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Monthly Archive for February, 2012

Movies You Will Never See/Empires Of Crime/Part 36

*For Introduction with submission guidelines go to Oct 13

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

*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 VI

ACT FOUR


OCTOBER 1957

INT. TURISTICO RISTORANTE. NIGHT.

Charley is holding court at a round table to a crowd of AMERICAN TOURISTS, REPORTERS and ITALIAN HUSTLERS. Giving detailed instructions to the WAITER.

        CHARLEY
I want the branzino. Fresh
not a week old like the
bacalao you give the
tourists.

Everybody laughs. Charley waves at two MEN IN BAGGY SUITS sitting at a small table. They wave back.

        CHARLEY
And send my two friends a
bottle of Chianti. The cheap
stuff they stick a candle in.

MARTIN GRAYSON, the young slick producer we saw in Part I approaches with IGEA LISSONI, a buxom showgirl in tow.

        GRAYSON
Excuse the intrusion, Mr.
Luciano, My name is Marty
Grayson. My friend wanted
to meet you, but her English
isn’t so good…

        CHARLEY
See the difference? Italians
want a favor, they bring you
a salami. Americans know what
gets ‘em in the door. We
won’t need a translator, will
we honey?

Ralph Rizzo appears with two chairs. Charley kisses Igea’s hand.

        CHARLEY
Como se giamma bellisima?

        IGEA
Igea Lissoni, Signore
Luciano.

        CHARLEY
Igea…Like a beautiful
song. Call me Charley, Igea.
Say it in my ear.

Blushing furiously, Igea whispers “Charley” in his ear.

        CHARLEY
(looks to the heavens)
Oh mama, wherever you are, I
finally got an Italian girl…
Spit it out, Marty. What
are you sellin’?

        GRAYSON
I’m a movie producer. I
want to do your life story.

        CHARLEY
I tellya my life story my
life will end the next day.
(his arm around Igea)
You should put this beauty
in a movie…

        IGEA
Oh no Signor…
(in his ear)
Charley…You are so much
more interesting.

        CHARLEY
(laughing)
Oh, you got everybody in
on the con. Tomasso
bring another bichere for
my Hollywood friend…Who
wants to see a movie about
a broken down old bootlegger?

        GRAYSON
Everybody, that’s who.
You’re a legend, Mr. Luciano.
I could set up your story at
any studio in town.

        CHARLEY
It couldn’t be the way they
always play guys like me.
You know , wearin’ gaudy
suits, talkin’ outta the
sides of their mouths and
slappin’ broads around…

        GRAYSON
It would be the way you
wanted it. Your story. In
your own words.

        CHARLEY
(tempted)
My own words, huh?…Not
that I’m gonna do it, but
if I did, marrone!, what a
story that would be.

EXT. MOTT STREET. NIGHT.

A crowded street in New York’s Little Italy. Lansky gets out of a cab in a hat and overcoat and enters the SAN MARINO restaurant.

INT. PRIVATE ROOM. NIGHT.

Frank Martorano greets Meyer at the door and takes his coat.

        MARTORANO
Good evening, Mr. Lansky…

Meyer nods coldly and walks into the room. Anastasia jumps to greet him. They exchange hugs and exuberant greetings.

        ANASTASIA
What’d you find the fountain
of youth? What’s your secret?

        MEYER
Black coffee, cigarettes and
a lotta aggravation, Albert.

        ANASTASIA
Sounds good,I’ll tell my
doctor. What do you wanna
eat?

        MEYER
Chicken…They got the
skinniest chickens in Cuba.
Like they been racin’ them
or somethin’.

        ANASTASIA
Chicken cacciatore, chicken
scallopini, chicken
scapariello?

        MEYER
Just a plain broiled
chicken…

INT. PRIVATE ROOM. NIGHT.

A few hours later. The men eye each other behind clouds of cigar smoke.

        ANASTASIA
These Cuban cigars are
somethin’ huh. You bringin’
em in?

        MEYER
It’s an old Cuban family
business.

        ANASTASIA
So make yourself a partner.

        MEYER
You don’t choke the goose
that lays the golden eggs.

        ANASTASIA
Charley always said you made
money ‘cause you weren’t
greedy. I never understood
that.

        MEYER
Charley know about the moves
you’re making in Cuba,
Albert?

Anastasia smiles; he knew this was coming.

        ANASTASIA
Charley’s in semi-retirement.
You run a store you gotta be
there all the time.

        MEYER
Cuba belongs to me, Albert,
just like Brooklyn belongs
to you.

        ANASTASIA
Brooklyn belongs to me
because nobody can take it
off me. Now I’m buildin’ in
Havana and nobody’s gonna
take that either.

        MEYER
It’s a big investment.

        ANASTASIA
I’ll use the Teamster Fund.

        MEYER
The Commission has to approve….

        ANASTASIA
They will. Since Charley’s
gone I run New York. Nothin’
comes in on wheels or on the
water without my approval
You can’t beat me, Meyer..
You got no guns, no real
estate.

        MEYER
(gets up)
I get my power from the
money I make for other
people. Marcello in New
Orleans, Accardo in Chicago,
Trafficante in Tampa, Tocca
in Detroit, Lombardo in
Kansas City…They’ll vote
with me and you know it…
You’ll have to kill me to
get me out of Cuba.

        ANASTASIA
One thing about you: you
come to the point.

        MEYER
You do it out of your
territory, Miami or Havana.
Wait a coupla months, then
go to the Commission and say
‘Lansky’s dead. Time to make
a new arrangement for Cuba.’

        ANASTASIA
Be careful you’ll give me
ideas.

        MEYER
It won’t work. Killin’ me
is like cuttin’ a hole in
their wallets. After a
coupla months they’ll be
bleedin’ money and they’re
gonna know who to blame…

        ANASTASIA
(walks Meyer to the door)
I got nothin’ against you,
Meyer. If you take a long
trip I won’t try to find
you. Take that pretty wife
of yours to Israel. Sit on
the beach, dip your feet in
the Red Sea like Moses did…

        MEYER
Thanks for dinner, Albert…

INT. WARWICK HOTEL ROOM. NIGHT

The lights of New York twinkle outside the window. Meyer sits smoking in the dark. There is a knock.

        MEYER
It’s open.

Trafficante enters. Meyer switches on a lamp.

        MEYER
Did you see him?

        TRAFFICANTE
Yeah. It’s like you said,
he wants me to clip you in
Havana… I kinda feel like
a rat. We Italians got this
thing we gotta be loyal to.

        MEYER
I make a lotta money for
the people in your thing.

        TRAFFICANTE
I know. You’re almost like
one of us…

        MEYER
So how much am I worth?

        TRAFFICANTE
Two hundred and fifty G’s.

        MEYER
Albert’ll turn Havana into
Brooklyn, Santo. He’ll bust
it out and you’ll lose
millions. He’s kill crazy.
He dumped the Mangano
brothers in a vacant lot
with their throats cut.
Killed that kid who turned
in Willie Sutton the bank
robber ‘cause he said he
didn’t like stoolies. Now
he wants to kill Walter
O’Malley for takin’ the
Dodgers out of Brooklyn.
You do this for him one of
these days he’s gonna look
at you and decide you know
too much.

        TRAFFICANTE
That’s why I’m talkin’ to
you. What’s your counter
offer?

        MEYER
No fee, Santo.

        TRAFFICANTE
No fee. That means I gotta
pay the mechanics outta my
own pocket.

        MEYER
Think of it as an investment.
Once Albert’s gone his points
will be up for grabs. If you
figure the Tropicana, the
Riviera, the Desert Inn and
The Sands in Vegas, it comes
to between five hundred and
seven-fifty a year. And I’m
the one who gives out the
points.

        TRAFFICANTE
Yeah, but still… no fee,
Meyer…

        MEYER
I’m just a contract,
Albert’s an annuity. It’s
a good offer, Santo. If I
can’t get any takers I’ll
do it myself.

EXT. MIDTOWN STREET. DAY.

A bright, sparkling Manhattan morning. A BLACK CADILLAC pulls up. Martorano jumps out and opens the door for Anastasia puffing on an after breakfast cigar. Martorano watches through the window as the BARBER help him off with his coat.

INT. BARBER SHOP. DAY.

JOE BOCCHINO, Anastasia’s barber helps him settle into the chair.

        ANASTASIA
Gimme the works today, Joe…

        BOCCHINO
(with a smile)
Comin’ up, Don Umberto…

Still smiling, he walks to the hot towel dispenser at the back of the shop where TWO GUNMEN in top coats, hats pulled low, scarves covering their faces, are holding the other BARBERS at gunpoint. Bocchino’s hands tremble as he takes a hot towel. But he regains his composure and walks back to Anastasia with a smile.

        ANASTASIA
I’ll take a manicure, too…

        BOCCHINO
(drapes the towel over his face)
I’ll get Teresa for you.

He scurries away and cowers against the wall. The Two Gunmen walk quickly into the shop. Alarmed by the sound of footsteps Anastasia sits up and removes the towel. Too late. The Gunmen fire methodically. Anastasia kicks the footstool, screaming with rage and fear. Staggers against the shattered mirror, scattering bottles. Falls face first. The Gunmen empty their revolvers into his twitching body, then run out, dropping the weapons as they flee. Through the window we see Martorano watching…

INT. BEDROOM. NIGHT.

Teddy is asleep.. A SHADOW appears over. A HAND slides over throat. She awakens with a start and sees Meyer standing over her, a NECKLACE glittering in his hand.

        LANSKY
A little bauble for the
Queen of Havana.

        TEDDY
My God, it’s gorgeous…

He slides into bed next to her.

        MEYER
I’m gettin’ out, Teddy.
Benny’s dead, Charley’s
outta action. There’s no
deals, no give and take,
just keep killin’ and the
last man alive gets it all.
I’m gonna let it ride on
Havana. Havana’s our
future…

        TEDDY
Anything you do is okay
with me, Meyer.

INT. CAFE. DAY

The Roman sun glares outside, but inside Charley and Martorano sit in the shadows in a tense conversation.

        MARTORANO
Albert sent me for
cigarettes. Next thing I
know the cops were all over
the place. I was with Albert
a long time. It was a shock…

        CHARLEY
Carlo Gambino’s boss now,
but you still got your same
job.

        MARTORANO
I got to know him over the
years. He trusts me. He’s
makin’ big changes.
(slips him an envelope)
He said to tell you he’s
cuttin’ the allowance in
half. After all these years
twenty five G’s seems
reasonable.

        CHARLEY
Yeah, I guess I’d do the
same. I’m gonna earn real
good on this other thing
anyway…

        MARTORANO
He wants you to know he’s
droppin’ outta that, too.
Too much exposure.

        CHARLEY
Tell him don’t be hasty.
This is a hundred and fifty
million dollar business. If
he comes over here I’ll lay
it out for him.

        MARTORANO
He won’t come. He says
they’re watchin’. Lookin’
to shut you down.

        CHARLEY
They always were. They
never did.
(frustrated)
If I could just have five
minutes with him I could
explain. But I’m stuck in
this hick country…I ran
things better from the can.

        MARTORANO
Carlo says you should drop
outta that business, too.
He says this Anslinger has
a lotta influence and could
make trouble for everybody.
We’re doin’ good with the
other things…

        CHARLEY
Maybe you are, but this is
the only thing I got.

        MARTORANO
Carlo says to drop it.

Charley realizes he’s being warned.

        CHARLEY
So he sends the guy who
bumped Benny. The guy who
was gettin’ cigarettes when
Albert got it.

        MARTORANO
I’m just a messenger…

        CHARLEY
Yeah and the message is
everywhere you go somebody
dies. Tell Carlo he’s new
to runnin’ a family. He’ll
find out he can’t control
his soldiers when they smell
money. When I get over to the
States I’ll bring ‘em all
over to my way of thinkin’…

        MARTORANO
If you get over to the
States…

        CHARLEY
See these guys sittin’ here?
I feed ‘em all. You’re the
guy who should be worryin’
about gettin’ home.

Rizzo slides in with smile.

        RIZZO
You’ll never guess who’s in
town.

EXT. ROMAN STREET. DAY.

A brilliant, sunny day. Tom and Frances walk hand in hand relaxed and happy like young lovers.

        FRANCES
They’re doing Aida tonight
in the Coliseum with real
live elephants and lions…

        TOM
Opera every night. Who
could ask for a better
vacation?

        RIZZO
Governor Dewey…


Rizzo is hurrying across toward them with a servile smile.

        RIZZO
Excuse me, Mrs. Dewey. You
don’t know who I am, sir…

        TOM
But I know what you are…

        RIZZO
I’m not lookin’ for anything
for myself. It’s for my
friend…

ACROSS THE STREET

Charley is standing in a shadowy doorway.

        RIZZO
He offers his apologies for
interrupting your vacation,
but he’d like to ask a
favor. His brother is very
sick in San Francisco and
he was wondering if you
would approve his request
for a temporary visa to go
see him…

        TOM
Sick brother, huh…

        FRANCES
Tom, let it go…

But Tom stalks angrily across the street and confronts Charley.

        TOM
You got one favor from me,
Luciano and it’s one more
than you deserve.

        CHARLEY
You could at least make a
humanitarian gesture after
what I done for this country.

        TOM
Don’t try to pass yourself
off a patriot…

        CHARLEY
I’m just as patriotic as
you. You wanted power and
waved the flag to get it.
You wouldn’t have sung
‘God Bless America’ if
there was nothin’ in it
for you…

        TOM
You think I don’t know
what you’ve been up to?
Smuggling narcotics.
Think I’m stupid enough
to let you go back and
pick up where you left
off? You stay out of the
light of day. Move from
hole to hole like the
skulking dog you are, or
I’ll throw you back in
prison where I should have
let you rot in the first
place!

Tom turns and walks back across the street. Charley watches, burning in humiliation.

        CHARLEY
(to Rizzo)
That movie producer still
around?

END

Next:Act 4 (cont):

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 35

*For Introduction with submission guidelines go to Oct 13

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

*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 VI

ACT THREE (Cont)

INT. CANNERY.DAY

A pair of HANDS deftly smooths a plastic packet of WHITE POWDER into a square sheet. Then slips it into an empty SARDINE CAN. TILT UP to Charley demonstrating for Ralph Rizzo and several WORKERS.

        CHARLEY
You gotta keep it flat so
you can fit the false
bottom in…Capeesh?

        RIZZO
Yeah sure, Charley…

        CHARLEY
Where it says producto
d’Italia you put the little
circle around the dot.
That’s the hot shipment.
It goes to Carlos Marcello
in New Orleans. The rest is
sardines. Don’t mix ‘em up.
(walks to an empty barrel)
What do we do with this?

        RIZZO
Put a kilo in the false
bottom, fill it with olive
oil and ship it to Profaci
in Brooklyn…

        CHARLEY
I gave you a pharmaceutical
scale, accurate to the
microgram. You weigh
everything that comes in
from Beirut or Istanbul,
make sure we ain’t gettin’
cheated. And weigh everything
that goes out.
(points to the workers)
You tell the paisans here
no skimmin’. If I get a
complaint about a short
load I’m gonna cut their
balls off and stick ‘em in
their mouths.
(to the workers)
New dish coulliones in boca…

NOVEMBER 1948

NEWSREEL(STOCK)…HARRY TRUMAN holds up a copy of the Chicago Sun Times, predicting a Dewey victory and mimics the commentator who predicted his defeat.

INT. DEWEY CAMPAIGN HQ. DAY

The morning after Dewey’s defeat. The banners are drooping, the balloons and confetti float aimlessly. There are piles of food, basins of champagne. Tom and Frances are wandering in the debris.

        FRANCES
We can give the cold cuts
to the Veteran’s Hospital.
We’ll save the champagne,
though, for the next
victory…

        TOM
(with a sad smile)
It’ll be flat by then.

        FRANCES
Oh Tom…You were ahead in
every state, in every poll.

        TOM
I’m not a front runner. I
only do well as an underdog.
They never thought I’d make
the football team. Never
thought I’d get elected
Governor. Or that I’d get a
conviction against Luciano,
although that came back to
haunt me.

        FRANCES
You should have told them
how the Navy pushed you to
pardon him. What he did
during the war.

        TOM
That’s top secret classified,
Frances. No one can ever
reveal it.
(picks up a discarded banner,
reading DO DO WITH DEWEY)
Funny…I always wanted to
be president. Pretty
presumptuous, huh for a
kid from Oswosso. I guess
it’s because I’m a Dewey
and our family has done so
much.

        FRANCES
You’ve done great things,
Tom.

        TOM
Greatest thing I did was put
Luciano in jail. Got me
elected Governor, but it
couldn’t get me to the White
House.

INT. NACIONAL CASINO. NIGHT.

Santo Trafficante stands behind Meyer as he breaks in a new crew of CUBAN pit bosses. Meyer spots the Drab Man and waves.

        MEYER
Come a little closer, FBI,
you’ll hear better.

        DRAB MAN
I can hear fine from here,
thanks.

        MEYER
(turns back)
The key to this business is
collection. Every night we
collect all the markers. We
accept checks, signed IOU’s,
anything equal to the sum of
the losses. Mr. Cellini here
takes the 6 a.m. flight to
Miami. When the banks open
he deposits the checks and
verifies the collateral.
Within an hour we know if
any of the checks have
bounced. Our gamblers will
just be waking up when we
make a polite phone call and
arrange a meeting.

        YOUNG CUBAN
What if they can’t pay?

        MEYER
You make a settlement,
fifty, sixty cents on the
dollar. Their names go on a
list. They can’t gamble in
Havana or Vegas until they
pay in full.

        YOUNG CUBAN
Maybe we have to sometimes
push them around a little…

Meyer sees Batista in full uniform, entering his private office.

        MEYER
No. The threat of violence
is always better than
violence itself.
If the individual is
unreasonable refer the
situation to Mr.
Trafficante…Excuse me…

        BLACKJACK PLAYER
Hey Meyer, I’m runnin’ cold…

        MEYER
Double down, pal, as long
as you’re losin’.

The crowd laughs. The Drab Man steps out with a smile.

        DRAB MAN
You never lose do you,
Meyer?

        MEYER
I’m the house, my friend
and the house always wins.

INT. MEYER’S OFFICE. NIGHT.

Plain, serviceable. Batista is waiting anxiously as Meyer enters.

        MEYER
You don’t have to come,
Fulgencio. We offer free
delivery…

        BATISTA
I wanted to talk to you.

        MEYER
(opening a safe)
As long as you’re here, let
me show you the plans for
the new hotel. The Riviera.
Twenty one floors, four
hundred and ninety rooms.
The biggest hotel outside
of Vegas… I’m financing
it entirely on my own.
Construction budget is
fourteen million, almost
every cent I’ve got. But
when it’s completed it will
be wholly owned by the
Lansky family. With you as
a silent partner, of course…

He takes neat stacks of hundreds out of the safe and puts them in an attache case. Batista snaps the case shut.

        MEYER
Don’t you want to count it?

        BATISTA
From you it is always
correct.

        MEYER
Next month there’ll be more.
Investors are banging down
the doors…

        BATISTA
Some times you can have too
much success. The Americans
don’t like what is going on
down here.

        MEYER
I don’t have a lotta fans
in the government.

        BATISTA
The American Ambassador has
been to see me again. He
says gangsters are investing
secretly with you.

        MEYER
I have to take care of
these men because of my
interests in Las Vegas and
because I use their services
for debt collection. They
have hidden shares in the
form of points. If a man’s
points equal, let’s say,
fifty thousand dollars, we
give him a marker equal to
that sum to collect. He goes
directly to the debtor and
collects the money privately.
The transaction is never
recorded in the casino books.

        BATISTA
Is this the agreement you
have with Albert Anastasia?

        MEYER
Anastasia is part of a New
York group that has points
in our casinos. I guarantee
you his interest will never
be uncovered.

        BATISTA
I have learned that
Anastasia has made an offer
to the Mendoza family to
finance the hotel they are
building.

        MEYER
He can’t do this. My
associates have given me
sole authority in all Cuban
business.

        BATISTA
He has promised the Mendozas
an investment of four to
five million dollars in
exchange for a fifty per
cent interest in the hotel.
They of course, see an
opportunity to take control
of gambling away from me.

        MEYER
(stunned)
That’s a violation of
Commission rules. He’d be
voted down.

        BATISTA
Maybe he has made a secret
agreement. I don’t know what
goes on in your world. But
in mine those stupid greedy
Mendozas won’t listen to
reason. You have to stop
Anastasia, Meyer, or the
US government will put us
all out of business.

INT. BEDROOM. NIGHT.

Teddy helps Meyer pack for the trip.

        MEYER
Tell me one more time about
the safe deposit boxes.

        TEDDY
I know this by heart already.
Boston at the Bank of New
England, New York at National
City, Miami, Hallandale,
Vegas at the Flamingo in
Benny’s old safe. And here
behind the your mother’s
picture…

        MEYER
It’s just in case the plane
crashes or something happens.

        TEDDY
No plane would dare crash
with Meyer Lansky on it…
(suddenly concerned)
What else could happen?
Are you in trouble, Meyer?

        MEYER
You kiddin’, things couldn’t
be better. Don’t make that
sad face.
(kisses her)
I’ll be back on Sunday with
bagels and cream cheese.
Don’t worry. The house always
wins.

END ACT THREE

Next:Act 4:

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 34

*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 VI

ACT THREE


INT.BENNY’S FLAMINGO OFFICE. DAY

A PHOTO of Benny’s bloody corpse on the front page of the Las Vegas Journal. TILT UP to Meyer going through stacks of papers while he cradles a phone in his ear.

        MEYER
Room three twelve, please…
Where’s accounts payable?

Greenbaum drops a bulging folder on the desk.

        GREENBAUM
It’s mostly contractors,
suppliers. Benny ignored
them.

        LANSKY
Pay’em off. They’ll give it
back at the tables…That’s
all. Hi Charley… See the
news?

INT. CHARLEY’S SUITE.DAY (CROSSCUT)

Charley is on the phone looking at Benny’s photo on the front page of El Diario de Havana. Genovese is sitting across the room.

        CHARLEY
I’m gonna miss the crazy
bastard. Did you say a
blessing over him?

        MEYER
Yeah. Then I started cursin’
him for the mess he left.
I’m gonna stick around, get
the new management settled
in. Hold off on that export
thing until I get back.

        CHARLEY
Can’t do that, it’s a done
deal. I need you to run
things at this end. Let’s
talk when you get back.

He hangs up with a troubled look.

        GENOVESE
He don’t want in, more for
us.

        CHARLEY
He’ll come around when he
sees how I got this
organized. I’ll put a price
on the shipment, let’s say
a million bucks. The
families’ll put in their
orders. A guy wants eight
per cent he pays eighty G’s
and so on until the whole
thing’s bid up. The money’ll
come to you and you’ll send
it to me. I’ll ship from
three different locations to
Havana and then from here to
three or four different
locations in the States where
the stuff’ll be cooked and
packaged and shipped to you.

        GENOVESE
I don’t like bein’ the middle
man..

        CHARLEY
You’ll make money. I picked
you ‘cause you have
experience in this.

        GENOVESE
Picked me? You’re usin’ my
network.

        CHARLEY
You were a delivery boy,
Vito. A package here, a
package there like in the
old days. I’m shippin’ tons
all over the world.

        GENOVESE
You’re not the boss, Charley.
I don’t care what that
kangaroo court said. Anything
to do with babbania comes
through me now.

        CHARLEY
So now I’m workin’ for you?

        GENOVESE
You ain’t workin’. You’re
retired, You’re livin’ on
my charity and you better
keep your nose clean if you
want that envelope.

        CHARLEY
Uh huh. And if I start this
thing without you?

Genovese pulls out a .38 and holds it to his head.

        GENOVESE
You know how easy it would
be to take you out? You got
no soldiers. Only that
little Jew in Vegas. One
squeeze and like you said
about Maranzano:’Julius
Caesar is dead.’

        CHARLEY
Be careful with that thing…

But then in a lightning move, he jams his lighted cigarette into Genovese’s hand. Genovese yelps and swings back, but Charley jumps up and twists his wrist. The gun GOES OFF and flies out of Genovese’s hand. Charley grabs Genovese by the hair, pulls his head back and kicks his legs out from under him. Genovese goes down hard and tries to get up, but Charley smacks him down. Then kicks him in the ribs…once, twice, three times…Grabs a lamp and brings it crashing down on Genovese’s head. There is thumping at the door, urgent voices call “Charley, you okay?” Charley leaves Genovese moaning on the floor and opens the door onto Anastasia and Costello.

        COSTELLO
Charley, you okay? We heard
a shot.
(sees Genovese)
Jeeze, what happened?

They rush to Genovese’s aid.

        CHARLEY
He pulled a gun on me.

        ANASTASIA
You’re kiddin’…

        CHARLEY
He’s outta this thing I’m
doin’. You wanna cut him in
it comes outta your end…
Get him patched up and put
him on the first plane to
Miami. Don’t let the other
guys see him. I don’t want
them to think there was any
disagreements. Joe Bonanno
will front for me in the
States. Get him outta here.

They pick Genovese up and start to help him out. Charley grabs the gun and waves it in Genovese’s face.

        CHARLEY
Real easy, huh Vito?

And slams the door.

INT. HAVANA NIGHT CLUB. NIGHT.

A hot spot for Cuba’s elite. ARMY OFFICERS, ARISTOCRATS, AMERICAN BUSINESSMEN. PAN TO Charley, in a white dinner jacket, taking mambo lessons from a CUBAN BRUNETTE.

        BRUNETTE
One two, back two…Look how
fast you learn.

        CHARLEY
It’s like a fancy Lindy….

A FLASH BULB pops in his face.

        CHARLEY
See doll, we’re gonna make
the society pages…

A crowd of AMERICANS calls to him. “Hey Lucky, come on over and have a drink…Bowing and backing away with a ”Gracias senor Lucky”, the PHOTOGRAPHER retreats into the shadows and hands the camera to the Man in the shabby gray suit.

INT. DEWEY CAMPAIGN HQ. DAY

BANNERS urging DEWEY FOR PRESIDENT, DEWEY IN ‘48, etc. CAMPAIGN WORKERS on phones, typing, rushing about. Frances has piles of NEWSPAPER ARTICLES on the floor and is pasting them into a scrap book as Tom and Medailie enter,rumpled and weary from a long day of campaigning. She jumps up to greet him.

        FRANCES
My conquering hero!

        TOM
Hardly. What a day.

He flops on the couch, exhausted.

        TOM
Outside Springfield I saw a
bunch of school kids so I
tried to make one of my
little jokes. ‘You kids
should thank me for getting
you a day off from school,’
I said. Then one of the
little angels pipes up:’it’s
Saturday, you jerk.’

        FRANCES
Oh so…Did you see the
Times?
(reading)
“Dewey’s election as
president is a foregone
conclusion….” The
Democrats ought to concede
the election to Dewey and
save the wear and tear of
campaigning…”

        TOM
Yes, but did you see what
Congressman Macy said? “The
deportation of Charles
Luciano was a criminal
mistake.” He said Luciano
was “the lethal black widow
spider in the center of the
world narcotics web” and I
was responsible for releasing
him.

        FRANCES
It might be a good idea to
remind people that you’re the
original gangbuster.

        MEDAILIE
Might be. Luciano has reared
his ugly head again…Called
a big meeting in Havana.

        TOM
Probably about the Siegel
killing.

        MEDAILIE
Anslinger of the Bureau of
Narcotics wants to arrest
him.

        TOM
Can’t touch him. He has an
Italian passport. He has a
right to go anywhere he
wants. But we can put
pressure on the Cubans to
expel him.

INT.HOTEL HALLWAY. NIGHT

Charley, tipsy and festive, comes down the hall with two giggly CUBAN beauties. Charley does a comic dance step.

        CHARLEY
That’s the Charleston. They
named it after me. And the
Black Bottom. They named
that after you…

Smacks the giggling girl on the behind, causing her to giggle even louder, and opens his door.

INT. CHARLEY’S SUITE.NIGHT.

Charley stops dead and sobers up instantly. THE CUBAN POLICE are going through his suite, packing his clothing.

        CHARLEY
Whatsa problem? Didn’t I pay
my parking tickets?

        POLICE COMMANDER
I regret to say we must ask
you to come with us, Senor
Luciano…

INT. PRESIDENTIAL PALACE. NIGHT.

Charley watches calmly as Batista argues heatedly on the phone.

        BATISTA
This is a violation of my
nation’s sovereignty…Mr.
Luciano is here legally. He
is helping us develop our
resort industry…That is
the most insidious form of
blackmail. I’ll bring you
before the International
Court of Justice.
(suddenly docile)
But hundreds of innocent
people could die…Yes, Mr.
Anslinger, I’ll call you in
the morning.

He hangs up with a defeated look.

        BATISTA
Thomas Dewey made a speech
that you were trying to turn
Cuba into a base for
narcotics smuggling.

        CHARLEY
My old pal, Tom Dewey. I’m
the best campaign issue he
ever had.

        BATISTA
Anslinger says he will stop
the delivery of all medicine
to our hospitals if we do
not expel you immediately.
He says if people die it
will be my fault…

        CHARLEY
So I’m gettin’ the bum’s
rush.

        BATISTA
I have no choice, Charley.

EXT. HAVANA HARBOR. DAY

Charley, Meyer and Teddy get out of a CUBAN TAXI. Charley hugs Teddy. He and Meyer walk toward a RUSTY OLD FREIGHTER.

        CHARLEY
This looks like the tub I
came to America on.

        MEYER
Me too…

        CHARLEY
(suddenly suspicious)
You didn’t exactly bust a
gut tryin’ to keep me here,
Meyer.

        MEYER
There was nothin’ I could
do once the Bureau of
Narcotics got into the act…

        CHARLEY
Remember, when you got those
two IRS guys to hang Waxey
Gordon? Maybe you did the
same thing to me.

        MEYER
It’s the dope business that
hung you, Charley. I been
tellin’ you for thirty years:
they’ll let us gamble ‘cause
we kick back to the
politicians. They’ll let us
run unions ‘cause we control
the workers for them. But
they won’t let us sell dope.
(hands him an envelope)
Here’s the first dividend
from Havana. With the
Flamingo in Vegas under
control there’s more comin’.

        CHARLEY
It’s still clippin’ coupons.

        MEYER
At least you got coupons
to clip.

        CHARLEY
I ain’t gonna live on your
pension, Meyer. I’m gonna
use dope like we used booze.
To build another Commission.
Only bigger. You’ll see,
they’ll all come back with
their hats in their hands
beggin’ me to take over
again.

        MEYER
Hope so, Charley. If you
need me I’ll be at the
pool..

TEDDY

watches them hug. She waves as Charley walks up the gangplank and Meyer comes down to join her.

        TEDDY
It’s so sad seeing him go.

        MEYER
It’s for the best. We don’t
want heroin in Cuba. We
wanna be hundred per cent
kosher.


Next:Act 3 (Cont): Dewey For President

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 33

*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 VI

ACT TWO (Cont)

EXT. BEVERLY HILLS—POOL. DAY.

Meyer follows a white coated HOUSEBOY onto the patio and watches Benny and Virginia Hill cavort in the pool. Benny waves.

        BENNY
Hey Meyer…This beats
jumpin’ in the East River,
don’t it?

INT. LIVING ROOM. NIGHT.

Sunset. Meyer sits on the couch, shuffling papers. Benny, stylish and immaculate in a tuxedo comes out, fixing his gold cuff links.

        BENNY
Gotta run to a party at the
Coconut Grove. You shoulda
called.

        MEYER
The trip came up on short
notice. We had a big meeting
in Havana.

        BENNY
Nobody told me nothin’ about
it.

        MEYER
You were the main topic…

        BENNY
(his smile fades)
Okay, what’s the beef?

        MEYER
Let’s begin with the markers…
(waves a handful of notes)
Two hundred and eighteen
thousand dollars from your
Hollywood pals.

        SIEGEL
They come to hang around
with me, so I book their
action privately…

        LANSKY
When they lose they pay you.
When they win the hotel pays…

        SIEGEL
It’s a business expense.
They draw people. Suckers
wanna rub elbows with the
Hollywood crowd.

        MEYER
The boys think you’re
skimmin.

        BENNY
I sent money back east last
month.

        MEYER
Drop in the bucket and they
know it. They trusted you
with their money, Benny.
They have a right to a fair
share.

        BENNY
Fair share? What are you, a
lawyer?

        MEYER
I’m a businessman with an
investment to protect.

        BENNY
I been hearin’ this crap
from you for thirty years.
When you gonna get wise to
yourself? You’re a criminal.
You obey the laws you can
live with like not spittin’
on the sidewalk. The laws
you don’t like you break,
like stealin’ from the
government, fleecing the
suckers. Killin’ guys who
get in your way.

        MEYER
If I make a deal I stick to
it.

        BENNY
Why are you in this life,
anyway? Just to make a
dollar, mach a leben as
your old bubbe used to
say? Just a normal
American businessman.
Gotta go shoot a coupla
guys, honey. I’ll be back
for supper. Not me, Meyer.
I don’t take risks just so
I can live like Joe Schmuck…

VIRGINIA HILL enters, pouting and disheveled in an evening gown.

        VIRGINIA
C’mon Benny, we gotta go…

        BENNY
See this beauty? This is
why you do it. For a house
like this that knocks
peoples’ eyes out. For
clothes made by the best
tailor in the world. The
Prince of Wales gets his
hunting jackets from my guy.
For big shot Hollywood
friends who treat you like a
star.
(grabs Virginia)
For a broad that every man
wants…

Virginia tries to pull away.

        VIRGINIA
You’re rippin’ the dress…

Laughing, he takes out wad of cash and shoves it down her dress.

        BENNY
Buy yourself a new one.

She storms out, cursing him.

        BENNY
How many guys I kill? You
think I did it for the
Commission? I sold my soul.
You think I did it to make
some fat slob in Brooklyn a
millionaire?

        MEYER
Last time I spoke to you
were on your knees beggin’.

        BENNY
I don’t have to beg no
more. I got a cinch
proposition. Pay the
best entertainers top
dollar, they give it
back double at the tables.
Charge the suckers a buck
for a steak dinner, they
give it back a hundred
times and you don’t have
to declare the income…

        MEYER
I invented that proposition.

        SIEGEL
Yeah, but I made your pipe
dream come true. So you tell
those guys to be happy with
what I throw ‘em or I’ll snap
my finger and it’ll all go up
in smoke…

EXT. BEVERLY HILLS. NIGHT.

Meyer comes out of the house and crosses to a waiting car where Frank Martorano waits behind the wheel.

        MEYER
Take me to the airport.

INT. AIRPORT. NIGHT.

Meyer dials a pay phone.

        MEYER
This is Meyer Lansky. Is
Gus Greenbaum on the floor?

INT. FLAMINGO. CASINO. NIGHT.(CROSSCUT)

Greenbaum comes to the phone.

        GREENBAUM
This is Gus, Mr. Lansky.

        MEYER
I want you to call a staff
meeting Make an announcement
that Ben Siegel is no longer
in charge of the operation.
Tomorrow call a meeting of
the Board of Directors and
have yourself elected
president, Moe Sedway vice
president.

        GREENBAUM
Got it.

        LANSKY
Put the best collector you
got on those Hollywood
deadbeat friends of Benny’s.
I want every penny owed. I
don’t care how you get it…

INT. AIRPLANE. NIGHT.

A darkened cabin. Everyone is asleep but Meyer, who lights a cigarette and looks out of the window.

EXT. BEVERLY HILLS—POOL. NIGHT.

A few hours later. OFF SCREEN, car doors SLAM, VOICES call.

        BENNY
Everybody, come in for a
nightcap. Let’s keep this
party goin’…

The lights go on in the house, splashing onto the patio, illuminating the face of FRANK MARTORANO, moving stealthily toward the french windows. He watches as:

BENNY

Virginia Hill and a group of FRIENDS burst in laughing.

        VIRGINIA
Howard Hawks promised to
give me a screen test.

        SIEGEL.
He’s wants to see how
well you act on your
knees…

        VIRGINIA
(swinging at him)
You sonofabitch…

        SIEGEL
(pushing her away)
Go see what everybody’s
drinkin’..
(plops down on the couch)
Let’s liven things up a
little.

ON THE PATIO

Martorano moves toward the French doors. Over his shoulder we see Benny on the couch. Martorano raises a rifle to his shoulder.

        BENNY
Don’t tell Virginia, but
George Raft’s gettin’ me
a part in his next movie.
I’m gonna be the star in
this family.

Martorano FIRES…

INT.AIRPLANE. NIGHT

Meyer winces as his friend goes down in a hail of bullets.

END ACT TWO

Next:Act 3: Bugsy’s Last Chance

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 32

*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 VI

ACT TWO

EXT. HAVANA AIRPORT.DAY

TOURISTS and GAMBLERS arrive for a weekend in Havana. In the festive crowd we recognize Albert Anastasia attended by Frank Martorano, Frank Costello and some FLASHY FEMALE COMPANIONS; Vito Genovese, alone and aloof in tinted glasses. None of them notice a PHOTOGRAPHER scurrying around snapping pictures.

INT. PRESIDENTIAL PALACE. DAY

SURVEILLANCE PHOTOS pop into frame. TILT UP to Meyer flipping through them. Behind a huge desk in this ornate room, Batista watches him.

        MEYER
Tony Accardo from Chicago.
Steve Maggadino from Buffalo.
Joe Lombardo, Kansas City.
Dalitz, Zwillman. Big
turnout.

        BATISTA
These men are known criminals.
We can have a problem with the
US Embassy.

        MEYER
They can bring millions of
dollars of investment into
the country. But they’ll
have to be controlled…

EXT. HOTEL NACIONAL POOL. DAY

A sumptuous buffet in the bright Cuban sun. CUBAN DIPLOMATS and OFFICERS mingle with the RACKETEERS as a CONJUNTO plays. Meyer, and Teddy are shepherding Yetta through the buffet.

        TEDDY
This is Pompano, mom, they
only catch it in the Gulf.

        YETTA
Do they have maybe a nice
piece of plain broiled
chicken..?

Meyer sees a HOTEL CLERK lurking, respectfully.

        CLERK
There is a man in the small
meeting room asking to see
you, Senor.

As Meyer follows him, Richard and Buddy run past in their bathing suits. Meyer grabs Buddy.

        MEYER
I told you: No swimmin’
until two hours after you
eat.

INT.MEETING ROOM. DAY

Meyer enters, squinting into the gloom. He is stunned to see Charley come out of the shadows, haggard and disheveled.

        MEYER
Charley, where were you? We
expected you two days ago.

        CHARLEY
I wanted to make sure them
crums from Narcotics weren’t
tailin’ me so I took the
scenic route. Freighter to
Caracas, cleaned out the crew
playin’ gin. Flight to Mexico
City, then got on a plane right
away to come here. Where am I
stayin’?

        MEYER
Presidential Suite, where
else?

        CHARLEY
Take care of the boys?

        MEYER
Fruit basket and a bottle of
champagne in every room.

        CHARLEY
Broads?

        MEYER
Can’t go wrong in Havana.
Even when I’m pickin’ ‘em.

        CHARLEY
I need a barber, manicure.
Away eleven years. Outta
sight, outta mind, outta
luck. I gotta make a big
impression. Can you front
me a hundred and fifty G’s?

        MEYER
Anything you want. I only
ask one thing: let me keep
Havana for myself.

        CHARLEY
It’s open territory, can’t
keep ‘em out. But we can
make ‘em pay for the
privilege. Stick with me,
kid. It’s you and me against
the world,

        MEYER
How about Benny?

        CHARLEY
We’ll talk about him
tomorrow.

INT. CONFERENCE ROOM. DAY.

The blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico twinkle right outside the bay window. CUBAN HOSTESSES circulate with drinks and h’ors deuvres for the members of the Commission. Meyer, resplendent in a white suit greets Dalitz and Sedway.

        MEYER
Landsman, how are ya?

        DALITZ
So this is where you been
hiding.

        SEDWAY
Like Miami, only no taxes,
no cops.

        MEYER
Look again. There’s a cop
under every rock.

He moves over to Anastasia and Costello.

        MEYER
Gentlemen. Accommodations
satisfactory?

        COSTELLO
Little slice of paradise.

        ANASTASIA
I can sail across from
Miami on my yacht. Pick up
my envelope. Nice dinner,
Cuban broad and I’m back in
Miami for the first at Hialeah.

Genovese is standing alone, dark suit, dark glasses.

        MEYER
Vito, lemme get you a pair
of shorts so you can enjoy
the sun.

        GENOVESE
You look healthy. How’s
business?

        MEYER
Could be better. Heard you
had a problem in Italy.

        GENOVESE
They arrested me on that old
murder rap, After all I done
for this country. Lucky for
me their big witness got
food poisoning. Nice joint.
We got a piece of it?

        MEYER
You have to take that up
with Charley.

        GENOVESE
I’m takin’ it up with you.
I’m not second banana no
more. Every month a thousand
guys pay me twenty bucks tax
just for the privilege of
doin’ business…

        MEYER
So you’re a big man? So
what?

        GENOVESE
You’re in charge down here.
I want you to get me a joint
on the strip.

        MEYER
You’ll need a Cuban partner.

        GENOVESE
I can live with that as long
as I’m keepin’ the books…

Charley enters, looking sleek and rested in a white suit.

        CHARLEY
Gentlemen…

He gets a big greeting. The men cluster around him. “Great place, Charley…” Meyer listens in alarm as he replies:

        CHARLEY
Like it? This is gonna be my
new base. Let’s call this
meeting to order. We got a
lot to talk about.

The men take their seats, leaving the head of the table for him.

        CHARLEY
Last time we got together
was Atlantic City, in ’29,
remember? Started a little
corporation that worked out
pretty well. There have been
some changes. In ‘29 Tony
Accardo was Al Capone’s
chauffeur. Now he runs
Chicago.

        ACCARDO
I learned a lot at that
meeting. Learned a lot
from you.

        CHARLEY
We did business together a
long time. The war was a
temporary inconvenience.

        DALITZ
Especially for Hitler…

The men laugh…

        CHARLEY
But now the country’s
stronger and so are we. I
feel I’m in a good position
to help us expand into the
international markets. Just
as a formality, I’d like to
renominate myself as Chairman
of the Board.

        ANASTASIA
(jumps up)
I second…

The other men raise their voices in assent. “Glad to have you back, Charley…” Charley takes charge smoothly.

        CHARLEY
First item is to honor this
beautiful place and the man
who has developed it and will
run it for us. Great job,
Meyer.

Again, smiles and assent. Charley slides an envelope across the table to Meyer with a wink.

        CHARLEY
Here’s my hundred and fifty
G’s for a thirty three per
cent interest in the Nacional.

        DALITZ
Is a hundred and fifty G’s
the buy in price in Cuba,
Charley?

        CHARLEY
It’s the floor, Mo. Out here
the rooms have high ceilings…

The men laugh.

        CHARLEY
Now about this Siegel thing.
We gotta recognize that Benny
discovered the potential of
Vegas. Not just them one arm
cowboy joints, but a big
resort like the Flamingo that
can make money in a lotta
different ways.

        COSTELLO
We backed him, Charley. When
he ran over budget we gave
him more money.

        CHARLEY
How much did Benny spend,
Meyer?

        MEYER
Four and a half million. But
he gave away points…

        ACCARDO
Charley, if you’ll excuse me,
I put Gus Greenbaum in Vegas
to look after the Chicago
interests. He can give us an
idea of what’s goin’ on. Go
ahead, Gus.

Greenbaum clears his throat nervously.

        GREENBAUM
Last week the Flamingo had
winnings of four hundred and
eleven thousand dollars.
Under a system put in by Mr.
Lansky we can skim between
twenty and twenty-five per
cent depending on cash
winnings versus markers.
That works out to be between
sixty-five and seventy-six
thousand dollars to be divided
among the five partners.

        ACCARDO
How much did Siegel send, Gus?

        MEYER
As operating partner Benny
has discretion to withhold
money…

        CHARLEY
How much, Gus?

        GREENBAUM
Thirty-two five….

        ANASTASIA
So he’s skimmin’ fifty per
cent off the low end every
week.

        ACCARDO
Tell everybody how much he’s
taken out over the last six
months, Gus.

        GREENBAUM
I estimate the number to be
between one point five and
two point two million…

        ANASTASIA
That’s about three hundred
and fifty grand he’s stolen
from each of us.

        MEYER
To be fair, Benny doesn’t
feel he has to account to
you as long as he clears
things with Charley.

        CHARLEY
Benny’s not clearin’ nothin’
with me, Meyer. I haven’t
spoken to him in a year and
a half.

Meyer is stunned that Charley is not going to cover for Benny.

        DALITZ
I was out there last month.
He wouldn’t open the books.
Said it was his joint and
the rest of us were catchin’
a free ride.

        SEDWAY
His girlfriend, Virginia
Hill’s been goin’ to Zurich
every month. She says it’s
to buy rugs and furniture,
but I think she’s saltin’
money in a Swiss bank.

        CHARLEY
Gus, can you step out for a
second?

As Greenbaum picks up his papers and leaves the room…

        MEYER
That Virginia Hill’s got him
crazy.

        COSTELLO
Everybody’s got a broad
whisperin’ in their ear.
That don’t mean you steal
from your friends.

        MEYER
He’s been with us a long
time. He’s done a lot of
dirty work for the Commission…

        ANASTASIA
A lotta guys do dirty work,
but when they break the rules
they gotta be judged.

        CHARLEY
How many chances we give him?

        DALITZ
How many? Every time he came
around begging for money.
Five, six times?

        ANASTASIA
He’s defyin’ the Commission,
Charley. We gotta make a
statement.

        CHARLEY
Who’d handle this thing?

        ACCARDO
I’ll give it to Jack Dragna
in LA

        ANASTASIA
No, this is my party. I been
waitin’ sixteen years for
this.

        CHARLEY
We’re not settlin’ grudges.
This has gotta be
professional…

        MEYER
Wait a second before you do
this. Benny’s identified
with the Flamingo. You pull
him out you’re gonna hurt
business just when it’s
startin’ to pick up.

        COSTELLO
Who cares how good it’s doin’
if we ain’t seein nothin’?

        MEYER
Okay look. Over the years
I’ve made a lotta money for
you guys and never asked a
favor. Let me get Benny to
step down…We’ll take his
points in the Flamingo,
give him a settlement and
let him disappear with that
slut who’s taken his mind
away. I’ll even throw in my
end until you’re all paid
off…

Silence. The men look to Charley for a decision.

        CHARLEY
No settlement. He’s outta
the Flamingo and all the LA
gambling.

        MEYER
You gotta leave him somethin’.

        CHARLEY
He can leave town with the
shirt on his back. If he
says no, you give us the
go ahead…

The men smile, gloating at Meyer‘s dilemma.

        MEYER
I start out pleadin’ for
Benny’s life and end up
bein’ the one who pulls
the trigger. Smart,
Charley.

        CHARLEY
That’s why I’m the boss,
kid.

Next:Act 2 (Cont): Board Meeting

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 31

*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 VI

ACT ONE (Con’t)

INT. STATLER HOTEL (PHILADELPHIA). DAY

On a bed, the Page One headline of the Philadelphia Inquirer reads: NY GOV. DEWEY TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT. OFF SCREEN we hear:

        TOM
This is humiliating…

PAN TO

Tom sitting on the bed in his signature black suit, trying to force his feet into a pair of ornate COWBOY BOOTS under Medailie’s watchful eye.

        MEDAILIE
It’s important for the folks
from Wyoming and Nevada and
Montana to get to know you
better. To feel that you
understand them.

        TOM
I’m a small town boy from
Michigan, George. I’ve
stepped in just as much
horse manure as any of
them…

        MEDAILIE
To them you’re still a city
slicker. You’re going to
have to explain this
Luciano thing. They have a
morbid fear of gangsters…

        TOM
God! Is Luciano going to
haunt me for the rest of
my days?

        MEDAILIE
(jams a Stetson on his head)
Tuck the pants in the boots…

Frances enters with an amused look.

        FRANCES
Tom, a bunch of cowboys just
galloped in…
(breaks into laughter)
Oh Tom darling, no…No…

        TOM
That settles it!

He kicks off the boots and throws the Stetson across the room.

        TOM
They’ll have to take me
for what I am, or not at
all.

He stomps out, barefooted. Frances picks up his shoes and follows.

        FRANCES
Tom dear, you forgot your
shoes…

INT. HOTEL BAR. DAY.

The BOSSES nurse drinks, smoke and glare resentfully at Meyer. Among them SANTO TRAFFICANTE, a sleek Florida hood.

        MEYER
Now Mr. Trafficante, I know
about your activities in
Miami. But drugs and
gambling are very different
businesses.

        TRAFFICANTE
They both deal with addicts.

        MEYER
Yeah, but the gambler is an
educated addict. He can shop
for the best product. The
beauty of the gambling
business is you don’t have
to break the law to make
money. Craps, blackjack,
slots, if the winners equal
the losers, which never
happens anyway, the house
has a built in winning
percentage of four percent.

        TRAFFICANTE
Four per cent is peanuts.

        MEYER
What’s your club, the San
Souci? How’d you do last
night.

        TRAFFICANTE
We just opened.

Meyer turns to NORMAN ROTHMAN, a clumsy New York hood.

        MEYER
And you, Mr. Rothman. How’d
you do at the Montmartre?

        ROTHMAN
It was raining.

        MEYER
Only in your casino. You ran
crooked crap games and
goulash parlors in the Bronx
for Dutch Schulz, Rothman.
There won’t be any chiselin’
in Havana while I’m in
charge.

        TRAFFICANTE
Oh yeah, who died and made
you boss?

        MEYER
Nobody yet.
(lets that sink in)
You know the best thing
about gamblers?

        TRAFFICANTE
Their money.

        MEYER
Not when they’re spendin’
it some place else, wise
guy. Best thing about
gamblers is that they’ll
lose their shirt over and
over again in the same game
as long as they know it’s
honest and they got a shot
to win. So we’re gonna make
Cuba the cleanest place to
gamble in the world. First
thing, I’m runnin’ the
Nacional, You guys are out.

        TRAFFICANTE
You can’t do that. We bought
a concession from Batista.

        MEYER
I’ll get you your money back
and let you keep your clubs,
but I get the Nacional. Next,
we fire all the dealers and
croupiers. Send them back to
Miami on a banana boat. Get
local kids and train ‘em
right. Dump the rigged
roulette wheels and the phony
dice. Start dealin’ blackjack
out of a six deck shoe.

        ROTHMAN
But that’ll give players the
edge.

        MEYER
Only way they have an edge
is by stayin’ outta the
casino. No gambler ever
died ahead. I’m goin’ on
vacation to Europe.I want
this stuff done by the time
I get back, or there’s a
line formin’ to take your
place.

SEPTEMBER 1947

NEWSREEL…Pier 42, New York. Meyer and Teddy sail on THE ITALIA. They walk toward the gangplank, brushing past the PHOTOGS.

        NEWSCASTER
The president of Princeton
University sailed for Europe
on the Italia last week, but
all eyes were on the couple
in the luxurious five room
Royal Suite. Mr. and Mrs.
Meyer Lansky. She, the
former showgirl. He, rumored
to be the boss of National
Crime Syndicate…

A group of LONGSHOREMEN move in and push the PHOTOGS away.

        NEWSCASTER
Lansky had some tough
chaperones…

A group of hard eyed DETECTIVES watches.

        NEWSCASTER
And some pretty tough guys
from DA’s office were also
on hand.

        DETECTIVE
(at the MICROPHONES)
We just want Mr. Lansky to
know that we’ve got an eye
on him and anyone who might
come down to see him off.

INT. NAPLES RESTAURANT. NIGHT.

A FLASH BULB blinds the lens. Then, we see Charley, Meyer and Teddy at a table being surrounded by PAPARAZZI.

        TEDDY
Wow, you’re like a movie
star.

        CHARLEY
They chase me down the street…
(laughs at Meyer)
Look at this guy. He hates
gettin’ his picture taken.

        MEYER
My nose is too big…

INT. HOTEL SUITE. NIGHT.

Crowded with FLOWERS and FRUIT BASKETS. Charley is pouring black coffee. Teddy gives him a peck on the cheek.

        TEDDY
None for me. I’m goin’ to
bed.

        CHARLEY
‘Night, doll. Don’t worry
I won’t keep him long.

Meyer kisses Teddy. Both men wait until the bedroom door closes. The smiles fade and the atmosphere changes. Meyer opens a trunk and pulls away a false panel, revealing stacks of bills.

        CHARLEY
Great. Just when I was
runnin’ short. How much
is there?

        MEYER
Twenty five from the
Commission. I put in
twenty five from our
interests in Saratoga
and Florida.

        CHARLEY
How about Vegas?

        MEYER
We should start seein’ money
soon.

        CHARLEY
I need the cash, now. I’m
lookin’ to make a big move
here.

        MEYER
Black market?

        CHARLEY
I’m talkin’ about a big
export operation. Remember
the Mancuso brothers from
Brooklyn? They set up
Vito’s network for him.
They produce the opium in
Turkey and Yugoslavia.
Bring it in nice and legal
to the big pharmaceutical
companies in Milan. Put a
little extra in the order
for us. We ship to labs in
Kansas City, New Orleans,
Miami. They cook it and cut
it and put it on the street.
Twenty G’s gets you a
hundred and fifty . Heroin
creates it’s own market.
Sky’s the limit…

        MEYER
I never liked that business.
Too many mouths to feed, too
many people to trust. Now
they got the Bureau of
Narcotics, this guy
Anslinger, workin’ with the
FBI. Ten to one they’re
watchin’ you, Charley.
They’ll trace the shipments
and watch the ports.

        CHARLEY
That’s why we need a detour.
We can use Cuba. Feds can’t
touch it. We can ship to
Havana, then trans ship
through Mexico and New
Orleans and Miami.

        MEYER
Havana will be full of
pushers. It’ll hurt the
gambling business.

        CHARLEY
I’m not in the gambling
business. I’m gettin’ an
envelope from you.

        MEYER
What’s wrong with that?

        CHARLEY
I wanna build somethin’ I
control so nobody can wake
up one morning and say:’what
are we carryin’ Charley for?
Let’s dump him.’

        MEYER
That’ll never happen while
I’m alive.

        CHARLEY
I wouldn’t sell you life
insurance, kid. Not with
Benny runnin’ through
millions in Vegas. You and
he are like Siamese twins.
If he goes you gotta go,
too. But as long as I’m the
boss that’ll never happen.

        MEYER
I know that.

        CHARLEY
Spread the word. I want a
meeting in Havana. I want
everybody to see I’m still
Chairman of the Board.

        MEYER
They might not go for it.

        CHARLEY
Get’ em in a room, I’ll
sell ‘em.

INT. HOTEL BEDROOM. NIGHT.

A few hours later. Teddy awakens in an empty bed. Worried, she goes into the LIVING ROOM. Meyer is on the couch, his cigarette glowing in the dark. She sits next to him and rubs his back.

        TEDDY
Can’t sleep? Too much
coffee?

        MEYER
Too much Charley. Too much
Benny.

        TEDDY
They’re a handful, huh?.

        MEYER
Magnetic personalities.
People wanna be around
‘em. We were a good team.
They had the big ideas. I
made the numbers work.
They got crazy, I talked
sense to them. But now
they won’t listen to
reason…

The PHONE on the coffee table RINGS. Meyer answers warily.

        MEYER
Hello…Benny..?

INT. FLAMINGO CASINO. NIGHT(CROSSCUT)

Benny, a highball in one hand, VIRGINIA HILL draped tipsily around him, is on the phone.

        BENNY
Hey you little schnorrer,
havin’ fun with Charley?

        MEYER
Did you open, you sonofabith?!

        BENNY
Before you bust a gut, listen…

He holds the phone out and we see that the casino is packed. Slots are ringing, people are shouting…

        BENNY
That’s the sound of money
pourin’ in. We’re packed,
every room’s booked.

        MEYER
Benny, that’s great. But
tell Moe he’s gotta keep
the hotel cash separate
from the casino winnings.

        BENNY
Everybody in Hollywood’s
showed for this. We’re a
smash!

        MEYER
Benny, listen. Stash the
skim in the safe…

But Benny has hung up. Meyer He turns to Teddy with a dazed smile.

        MEYER
We’re a smash. Go figure…

END ACT ONE

Next: Act 2:Power Moves SourceURL:file://localhost/Users/patriciagould/Desktop/EmpiresOfCrime/EOCPostNames.doc @font-face { font-family: “Times New Roman”; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: “Times New Roman”; }table.MsoNormalTable { font-size: 10pt; font-family: “Times New Roman”; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; }  BOYS FROM BRAZIL, bugsy seigel, cocktail, FORT APACHE the bronx, free scripts, HEYWOOD GOULD, lucky luciano, Mafia, Meyer Lansky, movies, rolling thunder, screenplay writing, screenplays, thomas dewey

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

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

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


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

Movies You Will Never See/Empires Of Crime/Part 30

*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 VI

ACT ONE


CHRISTMAS, 1946

INT. FLAMINGO CASINO. DAY

Bright sun pours through the casino, falling on the CHRISTMAS TREE, the FAKE SNOW and the holiday decorations. On the bandstand, a LATIN BAND is tuning up, SHOWGIRLS are running through their steps. PAN TO a BANNER reading GRAND OPENING. CARPENTERS and PAINTERS work feverishly. WORKMEN haul in ROULETTE WHEELS and CRAP TABLES. Benny walks through the site, barking orders. DEL WEBB, the harried contractor follows, scribbling feverishly.

        BENNY
Put the bandstand on a
platform over the bar, Del.
It’ll give us more space for
the crap tables.

        WEBB
Mr. Siegel, we have two
days to make the Christmas
Eve opening…

        BENNY
We gotta move the pool, too.
It’s too close to the casino.
He opens a glass door and
walks onto the PATIO…

        BENNY
You don’t want people with
wet trunks comin’ and goin’.
It’ll bother the real
degenerates, you know, the
guys who don’t wanna know
day from night. Like these
bums…

FOUR VERY TOUGH GUYS jump up from pool chairs at Benny’s approach. “Hey, Ben, what kinda weather, huh?”..”Is it like this all the time?”

        BENNY
Mr. Webb, I’d like you meet
my associates. Mr. Moe
Sedway, lookin’ out for
things for Mr. Lansky in
New York. Mr. Joe Rossman,
Mr. Gus Greenbaum, he’s a
spy for the Chicago
contingent…

        GREENBAUM
Why do you keep sayin’ that,
Ben?

        BENNY
(pinches his cheek)
Relax, I’m only kiddin’…
This here’s Israel Alderman,
known as Ice Pick Willie to
his friends in Minneapolis.

        ALDERMAN
You gonna have this joint
ready to open Christmas
Eve, Mr. Webb?.

        BENNY
Cut it out. You’re makin’
him nervous.
(puts his arm around Webb)
Don’t let these guys scare
ya, Del. We only kill our
own. I’ll give ya an extra
day, okay,December 26th.
See, I’m not such a bad
guy…

A BELLBOY comes out with a phone.

        BELLBOY
Mr. Lansky’s on the phone.

        BENNY
My not so silent partner.
(into the phone)
Hey tatele, ready for the
biggest opening in hotel
history?

INT.

MEYER’S APARTMENT. NIGHT (CROSS CUT)

Meyer listens with a worried look. Behind him, in the DINING ROOM, Buddy and Richard are slurping soup.

        MEYER
I’m ready. I hope you are.

        BENNY
We’re gonna knock ‘em dead.
We  got Xavier Cugat’s mambo
band, Jimmy Durante, George
Raft…Cary Grant and
Barbara Hutton, Jack Warner.
You believe Benny Siegel
from Brooklyn got Cary
Grant and Jack Warner to a
crap game in the middle of
the desert!

        MEYER
I hope it works. A lotta
money’s been sunk into this
thing. Our investors are
kvetchin’ like crazy.

        BENNY
Ah, tell those crums
they’re lucky we’re lettin’
em in on this.

Teddy comes out with a TUREEN.

        TEDDY
Meyer, your soup’s gettin’
cold.

        BENNY
Shabbas dinner, huh kid?
I’m gonna send you a golden
matzoh ball to go with your
chicken soup.

MEYER
I’ll take the cash. I’m
gettin’ on a plane at
midnight. Seeya in the
morning…

        BENNY
We’ll still be goin’ strong…

Meyer hangs up and turns jubilantly to Teddy.

        MEYER
Looks like that crazy
bastard pulled it off!

EXT. HOTEL TURISTICO–NAPLES. DAY

A hangout for diplomats and servicemen. Charley strides quickly down the narrow, crowded Naples street, followed by REPORTERS, PHOTOGS, while PASCOLI a stout, sweaty, middle aged lawyer struggles to keep pace. Charley is terse, impatient.

        PASCOLI
This was once the best
hotel in Naples, Signore
Luciano, but in the war
the fascists took it and
then the Americans. They
destroyed everything…

        CHARLEY
The war’s over, pal,
nobody’s buyin the sob
story…

They enter a formerly elegant lobby, now ravaged by war and neglect. A disheveled CLERK greets them. “Signori, benvenuto..”

        CHARLEY
Get me the best room they
got.

The clerk blurts out an apology in Italian.

        PASCOLI
He says an American colonel
is in the penthouse…

        CHARLEY
Get him out. Tell him the
joint’s crawlin’ with
bedbugs…
(stuffs bills in the
clerk’s pocket)
Te piace la monetta
Americana?

        CLERK
Grazie Signori. Lo fato
subito…

        CHARLEY
What a language. Every time
I open my mouth I feel like
I’m in an opera…Get me a
piece of this joint.

        PASCOLI
A piece? No. He just wants
a loan.

        CHARLEY
So now he’s got a partner.
Give him half what he’s
askin’ and don’t make no
side deals. He’s gotta
paint the lobby before he
gets a dime. Tell him to
use my money to fix the
restaurant up so I got a
place to hang out…

RALPH RIZZO, a sharp eyed ferret of a man approaches deferentially.

        RIZZO
Mr. Luciano, excuse me.
Ralph Rizzo from New York…

        CHARLEY
Who you spyin’ for, Vito or
Albert?

        RIZZO
Nobody. Things got hot for
me at home. Trouble with a
broad…

        CHARLEY
I get it, you don’t gotta
go on the radio…

Rizzo steps away and Charley takes Pascoli into a dark corner.

        CHARLEY
C’mere. Did you look into
those business opportunities
for me?

        PASCOLI
In Sicily there is a candy
factory.

        CHARLEY
Do they ship to the US?

        PASCOLI
Yes. Special– como se
dice– nougat candy for
the holidays. Also a
sardine cannery that was
closed during the war…

        CHARLEY
Sardines, that’s good. Get
‘em both. Keep my name out
of it. Start a corporation
for each purchase.

        PASCOLI
No worry about a corporation.
This is Italy…

        CHARLEY
You do business with me
you do it American style,
you understand?
(calls’)
Hey Rizzo…Where they
hidin’ the broads around
here?

        RIZZO
(jumps up)
You came to the right guy,
boss. I’ll dig ‘em up for
you.

As they walk out, another MAN in a baggy suit lowers a newspaper and watches them.

EXT. FLAMINGO CASINO. DAY

Dawn…A TUMBLEWEED blows across the street as Meyer pulls up in a cab. The hotel is eerily quiet, no GUESTS, a few rusty PICK UPS and an OLD HORSE tethered to the rail.

INT. FLAMINGO CASINO. DAY

Meyer enters. One look tells him something is wrong. The band is playing a spirited MAMBO for– no one.. One DRUNK is asleep at the bar. The DEALERS stand at empty tables. The WAITRESSES  have no one to serve. A few COWBOYS are whooping it up at the crap table. Benny, haggard, chain-smoking, is talking desperately on the phone.

        BENNY
I’ll comp the rooms, the
meals, everything. Charter
a plane. Anything they
want…Call me.

Hangs up with a dismal look at Meyer.

        BENNY
Tryin’ to get Benny Goodman
out here. This Latin music
didn’t go over with the
hicks.

        MEYER
Where’s the big crowd? Cary
Grant, George Raft?

        BENNY
They had a little problem
with the plumbing in their
rooms and took off early.

        MEYER
Cary Grant shows up and you
don’t give him a place to
take a crap?

        BENNY
Nothin’ went right tonight.
The refrigerators all went
on the blink. And to add
insult to injury that
cowboy over there just
made nine passes in a
row…

Meyer explodes. Leaping at Benny he floors him with a right.

        MEYER
Schmuck! I told you the
week between Christmas and
New Year’s was the worst
time to open a hotel, but
you said don’t worry, all
your big shot friends
would show.

        BENNY
(meekly rubbing his jaw)
Everybody in Hollywood was
talkin’ about it. A
thousand people told me
they were comin’.

        MEYER
(shakes him)
Schmuck! Who’s gonna say
no to Bugsy Siegel?
Thirty years I been
coverin’ your ass while
you went around bangin’
the wrong broad and beatin’
up the wrong guy. What am
I gonna say to Anastasia
and Genovese?

        BENNY
Tell ‘em we opened slow.
We’ll make it back next
week.

        MEYER
No. You’re closin’ this
dump now, We’ll make
believe this night never
happened. Fix the toilets.
Hire a press agent…

        BENNY
That’ll cost.

        MEYER
I’ll get you the money, but
you’ll do it my way.

        BENNY
Meyer, you’re a good
bookkeeper, but you don’t
have creative flair.

        MEYER
You created an empty joint.
I could do that, too.

        BENNY
Gimme one more chance to do
this my way. Please…

        MEYER
I’ll go to bat for you, but
from now on you’re a junior
partner. I want an
accounting of every dime
that comes through here.
And it better be correct,
Benny, or you’re out.

JUNE, 1947

EXT. HOTEL NACIONAL-HAVANA. NIGHT

Havana’s biggest hotel on a busy night. GUESTS coming and going, but not into:

INT. CASINO. NIGHT.

where it is eerily quiet. A CONJUNTO (Cuban band) plays a bouncy rhumba to an almost empty casino.

MEYER

is taking a tour with Batista, shooting suspicious looks at the DEALERS. He passes the bar where a DRAB MAN in a baggy, gray suit, looking very out of place, turns to watch.

        BATISTA
You can see we were busy
during the war. We rebuilt
the hotels, put in casinos.
When the word gets around
we’ll have more business.

        MEYER
The word has gotten around.
That’s why nobody’s here.
You’re cheatin’, Fulgencio.
(points to a BLACKJACK
dealer)
That guy’s dealin’ seconds.
The croupier’s switchin’
the dice. I used to play
that trick when I was ten
years old.

        BATISTA
With no customers we have
to steal just to keep
things going.

        MEYER
That may be how to run a
country, but it’s no way
to run a casino. Put me
in charge of gambling on
the island. This place’ll
be SRO in three months.

        BATISTA
You know my friend Ernest
Hemingway, the famous
author, says I shouldn’t
allow people like you to
run the nightlife…

        MEYER
He just wants to keep Cuba
primitive so he can get
loaded and go fishing with
his friends. That won’t
make you any money. Call
a meeting. I wanna see all
the bosses of all the
casinos.

 

 

Next:Act 1 (CON’T): Power Moves

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 29

*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 (CONT)

NEWSREEL…1944 (STOCK) Allied troops land at Anzio.

        NEWSCASTER
After months of careful
preparation the battle to
rescue Europe from Nazi
tyranny has begun as
American troops fight
their way onto the beaches
of Sicily… American
commandos working behind
enemy lines with Italian
resistance forces helped
pave the way.

INT. PRISON COMMISSARY. DAY

The INMATES cheer as the troops hit the beach.

INT. GREAT MEADOWS PRISON. DAY

In a sunny, spacious cell filled with the comforts of home, Charley and Meyer confer while Polakoff sits discreetly out of earshot.

        MEYER
A million GI’s learned how
to shoot crap and play black
jack in the Army. They’re
gonna come home lookin’ for
action. We gotta expand.
Invest…

        CHARLEY
But the boys don’t see it
that way, right?

        MEYER
Benny’s buildin’ the biggest
hotel in the world right now,
but they’re cuttin’ him off.

        CHARLEY
They’re not businessmen,
kid, they’re hoods. Always
were, always will be. Tell
‘em to give Benny what he
needs, but he’s gotta give
them more points.

        MEYER
You won’t be sorry. We’re
gonna be drownin’ in cash…

        CHARLEY
Not me. I’ll be in here.

        MEYER
Mo. How we gonna get Charley
outta here?

        POLAKOFF
Why would you want to leave
this place. It’s almost as
nice as the Waldorf.

        CHARLEY
Yeah, but the door opens
from the outside.

        POLAKOFF
McCook gave you a sentence
with no parole. We could
ask for executive clemency,
but Dewey’s running for
President and I don’t see
him releasing a notorious
gangster in the middle of
the campaign. The Navy’s
working for you. In the
long run we’ll get you out.

        CHARLEY
In the long run I’ll be
dead, Mo. Somebody oughta
tell Mr. Dewey–in a nice
way–that he allowed the
Navy to send me, a
notorious gangster on top
secret missions. That he
allowed the Navy to make
deals with known criminals.
And that the story might
just leak out.

        MEYER
It could also come out that
we contributed ninety G’s
to his campaign.

        POLAKOFF
That’s blackmail, Charley.

        CHARLEY
Like I told Red, I’m a
patriot but I’m not a crum.
Somebody should tell that
to Mr. Dewey. In a nice
way…

NEWSREEL…Dewey supporters on the railroad track, waving placards reading DEWEY WILL WIN and IT’S A DEW DEW DEWEY DAY…

EXT. WHISTLE STOP. DAY

Tom speaks to a cheering crowd.

        TOM
Washington is going to
have the surprise of its
life. Things will move.
Incompetents will vanish.
Crooks will go to jail.
The snap and efficiency of
youth will prevail…

INT. GOVERNOR’S OFFICE. DAY

Tom listens, seething, as Haffenden pleads for Charley..

        HAFFENDEN
I’ve submitted a two
hundred page classified
report detailing the
services Luciano rendered…

        TOM
I read it. You disobeyed me
by giving Luciano the run
of the city, Commander. You
spirited him out of the
country on a secret mission.
I never would have permitted
that. But now I’ll be held
responsible.

        HAFFENDEN
The Navy will never release
this information.

        TOM
But Luciano will. Don’t you
see, he’s outsmarted us, He
didn’t have to ask for
anything because he knew he
would get it– by blackmail.
And now in order to protect
state secrets the Navy is
asking me to tarnish my
reputation.

        HAFFENDEN
All I know is that this man
helped us save lives and
shorten the war. He deserves
some consideration for that
no matter who he is.

INT. GREAT MEADOWS PRISON. DAY

A “going away party”. Polakoff pops a bottle of champagne and pours for the GUARDS. In a corner, Haffenden explains the terms of Charley’s deal.

        HAFFENDEN
You can go anywhere you want
essentially. But you can’t
come back to the US. Dewey
also retains the right to
revoke the deportation
order and rearrest you if
you reveal any details of
your wartime service.

        CHARLEY
I served my country so well
that they’re gonna kick me
out.

        HAFFENDEN
Cheer up, Charley. You won.

        CHARLEY
So how come I feel like a
loser?

The Guards gather around him and toast:

        GUARDS
Here’s to you Charley…
Good luck…

Charley raises his glass.

        CHARLEY
And here’s to New York City,
the greatest city in the
greatest country in the
world. I’m gonna miss it.

INT. GOVERNOR’S MANSION. DAY

A noisy, combative press conference as Tom shouts down REPORTERS.

        TOM
In return for services
rendered during the war,
Mr. Luciano is being
allowed to return to the
country of his birth. He
represents no threat as
he will be exiled for
life, never to return.

        REPORTER
What services did he
perform?

        TOM
I can’t comment on that.

        REPORTER#2
Some people are suggesting
that this deportation is
payment for contributions
Luciano made to your
campaign.

        TOM
Those people are probably
Democrats.

        REPORTER#3
Some say you framed Luciano.

        TOM
Prohibition made some very
bad men very rich. Their
power had to be broken
one way or another. Putting
Lucky Luciano in jail was
one of the best things I
ever did as a public
servant. My conscience is
clear.

EXT. NEW YORK HARBOR. DAY.

A wintry dawn, 1946. REPORTERS,PHOTOGRAPHERS  and NEWSREEL CAMERAMEN wait outside The LARA KEENE, a battered liberty ship as a convoy of DARK SEDANS  drives onto the pier. Charley, Meyer and Teddy get out of one car, while Anastasia, Costello and several SHOWGIRLS get out of another, followed by more MOB GUYS, GIRLS and WAITERS. The REPORTERS rush up, but are blocked by Meyer.

        MEYER
There’s no story here. Go
home before I dump you in
the drink.

INT. STATEROOM. DAY.

Sun drenched and flower strewn. A COMBO serenades Charley.

ANASTASIA

pops a bottle of CHAMPAGNE.

        ANASTASIA
This is a happy day for
all of us. Our friend
Charley is free. He
deserves a medal and a
parade, but we’ll take
a one way ticket to
Sicily, won’t we
Charley?

Charley barely nods; he is absorbed in urgent conversation with Meyer.

        CHARLEY
All my pals seein’ me
off will be lookin’ to
push me out, Meyer.
You gotta protect my
interests.

        MEYER
I’ll keep all your
percentages in a separate
account. The Commission
has agreed to send you
twenty five G’s a month
walkin’ around money as
an advance.
(passes him a bulky
envelope)
This’ll keep you goin’
until we can start sendin’
couriers.

        CHARLEY
I’m gonna pick up Vito’s
drug business. I figure we
can make Sicily the transit
point for all heroin
deliveries into the US. We
can ship to Cuba and then
into New Orleans and Miami.
You gonna help me in Havana?

        MEYER
Take a few months to get
the lay of the land, Charley.
The FBI’ll be watchin’ you.
You know you can’t trust,
Vito.

        CHARLEY
(insistent)
I asked you a question,
Meyer? You gonna help me
in Havana?

        MEYER
Lemme get set up first.
Lemme start makin’ money
for these guys…

        CHARLEY
That sounds like a no to
me…

Meyer shrugs apologetically and is about to answer when:

BENNY

bursts into the stateroom. He is tan and sporty and drags VIRGINIA HILL a buxom redhead in a tight suit into the room.

        BENNY
Awright, everybody against
the wall, this is a raid…

        MEYER
(surprised)
Benny…

Everybody rushes to greet him. Only Anastasia hangs back with a jealous look

        BENNY
(hugging Meyer)
Don’t worry, Meyer I locked
the safe.
(to Charley)
I heard they were kickin’
you outta the country,
Charley. All I gotta say
is it’s about time…
(hugs him)
You’re all skin and bones.
Better hit the macaroni.
C’mon in girls, don’t be
bashful for the first time
in your lives.

TWO BUSTY PARTY GIRLS enter and surround Charley.

        BENNY
These ladies have
volunteered to keep you
company on the trip over.
Teach ‘em how to play gin.
At your age that’s all you
can do anyway.

        CHARLEY
In case of a shipwreck they
won’t have no trouble
floatin’.

        BENNY
(turns to Teddy)
Is this the new Mrs. Lansky?

        MEYER
This is Teddy, Benny…

Benny sweeps Teddy off her feet with a hug.

        BENNY
Meyer teach you all about
double entry bookkeeping?
You get bored with his card
tricks come out to Hollywood,
we’ll show ya a good time,
won’t we baby…
(he pushes the redhead at
Meyer)
Meyer, I want ya to meet
the love of my life,
Virginia Hill. She’s little
tipsy from three days of
drinkin’ on the train…

        HILL
Yeah, you were boozin’ just
as much…

        BENNY
On me it looks better…Now
on’t embarrass me in front
of my friends, they’re very
old fashioned. Especially
this little guy…

Suddenly emotional, he drapes his arms around Charley and Meyer.

        BENNY
My old pals. We’ve been
through thick and thin
together.

        MEYER
We always looked out for
each other.

        BENNY
And we always will. We’re
gonna make Las Vegas the
biggest gambling town in
the world, Charley. We’re
gonna be bigger than ever.

The men raise their glasses in assent. ”Bigger than ever.” Charley returns the toast in a defiant tone with a pointed look at Meyer.

        CHARLEY
To all my friends, who
been with me since the old
days. I’m just takin’ a
little vacation in the old
country. Before you know it,
I’ll be back on Broadway.
Back where I belong.

END HOUR FIVE

Next: HOUR SIX/Part 30/Act 1: Vegas

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.

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