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MOVIES YOU’LL NEVER SEE/Empires Of Crime/Part 11

*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 11    


By Heywood
Gould

ACT 6


EXT. STREET.NIGHT.


Charley hits the street and walks down the block to a SHINY BLACK PIERCE ARROW. Charley Workman jumps out and opens the rear door. Charley slides in and finds:
INT.PIERCE ARROW.NIGHT. Masseria is in the back seat, his cigar glowing in the dark.

       MASSERIA
What does he want?

       CHARLEY
Rothstein’s business.

       MASSERIA
What did he say about me?

       CHARLEY
That you’re a thief.

       MASSERIA
You were smart to tell me
you were going to meet him.

       CHARLEY
I told you because I knew
you would find out.

       MASSERIA
And you will tell me
everything.

       CHARLEY
I’ll be your spy, Don
Giuseppe.

       MASSERIA
And you will get rid of
Rothstein.

       CHARLEY
We don’t have to kill AR.
All we have to do is scare
him a little.


EXT. EL FAY’S. NIGHT

Rothstein emerges with a TIPSY SHOWGIRL, who can’t stop giggling. He slips a few bills into the Doorman’s pocket.

       ROTHSTEIN
Get me a cab, Barney. I’m
gonna take this little
buttercup home.

At that moment a SEDAN speeds by.. IN THE SEDAN (CROSSCUT) Charley Workman leans out and rakes the club with a TOMMY GUN. Windows shatter and everyone ducks for over. Rothstein’s Tipsy Showgirl goes into hysterics. He crawls over and tries to calm her…

INT. LO CHEN’S. NIGHT.

An opulent brothel. Silk curtains and lacquered tables. WOMEN in kimonos lounge at the entrance A chubby MADAM leads Meyer down a narrow hallway. He knocks at a door..

       MEYER
Charley…

INT. ROOM. NIGHT.

Small. Just enough room for a bed and a table. Luciano is sitting on the bed playing Gin Rummy with a half naked CHINESE GIRL. He slams down his cards.

       LUCIANO
Gin! She’s a great lay but
a lousy card player…

       MEYER
AR’s been callin’ around town.
Wants to see us.

        CHARLEY
(suddenly all business)
I threw a coupla shots at him
tonight…Benny’s in the next
pew…

Meyer steps out into the hallway and walks a few steps to the next door. He enters to find:

BENNY being massaged by a CHINESE WOMAN. On the bed a BLONDE lies in a stupor, an OPIUM PIPE dangling between her fingers.

         BENNY
I must be seein’ things.
(with a stoned out chuckle)
You wouldn’t have a piece of
apple strudel on you…

Meyer sniffs in disgust.

         MEYER
Jeeze Benny, you got a pregnant
wife at home. Besides, anybody
could come and blow your brains
out.

         BENNY
Now, who’d wanna do that to
a nice guy like me?

         MEYER
AR wants to see us right away.

         BENNY
You and Charley go. Anything
you decide is okay with me…

He passes the Chinese girl an OPIUM PIPE.

         BENNY
Light me up, honey…


INT. ROTHSTEIN’S STUDY. NIGHT.


Charley and Meyer sit in the shadows watching Rothstein unlock a cabinet and remove a file.

         ROTHSTEIN
Once a month I go down to DC.
There’s a guy there, Harry
Daugherty. He was Harding’s
Attorney General and he’s
still the bag man for the
Republicans. Meet him in the
Mayflower Hotel. Fifty G’s in
hundreds. As long as the
Republicans are in office
they’ll never repeal
Prohibition. Once in awhile
he’ll come to New York. Show
him a good time.

         CHARLEY
What kinda girls does he like,
fat, skinny, white, black or
yellow?

         ROTHSTEIN
He likes boys…

         CHARLEY
Fat, skinny…White, black..?

         MEYER
Are you sure you wanna get
outta the business, AR?

         ROTHSTEIN
Oh yeah. Tonight was the
capper for me. I’m a nice
Jewish boy from Park Avenue.
I like to make a phone call,
send an envelope and
everything’s jake.I don’t
wanna wake up one morning
with a bullet in my gut.
The Italians, Masseria,
Maranzano. You know these
guys?

         CHARLEY
I’ve heard of ‘em.

         ROTHSTEIN
They’re tryin’ to muscle in.
I thought I could pull strings,
but tonight they started
shootin’.

         CHARLEY
They were just tryin’ to scare you.

         ROTHSTEIN
It worked.I don’t wanna
live in a world where the
gun closes the deal. Pay
me twenty five cents on
the dollar and the liquor
business is yours.

EXT. ROTHSTEIN’S TOWNHOUSE. NIGHT

As Charley and Meyer walk away.

         MEYER
So who we gotta pay off?

         CHARLEY
Both of them.

         MEYER
Masseria and Maranzano. That
was your brilliant scheme?

         CHARLEY
I’m a threat to these guys.
I gotta keep makin’ money
for them or they’ll kill me.
Trust me, Meyer, we’ll have
it all one day.

INT. CHARLEY’S LIMO. DAY.

A sparkling, Spring morning. Workman drives down a country road, while Charley sits in the back reading the “funnies.” They turn onto a long gravel driveway, past a sign reading JOHN J. RASKOB

         WORKMAN
What do these guys want with
us?

         CHARLEY
Raskob owns the Empire State
Building. Maybe he’s got a
union beef. Remember the
address. We’ll come back
later and hit the house.

INT. DINING ROOM. DAY

Jimmy Hines walks Charley over to a lavish buffet.

         HINES
They asked me to bring the
most powerful people in town…
You were the first guy I
thought of.

Mayor Jimmy Walker offers a smile and a glad hand.

         MAYOR WALKER
Hey Charley…

         CHARLEY
Gonna give us a song, Mr.
Mayor.

He is astonished when CARDINAL DAUGHERTY, Archbishop of New York, steps out of a private room.

         HINES
Have you met Cardinal Daugherty?

         CHARLEY
(kisses Daugherty’s hand)
Your Eminence. My mother’s never
gonna believe that I had breakfast
with the Archbishop of New York.

         DAUGHERTY
Bring her to mass at St.
Patrick’s. We’ll sit her
in the front row.

         HINES
This is Mr. Raskob, our host.

         RASKOB
Welcome, Mr. Luciano.

         HINES
And here’s the guest of honor,
the next President of the
United States, Al Smith…

Smith, an exuberant Irishman with a thick New York accent. pumps Charley’s hand.

         SMITH
Thanks for gettin’ up so early.

         CHARLEY
I ain’t been to sleep yet.
Why am I in such illustrious
company?

         HINES
It’s time we put a Catholic
in the White House, Charley.
We need your help.

         CHARLEY
Smart money’s bettin’ on
Franklin Roosevelt to get
the nomination.

         RASKOB
Roosevelt is a menace to
all we stand for. He may
come from a prominent family,
but he’s got the Communists
behind him.

         SMITH
I’m a Catholic and a big city
politician. I gotta convince
the party I can win.

         CHARLEY
You gotta get out the vote.
You gotta pay off a lotta
people and you gotta rough
up the Roosevelt side

         HINES
Nobody does that stuff better
than you, Charley.

         CHARLEY
Why should I help you,Governor?
You been runnin’ around for
four years sayin’ you’re gonna
repeal Prohibition.

         HINES
Al’s a New York boy, Charley.
One hand washes the other.
You help him win, he’ll keep
the cops off you. Smith is
silent, but he nods his
confirmation.

         CHARLEY
Al Smith for President.

INT. DUCORE’S BACK ROOM. NIGHT.

Cigarettes glow in the shadows. Workman stands guard at the door as Charley, Meyer, Benny and Costello huddle over NEWSPAPER where a BANNER HEADLINE proclaims; DEWEY DECLARES WAR ON THE MOB.

         COSTELLO
They couldn’t find nobody
for the job so they plugged
him in. I called around.
This guy won’t do business.

         CHARLEY
(examines DEWEY’S PHOTO)
Dewey. I met this kid.
He’s definitely got a
grudge.

         MEYER
I don’t like these dark
horses lookin’ to make a
reputation.

         BENNY
He’s just another shyster with
no juice. Why are we worryin’?

         MEYER
‘Cause we worry about everybody.
Let’s keep him busy, give him
Waxey Gordon. We been lookin’
to dump him anyway.

         CHARLEY
How you gonna do it?

         MEYER
I own two IRS guys in Philly.
We’ll give them information
on Waxey and they’ll pass
it to Dewey. He’ll never
know where it came from.

         BENNY
That’s a dirty trick even
for us.

         CHARLEY
Anything else before we join
the ladies?

         COSTELLO
Rothstein’s tryin’ to make a
big bet on the election.
He’ll lay five hundred G’s
for Hoover over Al Smith,
but he can’t get nobody to
take his action.

         MEYER
Smith doesn’t have a chance.
Have you heard him on the
radio?

         BENNY
The guy sounds like he should
be rollin’ beer barrels on
Hudson Street.

         CHARLEY
Smith has a lotta Catholic
money behind him. I think
he’s gonna take it. Book it,
Frank. Do it through our
guys in Midtown so AR don’t
know it’s us takin’ his
action.

         MEYER
AR only bets sure things,
Charley.

         CHARLEY
So do I.


EXT. WALDORF ASTORIA (STOCK)

New York’s “swankiest” hotel.

INT. CHARLEY’S PENTHOUSE SUITE. NIGHT.

Election eve. The SKYLINE twinkles outside the picture window. Marinelli, Hines. Anastasia and Genovese are in a crowd of giggling PARTY GIRLS. The Broadway crowd is at the piano where Mayor Walker is singing. As the girls gather around him he raises his glass to a blown up CAMPAIGN PHOTO of AL SMITH. WALKER Here’s to the next President of the United States, the Happy Warrior, Al Smith. Everyone cheers. “To President Smith…”

INT.CHARLEY’S BEDROOM. NIGHT

Meyer is on the phone. Charley sits by the radio with a stony look as:

         ANNOUNCER
Although returns from the
traditionally Republican
West and Far West have not
come in yet it is clear
that Al Smith has failed
to capture the big city
vote…

         MEYER
That was Costello. AR’s been
callin’ our bookie for his
money.

         CHARLEY
Tell the guy to say final
returns ain’t in yet. I
ain’t payin’ off on a race
when the horses are still
in the far turn.

         MEYER
The cowboys ain’t gonna vote
for this guy, Charley. Better
get that five hundred G’s up.
You’re a loser.

         CHARLEY
Not yet I ain’t.

INT. HOTEL ROOM. NIGHT

A high stakes poker game. All the PLAYERS have huge PILES OF CHIPS in front of them except for Rothstein who is hastily scribbling an I.O.U.

         ROTHSTEIN
Okay deal. Here’s my marker.

         DEALER
Two hundred thousand bucks
is a lot of money, AR.

         ROTHSTEIN
I can cover it. I’m collecting
on a big bet tonight.

A BOUNCER hangs up the house phone.

         BOUNCER
That was the desk. There’s
a guy downstairs to see ya…

         ROTHSTEIN
(getting up)
Deal me in, I’ll be right
back with the cash…


INT. PARK CENTRAL HOTEL BACK ENTRANCE. NIGHT.

A man in a dark overcoat waits in the shadows. Rothstein comes down the stairs. His face lights up.

         ROTHSTEIN
Hey, what are you doing here?

The man draws a gun and shoots Rothstein twice in the stomach. With an astonished look, Rothstein crumples to the floor.

INT. PARK CENTRAL BACK ENTRANCE. NIGHT.

A short time later. A dying Rothstein is being taken away on a stretcher. A DETECTIVE leans over him.

         DETECTIVE
Tell us who did it, Arnold.
We’ll get even for you.
Rothstein shakes his head with a feeble smile.

         ROTHSTEIN
You work your side of the
street, I’ll work mine.


INT. ROTHSTEIN’S BILLIARD ROOM.

NIGHT SHADOWS flit through the darkness. A FLASHLIGHT illuminates a safe as someone grasps the handle and pulls it open. CHARLEY is revealed in the light, removing black notebooks, papers. He turns to Charley Workman, who is holding the flashlight.

         CHARLEY
It’s all here. Who ships the
booze. Who fixes the races.
Who pays off the politicians.
Who’s the bag man for the
cops. We got the dirt on
everybody… We’re gonna be
the big fixers now.


END ACT SIX

Next: Part 12/Act Seven: In dutch (Monday, 11/28/11)

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.  Use Contact Us, above, for submissions.

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