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Movies You Will Never See/Coney Island Bluefish/Part 8

*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… SQUAD ROOM…ANGRY VOICES. RADIO CALLS.

IN THE SQUAD ROOM

The radio is on Bagel’s desk next to the spreads. Putts is typing a report. TWO COPS are trying to get a PRISONER down the stairs, but he is resisting, holding onto a bannister. Bagels lifts the Prisoner high over his head, holding him over the landing. Across the room: Conti is crooning into the phone, while Sloan watches in disgust.

        CONTI
I gotta see you right away.
Make sure it wasn’t all a
dream.

INT. DENTIST’S OFFICE. DAY. (CROSS CUT)

Sandra, in her uniform, is on the phone.

        SANDRA
I can’t, I’m at work.

        CONTI
So I’ll come in for a
cleaning. I need one after
last night.

        SLOAN
You are truly a disgusting
human being.

        CONTI
(bangs the phone against the
desk)
Hear that? That’s the sound
of me knockin’one of my teeth
out. Now you’ll have to see
me.

        SANDRA
(laughing)
I don’t know if I can make
it.

        CONTI
Okay, no pressure. I’ll drop
into the Golden Gate tomorrow
about eight. If you’re there,
you’re there. If not I drown
myself. Bye, Sandra.

Hangs up with a dreamy look.

        SLOAN
You are a degenerate bastard.

        CONTI
I’m a Romantic. A hundred
years ago I woulda been a Don
Juan, a Casanova. They woulda
written poems about me.
Instead, I gotta put up with
mutts like you callin’ me
names.

INT. INTERROGATION ROOM. DAY

Lena and Olga are trying to coax a story out of Ismailia.

        OLGA
You don’t remember anything
that happened after you left
your house.

        ISMAILIA
I remember nothing. I told
you…

Lena turns to Ismailia and whispers urgently in Russian. Ismailia is surprised at first, but then replies in a tearful outburst. Lena translates.

        LENA
She’s afraid of the dishonor
to her family.

        OLGA
Look, I’m a cop. But I’m also
a woman and I know what
you’ve been through. I swear
on my mother’s grave I’m not
gonna make it worse for you.

        ISMAILIA
My brothers could not marry
if their sister was known as
a whore. They would have to
send me away, maybe kill me,
to save the family reputation.
This is the way in our
country.

        OLGA
Here, too Ismailia, I hate to
tell you. A woman gets raped
people say she asked for it.
You wear a nice dress, maybe
you smile at a guy, that’s
askin’ for it. Your family,
even other women who oughta
know better, they think it.

        ISMAILIA
You know.

        OLGA
Yeah, I know. But you gotta
be brave. ‘Cause it’s not
just for you. It’s for some
girl who might take a walk on
the boardwalk with this guy
and never come back. If that
happens you’ll never forgive
yourself.

        ISMAILIA
(thinks it over)
If I tell you who it was,
will you promise, will you
swear to keep me out?

        OLGA
I don’t know how we could do
that. This crime was committed
against you.

        ISMAILIA
If you don’t promise, I
can’t tell.

Olga and Lena look at each other, doubtfully.

        LENA
At least we’ll know who it
was.

        OLGA
Okay, I promise.

Ismailia looks hard at the two of them. Then, satisfied, she turns the pages of the mug book.

        ISMAILIA
It is him.

INSERT..A MUG SHOT…The man on the beach.

        OLGA
Kenneth Lupo. Where’d you meet
him?

        ISMAILIA
At the Silhouette Club. My
friends from work, Sonia and
Naomi. All the time they go
there. Dancing, handsome men,
they said. Get out in the
world. So I went. And I met
him, this Kenny. He is
Russian, too, but here for a
long time. He was beautiful.
Silk shirts, gold chain, eyes
shining. Always laughing,
white teeth. The cologne, the
beautiful smell.

        OLGA
I know that smell.

        ISMAILIA
He knows my brothers from
some football club. He laughs.
Oh they’ll kill you if they
know you’re here. Later, a few
drinks and he says ‘come I’ll
take you home before it gets
too late…’
(bitter)
Then…You know. He knows I
can’t tell. He knows what
will happen.

INT. VICTOR’S. DAY.

A strategy session. Over coffee, Sloan reads from Lupo’s rap sheet.

        SLOAN
Kenny Lupo, a.k.a. Arkady
Lupovich. Born Odessa, 1967.
Known coke dealer. One
possession with intent. One
assault with a deadly weapon.
One rape. Pleaded to assault.
Did a deuce at Greenhaven…

        CONTI
Anybody workin’ on him?

        SLOAN
He’s on the DEA computer.
They had a tap on him. He
don’t talk on the phone. FBI
tried to put undercovers in.
No luck.

        CONTI
We can make a collar based on
the victim’s ID.

        LENA
The girl will never testify.

        CONTI
We may not need her to if we
have you ladies corroborating
her ID.

        LENA
I won’t testify. I gave my
word.

        OLGA
Me too.

        SLOAN
Where you workin’ next week?

        OLGA
I was an exotic dancer for
three years. I can go back to
that.

        CONTI
I’m sure you can. Where’d you
work?

        SLOAN
Don’t get him started.

        OLGA
Look Bobby, I didn’t come on
this job to ruin people’s
lives. If I give this girl up
her family will excommunicate
her.

        CONTI
If you don’t a mutt gets away
with rape. I don’t go for
that. I got two daughters
living in this neighborhood.

There is a strained, stubborn silence. No one will give in.

        SLOAN
Why don’t we buy cocaine off
this guy? It’s a bigger
collar. He’ll get twenty
years.

        LENA
You get me a name to open the
door. I’ll get him to sell me
the cocaine…

        SLOAN
Bobby…

Conti glares at Sloan, but then looks through the office window into the squad room where Ismailia is coming out to meet her father. Shamil rises wearily from his chair and hugs her. Her shoulders shake as if she is crying. He pats her gently on the back with his work gnarled hand.

Conti turns back to Sloan.

        CONTI
I’ll get you a name.

EXT.SCAROLA’S.DAY.

An Italian restaurant on a quiet side street. A BURLY LOOKOUT steps aside, as Conti enters, asking for “Mr. Varese…”

INT. SCAROLA’S. DAY.

Empty accept for a boisterous round table at the back where EDDIE VARESE, mid sixties, flushed with wine is holding court with his “crew,” seven or eight thick, prosperous middle aged men. Someone spots him and they all quiet down. With a few “hi Bobby’s,” they rise and melt away.

        CONTI
What do I got, the plague?

        VARESE
It’s the badge. Gives ‘em
agita.
(they hug)
You never come see me no
more.

        CONTI
I don’t want my picture taken
by every federal agency in
the country

        VARESE
Ah, who cares about a small
time bookie like me? Sit down.
You want a coffee?

        CONTI
(looking at the dirty dishes)
Now I know why I never went
into the rackets. I could
never eat like you guys.Too
bad about Barry Weiner, huh.

        VARESE
This man booked bets for
thirty years in the
neighborhood. Always paid off
to the penny. Always carried
the losers. This man was
loved.

         CONTI
How about Peter Cortina?

         VARESE
Everybody knows that guy was
a funeral waitin’ to happen.
Nobody cares.

         CONTI
My boss does. You start
toastin’ wiseguys next thing
you know you got TV crews and
Task Forces. Most guys like
publicity, but he don’t, he’s
funny that way. Now he’s
tellin’ me he wants to close
you down. The card room on
the Boardwalk and the numbers
drops and the after hours.

        VARESE
Why’s he mad at me?

        CONTI
Barry gets clipped. Coupla
hours later they find Cortina.
Everybody knows he’s been
tryin’ to move in on Coney
Island. Everybody knows that
you and Tony Scaduto in
Bensonhurst don’t see eye to
eye.

        VARESE
What everybody knows won’t
stand up in court.

        CONTI
We’re not talkin’ court,
Uncle Eddie. We’re talkin’
givin’ you grief. My boss
don’t like mob guys, he’s
funny that way, too. He plugs
you in as a suspect you’re
in a fishbowl. You’re a
headline waitin’ to happen.

        VARESE
(beginning to understand)
This a shakedown, Bobby?

        CONTI
You know a guy named Kenny
Lupo?

        VARESE
Yeah, he’s a piece of garbage.
Got nothin’ to do with me.

        CONTI
I need a magic name to drop
with this guy. So I get his
confidence in a hurry.

        VARESE
I don’t like the guy, but I
don’t give people up.

        CONTI
Kenny Lupo raped a little
Russian girl, and beat her up
pretty bad. He’s goin’ down
whether you chip in or not.

        VARESE
(thinks it over)
Sammy Capelli, Him and
Kenny were partners in the
dope business. He went away
for killin’ a guy. Kenny
sends him money, takes care
of his mother, so you know
Sammy’s got a hammer on him.

        CONTI
Sammy Capelli. Got a nice
ring to it. Oh yeah, one
more thing, I’m gonna need a
little interest free loan…
Forty grand,

        VARESE
Forty G’s, what do I look
like?

        CONTI
It’s coffee and cake money
for you.

        VARESE
(pinches Conti’s cheek)
My baby sister’s favorite
son, I can’t say no to you.
Gimme a hug.

As they hug, Varese feels around his back. Conti pulls away.

        CONTI
Don’t worry, your baby
sister’s favorite son
ain’t wearin’ a wire.


END ACT THREE

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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