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MOVIES YOU WILL NEVER SEE/Empires of Crime/Part 7

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*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 7
  By Heywood Gould

                           ACT FOUR/Part 1  EXT. DELANCEY STREET. DAY A balmy spring day. The streets teem with IMMIGRANT HUMANITY.Tom Dewey, sweating in a black suit, is speaking earnestly to a group of PEDDLERS, who keep shouting him down.                       TOM               Look, give me a chance.               I’ve come all the way               downtown to convince you               people that Republican               is not a dirty word. Moans and groans. OLD PEDDLER               Take off your coat, have a               cold drink. It’s a long               subway back ride up town.                       TOM               Honest government will               put money in your pockets.               It will provide for your               families. Insure a better               future for your children.               You don’t have to accept               intimidation or threats.               You don’t have to pay off               every cop or thug. This is               a free country...                       PUSHCART PEDDLER               For the rich.                       TOM               For you, too. You can               change things. Your vote               counts.                       OLD PEDDLER               I know, I voted four times               last week. Fifty cents a               vote.                       TOM               I understand your cynicism.               But we have laws that               protect your right to do               business without bribery or               corruption...                       PUSHCART PEDDLER               There’s our protection... ACROSS THE STREET Charley and his boys, Davey, Vito and Albert, are back slapping, shaking hands, flipping coins to the kids.                       TOM               Who can Luciano protect               you from?                       PUSHCART PEDDLER               From Luciano, who else? Everyone laughs.                       OLD PEDDLER               When we need money, your               upstanding Republicans at               the bank won’t lend it to               us. So we borrow from               Charley Luciano...                       TOM               And he makes you pay it               back twenty cents on the               dollar.                       PUSHCART PEDDLER               Maybe, but he comes through               with the cash, no questions               asked.                       FISHMONGER               Business is done in a               different way down here, Mr.               Dewey. You won’t change that. INT. ARNOLD ROTHSTEIN'S BILLIARD ROOM. NIGHT. Leather and dark wood. The valet serves drinks on a silver tray. Meyer watches, cue in hand as AR is circles the table.                       ROTHSTEIN               Two to one I make the nine               ball in the corner, off two               cushions into the side,               Meyer.                       MEYER               I wouldn't give you odds               if you said the balls were               gonna roll in by themselves,               AR. Rothstein laughs and turns to Charley, who is sitting on the couch with Rabinowitz, the union organizer.                       ROTHSTEIN               And if I laid a hundred to               one that I could get               Weinberg and the Dairy               Owners Association to offer               the truck drivers a raise to               a dollar an a half an hour..?                       CHARLEY               I’d never bet against you,               AR.                       ROTHSTEIN               Smart boy, I already fixed it.               Just waiting for you to sign               on the dotted line, Mr.               Rabinowitz.                       RABINOWITZ               What do I do to get this raise?                       ROTHSTEIN               Lepke and Gurrah Shapiro have               been very helpful in these               negotiations.                       RABINOWITZ               They’re the bosses’ goons.                       MEYER               So make ‘em vice presidents.               Then they’ll be the union’s               goons.                       CHARLEY               All you gotta do is raise               the dues a dollar a month               and kick it back to Lepke.                       RABINOWITZ               I’m gonna be the front man               while the gangsters control               the union.                       MEYER               You wanna get more money               for your members, don’t               you?                (offers a wad of bills)               Don’t worry, the front               man don’t get left out in               the cold.                       CHARLEY               Gotta take bribes, kid.               People get nervous dealin’               with an honest man. Gotta               be a crook if you want’em               to trust you. Rabinowitz senses the subtle threat. He takes the money. INT. WAREHOUSE. NIGHT. A CRAP GAME. HIGH ROLLERS  shoving, shouting, throwing money down. Meyer, watches the stickman handle thousands of dollars. Charley, in a dark suit with a yellow and black handkerchief peeking out of the breast pocket, plays the host, smiling and backslapping, but always with a cold eye on the action. Benny, groomed and dapper, flirts with the DEBS at the door. Meyer takes a stack of bills off the craps table. The other two gravitate toward him and they walk toward the office.                       MEYER               We’re up over fourteen               G’s.                       BENNY               AR’s gotta be happy with               that.                       MEYER               That don’t even cover               expenses. You know how much               he gives out?                       CHARLEY               He don’t tell nobody.                       MEYER               He don’t have to. Do the               numbers. He controls four               hundred pool rooms in New               York, takin’ bets, sellin’               lotteries. Each one pays               three hundred a month to               the local cops. Five               hundred crap games, each               payin’ a hundred and fifty,               two hundred card joints,               hundred fifty a month.               Twenty fancy casinos for               the carriage trade. Five               hundred a month to stay in               business.                       CHARLEY               My head’s achin’ from all               this arithmetic.                       MEYER               Two hundred and thirty               five G’s a year to the               cops just to stay in               business. And whaddya               think he gives the District               Leader and Assemblyman?                       CHARLEY               Marrone, AR’s got the whole               city fixed. INT. OFFICE. NIGHT. The three enter a cramped, windowless room. At a desk, a BOOKKEEPER in a green eyeshade is counting money. In the corner RED LEVINE, a hulking, red headed hood is playing solitaire. Lansky picks up a stack of bills, tied with a rubber band.                       MEYER               What’s the count?                       BOOKKEEPER               Thirty nine hundred in               twenties...Without removing               the rubber band, Lansky               riffles the bills.                       MEYER               Thirty-eight sixty....                       BOOKKEEPER               I counted those bills three               times... Benny cuffs him in the back of the head.                       BENNY               Whaddya arguin’... Meyer throws the stack back at him.                       MEYER               I told ya: put the twenties               in four hundred dollar piles,               twenty bills to a stack.               Fives, fifty, singles a               hundred. Charley yanks               Levine’s tie loose and begins               to retie it.                       CHARLEY               You know what a gavone is?               You walk around like a slob               you don’t represent me.                       MEYER                 (to the Bookkeeper)               Get the numbers right to               the penny. Treat my money               with the respect it               deserves...                       BOOKKEEPER               Your money. I thought it               was Rothstein’s.                       MEYER               Some of it. But none of               it’s yours, remember               that. Benny cuffs him again.                       BENNY               Yeah. You got a future... The boys walk out, laughing. INT. ROTHSTEIN’S CASINO. NIGHT. A festive, glittering cross section of New York night life. SOCIALITES in evening clothes, GAMBLERS, POLITICIANS, SHOWGIRLS. Rothstein circulates, gladhanding, signing chits. CHARLEY, MEYER AND BENNY enter and walk cockily to the back, stopping to laugh and back slap at a few tables before reaching Rothstein.                       ROTHSTEIN               Hey boys, did we break even? Meyer whispers a figure.                       ROTHSTEIN (CONT'D)               Any winners? Always gotta               send one sucker home happy.               Stick around I got a big               surprise. At his signal a JAZZ BAND strikes up and marches out, followed by WAITERS carrying buckets of champagne, Rothstein mounts a roulette table and announces:                       ROTHSTEIN (CONT'D)               Bar’s open, kids. Eat, drink               and be merry for  tomorrow               we’ll be dry.                       BENNY               Somebody’s birthday?                       ROTHSTEIN               Yeah, ours. He holds up the front page of the New York Times. VOLSTEAD ACT PASSES. ALCOHOL DECLARED ILLEGAL. The Daily News: THE PARTY’S OVER... ALCOHOL DECLARED ILLEGAL..                       ROTHSTEIN               The geniuses in Washington               just passed the Volstead               Act. As of midnight tonight               alcohol consumption is                 illegal in the US of A.               Know what that means?                       MEYER               A lotta sober people in               the morning.                       ROTHSTEIN                  (pouring champagne)               Not for long. Look at these               people. You think they’re               gonna stop drinkin’ because               Congress says so? They’re               gonna drink even more. And               we’re gonna give ‘em all               they want.                       (toasting)               Here’s to our leaders in               Washington. They just                handed the whole country               over to us. INT. REPUBLICAN CLUB. NIGHT. A celebration. Champagne corks are popping. The normally dour Republicans are toasting each other. Tom is standing off to the side watching with disapproval. A YOUNG REPUBLICAN offers him a glass.                       YOUNG REPUBLICAN               C’mon Tom, have your last               legal cocktail.                       TOM               I’m not much of a drinker.               Guess I won’t miss it.                       YOUNG REPUBLICAN               You won’t have to. I’ve got               three cases of scotch in the               basement. And I’ve got a guy               who’ll get us all we want...                       TOM               Who’s this guy?                       YOUNG REPUBLICAN                        (with a wink)               You know. A friend of Arnold               Rothstein’s.                       PORTLY REPUBLICAN               C’mon boy crack open another               case of that French seltzer               water... Tom sees the irony.                       TOM               So we’re all going to               end up making the gangsters               rich.                       YOUNG REPUBLICAN               Richer my boy... A lot richer. END Part 1/Act Four Next: Part 2/Act Four: An Empire is Born 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 Use Contact Us, above, for submissions.

 


				

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