drug dangers


Monthly Archive for January, 2012

Movies You Will Never See/Empires of Crime/Part 28

*For Introduction with submission guidelines go to Oct 13

For easy access to the beginning of the script and older excerpts go to the homepage.

*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

HOUR V

ACT FOUR


EXT. BRITISH MILITARY AIRPORT. NIGHT.

A SCOUT PLANE waits in the runway. TWO AMERICAN OFFICERS watch as Charley, elegant in overcoat and fedora walks out of the fog with a mock salute.

        CHARLEY
Private Luciano, reportin’
for duty.

        CAPTAIN
We brought you a uniform,
Mr. Luciano. If you’re
caught in civilian clothes
you’ll be shot as a spy.

        CHARLEY
If I’m caught it’ll be
because Vito double crossed
me. And I’m a dead man no
matter what I’m wearin’.

EXT. SICILIAN AIR STRIP. DAY

Charley and the officers run to a waiting SEDAN. Charley stops to tie his yellow and black handkerchief around the antenna.

INT. SEDAN. DAY

Driven by a LOCAL MAN. Charley and the officers are in the back with cartons of “gifts”—cigarettes, whiskey, nylons, etc. As the sedan rattles down the bumpy road, MORTAR and SMALL ARMS fire crackle in the distance.

        CHARLEY
This is like runnin’ booze
in the old days.

Suddenly, a bullet crashes thorough the window. They hit the floor.

THE SEDAN

swerves off the road into a ditch. The driver jumps out and runs into the woods. A PARTISAN PATROL, young men armed with old CARBINES comes out of the trees.

        CHARLEY
I thought Vito’s people had
the roads.

        CAPTAIN
Must be partisans, Italian
resistance. They’ve been
fighting the Germans for
years…

        PARTISAN
Out. Leave your weapons in
the car.

They get out, hands in the air. Charley grabs a few cartons of cigarettes.

        CAPTAIN
We have safe conduct from
Mayor Vizzini.

        PARTISAN
(ignores him)
You’re Luciano. Vizzini
bragged that the famous
American gangster was
coming to beg for his
help.

        CHARLEY
(mutters to the officers)
Some secret mission we got
here…
(to the Partisan)
Comin’ to give him a chance
to save his neck.

        PARTISAN
There are plenty of pigs in
Italy. Why save this one?

        CHARLEY
It’s like that, huh? Can we
talk alone, my friend?

        PARTISAN
(looks longingly at the
cigarettes)
You can’t bribe me.

        CHARLEY
Who’s bribin’? I’m a heavy
smoker.

He turns to the officers.

        CHARLEY
Stay outta trouble for
awhile…

And follows the Partisan into the woods.

EXT. ROAD. DAY

A short time later. The two officers are leaning against the sedan, surrounded by rifle toting Partisans. Charley and the Partisan leader walk out of the woods, smoking. They shake hands. As Charley walks over to the officer, their driver reappears and jumps behind the wheel.

        CHARLEY
Let’s go, we got work to
do.

INT. SEDAN. DAY

As it drives away Charley points out the window at the Partisans.

        CHARLEY
The kid’s got fifty fighters
up there in the mountains
and more joinin’ every day.
He says Vizzini was a
fascist stool pigeon. He
shook the people down and
when they didn’t come
across he gave them up to
the Germans. Says his boys
know every German pillbox,
but won’t tell us nothin’
if we’re with Vizzini. Says
the people hate him and
won’t cooperate…

EXT. VILLAGE. DAY

The Sedan drives in to the village square where a DELEGATION of ARMED MEN. Charley points to a fat man waddling out of a cafe.

        CHARLEY
Betcha that’s him. Fat slob.
Stuffin’ his pockets, stuffin’
his face…

But he gets out with a crocodile smile.

        CHARLEY
Don Carlo Vizzini…

        VIZZINI
(a bigger, falser smile)
Don Salvatore Lucania…
Welcome…

        CHARLEY
Don Carlo,do me the honor…

He offers his yellow and black handkerchief to Vizzini, who proffers an ornate RED HANDKERCHIEF in return.

        VIZZINI
Please accept this, Don
Salvatore…

        CHARLEY
Old Sicilian custom boys.

INT. CAFE. DAY

Dark, shuttered. The officers are bringing in cartons of cigarettes, cases of whiskey, candy, nylons, etc. Charley offers Vizzini a package of nylons.

        CHARLEY
Nylon stockings, Don Carlo.
A nice present for your wife.
Or maybe you have a…niece…

        VIZZINI
(with a wink)
A niece yes…A very pretty
young niece.

        CHARLEY
When our soldiers come
you’ll have storehouses
full of nylons and perfume.
Enough to make a hundred
nieces happy…

        VIZZINI
Ask anyone. I’ve fought the
fascists for years. I’ve been
waiting for this moment of
liberation…

        CHARLEY
Word of your courage reached
us in America. But I was
hoping to see my old friend
and gumbare Vito Genovese.

        GENOVESE
(o.s.)
Maybe he don’t wanna see
you.

        CHARLEY
(jumps up)
I’d know those golden tones
anywhere…Vito!

Genovese comes out of the shadows, arms outstretched They embrace, patting each other on the back as if trying to find a soft spot to stick the knife.

        GENOVESE
Charley, what a sight for
sore eyes. When I heard you
were comin’ I says I gotta
go down and find out what
Charley’s up to in my neck
of the woods.

        CHARLEY
Glad you didn’t bring the
Gestapo.

        GENOVESE
Would I sandbag my old pal?

Vizzini offers three glasses of wine.

        VIZZINI
A little vino, Signori?

        CHARLEY
Wine for breakfast. I’m back
in the old country. Whaddya
say, Vito, let’s drink to
the winnin’ side…

        GENOVESE
The old red, white and blue.

They clink glasses. Now it’s time to do business. Genovese walks Charley to a table in a dark corner.

        GENOVESE
Carlo, bring us two black
coffees…

They sit, light cigarettes and stare at each other.

        GENOVESE
American agents have been
reachin’ out to me for a
year. Every time I go to
Istanbul somebody contacts
me. They know I run things…

        CHARLEY
You don’t run them Partisans
who stuck us up outside of
town.

        GENOVESE
Young punks with no muscle.

        CHARLEY
That’s what they said about
us too, remember?

        GENOVESE
They sent you all the way
over here to talk to me.
Don’t that show how big I
am? Tell’em I won’t do
nothin’ unless they
straighten out my little
problem in New York…

        CHARLEY
From now on you ain’t givin’
orders, Vito, you’re takin’
‘em. A million soldiers like
those boys are comin’ over.
And if that’s not enough
they’ll send a million more.
Them goosesteppin’ pansies
are a thing of the past.
This time next year you’ll
be on the lam. Our boys’ll
hunt you down like a dog.
Bring you back to New York
in chains, that is if you
don’t fall outta the plane
on the way over. When they
finish makin’ a clown outta
you for the newsreels
they’ll lock you up and
throw away the key.

        GENOVESE
(humbled)
If they gimme a little kiss
I might like ‘em better.

        CHARLEY
Hey one hand still washes
the other. They’ll let you
run your rackets. But you
try to play both ends
they’ll kill you on the
spot.

        GENOVESE
Okay, Charley. I went with
you once before and I did
pretty good.

        CHARLEY
Pretty good. You wouldn’t
be sittin’ here today if
you’d have stayed with
Maranzano.
(points across the room)
That fat slob remind you of
somebody?

VIZZINI

is gorging himself on American candy bars…

        GENOVESE
You tell me.

        CHARLEY
Another guy whose eyes were
bigger than his stomach.
Don Giuseppe Masseria.

        GENOVESE
(understands)
This guy pulls a lot of
weight, Charley.

        CHARLEY
Dead weight. This’ll be a
good way to show people
who’s boss, Vito. A good
way to make points with my
guys. A good thing all
around.

EXT. CAFE. DAY

Late afternoon. The officers wait impatiently by the sedan. Charley, Genovese and Vizzini emerge arm in arm, smiling broadly. Genovese splits off and goes to speak to a few of Vizzini’s men.

        CAPTAIN
We’ve got a plane to catch,
Mr. Luciano

        CHARLEY
These things take time,
boys…You see what I mean
Don Carlo? In Sicily the
armies come and go, but the
men of honor are always here.

        VIZZINI
One thing Hitler says is
true: the superior men rule
the world. Like you, my
friend.

        CHARLEY
And you, Don Carlo..
(kisses him on the cheeks)
Good bye for now. We will
see each other on the day
of victory.

        VIZZINI
The day of victory…

Charley walks toward the sedan.

Suddenly:

THREE OF VIZZINI’S MEN

step out and fire in unison at Vizzini. He crumples and they wave, shouting: “Viva L’America…”

THE OFFICERS

are stunned.

        CHARLEY
Chalk it up boys. First
allied victory in Italy.
(grabs the Driver)
You tell your boss he owes
me a favor. Let’s go, I
wanna be back in New York
in time for the first race
at Belmont.

EXT. AMERICAN AIRSTRIP. NIGHT.

Haffenden is waiting as Charley walks down the gangplank.

        CHARLEY
Where’s the band? Newsreel
boys?

        HAFFENDEN
C’mon we’ve got a stop to
make.

EXT. WATERFRONT TENEMENT. NIGHT.

Across from the docks. Charley and Haffenden sit in the back seat watching SAILORS  go in and out. Charley sighs, regretfully, and opens the door.

        CHARLEY
I knew it was gonna be
this way.

INT.BROTHEL. NIGHT.

Drunken SAILORS, LOUD MUSIC, A frowzy MADAM directs Charley down a dark hallway.

INT.ROOM. NIGHT

Nancy Presser, haggard, heavily made up, is on a rickety metal cot under the harsh light of a naked bulb, reading the war news.

        NANCY
C’mon in, honey, I’ll be
right with you…
(looks up and cowers in
fright)
Charley!

        CHARLEY
Don’t be scared, Nancy,
everything’s okay. I just
dropped in to say hello
for old time’s sake.

        NANCY
I deserve a beatin’ or
worse after what I done
to you.

        CHARLEY
(sits on the bed)
Who’d wanna hurt a sweet
kid like you?

        NANCY
Dewey talked so fast he
made my head hurt, Charley.
He twisted everything
around. He made me hate you
and you were always so good
to me.

        CHARLEY
You were killin’ yourself
with dope and I didn’t do
nothin’ to help you. You
had no reason to stand up
for me.

        NANCY
(bitter)
Dewey talked about savin’
my soul, gettin’ me back
with my mother. But when
the trial was over he
dropped me like a hot
potato.

        CHARLEY
He used you like I did. A
girl like you can’t catch
a break. Anyhow, I heard
you were doin’ good.

        NANCY
For a while. Me and Flo
and Jenny had a lunch wagon
in Glendale. Stayed clean
for a year and a half. Then
some guy started hangin’
around. Gave me a fix. Two
weeks later I was back in
the life like nothin’ ever
happened.

        CHARLEY
You gotta go somewhere,
take care of yourself,
kiddo.

        NANCY
After the war I will. I’ll
straighten out and make it
stick. Right now I feel
like I’m doin’ my bit for
the boys in uniform.

        CHARLEY
They never had it so good.
(offers her a wad of bills)
Here soldier, keep your
strength up.

        NANCY
Jeeze Charley, that’s a
lot. Hope I don’t spend it
all on dope.

Suddenly overcome, he hugs her.

        CHARLEY
You poor kid…That first
night I met you. Little
fresh faced kid. I shoulda
smacked you in the ass and
given you a bus ticket back
home.

        NANCY
I wouldn’t have gone,
Charley. I liked the bright
lights.

        CHARLEY
You and me, we’re gonna
win this war. Then we’ll
get together. We’ll be
happy.

        NANCY
Yeah, Charley. This time
we’ll be happy.

They embrace. They know it will never happen.


Next:Part 29/Act 4 (CON’T):Dewey Does The Right Thing

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 27

*For Introduction with submission guidelines go to Oct 13

For easy access to the beginning of the script and older excerpts go to the homepage.

*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

HOUR V

ACT THREE

EXT. PIER 31. NIGHT

A TUG cuts its engines and floats in under cover of darkness.

        HAFFENDEN
(v.o.)
Johnny Dunne’s sources told
us that this one tug boat
captain had been flashing a
big roll. The night of the
13th, they waited for it to
come back to port.

THREE MEN hop nimbly off the boat and are about to melt away when the DOCK LIGHTS come on. A GROUP OF LONGSHOREMEN led by Johnny Dunne rush out and overpower them.

        HAFFENDEN
The tug had made contact
with a U Boat beyond the
twelve mile limit and
picked up three German
spies..Under interrogation
they revealed the details
of another operation and we
grabbed six Nazi saboteurs
off Montauk the next week…

INT. WATERFRONT DIVE. NIGHT

Smoky, noisy. SOLDIERS, SAILORS and BAR GIRLS. A SOBER MAN in the place sits quietly at the bar watching several OLDER MEN in suits who definitely don’t belong enter a back room, guarded by TWO BURLY BOUNCERS.

        HAFFENDEN
Last month Socks Lanza told
us about a bar that was
being used as a front to
move counterfeit money…

HAFFENDEN

in civilian clothes, enters with several AGENTS. The Sober man slides off his stool, a LEAD PIPE protruding from his sleeve. He moves quickly to the door and “pipes” the bouncers, just as Haffenden and his men arrive.

        HAFFENDEN
We hit a Nazi propaganda
operation.

Guns drawn they break through the door into a PRINTING PLANT and surprise a GROUP OF MEN.

        HAFFENDEN
A mail drop and communicat-
ions center for agents in
the field.

INT.GOVERNOR’S OFFICE. DAY

Haffenden reports enthusiastically to Dewey, who listens skeptically, while looking over the reports.

        HAFFENDEN
We seized two hundred thousand
in counterfeit bills and got
leads on Nazi cells in
Minneapolis and San Diego…

        TOM
(sarcastic)
I see you’re calling it
Operation Underworld…
Catchy name for the press?

        HAFFENDEN
This operation is top secret
and will stay that way.

        TOM
Not planning to put Luciano
up for the Congressional
Medal?

        HAFFENDEN
No, but I must admit the
operation is surpassing
our expectations. Luciano
runs the mob with an iron
hand…

        TOM
I know, that’s why he’s
in jail. I’m afraid that
like everyone else you’re
falling for his fabled
charm,Commander. And like
everyone else he’s taking
advantage of you.

He pushes a stack of SURVEILLANCE PHOTOS across the desk and in mounting indignation:

        TOM
Luciano getting out of
a Navy sedan with Gay
Orlova…Military business?…
Luciano meeting Meyer Lansky
outside Bernstein’s Delicatessen…
Exchanging intelligence?Luciano
in a private room at Celano’s
Restaurant. Did you know that
Celano’s was Luciano’s private
meeting place where he gave out
murder contracts among other
patriotic activities?

        HAFFENDEN
With all due respect Governor,
Luciano is a key asset in an
important military operation.

        TOM
This man is a murderer, a
drug dealer and a pimp
convicted and sentenced
under the laws of New York
State. And you are allowing
him to go out and continue
to run his operation. You
keep him in his cell and
treat him like every other
convict, or I’ll take him
away from you. Is that
clear, Commander?

        HAFFENDEN
Yes sir, very clear

INT. CHARLEY’S CELL. DAY

It’s been converted into a war room. MAPS line the walls, NAVY OFFICERS confer the with MOBSTERS, taking notes, placing pins in strategic locations. Haffenden is on the phone with Washington.

        HAFFENDEN
I’m sending a courier to
the War Department with a
package of maps and
intelligence reports we’ve
picked up from our under-
world sources.

Charley in a PEA JACKET and SHIP’S CAP and  comes in with VINCE MANGANO, a defiant Brooklyn mobster in tow. Haffenden waves, angrily.

        HAFFENDEN
I think you’ll be able to
use their information…
Good bye sir…
(hangs up)
Where the hell were you?

        CHARLEY
The cell door was open so
I just went out for some
fresh air. I put on the
jacket and cap and walked
right by Dewey’s guys…

        HAFFENDEN
I could get in big trouble
for this…

        CHARLEY
I had to go, Red. See, I
been tryin’ to get my
friend here to come see
you, but he stays in
Brooklyn and don’t know
the subways so good so I
had to go get him
personally, you know what
I mean. Commander Haffenden,
say hello to Vincent Mangano.

        HAFFENDEN
(rises respectfully)
How do you do, sir.

        CHARLEY
Mr. Mangano got a nephew
who’s in jail for selling
forged ration cards. Can
we help him out?

        HAFFENDEN
(playing along)
Maybe. If he helps us.

        CHARLEY
Mr. Mangano’s also got an
uncle who was kicked outta
Sicily by Mussolini.

        HAFFENDEN
We can help him go home.

        CHARLEY
I don’t know if he wants
to go. Right now he’s
smugglin’ American
cigarettes into Sicily,
right Vince?

        MANGANO
Charley, I can’t do this…

        CHARLEY
(with a shove)
What’s the matter, ain’t
you proud of your family?
Tell him, Vince.

        MANGANO
(hesitant)
Yeah…He sells ‘em to the
German Army. They pay in
dollars.

        HAFFENDEN
(astounded)
Wait a minute. We can’t get
American cigarettes in this
country and your uncle’s
selling them to the Nazis?

        MANGANO
Coca Cola, too. My uncle
sends three boats across
two, three times a month.
About a thousand cases…
Saltines, Hershey bars…

        HAFFENDEN
(incredulous)
Hershey bars! That’s the
last straw.

        CHARLEY
Funny things happen in a
war, huh Red. Tell him how
he gets the goods, Vince.

        MANGANO
Buys’ em from the British
quartermaster in Egypt,
who gets ‘em from the
American Army supply depot
in Liverpool. Trucks ‘em
behind enemy lines to
Tunisia, then sails ‘em
across.

        HAFFENDEN
How does he get by the
German naval patrols?

        MANGANO
He knows every rock on the
coast. He’s got coves where
you can hide a fleet.
Fishing villages where his
uncles and cousins are the
Mayors and the local
carabinieri.

Haffenden looks in amazement at Charley.

        HAFFENDEN
We’ve tried every way to
sneak guys into Sicily.
The Germans keep catching
them.

        CHARLEY
Still mad at me, Red.
(prods Mangano)
Vincent, can your uncle
smuggle a boatload of our
commandos into Sicily?

        MANGANO
You’d have to pay him the
same money he gets for a
load of smokes.

        HAFFENDEN
Fair enough.

        MANGANO
And what about my nephew?

        HAFFENDEN
You land our guys on enemy
territory, we’ll take good
care of your nephew…

INT. YETTA’S APARTMENT. NIGHT.

In the LIVING ROOM Buddy and Richard are playing gin. Meyer stands over them, kibitzing the game. As Richard discards a card:

        BUDDY
You already gave me a
king..

        RICHARD
I know what I’m doing…

At the sound of a CRASH, Meyer looks anxiously toward the KITCHEN where Teddy is meeting Yetta for the first time.

INT. KITCHEN. NIGHT

Dressed to kill and obviously uncomfortable in the kitchen, Teddy has dropped a plate of soup on the floor. She drops to her knees with dishrag.

        TEDDY
Oy, I’m such a klutz.

        YETTA
Leave it, Teddy, you’ll spoil
your dress.

        TEDDY
I’m not very good in the
kitchen.

        YETTA
I can see. Well in Miami
you don’t have to worry.
There’s so many places to
eat…

Meyer steps in anxious to smooth things over.

        MEYER
I finally got Mom to come
down here last year.

        YETTA
Why leave our friends? So
you go to a fancy building
and everybody says good
morning Mrs. Lansky and
then they put the evil eye
on you…

        MEYER
C’mon Ma, that wouldn’t
happen.

        YETTA
People are jealous of Maier,
but they’re afraid.. So
they smile and say hello,
but they curse him in their
hearts. And his family, too.

IN THE LIVING ROOM

Buddy slams down his cards.

        BUDDY
Gin!
(gleefully marking the score)
That’s double boxes…

        RICHARD
Your father told you what
to do…

        BUDDY
He did not.

        RICHARD
Did too..

He pokes at Buddy’s braces.

        BUDDY
Ow! That hurts…

        RICHARD
That’s what you get for
cheatin’.

IN THE KITCHEN

Yetta puts the soup plates on a tray.

        YETTA
So tell me, Teddy, how does
a poor girl get so lucky
that she doesn’t have to
cook?

        TEDDY
I was a showgirl. Lived
off a hot plate on the
road.

        YETTA
Showgirl? So you knew a
lot of men.

        MEYER
That’s not nice, ma…

        TEDDY
She’s right, Meyer…I met
a lot of men, Mrs. Lansky,
but I never let anyone take
advantage of me.

        YETTA
(with a shrewd look)
I bet you didn’t. Don’t
let Maier take advantage
either like he did to poor
Annie…

        MEYER
Oy Ma, don’t bring that up
again…

        TEDDY
Stay out of this, Meyer.
You’re worried about your
grandchildren, Mrs. Lansky.
I don’t blame you. But I
promise  I will treat any
child of Meyer’s as one of
my own.
(with an affectionate poke
at Meyer)
And as for this bum. I’ll
keep him in line.

        YETTA
(pats her hand)
You’re a smart girl, Teddy.
You know how to talk to an
old lady. This girl won’t
take no nonsense, Maier.
You’d better be nice to
her or you’ll hear from me…

Meyer gives Teddy a big hug, happy she’s passed the test.

         MEYER
Don’t worry, ma, I’ll
spoil her rotten.

INT.CONFERENCE ROOM. DAY

Charley and Haffenden watch a flickering SURVEILLANCE FILM.

        CHARLEY
Got any popcorn back
there?

        HAFFENDEN
Recognize this guy,
Charley?

ON SCREEN

Genovese is greeting several MEN IN FEZES.

        CHARLEY
Vito Genovese. Where’d
he end up?

        HAFFENDEN
Istanbul. Vito’s on a
shopping trip for his
good friend, Count Ciano,
Mussolin’s son in law.
Guess what he’s buying?

        CHARLEY
If I know Vito, it’s small
packages and big profits.

        HAFFENDEN
Cocaine. He supplies the
whole Mussolini family.
Makes one trip a month
in an Italian Air Force
plane.

        CHARLEY
You gotta hand it to
Vito. He always lands
on his feet…

ON SCREEN A PHOTO…A portly mustachioed man in black,

        HAFFENDEN
This is Don Carlo Vizzini,
Mayor of Messina. He’s
Genovese’s liaison with a
network of small town
mayors, former gangsters
who work for the fascists.

        CHARLEY
I knew a guy looked just
like him. Fat Joe
Masseria

        HAFFENDEN
Genovese’s people control
roads and coastal villages
from Sicily to Rome. They
have connections through
their smuggling rings to
the Italian and German High
Command. We need their help.

        CHARLEY
Vito won’t do nothin’
unless you fix his murder
rap.

        HAFFENDEN
You can persuade him.

        CHARLEY
Get him on the phone.

        HAFFENDEN
He’s not taking our calls…

        CHARLEY
(it dawns on him)
You want me to go to
Sicily?

        HAFFENDEN
Look, we don’t have a lot
of intelligence on the
ground. We have to know
where the Germans are
deployed, how good the
roads are, who’ll be on
our side and who won’t.
We want to put saboteurs
and spies and assassins
in place behind enemy
lines before the invasion.

        CHARLEY
If Dewey finds out about
this you’ll be on a row
boat peelin’ potatoes…

        HAFFENDEN
I like potatoes. Anyway,
Dewey won’t find out.
This is between you and
the Navy.

        CHARLEY
How do I get there?

        HAFFENDEN
We’ll fly you in and out.
We can send word through
Vince Mangano’s uncle that
you’re coming.

        CHARLEY
What’s my choice? If I
do this I could  get
killed. If I don’t you
send me back to Clinton
to do my fifty years and
I might as well be dead.

        HAFFENDEN
This is strictly voluntary,
Charley, I mean it. There’ll
be no punishment if you turn
it down.

        CHARLEY
You’re smart, you’re
playin’ on my pride.
But this don’t come
free. I know you can’t
make deals, but you can
make a personal promise.

        HAFFENDEN
I’ll do anything in my power…

        CHARLEY
I want you to find a girl
for me. Nancy Presser,
you know her?

        HAFFENDEN
I know who she is..

        CHARLEY
I want her waitin’ for
me when I get back…
If I get back.

END ACT THREE
Next:Part 28/Act 4:Secret Mission

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 26

*For Introduction with submission guidelines go to Oct 13

For easy access to the beginning of the script and older excerpts go to the homepage.

*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

HOUR V

ACT TWO


EXT. CENTRAL PARK.NIGHT.

In the dead of a cold winter’s night. Meyer and Polakoff turn down a narrow lane.

        POLAKOFF
They contacted me because I
was a Naval officer in the
last war, They’re desperate,
Meyer.

        MEYER
They must be if they’re
reaching out to us.

Haffenden rises from a bench as Meyer and Polakoff approach.

        POLAKOFF
Lieutenant Commander Haffenden,
Meyer Lansky.

        HAFFENDEN
Thanks for coming, Mr. Lansky.
Did Mo, tell you why we wanted
you to speak to you?

        MEYER
He said you guys were in big
trouble and needed a favor.

        HAFFENDEN
Well, I wouldn’t go that far…

        POLAKOFF
It’s too cold and the situat-
ion is too urgent to mince
words, Red. Commander Haffenden
is in charge of security for
the Port of New York, Meyer,
but he can’t control the docks
and needs your help. Isn’t that
right, Red?

        HAFFENDEN
In a nutshell, Mo.

        POLAKOFF
Good. Now that we’ve cleared
the air, I’ll be going. I
don’t want to be a witness
to this conversation. Good
night…

As he walks away…

        MEYER
Watch out you don’t get
mugged, Mo.
(and turns to Haffeneden)
What’s your problem,
Commander?

        HAFFENDEN
Hundreds of ships move in
and out of New York Harbor
every day carrying top
secret cargo.The docks are
a strategic area and must
be secure against enemy
penetration. But we’ve
had sabotage. Longshoremen
refusing to unload military
ships. Theft and vandalism…

        MEYER
I sympathize, but I’m not
associated with the Longshore-
man’s Union…

        HAFFENDEN
You’re associated with Albert
Anastasia.

        MEYER
Wrong pew, pal. He don’t take
orders from me.

        HAFFENDEN
Look, I’m not a cop. This is
a military uniform. I need
help, no questions asked.

        LANSKY
Okay…What can I do for you?

        HAFFENDEN
I need to move freely on the
docks. I need union cards and
cover jobs for my agents.
Intelligence on all traffic in
and out of the port. I want to
plant bugs and wiretaps on
certain individuals we suspect
are working for the enemy. Of
course I don’t expect this to
be free…

        MEYER
(bristles)
I’m an American just like
you. You think I’ll take a
payoff while our boys are
being shot down in the
Pacific? I’m a Jew. You think
I’m rootin’ for Hitler?

        HAFFENDEN
I know people like you expect
some quid pro quo…

        MEYER
You don’t know nothin’ about
people like me… If you
really wanna control the
docks there’s only one man
to talk to…Charley Luciano.

        HAFFENDEN
(beginning to understand)
And how do I get to him?

        MEYER
Ask Governor Dewey, he’ll
tell you…

INT. GOVERNOR’S OFFICE. DAY

Large and imposing. Dewey sits almost dwarfed behind an oaken desk, seething as Haffenden makes his presentation at a COASTAL MAP.

        HAFFENDEN
We have hundreds of miles
of unprotected coast line.
You can see how vulnerable
we are.

        TOM
Of course I can. What I
don’t see is why we have
to deal with gangsters to
protect out vital interests…
Why don’t we just declare
Martial Law? I’ll send my
State Troopers, you send in
your Shore Patrol and we’ll
drive them out.

        HAFFENDEN
We can’t occupy part of
America as if it were enemy
territory. We can’t treat
American longshoremen as
enemy agents.

        TOM
This is just a trick to get
Luciano out of jail. I
wouldn’t be surprised if
they had burnt down the
Normandie themselves.

        HAFFENDEN
If they did that’s just
another reason deal with
them.

        TOM
They’ve been looking for a
way to spring him for six
years. They tried bribery,
intimidation. They tracked
my witnesses down and got
them to recant their
testimony. Called me a liar,
a suborner of perjury. Said
I framed Luciano to advance
my political career. Now
they’re using the war.

        HAFFENDEN
I have no illusions about
Luciano. But if he can be
useful to us, if he can help
us save one life then it is
our moral obligation to do
business with him.

        TOM
You’re right, of course.
But there’s a political
angle to this. I’ve
convinced people that I’ve
driven the Mob out of New
York.  And now I’ll have to
acknowledge that the harbor
is totally under their control.

        HAFFENDEN
This is just as embarrassing
to the Navy as it is to you,
Governor. That’s why it’s top
secret. No one will ever know
what happened here.

INT. CHARLEY’S CELL. DAY

The walls are plastered with MAPS of Europe and Asia. There are little GREEN TACKS showing the disposition of American troops. A RADIO is tuned to the latest news. Charley is cutting articles out of the paper while Haffenden studies the maps.

        HAFFENDEN
I see you keep up to date on
the war news.

        CHARLEY
I change the map every day.
See those blue tacks in the
Pacific. That’s our Navy
comin’ on strong. We’re
gonna beat the crap outta
them Japs.

        HAFFENDEN
You’re a real patriot, Mr.
Luciano.

        CHARLEY
(wary)
I love my country, but I
ain’t a crum. If I go into
battle I want a medal.

        HAFFENDEN
Medals go to those who perform
above and beyond the call of
duty.

        CHARLEY
Medals go to the guys who
do favors for the bosses.
Dewey in on this?

        HAFFENDEN
Governor Dewey has given me
permission to ask you for
help, but not to offer any
concessions.

        CHARLEY
What if I say no concessions,
no deal?

        HAFFENDEN
Then I go away and you rot
in jail.

        CHARLEY
And Dewey gets a black mark.
People will say ‘that arrogant
sonofabitch would rather lose
the war than ask Lucky Luciano
for favor.’

        HAFFENDEN
Mr. Luciano, I’ve been given
orders to secure the water-
front and I’m going to do it
with you or without you. If I
have to I’ll put the docks
under martial law, lock up your
friends and use the militia to
unload the ships. Then, I’ll
let it be known that you
refused to help. People will
say:’that Luciano: not only
is he a pimp, but he’s a
traitor, too.’

        CHARLEY
(winces, but has to smile)
I’ll say one thing for you,
Red, you ain’t tryin’ to
soft soap me.

        HAFFENDEN
I don’t want to take that
kind of action. I want you
to cooperate for the good
of the country and for your
own benefit. I can’t promise
you anything, but I can tell
you this: the Navy takes
care of its own. We reward
loyalty.

        CHARLEY
Yeah. So do we.
(offers his hand)
My friends call me Charley.

        HAFFENDEN
(shakes it in relief)
Welcome aboard, Charley.

EXT. DOCKS. DAY

Anastasia and Lansky are waiting as a THREE CAR CONVOY of NAVY SEDANS pulls up. Charley gets out, dapper in a dark suit and yellow and black handkerchief. He is followed by Haffenden in his dress uniform. The men welcome him with hugs and handshakes.

        MEYER
Charley, you look great.
The Navy takin’ care of
you?

        CHARLEY
I’m like the lion in the
zoo, kid. I got the best
cage and the freshest meat,
but I ain’t in the jungle
where I belong.

        ANASTASIA
The guys can’t wait to see
you, Charley.

        CHARLEY
Old home week, huh?  Red,
you better wait here. This
is a conversation you don’t
need to hear.

        HAFFENDEN
(moving off)
Be careful, Charley.

As they walk toward  the shed, Anastasia boasts:

        ANASTASIA
I told you we’d find a way
to get you out, didn’t I,
Charley?

        CHARLEY
Did you have somethin’ to
do with that Normandie
thing?

        ANASTASIA
Nah I’m just lettin’ the
rumor spread…

        CHARLEY
You better nip it in the
bud. They’re lookin’ for a
fall guy. Keep braggin’
they’ll pin it on you.

INT.SHACK.DAY

A crowd of well dressed RACKETEERS, among them Costello and Lanza gather around Charley,laughing, pounding him on the back. Charley steps back and calls for silence.

        CHARLEY
Great to see you millionaires.
You do good, you look good,
right? This is still a good
thing we got goin’. And we
gotta protect what we got,
right?

“RIGHT!” They all agree.

        CHARLEY
Take a good look out that
window. You see that Destroyer
with them big guns? One blast
takes out this shack and every-
body in it. I tellya this
‘cause I don’t want you to
think you’re holdin’ cards
on Uncle Sam. He’s got all
the aces. We been drafted
just like them kids crawlin’
in the mud in the Pacific
and we’re gonna do our part.
So first the docks: Albert
you open up Brooklyn. Make
sure those wallyos in the
union cooperate with Navy.

        ANASTASIA
We’re puttin’ ourselves out
on a limb, Charley? What if
the other guys win?

        CHARLEY
You think Hitler’s gonna
let us run our rackets?
What’s the first thing
Mussolini did when he
took over? Locked up all
the Mafiosi. The other guys
win we’re outta business…
I ain’t wavin’ a flag here,
I’m wavin’ your wallets.
(to a big, redfaced GOON)
Everybody says Cockeye
Johnny Dunne runs the
waterfront with an iron
hand. Nothin’ happens under
his nose.

        DUNNE
That’s right.

        CHARLEY
Oh yeah? The Navy says German
agents have been hirin’
American boats to meet Nazi
subs at the twelve mile limit
and smugglein spies and
weapons.

        DUNNE
I catch ‘em I’ll break their
necks.

        CHARLEY
You catch ‘em you’ll turn
‘em over to the Navy.
(to Lanza)
Socks, you run the Fulton
Fish Market. You got your
muscle over there. Commander
Haffenden wants somethin’
done you do it, understand?

        LANZA
This country’s been tryin’
to put me in jail for thirty
years, why should I be
patriotic?

        CHARLEY
‘Cause if it wasn’t for
America you’d still be
swipin’ bicycle tires in
Palermo..
(puts his arm around Meyer)
Meyer’s gonna take care of
all the details for Navy
Intelligence, union cards,
special jobs. You get any
information, tell him. He’s
my right hand as usual. If
he says ‘Charley wants this
done,’ do it.

        ANASTASIA
(resentful)
Just like the old days.

        CHARLEY
That’s right, Albert, I’m
back runnin’ things. Only
this time I got a big finger
on the trigger. Forget them
crummy cops and politicians,
I got the United States Navy
behind me now.

EXT. DOCKS. DAY.

A crowd of LONGSHOREMEN mills expectantly outside the shack. Charley emerges from the shack. They cheer and rush toward him.

HAFFENDEN

overtakes Charley, waving for his agents to follow him.

        HAFFENDEN
Hey Charley, wait up…

        CHARLEY
Don’t worry, Red, everything’s
all buttoned up. I’m just
gonna give the boys a little
pep talk…

        HAFFENDEN
I don’t like you walking
into the middle of that
crowd. We’ve been wire-
tapping Anastasia and the
Mangano brothers, even
Socks Lanza. They resent
having to pay out your
percentage every month.
They’ve been saying some
pretty threatening things
about you and Meyer Lansky…

        CHARLEY
Even behind bars I make more
money for these guys than
they can make on their own.
They ain’t gonna rip up their
meal ticket. Everybody likes
to gripe about the boss.
Wanna get a real earful?
Wiretap your wife.
(greets the Longshoremen)
Hey fellas, everything al-
right? The union takin’ care of you?

Haffenden holds his men off and watches nervously as the Longshoremen gather around Charley.

        CHARLEY
I just enlisted. The war
should be over any day now.

The Longshoremen laugh. “Won’t be long now…”

        CHARLEY
Everybody’s gonna have to
pitch in if we wanna win
this. The Navy’s sendin’
guys out to die so we can
be free to make money.
Least we can do is give
‘em a hand.

        LONGSHOREMAN
I got family in Italy, Lucky.

        CHARLEY
Me too, we all do. But
America’s puttin’ bread on
your table, givin’ you a
future for your kids. Any-
body got any doubt about
who the good guys are, ask
your relatives what it’s
like to be shook down by
Mussolini. I’ll take Albert
Anastasia any day.

The Longshoremen roar with laughter.

        CHARLEY
Are you with me?

They cheer and holler “We’re with you, Lucky..” ‘Anything you say.”

EXT. ROADHOUSE. NIGHT.

Dark, deserted. A NAVY SEDAN pulls up. Haffenden jumps out.

        HAFFENDEN
Want a cup of coffee, Charley?

        CHARLEY
Joint looks like it’s closed.

But as he steps through the door the LIGHTS go on. A SWING BAND strikes up. A congenial mix of NAVY MEN and RACKETEERS rushes up to welcome Charley. Polakoff waves. Meyer approaches.

        MEYER
Welcome home, Charley.

        CHARLEY
This must have set you back
plenty, kid.

        MEYER
This party’s on the Navy.

Charley turns to Haffenden who is standing behind, beaming.

        CHARLEY
Dewey’s not gonna like this,
Red.

        HAFFENDEN
What do you guys say? What
he don’t know won’t hurt
him.

Suddenly, a pair of FEMALE HANDS covers his eyes.

        CHARLEY
I’d know that perfume
anywhere.

He turns and sees Gay Orlova, resplendent but uncertain.

        ORLOVA
Remember me?

        CHARLEY
(embracing her)
Remember you? I’ve only been
thinkin’ about you every day
for the last six years.. I
thought you woulda married
some rich old bastard by now.

        ORLOVA
You’re the only rich old
bastard I care about.

        MEYER
There’s a room upstairs if
you want.

        CHARLEY
Well look, who’s playin’
Cupid.
(takes Gay’s arm)
Now I know what I’m fightin’
for. God Bless America…

END ACT TWO

Next:Part 27/Act 3:Charlie, The Hero

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/Empires of Crime/Part 25

*For Introduction with submission guidelines go to Oct 13

For easy access to the beginning of the script and older excerpts go to the homepage.

*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

HOUR V

ACT ONE

NOVEMBER 1941

NEWSREEL…Tom and Francis and their two young sons wave to cheering crowds outside their house as:

         NEWSCASTER
From gangbuster to Governor?
Tom Dewey, New York’s crusading
District Attorney announced his
candidacy as Governor of New
York last night, promising big
changes for the Empire State…

NEWSREEL…Charley leaves the courthouse in a phalanx of COPS , hands cuffed in front of him and is escorted into a paddy wagon.

        NEWSCASTER
Meanwhile, the man he brought
down, Lucky Luciano, has gone
from kingpin to convict.

CLINTION PENITENTIARY… A graystone Victorian prison rising out of a dismal moor in upstate New York.

His multi million dollar empire in shambles, Luciano has moved from his luxury suite in the Waldorf to a drafty cell at Clinton Penitentiary far from the white lights Broadway where he will spend the next fifty years, alone, powerless and forgotten…

EXT. PRISON YARD. DAY

DOLLY DOWN a long line of INMATES shivering in the afternoon gloom to a PRISON GUARD, hat in hand in front of a table where Charley, pale and emaciated from years in prison, is holding court.

        GUARD
My son in law was workin’
at the Fulton Fish market
and they fired him for
bein’ drunk. I told my
daughter the guy was a
bum…

        CHARLEY
Kids today don’t listen.
(scribbles a note)
Tell the bum to give this
to Socks Lanza. He’ll put
him to work.

        GUARD
I really appreciate this,
Charley. If there’s anything
I can do…

        CHARLEY
Send Lana Turner to clean
up my cell. Who’s next on
the bread line?

A BLACK INMATE steps forward. Nervous, respectful.

        INMATE
Jimmy Seymour from one
seventeenth and Eighth, Mr.
Luciano. See, I got pinched
and had to leave my wife
runnin’ the numbers bank and…

        CHARLEY
And everybody’s shakin’ her
down, right Jimmy?
(writing)
Tell Mrs. Jimmy to get ten
nice crisp C notes and go
to a joint called Punchie’s
on One nineteenth and Convent.
Ask for Patsy Fasano.
(hands him a note)
Give him this note with the
money wrapped inside and
you’ll be okay.

        INMATE
(clasps his hand)
I owe you my life, Mr.
Luciano.

        CHARLEY
This ain’t a favor, pal.
You got a new partner.
(looks up with a smile)
Now what’s your problem,
bud?

It’s MEYER, tanned and dapper in a cashmere overcoat. Behind him are THREE PRISON GUARDS laden with packages.

         MEYER
I got fifty pounds of hot
corned beef. Wanna buy it
real cheap?

INT.VISITING ROOM. DAY.

So cold you can see your breath. Barred windows, gray walls. Charley happy as a kid at Christmas, is opening the packages, Meyer has brought. He takes out a thick woolen blanket.

        CHARLEY
This is just what the doctor
ordered.

Then opens a box packed with SALAMI, BREAD, WINE, etc.

        CHARLEY
Okay voy mangiare. Now if
I only had a little female
companionship.

        MEYER
Done. I got the nod from
the warden.

        CHARLEY
Can I have my little Olga?

        MEYER
It’s gotta be a local girl…

        CHARLEY
Some hick broad…No offense,
Meyer, but don’t pick her
yourself…

        MEYER
No offense…Dewey’s runnin’
for President. I slipped
Johnny Crews, the Republican
boss of Brooklyn ninety grand
for his campaign.

        CHARLEY
(eating)
The guy frames me and we
stake him?

        MEYER
Somebody’ll slide a parole
application across his desk
one of these days. Crews
says he’ll sign it.

        CHARLEY
Jimmy Hines said Roosevelt
wouldn’t repeal Prohibition.

        MEYER
We gotta go through the
motions. This Edgar Hoover
who runs the FBI, he’s a
big horse player.

        CHARLEY
Givin’ him winners?

        MEYER
Yeah. He likes the action
at Hialeah. We make every
race there, so we slip him
the double so he’s a big
handicapper in front of
his friends. Maybe he’ll
look the other way when
our names come up.

        CHARLEY
What are the odds?

        MEYER
We gotta try everything.
Lepke’s on the run from a
Federal drug rap. Albert is
protectin’ him, movin’ him
from place to place in
Brooklyn every night.
Dewey’s shuttin’ everyone
down like they did with you.

        CHARLEY
Tell Albert Lepke’s gotta
give up. Business comes
first, that’s the rule.
(gorging himself)
I’m gonna get agita from all
this salami…

        MEYER
Vito’s in Havana.

        CHARLEY
What’d he do now?

        MEYER
He wrapped a chain around a
guy’s neck and choked him to
death in front of six witnesses.

        CHARLEY
Vito never had no class.

        MEYER
I don’t want Cuba to get a
reputation as a hideout for
American mobsters, Charley.

        CHARLEY
Give him fifty G’s and put
him on a slow boat to Naples.
Tell him I said to go.

        MEYER
(hesitates, then:)
Annie left me, Charley.

        CHARLEY
(shrugs it off)
So? She don’t know nothin’,
right?

        MEYER
She turned the kids against
me. All the things I did for
her, Beautiful apartment in
Forest Hills, charge accounts
at every store…

        CHARLEY
Whaddya expect? You only
married her for her old
man’s molasses business.
If a broad knows you love
her she don’t care about
money.

        MEYER
You’re goin’ stir crazy if
you believe that.

        CHARLEY
Guys like us, we don’t give
nothin’ to nobody. Everything’s
a deal or a stickup if we
can get away with it. Look
how I treated Nancy. Never
took her out ‘cause I was
ashamed to be seen with a
hooker. Never gave her nothin’,
but a coupla bucks here and
there. I thought she loved me.
I couldn’t believe it when
she rolled over for Dewey.
But I don’t hold it against
her. It’s them other people.
How many crums did I let off
the hook?. Who was the biggest
tipper, the softest touch?
Then they had to go and get
righteous on me…

        MEYER
You’re thinkin’ too much in
here.

        CHARLEY
(bitter)
What else do I have to do?
You were right. I got too
big and they slapped me
down. They didn’t want a
greaseball gettin’ his
name in the columns. Givin’
parties at the Waldorf,
goin’ around with the smart
set…They’ll let you have
the dirty money, but you
gotta stay in your rat hole…

        MEYER
You’re scarin’ me,Charley.
You turn into a jailbird and
start mumblin’ about the old
days, the word’ll get out.
The vultures’ll pick us clean.

        CHARLEY
I ain’t gettin’ religion,
kid, don’t worry. I’m runnin’
things like I always did.
Only now I’ll show no mercy..

INT. STATE HOUSE.

The rotunda is jammed as Republicans celebrate Tom’s inauguration as Governor of New York. A BANNER urges DEWEY FOR GOVERNOR. On the dais with Florence at his side, Tom is dueling with the press.

        TOM
We will build the greatest
highway network in this
country without raising a
penny in taxes. We will
create a state university
system that will offer a
college degree to all our
citizens…We will build
bridges and parks, expand
public services

        CYNICAL REPORTER
Where you gonna find the
money?

        TOM
By cutting bureaucratic
waste and corruption…I
know how the cynics will
react. They were the same
ones who said I couldn’t
beat the Mob in New York.
Well, I took on Luciano when
everyone said I didn’t have
a chance.

        CYNICAL REPORTER
And now you’re gonna ride
that gangbuster pony right
to the Governor’s Mansion.

        TOM
I’m more than a gangbuster.
And I’m going to prove it.

EXT. HAVANA WAREHOUSE. DAY

WORKERS roll barrels to a PAINTER who slaps WHITE PAINT over the word RUM and paints MOLASSES in its place. PAN TO Meyer and FULGENCIO BATISTA, now a general, in an ornate uniform loaded with medals and ribbons.

        BATISTA
This rum is so bad not even
the peons will drink it.

        MEYER
We’ll mix it with corn
liquor, call it Kentucky
Bourbon and the suckers’ll
pay premium prices…

        BATTISTA
(laughs)
Always looking for new ways
to cheat the… suckers.

        MEYER
Brokers sell ‘em bogus stocks,
Ford sells ‘em cars that break
down, the Pope sells ‘em life
ever after. At least we give
‘em a good time…

INT. HAVANA NIGHTCLUB. NIGHT.

On the dance floor, COUPLES whirl to a SALSA CONJUNTO. IN THE SHADOWS Meyer is arguing with Vito Genovese.

        GENOVESE
I’m okay here. I paid
everybody off.

        MEYER
Charley paid everybody off
in Arkansas, too, Vito.

        GENOVESE
This is a foreign country.

        MEYER
In name only. It’s ninety
miles from Miami, who do you
think runs it? Dewey finds
out you’re here he’ll put a
lotta heat on our friends to
send you back.

        GENOVESE
That’s what it is. You’re
protectin’ your own interests
here.

        MEYER
Yours too. We can own every
inch of this island. Sugar,
rum, hotels, the biggest
casinos you ever saw. But we
gotta keep it clean.
(offers an envelope)
Fifty G’s makes you the King
of Naples.

        GENOVESE
(pushes the envelope away)
And what if I don’t go?

        MEYER
This ain’t Mulberry Street,
Vito. My money does the
talkin’ here.

Genovese looks over Meyer’s shoulder and sees

TWO CUBAN OFFICERS moving in behind him. He takes the envelope with a vengeful look.

        GENOVESE
I won’t forget this, Meyer.

        MEYER
You’ll thank me one of these
days.

INT. PRIVATE ROOM. NIGHT On a small stage,

PERFORMERS are doing a suggestive dance. AT A TABLE Batista and his officers are watching, transfixed. But Meyer is in a corner talking business to two CUBAN GRANDEES.

        MEYER
You’re so close to the big
money in the US you can touch
it, but you got one rusty
banana boat that goes to the
mainland every three days.

        GRANDEE
What can we do?

        MEYER
Get a ferry service from
here to Miami and New Orleans
every day. Start an airline.
Back and forth two, three
times a day. You need a
silent partner you got one…

Batista comes to the table, laughing, his arm around RAQUEL, one of the dancers, a dark Cuban beauty

        BATISTA
Meyer, in Cuba we do business
so we can enjoy ourselves.

        MEYER
In New York we do business
so we can do more business.

        BATISTA
Raquel wants to meet el
famoso Senor Lansky…

RAQUEL smiles invitingly, but Meyer turns away, shyly.

        MEYER
This isn’t necessary…

        BATISTA
Why don’t you show her that
trick with the dice, Meyer?

Before Meyer can demur Raquel presses a pair of dice into his palm with a flirtatious look.

        RAQUEL
Here, Senor Meyer. Show
me…

Meyer closes his fist and shakes his hand. When he opens it the dice have disappeared. Raquel claps, delightedly.

        RAQUEL
Que bueno, que magico.
Donde estan? Where are
they?

Encouraged, Meyer reaches behind her ear.

        MEYER
In a better place…

And produces the dice to applause and amused shouts of “Bravo.”Raquel takes his arm and whispers in his ear.

        MEYER
Sure I want to.


Captivated, he lets her lead him away.

        MEYER
You’re a really attractive
girl. In the US you’d be a
big movie star…

DECEMBER 7, 1941

INT. HAVANA HOTEL ROOM. DAY

Early morning. The sun burns through the shutters. In his shorts, cigarette dangling, totally relaxed, Meyer opens the shutters and looks out at the palm lined boulevard, the Gulf of Mexico glittering in the background.

        MEYER
Look at them palm trees. This
place makes Miami look like
Newark…

Raquel comes up behind him with a demi tasse.

        RAQUEL
Quieres cafe, Meyer?

        MEYER
Seguro, doll.

There is a knock. Batista enters and calls from the alcove

        BATISTA
Meyer, I have news…

        MEYER
C’mon in, amigo. See I’m
workin’ on my Spanish
(expansive)
What a country you got here.
Does Cuba mean gold mine
‘cause that’s what this is…
Take a good look at that
empty beach, Generalissimo.
This time next year there’s
gonna be a hotel every five
hundred yards.

        BATISTA
Not next year, my friend.

He shows him the Havana newspaper. One bold, black word screams: ATTAQUE…

        BATISTA
The Japanese have attacked
the US Naval base in Pearl
Harbor.

INT.VISITING ROOM. DAY

Charley is entertaining the GUARDS with a big spread of food and booze. Newspapers on the table proclaim:JAPANESE ATTACK PEARL HARBOR, US DECLARES WAR.

        GUARD
This is good, Charley, what
is it?

        CHARLEY
It’s called lox, where you
been?
(hands him a bagel)
Put it on this with some
cream cheese. It’s called
a bagel.
(stuffs money in his pocket)
Buy me a radio willya kid.
I wanna follow the war news.

        GUARD
The warden won’t like that.

        CHARLEY
(stuffs more bills)
So buy him one, too.

        ANOTHER GUARD
(slams down the paper)
I can’t believe these Japs
think they can beat us.

        CHARLEY
Some guys you just gotta
kill.

MONTAGE…NEWSREELS…FDR appears before Congress. “Today, December, 7. 1941, a day that will live in infamy…YOUNG MEN line up for the draft,,,YOUNG WOMEN work the night shift in factories…MOVIE STARS go on BOND DRIVES…TROOPS SHIP OUT…HEADLINES…The news is bad. SINGAPORE CAPTURED BY JAPANESE NEW YORK HARBOR…The liner Normandy,lists on its side, burning out of control. A NEWSCASTER asks:

        NEWSCASTER
Was this an accident or was
she the victim of Nazi
sabotage?

EXT. DOCKS. DAY.

Dawn…LONGSHOREMEN “shape up” for the day’s work. Lines of men shamble onto the pier under the vigilant eyes of the CHECKERS, The checkers move in and push some men off the line. “You ain’t in the union, get outta here.”

A US NAVY SEDAN is parked outside the pier. Leaning against the hood, LIEUTENANT COMMANDER C.RADCLIFFE, HAFFENDEN, a strongly built red haired man in his thirties, watches angrily as the men show ID..”Naval Intelligence…”, but the Checkers chase them off.

        CHECKER
I don’t care if you’re an
Admiral. Only union men get
on this dock.

EXT. EDEN ROC HOTEL (STOCK). DAY.

Miami’s most elegant hotel, an Art Deco masterpiece right on the beach.

EXT. SWIMMING POOL. DAY.

BUDDY LANSKY, ten years old and frail with braces around his legs, dangles his feet in the water as RICHARD SCHWARTZ, twelve and a bit of a bully swims around him.

        BUDDY
My dad never killed anybody…

        RICHARD
C’mon, everybody in Florida
knows who Meyer Lansky is.

On a POOL CHAIR Meyer is on the phone, listening to the news on a portable radio…

        NEWSCASTER
The liner Normandie was
destroyed by a saboteur’s
bomb last night in its
mooring in New York harbor…

        MEYER
Ben Siegel, yes, Mr. Ben
Siegel…

TEDDY SCHWARTZ, an eye catching ex showgirl walks by in a one piece bathing suit as:

        NEWSCASTER
The bombers managed to elude
the Coast Guard Patrols and
plant their explosive in the
Normandie’s hull early this
morning…

        MEYER
This is definitely his number,
Operator…

        TEDDY
It’s three hours earlier in
L.A. My guess is he just got
in from one of those wild
Hollywood parties and turned
the phone off so he could get
some sleep.

        LANSKY
(turns warily)
How do you know who I’m
calling?

        TEDDY
How many Ben Siegels would
Meyer Lansky be calling?
This Miami sun is strong…
(offers a bottle of tanning
lotion)
Better use some of this.

        MEYER
Will it give me a color like
your’s uh, Mrs…

Teddy smiles and watches him rub the lotion on his legs.

        TEDDY
Teddy Schwartz. And I’m a
widow. That’s my Richard
talking to your son. Want
me to do your back?

        MEYER
Not gonna icepick me are
you?

She slowly, caressingly applies lotion to his back.

        TEDDY
Not if you’re a good boy…

EXT. DOCKS. DAY.

Haffenden watches a LONG BLACK LIMOUSINE pull up. A DRIVER hustles out and opens the door for Albert Anastasia and SOCKS LANZA, a dark compact man in a white vicuna overcoat. With a dismissive look at Haffenden they walk into a construction shack. Flushing angrily at the slight, Haffenden overtakes them.

        HAFFENDEN
Excuse me, gentlemen. I’m
Lieutenant Commander C.
Radcliffe Haffenden, US
Naval Intelligence, Third
District. I’m in charge of
security on the waterfront..

        ANASTASIA
Cut the speech, pal. Nobody
gets on the docks without a
bona fide union card.

        HAFFENDEN
(pointing to Anastasia)
You’re Mr. Lanza and…

        ANASTASIA
Don’t get cute, you know who
we are.

        HAFFENDEN
Have you noticed, there’s a
war on? We have reports that
Nazi spies are active on the
waterfront. A troop ship was
destroyed by saboteurs last
night.

        LANZA
Maybe somebody was smokin’
in bed…

        HAFFENDEN
I need to secure these docks
immediately. If you don’t
grant me free access I’ll get
a court order.

        ANASTASIA
I’m the only court on the
waterfront, pal. I see one
cop I’ll shut the docks
down so tight nothin’ll move
in or out. Including military
cargo.

        HAFFENDEN
That’s treason!

        ANASTASIA
It’s business.

        LANZA
We got a contract with the
Shipping Association. Nobody
goes nowhere without our okay.

        HAFFENDEN
How do I get that okay?

        ANASTASIA
You’re in Intelligence. You
figure it out.

INT. JOE’S RESTAURANT. NIGHT

The Miami moon glitters off the Gulf. Meyer and Teddy move in in a dreamy foxtrot as spotlights play across the dance floor.

        MEYER
You one of those women who
gets a thrill hangin’ out
with mobsters?

        TEDDY
I don’t know. You’re my
first one.

        MEYER
I’m not one of those big
shots throwin’ money around.
You don’t get no wild weekends
or fur coats or big diamonds
with me.

        TEDDY
I think I gave you the wrong
impression. Truth is, I saw
you walking with your son
today. You looked lonely.

        MEYER
What if I am?

        TEDDY
I’m lonely, too. I thought
maybe we could help each
other. Anyway, I don’t like
to stay up late. And for
your information, I got a
21 carat and a Persian lamb
my late husband, he should
rest in peace, gave me.

         MEYER
Look over my right shoulder.
See those two guys at the
bar?

TWO MEN in plain, official looking suits are trying to blend in.

        MEYER
That’s FBI. Always watching
me since they got big
headlines puttin’ my friends
in jail. They open my mail,
tap my phone. They probably
put a microphone in my baked
potato.

        TEDDY
What do they want from you?

        MEYER
Nothin’ special. Just to
lock me up for the rest
of my life.

        TEDDY
Why are you telling me this?

        MEYER
The life I live destroyed
my marriage. I have a son
and daughter who won’t
speak to me. Any woman I
go around with becomes a
target for these mamsers…

        TEDDY
Here comes one of them…

AN AGENT taps Lansky, politely on the shoulder.

        AGENT
Excuse me, Mr. Lansky. I’m
sorry to disturb your dance…

        MEYER
I don’t have to talk to you
guys.

        AGENT
This isn’t a pinch. We just
need a moment of your time.

        MEYER
(to Teddy) See what I mean?
You better take off before
they get a picture of you.

        TEDDY
I’ll finish my dinner first.

She watches Meyer and the Agent walk away.

INT. JOE’S RESTAURANT. NIGHT.

Hours later and the band is packing up. Meyer walks through the empty restaurant and brightens up when he sees Teddy waiting.

        MEYER
You waited.

        TEDDY
I didn’t want to get stuck
with the check.

        MEYER
I guess my steak got cold.

        TEDDY
It’ll make a good sandwich.

        MEYER
I have to go back to New
York.

        TEDDY
You arrested?

        LANSKY
No. I think I’m drafted.

END ACT ONE


Next:Part 26/Act 2: Operation Underworld

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 24

*For Introduction with submission guidelines go to Oct 13

For the beginning of the script and older excerpts go to the home page or heywoodgould.com

*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 IV

ACT FOUR

INT. THE STORK CLUB. NIGHT

New York’s swankiest “nitery.” Patrons in EVENING DRESS dance to a “sweet” band. Suddenly, the band stops and the room goes dark.

        BANDLEADER
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Stork
Club welcomes an old friend…

The band strikes up. A FOLLOW SPOT  picks up Charley and Gay entering the club. The CUSTOMERS leap to their feet, cheering as they are taken to their ringside table. “Go get ‘em Lucky…” etc. One man pounds him on the back, wishing him “good luck.”

        CHARLEY
Not so loud, everybody. I’m
supposed to be in jail…

Charley clasps his hand like a boxer and they applaud like mad.

INT. DEWEY KITCHEN. NIGHT.

Frances pours a glass of milk and brings it over to Tom, who is disconsolately picking at a sandwich.

        FRANCES
I think the laughter was
just a way of breaking the
tension.These people had
been listening to some
pretty horrible stories all
day.

        TOM
I was trying to get them
to sympathize with the
girls and hate Luciano.
But it backfired. You
should have seen the way
they cheered him on. Like
he was a movie star or a
prize fighter.

        FRANCES
Every man secretly wishes
he had the charm and power
of a Lucky Luciano

        TOM
That’s the problem. They
like Luciano and don’t like
me. I’ve never lost a case
or won a popularity contest
in my life.

        FRANCES
Except with me.

        TOM
Even you don’t like me
when I’m on trial…I
have to win this one,
Frances. I’m finished
if I don’t.

INT. COURTROOM. DAY

The next morning. Nancy testifies to a packed courtroom.. She is clean, modestly dressed. She turns away to avoid
Charley’s glance.

        NANCY
We would have sex once in
awhile, but he mostly wanted
to talk.

AT THE DEFENSE TABLE (CROSSCUT)

With an appreciative look, Charley leans over to Polakoff.

        CHARLEY
They dress her way down,
but she’s still the best
lookin’broad in the room.

        TOM
What did he talk about?

        NANCY
About his life, you know.
How he got started. How he
was gonna organize the
rackets into one big company
with him on top.

        TOM
Did he ever discuss the
prostitution business?

        NANCY
Once. I told him this pimp
Ralphie Liquori was beatin’
on the girls. He said he
would take care of it and
the guy never touched nobody
again.

AT THE DEFENSE TABLE

Polakoff looks to Charley for confirmation. Charley nods, ruefully.

        TOM
Did Mr. Luciano ever have
any visitors?

        NANCY
Everybody came to see him.
All the big shots, He’d make
me go into the bathroom and
run the water so I wouldn’t
hear nothin’.

        TOM
Did you ever listen?

        NANCY
I never cared what they
were sayin’?

        TOM
(prompting)
Never?

        NANCY
(picks up the cue)
Oh yeah. Well once when
Little Davey was there I
heard Charley sayin’: ‘the
take ain’t so good. We’re
gonna have to raise the two
dollar houses to three and
boost the five and ten buck
joint, too.

        TOM
Thank you, Miss Presser.
And I’d like to commend you
for the courage and strength
of character you have shown
in coming forward.

AT THE DEFENSE TABLE

Polakoff starts to rise, but Charley grabs his arm.

        CHARLEY
Go easy on her, Mo. Dewey
made her lie.

        POLAKOFF
She’s their star witness,
Charley. I’ve got to
discredit her.

He rises and walks slowly toward Nancy, demonstrating his contempt for her to the jury.

        POLAKOFF
How old are you, Miss
Presser?

        NANCY
Twenty six.

        POLAKOFF
How long have you been a
prostitute?

Unnerved, Nancy looks at Tom. He nods encouragement.

        NANCY
I started when I was
thirteen…

        POLAKOFF
Thirteen years takes its
toll. You’re not as attractive
as you used to be.

        TOM
Objection, Your Honor. Is
Mr. Polakoff running a beauty
contest?

        POLAKOFF
Withdrawn. Miss Presser, what
do you get for your services?

        NANCY
I got two bucks per visit.
We had to knock it down to
a buck fifty ‘cause of the
Depression.

        POLAKOFF
A dollar fifty. Now, Miss
Presser, would you agree
that Mr. Luciano is a well
known man about town?

        NANCY
Man about town. Yeah, sure…

        POLAKOFF
A man who is famous for
escorting beautiful women
(points to Gay Orlova)
His fiancee Gay Orlova has
been a featured performer
on Broadway. Do you really
want the jury to believe
that when Mr. Luciano was
lonesome he called a buck
fifty hooker to keep him
company?

        TOM
(leaps to his feet)
I object to Mr. Polakoff’s
insidious and demeaning
characterization…

        POLAKOFF
Withdrawn. How many times
would you say you visited,
Mr. Luciano at the Waldorf?

        NANCY
I don’t know, fifty maybe.

        POLAKOFF
Where is the Waldorf?

        NANCY
It’s on the East Side I
think. Charley always gave
me cab money.

        POLAKOFF
Fifty times, but you don’t
know the address. When you
got out at Mr. Luciano’s
floor did you turn right
or left?

        NANCY
I don’t know my left from
my right that good.

        POLAKOFF
Describe the furniture in
his suite.

        TOM
Objection, the witness is
not an interior decorator.

        MCCOOK
(reluctant)
Overruled. It’s a fair
question.

        POLAKOFF
What kind of bed does Mr.
Luciano have? Double? King?
Queen?

        NANCY
I don’t know beds.

        POLAKOFF
You should. You spend enough
time in them.

        TOM
Objection!

        MCCOOK
Sustained. Every witness in
my courtroom is to be treated
with respect.

        POLAKOFF
Especially the prosecution
witnesses You’re a heroin
addict, aren’t you, Miss
Presser?

        NANCY
No more. As of February
first I was cured, thanks
to Mr. Dewey.

        POLAKOFF
Mr. Dewey promised to send
you away to regain your
health and normalcy.

        NANCY
He’s been good to me.

        POLAKOFF
But he wouldn’t have been
so good if you didn’t
testify against Mr. Luciano

        TOM
Objection!

        POLAKOFF
And he’ll only be good to
you if Mr. Luciano is
convicted. If the jury sees
through Mr.Dewey’s little
scheme you’ll be going back
to the gutter where he found
you, won’t you Miss Presser?

        TOM
I will not permit this
woman to be abused, Your
Honor. Whatever benefit she
may derive cannot equal the
risk she is taking…

Tom’s words are lost in the excited buzz of the gallery, the pounding of the gavel and McCook’s futile calls for order.

EXT. CRIMINAL COURT BUILDING. DAY

Charley and Polakoff emerge into the late afternoon sunshine to be besieged by REPORTERS and cheered by FANS who are being kept back behind barricades. Charley waves to the crowd while Polakoff goes to the MICROPHONES.

        POLAKOFF
This is a case of an over-
ambitious prosecutor trying
to advance his political career…

        CHARLEY
Dewey wants to send me to
jail, but I’m going to send
him back to Michigan…

EXT. CARMINE’S RESTAURANT. DAY

An excited crowd greets Charley and Polakoff.

        CHARLEY
You guys hungry? You like
pizza?
(to CARMINE, the owner)
Carmine, make ten pizzas for
my friends. Ah, make it
twenty…Case of beer, too.
Not that swill I used to
sell you either…

INT. PRIVATE ROOM.DAY

Meyer, tan and fit in a light summer suit, jumps up to greet them.

        MEYER
Excuse me, Mr. Popularity,
can I have your autograph?

        CHARLEY
Look at you, Mr. Miami.
Brushin’ up on your polo
game?

        MEYER
I bet the horses. Let the
schmucks ride ‘em. So far
so good, huh? That little
tart the best they got?

        CHARLEY
It’s not her fault. She’s
a junkie, got no will power…

        POLAKOFF
You never know how the jury
reacts to that sob sister
stuff. But I’ve got the hall
maid and the manager who’ll
say she was never there…

        CHARLEY
You won’t need no rebuttal
when I get off the stand…

        POLAKOFF
(with a look at Meyer)
You’re not thinking of
testifying?

        CHARLEY
C’mon, Mo, you know I been
thinkin’ about it. That’s
why you got Meyer up here
to talk me out of it.

        MEYER
I don’t understand, Charley,
you’re doin’ great.

        CHARLEY
That’s ‘cause my lawyer’s
better than their’s.

        POLAKOFF
I should hope so.

        CHARLEY
But I don’t want people to
say Lucky’s smart lawyer got
him off. I want ‘em to say,
Charley was framed. He’s
innocent

        MEYER
What do you care what they
say?

        CHARLEY
I got my pride. I been
knockin’ around New York
since I’m eleven. I love
every loose cobblestone,
every dark alley. All the
joints, all the grifters
from the bums on the corner
to the smart guys in the
penthouses. And they love
me, too. You’ll see, they’ll
stand up for me.

        MEYER
(shakes his head)
You can handicap a race,
figure odds on a card. But
trustin’ people. That’s a
sucker bet.

INT.COURTROOM. DAY

The next day. In a hushed courtroom, Polakoff steps to the bench and with an apprehensive look at Tom:

        POLAKOFF
Your Honor, I call Charles
Luciano to the stand.

AT THE PROSECUTION

Tom and his staff look up in astonishment at their good luck. As Charley walks by with a defiant look, Tom mutters to Gurfein:

        TOM
Get me that cross examination
we prepared, Mr. Gurfein.

        GURFEIN
(shuffling through a
mountain of papers)
It’s here somewhere. I
didn’t think we were going
to need it.

INT.COURTROOM. DAY

A short time later. Charley is completing his testimony. The JURORS look on with knowing, sympathetic smiles.

        CHARLEY
When you’re a New York boy
from a tough neighborhood you
make mistakes. I sold narcotics,
but I did my time and except
for a little gambling problem
in Miami I’ve never been
arrested since.

        POLAKOFF
Do you know Flo Brown?

        CHARLEY
I do not.

        POLAKOFF
Do you know any of the men
who testified against you?

        CHARLEY
I’ve met them, but what
they said wasn’t true.

        POLAKOFF
Have you ever taken a nickel
from prostitution.

        CHARLEY
(tries a joke)
I gave, but I never took.
(then gets serious)
I swear I have never
profited from prostitution.

        POLAKOFF
Thank you, sir…

Tom rises slowly, the tension growing. He takes a dramatic pause, savoring the moment.

        TOM
Just a gambler. Broadway
Charley. Another colorful
character, is that what you
want this jury to believe?

        CHARLEY
It’s the truth.

        TOM
You started out peddling
dope, didn’t you? Prostitutes
would turn a trick and turn
their two dollars over to
you for a shot of liquid
opium, wouldn’t they?

        CHARLEY
I was seventeen. I quit
doin’ that when I got out
of jail.

        TOM
Just a harmless, colorful
character…Does the date
June 2, 1923 mean anything
to you?

Charley is startled. He begins to realize he’s made a mistake.

        CHARLEY
How’d you know about that?.

        TOM
It’s the day you sold two
ounces of heroin to Special
Agent John Lynch, isn’t it?

        CHARLEY
I was never charged…

        TOM
No. You made a deal, didn’t
you? Gave a statement that
at 163 Mulberry Street they
would find a whole trunk
full of dope. Turned stool
pigeon, didn’t you?

        POLAKOFF
Objection…Irrelevant…

        MCCOOK
Overruled.

        TOM
You weren’t peddling drugs.
You just happened to know
where a whole trunkful could
be found.

        CHARLEY
I knew things.

        TOM
Now you say that from 1920
to 1925, you weren’t doing
anything else in the world
but running a crap game.

        CHARLEY
That’s right.

        TOM
Did you ever go to the
horse races?

        CHARLEY
I went to the track, sure.

        TOM
Do a little bookmaking on
the side?

        CHARLEY
Just as part of the crap
game.

        TOM
Did you ever earn an honest
dollar in your life?

        POLAKOFF
Objection…

        TOM
Withdrawn…While you were
shooting crap and booking
horses did you ever sell
alcohol?

        CHARLEY
I got some for my friends.

        TOM
A little side business. So
the hundreds of police
reports and news articles
that identify you as the
boss of the billion dollar
bootlegging racket are
incorrect.

        POLAKOFF
(desperate)
Your Honor, may we have a
brief recess…

        MCCOOK
You may not.

        CHARLEY
You know the papers
exaggerate everything…

        TOM
And you don’t know any
bootleggers yourself…

        CHARLEY
(looking to the jury for
support)
In New York it’s hard not
to bump into a bootlegger.

        TOM
Al Capone is in Chicago.
Are you acquainted with
him?

        CHARLEY
I’ve met him.

        TOM
Met him? Isn’t it a fact
that you worked closely
with him for five years?

        POLAKOFF
Objection…

        TOM
You’re pretty well
acquainted with  Louis
Buchalter, aren’t you?

        CHARLEY
I know him. I wouldn’t say
well acquainted.

        TOM
Did you know that he and
his partner Gurrah Shapiro
are the biggest racketeers
in the clothing industry?

        CHARLEY
Didn’t know that.

        TOM
Doesn’t Buchalter have to
pay you tribute to operate
his labor rackets?

        POLAKOFF
Objection…

        MCCOOK
Overruled.

        CHARLEY
I have no business relations
with him.

        TOM
How about Bugsy Siegel?
Know him?

        CHARLEY
He’s a friend of mine.

        TOM
What’s his business?

        CHARLEY
I know he’s been puttin’
on some shows.

        TOM
(savoring the sarcasm)
Do you really expect this
jury to believe that Bugsy
Siegel makes his living
producing Broadway shows?

        POLAKOFF
Your Honor I object to Mr.
Dewey’s use of insult and
innuendo…

        TOM
Oh alright, Mr. Polakoff,
I’ll withdraw the question.
(bears down on Charley)
Ever tell a lie?

        CHARLEY
Everybody lies about little
things.

        TOM
You lied under oath to get
a pistol permit. Big or
little lie?

        POLAKOFF
Objection. Calls for a
conclusion.

        TOM
You were stopped in upstate
New York on May 11, 1927.
They found four revolvers,
a shotgun and a Thompson
Machine Gun in your car.
You told the officers you
were hunting. What were
you hunting?

        CHARLEY
Peasants…

The gallery titters at this mispronunciation. Charley winces in humiliation.

        TOM
Pheasants you mean and
they’re not usually hunted
with a Tommy Gun. How many
times have you been taken
for a ride?

        POLAKOFF
This is a violation of Mr.
Luciano’s Fifth Amendment
rights.

        TOM
Police reports say you were
beaten and left for dead on
a street in Staten Island.
You told police it was done
by a jealous husband. Was
that a lie?

        CHARLEY
It was a private dispute.

        TOM
How did you resolve it?
Kill the jealous husband?

        POLAKOFF
Objection.

        TOM
All the men and women who
have testified about you.
Were they lying?

        CHARLEY
Yes.

        TOM
Was Nancy Presser lying?

        CHARLEY
She was…confused.

        TOM
You’re an admitted liar, a
bootlegger, a gambler and
a narcotics peddler. But
you want this jury to
believe you’ve never
taken a nickel from
prostitution.

        CHARLEY
I’d never sink that low.

        TOM
It’s not low to sell heroin
to gullible girls?

        POLAKOFF
Objection.

        TOM
Do you think this jury
or anyone will believe
the sanctimonious act
you have just put on?

        POLAKOFF
Your Honor, you must stop
this abuse.

        TOM
Do you think anyone has
any doubt that before them
stands not a gambler or a
racetrack man, but stripped
stark naked the greatest
gangster in America?

        CHARLEY
I don’t deny what I am.
But I never took a nickel
off a prostitute.

        TOM
You never had a day when
you didn’t. You’re dismissed.

Tom turns away in scorn. The JURORS whisper to each other, shooting hostile looks. Charley sags, a broken man. A SOB punctures the shocked silence. All eyes turn to:

THE FRONT ROW

where Gay Orlova weeps quietly.

NEWSREEL (STOCK FOOTAGE)…Outside, the courthouse, HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE  wait for the verdict.

        NEWSCASTER
Hundreds of people gathered
in the park outside the court-
house waiting for the verdict.

INT.COURTROOM. DAY

The jury glares, stonefaced and vengeful. Charley stares with grim, unseeing eyes as the charges are read and the JURY FOREMAN responds to every one with:

        FOREMAN
Guilty…

AT THE PROSECUTION TABLE

Dewey and his staff stand at dignified attention, but there is no mistaking the triumph in their eyes.

        GURFEIN
(whispers)
You won, Chief.

        TOM
Guilty…Got a nice ring
to it, Mr. Gurfein…

INT.COURTROOM. DAY

The next day. At the Prosecution table Tom is looking at a TABLOID FRONT PAGE that reads: LUCIANO, NINETY TIMES GUILTY. Charley and Polakoff stand at the bench as Judge McCook reads the sentence.

        MCCOOK
Since there is no excuse
for your conduct and no
hope for your rehabilitation
I sentence you to a total
of thirty to fifty years in
the state prison.

The SPECTATORS shout out, some in protest, some in support.

        POLAKOFF
I strenuously object Your
Honor. The maximum mandatory
sentence for this offense
is ten years…

        MCCOOK
You can appeal, Mr. Polakoff.
But I don’t hold out much
hope for you. No judge in
this state will ever let Mr.
Luciano out on the street
again.

Charley turns and nods at Tom, crushed but defiant. As the Court Officers escort him out he turns to Meyer in the front row.

        CHARLEY
You were right, Meyer.
It was a sucker bet.


END ACT FOUR

END PART FOUR

Next: Part 25/Act 1: Dewey Makes A Move

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 23

*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 IV

ACT THREE


INT.TOM’S OFFICE. DAY

Polakoff and Tom glare at each other across Tom’s desk.

        POLAKOFF
I have examined your indictment
very carefully, Mr. Dewey, and
it’s clear to me that you’ll
never be able to convict
Charley Luciano on the
testimony of a few pathetic
prostitutes.

        TOM
How many people has Luciano
murdered, Mr. Polakoff?

        POLAKOFF
You’re not charging him
with murder. Frankly, sir,
you’re putting yourself
on the line. If you don’t
get a conviction your
political career is over.

        TOM
Let’s get to the point,
shall we?

        POLAKOFF
Although we are completely
confident of our ability
to defend this ludicrous
charge, your smears have
caused Mr. Luciano and his
family great distress. He
has a mother…

        TOM
We all do.

        POLAKOFF
Mr. Luciano is willing to
liquidate all his legitimate
assets in New York City and
relocate. He promises never
to set foot in the city again.

        TOM
If we withdraw the indictment…

        POLAKOFF
It’s a fair compromise. It
allows you to declare
victory without the risk of
going to trial.

        TOM
You interest me, Mr. Polakoff.
You served with distinction
in the Navy during the late
war. You have a sterling
reputation as a lawyer yet
you serve as a counsel to a
murderer and a drug dealer.

        POLAKOFF
Minorities and undesirables
are as entitled to the
protection of the law as so
called honorable people.

        TOM
Especially when they pay
large legal fees…

        POLAKOFF
I resent that, sir. I came
to you with legitimate offer…

        TOM
I’ll see you in court, sir.

        POLAKOFF
(a parting shot)
Only if you can get Charley
out of Arkansas.

INT.COURTROOM. DAY

Thronged with REPORTERS and NEWSREEL CAMERAS. Tom sits at the prosecution table behind a bank of microphones. Gurfein brings a TELEPHONE to the table.

        GURFEIN
Why are we doing this here,
Chief?

        TOM
Oh I just thought a court-
room would be a better
setting than an office.
(calls over his shoulder)
Mr. Hurwitz, would you mind
sliding that flag over a
bit more. I want to make
sure the newsreel boys have
a good shot of it.

        GURFEIN
He’s on the line, Chief.

        TOM
Hello, is this Governor
Futrell? This is Tom Dewey,
Governor. I’m sitting here
in front of the newsreel
cameras and radio mikes,
with reporters from every
major newspaper. They all
want to know why the
Governor of Arkansas is
sheltering a wanted criminal…
You can’t make back room
deals with the eyes of the
world upon you, Governor…
I’m going to place a call
to President Roosevelt…I
know he’s a Democrat, but
he’s a good American and
the last thing he wants in
this election year is a
prominent member of his party
taking bribes from a notorious
criminal. You have twenty four
hours to put Luciano on a
train to New York or I’ll
smear you over every front
page in the country. I’ll put
a spotlight on your dirty
deals, a stain on your
reputation you’ll never wipe
off.
(slams the phone down)
How was that boys?

INT.HOTEL ROOM.NIGHT

Charley and Gay are awakened by a FLASHLIGHT BEAM. An apologetic SHERIFF stands at the foot of the bed.

        SHERIFF
Sorry, Charley, we gotta send
you back.

INT. PENN STATION. DAY

A HUNDRED COPS, toting rifles are waiting along with a growing complement of REPORTERS, PHOTOGS, NEWSREELS.

CHARLEY

gets off the train, cuffed to two DETECTIVES. He looks at the crowd with a wry smile.

        CHARLEY
Look at all these cops.
Somebody must be givin’
out turkeys.

The Reporters surge forward pleading for a statement. Charley is brought to a bank of microphones.

        CHARLEY
I may not be the most moral
man alive, but I have not
at any time stooped to
aiding prostitution. Nobody
knows better than me how
tough this world is. But
this ain’t right. It ain’t
American.

INT. THE TOMBS. NIGHT.

City prison. Charley paces a dank,gloomy cell. The CAPTAIN of the GUARDS approaches.

        CAPTAIN
Bad news, Mr. Luciano,
Judge McCook turned down
your application for bail.
Says you’re a flight risk.

        CHARLEY
Did Mr. Anastasia talk to
you?

        CAPTAIN
(unlocking the cell)
Yeah. He sent someone to
pinch hit for you..

FRANK MARTORANO, an obsequious young hood, comes out of the gloom and kisses Charley’s hand.

        MARTORANO
Francesco Martorano, Mr.
Luciano. It’s an honor to
serve you…

He steps into the cell as Charley steps out.

        CAPTAIN
You gotta be back by seven
am, Mr. Luciano…

        CHARLEY
(walking down the corridor)
Or I turn into a pumpkin?
Sweet dreams, Frankie…

INT. CHARLEY’S SUITE. NIGHT.

CIGARETTE TIPS glow in the dark. The door opens sending a streak of light onto Meyer and Jimmy Hines, who are waiting in the living room. Charley steps in and closes the door.

        CHARLEY
You guys holdin’ hands in
here?

        MEYER
Polakoff says to keep the
lights off. Dewey’s boys
are watchin’ the place.

        CHARLEY
Did you buy the Judge,
Jimmy?

        HINES
They put McCook on it.He’s
the only judge we don’t own.

        CHARLEY
What happened to the fix?
I thought I was safe in
Arkansas.

        HINES
Dewey reached out to the
President.

        CHARLEY
So what? Roosevelt’s a
Democrat.

        HINES
Dewey put him on the spot
goin’ on the radio and the
newsreels.

        CHARLEY
We backed Roosevelt. Two
hundred G’s ‘cause you told
us he’d rather take money
from the Mob than owe favors
to the big business guys.

        HINES
That’s what his guys told
me.

        CHARLEY
You told us he’d give us a
year before he repealed
Prohibition. But it was
the first thing he done
when he put down the Bible.
Then he made that speech
about gettin’ rid of the
gangster elements that
were terrorizing the cities.
After we got out the vote
that helped him win them
cities.

         HINES
You guys were shootin’ each
other left and right, Charley.
He had to do somethin’.

         MEYER
Don’t worry, Charley. Mo says
no New York jury’ll believe
the riff raff Dewey’s gonna
put on the stand. Meanwhile,
I’m gonna set up somethin’
nice for us in Florida.

        CHARLEY
I ain’t leavin’ New York,
Meyer, I told ya…

        MEYER
Still a stubborn Sicilian,
huh? A friend of yours wants
to talk to you in the bedroom.
Enjoy…We’ll let ourselves
out.

INT. CHARLEY’S BEDROOM. NIGHT.

A romantic setting. The shades are drawn, CANDLES BURN, CHAMPAGNE  is cooling and Gay Orlova is lying in bed, waiting.

         GAY
Surprise…

         CHARLEY
I’ll say.


Kneels by the bed and kisses her hand.

         CHARLEY
You shouldn’t be here, Gay.
You could get in trouble.

         GAY
I came up the back way.
Nobody saw me. C’mon baby,
put on that yellow and
black dressing gown you
look so cute in…

         CHARLEY
I’ll never forget what you
done for me.

         GAY
(reaching for him)
You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

MAY 15, 1936

NEWSREEL…CRIMINAL COURTS BUILDING…Charley walks up the steps waving to the cameras.

        NEWSCASTER
Day One of the Luciano trial
and it’s standing room. But
Lucky has a ringside seat.

POLAKOFF…at the microphones.

        POLAKOFF
My client is the victim of
the narcotized imaginings
of a bunch of deluded
prostitutes.

GAY, glamorous in sable makes a statement.

        GAY
Lucky is a dear and I
don’t believe those
horrible charges. It
doesn’t sound nice, not
like Lucky at all.

INT. COURTROOM. DAY

Charley, in a conservative blue suit, sits at the table with Polakoff as Tom makes his opening statement.

        TOM
To catch a thief you must
use a thief. You will hear
prostitutes, madams, heels
and ex convicts. Liars and
swindlers they may be, but
they are the only ones who
can tell us about Mr.
Luciano’s chain store of
sex…

IN THE COURTROOM

A short time later. Dave Miller, fidgets fearfully under Tom’s examination.

        MILLER
Little Davey Bettilo said
I needed Charley’s okay so
he took me up to the Waldorf.

        TOM
And did Mr. Luciano approve
you?

        MILLER
Yeah. He told me Bettilo
was boss and I’d only hear
from him if things went
wrong.

AT THE DEFENSE TABLE

Charley whispers to Polakoff.

        CHARLEY
I was just doin’ Davey a
favor, keepin’ those pimps
in line.

 

With a reassuring pat on the hand, Polakoff rises.

        POLAKOFF
You’re a pimp, isn’t that
right?

        MILLER
I was in the hosiery line,
but I got caught in the
Depression like everybody
else.

        POLAKOFF
So you started booking girls
to make ends meet.

        MILLER
A lot of these girls bought
nylons from me. They wanted
a manager they could trust.

        POLAKOFF
One of those girls was your
wife, wasn’t she? You
prostituted your own wife.

        MILLER
These were hard times.

        POLAKOFF
You tell me, Mr. Miller.
Would you trust a man who
made a whore out of his
own wife? Would you believe
anything he said?

IN THE COURTROOM

A short time later. JOE BENDIX, a scarred ex con tells his story.

        BENDIX
I’m a two time loser. I
didn’t wanna get pinched
again So I asked Lucky,
could I get a job collectin’
at the cathouses.

        TOM
And what did he say, Mr.
Bendix?

        BENDIX
That he’d get Little Davey
to put me on for forty bucks
a week. He definitely promised
me a job.

AT THE DEFENSE TABLE

Charley whispers to Polakoff.

        CHARLEY
I bought some swag jewelry
off him once. The rest is a
lotta crap.

Polakoff rises to face Bendix with a friendly smile.

        POLAKOFF
Did you ever take that
job, Mr. Bendix?

        BENDIX
No. I got caught stealin’
and they sent me back to
Sing Sing for life.

        POLAKOFF
Which is where you contacted
Mr. Dewey.

        BENDIX
That’s right.

        POLAKOFF
Because you wanted to do
your duty as a patriotic
citizen…

        BENDIX
(defiant)
That’s right.

        POLAKOFF
You’re just a small time
hood, by your own admission.
So how would you know a big
shot like Lucky Luciano?

        BENDIX
Everybody knows Lucky.
Everybody knows he runs
every racket in New York,
clean and dirty. You steal
an apple off a push cart,
you gotta give him half.

        POLAKOFF
Did Mr. Dewey promise you
anything in exchange for
your testimony?

Bendix hesitates.

        POLAKOFF
Are you suddenly struck deaf,
Mr. Bendix?
(louder)
Have you been promised anything
in exchange for your testimony?

Bendix looks over at Tom. He nods bleakly.

         BENDIX
Mr. Dewey said he’d get me
a reduction in sentence…
if Luciano was convicted…

INT.CORRIDOR. DAY

Tom and his staff hurry down the hall, pursued by REPORTERS, shouting questions: “Is your strategy working, Tom?” “Do you think the jury believed your witnesses?” They dash into an office.

INT. OFFICE. DAY

Medailie is pacing impatiently. He jumps at Tom.

        MEDAILIE
This was a very bad beginning,
Tom.

        TOM
We’re building a case, George.

        MEDAILIE
With a man who pimped his
wife and another who admits
he sold his testimony for a
better deal? I’ve got to
admit that even I find it
hard to believe that Luciano
would have anything to do
with such scum..

        TOM
You will after you hear
those poor women testify.

        MEDAILIE
I understand what you’re
doing, Tom. But your
strategy is built on
bribery and coercion…

        TOM
It’s the only strategy we
have. We can’t catch
Luciano with a smoking gun
because he doesn’t do his
own shooting. We’ve got to
create public outrage, show
the world what a monster he
really is. Call it bribery
or coercion but we have to
find a way to make these
people testify.

NEWSREEL

In a dormitory, Tom sits with Nancy and four of her friends.

        NEWSCASTER
Prosecutor Tom Dewey talks
the women who will testify
against Lucky Luciano. Freed
from the grasp of the white
slavers they live together in
a dormitory where they are
being cured of their addiction
and returned to faith and
family…

The wan, woebegone PROSTITUTES tell their story.

        MARY THOMAS
I froze walkin’ the streets
to support my two kids, but
it was better than workin’
in the houses.

        JOAN MARTIN
Little Davey told me I had
to pay three hundred a week.
He said Lucky was behind it.
When I argued he hit me with
a pipe.
(shows a scar on her face)
He gave me this.

        HELEN KELLY
I was makin’ six bucks a
week, waitin’ tables. When
I lost my job. Davey put me
into a house. Said Lucky
took care of the girls. Gave
me my first shot of heroin.
I was bookin’ a coupla hundred
a night and he’d throw me a fin
to get high.

        FLO (COKEY) BROWN
Girls who went to the cops
had their feet and stomachs
burned with cigarettes and
their tongues cut out…It’s
like Mr. Dewey says. We have
to make sure this never happens
to another girl ever again.

INT. COURTROOM. DAY

Flo, pale and trembling from drug withdrawal testifies under Tom’s patient guidance.

        FLO
We were sittin’ around this
Chop Suey joint…

        TOM
Who were you with?

        FLO
Davey and Fat Jenny and…

        TOM
And who..?

        FLO
(takes out a flask)
Can I take a snort to calm
my nerves?

        POLAKOFF
Objection! No one else is
allowed to bring alcohol
into this building…

        TOM
Your honor, Miss Brown needs
this for medicinal purposes.

There is laughter in the gallery. Judge McCook gavels it into silence.

        MCCOOK
Objection overruled on
humanitarian grounds. Go
ahead, Miss Brown.

Flo takes a long pull on the flask and continues in a strong, clear voice.

        FLO
Charley Lucky was there,
too.

AT THE DEFENSE TABLE (CROSSCUT)

Outraged, Charley whispers to Polakoff.

        CHARLEY
I never seen this broad in
my life.

        FLO
Charley was braggin’ in
front of the girls. ‘I’m
gonna organize the cathouses
like the A&P,’ he says.

        TOM
Did Luciano discuss his
other plans?

        FLO
Said the girls had to
produce more. He wanted
the boys to beat ‘em up
or get ’em hooked on drugs.
‘You gotta step on ‘em,’ he
said. ‘Talkin’ won’t do no
good.’

        TOM
Thank you, Miss Brown.

Polakoff rises with sarcastic politeness.

        POLAKOFF
You have a nickname, don’t
you, Miss Brown?

        FLO
People called me Cokey
‘cause I was coked up
most of the time.

        POLAKOFF
When did you become a
prostitute?

        FLO
When I was fifteen. Three
guys, friends of my uncle
put me in a house in Chicago.

        POLAKOFF
Nice family. How soon
after that did you become
addicted to heroin?

        FLO
A day, a year, who knows..

        POLAKOFF
Hopheads don’t have very
good memories, do they
Cokey?

        TOM
Objection. Miss Brown
isn’t a medical expert…

        POLAKOFF
Were you coked up the
night you saw Mr. Luciano?

        FLO
Maybe. I don’t know.

        POLAKOFF
You don’t remember if you
were coked up, but you do
remember every word Mr.
Luciano said.

        FLO
You don’t forget Charley
Luciano. You don’t forget
those eyes lookin’ into you.

The jury looks over at Luciano. To break the tension he puts his hands over his eyes. The courtroom erupts in laughter, the JURORS hiding their smiles behind their hands. The laughter continues in spite of Judge McCook’s pounding gavels and stern requests for “silence.”

AT THE PROSECUTION TABLE

Tom and his team are the only ones not amused. Gurfein and Hurwitz look to Tom for guidance, but he stares grimly as the laughter washes over him.

END ACT THREE


Next: Part 24/Act 4: Dewey Crosses Lucky

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.

 

Movies You Will Never See/Empires of Crime/Part 22

*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 IV

ACT TWO

INT. TOM’S OFFICE. NIGHT.

Tom listens intently as a Dave Miller tells his story.

        MILLER
It’s all organized. We pay
ten bucks per girl for a
bail fund that gets them
out of jail. Ten bucks
goes for paying off the
Vice Squad. Three hundred
a week to Bettilo.

        TOM
Who’s he?

        MILLER
The collector. Comes around
after a big Friday night.
If you can’t pay he saps
you down.

        TOM
Luciano ever sap you down?

        MILLER
No he don’t do his own rough
stuff.

        TOM
So how do you know he’s
Bettilo’s boss?

        MILLER
I seen ‘em together. I
brought a broad to the
Waldorf for Luciano.
Nancy Presser…

INT.TOM’S OFFICE. DAY

Dawn. An argument has been raging for hours. Tom watches, trying to make up his mind as his staff fights it out.

        HURWITZ
It’s a known fact that Luciano
runs every racket in the city.

        GURFEIN
We still need to establish a
direct connection to
prostitution.

        HURWITZ
Miller gives us the connection.
He brought a girl to Luciano.

        GURFEIN
That only proves that Luciano
is a good customer. We need
to see him taking money,
making day to day decisions.

        TOM
Miss Carter, you worked in
Woman’s Court. Did the
prostitutes ever mention
any ties to the Syndicate?

        CARTER
All I heard were the most
heartbreaking stories.

        TOM
Which would sound very
moving on a witness stand.
These women are on the
lowest rung of the criminal
ladder. They are fragile
souls…

        CARTER
Anyone who can drink a quart
of gin and sleep with twenty
men a night is hardly fragile,
Chief. But they are downtrodden
and abused.

        TOM
For five years I’ve turned
down the idea of going after
the prostitution racket. It
seemed like small potatoes.
But I overlooked the human
aspect. People wouldn’t like
their Good Time Charley so
much if they saw how he
ruined the lives of young
girls. I can see a parade of
fallen women marching into a
courtroom and pointing their
fingers at Charley Luciano,
saying:”you did this to me.”
Let’s see if he can stand up
to that.


INT.BROTHEL. NIGHT.

Towels are jammed into the window cracks and under the door. Nancy  and two YOUNG PROSTITUTES are smoking opium. There is a KNOCK.

        NANCY
Oh God, I don’t feel like
workin’.

Opens the door and a bunch of DETECTIVES shoulder in.

        DETECTIVE
Get your coats, ladies, this
is a raid.

        NANCY
I don’t get it. We paid
everybody off.

        DETECTIVE
Not Tom Dewey, you haven’t.


INT. FREIGHT ELEVATOR. NIGHT.

Nancy is jammed in with a bunch of complaining PROSTITUTES and bored cops. The door opens on the HOLDING ROOM. The floor is crowded with raucous PROSTITUTES and harried COPS. Eunice Carter stands at the door with a welcoming smile.

        CARTER
Good evening ladies. Give
your names to the officers
at the tables. There’s coffee
and donuts if you’re hungry…

        NANCY
We’ll be bailed out before
the coffee starts perkin’…


INT. HOLDING ROOM. NIGHT.

A short time later. Nancy is in a crowd of angry PROSTITUTES mobbing the cops. “Let us out.” “You can’t keep us here.” TOM walks into the midst of the angry crowd and raises
his hand.

        TOM
Ladies please, we want to
help you.


He is greeted by hoots of derision.

        TOM
Ask yourselves, where will
you be in two years? In
prison? Sick from drugs and
rotgut booze?

        A PROSTITUTE
We’ll all be dead, what do
you care?

The women jeer and shout: “Yeah, what do you care?”

        TOM
We care and we’ll prove it.
We’ve brought doctors here
to give you a good check up.
(points to CLERGYMEN behind
him)
When was the last time you
spoke to a priest or a
minister or a rabbi?
(points to SOCIAL WORKERS)
Some of you have kids in an
orphanage. These social
workers can get them back
for you.
(the women grow quiet)
Some of you have families
who are trying to find you.
Husbands looking for wives.
Mothers for their daughters.
A woman in Auburn, New York
put in a missing person
report for her daughter,
Nancy. Is there a Nancy
Presser here? Your mother
wants you back, Nancy, no
questions asked.

IN THE CROWD

Nancy chokes back a sob.

INT. OFFICE. NIGHT.

Outside the glass window the PROSTITUTES mill, restlessly. Inside, Nancy daubs at a tear as Tom tries to convince her to testify.

        NANCY
It’s a dirty trick bringin’
my mother into this.

        TOM
Luciano’s playing a worse
trick on you, Nancy.

        NANCY
Go peddle your papers, Boy
Scout, I don’t know no
Luciano.

        TOM
Dave Miller told us all
about you and Charley.

        NANCY
That rotten stoolie..!

        TOM
He’s your friend, Nancy. He
told us how you came to the
city a frightened kid with
no money and no place to go.
How they grabbed you and put
you on the hustle. Fed you
dope so you’d be their slave
forever. You girls hate
yourselves. You think it’s
all your fault, but it’s not.
You had a bad break.

        NANCY
Yeah, yeah, don’t hand me
that bull. You just want me
to rat on Charley. Well, I
got bad news for you: he
don’t have nothin’ to do
with the houses. Charley
Luciano don’t need no
nickel dime action.

        TOM
He’s your friend, huh?

        NANCY
I’m his number one, ask
anybody.

        TOM
Does he take you out a lot?

        NANCY
He likes to stay home.
Listen to the radio shows…

        TOM
Broadway Charley a homebody?
He’s in the clubs every night.
I see his name in the columns
all the time.

        NANCY
With me it’s different. I’m
kinda like his wife…

        TOM
C’mon Nancy, he only wants
you for one thing…

        NANCY
(faltering)
No, it’s not like that…

        TOM
He’s ashamed of you. When
he wants to be seen in
public he goes with Gay
Orlova from the Follies.
He bathes her in jewels
and furs. What does he
give you?

        NANCY
Charley’s been good to me…

        TOM
He whistles and you come
running. Then when it’s
time to go he slips you
a few dollars and sends
you back to a filthy hotel
room to turn more two dollar
tricks, doesn’t he?

        NANCY
It’s not that way.

        TOM
He’s using you, Nancy. When
he gets bored he’ll dump you.
You’ll end up a syphilitic
drug addicted old whore dying
alone and forgotten in a
charity ward.

        NANCY
You wouldn’t be no better.
No man would.

        TOM
I’m no saint. But here’s
the difference: you work
with me you’ll have respect.
You’ll be reunited with your
family. You’ll be clean.
You’ll be able to start a new
life. I’m the best friend you’ve
got right now, Nancy. Give me
a chance to prove it.


Nancy stares at him, trying to make up her mind.

INT.BEN MILLER’S. NIGHT.

A swank casino where New York’s elite is trying its luck. Charley and Gay Orlova enter in evening clothes. Waving and shaking hands they make their way to the roulette wheel where Meyer is watching anxiously as Walter Chrysler makes huge bets.

        MEYER
He took a hundred G’s
credit. Said you would
okay it.

        CHARLEY
Whaddya kvetchin’, the guy
owns the Chrysler building.
(waves to Chrysler)
Tell ‘em where you got it,
Walter.

        MEYER
Polakoff’s losin’ his shirt
again.

        CHARLEY
That’s good, ain’t it?

        MEYER
It’s money we’ll never see.
He’ll just take it off our
legal fees.

        CHARLEY
So what, we’re still ahead.

        MEYER
It doesn’t go on the books,
so it affects our cash flow
and our winning percentage…

        CHARLEY
Stop thinkin’ like a
bookkeeper…


At the crap table, Polakoff rolls snake eyes and the CROWD MOANS in sympathy.

        CHARLEY
Uh oh, I hate to see my
lawyer losin’ money. Means
my fee’s gonna go up…
(hands Gay a roll of bills)
Here y’are, baby, give the
dice a little kiss, that’ll
make ‘em jump…


The crowd laughs as Polakoff steps away from the table and follows Charley and Meyer into:

INT.BACK OFFICE. NIGHT.

BOOKKEEPERS in eyeshades are pounding adding machines. Without being asked they step out. The three men confer in the shadows.

        POLAKOFF
Dewey’s getting big headlines
with his anti Luciano campaign.

        CHARLEY
He pinched every small timer
in town and couldn’t get
nothin’.

        POLAKOFF
Now he’s raided all the
brothels. Arrested hundreds
of prostitutes.

        CHARLEY
What a catastrophe. What
are all the johns gonna do
for company?

        POLAKOFF
He’s got your girlfriend
Nancy Presser.

        CHARLEY
So what? All she can tell
him is what a great lay I
am.

        MEYER
Cover your ears, Mo.

        POLAKOFF
(stepping out)
I’ll be outside losing
money…

        MEYER
(waits for him to leave)
Maybe we should have let
Dutch have his way.

        CHARLEY
If we killed Dewey they
woulda shut us down for
good. This way I’m takin’
the heat for organization.

        MEYER
So take a little vacation
instead.

        CHARLEY
You keep tryin’ to get me
to leave town. Whaddya you
lookin’ to take over while
I’m gone?

        MEYER
That’s a nice thing to say
when I’m wrackin’ my brains
tryin’ to keep you outta
jail. Don’t you realize:
we’re done here. Dewey’s
not gonna let us breathe.

        CHARLEY
So what am I supposed to
do?

        MEYER
Cash out. Go to Miami, out
west, where there’s easy
pickings and a quiet life.

        CHARLEY
That’s what you want, Meyer.
A quiet life. Grow old
gracefully. Die in bed with
your grandchildren all
around you. Capone was right.
You don’t know who you are.

        MEYER
I’m a business man, Charley.

        CHARLEY
You run your rackets like
a business, but that don’t
make you a business man.
You’re a desperado, just
like me. You were born
schemin’, you’ll die
schemin’.

        MEYER
What do you wanna do,
conquer the world, Charley.?

        CHARLEY
Just a piece of it. I wanna
build this business up so
that every time somebody
makes a bet he’s bettin’
with me. You know who gave
me that idea? You did.

        MEYER
Things have changed.

        CHARLEY
I wanna build it up so
that every time a guy
goes out for a night on
the town he’s doin’ it
in my clubs, drinkin’ my
liquor, listenin’ to my
bands. I like this life,
Meyer. Sittin’ on the
third base line at Yankee
Stadium, the owner’s box
at Belmont, ringside at
the Garden. Walkin’ into
a club with a chorus honey
in a mink coat. Two on the
aisle at a show I’m backin’.
Everybody wavin’ and callin’
‘Hey Charley…

        MEYER
Those days died with
Prohibition, Charley.

        CHARLEY
People are still comin’ to
us for a good time and they
always will. They know the
only way they can get rich
is if they get lucky with us.
You’ll see: The people won’t
let Dewey put us outta
business.


INT. GRAND JURY. DAY

REPORTERS, PHOTOGS and NEWSREEL CREWS rush forward as Tom steps out of the Grand Jury room with Nancy and a few of her FRIENDS. In a plain dress, scrubbed clean without make up, Nancy looks like the small town girl next door. Tom guides her toward the cameras.

        TOM
Just step right up here,
ladies and pose for the
newsreel boys.
(to the REPORTERS)
Nancy Presser has become
our most zealous advocate.
She’s convinced many of her
friends to clean up and
testify…


The REPORTERS clamor for a statement. Nancy looks hesitantly at Tom, but he nudges her forward with a reassuring smile.

        TOM
Go ahead. Say what’s in
your heart.

        NANCY
(halting)
I’m not a bad girl, I
just got some bad breaks.
But Mr. Dewey stepped in
and saved me from a life
of depravity and disease.
As Mr. Dewey says, God
always has mercy on a
repentant sinner. I’m
telling the truth at
last and I pray God
forgives me…


She looks back at Tom. He pats her, approvingly on the hand.

        TOM
Charles Luciano is the czar
of prostitution. His
syndicate controls more than
two hundred brothels,
employing three thousand
prostitutes grossing twelve
million dollars a year.
People say prostitution is a
victimless crime, but these
women are its victims. They
are ruined, exploited, then
abandoned when they can no
longer earn money for their
brutal masters. They have
come forth at great personal
risk to expose Luciano’s
vicious racket.


EXT. DARK STREET. NIGHT.

Gay Orlova sits in the back of a sedan, bundled in furs. Charley Workman throws suitcases into the trunk. Meyer and Charley walk to the car, talking excitedly.

        MEYER
You change cars in Philadelphia
and Cleveland. Then take the
train into Hot Springs. Owney
Madden’s got the whole state of
Arkansas locked up for you.

        CHARLEY
I got nothin’ to do with
these whorehouses. What am
I runnin’ for?

        MEYER
We need time to pull strings.
Maybe squash this thing.

        CHARLEY
Dewey’s knows I’m innocent.       

        MEYER
He’s a grifter like us,
Charley. He’s got no morals…

        CHARLEY
How about those newspaper guys
howlin’ for my blood. I was
always nice to them…

        MEYER
You know how they are. They
go the way the wind blows.

        CHARLEY
I can’t get over Nancy
turnin’ on me like that.
She don’t owe me nothin’,
but still, I always
thought she kinda liked
me…

        MEYER
Wait’ll this is over and
you’re back on top. You’ll
be Mr. Popularity all over
again..Gimme a call when
you get to Hot Springs…


They shake hands through the window and Meyer watches Charley’s car speed away, his reassuring smile fading to a look of concern.

INT. MEYER’S APARTMENT. DAY

Early the next morning. Meyer walks in, sleepless and haggard. His children, PAUL, SANDRA and BUDDY, on crutches and braces, are in the vestibule with their coats on and suitcases. They look at him, eyes wide with fright.

        MEYER
Hey kids, what’s the matter.


Meyer’s mother, YETTA, comes out.

        YETTA
Oy Maier, where were you?
Two days we’ve been trying
to find you.

        MEYER
I had business, ma. What
happened?

        YETTA
(takes him away from the
children)
Annie had a breakdown.
Screaming, banging her head,
pulling out her hair. The
kinderlach were so scared.
An ambulance came. They took
her to Bellevue…


INT. BELLEVUE. DAY

Meyer follows a NURSE down a gloomy corridor and into:

INT. HOSPITAL ROOM. DAY

where Anne is in a gray hospital robe, staring out the window.

        MEYER
Annie…


She turns with a dull, emotionless look.

        ANNE
You finally showed up. Where
were you traipsing around
this time?

        MEYER
I had to get Charley out
of town.

        ANNE
Oh yeah, your old friend,
who gave such a nice toast
at our wedding. Charley,
the white slaver…

        MEYER
What happened to you?

        ANNE
I got sick and tired of them.

        MEYER
Sick and tired of who?

        ANNE
The people listening on the
phone. I hear their voices
when I pick it up. The men
following me on the street.
Sometimes I walk right at
them and they turn around
or make believe they’re
reading the paper.

        MEYER
Did you tell the doctors?

        ANNE
They think I’m hearing voices,
imagining things. But you know
I’m not, Meyer. Dewey put those
people there, didn’t he?

        MEYER
They can’t do nothin’ but
watch, Annie. Try and forget
about ‘em.

        ANNE
Look Meyer…


Anne reaches under her gown and comes out with a JEWEL BOX filled with RINGS and BROOCHES  and PINS.

        ANNE
They tried to take my jewels,
but I hid them.
(holds up a DIAMOND NECKLACE)
You gave me this on our
honeymoon, remember?

        MEYER
Sure I do…

        ANNE
We were happy when the
babies were coming. You
were home every night.
Walter Winchell lived in
the building. Remember he
came for bagels and lox
one Sunday? He talked so
respectful to you. Always
took his hat off when I
saw him in the elevator.

        MEYER
Everybody loved us during
Prohibition. The party
didn’t start until we
showed up.

        ANNE
But now he’s on the radio
calling you a sewer rat
and saying there’s no
place for snakes like
you in FDR’s America…

        MEYER
These guys blow with the
wind. It don’t mean nothin’.

        ANNE
It does to your children,
Meyer. I had my doubts…Oy,
if I had only known…

        MEYER
(takes her hand)
It’ll be good again, Annie,
I promise. I got a few
things to take care of and
then we’ll move to Cuba…

        ANNE
All of a sudden Cuba is
the Promised Land? Next
year in Cuba?

        MEYER
Annie, why do you think
I’m knockin’ my brains
out goin’ back and forth..?
I’m doin’ it for you and
the kids.

        ANNE
Don’t splurge on a big house,
Meyer because we aren’t coming.

        MEYER
Annie, believe me. Cuba is
our chance to be respectable.

        ANNE
It’s too late, Meyer, don’t
you see? They’ll never let
you change…You should live
like Charley. Out every night,
girls coming and going. A man
like you can’t have a family.
It’s wrong, Meyer…


She turns away and goes back to the window, fondling her jewels, shutting him out.

MONTAGE…

CHARLEY drives south, GAY sleeping on his shoulder.

GURFEIN shows the staff a BANNER HEADLINE: DEWEY INDICTS LUCIANO

TOM gives a major press conference.

        TOM
Lucky Luciano is Public
Enemy Number One in New
York. He is to be arrested
on sight wherever he has
lighted.


RAILROAD STATION

A sign reads HOT SPRINGS, ARKANSAS…GET WEALTHY, STAY HEALTHY. Charley and Gay get off the train and are greeted by mobster OWNEY MADDEN and a delegation of SOUTHERN POLITICIANS. As FLASHBULBS POP:

        MADDEN
Welcome to Hot Springs, Charley.
This is your town now. Dewey
can’t touch you here.


NEWSREEL…Tom behind a BANK of MICROPHONES.

        TOM
I have today issued a request
to the state of Arkansas for
the immediate extradition of
Charles Luciano…I don’t
think the good citizens
realize that their Governor
is offering safe haven to
the worst criminal in America.


NEWSREEL…HOT SPRINGS COURTHOUSE…Charley and Mo Polakoff emerge smiling and meet Owney Madden on the steps.

        NEWSCASTER
Lucky Luciano may be Public
Enemy Number One in New York,
but here in Arkansas he’s a
solid citizen. The state court
refused to extradite him, the
Governor has allowed him to
stay and the Mayor of Hot
Springs has given him the key
to the city. Here he meets
with old pal Owney Madden, a
former New York bootlegger
who runs the Warm Springs spa
and resort, a weekend hideaway
for all the best people in the
South, Lucky Luciano included.


INT.OWNEY MADDEN’S CASINO. NIGHT

A banner over the bandstand, reads WELCOME LUCKY. The band strikes up a FANFARE as Charley, in a white dinner jacket and Gay in a strapless gown, walk into the club. Charley waves to the applauding crowd as Owney escorts them to a ringside table. A WAITER pops CHAMPAGNE.

        CHARLEY
I hope that ain’t the stuff
we used to make, Owney.

        MADDEN
French, right off the boat.
(they sit down)
I heard from Meyer today.
Polakoff’s workin’ to dismiss
the indictment. Meyer’s gonna
look out for your interests.
We’ll give you twenty five G’s
a month walkin’ around money.
I’ll advance it and get it
back from the boys…

        CHARLEY
I really appreciate what
you’re doin’…

        MADDEN
Hey, us old knockaround guys
gotta stick together, right?
You’re gonna like it here,
Charley. All the comforts of
home.

        CHARLEY
Got any corned beef?

        MADDEN
We’re workin’ on it.

        CHARLEY
What do you think, Gay?

        GAY
It’s beautiful down here.
I love the weather.

        CHARLEY
Yeah, it’s beautiful.
(shakes his head, sadly)
But it ain’t Broadway.

END ACT TWO


Next: Part 23/Act 3: On Trial

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 21


*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 21

By Heywood Gould

PART IV

ACT ONE


INT. DEWEY BEDROOM. NIGHT

THE PHONE RINGS. Frances, now in her eighth month of pregnancy is rudely awakened. She answers with a look of alarm.

        FRANCES
Hello…For God’s sake, Tom,
do you know how I frightened
I get..?

INT.TOM’S OFFICE. NIGHT.(CROSSCUT)

Tom’s staff, exhausted from long hours of work watches as Tom, fresh and energetic, waves an OFFICIAL ENVELOPE.

        TOM
I know it’s late, but I
had to call. I am holding
in my hand a sealed
indictment against Dutch
Schultz. Seventeen counts
of tax evasion, racketeering
and extortion. It finally
came through, Frances. We’re
on our way.

        FRANCES
You’d better be on your way
home.

INT. CORRIDOR. NIGHT

Tom walks briskly down the corridor, his weary staff struggling to keep pace.

        TOM
Go home and get forty winks.
I want you all back here at
8:30 for the press conference.

They say “Good night” to a JANITOR mopping the floor.

OCTOBER 24, 1935

INT. PALACE CHOP HOUSE. NIGHT

A sawdust joint in Newark. Schultz and Landau and his boys are at a round table in the back behind pitchers of beer and bowls of steamers. The janitor stands awkwardly, twisting his cap.

        SCHULTZ
Here’s to Stanley, our intrepid
spy in the enemy camp.

camp.

        A TIPSY THUG
Our Mata Hari.

Schultz pours a beer over his head.

        SCHULTZ
Mata Hari was a broad, stupid.
stupid. What’s the news on the
Rialto, Stanley?

        JANITOR
That indictment came down
today, Mr. Schultz. Dewey’s
gonna arrest you tomorrow
and walk you in for the
newsreel boys…

        SCHULTZ
See? I get persecuted for
givin’ people a decent
glass of beer.
(sticks a roll of bills
in his pocket)
Stanley, it’s friends like
you who make this cruddy
world a better place…Put
your kids through college
so they don’t have to fight
in the gutter with the dogs
for a scrap of meat…

The janitor says a hasty “thank you,” and slips away, relieved to be out of there. Schultz turns to Abe Landau.

        SCHULTZ
Abie baby, we gotta move…

move…

        LANDAU
All you gotta do is say
when, boss.

        SCHULTZ
When huh?
(working himself up)
That little runt thinks that
when Dutch goes to jail
everybody’ll turn into a
little angel. No more gamblin’,
no drinkin’ no chippyin’
around when Dutch is gone.

He screams with rage and throws the pitcher against the wall, shattering it. His men duck the flying glass. Suddenly calm, Schultz brandishes the jagged handle in Landau’s face.

        SCHULTZ
When… my world is clouded
by fear/I have a bucket of
clams/ And a pitcher of beer…
When my pal Abie draws near/
The sun comes up/And the skies
are clear.

INT. CHARLEY’S OFFICE. NIGHT.

Tense and smoke filled. All eyes are on Charley.

        CHARLEY
I told Dutch a hundred times:
They got Capone on taxes. Get
a front.

        MEYER
A guy like that can bring
everybody down.

        GENOVESE
Maybe Dewey’ll let him cop
a plea.

        CHARLEY
Nah. Nailin’ Dutch is Dewey’s
ticket to the Governor’s
mansion and he knows it.

        MEYER
Meanwhile Dutch is casin’
Dewey.

        ANASTASIA
We talked him outta that.

        CHARLEY
You don’t talk a lunatic
outta nothin’.

        ANASTASIA
Okay so he does what he does.
Good for us, right?

        CHARLEY
Wrong. You kill a New York
DA they’ll send the troops
in here. You can’t embarrass
the President of the United
States in his home town.

        GENOVESE
Yeah, but with Dutch gone
Dewey’ll go after you.

        CHARLEY
I know that Vito. I’ve looked
at this thing up, down and
backwards. One of these guys
has gotta go.

        ANASTASIA
Jeeze, Charley, Dutch is one
of us.

        MEYER
Yeah. Of course with Dutch
gone all his rackets will
be up for grabs…

The men nod, thoughtfully.

        CHARLEY
That’s good point, Meyer.

INT. PALACE CHOP HOUSE. NIGHT

Whiskey bottles have replaced the pitchers of beer. Everyone is soused but Landau, who drinks coffee and puffs nervously on a cigarette. A bespectacled BOOKKEEPER has arrived and is pounding on an adding machine as Schultz chants a drunken accompaniment.

        SCHULTZ
Cowboy Dutch rode out of the
west/With boozenon his shirt
and egg on his vest/Oh gimme,
he said, the light of the
stars/ Instead of the twinkle
of bottles on bars.

        BOOKKEEPER
We made $827,253.54 last week.

        SCHULTZ
Oh mama, we’ll have to go on
welfare.

His laugh freezes, his face contorts with hatred and his pounds his fist in the table.

        SCHULTZ
If that little rat thinks he
can shut me down…
(shoves a bottle at Landau)
Have a drink, Abie, it’ll give
you courage.

        LANDAU
I don’t need it.

        SCHULTZ
Like in the drugstore the
other day, huh?

        LANDAU
There were too many people
around.

        SCHULTZ
This is the biggest thing
anybody’s ever done, Abie
boy…Are you ready to go
down in history?

He stops and squints as he sees:

CHARLEY WORKMAN AND A HOOD

walking through the door. Before they can see him:

SCHULTZ

jumps up and heads for the bathroom.

        SCHULTZ
Don’t go away, Abie.

        BOOKKEEPER
What are you gonna do with
all this money?

        SCHULTZ
Take it in nickels and play
the slots…

INT.BATHROOM. NIGHT.

Schultz enters and locks the door behind him. Suddenly, there is the CRACK of SHOTS. Schultz cringes and runs into a stall.

IN THE RESTAURANT

Charley Workman and his accomplice are blasting away with pistols and sawed offs. The three hoods can’t get to their guns in time and are riddled with bullets.

IN THE BATHROOM

Silence…Schultz peeks out of a stall. He opens the bathroom door, carefully. Edges out…Sees no one… But then:

THE DOOR

flies open. Charley Workman is standing there with a .38 and a .45. He empties the guns.

SCHULTZ

is hit twice and driven back against the wall. He gets to his feet as more SHOTS ring out. Then it is quiet. Schultz staggers out. The restaurant is empty. The BARTENDER rises from under the bar. Shultz’s three men are sprawled, bleeding at the table. He collapses in a chair.

        SCHULTZ
Somebody call an ambulance!

THE THUG

manages to get to his feet, a bloody mess, and stumble to the bar where he demands:

        THUG
Gimme change of a quarter…

SCHULTZ

throws a nickel at him.

        SCHULTZ
Here’s a nickel, you cheap
bastard!

Then turns as:

LANDAU

looks at him with hatred in his dying eyes.

        LANDAU
You saw those guys come in…

in…

        SCHULTZ
Don’t talk, kid, save your
strength.

        LANDAU
Put me on the spot to get rid
of me so I couldn’t talk to
Dewey…

        SCHULTZ
They were after me, not you.

Landau steadies a gun in his bloody grasp.

        LANDAU
This is how you pay me back
after all the dirty deals I
done for you

        SCHULTZ
(gets up)
They were after me, Abie…

Landau fires. Schultz is hit in the shoulder.

        SCHULTZ
Whaddya nuts..?

He turns to run. Landau shoots him in the back. He goes down with a scream of pain.

        SCHULTZ
They were after me I tellya…

INT. CHARLEY’S BEDROOM. NIGHT.

Charley and Nancy are cuddling in bed reading the “funnies.” He turns the page.

        NANCY
Hold it, I ain’t finished.

        CHARLEY
You like Blondie and Dagwood?
You know what Blondie does
when Dagwood goes to work.
The milkman, the plumber,
the grocery boy…

        NANCY
(with a playful slap)
You would think that with
your dirty mind…

The phone rings.

        CHARLEY
Do me a favor, honey…

        NANCY
(rolling off the bed)
I know. Let the water run…

        CHARLEY
(slaps her in the behind)
You got a tough life. Just
get me a cigarette…
(into the phone)
Yeah…Okay…
(hangs up)
I hope Mr. Dewey appreciates
what I just done for him.

INT. HOSPITAL ROOM. NIGHT

Murray Gurfein pushes through a crowd of COPS, REPORTERS, NURSES, etc. to the bedside where a dying Dutch Schultz is raving.

        SCHULTZ
George, don’t make no bull
moves…Oh Mama, Mama,
please stop doin’ that…

        GURFEIN
Who did this, Dutch?

Schultz looks up, suddenly lucid, and smiles.

        SCHULTZ
The big boss. The man upstairs.

INT.TOM’S OFFICE. DAY

The next morning. A TABLOID HEADLINE on Tom’s desk screams: DUTCH Schultz SLAIN. Tom and his staff do their own post mortem.

        DEWEY
The big boss, the man upstairs…

        CARTER
Sounds like God…

        HURWITZ
The man upstairs is one of
Luciano’s nicknames..

        TOM
Why would Luciano kill
Schultz?

        HURWITZ
Afraid he would make a deal
and testify against him.

        TOM
No, Schultz isn’t an informer.
Maybe I flatter myself but I
assume Luciano knows me well
enough to know I won’t make a
deal.

        GURFEIN
You flatter him, too.

        TOM
Luciano is many things, but
he’s not stupid. If he did
kill Schultz he has a good
reason.

        CARTER
Maybe he’s afraid of a long
trial with a lot of bad
publicity for the mob.

        HURWITZ
Or that a big Page One
conviction would increase
your prestige.

        TOM
It would make a hero out of
me and he doesn’t want that.
So what we’re saying is
killing Schultz is a
strategic move against us.
Well if it is, the strategy
will backfire. Now that
Schultz is gone, Luciano is
our number one target.

        GURFEIN
He’ll be tougher than Schultz.
He’s discreet. Only talks to
his inner circle.

        HURWITZ
We’ve been trying to get a
microphone into his office
at the drugstore for months..

        TOM
Bug his suite at the Waldorf.
Put taps on his phone, on
Lansky’s too. Go over his
personal and financial
records. Spread the word
through the prisons offering
leniency to anyone who comes
forward with information. Get
the public interested. Use the
press to get the story out.
Arrest every bookie, every
shylock or petty crook you can
get your hands on and make sure
the news boys are there to see
it.

INT. HORSE ROOM. DAY

A betting operation. BOOKIES mark race results on a BLACKBOARD. BETTORS line up in front of a wire cage. Suddenly, the COPS bust in, announcing: “This is a raid.” The bettors rush for the exits, the bookies, destroy the ticker tape, the CLERKS hide the money.

VICTOR HURWITZ

arrives, barking orders.

        HURWITZ
Round ‘em up. Single file
right here…

When the ARRESTEES protest, Hurwitz warns:

        HURWITZ
Play ball fellas or we’ll
charge you with unlawful
flight and resisting arrest.
Okay, spruce up, you’re makin’
your screen debut.
(calls)
C’mon in boys…

REPORTERS, PHOTOGS and NEWSREEL CREWS run in. FLASHES POP, CAMERAS turn. One CAMERA TRIPOD teeters on a DOLLY and goes down the line. Some of the men hide their faces, others stare straight ahead, others shout and gesture defiantly.

DISSOLVE TO:

A BLACK AND WHITE NEWSREEL IMAGE of the arrestees, which DISSOLVES into:

NEWSREEL (STOCK FOOTAGE)

COPS raiding WIRE ROOMS, GAMBLING JOINTS and rush GAMBLERS and SHYLOCKS into paddy wagons.

        NEWSCASTER
Gangbuster Tom Dewey declares
war on Lucky Luciano…Hundreds
of police officers raid the dens
of bookies and gamblers…

NEWSREEL…TOM speaks to the press

        TOM
Our target is the man in the
swank car selling spurious
pipe dreams of wealth while
he takes bread from the mouths
of the poor…Charles Luciano

        REPORTER
(baiting him)
C’mon Tom, Lucky’s a good
sport.

        TOM
Don’t be fooled by the silk
suits and the fancy friends.
He’s nothing but a cheap crook.
A thing of the past like Tommy guns
and rot gut booze.

IN CHARLEY’S SUITE..Charley rails to Meyer and his boys.

        CHARLEY
Takin’ bread from poor people?
I didn’t make ‘em poor. I pay
500 to one if they hit a number.
I give people a chance to get
rich.

        MEYER
All they want us to do is
close down, so they can
brag they cleaned up the
town. We cansneak back when
the smoke clears…

        CHARLEY
A thing of the past, huh. I
got news for him: twenty years
from now people will be
gamblin’ more than they do
today. And Dewey’ll be chasin’
ambulances…

        MEYER
And we’ll be layin’ in the
sun in Miami Beach.

        CHARLEY
Miami’s a place you go when
you have a cold, Meyer…I’ll
be on Broadway bigger than
ever. Albert, is the town
locked down?

        ANASTASIA
Tight as a drum, Charley.

        CHARLEY
Dewey made a mistake shootin’
his mouth off. Now he’s gotta
make good on his promise.
Nobody’ll talk to him. New
York is my town. People love
me here. Nobody’ll rat on me
in New York.

INT. HOLDING PEN. NIGHT.

A huge empty office space in the Woolworth Building has been turned into a holding pen for HUNDREDS of PRISONERS. It’s a bedlam of defiant prisoners and threatening cops. PAN ALONG a line of DETECTIVES interrogating the PRISONERS, smacking some, shoving others into radiators, shaking still others in frustration. Everyone is innocent. No one knows Lucky Luciano.

        DETECTIVE
Who do you pay off to? Who’s
the big fish.

        HOOD
How would I know? I’m a
little shrimp.

Further down the line.

        DETECTIVE 2
You run the biggest loansharking
operation in the Garment Center.
You gonna tell me you never heard
of Lucky Luciano?

        LOANSHARK
(offering his wallet)
Here, take my money, take
everything I got. Send me to
the pen for not talkin’, I’ll
make points with the guys who
count.

And a well dressed GAMBLER explains.

        GAMBLER
Nobody’ll talk. You testify
against Lucky Luciano there’s
no hole in the world you can
hide in…

INT.TOM’S OFFICE. DAY

Tom goes through a stack of reports and glares at his staff.

        TOM
How many people have we
questioned so far?

        CARTER
Three hundred and thirteen.

        TOM
No leads to Luciano?

        CARTER
None. Luciano insulates himself
from the day to day operations
of his rackets.

        TOM
Any witnesses willing to
testify?

        HURWITZ
None.

        TOM
Anything from the wiretaps?

        GURFEIN
Nothing. Luciano doesn’t use
the phone for much more than
making dinner reservations.

        TOM
How about his finances?

        HURWITZ
Squeaky clean. Lansky is a
shrewd bookkeeper

        TOM
Shrewd? The man has an eighth
grade education.

        GURFEIN
It’s not only fear or smart
accounting. It’s loyalty.
Luciano takes care of his
people.

        TOM
So now this greasy hoodlum is
a benevolent despot? I don’t
have to tell you people how
important this is. We’ve put
our careers on the line. If
we fail, each of us is finished
in public life.

INT. BROTHEL. NIGHT

A tacky midtown hotel room. Nancy and some other girls look on in horror as Dave Miller, the pudgy pimp from Philadelphia, careens into the frame, clothes torn, face bloodied, pleading:

        MILLER
I gave you everything I have.
You can’t get blood from a
stone…

Little Davey Bettilo moves in and grabs him by the throat.

        BETTILO
You lyin’ little pimp you’re
short Three C’s.

        MILLER
I’m tellin’ you business is
slow in this Depression.

        BETTILO
Everybody’s still got a deuce
for a little fun. Make the
girls work a little harder.
Look at this little princess
sittin’ around readin’ the
funny papers…

        MILLER
For God’s sake, she’s Charley
Lucky’s girl…

        BETTILO
Shut up with that!

Bettilo clubs him down and kicks at him as he warns:

        BETTILO
Didn’t I tellya never to
mention that name.

        MILLER
(cringing)
Okay, okay, I’m sorry…

        BETTILO
(shakes him)
Get up six hundred bucks this
Friday or you’re back sellin’
dirty postcards in Penn Station…
If you live that long.

He drops Miller on the floor and storms out. Nancy runs over to help Miller up.

        NANCY
You okay, Dave?

        MILLER
(gasping)
He’s tryin’ to drive me outta
business, Nancy. He wants my
spots, my girls.

        NANCY
Take it easy, you’re gonna
have a heart attack…

        MILLER
You gotta help me. You gotta
talk to 3 12 for me…

        NANCY
I can’t do that.

        MILLER
He’s a fair guy. He’ll listen.
C’mon everybody knows he’s
sweet on you…

        NANCY
Yeah, but he’s got a whole
fairy tale goin’ on about us.
When I’m with him it’s like
we’re just an ordinary married
couple. We don’t even go out,
just sit around and listen to
the radio. If I talk business
he’ll throw me out on my ass
and it’ll go worse for you.

INT. DEWEY BEDROOM, NIGHT

A BABY CRIES. In bed Frances watches in amusement as Tom paces the floor holding their infant son, JOHN.

        TOM
He’s not happy…

        FRANCES
Give him time to get used to
you. After all you’re almost
a stranger.

The PHONE RINGS

        FRANCES
Saved by the bell.

        TOM
(hands her the baby)
Trade you…Hello…

INT.TOM’S OFFICE. NIGHT.

Gurfein is on the phone.

        GURFEIN
Sorry to bother you, chief but
a gentleman just walked in
with a very interesting story
about Lucky Luciano.

PAN TO Dave Miller, bruised, bandaged and trembling with rage.

END ACT ONE


Next: Part 22/Act 2: Dewey Hunts Lucky

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 20

*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 FOUR

INT. HAVANA HOTEL. NIGHT.

Cuba…A CONJUNTO BAND plays a Mambo. Anne Lansky sits morosely at a table  watching the graceful CUBAN COUPLES.

IN A DARK CORNER

Meyer is talking to FULGENCIO BATISTA a young Army Sergeant.

        MEYER
We’re still making alcohol,
Sergeant Batista and we
still need sugar…at the
right price.

        BATISTA
Cuba is a big plantation,
Mr. Lansky. A hundred tons
will never be missed. Give
me half the American price
per ton in cash, we will
ship it to a port of your
choice.

        MEYER
New Orleans. We control
Customs there. Will you
do business only with me?

        BATISTA
If it continues to be
profitable…

        MEYER
With all due respect,
Sergeant Batista, I think
I might need a General.

        BATISTA
This money you give me
will make me a General
very soon, Mr. Lansky.

Meyer smiles. He and Batista understand each other.

        MEYER
Beautiful country. But
not many tourists.

        BATISTA
They find it too hot.
Too many mosquitos. And
bandidos in the hills.

        MEYER
We could kill the mosquitos
and the bandidos. Build nice
hotels with gambling. Could
that be done?

        BATISTA
As long as it is profitable,
Mr. Lansky.

INT. HOTEL ROOM. NIGHT.

The Havana moon shines through the window, but Anne is inconsolable. She sits on the bed twisting a tearstained handkerchief as Meyer tries to convince her:

        MEYER
Cuba is the answer to
our prayers, Annie.
Charley’ll never leave
New York, Benny is happy
in Hollywood. We’ll have
the whole place to ourselves…

        ANNE
What can we do down here?

        MEYER
We’ll build a big hotel,
ours alone, no partners.
Right on the beach with a
pool and high class
entertainment…

        ANNE
And a casino?

        MEYER
People like to gamble, honey,
I’m not putting a gun to their
head.

        ANNE
Then Charley and Benny and
all your gangster friends
will come like flies to honey…

        MEYER
I’ll control the franchises.
I’ll decide who’s in or out.

        ANNE
Can you think of your children
for once? Where will Paul and
Sandra go to school? Where
will we find doctors for
Buddy?

        MEYER
We’re an hour plane ride
away from Miami, Annie.
There’s a big American
colony here with good
schools…

        ANNE
They won’t accept the
children of a notorious
criminal. When the police
find out they’ll hound us
and persecute us until we
have to run away.

        MEYER
Not from Cuba. We’ll be
safe here. We’ll be happy.

        ANNE
(with a mournful look)
Oy Meyer, this is the life
you gave me. Always running.
It’s too late for happy. And
safe we’ll never be…

INT. DA’S OFFICE.DAY

A line of YOUNG LAWYERS waits to be interviewed.

INT. TOM’S OFFICE. DAY

MONTAGE…Tom interviews young lawyers. First: MURRAY GURFEIN, an earnest young man from Brooklyn.

        GURFEIN
First, I have to tell you,
sir, I’m a lifelong Democrat.

        TOM
Most New Yorkers are, Mr.
Gurfein. More to the point:
Why are you willing to work
twenty hours a day seven
days for week for one tenth
what you could make on Wall
Street?

        GURFEIN
I hate those hoods. I hate
the way they strut around
my neighborhood showing
their money off. Everybody’s
scared of them and in America
that shouldn’t be.

Next: BURTON TURKUS, young, idealistic, intense.

        TURKUS
I’ve been an Assistant District
Attorney for three years and I
can tell you how rotten the
system is. You can’t try a case.
Everyone thinks you’re for sale.

        TOM
Don’t you feel any loyalty
for your former colleagues,
Mr. Turkus?

        TURKUS
Not after what they’ve done
to the profession.

VICTOR HURWITZ, a cocky street kid

        HURWITZ
I have the experience, I
have the energy and I’m
just about the best
investigator you can find.
And frankly, I see big career
possibilities in this job.

        TOM
You’re an arrogant sonofabitch,
Mr. Hurwitz, but then again so
am I. And I have to admit I also
see the possibilities…If we
succeed.

EUNICE CARTER, an intense young black woman

        CARTER
I know every numbers runner
in every poolroom on Harlem.
I’ve had seven years in
Woman’s Court working with
con artists and hustlers.
Nobody can fool me..

        TOM
You realize you’ll be the
only female and the Negro
on our staff.

        CARTER
I’m used to being lonely.

EXT. GOLF COURSE. DAY

A sparkling, sunny morning. Charley, in yellow and black golf clothes, tees off and watches his ball with satisfaction. His companions, JIMMY HINES and WALTER CHRYSLER, squat, bespectacled with a shrewd look, applaud.

        HINES
Great shot, Charley.

        CHRYSLER
Looks like I’m going to
lose my bet.

        CHARLEY
I’m bettin’ you come out
a winner today, Mr. Chrysler.

        CHRYSLER
(as they walk down the fairway)
I hope so. As I was saying:
I’m putting up a big building,
giving work to thousands of
people. You’d think the unions
would be grateful, but they’ve
increased crew size and now
they want time and a half for
overtime.

        HINES
These bums should get on
their knees and thank Mr.
Chrysler for givin’ em jobs..

        CHARLEY
Workin’ guys don’t think
past their stomachs. Don’t
worry about crews or overtime.
You tell me how many floors
you’re puttin’ up, I’ll give
you a price per floor.

        CHRYSLER
And what’s your price,
Charley?

        CHARLEY
I don’t want nothin’. I’m
just happy to grease the
wheels.

        CHRYSLER
Just one more question.
Our arrangements are so
informal. What will happen
if you have a…problem?

        CHARLEY
What kind of problem?

        CHRYSLER
Well, it seems that there
a lot of people who want
to put you out of business.
Thomas Dewey for one…

        CHARLEY
Lemme ask you a question, Mr.
Chrysler. Say you’re sick and
layin’ in the hospital, who
runs your company?

        CHRYSLER
I do. Until the day I die.

        CHARLEY
Same with me.  They can
throw me in a deep, dark
dungeon, I’m still the
boss and nothin’ gets
done without my say so.
That’s how my organization
works.

INT.CORRIDOR. DAY.

Tom gives his new staff a tour of their headquarters..

        TOM
We operate in complete
secrecy. There’s a guard
on the floor twenty four
hours a day. Nobody, not
even the cleaning woman,
gets in without a pass.

SUB BASEMENT…Tom walks his staff through a jungle of pipes and boilers to a steel door.

        TOM
This door leads to a stairway
that connects to the subway
tunnel across the street.
It’s a secret entrance for
your informers and witnesses.

IN THE OFFICE…Tom opens a cast iron safe.

        TOM
All work documents must be
locked in this safe at the
end of the day. Remember.
There are certain powerful
interests in this city that
want us to fail. Consider
everyone your enemy until
they win your trust. Stay
out of nightclubs. When
speaking in public use code
names for your associates,
especially me.

        CARTER
We’ll call you chief. How’s
that?

        TOM
(with a smile)
Chief…Got a nice ring to
it…

EXT. DESERT. DAY.

Desolation as far as the eye can see. A ROAD SIGN reads, WELCOME TO LAS VEGAS miles. Benny and Meyer stand in the broiling sun.

        BENNY
I drove through here three
times before I knew what I
was lookin’ at.

        MEYER
Too hot, Benny.

        BENNY
It’s the desert. You freeze
your ass off at night.

        MEYER
We’ll have to pipe in water.
Pipe in customers, too.

        BENNY
It’s the Promised Land, Meyer.
This is where we’re gonna
build our temple…

INT. RESTAURANT. DAY

At a corner table Abe Landau watches intently as Tom has a quick lunch with an anxious Medailie.

        TOM
They couldn’t convict Dutch
Schulz last time because
they didn’t have enough
hard information. That
won’t happen again.
(takes a chart out of his
brief case)
My staff has worked up an
organizational pyramid on
Schulz, who works for him
and where they do business.
We’re going to cover each of
these men, tap their phones,
bug their private hideaways.

        MEDAILIE
You’ll need warrants.

        TOM
Too risky. If one of the
judges is crooked he’ll
leak it to Schulz…

        MEDAILIE
But if the taps aren’t
legal they’ won’t be
admissible.

        TOM
We’re not going to use
them in court. We’re
going to use them to
blackmail people into
informing and testifying.

        MEDAILIE
That’s against the law, Tom.

        TOM
We’re in a war, George,
outnumbered by hostile
forces. If we stick to
the letter of the law
we’ll never get these
guys. We have to win
this any way we can.

INT. CHARLEY’S OFFICE. NIGHT.

Benny and Meyer are trying to sell the idea of Vegas to Charley, Dutch Schulz and Frank Costello

        BENNY
Cows can’t eat it and you
can’t plant oranges on it,
but it’s the best real
estate deal in the world.

        SCHULZ
Whaddya gonna do, open a
cactus factory?

        CHARLEY
We backed you in California,
Ben. That market’s still not
payin’ off.

        MEYER
It will. Between the wire
service and the crap games
we’re already clearin’ forty
G’s a week in LA.

        BENNY
And that ain’t a spit in
the ocean compared to what
we can do in Vegas.

        COSTELLO
Vegas is a buncha cowboys
playin’ penny slots, Benny.

        BENNY
Not when I get done with
it. There’s this Hollywood
guy Wilkerson, opened a
joint called the Flamingo.
I took it off him. It’s
ours now. A million bucks
buildsus the biggest, most
luxurious hotel in the world.

        MEYER
Benny sees something here,
Charley Let’s give him a
chance.

        CHARLEY
Why take money you make
one place and piss it away
someplace else?

        MEYER
It’s an investment. It’ll
get us outta New York, one
step ahead of Dewey and his
lynch mob.

        SCHULZ
You scared of Dewey, Meyer?
(takes out a wad of CASH)
Tellya what, I’ll buy you
out of all your interests
in New York. You can build
your castle in the sand, I’m
stayin’ right here. No hayseed
shyster’s gonna chase me out.

MONTAGE…NEWSREEL…

Schulz, Abe Landau and CRONIES, surrounded by SHOWGIRLS, pop champagne at a lavish nightclub.

        NEWSCASTER
Mob boss Dutch Schulz rings
in the New Year at the famous
New York nitery Chez Paree.
‘34 was a good year for the
Dutchman, but if Tom Dewey
has his way, 35’ll be a bust.

TOM’S OFFICE

HYMAN GROSS, a frightened restaurateur, is telling his story as Tom’s staff watches, sympathetically.

        GROSS
A hundred thousand dollars
I put into that restaurant
and then Schulz’s thugs told
me to get out, he was taking
over.
(sobs)
They beat up my chef, threw
stink bombs down my chimney.
Insurance wouldn’t pay my claim.
They ruined me…

        TOM
(gently)
You realize that if you
testify your life might
be in danger…

        GROSS
What life? I don’t have a
life anymore.

NIGHT CLUB

A REPORTER intrudes on Schulz’s riotous party.

        REPORTER
Hey Dutch, see the morning
paper? Dewey’s says he’s
gonna indict you.

        SCHULZ
(drunken doggerel)
Who’s Dewey?/Just a lotta
hooey…His cronies laugh
and repeat “a lotta hooey…”

        SCHULZ
Dewey’s a hoodoo/Phooey on
Tom Dewey….

They laugh uproariously as if it’s the funniest thing they’ve ever heard.

TOM’S OFFICE

SIDNEY GOTTESMAN, a union organizer, a bloody bandage on his head, trembling with rage.

        GOTTESMAN
They threw me down the stairs.
Said ‘you don’t run the union
no more. Dutch Schulz’ll take
care of the waiters from now
on.

        TOM
Mr. Gottesman, I feel obliged
to tell you that our wiretaps
have picked up Schulz
threatening your life.

        GOTTESMAN
I don’t care what happens to
me. I just wanna put that bum
in jail.

PRESS CONFERENCE… Tom faces the press, his staff behind him.

        TOM
For months lawyers and
agents under my command
have worked tirelessly to
bring a racketeering
indictment against Dutch
Schulz. We have subpoenaed
three thousand witnesses,
gone over hours of wire-
tapping and surveillance
evidence. Many brave
citizens have come forward
at great personal risk to
testify. I have requested
the empaneling of a separate
Grand Jury. I make this
promise to you New York: I
will bring Dutch Schulz to
justice.

INT. CHARLEY’S PENTHOUSE. NIGHT

DANCE MUSIC  purrs softly on the radio. Charley lies on the couch with his head in Nancy’s lap. She tousles his hair, bored to distraction.

        CHARLEY
We could be anybody right
now. A nice married couple
enjoyin’ a quiet evening at
home…

        NANCY
Can’t we go out for once?

        CHARLEY
What for, we got everything
here. You wanna eat, you
wanna drink? You want a show?
I’ll call Al Jolson to sing
you a lullaby.

        NANCY
You take that chorus girl
out all the time…

The DOORBELL RINGS. Nancy gets up to answer it.

        NANCY
You just don’t want nobody
to see you with your hopped
up girlfriend…

She opens the door on Dutch Schulz, Landau lurking behind him.

        SCHULZ
Hiya gorgeous…

Charley jumps up, coldly angry.

        CHARLEY
I thought they closed the
Bronx zoo for the night.
(to Nancy)
Baby, do me a favor…

        NANCY
(walking out)
Yeah, I know, go in the
bathroom and run the water…

Charley waits until she’s gone, then turns on Schulz.

        CHARLEY
What are you nuts, comin’
here?

        SCHULZ
It’s the only place I can
go these days that ain’t
bugged. I hear Dewey’s gonna
spring a tax rap on me.

        CHARLEY
I told ya a million times.
You gotta have somethin’
legit. You show income,
you throw Uncle Sam a
coupla bucks…

        SCHULZ
I can’t operate, Charley.
He’s got all my phones tapped.
He’s backtrackin’ my joints,
gettin’ an earful from every
crum with a grudge.

        CHARLEY
Whaddya cryin’? You been
dodgin’ cops all your life.

        SCHULZ
Not like this guy. He’s
nuts and he’s got all the
yokels on his side.
(lowers his voice)
I been casin’ him, Charley.
Goes to the same drugstore
for coffee same time every
day. One guy with a silencer
and our troubles are over.

        CHARLEY
You know the rule about
killin’ cops.

        SCHULZ
That’s cause it’s always
been live and let live.
But this guy’s on a holy
war. Look, I’ll take care
of it. You tell the boys
it’s that crazy Dutchman,
you can’t control him.

        CHARLEY
Leave Dewey alone, Dutch.

Schulz’s expression closes and gets cunning.

        SCHULZ
Okay Charley, if you say so.

        CHARLEY
Do what I say. Don’t backdoor
me.

        SCHULZ
Would I do that? I get a
little antsy sometimes,
but I always play ball,
you know me.

        CHARLEY
(not buying it)
To know you is to love you,
kid…

INT. DUCORE’S DRUGSTORE. NIGHT.

A DELIVERY BOY walks up to Charley Workman.

        DELIVERY BOY
Lindy’s delivery…

INT. CHARLEY’S OFFICE.NIGHT.

Smokefilled, tense. Charley is at his desk, Meyer pacing as the Delivery Boy enters.

        CHARLEY
On the desk, kid.

Charley sticks a bill in his pocket and looks in the box.

        CHARLEY
You want cheesecake or danish?

        MEYER
Danish…This is a big move,
Charley. The Dutchman’s nuts,
but we’ve always done business
with him.

        CHARLEY
He’s old fashioned. Got a
problem dump it in the river…

        MEYER
He’s your cover. As long
as they’re gettin’ headlines
with him they’ll leave us
alone. If he’s eliminated
you’re gonna stand out like
the Emperor who just lost his clothes.

        CHARLEY
If we let him hit Dewey
we’ll be back on Page One
as mad dog killers. The
politicians will drop us
and the cops’ll shut us
down for good.

        MEYER
He says he won’t touch him.

        CHARLEY
I gotta think of the
Organization. We built
this thing and now we
got two guys tryin’ to
tear it down—Dutch and
Dewey. And I don’t know
which one’s worse.

INT. DRUGSTORE.DAY

The next day. Tom enters and is greeted by the CUSTOMERS. “Hiya Mr. Dewey…” “You’re doin’ great work, Mr. Dewey….” A man with his collar up and his hat over his eyes walks in as Tom goes to the counter. The
COUNTERMAN lays a cup of coffee down in front of Tom.

        COUNTERMAN
Did you hear Winchell on
Dewey? He gave you a new
nickname, Gangbuster…Tom
Gangbuster Dewey…

        TOM
Gangbuster…Got a nice
ring to it…

The man with his collar up walks to the end of the counter and turns. It is Abe Landau. He puts his hand
in his pocket and moves toward Tom. But suddenly a
CUSTOMER steps in front of him.

        CUSTOMER
Hey Mr. Dewey, maybe you
can help me. The Dutchman’s
shylocks have been hitting
me for three hundred a week…

         TOM
Give me a couple of months
and they’ll never bother
you again.

A SECOND CUSTOMER elbows Landau aside.

         SECOND CUSTOMER
All well and good, Mr. Dewey,
but you know sometimes a
loanshark is the only guy
who’ll give you credit.

         TOM
You’re right, that’s a
real problem. And we’ll
have to address it.

Other CUSTOMERS come over to join the discussion.
LANDAU is thwarted. He steps away from the group,
pulls his collar up even higher and walks out of the
drugstore.

AT THE MAGAZINE RACK

A man turns to watch him go. It is CHARLEY WORKMAN.

END PART III

Next: PART IV

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.