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 author is the screenwriter of Rolling Thunder, Boys From Brazil, Cocktail, Fort Apache, The Bronx, among others.
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.
Due to MWA formatting limitations this script is not in classic form. To view this story in proper script format please visit the blog @ heywoodgould.com
For Introduction with submission guidelines go to heywoodgould.com
EMPIRES OF CRIME by Heywood Gould
EXT. DA GIACOMINO’S RESTAURANT. DAY
The “classiest joint” in Naples. Vases of fresh flowers, white coated
WAITERS, bustling, festive. But today there’s a traffic jam.
AMERICAN SAILORS, TOURISTS and REPORTERS clog the aisles
leading to a large round table in the back. Who is the focus of all this
celebrity attention? It’s mob boss LUCKY LUCIANO, early sixties,
elegant, gray at the temples, dressed in his usual impeccable style in a
Brooks Brothers gray summer suit, his signature yellow and black
handkerchief in the breast pocket. Next to him is a VOLUPTUOUS
GIRL.Whispering in his ear is MARTIN GRAYSON, a fawning
Hollywood producer. Lucky is plowing through a plate of spaghetti,
but stops good-naturedly to sign autographs and answer questions.
Can you make it out to Jimmy, Mr.
Sure kid. Can’t do enough for our
boys in uniform.
(aiming a camera)
Say cheese Mr. Luciano...
Provolone. Hey, don’t point that
thing, it might go off.
Everybody laughs as the FLASH BULB pops.
Senator Kefauver says that the Mob
is raking in five billion dollars a year
from illegal gambling and you’re in
for ten per cent...
Five billion? Lemme tellya somethin’:
every time a politician wants to get
elected he says he’s gonna throw mob
boss Lucky Luciano in jail. I put more
crums in office than the Democratic
When you gonna come home, Mr.
Funny you should ask. My associate
Mr. Grayson here has a big producer
flyin’ in from Hollywood to buy my
life story. Think we can get five billion,
The sky’s the limit, Lucky.
Who do you want to play you, Lucky?
I’m thinkin’ of starrin’ in it myself...
Laughter and agreement from the crowd. “You could do it, Lucky..”
“You look great...”
But if Cary Grant’s busy maybe
Sinatra. That kid owes me a lot.
A WAITER pushes through the crowd, bearing a huge ITALIAN
Hey, look at that. I got two weaknesses
in life, cheesecake and...Cheesecake...
He puts his arms around the Voluptuous Girl and everybody laughs.
Then looks up at the waiter.
You new here?
My first day Signor Lucky.
Luciano stuffs a few bills in his shirt pocket.
Well now we’re old friends...
As the crowd laughs he eyeballs the cake.
Last time I saw a cake this big
a guy jumped out blastin’...
INT. CONFERENCE ROOM. DAY
In the darkened room a NEWSREEL on a portable screen. We see
Luciano in front of a bank of microphones.
Mob boss Lucky Luciano is coming
out of exile to tell his story...And
the world can’t wait...
I’m gonna leave no stone unturned,
boys. I’m gonna rattle some cages from
Mulberry Street right on up to the White
The screen goes dark. The lights come on. We are in the law offices of
DEWEY, BALLANTINE, et al... THOMAS E. DEWEY, early sixties,
austere black suit, pencil mustache, is sitting at the head of a conference
table. With him is LIEUTENANT COMMANDER “RED’
HAFFENDEN formerly of NAVAL INTELLIGENCE and FBI agent
He can’t come back. The terms of his
parole barred him from ever setting
foot in the US again.
He’s applying for a temporary visa to
visit his sick brother, Governor Dewey.
It’s blackmail. His lawyer threatens to
reveal Luciano’swar time activities if
he isn’t issued the visa.
He’s trying to sell the movie rights to his
life story. Just wants to get into action again.
You always liked him,
Everybody likes Lucky...
(a rueful smile)
Don’t I know it. I prosecuted the man.
Proved that he wasa pimp and a murderer.
And hegot better press than I did. Still
We should have taken him out when we
had the chance.
We should have given him a medal.
The man’s a security threat. He can
reveal classified information about the FBI.
About all of us. We don’t want it known that
Luciano worked for Naval Intelligenceduring
the war, do we Commander Haffenden? I
certainly don’t want it to come out that I
made a secret agreement for his services.
Charley’s a patriot in his own cockeyed way.
He won’t talk.
We have to be sure.
Meyer? They haven’t spoken in years.
Doesn’t matter. Lansky was his partner.
They were so close they could read each
other’s minds...Ask Lansky.
EXT. COLLINS AVE (MIAMI BEACH). DAY
A modest bungalow by the beach. FBI AGENTS WHITMAN and
SNYDER are on stakeout, parked across the street in the shade of
emerges, with his constant companion, BRUZZER, an ancient Shih Tzu
dog. He is a short, wiry man in his sixties,in a plain white shirt and
slacks, a cigarette dangling out of the corner of his mouth. He smiles,
sardonically as they approach.
My own personal FBI. Want some
iced tea? A little seltzer, maybe?
Thanks Meyer, but I don’t think J.
Edgar would approve...
Lucky’s writin’ a book, Meyer.
Lucky? Lucky who?
You mean Charley Luciano? Knew him
in the old days. Writin’ a book, huh?
I didn’t know he could spell.
They say Lucky knows everything.
Oh yeah? So maybe he knows a good
horse at Hialeah...
He’s gonna tell everybody where you got
your money hidden, Meyer.
That’s no secret. It’s in the pishka.
Little glass jar where you drop pennies to
give to the poor people in the Holy Land...
(looks toward the house)
I better go back and tell my wife I’m not
bein’ arrested. Seeya boys...
You could do yourself a lot of good telling
your side of the story, Meyer.
I’m an old man sittin’ in the sun. That’s my
INT. LANSKY’S BUNGALOW. DAY
Plain and comfortable. Family photos, book lined shelves, bric a brac or
tchotkes as they are known in Yiddish. TEDDY LANSKY, early sixties,
a former chorine, still trim and glamorous, is waiting anxiously.
Oy Meyer, is Charley gonna make trouble?
(fishing in a drawer)
He just wants to be Page One again. But
he won’t talk outta school.
He finds a faded photo and sits back in his lounger.
INSERT PHOTO (CROSSCUT)
Three YOUNG MEN, nattily dressed in the style of the ‘20’s. Lansky
looks at it, nostalgically.
Look at me and crazy Benny...And Charley.
Boy, we sure started somethin’, didn’t we?
Next: Part 2/LITTLE ITALY, NEW YORK, 1913