Miller’s Crossing Lyrics

20th Century Fox Lyrics


Miller's Crossing movie script
by Joel and Ethan Coen.

1. FADE IN:
CLOSE SHOT A WHISKEY TUMBLER

That sits on an oak side bar under a glowing green bankers
lamp, as two ice cubes are dropped in. From elsewhere in
the room:

Man
I'm talkin' about friendship. I'm talkin' about
character. I'm talkin' about--hell, Leo, I ain't
embara**ed to use the word--I'm talkin' about
ethics.

Whiskey is poured into the tumbler, filling it almost to
the rim, as the offscreen man continues.

. . . You know I'm a sporting man. I like to
make the occasional bet. But I ain't that
sporting.

THE SPEAKER

A balding middle-aged man with a round, open face. He
still wears his overcoat and sits in a leather chair in the
dark room, illuminated by the offscreen glow of a desk
lamp. This is Johnny Caspar.

Behind him stands another man, harder looking, wearing an
overcoat and hat and holding another hat--presumably
Caspar's. This is Bluepoiont Vance.

Caspar
When I fix a fight, say--if I pay a three-to-one
favorite to throw a goddamn fight--I figure I got
a right to expect that fight to go off at three-
to-one. But every time I lay a bet with this
sonofab*t*h Bernie Bernheim, before I know it the
odds is even up--or worse, I'm betting the short
money. . .
Behind Caspar we hear the clink of ice in the tumbler and a
figure emerges from the shadows, walking away from the
glowing bar in the backgound.

. . . The sheeny knows I like sure things. He's
selling the information I fixed the fight. Out-
of-town money comes pourin' in. The odds go
straight to hell. I don't know who he's sellin'
it to, maybe the Los Angeles combine, I don't
know. The point is, Bernie ain't satisfied with
the honest dollar he can make off the vig. He
ain't satisfied with the business I do on his
book. He's sellin' tips on how I bet, and that
means part of the payoff that should be ridin' on
my hip is ridin' on someone else's. So back we
go to these questions--friendship, character,
ethics.

The man with the whiskey gla** has just pa**ed the camera
and we cut to the:

REVERSE

Another well dressed, middle aged man, behind a large
polished oak desk, listening intently. This is Leo. He is
short but powerfully built, with the face of a man who has
seen things.
The man with the whiskey enters frame and pa**es Leo to
lean against the wall behind him, where he listens quietly.

Caspar
. . . So its clear what I'm sayin'?

Leo
Clear as mud.

Caspar purses his lips but continues unfazed.

Caspar
It's a wrong situation. It's gettin' so a
businessman can't expect no return from a fixed
fight. Now if you can't trust a fix, what can
you trust? For a good return you gotta go
bettin' on chance, and then you're back with
anarchy. Right back inna jungle. On account of
the breakdown of ethics. That's why ethics is
important. It's the grease makes us get along,
what separates us from the animals, beasts a
burden, beasts a prey. Ethics. Whereas Bernie
Bernheim is a horse of a different color ethics-
wise. As in, he ain't got any. He's stealin'
from me plain and simple.

Leo leans back in his chair.

The man behind Leo raises the whiskey gla** to his lips.

He is trimmer and younger than Leo, perhaps in his thir-
ties, dark-complected, with a pencil mustache and a gaunt
intensity that is not entirely healthy-looking. This is
Tom.

As he drinks, he studies Caspar and Bluepoint.

Leo
You sure it's Bernie, selling you out?

For the first time the man behind Caspar speaks:

Bluepoint
It ain't elves.

Leo
Nobody else knows about the fix?

Caspar
No one that ain't got ethics.

Leo
What about the fighters you pay to tank out?

Bluepoint
We only pick fighters we can put the fear of God
in.

Leo
Any other bookies know? You play anyone else's
book?

Caspar
I lay an occasional bet with Mink Larouie.

Bluepoint
But it ain't Mink, I'll vouch for that.

Leo
How do you know?

Caspar shakes his head.

Caspar
It ain't Mink. Mink is Bluepoint's boy.

Leo
Mm. And of course, Bluepoint always knows about
the fix.

Bluepoint
What the hell is that supposed to mean?

Leo
Let it drift. All it means is a lot of people
know.

Caspar
I guess you ain't been listening. Sure other
people know. That's why we gotta go to this
question of character, determine just who exactly
is chiseling in an my fix. And that's how we
know it's Bernie Bernheim. The Motzah Kid.
Cause ethically, he's kinda shaky.

Leo
You know Bernie's chiseling you because he's a
chiseler. And you know he's a chiseler because
he's chiseling you.

Airily:

Caspar
Sometimes you just know.

Leo
. . . So you wanna kill him.

Bluepoint
For starters.

Leo nods, thinking. He swivels to look interrogatively at
Tom.

Tom gives an almost imperceptable shrug. The ice cubes in
his gla** clink.

Leo turns back to Caspar, pauses.

Leo
. . . Sorry, Caspar. Bernie pays me for protec-
tion.

Tom, peering over his drink, does not entirely conceal his
surprise.

Caspar stares at Leo, his mouth open. It is not the
response he expected.

Caspar
. . . Listen, Leo, I ain't askin, for permission.
I'm tellin' you as a courtesy. I need to do this
thing, so it's gonna get done.

Leo
Then I'm telling you as a courtesy that you'll
have trouble. You came here to see if I'd kick
if you killed Bernie. Well there's your answer.

Caspar's voice is harder:

Caspar
Listen Leo, I pay off to you every month like a
greengrocer--a lot more than the Motzah--and I'm
sick a gettin' the high hat--

Leo
You pay off for protection, just like everyone
else. Far as I know--and what I don't know in
this town ain't worth knowing--the cops haven't
closed any of your dives and the O.A. hasn't
touched any of your rackets. You haven't bought
any license to kill bookies and today I ain't
selling any. Now take your flunky and dangle.

Caspar is staring at Leo. He looks at Tom, then rises
slowly to his feet. Back at Leo:

Caspar
Ya know I'm tryin'. . . I'm tryin not to raise my
voice in anga. I've always gone along to get
along. But you make me lay off the Matzoh and
you're givin' me the needle. I told you the
sheeny was robbin' me blind, I told you I wanna
put him in the ground and I'm telling you now I'm
sick a the high hat.

He swipes his hat from Bluepoint.

. . . You think I'm some guinea fresh off the
boat and you think you can kick me. But I'm too
big for that now.

He puts his hands on the desk and leans towards Leo.
The cords stand out on his ndck.

I'm sick-of takin' the strap from you, Leo. I'm
sick a marchin' down to this goddamn office to
kiss your Irish a** and I'm SICK A THE HIGH HAT!

Caspar stops, out of breath. He is red faced and panting.
Bluepoint has put a gently restraining hand an his shoul-
der.

Leo and Tom stare at Caspar impa**sively.

After a beat Caspar shuts his mouth. His eyes lose some of
their glaze. He looks at Bluepoint's hand, turns and
strides towards the door.

Caspar
. . . Youse f**kin' fancy-pants, all of ya.

He opens the docr, but Leo's voice stops him.

Leo

Johnny. You're exactly as big as I let you be
and no bigger and don't forget it. Ever.

Caspar looks at Lea from the open doorway. After a beat he
chuckles.

Caspar
Ats right, Leo, you're the big-shot around here.

He dances over at Tom again, then back to Leo:

. . . And I'm just some schnook likes to get
slapped around.

He leaves, Bluepoint following, shutting the door.

After a beat Tom crosses in front of the desk and sits down
in the chair Caspar has just vacated. Leo chuckles and
leans back in his chair.

Leo
Twist a pig's ear. Watch him squeal.

Tom swallows the last of his drink and stares ruminatively
down at his gla**.

Tom
. . . Bad play, Leo.

Leo, unfazed, grins at Tom.

Leo
Got up on the wrong side, huh?

Tom
Same side as always.

Leo
That's what I mean. Still owe money to--who's
your bookie? Lazarre?

Tom
Mm.

Leo
I could put it right for you.

Tom
Thanxs Leo, I don't need it.

Leo
In a pig's eye. You haven't played a winner in
six weeks. People'll speak ill of me if I let
him break your legs.

Tom grins back, for the first time.

Tom
People'll say I had it coming.

Leo
And they'll be right, but that ain't the point.
Call me a big-hearted slob, but I'm gonna square
it for ya.

He picks up a phone on his desk and starts to dial.

. . . Yeah, I think I'll do that, this very same
night. Looking at you moping around takes away
all my . . . What did you call it? Joy de veever.

Tom stands and walks over to the desk.

Tom
Joi de vivre.

He takes the receiver from Leo and prongs the phone.

Leo
Well look, if your gonna laugh at me, the hell
with you.

Tom walks to the door, putting an his hat.

Tom
And with you. I'll square myself with Lazarre if
you don't mind. Thats why God invented cards.

He pauses in the doorway and turns back to Leo.

. . . There is something you can do for me.

Leo
Name it.

Tom
Think about what protecting Bernie gets us.
Think about what offending Caspar loses us.

Leo chuckles good-naturedly.

Leo
Come on, Tommy, you know I don't like to think.

Tom has stepped into the hallway and, just as he closes the
door:

Tom
Yeah. Well, think about whether you should start.

The door clicks shut.

CUT TO BLACK

2. FADE IN:
THE WOODS CREDIT SEQUENCE

Although it is day, the tree cover gives an effect of
almost cathedral-like darkness. The sun filters down
through the leaves in gently shifting patterns.

We hear only the sound of the wind and the creaking and
groaning of tree limbs in the breeze.

Head t**les are supered over the dissolving series of woods
scenes.

In the last woods scene the angle is low--almost ground-
level. The sun dapples the floor of the forest, which is
carpeted with pine needles.

With a whoosh of rustling leaves the wind gusts a fedora
into frame. For a moment it lies still in the foreground,
sunlight rippling over it, making it seem almost alive.
Then the wind picks up again and the hat tumbles away from
us, end over end, in slow motion into the background,
impossibly far away until . . . it dissappears.

As we fade out, we hear a distant knocking.

3. FADE IN:
CLOSE SHOT TOM

Unshaven, eyes closed, motionless.

The head credits continue over this one-shot scene.

The knocking continues, faintly, offscreen. As we hear a
door opening we pull back to a looser shot, revealinq that
Tom is slumped back on a tired green sofa.

A fat hand enters to shake Tom's shoulder.

Voice
Wake up, Tommy.

Without ocening his eyes:

Tom
I'm awake.

Voice
You're eyes were shut.

Tom
Who're you gonna believe?

Tom sits up, though it seems like an effort. He looks
sick.

From a small mirror behind the couch we see that we are in
the back room of a gambling establishment. The leavings of
a card game litter a table in the middle background.

Tom
. . . How'd I do?

Voice
What do you think. You're a millionaire. You
gonna remember your friends?

Tom reaches up to feel his head, and looks stupidly about.

Tom
. . . Where's my hat?

Voice
You bet it, ya moron. Good thing the game broke
up before you bet your shorts.

After a beat of staring at nothing in particular, Tom
abruptly lurches to his feet and staggers out of frame.

The other man sits heavily onto the couch that Tom has just
vacated. He is Fat Tony, a big man wearing an apron.

He watches as we hear Tom, offscreen, staggering across the
room, bumping into something which scrapes and then
clatters over, opening a door, staggering across tile, and
then vomiting.

Fat Tony watches with mild interest.

Finally:

Tom's Voice
. . . Who left with my hat?

Tony
Verna. Verna and Mink.

Tom
. . . Who?

Louder:

Tony
Mink and Verna.

Offscreen we hear a tap running.

Tom
. . . Thunderclap running tonight?

Tony
Yeah.

Tom
What's she leave at?

Tony
Three-to-one, more'n likely. Lay off, Tom. You
shouldn't go deeper in the hole.

Tom
Tell Lazarre I want five hundred on the nose.

Tony shrugs.

Tony
You would have it.

Tom
. . . Somebody hit me?

Tony
Yeah. Mink hit you.

Tom
. . . Whyzat?

Tony inspects a hangnail on his thumb.

Tony
You asked him to.

4. CUT TO:
A HALLWAY

A loose shot looking over Tom's shoulder as he knocks on an
partment door. Head credits continue.

The door swings open and Verna, an attractive but hard-
looking woman in her late twenties or early thirties looks
coldly out at Tom.

Tom

Miss me?

Verna
You again. What now?

Tom
I want my hat.

Verna
. . . Is that all you came for?

Tom
Yeah. I want my hat.

Verna
I won it. It's mine.

Tom
What're you gonna do with it?

Verna
Drop dead.

She slams the door.

There is a long, motionless beat. Tom raises his hand and
knocks again, missing the door completely on his first try.

After a knock or two the door swings open again.

Tom
I need a drink.

Verna
Why didn't you say so.

She steps away from the door and Tom enters the apartment.
As the door clicks shut we cut to black, and the last of
the movie's head credits.

Music clays under the credits, mixed in with the woods
sounds we heard earlier. As the last of the credits is
fading to black we hear a distant knocking, and from black
we:

5. CUT TO:
CLOSE SHOT A FEDORA

Lying on a marble bureau top in a dark room. A gently
rippling cookie plays over it--light from a streetlamp
thrown through a curtained window. Reflected in the bureau
mirror behind the fedora we see the soft glow of a burning
cigarette.

REVERSE

Tracking in on Tom, sitting in bed, smoking, staring at the
bureau. The rippling street light plays over him from the
window. We hear a distant knocking.

WIDER

The bedroom, as Tom swings his legs around and gets out of
bed.

Tom throws on a dressing gown and leaves the bedroom
through its double oak pocket doors, closing the doors
behind him.

6. LIVING ROOM

Also dark, lit only by streetlight filtering in.

The knocking is louder here. Tom crosses the room,
silhouetted against the windows, to the apartment's front
door. Light fans in as he opens it.

Shiftng uncomfortably in the hallway is Leo, in an
overcoat and fedora.

Leo
'Lo, Tommy. Sorry about the hour.

Tom
I'll live. What's the rumpus?

Leo
Can i come in?

Tom thinks about this for the slightest beat.

Tom
Sure.

He lets Leo precede him into the living room.

Tom turns on a lamp that sits on a rolling bar.

. . . Drink?

Leo
I wouldn't mind. . . I tried calling earlier.

Tom
I got home late.

As Tom sits down facing Leo with two drinks:

Leo
Well. . . Sorry about the hour.

Tom
Uh-huh.

He waits, with no apparent impatience.

The older man is uncomfortable; he is having trouble
finding the words. Finally he lifts his gla** and swallows
it in one gulp.

Leo
. . . Not bad. . .

Tom
Better than the paint we sell at the club.

Leo
That it is. . . That it is. . .

Tom
Thought about cutting Bernie loose?

Leo is shuffling his hat nervously from hand to hand.

Leo
Can't do it, Tommy, can't do it. . . That's sort
of why I'm. . . Tommy. . . I don't know where
Verna is.

Tom fixes him with a level stare, then takes a sip of his
drink.

Tom
Uh-huh.

Leo
I know what you're thinking: What else is new?
But the situation now, I'm worried. . .

Tom blows out air.

Tom
Verna can take care of herself. Maybe better
than you can.

Leo
What does that mean?

Tom stands up, takes Leo's gla** and walks back over to the
bar.

Tom
Want another?

Leo
No. What does that mean?

Tom turns to look at Leo, pauses, then decides to speak:

Tom
How far has she got her hooks into you?

Leo
That's a hell of a question.

Tom
It's a grift, Leo. If she didn't need you to
protect her brother from Johnny Caspar, d'you
think she'd still go with you on slow carriage
rides through the park? That is the deal, isn't
it? You keep Bernie under wraps 'till Caspar
cools down?

Leo
Jesus but you're a prickly pear. What's wrong
with her wanting her brother taken care of?

Tom
Not a thing. I don't blame her. She sees the
angle--which is you--and she plays it. She's a
grifter, just like her brother. They probably
had grifter parents and grifter grandparents and
someday they'll each spawn little grifter kids--

Leo
Stop it, Tommy. I don't like to hear my friends
run down. Even by other friends.

Tom shrugs.

Tom
Friendship's got nothing to do with it.

Leo
The hell you say. You do anything to help your
friends. Just like you do anything to kick your
enemies.

Tom
Wrong, Leo. You do things for a reason.

Leo
Okay, Tom, you know the angles--Christ, better
than anybody. But you're wrong about this. You
don't know what's in Verna's heart. . .

Tom stares down into his drink. There is an awkward pause.
Then finally, without looking up:

Tom
Leo, throw her down. And her brother, too. Dump
her.

Leo looks like he has just been stepped on.

Leo
Jesus, Tom. . . Verna's okay. . .

He nods to himself.

She's a little wild, but she's okay. I
like her.

Tom smiles.

Tom
Yeah, you like her. Like the Kaiser likes
cabbage. You're dizzy for her.

Leo scowls at Tom.

Leo
What of it? Jesus, Tom, ain't you ever been bit
by that bug?

Tom
Leo, if she's such an angel, why are you looking
for her at four in the morning?

Leo digs his hands into his pockets and slouches back,
profoundly embara**ed.

Leo
I put a tail on her this afternoon.

Tom
Hah!

Leo
Yeah, I asked Rug Daniels to follow her around--
just, you know, just to keep her out of trouble.

Tom
And to tell you what trouble she was managing to
whip up herself.

Leo
It wasn't to spy, Tom; I was worried. After that
meeting with Caspar, well--you can't be too
careful.

Tom
Uh-huh. And what did Rug tell you that has you
scurrying over here?

Leo
That's just it. Nothing. He's disappeared.

Tom laughs humorlessly.

Tom
So you've lost your ladyfriend and the tail you
put an her.

Leo
I guess it does sound pretty sorry at that. . .

He looks from his empty gla** up to Tom.

. . . Help me out, Tom. I wouldn't know where to
start looking. You know Rug's crowd, you know
the people Verna runs with. I'm just worried
now, with things the way they are between me and
Caspar--

Tom gives a wave of disgust.

Tom
You shouldn't be confronting Johnny Caspar, it's
what I've been trying to tell you. You can't
trade body blows with him. He's gotten too
strong.

For the first time Leo displays some testiness:

Leo
I reckon I can still trade body blows with any
man in this town. . .

He sighs, looks back down at his drink.

. . . Except you, Tom.

Tom
And Verna.

Leo smiles good-naturedly.

Leo
Okay, give me the needle. I am a sap, I deserve
it. . .

He stands and walks to the door.

Tom doesn't move. His eyes remain fixed on the chair Leo
has just vacated.

Leo pauses in the open doorway.

. . . Thanks for the drink. Let me know if you
hear anything. . .

The door closes and he is gone.

Tom grimaces and stands up. Sunlight is just starting to
come in through the windows, defining for the first time
the corners of the large semi-circular room as Tom walks
across it to the bedroom. Distant early-morning traffic
noise is filtering up from the street.

7. INT BEDROOM

As Tom opens the double oak doors and enters, leaving them
open.

He crosses to the bed and sits an its edge, hunched
forward, thinking. Behind him, a woman stirs.

Woman

Who was that?

Tom
Leo. . .

He takes a cigarette from the nightstand and lights it.

. . . He's looking for you.

Verna stiffens.

Verna
Did you tell him I was here?

Tom
No.

Verna relaxes.

Verna
Did you put in a good word for my brother?

Tom
No.

Verna
You said you would.

Tom
. . . I said I'd think about it.

Verna
What did you tell him?

Tom is lost in thought. He exhales smoke.

Tom
. . . Did you see Rug Daniels last night?

Verna
No. What did you tell Leo?

Tom finally turns to face her. After looking at her for a
beat:

Tom
. . . I told him you were a tramp and he should
dump you.

A shoe flies past his head and hits the wall behind him.

Verna
You're a son of a b*t*h, Tom.

7. EXT ALLEYWAY EARLY MORNING

We are on an extreme close shot of a small dog. Behind
him, in the distance, we can see the mouth of the alley.

The dog is on point, perfectly still, one front leg crooked
and raised off the ground, his ears pointed straight up,
his eyes in a fixed stare.

A MAN

is slouched, half-sitting, against the wall of the alley.
He is motionless. His mouth is agape. His eyes are rolled
up in a lifeless stare.

He is wearing an overcoat but it is unb***oned and reveals
a blood stain in the middle of his chest. His fedora lies
on the ground near one of his splayed hands.

There is something subtly odd about his hair.

CLOSE SHOT A LITTLE BOY

Perhaps five years old. He stares down at the dead man in
front of him.

CLOSE SHOT THE MAN

Staring vacantly.

THE BOY

After a moment, he reaches forward.

THE MAN

As the boy's hand enters frame. The boy pokes once at the
man's shoulder.

There is no reaction.

The boy touches the top of the man's head.

The man's hair slips forward a couple of inches over over his
forehead.

THE BOY

Staring.

THE MAN

Also staring, his skewed hairpiece ill becoming his stunned
expression.

The boy reaches forward and takes the hairpiece off the
man's head. Now a bald man stares off into smace, still
looking stunned, still quite dead.

WIDE SHOT THE ALLEY

The dead man and the little bov face each other in profile
in the middle foreground. In the background, between them,
the little boy's dog faces us, still on point, still
whining.

The little boy is fascinated by the hairpiece he holds. He
turns it over and around, and looks from it to the dead
man.

Suddenly the boy turns and runs, away from us, towards the
mouth of the alley, still clutching the hairpiece.

As he pa**es the dog it turns and runs after him, wagging
its tail, happy to be leaving.

FADE OUT

9. FADE IN:
INT DINER EVENING

A man sits facing us at the counter in the foreground. His
face is hidden by the newspaper he is reading.

The page of the newspaper being presented to the camera
bears a story headlined: GANGSTER SLAIN. The subhead:
Politician's "Aide" Found Dead in Alley.

After a beat the diner drops the paper to the counter, and
we see that it is Tom, wearing overcoat and hat. He is
grimacing at whatever he was reading. He stands and digs
into his pocket.

REVERSE

Looking down at the newspaper an the counter, next to a
steaming cup of coffee. Tom's hand enters to put some
change on the counter, leaves, and we hear his receding
footsteps.

The headlined story on the page Tom was reading is:
THUNDERCLAP INJURED IN RACING MISHAP.

10. CUT TO:
TRACKING IN TO CLOSE SHOT PLAQUE

Set into the brick of a building's exterior, it reads:
SHENANDOAH CLUB. In script underneath: Members Only.

11. INT THE CLUB NIGHT

Tracking towards the front door as Tom enters. He puts his
coat and hat on the check counter.

Tom
Hello, Beryl--

Her arm sweeps across frame to slap Tom hard.

Check Girl
Ain't you got a conscience?

Tom stares dumbly.

ON BERYL

A diminutive woman in a french maid's uniform with a pill
box hat. She rocks her weight on one leg with her hands
proceed defiantly on her hips.

. . . It's a little voice inside that tells you
when you been a heel!

Tom
Mine's been mum lately--what'd I do?

Beryl
Stood me up is all. Made me wait an hour and a
half is all? Or maybe you don't remember sayin'
you'd pick me up after work last night. I seen
heels in my time, sure, plenty of 'em! But none
so low as couldn't tell me to my face when they
was sick of me! . . .

She throws a check number at him.

. . . You know where you can stick it!

12. CUT TO:
TRACKING SHOT

Pulling Tom as he walks across the gambling floor. He is
joined bv a nervous young man in a tuxedo.

Mink
'Lo Tom. What's the rumpus?

Tom
Mink.

Mink throws a glance back in the direction of the coat
check.

Mink
. . . I see you got your hat back.

Tom
Yeah, what of it.

Mink
Not a thing, Tommy. I got not a thing to say.
Listen, Bernie wants to see you. It's important.

Tom
Well I'm right here, and I'm not made of gla**.

Mink
Yeah, but he's nervous walkin' around in public.
He's a right guy, but he's nervous, Tommy! He's
very nervous! Who wouldn't be?!

Tom looks at Mink for the first time.

Tom
Mink--

Mink
The spot he's in, who wouldn't be! He asked me
to ask you to ask Leo to take care of him. You
know, put in a good word with Leo. Leo listens
to you. Not that Leo wouldn't help the Motzoh
anyway! A guy like Bernie? A square gee like
the Motzah! A straight shooter like him?

Tom
I don't get it, Mink--

Mink
What's to get?! It's as plain as the nose--

Tom
I thought you were Bluepoint's sycophant.

Mink
Yeah Tom, that's right. But a guy can have more
than one friend, can't he? Not that I'd want
Bluepoint to know about it, but a square gee like
the Motzah? He's a right guy, Tom! He's a
straight shooter! I know he's got a mixed
reputation, but for a sheeny he's got a lot a
good qualities!

Tom has reached the foot of a large staircase. He turns to
look at Mink with mild curiosity.

Tom
Why should I care what happens to Bernie?

Mink
C'mon Tom, you like Bernie dontcha?

Tom
I don't like anybody, Mink, you know that.

Mink
Well, you like his sister.

Tom
What's that supposed to mean?

Mink
Nothing, Tom. If it ain't my business I got not
a thing to say.

Tom studies Mink for a beat.

Tom
What's going an between you and Bernie?

Mink
Nothin, Tom! We're just friends--you know,
amigos?

He sics on his cigarette and looks nervously around the
floor, then back at Tom, who stares coolly back.

Tom
You're a fickle boy, Mink. If Bluepoint found
out you had another "amigo"--well, I don't peg
him for the understanding type.

Mink is startled. In a high shrill voice, as Tom walks up
the stairs, clutching his drink:

Mink
Find out!? How would he find out?! Damnit Tom,
me and you ain't even been talking! Jesus Tom,
damnit, Jesus!

13. INT LEO'S OFFICE

Pulling Tom as he enters the office.

Leo
'Lo, Tom. You know O'Gar. . .

REVERSE

Leo faces us from behind his desk.

Seated in two chairs facing the desk, twisting around to
greet Tom, are two men. O'Gar is a large man wearing a
police uniform. Dale Levander wears a suit; a florid man
with a shock of white hair, in his mid-sixties.

Leo
. . . and the mayor.

Tom
I ought to. I voted for him six times last May.

Levander chuckles.

Levander
And that ain't the record, either.

Tom is crossing to the bar.

Leo
Verna turned up. She's downstairs.

Tom, his back to Leo as he pours a drink, stiffens.

Tom
. . . She say where she'd been?

Leo
No, I uh. . . didn't want to press her. Hear
about Rug?

Drink in hand, Tom turns and crosses to perch an a corner
of Leo's desk.

Tom
Yeah, R.I.P.

Leo
They took his hair, Tommy. Jesus that's strange.
Why would they do that?

Tom
Maybe it was Injuns.

Leo
Eye-ties, more like it. Giovanni Casparro.

Tom
So you figure it was Caspar bumped Rug?

Leo, with a puzzled smile, glances at O'Gar and the mayor,
and then back at Tom.

Leo
. . . Well it's pretty obvious ain't it?

Tom
Mm. . . So what's the plan?

Leo
Jump on the guinea hard. With both feet.

He looks at the mayor who shifts uncomfortably in his seat.

. . . Give him the low-down, Dale.

Mayor
Yes, well. . . Leo here has just reminded us that
Mr. Caspar operates several clubs in our city
wherein the patrons imbibe of rum and play at
games of chance.

Morosely:

O'Gar
And we're sunnosed to stop the party.

Tom
Uh-huh. . .

Looking at Leo, he j*rks his head towards the two men.

. . . They don't seem too happy about it, Leo.

O'Gar
Naw, it ain't that, Tom.

Mayor
Jesus, Tom! We do as we're told!

Tom ignores them.

Tom
Maybe they're right not to like it. Stirring up
this hornets' nest won't be good for anyone. And
it'll mean killing.

Leo
Well I'm not thrilled about it either, but I
can't just lay down to Caspar.

Tom
You could do worse. You might not like it, but
giving up Bernie Bernheim is a pretty small price
to pay for peace. Business is business and a
war's going to hurt everybody. Bernie plays with
fire, he's got to deal with the consequences--
even if that means he gets bumped off.

Leo
Sweet Jesus, Tom, that ain't even the point
anymore. Caspar pooped Rug. The day I back down
from a fight, Caspar is welcome to the rackets,
this town, and my place at the table. I didn't
start this thing, but--

Tom's voice is sharp:

Tom
You did start it--you and Verna--

The mayor has risen to his feet. Uncomfortably:

Mayor
We can dangle, Leo, if you'd prefer.

Leo
Siddown Dale, we're all friends here.

Tom
--and Caspar hasn't broken the rules, Bernie has-
-and you too, by helping him. And if that isn't
enough, consider that if you make it a war, you
have more to lose than Caspar.

Leo is getting up from behind the desk and walking over to
stare out the window.

Leo
Okay, but more to beat him with. Jesus, Tom, the
two of us've faced worse odds.

Tom
But never without reason. It helps to have one.

Leo doesn't reply. Tom is irritated, but shrugs indif-
ference.

. . . Well, it's your call.

He gets to his feet and starts for the door.

. . . My opinion use to count for something
around here, but it's always yours to take or
leave.

Leo has turned from the window and is striding after Tom,
gesturing appologetically.

Leo
Aw, c'mon Tommy. Its not like that. . .

The door clicks shut.

. . . Goddamnit. Goddamn kid is just like a
twist.

14. CUT TO:
FAT TONY

Tending the downstairs bar as Tom stalks over.

Tom
Gimme a stiff one.

Tony
No small talk, huh? They shoot vour nag?

Tony has finished pouring a shot of whiskey which Tom
immediately knocks back.

Tom
If there's any justice. Verna around?

Tony
She stepped into the ladies, room. You got
Lazarre's five hundred?

Tom
He'll have to carry me for a few days.

Tom is pouring himself another drink.

Tony
He ain't gonna like that. Couldn't, you get it
from Leo?

Tom is irritated:

Tom
It's not Leo's debt. I'll pay my own way.

Tony
I admire a man of principle. Does this go on the
tab?

Drink in hand, Tom is already walking away.

15. INT LADIES' LOUNGE

As Tom bangs through the door, still carelessly holding his
tumbler of whiskey. A rogue lock of hair hangs down over
his forehead.

Tom
Close your eyes, ladies, I'm coming through.

REVERSE

The hubbub of female voices evaporates as all turn to look
at the male intruder.

The lounge's decor is done in various shades of pink. Some
of the women apply make-up facing the large bulb-encircled
mirrors on overstuffed seashell shaped pink chairs. Other
women sit, smoking, in the banquettes that line the other
wall.

All react to Tom's entrance with surprise mixed with
various degrees of outrage, and they hurry to gather their
things and leave. The one exception is Verna, who looks at
Tom with unperturbed distaste.

As he crosses to her seashell chair:

Tom
Who's the warpaint for?

Verna
Go home and dry out.

Tom
You don't need it for Leo, believe me. He
already thinks you're the original Miss Jesus.

She glances hurriedly around the lounge, but the last of
the women are already leaving.

Verna
. . . What the hell's the matter with you?

Tom
What's the matter with you? Afraid people might
get the right idea?

Verna studies him for a beat.

Verna
Leo's got the right idea. I like him, he's
honest and he's got a heart.

Tom weaves a couple of steps closer to her.

Tom
Then its true what they say. Opposites attract.

Verna
Do me a favor and mind your own business.

She turns back to the mirror and starts applying her
lipstick. Tom drops down to face her in the mirror.

Tom
This is my business. Intimidating helpless women is
part of what I do.

Verna
Then find one and intimidate her.

Tom swallows the rest of his drink in one gulp.

Tom
Leo's upstairs getting ready to shoot himself in
the foot on your account.

Verna
I don't know what you're talking about.

Tom
He's gonna go to the mat for your brother. And
it's gonna hurt him.

Verna
I don't know Leo's business, but he's a big boy.

Tom
He used to be.

Verna causes with the lipstick. She looks at Tom intently
but her tone softens.

Verna
Look. What do you want, Tom? You want me to
pretend I don't care what happens to Bernie?
Well I do. He's my brother and I don't want him
to get hurt. If Leo wants to help him out I'll
step out with him, show him a good time in
return. There's no harm in that.

Tom
There's a name for that kind of business arrange-
ment.

Verna
I'll do what I have to for Bernie and there's no
reason for you to try and queer that. Regardless
of what you think of me, Bernie's a decent guy.

Tom
A straight shooter, huh? A square gee?

Verna
Yeah, sneer at him like everyone else. Just
because he's different. People think he's a
degenerate. People think he's sc*m. Well he's
not.

Tom
Poor misunderstood Bernie.

Verna swivels around to stare quizzically at Tom.

Verna
. . . What is this about? You want me to stop
seeing Leo . . . Why don't you just say so?

Tom
I want you to quit spinning Leo in circles and
pointing him where to go.

Verna
I forgot--that's your job, isn't it?

Tom
I'll do what I have to to protect Leo. I'm
asking you--politely, for me--to leave him alone.
I don't have to ask. If I told him about our
little dance last night, your pull would dry up
pretty fast.

Now Verna is irritated:

Verna
So would yours. I don't like being threatened.

Tom
I don't like being played for a sucker. That
game might work with Leo but it won't work with
me.

Verna
You think last night was just more campaigning
for my brother?

Tom
I can see the angles. . .

He grabs her by the arm and drags her roughly to her feet.

. . . And I know if there was a market for little
old ladies, you'd have Grandma Bernheim first on
line.

Verna

You're a pathetic rumhead.

Tom
And I love you, Angel.

Tom takes her hat off, tosses it onto the chair, and kisses
her roughly on the lips.

Verna breaks away and socks him on the jaw. Tom staggers
back, upsetting a table of toiletries and landing against a
banquette.

He throws his empty whiskey gla** at Verna.

She ducks and it smashes into the mirror.

They stand staring at each other for a beat, breathing
hard. Tom has a smear of lipstick near one side of his
mouth.

Finally:

Verna.
. . . I suppose you think you've raised hell.

She picks up her stole and heads for the door.

Tom stands staring at her back, swaying, ever so slightly.

Tom
Sister, when T've raised hell you'll know it.

16. CUT TO:
INT TOM'S APARTMENT

A wide shot, facing the semi-circular windows, the door of
the apartment behind us. A large easy chair in the middle
foreground faces away from us: a smaller chair is at the
window end of the room, facing us.

At the cut we hear the ringing of the telephone.

Offscreen we can hear the unhurried scrape of a key in the
lock, then the door opening, then the door closing.

Tom's back enters frame as he strolls into the room and
then disappears briefly through an open doorway to the
right. We hear an icebox door opening and closing, and
then Tom reenters again, still not reacting to the insis-
tently ringing phone. He is now holding a balled-up towel.

He walks over to the facing chair at the window end of the
room, shrugs off his overcoat, drapes it on the chair,
sits, crosses his legs, takes off his hat, tosses it onto
the upraised toes of his crossed leg, tilts his head back,
and presses the towel against his forehead--apparently it
is an icepack.

We are beginning to track slowly towards him.

After a beat he takes out a cigarette, lights it, and
reaches back for the phone that refuses to stop ringing.

Tom
Yeah. . .

He casually looks forward, just off to one side, at a
specific point in space. He does not react to whatever he
is hearing.

. . . I need a couple days. . . Because I don't
have it now. . .

We are almost in close shot now. His gaze is still fixed
and emotionless.

. . . Because I say so. . . What would be good
enough?. . . Well, if it'll make him feel any
better, tell Lazarre he can send someone by to
break my legs. I won't squawk.

He prongs the earpiece, still looking off. The track has
stopped in close shot. He exhales a stream of smoke, then
after a beat:

. . . 'Lo, Bernie.

REVERSE

Slouched in a chair, in the corner of the room, facing Tom,
is Bernie Bernheim. He is about thirty and wears his
overcoat and hat and a good-natured smile. He holds an
apple in one hand and a paring knife in the other. The
long peel of the apple corkscrews down off the knife.

Bernie
'Lo, Tom. What's the rumpus?

Tom
C'mon in, make yourself at home.

Bernie
Yeah, you weren't here so I thought I'd do that.
Didn't wanna answer the phone, though. Figured
it wasn't for me.

Tom
Uh-huh.

After a silent beat, Bernie chuckles.

Bernie
. . . I get it, get to the point, huh? Okay.
The point is: I'm a good guy.

Tom
I've heard that from a lot of people today.

Bernie slices off an apple section and holds it out to Tom,
who shakes his head.

Bernie
Good guy, lot of friends--that's the way it
works. Maybe if you appreciated me a little
more, you wouldn't be making waves with Leo.

He pops the slice in his mouth.

It's a bad time to be doing that. I mean, right
now we're both in a jam. I hear you're on a bad
streak, short of funds, and I've got that
psychotic guinea mad at me. Don't ask me why;
I'm just a small-timer trying to get by, like
everyone else. I need help from my friends.
Like Leo. And you.

Tom
Leo gets your sister, what're you selling me?

Bernie
C'mon Tom, its not like that at all. Wasn't
my idea. She'll sleep with anyone, you know
that. She's even tried to teach me a thing or
two about bed artistry. Can you believe that--my
own sister! Some crackpot idea about saving me
from my friends. . .

Bernie laughs pleasantly.

She's a sick twist all right. I guess some
guys like that.

Tom
She speaks highly of you.

Bernie shrugs.

Bernie
Yeah, well, you stick by your family. The point
is, I can help you with your debts if that would
make us friends. My motto is, a guy can't have
too many. Big payday Saturday, Tom. You could
be in on it.

For the first time, Tom is interested.

Tom
Another fix? Which fight?

Bernie
Well that's confidential at the moment. But it
doesn't have to stay that way.

Tom gives Bernie a speculative eye.

Tom
How d'you know about it? Caspar isn't laying any
more bets with you.

Bernie
Mm.

Tom gives a humorless smile.

Tom
. . . You must really have Mink jumping through
hoops.

Bernie is getting to his feet wiping the knife blade on his
coat.

Bernie
Like I say, you can't have too many.

He pauses at the open door, looks up and down the hall and
turns to look at Tom.

. . . We got a deal?

Tom
. . . I'll think about it.

On his way out:

Bernie
I wouldn't want it any other way.

On the click of the door latch we cut to:

17. STREET DAY

Pulling Tom along the sidewalk.

Tom
Cud. . .

He is calling out to a short rail-like man lounging against
a building who joins him as he walks. Cud has small sharp
features except for one cheek, which is hugely distended by
a wad of chewing tobacco.

. . . My credit still good with you?

Cud gives a so-so flutter of his hand.

. . . Give me a hundred across on Tailor Maid in
the third tonight.

Cud shakes his head.

Cud
Lazarre won't like it.

Tom
Try fifty across.

Cud shrugs.

Cud
I'll try. That'll make another one-fifty you owe
him.

Tom
Only if I lose, Cud.

Cud
Tommy, the way you're goin'--horses got knees?

Tom
I dunno. Fetlocks.

Cud
Well the way you're goin', if I was a horse I'd
be down on my fetlocks prayin' you don't bet on
me.

Another man, a huge man, has walked up to flank Tom's other
side. This is Frankie.

Frankie
Drift, small guy.

Cud
Drop dead, ape.

Frankie
C'mon Tom, my boss wants to see you. He didn't
have time to engrave nothin' formal.

Cud starts to fade away.

Cud
I'll see you later, Tommy. I gotta go spit.

18. INT ROOM

It is a large room with a couple of card tables, straight-
backed chairs, a ratty sofa--a sparsely furnished card room
off the main floor of a club.

At the cut we are tracking behind Tom into the room as
Frankie and Tic-Tac, a small ferret-faced-man, escort him
in. We hear a woman's voice speaking rapid-fire Italian.

Bluepoint is sitting on the couch, wearing his overcoat and
his hat pushed back an his forehead.

Sitting at one of the card tables is Caspar. With him is
his wife, a short, very round Italian woman, and his son,
Johnny Jr. Johnny Jr., about five years old, is also very
round. He wears a suit with short pants that reveal
dimpled knees.

Bluepoint, an the couch, is watching the domestic scene
without any particular warmth.

Caspar
Whaddya mean he's eatin' too much? Whadduz the
goddamn doctor know?

He turns to the little boy.

. . . What you eat for lunch?

Johnny Jr.
A hot dog.

Caspar
Just a hot dog?

The boy shakes his head.

Johnny Jr.
A hot dog and mustard.

Caspar throws his head back and roars with laughter.

Caspar
A hot dog with mustard! A hot dog with mustard!
You hear that, Bluepoint! The kids as smart as a
whip! Even Uncle Bluepoint thinks that's funny.

Bluenpoint's face is a solem mask.

. . . Whadduz the goddamn doctor know!

Caspar wipes away tears of mirth and digs in his pocket
with his left hand. Extending two closed fists towards the
boy:

. . . G'head, which hand is the penny in?

The boy touches his right fist.

. . . Choose again.

The boy just looks at him.

. . . Okay, here ya go. Take the penny. Shiny
new penny.

To his wife.

. . . Take the kid. Wait in the car. Give'm
a penny, boys.

Tic-Tac and Frankie dig in their pockets for change as the
boy and his mother cross to the door.

Frankie
I ain't got a penny, boss.

Caspar has turned his attention to a check book that lies
on the table in front of him. As he writes:

Caspar
Ah, well, that's a penny ya owe him. 'Lo Tom,
what's the rumpus? You like kids?

Tom
No.

Absently:

Caspar
Uh-huh. Have a seat. G'ahead.

He tears out the check.

. . . Well, you're missin' out on a complete
life. I know, kids, big deal, but still, I'm
tellin' ya.

He blows on the check.

. . . Anyway. . . Thanks for comin' by. I just
wrote this check out to your bookmaker, Lazarre.
It's for an even fifteen hundred, which is more
than I hear you owe him but I figure you can
always use some money on the cuff, a high roller
such as yaself whaddya say?

Tom
. . . Thanks.

Caspar laughs.

Caspar
Always the yapper, huh? Well, you're welcome.
You wanna know why I'm putting you square with
Lazarre?

Tom
Not particularly.

Caspar
Bad feeling. It ain't a good thing. It's a
poison, kid. I want everybody to be friends. I
do this, you're friends with Lazarre, he's
friends with you, and you're friends with me.
And all you gotta do, show you're a friend, is to
give me Bernie Bernheim. You know it's the right
thing anyway; I can't keep any discipline if I
can't punish the people I need to punish. The
Motzah steals from me, I can't have Leo givin'
him a shiny new penny. . . You find some way to
make Leo understand that.

Tom
So the deal is, I give you the Motzah, smooth it
over with Leo, and you bail me out with Lazarre.

Caspar
Yeah, then we're all friends again: You, me,
Leo, Bluepoint.

Bluepoint sneers from the couch:

Bluepoint
We can maybe have tea sometime.

Caspar
C'mon, Bluepoint. Friends is a mental state.
Wuddya say, kid?

Tom
. . . I'll think about it.

Caspar
He'll think about it. Hear that, Bluepoint?
That's terrific. The kid's a thinker.

Bluepoint
Does he want a pillow for his head?

Caspar
Okay kid, think about it. It's a mental state.
But make it quick, my family's waitin'.

Tom
I'll think about it and tell you later.

Bluepoint
He needs to think in the thinking room.

Caspar shakes his head sadly.

Caspar
Kid, if it'll help you think, you should know
that if you don't do this you won't be in any
shape to walk outa here.

Tom considers this.

Tom
. . . Would that be physically, or just a mental
state?

Caspar stares at him for a beat, then slowly starts to tear
up the check.

Caspar
. . . That ain't friendly, kid. I make you a
nice offer, I get the high hat.

He gets up and walks over to the door. Tic-Tac opens it
for him and precedes him out.

Before following Caspar out the door, Bluepoint grins at
Tom.

Bluepoint
Too bad for you, smart guy.

He leaves, shutting the door.

The room is quiet.

Tom looks at Frankie, the large man, who looks back.

Frankie stands, takes off his suit coat, and hangs it
carefully on a rack by the door.

He approaches Tom.

Tom
Hold it.

Frankie complies. Tom is standing and shrugging off his
coat. He folds it neatly and turns to lay it on the chair
he was in.

When he turns around again he is holding the chair and he
smashes it into Frankie's face.

Frankie staggers back but doesn't drop. He reaches up to
his nose and his hand comes away bloody.

Frankie
. . . Jesus, Tom.

Tom still holds the chair.

Frankie looks at him for a moment, then walks over to the
door, opens it, and leaves, shutting it behind him.

The room is very quiet. Tom stands facing the door, still
holding the chair. After a beat or two, he starts to put
it down.

The door opens and he quickly raises the chair again.

Tic-Tac, the little man with the hawk nose, is striding
into the room, briskly approaching Tom. Frankie, the
gorilla, follows cautiously.

Tic-Tac blocks Ton's swing of the chair with his forearm,
wraps both arms around it and pulls it awav from Tom. As
Frankie circles Tom, Tic-Tac tosses the chair across the
room.

Frankie, now behind Tom, wallops him in the small of the
back. The blow sends him staggering towards Tic-Tac, who
cracks him in the jaw.

Frankie grabs Tom's hair and yanks his head back as Tic-Tac
works on his midsection. Tom's hands are reaching back to
grope for Frankie.

Still holding his hair with one hand, Frankie cuffs Tom
awkwardly on the side of the head. Tom staggers around and
Tic-Tac, now behind him, also hits him on the side of the
head.

Tom goes down. His head hits the floor with a thunk.

We are on a low angle an the floor. Behind Tom's head, in
the background, we see the door to the room.

The door splinters in with a loud crash.

Frankie's feet are walking up alongside Tom's head, as blue
uniforms stream into the room.

Frankie
Just in the nick of time, huh?

He brings his foot back to deliver a walloping kick to the
back of Tom's head. On the impact we cut to:

BLACK

Over black we hear the sound of running water.

19. FADE IN:
TOM

Gasping for air as his head is pulled out from under a
running faucet.

The uniformed policeman who was holding him there and is
now pulling him back up, grins at him.

Cop
No harm done. Unless your friend broke his foot.

Tom is still woozy.

Tom
. . . Wuzzit. . . How long. . . What day is it?

Cop
Friday, 12th of September, 1929. Same as when
you left us, about ten seconds ago. . .

He is leading Tom by the arm out of the cramped bathroom,
back into the card room where he was beat up. Another cop
has Frankie cuffed in a straightbacked chair and is taking
roundhouse swings at him. He pauses, breathing heavily.

Second Cop
. . . 'Lo, Tom. Care to skin a knuckle an your
playmate here?

Tom
No. . . thanks, Delahanty. . .

As Tom and the first cop leave the card room:

Second Cop
Well if you change your mind, we'll be inter-
rogatin' for a while. . .

Tom and his escort are emerging onto the casino floor.

First Cop
What was that party about, anyway?

Tom
We do this every weekend.

Blue uniforms are everywhere. Some are escorting tuxedoed
patrons and employees to the exit; some wield axes on the
gaming equipment; others are using nightsticks to smash the
bottles behind the bar. Tom winces at this and lights a
cigarette.

Tom
Jesus. . .

He takes a battle and gla** from a table as they walk by.

. . . What the hell is the matter with you
people?

First Cop
Well, they said make it hurt. . . So we make it
hurt.

22. EXT THE BUILDING

We see that the building's facade claims to be SABBATINI'S
ANTIQUES AND COLLECTIBLES.

Tom weaves across the street with his battle and gla**
towards O'Gar, the police chief, leaning against a squad
car, chewing a toothpick. He is watching morosely as his
men load other men into paddywagons; the street is clogged
with police vehicles.

Tom
Drink, O'Gar?

O'Gar does not bother to look at Tom as they talk; he is
unhappily watching the spectacle.

O'Gar
I'm an duty.

Tom pours himself a gla**.

Tom
To Volstead. . .

He tosses back a shot.

. . . Any news on Rug?

O'Gar
Still dead, far as I know.

Tom
Get a slug out of him?

O'Gar
Yeah, a .22. Listen, Tom, I'm just the chief
around here, so don't bother telling me if you
don't happen to feel like it, but what the hell
is Leo doing?

Tom
Ours is not to reason why, friend.

O'Gar
Balls. Look at this mess. Make him listen to
you, Tom. It ain't right, all this fuss over one
sheeny. Let Caspar have Bernie--Jesus, what's
one Hebrew more or less?

He nods at the building.

. . . We're burning our mealticket here.

Tom
Leo'll do what suits him, and you'll do what he
tells you. Last I heard Leo's still running this
town.

O'Gar
He won't be for long if this keeps up. It's no
good for anyone--you said as much yourself.

Tom
First off, O'Gar, I can say what I please to Leo
and about him. . .

He taps him on the chest.

. . . You can't. Second, once Leo decides--
that's that. And if that sticks going down,
there are plenty of other coppers wouldn't mind
being chief, and could swallow it clean.

O'Gar looks chastened.

O'Gar
Jesus, Tom, I was just speculatin' about a
hypothesis. I know I don't know nothin'. It's
just a damn mess is all--

He is interrupted by gunfire from an upper story of the
facing building.

O'Gar's men react, finding cover, returning the fire.

O'Gar unholsters his gun as he and Tom scramble for cover.

. . . a goddamn mess.

23. HALLWAY

We are shooting over Tom's shoulder as he knocks at the
door to Verna's apartment.

After a beat, Verna opens the door.

On seeing who it is she starts to swing the door shut.

Tom puts his toe in the doorway and leans into the door.

As he pushes his way in:

Tom
Thanks, don't mind if I do.

24. INT APARTMENT

As Verna gives up and Tom enters.

Verna walks over to the phone. As she dials, Tom tosses
his hat onto a chair and checks the apartment to see if
they're alone.

Verna
Hello, officer, I'd like to report an intruder at
346 West--

Tom grabs the phone away from her.

Tom
Who's this?. . . 'Lo, Shad, Tom Duchaisne here.
We won't be needing any today. . . That's right,
my mother. She didn't recognize me. Lemme talk
to Mulvaney.

He takes a flask out of his packet and looks across the
room towards Verna.

. . . Miss me?

Verna
Drop dead.

We hear a voice barking through the line and Tom turns back
to the phone.

Tom
. . . 'Lo Sean, tell O'Car to send a car over to
Leo's tonight. If we're going to be banging away
at Caspar we ought to be ready for him to bang
back. . . Yeah.

He hangs up the phone and tips the flask back, draining the
last drop.

Verna
What do you want?

Tom is crossing to the bar.

Tom
I was in the neighborhood, feeling a little
daffy. Thought I'd drop in for an apperitif.

He pours himself a drink.

. . . Rug Daniels is dead.

Verna
Gee, that's tough.

Tom
Don't get hysterical. I've had enough excitement
for one nigit without a dame going all weepy on
me.

Verna
I barely knew the gentleman.

Tom
Rug? Bit of a shakedown artist. Not above the
occasional grift, but you'd understand that. All
in all not a bad guy, if looks, brains and
personality don't count.

Verna
You better hope they don't.

He gives her a sick grin.

Tom
. . . Yeah well, we're none of us the saint I
hear your brother is.

Verna
Who killed him?

Tom
Leo thinks Caspar did.

Verna
But you know better.

Tom
I do now. Caspar just tried to buy me into
settling his tiff with Leo, which held hardly do
if he was waging war. So I figure you killed
him, Angel. You or Saint Bernard.

Verna
Why would I--or my brother--kill Rug Daniels or
anybody else?

Tom
Rug was following you. He knew about you and me.
That wouldn't help your play with Leo, would it?

He looks at her. She holds his gaze.

Verna
You think I murdered someone. Come on, Tom, you
know me a little.

Tom
Nobody knows anybody--not that well.

Verna
You know or you wouldn't be here.

Tom
Not at all, sugar. I came to hear your side of
the story--how horrible Rug was, how he goaded
you into it, how he tried to shake you down--

Verna
That's not why you came either.

Tom shrugs.

Tom
Tell me why I came.

Verna looks at him.

Verna
The oldest reason there is.

Tom
There are friendlier places to drink.

Verna
Why can't you admit it?

Tom
Admit what?

Verna
Admit you don't like me seeing Lee because you're
jealous. Admit it isn't all cool calculation
with you--that you've got a heart--even if it's
small and feeble and you can't remember the last
time you used it.

Tom
If I'd known we were going to cast our feelings
into words I'd have memorized the Song of
Solomon.

Verna smiles.

Verna
. . . Maybe that's why I like you, Tom. I've
never met anyone made being a sonofab*t*h such a
point of pride.

She turns to walk across the room.

. . . Though one day you'll pay a crice for it.

Tom grabs her wrist.

Tom
Okay, Verna. But until then, let's get stinko.

He draws her close.

Verna
. . . Let's do something else first.

She reaches up, takes off his hat, and tosses it casually
away. We pan with the hat to where it lands on the floor,
in front of a curtained window.

Tom
Yeah. Let's do plenty.

25. DISSOLVE THROUGH TO:
ANOTHER WINDOW NIGHT

A living room window, open, its white sheers billowing
lazily in the draft.

Faintly, from another room in the house, we can hear a
phonograph playing John McCormack singing "Danny Boy".

At the cut we hear a thump, close by, and briefly the
sounds of a struggle. We then hear a breathy, gurgling
sound, which quickly subsides.

The living room is late-night quiet.

The shot is a lateral track, which brings us off the window
to an end table in the foreground. On the end table is a
pouch of Bull Durham, a package of rolling papers, a cup of
coffee with steaming rising off of it, and a section of a
newspaper. The draft gently lifts a couple rolling papers
off the table.

The continuing track takes us off the end table and,
booming down, shows us an upset chair and the legs of the
man who occupied it.

We track along the man's body to discover that he is face-
down on the section of newspaper he was reading, blood
oozing out of his slit throat onto the newspaper.

The continuing track shows that, between the fingers of one
outflung hand, a cigarette burns. It is resting on the
newspaper.

We see the feet of another man who is turning and walking
away from the man on the floor, into the background. We
pan over to watch him recede, framing out all of the dying
man except his outflung hand and cigarette.

As the walking man recedes, more and more of his topcoated
body crops in. By the time he reaches the house's front
door, in the deep background, we can see him full figure.

The newspaper in the foreground is crackling into flame.
The rug it rests on is beginning to smoke and discolor.

As the man in the background opens the front door we jump
in:

OVER HIS SHOULDER

Waiting in the darkness just outside is another man in a
topcoat and fedora. He is holding two tommy guns.

The men do not exchange words.

The man outside hands his partner a tommy gun and follows
him as he walks back into the house.

Still faint, we continue to hear "Danny Boy". We also hear
the lick of flames.

26. A VICTROLA

The song is louder at the cut. We are in an upstairs
bedroom.

LEO

Stretched out an his bed, wearing a robe over his pyjamas,
smoking a cigar, listening--but only to the phonograph.
Its sound covers any other noise in the house.

27. STAIRWAY

A close track on the two pairs of feet climbing the stairs.
We see only the feet, the swaying hems of the topcoats and,
occasionally dipping into frame, the muzzles of the two
tommy guns.

26. BEDROOM

Leo, is motionless, looking down, a puzzled expression.

HIS POV

The floor.

Thin smoke is beginning to sift up through the floorboards.

28. STAIRWAY

Tracking on the approaching feet. The song grows louder.

26. BEDROOM

Leo, looking, slowly taking the cigar from his mouth.

BEDROOM DOOR

From inside as--CRASH--it is kicked in.

LEO

Hitting the floor and rolling under the bed.

THE TWO GUNMEN

Striding into the room.

LEO

On his belly under the bed, facing the door, swinging a
handgun in front of him.

HIS POV

From floor level, the bottom of the mattress above us, the
floorboards stretching away.

The bed crops the two gunmen mid-shin as they swing their
guns up, firing.

RAT-TAT-TAT-TAT--the hems of their coats sway as they fire.

The floorboards in front of us are pocked by bullet hits
that walk across the floor towards the bed and hit the
mattress.

The mattress above us dances under the gunfire as ticking
sprays down at the floor.

Smoke curls up throuch the floorboards.

LEO

Jaw clamped on his cigar, he starts firing.

HIS POV

Blood spurts as one gunman takes a hit in the ankle.

He staggers and his tommy gun clatters to the floor.

LEO

Still firing.

HIS POV

The other gunman is ducking out the door.

The injured gunman pitches forward, head towards us, his
hat rolling off.

LEO

Firing.

HIS POV

A bullet hit in the top of the fallen man's head.

LEO

Rolling out from under the bed.

He stoops to pick up the dead man's tommy gun. Thick smoke
seeps up through the floor.

The phonograph plays.

Leo ducks through another door.

28. HALLWAY

Facing down the length of the dark hallway, towards the
mouth of the stairs.

As Leo leaps across frame in the foreground, to enter a
facing room, muzzle flashes erupt a




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