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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.

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