Sorry for any confusion, we missed 8 and went directly to 9 last time. Happy New Year - Heywood.
*For Introduction with submission guidelines go to heywoodgould.com
*Heywood Gould is the author of 9 screenplays including "Rolling Thunder,"Fort Apache, The Bronx,"Boys From Brazil"and "Cocktail."
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"
EMPIRES OF CRIME /Part 9 By Heywood Gould
INT. ROTHSTEIN’S LIBRARY. NIGHT.
A meeting is just beginning. Rothstein’s valet is passing out cigars as he introduces the participants.
This is Harry Greenberg from Saint
Louis. Abner Zwillman from Newark.
Everybody calls me, Longie.
Harry Solomon from Boston...
Charley Luciano, Meyer Lansky,
Ben Siegel...Herman Wexler...
Herman who? This is Waxey
Gordon, the hophead’s friend.
Whaddya goin’ by an alias, Waxey?
(squat, dark and ugly)
I don’t answer to that name.
Except when they’re passin’ out
money, huh Waxey?
Remember when cocaine was
legal, boys? Coupla broken down
old whores used to use it. Then it
was illegal and all of a sudden the
smart set wanted a sniff. Well that’s
small change compared to booze.
Everybody takes a drink, from the
college kids right down to Grandma
who likes a shot of elderberry wine
on her birthday. Everybody who has
a drink tonight is gonna want one
tomorrow and we’re gonna give it to
But they’re closin’ the breweries, and
the distilleries. Where we gonna get
We bring it in ourselves. From Canada,
from Europe. I’ve got a deal with
biggest distillery in Scotland. There’s
a boatload of premium scotch whiskey
headin’ for the states right now. I’m
talkin’ to Bronfman and Rosenstiel in
Montreal about sellin’ me Canadian
whiskey. Rothshild’s gonna ship wine
in from France and Italy.
How you gonna get a Rothschild to
break the law?
He won’t have to. The freighters stop
just outside the twelve mile limit so
they’re outta US waters. Then, we
send launches out to meet ‘em.
Where ya gonna get the boats?
I’ll take care of that. Every fisherman
in Jersey gets a coupla bucks plus a
free case of booze for the use of his
You’ll have to fix everybody from the
Coast Guard to the cop on the beat.
Fix a coupla Senators and the President
too if I have to. This is gonna be the
biggest business in America. There’ll be
plenty of cash to bribe the politicians.
You’re gonna need trucks to bring it into
You’re good with cars. You can get the
wheels for me. We’re gonna move ten
thousand cases every few weeks.
King Solomon’s gonna bring it in from
I can smuggle it through an old logging
road in Vermont. I got a Boston banker,
Joe Kennnedy. He’ll front us all the money
How do we make money?
I’ll cover the up front expenses and pay a
flat fee to anyone who delivers to my
clients. You guys will each have your
customers. You’ll reimburse me my costs
plus twenty five per cent of your action.
But booze is gonna be like gold. People
will be robbin’ each other left and right.
It’ll be up to you guys to protect your
own shipments. We’ll have to work
together. If we start fighting among
ourselves it’ll turn into a free for all
and nobody will make any money.
The men shoot mistrustful looks at one another.
Well, let’s give it a try anyway.
The men nod...”Give it a try...” As they start making plans, Charley
approaches Rothstein with an admiring look.
You just put together a big corporation,
Not yet. I got a lotta smart guys together.
Gave’em a good proposition. Answered
all their questions. Now let’s hope they
don’t kill each other.
LITTLE ITALY 1921
INT. BAKERY. NIGHT.
Joe "The Boss" Masseria is chewing on a cigar. Behind him, a big scowling hood named JOE NAPOLI. Charley, plays the courtier, anxious to please. Meyer stands behind him.
See Joe. My boys wanna give
you a little token of their
appreciation for you doin’ business
Benny opens the rumble seat of a PIERCE ARROW, revealing a case of SCOTCH WHISKEY.
They got a load of premium Scotch,
exclusive for you.
How much do the Jews want?
Fifty dollars a case, five thousand
Give 'em twenty five.
(turns gruffly to Meyer)
Twenty five a case. Take it or
Can you get thirty, Charley?
Twenty seven. No more talkin’ or
the deal’s off...
Twenty seven. Be happy you’re
Anything you say, Charley.
(bowing to Masseria)
An honor doing business with you,
On the way out, Charley whispers, triumphantly.
He went for twenty seven Meyer,
just like you said.
Always gotta make the other guy
think he beat you down...
How'd you get so smart?
(taps his forehead)
watches them walk out and turns with a sneer to Napoli.
Cornudo. Thinks he’s foolin’ me.
How many guns you got?
Bring twenty...The trucks come back. The drivers don’t.
EXT. L&S GARAGE. NIGHT.
On Clinton Street in Lower Manhattan. Trucks roll in and out as Rabinowitz and some DAIRY TRUCK DRIVERS enter..
L&S is Lansky and Siegel. I
don’t wanna get mixed up with
the Bugs and Meyer mob.
Don’t worry. Meyer says this
is just a simple driving job.
Benny, stylish in a Chesterfield and homburg comes out with a manic smile. Meyer follows him with a clipboard.
Hey fellas, ready to make money?
We’re gonna take a nice moonlight
ride to the Jersey shore...Next time
bring your girlfriends, we’ll go dancin’.
EXT. EGG HARBOR, NEW JERSEY. NIGHT.
OFF SHORE a FREIGHTER is anchored. Charley, Meyer and Benny watch
as LAUNCHES head out to meet it.
Five thousand cases of premium
scotch? What’s Masseria gonna get
Three hundred a case. He’ll be sold
out tomorrow morning.
They turn at the sight of MOTORCYCLE POLICE pulling up.
It’s our police escort. Fifty bucks
per cop, five grand to the Commander
plus a case of scotch. And they take us
right to the New York border.
EXT. COUNTRY ROAD. NIGHT.
A CONVOY OF TRUCKS rolls down the road,their side panels emblazoned with the sign: L&S TRUCKING.
INT. TRUCK. NIGHT.
Meyer is driving, Next to him Charley looks out the window. Benny is hunched in the back seat.
It’s dead in the sticks. Them
farmers are all in bed by ten
You wanna come out tomorrow?
Esther's got a girlfriend she wants
you to meet.
Friday night I go to my mother's...
Suddenly, a VOLLEY of BULLETS shatters the WINDSHIELD. A SPOTLIGHT blinds them. THE HOOD POPS AND SMOKE POURS out of the busted radiator. Meyer jams on the brakes.
It’s a stick up!
are parked across the road, blocking their way. Behind the light, a HARSH VOICE commands:
Everybody out, Hands up!
Charley grabs a shotgun and fires blind out of the window. Meyer pulls a.38.and both men jump out of the truck, while Benny sneaks out from the back.
Rabinowitz and his drivers are standing by their trucks with their hands up. Meyer waves to them.
Charley fires a blast at the sedans. Another VOLLEY of SHOTS rings out from behind the spotlight. A driver goes down. Charley fires into the darkness. Meyer stays low and watches.
moves around behind the truck. He sees SILHOUETTES in the trees.. He fires a BURST and a silhouette disappears. Fires again and the SPOTLIGHT SHATTERS.
fire back, their pistols flaming in the darkness.
jumps into the open with insane courage and advances on the sedans, firing point blank. Meyer and Charley move in behind him, firing. There is an ear splitting bout of gunfire. In the eerie silence that follows we hear GROANS and HURRIED FOOTSTEPS mixing with the chirping of CRICKETS. The boys stumble over bodies in the dark. IN A BLOOD SPATTERED SEDAN a MAN is slumped over the wheel, his brains blown out. There is another BURST of MACHINE GUN FIRE. Meyer and Charley run into the woods. In a clearing they find Benny standing over a WOUNDED MAN.
This guy ain’t dead...Yet.
They turn him over. It’s Joe Napoli, Masseria’s bodyguard.
Joe Napoli. Fat Joe send you?
(gasping in pain)
Gimme a break, Charley. Ain’t I
always been fair with you?
Benny kicks him, savagely.
Answer the man.
(pleading for his life)
Don Giuseppe set you up. He
said you were workin’ with the
Jews against him. You’re my
gumbare, Charley. I didn’t wanna
do this to you, but he made me...
Please Charley,I’ll work for you. I’ll
spy on the fat bastard. Don’t kill me.
You’re already dead, kid. Don
Giuseppe won’t let you live for
bunglin’ this heist...
(as they walk away)
You better get Masseria now.
Can’t. He feeds too many people.
Besides,he’ll deny it. He’ll say
Napoli was freelancin’ and he
didn’t know nothin’ about it.
Yeah, but he’ll take another shot
He’s gotta be careful. He knows
he can’t knock me off for no reason
‘cause it’s a sign of weakness and it
might give other guys ideas. They s
wore an oath of loyalty, but they’ll turn
on him overnight if they think I’m
stronger. I’m gonna keep kissin’ his ring
until that happens.
Another BURST from Benny’s Tommy gun silences Joe Napoli’s pleading. Charley turns with a smile to Meyer.
Don’t worry. Our time’ll come.
END ACT FOUR
Next: Part 10/ACT FIVE/Part 2: A Vendetta Is Born (Monday, 11/21)
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,for submissions.