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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.

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