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Movies You Will Never See/Coney Island Bluefish/Part 7

*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 THREE

IN BLACK…BEDROOM SOUNDS…Tuesday 6:23 :02

        CONTI
My father owned a restaurant
in Bath Beach. My Uncle Eddie,
the hood, was the silent
partner. His boys ate there…

INT. CONTI’S BEDROOM.DAY

Conti and Sandra are in an afterglow embrace.

        CONTI
And so did the cops from the
local precinct. Even as a kid
I noticed the wiseguys were
always mad or worried about
something, but the cops were
always laughin’ and havin’ a
good time. So when my uncle
told me to drive a truck full
of stolen suits to Newark, I
said ‘ no thanks,’ and took
the Police Exam instead.

        SANDRA
No regrets.

        CONTI
I like the job. I feel I’m
makin’ up for some of my
reprehensible habits.

        SANDRA
Well, a guilty cheater. Don’t
feel too bad. Can’t cheat by
yourself.

        CONTI
Don’t I know it. But then you
meet somebody and you wish
they would take you seriously.

        SANDRA
(rolling out of bed)
This is where I came in.

        CONTI
Am I makin’ you nervous?

        SANDRA
It’s not you. The Velvet
Hammers just wore off and all
of a sudden I can smell some
other woman’s perfume. And
I’m feeling just a little
cheap.

        CONTI
You did all this to get back
at your husband, didn’t you?

        SANDRA
Not really. My husband’s at
his new girlfriend’s house.
He’ll never know.

        CONTI
So maybe it had a little
something to do with me.

        SANDRA
Fishing for compliments? You
weren’t that great.

        CONTI
C’mere. Give me another
chance.

Sandra gets back into bed with Conti. As they kiss the PHONE RINGS.

        CONTI (CONT’D)
It’s just my partner stuck in
traffic.

They kiss as the VOICE MAIL comes on and:

        SLOAN
Pick up, you rat bastard, I
know you’re there.

IN BLACK…PRECINCT SOUNDS. 9:15:04

        RADIO
…Pick up Ismailia Akmhatov
from Coney Island General…

INT.SQUAD.DAY.

Hectic. PRISONERS, FEDS. Lena who is briefing some FEDS. watches Sloan and Conti escort Ismailia into an office

        LENA
My act was so good he thought
I was a thief. He thought he
could kill me.

She looks across the aisle in amusement at:

BAGELS

who is plying Vulvani, the Indian appliance store owner with bagels, while Putts hovers over him, putter in hand.

        VULVANI
You don’t believe I was
robbed?

        PUTTS
The insurance company
requires us to check the ID
numbers against recorded
purchases. If one matches
they got you on insurance
fraud, tax evasion…

        VULVANI
But they broke down my wall.

        PUTTS
We saw your wall. We’re gonna
have to say that the plaster
was on the outside like the
wall had been busted in from
the inside. When you make a
cop do his job you always
have a problem.

        BAGELS
Have a nice, hot poppyseed
bagel, fresh from the oven.
We got hazelnut coffee…

        PUTTS
You guys play field hockey,
don’t you? That’s a girl’s
game in America.

SLOAN walks by carrying a mug book.

        BASHIR
Detective Sloan.

Bashir and Adan cross the room to him. Shamil hangs back, intimidated by the official bustle.

        BASHIR (cont’d)
We went to the hospital to
pick my sister up and they
said you brought her here.
What’s up with that?

Shamil nods, meekly as Sloan speaks to him. .

        SLOAN
We’d just like her to check
some photos. In a few days,
when she feels better, we
would like to talk to her
again.

        ADAN
There’s nothing to talk about.

        SHAMIL
(halting)
She said she didn’t see the
man. She was walking on the
boardwalk and he came behind
her. Then, when the people
shouted, he ran away.

        SLOAN
Maybe she’ll remember a
little detail.

        SHAMIL
Why make her remember? Let
her forget.

        SLOAN
We need her to help us catch
this man. To stop him from
hurting another woman.

        SHAMIL
I understand…

INT INTERROGATION ROOM. DAY

Ismailia is shaking her head vehemently under Conti’s gentle questioning as Sloan enters.

        CONTI
Do you remember seeing maybe
a ring or a watch? A bracelet…?

        ISMAILIA
I don’t…Nothing.

        CONTI
When he put his hand over
your mouth did you smell any
kind of cologne? Did he have
an accent? Did he say anything?

        ISMAILIA
(shaking her head)
No.

        SLOAN
Don’t be frightened, Miss
Akmhatov, we’ll protect you….

        ISMAILIA
(tearfully vehement)
I told you: He said nothing,
I saw nothing. Why do you
question me?

IN THE SQUAD ROOM

Lena is filling out a form for the feds. She eavesdrops as Shamil and his sons have an animated conversation in Uzbek a few desks away. Then watches as Sloan whispers to Olga and leads her into the interrogation room. Then sees Keats trying to do stretching exercises in his office. She rises and crosses the room to Keats’ office, smiling at Derek, who watches her, smitten. Keats has his leg up on the desk as she enters.

        LENA
This stretch is not good for
a bad back.

        KEATS
The doctor says it strengthens
the hamstrings.

        LENA
Only if you can do it like
this.

She puts her leg up on the desk and stretches all the way until her forehead touches her ankle.

        LENA (cont’d)
First thing for you is
flexibility of the spine. Get
on the floor. On your back.

Astonished, Keats obeys, lying down in front of his desk.

        LENA (cont’d)
Raise your knees.

Again, Keats obeys. Lena stands over him, bends his legs and pushes his knees into his chest. He groans…in pleasure.

        KEATS
Oh, that’s good.

        LENA
That Uzbek girl won’t tell
you anything.

        KEATS
Afraid of the man who did it?

        LENA
Afraid of her own family, I
heard her brothers talking.
In their culture the woman’s
chastity must be protected.
If she has sex before
marriage she is considered a
whore.

        KEATS
Even if she’s raped?

        LENA
They’ll say she provoked it.
Why wasn’t her face covered?
Why did she go out alone?
They can drive her away. Or
kill her.

        KEATS
Maybe in their country.

        LENA
These are immigrants,
Lieutenant. They bring their
country with them.
(moves around behind him)
Sit up. Put your hands behind
your head…

She pushes his head down into his chest.

        KEATS
(gasping)
What’s your name, Officer?

        LENA
Lena Zazulich.

        KEATS
How do you know so much about
stretching, Miss Zazulich?

        LENA
I was a little ballerina in
Russia. Kirov ballet, you’ve
heard of it?

        KEATS
No.

        LENA
Good. I’m in the right place.
They take you away from your
family when you’re five years.
Train you, slave drive you
seven days a week so you can
go on tour and earn foreign
currency.

        KEATS
How’d you become a cop?

        LENA
We were privileged little
girls. They let us watch
American TV. I watched
Cagney and Lacey, you know
this show?

        KEATS
Yeah, sure.

        LENA
Strong, independent women,
not little dancing puppets.
So when I came here and they
said go to City Ballet, I
said no I’m going to the
Police Academy.

        KEATS
Ever hear of multicultural
police work?

        LENA
No.

        KEATS
You’re in the right place.
Get that girl to give you a
name, a description.

        LENA
She’ll never tell.

        KEATS
She’ll have to. If not, we’ll
force her to have an
examination and we’ll reveal
the results to the family.

Lena drops Keats’s head and steps away.

        LENA
This is cruel. It’s a betrayal.

        KEATS
(rises slowly)
People don’t get away with
rape in my precinct, Officer
Zazulich. Cagney and Lacey
would agree, don’t you think?
(stretches)
Ooh…A little sore, but I
feel a lot looser already.

END: ACT THREE (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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