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MOVIES YOU’LL NEVER SEE/Empires of Crime/Part 10

*For Introduction with submission guidelines go to Oct 13

*Heywood Gould is the author of 9 screenplays including “Rolling Thunder,”Fort Apache, The Bronx,”Boys From Brazil”and “Cocktail.”

 

EMPIRES OF CRIME /Part 10 By Heywood Gould

ACT 5 (Con’t)

EXT. BROADWAY. NIGHT (STOCK)

The Great White Way. Theaters, bustling crowds. A MARQUEE reads: GEORGE WHITE’S SCANDALS

INT. THEATER. NIGHT.

In the crowded Standing Room, Tom is watching ecstatically.

ON STAGE

Frances playing a very demure ingenue, is singing:

        FRANCES
He married the girl/
With the strawberry curl/
And the band played on…

In the chorus, Gay Orlova twirls her parasol and winks at Charley, who is sitting in the front row with Charley Workman, applauding vigorously and whistling between his teeth.

INT. BACKSTAGE. NIGHT.

After the show. Tom, clutching a SMALL BOUQUET is buffeted by a wave of SHOWGIRLS, STAGEHANDS, FANS. He asks:

        TOM
Where can I find Miss
Frances Hutt?

Suddenly he is shoved face first into the wall by Charley Workman, carrying a huge FLORAL PIECE. He is followed by TWO HOODS with armfuls of ROSES and bringing up the rear of this regal procession is Charley Luciano…

        WORKMAN
Make way for the King…

His bouquet crushed, Tom watches as Charley walks by, trading jokes with the onlookers. “Hey Charley, enjoy the show?”

        CHARLEY
I oughta, it’s the tenth
time I seen it.

        CHARLEY
You twirl a parasol better
than any broad I ever seen…

        GAY
Did you like it, Charley.
Was I better than last
night?

        CHARLEY
I’ll tellya tomorrow morning.

Everybody laughs except Tom who is disgusted by this ribaldry. Then, Charley hands a dozen roses to Frances.

        CHARLEY
Here y’are, kid. Sweets
to the sweet as Mr.
Barracini says.

        FRANCES
You’re a sweetie yourself,
Charley. Oh look, there’s
my boyfriend. Tom, say
hello to Charley Luciano…

        CHARLEY
(offers his hand)
Hey Tom, got quite a
gal there. Don’t take
her outta circulation
before I can make her
a star.

Tom grabs Frances by the arm.

        TOM
Let’s go.

        CHARLEY
Just offerin’ my good wishes,
pal. Every pretty girl needs
a little help.

         TOM
Not from you. Don’t even
let her name come out of
your dirty mouth.

Charley bridles, but controls himself.

         CHARLEY
Maybe you think I’m a
disreputable character.
But every human being
deserves respect.

         TOM
You’ll get what you deserve.
I’ll see to that.
(pulls Frances)
Let’s go, Frances.

She says a quick “good bye” as Tom pulls her out of the room. Workman starts after him, but Charley restrains him.

         WORKMAN
You gonna let that bum
talk that way to you?

         CHARLEY
Ah, he’s just jealous…

EXT. STAGE DOOR ALLEY.NIGHT

Tom tries to hustle Frances away.

         FRANCES
Stop being such a prig,
Tom. People like Charley
make this town run. He
may not be refined, but
he’s a gentleman in his
own way.

         TOM
He’s a pimp, a murderer,
a dope peddler, a cheap
extortionist gouging the
last pennies off the poor
people of this city. And
I’m gonna prove it to you,
Frances…

INT. JUDGE’S CHAMBERS. DAY

JUDGE McCOOK, stern, elderly, administers the oath of office. Tom repeats with a grimly determined look.

         TOM
I swear to uphold and
enforce the laws of the
State of New York without
fear or favor.

END ACT FIVE

ACT SIX

FEBRUARY 1927


INT. THEATER. NIGHT

NEWSREELS… Cops step over the bodies of slain gangsters. ST. VALENTINE’S DAY MASSACRE…AL CAPONE walks out of a courtroom waving to the reporters…Anne is watching in horror, while Meyer munches popcorn.

         ANNE
That Capone is a monster.

         MEYER
He just don’t want nobody
peddlin’ booze in his
territory.

INT. FAT AL’S. NIGHT.
Meyer and Anne are greeted by a HOOD.

         HOOD
Evening, Mr. Lansky.

         ANNE
How come they call you,
Mr. Lansky?

         LANSKY
‘Cause if they called me
Mr. Steinberg, I wouldn’t
know who they were talkin’
to.

         GAMBLER
Hey Meyer, I got a live
one here. Says you can’t
do the chip trick.

A sleek HIGH ROLLER waves a fistful of bills.

         HIGH ROLLER
A G note says you can’t
do it.

         MEYER
For a G note I can do
anything.

Anne is shoved aside by the excited crowd. The STICK MAN throws chips in a bucket. Meyer turns his back to the table. The Stick man dumps them on the table.

         MEYER
Thirty one…

The Stick man counts the chips and looks up in amazement.

         STICK MAN
Thirty one..

The crowd cheers…”The guy’s a magician…” “He can tell by the sound…” “Better not try to cheat in this joint…”
CHARLEY
pushes his way through the crowd.

         CHARLEY
Hey did I miss the floor
show?

A desperate BEDRAGGLED GIRL accosts him.

         BEDRAGGLED GIRL
Charley, Little Davey won’t
let me outta the room to see
my mother. He keeps bringin’
guys in.
(pulls up her dress))
He burned me with cigarettes…

LITTLE DAVEY BETILLO, grown into a vicious ferret of a man, runs up and pushes her away.

         BETTILO
Don’t fall for that sob
story, Charley. She was
holdin’ out…

Anne is mortified. She turns and runs out.

         CHARLEY
Whatsa matter with her,
she sick?

Meyer catches up to her in the lobby.

         MEYER
Annie, wait.

         ANNE
You said it was just a
night club.

         MEYER
It is. See anybody who
isn’t having the time
of their life?

         ANNE
That girl is a prostitute.
That place is vicious and
depraved.

         LANSKY
Gimme time. Next year I’ll
have it all cleaned up and
legal. I’ll be a respectable
businessman…

         ANNE
My father would never set
foot in a place like this.

         LANSKY
Tell your father I own a
garage. I’m up to my elbows
in grease all day long. Tell
him I love his daughter and
I’m gonna make her rich and
happy if she gives me a
chance…

         ANNE
I’m not the kinda girl
that gets a cheap thrill
out of goin’ to places
like this, Meyer.

         LANSKY
I don’t like that kinda
girl, Annie. I like you.

Annie relents and allows him to kiss her.

         ANNE
I like you, too, God
help me.

INT. BANQUET HALL.NIGHT

A HUNDRED ITALIAN RACKETEERS have gathered to pay homage to SALVATORE MARANZANO, a tall, imposing, mustachioed man dressed in an old world black suit. Frank Costello stands at Maranzano’s right hand, applauding his every utterance. In the crowd Genovese explains to Charley.

         GENOVESE
It’s Salvatore Maranzano. The
bosses in Palermo sent him to
get into the booze business.
He’s got big Sicilian money
behind him.

         MARANZANO
(a heavy accent)
We come into America like
Julius Caesar came into
Gallia. Vini vidi vinci.
I come, I see, I conquer….

The men applaud enthusiastically. Charley looks at Costello “Is this guy nuts?” Costello shrugs as Maranzano continues in stentorian tones.

         MARANZANO
In America the races mix,
but the race that maintains
its purity will conquer the
others. It is for this that
we will admit no foreigners,
to our inner circles. We
will maintain our codes of
morality in this immoral
country. We will not seduce
the wife or daughter of a
brother, will not steal from
a brother, nor cheat him,
nor fight among ourselves.
We will organize in groups
of ten as did our Roman
ancestors. Every group will
have a captain, from the
decime or ten, through the
hundreds and the thousands.
At the top will be the man
of unquestioned authority,
the Boss of All Bosses…
Me…

Enthusiastic applause and shouts of acclamation. The Racketeers line up to pay tribute, kissing Maranzano’s hand, slipping him envelopes. Genovese is the first in line with the biggest smile and the fattest envelope.

INT. COFFEE HOUSE. NIGHT.

Dark and narrow, SMOKE hanging in the air, murmuring voices. In a corner Charley and Maranzano confer in terse whispers.

       MARANZANO
I can tell a lot about
a man from where he
comes from, Salvatore.

       CHARLEY
I’m from Freggia, Don
Salvatore, where black
clouds of stinkin’ smoke
cover the sun. My old man
burnt his lungs out in the
sulphur mines. Between the
Mafiosi and the aristocrats
he couldn’t get a break so
he came to America

       MARANZANO
Join with me and you
will return to your town
as a conqueror. Our men
of honor have great wealth
and are welcome in the
best homes in Sicily.

       CHARLEY
I got nothin’ to prove
in the old country. I’m
happy here.

       MARANZANO
You are respected and well
liked among the younger
men. I want you to sit at
my right hand.

       CHARLEY
You want me to bring my
boys into line, that’s
what you want. But I got
a lotta Irish and Jewish
with me. We do things
American style.

       MARANZANO
So we will be the
invisible hand that
makes the puppets move.

       CHARLEY
American boys won’t jump
for you like the paisans
do.

       MARANZANO
Then they will fall like
the barbarians fell before
the Roman legions. I can
bring five hundred men here
tomorrow to kill anyone who
sets up as my enemy. Do you
doubt me?

       CHARLEY
No. But as you know I’m
with Don Giuseppe Masseria…

       MARANZANO
Masseria has not been
responsible to his
friends in Sicily.

       CHARLEY
You mean he hasn’t been
kickin’ back enough and
that’s why you’re here.
Okay, I can blow with
the wind. But don’t go
to sleep on Joe. He’s
smart and he’s established.

       MARANZANO
So we go slow. No need
to let him know about
our…friendship…We
build our power. This
Jew Rothstein has a
flourishing whiskey
business, but no
soldiers to protect him.
He should be easy to
eliminate.

       CHARLEY
AR’s power is based on
favors and connections.
He makes money for a
lotta people…

       MARANZANO
He walks alone, no men
around him. A man like
that is either so powerful
no one can touch him. Or
so stupid he deserves to
die…

       CHARLEY
AR’s been square with me.

       MARANZANO
I respect your loyalty to
your bosses. But Rothstein
has no guns. Masseria has
stolen from his brothers
in Sicily. He, too, is
doomed. What is in your
future, Salvatore?

Charley kisses Maranzano’s hand.

       CHARLEY
My future is with you,
Don Salvatore…

Next: Part 11/ACT Six: (Wednesday, 11/23)

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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