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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.

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