moira points out that it’s interfering with them getting together and McGill warns her that’s what his life is like and advises her to run. She refuses and kisses him. After a long moment, McGill leaves and the same car drives by. The passenger tosses out a wreath saying, “Mariocki – Midnight.”
As McGill drives back to his flat and midnight draws closer, he spots a car following him and tries to lose them. He finally pulls over at a stoplight and the other car does likewise... and the woman at the wheel smiles at McGill. Assuming it’s a misunderstanding, he smiles back, but the woman yells “Mariocki!” and drives off. McGill follows her and loses her briefly when she turns off. He finds her car up ahead and discovers that the driver has disappeared... and the car has the same license plate as his car.
The next morning, McGill returns to his flat and carefully checks the hallway before going in. His phone rings and he answers it, but the caller hangs up without saying anything. McGill goes up to his bedroom and sees a pair of men’s shoes on the floor. In the closet is Mariocki’s suit mounted on a rack as a scarecrow as well as the suitcase with his gun. He checks to make sure no one is hiding and then takes out his gun only to discover that it’s jammed. The phone rings again and the caller tells him that they’ll kill him at midnight. McGill hangs up and the phone rings again but this time he ignores it and checks with the porter, Burnett. Burnett hasn’t seen anyone around McGill’s flat.
McGill goes to the theater to meet with Jarvis, who informs him that there’s no record in England of anyone named Mariocki. The reporter says that they’re still checking the overseas files and suggests that Mariocki might be a normal citizen, but McGill figures he’s dealing with gangsters. He goes back to his flat and Willard suggests that he go to Hamburg. McGill notes that his friend seems anxious to leave town and asks if he knows anything, and Willard insists that he doesn’t. Despite that, McGill asks what Willard did with the key he loaned him and Willard assures him that he didn’t give it to anyone else. The phone rings and McGill invites Willard to answer it. Willard refuses and McGill finally picks it up. It’s Moira, who says that she’s been missing him, and McGill says that he’ll see her soon.
Willard heads to the airport to catch his flight to Hamburg and McGill goes with him. McGill assures his friend that he’ll deal with the Mariocki situation. Willard goes to the terminal to board his plane and two men follow him. Meanwhile, the PA announcer asks Mariocki to report to the information desk. Mc Gill goes inside and the announcer gives him an envelope. She doesn’t remember who left it off. McGill opens the envelopes and finds a photo of a man’s corpse lying in a street.
McGill goes to his car and watches as the Hamburg flight departs. He drives back to his apartment and finds the suit, shoes, and wreath right where he left them. He puts the photo with them and calls Moira, and asks her to meet him in the park in an hour. They meet and McGill asks her to forget him and everything that’s happened. He explains that he has to go and refuses to take Moira with him, and she figures that he doesn’t love her and is just making excuses. McGill kisses her and goes back to his apartment. He pays Burnett to stay away from the flat and claims that Mariocki will be staying there.
That night, McGill breaks into his own flat and discovers that one thing has changed: someone has put a black mourning band on the suit’s sleeve. The phone rings and McGill closes the drapes, taking care to stay out of sight of any potential snipers. The caller, Bradshaw, hangs up and tells his employer that no one is there. The employer, Peter, assures him that McGill is there. The female driver, Anita, is with them and says that she’s ready to deal with Mariocki, but Peter tells her to have patience.
The next morning, McGill is sleeping on the couch with his gun close at hand when he hears the elevator comes up. A deliveryman slips a newspaper through the slot and leaves, and a relieved McGill goes to make coffee. However, someone else comes up in the elevator and delivers a postcard for life insurance, pushing it through the slot.
Jarvis is at the pub when a delivery boy from the newspaper comes by with a file on Mariocki. The reporter calls McGill, who assumes that it’s mystery caller and puts a pillow on the phone. An ice cream truck pulls up outside and McGill looks out to see that it has the words “Soon Mariocki” painted on the top. He hears the elevator again and someone rings the bell, unaware that it’s Jarvis. Jarvis finally gives up and leaves.
The next night, Peter, Bradshaw, and Anita wait at their flat... with a beaten and bloody Willard. Anita tells him that it’ll be over at midnight and Willard insists that McGill went away. Peter slaps him, saying that their target’s name is Mariocki and that Willard had better hope that he is still home.
At his flat, McGill hears the elevator again and lays in wait. This time the visitor lets themselves in: it’s Willard. He explains that his abductors plan to kill McGill, and he has no idea who they are. Willard admits that Anita picked him up a couple of weeks ago, took him to Peter and Bradshaw, and forced him to place the suit and the shoes. He insists that he tried to get McGill out of the country and warns him that they’re down in the car. They sent Willard up to leave a note saying “Beirut” on the suit.
During a case in Beirut, McGill is following Peter and another man as they go to a bar and make a pickup. The local authorities track Peter down and he runs off while his partner returns fire. McGill steps in and shoots the partner... who is with Anita.
McGill tells Willard that he knows who his stalkers are and turns on the light. Willard warns that they’ll know he’s there now and McGill points out that they’ll kill both of them.
Peter and Bradshaw are in the car and see the lights come on. Peter tells Bradshaw to call Anita and says that they’ll wait until midnight.
At 11:45, McGill takes out a can of gasoline and a wine bottle, and mixes a Molotov cocktail. Willard tries to call the police but discovers that Peter’s people have cut the line. When he tries to run, McGill stops him, warning that they’ll kill him. Moira rings the bell and calls to McGill, and he yanks her in. She explains that a man called her and said that McGill was injured. When she wonders what’s going on, McGill explains that he was assigned to Beirut to work with the local authorities to capture drug pushers. He shot one man and assumed he was dead, but figures that either that man or his friends want revenge. Moira wonders if they’ll kill her and McGill says that they probably want her to watch because his victim’s girl was watching that night.
McGill sends Moira upstairs and then demands $10,000 from Willard to protect him. Willard agrees and goes upstairs, and McGill pours some of the gasoline on the scarecrow. He puts it in front of the door and then moves the drinks table to the side. Finally he waits to the side of the door, the Molotov cocktail in his hand.
Peter, Bradshaw, and a third man come up the elevator and knock at the door. They ask if Mariocki is ready and asks if he remembers what he did. McGill says that he did and Peter assures him that he’ll remember the name of his victim—Mariocki--for as long as he has to live. The third man gets out a Sten gun and Bradshaw unlocks the door. As the clock strikes midnight, they throw open the door and open fire. McGill sets the scarecrow on fire, blinding them, and then tosses out the Molotov cocktail. It explodes, stunning Peter and Bradshaw and setting the other man on fire. McGill puts the man out and tells Willard to get Moira out before the police arrive. Realizing what kind of world McGill lives in, a terrified Moira runs out of the building.
Written by Gadfly on Sep 28, 2015