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Movies You Will Never See/Empires Of Crime/Part 41

FINAL HOURS 5&6
(Below links to 2 hr. Pilot, Hours 3&4)

For every movie that is released there are hundreds of scripts that were commissioned, “developed”, written, restructured—and rewritten; reconceived, redeveloped—and rewritten; restored to their original state and—rewritten; Acquired in “turnaround” by another production entity which redeveloped, reconceived, rewrote, rejected, rescued, restored and finally—shelved them.

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. Who hunted Luciano for years, using wiretaps and bugs, informers and tainted witnesses to send him to prison. And then released him into exile, enduring vicious accusations by his political enemies and dooming his chances of the Presidency, while never revealing the reason for his sudden turnabout.

The entire script is up on the blog, starting on October 13th and ending March 12th. Here are the links to Parts 3 & 4 for your review. Links to the earlier blog: Parts 1 & 2:The Pilot are also included. Links to the final two parts will follow. Vote at anytime. Would you have liked to see this movie? Use the Contact Us button at the menu at the top of the page. Reply yes or no. Or the Comments.

Hours One & Two: The Pilot
http://heywoodgould.com/pages/?p=1491

Hours Three & Four
http://heywoodgould.com/pages/?p=1511

Hours Five (5 Parts) & Six (9 Parts)
Hour Five

Part 25/Dewey Makes A Move
http://heywoodgould.com/pages/?p=1219

Part 26/Operation Underworld
http://heywoodgould.com/pages/?p=1245
Part 27/Charlie, The Hero
http://heywoodgould.com/pages/?p=1272
Part 28/Secret Mission
http://heywoodgould.com/pages/?p=1309
Part 29/Dewey Does The Right thing
http://heywoodgould.com/pages/?p=1339

Hour Six

Part 30/Vegas
http://heywoodgould.com/pages/?p=1360
Part 31/Power Moves
http://heywoodgould.com/pages/?p=1373
Part 32/Board Meeting
http://heywoodgould.com/pages/?p=1386
Part 33/Bugsy’s Last Chance
http://heywoodgould.com/pages/?p=1403
Part 34/Dewey For President
http://heywoodgould.com/pages/?p=1416
Part 35/New Ventures
http://heywoodgould.com/pages/?p=1432
Part 36/Anastasia Makes A Move
http://heywoodgould.com/pages/?p=1443
Part 37/Meyer Craps Out
http://heywoodgould.com/pages/?p=1461
Part 38/Charley’s Last Ace
http://heywoodgould.com/pages/?p=1474

 

Movie You Will Never See/Empires Of Crime/Part 38

*For Introduction with submission guidelines go to Oct 13

For easy access to the beginning of the script and older excerpts go to the Home page.

*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

HOUR VI

ACT FOUR (Con’t)


INT. DA GIACAMINO’S RESTAURANT. DAY

Charley poses for the PAPARAZZI with his arm around Igea.

        CHARLEY
Take one with my fidanzata.
We’re gonna get married and
make bambini like good
Italians…

Martin Grayson runs up with an armful of NEWSPAPERS…

        GRAYSON
Home run, Charley. We made
every paper and every
column…Winchell Louella
Parsons, Hedda Hopper,
Variety The Hollywood
Reporter…”

The Waiter pushes his way through the crowd around Charley’s table, carrying a pot of espresso.

        CHARLEY
You know the guy who owns
the Hollywood Reporter.
Wilkerson? Benny stole the
Flamingo right out from
under him…What’s this
producer’s name again?

        GRAYSON
Marty Gosch. He’s done a
lot of Spanish language
movies.

The Waiter pours coffee.

        CHARLEY
So he ain’t exactly Jack
Warner.

        GRAYSON
He knows everybody in the
business, Charley. Can we
show him a good time?

Charley takes a sip and makes a face.

        CHARLEY
What kinda broads does he
like..? Wait a second the
fleet’s in…

Charley has seen a familiar face across the crowded room. He rises and weaves his way through the crowd to the bar where RED HAFFENDEN is nursing a drink. They greet each other, cautiously. “Hey Red…” “Hi Charley…”

        HAFFENDEN
Haven’t seen you since we
won the war.

        CHARLEY
Yeah, you and me,
singlehanded. Some
coincidence you showin’ up
in my joint after all these
years.

        HAFFENDEN
Just passin’. Thought I’d
drop in.

Charley smiles; he knows that’s not true.

        CHARLEY
You’re still doin’ the same
thing, I see. How come they
make you guys wear them
baggy suits?

        HAFFENDEN
It’s the uniform of the
day…They’re watching you,
Charley. They got your phone
tapped, your house bugged.

        CHARLEY
Get to the point, Red. You
didn’t come here to tell me
what you know I already
know.

        HAFFENDEN
Scuttlebutt is you’re
selling your life story.
You gonna talk about the
war?

        CHARLEY
It’s part of my life story,
no?

        HAFFENDEN
People aren’t ready to know
what really happened…

        CHARLEY
You mean Dewey don’t want
‘em to know.

        HAFFENDEN
The Navy, too. There’s a
three hundred and fifty
page secret report on your
activities. You guys have
something called the code
of silence. We have
something called
classified material.

        CHARLEY
There’s also something
called respect. And I
didn’t get any from Dewey.
He called me a skulking
dog in front of my guys…

        HAFFENDEN
The Navy is not responsible
for Dewey’s bad manners.

        CHARLEY
They send you here?

        HAFFENDEN
I kinda volunteered,
Charley. For old time’s
sake.

        CHARLEY
Okay for old time’s sake
I’ll tellya what. My
brother’s real sick in San
Francisco. You get me
temporary visa to go visit
him I’ll forget the war
ever happened.

        HAFFENDEN
The Navy doesn’t make deals.

        CHARLEY
I was never in the Navy.
You guys never even gave
me a uniform to impress the
broads…

        HAFFENDEN
I’m telling you as a friend,
Charley. I know you want to
get back in the limelight,
but this isn’t the way to
do it.

        CHARLEY
That sounds like a threat,
Red.

        HAFFENDEN
The Navy doesn’t make
threats. C’mon Charley, you
got a great life here.
Beautiful weather, great
food, a gorgeous girlfriend.
Why make trouble for
yourself?

        CHARLEY
I guess I like the action.
Get me a visa, Red. If not
I’ll send you two seats to
the world premiere of the
Lucky Luciano story. If you
can’t get a date, take
Dewey.

INT. NAPLES AIRPORT. DAY

Grayson and Charley enter, followed by Rizzo and several BODYGUARDS. Charley grimaces as they walk and clutches his side.

        GRAYSON
Gosch has called all the
studios. If you can get out
to Hollywood they’ll roll
out the red carpet…

        CHARLEY
I got the Navy workin’ on
a visa for me.
(stops)
Slow down a little, my lunch
is talkin’ back…I’d just
like to see New York again.
Get a corned beef sandwich,
walk around Times Square…

Suddenly, a bolt of pain shoots through him. He gasps and staggers. Grayson stops him from falling.

        GRAYSON
Charley, you okay?

        CHARLEY
Pain…Can’t breathe…

        RIZZO
I’ll get a doctor…

Grayson and the Bodyguards take him to a chair. He has gone dead white under his tan; sweat pours off him, but he manages a smile.

        CHARLEY
Yeah…I thought that waiter
was actin’ nervous…

        GRAYSON
This is just a heartburn…

        CHARLEY
Guess my life story was
worth more than I thought.

        GRAYSON
Don’t talk…

        CHARLEY
There was this guy named
John Barrett. In the
Tombs squawkin’…We didn’t
know how to shut him up. So
Meyer had a bright idea:
send him a poison chicken.
See that’s how that
started…Now they done it
to me.

        GRAYSON
Lie down, Charley…

Charley lies back, eyes glazed as he looks back into the past.

        CHARLEY
I shoulda done it legal. I
coulda made twice as much
money and I’d be sittin’ in
Lindy’s right now eatin’ a
piece of cheesecake.

INT.TOM’S STUDY. DAY

Next morning. In his bathrobe, Tom is on the phone with a reporter, while Frances watches.

        TOM
I did not frame him. I
convicted him on the
evidence…Of course I’m
proud. It was probably the
best thing I ever did in
public life. Yes you can
quote me.
(slams down the phone)
What a country! As soon as
anybody dies they become a
saint.

        FRANCES
Don’t be cranky, Tom.
Charley was always good
copy…

        TOM
He was a drug dealing
murderer. How many times do
I have to tell people that?
How many times do I have to
tell you?

A MAID enters.

        SECRETARY
The Associated Press is on
the phone and a man from
NBC News.

        TOM
See that? Day after day I
sit here in solitude, Tom
Dewey, the man who lost to
Truman. But Lucky Luciano
drops dead and all of a
sudden I’m in demand.
(resigned)
Put them through. I’ll talk
to everybody…

INT. LANSKY BUNGALOW. DAY

Late afternoon. Meyer sits in the gloom staring at the photo of Charley, Benny and himself in their dapper, younger days. Teddy looks in.

        TEDDY
Meyer, you got company…

She ushers in Agents Snyder and Whitman (from Part I).

        MEYER
Hey, you got a guys got a
warrant?

        WHITMAN
We don’t want to intrude.

        MEYER
Since when does the FBI
ever intrude?

        SNYDER
We just wanted to tell you:
Lucky Luciano just died.

        MEYER
In bed with a chorus girl,
I hope.

        WHITMAN
He had a heart attack at
the Naples Airport.

        MEYER
At least it was quick…

        SNYDER
Our bureau chief would like
you to come down and answer
some questions, Meyer.

        MEYER
Can’t help you, boys.

        WHITMAN
Well… We just thought you
oughta know..

        MEYER
Thanks it was a nice
gesture…

He reaches for a cigarette as Teddy escorts them out. When she returns.

        MEYER
I knew they weren’t gonna
let him write that book…

        TEDDY
Meyer, you know you can’t
smoke..

        MEYER
Just takin’ one for Charley.
He started me on this. Got
me my first girl, too. He
was always talkin’, always
up to somethin’. Always
laughin’. I betcha he was
laughin’ at the end.

With a sigh he gets up. He opens a drawer and puts on a YARMULKE. Then, takes out a PRAYER BOOK.

        MEYER
Cover the mirrors, Teddy.
I’ll say the prayer for
the dead and then we’ll
get a corned beef sandwich
in Charley’s memory.

And with a cigarette dangling out of his mouth, Meyer walks to the window, murmuring in Hebrew…

CLOSING MONTAGE… Charley narrates the destinies of those who survived him.

        CHARLEY
(v.o.)
Empires rise and fall. You
gotta know when your time
is up…

FRANK COSTELLO…Dapper, impatient…Walking through the lobby of his apartment building.

        CHARLEY
Frank wanted to take over.
Vito had other ideas.

An ASSAILANT steps out from behind a pillar and shoots him in the head. He runs out as Costello crawls , a bloody gash in his temple.

        CHARLEY
Chin Gigante, the guy he
sent to kill Frank, couldn’t
shoot straight, so he ended
up giving Frank a haircut.
That was good enough. Frank
retired and died in bed at
the age of 82…

GENOVESE…Scowling behind dark glasses he is escorted, handcuffed to a waiting PADDY WAGON by two COPS.

        CHARLEY
Vito owned every racket in
Manhattan, but it wasn’t
enough. His eyes were bigger
than his stomach. So he got
into heroin smuggling and
was ratted out by a small
time dealer. He died in
the Atlanta Penitentiary…

Cradling Bruzzer in his arms MEYER walks on the beach at sunset with TEDDY.

        CHARLEY
All Meyer wanted was peace
and quiet, and a nice piece
of broiled chicken, but the
feds had unfinished business.
He took it on the lam to
Israel, but they threw him
out. Then he flew around
South America offering a
million bucks to any
dictator that would take
him in. No luck so he came
home half dead from
emphysema and a bad heart.
The feds tried him three
times, but each time he
got off. He had coffee
and shmoozed with the old
timers in Miami until he
passed at the age of 83.

TOM…in his black suit, brooding at his oaken desk in his large, gloomy office.

        CHARLEY
There’s nothin’ worse than
a favorite who runs outta
the money. Dewey never
lived down the loss to
Truman. But in the end
he did the right thing
by me.

ST. JOHN’S CEMETERY…Charley’s TOMB, a large white stone crypt, built in the classical style with pillars and plinths. The name “LUCANIA” is carved in the lintel.

        CHARLEY
He let them bury me in the
family plot me. St.John’s
Cemetery, Queens, New York.
Back to the name I was born
with. Back with my mother
and father. A lotta guys I
knew are layin’ around here.
Some of ‘em I put in the
ground myself. It was a
little late, but I got my
wish. I came home…

THE END

Next: All links to script and voting.

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.

Movie You Will Never See/ Empires Of Crime/Part 37

*For Introduction with submission guidelines go to Oct 13

For easy access to the beginning of the script and older excerpts go to the Home page.

*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

HOUR VI

ACT FOUR (Con’t)


SEPTEMBER 1958

INT. RIVIERA CASINO. NIGHT.

BANNERS herald the GRAND OPENING. The MUSIC is frenzied. Every table is jammed with GAMBLERS. Meyer patrols the floor in a white dinner jacket,checking,the tables, joking with the Gamblers. He approaches a ROULETTE TABLE where THREE SOLDIERS stand guard, arms folded, over a CUBAN COLONEL in full dress uniform, who is betting huge sums at the wheel. Suddenly a WAITER comes out of the crowd and tugs on his arm.

        WAITER
Stay away from the roulette,
Senor.

A WOMAN

pushes through the crowd at the wheel. She pulls a small SILVER AUTOMATIC out of her purse and fires. The COLONEL is hit. THREE YOUNG MEN run behind the Guards, firing. The Guards fall. The Assailants fire wildly to cover their retreat. Gamblers duck and scatter, screaming in fear.

THE WAITER

draws Meyer into a corner, speaking quickly before he runs away.

        WAITER
You’re a fair man, Senor
you treat us better than
our own grandees. But
Fidel has said he would
rather execute the
gangsters than expel them.
Get out now before it’s
too late…

INT. RIVIERA CASINO. NIGHT.

A few hours later. The Casino is empty. Sheets cover the bodies Batista, deeply agitated, complains to Meyer.

        BATISTA
They’re communist trouble
makers, nothing more…

        MEYER
I know a professional job
when I see one. Who is
this Fidel?

        BATISTA
He’s a gnat! A nothing!
I could wipe him out in
a week, but President
Eisenhower won’t send
troops to help me.

        MEYER
I got a lotta money sunk
in this town, Fulgencio.
I gotta know if my
investment is safe.

        BATISTA
Hundred per cent, Meyer,
you have my word. I have
been too gentle with these
Fidelistas, but I will crush
them now, I promise.

NEW YEARS’ EVE 1959

INT. RIVIERA CASINO. NIGHT.

New Year’s Eve and the casino is packed. As the confetti swirls and the band plays a mambo version of “Auld Lang Syne…” Teddy fights her way through a crowd of well wishers to:

INT, OFFICE. NIGHT.

Where Meyer is counting cash, and pounding on an ADDING MACHINE.

        TEDDY
Meyer it’s New Year’s. Come
out and have a dance for
God’s sake.

        MEYER
(exultant)
We’re three million ahead
for the year, Teddy. And
you know what’s even better?
The winnings have gone up
every week. We’re a smash.

INT. RIVIERA CASINO. NIGHT.

Pandemonium…Dancing in the aisles. Meyer and Teddy come out. Meyer looks around, anxiously.

        MEYER
Band’s too good. It’s
keepin’ people away from
the tables…

        TEDDY
Oh, stop worrying and enjoy
yourself for God’s sake.

Meyer kisses her.

        MEYER
I love you, Teddy.

They kiss again, but are startled by an EXPLOSION. The building shakes. Plaster rains from the ceiling. ANOTHER EXPLOSION shatters the glass doors of the casino. Several CUBAN REVOLUTIONARIES in BATTLE FATIGUES burst in, waving rifles.

        REVOLUTIONARY
Nobody move. This casino is
under the control of the
Revolutionary Government of
Cuba.

Meyer pulls Teddy back toward the office.

        MEYER
Go upstairs and stay with
the boys.

INT. OFFICE, NIGHT

Meyer runs in and finds the Waiter, who warned him, now in BATTLE FATIGUES, placing a small dynamite charge by his safe. The safe blows. The door swings open.

        MEYER
What’s this a stick up?

        WAITER
An expropriation. This
money belongs to the people
of Cuba.

        MEYER
It belonged to American
gamblers. Now it belongs to
the Riviera. And a piece of
it goes to President Batista.

        WAITER
Ex President Batista has
loaded three planes with
everything he could steal
and escaped to his friend
Trujillo in Santa Domingo
(empties the smoking safe)
I warned you, Senor, but
you preferred to put your
money on Batista. Now you
will go home with nothing…

INT. CASINO.NIGHT.

A few hours later.MEYER AND TEDDY stand on the bar, trying to calm a crowd of distraught AMERICAN GAMBLERS, who are shouting angry questions…”When will we get our passports back?” “Is Eisenhower sending the Marines?”

        MEYER
We’re all gonna get out of
here safe and sound.
There’s a bus coming from
the American Embassy to
take you to the airport.

        TEDDY
Meanwhile, if anybody’s
hungry there’s chicken soup
and sandwiches in the
kitchen…

INT. CASINO. DAY.

Wrecked and empty and deathly still. Meyer stands at a shattered crap table, rolling the dice aimlessly. Teddy runs in carrying a small overnight bag

        TEDDY
Meyer, the bus is waiting.

        MEYER
We didn’t have time to
break even. We’re out
seven million…

        TEDDY
(takes him by the arm)
Don’t sit shiva yet. The
Ambassador says Castro will
let us stay in business.
He won’t turn his back on
millions of dollars.

        MEYER
Nobody knew who Castro was
six months ago, now
everybody’s readin’ his mind.
(as they leave the casino)
Fourteen million dollars I
spent on this hotel. You
know much I sunk into
those Mosaic bricks?

        TEDDY
So next time use linoleum…

He turns for one last look.

        MEYER
I always played the odds. I
made one come bet in my
whole life. And I crapped
out.

Next:Act 4 (cont):

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.

Movies You Will Never See/Empires Of Crime/Part 36

*For Introduction with submission guidelines go to Oct 13

For easy access to the beginning of the script and older excerpts go to the Home page.

*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

HOUR VI

ACT FOUR


OCTOBER 1957

INT. TURISTICO RISTORANTE. NIGHT.

Charley is holding court at a round table to a crowd of AMERICAN TOURISTS, REPORTERS and ITALIAN HUSTLERS. Giving detailed instructions to the WAITER.

        CHARLEY
I want the branzino. Fresh
not a week old like the
bacalao you give the
tourists.

Everybody laughs. Charley waves at two MEN IN BAGGY SUITS sitting at a small table. They wave back.

        CHARLEY
And send my two friends a
bottle of Chianti. The cheap
stuff they stick a candle in.

MARTIN GRAYSON, the young slick producer we saw in Part I approaches with IGEA LISSONI, a buxom showgirl in tow.

        GRAYSON
Excuse the intrusion, Mr.
Luciano, My name is Marty
Grayson. My friend wanted
to meet you, but her English
isn’t so good…

        CHARLEY
See the difference? Italians
want a favor, they bring you
a salami. Americans know what
gets ‘em in the door. We
won’t need a translator, will
we honey?

Ralph Rizzo appears with two chairs. Charley kisses Igea’s hand.

        CHARLEY
Como se giamma bellisima?

        IGEA
Igea Lissoni, Signore
Luciano.

        CHARLEY
Igea…Like a beautiful
song. Call me Charley, Igea.
Say it in my ear.

Blushing furiously, Igea whispers “Charley” in his ear.

        CHARLEY
(looks to the heavens)
Oh mama, wherever you are, I
finally got an Italian girl…
Spit it out, Marty. What
are you sellin’?

        GRAYSON
I’m a movie producer. I
want to do your life story.

        CHARLEY
I tellya my life story my
life will end the next day.
(his arm around Igea)
You should put this beauty
in a movie…

        IGEA
Oh no Signor…
(in his ear)
Charley…You are so much
more interesting.

        CHARLEY
(laughing)
Oh, you got everybody in
on the con. Tomasso
bring another bichere for
my Hollywood friend…Who
wants to see a movie about
a broken down old bootlegger?

        GRAYSON
Everybody, that’s who.
You’re a legend, Mr. Luciano.
I could set up your story at
any studio in town.

        CHARLEY
It couldn’t be the way they
always play guys like me.
You know , wearin’ gaudy
suits, talkin’ outta the
sides of their mouths and
slappin’ broads around…

        GRAYSON
It would be the way you
wanted it. Your story. In
your own words.

        CHARLEY
(tempted)
My own words, huh?…Not
that I’m gonna do it, but
if I did, marrone!, what a
story that would be.

EXT. MOTT STREET. NIGHT.

A crowded street in New York’s Little Italy. Lansky gets out of a cab in a hat and overcoat and enters the SAN MARINO restaurant.

INT. PRIVATE ROOM. NIGHT.

Frank Martorano greets Meyer at the door and takes his coat.

        MARTORANO
Good evening, Mr. Lansky…

Meyer nods coldly and walks into the room. Anastasia jumps to greet him. They exchange hugs and exuberant greetings.

        ANASTASIA
What’d you find the fountain
of youth? What’s your secret?

        MEYER
Black coffee, cigarettes and
a lotta aggravation, Albert.

        ANASTASIA
Sounds good,I’ll tell my
doctor. What do you wanna
eat?

        MEYER
Chicken…They got the
skinniest chickens in Cuba.
Like they been racin’ them
or somethin’.

        ANASTASIA
Chicken cacciatore, chicken
scallopini, chicken
scapariello?

        MEYER
Just a plain broiled
chicken…

INT. PRIVATE ROOM. NIGHT.

A few hours later. The men eye each other behind clouds of cigar smoke.

        ANASTASIA
These Cuban cigars are
somethin’ huh. You bringin’
em in?

        MEYER
It’s an old Cuban family
business.

        ANASTASIA
So make yourself a partner.

        MEYER
You don’t choke the goose
that lays the golden eggs.

        ANASTASIA
Charley always said you made
money ‘cause you weren’t
greedy. I never understood
that.

        MEYER
Charley know about the moves
you’re making in Cuba,
Albert?

Anastasia smiles; he knew this was coming.

        ANASTASIA
Charley’s in semi-retirement.
You run a store you gotta be
there all the time.

        MEYER
Cuba belongs to me, Albert,
just like Brooklyn belongs
to you.

        ANASTASIA
Brooklyn belongs to me
because nobody can take it
off me. Now I’m buildin’ in
Havana and nobody’s gonna
take that either.

        MEYER
It’s a big investment.

        ANASTASIA
I’ll use the Teamster Fund.

        MEYER
The Commission has to approve….

        ANASTASIA
They will. Since Charley’s
gone I run New York. Nothin’
comes in on wheels or on the
water without my approval
You can’t beat me, Meyer..
You got no guns, no real
estate.

        MEYER
(gets up)
I get my power from the
money I make for other
people. Marcello in New
Orleans, Accardo in Chicago,
Trafficante in Tampa, Tocca
in Detroit, Lombardo in
Kansas City…They’ll vote
with me and you know it…
You’ll have to kill me to
get me out of Cuba.

        ANASTASIA
One thing about you: you
come to the point.

        MEYER
You do it out of your
territory, Miami or Havana.
Wait a coupla months, then
go to the Commission and say
‘Lansky’s dead. Time to make
a new arrangement for Cuba.’

        ANASTASIA
Be careful you’ll give me
ideas.

        MEYER
It won’t work. Killin’ me
is like cuttin’ a hole in
their wallets. After a
coupla months they’ll be
bleedin’ money and they’re
gonna know who to blame…

        ANASTASIA
(walks Meyer to the door)
I got nothin’ against you,
Meyer. If you take a long
trip I won’t try to find
you. Take that pretty wife
of yours to Israel. Sit on
the beach, dip your feet in
the Red Sea like Moses did…

        MEYER
Thanks for dinner, Albert…

INT. WARWICK HOTEL ROOM. NIGHT

The lights of New York twinkle outside the window. Meyer sits smoking in the dark. There is a knock.

        MEYER
It’s open.

Trafficante enters. Meyer switches on a lamp.

        MEYER
Did you see him?

        TRAFFICANTE
Yeah. It’s like you said,
he wants me to clip you in
Havana… I kinda feel like
a rat. We Italians got this
thing we gotta be loyal to.

        MEYER
I make a lotta money for
the people in your thing.

        TRAFFICANTE
I know. You’re almost like
one of us…

        MEYER
So how much am I worth?

        TRAFFICANTE
Two hundred and fifty G’s.

        MEYER
Albert’ll turn Havana into
Brooklyn, Santo. He’ll bust
it out and you’ll lose
millions. He’s kill crazy.
He dumped the Mangano
brothers in a vacant lot
with their throats cut.
Killed that kid who turned
in Willie Sutton the bank
robber ‘cause he said he
didn’t like stoolies. Now
he wants to kill Walter
O’Malley for takin’ the
Dodgers out of Brooklyn.
You do this for him one of
these days he’s gonna look
at you and decide you know
too much.

        TRAFFICANTE
That’s why I’m talkin’ to
you. What’s your counter
offer?

        MEYER
No fee, Santo.

        TRAFFICANTE
No fee. That means I gotta
pay the mechanics outta my
own pocket.

        MEYER
Think of it as an investment.
Once Albert’s gone his points
will be up for grabs. If you
figure the Tropicana, the
Riviera, the Desert Inn and
The Sands in Vegas, it comes
to between five hundred and
seven-fifty a year. And I’m
the one who gives out the
points.

        TRAFFICANTE
Yeah, but still… no fee,
Meyer…

        MEYER
I’m just a contract,
Albert’s an annuity. It’s
a good offer, Santo. If I
can’t get any takers I’ll
do it myself.

EXT. MIDTOWN STREET. DAY.

A bright, sparkling Manhattan morning. A BLACK CADILLAC pulls up. Martorano jumps out and opens the door for Anastasia puffing on an after breakfast cigar. Martorano watches through the window as the BARBER help him off with his coat.

INT. BARBER SHOP. DAY.

JOE BOCCHINO, Anastasia’s barber helps him settle into the chair.

        ANASTASIA
Gimme the works today, Joe…

        BOCCHINO
(with a smile)
Comin’ up, Don Umberto…

Still smiling, he walks to the hot towel dispenser at the back of the shop where TWO GUNMEN in top coats, hats pulled low, scarves covering their faces, are holding the other BARBERS at gunpoint. Bocchino’s hands tremble as he takes a hot towel. But he regains his composure and walks back to Anastasia with a smile.

        ANASTASIA
I’ll take a manicure, too…

        BOCCHINO
(drapes the towel over his face)
I’ll get Teresa for you.

He scurries away and cowers against the wall. The Two Gunmen walk quickly into the shop. Alarmed by the sound of footsteps Anastasia sits up and removes the towel. Too late. The Gunmen fire methodically. Anastasia kicks the footstool, screaming with rage and fear. Staggers against the shattered mirror, scattering bottles. Falls face first. The Gunmen empty their revolvers into his twitching body, then run out, dropping the weapons as they flee. Through the window we see Martorano watching…

INT. BEDROOM. NIGHT.

Teddy is asleep.. A SHADOW appears over. A HAND slides over throat. She awakens with a start and sees Meyer standing over her, a NECKLACE glittering in his hand.

        LANSKY
A little bauble for the
Queen of Havana.

        TEDDY
My God, it’s gorgeous…

He slides into bed next to her.

        MEYER
I’m gettin’ out, Teddy.
Benny’s dead, Charley’s
outta action. There’s no
deals, no give and take,
just keep killin’ and the
last man alive gets it all.
I’m gonna let it ride on
Havana. Havana’s our
future…

        TEDDY
Anything you do is okay
with me, Meyer.

INT. CAFE. DAY

The Roman sun glares outside, but inside Charley and Martorano sit in the shadows in a tense conversation.

        MARTORANO
Albert sent me for
cigarettes. Next thing I
know the cops were all over
the place. I was with Albert
a long time. It was a shock…

        CHARLEY
Carlo Gambino’s boss now,
but you still got your same
job.

        MARTORANO
I got to know him over the
years. He trusts me. He’s
makin’ big changes.
(slips him an envelope)
He said to tell you he’s
cuttin’ the allowance in
half. After all these years
twenty five G’s seems
reasonable.

        CHARLEY
Yeah, I guess I’d do the
same. I’m gonna earn real
good on this other thing
anyway…

        MARTORANO
He wants you to know he’s
droppin’ outta that, too.
Too much exposure.

        CHARLEY
Tell him don’t be hasty.
This is a hundred and fifty
million dollar business. If
he comes over here I’ll lay
it out for him.

        MARTORANO
He won’t come. He says
they’re watchin’. Lookin’
to shut you down.

        CHARLEY
They always were. They
never did.
(frustrated)
If I could just have five
minutes with him I could
explain. But I’m stuck in
this hick country…I ran
things better from the can.

        MARTORANO
Carlo says you should drop
outta that business, too.
He says this Anslinger has
a lotta influence and could
make trouble for everybody.
We’re doin’ good with the
other things…

        CHARLEY
Maybe you are, but this is
the only thing I got.

        MARTORANO
Carlo says to drop it.

Charley realizes he’s being warned.

        CHARLEY
So he sends the guy who
bumped Benny. The guy who
was gettin’ cigarettes when
Albert got it.

        MARTORANO
I’m just a messenger…

        CHARLEY
Yeah and the message is
everywhere you go somebody
dies. Tell Carlo he’s new
to runnin’ a family. He’ll
find out he can’t control
his soldiers when they smell
money. When I get over to the
States I’ll bring ‘em all
over to my way of thinkin’…

        MARTORANO
If you get over to the
States…

        CHARLEY
See these guys sittin’ here?
I feed ‘em all. You’re the
guy who should be worryin’
about gettin’ home.

Rizzo slides in with smile.

        RIZZO
You’ll never guess who’s in
town.

EXT. ROMAN STREET. DAY.

A brilliant, sunny day. Tom and Frances walk hand in hand relaxed and happy like young lovers.

        FRANCES
They’re doing Aida tonight
in the Coliseum with real
live elephants and lions…

        TOM
Opera every night. Who
could ask for a better
vacation?

        RIZZO
Governor Dewey…


Rizzo is hurrying across toward them with a servile smile.

        RIZZO
Excuse me, Mrs. Dewey. You
don’t know who I am, sir…

        TOM
But I know what you are…

        RIZZO
I’m not lookin’ for anything
for myself. It’s for my
friend…

ACROSS THE STREET

Charley is standing in a shadowy doorway.

        RIZZO
He offers his apologies for
interrupting your vacation,
but he’d like to ask a
favor. His brother is very
sick in San Francisco and
he was wondering if you
would approve his request
for a temporary visa to go
see him…

        TOM
Sick brother, huh…

        FRANCES
Tom, let it go…

But Tom stalks angrily across the street and confronts Charley.

        TOM
You got one favor from me,
Luciano and it’s one more
than you deserve.

        CHARLEY
You could at least make a
humanitarian gesture after
what I done for this country.

        TOM
Don’t try to pass yourself
off a patriot…

        CHARLEY
I’m just as patriotic as
you. You wanted power and
waved the flag to get it.
You wouldn’t have sung
‘God Bless America’ if
there was nothin’ in it
for you…

        TOM
You think I don’t know
what you’ve been up to?
Smuggling narcotics.
Think I’m stupid enough
to let you go back and
pick up where you left
off? You stay out of the
light of day. Move from
hole to hole like the
skulking dog you are, or
I’ll throw you back in
prison where I should have
let you rot in the first
place!

Tom turns and walks back across the street. Charley watches, burning in humiliation.

        CHARLEY
(to Rizzo)
That movie producer still
around?

END

Next:Act 4 (cont):

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.

Movies You Will Never See/Empires Of Crime/Part 35

*For Introduction with submission guidelines go to Oct 13

For easy access to the beginning of the script and older excerpts go to the Home page.

*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

HOUR VI

ACT THREE (Cont)

INT. CANNERY.DAY

A pair of HANDS deftly smooths a plastic packet of WHITE POWDER into a square sheet. Then slips it into an empty SARDINE CAN. TILT UP to Charley demonstrating for Ralph Rizzo and several WORKERS.

        CHARLEY
You gotta keep it flat so
you can fit the false
bottom in…Capeesh?

        RIZZO
Yeah sure, Charley…

        CHARLEY
Where it says producto
d’Italia you put the little
circle around the dot.
That’s the hot shipment.
It goes to Carlos Marcello
in New Orleans. The rest is
sardines. Don’t mix ‘em up.
(walks to an empty barrel)
What do we do with this?

        RIZZO
Put a kilo in the false
bottom, fill it with olive
oil and ship it to Profaci
in Brooklyn…

        CHARLEY
I gave you a pharmaceutical
scale, accurate to the
microgram. You weigh
everything that comes in
from Beirut or Istanbul,
make sure we ain’t gettin’
cheated. And weigh everything
that goes out.
(points to the workers)
You tell the paisans here
no skimmin’. If I get a
complaint about a short
load I’m gonna cut their
balls off and stick ‘em in
their mouths.
(to the workers)
New dish coulliones in boca…

NOVEMBER 1948

NEWSREEL(STOCK)…HARRY TRUMAN holds up a copy of the Chicago Sun Times, predicting a Dewey victory and mimics the commentator who predicted his defeat.

INT. DEWEY CAMPAIGN HQ. DAY

The morning after Dewey’s defeat. The banners are drooping, the balloons and confetti float aimlessly. There are piles of food, basins of champagne. Tom and Frances are wandering in the debris.

        FRANCES
We can give the cold cuts
to the Veteran’s Hospital.
We’ll save the champagne,
though, for the next
victory…

        TOM
(with a sad smile)
It’ll be flat by then.

        FRANCES
Oh Tom…You were ahead in
every state, in every poll.

        TOM
I’m not a front runner. I
only do well as an underdog.
They never thought I’d make
the football team. Never
thought I’d get elected
Governor. Or that I’d get a
conviction against Luciano,
although that came back to
haunt me.

        FRANCES
You should have told them
how the Navy pushed you to
pardon him. What he did
during the war.

        TOM
That’s top secret classified,
Frances. No one can ever
reveal it.
(picks up a discarded banner,
reading DO DO WITH DEWEY)
Funny…I always wanted to
be president. Pretty
presumptuous, huh for a
kid from Oswosso. I guess
it’s because I’m a Dewey
and our family has done so
much.

        FRANCES
You’ve done great things,
Tom.

        TOM
Greatest thing I did was put
Luciano in jail. Got me
elected Governor, but it
couldn’t get me to the White
House.

INT. NACIONAL CASINO. NIGHT.

Santo Trafficante stands behind Meyer as he breaks in a new crew of CUBAN pit bosses. Meyer spots the Drab Man and waves.

        MEYER
Come a little closer, FBI,
you’ll hear better.

        DRAB MAN
I can hear fine from here,
thanks.

        MEYER
(turns back)
The key to this business is
collection. Every night we
collect all the markers. We
accept checks, signed IOU’s,
anything equal to the sum of
the losses. Mr. Cellini here
takes the 6 a.m. flight to
Miami. When the banks open
he deposits the checks and
verifies the collateral.
Within an hour we know if
any of the checks have
bounced. Our gamblers will
just be waking up when we
make a polite phone call and
arrange a meeting.

        YOUNG CUBAN
What if they can’t pay?

        MEYER
You make a settlement,
fifty, sixty cents on the
dollar. Their names go on a
list. They can’t gamble in
Havana or Vegas until they
pay in full.

        YOUNG CUBAN
Maybe we have to sometimes
push them around a little…

Meyer sees Batista in full uniform, entering his private office.

        MEYER
No. The threat of violence
is always better than
violence itself.
If the individual is
unreasonable refer the
situation to Mr.
Trafficante…Excuse me…

        BLACKJACK PLAYER
Hey Meyer, I’m runnin’ cold…

        MEYER
Double down, pal, as long
as you’re losin’.

The crowd laughs. The Drab Man steps out with a smile.

        DRAB MAN
You never lose do you,
Meyer?

        MEYER
I’m the house, my friend
and the house always wins.

INT. MEYER’S OFFICE. NIGHT.

Plain, serviceable. Batista is waiting anxiously as Meyer enters.

        MEYER
You don’t have to come,
Fulgencio. We offer free
delivery…

        BATISTA
I wanted to talk to you.

        MEYER
(opening a safe)
As long as you’re here, let
me show you the plans for
the new hotel. The Riviera.
Twenty one floors, four
hundred and ninety rooms.
The biggest hotel outside
of Vegas… I’m financing
it entirely on my own.
Construction budget is
fourteen million, almost
every cent I’ve got. But
when it’s completed it will
be wholly owned by the
Lansky family. With you as
a silent partner, of course…

He takes neat stacks of hundreds out of the safe and puts them in an attache case. Batista snaps the case shut.

        MEYER
Don’t you want to count it?

        BATISTA
From you it is always
correct.

        MEYER
Next month there’ll be more.
Investors are banging down
the doors…

        BATISTA
Some times you can have too
much success. The Americans
don’t like what is going on
down here.

        MEYER
I don’t have a lotta fans
in the government.

        BATISTA
The American Ambassador has
been to see me again. He
says gangsters are investing
secretly with you.

        MEYER
I have to take care of
these men because of my
interests in Las Vegas and
because I use their services
for debt collection. They
have hidden shares in the
form of points. If a man’s
points equal, let’s say,
fifty thousand dollars, we
give him a marker equal to
that sum to collect. He goes
directly to the debtor and
collects the money privately.
The transaction is never
recorded in the casino books.

        BATISTA
Is this the agreement you
have with Albert Anastasia?

        MEYER
Anastasia is part of a New
York group that has points
in our casinos. I guarantee
you his interest will never
be uncovered.

        BATISTA
I have learned that
Anastasia has made an offer
to the Mendoza family to
finance the hotel they are
building.

        MEYER
He can’t do this. My
associates have given me
sole authority in all Cuban
business.

        BATISTA
He has promised the Mendozas
an investment of four to
five million dollars in
exchange for a fifty per
cent interest in the hotel.
They of course, see an
opportunity to take control
of gambling away from me.

        MEYER
(stunned)
That’s a violation of
Commission rules. He’d be
voted down.

        BATISTA
Maybe he has made a secret
agreement. I don’t know what
goes on in your world. But
in mine those stupid greedy
Mendozas won’t listen to
reason. You have to stop
Anastasia, Meyer, or the
US government will put us
all out of business.

INT. BEDROOM. NIGHT.

Teddy helps Meyer pack for the trip.

        MEYER
Tell me one more time about
the safe deposit boxes.

        TEDDY
I know this by heart already.
Boston at the Bank of New
England, New York at National
City, Miami, Hallandale,
Vegas at the Flamingo in
Benny’s old safe. And here
behind the your mother’s
picture…

        MEYER
It’s just in case the plane
crashes or something happens.

        TEDDY
No plane would dare crash
with Meyer Lansky on it…
(suddenly concerned)
What else could happen?
Are you in trouble, Meyer?

        MEYER
You kiddin’, things couldn’t
be better. Don’t make that
sad face.
(kisses her)
I’ll be back on Sunday with
bagels and cream cheese.
Don’t worry. The house always
wins.

END ACT THREE

Next:Act 4:

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.

Movies You Will Never See/ Empires Of Crime/Part 34

*For Introduction with submission guidelines go to Oct 13

For easy access to the beginning of the script and older excerpts go to the homepage.

*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

HOUR VI

ACT THREE


INT.BENNY’S FLAMINGO OFFICE. DAY

A PHOTO of Benny’s bloody corpse on the front page of the Las Vegas Journal. TILT UP to Meyer going through stacks of papers while he cradles a phone in his ear.

        MEYER
Room three twelve, please…
Where’s accounts payable?

Greenbaum drops a bulging folder on the desk.

        GREENBAUM
It’s mostly contractors,
suppliers. Benny ignored
them.

        LANSKY
Pay’em off. They’ll give it
back at the tables…That’s
all. Hi Charley… See the
news?

INT. CHARLEY’S SUITE.DAY (CROSSCUT)

Charley is on the phone looking at Benny’s photo on the front page of El Diario de Havana. Genovese is sitting across the room.

        CHARLEY
I’m gonna miss the crazy
bastard. Did you say a
blessing over him?

        MEYER
Yeah. Then I started cursin’
him for the mess he left.
I’m gonna stick around, get
the new management settled
in. Hold off on that export
thing until I get back.

        CHARLEY
Can’t do that, it’s a done
deal. I need you to run
things at this end. Let’s
talk when you get back.

He hangs up with a troubled look.

        GENOVESE
He don’t want in, more for
us.

        CHARLEY
He’ll come around when he
sees how I got this
organized. I’ll put a price
on the shipment, let’s say
a million bucks. The
families’ll put in their
orders. A guy wants eight
per cent he pays eighty G’s
and so on until the whole
thing’s bid up. The money’ll
come to you and you’ll send
it to me. I’ll ship from
three different locations to
Havana and then from here to
three or four different
locations in the States where
the stuff’ll be cooked and
packaged and shipped to you.

        GENOVESE
I don’t like bein’ the middle
man..

        CHARLEY
You’ll make money. I picked
you ‘cause you have
experience in this.

        GENOVESE
Picked me? You’re usin’ my
network.

        CHARLEY
You were a delivery boy,
Vito. A package here, a
package there like in the
old days. I’m shippin’ tons
all over the world.

        GENOVESE
You’re not the boss, Charley.
I don’t care what that
kangaroo court said. Anything
to do with babbania comes
through me now.

        CHARLEY
So now I’m workin’ for you?

        GENOVESE
You ain’t workin’. You’re
retired, You’re livin’ on
my charity and you better
keep your nose clean if you
want that envelope.

        CHARLEY
Uh huh. And if I start this
thing without you?

Genovese pulls out a .38 and holds it to his head.

        GENOVESE
You know how easy it would
be to take you out? You got
no soldiers. Only that
little Jew in Vegas. One
squeeze and like you said
about Maranzano:’Julius
Caesar is dead.’

        CHARLEY
Be careful with that thing…

But then in a lightning move, he jams his lighted cigarette into Genovese’s hand. Genovese yelps and swings back, but Charley jumps up and twists his wrist. The gun GOES OFF and flies out of Genovese’s hand. Charley grabs Genovese by the hair, pulls his head back and kicks his legs out from under him. Genovese goes down hard and tries to get up, but Charley smacks him down. Then kicks him in the ribs…once, twice, three times…Grabs a lamp and brings it crashing down on Genovese’s head. There is thumping at the door, urgent voices call “Charley, you okay?” Charley leaves Genovese moaning on the floor and opens the door onto Anastasia and Costello.

        COSTELLO
Charley, you okay? We heard
a shot.
(sees Genovese)
Jeeze, what happened?

They rush to Genovese’s aid.

        CHARLEY
He pulled a gun on me.

        ANASTASIA
You’re kiddin’…

        CHARLEY
He’s outta this thing I’m
doin’. You wanna cut him in
it comes outta your end…
Get him patched up and put
him on the first plane to
Miami. Don’t let the other
guys see him. I don’t want
them to think there was any
disagreements. Joe Bonanno
will front for me in the
States. Get him outta here.

They pick Genovese up and start to help him out. Charley grabs the gun and waves it in Genovese’s face.

        CHARLEY
Real easy, huh Vito?

And slams the door.

INT. HAVANA NIGHT CLUB. NIGHT.

A hot spot for Cuba’s elite. ARMY OFFICERS, ARISTOCRATS, AMERICAN BUSINESSMEN. PAN TO Charley, in a white dinner jacket, taking mambo lessons from a CUBAN BRUNETTE.

        BRUNETTE
One two, back two…Look how
fast you learn.

        CHARLEY
It’s like a fancy Lindy….

A FLASH BULB pops in his face.

        CHARLEY
See doll, we’re gonna make
the society pages…

A crowd of AMERICANS calls to him. “Hey Lucky, come on over and have a drink…Bowing and backing away with a ”Gracias senor Lucky”, the PHOTOGRAPHER retreats into the shadows and hands the camera to the Man in the shabby gray suit.

INT. DEWEY CAMPAIGN HQ. DAY

BANNERS urging DEWEY FOR PRESIDENT, DEWEY IN ‘48, etc. CAMPAIGN WORKERS on phones, typing, rushing about. Frances has piles of NEWSPAPER ARTICLES on the floor and is pasting them into a scrap book as Tom and Medailie enter,rumpled and weary from a long day of campaigning. She jumps up to greet him.

        FRANCES
My conquering hero!

        TOM
Hardly. What a day.

He flops on the couch, exhausted.

        TOM
Outside Springfield I saw a
bunch of school kids so I
tried to make one of my
little jokes. ‘You kids
should thank me for getting
you a day off from school,’
I said. Then one of the
little angels pipes up:’it’s
Saturday, you jerk.’

        FRANCES
Oh so…Did you see the
Times?
(reading)
“Dewey’s election as
president is a foregone
conclusion….” The
Democrats ought to concede
the election to Dewey and
save the wear and tear of
campaigning…”

        TOM
Yes, but did you see what
Congressman Macy said? “The
deportation of Charles
Luciano was a criminal
mistake.” He said Luciano
was “the lethal black widow
spider in the center of the
world narcotics web” and I
was responsible for releasing
him.

        FRANCES
It might be a good idea to
remind people that you’re the
original gangbuster.

        MEDAILIE
Might be. Luciano has reared
his ugly head again…Called
a big meeting in Havana.

        TOM
Probably about the Siegel
killing.

        MEDAILIE
Anslinger of the Bureau of
Narcotics wants to arrest
him.

        TOM
Can’t touch him. He has an
Italian passport. He has a
right to go anywhere he
wants. But we can put
pressure on the Cubans to
expel him.

INT.HOTEL HALLWAY. NIGHT

Charley, tipsy and festive, comes down the hall with two giggly CUBAN beauties. Charley does a comic dance step.

        CHARLEY
That’s the Charleston. They
named it after me. And the
Black Bottom. They named
that after you…

Smacks the giggling girl on the behind, causing her to giggle even louder, and opens his door.

INT. CHARLEY’S SUITE.NIGHT.

Charley stops dead and sobers up instantly. THE CUBAN POLICE are going through his suite, packing his clothing.

        CHARLEY
Whatsa problem? Didn’t I pay
my parking tickets?

        POLICE COMMANDER
I regret to say we must ask
you to come with us, Senor
Luciano…

INT. PRESIDENTIAL PALACE. NIGHT.

Charley watches calmly as Batista argues heatedly on the phone.

        BATISTA
This is a violation of my
nation’s sovereignty…Mr.
Luciano is here legally. He
is helping us develop our
resort industry…That is
the most insidious form of
blackmail. I’ll bring you
before the International
Court of Justice.
(suddenly docile)
But hundreds of innocent
people could die…Yes, Mr.
Anslinger, I’ll call you in
the morning.

He hangs up with a defeated look.

        BATISTA
Thomas Dewey made a speech
that you were trying to turn
Cuba into a base for
narcotics smuggling.

        CHARLEY
My old pal, Tom Dewey. I’m
the best campaign issue he
ever had.

        BATISTA
Anslinger says he will stop
the delivery of all medicine
to our hospitals if we do
not expel you immediately.
He says if people die it
will be my fault…

        CHARLEY
So I’m gettin’ the bum’s
rush.

        BATISTA
I have no choice, Charley.

EXT. HAVANA HARBOR. DAY

Charley, Meyer and Teddy get out of a CUBAN TAXI. Charley hugs Teddy. He and Meyer walk toward a RUSTY OLD FREIGHTER.

        CHARLEY
This looks like the tub I
came to America on.

        MEYER
Me too…

        CHARLEY
(suddenly suspicious)
You didn’t exactly bust a
gut tryin’ to keep me here,
Meyer.

        MEYER
There was nothin’ I could
do once the Bureau of
Narcotics got into the act…

        CHARLEY
Remember, when you got those
two IRS guys to hang Waxey
Gordon? Maybe you did the
same thing to me.

        MEYER
It’s the dope business that
hung you, Charley. I been
tellin’ you for thirty years:
they’ll let us gamble ‘cause
we kick back to the
politicians. They’ll let us
run unions ‘cause we control
the workers for them. But
they won’t let us sell dope.
(hands him an envelope)
Here’s the first dividend
from Havana. With the
Flamingo in Vegas under
control there’s more comin’.

        CHARLEY
It’s still clippin’ coupons.

        MEYER
At least you got coupons
to clip.

        CHARLEY
I ain’t gonna live on your
pension, Meyer. I’m gonna
use dope like we used booze.
To build another Commission.
Only bigger. You’ll see,
they’ll all come back with
their hats in their hands
beggin’ me to take over
again.

        MEYER
Hope so, Charley. If you
need me I’ll be at the
pool..

TEDDY

watches them hug. She waves as Charley walks up the gangplank and Meyer comes down to join her.

        TEDDY
It’s so sad seeing him go.

        MEYER
It’s for the best. We don’t
want heroin in Cuba. We
wanna be hundred per cent
kosher.


Next:Act 3 (Cont): Dewey For President

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.

Movies You Will Never See/Empires Of Crime/Part 33

*For Introduction with submission guidelines go to Oct 13

For easy access to the beginning of the script and older excerpts go to the homepage.

*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

HOUR VI

ACT TWO (Cont)

EXT. BEVERLY HILLS—POOL. DAY.

Meyer follows a white coated HOUSEBOY onto the patio and watches Benny and Virginia Hill cavort in the pool. Benny waves.

        BENNY
Hey Meyer…This beats
jumpin’ in the East River,
don’t it?

INT. LIVING ROOM. NIGHT.

Sunset. Meyer sits on the couch, shuffling papers. Benny, stylish and immaculate in a tuxedo comes out, fixing his gold cuff links.

        BENNY
Gotta run to a party at the
Coconut Grove. You shoulda
called.

        MEYER
The trip came up on short
notice. We had a big meeting
in Havana.

        BENNY
Nobody told me nothin’ about
it.

        MEYER
You were the main topic…

        BENNY
(his smile fades)
Okay, what’s the beef?

        MEYER
Let’s begin with the markers…
(waves a handful of notes)
Two hundred and eighteen
thousand dollars from your
Hollywood pals.

        SIEGEL
They come to hang around
with me, so I book their
action privately…

        LANSKY
When they lose they pay you.
When they win the hotel pays…

        SIEGEL
It’s a business expense.
They draw people. Suckers
wanna rub elbows with the
Hollywood crowd.

        MEYER
The boys think you’re
skimmin.

        BENNY
I sent money back east last
month.

        MEYER
Drop in the bucket and they
know it. They trusted you
with their money, Benny.
They have a right to a fair
share.

        BENNY
Fair share? What are you, a
lawyer?

        MEYER
I’m a businessman with an
investment to protect.

        BENNY
I been hearin’ this crap
from you for thirty years.
When you gonna get wise to
yourself? You’re a criminal.
You obey the laws you can
live with like not spittin’
on the sidewalk. The laws
you don’t like you break,
like stealin’ from the
government, fleecing the
suckers. Killin’ guys who
get in your way.

        MEYER
If I make a deal I stick to
it.

        BENNY
Why are you in this life,
anyway? Just to make a
dollar, mach a leben as
your old bubbe used to
say? Just a normal
American businessman.
Gotta go shoot a coupla
guys, honey. I’ll be back
for supper. Not me, Meyer.
I don’t take risks just so
I can live like Joe Schmuck…

VIRGINIA HILL enters, pouting and disheveled in an evening gown.

        VIRGINIA
C’mon Benny, we gotta go…

        BENNY
See this beauty? This is
why you do it. For a house
like this that knocks
peoples’ eyes out. For
clothes made by the best
tailor in the world. The
Prince of Wales gets his
hunting jackets from my guy.
For big shot Hollywood
friends who treat you like a
star.
(grabs Virginia)
For a broad that every man
wants…

Virginia tries to pull away.

        VIRGINIA
You’re rippin’ the dress…

Laughing, he takes out wad of cash and shoves it down her dress.

        BENNY
Buy yourself a new one.

She storms out, cursing him.

        BENNY
How many guys I kill? You
think I did it for the
Commission? I sold my soul.
You think I did it to make
some fat slob in Brooklyn a
millionaire?

        MEYER
Last time I spoke to you
were on your knees beggin’.

        BENNY
I don’t have to beg no
more. I got a cinch
proposition. Pay the
best entertainers top
dollar, they give it
back double at the tables.
Charge the suckers a buck
for a steak dinner, they
give it back a hundred
times and you don’t have
to declare the income…

        MEYER
I invented that proposition.

        SIEGEL
Yeah, but I made your pipe
dream come true. So you tell
those guys to be happy with
what I throw ‘em or I’ll snap
my finger and it’ll all go up
in smoke…

EXT. BEVERLY HILLS. NIGHT.

Meyer comes out of the house and crosses to a waiting car where Frank Martorano waits behind the wheel.

        MEYER
Take me to the airport.

INT. AIRPORT. NIGHT.

Meyer dials a pay phone.

        MEYER
This is Meyer Lansky. Is
Gus Greenbaum on the floor?

INT. FLAMINGO. CASINO. NIGHT.(CROSSCUT)

Greenbaum comes to the phone.

        GREENBAUM
This is Gus, Mr. Lansky.

        MEYER
I want you to call a staff
meeting Make an announcement
that Ben Siegel is no longer
in charge of the operation.
Tomorrow call a meeting of
the Board of Directors and
have yourself elected
president, Moe Sedway vice
president.

        GREENBAUM
Got it.

        LANSKY
Put the best collector you
got on those Hollywood
deadbeat friends of Benny’s.
I want every penny owed. I
don’t care how you get it…

INT. AIRPLANE. NIGHT.

A darkened cabin. Everyone is asleep but Meyer, who lights a cigarette and looks out of the window.

EXT. BEVERLY HILLS—POOL. NIGHT.

A few hours later. OFF SCREEN, car doors SLAM, VOICES call.

        BENNY
Everybody, come in for a
nightcap. Let’s keep this
party goin’…

The lights go on in the house, splashing onto the patio, illuminating the face of FRANK MARTORANO, moving stealthily toward the french windows. He watches as:

BENNY

Virginia Hill and a group of FRIENDS burst in laughing.

        VIRGINIA
Howard Hawks promised to
give me a screen test.

        SIEGEL.
He’s wants to see how
well you act on your
knees…

        VIRGINIA
(swinging at him)
You sonofabitch…

        SIEGEL
(pushing her away)
Go see what everybody’s
drinkin’..
(plops down on the couch)
Let’s liven things up a
little.

ON THE PATIO

Martorano moves toward the French doors. Over his shoulder we see Benny on the couch. Martorano raises a rifle to his shoulder.

        BENNY
Don’t tell Virginia, but
George Raft’s gettin’ me
a part in his next movie.
I’m gonna be the star in
this family.

Martorano FIRES…

INT.AIRPLANE. NIGHT

Meyer winces as his friend goes down in a hail of bullets.

END ACT TWO

Next:Act 3: Bugsy’s Last Chance

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.

Movies You Will Never See/Empires Of Crime/Part 32

*For Introduction with submission guidelines go to Oct 13

For easy access to the beginning of the script and older excerpts go to the homepage.

*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

HOUR VI

ACT TWO

EXT. HAVANA AIRPORT.DAY

TOURISTS and GAMBLERS arrive for a weekend in Havana. In the festive crowd we recognize Albert Anastasia attended by Frank Martorano, Frank Costello and some FLASHY FEMALE COMPANIONS; Vito Genovese, alone and aloof in tinted glasses. None of them notice a PHOTOGRAPHER scurrying around snapping pictures.

INT. PRESIDENTIAL PALACE. DAY

SURVEILLANCE PHOTOS pop into frame. TILT UP to Meyer flipping through them. Behind a huge desk in this ornate room, Batista watches him.

        MEYER
Tony Accardo from Chicago.
Steve Maggadino from Buffalo.
Joe Lombardo, Kansas City.
Dalitz, Zwillman. Big
turnout.

        BATISTA
These men are known criminals.
We can have a problem with the
US Embassy.

        MEYER
They can bring millions of
dollars of investment into
the country. But they’ll
have to be controlled…

EXT. HOTEL NACIONAL POOL. DAY

A sumptuous buffet in the bright Cuban sun. CUBAN DIPLOMATS and OFFICERS mingle with the RACKETEERS as a CONJUNTO plays. Meyer, and Teddy are shepherding Yetta through the buffet.

        TEDDY
This is Pompano, mom, they
only catch it in the Gulf.

        YETTA
Do they have maybe a nice
piece of plain broiled
chicken..?

Meyer sees a HOTEL CLERK lurking, respectfully.

        CLERK
There is a man in the small
meeting room asking to see
you, Senor.

As Meyer follows him, Richard and Buddy run past in their bathing suits. Meyer grabs Buddy.

        MEYER
I told you: No swimmin’
until two hours after you
eat.

INT.MEETING ROOM. DAY

Meyer enters, squinting into the gloom. He is stunned to see Charley come out of the shadows, haggard and disheveled.

        MEYER
Charley, where were you? We
expected you two days ago.

        CHARLEY
I wanted to make sure them
crums from Narcotics weren’t
tailin’ me so I took the
scenic route. Freighter to
Caracas, cleaned out the crew
playin’ gin. Flight to Mexico
City, then got on a plane right
away to come here. Where am I
stayin’?

        MEYER
Presidential Suite, where
else?

        CHARLEY
Take care of the boys?

        MEYER
Fruit basket and a bottle of
champagne in every room.

        CHARLEY
Broads?

        MEYER
Can’t go wrong in Havana.
Even when I’m pickin’ ‘em.

        CHARLEY
I need a barber, manicure.
Away eleven years. Outta
sight, outta mind, outta
luck. I gotta make a big
impression. Can you front
me a hundred and fifty G’s?

        MEYER
Anything you want. I only
ask one thing: let me keep
Havana for myself.

        CHARLEY
It’s open territory, can’t
keep ‘em out. But we can
make ‘em pay for the
privilege. Stick with me,
kid. It’s you and me against
the world,

        MEYER
How about Benny?

        CHARLEY
We’ll talk about him
tomorrow.

INT. CONFERENCE ROOM. DAY.

The blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico twinkle right outside the bay window. CUBAN HOSTESSES circulate with drinks and h’ors deuvres for the members of the Commission. Meyer, resplendent in a white suit greets Dalitz and Sedway.

        MEYER
Landsman, how are ya?

        DALITZ
So this is where you been
hiding.

        SEDWAY
Like Miami, only no taxes,
no cops.

        MEYER
Look again. There’s a cop
under every rock.

He moves over to Anastasia and Costello.

        MEYER
Gentlemen. Accommodations
satisfactory?

        COSTELLO
Little slice of paradise.

        ANASTASIA
I can sail across from
Miami on my yacht. Pick up
my envelope. Nice dinner,
Cuban broad and I’m back in
Miami for the first at Hialeah.

Genovese is standing alone, dark suit, dark glasses.

        MEYER
Vito, lemme get you a pair
of shorts so you can enjoy
the sun.

        GENOVESE
You look healthy. How’s
business?

        MEYER
Could be better. Heard you
had a problem in Italy.

        GENOVESE
They arrested me on that old
murder rap, After all I done
for this country. Lucky for
me their big witness got
food poisoning. Nice joint.
We got a piece of it?

        MEYER
You have to take that up
with Charley.

        GENOVESE
I’m takin’ it up with you.
I’m not second banana no
more. Every month a thousand
guys pay me twenty bucks tax
just for the privilege of
doin’ business…

        MEYER
So you’re a big man? So
what?

        GENOVESE
You’re in charge down here.
I want you to get me a joint
on the strip.

        MEYER
You’ll need a Cuban partner.

        GENOVESE
I can live with that as long
as I’m keepin’ the books…

Charley enters, looking sleek and rested in a white suit.

        CHARLEY
Gentlemen…

He gets a big greeting. The men cluster around him. “Great place, Charley…” Meyer listens in alarm as he replies:

        CHARLEY
Like it? This is gonna be my
new base. Let’s call this
meeting to order. We got a
lot to talk about.

The men take their seats, leaving the head of the table for him.

        CHARLEY
Last time we got together
was Atlantic City, in ’29,
remember? Started a little
corporation that worked out
pretty well. There have been
some changes. In ‘29 Tony
Accardo was Al Capone’s
chauffeur. Now he runs
Chicago.

        ACCARDO
I learned a lot at that
meeting. Learned a lot
from you.

        CHARLEY
We did business together a
long time. The war was a
temporary inconvenience.

        DALITZ
Especially for Hitler…

The men laugh…

        CHARLEY
But now the country’s
stronger and so are we. I
feel I’m in a good position
to help us expand into the
international markets. Just
as a formality, I’d like to
renominate myself as Chairman
of the Board.

        ANASTASIA
(jumps up)
I second…

The other men raise their voices in assent. “Glad to have you back, Charley…” Charley takes charge smoothly.

        CHARLEY
First item is to honor this
beautiful place and the man
who has developed it and will
run it for us. Great job,
Meyer.

Again, smiles and assent. Charley slides an envelope across the table to Meyer with a wink.

        CHARLEY
Here’s my hundred and fifty
G’s for a thirty three per
cent interest in the Nacional.

        DALITZ
Is a hundred and fifty G’s
the buy in price in Cuba,
Charley?

        CHARLEY
It’s the floor, Mo. Out here
the rooms have high ceilings…

The men laugh.

        CHARLEY
Now about this Siegel thing.
We gotta recognize that Benny
discovered the potential of
Vegas. Not just them one arm
cowboy joints, but a big
resort like the Flamingo that
can make money in a lotta
different ways.

        COSTELLO
We backed him, Charley. When
he ran over budget we gave
him more money.

        CHARLEY
How much did Benny spend,
Meyer?

        MEYER
Four and a half million. But
he gave away points…

        ACCARDO
Charley, if you’ll excuse me,
I put Gus Greenbaum in Vegas
to look after the Chicago
interests. He can give us an
idea of what’s goin’ on. Go
ahead, Gus.

Greenbaum clears his throat nervously.

        GREENBAUM
Last week the Flamingo had
winnings of four hundred and
eleven thousand dollars.
Under a system put in by Mr.
Lansky we can skim between
twenty and twenty-five per
cent depending on cash
winnings versus markers.
That works out to be between
sixty-five and seventy-six
thousand dollars to be divided
among the five partners.

        ACCARDO
How much did Siegel send, Gus?

        MEYER
As operating partner Benny
has discretion to withhold
money…

        CHARLEY
How much, Gus?

        GREENBAUM
Thirty-two five….

        ANASTASIA
So he’s skimmin’ fifty per
cent off the low end every
week.

        ACCARDO
Tell everybody how much he’s
taken out over the last six
months, Gus.

        GREENBAUM
I estimate the number to be
between one point five and
two point two million…

        ANASTASIA
That’s about three hundred
and fifty grand he’s stolen
from each of us.

        MEYER
To be fair, Benny doesn’t
feel he has to account to
you as long as he clears
things with Charley.

        CHARLEY
Benny’s not clearin’ nothin’
with me, Meyer. I haven’t
spoken to him in a year and
a half.

Meyer is stunned that Charley is not going to cover for Benny.

        DALITZ
I was out there last month.
He wouldn’t open the books.
Said it was his joint and
the rest of us were catchin’
a free ride.

        SEDWAY
His girlfriend, Virginia
Hill’s been goin’ to Zurich
every month. She says it’s
to buy rugs and furniture,
but I think she’s saltin’
money in a Swiss bank.

        CHARLEY
Gus, can you step out for a
second?

As Greenbaum picks up his papers and leaves the room…

        MEYER
That Virginia Hill’s got him
crazy.

        COSTELLO
Everybody’s got a broad
whisperin’ in their ear.
That don’t mean you steal
from your friends.

        MEYER
He’s been with us a long
time. He’s done a lot of
dirty work for the Commission…

        ANASTASIA
A lotta guys do dirty work,
but when they break the rules
they gotta be judged.

        CHARLEY
How many chances we give him?

        DALITZ
How many? Every time he came
around begging for money.
Five, six times?

        ANASTASIA
He’s defyin’ the Commission,
Charley. We gotta make a
statement.

        CHARLEY
Who’d handle this thing?

        ACCARDO
I’ll give it to Jack Dragna
in LA

        ANASTASIA
No, this is my party. I been
waitin’ sixteen years for
this.

        CHARLEY
We’re not settlin’ grudges.
This has gotta be
professional…

        MEYER
Wait a second before you do
this. Benny’s identified
with the Flamingo. You pull
him out you’re gonna hurt
business just when it’s
startin’ to pick up.

        COSTELLO
Who cares how good it’s doin’
if we ain’t seein nothin’?

        MEYER
Okay look. Over the years
I’ve made a lotta money for
you guys and never asked a
favor. Let me get Benny to
step down…We’ll take his
points in the Flamingo,
give him a settlement and
let him disappear with that
slut who’s taken his mind
away. I’ll even throw in my
end until you’re all paid
off…

Silence. The men look to Charley for a decision.

        CHARLEY
No settlement. He’s outta
the Flamingo and all the LA
gambling.

        MEYER
You gotta leave him somethin’.

        CHARLEY
He can leave town with the
shirt on his back. If he
says no, you give us the
go ahead…

The men smile, gloating at Meyer‘s dilemma.

        MEYER
I start out pleadin’ for
Benny’s life and end up
bein’ the one who pulls
the trigger. Smart,
Charley.

        CHARLEY
That’s why I’m the boss,
kid.

Next:Act 2 (Cont): Board Meeting

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.

 

Movies You Will Never See/ Empires Of Crime/ Part 31

*For Introduction with submission guidelines go to Oct 13

For easy access to the beginning of the script and older excerpts go to the homepage.

*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

HOUR VI

ACT ONE (Con’t)

INT. STATLER HOTEL (PHILADELPHIA). DAY

On a bed, the Page One headline of the Philadelphia Inquirer reads: NY GOV. DEWEY TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT. OFF SCREEN we hear:

        TOM
This is humiliating…

PAN TO

Tom sitting on the bed in his signature black suit, trying to force his feet into a pair of ornate COWBOY BOOTS under Medailie’s watchful eye.

        MEDAILIE
It’s important for the folks
from Wyoming and Nevada and
Montana to get to know you
better. To feel that you
understand them.

        TOM
I’m a small town boy from
Michigan, George. I’ve
stepped in just as much
horse manure as any of
them…

        MEDAILIE
To them you’re still a city
slicker. You’re going to
have to explain this
Luciano thing. They have a
morbid fear of gangsters…

        TOM
God! Is Luciano going to
haunt me for the rest of
my days?

        MEDAILIE
(jams a Stetson on his head)
Tuck the pants in the boots…

Frances enters with an amused look.

        FRANCES
Tom, a bunch of cowboys just
galloped in…
(breaks into laughter)
Oh Tom darling, no…No…

        TOM
That settles it!

He kicks off the boots and throws the Stetson across the room.

        TOM
They’ll have to take me
for what I am, or not at
all.

He stomps out, barefooted. Frances picks up his shoes and follows.

        FRANCES
Tom dear, you forgot your
shoes…

INT. HOTEL BAR. DAY.

The BOSSES nurse drinks, smoke and glare resentfully at Meyer. Among them SANTO TRAFFICANTE, a sleek Florida hood.

        MEYER
Now Mr. Trafficante, I know
about your activities in
Miami. But drugs and
gambling are very different
businesses.

        TRAFFICANTE
They both deal with addicts.

        MEYER
Yeah, but the gambler is an
educated addict. He can shop
for the best product. The
beauty of the gambling
business is you don’t have
to break the law to make
money. Craps, blackjack,
slots, if the winners equal
the losers, which never
happens anyway, the house
has a built in winning
percentage of four percent.

        TRAFFICANTE
Four per cent is peanuts.

        MEYER
What’s your club, the San
Souci? How’d you do last
night.

        TRAFFICANTE
We just opened.

Meyer turns to NORMAN ROTHMAN, a clumsy New York hood.

        MEYER
And you, Mr. Rothman. How’d
you do at the Montmartre?

        ROTHMAN
It was raining.

        MEYER
Only in your casino. You ran
crooked crap games and
goulash parlors in the Bronx
for Dutch Schulz, Rothman.
There won’t be any chiselin’
in Havana while I’m in
charge.

        TRAFFICANTE
Oh yeah, who died and made
you boss?

        MEYER
Nobody yet.
(lets that sink in)
You know the best thing
about gamblers?

        TRAFFICANTE
Their money.

        MEYER
Not when they’re spendin’
it some place else, wise
guy. Best thing about
gamblers is that they’ll
lose their shirt over and
over again in the same game
as long as they know it’s
honest and they got a shot
to win. So we’re gonna make
Cuba the cleanest place to
gamble in the world. First
thing, I’m runnin’ the
Nacional, You guys are out.

        TRAFFICANTE
You can’t do that. We bought
a concession from Batista.

        MEYER
I’ll get you your money back
and let you keep your clubs,
but I get the Nacional. Next,
we fire all the dealers and
croupiers. Send them back to
Miami on a banana boat. Get
local kids and train ‘em
right. Dump the rigged
roulette wheels and the phony
dice. Start dealin’ blackjack
out of a six deck shoe.

        ROTHMAN
But that’ll give players the
edge.

        MEYER
Only way they have an edge
is by stayin’ outta the
casino. No gambler ever
died ahead. I’m goin’ on
vacation to Europe.I want
this stuff done by the time
I get back, or there’s a
line formin’ to take your
place.

SEPTEMBER 1947

NEWSREEL…Pier 42, New York. Meyer and Teddy sail on THE ITALIA. They walk toward the gangplank, brushing past the PHOTOGS.

        NEWSCASTER
The president of Princeton
University sailed for Europe
on the Italia last week, but
all eyes were on the couple
in the luxurious five room
Royal Suite. Mr. and Mrs.
Meyer Lansky. She, the
former showgirl. He, rumored
to be the boss of National
Crime Syndicate…

A group of LONGSHOREMEN move in and push the PHOTOGS away.

        NEWSCASTER
Lansky had some tough
chaperones…

A group of hard eyed DETECTIVES watches.

        NEWSCASTER
And some pretty tough guys
from DA’s office were also
on hand.

        DETECTIVE
(at the MICROPHONES)
We just want Mr. Lansky to
know that we’ve got an eye
on him and anyone who might
come down to see him off.

INT. NAPLES RESTAURANT. NIGHT.

A FLASH BULB blinds the lens. Then, we see Charley, Meyer and Teddy at a table being surrounded by PAPARAZZI.

        TEDDY
Wow, you’re like a movie
star.

        CHARLEY
They chase me down the street…
(laughs at Meyer)
Look at this guy. He hates
gettin’ his picture taken.

        MEYER
My nose is too big…

INT. HOTEL SUITE. NIGHT.

Crowded with FLOWERS and FRUIT BASKETS. Charley is pouring black coffee. Teddy gives him a peck on the cheek.

        TEDDY
None for me. I’m goin’ to
bed.

        CHARLEY
‘Night, doll. Don’t worry
I won’t keep him long.

Meyer kisses Teddy. Both men wait until the bedroom door closes. The smiles fade and the atmosphere changes. Meyer opens a trunk and pulls away a false panel, revealing stacks of bills.

        CHARLEY
Great. Just when I was
runnin’ short. How much
is there?

        MEYER
Twenty five from the
Commission. I put in
twenty five from our
interests in Saratoga
and Florida.

        CHARLEY
How about Vegas?

        MEYER
We should start seein’ money
soon.

        CHARLEY
I need the cash, now. I’m
lookin’ to make a big move
here.

        MEYER
Black market?

        CHARLEY
I’m talkin’ about a big
export operation. Remember
the Mancuso brothers from
Brooklyn? They set up
Vito’s network for him.
They produce the opium in
Turkey and Yugoslavia.
Bring it in nice and legal
to the big pharmaceutical
companies in Milan. Put a
little extra in the order
for us. We ship to labs in
Kansas City, New Orleans,
Miami. They cook it and cut
it and put it on the street.
Twenty G’s gets you a
hundred and fifty . Heroin
creates it’s own market.
Sky’s the limit…

        MEYER
I never liked that business.
Too many mouths to feed, too
many people to trust. Now
they got the Bureau of
Narcotics, this guy
Anslinger, workin’ with the
FBI. Ten to one they’re
watchin’ you, Charley.
They’ll trace the shipments
and watch the ports.

        CHARLEY
That’s why we need a detour.
We can use Cuba. Feds can’t
touch it. We can ship to
Havana, then trans ship
through Mexico and New
Orleans and Miami.

        MEYER
Havana will be full of
pushers. It’ll hurt the
gambling business.

        CHARLEY
I’m not in the gambling
business. I’m gettin’ an
envelope from you.

        MEYER
What’s wrong with that?

        CHARLEY
I wanna build somethin’ I
control so nobody can wake
up one morning and say:’what
are we carryin’ Charley for?
Let’s dump him.’

        MEYER
That’ll never happen while
I’m alive.

        CHARLEY
I wouldn’t sell you life
insurance, kid. Not with
Benny runnin’ through
millions in Vegas. You and
he are like Siamese twins.
If he goes you gotta go,
too. But as long as I’m the
boss that’ll never happen.

        MEYER
I know that.

        CHARLEY
Spread the word. I want a
meeting in Havana. I want
everybody to see I’m still
Chairman of the Board.

        MEYER
They might not go for it.

        CHARLEY
Get’ em in a room, I’ll
sell ‘em.

INT. HOTEL BEDROOM. NIGHT.

A few hours later. Teddy awakens in an empty bed. Worried, she goes into the LIVING ROOM. Meyer is on the couch, his cigarette glowing in the dark. She sits next to him and rubs his back.

        TEDDY
Can’t sleep? Too much
coffee?

        MEYER
Too much Charley. Too much
Benny.

        TEDDY
They’re a handful, huh?.

        MEYER
Magnetic personalities.
People wanna be around
‘em. We were a good team.
They had the big ideas. I
made the numbers work.
They got crazy, I talked
sense to them. But now
they won’t listen to
reason…

The PHONE on the coffee table RINGS. Meyer answers warily.

        MEYER
Hello…Benny..?

INT. FLAMINGO CASINO. NIGHT(CROSSCUT)

Benny, a highball in one hand, VIRGINIA HILL draped tipsily around him, is on the phone.

        BENNY
Hey you little schnorrer,
havin’ fun with Charley?

        MEYER
Did you open, you sonofabith?!

        BENNY
Before you bust a gut, listen…

He holds the phone out and we see that the casino is packed. Slots are ringing, people are shouting…

        BENNY
That’s the sound of money
pourin’ in. We’re packed,
every room’s booked.

        MEYER
Benny, that’s great. But
tell Moe he’s gotta keep
the hotel cash separate
from the casino winnings.

        BENNY
Everybody in Hollywood’s
showed for this. We’re a
smash!

        MEYER
Benny, listen. Stash the
skim in the safe…

But Benny has hung up. Meyer He turns to Teddy with a dazed smile.

        MEYER
We’re a smash. Go figure…

END ACT ONE

Next: Act 2:Power Moves SourceURL:file://localhost/Users/patriciagould/Desktop/EmpiresOfCrime/EOCPostNames.doc @font-face { font-family: “Times New Roman”; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: “Times New Roman”; }table.MsoNormalTable { font-size: 10pt; font-family: “Times New Roman”; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; }  BOYS FROM BRAZIL, bugsy seigel, cocktail, FORT APACHE the bronx, free scripts, HEYWOOD GOULD, lucky luciano, Mafia, Meyer Lansky, movies, rolling thunder, screenplay writing, screenplays, thomas dewey

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.

Movies You Will Never See/ Empires Of Crime/Part 27

*For Introduction with submission guidelines go to Oct 13

For easy access to the beginning of the script and older excerpts go to the homepage.

*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

HOUR V

ACT THREE

EXT. PIER 31. NIGHT

A TUG cuts its engines and floats in under cover of darkness.

        HAFFENDEN
(v.o.)
Johnny Dunne’s sources told
us that this one tug boat
captain had been flashing a
big roll. The night of the
13th, they waited for it to
come back to port.

THREE MEN hop nimbly off the boat and are about to melt away when the DOCK LIGHTS come on. A GROUP OF LONGSHOREMEN led by Johnny Dunne rush out and overpower them.

        HAFFENDEN
The tug had made contact
with a U Boat beyond the
twelve mile limit and
picked up three German
spies..Under interrogation
they revealed the details
of another operation and we
grabbed six Nazi saboteurs
off Montauk the next week…

INT. WATERFRONT DIVE. NIGHT

Smoky, noisy. SOLDIERS, SAILORS and BAR GIRLS. A SOBER MAN in the place sits quietly at the bar watching several OLDER MEN in suits who definitely don’t belong enter a back room, guarded by TWO BURLY BOUNCERS.

        HAFFENDEN
Last month Socks Lanza told
us about a bar that was
being used as a front to
move counterfeit money…

HAFFENDEN

in civilian clothes, enters with several AGENTS. The Sober man slides off his stool, a LEAD PIPE protruding from his sleeve. He moves quickly to the door and “pipes” the bouncers, just as Haffenden and his men arrive.

        HAFFENDEN
We hit a Nazi propaganda
operation.

Guns drawn they break through the door into a PRINTING PLANT and surprise a GROUP OF MEN.

        HAFFENDEN
A mail drop and communicat-
ions center for agents in
the field.

INT.GOVERNOR’S OFFICE. DAY

Haffenden reports enthusiastically to Dewey, who listens skeptically, while looking over the reports.

        HAFFENDEN
We seized two hundred thousand
in counterfeit bills and got
leads on Nazi cells in
Minneapolis and San Diego…

        TOM
(sarcastic)
I see you’re calling it
Operation Underworld…
Catchy name for the press?

        HAFFENDEN
This operation is top secret
and will stay that way.

        TOM
Not planning to put Luciano
up for the Congressional
Medal?

        HAFFENDEN
No, but I must admit the
operation is surpassing
our expectations. Luciano
runs the mob with an iron
hand…

        TOM
I know, that’s why he’s
in jail. I’m afraid that
like everyone else you’re
falling for his fabled
charm,Commander. And like
everyone else he’s taking
advantage of you.

He pushes a stack of SURVEILLANCE PHOTOS across the desk and in mounting indignation:

        TOM
Luciano getting out of
a Navy sedan with Gay
Orlova…Military business?…
Luciano meeting Meyer Lansky
outside Bernstein’s Delicatessen…
Exchanging intelligence?Luciano
in a private room at Celano’s
Restaurant. Did you know that
Celano’s was Luciano’s private
meeting place where he gave out
murder contracts among other
patriotic activities?

        HAFFENDEN
With all due respect Governor,
Luciano is a key asset in an
important military operation.

        TOM
This man is a murderer, a
drug dealer and a pimp
convicted and sentenced
under the laws of New York
State. And you are allowing
him to go out and continue
to run his operation. You
keep him in his cell and
treat him like every other
convict, or I’ll take him
away from you. Is that
clear, Commander?

        HAFFENDEN
Yes sir, very clear

INT. CHARLEY’S CELL. DAY

It’s been converted into a war room. MAPS line the walls, NAVY OFFICERS confer the with MOBSTERS, taking notes, placing pins in strategic locations. Haffenden is on the phone with Washington.

        HAFFENDEN
I’m sending a courier to
the War Department with a
package of maps and
intelligence reports we’ve
picked up from our under-
world sources.

Charley in a PEA JACKET and SHIP’S CAP and  comes in with VINCE MANGANO, a defiant Brooklyn mobster in tow. Haffenden waves, angrily.

        HAFFENDEN
I think you’ll be able to
use their information…
Good bye sir…
(hangs up)
Where the hell were you?

        CHARLEY
The cell door was open so
I just went out for some
fresh air. I put on the
jacket and cap and walked
right by Dewey’s guys…

        HAFFENDEN
I could get in big trouble
for this…

        CHARLEY
I had to go, Red. See, I
been tryin’ to get my
friend here to come see
you, but he stays in
Brooklyn and don’t know
the subways so good so I
had to go get him
personally, you know what
I mean. Commander Haffenden,
say hello to Vincent Mangano.

        HAFFENDEN
(rises respectfully)
How do you do, sir.

        CHARLEY
Mr. Mangano got a nephew
who’s in jail for selling
forged ration cards. Can
we help him out?

        HAFFENDEN
(playing along)
Maybe. If he helps us.

        CHARLEY
Mr. Mangano’s also got an
uncle who was kicked outta
Sicily by Mussolini.

        HAFFENDEN
We can help him go home.

        CHARLEY
I don’t know if he wants
to go. Right now he’s
smugglin’ American
cigarettes into Sicily,
right Vince?

        MANGANO
Charley, I can’t do this…

        CHARLEY
(with a shove)
What’s the matter, ain’t
you proud of your family?
Tell him, Vince.

        MANGANO
(hesitant)
Yeah…He sells ‘em to the
German Army. They pay in
dollars.

        HAFFENDEN
(astounded)
Wait a minute. We can’t get
American cigarettes in this
country and your uncle’s
selling them to the Nazis?

        MANGANO
Coca Cola, too. My uncle
sends three boats across
two, three times a month.
About a thousand cases…
Saltines, Hershey bars…

        HAFFENDEN
(incredulous)
Hershey bars! That’s the
last straw.

        CHARLEY
Funny things happen in a
war, huh Red. Tell him how
he gets the goods, Vince.

        MANGANO
Buys’ em from the British
quartermaster in Egypt,
who gets ‘em from the
American Army supply depot
in Liverpool. Trucks ‘em
behind enemy lines to
Tunisia, then sails ‘em
across.

        HAFFENDEN
How does he get by the
German naval patrols?

        MANGANO
He knows every rock on the
coast. He’s got coves where
you can hide a fleet.
Fishing villages where his
uncles and cousins are the
Mayors and the local
carabinieri.

Haffenden looks in amazement at Charley.

        HAFFENDEN
We’ve tried every way to
sneak guys into Sicily.
The Germans keep catching
them.

        CHARLEY
Still mad at me, Red.
(prods Mangano)
Vincent, can your uncle
smuggle a boatload of our
commandos into Sicily?

        MANGANO
You’d have to pay him the
same money he gets for a
load of smokes.

        HAFFENDEN
Fair enough.

        MANGANO
And what about my nephew?

        HAFFENDEN
You land our guys on enemy
territory, we’ll take good
care of your nephew…

INT. YETTA’S APARTMENT. NIGHT.

In the LIVING ROOM Buddy and Richard are playing gin. Meyer stands over them, kibitzing the game. As Richard discards a card:

        BUDDY
You already gave me a
king..

        RICHARD
I know what I’m doing…

At the sound of a CRASH, Meyer looks anxiously toward the KITCHEN where Teddy is meeting Yetta for the first time.

INT. KITCHEN. NIGHT

Dressed to kill and obviously uncomfortable in the kitchen, Teddy has dropped a plate of soup on the floor. She drops to her knees with dishrag.

        TEDDY
Oy, I’m such a klutz.

        YETTA
Leave it, Teddy, you’ll spoil
your dress.

        TEDDY
I’m not very good in the
kitchen.

        YETTA
I can see. Well in Miami
you don’t have to worry.
There’s so many places to
eat…

Meyer steps in anxious to smooth things over.

        MEYER
I finally got Mom to come
down here last year.

        YETTA
Why leave our friends? So
you go to a fancy building
and everybody says good
morning Mrs. Lansky and
then they put the evil eye
on you…

        MEYER
C’mon Ma, that wouldn’t
happen.

        YETTA
People are jealous of Maier,
but they’re afraid.. So
they smile and say hello,
but they curse him in their
hearts. And his family, too.

IN THE LIVING ROOM

Buddy slams down his cards.

        BUDDY
Gin!
(gleefully marking the score)
That’s double boxes…

        RICHARD
Your father told you what
to do…

        BUDDY
He did not.

        RICHARD
Did too..

He pokes at Buddy’s braces.

        BUDDY
Ow! That hurts…

        RICHARD
That’s what you get for
cheatin’.

IN THE KITCHEN

Yetta puts the soup plates on a tray.

        YETTA
So tell me, Teddy, how does
a poor girl get so lucky
that she doesn’t have to
cook?

        TEDDY
I was a showgirl. Lived
off a hot plate on the
road.

        YETTA
Showgirl? So you knew a
lot of men.

        MEYER
That’s not nice, ma…

        TEDDY
She’s right, Meyer…I met
a lot of men, Mrs. Lansky,
but I never let anyone take
advantage of me.

        YETTA
(with a shrewd look)
I bet you didn’t. Don’t
let Maier take advantage
either like he did to poor
Annie…

        MEYER
Oy Ma, don’t bring that up
again…

        TEDDY
Stay out of this, Meyer.
You’re worried about your
grandchildren, Mrs. Lansky.
I don’t blame you. But I
promise  I will treat any
child of Meyer’s as one of
my own.
(with an affectionate poke
at Meyer)
And as for this bum. I’ll
keep him in line.

        YETTA
(pats her hand)
You’re a smart girl, Teddy.
You know how to talk to an
old lady. This girl won’t
take no nonsense, Maier.
You’d better be nice to
her or you’ll hear from me…

Meyer gives Teddy a big hug, happy she’s passed the test.

         MEYER
Don’t worry, ma, I’ll
spoil her rotten.

INT.CONFERENCE ROOM. DAY

Charley and Haffenden watch a flickering SURVEILLANCE FILM.

        CHARLEY
Got any popcorn back
there?

        HAFFENDEN
Recognize this guy,
Charley?

ON SCREEN

Genovese is greeting several MEN IN FEZES.

        CHARLEY
Vito Genovese. Where’d
he end up?

        HAFFENDEN
Istanbul. Vito’s on a
shopping trip for his
good friend, Count Ciano,
Mussolin’s son in law.
Guess what he’s buying?

        CHARLEY
If I know Vito, it’s small
packages and big profits.

        HAFFENDEN
Cocaine. He supplies the
whole Mussolini family.
Makes one trip a month
in an Italian Air Force
plane.

        CHARLEY
You gotta hand it to
Vito. He always lands
on his feet…

ON SCREEN A PHOTO…A portly mustachioed man in black,

        HAFFENDEN
This is Don Carlo Vizzini,
Mayor of Messina. He’s
Genovese’s liaison with a
network of small town
mayors, former gangsters
who work for the fascists.

        CHARLEY
I knew a guy looked just
like him. Fat Joe
Masseria

        HAFFENDEN
Genovese’s people control
roads and coastal villages
from Sicily to Rome. They
have connections through
their smuggling rings to
the Italian and German High
Command. We need their help.

        CHARLEY
Vito won’t do nothin’
unless you fix his murder
rap.

        HAFFENDEN
You can persuade him.

        CHARLEY
Get him on the phone.

        HAFFENDEN
He’s not taking our calls…

        CHARLEY
(it dawns on him)
You want me to go to
Sicily?

        HAFFENDEN
Look, we don’t have a lot
of intelligence on the
ground. We have to know
where the Germans are
deployed, how good the
roads are, who’ll be on
our side and who won’t.
We want to put saboteurs
and spies and assassins
in place behind enemy
lines before the invasion.

        CHARLEY
If Dewey finds out about
this you’ll be on a row
boat peelin’ potatoes…

        HAFFENDEN
I like potatoes. Anyway,
Dewey won’t find out.
This is between you and
the Navy.

        CHARLEY
How do I get there?

        HAFFENDEN
We’ll fly you in and out.
We can send word through
Vince Mangano’s uncle that
you’re coming.

        CHARLEY
What’s my choice? If I
do this I could  get
killed. If I don’t you
send me back to Clinton
to do my fifty years and
I might as well be dead.

        HAFFENDEN
This is strictly voluntary,
Charley, I mean it. There’ll
be no punishment if you turn
it down.

        CHARLEY
You’re smart, you’re
playin’ on my pride.
But this don’t come
free. I know you can’t
make deals, but you can
make a personal promise.

        HAFFENDEN
I’ll do anything in my power…

        CHARLEY
I want you to find a girl
for me. Nancy Presser,
you know her?

        HAFFENDEN
I know who she is..

        CHARLEY
I want her waitin’ for
me when I get back…
If I get back.

END ACT THREE
Next:Part 28/Act 4:Secret Mission

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.

Movies You Will Never See/Empires of Crime/Part 21


*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 21

By Heywood Gould

PART IV

ACT ONE


INT. DEWEY BEDROOM. NIGHT

THE PHONE RINGS. Frances, now in her eighth month of pregnancy is rudely awakened. She answers with a look of alarm.

        FRANCES
Hello…For God’s sake, Tom,
do you know how I frightened
I get..?

INT.TOM’S OFFICE. NIGHT.(CROSSCUT)

Tom’s staff, exhausted from long hours of work watches as Tom, fresh and energetic, waves an OFFICIAL ENVELOPE.

        TOM
I know it’s late, but I
had to call. I am holding
in my hand a sealed
indictment against Dutch
Schultz. Seventeen counts
of tax evasion, racketeering
and extortion. It finally
came through, Frances. We’re
on our way.

        FRANCES
You’d better be on your way
home.

INT. CORRIDOR. NIGHT

Tom walks briskly down the corridor, his weary staff struggling to keep pace.

        TOM
Go home and get forty winks.
I want you all back here at
8:30 for the press conference.

They say “Good night” to a JANITOR mopping the floor.

OCTOBER 24, 1935

INT. PALACE CHOP HOUSE. NIGHT

A sawdust joint in Newark. Schultz and Landau and his boys are at a round table in the back behind pitchers of beer and bowls of steamers. The janitor stands awkwardly, twisting his cap.

        SCHULTZ
Here’s to Stanley, our intrepid
spy in the enemy camp.

camp.

        A TIPSY THUG
Our Mata Hari.

Schultz pours a beer over his head.

        SCHULTZ
Mata Hari was a broad, stupid.
stupid. What’s the news on the
Rialto, Stanley?

        JANITOR
That indictment came down
today, Mr. Schultz. Dewey’s
gonna arrest you tomorrow
and walk you in for the
newsreel boys…

        SCHULTZ
See? I get persecuted for
givin’ people a decent
glass of beer.
(sticks a roll of bills
in his pocket)
Stanley, it’s friends like
you who make this cruddy
world a better place…Put
your kids through college
so they don’t have to fight
in the gutter with the dogs
for a scrap of meat…

The janitor says a hasty “thank you,” and slips away, relieved to be out of there. Schultz turns to Abe Landau.

        SCHULTZ
Abie baby, we gotta move…

move…

        LANDAU
All you gotta do is say
when, boss.

        SCHULTZ
When huh?
(working himself up)
That little runt thinks that
when Dutch goes to jail
everybody’ll turn into a
little angel. No more gamblin’,
no drinkin’ no chippyin’
around when Dutch is gone.

He screams with rage and throws the pitcher against the wall, shattering it. His men duck the flying glass. Suddenly calm, Schultz brandishes the jagged handle in Landau’s face.

        SCHULTZ
When… my world is clouded
by fear/I have a bucket of
clams/ And a pitcher of beer…
When my pal Abie draws near/
The sun comes up/And the skies
are clear.

INT. CHARLEY’S OFFICE. NIGHT.

Tense and smoke filled. All eyes are on Charley.

        CHARLEY
I told Dutch a hundred times:
They got Capone on taxes. Get
a front.

        MEYER
A guy like that can bring
everybody down.

        GENOVESE
Maybe Dewey’ll let him cop
a plea.

        CHARLEY
Nah. Nailin’ Dutch is Dewey’s
ticket to the Governor’s
mansion and he knows it.

        MEYER
Meanwhile Dutch is casin’
Dewey.

        ANASTASIA
We talked him outta that.

        CHARLEY
You don’t talk a lunatic
outta nothin’.

        ANASTASIA
Okay so he does what he does.
Good for us, right?

        CHARLEY
Wrong. You kill a New York
DA they’ll send the troops
in here. You can’t embarrass
the President of the United
States in his home town.

        GENOVESE
Yeah, but with Dutch gone
Dewey’ll go after you.

        CHARLEY
I know that Vito. I’ve looked
at this thing up, down and
backwards. One of these guys
has gotta go.

        ANASTASIA
Jeeze, Charley, Dutch is one
of us.

        MEYER
Yeah. Of course with Dutch
gone all his rackets will
be up for grabs…

The men nod, thoughtfully.

        CHARLEY
That’s good point, Meyer.

INT. PALACE CHOP HOUSE. NIGHT

Whiskey bottles have replaced the pitchers of beer. Everyone is soused but Landau, who drinks coffee and puffs nervously on a cigarette. A bespectacled BOOKKEEPER has arrived and is pounding on an adding machine as Schultz chants a drunken accompaniment.

        SCHULTZ
Cowboy Dutch rode out of the
west/With boozenon his shirt
and egg on his vest/Oh gimme,
he said, the light of the
stars/ Instead of the twinkle
of bottles on bars.

        BOOKKEEPER
We made $827,253.54 last week.

        SCHULTZ
Oh mama, we’ll have to go on
welfare.

His laugh freezes, his face contorts with hatred and his pounds his fist in the table.

        SCHULTZ
If that little rat thinks he
can shut me down…
(shoves a bottle at Landau)
Have a drink, Abie, it’ll give
you courage.

        LANDAU
I don’t need it.

        SCHULTZ
Like in the drugstore the
other day, huh?

        LANDAU
There were too many people
around.

        SCHULTZ
This is the biggest thing
anybody’s ever done, Abie
boy…Are you ready to go
down in history?

He stops and squints as he sees:

CHARLEY WORKMAN AND A HOOD

walking through the door. Before they can see him:

SCHULTZ

jumps up and heads for the bathroom.

        SCHULTZ
Don’t go away, Abie.

        BOOKKEEPER
What are you gonna do with
all this money?

        SCHULTZ
Take it in nickels and play
the slots…

INT.BATHROOM. NIGHT.

Schultz enters and locks the door behind him. Suddenly, there is the CRACK of SHOTS. Schultz cringes and runs into a stall.

IN THE RESTAURANT

Charley Workman and his accomplice are blasting away with pistols and sawed offs. The three hoods can’t get to their guns in time and are riddled with bullets.

IN THE BATHROOM

Silence…Schultz peeks out of a stall. He opens the bathroom door, carefully. Edges out…Sees no one… But then:

THE DOOR

flies open. Charley Workman is standing there with a .38 and a .45. He empties the guns.

SCHULTZ

is hit twice and driven back against the wall. He gets to his feet as more SHOTS ring out. Then it is quiet. Schultz staggers out. The restaurant is empty. The BARTENDER rises from under the bar. Shultz’s three men are sprawled, bleeding at the table. He collapses in a chair.

        SCHULTZ
Somebody call an ambulance!

THE THUG

manages to get to his feet, a bloody mess, and stumble to the bar where he demands:

        THUG
Gimme change of a quarter…

SCHULTZ

throws a nickel at him.

        SCHULTZ
Here’s a nickel, you cheap
bastard!

Then turns as:

LANDAU

looks at him with hatred in his dying eyes.

        LANDAU
You saw those guys come in…

in…

        SCHULTZ
Don’t talk, kid, save your
strength.

        LANDAU
Put me on the spot to get rid
of me so I couldn’t talk to
Dewey…

        SCHULTZ
They were after me, not you.

Landau steadies a gun in his bloody grasp.

        LANDAU
This is how you pay me back
after all the dirty deals I
done for you

        SCHULTZ
(gets up)
They were after me, Abie…

Landau fires. Schultz is hit in the shoulder.

        SCHULTZ
Whaddya nuts..?

He turns to run. Landau shoots him in the back. He goes down with a scream of pain.

        SCHULTZ
They were after me I tellya…

INT. CHARLEY’S BEDROOM. NIGHT.

Charley and Nancy are cuddling in bed reading the “funnies.” He turns the page.

        NANCY
Hold it, I ain’t finished.

        CHARLEY
You like Blondie and Dagwood?
You know what Blondie does
when Dagwood goes to work.
The milkman, the plumber,
the grocery boy…

        NANCY
(with a playful slap)
You would think that with
your dirty mind…

The phone rings.

        CHARLEY
Do me a favor, honey…

        NANCY
(rolling off the bed)
I know. Let the water run…

        CHARLEY
(slaps her in the behind)
You got a tough life. Just
get me a cigarette…
(into the phone)
Yeah…Okay…
(hangs up)
I hope Mr. Dewey appreciates
what I just done for him.

INT. HOSPITAL ROOM. NIGHT

Murray Gurfein pushes through a crowd of COPS, REPORTERS, NURSES, etc. to the bedside where a dying Dutch Schultz is raving.

        SCHULTZ
George, don’t make no bull
moves…Oh Mama, Mama,
please stop doin’ that…

        GURFEIN
Who did this, Dutch?

Schultz looks up, suddenly lucid, and smiles.

        SCHULTZ
The big boss. The man upstairs.

INT.TOM’S OFFICE. DAY

The next morning. A TABLOID HEADLINE on Tom’s desk screams: DUTCH Schultz SLAIN. Tom and his staff do their own post mortem.

        DEWEY
The big boss, the man upstairs…

        CARTER
Sounds like God…

        HURWITZ
The man upstairs is one of
Luciano’s nicknames..

        TOM
Why would Luciano kill
Schultz?

        HURWITZ
Afraid he would make a deal
and testify against him.

        TOM
No, Schultz isn’t an informer.
Maybe I flatter myself but I
assume Luciano knows me well
enough to know I won’t make a
deal.

        GURFEIN
You flatter him, too.

        TOM
Luciano is many things, but
he’s not stupid. If he did
kill Schultz he has a good
reason.

        CARTER
Maybe he’s afraid of a long
trial with a lot of bad
publicity for the mob.

        HURWITZ
Or that a big Page One
conviction would increase
your prestige.

        TOM
It would make a hero out of
me and he doesn’t want that.
So what we’re saying is
killing Schultz is a
strategic move against us.
Well if it is, the strategy
will backfire. Now that
Schultz is gone, Luciano is
our number one target.

        GURFEIN
He’ll be tougher than Schultz.
He’s discreet. Only talks to
his inner circle.

        HURWITZ
We’ve been trying to get a
microphone into his office
at the drugstore for months..

        TOM
Bug his suite at the Waldorf.
Put taps on his phone, on
Lansky’s too. Go over his
personal and financial
records. Spread the word
through the prisons offering
leniency to anyone who comes
forward with information. Get
the public interested. Use the
press to get the story out.
Arrest every bookie, every
shylock or petty crook you can
get your hands on and make sure
the news boys are there to see
it.

INT. HORSE ROOM. DAY

A betting operation. BOOKIES mark race results on a BLACKBOARD. BETTORS line up in front of a wire cage. Suddenly, the COPS bust in, announcing: “This is a raid.” The bettors rush for the exits, the bookies, destroy the ticker tape, the CLERKS hide the money.

VICTOR HURWITZ

arrives, barking orders.

        HURWITZ
Round ‘em up. Single file
right here…

When the ARRESTEES protest, Hurwitz warns:

        HURWITZ
Play ball fellas or we’ll
charge you with unlawful
flight and resisting arrest.
Okay, spruce up, you’re makin’
your screen debut.
(calls)
C’mon in boys…

REPORTERS, PHOTOGS and NEWSREEL CREWS run in. FLASHES POP, CAMERAS turn. One CAMERA TRIPOD teeters on a DOLLY and goes down the line. Some of the men hide their faces, others stare straight ahead, others shout and gesture defiantly.

DISSOLVE TO:

A BLACK AND WHITE NEWSREEL IMAGE of the arrestees, which DISSOLVES into:

NEWSREEL (STOCK FOOTAGE)

COPS raiding WIRE ROOMS, GAMBLING JOINTS and rush GAMBLERS and SHYLOCKS into paddy wagons.

        NEWSCASTER
Gangbuster Tom Dewey declares
war on Lucky Luciano…Hundreds
of police officers raid the dens
of bookies and gamblers…

NEWSREEL…TOM speaks to the press

        TOM
Our target is the man in the
swank car selling spurious
pipe dreams of wealth while
he takes bread from the mouths
of the poor…Charles Luciano

        REPORTER
(baiting him)
C’mon Tom, Lucky’s a good
sport.

        TOM
Don’t be fooled by the silk
suits and the fancy friends.
He’s nothing but a cheap crook.
A thing of the past like Tommy guns
and rot gut booze.

IN CHARLEY’S SUITE..Charley rails to Meyer and his boys.

        CHARLEY
Takin’ bread from poor people?
I didn’t make ‘em poor. I pay
500 to one if they hit a number.
I give people a chance to get
rich.

        MEYER
All they want us to do is
close down, so they can
brag they cleaned up the
town. We cansneak back when
the smoke clears…

        CHARLEY
A thing of the past, huh. I
got news for him: twenty years
from now people will be
gamblin’ more than they do
today. And Dewey’ll be chasin’
ambulances…

        MEYER
And we’ll be layin’ in the
sun in Miami Beach.

        CHARLEY
Miami’s a place you go when
you have a cold, Meyer…I’ll
be on Broadway bigger than
ever. Albert, is the town
locked down?

        ANASTASIA
Tight as a drum, Charley.

        CHARLEY
Dewey made a mistake shootin’
his mouth off. Now he’s gotta
make good on his promise.
Nobody’ll talk to him. New
York is my town. People love
me here. Nobody’ll rat on me
in New York.

INT. HOLDING PEN. NIGHT.

A huge empty office space in the Woolworth Building has been turned into a holding pen for HUNDREDS of PRISONERS. It’s a bedlam of defiant prisoners and threatening cops. PAN ALONG a line of DETECTIVES interrogating the PRISONERS, smacking some, shoving others into radiators, shaking still others in frustration. Everyone is innocent. No one knows Lucky Luciano.

        DETECTIVE
Who do you pay off to? Who’s
the big fish.

        HOOD
How would I know? I’m a
little shrimp.

Further down the line.

        DETECTIVE 2
You run the biggest loansharking
operation in the Garment Center.
You gonna tell me you never heard
of Lucky Luciano?

        LOANSHARK
(offering his wallet)
Here, take my money, take
everything I got. Send me to
the pen for not talkin’, I’ll
make points with the guys who
count.

And a well dressed GAMBLER explains.

        GAMBLER
Nobody’ll talk. You testify
against Lucky Luciano there’s
no hole in the world you can
hide in…

INT.TOM’S OFFICE. DAY

Tom goes through a stack of reports and glares at his staff.

        TOM
How many people have we
questioned so far?

        CARTER
Three hundred and thirteen.

        TOM
No leads to Luciano?

        CARTER
None. Luciano insulates himself
from the day to day operations
of his rackets.

        TOM
Any witnesses willing to
testify?

        HURWITZ
None.

        TOM
Anything from the wiretaps?

        GURFEIN
Nothing. Luciano doesn’t use
the phone for much more than
making dinner reservations.

        TOM
How about his finances?

        HURWITZ
Squeaky clean. Lansky is a
shrewd bookkeeper

        TOM
Shrewd? The man has an eighth
grade education.

        GURFEIN
It’s not only fear or smart
accounting. It’s loyalty.
Luciano takes care of his
people.

        TOM
So now this greasy hoodlum is
a benevolent despot? I don’t
have to tell you people how
important this is. We’ve put
our careers on the line. If
we fail, each of us is finished
in public life.

INT. BROTHEL. NIGHT

A tacky midtown hotel room. Nancy and some other girls look on in horror as Dave Miller, the pudgy pimp from Philadelphia, careens into the frame, clothes torn, face bloodied, pleading:

        MILLER
I gave you everything I have.
You can’t get blood from a
stone…

Little Davey Bettilo moves in and grabs him by the throat.

        BETTILO
You lyin’ little pimp you’re
short Three C’s.

        MILLER
I’m tellin’ you business is
slow in this Depression.

        BETTILO
Everybody’s still got a deuce
for a little fun. Make the
girls work a little harder.
Look at this little princess
sittin’ around readin’ the
funny papers…

        MILLER
For God’s sake, she’s Charley
Lucky’s girl…

        BETTILO
Shut up with that!

Bettilo clubs him down and kicks at him as he warns:

        BETTILO
Didn’t I tellya never to
mention that name.

        MILLER
(cringing)
Okay, okay, I’m sorry…

        BETTILO
(shakes him)
Get up six hundred bucks this
Friday or you’re back sellin’
dirty postcards in Penn Station…
If you live that long.

He drops Miller on the floor and storms out. Nancy runs over to help Miller up.

        NANCY
You okay, Dave?

        MILLER
(gasping)
He’s tryin’ to drive me outta
business, Nancy. He wants my
spots, my girls.

        NANCY
Take it easy, you’re gonna
have a heart attack…

        MILLER
You gotta help me. You gotta
talk to 3 12 for me…

        NANCY
I can’t do that.

        MILLER
He’s a fair guy. He’ll listen.
C’mon everybody knows he’s
sweet on you…

        NANCY
Yeah, but he’s got a whole
fairy tale goin’ on about us.
When I’m with him it’s like
we’re just an ordinary married
couple. We don’t even go out,
just sit around and listen to
the radio. If I talk business
he’ll throw me out on my ass
and it’ll go worse for you.

INT. DEWEY BEDROOM, NIGHT

A BABY CRIES. In bed Frances watches in amusement as Tom paces the floor holding their infant son, JOHN.

        TOM
He’s not happy…

        FRANCES
Give him time to get used to
you. After all you’re almost
a stranger.

The PHONE RINGS

        FRANCES
Saved by the bell.

        TOM
(hands her the baby)
Trade you…Hello…

INT.TOM’S OFFICE. NIGHT.

Gurfein is on the phone.

        GURFEIN
Sorry to bother you, chief but
a gentleman just walked in
with a very interesting story
about Lucky Luciano.

PAN TO Dave Miller, bruised, bandaged and trembling with rage.

END ACT ONE


Next: Part 22/Act 2: Dewey Hunts Lucky

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.

Movies You Will Never See/Empires of Crime/Part 19

*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 THREE

INT. HALLWAY.DAY.

A gloomy morning. Tom’s heels click hollowly as he opens a door marked SPECIAL PROSECUTOR. Inside, the offices are empty; even the furniture has been removed. William Dodge comes out of an office, putting on his coat.

        DODGE
It’s all yours Dewey. Here
are the files on the ongoing
cases.

He hands Tom two slim folders. Tom examines them in disbelief.

        TOM
Prostitution in the Bronx?

        DODGE
Number one public health
problem.

        TOM
I’d like to meet my staff.

        DODGE
They’re all leaving with me.
You’ll have to hire your own.

        TOM
I can’t afford experienced
people on the pittance you
gave me.

        DODGE
Take out an ad: Recruits
wanted for a war on the
mob. Go on the radio.

        TOM
Maybe I will.

INT. CHARLEY’S BATHROOM. DAY.

A Deco masterpiece. Gold and black fixtures, chrome trim. Nancy is soaking in a BUBBLE BATH . Charley is at the mirror, tying his tie. Charley Workman looks in from the doorway.

        CHARLEY
Everybody’s here. Waitin’
for you, Three twelve…

        NANCY
Why do they call you three
twelve?

        CHARLEY
My code name. C’s the third
letter of the alphabet, L’s
the twelfth.

Nancy rises out of the tub, but Charley pushes her back, dunking her. Nancy comes up sputtering: ”Charley!”

        CHARLEY
Do me a favor, honey, Stay
in here…
(turns on the water)
And keep the water running…

INT. CHARLEY’S PENTHOUSE. DAY

Sun streams through the picture window. Charley’s boys—, Anastasia, Genovese and Costello graze at the lavish buffet. Meyer, in his shirtsleeves, a cigarette dangling from his lips, is sitting at the table sorting envelopes.

        CHARLEY
Hey Vito, save me some lox,
willya. Manageh, your eyes
are bigger than your stomach…

Meyer hands him an envelope.

        MEYER
This is your share of the
week’s winnings in Jersey
and Saratoga. Now that Mr.
Maranzano is no longer with
us his piece goes back into
the pot.

        CHARLEY
(hefting the envelope)
Somebody say somethin’ about
a depression?

Anastasia looks at Charley’s envelope with jealous eyes.

        MEYER
Business is holding up. I
don’t know where the suckers
are findin’ the money…

        COSTELLO
Phil Kastel just shipped a
hundred and fifteen thousand
more slot machines into New
Orleans. Owney Madden’s up and
running in Hot Springs, Eddie
Levinson in Newport, Kentucky,
and Cincinnatti

        CHARLEY
I love gettin’ money from
towns I never heard of.

        MEYER
Our partnerships made hundred
three K in cash wins, sixty-
seven in markers. This covers
Newport, Saratoga, Hallandale,
Miami, the smaller joints in
Rhode Island, Buffalo… We’re
in for seven percent in
Cleveland. Boston, three and a
half. But we’re takin’ four
because King Solomon won’t kick
in for capital improvements…

        GENOVESE
How do we know we’re gettin’
a fair share?

        MEYER
I got people in every casino
watchin’ out for our interests.

        ANASTASIA
How do we collect the markers?

        MEYER
We got a list. Some people
we’re nice to, some people
we lean on.

        ANASTASIA
I lean on everybody who owes
me money.

        MEYER
You wanna be nice to people
so they’ll come back and
lose more.

        CHARLEY
(laughs)
Meyer’s got all the answers.
He’s like the Bank of America,
makin’ money for you while you
sleep.

        ANASTASIA
How much you take home,
Meyer?

        MEYER
Nothin’ outta your pocket.

        ANASTASIA
You and Benny eatin’ off
the same plate?

        MEYER
That’s how it works. Your
boys think you’re too nice
to Benny and me, Charley.

        GENOVESE
How come we ain’t seen no
money from California?

        MEYER
Benny’s still settin’ things
up.

        ANASTASIA
I didn’t chip in fifty G’s
for him to go out to Beverly
Hills and bang movie stars.

        CHARLEY
I’ll vouch for Benny. Any
losses I’ll make up outta
my own pocket.,,

        ANASTASIA
That’s fair…

        CHARLEY
In exchange for twenty five
per cent of your profits.

        ANASTASIA
(backs off)
I guess we can keep things
the way they are.

        CHARLEY
I guess so.
(pinches his cheek)
Look at this guy. When I met
him, he was a wallyo  with
his hands stickin’ out of his
sleeves. Now he’s the king of
Brooklyn with a different suit
every night and a different
blonde to go with it. Nice
country America, huh Albert?

INT.RADIO STUDIO. NIGHT

Medailie and Smith are making a last minute try to dissuade Tom.

        MEDAILIE
Radio’s an entertainment medium.
No one’s ever used it for
politics…

        TOM
Look George, our only hope
is to go over the Mayor’s
head to the public. If the
people respond the city will
be forced to support us.

        SMITH
And if they don’t respond?

        TOM
Then, we’ll know where we
stand. We can back out of
this fight before we make
fools out of ourselves.

INT. BACK OFFICE. NIGHT.

Another small, cramped smoky counting room. A young ACCOUNTANT sits at a table in the corner pounding on an adding machine. Anastasia and Genovese stare in amazement at A HUGE PILE OF HUNDREDS on a desk in front of Meyer. He is counting the money, while he makes notations and talks on the phone.

        MEYER
This is the fourth losing
night in a row. Either you
got the luckiest crapshooters
in the world or somebody’s
skimmin’.

        GENOVESE
(whispers to Anastasia)
I never seen nobody count
money so fast…

        MEYER
(on the phone)
I’ll send a man to check
the books. If you got a
thief, Mr. Anastasia will
deal with him, won’t you
Albert.

        ANASTASIA
They don’t call me the Lord
High Executioner for nothin’.

        MEYER
(hangs up)
To what do I owe the honor..?

        GENOVESE
Let’s just say we came
out to hear the Dorsey
band…

        MEYER
(rising)
Music lovers, huh?

INT. CASINO. NIGHT.

Large and lavish,.BETTORS in evening clothes, A SWING BAND in the background. Meyer walks quickly through the casino, Anastasia and Genovese struggling to keep pace.

        LANSKY
This is the biggest operation
in Jersey, any cab driver in
three states can take you to
the door. In a coupla years,
there’ll be ten more joints
like this across the state.
All run by me for the
Commission. All you gotta
do is sit back and get your
envelope.

        ANASTASIA
I’m not the kinda guy who
walks around with his mouth
shut and his hand out…

        GENOVESE
We have a right to check
on our investment, Meyer.
We got ten per cent of
this operation…

        MEYER
You got ten per cent of
Charley’s share. You’ve
made your money back a
hundred times over.

        ANASTASIA
That don’t mean we don’t
have a right to a fair
share.

        GENOVESE
People tell me you’re doin’
300G’s a week here.

        MEYER
And you think I’m skimmin’
on you. Charley’s little
hebe friend, who he trusts
more than you. Think I’d be
stupid enough to cheat you?
You’re just lookin’ for an
excuse to nail me.

        ANASTASIA
If I wanna nail you, Meyer,
I don’t need no excuse.

        MEYER
What’s that Sicilian
expression: don’t shit
where you eat? Charley’s
got a rule against the
partners patronizing our
casinos, Don’t worry, I’ll
tell him you came to see
the Dorsey band… Hey
Solly, turn the lights
off in the office. Electric
bill’s up eleven eighteen
from last month…

And he steps out, past a line of BETTORS, eager to get in, leaving Anastasia and Genovese to glare at him with hatred.

INT.CHARLEY’S SUITE. NIGHT.

Another party is in full swing as Meyer enters. He tries to move unobtrusively through the room, but heads turn and people call out greetings. He finds Charley in a corner with some BROADWAY TYPES and draws him away

INT. BEDROOM. NIGHT.

The lights of the city twinkle through the window. In the darkness Meyer hands Charley an envelope.

        MEYER
You oughta go easy on
the social life.

        CHARLEY
No law against bein’ a
celebrity..

A DOOR OPENS. A SPLASH OF LIGHT catches the two men.

        NANCY
Charley..?

Nancy enters and draws back.

        NANCY
Sorry. I didn’t know
anybody was in here…

        CHARLEY
It’s okay, baby, come in…
You know Nancy, Meyer…

        MEYER
Haven’t had the pleasure…

        CHARLEY
And pleasure it is…

He grabs her in a gruffly affectionate headlock.

        NANCY
I was just gonna get some
more…

        CHARLEY
Not right now. Not in
front of our Broadway
friends.
(squeezes her faces between
his fingers)
Look at this beauty, Meyer.
Una bella visaggia….

        MEYER
She’s just a kid, Charley.

        CHARLEY
She’s my baby, all mine.
Show Meyer, baby…

Nancy turns and pulls up her skirt. The letters C and L are branded on her buttocks.

        CHARLEY
I put my brand on her.
Now let’s see who has
the balls to make a move
on Charley Luciano’s girl…

        MEYER
Dewey’s on the radio,
Charley.

        CHARLEY
Good place for a comedian.
(slips his finger into
Nancy’s mouth)
You gonna be nice to me
tonight?
(pushes her away)
Go get your nose candy.
I can’t say no to this
girl.
(sees Meyer’s anxious look)
Okay, okay, let’s hear
what the hick has to say.

Meyer turns on the radio. He hears Tom:

        TOM
My crusade is not against
prostitutes or petty criminals.
It is against organized gangs
of low grade outlaws who lack
the courage or intelligence to
earn an honest living.

        CHARLEY
Low grade! Like to see him
run a racket.

INT. RADIO STUDIO. NIGHT.

Tom is sitting at a table speaking earnestly into a MICROPHONE. Technicians and executives listen with rapt attention.

        TOM
No family can sit down
to dinner without paying
a huge unofficial sales
tax to the gangsters who
control the trucks and
wholesalers that bring
our food to the table.
The businessmen and the
public pay and the
racketeer takes the profits.

INT. CHARLEY’S BEDROOM (CROSSCUT)

Charley nods in appreciation

        CHARLEY
Good angle.

        TOM
Our goal is to get the
bosses,the men in the
swank cars and camel hair
coats…Thieves who take
money from the poor and
promise a payoff that never
comes.

Charley takes it lightly.

        CHARLEY
How does he know I have
a camel’s hair coat? He
been lookin’ in my closet?

        TOM
With your help we can
be free from organized
racketeering in this city.
We need dedicated lawyers
who are willing to work
long hours with little
hope of compensation.

        CHARLEY
That’ll be the day…

        TOM
If you have evidence of
organized crime, if you
have been the victim of a
racket tell us. The rest
is our job and we’ll do our
best…Our offices are in
the Woolworth Building. We
promise to treat all reports
in full confidence…

He breaks off, awkwardly. The technicians immediately go about their business. An ANNOUNCER steps to a MICROPHONE.

        ANNOUNCER
Thank you, Mr. Dewey. Now
we return to Vincent Lopez
and his orchestra, live
from the Taft Hotel…

INT. CHARLEY’S BEDROOM. NIGHT.

Charley turns off the radio. Meyer puffs nervously on a cigarette.

        CHARLEY
Smart…Nothin’ about the
booze or the betting. Just
about how we’re takin’ food
off peoples’ tables. Lucky
we choked off his money.
He’ll never get lawyers to
work for nothin’.

The PHONE RINGS. Charley answers.

        CHARLEY
Hello…Yeah I heard…You
could send a blimp up with
all that hot air. Okay I’ll
be there.
(hangs up)
The Dutchman wants a meeting.

INT. STUDIO. NIGHT.

Tom picks up his papers and joins Smith and Medailie.

        TOM
What’d you think?

        MEDAILIE
Was it wise, giving out
your address? Tomorrow
every reporter in the city
will be outside your door.
If nobody shows up we’ll be
laughed out of the city.

EXT. RAIL YARDS. NIGHT.

HOBOS cluster around a trash can fire. Behind the cars, Charley and Dutch Schulz meet in the glare of their cars’ headlights. Meyer watches, his cigarette glowing in the darkness.

        SCHULZ
What did we do to this
guy to make him hate us
so much? He upset my mother
droppin’ my name like that.

        CHARLEY
Tell her he was talkin’
about some other Dutch
Schulz.

        SCHULZ
Can’t laugh this guy off,
Charley.

        CHARLEY
The guy’s got no money,
nobody behind him. He’s
tryin’ to recruit lawyers.
Did you ever hear of a
lawyer workin’ for nothin’?
He’s callin’ for volunteers.
Nobody volunteers in this
city. And nobody rats neither.

        SCHULZ
I don’t like a guy who
don’t know when he’s
licked. We keep knockin’
him down he keeps jumpin’
up. Maybe we should hit
him so hard he stays
down.

        CHARLEY
Careful, Dutch, we ain’t
stick up guys no more.

        SCHULZ
In our business we still
gotta show how tough we
are every day of our lives.
Dewey goes on the radio and
tells the world he’s gonna
get us we gotta do somethin’
about it or we’re finished.

INT. TAXI. DAY.

The next morning. Tom sits in the back seat with an armful of newspapers. The front pages are all about him—DEWEY LAUNCHES CRUSADE AGAINST CRIME, DEWEY DECLARES WAR ON THE MOB, etc.

       TOM
See the paper today?

       DRIVER
Somebody hit the Irish
sweepstakes?

       TOM
Did you happen to catch
Tom Dewey on the radio
last night?

       DRIVER
I only listen to the
Brooklyn Dodgers…
Look at all them people.
Another banker must have
jumped outta the window.

A LINE OF PEOPLE

is snaked around the block in front of Tom’s office. As Tom gets out of the taxi he is mobbed an enthusiastic CROWD. PEOPLE hold up the newspapers, shouting. Some want to volunteer, others to report a crime. The POLICE push them back.

        POLICE SERGEANT
Follow us, Mr. Dewey, we’ll
get you into the building.

Promising: “I’ll speak to everybody,” Tom gets behind a wedge of policemen as they clear a path to the building. He passes Abe LANDAU, one of Schulz’s gunmen, who is leaning against a wall..

INT. CORRIDOR. DAY

Tom emerges from the elevator into a clamoring crowd.

        TOM
Give us a chance to get
organized. Everyone will
be heard, I promise.

He enters the office where An ELDERLY CLERK is fighting off a mob of VOLUNTEERS. Tom climbs up on a desk and addresses the crowd.

        TOM
Everybody please listen…
(the crowd quiets)
First of all I want to
thank you for your response.
I promise you that everyone’s
grievance will be heard.
Everyone will get justice.

Tom enters the office, pausing to wave to the cheering crowd.

INT. TOM’S OFFICE. DAY

Tom runs to a phone and dials with trembling fingers. Behind the smoked glass he can see the crowd milling. Unable to contain his enthusiasm he shouts into the phone:

        TOM
Frances…We did it…
We did it!

END ACT THREE

Next: Act 4: Dutch Stalks Dewey

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.

Movies You Will Never See/Empires of Crime/ Part 18

*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 TWO (Con’t)

INT. CONFERENCE ROOM.

A COMMISSION meeting. Smoke filled, intense. The bosses from the major cities, the same men who attended the first meeting minus Al Capone. They are more prosperous and more serious. There is no joshing humor in their negotiations. Meyer is at a table, scribbling figures.

         MEYER
The rule for new operations
is: whatever percentage of
the budget we invest we get
a half ownership. So if I
put up five per cent of your
cost I get a two and a half
per cent share. In this way
we guarantee the operator
has a fifty per cent stake.

The men nod in agreement. “Okay…”

         DALITZ
What do we do about guys
who don’t wanna join the
Syndicate?

         CHARLEY
They don’t wanna work for
us, they’re outta business.
Buy’ em out, ten cents on
the dollar. They turn it
down talk to Lepke.

Buchalter nods.

         BUCHALTER
I send two guys for a flat
fee depending on the job.

         LEVINSON
I’m in Newport, Kentucky.
Coupla New York wiseguys’ll
stick out like a sore thumb.

         BUCHALTER
So we find a farmer with a
shotgun who wants to make
a coupla extra dollars…
We’ll get ‘em outta your hair
fast, don’t worry.

         BERNSTEIN
Can you control everybody in
New York, Charley?

         CHARLEY
Everybody. I broke the city
down into five groups, we
call ‘em families in New
York. Genovese, Anastasia,
Bonnano, Lucchese, Profaci…
They all answer to me.

         BERNSTEIN
Ambitious guys. What if they
want their own shares?

         CHARLEY
I’ll take care of all of
‘em outta my piece. You have
a problem with them, come to
me.

         DALITZ
Meyer and Benny?

         MEYER
We have a separate arrange-
ment with Charley and will
deal as members of the
Commission.

         BERNSTEIN
Dutch Schulz?

         CHARLEY
Dutch is associated with me
in certain ventures. He’s
not a member of the Commission
so you don’t have to worry
about him.

         DALITZ
He’s nuts, Charley. He’s a
troublemaker.

         CHARLEY
He’s also a smart guy with
a tight organization. He’s
big in Harlem, the Bronx
and upstate New York. And
he makes a lot of money
for a lotta people.

         DALITZ
How about new territories,
Charley?
(with a look at Benny)
California..?

         BENNY
California’s off the table.
I’m goin’ out there to build
an organization just like
you did in Cleveland, Moe. I
don’t need partners.

         MEYER
Partnerships are good, Benny.
They spread the risk.

         BENNY
What am I riskin’? I lose
money I’ll go out and
steal some more.

The other men get quiet and watchful as Charley confronts Benny.

         CHARLEY
Nobody is bigger than the
Commission, Benny. That’s
how we started it and
that’s how it’s gonna be.

Benny looks at Meyer.

         MEYER
You’re the Commission’s man
out west, Benny. That gives
you more power than just
bein’ a hood with a gun and
a big mouth.

         BENNY
Which is what I am without
you and Charley, huh Meyer?

         MEYER
It’s what we all are without
the Commission.

         BENNY
(mollified)
Okay partners, but Greta
Garbo belongs to me.

Everyone laughs..”You got her, Benny…”

         CHARLEY
One last thing before we eat.
We each throw fifty G’s into
a pot to get Roosevelt elected
President.

Everyone grumbles…”I don’t get mixed up in politics…”

         CHARLEY
Look, I got a pledge from
his campaign. They’ll put
off repealing Prohibition
for a year if we put him
over. That’s a million
bucks more for us…

         DALITZ
What’s he want from us?

         CHARLEY
Roosevelt needs the big city
vote to win. We run every
big city in the country. Put
up your money, boys. It’s a
lock bet.


JANUARY 1933

INT.THEATER. NIGHT.

ON SCREEN A NEWSREEL shows FDR announcing the repeal of Prohibition. Joyous drinkers mob the bars.

IN THE THEATER (CROSSCUT)

Charley jumps out of the seat and grabs Nancy.

         CHARLEY
Let’s get outta here…
(and turns to an USHER)
They don’t make movies like
they used to…

But he turns as FDR comes back on screen, promising to rid the cities of “corruption and crime,” and “drive out the gangsters who have exploited and terrorized the working people…”

INT.RADIO STATION. NIGHT.

WALTER WINCHELL with his trademark fedora, is delivering one of his customary tirades.

         WINCHELL
With one stroke of his pen,
FDR has made honest citizens
of us all. Now here’s hoping
the bootleggers disappear along
with the poison they purveyed.

INT. CHARLEY’S SUITE. DAY.

Charley, Meyer, Costello and Dutch Schulz are clustered anxiously around the radio listening.

         CHARLEY
Roosevelt double crossed us.

         MEYER
(shrugging it off)
You bet a politician’s gonna
would keep his word you’re
givin’ long odds…

         WINCHELL
(v.o., radio)
FDR is bringing in a new era
of honesty in politics and an
even break for the common man.
Mobsters beware. Your days are
numbered…

         COSTELLO
That Winchell never turned
down a free drink or a
friendly broad in any club
I ever ran.

         MEYER
As long they wanted booze
for their parties we were
heroes. Now that liquor is
legal we’re the scum of the
earth..

         COSTELLO
They can make more of a
rep for themselves lockin’
us up.

         SCHULZ
(boastful)
See how they tried to hang
a tax rap on me. Took it
upstate so I couldn’t have
a Bronx jury. I bought the
whole town. Jury was out
fifteen minutes… Not
Guilty!

         MEYER
That was good for you,
Dutch. But things are
changing fast.

         SCHULZ
You’re a worrier, Meyer.
Look at me. They told me
there was no room for me
in New York. I’m back and
nobody’s gonna put me out.

         CHARLEY
Sure Dutch, but Meyer’s
sayin’ we gotta pull in
our ears a little.
Prohibition was a gift
from God. Took us off
the street and outta the
cheap stick up rackets.
We had fourteen years of
gravy.

         SCHULZ
So what do we now, crawl
off and die?

         CHARLEY
We got all the breweries
and distilleries. We’re
still makin’ the booze
only now it’s legal. We
sell it in all them
beautiful casinos we’re
gonna open.

         MEYER
Carpet joints with dancing
and entertainment. High
class gambling casinos
with croupiers in tuxedos.
Give people a nice,
glamorous place to lose
their money. We own every
drop of liquor that’s
poured, the bands that
play, the knives and
forks,the toilet paper…

         CHARLEY
Meyer gets poetic when
he talks about casinos,
don’t he?

         MEYER
We put a coupla front men
in. We back outta the
limelight. We’re rich and
invisible.

         CHARLEY
That’s good for you, Meyer.
You’re a family man. I’m
in this for the broads and
the bright lights.

         MEYER
Can’t fight City Hall,
Charley.

         CHARLEY
We are City Hall, Meyer.
Who really runs Chicago?
Frank Nitti. Who’s got
every politician in
Cleveland in his pocket?
Uncle Louis Rothkopf? Joe
Bernstein in Detroit, Nig
Rosen in Philadelphia…

         MEYER
They got a Grand Jury
sittin’ right now. The
bluebloods who really
run this town. And
they’re after us.

         CHARLEY
So what? We own the DA,
the District Leader and
the Mayor. They’ll get a
coupla hookers. They won’t
bother us.

INT. GRAND JURY. DAY

The same LEE SMITH who was the foreman in the Gordon case, is presiding over a BLUERIBBON GRAND JURY. A vein bulges dangerously in his forehead as he shouts across the table at DA BILL DODGE, a lean bitter man, chewing a cigar to shreds.

         SMITH
I asked you, the District
Attorney to prepare
indictments against the
major criminals and you
have the effrontery to
return with a concocted
case against a few
prostitutes in the Bronx!

         DODGE
Prostitution is a dire
threat to the physical
and moral well being of
our young men.

Smith turns in consternation to Medailie.

         SMITH
In a city where gangsters
control the unions, the
Garment Center, the docks,
the nightclubs, the police,
the political leadership…

In the rear Hines jumps up, angrily.

         HINES
I protest this libellous,
baseless assertion…

         SMITH
You give me an honest
District Attorney and
I’ll prove everything
I just said. As Foreman
of this Grand Jury I
hereby dismiss you Mr.
Dodge.

         HINES
You are blatantly exceeding
your authority.

         SMITH
I will not rubber stamp
a cynical attempt to
delude the public. We
will have an impartial
prosecutor. And we will
expose you and the entire
city Administration as
the frauds you are.

INT. COUNTRY CLUB PARTY. NIGHT

A dinner dance. Gowns and dinner jackets. But all are gathered around a piano as Tom and Frances sing a romantic duet.

         TOM/FRANCES
Let me see the love light/
From your eyes so blue…/
Let me call you sweetheart/
I’m in love with you…

The guests applaud delightedly and crowd around the Deweys.

        GOLFER
Gee Tom, you sing better
than you putt.

George Medailie tugs at Tom’s sleeve.

         MEDAILIE
Tom, can I have a word.

Frances looks on anxiously as Medailie leads Tom away.

INT. STUDY. NIGHT.

Lee Smith is pouring drinks as the two men enter.

         MEDAILIE
Lee Smith, Tom Dewey.

         SMITH
I had the great pleasure
of watching Mr. Dewey
convict Waxey Gordon.

         MEDAILIE
Tom loves to perform…

         TOM
No greater stage than a
courtroom.

         SMITH
And no greater role than
a prosecutor.

         MEDAILIE
Puts you in the public
eye. Very useful for a
man with political
aspirations.

         TOM
If he gets convictions.
Let’s get down to brass
tacks, gentlemen. I know
you’re trying to find a
Special Prosecutor.

         MEDAILIE
There are no secrets in
this town. We’re after
Dutch Schulz. We’ve asked
ten lawyers. Nobody’s
interested.

         TOM
Can’t blame ‘em. There’s
not much chance of winning
when the defendant owns the
cops, the judges and the
Mayor.

         MEDAILIE
Tom, the President, the
smartest politician in the
country, has vowed to chase
the gangsters out of the
cities. He senses the change
in public sentiment. I’m
telling you Tom the man who goes
up against these mobsters will
become a national hero.

         TOM
How much money would I
have to hire staff?

         MEDAILIE
Little, if any.

         TOM
How much support would I have
from the DA?

         MEDAILIE
None. He’ll fight you tooth
and nail.

         TOM
I’ll never be home. My kids
won’t know me. My wife
won’t speak to me. If I
don’t convict Schulz I’ll be
ruined.
(with rueful self knowledge)
But if I don’t take this
job I’ll regret it for the rest
of my life.

INT. JUDGE’S CHAMBERS. DAY

Medailie and Smith stand behind Tom as he faces the PRESS. FLASHBULBS POP, REPORTERS  shout questions.

         REPORTER
What’s the first thing you’re
gonna do as Special
Prosecutor?

         TOM
Look into Dutch Schulz’s rackets
and how they are protected by
police and politicians.

         REPORTER
The boys are sayin’ you’ve
been set up to lose. They
think you’re a Boy Scout.

Tom faces him, suddenly deliberate and icy calm.

         TOM
In a few months they won’t
be calling me that.

INT.CHARLEY’S OFFICE. DAY.

A FRONT PAGE PHOTO of Dewey being sworn in by Judge McCook. TILT UP to Charley staring at the photo as Meyer reads from the editorial. Polakoff and Jimmy Hines confer uneasily in a corner.

         MEYER
Young Mr. Dewey will have
the thanks of a grateful
city if he succeeds. What’s
his story, Mo?

         POLAKOFF
He’s a bluenose. But a
good lawyer.

         HINES
He’s an arrogant little
twerp.

         MEYER
Maybe we can slip him a
contribution. I got some
Republicans upstate…

         POLAKOFF
Can’t buy Dewey, Meyer.

         HINES
I hate guys who don’t
have a price.

         CHARLEY
Starve him, Jimmy. Stick
him in a dinky office.
Tell Dodge to cut his
funding so he can’t hire.
Spread the word: nobody
gives him the right time.
If we can’t buy the bum
we’ll bury him.


END ACT TWO

Next:Act 3: Trouble In Paradise

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.

Movies You Will Never See/Empires of Crime/Part 17


*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 TWO

INT. CITY COURTHOUSE CORRIDOR. DAY

Tom Dewey and George Medailie are walking quickly down the crowded hallway, bumping into COPS, PROSTITUTES, BOOKIES and SHYSTERS.

        MEDAILIE
This is dynamite, Tom. The
Seabury Commission has heard
a thousand witnesses. They’ve
established a clear connection
between the police and the
gangsters.

They are met by a gaggle of REPORTERS and NEWSREEL CAMERA MEN waiting outside a courtroom. FLASHBULBS POP as REPORTERS shout questions: “You Republicans are gonna make hay outta this, aintcha George?” Medailie shrugs them off with a “No comment,” and they walk through a door marked,

SEABURY COMMISSION.

INT. COURTOOM. DAY

JUDGE SAMUEL SEABURY, a dignified white haired jurist is listening with mounting indignation to a CONSUMPTIVE YOUNG WOMAN.

        YOUNG WOMAN
I told the cop I was workin’
nights as a cleanin’ lady,
but he said no respectable
woman was out at 4 am and
threw me in the paddy wagon
with the other girls.

        SEABURY
Then what happened?

        YOUNG WOMAN
He tole us a twenty five
dollar gift to the
Magistrate’s Christmas Fund
would buy us out. Otherwise
we’d be charged with
prostitution. I didn’t have
no money so he said if I
didn’t wanna go to jail I
could go up to Cokey
Brown’s house and work it
off.

        MEDAILIE
(excited)
Fifty one women have come
forward and said they were
pulled off the streets by
corrupt cops and forced to
pay a bribe or enter a
gangster controlled house
of prostitution. We need a
good prosecutor to put all
these cases together.

        TOM
(dubious)
Seems like a lot of work
just to put a couple of
crooked cops away.

        MEDAILIE
This is Page One, Tom. It
could go all the way up to
the Mayor’s office.

        TOM
Only if we found a link
between the cops, the
politicians and the
mobsters who run these
brothels. Then we could
go after them in the name
of public virtue… We
could use it as a campaign
issue.

        MEDAILIE
Democrats exploit and abuse
young women. Republicans
protect their virtue…

        TOM
But it has to be airtight,
George. To convict a gangster
in New York you have to turn
the whole city against him.

INT. CHARLEY’S SUITE. NIGHT.

A Broadway party in Charley’s Waldorf digs. A glamorous crowd clusters around the piano singing Gershwin tunes. DAVEY BETTILO enters with a bevy of tawdry BEAUTIES.

        BETTILO
Mix and mingle, girls. Don’t
talk money, it’s all about
love.

NANCY PRESSER, a tiny blonde, hangs back. The short skirt and tarty make up can’t disguise her timid innocence. Bettilo shoves her.

        BETILLO
You too, wallflower. Make
with the personality.


INT.CHARLEY’S BEDROOM. NIGHT.

Charley is showing Benny his new wardrobe, while Meyer scans the books, worriedly. Charley models an OVERCOAT.

        CHARLEY
Whaddya think?

        BENNY
How many camels they have
to kill to make that coat?

        MEYER
It’s too big on you. Anyway,
you shouldn’t be flauntin’
your money when everybody’s
broke.

        CHARLEY
Depression’s the best thing
that ever happened. Everybody’s
in hock to us…

        MEYER
And they resent guys with
money.

        BENNY
The bankers, the bosses, not
us. They love us…

        MEYER
Don’t kid yourself. They hate
anybody with a warm coat and
a coupla bucks to buy a nice
dinner.

        CHARLEY
Y’see where Capone’s runnin’
soup kitchens in Chicago? We
could do somethin’ like that.
Maybe lower the price of beer…

        MEYER
That won’t do no good.
Seabury’s lookin’ to shut
us down. All this shootin’
was bad for business.

        CHARLEY
Had to be done.

        MEYER
I know but it riled people
up. Cops are runnin’ wild.
Judges are too greedy.
Everybody’s killin’ the
goose that lays the golden
eggs.

        CHARLEY
So what do you wanna do
about it?

        MEYER
Cash outta New York.

        CHARLEY
Leave the city? You nuts?

        MEYER
We got casinos all over
Florida. In  Newport,
Kentucky, in Hot Springs,
Arkansas. In these towns
a fifty dollar bill buys
you the whole police
department and they throw
in the Mayor. Costello just
put eight hundred thousand
slot machines in Louisiana
and all it cost was a
colored hooker for Huey Long.
I got a guy in Cuba who says
he can open up the whole
country for us.

        BENNY
We ain’t even touched the
West Coast.

        CHARLEY
I’d rather have a pushcart
on Tenth Avenue than a
mansion in Hollywood.

        BENNY
Not me. LA’s for sale like
New York used to be.

        CHARLEY
Still is. You worried about
this Seabury? We can fix
him.

        MEYER
The guy’s grandfather was
best friends with George
Washington, Charley.

        CHARLEY
So what? We got just as
much right to be here as
he does.

He opens the door onto the music, the glamor. The GUESTS wave and urge them to “join the party.” Charley turns to Meyer.

        CHARLEY
You wanna leave all this for
some hick town in Arkansas?
Have a drink. Fall in love.

        MEYER
I gotta go home. My little
one’s sick again.

        CHARLEY
Go home, kiss your wife,
have a bicarbonate, you’ll
feel better in the morning…

As Meyer steps out, Davey Bettilo brings over DAVE MILLER, a pudgy pimp in a cashmere coat, very nervous about meeting the great Charley Luciano.

        BETTILO
This here’s Dave Miller from
Philly…

        MILLER
It’s an honor…

        CHARLEY
Yeah okay. Keep your girls
clean. Don’t beat ‘em up and
don’t feed ‘em too much hop
and don’t ever talk about me
to nobody ‘cause I’ll find out
if you do…

He spots Nancy Presser, hiding in the corner.

        CHARLEY
This shrinkin’ violet with
you?
(takes her by the arm)
In the spotlight, honey
you’re too pretty to hide.
(curtly to Miller)
The delivery boy don’t stay
for the party, pal…

Miller backs away, murmuring apologies.

        CHARLEY
What’s your name, honey?

        NANCY
Nancy Presser. I’m new to
this, Mr. Luciano…

        CHARLEY
Don’t worry Nancy, in your
business you don’t need
experience.

INT. LANSKY LIVING ROOM. NIGHT

A NEWSPAPER drops on the coffee table  On the front page, PHOTOS OF MEYER, BENNY  and CHARLEY. A HEADLINE reads:THE GANGSTERS WHO RULE NEW YORK.

        ANNE
(o.s., hysterical)
This new combination consists
of six notorious racketeers…

TILT UP to Anne in her bathrobe, wild eyed and disheveled. Meyer is trying desperately to placate her.

        ANNE
Charles “Lucky” Luciano,
Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel,
Meyer Lansky. What’s the
matter, Meyer, don’t you
rate a nickname?

        MEYER
From the first day we met
you knew what I did, Annie.

        ANNE
Gambling, you said. Nightclubs
with card games. And one day
it would all be legal.

        MEYER
It will be …

        ANNE
And the drugs. And the
killings? And all the
dirty things they do to
make a dollar.

OFF SCREEN, a BABY cries out.

        ANNE
You want to see how God
is punishing us, Meyer?

        LANSKY
(follows her)
Buddy will be fine., Annie.

INT. BEDROOM. NIGHT.

Dark. A few pale streaks of MOONLIGHT fall on the crib where the baby, BUDDY, lies thick METAL BRACES on both legs. Meyer and Anne look down at him with concern. Anne rocks the crib, whimpering:

        ANNE
He was spoiled, you said.
Let him cry himself to
sleep…

        MEYER
Annie, we’ll do everything
for him. There’s a pediatrician
in Boston, who specializes in
spinal problems…

        ANNE
He’s a cripple, Meyer and
he’ll be one all his life.
I only hope I die before I
see him in a wheelchair…

        MEYER
No one’s gonna die.

        ANNE
This is how much God hates
you, Meyer. He punished
your son for your sins.
This innocent little boy
who’ll live in pain for the
rest of his life is God’s
judgement on you…

Meyer looks down at his son, stricken with remorse.

INT. CHARLEY’S BEDROOM. NIGHT.

A short time later. Charley lies in bed in his yellow silk dressing gown, smoking a cigarette.

        CHARLEY
What happened, kid, you fall
in?

Nancy comes out of the bathroom in her slip.

        NANCY
I was fixin’ my face…

        CHARLEY
Powderin’ your nose, you mean.
(flips her a “ravioli”)
Knock yourself out…

        NANCY
(opening the package with
trembling fingers)
Thanks.

Charles rises and holds her hand steady.

        CHARLEY
Another farm girl goin’ to
hell in the big city. Where
you from?

        NANCY
Auburn. Way upstate.

        CHARLEY
Yeah, there’s a jail there.
What’s your story, your old
man throw you out ‘cause you
got knocked up?

        NANCY
I never knew my old man. My
mother had a boyfriend, who
kept pawin’ me. When I was
thirteen I took off.

        CHARLEY
So you been around more than
you look. That’s no reason
to start feelin’ sorry for
yourself.

        NANCY
Listen, I’ve had it pretty
tough.

        CHARLEY
Everybody in the rackets has
a story. You think I was born
in the Waldorf? My home town
in Sicily makes Auburn look
like Park Avenue. Sulfur mines.
A cloud of poison smoke that
kept out the sun. Kids who
didn’t get TB froze to death.
I came over on a freighter.
Five hundred people packed in
steerage. No windows, no water
to wash. I could take a bath
in perfume every day I’ll
never get that stink outta
my nose. People don’t
understand what we got in
this country. In Sicily you’re
born poor, you die broke.

        NANCY
I was born here and I’m
broke.

        CHARLEY
Cheer up, today’s your lucky
day
(hands her a roll of bills)
Don’t kick this back to
nobody.

        NANCY
Davey told me not to talk
money.

        CHARLEY
I don’t pay for sex. This
is for the conversation.
Anybody asks you, you’re
CL’s girl. Don’t let ‘em
stick you in them two
dollar joints, I’ll get
you into Bella Lewitzky’s
house With your kewpie doll
looks you’ll have those
Broadway guys eatin’ outta
your hand.

        NANCY
What’s the catch? Why you
bein’ so nice?

        CHARLEY
I like you. Other broads are
always puttin’ on an act. You
looked like you’ were gonna
bust out cryin’…

        NANCY
I was scared ‘cause they told
me you were the big boss…

        CHARLEY
I am. But I’m a lonely guy
in my own way. I need one
person I can be nice to
without worryin’ I’m gonna
get stabbed in the back.
(laughs at her glum expression)
Don’t worry, kid, any girl
who goes around with me
won’t be sorry…

INT. HOTEL SUITE.DAY

A big BUFFET, white-coated WAITERS poised to serve. A bevy of “showgirls”. Some doing their nails, others gossiping, others smoking and pacing. CHARLEY WORKMAN stands guard outside a door. A girl picks up a plate, but he cautions her:

        WORKMAN
Don’t touch the buffet.


Next: Part 18/Act 2 (Con’t): The Syndicate

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.

Movie You Will Never See/Part 2/Part 14

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

PART II

ACT ONE


INT. WAREHOUSE.

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.

        CHARLEY
Come on out and show yourselves
Desgraciada, codardo.

A man stands in the shadows, cigar butt glowing, smoke curling like a wreath over his head. Charley screams at him:

        CHARLEY
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.

        WORKMAN
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,

        BENNY
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..

        BENNY
Anything happens to Charley,
everything’s gonna happen to
you.

INT. L&S GARAGE. NIGHT

In the office a frantic POLICE LIEUTENANT is on the phone.

        LIEUTENANT
Call headquarters and put out
a general alarm. Send out all
cars…

Next to him, Meyer is on the phone with Jimmy Hines.

        MEYER
Jimmy, you gotta drop everything.
Get every cop in the city on this.

HINES

in his office (CROSSCUT)

        HINES
Who coulda done this, Meyer?
This is our town.

COSTELLO

is giving his hoods detailed instructions.

        COSTELLO
Stay close to Masseria. I
wanna know every move he
makes.

        HOOD
But what if he catches on,
Frank?

        COSTELLO
Make sure he don’t. This is
your chance to show whose side
you’re on..
(turns to the other Hood)
You…Find Maranzano and stay
in his pocket…

        MEYER
This is bad for all of us,
Frank. If they can snatch
Charley that’s tellin’ the
world they can do it to us,
too.

        COSTELLO
What if some cops grabbed him
for a payoff?

        LIEUTENANT
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.

        BLACKSMITH
Phone call, Mr. Lansky. Guy says
he wants to talk about Mr.
Luciano.

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.

        MEYER
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.

        MAN
Mr. Big Shot Lansky. We got
your Mr. Big Shot Luciano.

        MEYER
Who is this?

        MAN
Your mother’s uncle’s grandma’s
pet canary. A hundred G’s gets
him back in one piece. You hear
me?

        MEYER
I gotta make sure he’s okay.

        MAN
Just do what I tellya. I can
dump him dead or alive. Don’t
mean nothin’ to me.

        MEYER
(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.

        BENNY
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.

        COP
Hey, pal, what happened to
you?

        CHARLEY
Jealous husband…

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.

        POLAKOFF
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.

        CHARLEY
Hey, the Cavalry finally showed
up.

        MEYER
(helping him up)
You okay? We’re gonna get you
a doctor.

        CHARLEY
Just get me a drink and a
cigarette.
(sees Benny)
Look at this bum comin’ to
my rescue.
(gives him a hug)
I won’t forget this. Anytime
you need anything…

        BENNY
Can you lend me thirty G’s?

        CHARLEY
I don’t love ya that much.

        MEYER
(laughing)
You’re okay…

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.

        CHARLEY
It was Maranzano. I couldn’t
see him, but I smelled his
cheap cigar

        MEYER
A lotta guys smoke cigars,
Charley.

        CHARLEY
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.

        MEYER
Then we gotta get the respect
back. Take him out. Make you
the boss.

        CHARLEY
Not now. We gotta move slow.

        BENNY
Slow like a bullet.

        MEYER
You’re our horse in this race,
Charley. You gotta come in first
or we all lose.

        CHARLEY
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
is.

        MEYER
So what do we do about it?

        CHARLEY
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…

        BENNY
Why do a job for this bum?

        CHARLEY
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.

        CHARLEY
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:

        SMITH
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.

        MCCOOK
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
city.

OCTOBER 1929

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.

        NEWSCASTER
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…

        CHARLEY
But they got enough to buy a
drink…

ON SCREEN

WAXEY GORDON is escorted handcuffed out of the COURTHOUSE.

        NEWSCASTER
In New York beer baron Waxey
Gordon was brought to justice
by crusading prosecutor Thomas
E. Dewey…

Charley snorts as Tom appears on screen, waving to the CAMERA and whispers confidentially to Gay

        CHARLEY
Meyer fixed that case with
the IRS to get Dewey out of
our hair.

        GAY
(impressed)
Wow, Charley…

        CHARLEY
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.

        CHARLEY
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
hard times.
(hands him another envelope)
This is the downtown collections
from all the speakeasies.

        MARANZANO
No records, no books?

        CHARLEY
Meyer keeps the books. I do
business outta my hat.

        MARANZANO
I would feel better with Lucchese
or Bonnano in your hat with you.

        CHARLEY
Meyer won’t cheat us. I trust
him with my life.

        MARANZANO
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
silence…

        CHARLEY
I’m as silent as a tomb.

        MARANZANO
You’ve told Masseria nothing about
me..?

        CHARLEY
You know I haven’t. Your spies
woulda told you by now.

        MARANZANO
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.

        CHARLEY
Your example has given me the
courage Don Salvatore. You can
look forward to good news very
soon.

        MARANZANO
(extends his hands)
I’m overjoyed and full of
gratitude.

        CHARLEY
(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.

        MARANZANO
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
campaign?

In the doorway, in full view of MARANZANO’S MEN they embrace.

        CHARLEY
It will be my honor to march
beside you Don Salvatore.

He walks away, his servile smile twisting into a look of scorn.

END

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.