FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT
July 27, 2006
1 EXT. JAZZ CLUB - DAY 1
A tall, handsome man in a dark suit emerges from a Lincoln
Towncar and enters a small, basement R&B/Jazz club.
2 INT. JAZZ CLUB - DAY 2
He approaches a booth, says something in the din to the men
there, then calmly shoots them and exits.
3 EXT. HARLEM STREET - DAY (NOVEMBER) 3
Bumpy Johnson, an elderly but still sturdy black man,
elegantly dressed - cashmere overcoat, gloves, Homburg -
stands in falling snow atop a flatbed truck - as he does
every Thanksgiving - tossing down turkeys to the poor -
like a benign king.
A younger man, the gunman from the club - Frank Lucas -
Bumpy's driver/bodyguard/collector/protege - watches from
4 INT/EXT. STREET / DISCOUNT EMPORIUM - DAY (NOVEMBER) 4
Whispering gunfire from a television set veiled by
foreground snow: Soldiers in the jungles of Vietnam in
1970. A rich, cultured, authoritative voice offers:
This is the problem. This is what's
wrong with America.
The war footage multiplies by twenty: a stack of TVs with
price tags dangling from the knobs behind a display window.
It's gotten so big you can't find your
People on the sidewalk, out of respect or fear, part to let
Frank and Bumpy and Bumpy's German shepherd pass.
The corner grocery's a supermarket.
Candy store's a MacDonald's. And this
4 CONTINUED: 4
Where's the pride of ownership here?
Where's the personal service? Does
anybody work here?
Inside, the emporium is vast, with aisles that seem to
stretch off into infinity. The TVs give way to a display
window full of Japanese stereo componentry.
What right do they have cutting out the
suppliers, pushing all the middlemen out,
buying direct from the manufacturer -
Sony this, Toshiba that, all them Chinks -
putting Americans out of work?
He's not really asking Frank, so Frank doesn't answer.
What am I supposed to do with a place
like this, Frank? Who am I supposed to
ask for, the assistant manager?
This is the problem. This is the way it
is now: You can't find the heart of
anything to stick the knife.
Bumpy stops before a display of cameras and stares in.
They're all pointed at him as a pain grips his chest and he
sinks to his knees. Frank kneels down.
What is it?
Bumpy seems unable to speak, looks to Frank confused.
Somebody call an ambulance!
But the store suddenly seems empty. Frank yells into the
emporium but can't be heard above the Muzak and the cash
registers ringing up sales Bumpy will never see a piece of.
Looking up at Frank, Bumpy manages weakly -
Forget it, Frank. No one's in charge.
5 EXT. BUMPY'S APARTMENT - DAY 5
Limousines from the funeral disgorge mourners: family,
friends, celebrities, politicians. Cops on horseback move
through the enormous crowd that has gathered to watch. FBI
agents in cars snap pictures with long lenses of Italian
mobsters like Albert Tosca.
5 CONTINUED: 5
- whose passing has brought together a
who's who of mourners on this chilly
afternoon. The Governor has come down.
The mayor of New York - its Chief of
Police and Commissioner - sports and
entertainment luminaries -
A white Bentley pulls up, disgorging Jackie Fox - the
original Superfly - and his entourage. With his trademark
tinted Gucci glasses on, he happily poses for anyone with a
camera - including the Feds - before going inside.
6 INT. BUMPY'S APARTMENT - LATER 6
The report continues on a TV no one's really watching here:
a March of Time-like history of Bumpy Johnson, famed Harlem
gangster, Robin Hood and killer.
REPORTER ON TV
He was a Great Man, according to the
eulogies. A giving man. A man of the
people. No one chose to include in their
remembrances the word most often
associated with Ellsworth Bumpy Johnson:
Sitting off by himself in Bumpy's elegant garden apartment,
heretofore his private sanctuary, Frank surveys the mourners
circling the place like vultures:
Tango Black, a huge brute, scavenging the catered food and
tended bar ... Jackie Fox, surrounded by his ever-present
coterie of sycophants ... Albert Tosca, an elegant Italian
capo, and an underling, Rossi, at the bar.
White wine, please.
A white man who looks like a banker - and is - sits down
next to Frank.
How you doing, Frank?
What a loss.
How are you otherwise? Things okay
6 CONTINUED: 6
Frank doesn't say. It feels unseemly to him to be talking
about money here. He watches Tango carelessly set a watery
glass of ice on an antique inlaid chess table.
Bumpy set something up for you?
Frank excuses himself without an answer, crosses to where
Tango left the glass, and sets it on a coaster.
Hey, Frank, get me an ashtray while
you're at it.
Bumpy's German shepherd watches as Frank reaches into his
jacket, revealing a gun nestled in its shoulder holster. He
takes out a handkerchief, wipes the condensation dry, opens
a drawer and removes an ashtray. He holds it out to Tango -
who isn't sure it's not a dare and decides to wander off.
I know you're hurting, Frank. So am I.
Frank sits back down with Charlie Williams, an older dope
You going to be all right?
I'm sure Bumpy never told you, but he
made me promise, anything ever happened
to him, I'd make sure you didn't go
I'll be fine, Charlie. Half the people
here owed Bumpy money when he died. A
lot of money. If they think I'm going
to forget to collect, they're wrong.
That's the spirit. Go get them.
On the TV, over archive film and photographs of crime
figures from the 1940's and `50's, the opinion is offered
that Bumpy's death "marks the end of an era ..."
A7 INT. CLASSROOM - NIGHT A7
A figure, his back to us, walks slowly toward a blackboard
like a man to the gallows.
I live in fear of hearing my name
Mr. Roberts, Give us U.S. vs. Meade -
Of walking up there, turning around,
knowing every one of them knows more
than I do -
Subject, issues, what the determination
was and what it means to us today.
Richie Roberts turns and faces his classmates, all of them a
decade or more younger than him.
7 EXT. MOTEL - NEW JERSEY - DAY 7
Harlem's jagged teeth skyline juts across the river at the
other end of the George Washington Bridge. On this side - a
sledgehammer gripped in Richie's fist, on the move, suddenly
fills the frame.
You know the Number 1 fear of most
people isn't dying; it's public speaking.
They get physically ill. They throw up.
And that's what you want to do for a
I don't like being like that. I want to
Armed with the sledgehammer, Richie and his partner - Javy
Rivera - come past a seedy motel office where a TV shows
another report about Bumpy Johnson.
Legend: New Jersey
A motel clerk looks up, glimpses the sledgehammer -
7 CONTINUED: 7
Rivera flashes a New Jersey detective's shield without
breaking stride. Takes a subpoena out of another pocket.
Who's going to do this?
He knows me, he'll take it from me.
I've known him since high school.
Just throw it in, he doesn't take it.
That's good service.
They reach a particular motel room door. Rivera knocks.
The door opens the length of a chain, revealing a wise guy
in an undershirt, who, when he sees the subpoena, start to
close the door -
Throw it -
As Richie flings the subpoena in, the door slams on his
hand. He wails in agony, tries to shoulder it open, hears
the dead bolt lock on the other side, feels Campizi's teeth
bite into his fingers, watches his blood run down the frame.
Richie hangs down from his hand as the sledgehammer swings
past his head shattering the door -
8 INT/EXT. MOTEL ROOM - CONTINUOUS 8
The door rips from its hinges and the detectives crash in.
The wise guy - Campizi - hurries for the bathroom, slams the
door. This one's hollow and the detectives more easily
break through it -
Campizi tries to climb out the bathroom window. Richie
grabs him, throws him into the shower stall, taking the
plastic curtain down with them, smearing it with blood as
Richie beats at him before Rivera can pull him off.
9 INT. AMBULANCE - MOVING - DAY 9
A male paramedic attends to Campizi's bloodied face while a
female paramedic cleans Richie's bloodied hand.
9 CONTINUED: 9
I swear to God, Richie, I didn't know it
was you. I would never slam a door on
your hand. Knowingly.
You bit my fuckin hand -
Richie lunges at him, hits him again with his injured hand -
which hurts Richie more than it does Campizi. The
paramedics manage to pull him away.
What can we do, Richie? You don't want
to do this. For old times sake, what can
we do? Who do you want? Who can I give
you? You want Big Sal's bookie? You want
his accountant? I'll give him to you.
Richie regards him a moment. A policy ring's accountant
wouldn't be bad. He glances back to his paramedic dabbing
at his bloody hand, and notices she's not bad-looking. She
10 INT. NY POLICE HQ - ENTRANCE/STAIRS - DAY 10
Four men in long black leather coats stride toward like
they own the city. It's impossible to tell if they're cops
Legend: New York City
11 INT. NEW YORK POLICE ANNEX - PROPERTY ROOM - DAY 11
One of the same undercover cops - Detective Trupo -
scribbles a signature and badge number different from the
one on his gold shield lying next to the voucher requesting
evidence needed in court.
He pushes the voucher under a sign - "All Handguns and
Narcotics Before 10am Next Window" - to a clerk who takes it
past floor-to-ceiling shelves covered with files, plastic
bags bulging with handguns, knives and gambling receipts.
Bulkier items - like shotguns and baseball bats - lie
unwrapped with dangling tags.
The clerk reaches a chain-link cage where the most valuable
items are locked up - narcotics, pornography, cash - checks
the voucher against tags, takes down an old green suitcase.
12 EXT. WAREHOUSE - DAY 12
Trupo's car - a Shelby Mustang - roars up. He climbs out,
crosses to a warehouse with the suitcase as the other three
SIU Princes of the City follow from another car, cradling
13 INT. WAREHOUSE - DAY 13
Trupo snaps the suitcase open revealing five half-kilo bags
of uncut heroin in clear plastic bags. The other cops pull
from the grocery bags: a Pyrex mixing bowl, flour sifter,
boxes of milk-sugar, latex kitchen gloves, a medical scale,
and yellow baggies.
Hands peel back the distinctive black and green "evidence"
tape on the clear plastic bags. Dump the heroin into twenty
yellow baggies. A half-kilo of lactose is poured into each
of the now-empty property room bags.
Now just enough for the reagent test.
He removes one tablespoon of heroin from each of the
baggies, and the now-almost-heroin-free powder is mixed
through the flour sifter, poured back into the clear bags,
the tape resealed, the bags returned to the suitcase.
14 INT. NY COURTROOM - DAY 14
The suitcase and "heroin," and some weapons and money, have
been arranged on an evidence table with the care of a Macy's
display window. Trupo - the officer in charge of the case -
watches the jury files in -
15 EXT. UNDER EXPRESSWAY - DAY 15
A Lincoln Continental pulls up. Trupo climbs out of his
Shelby with a sports bag, crosses to the Lincoln, climbs in
back where an Italian wise guy - Rossi - sits. Trupo unzips
the bag revealing the recut heroin - in the yellow plastic.
This is the French Connection dope.
The same dope Popeye Doyle and Sonny
Grasso took from us.
16 OMIT 16 OMIT
17 INT. ITALIAN BAR - NY - DAY 17
Frank comes into an empty bar, chairs up on tables. A
middle-aged man mopping up glances up at him as he crosses
to a back room.
They seize it, arrest everybody,
whack it up and sell it back to us.
Our dope. They been living off it for
years, these New York cops.
18 INT. ITALIAN BAR - BACK ROOM - NY - DAY 18
Several ounces of the dope sits in foreground on a table.
They basically control the market with
it. What the fuck has happened to the
Rossi, who looks more like a middle-aged accountant than the
Italian dope supplier he is, makes two espressos.
Sad about Bumpy.
Behind Frank, a TV airs a report by Walter Cronkite on the
heroin problem among GIs in Vietnam.
Things are never going to be the same in
Harlem. The girls, the clubs, the music -
walk down the street, nobody bothers you
because Bumpy's making sure of it.
(hands Frank one of the
How bad is it there now?
18pt FLASHCUTS TO HARLEM 18pt
Guys barge into a room, steal money from a crap game at
gunpoint - Cops push guys against a bar, empty their pockets
- A dealer shoots another dealer in an alley -
18pt BACK TO THE HOTEL ROOM 18pt
It's chaos. Every gorilla for himself.
18pt CONTINUED: 18pt
Who can live like that? There has to
be order. That would never happen with
Italians. More important than any one
man's life - is order.
19 EXT. HARLEM - DAY 19
A street sign on a corner: 116th and 8th Avenue.
20 INT. DINER - HARLEM - DAY 20
As is his custom, Frank eats breakfast alone. A middle-
aged waitress appears when he's done, picks up his plate
and refills his coffee.
Thank you, Charlene. Last one.
It's all right with me, Frank, you can
stay all day if you want, but I wouldn't.
It's nice outside.
Then maybe I'll have to go for a walk.
Just cause you said so.
She smiles and leaves. Frank pours some sugar in his
coffee. Someone taps on the window and he looks up, sees
two servicemen - one in uniform - one he recognizes.
21 INT. REDTOP'S APARTMENT BUILDING - DAY 21
Frank leads the servicemen up the stairs of a building.
22 INT. REDTOP'S APARTMENT - DAY 22
Corner apartment above the street. A girl sits smoking at
a work table covered with drug-cutting apparatus. Another -
Frank's cutter and sometimes-girlfriend, Red Top - sets a
couple of packets of heroin in front of the servicemen.
On the house for our men in uniform.
Why, thank you, sugar, that's very kind.
22 CONTINUED: 22
Frank nods, you're welcome before the man can thank him.
The servicemen start cooking up the dope.
How's Nate? You seen him?
All the time. Nate is everywhere.
He's good. Got himself a club now.
I don't think he's ever coming home.
Regarding the dope as the servicemen shoot it up -
You're gonna have to boot it a couple
times. Cops keep cutting it, selling it,
cutting it -
I don't want to say anything cause the
price is right - but the shit in Nam is
way, way, way, way, way -
He begins to nod out before he can finish the sentence.
23 OMIT 23 OMIT
24 EXT. SOCIAL CLUB - NEWARK - LATE AFTERNOON 24
Across the river, Richie, Rivera and Campizi sit in the car
parked across from a closed social club. A man carrying a
grocery bag comes out and Campizi ducks lower in the seat.
Newsboy Moriarty's mob accountant puts the grocery bag in
the trunk of a car, climbs in behind the wheel.
25 EXT. NEWARK - SCRAP METAL YARD - LATE AFTERNOON 25
From the parked car they observe the accountant putting
another bag in his trunk.
26 EXT. STREET - NEWARK - LATE AFTERNOON 26
He comes out of another place with another bag. To Campizi -
All right. Get lost. Get out.
Campizi slinks out of the car. Richie and Rivera follow
after Newsboy Moriarty's accountant's car.
27 EXT. PARKING LOT - LATE AFTERNOON 27
They tail the car into a lot, park and watch the accountant
leave his car and get into another car that's parked there.
We gonna stay with him or the car?
Whatever they do, they'll have to decide quick.
Let's see who comes for the car.
28 EXT. PARKING LOT - NEWARK - NIGHT 28
All the other cars are gone. Rivera climbs into Richie's
with coffee and a Coke in a bag, hands him the can.
Think he made us?
Richie doesn't know. Glances at his watch. Cranes in his
seat to look behind them.
You called for the warrant? Where are
I just called. I called and walked back
here and ten seconds has gone by.
Richie watches an attendant lock up, listens to the street
lamps buzz, grows impatient. Indicating the other car:
We saw him with the slips, Javy.
You saw policy slips? You saw grocery
bags. You don't know what's in them.
28 CONTINUED: 28
Yes, I do, and so do you, don't give me
that bullshit -
What's the rush? Half an hour the
warrant'll be here -
I got night school.
Guess you're going to miss it.
(Rivera sips at his coffee;
You know, what you were saying before
- about throwing up in front of people -
money will take that feeling away.
Not when it's less.
Less than what.
Than what I make now.
No lawyer on earth makes less than a cop.
They do in the Prosecutor's Office.
Three thousand less.
You're fuckin kidding me.
Richie isn't kidding. Rivera stares at him like he's crazy.
Richie checks his watch. He's waited long enough.
Fuck this -
Richie gets out, opens the trunk, grabs a Slimjim and
bolt cutters, cuts through a gate chain and strides to the
accountant's car, Rivera following. Richie trips the
passenger door lock and pulls at the trunk release, and, as
he comes around back to search it -
28 CONTINUED: 28
Rivera may as well; the damage to the case, if there is one
anymore, is done. He crawls inside the car to look under
the seats and in the glove compartment. Gravely -
Richie's staring into the trunk like there's a body inside.
Rivera comes over, takes a look, sees it's money: stacks of
it rubber-banded together, spilling from grocery bags - more
than either of them has ever seen. As the trunk closes -
29 EXT. PARKING LOT / RICHIE'S CAR - LATER - NIGHT 29
Richie and Rivera sit in their car in silence, staring out
at the car with the money in it. Eventually -
This isn't a couple of bucks.
It's the same thing. In principle.
We're talking about principle?
Richie, a cop who turns in this kind of
money says one thing: He'll turn in cops
who take money. We'll be pariahs.
We're fucked either way.
Not if we keep it. Only if we don't.
Then we're fucked, you're right. But not
if we keep it.
(more to himself)
Yes, we are.
Goddamn it, did we ask for this? Did we
put a gun to someone's head and say, Give
us your money? Cops kill cops they can't
trust. We can't turn it in.
They regard each other again in silence ...
30 INT. NEWARK POLICE STATION - LATER - NIGHT 30
As a police captain counts the stacks of money, Lou Toback,
Richie's superior from the prosecutors office, walks in, his
night out interrupted by this emergency. He crossed to where
Richie and Rivera sit alone in a corner. Quietly:
Nine hundred and eighty thousand.
What happened to the rest?
It's a joke but isn't funny, not even to Toback. He regards
his men who turned it in, then the other cops in the place -
who are watching them and the money being counted. Toback
walks over to the captain, and, quietly:
What're you doing counting this in front
of everybody? Are you out of your fuckin
mind? Take it into a room. Now.
Richie's glance to Rivera says, You're right, we're fucked.
31 INT/EXT. NEWARK POLICE STATION - PRE-DAWN 31
As Richie leaves alone, he's aware of all the eyes on him -
knowing the other cops' looks don't signify awe or respect,
but contempt and fear, like Rivera predicted. Neither will
ever be trusted again. He climbs into his car, drives off.
32 INT. DINER - HARLEM - DAY 32
Tango and his bodyguard come in and approach Frank's table
where he reads the morning paper as he eats breakfast.
Didn't you see the jar, Frank?
I think you walked right past it.
Frank ignores him, forks at his eggs, eats. Tango sits.
The money jar. On the corner. What I
got to do, put a sign on it?
Frank indicates that he would answer if his mouth wasn't
full. He swallows finally, but then only reaches for his
coffee cup to take a sip, further irritating Tango.
32 CONTINUED: 32
Bumpy don't own 116th Street no more,
Frank. Bumpy don't own no real estate in
Harlem no more. I'm the landlord now and
the lease is twenty-percent.
Frank dabs at his mouth with a napkin and gives Tango a look
that says that won't be happening.
Then don't sell dope, Frank. Get a
fuckin job. You need a job? You can be
my driver, drive me around, open my door,
yes, sir, no sir, where to, sir, right
away, Massa Johnson, sir.
Right now Tango is dead. No doubt about it. On the
surface, though, Frank remains cool.
Of every dollar. Every VIG, every
truckload, every girl, every ounce. In
Twenty percent's my profit. If I'm
giving it to you then what am I doing?
Twenty percent puts me, and everyone you
know, out of business, which puts you out
(reaches for his breakfast
There are ways to make money
legitimately, and then there's this way.
Not even Bumpy took twenty percent.
Bumpy's fuckin dead.
Frank regards Tango a moment, gets up, takes out his money
clip, covers the check on the table with a five, peels off a
$1 bill from the clip, tosses it down in front of Tango.
There. That's twenty-percent.
As he turns and leaves, Tango watches after him ...
33 INT. RICHIE'S APARTMENT - NIGHT 33
Stitched-up, black and blue hands dump a can of soup in a
pot, put it on the stove.
34 INT. FRANK'S APARTMENT - NIGHT - INTERCUT 34
A pencil clutched by long fingers scribbles figures. But
no matter how many times Frank does the arithmetic, there's
not much left, he calculates, after he pays the Italian
suppliers and, if he were to, Tango.
35 INT. RICHIE'S APARTMENT - NIGHT - CONTINUED 35
Richie has moved to a small desk cluttered with law
textbooks. He cracks one open to study for the New Jersey
Bar exam as he eats the soup out of the pot he heated it in.
Above him on the wall is a framed photograph of Joe Louis
standing over a sprawled-on-the-mat Billy Conn.
36 EXT. CONEY ISLAND - BEACH - DAY - INTERCUT 36
A bleak day. Seagulls fighting over scraps on the sand as
others hover overhead, flapping and cawing. Alone near the
water, Frank tosses a stick for the German shepherd he
37 INT. RICHIE'S APARTMENT - NIGHT - INTERCUT 37
Richie opens a small wooden box in his bleak apartment,
revealing an ounce of marijuana, rolling papers and clips.
As he rolls a joint -
A leader is like a shepherd -
38 EXT. CONEY ISLAND - BEACH - DAY - CONTINUED 38
The sounds of the gulls and surf and roller coaster begin to
fade as Frank throws the stick again.
Sends the fast nimble sheep out front,
and the others follow as the shepherd
walks quietly behind -
The dog retrieves the stick, but this time - somehow - it's
to Bumpy's hand he returns it. Frank listens attentively.
He's got the stick - the cane - and
he'll use if he has to.
38 CONTINUED: 38
But most of the time he doesn't have to.
He moves the whole herd - quietly.
Bumpy smiles and tosses the stick.
39 INT. RICHIE'S APARTMENT - NIGHT - INTERCUT 39
The smoke from the joint rises to the ceiling as Richie
40 EXT. CONEY ISLAND - BEACH - DAY - CONTINUED 40
The dog trots back to Bumpy and Frank with the stick.
41 EXT. BOARDWALK - CONEY ISLAND - LATER 41
Hot dog stand. Bumpy hands a hot dog to Frank, holds out
another to the shepherd. To camera:
What right do they have cutting out the
suppliers, the middlemen, buying direct,
putting Americans out of work ... This
is the way it is now, Frank.
Frank nods. The vender hands him a napkin. The shepherd
is still with him, but Bumpy is gone, and the gulls and the
people on the roller coaster squeal as Frank comes out of
his meditative trance with an idea.
42 CLOSE-UP: (DOCTOR'S OFFICE) 42
A needle pierces the crook of Frank's arm. Slight grimace.
A cotton ball is pushed onto the puncture. Malaria shot.
43 CLOSE-UP: (PHOTOGRAPHY SHOP) 43
A strobe lights up Frank's face: a passport photo.
44 CLOSE-UP: (POST OFFICE) 44
The photo and a duplicate are stapled to a passport
45 INT. CHEMICAL BANK - SAFETY-DEPOSIT ROOM - DAY 45
Keys turn the locks of a safety-deposit box. The lid lifts
revealing decks of cash. Frank takes it all out, slips one
slender packet into Bumpy's banker's jacket pocket.
Get yourself a new suit.
46 INT. CHEMICAL BANK - VICE PRESIDENT'S OFFICE - DAY 46
Under portraits of bank Vice Presidents before him, the man
types out a Chemical Bank check for Frank for $400,000.
47 - 48 OMIT 47 - 48 OMIT
49 EXT. PARK - NEWARK - DAY - SAME TIME 49
The sound of the plane growls and fades overhead as Richie's
ex-wife keeps an eye on their son playing on a grassy area.
I don't know, Richie.
It couldn't be avoided. Next weekend
I'll be able to take him.
She regards him with a weary look, but he's looking over at
one of the other - better-looking - moms in the park.
He looks back, not sure he heard right.
To the St. Regis, what do you care.
Your sister's. In Vegas?
He glances away to a sound: shattering glass. Some teen-
agers breaking bottles on the ground.
You can't move to Vegas. Not with
What am I supposed to do with him? Leave
him with you? There's a picture.
49 CONTINUED: 49
(to the vandals)
Hey, you want to shut up over there?
The teenagers ignore him. He tries to ignore them, but it's
hard with the constant noise.
No court will allow it for one thing.
I won't allow it.
When am I supposed to see my son?
Their son glances over at them. Richie looks over at the
teenagers again breaking bottles, then back to Laurie.
Laurie, you can't raise a kid in Las
Oh, like this is a good environment.
Around your friends. There are less
creeps in Vegas.
What's he going to grow up to be in a
mobbed up place like that? What are you
I'm thinking - Richie - of him!
Goddamn it -
The noise of the glass is driving him crazy. He strides
over to the teenagers, who look at him like, What are you
gonna do, old man, it's four against one.
I told you nice to shut the fuck up.
Now I'm gonna kill you.
He pulls out his gun and aims it at one of them, then the
others. All instinctively try to cover their heads.
49 CONTINUED: 49
Pick up the fuckin glass!
As they dive to their knees to do what they're told, Laurie
walks away with her son, who looks back over his shoulder at
his father with his gun out.
50 EXT. BANGKOK - NIGHT 50
Frank sits in the back of a motor samlor. Bicycles dart
around it like flies.
51 - 52 OMIT 51 - 52 OMIT
53 INT. SOUL BROTHERS BAR - NIGHT 53
The clientele is almost exclusively black servicemen on R&R
and Asian women. A trio of ex-GI's plays authentic Southern
blues on a small stage. Ham hocks and collard greens come
out of the kitchen. Smoke chokes the place.
Frank, one of the few men not in uniform, and not drunk or
stoned, sits alone at a table with a Coca-Cola and surveys
the activity: Dope being rolled. Dope being smoked. Dope
being shot. GI's and prostitutes climbing a staircase.
His eyes follow an Army Master Sergeant, moving among the
tables as if checking on the GI's well being. But at some,
his hand takes money, leaves in its place packets of powder.
The Sergeant feels eyes on him and glances up, catching
Frank watching him from across the room. He squints through
the smoke at the figure at the table in the shadows, and, in
a kind of shock, more to himself -
Frank - ?
Frank half-lifts his glass to wave, and Nate beams.
54 INT. SOUL BROTHERS BAR - NIGHT 54
Frank has guests at his table now: his cousin Nate the
Sergeant, and two young Asian wise guys. They talk about
him in Thai (subtitled):
He say how much he wants?
He said "a lot." What that means, I
don't know. Four or five keys?
54 CONTINUED: 54
The Thais regard Frank a moment, size him up.
He's your cousin.
My cousin-in-law. My ex-wife's cousin.
Ask him how much he wants.
How much you gonna want, Frank?
A hundred kilos.
Nate blinks like there's something in his eye ...
55 EXT. BANGKOK - STREET VENDER - DAY 55
Steam and neon. Frank and Nate at a crowded stand.
No one I know can get that much. It'd
have to be pieced together from several
suppliers and none of it's gonna be 100-
That's not what I want.
I know that. But that means dealing
with the Chiu-Chou syndicates in Cholon
or Saigon - if they'll deal with you -
No, even then it's too late. It's been
chopped. I want to get it where they get
it. From the source.
Nate stares at him ... then laughs. Frank doesn't.
You're gonna go get it.
You're gonna go into the fuckin jungle -
55 CONTINUED: 55
I've lived in jungles all my (life) -
No. This is the jungle. Tigers.
Vietcong. The fuckin snakes alone will
AA56 INT. NEW JERSEY BOARD OF BAR EXAMINERS - DAY AA56
A room of student-type desks and no character. Richie,
and fifty others, have been here for hours taking the exam
less than half of them will pass.
A56 EXT. JUNGLE - DAY A56
A motley bunch of Thai thugs and black American soldiers
with automatic weapons ride mules through the dense jungle
with Nate and Frank, who - armed with a pistol, a rifle and
ammo bandolier like Pancho Villa - is enjoying himself.
From his POV, the jungle canopy suddenly opens up on a poppy
field the size of Manhattan. Frank stares down at it.
B56 EXT. JUNGLE RISE / OPIUM FARM - DAY B56
On the ground now with their small private army, Nate speaks
with one of the Thais, then translates for Frank.
He says this whole area's controlled
by the Kuomintang - Chiang Kai-Shek's
Some of whom they can see down below on the opium farm -
Chinese soldiers with outdated weapons. Frank tips his head
to Nate at some other figures below -
They ain't Chinese.
A handful of better-armed American sentries at the perimeter
of the farm. CIA. Frank, Nate and the others hang back as
one of the Thais steps ahead to speak to the guerillas.
C56 EXT. OPIUM FARM - LATER C56
The processing center for the entire region. The Thai
translator is with Frank to negotiate with a vanquished
Chinese general. Other Americans and Thais guard them
while the Chinese with their CIA advisors guard them.
D56 INT. BAMBOO DWELLING - LATER - DAY D56
The Chinese general examines Frank's papers - passport,
visa, bank receipts - and lots of cash - then studies Frank.
How would you get it into the States?
What do you care?
Who do you work for in there?
What do you care?
Who are you really?
It says right there. Frank Lucas.
I mean, who you represent?
The man doesn't believe it, but lets it go.
You think you're going to take a hundred
kilos of heroin into the US and you don't
work for anyone? Someone is going to
Frank shrugs. The general regards one of his men. In
I don't believe a word of this.
The general regards the cash and paperwork again for a
moment. And, to Frank:
After this first purchase, if you're not
killed by Marseilles importers - or their
people in the States - then what?
D56 CONTINUED: D56
Then there'd be more. On a regular basis.
Though I'd rather not have to drag my ass
all the way up here every time.
The man regards Frank for a long moment. Glances back to
the cash and paperwork again. Finally -
Of course not.
E56 EXT. JUNGLE ARMY LZ - VIETNAM - DAY E56
Torrential monsoon rains. Dripping camouflage. Nate and
Frank climb down from the Huey. Frank no longer wears the
bandolier. Now a press card dangles from his neck.
F56 INT/EXT. TENT / JUNGLE ARMY LZ - LATER - DAY F56
Stripes on the uniform of a black colonel with Nate under a
canopy. Outside, in the distance, in the rain, Frank hangs
out with some other black servicemen.
Where's it now?
Bangkok. I can bring it here or anywhere
A hundred kilos.
I never seen that much dope in one place.
It's bigger than an Amana refrigerator-
G56 INT/EXT. JUNGLE ARMY LZ - LATER - DAY G56
Nate and Frank watch the colonel emerge from the tent and
cross through the rain on duck-boards to another tent to
speak with a white officer, a 2-star general.
Fifty grand. In advance. That'll
cover them, the pilots and the guys on
the other end.
Give them a hundred.
G56 CONTINUED: G56
Fifty, to cover them all.
A hundred. And it's all I got left. So
if that dope doesn't arrive, for whatever
(embraces Nate and whispers)
Cousin or no cousin - don't let me down.
He holds out a business envelope fat with money. Nate
hesitates, knowing Frank has just said he'll kill him if
things don't go right, then takes it.
I'll let you know when it's in the air.
56 INT. RICHIE'S APARTMENT - NEWARK - DAWN 56
The nurse/paramedic who stitched up his hand is in Richie's
bed making so much noise he's worried someone will call the
cops. The phone rings. And won't stop. Neither will the
nurse as Richie answers it -
Richie? Richie, I'm in trouble. This
fuckin guy "made" me - I don't know how
but he did. He went for his gun. I had
to do it, I swear to God. Now they're
going to kill me.
Richie can hear in Sander's voice how serious it is and
manages to disentangle himself from the woman.
There's a hundred people out there heard
the shots. You gotta help me. You gotta
Is he dead?
He's dead. I'm dead. They're gonna kill
Where are you? Javy, where are you?
56 CONTINUED: 56
That's the problem.
A57 INT. RICHIE'S CAR - MOVING - EARLY MORNING A57
Richie on his police radio, which cuts in and out -
There are no cars in that area,
Bullshit. I got a man in trouble and I
I missed that - you're breaking up -
I said, put the fucking call out again -
I just did. No one responded. I'll try
again, but -
Fuck you, too.
He slams the mic down.
57 EXT. STEPHEN CRANE PROJECTS - MORNING 57
As Richie's car turns a corner, the Stephen Crane Projects -
the most foreboding place on earth - rises up: three dark
30-floor towers planted on war-torn grounds where a long-ago
torched and abandoned patrol car sits like a monument.
He parks and moves through an agitated all-black crowd, past
an ambulance outside one of the towers, through oppressive
heat. It's riot weather.
58 INT. STEPHEN CRANE PROJECTS - MORNING 58
Drugs on a coffee table. Body on the floor. Rivera,
despondent, on the couch. The male paramedics, scared.
Richie on the phone -
Sergeant, I'm not asking, I'm fuckin
telling you: Get some patrolmen over
58 CONTINUED: 58
Dial tone: the police sergeant has hung up on him. Richie
throws the phone. The paramedics stare at him.
You got no back-up? Why is that?
The only other person who would know the answer to that is
Rivera, who just shakes his head in despair.
Bandage his head.
Detective ... he's dead.
I know he's fucking dead. Bandage his
head, clean him up, put him on a gurney
and prop it up so he's sitting. And open
59 EXT. STEPHEN CRANE PROJECTS - MORNING 59
Richie comes out ahead of the gurney, moving quickly like
it's a matter of life and death (which it is), motioning at
the crowd to allow a path to the ambulance.
Step back, injured man coming out. Let
them do their job and he'll be all right.
Ma'am. Excuse me. Step back. Sir.
The people step back when they see the victim on the gurney:
tubes in his nostrils, IV in his arm, eyes open. Before they
can look any closer, he's put in the ambulance. As it pulls
out, siren wailing, Richie leads Rivera safely away -
A60 EXT. ALLEY NEAR STEPHEN CRANE PROJECTS - MORNING A60
They cross through an alley near the Projects and Rivera
finally breathes a sigh of relief.
Thank you -
The words aren't out of his mouth before Richie shoves him
up against a car.
You robbed him, didn't you.
A60 CONTINUED: A60
What? What are you talking about?
Richie rips Rivera's jacket pockets. Money spills out.
This. Where'd this come from?
What. That's my money. I've never
taken dirty money in my life.
You lying piece of shit -
Maybe the occasional gratuity. Like
anybody else. You're going to tell me
No, it isn't. It's part of the salary
for getting shot at. For that, certain
courtesies are shown. In gratitude -
Richie, disgusted with him, lets go of him. Rivera is
embarrassed, almost crying, pleading -
A discount on a TV, a Doughboy in the
backyard, a new dress for your girlfriend
maybe once a year. I'm talking about not
living in fucking poverty. You want to
call that wrong, call it wrong.
Then goddamn it, pay me fifty grand a
year, you son of a bitch. Pay me what I
deserve for getting shot at. No? Fine.
Next time four guys come into your place
with sawed-off shotguns, you take care of
You robbed him, and then you shot him,
and I helped you get out of there. How
many more you shot?
A60 CONTINUED: A60
Rivera suddenly tries to get tough -
You know what, Richie? Fuck you, you
make that kind of accusation against your
own kind. And you know why.
He takes out his car keys, turns to leave. Comes past
Richie who grabs his arm and pushes the sleeve up exposing a
line of puncture scabs and scars.
You're a disgrace.
I'm a leper. Because I listened to you
and turned in a million fucking dollars.
You know who'll work with me after that?
Same as you. No one.
Richie squeezes Rivera's hand around the car key.
Don't look down there. Look here.
(at Richie's eyes)
You ever fuckin threaten me again, I'll
Richie squeezes Sander's hand so hard the car key cuts
through the skin, drawing blood.
60 - 69 OMIT 60 - 69 OMIT
70 EXT. ARMY BASE, NEW JERSEY - DUSK 70
Silence. Marshland. A beat-up Chevy parked alongside a
perimeter fence. Frank waits by the car as a military Jeep
with its lights out comes across a firing range. It slows,
stops. In it, the silhouettes of three servicemen, black,
armed with M-16's. Silence again, before:
Open the trunk.
Frank does it, then stands aside as the other servicemen
drag four large taped-up duffel bags from the Jeep to his
car, lift them into his trunk and slam it shut.
71 INT. FRANK'S APARTMENT - LATER - NIGHT 71
The duffel bags, still closed, on a table. Frank regards
them, nursing a drink, putting off the moment of discovery
that he has perhaps spent his life's savings on nothing.
71 CONTINUED: 71
The German shepherd watches as Frank removes the tape from
one of the bags. He pulls it open - has almost no reaction -
except to breathe again - then opens the next, and the next.
And we see: Several brick-like packages of No. 4 heroin
wrapped in paper marked with Chinese writing, stamped with
a label: two lions on their hind legs, paws on a globe,
and, in English: DOUBLE UOGLOBE BRAND 100%.
A72 INT. FRANK'S APARTMENT - LATER - DAWN A72
The duffel bags are elsewhere. The only evidence of any
drugs is the small amount Frank has given a chemist - who
looks like a Harvard student - to test. It responds
instantly. The young man looks at Frank.
Typically what I see is 25 to 45
percent pure. I've never seen anything
like this. No alkaloids, no adulterants,
no dilutents. It's a hundred percent.
The chemist opens a leather travel syringe kit to shoot up,
but Frank gives him some to take home instead.
Take it with you. I don't want to have
to call the coroner.
The chemist gathers his things to leave, offering a last
piece of advice -
Store it in a cool, dark place.
72 EXT. GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA - DUSK 72
A clapboard house set down on a piece of land that was
probably once worked by sharecroppers. An elderly woman
framed in a lit kitchen window, doing dishes.
Dark yew trees and scavenged, discarded cars and car parts
like patches of rusty snow. Crickets and bullfrogs. From a
mound of dirt, a young man hurls a baseball to another with
a catcher's mitt exactly sixty feet away. The kid's got a
major league arm.
Legend: Greensboro, North Carolina
A glow spills out from a detached shed where a short man in
his early 30's works on a stock car.
72 CONTINUED: 72
A greasy phone on the workbench rings and another
disreputable-looking man, thumbing through a magazine,
Yeah ... for you.
Who is it?
Jimmy doesn't know, sets it down. Teddy comes over wiping
his hands on a rag, takes the phone.
Frank your brother.
73 INT. COURTROOM - DAY 73
Divorced couples in custody battles wait with their
attorneys in a packed courthouse. An lawyer carrying papers
clipped with a $10 bill, comes past Richie, who's sitting
with his lawyer, a woman he's probably slept with.
I'm not talking about your proclivities,
Richie. Those I only know too well. I'm
talking about being a cop.
About taking money? I don't care about
money. I don't do that.
Because it'll come out. You're going to
have to sit down with shrinks and social
workers, her lawyers, the judge, lots of
73 CONTINUED: 73
What's going on there?
The judge's assistant rearranging the pre-trial cases in
order of the amount of gratuity clipped to each - $5, $10,
No, the money.
Scheduling. What about your friends
from the neighborhood? You still hang
out with them?
I play softball on Sundays with some
Wise guys. That's going to look good.
I grew up with them, big deal.
What about Anthony Zaca?
What about him?
Richie, I'm just trying to understand
things your wife has said. If they're
not true, tell me.
Yeah, Tony's one of them.
Is he also your son's godfather?
Richie nods. Sheila glances over to where Richie's ex-wife
sits with her own lawyer across the room.
Do you really care about this? Or do
you just not want her to win - ever. How
often do you see your son as it is?
73 CONTINUED: 73
Not enough. But she wants to make it
Yeah, all right. Give me a twenty.
(Richie doesn't reach for
Well, I'm not going to sit here all day.
She takes a twenty from her purse and carries it up to the
judge's assistant clipped to their paperwork.
All rise -
74 EXT. HOUSE - TEANECK, NEW JERSEY - DAY 74
Frank and the dog in the back yard of a suburban house.
His neighbors - those he can see - are white. He hears a
sound - cars arriving - and crosses toward the house where
a sold "For Sale" sign leans against a half-built kennel.
Out front, a caravan of cars and pickup trucks - North
Carolina plates - loaded with boxes and suitcases - has just
arrived. Exhausted from the drive but excited to be here,
the travelers climb out: Frank's five brothers, their wives
and kids, and their mother.
Teddy thinks it's the right place. The others aren't as
sure. The house is too nice. There's a new Lincoln Towncar
parked outside the garage. They'll probably be shot for
The front door opens and Frank comes out, trailed by his
dog. He first gathers his mother in an embrace, then each
of his startled brothers.
75 INT. FRANK'S TEANECK HOUSE - LATER - DAY 75
The house is alive with the noise of family and scent of
home-cooked food as the extended Lucas clan - there's more
than twenty of them - sits around a big dining room table
passing the platters around. Frank, at the head of the
table, clearly loves having them all here.
He got an arm on him. Major League arm,
ain't that right.
Everyone agrees as Turner's son - Frank's nephew - the 18-
year-old boy seen pitching in the North Carolina back yard -
tries to shrug.
75 CONTINUED: 75
You show me after supper.
You can't catch him. He'll take your
head off. We're talking 95-mile-an-hour.
You know how fast that is? You see the
ball leave his hand, and that's the last
you see it before it knocks you down.
Is that right.
76 INT. FRANK'S TEANECK HOUSE - LATER - DAY 76
The wonderful noise continues downstairs as Frank leads his
mother on a tour of the upstairs. The place is a showroom
of traditional Americana.
This is your room.
Mrs. Lucas is in awe of the splendor of the bedroom and its
furnishings. It's unlike anything she's used ever seen -
not Graceland exactly - but not far off. Her eyes settle on
an old vanity dotted with French perfume bottles.
How did you ...
I had it made. From memory.
You were five when they took it away.
How could you remember it?
She's stunned. Touches the reproduction of the vanity her
son last saw more than thirty years ago.
(looks at the room)
It's all perfect.
(she looks at him)
I'm so proud of you.
77 EXT. HUDSON RIVER - DAY 77
The Statue of Liberty against the New York skyline.
The man I worked for ran one of the
biggest companies in New York City for
almost fifty years.
78 EXT. HARLEM - DAY 78
As Frank leads his brothers down the sidewalk, the Towncar
that was parked at the Teaneck house, driven by Frank's body-
guard, Doc, follows alongside at the same pace they walk.
I was with him every day for fifteen of
them, looking after him, taking care of
things, protecting him, learning from
The brothers can't help but notice the storekeepers who wave
to Frank, the women who smile, the men who step out of his
path like there's a red carpet under his polished shoes.
Bumpy was rich, but never white man rich.
Why? Because he didn't own the company.
He thought he did. He didn't. He only
managed it. Someone else owned it. So
they owned him.
79 INT/EXT. REDTOP'S APARTMENT BUILDING - HARLEM - DAY 79
Frank leads his brothers up the stairs and down the hall.
Nobody owns me. Because I own my
INTERCUT: Feminine hands stamp small packets of blue
cellophane with the words `Blue Magic' -
And my company sells a product that's
better than the competition's at a price
Frank stops outside an apartment door.
What are we selling, Frank?
79 CONTINUED: 79
Frank pushes the door open, revealing -
80 INT. REDTOP'S APARTMENT - CONTINUOUS - DAY 80
Five naked women at work tables, their faces veiled by
surgical masks, cutting heroin with lactose and quinine in a
precise mixture of controlled purity. The Lucas brothers
stare as the supervisor of the activity - clothed, with red
hair - comes over.
Honey, these are my brothers.
81 EXT. HARLEM - LATER - DAY 81
Tango strolls down the street like he's the Godfather of
Harlem, girl on his arm, bodyguard at his side.
82 INT. DINER - SAME TIME 82
As his brothers eat lunch, Frank - who can see Tango outside
- uncaps a glass sugar container.
What matters in business is honesty,
integrity, hard work, loyalty, and never
forgetting where you came from.
For reasons his brothers can't imagine, Frank empties all
sugar from the container onto his plate.
You are what you are and that's one of
two things. You're nothing ... or you're
something. Understand what I'm saying?
The brothers nod tentatively, stare at the now-empty glass
container. Frank wipes his mouth with a napkin, gets up.
I'll be right back.
83 EXT/INT. DINER - MOMENTS LATER 83
He comes out of the diner, crosses the street toward Tango,
who's buying fruit. Greets him cheerfully -
Hey, Tango, what's up. I was just
thinking about you.
83 CONTINUED: 83
I was looking at the jar and you know
what? I didn't see nothing in it.
The fuck you want, Frank -
Before the last word is out of Tango's mouth, Frank's got a
gun pressed against his forehead. Silence. Everyone backs
away - the bodyguard, too. Tango's girl pulls her arm from
his and takes off. Eventually -
What're you going to do, boy? Shoot me
in broad daylight? In front of everyone?
It's as if life on the street has stopped. No one moves;
everyone is looking at Frank; maybe that's what he wants.
As Tango laughs at the thought -
Yeah, that's right.
Frank pulls the trigger and the big man falls back like
someone hit with a board. Frank stands over him and empties
the gun in his chest, the shots echoing down the street.
Then it's quiet again. Everyone's still looking him, but
Frank doesn't run. Instead, he calmly reaches into Tango's
suit pocket, takes out a money clip thick with cash, drops
it in the "jar" and sets it next to the body.
For the cops. Should be enough.
Frank returns to the diner and sits back down, ignoring the
astonished stares from his brothers and everyone else in the
place. Tries to remember where he was in his lecture as he
tucks the napkin back in his shirt collar.
That basically's the whole picture right
84 INT. MORGUE - NIGHT 84
A cadaver drawer slides open revealing - not Tango - but
Rivera, staring up lifeless, his arms, stomach, legs and
toes dotted with the scabs of a longtime addict.
Did you know his girlfriend? Good-
looking girl. One of his informants.
84 CONTINUED: 84
The medical examiner slides open another cadaver drawer
containing her body. Richie stares at it.
Should've seen their place. Like animals
I have seen it.
(to the examiner)
Chose a good night, huh? Grand Central
Station in here.
It's been like this. I'm lucky I get
home before midnight; lots of careless-
Richie regards Rivera's personal effects resting on his
chest in a plastic bag: few bucks, the Corvette key, a half-
empty packet of heroin in blue cellophane. Richie takes the
blue cellophane from the bag and, as the drawer closes
entombing Sanders, holds it in his hand ...
Heroin addiction is no longer exclusive
to big city neighborhoods; it's epidemic -
85 TIME CUT. A TELEVISION: 85
The reports shows lawmakers on Capitol Hill juxtaposed
against images of inner-cities, junkies, homicide victims
and, perhaps most telling, white suburbia.
REPORTER ON TV
Since 1965, law enforcement has watched
its steady increase and with it a rise in
violent crime. Now unaccountably, it has
exploded, reaching into cities as a whole
- our suburbs and towns - our schools.
INT. POLICE GYM - DAY
The TV is in a small police gym where Richie lifts weights,
very much aware of his pariah status as out-of-shape cops
come in, only to leave again when they see him.
REPORTER ON TV
Someone is finally saying: enough.
Federal authorities have announced their
intention to establish special narcotics
bureaus in Washington, New York, Los
Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Newark and
other major cities -
Toback comes in, watches Richie, alone, working out.
It's a dog and pony show.
It's not being advertised as one.
86 INT. POLICE GYM - LATER - DAY 86
Richie's changing into his street clothes.
But it's federal. I'd have to answer
to who? FBI?
Me and the U.S. Attorney. No one else.
No FBI. Hoover knows better than to mix
his men with dope. Too much temptation
for the feeble-minded.
Though he's not in much of a position to refuse the
assignment, Richie still isn't convinced it's a good idea.
Toback levels with him -
Richie, a detective who doesn't have
the cooperation of his fellow detectives
can't be effective.
You know why I don't have it.
No, they're all on the take and I'm not
and it doesn't matter to anyone. Instead
of giving you a medal for turning in
money, they bury you.
86 CONTINUED: 86
It's fucked up. You're right. Maybe
this's an opportunity away from all that.
They regard each other. Eventually -
I'll do it, but only like this: I
don't set foot in a police station again.
I work out of a place of my own. And I
pick my own guys. Guys I know wouldn't
take a nickel off the sidewalk.
87 EXT. NARCOTICS SQUAD HQ - NEWARK - DAY 87
An old building that was once an Episcopal church.
88 INT. NARCOTICS SQUAD HQ - NEWARK - DAY 88
The place has been long abandoned. The city maintenance
worker who let Richie in watches him move through the debris-
89 INT. PENTHOUSE - NEW YORK - DAY 89
A real estate broker watches Frank consider the high-
ceilinged spaciousness of a grand, unfurnished 50's modern
Upper East Side penthouse -
90 INT. BASEMENT - NARCOTICS SQUAD HQ - DAY 90
Richie regards the colored light thrown down by the stained
glass windows -
91 INT. PENTHOUSE - NEW YORK - DAY 91
Frank regards light streaming in from the garden terrace -
92 INT. MAIN FLOOR - NARCOTICS SQUAD HQ - DAY 92
Richie picks up a faded photograph of a priest in a broken
frame. To the maintenance man:
This is the only floor we'll be using.
93 INT. PENTHOUSE - NEW YORK - DAY 93
Frank distractedly opens and closes a 12' high curtain in
one of the rooms -
93 CONTINUED: 93
No loan, no contingencies. Cash sale.
94 EXT. SMALL'S PARADISE - NIGHT 94
Wet streets and neon. Well-dressed crowd behind a velvet
rope outside the club. The Apollo in the background: James
Brown on the marquee.
95 INT. SMALL'S PARADISE - NIGHT 95
A still-powerful older man in a nice suit rises from his
chair to wild applause. From the stage -
Mr. Joe Louis, ladies and gentlemen.
Joe bows graciously, gives a little wave to the crowd, and
sits back down as the band starts up again.
At another table, Frank sits with Charlie Williams and
Rossi, slightly older dope men. Like Frank, they favor
expensive tailored suits. Their dates, too, are nicely
dressed - not too much make-up or jewelry. Frank's glance
moves from Joe Louis and his wife to a beautiful young woman
at the table.
Who's the beauty queen?
She is a beauty queen. No kidding.
Miss Puerto Rico.
Her glance crosses Frank's briefly but is yanked to the
entrance of the club when Frank's brothers come in with
their wives and girlfriends. Teddy's in a parrot green
suit, gold chains, hat, acting like he owns the place.
96 INT. BACK ROOM - SMALL'S PARADISE - LATER 96
Frank hustles Teddy into an empty back room.
What is this?
He turns Teddy so he's facing a mirror.
What. These are clothes. This is a very
nice (suit) -
96 CONTINUED: 96
I'm wearing clothes. These are clothes.
(Teddy's in the mirror)
- are a costume. With a sign on it that
says Arrest me. You look like fuckin
What's wrong with Jackie. I like Jackie.
You like Jackie? You want to be
Superfly? Go work for him, end up in a
cell with him.
Teddy pulls himself from Frank's grasp. Smooths his shirt,
adjusts his hat. Frank tries to explain to him:
The guy making all the noise in the room
is the weak one. That's not who you want
He wants to talk to you by the way. I
told him I'd tell you.
Frank stares at his brother's reflection in the mirror.
You and Jackie were talking about me?
Not about you. We were talking. He said
he wanted to talk to you about something.
Frank clearly wants nothing to do with Jackie Fox.
I'm taking you shopping tomorrow.
I went shopping today.
You go shopping every day. Like a girl.
97 EXT. SMALL'S PARADISE - LATER - NIGHT 97
A creme Bentley pulls up and out pour Jackie Fox and his
97 CONTINUED: 97
He's got an armful of New York Times Magazines -with him on
the cover, flaunting Gangster Chic. He starts handing them
out to the crowd on his way into the club.
98 INT. SMALL'S PARADISE - CONTINUOUS - NIGHT 98
Joe Louis has come over to speak to Frank at his table.
It's a tax thing. It's a mistake my
lawyers will straighten out, but for the
time being it's a headache -
How much you owe?
It's nothing, like - fifty grand.
Frank isn't sure if it's an honor or a curse to have a
celebrity like Joe Louis asking to borrow money, but nods.
Sure. Don't worry about it.
Thank you. I'll pay you back soon as -
Joe. It's a gift. Not a loan. You
don't owe me nothing.
Jackie glides into the club with his magazines and
entourage. Frank watches him make the rounds, lingering at
Miss Puerto Rico's table and holding her hand longer than he
should with his girlfriend on his arm. Frank glances to
Teddy wearily, then to Doc, alone at the next table like a
sentry. Frank doesn't have to say he's ready to leave. Doc
knows the look. Gets up.
99 INT. SMALL'S PARADISE - LATER - NIGHT 99
Frank comes into the coat check area where Doc waits with
his overcoat. As Frank slips into it, Miss Puerto Rico -
returning from the ladies room - comes through.
Hi. I'm Ana.
99 CONTINUED: 99
You're Frank and this is your place.
(he doesn't say whether
it is or not)
Why's it called Small's? Why don't you
call it Frank's?
Because I don't have to.
He smiles, and it's hard to tell which is more enchanted
with the other.
100 INT. NIGHTCLUB - NEWARK - SAME TIME - NIGHT 100
A club across the river. Not nearly as nice as Small's -
much louder - but like Small's, almost all black. Richie
shares a booth with a black undercover detective.
I'm reluctant to bring anyone in I
don't personally know.
You know me, and I vouch for them.
Richie nods, Yeah, he knows that, but remains unconvinced.
Richie, we work together. You want me,
you got to take them, too.
Where are they?
Spearman looks out across the crowded dance floor.
That's Jones. With the skinny white
Richie's glance finds a young black man dancing wildly with
his skinny white date.
That's Abruzzo, with the fat black one.
Richie sees a young Italian with tatoos - the only other
white man in the place - dancing with a heavy black woman.
Both Jones and Abruzzo look more like criminals than cops.
100 CONTINUED: 100
Both are good with wires. Have good
informants. They're honest. And they're
fearless. They'll do anything. They're
insane, Richie, like you.
101 INT. FRANK'S CAR - MOVING - NEW YORK - DAY 101
Frank sits in back alone. Peers ahead through the
windshield. His face relaxes as he sees -
102 EXT. RIVERSIDE - DAY 102
Ana waiting on a corner, dressed nice, handbag. The Towncar
pulls to the curb.
I got it.
Frank gets out before Doc can, and escorts Ana to the car.
I hope you weren't waiting long. A
woman as beautiful as you shouldn't have
to wait for anything.
He opens the door for her like a perfect gentleman, slides
in after her.
103 EXT. MAMA LUCAS'S TEANECK, N.J. HOUSE - DAY 103
Outside the house, Doc sits in the car reading a newspaper.
104 INT. MAMA LUCAS'S TEANECK, N.J. HOUSE - DAY 104
Ana considers some family photographs on a mantle.
This is your father?
Frank shakes his head no. It's a picture of Bumpy.
You really don't know who that is?
It's Martin Luther King.
It is not.
You're right. He was as important as Dr.
104 CONTINUED: 104
What'd he do?
A lot of things. He had a lot of
friends. He served New York and it
What was he to you?
Frank has to think. Bumpy was more than his employer.
What'd he teach you?
How to take my time ... how if you're
going to do something, do it with care
... do it with love.
And it's working here. It's seductive.
Sudden bursts of violence - guys beat up - others shot - one
being poured with gasoline as Bumpy looks on calmly -
BACK TO FRANK'S LIVING ROOM
The same calm, benign face in the photograph. Frank nods.
How be a gentleman.
That's what you are?
Ana smiles like she knows better. Any second now, like
every other guy she's ever met, she's sure he'll try to take
I got five different apartments in the
city I could've taken you to. I brought
you here instead -
Ana glances to the stairs which Frank's mother is coming
To meet my mother.
Is this her? Oh, she's beautiful,
Frank. Look at her. She's an angel
come down from heaven.
Mrs. Lucas embraces Ana like family.
105 OMIT 105 OMIT
106 INT. NARCOTICS SQUAD HQ - NEWARK - DAY 106
A single, half-empty packet of heroin, the same one from the
morgue, in distinctive blue cellophane, tacked to a bulletin
board. Richie, perched on a desk in front of it.
Our mandate is to make major arrests.
No street guys - we want the suppliers -
Spearman, Jones and Abruzzo sit in the back, looking like
delinquent students. Of everyone in the open ground-floor
that's been only slightly renovated - and there are about
fifteen of them - they're the most disreputable-looking.
Heroin, cocaine, amphetamines. No
grass under a thousand pounds. Less than
that, someone else can waste their time.
Jones nudges Abruzzo to pay attention. Abruzzo elbows him
back. Richie just waits like a teacher for their attention.
We'll be handling big shipments, big
money, big temptation.
(Jones raises his hand)
There's a story about you. About
turning in some money. A lot of money.
Is it true?
Jones isn't the only one here curious to know. Simply:
106 CONTINUED: 106
It's not true.
107 INT/EXT. CAR / STREET - NEWARK - DAY 107
Abruzzo, looking like a junkie, dirty jeans, wool cap,
approaches a dealer on the corner. The perspective shifts
to Richie, Spearman and Jones in a car, watching as Abruzzo
chats briefly with the dealer before the exchange takes
place: $10 for a blue-cellophane packet.
108 INT. NARCOTICS SQUAD HQ - NEWARK - LATER - DAY 108
Richie and the others watch Jones tests the heroin.
Stuff's ten percent pure. Strong
enough to smoke for all those suburban
white kids afraid of needles.
The other detectives are exchange a glance. None has ever
heard of anything on the street that pure.
You paid ten bucks for it?
And it's all that's out there.
Now, how is that possible? Who can
afford to sell shit twice as good for
half as much?
Richie glances to a Table of Organization: Surveillance
photos haphazardly thumb-tacked to a bulletin board - known
dope men in the hierarchies of their individual crime
families - almost all of them Italian.
WOMB TO TOMB SEQUENCE:
An R & B song begins and continues over -
109 CLOSE-UPS: 109
A poppy bulb being pierced, the white liquid oozing,
changing into filthy liquids in wooden bowls, and finally
a gray paste ...
110 INT. BANK VICE PRESIDENT'S OFFICE - CHEMICAL BANK - DAY 110
Frank sits with the bank Vice President who wires a transfer
111 INT. BANGKOK BANK - DAY 111
Where Nate sits with the same Thai bank president as before
who converts the transfer to cash.
112 INT. SOUL BROTHERS BAR - BANGKOK - DAY 112
Nate slides cash across a table to a couple of Chinese
113 EXT. JUNGLE ARMY BASE - VIETNAM - DAY 113
A tent: Nate hands more cash - the military brass's cut -
to the 2-star general from before.
An airstrip: Slicing propellers. Wounded soldiers on
stretchers, helped onto a transport plane. Nearby, four
large crates - Japanese TVs - under cargo netting. The
pilot stuffs more cash in a pouch and salutes Nate.
114 TV IMAGE: 114
General Westmoreland returns a salute (archive).
115 EXT. ARMY BASE - NORTH CAROLINA - DUSK 115
The same plane on the tarmac here, taxiing. A pile of
discarded TV boxes outside a supply warehouse.
At the perimeter of the base, black servicemen transfer
heavy taped-up duffel bags from an Army Jeep to a station
wagon, hoisting those that won't fit inside onto a roof
rack. Two Lucas brothers tie them down with twine.
116 INT/EXT. CAR / HIGHWAY - NEAR WASHINGTON DC - DUSK 116
The station wagon heading north on a rain-slicked highway,
the canvas tarpaulin on top flapping. In the distance, the
spire of the Washington monument glows.
117 EXT. DISCOUNT DRUGSTORE - HARLEM - DAY 117
A black woman pushes a shopping cart containing a baby,
Pampers, and cases of milk sugar across a parking lot.
118 INT. RED TOP'S APARTMENT - HARLEM - DAY 118
Empty milk sugar boxes. Redtop and her five table workers
- clothed now, the surgical masks dangling from their necks -
wiping down table surfaces, scales and apparatus. Tens of
thousands of blue-cellophane packets of heroin neatly cover
two of the folding tables.
119 EXT. HARLEM STREET - DAY 119
August. Hot. Kids wrench open a fire hydrant and with an
empty soda can direct the water into a fountain. The water
sprays down onto the windshield of a beat-up Chevy coming
slowly through, revealing when it clears, Frank behind the
wheel. He parks. Glances at his watch.
120 INT. NYPD 23RD PRECINCT - LOCKER ROOM - DAY 120
Clock on the wall of a locker area: 3:58. Shift change.
Cops in t-shirts. Fans blowing the humid air around.
121 INT/EXT. NYPD 23RD PRECINCT GARAGE - DAY 121
Blue and whites arriving and leaving, shirts coming off as
the cops alight.
122 INT. BUS - MOVING ON 116TH STREET - DAY 122
The driver checks his watch: 3:59. Turns his almost-empty
bus up 8th Avenue.
123 INT/EXT. FRANK'S PARKED CHEVY - HARLEM - DAY 123
Air conditioner full blast. Radio announcing the time: 4
o'clock. Frank glances out the wet windshield of the Chevy
and watches 116th Street transform:
It's as if an outdoor market has just opened its stalls.
Junkies and dealers emerging from the alleys, storefronts,
tenements and side streets - from the street itself it seems
- snarling the cars and delivery trucks caught unaware.
Small blue cellophane packets - and only blue - are pulled
from pockets and change hands. In alleyways it's cooked up
and sucked into syringes, and in dank, grim, indescribably
filthy rooms, plunged into veins -
124 AND THE REVERSE: 124
10 and 20 dollar bills changing hands - decks of cash
rubber-banded together - put into envelopes and delivered
to the Lucas brothers, to:
125 LESTER at his metal door shop. 125
126 EUGENE at his dry cleaners. 126
127 TURNER at his tire service shop. 127
128 EARL at his electrical shop. 128
123 CONTINUED: 123
129 TEDDY at his body shop. 129
130 INT. REDTOP'S APARTMENT - DAY 130
Piles of cash. The brothers try counting it all, but it's
just too much. It's actually tiring.
We're going to be here all night if we
count every bill.
TIME CUT: A money-counting machine flips through the
bills, its counter flying. The brothers rubberband it all
in $100,000 decks. Jot down the numbers. Put the money
in newly-assembled file boxes. Tape them shut.
131 INT. CHEMICAL BANK - SAFETY-DEPOSIT ROOM - DAY 131
Alone in the room, Frank transfers stacks of $100's from the
file boxes into several open safety-deposit boxes.
132 INT. FRANK'S PENTHOUSE APARTMENT - NIGHT 132
The penthouse is now richly decorated. The R & B music
playing through a state-of-the-art stereo system. It's a
kind of office party for Frank's brothers, cousins, wives
and girlfriends, distributors like Rossi and other East
Harlem guys, Charlie Williams, couple of cops on Frank's
payroll, and the Chemical Bank Vice President.
You got a stockbroker, Frank?
I deal with enough crooks as it is.
The banker jots down a name and phone number on the back of
one of his business cards.
This one couldn't be more honest. Ask
around. He's got a lot of clients in the
business. You can't leave all your money
in safety deposit boxes; give him a call.
The banker hands him the card and moves on. Frank's trying
to have a good time, but the level of noise and revelry is
beginning to make him uncomfortable.
Frank. This is Mike Sibota.
Sibota tries not to look as nervous as he feels.
132 CONTINUED: 132
Mr. Sibota. What can I get you?
A left-hander from what Charlie tells me.
Frank points to his nephew, Stevie, across the room.
It's been his dream all his life to play
for the Yankees - and he's good enough.
So I hear. You have him come see me.
We'll give him a try-out.
As the scout hands his card to Frank, we whip over to where
Teddy, his driver Jimmy Racine and their girlfriends, coked
up, are laughing as a black cop, flashing his detective's
shield, pretends to frisk Jimmy.
(taking a .45 from Jimmy's
Oh, that's it, I'm taking you in.
You can't take me in for that, I got a
license for that, motherfucker.
(gives the gun back)
This then -
(the pile of coke on the
But first -
The cop sucks up a line before pretending to cuff Jimmy.
All right, now I'm arresting you.
Everybody laughs. Teddy peels $100's from a money clip.
Let him go. This is for you.
What is that, a bribe? Oh, now you're
all under arrest.
132 CONTINUED: 132
The cop pretends to arrest them all, but what he doesn't
pretend is the hand he puts on Jimmy's girlfriend's breast
as he frisks her.
What is that?
It was quick but Jimmy saw it, even though his girlfriend
didn't react. The cop, oblivious, is cuffing Teddy now.
I'm taking you all in.
I said, what the fuck was that?
What was what?
The room explodes with a boom and the detective crumples to
the floor, clutching at his leg, blood running through his
fingers onto the carpet. Frank stares.
Oh, he's all right. I just shot him in
the leg. You got a health plan, what are
you complaining about. He's fine. Here -
(peels off some money)
Five hundred all right? Six? Look, he's
feeling better all the time.
Suddenly, Frank grabs Jimmy and throws him against the wall.
133 INT. FRANK'S PENTHOUSE APARTMENT - NIGHT 133
As Ana tries to clean the blood stain on the rug with salt
and soda water, Frank sits with his five brothers in the
debris-strewn aftermath of the party. Silence before:
I can't have this kind of stupidity.
It was an accident. He feels terrible
He doesn't feel shit, coked up all the
time. Get rid of him.
133 CONTINUED: 133
Frank. He's your cousin. What's he
gonna do? Go back home? I'll talk to
him. I'll straighten him out.
Frank looks at Teddy in his tinted Jackie Fox-like goggle
glasses - like he's going to straighten anybody out.
Gimme those glasses.
Frank pulls them from Teddy's face and crushes them.
134 INT. NARCOTICS SQUAD HQ - NEWARK - DAY 134
Richie sifts through the morning mail at his desk. Stops
on an envelope from the New Jersey Bar Association. As he
works up the nerve to open it, Spearman, Jones and Abruzzo
organize the Italian wise guys' photos on the T.O.
Ice Pick Paul goes here -
No, he's under Benny Two-Socks -
No, you're thinking of Benny the Bishop.
Benny Two-Socks is Tosca's deadbeat son-
Richie comes over, studies the Table of Organization a
moment, then begins untacking the photos from the top down -
What're you doing? We just -
For a cop the uppermost thing is the
arrest. For a prosecutor, the arrest is
nothing without the evidence to convict.
We don't have any real evidence on anyone
on this board, so they're coming down.
We're starting over from the street.
134 CONTINUED: 134
What are you, a prosecutor all of a
Richie tacks his exam results onto the T.O. He passed.
135 EXT. STREET - NEWARK - DAY 135
Richie and the Amigos observe a buy from a parked car, the
blue cellophane changing hands. Ignoring the buyer as he
walks away, they keep watching the seller.
136 EXT. GAS STATION / CAR WASH - NEWARK - DAY 136
The seller is observed coming out of a mechanics garage.
Richie ignores him as he walks away, watching instead the
garage. Eventually, a mechanic wiping his hands on a rag
steps out, and Richie raises a camera. The image of the
mechanic - a supplier - freezes -
137 INT. NARCOTICS SQUAD HQ - NEWARK - DAY 137
A slightly-blurred photo of the mechanic goes up on a new,
almost bare Table of Organization.
138 EXT. GAS STATION / CAR WASH - NEWARK - DAY 138
Atop of a telephone pole, Abruzzo, dripping with lineman
equipment, works to attach a `slave' to the lines -
139 INT. STOREFRONT APARTMENT - DAY 139
Bare room. Richie, Jones and Spearman eating take-out food
as tape recorder reels turn.
Those snow tires you give me last time
come in yet? I'm going to want some more
of them, gimme one and a half more of
The detectives laugh.
140 INT. PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE - DAY 140
Toback has Richie sign a voucher for $20,000 cash.
This is more than a year's salary,
Richie. If it disappears, I won't be
able to get it for you again.
140 CONTINUED: 140
It'll never be out of my sight.
141 INT. NARCOTICS SQUAD HQ - NEWARK - DAY 141
Jones tapes a tape recorder the size of a pack of cigarettes
to Richie's bare chest.
142 INT. GAS STATION GARAGE - DAY 142
Undercover in a wise guy's cashmere sweater and slacks,
Richie watches the mechanic count the $10,000 he's given
It's got to be `Blue Magic.'
Yeah, yeah, it's `Blue.' You can pick
it up here tomorrow. Where's the rest of
That's half. I'll give you the other
half tomorrow when you give -
No, no, no, I don't do that. Go fuck
Richie rather reluctantly hands over the rest of the 20K.
143 INT/EXT. SPEARMAN'S CAR - MOVING - NEAR GW BRIDGE - DAY 143
Spearman watches the pickup truck driven by the mechanic
change lanes up ahead - heading for the George Washington
Bridge - and glances over concerned to Richie, who is
changing the cashmere sweater for an old t-shirt.
He's going into New York. Are we?
What are they going to do, arrest us?
They could. New York cops. They can
do worse than that.
We're not losing that money. Go.
143 CONTINUED: 143
As Spearman follows the truck, the George Washington Bridge,
linking Jersey to Manhattan, looms in the windshield ...
144 EXT. EAST HARLEM STREET - DAY 144
The pickup pulls to the curb outside a Pleasant Avenue
grocery store. As the guy enters the place, Spearman's car
stops long enough for Richie to climb out, and continues on.
Richie crosses the street, tries to see who the guy is
talking to inside, but he's just buying a cup of coffee to
go. Spearman's car turns the corner to circle around the
block. As soon as it's gone, the man emerges from the
restaurant with the coffee and walks straight at Richie who
has to double back quickly not to be seen
Richie sees a delivery truck double-parked, guys unloading
crates. Hears a horn and knows it's must be Spearman stuck
on the side street. The mechanic starts his truck.
Desperate not to lose him (and his money), Richie hurries
over to a taxi stopped at a light, flashes his badge.
Get the fuck out of the car!
The driver realizes the man outside his taxi is crazy and
tries to get his window rolled up. Reaching in, Richie gets
his arm stuck, pulls at the lock, yanks the door open, drags
the driver out, breaking the cabbie's arm, and jumps in.
He swings the cab into opposing lanes to get around traffic,
screeches around the corner, glimpses the truck far up ahead
- guns the engine, flies through a red light, glances at his
mirror at the cars that just missed him almost colliding -
The truck turns up ahead, and Richie barrels through another
red light, turns the corner and keeps the truck, a couple
car-lengths ahead - in sight.
145 EXT. EAST HARLEM - DAY 145
Richie curbs the cab as the guy goes into a dingy pizza
parlor. Richie climbs out, crosses the street. Coming past
the place, he tries to look inside without breaking stride.
145 CONTINUED: 145
From around a corner, striding toward him, come four men
looking like Gestapo thugs in leather coats, manicured hair -
the Princes of the City. Richie detours into an alley as
they enter the restaurant.
Richie peers in at the restaurant kitchen through a grimy
basement window. Watches Trupo and his SIU detectives burst
in, guns drawn. They rough everybody up, get some down on
the floor. One detective gathers the money and stuffs it in
a bag. Another gathers the dope. The mechanic tries to
protest and Trupo slaps him down with his pistol.
Richie keeps watching as the NY cops arrest no one - but
take the dope and the money (Richie's money) - and stride
out as abruptly as they appeared, like bandits. As they
come past Richie -
That's my money.
SIU DET 1
The fuck are you. What money?
Richie shows them his Bureau of Narcotics ID.
The bills are sequenced and registered
with the Essex County Prosecutors Office.
All begin with CF3500. Take a look.
One of them checks some of the bills and sees he's right.
SIU DET. 2
Goddamn it, I thought we had a score.
I thought I had a fucking Chris-Craft
sitting in my driveway.
Honest mistake. Just give it back to me.
SIU DET. 1
Three of the four cops laugh. It's an affable gang of
thieves. The one who doesn't laugh hangs back as the others
start off. He examines Richie's New Jersey ID.
When's the last time I was in Jersey?
Let me think. Never. What're you doing
coming over here without letting anybody
know? You don't know you can get hurt
145 CONTINUED: 145
(Trupo smiles; Richie smiles)
You got your money. Now, never, ever,
come into the city again unannounced. You
come in to see a fuckin Broadway show you
call ahead first to see if it's okay with
Trupo pats him on the back and leaves with the others.
What do we hate most? Isn't it the
transgressions of others we fear we're
capable of ourselves?
147 - 148 OMIT 147 - 148 OMIT
149 INT. NARCOTICS SQUAD HQ - NEWARK - LATER - NIGHT 149
It's very late. Richie and Toback are alone. Eventually -
Richie - cops are like -
Yeah, I know, like everyone else.
Some of them will steal no matter what.
There can be a camera on them they'll do
it. Some'll never do it. The rest are
capable of either, depending how their
department leans ... Only theirs isn't
leaning, it's fallen over. The patrol
cars don't even stop in Harlem, just roll
down the window so the dealers can throw
the money in. I saw drops made on
What were you doing there?
It's where this dope is coming from.
Blue Magic. Out of New York. What am
I supposed to do, ignore it?
The cab driver's filed aggravated assault
and grand theft charges -
He wouldn't stop. Motherfucker almost
ran me over.
149 CONTINUED: 149
- which he may reconsider depending on
the amount the State of New Jersey offers
to settle -
I told him I was a cop. I showed him my
You stole his cab and broke his arm.
I was chasing your 20 thousand dollars.
I don't want to hear about you going
into New York anymore.
Then my investigation's over.
You're not listening to me. I said:
I don't want to hear about it ... You do
whatever you have to do, go wherever you
have to go to find out who's bringing
this shit into the country ... Just don't
(turns to leave)
Get some sleep.
A150 - 152 OMIT A150 - 152 OMIT
AA153 INT. RICHIE'S APARTMENT - MORNING AA153
Richie - in robe and underwear - opens the door to find a
woman in the hall holding a briefcase.
Mr. Roberts? I'm here for our
He has no idea who the black woman is. An old girlfriend
he's forgotten maybe. Behind him, Vida can see a stewardess
buttoning up her uniform by a little travel case on wheels.
The apartment itself, she can also see, is a mess.
From Child Social Services?
A153 - 155 OMIT A153 - 155 OMIT
156 EXT/INT. TONY ZACA'S BACKYARD & POOL HOUSE - DAY 156
Barbecue after their Sunday softball game. Richie and his
O.C. friends - wise guys - still in their brown and orange
Weequahie jerseys, drinking beer, cooking hamburgers.
When you asked me to be your son's
godfather, I took it very seriously.
Richie and Tony Zaca relax in the den-like pool house.
I said yes, I'd take on this
responsibility, take care of your son,
God forbid something happened to you -
Tony, the things she's telling Child
Social Services make me look very bad:
Out all night. Lowlife informants
hanging around. Women -
Old friends like me.
Richie feels horrible doing this. Silence. Then:
It's all right. I understand. They
ask me, I'll tell them what you want me
to tell them. I'll lie for you.
Tony nods, You're welcome. Can tell there's something else
on Richie's mind.
You don't have to talk about it, you
don't want. What do you hear about Blue
A lot of sorrow and misery from guys
being put out of business. That's all.
156 CONTINUED: 156
Nothing about who's bringing it in?
Guys down south is all I heard.
Down south, Florida? Cubans? What.
I don't know. All I can tell you is
whoever it is, they're upsetting the
natural order of things.
Among the framed family photos around them, is a picture
of Tony's uncle, Albert Tosca.
157 EXT. LIVINGSTON, NEW JERSEY - DAY 157
A Napoleonic statue of the same man on horseback in a
fountain outside a castle-like mansion. Next to it "ride"
three others on marble horses - a woman and two children.
A clay pigeon sails out across the manicured garden. A
shotgun blast shatters it. The man with the gun - Albert
Tosca - hands another to Frank. As Frank sets to shoot, Ana
can seen behind them, with Tosca's wife in the opulent
house, looking uncomfortable.
The whole place was imported brick by
brick from Gloucestershire.
It's very nice.
Mrs. Tosca nods. Ana nods. A strained silence thicker than
the tapestries settles over them until -
The shotgun booms -
158 INT. TOSCA'S MANSION - LATER - DAY 158
As servants stand by, Tosca and his wife and their only
guests - Frank and Ana - finished with lunch, get up from
the table in the formal Formal dining room.
158 CONTINUED: 158
As Mrs. Tosca leads Ana off to give her a tour of the house,
the men head off the other way.
She's a lovely girl. You should marry
Too many things to look after right now
to think about that.
Frank. That's a mistake. If I may say.
Don't take her for granted, girl like
They enter a rich, wood-paneled study lined with books.
You interested in history, Frank? The
events that have brought us to where we
are today? You know who was? Bumpy.
Bumpy was interested in a lot of things.
I always wonder if people know when
history's being made. And what they're
doing at the time. This, for instance,
could be a historic moment, and you're
sipping a glass of ice water.
Droplets snake down Frank's glass. He senses Tosca has
finally gotten around to why he was invited here.
Bumpy and I did a lot of business
together, as you know. Whatever he
needed, he'd come to me and I'd do my
best to provide it. He came to me, I
didn't go to him, is the point I'm trying
to make. You know why?
He didn't have what you needed. You had
what he needed. We've always had to come
Yes. Until now.
Tosca studies Frank, who is a study in inscrutability.
158 CONTINUED: 158
Monopolies are illegal in this country,
Frank, because no one can compete with a
monopoly. If they let the dairy farmers
do that, half of them would go out of
I'm just trying to make a living.
Which is your right. Because this is
America. But not at the unreasonable
expense of others. That's un-American.
(he studies Frank)
You know the price you pay for a gallon
of milk doesn't represent its true cost
of production. It's controlled. Set.
I set a price I think is fair.
It's very unfair, in fact. Your
customers are happy, but what about your
fellow dairy farmers? You're not
thinking of them.
I'm thinking of them as much as they ever
thought of me.
All right. I can see you're getting
excited. Don't get excited. That's not
why I invited you to my home. To get
Frank doesn't look excited at all. He's the picture of
calm. Tosca smiles benignly and gets up.
Here, I got something for you.
159 INT. TOSCA'S SMOKING ROOM - LATER - DAY 159
Tosca opens a humidor, takes out a couple of Cuban cigars.
Now what if - I'm just thinking out loud -
you sold some of your inventory wholesale
and I helped with the distribution.
159 CONTINUED: 159
I don't need it. I already got
everything from 110th Street to Yankee
Stadium, river to river.
Which is a little mom and pop store
compared to what I'm talking about. I
could make you bigger than K-Mart. L.A.,
Chicago, Detroit, Vegas. I'm speaking
nationwide. And I'd guarantee you peace
of mind. You know what I mean by that.
Frank does. It's a backhanded threat. Tosca clips the
cigars with a gold guillotine
Frank. You can see I'm a Renaissance
man. Unfortunately not all my people are
as enlightened. Ask them, What is civil
rights, they don't know. They're not as
open to change from the way things are
done and who's doing it. But I can talk
to them so there won't be any
misunderstanding. That's what I mean by
peace of mind.
Frank knows, in truth, he's not being given any choice in
this matter. Still, maybe it's not so bad.
You pay what a kilo now, 75, 80? I'd
consider 50. And I can get you as much
as you want.
Tosca slips on his best poker face. Fifty thousand a kilo
would be an extraordinary coup for him.
You see, I was right. This is a
historic moment. You're going to be
bigger than Bumpy himself.
He hands Frank one of the cigars, expertly prepared.
Can't smoke it here, unfortunately.
Grace doesn't like it. Take it with you.
160 INT/EXT. TOSCA'S MANSION - LATER - DAY 160
Doc waits by the car as Frank and Ana walk toward him.
The Toscas wave goodbye from the front step of the mansion.
Frank slips the cigar into his top pocket as they climb in.
Why would you trust these people, the way
they look at you?
They look at me like it's Christmas and
I'm Santa Claus.
They looked at us like we're the help.
(kisses her cheek)
No. They're working for me now.
161 INT. NARCOTICS SQUAD HQ - NEWARK - DAY 161
A TV: Muhammad Ali, the black man's black man, and Joe
Frazier, the white man's black man, at their 1971 Madison
Square Garden press conference where Ali says as much.
Most of the guys watching it. Richie isn't. He comes
over to Table of Organization. Tacks his Bar Association
notice to it. Regards the photographs, like tentacles of
octopus yet to have a head.
Only the lowest section is made up of blacks (including
Charlie Williams and Jackie Fox, but not Frank Lucas). The
rest of the faces are white and stop about midway up.
They've hit a wall they can't get past.
162 INT. FRANK'S PENTHOUSE - DUSK 162
Another TV here: Howard Cosell, ringside at the Garden as
the first early fans arrive, pointing out that the fight,
because of the political stand Ali's taken, is less about
boxers than war versus anti-war.
Frank chooses a linen jacket from his extensive color-
coordinated racks of Phil Cromfeld suits as Ana, in her
lingerie, puts on make-up at a vanity. He comes up behind
her and sets down a small jewelry box.
163 INT. NARCOTICS SQUAD HQ - NEWARK - SAME TIME 163
The TV in the background as Richie puts a camera with a long
lens in a sports bag and reaches for his coat -
163 CONTINUED: 163
164 OMIT 164 OMIT
165 INT. FRANK'S PENTHOUSE - CONTINUED 165
Ana's reflection in the vanity mirror as Frank slips the
engagement ring on her finger. She wipes at a tear, then
gets up and hugs him.
She kisses him. Admires the ring. And -
I bought you something, too.
She crosses past the TV, takes a garment bag down from her
side of the closet, lays it on the bed next to Frank's suit
jacket. She takes hold of the zipper but doesn't
immediately pull it, hoping perhaps to create some dramatic
What is it?
She unzips the bag like she's unveiling great art. But
instead of seeing what's inside, we're allowed only Frank's
reaction: his smile of anticipation slowly changing to
166 INT/EXT. MADISON SQUARE GARDEN - BACK ENTRANCE - NIGHT 166
Richie observes celebrities and gangsters arriving in
limousines - Sammy Davis Jr. and his wife, Joe Louis and
his, Tosca and some of his guys - then enters the arena as
another limo pulls up. Ana climbs out.
Come on. You look great.
(no one else emerges)
You want to miss the fight? Come on.
Finally, a patent leather shoe pokes out, sets down on the
curb. Then its mate beside it. The shoes step away from
the limo and -
167 INT. MADISON SQUARE GARDEN - NIGHT 167
Pre-fight. Richie, blended in with the a group of press
photographers, regards the organized crime figures ringside.
He takes a few pictures with the long lens camera as -
167 CONTINUED: 167
The owner of the gleaming patent leather shoes is shown to
his second row ringside seat just behind the sports writers,
and we move up the full-length chinchilla coat to Frank's
uneasy expression -
Richie's camera roams the faces of the prime ticket holders
ringside: organized crime figures, celebrities, politicians,
women with plunging necklines and platinum hair -
Excuse me -
Richie can't believe it's Joe Louis brushing past him -
Mr. Louis -
Joe looks back as Richie approaches him -
I'm sorry, but I just have to tell you,
sir, you were a hero to me growing up. I
still push elevator buttons eight times
for the rounds you beat Billy Conn in.
Louis acknowledges Richie only slightly more than not at
all. Turns away to join his friends. Richie watches after
him, stung by Louis's disregard.
He snaps a picture of an Italian wise guy he doesn't
recognize ... sifts the camera's view past Frank in the
chinchilla coat ... then returns to him, watches as Tosca
and his guys sit down behind Frank. Richie can't hear -
but can see - their good-natured exchange -
Hey, Frank, you keep that hat on, I'm
gonna miss the fight -
The odd thing to Richie is, Chinchilla's seat is better
than all the Italians'. Detective Trupo notices this, too.
Richie focuses on the Chincilla's date, a stunning girl, a
beauty queen, then shifts back to her boyfriend who's now
shaking the proffered hands of other Italians, then Don
King. Joe Louis himself - who barely acknowledged Richie's
existence - comes over and playfully exchanges "punches"
with the man in the chinchilla coat.
A sudden roar from the crowd as the lights go out except
for the spot on the ring. Ali and Frazier are coming down
the steps through the crush of fans and reporters, preceded
by soldiers carrying flags -
167 CONTINUED: 167
Richie tries to find the guy in the chinchilla coat, but
he's hidden by a flag. Then he glimpses him again just as
Ali shakes his hand before climbing into the ring -
Flashbulbs pop throughout the arena as Robert Goulet
begins the National Anthem. Ali pointedly doesn't sing
along. Richie frames the shadowy figure in the chinchilla
coat, focuses as sharp as he can in the bad light, and
snaps the shutter -
168 INT. NARCOTICS SQUAD HQ - NEWARK - DAY 168
Richie tacks the photograph of the man in the chinchilla
coat to his Table of Organization - low and off to the side
by other pieces of the puzzle that don't fit, other new
faces with no names. Spearman holds a scrap of paper -
That's is the plate number on the limo.
Check with the company, who rented it.
He's a supplier at most. Or just a pimp.
We'd've heard of him otherwise.
No, he's bigger than that. His seats
were phenomenal; better than Al Tosca's.
Joe Louis and Ali shook his fuckin hand.
They look from Tosca's high position on the board to Frank's
low one, and a wedding march played in traditional fashion
on organ begins and carries over:
169 INT. BAPTIST CHURCH - DAY 169
From above, a sea of ladies' hats, all coral and pink.
Below, Frank stands at the altar, waiting for his bride.
His name is Frank Lucas ...
170 INT. NARCOTICS SQUAD HQ - NEWARK - DAY 170
Toback sifts through documents Richie has gathered:
limousine company records, Frank's thin arrest record, mug
shots of him years younger, the photograph from the fights
and some more from subsequent surveillances.
Originally from Greensboro, North
Carolina. Couple of arrests years ago.
Gambling, robbery, unlicensed firearm.
170 CONTINUED: 170
For fifteen years he was Bumpy Johnson's
collector, bodyguard and driver. He was
with him when he died.
171 INT. BAPTIST CHURCH - CONTINUED 171
Ana's family and friends on one side of the aisle, the
extended Lucas family - on the other. Frank's mother looks
at her eldest son at the altar with pride.
172 INT. NARCOTICS SQUAD HQ - NEWARK - CONTINUED 172
Five brothers, he's the oldest, lots of
cousins, all living here now, spread out
around the boroughs and Jersey. The
brothers are -
173 INT. DRY CLEANERS - DAY 173
A Lucas brother hands some dry cleaning to Spearman -
Eugene Lucas in Brooklyn -
174 INT. ELECTRICAL SHOP - DAY 174
Another Lucas brother examines a lamp with a frayed cord
brought in by Jones.
Earl Lucas in Newark -
175 INT. METAL DOOR SHOP - DAY 175
Another brother at the register, hands Abruzzo a receipt -
Lester Lucas in Queens -
176 EXT. TIRE SERVICE SHOP - DAY 176
Another brother is photographed by Spearman from a parked
car as he changes tires on a car up on a hoist.
Turner Lucas, the Bronx -
177 EXT. STREET - NEWARK - DAY 177
Richie kicks a dent into the fender of his old car.
178 EXT/INT. BODY SHOP - DAY 178
As an appraiser writes up an estimate, Richie observes
Teddy, attending to paperwork inside.
And Teddy Lucas, in Bergen County.
179 INT. NARCOTICS SQUAD HQ - NEWARK - CONTINUED 179
A photograph of Teddy goes up on the T.O. next to Frank and
the other brothers and some cousins -
Except for the chinchilla coat, which
no one can explain, Frank's life seems
orderly and legitimate.
180 INT. BAPTIST CHURCH - CONTINUED - DAY 180
Best Man Teddy standing next to Frank at the altar as the
bride is escorted down the aisle by her father. Tight on
Frank in a beautiful tuxedo -
181 EXT. FRANK'S PENTHOUSE BUILDING - DAWN 181
A light goes on in a penthouse window. Down below, by his
parked car, Richie shivers in the early morning cold.
He gets up early. Five a.m.
182 INT. NARCOTICS SQUAD HQ - NEWARK - CONTINUED 182
Has breakfast at a Midtown place,
183 INT/EXT. DINER - MORNING 183
Richie tosses a glance inside a restaurant as he passes the
window to where Frank sits eating at a table, Doc nearby.
184 INT. NARCOTICS SQUAD HQ - NEWARK - CONTINUED 184
Then goes to work. Meeting with his
accountant, or lawyer, dropping in on one
of the several office buildings he owns.
185 OMIT 185 OMIT
186 INT. NARCOTICS SQUAD HQ - NEWARK - CONTINUED 186
Nights, he usually stays home. When
he does go out, it's to a club or dinner -
with his new wife - friends, celebrities,
sports figures - never O.C. guys.
187 EXT. SMALL'S PARADISE - NIGHT 187
Richie sits in his car across from Small's where bouncers
keep out people like him. Frank, Ana, Wilt Chamberlain and
his wife emerge from the restaurant together.
188 OMIT 188 OMIT
189 INT. NARCOTICS SQUAD HQ - NEWARK - CONTINUED 189
Sundays he takes his mother to church.
Then drives out to change the flowers on
Bumpy's grave. Every Sunday, no matter
190 INT. BAPTIST CHURCH - CONTINUED - DAY 190
Frank's mother tearfully watches her son slip a ring onto
Ana's finger next to the fat engagement diamond - before
Ana, in turn, puts a gold band on Frank's. The minister
pronounces them husband and wife, the veil is lifted, and
they kiss to great applause -
191 EXT. BAPTIST CHURCH - DAY 191
As a photographer takes the official photograph of the
wedding party on the steps of the church -
192 INT. NARCOTICS SQUAD HQ - NEWARK - CONTINUED 192
Lou Toback looks from a surveillance photo of the wedding
party in his hands, to Richie's Table of Organization: The
Lucas brothers and cousins - in the streets of New York and
New Jersey, arranged in some imagined hierarchy.
Not your typical day in the life of a
dope man, Richie.
Neither was Bumpy Johnson's and he owned
192 CONTINUED: 192
You think Frank Lucas took over for Bumpy
Johnson? His driver? That's a little
Is it? Everything he does, he does like
Bumpy never wore a chinchilla coat in his
We haven't seen that again. That
apparently has been retired to the
193 EXT. BAPTIST CHURCH - DAY 193
Frank and Charlie look on as Ana throws the bouquet.
She's the most beautiful bride I ever
I wish Bumpy could've met her. I wish
she could've met him.
194 INT. NARCOTICS SQUAD HQ - NEWARK - CONTINUED 194
Looking at the Lucas Table of Organization -
What do you got on him you can use in
court? Because this isn't it. You try
this without informants and powder, no
one's going to jail.
Won't get any informants. Not inside.
It's like a Sicilian family. Like he's
structured his own family the same way to
195 EXT. BAPTIST CHURCH - CONTINUED 195
Exactly like one, like a scene from The Godfather as Frank
dances with Ana before the reception guests.
196 INT. NARCOTICS SQUAD HQ - NEWARK - CONTINUED 196
Being with Bumpy long as he was, he
would have been around Italians a lot.
Enough to learn that much.
197 EXT. BAPTIST CHURCH - CONTINUED 197
Rice rains down on the bride and groom as they climb into
the back of the Towncar. Doc comes around to the driver's
side, gets in and slowly pushes through the crush of guests
waving and throwing kisses.
198 INT. NARCOTICS SQUAD HQ - NEWARK - CONTINUED 198
But it's not even Frank Lucas I want. I
want to know who he's working for: Which
Italians are bringing the heroin in.
199 INT/EXT. TOWNCAR / NEW YORK - TWILIGHT 199
Flanked front and rear by Frank's security, the marriage
car moves along a rain-slick street. The newlyweds cuddle
in back. Another car pulls up alongside - Trupo's Shelby -
and Doc's right hand instinctively comes off the steering
wheel to settle on his holstered gun. Trupo smiles and
shakes his head, no.
200 EXT. CENTRAL PARK - LATER - TWILIGHT 200
The Lincoln and security cars and Trupo's Shelby parked.
Stay in the car
As Frank and Doc climb out, Frank motions to his other
security men to remain calm, he'll handle this.
If Frank is surprised Trupo knows his name, he doesn't show
it, or anything else except an air of professional courtesy.
Trupo looks in at Ana in the back seat, smiles at her. She
turns her head away and closes the door. Trupo leads Frank
away for a private conversation -
200 CONTINUED: 200
You sure you done the right thing?
She's a beautiful girl - there's no
question - but she's got an attitude
on (her) -
Listen to me. Before you say another
word - about her - or me - remember that
you're saying it on the most important
fuckin day of my life.
Man walks around in a fifty thousand
dollar chinchilla coat and he never even
bought me a cup of coffee? Something
I don't know what you're talking about.
You pay your bills, Frank?
You want to keep talking, talk to my
lawyer, here's his card. You call him,
because we're done here -
Do you pay your bills, I asked you.
If you're not getting your share, it's
not my fault, go ask the chief of police.
What's my share? You don't even know me.
Maybe I'm special.
No, you're all the fuckin same.
(shows his shield)
What does that say?
(Frank ignores him)
Special - Investigations - Unit. See
that word there? "Special."
(he takes out a restaurant
Ten grand, first of each month, delivered
200 CONTINUED: 200
Frank ignores the card, stares at Trupo like he's a fool.
Detective ... There are some things you
don't do. This is one of them. Not on a
man's wedding day.
Frank's resolve throws Trupo off his rhythm. He manages:
Have a nice honeymoon.
201 INT. FRANK'S PENTHOUSE - LATER - NIGHT 201
Frank doesn't carry Ana across the threshold. He strides in
leaving her at the front door, throws a match in the gas
fireplace, comes back from the bedroom a moment later with
the $50,000 chinchilla coat and throws it on the flames.
202 TELEVISION IMAGE: 202
A march on Washington, protesting the war (archive).
INT. JIMMY RACINE'S APARTMENT - NIGHT
The report continues on a TV here as Teddy's driver, Jimmy
Racine, yells at his girlfriend -
Where is it?
Fuck you, I'm not telling you.
She comes past the TV and into the kitchen past a table
covered with dope paraphernalia.
Where is my fuckin dope? You and your
girlfriends take it again? I'll fuckin
She yanks open a drawer, grabs a knife and slashes it at
him. He grabs a gun and she runs for the stairs -
203 EXT. JIMMY RACINE'S - APARTMENT - NIGHT 203
He chases her into the street, yelling, raises the gun and
fires, and she goes down, clutching at her butt, moaning -
204 INT. RICHIE'S APARTMENT - SAME NIGHT 204
Moaning here, too. Richie's lawyer-ex-girlfriend, in bed
Richie, yes, fuck me like a cop, not
a lawyer -
(the phone rings)
Oh, God, Richie, no - don't answer it -
(he reaches to pick it up)
No, no, no -
SPEARMAN V/O PHONE
Richie. Newark just picked up one of the
celebrities on our Wall of Fame: Teddy's
driver. For attempted murder.
205 INT. NARCOTICS SQUAD HQ - NEWARK - NIGHT 205
Richie's had Jimmy Racine brought over. Sits with him as
the Three Amigos watch from the shadows. Just coming off
his high, and the attempted murder, Jimmy looks disoriented
as he sits in cuffs in the dungeon-like basement.
Because it's an attempted homicide,
that's Grand Jury. Now, that Grand Jury
could come in very favorably. Might turn
out to be Attempted Manslaughter. Self
Defense even. She had a knife. Depends
on how I want to deal with you. You see
where this is going.
Jimmy looks around at the basement dungeon with concern.
The fuck is this place?
Let's say you beat it somehow. What do
you think Cousin Frank'll think of that?
He knows you had to sit here listening to
something like this. And then you beat
an attempted murder? Is he stupid?
He'll assume you talked.
Jimmy can easily imagine that scenario and it frightens him.
205 CONTINUED: 205
You fucked up, Jimmy. But nobody knows.
Frank doesn't know. Yet. Do you want him
to read about it in the paper? Or do you
want to walk out of here - no bail, no
trial - just walk out, now.
206 EXT. NARCOTICS SQUAD HQ - NEWARK - DAWN 206
Jimmy has thought about it all night and walks out of the
building into the chilly morning air.
Jimmy? Look at me -
Jimmy looks over his shoulder as if Richie just called to
him from it, which he didn't. There's no one in sight -
Any time I want to change my mind? I
don't like the quality of your work? I
can find a witness saw you shoot your
girlfriend. It just took me a while. I
even know what he'll look like. He'll
look just like you.
207 EXT. MEAT PACKING DISTRICT - DAY 207
Teddy's car comes around a corner and down the street.
208 INT. TEDDY'S CAR - MOVING - DAY 208
Jimmy Racine, wired, looks in the rear view mirror at Teddy
in the back seat, and, behind him, Richie's car following.
209 INT. RICHIE'S CAR - SAME TIME 209
Richie keeps Teddy's car in view ahead. Glances in his
mirror at the cars following him. His detectives.
210 EXT. MEAT PACKING DISTRICT - LATER - DAY 210
The detectives' cars parked behind a warehouse. Richie
peers into binoculars at: Teddy's car parked by Frank's
outside another warehouse loading dock. Frank gets out,
discusses something with his brother, comes past Jimmy to
some men in bloody white coats.
He talks to them, returns to his car, takes a valise from
the trunk. He snaps it open revealing stacks of cash, hands
it over and walks to a semi-truck, glancing once in Richie's
direction. Though he can't see anyone there he gives a wave
to them - or is it to the truck driver to pull out -
211 EXT. HARLEM STREET - DAY 211
Like Bumpy used to do every Thanksgiving, Frank and his
brothers, from the back of the truck, hand out hundreds of
freshly-butchered turkeys to the poor.
212 INT. MAMA LUCAS'S TEANECK, N.J. HOUSE - DAY 212
Frank, in an apron, carries in a huge cooked turkey as the
extended Lucas family gathers around the table. It's like
Norman Rockwell painting -
213 INT/EXT. ALLEY / ROOMS HARLEM - SAME TIME - DAY 213
Another Thanksgiving picture: addicts shooting up and
nodding out in alleys and dingy rooms. Tight on needles,
veins, spoons, filth -
214 INT. RICHIE'S APARTMENT - SAME TIME - DAY 214
Richie alone at his kitchen table with a sandwich and a
beer. The Macy's parade plays silently on his TV.
A215 INT/EXT. TRUPO'S HOUSE - SAME TIME - DAY A215
A doorbell summons Trupo. He comes through his entry.
Opens the front door. Finds no one there - except a large
live turkey on the doorstep. He stares at it nonplussed,
then looks up to a sound - a whoosh - as flames engulf the
interior and spit out the windows of his Shelby Mustang ...
B215 INT. MAMA LUCAS'S TEANECK, N.J. HOUSE - DAY B215
The big knife in Frank's hand slices into the turkey and
lifts meat onto a plate that's passed from hand to hand, the
family engaged in several conversations at once, laughing -
215 INT. MAMA LUCAS'S TEANECK, N.J. HOUSE - DAY 215
Bathroom. Jimmy Racine, shirt off, wired, changes the
batteries of the little tape recorder.
216 EXT. MAMA LUCAS'S TEANECK, N.J. HOUSE - DAY 216
Jimmy comes out, tries to take a chair not too far from
Frank who's watching his nephew toss pop-up flies for the
younger kids to catch.
Stevie. Come over here.
(the nephew comes over)
I heard you didn't show up.
216 CONTINUED: 216
You're too busy to meet with Billy
Martin? After I set it up?
Stevie shifts around, not wanting to make Frank mad ...
I don't want to play pro ball, I decided.
What're you talking about? This is your
dream since you were their age -
(the younger kids)
Maybe I can set it up again.
Stevie just stands there, uncomfortable. Finally -
It's not what I want. I want to do what
you do, Uncle Frank. I want to be you.
Frank stares at him unhappily. Teddy comes over but Frank
We got a problem.
217 INT. TEDDY'S CAR - MOVING - LATE AFTERNOON 217
Jimmy Racine behind the wheel. Frank and Teddy in back,
He's been cutting it so much it's down
to two, three percent pure.
You tested it. You're sure.
Teddy nods. Frank notices Jimmy looking at them in the rear
The fuck you looking at?
218 EXT. JACKIE FOX'S CLUB - NEW YORK - DUSK 218
The car pulls up in front of a building in the clothing
district. Jimmy stays while Teddy and Frank go inside.
219 INT. JACKIE FOX'S CLUB - DUSK 219
Jackie's club looks like a set from a blaxploitation film.
Frank and Teddy, led by a bodyguard, come past some turkey
carcasses and other remnants of Thanksgiving to where Jackie
and a couple friends cavort with some naked girls.
We need to talk.
Great. Girls, get out.
The girls gather their things and leave. Frank wipes at a
modern leather chair with his handkerchief, throws it away,
sits. Jackie lays out a couple lines, offers Frank a rolled
up hundred dollar straw. Frank shakes his head, no thanks.
You talked to Charlie. You want to hear
more about my Black Coalition. Let me
explain it to you -
But first, let me suck up a line of coke -
That's not why I'm here.
(Jackie glances up from the
Everybody's happy, Jackie. Charlie, Baz,
the cops, the Italians, everybody.
Everybody except you.
Then I don't understand. Why do you have
to take something that's perfectly good
the way it is, and wreck it?
Jackie doesn't seem to understand.
Brand names mean something, Jackie.
Consumers rely on them to know what
they're getting. They know the company
isn't going to try to fool them with an
inferior product. They buy a Ford, they
know they're gonna get a Ford.
219 CONTINUED: 219
Not a fuckin Datsun.
(his look says, right?)
Blue Magic is a brand name; as much a
brand name as Pepsi. I own it. I stand
behind it. I guarantee it and people
know that even if they don't know me any
more than they know the chairman of
What the fuck are you talking about,
What you're doing, as far as I'm
concerned, when you chop my dope down to
five percent, is trademark infringement.
That. That's what this is about. Jackie nods, but -
With all due respect, Frank, if I buy
something, I can do whatever I want with
That's not true. That's where you're
If I buy a car, I can paint it, God damn
Jackie, you don't need to. You don't
need to make more money than you can with
Blue the way it is. No one does. At a
certain point it's just greed.
What do you want, Frank? You want me to
call it something else?
I have to insist. You call it Blue
Magic, that's misrepresentation.
Fine. I'll call it Red Magic, even
though it doesn't sound as good.
That's all I'm saying. Wrap it in red
cellophane and -
219 CONTINUED: 219
Pink Magic. Black Magic -
Whack it down to nothing, tie a bow
around it and call it Blue Dogshit if you
want, just don't let me catch you doing
Jackie regards Frank for a long moment ...
Catch me? Insist? Infringement? I
don't like these words as much as please -
thank you - sorry to bother you, Jackie.
These are better words to use you come
into my place without an invitation.
Jackie waits to hear a kinder word but Frank doesn't offer
one. Jackie nods, Fine, okay, but it's more like a warning.
220 INT. JACKIE'S CLUB - DUSK 220
Frank pulls a girl off Teddy's lap and points him toward
the door. Jackie watches them leave.
221 EXT. JACKIE'S CLUB - DUSK 221
They emerge from the building to where Jimmy waits.
Give me the keys; take a cab home.
222 INT. TEDDY'S CAR - MOVING - NIGHT 222
Frank and Teddy driving in silence. Eventually -
You don't go over there any more.
Teddy doesn't like it, but nods. Suddenly his face is
illuminated by light reflecting in the rear view mirror, an
unmarked police car behind them, flashing its brights.
It's all right, pull over, what are they
going to do? Give us a ticket?
But Teddy isn't as calm as he begins to pull over.
223 EXT. GARMENT WAREHOUSE DISTRICT - NY - LATE AFTERNOON 223
As Trupo and his partner climb out of their car and approach
Frank? Some of it's in the trunk.
Frank regards him with utter disbelief. Teddy shies as if
he expects to get hit. The SIU detectives arrive.
Detective. How's it going? You have a
I did not, as a matter of fact. Get out
of the car.
The Lucases climb out.
Where's the Shelby?
The Shelby's gone, Frank.
Trupo reaches in the driver's side window, takes the keys
from the ignition and comes around to the trunk. Frank and
Teddy exchange a glance as it opens. Silence. Then -
Want to come over here a minute, Frank?
Six kilos of heroin are illuminated by the trunk light.
Frank and Trupo regard it in silence. Then -
Now what are we gonna do about this?
We're gonna shut the trunk and say good
night, forget you pulled us over.
I got a better idea.
Trupo reaches into the trunk, picks up two of the heroin
bricks, tucks them under his arm and looks at Frank -
223 CONTINUED: 223
Or would you rather I took it all and
threw you and your brother in the fuckin
I don't know, would you rather it's your
fuckin house blows up next time?
They hold each others' stare for a long moment.
I loved that car.
Trupo closes the trunk and walks away with his cut of the
heroin, calling to his partner -
As the SIU cops walk to their car, the perspective shifts,
through binoculars: Richie watching.
A224 INT. TEDDY'S CAR / STREET - LATER - NIGHT A224
From outside the driver's side, Teddy's head, inside the
car, suddenly smashes against the window, cracking it. His
groan is interrupted by Frank's muffled voice -
Don't you ever put me in a car with dope
224 INT. RICHIE'S APARTMENT - NIGHT 224
Richie comes in, opens the fridge and stares in, his mind
elsewhere. A ringing phone pulls him out of it.
Yeah. Tony. How's it going?
225 INT/EXT. TONY ZACA'S HOUSE - DAY 225
Tony's wife and daughters can be seen in the suburban
backyard. Here in the kitchen Tony and Richie watch kernels
of popcorn bounce off the inside walls of the first Amana
microwave oven. It's noisier than modern ones.
The fuck is a `micro' wave?
225 CONTINUED: 225
It's a scientific force like atomic
energy. It rearranges the molecules.
Of anything. Of popcorn. You don't
want to put your head in there.
Tony rakes out the plain, `pre-microwaveable' popcorn,
using his hand. Gives some to Richie. Half of it's burnt.
I can get you one of these. Just like
this, brand new. I'll have it delivered.
No, thanks. I don't want one.
Tony hands Richie some snapshots: The Zaca family on the
slopes of a resort, and in and outside a beautiful snow-
This is nice, where's this?
Aspen. Just got back. Had a great time.
I'd like to ski Aspen some day.
Know who we met? Burt Reynolds. I'm not
kidding. Lot of people from Hollywood go
up there now, buying up everything.
This is your place?
Are you kidding? You know what it's
worth? Ski-in-ski-out, five bedrooms,
sauna, everything. We were guests.
No ... No, that's your place.
Everything seems to stop. Richie becomes aware of the
sounds around them, the girls splashing around outside ...
225 CONTINUED: 225
Isn't there something we can do - about
leaving the big guy alone? You know who
What Richie knows is that no matter what he does or says at
this point he's got a problem.
If I don't report what you just said
to me, you know I could be in a lot of
trouble. If I do, then it's you.
I'm hoping you won't do that.
Richie considers the room itself, measuring the odds of
microphones and a recorder being in it somewhere.
I'm not taping it. How do you know?
Because we're friends and I'm telling
you. This is a real offer.
From who, your uncle?
(Tony doesn't say)
Why would you do this? Why would you
risk our friendship?
Because I care what happens to you.
You shouldn't have done it.
I had to. I had no choice. Neither do
you. Leave Frank Lucas alone.
He's not important enough for you to do
Yes, he is.
Richie stares at Tony, then puts the pictures in his hand.
Tell Marie I'm sorry I had to leave.
You can tell her why.
226 INT. NARCOTICS SQUAD HQ - LATER - NIGHT 226
Alone in the empty building, he stares at the T.O.: The
higher echelon Italians like Tosca; lower echelon Harlem
guys like Charlie Williams and Frank Lucas.
He gets up then, untacks Frank's photograph from its lowly
position and moves it to a place no black has ever occupied -
to the top of the pyramid - above the mafia.
227 - 230 OMIT 227 - 230 OMIT
A231 INT. NARCOTICS SQUAD HQ - DAY A231
Toback regards Frank's picture at top of the Lucas T.O.
INS, FBI, IRS - I can't get anything out
of them. Nothing on his travel, his bank
accounts, property holdings - nothing.
That's because they all think you're on
the take and you think they are.
They don't want this to stop. It
employs too many people. Cops, lawyers,
judges, probation officers, prison
guards. The day dope stops coming into
this country, a hundred thousand people
lose their jobs.
Toback isn't as sure the corruption of the official world is
Richie. Excuse me.
Spearman gestures to a couple of men in suits who want to
talk to him.
B231 INT. NARCOTICS SQUAD HQ - LATER - DAY B231
Richie and Tobacke regard the two stone-faced FBI agents -
Who took it out?
(nothing from the agents)
If there's a contract on me, it would be
nice to know who took it out.
B231 CONTINUED: B231
We can't say without compromising our
source. You understand.
No. I don't. Not when it's my life.
If you want, we can assign someone to
Who? FBI? You're going to protect me?
Richie almost laughs at the thought, looks to Toback. In
fact, none of this is funny.
C231 EXT. STREET - NEWARK - NIGHT C231
Walking toward his apartment down its dark street, bag of
groceries in arm, Richie becomes aware someone is following
him. He slows to let the figure get closer, closer, then
turns fast, drops the guy and puts a gun to his head.
Don't shoot! For God's sake.
Richie keeps the gun pressed against the guy's forehead.
Are you Richard Roberts? I got a
231 INT. COURTROOM - NEWARK - DAY 231
Richie and Laurie sit with their respective lawyers, waiting
for the judge to appear. He leans over -
Laurie. I'm sorry I couldn't give you
the kind of life you wanted. I'm sorry
it was never enough. But don't punish me
for being honest. Don't take my son
She stares at him in disbelief. Then responds in a louder
voice than his -
231 CONTINUED: 231
What are you saying? That because you
were "honest" and didn't take money like
every other cop, I left you?
The bailiff looks over, but she doesn't care.
You don't take money for one reason:
to buy being dishonest about everything
else. And that's worse than taking money
nobody gives a shit about - drug money,
gambling money nobody's gonna miss.
(more people look over)
I'd rather you took it and been honest
with me. Or don't take it, I don't care.
But don't then go cheat on me. Don't
cheat on your kid by never being around.
Don't go out and get laid by your
snitches and secretaries and strippers.
I can tell just by looking, she's one
His lawyer. Which is true. Everyone's watching them now.
You think you're going to heaven because
your "honest." You're not. You're going
to the same hell as the crooked cops you
All rise -
232 INT. COURTROOM - LATER - DAY 232
The same judge who sends a collection plate around sits
before Richie and Laurie and their attorneys.
Your honor, a lot has been said here
today about how unsavory Mr. Roberts'
environment is for a child. How
dangerous it is. I'm sorry, but this is
our world. This is where we live and we
tell him, Protect us. We give him that
responsibility, and then say, Oh, but we
don't trust you to raise a child. We
don't think you're fit for that.
232 CONTINUED: 232
Silence. Sheila looks at him, but he's looking at Laurie,
and speaks to her like they're alone in the room:
You're right. This is no place for him.
Around me. Take him. The further away
the better. For him.
233 OMIT 233 OMIT
234 TV IMAGE (ARCHIVE): 234
The lights on the Rockefeller Christmas tree blink on to
applause. A carol begins and continues over:
A235 OMIT A235 OMIT
235 INT/EXT. FRANK'S CAR / FRANK'S PENTHOUSE - NIGHT 235
Seats covered with Christmas presents. Doc, driving, sees
Trupo's car parked out front Frank's penthouse.
Yeah, I see them.
Doc pulls to the curb outside Frank's building. As the
doorman helps Doc with the big Christmas tree tied to the
roof of the car, Frank crosses to Trupo's car with a couple
of bottles of Crystal tied with holiday bows.
Here you go, boys. Merry Christmas.
236 OMIT 236 OMIT
237 INT. FRANK'S PENTHOUSE - NIGHT 237
Charlie has come to visit. A Christmas carol plays as Frank
strings the tree with some lights.
Paying cops is one thing, I understand
that. I been paying them since I was ten
- put more of their kids through college
than the National Merit Award. This is
different, this Special Investigations
Unit. They think they are special.
237 CONTINUED: 237
They're fucking crooks. No code of
Frank plugs the cord in and the tree lights up.
Someone's been following me. Besides
cops. I see cars where they shouldn't
be. Guys I don't know -
They regard each other. The carol continues over:
238 INT. FRANK'S PENTHOUSE - LATER - NIGHT 238
Ana hangs tinsel on the tree as Frank gives the shepherd
some dog toy presents he's bought. More to himself:
Bumpy hardly ever went out at a certain
point. He stayed in - read - watched TV -
played chess. I thought he chose to lead
a quiet life. He didn't. He couldn't go
out without something happening.
We can still go out.
Where? With who? Everyone I know is
under surveillance. I can't even be with
my family at Christmas anymore.
He gets up, pets the dog, and looks out the window at
Christmas angels stretched across the street, at people on
the sidewalk, wondering perhaps which of them are undercover
cops, at Trupo's car, still parked outside.
Why don't you just pay who you have to
I do pay them, I pay them all. Cops,
accountants, lawyers, who don't I pay?
Everybody. I pay them a fortune, it
doesn't matter. It doesn't satisfy them.
The more you pay, the more they expect.
238 CONTINUED: 238
You can't start with them because they
can't stop. It's like dope. They
always want more.
Ana looks vulnerable. Frank almost feels bad that it's his
life and problems that have put them here. Eventually, to
try to turn it around -
Put on something nice, we're going out.
239 INT/EXT. FRANK'S PENTHOUSE BUILDING - NIGHT 239
Frank and Ana emerge from a service elevator, come down a
dark hall and out the back door to an alley to where Doc
waits with the car in the falling snow.
240 OMIT 240 OMIT
241 EXT. SMALL'S PARADISE - LATER - NIGHT 241
Frank's car approaches Small's just as Jackie, with a
Santa Claus hat on, climbs out of a sky blue Bentley with
his entourage. Frank groans to Doc -
Fuck that. I'm not going to sneak into
my own club. Just drive.
242 OMIT 242 OMIT
243 INT. CHINESE TAKE-OUT PLACE - NIGHT 243
Waiting for a take-out order under harsh fluorescent lights -
I'm going to wait in the car.
Go ahead, Frank. I'll wait for it.
You can carry it all? We ordered a lot.
Doc nods, go on, go with Ana. Frank hands him a couple
twenties. Ana's already outside.
243 CONTINUED: 243
Don't forget the yellow sauce.
244 OMIT 244 OMIT
245 EXT. STREET - CHINATOWN - NIGHT 245
Ana's half a block ahead, waiting outside the locked car by
the time Frank arrives and realizes -
Doc's got the keys. Let's go back.
The lights give me a headache, you go.
I'm not leaving you on the street.
Get the keys, Frank, it's cold.
He starts back through cascading snow. Notices a car coming
slowly down the street -
246 INT. CHINESE PLACE - CONTINUED 246
The cook dumps sizzling vegetables into a take-out container
and puts it in a bag -
247 EXT. STREET - CHINATOWN - CONTINUED 247
The car passes, continues to the end of the block, turns the
248 OMIT 248 OMIT
249 INT. CHINESE PLACE - CONTINUED 249
Doc hands over money, waits for his change -
Gimme some of that yellow sauce.
250 EXT. STREET - MIDTOWN - CONTINUED 250
Frank sees the car again, coming around the corner, walks
briskly back to where Ana waits. The car is almost upon
them as he grabs her by the wrist and pulls her hard along
the sidewalk. The car guns its engine -
251 OMIT 251 OMIT
252 INT/EXT. CHINESE PLACE - CONTINUED 252
As Frank pushes in past the doors with Ana, the windows
explode. They dive to the floor, bullets ripping through
Doc draws his two guns and fires back at the car, hitting
it a couple times as it screeches off. He gathers Ana and
Frank off the floor like a presidential bodyguard, hustles
them out to the car. Frank's shoulder is bleeding.
What the fuck was that?
They pile in and Doc screeches away from the curb.
253 OMIT 253 OMIT
254 INT. FRANK'S PENTHOUSE - NIGHT 254
Heavy security in the hallways: Frank's own men and some
cops he's got on the payroll. Ana steps from the elevator
and hurries past, early edition New York paper in hand.
255 INT. FRANK'S PENTHOUSE - NIGHT 255
The brothers watch as a private doctor attends Frank's
wounds. He seems all right fine except for the fact that
someone had the fucking nerve to take a shot at him - and
Charlie he sees in the newspaper - gunned down, dead, lurid
Weegee-like photo of him on the front page.
Was it Jackie?
(Frank doesn't say)
I'll fuckin kill him whether it was or
not, you tell me to.
(nothing from Frank)
What do you want us to do, Frank? We
can't just sit here and -
Who didn't like Charlie? Everybody liked
Who shot at us?
(Frank can't tell her)
It doesn't matter. We're leaving.
255 CONTINUED: 255
She pulls a drawer open. Takes out their passports.
Begins packing. The brothers watch, not sure what to do,
or say. To them -
Go home. Go see your kids.
He obviously wants to talk to Ana alone. Pulls away from
the doctor. They all leave. Ana keeps packing.
What are you doing? Where've you been?
We're leaving from here. Money's in
Everything from your mother's house.
In your car?
Where's the car?
With ten million dollars in it?
I didn't count it.
Are you crazy? Take it back to Teaneck.
What are you doing driving around without
security? Doc'll take you back.
We're not going there, we're going to the
airport. We're leaving the country.
To go where? No, we're not.
255 CONTINUED: 255
Frank, Charlie's dead. They tried to
kill us. What else has to happen - ?
He grabs her and holds her to calm her down.
Shhh. Come on, now. Shhh.
He holds her close, waits for her breathing to slow before:
Where are we going to go? Spain?
China? Which fuckin place is it going
We can go anywhere we want. We can live
We can run and hide is what you're
He slowly shakes his head: that's something he'll never do.
This is where I'm from. This is where
my family is. My business. My mother.
This is my place. This is my country.
This is America.
256 - 263 OMIT 256 - 263 OMIT
264 EXT. HUDSON RIVER - MORNING 264
The Statue of Liberty in morning light and mist rises from
the waters of the Hudson River.
A265 INT. NARCOTICS SQUAD HQ - NEWARK - MORNING A265
Richie, at his desk, looks up to see Trupo walking through
the squad room, followed by Spearman.
Said he'll only talk to you.
B265 INT. NARCOTICS SQUAD HQ - NEWARK - LATER - MORNING B265
Trupo's attitude has completely changed from the first time
they met. He talks to Richie now like a fellow conspirator -
B265 CONTINUED: B265
From what I hear, it was the Corsicans.
The French Connection, Fernando Rey, the
exporters Frank has put out of business.
Now, I can take care of him in New York,
but I don't want to have to worry every
time he drives across the bridge to
Jersey someone's gonna take another shot
Richie gives nothing away even as it stuns him that Trupo
would speak to him this blatantly.
We need to start working together. We
need to step up our efforts. Next time
their aim could be better. We need to
keep this cash cow alive.
Jimmy Racine comes in - sees Trupo - and leaves - but not
before Trupo has seen him. And now he sees the Lucas Table
of Organization he didn't notice when he came in. Gets up
and walks over to it now and takes a closer look. Sees
Frank's picture at the top, like Enemy Number 1.
Jesus. What the fuck you doing here?
You actually going to arrest Frank Lucas?
What's the matter with you?
I'm crazy. Can't you tell that? I'm
crazy enough to shoot someone and make it
look like an accident next time he comes
over the bridge without my permission.
Get the fuck out of New Jersey.
They regard each other a moment before Trupo turns to leave.
C265 INT. FRANK'S PENTHOUSE - DAY C265
A large TV shows chaotic scenes in Saigon. The US is
pulling out of Vietnam. Tosca has come to see how Frank is
recovering, and finds him, agitated, too long in bed even
though it's only been a day, changing into a nice shirt,
putting on his shoes -
"I can guarantee you peace of mind,"
you said. Do I look like a man with
peace of mind to you? They shot at my
wife. Who does that?
C265 CONTINUED: C265
Who was it, which one of your people?
I'll take that gun away and shove it up
I don't know that it was any of them,
Frank. Neither do you.
Then maybe I'll kill them all just to
make a fuckin point.
Tosca seems more philosophical about it - like Bumpy might
have been - but it wasn't him who was shot at.
You want to know who it was? I can
tell you. It was a junkie. Or a rival.
Or some dumb ass kid trying to make a
name for himself. Or someone you forgot
to pay off. Or slighted without
realizing it. Or someone you put out of
business by being too successful.
Success has a lot of enemies. Your
success is who took a shot at you. How
you gonna kill it? By being
unsuccessful? You can be successful and
have enemies, or unsuccessful and have
friends. It's the choice we make.
265 INT. MASSAGE ROOM - SOUL BROTHERS BAR - NIGHT 265
A call has interrupted Nate's massage (and later activities)
with a bevy of Thai girls. He wraps himself in a robe,
takes the phone.
266 INT. REGENCY HOTEL - SAME TIME - DAY 266
Frank on a pay phone in a comfortable alcove with a stack
of quarters. Other guests are gathered around a TV in the
lounge that shows images of helicopters plucking diplomats
off the roof of the American Embassy in Saigon.
I'm watching the news. Where the hell's
Home. The war's over.
266 CONTINUED: 266
Just like that? We're going to leave the
fuckin country to the communists?
We been here since 1961, Frank.
HARD CUT TO:
267 EXT. JUNGLE - DAY 267
Frank and Nate and their "army" of black servicemen and Thai
thugs wind through the jungle with pack mules.
268 INT. BAMBOO DWELLING - OPIUM FARM - DAY 268
The same farm and hut as before. Frank and the Chinese
General sip tea. The four million dollars in cash Frank
brought sits on the table.
Opium plants are hearty enough to
outlive any war. They'll still be here
long after the troops are gone. But what
are you going to do for transportation
when the last US plane goes home?
I'll figure something out. You'll see
The General seems fond of Frank, and not only because of all
the money on the table.
It's not in my best interest to say
this, Frank ... but quitting while you're
ahead is not the same as quitting.
That's what my wife thinks.
But you don't think she's right.
Frank doesn't say.
269 EXT. OPIUM FARM - DAY 269
Mules are loaded up with burlap bags containing 3,000 kilos
A270 EXT. OPIUM FARM / JUNGLE - DAY A270
The mule train approaches the jungle that surrounds the
opium farm. Nate's Thai thugs, left behind in sniper
positions in the trees, stand ready to open fire if they
have to as Frank, Nate, the soldiers and mules pass below.
B270 EXT. JUNGLE - LATER - DAY B270
They seem to have made it, winding back down through the
jungle with the mules. Suddenly a barrage of gunfire erupts
from the trees - a couple of Nate's men are hit as the rest
dive for cover, shouting "Vietcong," and returning the fire.
Frank drops down from his mule, gets a pistol out and shoots
into the trees. Bullet-severed palm fronds rain down.
Give them half!
Nate, pinned down by the mules, can't hear him over the
Cut half of them loose! The mules!
Nate cuts the mule-train tether in the middle, slaps at the
animals. As the freed mules disappear into a wall of trees
the shooting subsides, then stops altogether. Smoke from
all the gunfire rises like mist around the half dozen Thais
and Americans lying dead on the ground.
270 EXT. STREET - NIGHT 270
Teddy makes out with a girl in the back seat of his car.
The pay phone just outside on the corner rings, and he gets
out, steps past Jimmy, answers it -
271 INT. SOUL BROTHERS BAR - BANGKOK - INTERCUT - DAY 271
A Thai singer attempts Otis Redding on the little stage.
Frank, at a table here, with a drink and a phone.
Newark. Short Term Parking Lot 3.
When you need it? Today?
271 CONTINUED: 271
Tomorrow will be fine.
272 EXT. STREET - CONTINUED 272
Jimmy loiters close enough to the open pay phone, to hear
Teddy's side of the conversation.
Short Term Lot 3. This the Mustang were
talking about ... Camero? ... What's the
(writes on a napkin)
Yeah, I got it ... I got it, Frank ...
(sighs; reads from the
273 INT. NARCOTICS SQUAD HQ - NEWARK - DAY 273
Jimmy's come over to share his news with the detectives.
But Richie isn't pleased with it - or with Jimmy.
There's no Short Term Lot 3 at Newark.
They're lettered, A, B, C, D -
I'm just telling you what I heard -
Then you heard wrong!
Jimmy shies back a step in case Abruzzo takes a swing.
Maybe he means the time? 3 o'clock?
And this isn't a Jersey plate. Or New
York. Not with just two letters. It's
three and three, not two and three -
It's what he said -
Then what the fuck is it -
The fuck should I know -
273 CONTINUED: 273
You're fuckin lying -
It's what he said. I'm sure.
KA 760 -
Silence. They all look at each other. After a moment -
None of you ever been in the service?
It's an Air Force tail number.
274 EXT. SKY - DAY 274
The plane, with that tail number, descends through clouds.
275 EXT. NEWARK AIRPORT - DAY 275
Richie's entire staff of detectives, along with Toback, the
DA and several customs agents, stand on the tarmac, watching
the military plane taxiing toward them -
276 EXT. MAMA LUCAS'S TEANECK, N.J. HOUSE - DAY 276
Quiet sounds of suburban domesticity - chirping birds, a
distant lawn mower -
277 EXT. NEWARK AIRPORT - CONTINUED 277
The cabin door slides up, the passengers begin emerging:
Military officers, embassy personnel and families. Richie's
detectives and Toback watch him with concern as the official
passengers, met by a bevy of assistants, file past -
278 INT. MAMA LUCAS'S TEANECK, N.J. HOUSE - CONTINUED 278
The kitchen. Frank's mother shows Ana some old photographs
of Frank as a boy as they sip coffee. There's a tap on the
glass French door. The women look up and see Trupo just
outside it, and other police moving past. He waves.
279 OMIT 279 OMIT
280 EXT. NEWARK AIRPORT - CONTINUED 280
An Army captain approaches Richie's law enforcement group.
280 CONTINUED: 280
Captain, I'm Richard Roberts, Director of
the Essex County Narcotics Bureau.
281 INT. MAMA LUCAS'S TEANECK, N.J. HOUSE - CONTINUED 281
Front door. Trupo sort of waves a search warrant at Julie
as invites himself in. The NY cops follow, fan out. Trupo
and his detectives head upstairs -
282 INT. AIRPORT HANGAR - LATER 282
The plane has been brought into a hangar where it's being
taken apart like a car stripped by thieves. Inside the
cabin, seats are removed and inspected, carpeting pulled up,
panels unscrewed, lavatories dismantled.
283 INT. MAMA LUCAS'S TEANECK, N.J. HOUSE - CONTINUED 283
Downstairs - Ana and Frank's mother, guarded, can hear
Trupo and his detectives, upstairs, ransacking a bedroom.
Upstairs - the SIU detectives pull open drawers, throw
clothes from the closets. Trupo picks up an invitation to
a United Nations ball, tosses it down again. Finds a safety-
deposit box key in a sock drawer, puts it in his pocket.
284 INT. AIRPORT HANGAR - CONTINUED 284
The engines and landing gear are disassembled, the tires
opened up and searched. A nozzle plunges into a toilet and
pumps out the contents into barrels detectives fish through
with gloved hands -
285 INT. MAMA LUCAS'S TEANECK, N.J. HOUSE - LATER - DAY 285
Ana is taken upstairs, brought before the SIU detectives
who wait for the NYPD cops to leave the room. The place
has been torn apart.
Your husband's illustrious career is
over. The Feds are going to come in and
take it all. Everything. But not before
I get my gratuity. Where's the money?
There was some on that dresser, but it's
gone now so I guess you (took it) -
The money! The getaway money Frank and
every other gangster keeps in his house!
285 CONTINUED: 285
If you leave now, there's a chance
Frank might not kill you -
Trupo slaps her hard across the face -
286 INT. AIRPORT HANGAR - LATER 286
Richie, off by himself, watches with a growing sense of
panic as the mechanics, detectives and customs agents begin
removing the metal skin from the plane. Coffins are being
287 INT. MAMA LUCAS'S TEANECK, N.J. HOUSE - LATER 287
Downstairs, Mama Lucas puts washcloth on Ana's swollen
cheek. They can hear the search continuing upstairs: things
being ripped from the walls, the walls themselves splintered
apart with sledgehammers, glass breaking. To Mama Lucas -
288 INT. AIRPORT HANGAR - LATER 288
They've looked everywhere and found nothing. The plane,
in fact, hardly resembles a plane anymore - no panel left
that hasn't been removed, no cavity not probed - except -
Richie's glance settles on the military caskets as they're
loaded onto a truck, armed soldiers standing guard -
289 INT/EXT. MAMA LUCAS'S TEANECK, N.J. HOUSE - DAY 289
Frank's bedroom has been destroyed. Trupo, standing at a
window glances out at the sound of a barking of a dog to see
Frank's German shepherd down in its kennel.
290 INT. AIRPORT HANGAR - CONTINUED 290
Richie gets up slowly and approaches the coffins as -
291 EXT. MAMA LUCAS'S TEANECK, N.J. HOUSE - DAY 291
Trupo crosses the lawn toward the kennel and barking dog -
292 INT. AIRPORT HANGAR - CONTINUED 292
Richie stands over the nearest coffin -
292 CONTINUED: 292
The army captain regards the detective for a long moment.
The warrant permits me to search the
plane and its cargo.
The captain doesn't comply. Richie moves to open the coffin
himself and every soldier's shouldered rifle immediately
comes into firing position, aimed at him.
But you don't have my permission.
Richie stares at the weapons and the uniformed men holding
them, safeties off, fingers on the triggers; all they're
waiting for is their commander's order to fire.
I don't need it.
293 EXT. MAMA LUCAS'S TEANECK, N.J. HOUSE - CONTINUED 293
Trupo regards the shepherd snarling at him from behind the
kennel fence. Comes around back. Pushes at the frame. It
moves a little, like it's levered -
294 INT. AIRPORT HANGAR - CONTINUED 294
With the rifles still pointed at him, Richie kneels down,
pulls the latches of the coffins, half expecting to hear an
accompanying barrage of gunfire. He lifts the lid. Sees a
long black body bag inside -
295 EXT. MAMA LUCAS'S TEANECK, N.J. HOUSE - CONTINUED 295
Trupo comes around to the front of the kennel again with his
gun out and aims it at the dog. As he fires -
296 INT. AIRPORT HANGAR - CONTINUED 296
Richie pulls at the zipper, parting the plastic body bag,
revealing the remains of a young soldier -
297 EXT. MAMA LUCAS'S TEANECK, N.J. HOUSE - CONTINUED 297
The dead dog slides against the fencing as Trupo overturns
the kennel to reveal Frank's stash of cash.
298 INT. AIRPORT HANGER OFFICE - MINUTES LATER - DAY 298
Richie and Toback sit before the Federal Attorneys and
customs agents. The US Attorney hangs up a phone ... then:
That was a military transport plane. If
there was heroin on board then someone in
the military would have to be involved.
Which means that even as it fights a war
that's claimed 50,000 Americans lives,
the military is smuggling narcotics.
Richie's in serious trouble and knows it. As does Toback.
That's how these events are being
interpreted by General Easton in that
call to me. That someone employed by the
this office believes the United States
Army is in the drug trafficking business -
and is trying to prove it by desecrating
the remains of young men who've given
their lives in the defence of democracy.
There are drugs on that plane -
Shut the fuck up.
Richie does, but can't conceal the contempt he feels for
these men who've never spent a minute on the street but act
as if know more than him, and who are, in the unfortunate
organization of his world, his superiors.
Is it any wonder then, because of your
actions, the entire federal narcotics
program is now in jeopardy of being
dismantled as completely and enthusiastic-
ally as that fucking transport plane?
That's what you've accomplished Mr.
I had good information the target of my
investigation was bringing dope in on
And that target is?
298 CONTINUED: 298
No one in the room, except Richie and Toback, has ever
heard the name. The federal men regard one another blankly.
Who? Who's Frank Lucas?
(no one seems to know)
Who's he work for? Which family?
He's not Italian. He's black.
Now there's a longer, even deeper silence, before -
Is that supposed to be some kind of joke?
You're this close to the end of your
career in law enforcement, you're making
I believe Frank Lucas is above the mafia
in the dope business. I believe he buys
direct from the source in Southeast Asia,
cuts out all the middlemen, and uses US
military planes and personnel to bring
pure No. 4 heroin into United States.
Richie is looking at faces that are still trying to make
sense out of his ridiculous theory. Toback tries to come to
his defense -
Richie has a lot of experience -
Does he. And how many arrests has he
made in his so-called investigation?
I was promised when I took this job, it
was about real arrests.
Does that mean `none?'
I have cases against most of Frank's
organization. Not him -
298 CONTINUED: 298
(more to the others)
Frank's organization -
No fucking nigger has accomplished what
the American Mafia hasn't in a hundred
Yeah, you'd know, sitting here, having
never been on the (street) -
Lou, get this fucking kike out of here -
Richie goes for him and lands several punches before Toback
and the others can pull him off.
299 OMIT 299 OMIT
300 INT/EXT. AIRPORT HANGAR OFFICE - DAY 300
Richie and Toback walk briskly across the lobby -
He was out of line, Richie.
Richie isn't really listening. Strides past his detectives
on his way out of the building. To Spearman -
It's over. You're shut down.
Toback watches as the detectives follow after Richie
striding toward his car.
301 - 302 OMIT 301 - 302 OMIT
A303 INT/EXT. AIRPORT TERMINAL - NIGHT A303
Frank comes out with an airline representative to find Doc
waiting for him. He can tell immediately something's wrong.
B303 INT. FRANK'S PENTHOUSE - NIGHT B303
Frank slaps a cartridge into the butt of a pistol.
Ten million dollars means nothing to me.
B303 CONTINUED: B303
Ana stares at the floor. It all just seems to get worse and
worse. They had their chance to get out and missed it.
This - is his death warrant.
He lightly touches his wife's bruised face and walks out.
C303 INT. FRANK'S PENTHOUSE - NIGHT C303
He comes down the stairs to where Doc waits. As they head
for the door -
Frank glances to where his mother sits in the living room.
Nods to Doc to say, Get the car, I'll be out in a minute.
Goes over to his mother.
He sits. She studies him in a way she hasn't since he was
little. Eventually -
If you'd have been a preacher, your
brothers would be preachers. If you'd
been a soldier, they'd be soldiers. Do
you know that?
(he doesn't say)
They all came here because of you. You
called and they came running. They look
up to you. They expect you to always
know what's best.
But even they know you don't shoot
cops. Even I know that. Ana knows it.
You seem to be the only one who doesn't.
Is that where I'm going?
I never asked you where all this came
from because I didn't want to hear you
lie to me. Don't lie to me. Don't do
She's not pleading, she's telling. Silence. Then -
C303 CONTINUED: C303
Do you really want to make things so
bad for your family they'll leave you?
Because they will. She will -
I know I will.
Frank has some trouble looking at her. But then gets up.
Walks toward the front door to leave. Hesitates near it a
long moment. Then turns and walks upstairs. Trupo will
live, at least for now, because of her.
D303 INT. ARMY HOSPITAL - NIGHT D303
Down in the basement, the body bags are lifted from the
wooden coffins. Set down on tables. The bags unzipped and
the bodies removed.
A rack of clean uniforms is brought in. The morticians
begin dressing the corpses and applying make-up on the dry
New white military caskets are trundled in. Gold handles
lifted. The bodies, clothed and painted now, are deposited
on the silk linings. The lids of the coffins come down and
cellophane bags containing folded flags are taped on top.
303 - 309 OMIT 303 - 309 OMIT
310 EXT. ARMY HOSPITAL - NIGHT 310
The white caskets are taken to a loading dock, put in a
military truck. Papers are signed, copies exchanged. As
the truck drives off -
311 INT. ARMY HOSPITAL - NIGHT 311
Two black privates on janitorial duty come into the room
where the original plain wooden coffins have been discarded.
They remove the lids, then the finely-crafted false bottoms,
revealing in 4-inch cavities of each, tightly-packed bricks
of Double UO Globe heroin. As they take them out, a gospel
choir begins and continues over:
312 EXT. ARMY HOSPITAL - MORNING 312
A laundry truck idles. Stevie, the Lucas nephew who could
have played for Yankees, jumps down, helps the two privates
toss several laundry bags into the back of the truck.
A313 EXT. BAPTIST CHURCH - MORNING A313
A minister on the steps welcomes the congregation which
includes Frank, his mother, and Ana -
313 EXT. PERIMETER OF THE ARMY BASE - MORNING 313
The laundry truck comes past a guard gate, leaves the base,
drives past a stand of trees. As it passes, Richie, parked
by his detectives' cars, recognizes the young driver - who's
wearing the same Yankee baseball cap in his T.O. photo.
As Richie and his detectives climb into their cars, two
Lucas cars fold in behind the laundry truck. The detectives
follow at a distance -
A314 OMIT A314 OMIT
314 INT. BAPTIST CHURCH - MORNING 314
The sea of ladies' hats from above move in time with the
gospel choir. As always, no matter what else is going on in
his complicated life, Frank sits with his mother and Ana in
their usual pew. The gospel music continues over:
A315 EXT. BAPTIST CHURCH - MORNING A315
Frank emerges from the church, kisses his mother and Ana and
put them in a car with a driver. He climbs into Doc's
alone. His mother watches, wondering perhaps if he intends
to go kill Trupo after all. As Doc's car leaves, so does
315 - 318 OMIT 315 - 318 OMIT
319 INT/EXT. RICHIE'S CAR - MOVING - NEAR GW BRIDGE - MORNING19
The laundry truck approaches a ramp leading to the George
Washington Bridge. Richie, a couple of car lengths behind,
follows. The truck continues straight.
320 OMIT 320 OMIT
321 EXT. NEWARK - MORNING 321
From overhead, the laundry truck, the gun car and the van -
and the detectives' cars following them all - converge from
different directions -
322 EXT. NEWARK - NEAR STEPHEN CRANE PROJECTS - MORNING 322
Red Top's van makes a turn. As Abruzzo's makes the same
turn behind it, the infamous Stephen Crane Projects rise up
in his windshield.
His foot comes off the gas. As the gun car passes, he
sees Jones's car slow. Teddy's car approaches from another
direction into the Projects, and Abruzzo sees Spearman pull
over. Then the laundry truck turns in, and Richie's slows
to a stop, like Abruzzo's, outside the grounds of the
foreboding towers. The gospel music ends.
A323 EXT. CEMETERY - MORNING A323
Doc waits in the car while Frank buys some flowers at a
cemetery flower stand. The surveillance car cruises past.
323 INT. TOBACK'S HOUSE - MORNING 323
Toback, in his bathrobe, glass of milk in one hand, phone in
the other ...
Where is it?
Somewhere in the South tower.
You know that it's there. You're sure.
324 EXT. STEPHEN CRANE PROJECTS - SAME TIME 324
Richie, on a pay phone across down the street from the
Projects, looks up at the dark South tower.
Lou. We're ready to go in there
knowing there's a good chance we won't
all come out. That's what we're willing
to do. All I'm asking you to do get me a
Silence on the other end of the line ...
We don't have a lot of time to fuck
324 CONTINUED: 324
I'll call in the warrant. And some
backup. Don't go in before either gets
This call disconnects.
325 INT. APARTMENT, THE PROJECTS - MORNING 325
The girls spread and tape plastic sheeting to tabletops,
then begin changing for work, which means undressing.
326 EXT. STEPHEN CRANE PROJECTS - MORNING 326
Richie and his guys wait for the warrant by their cars.
How long we gonna wait for it?
327 INT. APARTMENT, THE PROJECTS - MORNING 327
Pharmaceutical scales balance to their counterweights as
the five naked, masked women cut the heroin with quinine to
Frank's exacting standards. Red Top puts on some coffee.
328 EXT. STEPHEN CRANE PROJECTS - MORNING 328
Richie stares down the street, waiting for whatever it is
they're waiting for. Spearman looks at his watch.
It'll be here.
329 INT. APARTMENT, THE PROJECTS - MORNING 329
A paper-cutter blade slices a sheet of blue cellophane.
The girls at the tables, with the expertise of Cuban cigar
makers, wrap pieces of the cellophane like tobacco leaves
around precisely-measured 1/4-ounce drifts of Black Magic.
A330 EXT. CEMETERY - MORNING A330
Frank's car winds up the road of the cemetery. The
surveillance car comes through the main gate and parks.
330 EXT. STEPHEN CRANE PROJECTS - MORNING 330
Several black and white and undercover cars approach,
sirens off. Toback himself climbs out of one of the cars
and hands Richie the search warrant.
331 EXT. STEPHEN CRANE PROJECTS - MORNING 331
The tall buildings cast long shadows of dread on every
activity below, no matter how routine: A woman pushing a
stroller, guys shooting hoops, a couple arguing, kids on
bikes, old men resting on a graffiti-covered bench.
The unmarked cars drive slowly through it all. The place
teeters on the brink of violence you can feel as gangs move
under the shadow of the towers.
332 INT. GROUND FLOOR, SOUTH TOWER, THE PROJECTS - DAY 332
Richie removes the cover plate of an elevator, cuts the
wires, disengaging it, then leads the Amigos, followed by
more detectives to a stairwell. The place is like Beirut.
A333 EXT. CEMETERY - CONTINUED - DAY A333
Frank walks past graves to Bumpy's. Replaces some dried
flowers with fresh ones. Looks around for something to sit
on. Sees some wooden folding chairs around a fresher grave
nearby. Doc waits by the car in the distance.
333 INT. STAIRWELL - FLOORS - SOUTH TOWER - DAY 333
Floor by floor, they work their way up the tower like
commandos, the squalor and decay and hopelessness somehow
intensifying the higher up they go.
Reaching the 17th floor, they listen to a strange sound
before easing the fire door open enough to see a kid on a
Big Wheels pedalling straight at them. He passes and the
334 INT. 17TH FLOOR HALLWAY - DAY 334
Half the apartment doors are gone. TVs and radios echo,
voices argue, infants wail. The detectives come around a
corner and see at the end of it: a couple of guys with a
sawed-off shotguns sitting outside a closed door.
They step back. Consider one other. Spearman volunteers
with a nod, continues on alone as the others wait. He walks
up to the guys with the guns.
I got to talk to Teddy.
GUY WITH GUN
Get the fuck out of here.
334 CONTINUED: 334
What the fuck is that? I got business
with Teddy and it's none of your fuckin
business except to knock on the fuckin
door and get him.
As the guy stands, pumping the shotgun, Spearman yanks it
hard against his throat like a garrote, forcing him to the
floor. The shotgun explodes, showering plaster and pellets.
Jones and Abruzzo are instantly all over the other guy as
Richie swings the sledgehammer into the door -
335 INT. APARTMENT, THE PROJECTS - CONTINUOUS 335
The door splinters - the room already in chaos - Teddy,
panicked, runs for the bedroom - the detectives crash in
yelling at the girls to get down - a shot from somewhere
inside wings Abruzzo - Jones and Spearman firing back -
crawling across the floor like an infantrymen -
Richie comes into the darkened bedroom leading with his
pistol. But Teddy's gone. He sees a tapestry of a tiger on
a wall. Pulls at it, finds a big hole knocked into another
dark apartment, climbs through, sees an open door -
336 INT. THE PROJECTS BUILDING - CONTINUOUS 336
As Richie rushes out to the hallway he can hear footfalls
echoing in the stairwell. He starts down, taking the stairs
five at a time, chases Teddy down two flights -
Teddy yanks open a door, runs down a corridor, bangs into
an apartment. Richie reaches the apartment just as Teddy is
goes out onto an exterior balcony -
Richie continues along the interior corridor, running
parallel to Teddy on the balcony, who trips over some debris
and garbage, looking over his shoulder for Richie -
Richie cuts through another apartment to head him off, but
the door to the balcony is nailed shut. So are the windows.
Richie looks around, grabs a small portable television and,
just as Teddy runs past, hurls it through a window at him,
hitting him in the head.
He falls hard, dazed. Richie hurries through the broken
window. Teddy comes to and fights back, until Richie breaks
his femur with his bare hands. Teddy howls in excruciating
337 INT/EXT. DRY CLEANERS - DAY 337
Police cars outside. Eugene Lucas is cuffed and led away.
338 EXT. METAL DOOR SHOP - DAY 338
More police outside Lester's place. They cuff him.
339 EXT. TIRE SERVICE SHOP - DAY 339
New Jersey troopers cuff Turner Lucas and lead him away.
340 EXT. ELECTRICAL SHOP - DAY 340
Cuffed, Earl Lucas is put in the back of a patrol car.
341 EXT. CEMETERY - CONTINUED - DAY 341
Frank, on a wooden folding chair at Bumpy's grave, hears
the gunning of engines and barking of cops. He turns to see
Doc being handcuffed on the ground by the Towncar. Glances
to a lone figure walking toward him over a rise. Richie.
Richie arrives at the grave. Regards the monument to
Ellsworth Johnson, and Frank sitting calmly regarding him.
Richie glances around the peaceful surroundings ...
What kind of trees are these?
Frank looks at the trees, then at Richie, with equal
You think you got Frank Lucas. You
A342 INT. RICHIE'S APARTMENT - DAY A342
Richie cuts the tags off a new, inexpensive suit. Slips
the jacket on, which seemed somehow to fit a little better
at the store. Cuts the tags off a tie.
B342 INT. COURTHOUSE MENS ROOM - DAY B342
Someone throwing up in a stall. The toilet flushes, the
door opens and Richie steps up to a sink, regards his face
in the mirror. Under the fluorescent lights - maybe under
any kind - his skin is a shade of death. He splashes water
on it and tries to gather himself.
342 INT. COURTROOM - DAY 342
At the prosecutors table, Richie steals glances at the
battery of expensive attorneys over at the defense table.
342 CONTINUED: 342
The courtroom doors swing open and Richie sees Frank Lucas,
in a tailored suit, escorted in without cuffs by an amiable-
looking federal marshal.
As Frank moves through the gallery, Richie sees it's full of
the gangster's friends, many of them celebrities, who smile
and greet and fawn as if the Pope has arrived.
Richie has evidence tables covered with cash, weapons,
stocks, bonds, property deeds, pictures of Frank's holdings,
heroin in blue cellophane.
Frank has celebrities, community leaders, Joe Louis himself
who will testify to Frank's benevolent character. The Champ
hugs the heroin trafficker warmly in front of everyone and
Richie wonders if he should just give up now.
Richie sees it in slow motion: the hands reaching out to
Frank, the pats on his back, lipsticked mouths of beautiful
women offering kisses and words of encouragement, his old
mother giving him a hug.
He watches Frank's head turn slowly, his eyes passing his
phalanx of attorneys, the jury, finally settling on Richie
in his cheap suit seated at the prosecutors table.
Frank's eyes smile as they regard Richie, and seem to ask,
Can you see this - can you see what you're up against - can
you see how insignificant you are?
Reaching the end of the welcoming line finally, Frank
brushes by Richie and disappears from view somewhere within
the protective husk of his multi-million-dollar legal team.
Mr. Roberts -
Richie slowly lifts himself from his chair, steps forward,
turns to look at the jury that's studying him, finally finds
Thank you, your Honor. Ladies and
343 INT. COUNTY JAIL - INTERVIEW ROOM - DAY 343
Wire mesh separates Frank from his battalion of lawyers.
He glances over them to Richie being led through the large
Here he is, let me talk to him alone.
343 CONTINUED: 343
The attorneys get up and leave. Richie takes their place.
Frank regards him a moment, offering the same knowing smile
from the courtroom. Richie offers nothing.
I just heard something. I said it
couldn't be true. You didn't really
turn in a million dollars you found
in the trunk of a car, did you?
Richie doesn't say. Frank searches his face for some clue
to where on earth he's from.
Want me to tell you what happened to
it? It ended up in cops' pockets.
Maybe? No. It did. All you did was
give it to them for nothing in return.
Not nothing: You got their contempt.
Frank studies him.
Why'd you do that? What're you trying
to prove, you're better than them? You're
not better than them. You are them.
I don't have the time or interest to
listen to (this) -
You did it because it was right.
That's all. Why's that hard to say?
The question is would you do it again?
That was a long time ago. It'd be very
easy to find out. Tell me you want to
find out, tell me the address, and a car
will be there, the trunk loaded.
Richie knows Frank isn't kidding ...
Frank suddenly explodes -
343 CONTINUED: 343
Who the fuck are you to say no to
that? You think that impresses me?
Guards look over, then glance away once it's clear the
outburst is through. Richie remains serene. Eventually -
Let me ask you something. You think by
putting me in jail, you're going to stop
even one junkie from dying? Because you
won't. If it isn't me, it'll be someone
else. With me or without me, nothing's
going to change.
Then that's the way it is.
You have any sort of case? Or just
that idiot drives for my brother. Is he
your case? Because if it's just him and
the powder, it's not enough.
Then you got nothing to worry about.
But Frank is worried, most of all by this cop who doesn't
take money sitting placidly in front of him.
My brothers won't talk to you. My
cousins. None of my family. No one but
that mother fucking driver.
I got more than that. I got a line of
people wanting to testify that stretches
out the door and around the block.
Is it? Tony the Bug. Benny Two-Socks.
Who the fuck are they? I don't know
them and they don't know me.
343 CONTINUED: 343
They sell dope for the Mazzano crime
family. Which you all but put out of
This is who you're going to put on the
stand? Guys who don't know me? Who got
nothing to do with me?
They have everything to do with you.
And the only thing they hate more than
you is what you represent.
I don't represent nothing.
You don't? Black businessman like you?
Of course you do. But once you're gone,
things can return to normal.
Look at me. You looking? Can you tell
by looking it would mean nothing to me if
tomorrow you turned up dead?
Get in line. That one stretches around
the block, too.
Frank has never been so frustrated by anyone in his life.
He wants to work something out with Richie obviously, but he
can't figure out how. Frank studies him.
What can we do?
You know what you have to do.
Frank does, but doesn't like it, and doesn't know if he can
I could give you cops, but that's not
who you want, is it. You want organized
I'll take them, too. I want them all.
343 CONTINUED: 343
Frank isn't sure he heard right.
You'll take them, too? You'd go after
cops? Are you serious? You'd do that?
Lock up your own kind?
They're not. Not the ones in business
with you. They're not my kind any more
than the Italians are yours.
They regard one another in silence. Richie can tell Frank
What can you promise me?
I can promise you if you lie to me about
one name, you'll never get out of prison.
Lie about one dollar in one offshore
account, you'll never get out. You can
live rich in jail the rest of your life,
or poor outside it, that's what I can
Frank is silent for several moments. Finally -
You know, I don't care if the feds take
all my buildings, my stocks, my off-shore
accounts. They can take it all, I don't
care - use it to build battleships, paint
bridges, whatever the fuck they want.
Fight another war. But those other
motherfuckers - the cops - put my money
in their pockets. Millions.
I believe it.
Frank debates with himself the step he's about to take ...
I want to know everyone you've met for
the last twenty years. Everyone you sold
to. Every cop you ever paid off. Every
one who ever stole from you. Every one
343 CONTINUED: 343
Oh, I remember them all. That's not the
The jail's aren't big enough.
344 INT. COUNTY JAIL CELL / STREETS OF NEW YORK - DAY 344
Surveillance photographs of cops seen earlier taking
envelopes of money on 116th Street and other drops go up
on a new, elaborate Table of Organization - of cops.
345 INT. NARCOTICS SQUAD HQ - NEWARK - DAY 345
Richie dismantles the Lucas Table of Organization here,
taking down the photographs. As it collapses -
346 INT. COUNTY JAIL CELL - CONTINUED 346
Frank puts up photographs of detectives -
347 QUICK CUTS of the same detectives, in handcuffs, led through
police stations past other cops watching with dread like
maybe they're next -
A surveillance photograph of the four Princes of the City
striding down a sidewalk goes up on the cell wall -
348 FLASHCUT as three of the four SIU cops are led away in cuffs
from a golf course -
349 A surveillance photograph of Trupo in a black hand - 349
You go up here. Your "special."
As Frank tapes the picture of Trupo at the top of the
pyramid of corruption -
350 INT/EXT. TRUPO'S GARAGE - MORNING 350
Trupo, coffee in hand, comes into his garage from his
kitchen. Opens the garage door and sees two squad cars
parked outside ...
351 A TV: A report on the indictments handed down by the 351
Manhattan DA's office against 53 NYPD and SIU detectives -
352 INT. PRISON CELL - DAY (YEARS LATER) 352
Frank gathers his few personal belongings and puts them in
a box. Stands with the box and waits for the cell door to
open. The Table of Organization and files are gone.
Legend: Frank Lucas was convicted of Conspiracy to
Distribute Narcotics and sentenced to 70 years.
He served 15 of them.
Legend: Federal authorities confiscated over 250 million
dollars from him in real estate, equities and cash
in US and foreign banks.
353 INT. NARCOTICS SQUAD HQ - NEWARK - DAY 353
Richie, too, is packing, putting personal items into boxes.
Legend: The day after he convicted Frank Lucas and 30 of
his Country Boy relatives, Richard Roberts borrowed
$400 from his credit union to help pay for a 3-day
vacation to the Bahamas.
Richie, carrying the box, switches off the lights and closes
the door behind him on his way out.
Legend: Six months later, he quit the Prosecutors Office
to become a defense attorney. His first client was
354 EXT. PRISON - DAY (1990) 354
Frank steps out into sunlight, free but owning nothing but
the cardboard box in his arms. Looks out across the parking
lot to see if anyone has come to pick him up. Sees Richie
by his car, hand raised above his head like a flag.
355 EXT. 116TH STREET, HARLEM - DAY 355
The two of them stand outside Richie's car on the same
corner Frank shot Tango. Frank looks up at the street signs
that used to say 116th Street and 8th Avenue. Now they say
116th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard.
Frederick Douglass Boulevard? What was
wrong with just plain 8th Avenue?
He considers the street itself. It too has changed. The
corner groceries, as Bumpy prophesied, really are gone now.
355 CONTINUED: 355
I used to sit here with Ana in my old
car. She hated it. Now I don't even
have a car. Or her.
Frank glances to where his favorite diner used to be, and
across the street to where he shot Tango. It isn't a fruit
stand any more.
Just do what?
The fuck is that? Just do what?
It's a Nike store with huge paintings of Michael Jordan and
the admonition "Just Do It."
Sneakers. Expensive ones.
Who the fuck would buy those?
A car equipped with sub-woofer bass comes booming past.
Frank stares at it with the same pained look Bumpy had at
the discount emporium.
Your brothers know you're out?
I haven't talked to them in years. It's
better that way. For them. I don't know
where they are. Went back to Greensboro
when they got out, I guess.
Richie nods. Frank looks back at the new storefronts.
What am I going to do now, be a janitor?
What do I know how to do? How am I going
I told you I wouldn't let you starve.
You told me but you can barely take care
355 CONTINUED: 355
(glances to a pay phone on
You know, one phone call, Richie, I could
be back in business.
The look Richie gives him calmly assures Frank if he did
that it'd be the last phone he made outside prison - ever.
I won't. I'm just saying I could.
He buttons the cuffs of the fake Members Only windbreaker
Richie bought him off the street.
Thanks for the clothes.
Frank glances away to three young hoods coming toward them
like they own the sidewalk and everything around it - baggy
pants, bandanas tied around their heads.
Uh-oh. Look out. Here come the
Frank's right in their path but doesn't move, forcing one
of them to squeeze between him and a parking meter. The
gangsta looks back, is about to say something, or do
something, but, examining the expression of quiet menace on
Frank's face, thinks better of it. The others stop.
The first one is still staring at Frank, but finally has the
good sense to let it go.
They move on. Frank glances to Richie.
Every idiot gets to be young once.
Frank zips up his Members Only jacket, props up the collar
and points himself in the other direction.
Let's get out of here.