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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 24

*For Introduction with submission guidelines go to Oct 13

For the beginning of the script and older excerpts go to the home page or heywoodgould.com

*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 IV

ACT FOUR

INT. THE STORK CLUB. NIGHT

New York’s swankiest “nitery.” Patrons in EVENING DRESS dance to a “sweet” band. Suddenly, the band stops and the room goes dark.

        BANDLEADER
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Stork
Club welcomes an old friend…

The band strikes up. A FOLLOW SPOT  picks up Charley and Gay entering the club. The CUSTOMERS leap to their feet, cheering as they are taken to their ringside table. “Go get ‘em Lucky…” etc. One man pounds him on the back, wishing him “good luck.”

        CHARLEY
Not so loud, everybody. I’m
supposed to be in jail…

Charley clasps his hand like a boxer and they applaud like mad.

INT. DEWEY KITCHEN. NIGHT.

Frances pours a glass of milk and brings it over to Tom, who is disconsolately picking at a sandwich.

        FRANCES
I think the laughter was
just a way of breaking the
tension.These people had
been listening to some
pretty horrible stories all
day.

        TOM
I was trying to get them
to sympathize with the
girls and hate Luciano.
But it backfired. You
should have seen the way
they cheered him on. Like
he was a movie star or a
prize fighter.

        FRANCES
Every man secretly wishes
he had the charm and power
of a Lucky Luciano

        TOM
That’s the problem. They
like Luciano and don’t like
me. I’ve never lost a case
or won a popularity contest
in my life.

        FRANCES
Except with me.

        TOM
Even you don’t like me
when I’m on trial…I
have to win this one,
Frances. I’m finished
if I don’t.

INT. COURTROOM. DAY

The next morning. Nancy testifies to a packed courtroom.. She is clean, modestly dressed. She turns away to avoid
Charley’s glance.

        NANCY
We would have sex once in
awhile, but he mostly wanted
to talk.

AT THE DEFENSE TABLE (CROSSCUT)

With an appreciative look, Charley leans over to Polakoff.

        CHARLEY
They dress her way down,
but she’s still the best
lookin’broad in the room.

        TOM
What did he talk about?

        NANCY
About his life, you know.
How he got started. How he
was gonna organize the
rackets into one big company
with him on top.

        TOM
Did he ever discuss the
prostitution business?

        NANCY
Once. I told him this pimp
Ralphie Liquori was beatin’
on the girls. He said he
would take care of it and
the guy never touched nobody
again.

AT THE DEFENSE TABLE

Polakoff looks to Charley for confirmation. Charley nods, ruefully.

        TOM
Did Mr. Luciano ever have
any visitors?

        NANCY
Everybody came to see him.
All the big shots, He’d make
me go into the bathroom and
run the water so I wouldn’t
hear nothin’.

        TOM
Did you ever listen?

        NANCY
I never cared what they
were sayin’?

        TOM
(prompting)
Never?

        NANCY
(picks up the cue)
Oh yeah. Well once when
Little Davey was there I
heard Charley sayin’: ‘the
take ain’t so good. We’re
gonna have to raise the two
dollar houses to three and
boost the five and ten buck
joint, too.

        TOM
Thank you, Miss Presser.
And I’d like to commend you
for the courage and strength
of character you have shown
in coming forward.

AT THE DEFENSE TABLE

Polakoff starts to rise, but Charley grabs his arm.

        CHARLEY
Go easy on her, Mo. Dewey
made her lie.

        POLAKOFF
She’s their star witness,
Charley. I’ve got to
discredit her.

He rises and walks slowly toward Nancy, demonstrating his contempt for her to the jury.

        POLAKOFF
How old are you, Miss
Presser?

        NANCY
Twenty six.

        POLAKOFF
How long have you been a
prostitute?

Unnerved, Nancy looks at Tom. He nods encouragement.

        NANCY
I started when I was
thirteen…

        POLAKOFF
Thirteen years takes its
toll. You’re not as attractive
as you used to be.

        TOM
Objection, Your Honor. Is
Mr. Polakoff running a beauty
contest?

        POLAKOFF
Withdrawn. Miss Presser, what
do you get for your services?

        NANCY
I got two bucks per visit.
We had to knock it down to
a buck fifty ‘cause of the
Depression.

        POLAKOFF
A dollar fifty. Now, Miss
Presser, would you agree
that Mr. Luciano is a well
known man about town?

        NANCY
Man about town. Yeah, sure…

        POLAKOFF
A man who is famous for
escorting beautiful women
(points to Gay Orlova)
His fiancee Gay Orlova has
been a featured performer
on Broadway. Do you really
want the jury to believe
that when Mr. Luciano was
lonesome he called a buck
fifty hooker to keep him
company?

        TOM
(leaps to his feet)
I object to Mr. Polakoff’s
insidious and demeaning
characterization…

        POLAKOFF
Withdrawn. How many times
would you say you visited,
Mr. Luciano at the Waldorf?

        NANCY
I don’t know, fifty maybe.

        POLAKOFF
Where is the Waldorf?

        NANCY
It’s on the East Side I
think. Charley always gave
me cab money.

        POLAKOFF
Fifty times, but you don’t
know the address. When you
got out at Mr. Luciano’s
floor did you turn right
or left?

        NANCY
I don’t know my left from
my right that good.

        POLAKOFF
Describe the furniture in
his suite.

        TOM
Objection, the witness is
not an interior decorator.

        MCCOOK
(reluctant)
Overruled. It’s a fair
question.

        POLAKOFF
What kind of bed does Mr.
Luciano have? Double? King?
Queen?

        NANCY
I don’t know beds.

        POLAKOFF
You should. You spend enough
time in them.

        TOM
Objection!

        MCCOOK
Sustained. Every witness in
my courtroom is to be treated
with respect.

        POLAKOFF
Especially the prosecution
witnesses You’re a heroin
addict, aren’t you, Miss
Presser?

        NANCY
No more. As of February
first I was cured, thanks
to Mr. Dewey.

        POLAKOFF
Mr. Dewey promised to send
you away to regain your
health and normalcy.

        NANCY
He’s been good to me.

        POLAKOFF
But he wouldn’t have been
so good if you didn’t
testify against Mr. Luciano

        TOM
Objection!

        POLAKOFF
And he’ll only be good to
you if Mr. Luciano is
convicted. If the jury sees
through Mr.Dewey’s little
scheme you’ll be going back
to the gutter where he found
you, won’t you Miss Presser?

        TOM
I will not permit this
woman to be abused, Your
Honor. Whatever benefit she
may derive cannot equal the
risk she is taking…

Tom’s words are lost in the excited buzz of the gallery, the pounding of the gavel and McCook’s futile calls for order.

EXT. CRIMINAL COURT BUILDING. DAY

Charley and Polakoff emerge into the late afternoon sunshine to be besieged by REPORTERS and cheered by FANS who are being kept back behind barricades. Charley waves to the crowd while Polakoff goes to the MICROPHONES.

        POLAKOFF
This is a case of an over-
ambitious prosecutor trying
to advance his political career…

        CHARLEY
Dewey wants to send me to
jail, but I’m going to send
him back to Michigan…

EXT. CARMINE’S RESTAURANT. DAY

An excited crowd greets Charley and Polakoff.

        CHARLEY
You guys hungry? You like
pizza?
(to CARMINE, the owner)
Carmine, make ten pizzas for
my friends. Ah, make it
twenty…Case of beer, too.
Not that swill I used to
sell you either…

INT. PRIVATE ROOM.DAY

Meyer, tan and fit in a light summer suit, jumps up to greet them.

        MEYER
Excuse me, Mr. Popularity,
can I have your autograph?

        CHARLEY
Look at you, Mr. Miami.
Brushin’ up on your polo
game?

        MEYER
I bet the horses. Let the
schmucks ride ‘em. So far
so good, huh? That little
tart the best they got?

        CHARLEY
It’s not her fault. She’s
a junkie, got no will power…

        POLAKOFF
You never know how the jury
reacts to that sob sister
stuff. But I’ve got the hall
maid and the manager who’ll
say she was never there…

        CHARLEY
You won’t need no rebuttal
when I get off the stand…

        POLAKOFF
(with a look at Meyer)
You’re not thinking of
testifying?

        CHARLEY
C’mon, Mo, you know I been
thinkin’ about it. That’s
why you got Meyer up here
to talk me out of it.

        MEYER
I don’t understand, Charley,
you’re doin’ great.

        CHARLEY
That’s ‘cause my lawyer’s
better than their’s.

        POLAKOFF
I should hope so.

        CHARLEY
But I don’t want people to
say Lucky’s smart lawyer got
him off. I want ‘em to say,
Charley was framed. He’s
innocent

        MEYER
What do you care what they
say?

        CHARLEY
I got my pride. I been
knockin’ around New York
since I’m eleven. I love
every loose cobblestone,
every dark alley. All the
joints, all the grifters
from the bums on the corner
to the smart guys in the
penthouses. And they love
me, too. You’ll see, they’ll
stand up for me.

        MEYER
(shakes his head)
You can handicap a race,
figure odds on a card. But
trustin’ people. That’s a
sucker bet.

INT.COURTROOM. DAY

The next day. In a hushed courtroom, Polakoff steps to the bench and with an apprehensive look at Tom:

        POLAKOFF
Your Honor, I call Charles
Luciano to the stand.

AT THE PROSECUTION

Tom and his staff look up in astonishment at their good luck. As Charley walks by with a defiant look, Tom mutters to Gurfein:

        TOM
Get me that cross examination
we prepared, Mr. Gurfein.

        GURFEIN
(shuffling through a
mountain of papers)
It’s here somewhere. I
didn’t think we were going
to need it.

INT.COURTROOM. DAY

A short time later. Charley is completing his testimony. The JURORS look on with knowing, sympathetic smiles.

        CHARLEY
When you’re a New York boy
from a tough neighborhood you
make mistakes. I sold narcotics,
but I did my time and except
for a little gambling problem
in Miami I’ve never been
arrested since.

        POLAKOFF
Do you know Flo Brown?

        CHARLEY
I do not.

        POLAKOFF
Do you know any of the men
who testified against you?

        CHARLEY
I’ve met them, but what
they said wasn’t true.

        POLAKOFF
Have you ever taken a nickel
from prostitution.

        CHARLEY
(tries a joke)
I gave, but I never took.
(then gets serious)
I swear I have never
profited from prostitution.

        POLAKOFF
Thank you, sir…

Tom rises slowly, the tension growing. He takes a dramatic pause, savoring the moment.

        TOM
Just a gambler. Broadway
Charley. Another colorful
character, is that what you
want this jury to believe?

        CHARLEY
It’s the truth.

        TOM
You started out peddling
dope, didn’t you? Prostitutes
would turn a trick and turn
their two dollars over to
you for a shot of liquid
opium, wouldn’t they?

        CHARLEY
I was seventeen. I quit
doin’ that when I got out
of jail.

        TOM
Just a harmless, colorful
character…Does the date
June 2, 1923 mean anything
to you?

Charley is startled. He begins to realize he’s made a mistake.

        CHARLEY
How’d you know about that?.

        TOM
It’s the day you sold two
ounces of heroin to Special
Agent John Lynch, isn’t it?

        CHARLEY
I was never charged…

        TOM
No. You made a deal, didn’t
you? Gave a statement that
at 163 Mulberry Street they
would find a whole trunk
full of dope. Turned stool
pigeon, didn’t you?

        POLAKOFF
Objection…Irrelevant…

        MCCOOK
Overruled.

        TOM
You weren’t peddling drugs.
You just happened to know
where a whole trunkful could
be found.

        CHARLEY
I knew things.

        TOM
Now you say that from 1920
to 1925, you weren’t doing
anything else in the world
but running a crap game.

        CHARLEY
That’s right.

        TOM
Did you ever go to the
horse races?

        CHARLEY
I went to the track, sure.

        TOM
Do a little bookmaking on
the side?

        CHARLEY
Just as part of the crap
game.

        TOM
Did you ever earn an honest
dollar in your life?

        POLAKOFF
Objection…

        TOM
Withdrawn…While you were
shooting crap and booking
horses did you ever sell
alcohol?

        CHARLEY
I got some for my friends.

        TOM
A little side business. So
the hundreds of police
reports and news articles
that identify you as the
boss of the billion dollar
bootlegging racket are
incorrect.

        POLAKOFF
(desperate)
Your Honor, may we have a
brief recess…

        MCCOOK
You may not.

        CHARLEY
You know the papers
exaggerate everything…

        TOM
And you don’t know any
bootleggers yourself…

        CHARLEY
(looking to the jury for
support)
In New York it’s hard not
to bump into a bootlegger.

        TOM
Al Capone is in Chicago.
Are you acquainted with
him?

        CHARLEY
I’ve met him.

        TOM
Met him? Isn’t it a fact
that you worked closely
with him for five years?

        POLAKOFF
Objection…

        TOM
You’re pretty well
acquainted with  Louis
Buchalter, aren’t you?

        CHARLEY
I know him. I wouldn’t say
well acquainted.

        TOM
Did you know that he and
his partner Gurrah Shapiro
are the biggest racketeers
in the clothing industry?

        CHARLEY
Didn’t know that.

        TOM
Doesn’t Buchalter have to
pay you tribute to operate
his labor rackets?

        POLAKOFF
Objection…

        MCCOOK
Overruled.

        CHARLEY
I have no business relations
with him.

        TOM
How about Bugsy Siegel?
Know him?

        CHARLEY
He’s a friend of mine.

        TOM
What’s his business?

        CHARLEY
I know he’s been puttin’
on some shows.

        TOM
(savoring the sarcasm)
Do you really expect this
jury to believe that Bugsy
Siegel makes his living
producing Broadway shows?

        POLAKOFF
Your Honor I object to Mr.
Dewey’s use of insult and
innuendo…

        TOM
Oh alright, Mr. Polakoff,
I’ll withdraw the question.
(bears down on Charley)
Ever tell a lie?

        CHARLEY
Everybody lies about little
things.

        TOM
You lied under oath to get
a pistol permit. Big or
little lie?

        POLAKOFF
Objection. Calls for a
conclusion.

        TOM
You were stopped in upstate
New York on May 11, 1927.
They found four revolvers,
a shotgun and a Thompson
Machine Gun in your car.
You told the officers you
were hunting. What were
you hunting?

        CHARLEY
Peasants…

The gallery titters at this mispronunciation. Charley winces in humiliation.

        TOM
Pheasants you mean and
they’re not usually hunted
with a Tommy Gun. How many
times have you been taken
for a ride?

        POLAKOFF
This is a violation of Mr.
Luciano’s Fifth Amendment
rights.

        TOM
Police reports say you were
beaten and left for dead on
a street in Staten Island.
You told police it was done
by a jealous husband. Was
that a lie?

        CHARLEY
It was a private dispute.

        TOM
How did you resolve it?
Kill the jealous husband?

        POLAKOFF
Objection.

        TOM
All the men and women who
have testified about you.
Were they lying?

        CHARLEY
Yes.

        TOM
Was Nancy Presser lying?

        CHARLEY
She was…confused.

        TOM
You’re an admitted liar, a
bootlegger, a gambler and
a narcotics peddler. But
you want this jury to
believe you’ve never
taken a nickel from
prostitution.

        CHARLEY
I’d never sink that low.

        TOM
It’s not low to sell heroin
to gullible girls?

        POLAKOFF
Objection.

        TOM
Do you think this jury
or anyone will believe
the sanctimonious act
you have just put on?

        POLAKOFF
Your Honor, you must stop
this abuse.

        TOM
Do you think anyone has
any doubt that before them
stands not a gambler or a
racetrack man, but stripped
stark naked the greatest
gangster in America?

        CHARLEY
I don’t deny what I am.
But I never took a nickel
off a prostitute.

        TOM
You never had a day when
you didn’t. You’re dismissed.

Tom turns away in scorn. The JURORS whisper to each other, shooting hostile looks. Charley sags, a broken man. A SOB punctures the shocked silence. All eyes turn to:

THE FRONT ROW

where Gay Orlova weeps quietly.

NEWSREEL (STOCK FOOTAGE)…Outside, the courthouse, HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE  wait for the verdict.

        NEWSCASTER
Hundreds of people gathered
in the park outside the court-
house waiting for the verdict.

INT.COURTROOM. DAY

The jury glares, stonefaced and vengeful. Charley stares with grim, unseeing eyes as the charges are read and the JURY FOREMAN responds to every one with:

        FOREMAN
Guilty…

AT THE PROSECUTION TABLE

Dewey and his staff stand at dignified attention, but there is no mistaking the triumph in their eyes.

        GURFEIN
(whispers)
You won, Chief.

        TOM
Guilty…Got a nice ring
to it, Mr. Gurfein…

INT.COURTROOM. DAY

The next day. At the Prosecution table Tom is looking at a TABLOID FRONT PAGE that reads: LUCIANO, NINETY TIMES GUILTY. Charley and Polakoff stand at the bench as Judge McCook reads the sentence.

        MCCOOK
Since there is no excuse
for your conduct and no
hope for your rehabilitation
I sentence you to a total
of thirty to fifty years in
the state prison.

The SPECTATORS shout out, some in protest, some in support.

        POLAKOFF
I strenuously object Your
Honor. The maximum mandatory
sentence for this offense
is ten years…

        MCCOOK
You can appeal, Mr. Polakoff.
But I don’t hold out much
hope for you. No judge in
this state will ever let Mr.
Luciano out on the street
again.

Charley turns and nods at Tom, crushed but defiant. As the Court Officers escort him out he turns to Meyer in the front row.

        CHARLEY
You were right, Meyer.
It was a sucker bet.


END ACT FOUR

END PART FOUR

Next: Part 25/Act 1: Dewey Makes A Move

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 23

*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 IV

ACT THREE


INT.TOM’S OFFICE. DAY

Polakoff and Tom glare at each other across Tom’s desk.

        POLAKOFF
I have examined your indictment
very carefully, Mr. Dewey, and
it’s clear to me that you’ll
never be able to convict
Charley Luciano on the
testimony of a few pathetic
prostitutes.

        TOM
How many people has Luciano
murdered, Mr. Polakoff?

        POLAKOFF
You’re not charging him
with murder. Frankly, sir,
you’re putting yourself
on the line. If you don’t
get a conviction your
political career is over.

        TOM
Let’s get to the point,
shall we?

        POLAKOFF
Although we are completely
confident of our ability
to defend this ludicrous
charge, your smears have
caused Mr. Luciano and his
family great distress. He
has a mother…

        TOM
We all do.

        POLAKOFF
Mr. Luciano is willing to
liquidate all his legitimate
assets in New York City and
relocate. He promises never
to set foot in the city again.

        TOM
If we withdraw the indictment…

        POLAKOFF
It’s a fair compromise. It
allows you to declare
victory without the risk of
going to trial.

        TOM
You interest me, Mr. Polakoff.
You served with distinction
in the Navy during the late
war. You have a sterling
reputation as a lawyer yet
you serve as a counsel to a
murderer and a drug dealer.

        POLAKOFF
Minorities and undesirables
are as entitled to the
protection of the law as so
called honorable people.

        TOM
Especially when they pay
large legal fees…

        POLAKOFF
I resent that, sir. I came
to you with legitimate offer…

        TOM
I’ll see you in court, sir.

        POLAKOFF
(a parting shot)
Only if you can get Charley
out of Arkansas.

INT.COURTROOM. DAY

Thronged with REPORTERS and NEWSREEL CAMERAS. Tom sits at the prosecution table behind a bank of microphones. Gurfein brings a TELEPHONE to the table.

        GURFEIN
Why are we doing this here,
Chief?

        TOM
Oh I just thought a court-
room would be a better
setting than an office.
(calls over his shoulder)
Mr. Hurwitz, would you mind
sliding that flag over a
bit more. I want to make
sure the newsreel boys have
a good shot of it.

        GURFEIN
He’s on the line, Chief.

        TOM
Hello, is this Governor
Futrell? This is Tom Dewey,
Governor. I’m sitting here
in front of the newsreel
cameras and radio mikes,
with reporters from every
major newspaper. They all
want to know why the
Governor of Arkansas is
sheltering a wanted criminal…
You can’t make back room
deals with the eyes of the
world upon you, Governor…
I’m going to place a call
to President Roosevelt…I
know he’s a Democrat, but
he’s a good American and
the last thing he wants in
this election year is a
prominent member of his party
taking bribes from a notorious
criminal. You have twenty four
hours to put Luciano on a
train to New York or I’ll
smear you over every front
page in the country. I’ll put
a spotlight on your dirty
deals, a stain on your
reputation you’ll never wipe
off.
(slams the phone down)
How was that boys?

INT.HOTEL ROOM.NIGHT

Charley and Gay are awakened by a FLASHLIGHT BEAM. An apologetic SHERIFF stands at the foot of the bed.

        SHERIFF
Sorry, Charley, we gotta send
you back.

INT. PENN STATION. DAY

A HUNDRED COPS, toting rifles are waiting along with a growing complement of REPORTERS, PHOTOGS, NEWSREELS.

CHARLEY

gets off the train, cuffed to two DETECTIVES. He looks at the crowd with a wry smile.

        CHARLEY
Look at all these cops.
Somebody must be givin’
out turkeys.

The Reporters surge forward pleading for a statement. Charley is brought to a bank of microphones.

        CHARLEY
I may not be the most moral
man alive, but I have not
at any time stooped to
aiding prostitution. Nobody
knows better than me how
tough this world is. But
this ain’t right. It ain’t
American.

INT. THE TOMBS. NIGHT.

City prison. Charley paces a dank,gloomy cell. The CAPTAIN of the GUARDS approaches.

        CAPTAIN
Bad news, Mr. Luciano,
Judge McCook turned down
your application for bail.
Says you’re a flight risk.

        CHARLEY
Did Mr. Anastasia talk to
you?

        CAPTAIN
(unlocking the cell)
Yeah. He sent someone to
pinch hit for you..

FRANK MARTORANO, an obsequious young hood, comes out of the gloom and kisses Charley’s hand.

        MARTORANO
Francesco Martorano, Mr.
Luciano. It’s an honor to
serve you…

He steps into the cell as Charley steps out.

        CAPTAIN
You gotta be back by seven
am, Mr. Luciano…

        CHARLEY
(walking down the corridor)
Or I turn into a pumpkin?
Sweet dreams, Frankie…

INT. CHARLEY’S SUITE. NIGHT.

CIGARETTE TIPS glow in the dark. The door opens sending a streak of light onto Meyer and Jimmy Hines, who are waiting in the living room. Charley steps in and closes the door.

        CHARLEY
You guys holdin’ hands in
here?

        MEYER
Polakoff says to keep the
lights off. Dewey’s boys
are watchin’ the place.

        CHARLEY
Did you buy the Judge,
Jimmy?

        HINES
They put McCook on it.He’s
the only judge we don’t own.

        CHARLEY
What happened to the fix?
I thought I was safe in
Arkansas.

        HINES
Dewey reached out to the
President.

        CHARLEY
So what? Roosevelt’s a
Democrat.

        HINES
Dewey put him on the spot
goin’ on the radio and the
newsreels.

        CHARLEY
We backed Roosevelt. Two
hundred G’s ‘cause you told
us he’d rather take money
from the Mob than owe favors
to the big business guys.

        HINES
That’s what his guys told
me.

        CHARLEY
You told us he’d give us a
year before he repealed
Prohibition. But it was
the first thing he done
when he put down the Bible.
Then he made that speech
about gettin’ rid of the
gangster elements that
were terrorizing the cities.
After we got out the vote
that helped him win them
cities.

         HINES
You guys were shootin’ each
other left and right, Charley.
He had to do somethin’.

         MEYER
Don’t worry, Charley. Mo says
no New York jury’ll believe
the riff raff Dewey’s gonna
put on the stand. Meanwhile,
I’m gonna set up somethin’
nice for us in Florida.

        CHARLEY
I ain’t leavin’ New York,
Meyer, I told ya…

        MEYER
Still a stubborn Sicilian,
huh? A friend of yours wants
to talk to you in the bedroom.
Enjoy…We’ll let ourselves
out.

INT. CHARLEY’S BEDROOM. NIGHT.

A romantic setting. The shades are drawn, CANDLES BURN, CHAMPAGNE  is cooling and Gay Orlova is lying in bed, waiting.

         GAY
Surprise…

         CHARLEY
I’ll say.


Kneels by the bed and kisses her hand.

         CHARLEY
You shouldn’t be here, Gay.
You could get in trouble.

         GAY
I came up the back way.
Nobody saw me. C’mon baby,
put on that yellow and
black dressing gown you
look so cute in…

         CHARLEY
I’ll never forget what you
done for me.

         GAY
(reaching for him)
You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

MAY 15, 1936

NEWSREEL…CRIMINAL COURTS BUILDING…Charley walks up the steps waving to the cameras.

        NEWSCASTER
Day One of the Luciano trial
and it’s standing room. But
Lucky has a ringside seat.

POLAKOFF…at the microphones.

        POLAKOFF
My client is the victim of
the narcotized imaginings
of a bunch of deluded
prostitutes.

GAY, glamorous in sable makes a statement.

        GAY
Lucky is a dear and I
don’t believe those
horrible charges. It
doesn’t sound nice, not
like Lucky at all.

INT. COURTROOM. DAY

Charley, in a conservative blue suit, sits at the table with Polakoff as Tom makes his opening statement.

        TOM
To catch a thief you must
use a thief. You will hear
prostitutes, madams, heels
and ex convicts. Liars and
swindlers they may be, but
they are the only ones who
can tell us about Mr.
Luciano’s chain store of
sex…

IN THE COURTROOM

A short time later. Dave Miller, fidgets fearfully under Tom’s examination.

        MILLER
Little Davey Bettilo said
I needed Charley’s okay so
he took me up to the Waldorf.

        TOM
And did Mr. Luciano approve
you?

        MILLER
Yeah. He told me Bettilo
was boss and I’d only hear
from him if things went
wrong.

AT THE DEFENSE TABLE

Charley whispers to Polakoff.

        CHARLEY
I was just doin’ Davey a
favor, keepin’ those pimps
in line.

 

With a reassuring pat on the hand, Polakoff rises.

        POLAKOFF
You’re a pimp, isn’t that
right?

        MILLER
I was in the hosiery line,
but I got caught in the
Depression like everybody
else.

        POLAKOFF
So you started booking girls
to make ends meet.

        MILLER
A lot of these girls bought
nylons from me. They wanted
a manager they could trust.

        POLAKOFF
One of those girls was your
wife, wasn’t she? You
prostituted your own wife.

        MILLER
These were hard times.

        POLAKOFF
You tell me, Mr. Miller.
Would you trust a man who
made a whore out of his
own wife? Would you believe
anything he said?

IN THE COURTROOM

A short time later. JOE BENDIX, a scarred ex con tells his story.

        BENDIX
I’m a two time loser. I
didn’t wanna get pinched
again So I asked Lucky,
could I get a job collectin’
at the cathouses.

        TOM
And what did he say, Mr.
Bendix?

        BENDIX
That he’d get Little Davey
to put me on for forty bucks
a week. He definitely promised
me a job.

AT THE DEFENSE TABLE

Charley whispers to Polakoff.

        CHARLEY
I bought some swag jewelry
off him once. The rest is a
lotta crap.

Polakoff rises to face Bendix with a friendly smile.

        POLAKOFF
Did you ever take that
job, Mr. Bendix?

        BENDIX
No. I got caught stealin’
and they sent me back to
Sing Sing for life.

        POLAKOFF
Which is where you contacted
Mr. Dewey.

        BENDIX
That’s right.

        POLAKOFF
Because you wanted to do
your duty as a patriotic
citizen…

        BENDIX
(defiant)
That’s right.

        POLAKOFF
You’re just a small time
hood, by your own admission.
So how would you know a big
shot like Lucky Luciano?

        BENDIX
Everybody knows Lucky.
Everybody knows he runs
every racket in New York,
clean and dirty. You steal
an apple off a push cart,
you gotta give him half.

        POLAKOFF
Did Mr. Dewey promise you
anything in exchange for
your testimony?

Bendix hesitates.

        POLAKOFF
Are you suddenly struck deaf,
Mr. Bendix?
(louder)
Have you been promised anything
in exchange for your testimony?

Bendix looks over at Tom. He nods bleakly.

         BENDIX
Mr. Dewey said he’d get me
a reduction in sentence…
if Luciano was convicted…

INT.CORRIDOR. DAY

Tom and his staff hurry down the hall, pursued by REPORTERS, shouting questions: “Is your strategy working, Tom?” “Do you think the jury believed your witnesses?” They dash into an office.

INT. OFFICE. DAY

Medailie is pacing impatiently. He jumps at Tom.

        MEDAILIE
This was a very bad beginning,
Tom.

        TOM
We’re building a case, George.

        MEDAILIE
With a man who pimped his
wife and another who admits
he sold his testimony for a
better deal? I’ve got to
admit that even I find it
hard to believe that Luciano
would have anything to do
with such scum..

        TOM
You will after you hear
those poor women testify.

        MEDAILIE
I understand what you’re
doing, Tom. But your
strategy is built on
bribery and coercion…

        TOM
It’s the only strategy we
have. We can’t catch
Luciano with a smoking gun
because he doesn’t do his
own shooting. We’ve got to
create public outrage, show
the world what a monster he
really is. Call it bribery
or coercion but we have to
find a way to make these
people testify.

NEWSREEL

In a dormitory, Tom sits with Nancy and four of her friends.

        NEWSCASTER
Prosecutor Tom Dewey talks
the women who will testify
against Lucky Luciano. Freed
from the grasp of the white
slavers they live together in
a dormitory where they are
being cured of their addiction
and returned to faith and
family…

The wan, woebegone PROSTITUTES tell their story.

        MARY THOMAS
I froze walkin’ the streets
to support my two kids, but
it was better than workin’
in the houses.

        JOAN MARTIN
Little Davey told me I had
to pay three hundred a week.
He said Lucky was behind it.
When I argued he hit me with
a pipe.
(shows a scar on her face)
He gave me this.

        HELEN KELLY
I was makin’ six bucks a
week, waitin’ tables. When
I lost my job. Davey put me
into a house. Said Lucky
took care of the girls. Gave
me my first shot of heroin.
I was bookin’ a coupla hundred
a night and he’d throw me a fin
to get high.

        FLO (COKEY) BROWN
Girls who went to the cops
had their feet and stomachs
burned with cigarettes and
their tongues cut out…It’s
like Mr. Dewey says. We have
to make sure this never happens
to another girl ever again.

INT. COURTROOM. DAY

Flo, pale and trembling from drug withdrawal testifies under Tom’s patient guidance.

        FLO
We were sittin’ around this
Chop Suey joint…

        TOM
Who were you with?

        FLO
Davey and Fat Jenny and…

        TOM
And who..?

        FLO
(takes out a flask)
Can I take a snort to calm
my nerves?

        POLAKOFF
Objection! No one else is
allowed to bring alcohol
into this building…

        TOM
Your honor, Miss Brown needs
this for medicinal purposes.

There is laughter in the gallery. Judge McCook gavels it into silence.

        MCCOOK
Objection overruled on
humanitarian grounds. Go
ahead, Miss Brown.

Flo takes a long pull on the flask and continues in a strong, clear voice.

        FLO
Charley Lucky was there,
too.

AT THE DEFENSE TABLE (CROSSCUT)

Outraged, Charley whispers to Polakoff.

        CHARLEY
I never seen this broad in
my life.

        FLO
Charley was braggin’ in
front of the girls. ‘I’m
gonna organize the cathouses
like the A&P,’ he says.

        TOM
Did Luciano discuss his
other plans?

        FLO
Said the girls had to
produce more. He wanted
the boys to beat ‘em up
or get ’em hooked on drugs.
‘You gotta step on ‘em,’ he
said. ‘Talkin’ won’t do no
good.’

        TOM
Thank you, Miss Brown.

Polakoff rises with sarcastic politeness.

        POLAKOFF
You have a nickname, don’t
you, Miss Brown?

        FLO
People called me Cokey
‘cause I was coked up
most of the time.

        POLAKOFF
When did you become a
prostitute?

        FLO
When I was fifteen. Three
guys, friends of my uncle
put me in a house in Chicago.

        POLAKOFF
Nice family. How soon
after that did you become
addicted to heroin?

        FLO
A day, a year, who knows..

        POLAKOFF
Hopheads don’t have very
good memories, do they
Cokey?

        TOM
Objection. Miss Brown
isn’t a medical expert…

        POLAKOFF
Were you coked up the
night you saw Mr. Luciano?

        FLO
Maybe. I don’t know.

        POLAKOFF
You don’t remember if you
were coked up, but you do
remember every word Mr.
Luciano said.

        FLO
You don’t forget Charley
Luciano. You don’t forget
those eyes lookin’ into you.

The jury looks over at Luciano. To break the tension he puts his hands over his eyes. The courtroom erupts in laughter, the JURORS hiding their smiles behind their hands. The laughter continues in spite of Judge McCook’s pounding gavels and stern requests for “silence.”

AT THE PROSECUTION TABLE

Tom and his team are the only ones not amused. Gurfein and Hurwitz look to Tom for guidance, but he stares grimly as the laughter washes over him.

END ACT THREE


Next: Part 24/Act 4: Dewey Crosses 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.

 

Movies You Will Never See/Empires of Crime/Part 22

*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 IV

ACT TWO

INT. TOM’S OFFICE. NIGHT.

Tom listens intently as a Dave Miller tells his story.

        MILLER
It’s all organized. We pay
ten bucks per girl for a
bail fund that gets them
out of jail. Ten bucks
goes for paying off the
Vice Squad. Three hundred
a week to Bettilo.

        TOM
Who’s he?

        MILLER
The collector. Comes around
after a big Friday night.
If you can’t pay he saps
you down.

        TOM
Luciano ever sap you down?

        MILLER
No he don’t do his own rough
stuff.

        TOM
So how do you know he’s
Bettilo’s boss?

        MILLER
I seen ‘em together. I
brought a broad to the
Waldorf for Luciano.
Nancy Presser…

INT.TOM’S OFFICE. DAY

Dawn. An argument has been raging for hours. Tom watches, trying to make up his mind as his staff fights it out.

        HURWITZ
It’s a known fact that Luciano
runs every racket in the city.

        GURFEIN
We still need to establish a
direct connection to
prostitution.

        HURWITZ
Miller gives us the connection.
He brought a girl to Luciano.

        GURFEIN
That only proves that Luciano
is a good customer. We need
to see him taking money,
making day to day decisions.

        TOM
Miss Carter, you worked in
Woman’s Court. Did the
prostitutes ever mention
any ties to the Syndicate?

        CARTER
All I heard were the most
heartbreaking stories.

        TOM
Which would sound very
moving on a witness stand.
These women are on the
lowest rung of the criminal
ladder. They are fragile
souls…

        CARTER
Anyone who can drink a quart
of gin and sleep with twenty
men a night is hardly fragile,
Chief. But they are downtrodden
and abused.

        TOM
For five years I’ve turned
down the idea of going after
the prostitution racket. It
seemed like small potatoes.
But I overlooked the human
aspect. People wouldn’t like
their Good Time Charley so
much if they saw how he
ruined the lives of young
girls. I can see a parade of
fallen women marching into a
courtroom and pointing their
fingers at Charley Luciano,
saying:”you did this to me.”
Let’s see if he can stand up
to that.


INT.BROTHEL. NIGHT.

Towels are jammed into the window cracks and under the door. Nancy  and two YOUNG PROSTITUTES are smoking opium. There is a KNOCK.

        NANCY
Oh God, I don’t feel like
workin’.

Opens the door and a bunch of DETECTIVES shoulder in.

        DETECTIVE
Get your coats, ladies, this
is a raid.

        NANCY
I don’t get it. We paid
everybody off.

        DETECTIVE
Not Tom Dewey, you haven’t.


INT. FREIGHT ELEVATOR. NIGHT.

Nancy is jammed in with a bunch of complaining PROSTITUTES and bored cops. The door opens on the HOLDING ROOM. The floor is crowded with raucous PROSTITUTES and harried COPS. Eunice Carter stands at the door with a welcoming smile.

        CARTER
Good evening ladies. Give
your names to the officers
at the tables. There’s coffee
and donuts if you’re hungry…

        NANCY
We’ll be bailed out before
the coffee starts perkin’…


INT. HOLDING ROOM. NIGHT.

A short time later. Nancy is in a crowd of angry PROSTITUTES mobbing the cops. “Let us out.” “You can’t keep us here.” TOM walks into the midst of the angry crowd and raises
his hand.

        TOM
Ladies please, we want to
help you.


He is greeted by hoots of derision.

        TOM
Ask yourselves, where will
you be in two years? In
prison? Sick from drugs and
rotgut booze?

        A PROSTITUTE
We’ll all be dead, what do
you care?

The women jeer and shout: “Yeah, what do you care?”

        TOM
We care and we’ll prove it.
We’ve brought doctors here
to give you a good check up.
(points to CLERGYMEN behind
him)
When was the last time you
spoke to a priest or a
minister or a rabbi?
(points to SOCIAL WORKERS)
Some of you have kids in an
orphanage. These social
workers can get them back
for you.
(the women grow quiet)
Some of you have families
who are trying to find you.
Husbands looking for wives.
Mothers for their daughters.
A woman in Auburn, New York
put in a missing person
report for her daughter,
Nancy. Is there a Nancy
Presser here? Your mother
wants you back, Nancy, no
questions asked.

IN THE CROWD

Nancy chokes back a sob.

INT. OFFICE. NIGHT.

Outside the glass window the PROSTITUTES mill, restlessly. Inside, Nancy daubs at a tear as Tom tries to convince her to testify.

        NANCY
It’s a dirty trick bringin’
my mother into this.

        TOM
Luciano’s playing a worse
trick on you, Nancy.

        NANCY
Go peddle your papers, Boy
Scout, I don’t know no
Luciano.

        TOM
Dave Miller told us all
about you and Charley.

        NANCY
That rotten stoolie..!

        TOM
He’s your friend, Nancy. He
told us how you came to the
city a frightened kid with
no money and no place to go.
How they grabbed you and put
you on the hustle. Fed you
dope so you’d be their slave
forever. You girls hate
yourselves. You think it’s
all your fault, but it’s not.
You had a bad break.

        NANCY
Yeah, yeah, don’t hand me
that bull. You just want me
to rat on Charley. Well, I
got bad news for you: he
don’t have nothin’ to do
with the houses. Charley
Luciano don’t need no
nickel dime action.

        TOM
He’s your friend, huh?

        NANCY
I’m his number one, ask
anybody.

        TOM
Does he take you out a lot?

        NANCY
He likes to stay home.
Listen to the radio shows…

        TOM
Broadway Charley a homebody?
He’s in the clubs every night.
I see his name in the columns
all the time.

        NANCY
With me it’s different. I’m
kinda like his wife…

        TOM
C’mon Nancy, he only wants
you for one thing…

        NANCY
(faltering)
No, it’s not like that…

        TOM
He’s ashamed of you. When
he wants to be seen in
public he goes with Gay
Orlova from the Follies.
He bathes her in jewels
and furs. What does he
give you?

        NANCY
Charley’s been good to me…

        TOM
He whistles and you come
running. Then when it’s
time to go he slips you
a few dollars and sends
you back to a filthy hotel
room to turn more two dollar
tricks, doesn’t he?

        NANCY
It’s not that way.

        TOM
He’s using you, Nancy. When
he gets bored he’ll dump you.
You’ll end up a syphilitic
drug addicted old whore dying
alone and forgotten in a
charity ward.

        NANCY
You wouldn’t be no better.
No man would.

        TOM
I’m no saint. But here’s
the difference: you work
with me you’ll have respect.
You’ll be reunited with your
family. You’ll be clean.
You’ll be able to start a new
life. I’m the best friend you’ve
got right now, Nancy. Give me
a chance to prove it.


Nancy stares at him, trying to make up her mind.

INT.BEN MILLER’S. NIGHT.

A swank casino where New York’s elite is trying its luck. Charley and Gay Orlova enter in evening clothes. Waving and shaking hands they make their way to the roulette wheel where Meyer is watching anxiously as Walter Chrysler makes huge bets.

        MEYER
He took a hundred G’s
credit. Said you would
okay it.

        CHARLEY
Whaddya kvetchin’, the guy
owns the Chrysler building.
(waves to Chrysler)
Tell ‘em where you got it,
Walter.

        MEYER
Polakoff’s losin’ his shirt
again.

        CHARLEY
That’s good, ain’t it?

        MEYER
It’s money we’ll never see.
He’ll just take it off our
legal fees.

        CHARLEY
So what, we’re still ahead.

        MEYER
It doesn’t go on the books,
so it affects our cash flow
and our winning percentage…

        CHARLEY
Stop thinkin’ like a
bookkeeper…


At the crap table, Polakoff rolls snake eyes and the CROWD MOANS in sympathy.

        CHARLEY
Uh oh, I hate to see my
lawyer losin’ money. Means
my fee’s gonna go up…
(hands Gay a roll of bills)
Here y’are, baby, give the
dice a little kiss, that’ll
make ‘em jump…


The crowd laughs as Polakoff steps away from the table and follows Charley and Meyer into:

INT.BACK OFFICE. NIGHT.

BOOKKEEPERS in eyeshades are pounding adding machines. Without being asked they step out. The three men confer in the shadows.

        POLAKOFF
Dewey’s getting big headlines
with his anti Luciano campaign.

        CHARLEY
He pinched every small timer
in town and couldn’t get
nothin’.

        POLAKOFF
Now he’s raided all the
brothels. Arrested hundreds
of prostitutes.

        CHARLEY
What a catastrophe. What
are all the johns gonna do
for company?

        POLAKOFF
He’s got your girlfriend
Nancy Presser.

        CHARLEY
So what? All she can tell
him is what a great lay I
am.

        MEYER
Cover your ears, Mo.

        POLAKOFF
(stepping out)
I’ll be outside losing
money…

        MEYER
(waits for him to leave)
Maybe we should have let
Dutch have his way.

        CHARLEY
If we killed Dewey they
woulda shut us down for
good. This way I’m takin’
the heat for organization.

        MEYER
So take a little vacation
instead.

        CHARLEY
You keep tryin’ to get me
to leave town. Whaddya you
lookin’ to take over while
I’m gone?

        MEYER
That’s a nice thing to say
when I’m wrackin’ my brains
tryin’ to keep you outta
jail. Don’t you realize:
we’re done here. Dewey’s
not gonna let us breathe.

        CHARLEY
So what am I supposed to
do?

        MEYER
Cash out. Go to Miami, out
west, where there’s easy
pickings and a quiet life.

        CHARLEY
That’s what you want, Meyer.
A quiet life. Grow old
gracefully. Die in bed with
your grandchildren all
around you. Capone was right.
You don’t know who you are.

        MEYER
I’m a business man, Charley.

        CHARLEY
You run your rackets like
a business, but that don’t
make you a business man.
You’re a desperado, just
like me. You were born
schemin’, you’ll die
schemin’.

        MEYER
What do you wanna do,
conquer the world, Charley.?

        CHARLEY
Just a piece of it. I wanna
build this business up so
that every time somebody
makes a bet he’s bettin’
with me. You know who gave
me that idea? You did.

        MEYER
Things have changed.

        CHARLEY
I wanna build it up so
that every time a guy
goes out for a night on
the town he’s doin’ it
in my clubs, drinkin’ my
liquor, listenin’ to my
bands. I like this life,
Meyer. Sittin’ on the
third base line at Yankee
Stadium, the owner’s box
at Belmont, ringside at
the Garden. Walkin’ into
a club with a chorus honey
in a mink coat. Two on the
aisle at a show I’m backin’.
Everybody wavin’ and callin’
‘Hey Charley…

        MEYER
Those days died with
Prohibition, Charley.

        CHARLEY
People are still comin’ to
us for a good time and they
always will. They know the
only way they can get rich
is if they get lucky with us.
You’ll see: The people won’t
let Dewey put us outta
business.


INT. GRAND JURY. DAY

REPORTERS, PHOTOGS and NEWSREEL CREWS rush forward as Tom steps out of the Grand Jury room with Nancy and a few of her FRIENDS. In a plain dress, scrubbed clean without make up, Nancy looks like the small town girl next door. Tom guides her toward the cameras.

        TOM
Just step right up here,
ladies and pose for the
newsreel boys.
(to the REPORTERS)
Nancy Presser has become
our most zealous advocate.
She’s convinced many of her
friends to clean up and
testify…


The REPORTERS clamor for a statement. Nancy looks hesitantly at Tom, but he nudges her forward with a reassuring smile.

        TOM
Go ahead. Say what’s in
your heart.

        NANCY
(halting)
I’m not a bad girl, I
just got some bad breaks.
But Mr. Dewey stepped in
and saved me from a life
of depravity and disease.
As Mr. Dewey says, God
always has mercy on a
repentant sinner. I’m
telling the truth at
last and I pray God
forgives me…


She looks back at Tom. He pats her, approvingly on the hand.

        TOM
Charles Luciano is the czar
of prostitution. His
syndicate controls more than
two hundred brothels,
employing three thousand
prostitutes grossing twelve
million dollars a year.
People say prostitution is a
victimless crime, but these
women are its victims. They
are ruined, exploited, then
abandoned when they can no
longer earn money for their
brutal masters. They have
come forth at great personal
risk to expose Luciano’s
vicious racket.


EXT. DARK STREET. NIGHT.

Gay Orlova sits in the back of a sedan, bundled in furs. Charley Workman throws suitcases into the trunk. Meyer and Charley walk to the car, talking excitedly.

        MEYER
You change cars in Philadelphia
and Cleveland. Then take the
train into Hot Springs. Owney
Madden’s got the whole state of
Arkansas locked up for you.

        CHARLEY
I got nothin’ to do with
these whorehouses. What am
I runnin’ for?

        MEYER
We need time to pull strings.
Maybe squash this thing.

        CHARLEY
Dewey’s knows I’m innocent.       

        MEYER
He’s a grifter like us,
Charley. He’s got no morals…

        CHARLEY
How about those newspaper guys
howlin’ for my blood. I was
always nice to them…

        MEYER
You know how they are. They
go the way the wind blows.

        CHARLEY
I can’t get over Nancy
turnin’ on me like that.
She don’t owe me nothin’,
but still, I always
thought she kinda liked
me…

        MEYER
Wait’ll this is over and
you’re back on top. You’ll
be Mr. Popularity all over
again..Gimme a call when
you get to Hot Springs…


They shake hands through the window and Meyer watches Charley’s car speed away, his reassuring smile fading to a look of concern.

INT. MEYER’S APARTMENT. DAY

Early the next morning. Meyer walks in, sleepless and haggard. His children, PAUL, SANDRA and BUDDY, on crutches and braces, are in the vestibule with their coats on and suitcases. They look at him, eyes wide with fright.

        MEYER
Hey kids, what’s the matter.


Meyer’s mother, YETTA, comes out.

        YETTA
Oy Maier, where were you?
Two days we’ve been trying
to find you.

        MEYER
I had business, ma. What
happened?

        YETTA
(takes him away from the
children)
Annie had a breakdown.
Screaming, banging her head,
pulling out her hair. The
kinderlach were so scared.
An ambulance came. They took
her to Bellevue…


INT. BELLEVUE. DAY

Meyer follows a NURSE down a gloomy corridor and into:

INT. HOSPITAL ROOM. DAY

where Anne is in a gray hospital robe, staring out the window.

        MEYER
Annie…


She turns with a dull, emotionless look.

        ANNE
You finally showed up. Where
were you traipsing around
this time?

        MEYER
I had to get Charley out
of town.

        ANNE
Oh yeah, your old friend,
who gave such a nice toast
at our wedding. Charley,
the white slaver…

        MEYER
What happened to you?

        ANNE
I got sick and tired of them.

        MEYER
Sick and tired of who?

        ANNE
The people listening on the
phone. I hear their voices
when I pick it up. The men
following me on the street.
Sometimes I walk right at
them and they turn around
or make believe they’re
reading the paper.

        MEYER
Did you tell the doctors?

        ANNE
They think I’m hearing voices,
imagining things. But you know
I’m not, Meyer. Dewey put those
people there, didn’t he?

        MEYER
They can’t do nothin’ but
watch, Annie. Try and forget
about ‘em.

        ANNE
Look Meyer…


Anne reaches under her gown and comes out with a JEWEL BOX filled with RINGS and BROOCHES  and PINS.

        ANNE
They tried to take my jewels,
but I hid them.
(holds up a DIAMOND NECKLACE)
You gave me this on our
honeymoon, remember?

        MEYER
Sure I do…

        ANNE
We were happy when the
babies were coming. You
were home every night.
Walter Winchell lived in
the building. Remember he
came for bagels and lox
one Sunday? He talked so
respectful to you. Always
took his hat off when I
saw him in the elevator.

        MEYER
Everybody loved us during
Prohibition. The party
didn’t start until we
showed up.

        ANNE
But now he’s on the radio
calling you a sewer rat
and saying there’s no
place for snakes like
you in FDR’s America…

        MEYER
These guys blow with the
wind. It don’t mean nothin’.

        ANNE
It does to your children,
Meyer. I had my doubts…Oy,
if I had only known…

        MEYER
(takes her hand)
It’ll be good again, Annie,
I promise. I got a few
things to take care of and
then we’ll move to Cuba…

        ANNE
All of a sudden Cuba is
the Promised Land? Next
year in Cuba?

        MEYER
Annie, why do you think
I’m knockin’ my brains
out goin’ back and forth..?
I’m doin’ it for you and
the kids.

        ANNE
Don’t splurge on a big house,
Meyer because we aren’t coming.

        MEYER
Annie, believe me. Cuba is
our chance to be respectable.

        ANNE
It’s too late, Meyer, don’t
you see? They’ll never let
you change…You should live
like Charley. Out every night,
girls coming and going. A man
like you can’t have a family.
It’s wrong, Meyer…


She turns away and goes back to the window, fondling her jewels, shutting him out.

MONTAGE…

CHARLEY drives south, GAY sleeping on his shoulder.

GURFEIN shows the staff a BANNER HEADLINE: DEWEY INDICTS LUCIANO

TOM gives a major press conference.

        TOM
Lucky Luciano is Public
Enemy Number One in New
York. He is to be arrested
on sight wherever he has
lighted.


RAILROAD STATION

A sign reads HOT SPRINGS, ARKANSAS…GET WEALTHY, STAY HEALTHY. Charley and Gay get off the train and are greeted by mobster OWNEY MADDEN and a delegation of SOUTHERN POLITICIANS. As FLASHBULBS POP:

        MADDEN
Welcome to Hot Springs, Charley.
This is your town now. Dewey
can’t touch you here.


NEWSREEL…Tom behind a BANK of MICROPHONES.

        TOM
I have today issued a request
to the state of Arkansas for
the immediate extradition of
Charles Luciano…I don’t
think the good citizens
realize that their Governor
is offering safe haven to
the worst criminal in America.


NEWSREEL…HOT SPRINGS COURTHOUSE…Charley and Mo Polakoff emerge smiling and meet Owney Madden on the steps.

        NEWSCASTER
Lucky Luciano may be Public
Enemy Number One in New York,
but here in Arkansas he’s a
solid citizen. The state court
refused to extradite him, the
Governor has allowed him to
stay and the Mayor of Hot
Springs has given him the key
to the city. Here he meets
with old pal Owney Madden, a
former New York bootlegger
who runs the Warm Springs spa
and resort, a weekend hideaway
for all the best people in the
South, Lucky Luciano included.


INT.OWNEY MADDEN’S CASINO. NIGHT

A banner over the bandstand, reads WELCOME LUCKY. The band strikes up a FANFARE as Charley, in a white dinner jacket and Gay in a strapless gown, walk into the club. Charley waves to the applauding crowd as Owney escorts them to a ringside table. A WAITER pops CHAMPAGNE.

        CHARLEY
I hope that ain’t the stuff
we used to make, Owney.

        MADDEN
French, right off the boat.
(they sit down)
I heard from Meyer today.
Polakoff’s workin’ to dismiss
the indictment. Meyer’s gonna
look out for your interests.
We’ll give you twenty five G’s
a month walkin’ around money.
I’ll advance it and get it
back from the boys…

        CHARLEY
I really appreciate what
you’re doin’…

        MADDEN
Hey, us old knockaround guys
gotta stick together, right?
You’re gonna like it here,
Charley. All the comforts of
home.

        CHARLEY
Got any corned beef?

        MADDEN
We’re workin’ on it.

        CHARLEY
What do you think, Gay?

        GAY
It’s beautiful down here.
I love the weather.

        CHARLEY
Yeah, it’s beautiful.
(shakes his head, sadly)
But it ain’t Broadway.

END ACT TWO


Next: Part 23/Act 3: On Trial

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 20

*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 FOUR

INT. HAVANA HOTEL. NIGHT.

Cuba…A CONJUNTO BAND plays a Mambo. Anne Lansky sits morosely at a table  watching the graceful CUBAN COUPLES.

IN A DARK CORNER

Meyer is talking to FULGENCIO BATISTA a young Army Sergeant.

        MEYER
We’re still making alcohol,
Sergeant Batista and we
still need sugar…at the
right price.

        BATISTA
Cuba is a big plantation,
Mr. Lansky. A hundred tons
will never be missed. Give
me half the American price
per ton in cash, we will
ship it to a port of your
choice.

        MEYER
New Orleans. We control
Customs there. Will you
do business only with me?

        BATISTA
If it continues to be
profitable…

        MEYER
With all due respect,
Sergeant Batista, I think
I might need a General.

        BATISTA
This money you give me
will make me a General
very soon, Mr. Lansky.

Meyer smiles. He and Batista understand each other.

        MEYER
Beautiful country. But
not many tourists.

        BATISTA
They find it too hot.
Too many mosquitos. And
bandidos in the hills.

        MEYER
We could kill the mosquitos
and the bandidos. Build nice
hotels with gambling. Could
that be done?

        BATISTA
As long as it is profitable,
Mr. Lansky.

INT. HOTEL ROOM. NIGHT.

The Havana moon shines through the window, but Anne is inconsolable. She sits on the bed twisting a tearstained handkerchief as Meyer tries to convince her:

        MEYER
Cuba is the answer to
our prayers, Annie.
Charley’ll never leave
New York, Benny is happy
in Hollywood. We’ll have
the whole place to ourselves…

        ANNE
What can we do down here?

        MEYER
We’ll build a big hotel,
ours alone, no partners.
Right on the beach with a
pool and high class
entertainment…

        ANNE
And a casino?

        MEYER
People like to gamble, honey,
I’m not putting a gun to their
head.

        ANNE
Then Charley and Benny and
all your gangster friends
will come like flies to honey…

        MEYER
I’ll control the franchises.
I’ll decide who’s in or out.

        ANNE
Can you think of your children
for once? Where will Paul and
Sandra go to school? Where
will we find doctors for
Buddy?

        MEYER
We’re an hour plane ride
away from Miami, Annie.
There’s a big American
colony here with good
schools…

        ANNE
They won’t accept the
children of a notorious
criminal. When the police
find out they’ll hound us
and persecute us until we
have to run away.

        MEYER
Not from Cuba. We’ll be
safe here. We’ll be happy.

        ANNE
(with a mournful look)
Oy Meyer, this is the life
you gave me. Always running.
It’s too late for happy. And
safe we’ll never be…

INT. DA’S OFFICE.DAY

A line of YOUNG LAWYERS waits to be interviewed.

INT. TOM’S OFFICE. DAY

MONTAGE…Tom interviews young lawyers. First: MURRAY GURFEIN, an earnest young man from Brooklyn.

        GURFEIN
First, I have to tell you,
sir, I’m a lifelong Democrat.

        TOM
Most New Yorkers are, Mr.
Gurfein. More to the point:
Why are you willing to work
twenty hours a day seven
days for week for one tenth
what you could make on Wall
Street?

        GURFEIN
I hate those hoods. I hate
the way they strut around
my neighborhood showing
their money off. Everybody’s
scared of them and in America
that shouldn’t be.

Next: BURTON TURKUS, young, idealistic, intense.

        TURKUS
I’ve been an Assistant District
Attorney for three years and I
can tell you how rotten the
system is. You can’t try a case.
Everyone thinks you’re for sale.

        TOM
Don’t you feel any loyalty
for your former colleagues,
Mr. Turkus?

        TURKUS
Not after what they’ve done
to the profession.

VICTOR HURWITZ, a cocky street kid

        HURWITZ
I have the experience, I
have the energy and I’m
just about the best
investigator you can find.
And frankly, I see big career
possibilities in this job.

        TOM
You’re an arrogant sonofabitch,
Mr. Hurwitz, but then again so
am I. And I have to admit I also
see the possibilities…If we
succeed.

EUNICE CARTER, an intense young black woman

        CARTER
I know every numbers runner
in every poolroom on Harlem.
I’ve had seven years in
Woman’s Court working with
con artists and hustlers.
Nobody can fool me..

        TOM
You realize you’ll be the
only female and the Negro
on our staff.

        CARTER
I’m used to being lonely.

EXT. GOLF COURSE. DAY

A sparkling, sunny morning. Charley, in yellow and black golf clothes, tees off and watches his ball with satisfaction. His companions, JIMMY HINES and WALTER CHRYSLER, squat, bespectacled with a shrewd look, applaud.

        HINES
Great shot, Charley.

        CHRYSLER
Looks like I’m going to
lose my bet.

        CHARLEY
I’m bettin’ you come out
a winner today, Mr. Chrysler.

        CHRYSLER
(as they walk down the fairway)
I hope so. As I was saying:
I’m putting up a big building,
giving work to thousands of
people. You’d think the unions
would be grateful, but they’ve
increased crew size and now
they want time and a half for
overtime.

        HINES
These bums should get on
their knees and thank Mr.
Chrysler for givin’ em jobs..

        CHARLEY
Workin’ guys don’t think
past their stomachs. Don’t
worry about crews or overtime.
You tell me how many floors
you’re puttin’ up, I’ll give
you a price per floor.

        CHRYSLER
And what’s your price,
Charley?

        CHARLEY
I don’t want nothin’. I’m
just happy to grease the
wheels.

        CHRYSLER
Just one more question.
Our arrangements are so
informal. What will happen
if you have a…problem?

        CHARLEY
What kind of problem?

        CHRYSLER
Well, it seems that there
a lot of people who want
to put you out of business.
Thomas Dewey for one…

        CHARLEY
Lemme ask you a question, Mr.
Chrysler. Say you’re sick and
layin’ in the hospital, who
runs your company?

        CHRYSLER
I do. Until the day I die.

        CHARLEY
Same with me.  They can
throw me in a deep, dark
dungeon, I’m still the
boss and nothin’ gets
done without my say so.
That’s how my organization
works.

INT.CORRIDOR. DAY.

Tom gives his new staff a tour of their headquarters..

        TOM
We operate in complete
secrecy. There’s a guard
on the floor twenty four
hours a day. Nobody, not
even the cleaning woman,
gets in without a pass.

SUB BASEMENT…Tom walks his staff through a jungle of pipes and boilers to a steel door.

        TOM
This door leads to a stairway
that connects to the subway
tunnel across the street.
It’s a secret entrance for
your informers and witnesses.

IN THE OFFICE…Tom opens a cast iron safe.

        TOM
All work documents must be
locked in this safe at the
end of the day. Remember.
There are certain powerful
interests in this city that
want us to fail. Consider
everyone your enemy until
they win your trust. Stay
out of nightclubs. When
speaking in public use code
names for your associates,
especially me.

        CARTER
We’ll call you chief. How’s
that?

        TOM
(with a smile)
Chief…Got a nice ring to
it…

EXT. DESERT. DAY.

Desolation as far as the eye can see. A ROAD SIGN reads, WELCOME TO LAS VEGAS miles. Benny and Meyer stand in the broiling sun.

        BENNY
I drove through here three
times before I knew what I
was lookin’ at.

        MEYER
Too hot, Benny.

        BENNY
It’s the desert. You freeze
your ass off at night.

        MEYER
We’ll have to pipe in water.
Pipe in customers, too.

        BENNY
It’s the Promised Land, Meyer.
This is where we’re gonna
build our temple…

INT. RESTAURANT. DAY

At a corner table Abe Landau watches intently as Tom has a quick lunch with an anxious Medailie.

        TOM
They couldn’t convict Dutch
Schulz last time because
they didn’t have enough
hard information. That
won’t happen again.
(takes a chart out of his
brief case)
My staff has worked up an
organizational pyramid on
Schulz, who works for him
and where they do business.
We’re going to cover each of
these men, tap their phones,
bug their private hideaways.

        MEDAILIE
You’ll need warrants.

        TOM
Too risky. If one of the
judges is crooked he’ll
leak it to Schulz…

        MEDAILIE
But if the taps aren’t
legal they’ won’t be
admissible.

        TOM
We’re not going to use
them in court. We’re
going to use them to
blackmail people into
informing and testifying.

        MEDAILIE
That’s against the law, Tom.

        TOM
We’re in a war, George,
outnumbered by hostile
forces. If we stick to
the letter of the law
we’ll never get these
guys. We have to win
this any way we can.

INT. CHARLEY’S OFFICE. NIGHT.

Benny and Meyer are trying to sell the idea of Vegas to Charley, Dutch Schulz and Frank Costello

        BENNY
Cows can’t eat it and you
can’t plant oranges on it,
but it’s the best real
estate deal in the world.

        SCHULZ
Whaddya gonna do, open a
cactus factory?

        CHARLEY
We backed you in California,
Ben. That market’s still not
payin’ off.

        MEYER
It will. Between the wire
service and the crap games
we’re already clearin’ forty
G’s a week in LA.

        BENNY
And that ain’t a spit in
the ocean compared to what
we can do in Vegas.

        COSTELLO
Vegas is a buncha cowboys
playin’ penny slots, Benny.

        BENNY
Not when I get done with
it. There’s this Hollywood
guy Wilkerson, opened a
joint called the Flamingo.
I took it off him. It’s
ours now. A million bucks
buildsus the biggest, most
luxurious hotel in the world.

        MEYER
Benny sees something here,
Charley Let’s give him a
chance.

        CHARLEY
Why take money you make
one place and piss it away
someplace else?

        MEYER
It’s an investment. It’ll
get us outta New York, one
step ahead of Dewey and his
lynch mob.

        SCHULZ
You scared of Dewey, Meyer?
(takes out a wad of CASH)
Tellya what, I’ll buy you
out of all your interests
in New York. You can build
your castle in the sand, I’m
stayin’ right here. No hayseed
shyster’s gonna chase me out.

MONTAGE…NEWSREEL…

Schulz, Abe Landau and CRONIES, surrounded by SHOWGIRLS, pop champagne at a lavish nightclub.

        NEWSCASTER
Mob boss Dutch Schulz rings
in the New Year at the famous
New York nitery Chez Paree.
‘34 was a good year for the
Dutchman, but if Tom Dewey
has his way, 35’ll be a bust.

TOM’S OFFICE

HYMAN GROSS, a frightened restaurateur, is telling his story as Tom’s staff watches, sympathetically.

        GROSS
A hundred thousand dollars
I put into that restaurant
and then Schulz’s thugs told
me to get out, he was taking
over.
(sobs)
They beat up my chef, threw
stink bombs down my chimney.
Insurance wouldn’t pay my claim.
They ruined me…

        TOM
(gently)
You realize that if you
testify your life might
be in danger…

        GROSS
What life? I don’t have a
life anymore.

NIGHT CLUB

A REPORTER intrudes on Schulz’s riotous party.

        REPORTER
Hey Dutch, see the morning
paper? Dewey’s says he’s
gonna indict you.

        SCHULZ
(drunken doggerel)
Who’s Dewey?/Just a lotta
hooey…His cronies laugh
and repeat “a lotta hooey…”

        SCHULZ
Dewey’s a hoodoo/Phooey on
Tom Dewey….

They laugh uproariously as if it’s the funniest thing they’ve ever heard.

TOM’S OFFICE

SIDNEY GOTTESMAN, a union organizer, a bloody bandage on his head, trembling with rage.

        GOTTESMAN
They threw me down the stairs.
Said ‘you don’t run the union
no more. Dutch Schulz’ll take
care of the waiters from now
on.

        TOM
Mr. Gottesman, I feel obliged
to tell you that our wiretaps
have picked up Schulz
threatening your life.

        GOTTESMAN
I don’t care what happens to
me. I just wanna put that bum
in jail.

PRESS CONFERENCE… Tom faces the press, his staff behind him.

        TOM
For months lawyers and
agents under my command
have worked tirelessly to
bring a racketeering
indictment against Dutch
Schulz. We have subpoenaed
three thousand witnesses,
gone over hours of wire-
tapping and surveillance
evidence. Many brave
citizens have come forward
at great personal risk to
testify. I have requested
the empaneling of a separate
Grand Jury. I make this
promise to you New York: I
will bring Dutch Schulz to
justice.

INT. CHARLEY’S PENTHOUSE. NIGHT

DANCE MUSIC  purrs softly on the radio. Charley lies on the couch with his head in Nancy’s lap. She tousles his hair, bored to distraction.

        CHARLEY
We could be anybody right
now. A nice married couple
enjoyin’ a quiet evening at
home…

        NANCY
Can’t we go out for once?

        CHARLEY
What for, we got everything
here. You wanna eat, you
wanna drink? You want a show?
I’ll call Al Jolson to sing
you a lullaby.

        NANCY
You take that chorus girl
out all the time…

The DOORBELL RINGS. Nancy gets up to answer it.

        NANCY
You just don’t want nobody
to see you with your hopped
up girlfriend…

She opens the door on Dutch Schulz, Landau lurking behind him.

        SCHULZ
Hiya gorgeous…

Charley jumps up, coldly angry.

        CHARLEY
I thought they closed the
Bronx zoo for the night.
(to Nancy)
Baby, do me a favor…

        NANCY
(walking out)
Yeah, I know, go in the
bathroom and run the water…

Charley waits until she’s gone, then turns on Schulz.

        CHARLEY
What are you nuts, comin’
here?

        SCHULZ
It’s the only place I can
go these days that ain’t
bugged. I hear Dewey’s gonna
spring a tax rap on me.

        CHARLEY
I told ya a million times.
You gotta have somethin’
legit. You show income,
you throw Uncle Sam a
coupla bucks…

        SCHULZ
I can’t operate, Charley.
He’s got all my phones tapped.
He’s backtrackin’ my joints,
gettin’ an earful from every
crum with a grudge.

        CHARLEY
Whaddya cryin’? You been
dodgin’ cops all your life.

        SCHULZ
Not like this guy. He’s
nuts and he’s got all the
yokels on his side.
(lowers his voice)
I been casin’ him, Charley.
Goes to the same drugstore
for coffee same time every
day. One guy with a silencer
and our troubles are over.

        CHARLEY
You know the rule about
killin’ cops.

        SCHULZ
That’s cause it’s always
been live and let live.
But this guy’s on a holy
war. Look, I’ll take care
of it. You tell the boys
it’s that crazy Dutchman,
you can’t control him.

        CHARLEY
Leave Dewey alone, Dutch.

Schulz’s expression closes and gets cunning.

        SCHULZ
Okay Charley, if you say so.

        CHARLEY
Do what I say. Don’t backdoor
me.

        SCHULZ
Would I do that? I get a
little antsy sometimes,
but I always play ball,
you know me.

        CHARLEY
(not buying it)
To know you is to love you,
kid…

INT. DUCORE’S DRUGSTORE. NIGHT.

A DELIVERY BOY walks up to Charley Workman.

        DELIVERY BOY
Lindy’s delivery…

INT. CHARLEY’S OFFICE.NIGHT.

Smokefilled, tense. Charley is at his desk, Meyer pacing as the Delivery Boy enters.

        CHARLEY
On the desk, kid.

Charley sticks a bill in his pocket and looks in the box.

        CHARLEY
You want cheesecake or danish?

        MEYER
Danish…This is a big move,
Charley. The Dutchman’s nuts,
but we’ve always done business
with him.

        CHARLEY
He’s old fashioned. Got a
problem dump it in the river…

        MEYER
He’s your cover. As long
as they’re gettin’ headlines
with him they’ll leave us
alone. If he’s eliminated
you’re gonna stand out like
the Emperor who just lost his clothes.

        CHARLEY
If we let him hit Dewey
we’ll be back on Page One
as mad dog killers. The
politicians will drop us
and the cops’ll shut us
down for good.

        MEYER
He says he won’t touch him.

        CHARLEY
I gotta think of the
Organization. We built
this thing and now we
got two guys tryin’ to
tear it down—Dutch and
Dewey. And I don’t know
which one’s worse.

INT. DRUGSTORE.DAY

The next day. Tom enters and is greeted by the CUSTOMERS. “Hiya Mr. Dewey…” “You’re doin’ great work, Mr. Dewey….” A man with his collar up and his hat over his eyes walks in as Tom goes to the counter. The
COUNTERMAN lays a cup of coffee down in front of Tom.

        COUNTERMAN
Did you hear Winchell on
Dewey? He gave you a new
nickname, Gangbuster…Tom
Gangbuster Dewey…

        TOM
Gangbuster…Got a nice
ring to it…

The man with his collar up walks to the end of the counter and turns. It is Abe Landau. He puts his hand
in his pocket and moves toward Tom. But suddenly a
CUSTOMER steps in front of him.

        CUSTOMER
Hey Mr. Dewey, maybe you
can help me. The Dutchman’s
shylocks have been hitting
me for three hundred a week…

         TOM
Give me a couple of months
and they’ll never bother
you again.

A SECOND CUSTOMER elbows Landau aside.

         SECOND CUSTOMER
All well and good, Mr. Dewey,
but you know sometimes a
loanshark is the only guy
who’ll give you credit.

         TOM
You’re right, that’s a
real problem. And we’ll
have to address it.

Other CUSTOMERS come over to join the discussion.
LANDAU is thwarted. He steps away from the group,
pulls his collar up even higher and walks out of the
drugstore.

AT THE MAGAZINE RACK

A man turns to watch him go. It is CHARLEY WORKMAN.

END PART III

Next: PART IV

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.