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.
Due to the formatting limitations of Red Room, these scripts are not in classic form. For this story with proper script formatting please visit the blog @ heywoodgould.com
For Introduction with submission guidelines go to heywoodgould.com
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.
SAILOR Can you make it out to Jimmy, Mr. Luciano?
LUCIANO Sure kid. Can’t do enough for our boys in uniform.
TOURIST (aiming a camera) Say cheese Mr. Luciano...
LUCIANO Provolone. Hey, don’t point that thing, it might go off.
Everybody laughs as the FLASH BULB pops.
REPORTER 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...
LUCIANO 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 Party...
SAILOR When you gonna come home, Mr. Luciano?
LUCIANO 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, Marty?
GRAYSON The sky’s the limit, Lucky.
REPORTER Who do you want to play you, Lucky?
LUCIANO 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 CHEESECAKE.
LUCIANO 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.
LUCIANO You new here?
WAITER My first day Signor Lucky.
Luciano stuffs a few bills in his shirt pocket.
LUCIANO Well now we’re old friends...
As the crowd laughs he eyeballs the cake
LUCIANO 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.
NEWSCASTER Mob boss Lucky Luciano is coming out of exile to tell his story...And the world can’t wait...
LUCIANO I’m gonna leave no stone unturned, boys. I’m gonna rattle some cages from Mulberry Street right on up to the White House...
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 GEORGE BLACK.
DEWEY He can’t come back. The terms of his parole barred him from ever setting foot in the US again.
HAFFENDEN He’s applying for a temporary visa to visit his sick brother, Governor Dewey.
BLACK It’s blackmail. His lawyer threatens to reveal Luciano’s war time activities if he isn’t issued the visa.
HAFFENDEN He’s trying to sell the movie rights to his life story. Just wants to get into action again.
DEWEY You always liked him, Haffenden.
HAFFENDEN Everybody likes Lucky...
DEWEY (a rueful smile) Don’t I know it. I prosecuted the man. Proved that he was a pimp and a murderer. And he got better press than I did. Still does.
BLACK We should have taken him out when we had the chance.
HAFFENDEN (bristling) We should have given him a medal.
BLACK The man’s a security threat. He can reveal classified information about the FBI.
DEWEY About all of us. We don’t want it known that Luciano worked for Naval Intelligence during the war, do we Commander Haffenden? I certainly don’t want it to come out that I made a secret agreement for his services.
HAFFENDEN Charley’s a patriot in his own cockeyed way. He won’t talk.
BLACK We have to be sure.
DEWEY Ask Lansky.
HAFFENDEN Meyer? They haven’t spoken in years.
DEWEY 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 the palms.
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.
LANSKY My own personal FBI. Want some iced tea? A little seltzer, maybe?
SNYDER Thanks Meyer, but I don’t think J. Edgar would approve...
WHITMAN Lucky’s writin’ a book, Meyer.
LANSKY Lucky? Lucky who?
WHITMAN C’mon Meyer...
LANSKY You mean Charley Luciano? Knew him in the old days. Writin’ a book, huh? I didn’t know he could spell.
SNYDER They say Lucky knows everything.
LANSKY Oh yeah? So maybe he knows a good horse at Hialeah...
SNYDER He’s gonna tell everybody where you got your money hidden, Meyer.
LANSKY That’s no secret. It’s in the pishka.
WHITMAN What’s that?
LANSKY 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...
WHITMAN You could do yourself a lot of good telling your side of the story, Meyer.
LANSKY I’m an old man sittin’ in the sun. That’s my story...
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.
TEDDY Oy Meyer, is Charley gonna make trouble?
LANSKY (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
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