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MOVIES YOU WILL NEVER SEE/Empires of Crime/Part 1

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 by Heywood Gould. Seven years in development it is a six part mini-series commissioned by a broadcast network and later reacquired by a cable station.

For Introduction with submission guidelines go to Oct 13 on Calendar at right. Use Contact Us, above, for submissions.

*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

Act 1

NAPLES 1962


EXT. DA GIACOMINO’S RESTAURANT. DAY


The “classiest joint” in Naples. Vases of fresh flowers, white coated WAITERS, bustling, festive. But today there’s a traffic jam. AMERICAN SAILORS, TOURISTS and REPORTERS clog the aisles leading to a large round table in the back. Who is the focus of all this celebrity attention? It’s mob boss LUCKY LUCIANO,early sixties, elegant, gray at the temples, dressed in his usual impeccable style in a Brooks Brothers gray summer suit, his signature yellow and black handkerchief in the breast pocket. Next to him is a VOLUPTUOUS GIRL. Whispering in his ear is MARTIN GRAYSON, a fawning Hollywood producer. Lucky is plowing through a plate of spaghetti, but stops good-naturedly to sign autographs and answer questions.

         SAILOR
Can you make it out to
Jimmy, Mr. Luciano?

         LUCIANO
Sure kid. Can’t do enough
for our boys in uniform.

         TOURIST
(aiming a camera)
Say cheese Mr. Luciano…

         LUCIANO
Provolone. Hey, don’t point
that thing,it might go off.


Everybody laughs as the FLASH BULB pops.

         REPORTER
Senator Kefauver says that
the Mob is raking in five
billion dollars a year from
illegal gambling and you’re
in for ten per cent…

         LUCIANO
Five billion? Lemme tellya
somethin’: every time a
politician wants to get
elected he says he’s gonna
throw mob boss Lucky Luciano
in jail. I put more crums in
office than the Democratic Party…

         SAILOR
When you gonna come home,
Mr. Luciano?

         LUCIANO
Funny you should ask. My
associate Mr. Grayson here
has a big producer flyin’
in from Hollywood to buy my
life story. Think we can
get five billion, Marty?

         GRAYSON
The sky’s the limit, Lucky.

         REPORTER
Who do you want to play you,
Lucky?

         LUCIANO
I’m thinkin’ of starrin’ in
it myself…

Laughter and agreement from the crowd. “You could do it, Lucky..” “You look great…”

         LUCIANO
But if Cary Grant’s busy maybe
Sinatra. That kid owes me a lot.

A WAITER pushes through the crowd, bearing a huge ITALIAN CHEESECAKE.

         LUCIANO
Hey, look at that. I got two
weaknesses in life, cheesecake
and…Cheesecake…

LUCIANO

He puts his arms around the Voluptuous Girl and everybody laughs. Then looks up at the waiter.

         LUCIANO
You new here?

         WAITER
My first day Signor Lucky.

LUCIANO

Luciano stuffs a few bills in his shirt pocket.

         LUCIANO
Well now we’re old friends…

As the crowd laughs he eyeballs the cake

         LUCIANO
Last time I saw a cake this
big a guy jumped out blastin’…

INT. CONFERENCE ROOM. DAY

In the darkened room a NEWSREEL on a portable screen. We see Luciano in front of a bank of microphones.

         NEWSCASTER
Mob boss Lucky Luciano is
comingout of exile to tell
his story…And the world
can’t wait…

         LUCIANO
I’m gonna leave no stone
unturned, boys. I’m gonna
rattle some cages from
Mulberry Street right on up
to the White House…

The screen goes dark. The lights come on. We are in the law offices of DEWEY, BALLANTINE, et al… THOMAS E. DEWEY, early sixties, austere black suit, pencil mustache, is sitting at the head of a conference table. With him is LIEUTENANT COMMANDER “RED’ HAFFENDEN formerly of NAVAL INTELLIGENCE and FBI agent GEORGE BLACK.

         DEWEY
He can’t come back. The
terms of his parole barred
him from ever setting foot
in the US again.

         HAFFENDEN
He’s applying for a
temporary visa to visit
his sick brother, Governor
Dewey.

         BLACK
It’s blackmail. His lawyer
threatens to reveal Luciano’s
war time activities if he
isn’t issued the visa.

         HAFFENDEN
He’s trying to sell the
movie rights to his life
story. Just wants to get
into action again.

         DEWEY
You always liked him,
Haffenden.

         HAFFENDEN
Everybody likes Lucky…

         DEWEY
(a rueful smile)
Don’t I know it. I prosecuted
the man. Proved that he was
a pimp and a murderer. And he
got better press than I did.
Still does.

         BLACK
We should have taken him
out when we had the chance.

         HAFFENDEN
(bristling)
We should have given him
a medal.

         BLACK
The man’s a security threat.
He can reveal classified
information about the FBI.

         DEWEY
About all of us. We
don’t want it known that
Luciano worked for Naval
Intelligence during the
war, do we Commander
Haffenden? I certainly don’t
want it to come out that I
made a secret agreement or
his services.

         HAFFENDEN
Charley’s a patriot in his
own cockeyed way. He won’t
talk.

         BLACK
We have to be sure.

         DEWEY
Ask Lansky.

         HAFFENDEN
Meyer? They haven’t spoken in
years.

         DEWEY
Doesn’t matter. Lansky was
his partner. They were so
close they could read each
other’s minds…Ask Lansky.

EXT. COLLINS AVE (MIAMI BEACH). DAY

A modest bungalow by the beach. FBI AGENTS WHITMAN and SNYDER are on stakeout, parked across the street in the shade of the palms.

MEYER LANSKY
emerges, with his constant companion, BRUZZER, an ancient Shih Tzu dog. He is a short, wiry man in his sixties,in a plain white shirt and slacks, a cigarette dangling out of the corner of his mouth .He smiles, sardonically as they approach.

         LANSKY
My own personal FBI. Want
some iced tea? A little
seltzer, maybe?

         SNYDER
Thanks Meyer, but I don’t
think J. Edgar would
approve…

         WHITMAN
Lucky’s writin’ a book,
Meyer.

         LANSKY
Lucky? Lucky who?

         WHITMAN
C’mon Meyer…

         LANSKY
You mean Charley Luciano?
Knew him in the old days.
Writin’ a book, huh? I
didn’t know he could
spell.

         SNYDER
They say Lucky knows
everything.

         LANSKY
Oh yeah? So maybe he knows
a good horse at Hialeah…

         SNYDER
He’s gonna tell everybody
where you got your money
hidden, Meyer.

         LANSKY
That’s no secret. It’s
in the pishka.

         WHITMAN
What’s that?

         LANSKY
Little glass jar where you
drop pennies to give to
the poor people in the
Holy Land…
(looks toward the house)
I better go back and tell
my wife I’m not bein’
arrested. Seeya boys…

         WHITMAN
You could do yourself a
lot of good telling your
side of the story, Meyer.

         LANSKY
I’m an old man sittin’
in the sun. That’s my
story…


INT. LANSKY’S BUNGALOW. DAY

Plain and comfortable. Family photos, book lined shelves, bric a brac or tchotkes as they are known in Yiddish. TEDDY LANSKY, early sixties, a former chorine, still trim and glamorous, is waiting anxiously.

         TEDDY
Oy Meyer, is Charley gonna
make trouble?

         LANSKY
(fishing in a drawer)
He just wants to be Page
One again. But he won’t
talk outta school.

He finds a faded photo and sits back in his lounger.

INSERT PHOTO (CROSSCUT)

Three YOUNG MEN, nattily dressed in the style of the ‘20’s. Lansky looks at it, nostalgically.

          LANSKY
Look at me and crazy
Benny… And Charley. Boy,
we sure started somethin’,
didn’t we?


Next: Part 2/LITTLE ITALY, NEW YORK, 1913

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 on Calendar at right. Use Contact Us, above,  for submissions.