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MOVIES YOU WILL NEVER SEE/Empires of Crime/Part 3

*For Introduction with submission guidelines go to Oct 13. 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/Part 3

By

Heywood Gould

Act 1 (cont)


EXT. DELANCEY STREET. DAY.

ELECTION DAY. A gray drizzle cannot dampen the festivities. BANNERS reading MURPHY FOR ASSEMBLY flutter from lampposts. A BAND PLAYS. CHESTNUT VENDORS hawk their wares. POLITICOS in DERBIES with GOLD WATCH CHAINS slap backs and kiss babies.

INT. LANDING. DAY

Two men climb the stairs, chatting amiably. One is TIM SULLIVAN, the Tammany Man, the other FIORELLO LA GUARDIA, short,round, bursting with energy. La Guardia carries a bouquet, Sullivan a fresh killed turkey. They knock at a door.

         LA GUARDIA
The Republicans are gonna
catch up on you guys today.
Only underdogs vote in the
rain.

         SULLIVAN
Ah now, we’ll get the vote out.


An ITALIAN LADY opens the door. La Guardia bows.

         LA GUARDIA
Fiorello La Guardia, Signora,
from the Republican Party,
the party of Lincoln, Teddy
Roosevelt, the party of the
poor…


Sullivan laughs and interjects.

         SULLIVAN
Don’t believe him, mama. The
Republicans are rich. Rockefeller,
J.P. Morgan…
(thrusting the turkey at her)
Take this beautiful bird as a
gift from Big Tim Sullivan.

         LA GUARDIA
That turkey won’t get you a
fair wage…

         SULLIVAN
But it’ll feed your kids.
(referring to a list)
I see you’ve got your husband
Vittorio and three boys here.
That’s five votes.

         ITALIAN LADY
My boys is too young to vote.

         SULLIVAN
Everybody votes in my ward,
mama, we don’t discriminate.
(with a scornful look at La Guardia)
We ain’t sellin’ fancy ideas.
We’re in business to help
good Democrats.


EXT. BOWERY. DAY.

A cold rain falls over the district where the streetwalkers prowl. Salvatore stands in a doorway pouring liquid opium into small jars, while little Davey keeps watch. A YOUNG PROSTITUTE, wet and shivering, stumbles in.

         PROSTITUTE
Hey Salvatore, I was lookin’
for you on Pell Street.

         SALVATORE
Can’t help ya now, toots,
I got work to do.


Maier jumps, shivering into the storefront followed by BENNY SIEGEL, a scrawny kid with a crazy look in his eye, who looks avidly at the Prostitute.

         MAIER
Okay we’re here.

         SALVATORE
I told ya to bring some
tough guys, not this
skinny marink…

         BENNY
(squares off)
I can take care of myself.
Wanna see?


A WAGON rolls up and Hines shouts:

         HINES
Hey you guys, no brawlin’ on
Election Day. Who can read
here?

         MAIER
Whaddya think we’re stupid?

         HINES
See this list? These people
are all dead, but they like
Charley Murphy so much we’re
gonna bring ‘em back to life
to vote for him.


MONTAGE…The BOYS get out the vote.

A BOWERY GIN MILL…DRUNKS mumble in their beers. Salvatore and his boys burst through the swinging doors, shouting:

         SALVATORE
Election day…Everybody
votes.

And drag the drunks off their stools, promising:

         SALVATORE
After you vote all the
drinks are on Mr. Charley
Murphy…

OUTSIDE A KOSHER RESTAURANT…Maier and Benny recruit voters in a crowd of ORTHODOX JEWS.

         MAIER
Two bits every time you
vote.

         OLD MAN
Two bits. Vus es two bits?

         MAIER
A quarter.

The crowd is impressed. “A quarter…”

A BROTHEL…Maier and Benny hang back shyly as Salvatore emerges with a PROSTITUTE, pale and depleted from drugs.

         PROSTITUTE
I’m sick Salvatore.

         SALVATORE
Vote for Charley Murphy,
I’ll give you the cure…

Suddenly, several gaudily dressed PIMPS burst out. “Where ya think you’re goin’?”

         SALVATORE (cont’d)
Ah, we’ll bring ‘em right
back.

         PIMP
(shoves Salvatore)
Take a walk.

Benny jumps in and kicks him in the groin. The other pimps jump him, but Benny fights them off furiously.

         MAIER
Okay, Benny they had
enough.

         BENNY
Not ’til I say so.


Benny knocks a pimp to his knees and kicks him in the face Pulls another pimp down by his hair and slams his head into the ground. Salvatore steps back and watches in amazement.

         SALVATORE
(to Meyer)
This kid’s nuts…

         MAIER
They call him Bugsy on the
block. Everybody’s scared
of him.

         SALVATORE
But not you?

         MAIER
Benny’s my best friend. He
wouldn’t hurt me.


EXT. POLLING PLACE. DAY.

A long line of VOTERS, some illiterate, some underage, herded together by Salvatore and his boys. PRECINCT CAPTAINS with DERBIES and GOLD WATCH CHAINS, speaking Yiddish, English and Italian with thick New York accents, escort VOTERS into the booths and mark their ballots for them. “ Charley Murphy’s the people’s choice..”

MAIER

escorts an old Jewish man up to a corrupt ELECTION OFFICIAL.

         ELECTION OFFICIAL
What’s his name?

         MAIER
Vus es die nommen?

         OLD MAN
(reads haltingly from a slip)
Liam O’Kelly..?

         ELECTION OFFICIAL
(checks off the name)
A fine Irish name.


Salvatore brings up a PROSTITUTE.

         ELECTION OFFICIAL
Name…

         PROSTITUTE
Rabbi Nathan Goldberg.

         ELECTION OFFICIAL
Right this way, Your Holiness…


EXT. POLLING PLACE. DAY.

As the voters emerge, Salvatore and his boys march them to the back of the line. Salvatore grabs a BOWERY LUSH.

         SALVATORE
Where ya goin, pal, you’re
votin’ again. Everybody’s
votin’ today..


EXT. ELIZABETH STREET. NIGHT.

The boy gather eagerly around Salvatore as he counts off the money from a big roll.

         SALVATORE
Twelve bucks for Benny.
Twelve for Maier. Twenty
four for me. I get
double ‘cause it’s my
proposition.

         MAIER
Okay. I got a proposition
for you.


ESSEX STREET. NIGHT.

Maier, Salvatore and Benny stand in the shadows watching a CRAP GAME. A YOUNG GAMBLER with a FLASHY YOUNG LADY in a low cut dress, is rolling the dice.

         MAIER
Gimme eight dollars I’ll
give you sixteen back.

         SALVATORE
(hands him the money)
You better…

THE YOUNG GAMBLER turns to his lady friend.

         YOUNG GAMBLER
Here doll, blow on these
for luck.

The Young Lady bends, giving the players a good look and blows flirtatiously on the dice.

MAIER.

darts into the crowd, throwing the money down. The Young Gambler rolls a SEVEN.

         STICK MAN
Lucky seven…

He throws some bills back at the Young Man. Maier jumps in.

         MAIER (CONT’D)
Hey Mister, what about me?


The Stick man looks up at the BANKER, another Italian.

         BANKER
Kid got lucky. Pay him off.

         MAIER
It’s s’posed to be three
to two.

         BANKER
Kid’s a bookkeeper.

SALVATORE AND BENNY

are waiting in the shadows.

         SALVATORE
How did you know this guy was
gonna roll a natural?

         MAIER
(demonstrates)
It’s a trick. He palms the
loaded dice. While everybody’s
watchin’ the pretty girl he
switches ‘em.


Salvatore gives him an affectionate smack.

         SALVATORE
You got some eyes on you
to spot this racket. We’re
gonna make big money, me
and you.

Next: Part 4/Dirty Money (Monday, 10/31/11)

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 (Calendar at right.) Use Contact Us, above, for submissions.

 

 

 

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