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Movies You Will Never See/Coney Island Bluefish/Part 2

*For Introduction with submission guidelines go to April 4.

*Heywood Gould is the author of 9 screenplays including “Rolling Thunder,”Fort Apache, The Bronx,”Boys From Brazil”and “Cocktail.”

CONEY ISLAND BLUEFISH

By Heywood Gould

ACT ONE (Con’t)

INT. SLOAN’S BEDROOM.

Sloan moves carefully through the dark. His GOLD SHIELD glitters on the dresser. He bends to kiss Corinne.

        SLOAN
Tonight’s the night.

        CORINNE
(hugs him)
Ah, you tell that to all
the girls.

Sloan steps out of the room, blows a kiss an eases the door shut. He stops outside his son BRIAN’S room. The BLUE LIGHT of the COMPUTER is on. BRIAN, fourteen, is slumped in a chair. Sloan pries his fingers off the mouse and shakes him gently.

        SLOAN
Brian, go to sleep.

Brian stirs, reaches sleepily for Sloan’s hand.

        BRIAN
‘Night, dad.

And stumbles into bed.

Sloan goes to shut off his Computer. ON THE SCREEN IS a WEB PAGE put out by the ARYAN DEFENDERS. MILITIA PHOTOS, racist manifestos… Troubled, Sloan turns off the computer. As he walks down the stairs he hears FRANTIC WHISPERS.

ASHLEY

his seventeen year old daughter, is on the couch, rubbing her eyes, feigning drowsiness.

        ASHLEY
Hi Dad. Guess I must have
fallen asleep…

        SLOAN
Gimme a break. Come outta
there…

He reaches behind the couch and comes up with TYLER, Ashley’s bleached blond boyfriend. Tyler tries to laugh it off.

        TYLER
Hey, Mr. Sloan, how’d you
know I was here?

        SLOAN
Good detective work. Let’s
go, Tyler.

        ASHLEY
We weren’t doin’ anything,
Dad. You always think the
worst.

        TYLER
My parents like it when I
come here. They know I’m
safe.

        SLOAN
Not from me.
(holds the door for Tyler)
Out.

        ASHLEY
I’m not a little girl
anymore, Dad.

        SLOAN
As long as you’re living
under your mother’s roof
you’ll behave like one…

And closes the door.

INT. GARAGE. NIGHT.

Sloan kneels at the front wheel of his ‘93 Cutlass. He takes off the hubcap. His gun is taped to the inside of the wheel. Looking around furtively, he pries a loose slab off the garage floor and removes a forbidden PACK OF CIGARETTES. Lights one and breathes a sigh of contentment.

IN BLACK…6:28.09..DINER SOUNDS…OLGA on the radio.

        OLGA
(v.o., radio)
AC 1 to Central…We’re on
meal…

INT. VICTOR’S DINER. DAY.

Breakfast rush at a cop hangout. Olga and Burke sit in a booth, eating eggs.

        OLGA (CONT’D)
Of course she won’t talk.
You wouldn’t tell nobody
if you got raped.

        BURKE
It’s different for a guy.
A guy gets raped he’s
marked punk for life.

VICTOR, the mustachioed proprietor in grease spattered apron, slides a piece of chocolate cake in front of Olga

        VICTOR
For you, Olga. On the house.

        OLGA
You know we can’t take
freebies, Victor.

        VICTOR
This is not to a cop. It’s
man to woman. Me to you.
You need a little flesh.
Something to hold onto.

        OLGA
(shoves the cake at him)
Hold onto this.

        VICTOR
(retreating)
Can’t I express my feelings,
Olga?

        OLGA
Go shampoo your mustache.
(to Burke)
Look who thinks he’s a
lover.
(disgusted)
You men…

INT. SLOAN’S CAR. DAY.

A home away from home. A portable COFFEE MAKER under the glove compartment. A LAP TOP  open on the seat, giving the closing prices of the Nikkei. A TINY TV tuned to NY 1 for traffic news. Sloan sits in gridlock on the phone.

        SLOAN
You up?

INT. CONTI’S BEDROOM.DAY (CROSSCUT)

A CROSS over the bed, FAMILY PHOTOS on the wall. BOBBY CONTI, late thirties, dark, muscular, is on the phone. His girlfriend, BETTY, Latina, early twenties looks up, sleepily.

        CONTI
No, I’m talkin’ in my sleep.

        SLOAN
There’s more action in my
house than on Surf Avenue.

        CONTI
I told you not to move to
the boonies.

There is noise outside Conti’s bedroom. He jumps up in alarm as the DOORBELL RINGS and he hears “Daddy, open up…”

        CONTI (Con’t)
Oh jeeze my kids are here…

        SLOAN
(sentimental)
Danielle, Josephine, my
little nieces…

At the end of a long hallway Conti sees the door open on the chain. Sees his daughters clamoring “Daddy, let us in…” He runs back into the bedroom and grabs Betty.

        CONTI
C’mon baby, get up. My kids
are here.

        BETTY
So we ain’t doin’ nothin’
wrong.

        CONTI
You’re sleepin’ in their
mother’s bed.

        BETTY
Their mother don’t live
here no more, Bobby.  It’s
okay.

        SLOAN
You got somebody in there
with you?

        CONTI
Shut up, Donnie.
(disconnects and turns to Betty)
Please baby, just hide in
the closet, what’s the big
deal?

        BETTY
Why are you actin’ guilty?
You’re separated.

        CONTI
(pushing her into the closet)
I know, but I feel like I’m
doin’ somethin’ wrong, I
can’t help it.

He closes the door, slips into a pair of jogging pants and runs down the hall to open the door for:

DANIELLA AND JOSEPHINE

Ages fourteen and sixteen. Daniella, the younger sister, still in Catholic school middy skirt and blouse, Josephine, very chic in slacks and a backwards Yankee cap.

        DANIELLA
Daddy, what took you so long?

        CONTI
I was in the bathroom, honey.

        JOSEPHINE
We came to make you breakfast.

        CONTI
Your mother know about this?

        JOSEPHINE
Yeah. She said we’d better
come or you’d starve to
death.

        CONTI
Oh yeah, I can take care of
myself.

        DANIELLA
We just miss makin’ you
breakfast. We miss you.

        CONTI
(moved)
Aw honey…
(hugs them both)
You only live a coupla blocks
away.

        DANIELLA
I know, but we never see you
any more…

        CONTI
Hey, I got an idea. Let’s go
to Victor’s for breakfast.

        DANIELLA
Great. Like Sunday after
church.

        CONTI
Lemme just get dressed…

        JOSEPHINE
I’m drinkin’ coffee now, Dad,
so don’t go crazy.

He goes into the bedroom and opens the closet door where Betty stands fuming, pats her cheek and takes out a suit.

        CONTI
Hey, you’re a big girl, you
do what you want…

And closes the door.

IN BLACK…7:16:46. FIRE, the beating and hissing of FLAMES.

        RADIO
Report of car on fire 2330 Neptune…

EXT. PROJECTS. DAY.

FIRE fills the screen. A group of BLACK FIRST GRADERS with BACKPACKS watching as flames engulf a car parked at the curb.

EXT. SIX ONE. DAY.

The 61st. precinct. Green lights and gray stone, a weathered sign over the doorway. Hasn’t changed in fifty years. At seven thirty the tours are changing. OFF DUTY cops hurry out, ON DUTY COPS saunter in.

LIEUTENANT JOHN KEATS

early fifties,lean, gray and grimacing from back pain, enters the building as he has for twenty three years. Inside, a Babel of conflicting tongues. RUSSIANS screaming at each other, while a cop tries to keep them apart, a Hispanic cop translating the complaint of an elderly MEXICAN WOMAN for an impatient DESK SERGEANT. CHINESE, PAKISTANIS, all with a story to tell.  A few heads turn, a few cops greet him: “Mornin’ Loo…” “Hiya doin’ Loo?” His boss CAPTAIN NIEVES, trim and energetic and twenty years younger, calls…

        NIEVES
Get some popcorn, Keats.

        KEATS
(groans)
Oh no, not again.

He follows Nieves across the precinct into his office where CHANEY and FALK from the Internal Affairs Unit are waiting.

        KEATS  (cont’d)
Look who’s here, Lucas and
Spielberg.

        CHANEY
Just doin’ our job,
Lieutenant.

They kill the lights and focus a VIDEO PROJECTOR against the wall. There is a date, a time and then a VIDEO SURVEILLANCE shot of Olga and Burke making out in the squad car.

        FALK
Subjects were observed
consuming wine coolers
during their meal period.
They then proceeded to
this secluded spot where
they partially disrobed…

        KEATS
Did they turn their radio
off? Did they miss any
jobs?

        CHANEY
That’s not the point and you
know it. They were drinkin’
and screwin’ on the job. ..

        NIEVES
If you gentlemen will excuse
us.

Nieves motions to the men and they step to the door.

        KEATS
I got some pictures of you
two guys disrobin’ in the
back seat.

Falk steps forward, angrily.

        FALK
I don’t have to take this
crap from you.

        NIEVES
Goodbye.
(waits until the door is closed)
This goes right over my head
to Borough Command, Johnny.
I can’t squash it.

        KEATS
Can you smooth it? Put any
man in a car with Olga
Narvaez twelve hours a day
and somethin’s gonna happen.

        NIEVES
The woman pays the dues, so
it’s up to the woman to keep
everything on the up and up.

        KEATS
All the virgins are on
statues, boss. The girl is
gold. I’d rather have her
watchin’ my back than any
man in the precinct.

        NIEVES
Look we’ve been gettin’
whispers about Burke hangin’
with the drug dealers at the
Silhouette Club…

        KEATS
Jerry Burke is a tough kid,
Captain. He broke up a bank
heist last year…

        NIEVES
Tough kid ain’t enough
anymore, Johnny. This
precinct’s under a
microscope.
(points the street grid on the wall)
We got the largest percentage
of foreign born in the
country. And the most diverse.
Russians, Ukrainians,
Moldavians, Uzbekis, from
every part of the Soviet
Union. We got an influx of
Mexicans, Salvadorans.
Asian, Indian…We got the
blacks,the Jews the wiseguys,
who still run the neighborhood,
not to mention those damm
yuppies who call the cops
every time their toilets break…

        KEATS
You don’t have to tell me…

        NIEVES
In the next year we’re
gonna have every federal
agency you can think of,
takin’ pictures, interviews,
stats, measurin’ people’s
skulls, who knows what,
just to find out what makes
this area tick. We’re gonna
have to get into mulitcultural
policing. One rotten apple
like Jerry Burke and we’re
all out eatin’ pizza in
Staten Island.

        KEATS
Sounds like fun.

        NIEVES
Not for me, Johnny. I wanna
be the first Puerto Rican
Police Commissioner.

        KEATS
Scandal in your precinct
won’t help.

        NIEVES
We’ll let this sit for a
day. We’re gonna need
manpower tonight. Task
Force is busting a diamond
smuggler at the airport and
we gotta provide back up.

        KEATS
See, we’re shorthanded. We
can’t be dumpin’ people for
coppin’ a little nooky in
the back seat. Lemme just
break them up. Put a woman
in the car with Olga.

        NIEVES
What if she goes both ways?

        KEATS
We’ll sell tickets.

Next: Act 1 (cont):

CONEY ISLAND BLUEFISH By Heywood Gould

I pitched a show about how cops deal with the new ethnically diverse New York.

The executives looked up from their blackberries…

Thought Coney Island–home to refugees from the former Soviet Empire a burgeoning Mexican population, Indians, Pakistanis, Hasidim, not to mention retired garment workers, Mafia holdouts, yuppies, hipsters and health nuts who want to be by the sea–would be a good arena.

The executives leaned forward in their chairs—a good sign.

Police precincts field sports teams that play other city departments and go to a state championship every year.

The executives had never heard of that.
“Great hook,” someone said.

I wrote the script. Joy was unconfined. We were on our way.

Then it was bounced down from the “upstairs.”

The verdict:
“Is he kidding?”

Enjoy
Best,
Heywood

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

Click on EMPRIES OF CRIME link below for the entire script.

EMPIRES OF CRIME

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.

 

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