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Monthly Archive for December, 2011

Movies You Will Never See/Empires of Crime/Part 19

*For Introduction with submission guidelines go to Oct 13

*Heywood Gould is the author of 9 screenplays including “Rolling Thunder” “Fort Apache, The Bronx” “Boys From Brazil” and “Cocktail.”

EMPIRES OF CRIME

By Heywood Gould

PART III

ACT THREE

INT. HALLWAY.DAY.

A gloomy morning. Tom’s heels click hollowly as he opens a door marked SPECIAL PROSECUTOR. Inside, the offices are empty; even the furniture has been removed. William Dodge comes out of an office, putting on his coat.

        DODGE
It’s all yours Dewey. Here
are the files on the ongoing
cases.

He hands Tom two slim folders. Tom examines them in disbelief.

        TOM
Prostitution in the Bronx?

        DODGE
Number one public health
problem.

        TOM
I’d like to meet my staff.

        DODGE
They’re all leaving with me.
You’ll have to hire your own.

        TOM
I can’t afford experienced
people on the pittance you
gave me.

        DODGE
Take out an ad: Recruits
wanted for a war on the
mob. Go on the radio.

        TOM
Maybe I will.

INT. CHARLEY’S BATHROOM. DAY.

A Deco masterpiece. Gold and black fixtures, chrome trim. Nancy is soaking in a BUBBLE BATH . Charley is at the mirror, tying his tie. Charley Workman looks in from the doorway.

        CHARLEY
Everybody’s here. Waitin’
for you, Three twelve…

        NANCY
Why do they call you three
twelve?

        CHARLEY
My code name. C’s the third
letter of the alphabet, L’s
the twelfth.

Nancy rises out of the tub, but Charley pushes her back, dunking her. Nancy comes up sputtering: ”Charley!”

        CHARLEY
Do me a favor, honey, Stay
in here…
(turns on the water)
And keep the water running…

INT. CHARLEY’S PENTHOUSE. DAY

Sun streams through the picture window. Charley’s boys—, Anastasia, Genovese and Costello graze at the lavish buffet. Meyer, in his shirtsleeves, a cigarette dangling from his lips, is sitting at the table sorting envelopes.

        CHARLEY
Hey Vito, save me some lox,
willya. Manageh, your eyes
are bigger than your stomach…

Meyer hands him an envelope.

        MEYER
This is your share of the
week’s winnings in Jersey
and Saratoga. Now that Mr.
Maranzano is no longer with
us his piece goes back into
the pot.

        CHARLEY
(hefting the envelope)
Somebody say somethin’ about
a depression?

Anastasia looks at Charley’s envelope with jealous eyes.

        MEYER
Business is holding up. I
don’t know where the suckers
are findin’ the money…

        COSTELLO
Phil Kastel just shipped a
hundred and fifteen thousand
more slot machines into New
Orleans. Owney Madden’s up and
running in Hot Springs, Eddie
Levinson in Newport, Kentucky,
and Cincinnatti

        CHARLEY
I love gettin’ money from
towns I never heard of.

        MEYER
Our partnerships made hundred
three K in cash wins, sixty-
seven in markers. This covers
Newport, Saratoga, Hallandale,
Miami, the smaller joints in
Rhode Island, Buffalo… We’re
in for seven percent in
Cleveland. Boston, three and a
half. But we’re takin’ four
because King Solomon won’t kick
in for capital improvements…

        GENOVESE
How do we know we’re gettin’
a fair share?

        MEYER
I got people in every casino
watchin’ out for our interests.

        ANASTASIA
How do we collect the markers?

        MEYER
We got a list. Some people
we’re nice to, some people
we lean on.

        ANASTASIA
I lean on everybody who owes
me money.

        MEYER
You wanna be nice to people
so they’ll come back and
lose more.

        CHARLEY
(laughs)
Meyer’s got all the answers.
He’s like the Bank of America,
makin’ money for you while you
sleep.

        ANASTASIA
How much you take home,
Meyer?

        MEYER
Nothin’ outta your pocket.

        ANASTASIA
You and Benny eatin’ off
the same plate?

        MEYER
That’s how it works. Your
boys think you’re too nice
to Benny and me, Charley.

        GENOVESE
How come we ain’t seen no
money from California?

        MEYER
Benny’s still settin’ things
up.

        ANASTASIA
I didn’t chip in fifty G’s
for him to go out to Beverly
Hills and bang movie stars.

        CHARLEY
I’ll vouch for Benny. Any
losses I’ll make up outta
my own pocket.,,

        ANASTASIA
That’s fair…

        CHARLEY
In exchange for twenty five
per cent of your profits.

        ANASTASIA
(backs off)
I guess we can keep things
the way they are.

        CHARLEY
I guess so.
(pinches his cheek)
Look at this guy. When I met
him, he was a wallyo  with
his hands stickin’ out of his
sleeves. Now he’s the king of
Brooklyn with a different suit
every night and a different
blonde to go with it. Nice
country America, huh Albert?

INT.RADIO STUDIO. NIGHT

Medailie and Smith are making a last minute try to dissuade Tom.

        MEDAILIE
Radio’s an entertainment medium.
No one’s ever used it for
politics…

        TOM
Look George, our only hope
is to go over the Mayor’s
head to the public. If the
people respond the city will
be forced to support us.

        SMITH
And if they don’t respond?

        TOM
Then, we’ll know where we
stand. We can back out of
this fight before we make
fools out of ourselves.

INT. BACK OFFICE. NIGHT.

Another small, cramped smoky counting room. A young ACCOUNTANT sits at a table in the corner pounding on an adding machine. Anastasia and Genovese stare in amazement at A HUGE PILE OF HUNDREDS on a desk in front of Meyer. He is counting the money, while he makes notations and talks on the phone.

        MEYER
This is the fourth losing
night in a row. Either you
got the luckiest crapshooters
in the world or somebody’s
skimmin’.

        GENOVESE
(whispers to Anastasia)
I never seen nobody count
money so fast…

        MEYER
(on the phone)
I’ll send a man to check
the books. If you got a
thief, Mr. Anastasia will
deal with him, won’t you
Albert.

        ANASTASIA
They don’t call me the Lord
High Executioner for nothin’.

        MEYER
(hangs up)
To what do I owe the honor..?

        GENOVESE
Let’s just say we came
out to hear the Dorsey
band…

        MEYER
(rising)
Music lovers, huh?

INT. CASINO. NIGHT.

Large and lavish,.BETTORS in evening clothes, A SWING BAND in the background. Meyer walks quickly through the casino, Anastasia and Genovese struggling to keep pace.

        LANSKY
This is the biggest operation
in Jersey, any cab driver in
three states can take you to
the door. In a coupla years,
there’ll be ten more joints
like this across the state.
All run by me for the
Commission. All you gotta
do is sit back and get your
envelope.

        ANASTASIA
I’m not the kinda guy who
walks around with his mouth
shut and his hand out…

        GENOVESE
We have a right to check
on our investment, Meyer.
We got ten per cent of
this operation…

        MEYER
You got ten per cent of
Charley’s share. You’ve
made your money back a
hundred times over.

        ANASTASIA
That don’t mean we don’t
have a right to a fair
share.

        GENOVESE
People tell me you’re doin’
300G’s a week here.

        MEYER
And you think I’m skimmin’
on you. Charley’s little
hebe friend, who he trusts
more than you. Think I’d be
stupid enough to cheat you?
You’re just lookin’ for an
excuse to nail me.

        ANASTASIA
If I wanna nail you, Meyer,
I don’t need no excuse.

        MEYER
What’s that Sicilian
expression: don’t shit
where you eat? Charley’s
got a rule against the
partners patronizing our
casinos, Don’t worry, I’ll
tell him you came to see
the Dorsey band… Hey
Solly, turn the lights
off in the office. Electric
bill’s up eleven eighteen
from last month…

And he steps out, past a line of BETTORS, eager to get in, leaving Anastasia and Genovese to glare at him with hatred.

INT.CHARLEY’S SUITE. NIGHT.

Another party is in full swing as Meyer enters. He tries to move unobtrusively through the room, but heads turn and people call out greetings. He finds Charley in a corner with some BROADWAY TYPES and draws him away

INT. BEDROOM. NIGHT.

The lights of the city twinkle through the window. In the darkness Meyer hands Charley an envelope.

        MEYER
You oughta go easy on
the social life.

        CHARLEY
No law against bein’ a
celebrity..

A DOOR OPENS. A SPLASH OF LIGHT catches the two men.

        NANCY
Charley..?

Nancy enters and draws back.

        NANCY
Sorry. I didn’t know
anybody was in here…

        CHARLEY
It’s okay, baby, come in…
You know Nancy, Meyer…

        MEYER
Haven’t had the pleasure…

        CHARLEY
And pleasure it is…

He grabs her in a gruffly affectionate headlock.

        NANCY
I was just gonna get some
more…

        CHARLEY
Not right now. Not in
front of our Broadway
friends.
(squeezes her faces between
his fingers)
Look at this beauty, Meyer.
Una bella visaggia….

        MEYER
She’s just a kid, Charley.

        CHARLEY
She’s my baby, all mine.
Show Meyer, baby…

Nancy turns and pulls up her skirt. The letters C and L are branded on her buttocks.

        CHARLEY
I put my brand on her.
Now let’s see who has
the balls to make a move
on Charley Luciano’s girl…

        MEYER
Dewey’s on the radio,
Charley.

        CHARLEY
Good place for a comedian.
(slips his finger into
Nancy’s mouth)
You gonna be nice to me
tonight?
(pushes her away)
Go get your nose candy.
I can’t say no to this
girl.
(sees Meyer’s anxious look)
Okay, okay, let’s hear
what the hick has to say.

Meyer turns on the radio. He hears Tom:

        TOM
My crusade is not against
prostitutes or petty criminals.
It is against organized gangs
of low grade outlaws who lack
the courage or intelligence to
earn an honest living.

        CHARLEY
Low grade! Like to see him
run a racket.

INT. RADIO STUDIO. NIGHT.

Tom is sitting at a table speaking earnestly into a MICROPHONE. Technicians and executives listen with rapt attention.

        TOM
No family can sit down
to dinner without paying
a huge unofficial sales
tax to the gangsters who
control the trucks and
wholesalers that bring
our food to the table.
The businessmen and the
public pay and the
racketeer takes the profits.

INT. CHARLEY’S BEDROOM (CROSSCUT)

Charley nods in appreciation

        CHARLEY
Good angle.

        TOM
Our goal is to get the
bosses,the men in the
swank cars and camel hair
coats…Thieves who take
money from the poor and
promise a payoff that never
comes.

Charley takes it lightly.

        CHARLEY
How does he know I have
a camel’s hair coat? He
been lookin’ in my closet?

        TOM
With your help we can
be free from organized
racketeering in this city.
We need dedicated lawyers
who are willing to work
long hours with little
hope of compensation.

        CHARLEY
That’ll be the day…

        TOM
If you have evidence of
organized crime, if you
have been the victim of a
racket tell us. The rest
is our job and we’ll do our
best…Our offices are in
the Woolworth Building. We
promise to treat all reports
in full confidence…

He breaks off, awkwardly. The technicians immediately go about their business. An ANNOUNCER steps to a MICROPHONE.

        ANNOUNCER
Thank you, Mr. Dewey. Now
we return to Vincent Lopez
and his orchestra, live
from the Taft Hotel…

INT. CHARLEY’S BEDROOM. NIGHT.

Charley turns off the radio. Meyer puffs nervously on a cigarette.

        CHARLEY
Smart…Nothin’ about the
booze or the betting. Just
about how we’re takin’ food
off peoples’ tables. Lucky
we choked off his money.
He’ll never get lawyers to
work for nothin’.

The PHONE RINGS. Charley answers.

        CHARLEY
Hello…Yeah I heard…You
could send a blimp up with
all that hot air. Okay I’ll
be there.
(hangs up)
The Dutchman wants a meeting.

INT. STUDIO. NIGHT.

Tom picks up his papers and joins Smith and Medailie.

        TOM
What’d you think?

        MEDAILIE
Was it wise, giving out
your address? Tomorrow
every reporter in the city
will be outside your door.
If nobody shows up we’ll be
laughed out of the city.

EXT. RAIL YARDS. NIGHT.

HOBOS cluster around a trash can fire. Behind the cars, Charley and Dutch Schulz meet in the glare of their cars’ headlights. Meyer watches, his cigarette glowing in the darkness.

        SCHULZ
What did we do to this
guy to make him hate us
so much? He upset my mother
droppin’ my name like that.

        CHARLEY
Tell her he was talkin’
about some other Dutch
Schulz.

        SCHULZ
Can’t laugh this guy off,
Charley.

        CHARLEY
The guy’s got no money,
nobody behind him. He’s
tryin’ to recruit lawyers.
Did you ever hear of a
lawyer workin’ for nothin’?
He’s callin’ for volunteers.
Nobody volunteers in this
city. And nobody rats neither.

        SCHULZ
I don’t like a guy who
don’t know when he’s
licked. We keep knockin’
him down he keeps jumpin’
up. Maybe we should hit
him so hard he stays
down.

        CHARLEY
Careful, Dutch, we ain’t
stick up guys no more.

        SCHULZ
In our business we still
gotta show how tough we
are every day of our lives.
Dewey goes on the radio and
tells the world he’s gonna
get us we gotta do somethin’
about it or we’re finished.

INT. TAXI. DAY.

The next morning. Tom sits in the back seat with an armful of newspapers. The front pages are all about him—DEWEY LAUNCHES CRUSADE AGAINST CRIME, DEWEY DECLARES WAR ON THE MOB, etc.

       TOM
See the paper today?

       DRIVER
Somebody hit the Irish
sweepstakes?

       TOM
Did you happen to catch
Tom Dewey on the radio
last night?

       DRIVER
I only listen to the
Brooklyn Dodgers…
Look at all them people.
Another banker must have
jumped outta the window.

A LINE OF PEOPLE

is snaked around the block in front of Tom’s office. As Tom gets out of the taxi he is mobbed an enthusiastic CROWD. PEOPLE hold up the newspapers, shouting. Some want to volunteer, others to report a crime. The POLICE push them back.

        POLICE SERGEANT
Follow us, Mr. Dewey, we’ll
get you into the building.

Promising: “I’ll speak to everybody,” Tom gets behind a wedge of policemen as they clear a path to the building. He passes Abe LANDAU, one of Schulz’s gunmen, who is leaning against a wall..

INT. CORRIDOR. DAY

Tom emerges from the elevator into a clamoring crowd.

        TOM
Give us a chance to get
organized. Everyone will
be heard, I promise.

He enters the office where An ELDERLY CLERK is fighting off a mob of VOLUNTEERS. Tom climbs up on a desk and addresses the crowd.

        TOM
Everybody please listen…
(the crowd quiets)
First of all I want to
thank you for your response.
I promise you that everyone’s
grievance will be heard.
Everyone will get justice.

Tom enters the office, pausing to wave to the cheering crowd.

INT. TOM’S OFFICE. DAY

Tom runs to a phone and dials with trembling fingers. Behind the smoked glass he can see the crowd milling. Unable to contain his enthusiasm he shouts into the phone:

        TOM
Frances…We did it…
We did it!

END ACT THREE

Next: Act 4: Dutch Stalks Dewey

In a new department the Daily Event will reoffer some of these scripts. Read them and decide: would you like to have seen this movie?

Our first script is EMPIRES OF CRIME. Seven years in development it is a six part mini-series commissioned by a broadcast network and later reacquired by a cable station.

The story is about the founders of Organized Crime, Meyer Lansky, and “Lucky” Luciano, their fifty year partnership and the empire they created. Their friendships and families, lives and loves. It is also about their implacable enemy Thomas Dewey, a young Republican attorney who built a political career prosecuting the Mob that propelled him to the NY Governor’s Mansion and almost to the White House.

*For Introduction with submission guidelines go to Oct 13. Use Contact Us, above, for submissions.

Happy Holidays


Hi All,
No Post today. Part 19/Trouble in Paradise on Wednesday, Dec. 28. Happy Holidays!!!
Best,
Heywood & Patricia

Movies You Will Never See/Empires of Crime/ Part 18

*For Introduction with submission guidelines go to Oct 13

*Heywood Gould is the author of 9 screenplays including “Rolling Thunder” “Fort Apache, The Bronx” “Boys From Brazil” and “Cocktail.”

EMPIRES OF CRIME


By Heywood Gould

PART III

ACT TWO (Con’t)

INT. CONFERENCE ROOM.

A COMMISSION meeting. Smoke filled, intense. The bosses from the major cities, the same men who attended the first meeting minus Al Capone. They are more prosperous and more serious. There is no joshing humor in their negotiations. Meyer is at a table, scribbling figures.

         MEYER
The rule for new operations
is: whatever percentage of
the budget we invest we get
a half ownership. So if I
put up five per cent of your
cost I get a two and a half
per cent share. In this way
we guarantee the operator
has a fifty per cent stake.

The men nod in agreement. “Okay…”

         DALITZ
What do we do about guys
who don’t wanna join the
Syndicate?

         CHARLEY
They don’t wanna work for
us, they’re outta business.
Buy’ em out, ten cents on
the dollar. They turn it
down talk to Lepke.

Buchalter nods.

         BUCHALTER
I send two guys for a flat
fee depending on the job.

         LEVINSON
I’m in Newport, Kentucky.
Coupla New York wiseguys’ll
stick out like a sore thumb.

         BUCHALTER
So we find a farmer with a
shotgun who wants to make
a coupla extra dollars…
We’ll get ‘em outta your hair
fast, don’t worry.

         BERNSTEIN
Can you control everybody in
New York, Charley?

         CHARLEY
Everybody. I broke the city
down into five groups, we
call ‘em families in New
York. Genovese, Anastasia,
Bonnano, Lucchese, Profaci…
They all answer to me.

         BERNSTEIN
Ambitious guys. What if they
want their own shares?

         CHARLEY
I’ll take care of all of
‘em outta my piece. You have
a problem with them, come to
me.

         DALITZ
Meyer and Benny?

         MEYER
We have a separate arrange-
ment with Charley and will
deal as members of the
Commission.

         BERNSTEIN
Dutch Schulz?

         CHARLEY
Dutch is associated with me
in certain ventures. He’s
not a member of the Commission
so you don’t have to worry
about him.

         DALITZ
He’s nuts, Charley. He’s a
troublemaker.

         CHARLEY
He’s also a smart guy with
a tight organization. He’s
big in Harlem, the Bronx
and upstate New York. And
he makes a lot of money
for a lotta people.

         DALITZ
How about new territories,
Charley?
(with a look at Benny)
California..?

         BENNY
California’s off the table.
I’m goin’ out there to build
an organization just like
you did in Cleveland, Moe. I
don’t need partners.

         MEYER
Partnerships are good, Benny.
They spread the risk.

         BENNY
What am I riskin’? I lose
money I’ll go out and
steal some more.

The other men get quiet and watchful as Charley confronts Benny.

         CHARLEY
Nobody is bigger than the
Commission, Benny. That’s
how we started it and
that’s how it’s gonna be.

Benny looks at Meyer.

         MEYER
You’re the Commission’s man
out west, Benny. That gives
you more power than just
bein’ a hood with a gun and
a big mouth.

         BENNY
Which is what I am without
you and Charley, huh Meyer?

         MEYER
It’s what we all are without
the Commission.

         BENNY
(mollified)
Okay partners, but Greta
Garbo belongs to me.

Everyone laughs..”You got her, Benny…”

         CHARLEY
One last thing before we eat.
We each throw fifty G’s into
a pot to get Roosevelt elected
President.

Everyone grumbles…”I don’t get mixed up in politics…”

         CHARLEY
Look, I got a pledge from
his campaign. They’ll put
off repealing Prohibition
for a year if we put him
over. That’s a million
bucks more for us…

         DALITZ
What’s he want from us?

         CHARLEY
Roosevelt needs the big city
vote to win. We run every
big city in the country. Put
up your money, boys. It’s a
lock bet.


JANUARY 1933

INT.THEATER. NIGHT.

ON SCREEN A NEWSREEL shows FDR announcing the repeal of Prohibition. Joyous drinkers mob the bars.

IN THE THEATER (CROSSCUT)

Charley jumps out of the seat and grabs Nancy.

         CHARLEY
Let’s get outta here…
(and turns to an USHER)
They don’t make movies like
they used to…

But he turns as FDR comes back on screen, promising to rid the cities of “corruption and crime,” and “drive out the gangsters who have exploited and terrorized the working people…”

INT.RADIO STATION. NIGHT.

WALTER WINCHELL with his trademark fedora, is delivering one of his customary tirades.

         WINCHELL
With one stroke of his pen,
FDR has made honest citizens
of us all. Now here’s hoping
the bootleggers disappear along
with the poison they purveyed.

INT. CHARLEY’S SUITE. DAY.

Charley, Meyer, Costello and Dutch Schulz are clustered anxiously around the radio listening.

         CHARLEY
Roosevelt double crossed us.

         MEYER
(shrugging it off)
You bet a politician’s gonna
would keep his word you’re
givin’ long odds…

         WINCHELL
(v.o., radio)
FDR is bringing in a new era
of honesty in politics and an
even break for the common man.
Mobsters beware. Your days are
numbered…

         COSTELLO
That Winchell never turned
down a free drink or a
friendly broad in any club
I ever ran.

         MEYER
As long they wanted booze
for their parties we were
heroes. Now that liquor is
legal we’re the scum of the
earth..

         COSTELLO
They can make more of a
rep for themselves lockin’
us up.

         SCHULZ
(boastful)
See how they tried to hang
a tax rap on me. Took it
upstate so I couldn’t have
a Bronx jury. I bought the
whole town. Jury was out
fifteen minutes… Not
Guilty!

         MEYER
That was good for you,
Dutch. But things are
changing fast.

         SCHULZ
You’re a worrier, Meyer.
Look at me. They told me
there was no room for me
in New York. I’m back and
nobody’s gonna put me out.

         CHARLEY
Sure Dutch, but Meyer’s
sayin’ we gotta pull in
our ears a little.
Prohibition was a gift
from God. Took us off
the street and outta the
cheap stick up rackets.
We had fourteen years of
gravy.

         SCHULZ
So what do we now, crawl
off and die?

         CHARLEY
We got all the breweries
and distilleries. We’re
still makin’ the booze
only now it’s legal. We
sell it in all them
beautiful casinos we’re
gonna open.

         MEYER
Carpet joints with dancing
and entertainment. High
class gambling casinos
with croupiers in tuxedos.
Give people a nice,
glamorous place to lose
their money. We own every
drop of liquor that’s
poured, the bands that
play, the knives and
forks,the toilet paper…

         CHARLEY
Meyer gets poetic when
he talks about casinos,
don’t he?

         MEYER
We put a coupla front men
in. We back outta the
limelight. We’re rich and
invisible.

         CHARLEY
That’s good for you, Meyer.
You’re a family man. I’m
in this for the broads and
the bright lights.

         MEYER
Can’t fight City Hall,
Charley.

         CHARLEY
We are City Hall, Meyer.
Who really runs Chicago?
Frank Nitti. Who’s got
every politician in
Cleveland in his pocket?
Uncle Louis Rothkopf? Joe
Bernstein in Detroit, Nig
Rosen in Philadelphia…

         MEYER
They got a Grand Jury
sittin’ right now. The
bluebloods who really
run this town. And
they’re after us.

         CHARLEY
So what? We own the DA,
the District Leader and
the Mayor. They’ll get a
coupla hookers. They won’t
bother us.

INT. GRAND JURY. DAY

The same LEE SMITH who was the foreman in the Gordon case, is presiding over a BLUERIBBON GRAND JURY. A vein bulges dangerously in his forehead as he shouts across the table at DA BILL DODGE, a lean bitter man, chewing a cigar to shreds.

         SMITH
I asked you, the District
Attorney to prepare
indictments against the
major criminals and you
have the effrontery to
return with a concocted
case against a few
prostitutes in the Bronx!

         DODGE
Prostitution is a dire
threat to the physical
and moral well being of
our young men.

Smith turns in consternation to Medailie.

         SMITH
In a city where gangsters
control the unions, the
Garment Center, the docks,
the nightclubs, the police,
the political leadership…

In the rear Hines jumps up, angrily.

         HINES
I protest this libellous,
baseless assertion…

         SMITH
You give me an honest
District Attorney and
I’ll prove everything
I just said. As Foreman
of this Grand Jury I
hereby dismiss you Mr.
Dodge.

         HINES
You are blatantly exceeding
your authority.

         SMITH
I will not rubber stamp
a cynical attempt to
delude the public. We
will have an impartial
prosecutor. And we will
expose you and the entire
city Administration as
the frauds you are.

INT. COUNTRY CLUB PARTY. NIGHT

A dinner dance. Gowns and dinner jackets. But all are gathered around a piano as Tom and Frances sing a romantic duet.

         TOM/FRANCES
Let me see the love light/
From your eyes so blue…/
Let me call you sweetheart/
I’m in love with you…

The guests applaud delightedly and crowd around the Deweys.

        GOLFER
Gee Tom, you sing better
than you putt.

George Medailie tugs at Tom’s sleeve.

         MEDAILIE
Tom, can I have a word.

Frances looks on anxiously as Medailie leads Tom away.

INT. STUDY. NIGHT.

Lee Smith is pouring drinks as the two men enter.

         MEDAILIE
Lee Smith, Tom Dewey.

         SMITH
I had the great pleasure
of watching Mr. Dewey
convict Waxey Gordon.

         MEDAILIE
Tom loves to perform…

         TOM
No greater stage than a
courtroom.

         SMITH
And no greater role than
a prosecutor.

         MEDAILIE
Puts you in the public
eye. Very useful for a
man with political
aspirations.

         TOM
If he gets convictions.
Let’s get down to brass
tacks, gentlemen. I know
you’re trying to find a
Special Prosecutor.

         MEDAILIE
There are no secrets in
this town. We’re after
Dutch Schulz. We’ve asked
ten lawyers. Nobody’s
interested.

         TOM
Can’t blame ‘em. There’s
not much chance of winning
when the defendant owns the
cops, the judges and the
Mayor.

         MEDAILIE
Tom, the President, the
smartest politician in the
country, has vowed to chase
the gangsters out of the
cities. He senses the change
in public sentiment. I’m
telling you Tom the man who goes
up against these mobsters will
become a national hero.

         TOM
How much money would I
have to hire staff?

         MEDAILIE
Little, if any.

         TOM
How much support would I have
from the DA?

         MEDAILIE
None. He’ll fight you tooth
and nail.

         TOM
I’ll never be home. My kids
won’t know me. My wife
won’t speak to me. If I
don’t convict Schulz I’ll be
ruined.
(with rueful self knowledge)
But if I don’t take this
job I’ll regret it for the rest
of my life.

INT. JUDGE’S CHAMBERS. DAY

Medailie and Smith stand behind Tom as he faces the PRESS. FLASHBULBS POP, REPORTERS  shout questions.

         REPORTER
What’s the first thing you’re
gonna do as Special
Prosecutor?

         TOM
Look into Dutch Schulz’s rackets
and how they are protected by
police and politicians.

         REPORTER
The boys are sayin’ you’ve
been set up to lose. They
think you’re a Boy Scout.

Tom faces him, suddenly deliberate and icy calm.

         TOM
In a few months they won’t
be calling me that.

INT.CHARLEY’S OFFICE. DAY.

A FRONT PAGE PHOTO of Dewey being sworn in by Judge McCook. TILT UP to Charley staring at the photo as Meyer reads from the editorial. Polakoff and Jimmy Hines confer uneasily in a corner.

         MEYER
Young Mr. Dewey will have
the thanks of a grateful
city if he succeeds. What’s
his story, Mo?

         POLAKOFF
He’s a bluenose. But a
good lawyer.

         HINES
He’s an arrogant little
twerp.

         MEYER
Maybe we can slip him a
contribution. I got some
Republicans upstate…

         POLAKOFF
Can’t buy Dewey, Meyer.

         HINES
I hate guys who don’t
have a price.

         CHARLEY
Starve him, Jimmy. Stick
him in a dinky office.
Tell Dodge to cut his
funding so he can’t hire.
Spread the word: nobody
gives him the right time.
If we can’t buy the bum
we’ll bury him.


END ACT TWO

Next:Act 3: Trouble In Paradise

In a new department the Daily Event will reoffer some of these scripts. Read them and decide: would you like to have seen this movie?

Our first script is EMPIRES OF CRIME. Seven years in development it is a six part mini-series commissioned by a broadcast network and later reacquired by a cable station.

The story is about the founders of Organized Crime, Meyer Lansky, and “Lucky” Luciano, their fifty year partnership and the empire they created. Their friendships and families, lives and loves. It is also about their implacable enemy Thomas Dewey, a young Republican attorney who built a political career prosecuting the Mob that propelled him to the NY Governor’s Mansion and almost to the White House.

*For Introduction with submission guidelines go to Oct 13. Use Contact Us, above, for submissions.

Movies You Will Never See/Empires of Crime/Part 17


*For Introduction with submission guidelines go to Oct 13

*Heywood Gould is the author of 9 screenplays including “Rolling Thunder” “Fort Apache, The Bronx” “Boys From Brazil” and “Cocktail.”

EMPIRES OF CRIME

By Heywood Gould

PART III

ACT TWO

INT. CITY COURTHOUSE CORRIDOR. DAY

Tom Dewey and George Medailie are walking quickly down the crowded hallway, bumping into COPS, PROSTITUTES, BOOKIES and SHYSTERS.

        MEDAILIE
This is dynamite, Tom. The
Seabury Commission has heard
a thousand witnesses. They’ve
established a clear connection
between the police and the
gangsters.

They are met by a gaggle of REPORTERS and NEWSREEL CAMERA MEN waiting outside a courtroom. FLASHBULBS POP as REPORTERS shout questions: “You Republicans are gonna make hay outta this, aintcha George?” Medailie shrugs them off with a “No comment,” and they walk through a door marked,

SEABURY COMMISSION.

INT. COURTOOM. DAY

JUDGE SAMUEL SEABURY, a dignified white haired jurist is listening with mounting indignation to a CONSUMPTIVE YOUNG WOMAN.

        YOUNG WOMAN
I told the cop I was workin’
nights as a cleanin’ lady,
but he said no respectable
woman was out at 4 am and
threw me in the paddy wagon
with the other girls.

        SEABURY
Then what happened?

        YOUNG WOMAN
He tole us a twenty five
dollar gift to the
Magistrate’s Christmas Fund
would buy us out. Otherwise
we’d be charged with
prostitution. I didn’t have
no money so he said if I
didn’t wanna go to jail I
could go up to Cokey
Brown’s house and work it
off.

        MEDAILIE
(excited)
Fifty one women have come
forward and said they were
pulled off the streets by
corrupt cops and forced to
pay a bribe or enter a
gangster controlled house
of prostitution. We need a
good prosecutor to put all
these cases together.

        TOM
(dubious)
Seems like a lot of work
just to put a couple of
crooked cops away.

        MEDAILIE
This is Page One, Tom. It
could go all the way up to
the Mayor’s office.

        TOM
Only if we found a link
between the cops, the
politicians and the
mobsters who run these
brothels. Then we could
go after them in the name
of public virtue… We
could use it as a campaign
issue.

        MEDAILIE
Democrats exploit and abuse
young women. Republicans
protect their virtue…

        TOM
But it has to be airtight,
George. To convict a gangster
in New York you have to turn
the whole city against him.

INT. CHARLEY’S SUITE. NIGHT.

A Broadway party in Charley’s Waldorf digs. A glamorous crowd clusters around the piano singing Gershwin tunes. DAVEY BETTILO enters with a bevy of tawdry BEAUTIES.

        BETTILO
Mix and mingle, girls. Don’t
talk money, it’s all about
love.

NANCY PRESSER, a tiny blonde, hangs back. The short skirt and tarty make up can’t disguise her timid innocence. Bettilo shoves her.

        BETILLO
You too, wallflower. Make
with the personality.


INT.CHARLEY’S BEDROOM. NIGHT.

Charley is showing Benny his new wardrobe, while Meyer scans the books, worriedly. Charley models an OVERCOAT.

        CHARLEY
Whaddya think?

        BENNY
How many camels they have
to kill to make that coat?

        MEYER
It’s too big on you. Anyway,
you shouldn’t be flauntin’
your money when everybody’s
broke.

        CHARLEY
Depression’s the best thing
that ever happened. Everybody’s
in hock to us…

        MEYER
And they resent guys with
money.

        BENNY
The bankers, the bosses, not
us. They love us…

        MEYER
Don’t kid yourself. They hate
anybody with a warm coat and
a coupla bucks to buy a nice
dinner.

        CHARLEY
Y’see where Capone’s runnin’
soup kitchens in Chicago? We
could do somethin’ like that.
Maybe lower the price of beer…

        MEYER
That won’t do no good.
Seabury’s lookin’ to shut
us down. All this shootin’
was bad for business.

        CHARLEY
Had to be done.

        MEYER
I know but it riled people
up. Cops are runnin’ wild.
Judges are too greedy.
Everybody’s killin’ the
goose that lays the golden
eggs.

        CHARLEY
So what do you wanna do
about it?

        MEYER
Cash outta New York.

        CHARLEY
Leave the city? You nuts?

        MEYER
We got casinos all over
Florida. In  Newport,
Kentucky, in Hot Springs,
Arkansas. In these towns
a fifty dollar bill buys
you the whole police
department and they throw
in the Mayor. Costello just
put eight hundred thousand
slot machines in Louisiana
and all it cost was a
colored hooker for Huey Long.
I got a guy in Cuba who says
he can open up the whole
country for us.

        BENNY
We ain’t even touched the
West Coast.

        CHARLEY
I’d rather have a pushcart
on Tenth Avenue than a
mansion in Hollywood.

        BENNY
Not me. LA’s for sale like
New York used to be.

        CHARLEY
Still is. You worried about
this Seabury? We can fix
him.

        MEYER
The guy’s grandfather was
best friends with George
Washington, Charley.

        CHARLEY
So what? We got just as
much right to be here as
he does.

He opens the door onto the music, the glamor. The GUESTS wave and urge them to “join the party.” Charley turns to Meyer.

        CHARLEY
You wanna leave all this for
some hick town in Arkansas?
Have a drink. Fall in love.

        MEYER
I gotta go home. My little
one’s sick again.

        CHARLEY
Go home, kiss your wife,
have a bicarbonate, you’ll
feel better in the morning…

As Meyer steps out, Davey Bettilo brings over DAVE MILLER, a pudgy pimp in a cashmere coat, very nervous about meeting the great Charley Luciano.

        BETTILO
This here’s Dave Miller from
Philly…

        MILLER
It’s an honor…

        CHARLEY
Yeah okay. Keep your girls
clean. Don’t beat ‘em up and
don’t feed ‘em too much hop
and don’t ever talk about me
to nobody ‘cause I’ll find out
if you do…

He spots Nancy Presser, hiding in the corner.

        CHARLEY
This shrinkin’ violet with
you?
(takes her by the arm)
In the spotlight, honey
you’re too pretty to hide.
(curtly to Miller)
The delivery boy don’t stay
for the party, pal…

Miller backs away, murmuring apologies.

        CHARLEY
What’s your name, honey?

        NANCY
Nancy Presser. I’m new to
this, Mr. Luciano…

        CHARLEY
Don’t worry Nancy, in your
business you don’t need
experience.

INT. LANSKY LIVING ROOM. NIGHT

A NEWSPAPER drops on the coffee table  On the front page, PHOTOS OF MEYER, BENNY  and CHARLEY. A HEADLINE reads:THE GANGSTERS WHO RULE NEW YORK.

        ANNE
(o.s., hysterical)
This new combination consists
of six notorious racketeers…

TILT UP to Anne in her bathrobe, wild eyed and disheveled. Meyer is trying desperately to placate her.

        ANNE
Charles “Lucky” Luciano,
Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel,
Meyer Lansky. What’s the
matter, Meyer, don’t you
rate a nickname?

        MEYER
From the first day we met
you knew what I did, Annie.

        ANNE
Gambling, you said. Nightclubs
with card games. And one day
it would all be legal.

        MEYER
It will be …

        ANNE
And the drugs. And the
killings? And all the
dirty things they do to
make a dollar.

OFF SCREEN, a BABY cries out.

        ANNE
You want to see how God
is punishing us, Meyer?

        LANSKY
(follows her)
Buddy will be fine., Annie.

INT. BEDROOM. NIGHT.

Dark. A few pale streaks of MOONLIGHT fall on the crib where the baby, BUDDY, lies thick METAL BRACES on both legs. Meyer and Anne look down at him with concern. Anne rocks the crib, whimpering:

        ANNE
He was spoiled, you said.
Let him cry himself to
sleep…

        MEYER
Annie, we’ll do everything
for him. There’s a pediatrician
in Boston, who specializes in
spinal problems…

        ANNE
He’s a cripple, Meyer and
he’ll be one all his life.
I only hope I die before I
see him in a wheelchair…

        MEYER
No one’s gonna die.

        ANNE
This is how much God hates
you, Meyer. He punished
your son for your sins.
This innocent little boy
who’ll live in pain for the
rest of his life is God’s
judgement on you…

Meyer looks down at his son, stricken with remorse.

INT. CHARLEY’S BEDROOM. NIGHT.

A short time later. Charley lies in bed in his yellow silk dressing gown, smoking a cigarette.

        CHARLEY
What happened, kid, you fall
in?

Nancy comes out of the bathroom in her slip.

        NANCY
I was fixin’ my face…

        CHARLEY
Powderin’ your nose, you mean.
(flips her a “ravioli”)
Knock yourself out…

        NANCY
(opening the package with
trembling fingers)
Thanks.

Charles rises and holds her hand steady.

        CHARLEY
Another farm girl goin’ to
hell in the big city. Where
you from?

        NANCY
Auburn. Way upstate.

        CHARLEY
Yeah, there’s a jail there.
What’s your story, your old
man throw you out ‘cause you
got knocked up?

        NANCY
I never knew my old man. My
mother had a boyfriend, who
kept pawin’ me. When I was
thirteen I took off.

        CHARLEY
So you been around more than
you look. That’s no reason
to start feelin’ sorry for
yourself.

        NANCY
Listen, I’ve had it pretty
tough.

        CHARLEY
Everybody in the rackets has
a story. You think I was born
in the Waldorf? My home town
in Sicily makes Auburn look
like Park Avenue. Sulfur mines.
A cloud of poison smoke that
kept out the sun. Kids who
didn’t get TB froze to death.
I came over on a freighter.
Five hundred people packed in
steerage. No windows, no water
to wash. I could take a bath
in perfume every day I’ll
never get that stink outta
my nose. People don’t
understand what we got in
this country. In Sicily you’re
born poor, you die broke.

        NANCY
I was born here and I’m
broke.

        CHARLEY
Cheer up, today’s your lucky
day
(hands her a roll of bills)
Don’t kick this back to
nobody.

        NANCY
Davey told me not to talk
money.

        CHARLEY
I don’t pay for sex. This
is for the conversation.
Anybody asks you, you’re
CL’s girl. Don’t let ‘em
stick you in them two
dollar joints, I’ll get
you into Bella Lewitzky’s
house With your kewpie doll
looks you’ll have those
Broadway guys eatin’ outta
your hand.

        NANCY
What’s the catch? Why you
bein’ so nice?

        CHARLEY
I like you. Other broads are
always puttin’ on an act. You
looked like you’ were gonna
bust out cryin’…

        NANCY
I was scared ‘cause they told
me you were the big boss…

        CHARLEY
I am. But I’m a lonely guy
in my own way. I need one
person I can be nice to
without worryin’ I’m gonna
get stabbed in the back.
(laughs at her glum expression)
Don’t worry, kid, any girl
who goes around with me
won’t be sorry…

INT. HOTEL SUITE.DAY

A big BUFFET, white-coated WAITERS poised to serve. A bevy of “showgirls”. Some doing their nails, others gossiping, others smoking and pacing. CHARLEY WORKMAN stands guard outside a door. A girl picks up a plate, but he cautions her:

        WORKMAN
Don’t touch the buffet.


Next: Part 18/Act 2 (Con’t): The Syndicate

In a new department the Daily Event will reoffer some of these scripts. Read them and decide: would you like to have seen this movie?

Our first script is EMPIRES OF CRIME. Seven years in development it is a six part mini-series commissioned by a broadcast network and later reacquired by a cable station.

The story is about the founders of Organized Crime, Meyer Lansky, and “Lucky” Luciano, their fifty year partnership and the empire they created. Their friendships and families, lives and loves. It is also about their implacable enemy Thomas Dewey, a young Republican attorney who built a political career prosecuting the Mob that propelled him to the NY Governor’s Mansion and almost to the White House.

*For Introduction with submission guidelines go to Oct 13. Use Contact Us, above, for submissions.

Movies You Will Never See/Empire of Crime/Part 16

*For Introduction with submission guidelines go to Oct 13

*Heywood Gould is the author of 9 screenplays including “Rolling Thunder,”Fort Apache, The Bronx,”Boys From Brazil”and “Cocktail.”

EMPIRES OF CRIME

By Heywood Gould

PART III

ACT ONE (Con’t)

SEPTEMBER 15, 1931

EXT. LOWER PARK AVENUE. DAY.

A VAN marked FOX’S DRY CLEANING pulls up to the curb. Meyer jumps out and wheels a rack of SUITS into the building.

INT. HOME REALTY. DAY.

A dozen or so BODYGUARDS are lounging around reading the papers. Suddenly, the door flies open. FOUR POLICEMEN barge in.

        POLICEMAN
Alright, everybody up. Move
over against the wall.

THE OFFICE DOOR

opens and Maranzano steps out with an angry look.

        MARANZANO
What kinda cheap shakedown is
this?

        FIRST POLICEMAN
Bootleggin’ Squad…You got a
shipment of illegal alcohol on
the premises…

Maranzano follows them into his office.

         MARANZANO (CONT’D)
What are you tryin’ to pull?

INT. MARANZANO’S OFFICE. DAY.

Maranzano enters and goes to the phone.

        MARANZANO (CONT’D)
I’m gonna call my good friend
Inspector McDonagh at Headquarters.
We’ll see what sewer you guys are
workin’ in tomorrow…..

He gasps as a GAROTTE is looped around his neck. Red Levine steps behind him, pulling the cord tighter across his throat.

THE SECOND POLICEMAN

steps up, drawing a knife. It is Benny. He slashes Maranzano.

        BENNY
That’s for Charley.

With the superhuman strength Maranzano breaks free, screaming:

        MARANZANO
Secorro…Secorro…

IN THE OFFICE

The door flies open. Maranzano lurches out, bleeding, shouting:

        MARANZANO
Secorro, Secorro…

Benny  plunges a bloody knife into his chest. The Bodyguards stand frozen as he drags Maranzano screaming into the office. TWO SHOTS CRACK behind the closed door. A moment later Benny and Red Levine run out.

        BENNY
Anybody step out that door
I’m gonna blast ‘em.

IN THE HALL

Meyer waits in the shadows with the rack. The killers run out and slip out of their police tunics and into sports jackets and overcoats, then run down the stairs.

THE ELEVATOR.

door opens and Charley strolls out. He sees the bodyguards crouching by the mortally wounded Maranzano.

        CHARLEY
Marrone. What happened?

EXT. PHONE BOOTH. DAY.

A BLACK SEDAN idles by the curb. It is the same car used to kidnap Charley. A STREET SWEEPER spears trash and drops it into a cart. The PHONE RINGS. Mad Dog Coll jumps out of the back seat and steps into the booth. He barks a “Yeah,” and when he gets no response:

        COLL
Hey Maranzano, that you?

CHARLEY (CROSSCUT)

on the phone, Meyer and Benny grinning behind him.

        CHARLEY
No. It’s your mother’s uncle’s
grandma’s French poodle…

As Coll stares at the phone in bewilderment

THE STREET SWEEPER

pulls a TOMMY GUN out of his trash cart and begins blasting, tearing the booth to pieces.

INT. CHARLEY’S OFFICE. NIGHT.

Ducore’s is jammed with HOODS eager to pay homage. One by one they step into the office where Charley sits on a bridge chair, eating a corned beef sandwich, Genovese and Anastasia standing protectively behind him. They kiss his ring, slip him an envelope and back away, murmuring their obsequies. Charley sees Meyer standing by the door and beckons.

        CHARLEY
Meyer, c’mere.

        GENOVESE
He’s not one of us, Charley.

        CHARLEY
Neither are you, Vito. You’re
from Naples.

        MEYER
Do I have to kiss your ring,
too?

        CHARLEY
Only my ass.

        MEYER
Nice turnout.

        CHARLEY
Each of these guys has twenty,
thirty guys in his crew. Four,
five thousand guns marchin’ to
our tune.

        ANASTASIA
You oughta make a speech. Lay
down the law to these gavones.

        CHARLEY
I ain’t Julius Caesar conquerin;
the world. I ain’t Don Giuseppe
stuffin’ my face and braggin’
about what a big man I am. I
don’t need no old country mumbo
jumbo. I’m an American business
man. I take care of my workers,
I wipe out the competition. I’m
gonna run this town for a long
time.

END ACT ONE

Next: Part 17/Act 2: Lucky In Love

In a new department the Daily Event will reoffer some of these scripts. Read them and decide: would you like to have seen this movie?

Our first script is EMPIRES OF CRIME. Seven years in development it is a six part mini-series commissioned by a broadcast network and later reacquired by a cable station.

The story is about the founders of Organized Crime, Meyer Lansky, and “Lucky” Luciano, their fifty year partnership and the empire they created. Their friendships and families, lives and loves. It is also about their implacable enemy Thomas Dewey, a young Republican attorney who built a political career prosecuting the Mob that propelled him to the NY Governor’s Mansion and almost to the White House.

*For Introduction with submission guidelines go to Oct 13. Use Contact Us, above, for submissions.

Movies You Will Never See/Empires of Crime/Part 15

*For Introduction with submission guidelines go to Oct 13

*Heywood Gould is the author of 9 screenplays including “Rolling Thunder,”Fort Apache, The Bronx,”Boys From Brazil”and “Cocktail.”


EMPIRES OF CRIME

By Heywood Gould

PART III

ACT ONE (Con’t)


INT.US ATTORNEY’S OFFICE. DAY

A farewell party. The Staff serenades Tom with “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow.” Medailie proposes a toast.

        MEDAILIE
Yesterday Tom Dewey led us to
our greatest victory. Waxey
Gordon had bribed and murdered
his way into virtual immunity,
but Tom developed the evidence
that brought him to justice.

        TOM
You should really thank those
two IRS agents in Philadelphia…

        MEDAILIE
The opera lost a great tenor
when Tom took up the law.
And the government will lose
a great prosecutor when he
returns to private practice…

The CROWD groans and pleads with Tom to stay, but Frances breaks through with two year old Tom Jr.

        FRANCES
Tom Senior, meet Tom Junior.
He may be a little shy. His
dad was only home for dinner
three times this year.

Somebody wheels out a HUGE CAKE. Frances hands him a CAKE KNIFE.

        FRANCES
C’mon take the oath.

        TOM
I solemnly swear I will
spend the rest of my life
raising my income and
lowering my handicap,
so help me God.

And cuts himself a huge slice as the crowd applauds. But off to the side, Medailie confides to an associate.

        MEDAILIE
He’ll be back.

        ASSOCIATE
He can make a lot more money
in private practice.

        MEDAILIE
Money won’t satisfy him. Tom
loves the spotlight. Give him
a case he knows he can win and
he’ll be back in a second.

APRIL 15, 1931

INT. NUOVA VILLA TAMARA. DAY

A WHITE-COATED WAITER wheels a dessert cart with a RUM CAKE toward a round table in the back where Charley and Joe Masseria are playing pinochle. Masseria slams the KING OF DIAMONDS on the table and crows triumphantly:

        MASSERIA
I trump you again, Charley.
How come they call you lucky?

        CHARLEY
‘Cause I’m workin’ for you, Don
Giuseppe.

EXT. NUOVA VILLA TAMARA. DAY

A SEDAN pulls up across the street. Meyer is in the front seat Benny, Anastasia and Genovese glare in the back. At the wheel is CIRO TERRANOVA, a heavy set young man who grips the wheel, his face clammy with sweat. Meyer checks his watch.

        MEYER
Two forty eight. Charley says
wait ‘till three on the dot.

        GENOVESE
Why we gotta have outsiders in
on this? Makes us look bad.

        ANASTASIA
I don’t know why Charley brought
you guys into this.

        BENNY
Maybe he wants guys who can
shoot straight.

        ANASTASIA
You wanna see how straight I
shoot?

        MEYER
Relax Albert, Charley wants
you guys to get the glory.
Nobody’ll know we were here.

INT. NUOVA VILLA TAMARA. DAY

Charley and Masseria play pinochle and talk business.

        CHARLEY
It’s a strong union down at
the docks, Joe, and it’s
mostly paisans. We could grab
it, easy. You got the docks,
you got the trucks. You got
the city by the throat.

        MASSERIA
Got ‘em by the throat. I
like that…Did you tell
Maranzano about this?

        CHARLEY
Would I be that stupid? This
union thing is just for you,
Don Giuseppe.

INT.SEDAN. DAY.

Meyer looks at his watch.

        MEYER
Three sharp…Go!

The three killers get out and walk casually across the street.

INT. NUOVA VILLA TAMARA. DAY

        CHARLEY
We should go at least fifty
fifty on the booze. My boys
bring it in,my boys sell it.
My boys collect…

        MASSERIA
Your whiskey belongs to me,
your boys belong to me, you
belong to me. You tell all
these young punks there’s one
boss in New York, Don Giuseppe
Masseria.

        CHARLEY
Take it easy, Joe… Whew…
(rises)
Now you made me so nervous I
gotta fa pisshare

Masseria roars with laughter.

        MASSERIA
And when you come back, I’m
gonna trump you again.

THE RESTAURANT DOOR

opens. Benny, Anastasia, and Genovese enter, relaxed and casual like friends looking for a table.

MASSERIA

blinks at them through a cloud of cigar smoke.

THE THREE MEN

approach the table, smiling. Then, stop and draw their revolvers.

MASSERIA

rises with a piteous shriek

        MASSERIA
Charley!

THE THREE MEN

fire calmly, methodically.

CUSTOMERS AND WAITERS

duck under tables, run screaming for the door.

IN THE MEN’S ROOM

Charley combs his hair calmly. When the SHOTS and SCREAMS subside, he steps outside, drying his hands.

IN THE DINING ROOM

Masseria is slumped over a blood soaked tablecloth. He looks at Charley with horror in his dying eyes. Then falls face first into the cake. His trump card, the ACE OF DIAMONDS, is still clutched in his hand. Charley shakes his head in all innocence.

        CHARLEY
Marrone. What happened?

INT. CARMINE’S RESTAURANT. NIGHT

A downtown hangout, festive and noisy. Charley threads his way among the tables,dodging WAITERS with enormous trays, waving and shaking hands like a politician. TWO HOODS step aside respectfully and usher him into a room where:

MARANZANO

is presiding at the head of a long table. He rises with an expansive smile.

        MARANZANO
Salvatore, figlio mio, viene
qui…Gentlemen, give Salvatore
and me one moment, please…

The men rise and file out, nodding with new respect at Charley. But as TOMMY LUCCHESE, a diminutive hood passes he whispers:

        LUCCHESE
I gotta talk to you, Charley.

Without acknowledging him, Charley moves to the head of the table where he receives an affectionate embrace from Maranzano.

        MARANZANO
It’s been two weeks, Salvatore.

        CHARLEY
I took a little vacation in
Miami. Wanted to make sure
none of Fat Joe’s boys was
holdin’ a grudge.

        MARANZANO
You did well…Slaughtered
the pig in his own slop. Who
did you use?

        CHARLEY
Good men, who are loyal to me.

        MARANZANO
Who were they?

        CHARLEY
I keep their loyalty by protecting
their names, Don Salvatore.
(offers him an envelope)
Here. You see the weekly take is
so much bigger now that is only
divided by two.

        MARANZANO
(hefts the envelope)
You took your piece out?

        CHARLEY
I’m runnin’ Masseria’s business.
I take my expenses.

        MARANZANO
You’re running Masseria’s business
for me, Salvatore. Every dollar
you make belongs to me. And I will
decide how much of my money I will
give to you.

Maranzano’s tone is gentle, but the threat is obvious. Charley quickly retreats.

        CHARLEY
Please accept my  apologies, Don
Salvatore. I wasn’t thinking.

        MARANZANO
You think all the time, Salvatore.
Maybe you think too much. I will
consider giving you a larger share
if you accept me as the boss of all
bosses. Come tomorrow and bring the
rest of the money. Come at three…

        CHARLEY
Three o’clock…

        MARANZANO
Don’t worry. I’ll be generous.

        CHARLEY
(kissing his hand)
I’ll be grateful for whatever you
give me, Don Salvatore.

He feels Maranzano’s eyes on him as he walks away.

INT. LANSKY BEDROOM. NIGHT.

A BABY’S CRIES pierce the night. PAN PAST an empty bed to a CRIB where Anne Lansky is trying to comfort her infant son, BUDDY.

INT. DINING ROOM. NIGHT.

Meyer is sitting around the dining room table with Benny, Charley Genovese and Anastasia. There is a tray of sandwiches, a pot of coffee…the room is thick with smoke.

        CHARLEY
Maranzano says he’s willing
to talk about giving me a big
slice of the Masseria family s
as long as I swear loyalty to
him.

        BENNY
And give him a piece of our
action.

Meyer jumps up as Anne enters carrying the shrieking baby.

        ANNE
He won’t shut up, Meyer.

        MEYER
Maybe he’s hungry…

        ANNE
No, he won’t take the breast…

        MEYER
Let’s get him out of here.
The smoke’ll kill him…

He takes Annie out and closes the french doors. There is a strained silence.

        ANASTASIA
How you gonna do business with
a guy who can’t control his
wife?

        CHARLEY
They’re havin’ trouble with
the baby, what do you want?

Meyer returns with a sheepish look.

        MEYER
Excuse the interruption. This
kid never stops cryin’…

        CHARLEY
Give him a spoonful of wine.
So what do you think, Meyer?

        MEYER
Why should Maranzano give you
anything?

        GENOVESE
A pledge of loyalty means a
lot to us.

        BENNY
You guys are so loyal you
can’t turn your backs on
each other for two minutes.

        MEYER
You’re too smart. You’re a
threat to him. He’ll let you
live until he finds somebody
to betray you. Somebody close
to you.

        CHARLEY
I knew you had some Sicilian
in you. You’re right on the
nose.
(with a cold look at Genovese)
I got information that I’m not
gonna walk away from that meeting
tomorrow, Vito.

        GENOVESE
(nervous)
Whaddya mean, Charley?

        CHARLEY
I hear Mad Dog’ Coll will be
waitin’ by a phone. As soon as
I show up Maranzano’s gonna call
him to come rub me out right in
his office.

        GENOVESE
Who told you this?

        CHARLEY
A guy who knows. A guy who says
Maranzano has offered the contract
to a few guys who are close to me.

        GENOVESE
(eyes averted)
So don’t go if it’s a trap.

        CHARLEY
Then Maranzano will know I got
a spy in his organization. Just
like he has a spy in mine. No,
I gotta get him first and it’s
gotta be tomorrow.

        ANASTASIA
Can’t get near him. He lives
behind stone walls

        GENOVESE
He don’t even take a piss
without ten bodyguards.
And he knows every trigger
man in town…

        MEYER
(correcting)
Every Italian trigger man…


Next: Part 16/Act 1(Con’t): Kill The Godfather

In a new department the Daily Event will reoffer some of these scripts. Read them and decide: would you like to have seen this movie?

Our first script is EMPIRES OF CRIME. Seven years in development it is a six part mini-series commissioned by a broadcast network and later reacquired by a cable station.

The story is about the founders of Organized Crime, Meyer Lansky, and “Lucky” Luciano, their fifty year partnership and the empire they created. Their friendships and families, lives and loves. It is also about their implacable enemy Thomas Dewey, a young Republican attorney who built a political career prosecuting the Mob that propelled him to the NY Governor’s Mansion and almost to the White House.

*For Introduction with submission guidelines go to Oct 13.  Use Contact Us, above, for submissions.

Movie You Will Never See/Part 2/Part 14

SPOILER ALERT!!! We jumped out of sequence and didn’t give Charlie a chance to get revenge. Please ignore Monday’s (Dec. 5) Part 14. Here is the continuation from End of Part 1 & 2/Part 13.

*For Introduction with submission guidelines go to Oct 13

*Heywood Gould is the author of 9 screenplays including “Rolling Thunder,”Fort Apache, The Bronx,”Boys From Brazil”and “Cocktail.”

EMPIRES OF CRIME /Part Three/Part 14

By Heywood Gould

PART II

ACT ONE


INT. WAREHOUSE.

Dark…Abandoned…Under a SPUTTERING WORK LIGHT, Charley hangs by his wrists from a METAL PIPE, Bulky SILHOUETTES mill in the darkness. Bruised and bleeding, Charley shouts,defiantly.

        CHARLEY
Come on out and show yourselves
Desgraciada, codardo.

A man stands in the shadows, cigar butt glowing, smoke curling like a wreath over his head. Charley screams at him:

        CHARLEY
You! Figlio de putana.

The man raises his hand. A SWITCH BLADE clicks open. He moves quickly and slashes a red ribbon across Charley’s face.

EXT. CAFE. NIGHT

HOODS sit on bridge chairs, smoking, playing cards. Suddenly, a SEDAN speeds down the narrow street and screeches to a halt. Benny and Charley Workman get out, hands in coat pockets.

        WORKMAN
Where’s Charley Luciano?

The hoods shake their heads and swear; “I don’t know.” Benny pulls a gun and grabs a man by his lapel,

        BENNY
Nobody knows nothin’, huh?

He slams him with the butt of his gun, while the others watch in fear. Charley Workman grabs another man by the throat, slamming him against a wall and Benny jams his gun up his nostrils..

        BENNY
Anything happens to Charley,
everything’s gonna happen to
you.

INT. L&S GARAGE. NIGHT

In the office a frantic POLICE LIEUTENANT is on the phone.

        LIEUTENANT
Call headquarters and put out
a general alarm. Send out all
cars…

Next to him, Meyer is on the phone with Jimmy Hines.

        MEYER
Jimmy, you gotta drop everything.
Get every cop in the city on this.

HINES

in his office (CROSSCUT)

        HINES
Who coulda done this, Meyer?
This is our town.

COSTELLO

is giving his hoods detailed instructions.

        COSTELLO
Stay close to Masseria. I
wanna know every move he
makes.

        HOOD
But what if he catches on,
Frank?

        COSTELLO
Make sure he don’t. This is
your chance to show whose side
you’re on..
(turns to the other Hood)
You…Find Maranzano and stay
in his pocket…

        MEYER
This is bad for all of us,
Frank. If they can snatch
Charley that’s tellin’ the
world they can do it to us,
too.

        COSTELLO
What if some cops grabbed him
for a payoff?

        LIEUTENANT
I swear, Frank, ain’t a cop
on the job who would harm a
hair on Charley’s head.

The Burly Blacksmith from Part One opens the door meekly.

        BLACKSMITH
Phone call, Mr. Lansky. Guy says
he wants to talk about Mr.
Luciano.

Meyer walks quickly into the garage followed by Costello and the Lieutenant. DRIVERS are unloading cases of LIQUOR from covered trucks. They stop and watch as he picks up the phone.

        MEYER
This is Lansky.

INT. WAREHOUSE. NIGHT.(CROSSCUT)

A MAN in the shadows. Behind him, under the light, Charley is hanging unconscious. The Man’s hoarse half Bronx half brogue accent is reminiscent of Mad Dog Coll, Maranzano’s hatchet man.

        MAN
Mr. Big Shot Lansky. We got
your Mr. Big Shot Luciano.

        MEYER
Who is this?

        MAN
Your mother’s uncle’s grandma’s
pet canary. A hundred G’s gets
him back in one piece. You hear
me?

        MEYER
I gotta make sure he’s okay.

        MAN
Just do what I tellya. I can
dump him dead or alive. Don’t
mean nothin’ to me.

        MEYER
(looks at Costello)
We got no choice, Frank.

EXT. HORSE’S NECK SALOON. DAY

A cab is idling in front of the bar. The DRIVER, collar up, hat over his eyes, stares straight ahead as a SEDAN pulls alongside. Benny leans out of and stares long and hard at the driver until his hands start to tremble on the wheel. Then flips a satchel into the back seat.

        BENNY
Okay, I got a good look.

And the sedan speeds away.

INT. WAREHOUSE. DAY.

Dawn. A pile of rags stirs in the gray light. It’s Charley, bleeding heavily from a gash over his eye.

EXT. HIGHLAND BOULEVARD. DAY.

The Staten Island warehouse district. Charley is staggering down the street as a RADIO CAR cruises up. TWO COPS rush out.

        COP
Hey, pal, what happened to
you?

        CHARLEY
Jealous husband…

And passes out.

EXT. STATEN ISLAND PRECINCT. DAY.

A convoy of SEDANS speeds up to this sleepy precinct. Out jump Meyer, Benny, Workman, Anastasia, Genovese and MOSES POLAKOFF, an elegant, arrogant attorney.. They rush past the astonished COPS.

INT. PRECINCT. DAY.

Where Polakoff approaches the DESK SERGEANT.

        POLAKOFF
I am Moses Polakoff, Mr. Luciano’s
attorney. I have here a release
signed by Chief Inspector Dolan
authorizing us to remove Mr.Luciano
to a private medical facility…

INT. OFFICE. NIGHT

Charley lies on a bench, under a pile of blankets. He waves weakly the boys enter.

        CHARLEY
Hey, the Cavalry finally showed
up.

        MEYER
(helping him up)
You okay? We’re gonna get you
a doctor.

        CHARLEY
Just get me a drink and a
cigarette.
(sees Benny)
Look at this bum comin’ to
my rescue.
(gives him a hug)
I won’t forget this. Anytime
you need anything…

        BENNY
Can you lend me thirty G’s?

        CHARLEY
I don’t love ya that much.

        MEYER
(laughing)
You’re okay…

EXT. BOCCE CAFE. NIGHT.

Under the lights, OLD ITALIANS play bocci ball. Charley, Meyer and Benny sit at a quiet table in the corner. Charley has his drink and cigarette. A BANDAGE covers half his face.

        CHARLEY
It was Maranzano. I couldn’t
see him, but I smelled his
cheap cigar

        MEYER
A lotta guys smoke cigars,
Charley.

        CHARLEY
It was him. See he gets that
crazy mick to grab me so it’ll
look like a snatch. Like the
great Charley Luciano can’t
protect himself so I lose
respect on the street.

        MEYER
Then we gotta get the respect
back. Take him out. Make you
the boss.

        CHARLEY
Not now. We gotta move slow.

        BENNY
Slow like a bullet.

        MEYER
You’re our horse in this race,
Charley. You gotta come in first
or we all lose.

        CHARLEY
Look, you guys are new to this.
We been playin’ this game in
Sicily a thousand years. You
see the way he cut me? That’s
what they do to troublemakers
in the old country. Give ‘em a
scar so they know who the boss
is.

        MEYER
So what do we do about it?

        CHARLEY
You don’t do nothin’. I go back
every week. Give him his envelope,
kiss his hand like nothin’ happened…
Take care of Fat Joe…

        BENNY
Why do a job for this bum?

        CHARLEY
It ain’t for him. See how this
guy plays bocce?

A BOCCE PLAYER

bowls a ball down the pitch. It knocks one ball into another.

        CHARLEY
He knocks one ball into another,
knocks’em both out of his way and
rolls right in to first place.
Well, that’s what we’re gonna do.
Just like them balls them crums
won’t know what hit ‘em.

INT. FEDERAL COURT. DAY

NEWSREEL CAMERAS TURN, SPECTATORS lean forward eagerly as jury foreman LEE SMITH, a portly distinguished man rises to deliver the verdict. At the PROSECUTION TABLE, Tom Dewey, dressed in black with a pencil thin black mustache, seems calm enough, but he has a white knuckled grip on the arms of his chair. At the DEFENSE TABLE, Waxey Gordon stares balefully at the foreman. Smith glares back as he announces:

        SMITH
We find the defendant, Herman
Wexler guilty on all counts.

The courtroom explodes. Lawyers congratulate Tom. Medailie shakes his hand, grinning broadly. REPORTERS rush in for a statement. Judge McCook gavels for silence.

        MCCOOK
I want to congratulate you, Mr.
Dewey. Never in this court has
such fine work been done by IRS
agents and government attorneys.
You have struck a crippling blow
against organized crime in this
city.

OCTOBER 1929

INT. THEATER. NIGHT

On screen a NEWSREEL. The MARKET CRASHES…BREAD LINES…PRESIDENT HERBERT HOOVER makes a speech,promising to get the country out of this “temporary setback.” RAGGED MEN, huddle around a trash fire.

CHARLEY is watching with Gay Orlova.

        NEWSCASTER
They call them the forgotten men.
They fought for their country in
the Great War, but now they don’t
even have the price of a meal…

        CHARLEY
But they got enough to buy a
drink…

ON SCREEN

WAXEY GORDON is escorted handcuffed out of the COURTHOUSE.

        NEWSCASTER
In New York beer baron Waxey
Gordon was brought to justice
by crusading prosecutor Thomas
E. Dewey…

Charley snorts as Tom appears on screen, waving to the CAMERA and whispers confidentially to Gay

        CHARLEY
Meyer fixed that case with
the IRS to get Dewey out of
our hair.

        GAY
(impressed)
Wow, Charley…

        CHARLEY
That crum’ll never know who
handed him his big victory…

INT. MARANZANO’S OFFICE. DAY.

Charley watches as Maranzano counts money out of one envelope.

        CHARLEY
That’s the shylock loans from
the Garment Center. These guys
always need money to keep the
factories goin’ and we’re the
only ones with cash in these
hard times.
(hands him another envelope)
This is the downtown collections
from all the speakeasies.

        MARANZANO
No records, no books?

        CHARLEY
Meyer keeps the books. I do
business outta my hat.

        MARANZANO
I would feel better with Lucchese
or Bonnano in your hat with you.

        CHARLEY
Meyer won’t cheat us. I trust
him with my life.

        MARANZANO
As long as you understand that
he is an outsider. You know we
are like priests in our thing.
We take a vow of omerta. Of
silence…

        CHARLEY
I’m as silent as a tomb.

        MARANZANO
You’ve told Masseria nothing about
me..?

        CHARLEY
You know I haven’t. Your spies
woulda told you by now.

        MARANZANO
You are a clever man, Salvatore.
In this country of imbecili it
is always a pleasure to speak
to you. But clever words are
hollow without brave deeds.

        CHARLEY
Your example has given me the
courage Don Salvatore. You can
look forward to good news very
soon.

        MARANZANO
(extends his hands)
I’m overjoyed and full of
gratitude.

        CHARLEY
(as they hug)
I’m the one who should be
grateful. I’ve learned a
lot from you, Don Salvatore.
I want you to be assured
of my eternal loyalty.

        MARANZANO
I trust you completely, Salvatore.
You’re like a son to me.
(walks him to the door))
They say he who conquers New York
can rule the world. Like Caesar
ruled Rome. Will you join my
campaign?

In the doorway, in full view of MARANZANO’S MEN they embrace.

        CHARLEY
It will be my honor to march
beside you Don Salvatore.

He walks away, his servile smile twisting into a look of scorn.

END

Next: Part 15/Act 1 Con’t: Taking Over

In a new department the Daily Event will reoffer some of these scripts. Read them and decide: would you like to have seen this movie?

Our first script is EMPIRES OF CRIME. Seven years in development it is a six part mini-series commissioned by a broadcast network and later reacquired by a cable station.

The story is about the founders of Organized Crime, Meyer Lansky, and “Lucky” Luciano, their fifty year partnership and the empire they created. Their friendships and families, lives and loves. It is also about their implacable enemy Thomas Dewey, a young Republican attorney who built a political career prosecuting the Mob that propelled him to the NY Governor’s Mansion and almost to the White House.

*For Introduction with submission guidelines go to Oct 13.  Use Contact Us, above, for submissions.