SPOILER ALERT!!! We jumped out of sequence and didn’t give Charlie a chance to get revenge. Please ignore Monday’s (Dec. 5) Part 14. Here is the continuation from End of Part 1 & 2/Part 13.
*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 Three/Part 14
By Heywood Gould
Dark…Abandoned…Under a SPUTTERING WORK LIGHT, Charley hangs by his wrists from a METAL PIPE, Bulky SILHOUETTES mill in the darkness. Bruised and bleeding, Charley shouts,defiantly.
Come on out and show yourselves
A man stands in the shadows, cigar butt glowing, smoke curling like a wreath over his head. Charley screams at him:
You! Figlio de putana.
The man raises his hand. A SWITCH BLADE clicks open. He moves quickly and slashes a red ribbon across Charley’s face.
EXT. CAFE. NIGHT
HOODS sit on bridge chairs, smoking, playing cards. Suddenly, a SEDAN speeds down the narrow street and screeches to a halt. Benny and Charley Workman get out, hands in coat pockets.
Where’s Charley Luciano?
The hoods shake their heads and swear; “I don’t know.” Benny pulls a gun and grabs a man by his lapel,
Nobody knows nothin’, huh?
He slams him with the butt of his gun, while the others watch in fear. Charley Workman grabs another man by the throat, slamming him against a wall and Benny jams his gun up his nostrils..
Anything happens to Charley,
everything’s gonna happen to
INT. L&S GARAGE. NIGHT
In the office a frantic POLICE LIEUTENANT is on the phone.
Call headquarters and put out
a general alarm. Send out all
Next to him, Meyer is on the phone with Jimmy Hines.
Jimmy, you gotta drop everything.
Get every cop in the city on this.
in his office (CROSSCUT)
Who coulda done this, Meyer?
This is our town.
is giving his hoods detailed instructions.
Stay close to Masseria. I
wanna know every move he
But what if he catches on,
Make sure he don’t. This is
your chance to show whose side
(turns to the other Hood)
You…Find Maranzano and stay
in his pocket…
This is bad for all of us,
Frank. If they can snatch
Charley that’s tellin’ the
world they can do it to us,
What if some cops grabbed him
for a payoff?
I swear, Frank, ain’t a cop
on the job who would harm a
hair on Charley’s head.
The Burly Blacksmith from Part One opens the door meekly.
Phone call, Mr. Lansky. Guy says
he wants to talk about Mr.
Meyer walks quickly into the garage followed by Costello and the Lieutenant. DRIVERS are unloading cases of LIQUOR from covered trucks. They stop and watch as he picks up the phone.
This is Lansky.
INT. WAREHOUSE. NIGHT.(CROSSCUT)
A MAN in the shadows. Behind him, under the light, Charley is hanging unconscious. The Man’s hoarse half Bronx half brogue accent is reminiscent of Mad Dog Coll, Maranzano’s hatchet man.
Mr. Big Shot Lansky. We got
your Mr. Big Shot Luciano.
Who is this?
Your mother’s uncle’s grandma’s
pet canary. A hundred G’s gets
him back in one piece. You hear
I gotta make sure he’s okay.
Just do what I tellya. I can
dump him dead or alive. Don’t
mean nothin’ to me.
(looks at Costello)
We got no choice, Frank.
EXT. HORSE’S NECK SALOON. DAY
A cab is idling in front of the bar. The DRIVER, collar up, hat over his eyes, stares straight ahead as a SEDAN pulls alongside. Benny leans out of and stares long and hard at the driver until his hands start to tremble on the wheel. Then flips a satchel into the back seat.
Okay, I got a good look.
And the sedan speeds away.
INT. WAREHOUSE. DAY.
Dawn. A pile of rags stirs in the gray light. It’s Charley, bleeding heavily from a gash over his eye.
EXT. HIGHLAND BOULEVARD. DAY.
The Staten Island warehouse district. Charley is staggering down the street as a RADIO CAR cruises up. TWO COPS rush out.
Hey, pal, what happened to
And passes out.
EXT. STATEN ISLAND PRECINCT. DAY.
A convoy of SEDANS speeds up to this sleepy precinct. Out jump Meyer, Benny, Workman, Anastasia, Genovese and MOSES POLAKOFF, an elegant, arrogant attorney.. They rush past the astonished COPS.
INT. PRECINCT. DAY.
Where Polakoff approaches the DESK SERGEANT.
I am Moses Polakoff, Mr. Luciano’s
attorney. I have here a release
signed by Chief Inspector Dolan
authorizing us to remove Mr.Luciano
to a private medical facility…
INT. OFFICE. NIGHT
Charley lies on a bench, under a pile of blankets. He waves weakly the boys enter.
Hey, the Cavalry finally showed
(helping him up)
You okay? We’re gonna get you
Just get me a drink and a
Look at this bum comin’ to
(gives him a hug)
I won’t forget this. Anytime
you need anything…
Can you lend me thirty G’s?
I don’t love ya that much.
EXT. BOCCE CAFE. NIGHT.
Under the lights, OLD ITALIANS play bocci ball. Charley, Meyer and Benny sit at a quiet table in the corner. Charley has his drink and cigarette. A BANDAGE covers half his face.
It was Maranzano. I couldn’t
see him, but I smelled his
A lotta guys smoke cigars,
It was him. See he gets that
crazy mick to grab me so it’ll
look like a snatch. Like the
great Charley Luciano can’t
protect himself so I lose
respect on the street.
Then we gotta get the respect
back. Take him out. Make you
Not now. We gotta move slow.
Slow like a bullet.
You’re our horse in this race,
Charley. You gotta come in first
or we all lose.
Look, you guys are new to this.
We been playin’ this game in
Sicily a thousand years. You
see the way he cut me? That’s
what they do to troublemakers
in the old country. Give ‘em a
scar so they know who the boss
So what do we do about it?
You don’t do nothin’. I go back
every week. Give him his envelope,
kiss his hand like nothin’ happened…
Take care of Fat Joe…
Why do a job for this bum?
It ain’t for him. See how this
guy plays bocce?
A BOCCE PLAYER
bowls a ball down the pitch. It knocks one ball into another.
He knocks one ball into another,
knocks’em both out of his way and
rolls right in to first place.
Well, that’s what we’re gonna do.
Just like them balls them crums
won’t know what hit ‘em.
INT. FEDERAL COURT. DAY
NEWSREEL CAMERAS TURN, SPECTATORS lean forward eagerly as jury foreman LEE SMITH, a portly distinguished man rises to deliver the verdict. At the PROSECUTION TABLE, Tom Dewey, dressed in black with a pencil thin black mustache, seems calm enough, but he has a white knuckled grip on the arms of his chair. At the DEFENSE TABLE, Waxey Gordon stares balefully at the foreman. Smith glares back as he announces:
We find the defendant, Herman
Wexler guilty on all counts.
The courtroom explodes. Lawyers congratulate Tom. Medailie shakes his hand, grinning broadly. REPORTERS rush in for a statement. Judge McCook gavels for silence.
I want to congratulate you, Mr.
Dewey. Never in this court has
such fine work been done by IRS
agents and government attorneys.
You have struck a crippling blow
against organized crime in this
INT. THEATER. NIGHT
On screen a NEWSREEL. The MARKET CRASHES…BREAD LINES…PRESIDENT HERBERT HOOVER makes a speech,promising to get the country out of this “temporary setback.” RAGGED MEN, huddle around a trash fire.
CHARLEY is watching with Gay Orlova.
They call them the forgotten men.
They fought for their country in
the Great War, but now they don’t
even have the price of a meal…
But they got enough to buy a
WAXEY GORDON is escorted handcuffed out of the COURTHOUSE.
In New York beer baron Waxey
Gordon was brought to justice
by crusading prosecutor Thomas
Charley snorts as Tom appears on screen, waving to the CAMERA and whispers confidentially to Gay
Meyer fixed that case with
the IRS to get Dewey out of
That crum’ll never know who
handed him his big victory…
INT. MARANZANO’S OFFICE. DAY.
Charley watches as Maranzano counts money out of one envelope.
That’s the shylock loans from
the Garment Center. These guys
always need money to keep the
factories goin’ and we’re the
only ones with cash in these
(hands him another envelope)
This is the downtown collections
from all the speakeasies.
No records, no books?
Meyer keeps the books. I do
business outta my hat.
I would feel better with Lucchese
or Bonnano in your hat with you.
Meyer won’t cheat us. I trust
him with my life.
As long as you understand that
he is an outsider. You know we
are like priests in our thing.
We take a vow of omerta. Of
I’m as silent as a tomb.
You’ve told Masseria nothing about
You know I haven’t. Your spies
woulda told you by now.
You are a clever man, Salvatore.
In this country of imbecili it
is always a pleasure to speak
to you. But clever words are
hollow without brave deeds.
Your example has given me the
courage Don Salvatore. You can
look forward to good news very
(extends his hands)
I’m overjoyed and full of
(as they hug)
I’m the one who should be
grateful. I’ve learned a
lot from you, Don Salvatore.
I want you to be assured
of my eternal loyalty.
I trust you completely, Salvatore.
You’re like a son to me.
(walks him to the door))
They say he who conquers New York
can rule the world. Like Caesar
ruled Rome. Will you join my
In the doorway, in full view of MARANZANO’S MEN they embrace.
It will be my honor to march
beside you Don Salvatore.
He walks away, his servile smile twisting into a look of scorn.
Next: Part 15/Act 1 Con’t: Taking Over
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.