Have you ever thought after reading a book, “This would make a great movie”? Perhaps you’ve written a script and just knew it would be a blockbuster, or you know a favorite author’s book has been optioned to become a movie, but you’ve never seen it created.
This three-part series is just for you. In collaboration with Hollywood scriptwriter, director, and novelist Heywood Gould. (Mr. Gould is the author of 9 screenplays including “Rolling Thunder,” Fort Apache, The Bronx,” Boys From Brazil,” and “Cocktail”) Reader’s Entertainment will be bringing you “Movies You Will Never See“.
From Heywood Gould:
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.
Reader’s Entertainment and 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.
EMPIRES OF CRIME/PART 1
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,
It’s blackmail. His lawyer
threatens to reveal Luciano’s
war 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 was
a pimp and a murderer. And he
got better press than I did. Still
We should have taken him out
when we had the chance.
We should have given him
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 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.
Charley’s a patriot in his own
cockeyed way. He won’t talk.
We have to be sure.
To read the first Scene in it’s entirety go here.
Readers are free to submit their own shelved scripts for publication to Daily Event Follow this link for submissions.
With two conditions:
1. The scripts must have been commissioned or acquired by a producing entity.
2. The writer must have full rights to the script.
The Daily Event legal department (non-existent) does not want a young Business Affairs attorney to pause the Coeds in Bondage video he is watching for the seventy-third time to write us a threatening letter.
Decisions of the judges will be final. Until, of course, they are reconceived, reconsidered, reexamined and—repeated.
Drop by next Wednesday for Part Two of “Movies You Will Never See”.