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Movies You Will Never See/Empires of Crime/Part 15

*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

By Heywood Gould

PART III

ACT ONE (Con’t)


INT.US ATTORNEY’S OFFICE. DAY

A farewell party. The Staff serenades Tom with “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow.” Medailie proposes a toast.

        MEDAILIE
Yesterday Tom Dewey led us to
our greatest victory. Waxey
Gordon had bribed and murdered
his way into virtual immunity,
but Tom developed the evidence
that brought him to justice.

        TOM
You should really thank those
two IRS agents in Philadelphia…

        MEDAILIE
The opera lost a great tenor
when Tom took up the law.
And the government will lose
a great prosecutor when he
returns to private practice…

The CROWD groans and pleads with Tom to stay, but Frances breaks through with two year old Tom Jr.

        FRANCES
Tom Senior, meet Tom Junior.
He may be a little shy. His
dad was only home for dinner
three times this year.

Somebody wheels out a HUGE CAKE. Frances hands him a CAKE KNIFE.

        FRANCES
C’mon take the oath.

        TOM
I solemnly swear I will
spend the rest of my life
raising my income and
lowering my handicap,
so help me God.

And cuts himself a huge slice as the crowd applauds. But off to the side, Medailie confides to an associate.

        MEDAILIE
He’ll be back.

        ASSOCIATE
He can make a lot more money
in private practice.

        MEDAILIE
Money won’t satisfy him. Tom
loves the spotlight. Give him
a case he knows he can win and
he’ll be back in a second.

APRIL 15, 1931

INT. NUOVA VILLA TAMARA. DAY

A WHITE-COATED WAITER wheels a dessert cart with a RUM CAKE toward a round table in the back where Charley and Joe Masseria are playing pinochle. Masseria slams the KING OF DIAMONDS on the table and crows triumphantly:

        MASSERIA
I trump you again, Charley.
How come they call you lucky?

        CHARLEY
‘Cause I’m workin’ for you, Don
Giuseppe.

EXT. NUOVA VILLA TAMARA. DAY

A SEDAN pulls up across the street. Meyer is in the front seat Benny, Anastasia and Genovese glare in the back. At the wheel is CIRO TERRANOVA, a heavy set young man who grips the wheel, his face clammy with sweat. Meyer checks his watch.

        MEYER
Two forty eight. Charley says
wait ‘till three on the dot.

        GENOVESE
Why we gotta have outsiders in
on this? Makes us look bad.

        ANASTASIA
I don’t know why Charley brought
you guys into this.

        BENNY
Maybe he wants guys who can
shoot straight.

        ANASTASIA
You wanna see how straight I
shoot?

        MEYER
Relax Albert, Charley wants
you guys to get the glory.
Nobody’ll know we were here.

INT. NUOVA VILLA TAMARA. DAY

Charley and Masseria play pinochle and talk business.

        CHARLEY
It’s a strong union down at
the docks, Joe, and it’s
mostly paisans. We could grab
it, easy. You got the docks,
you got the trucks. You got
the city by the throat.

        MASSERIA
Got ‘em by the throat. I
like that…Did you tell
Maranzano about this?

        CHARLEY
Would I be that stupid? This
union thing is just for you,
Don Giuseppe.

INT.SEDAN. DAY.

Meyer looks at his watch.

        MEYER
Three sharp…Go!

The three killers get out and walk casually across the street.

INT. NUOVA VILLA TAMARA. DAY

        CHARLEY
We should go at least fifty
fifty on the booze. My boys
bring it in,my boys sell it.
My boys collect…

        MASSERIA
Your whiskey belongs to me,
your boys belong to me, you
belong to me. You tell all
these young punks there’s one
boss in New York, Don Giuseppe
Masseria.

        CHARLEY
Take it easy, Joe… Whew…
(rises)
Now you made me so nervous I
gotta fa pisshare

Masseria roars with laughter.

        MASSERIA
And when you come back, I’m
gonna trump you again.

THE RESTAURANT DOOR

opens. Benny, Anastasia, and Genovese enter, relaxed and casual like friends looking for a table.

MASSERIA

blinks at them through a cloud of cigar smoke.

THE THREE MEN

approach the table, smiling. Then, stop and draw their revolvers.

MASSERIA

rises with a piteous shriek

        MASSERIA
Charley!

THE THREE MEN

fire calmly, methodically.

CUSTOMERS AND WAITERS

duck under tables, run screaming for the door.

IN THE MEN’S ROOM

Charley combs his hair calmly. When the SHOTS and SCREAMS subside, he steps outside, drying his hands.

IN THE DINING ROOM

Masseria is slumped over a blood soaked tablecloth. He looks at Charley with horror in his dying eyes. Then falls face first into the cake. His trump card, the ACE OF DIAMONDS, is still clutched in his hand. Charley shakes his head in all innocence.

        CHARLEY
Marrone. What happened?

INT. CARMINE’S RESTAURANT. NIGHT

A downtown hangout, festive and noisy. Charley threads his way among the tables,dodging WAITERS with enormous trays, waving and shaking hands like a politician. TWO HOODS step aside respectfully and usher him into a room where:

MARANZANO

is presiding at the head of a long table. He rises with an expansive smile.

        MARANZANO
Salvatore, figlio mio, viene
qui…Gentlemen, give Salvatore
and me one moment, please…

The men rise and file out, nodding with new respect at Charley. But as TOMMY LUCCHESE, a diminutive hood passes he whispers:

        LUCCHESE
I gotta talk to you, Charley.

Without acknowledging him, Charley moves to the head of the table where he receives an affectionate embrace from Maranzano.

        MARANZANO
It’s been two weeks, Salvatore.

        CHARLEY
I took a little vacation in
Miami. Wanted to make sure
none of Fat Joe’s boys was
holdin’ a grudge.

        MARANZANO
You did well…Slaughtered
the pig in his own slop. Who
did you use?

        CHARLEY
Good men, who are loyal to me.

        MARANZANO
Who were they?

        CHARLEY
I keep their loyalty by protecting
their names, Don Salvatore.
(offers him an envelope)
Here. You see the weekly take is
so much bigger now that is only
divided by two.

        MARANZANO
(hefts the envelope)
You took your piece out?

        CHARLEY
I’m runnin’ Masseria’s business.
I take my expenses.

        MARANZANO
You’re running Masseria’s business
for me, Salvatore. Every dollar
you make belongs to me. And I will
decide how much of my money I will
give to you.

Maranzano’s tone is gentle, but the threat is obvious. Charley quickly retreats.

        CHARLEY
Please accept my  apologies, Don
Salvatore. I wasn’t thinking.

        MARANZANO
You think all the time, Salvatore.
Maybe you think too much. I will
consider giving you a larger share
if you accept me as the boss of all
bosses. Come tomorrow and bring the
rest of the money. Come at three…

        CHARLEY
Three o’clock…

        MARANZANO
Don’t worry. I’ll be generous.

        CHARLEY
(kissing his hand)
I’ll be grateful for whatever you
give me, Don Salvatore.

He feels Maranzano’s eyes on him as he walks away.

INT. LANSKY BEDROOM. NIGHT.

A BABY’S CRIES pierce the night. PAN PAST an empty bed to a CRIB where Anne Lansky is trying to comfort her infant son, BUDDY.

INT. DINING ROOM. NIGHT.

Meyer is sitting around the dining room table with Benny, Charley Genovese and Anastasia. There is a tray of sandwiches, a pot of coffee…the room is thick with smoke.

        CHARLEY
Maranzano says he’s willing
to talk about giving me a big
slice of the Masseria family s
as long as I swear loyalty to
him.

        BENNY
And give him a piece of our
action.

Meyer jumps up as Anne enters carrying the shrieking baby.

        ANNE
He won’t shut up, Meyer.

        MEYER
Maybe he’s hungry…

        ANNE
No, he won’t take the breast…

        MEYER
Let’s get him out of here.
The smoke’ll kill him…

He takes Annie out and closes the french doors. There is a strained silence.

        ANASTASIA
How you gonna do business with
a guy who can’t control his
wife?

        CHARLEY
They’re havin’ trouble with
the baby, what do you want?

Meyer returns with a sheepish look.

        MEYER
Excuse the interruption. This
kid never stops cryin’…

        CHARLEY
Give him a spoonful of wine.
So what do you think, Meyer?

        MEYER
Why should Maranzano give you
anything?

        GENOVESE
A pledge of loyalty means a
lot to us.

        BENNY
You guys are so loyal you
can’t turn your backs on
each other for two minutes.

        MEYER
You’re too smart. You’re a
threat to him. He’ll let you
live until he finds somebody
to betray you. Somebody close
to you.

        CHARLEY
I knew you had some Sicilian
in you. You’re right on the
nose.
(with a cold look at Genovese)
I got information that I’m not
gonna walk away from that meeting
tomorrow, Vito.

        GENOVESE
(nervous)
Whaddya mean, Charley?

        CHARLEY
I hear Mad Dog’ Coll will be
waitin’ by a phone. As soon as
I show up Maranzano’s gonna call
him to come rub me out right in
his office.

        GENOVESE
Who told you this?

        CHARLEY
A guy who knows. A guy who says
Maranzano has offered the contract
to a few guys who are close to me.

        GENOVESE
(eyes averted)
So don’t go if it’s a trap.

        CHARLEY
Then Maranzano will know I got
a spy in his organization. Just
like he has a spy in mine. No,
I gotta get him first and it’s
gotta be tomorrow.

        ANASTASIA
Can’t get near him. He lives
behind stone walls

        GENOVESE
He don’t even take a piss
without ten bodyguards.
And he knows every trigger
man in town…

        MEYER
(correcting)
Every Italian trigger man…


Next: Part 16/Act 1(Con’t): Kill The Godfather

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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