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The Notorious
by Stephen E.M (swerschler@hotmail.com)

Rated: R   Genre: Organized Crime   User Review: *1/2
First pages of a script currently being edited down - revolving around modern-day organized crime and the underdogs determined to rise in the ranks of the mafia. For mature readers only: Contains pervasive strong language, some violence and drug material.

This screenplay is copyrighted to its author. All rights reserved. This screenplay may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of the author.


Hal enters the smokey pub and approaches a small group of
errand boys sitting by the bar.
He sits at the last empty stool.
                       HAL HARLEN
      (to the bartender)
I'm in the mood for something
spontaneous, Calecki. What do you
What do I recommend? Something
that's easy to make and costs too
                       HAL HARLEN
Well in that case I'll have a
Hal looks to his right and sees SMITS (36) guzzling back a
                       HAL HARLEN
Long night, Smits?
A mile long shit-rope.
CALECKI pushes Hal's drink down the counter and rests his
arms on the edge.
Look, why don't you two dead-beats
stick your chests out and make a
few new friends?
                       HAL HARLEN
I've tried that.
We ain't even on the map, Cal.
Hey, if you havent done anything,
you dont know everything.
Calecki walks off.


Daylight hits the bar patrons as the back door swings open
and LEONARD ROSSI walks in.

Hal watches him disappear to one of the back tables.
                       HAL HARLEN
Ain't that Rossi?
Smits turns and looks at Leonard tapping his cigarettes on
the table and conversing with a man off-screen.
I guess it is.
                       HAL HARLEN
You know I heard of him. Partnered
with Ennis Carbry, huh?
(takes a sip of his Manhattan)
Must've been some real dispute to
end a contract with someone like
Smits pounds back the rest of his beer and rises up like an
inflatable lawn ornament.
Ain't much else to worry about
once you scrape the shit off your
shoes, Hal. I'll see you.
Hal watches Smits leave.
A real heavy-hitter named GRONK sits on the other side of
Leonard, who's busy sucking on a cigarette.
What're you drinking?
                       LEONARD ROSSI
I don't drink anymore.
So Kid Jack gave up the bottle,
                       LEONARD ROSSI
He got smarter.
Gronk shuffles his chair in closer.


What the hell is it with these
greasers these days? No respect
for their superiors and too
headstrong to know when to shut
the hell up.
                       LEONARD ROSSI
You're all just waiting around.
Strippin' and screwin' in all the
wrong places, Gronk.
You read the papers?
Leonard shakes his head "No".
There's a network of greasers out
here who want in.
                       LEONARD ROSSI
Whose Carbry got on the payroll?
The old crew for sure. Couple of
new guys but they're just heavy
hitters. Truth is everyone's been
hitting so low because they knew
Carbry was up to something big.
                       LEONARD ROSSI
Is he?
Gronk is silent for a moment.
Hard to find the right guys, you
know. Ain't like back home, Leo.
                       LEONARD ROSSI
What about Jest?
Jester's been playing his cards.
Everyone's just sort of been
laying low for a while.
                       LEONARD ROSSI
And you?
I soldier and keep my mouth shut.


Leonard looks out into the bar and takes a drag from his
                       LEONARD ROSSI
Look, I got to tell you, man, I'm
not interested in spending another
two years of my life in prison.
I know you did some noble time.
But will you at least talk to the
old man?
                       LEONARD ROSSI
      (deep exhale)
Bust my ass all day for some
buck-eyed asshole? No, thanks.
But there is a part of me that's
ready for another piece of
paradise. It's the mess in between
that discourages me.
Do you trust him?
                       LEONARD ROSSI
Gronk nods.
                       LEONARD ROSSI
It takes years to build up trust,
Only seconds to destroy it.
Leonard flicks the ash from his cigarette behind him.
Various grubs work in the warehouse, packaging and labelling
boxes, some drive forklifts. The garage door opens and three
suits walk in, Nick with them.
PETE, busy checking off items on his clipboard looks up and
sees Nick approaching him.
      (to himself)


                       NICK CROSS
You treat all your customers like
their money aint green, Pete?
Look, I told you I dont want
anymore trouble with the badges. I
cant get the orders in and out on
time, I'm stressed beyond belief
here, Nick, cut me some slack will
                       NICK CROSS
At least come up with something,
Pete. Come up with something, make
the fucking effort. You show a
tremendous amount of disrespect
and you know how fucking important
respect is to my clients.
Pete shakes his head and sighs heavily.
                       NICK CROSS
Come here.
Nick starts walking back toward the garage - Pete follows.
                       NICK CROSS
Payments aside, where are we at as
of now?
I cant muscle these guys any
faster. For a half legit business
we're doing pretty good, it's just
the shakey paperwork that creates
the headaches. I'm trying, I
really am.
                       NICK CROSS
I know you are, but you need to
try harder or my client will just
as easily move on to something
else. He's got nothing to lose,
Pete, you understand that? Do you
understand how dangerous a man
like that is? I'm sure I dont have
to tell you, that if he decides to
move on from your business, you'll
feel it in the morning - and it'll
be a hell of a lot fucking worse
than a headache.


Pete looks down and seems a little worried.
                       NICK CROSS
I mean you basically knew that
before getting involved didnt you,
Pete? You knew the consequences.
Pete nods.
                       NICK CROSS
Your best just isn't getting us
what we want. Do you understand
what I'm telling you?
I'm trying, Nick.
                       NICK CROSS
Dont give me that! Try fucking
Pete says nothing.
                       NICK CROSS
Try harder.
We can be your best friends or we
can be that headache in the
morning. Unfortunately, you cant
ever cure that headache.
I'm just the messanger, Pete, but
my job is more like that of the
reapers. I pay you a visit once,
and it's an ache, I pay you a
visit twice and it's loss of
breath - but the third time means
you're a fucking corpse. Kimo
Pete whipes his mouth and listens nervously to Nick.
Come back next week.
                       LEONARD ROSSI
Two days.
Pete walks off - Nick watches.


Nick talks on his cell phone...
                       NICK CROSS
I think we ought to smash this
guys balls with a hammer to
prevent shit like him from
reproducing, but at least he's
shaking now. We're progressing,
slowly, but we're prgoressing
nonetheless. Let's hustle these
humps till they shoot they're
pants, that's how progress is
This grungy downtown home is probably the only house that
still contains furniture that could date back as far back as
the 60's. The colors, the style, even the wallpaper looks
bad. The front door opens and in walks Leonard. He looks
around for a few seconds before walking into the living

He paces around the room and looks at some old pictures.
Leonard walks down the hallway - the floor squeaks loud with
every step. He peaks inside the second bedroom and walks in.
An elder lady sits in a chair sleeping, the television is
static, a knitting kit lays on the floor beside her.

Leonard walks over to her and takes her hand.
                       LEONARD ROSSI
Auntie Karen.
Her eyes open. At first she doesnt recognize Leonard but
upon closer look her eyes light up and she smiles at him.
                       LEONARD ROSSI
I'm sorry I woke you.


Auntie Karen rises to her feet and throws her arms around
                       AUNTIE KAREN
No bother, no bother.
                       LEONARD ROSSI
How are you?
                       AUNTIE KAREN
Oh, I'm fine, sweetie. I'm good.
What have I told you about
surprise visits?
                       LEONARD ROSSI
You hate them?
                       AUNTIE KAREN
I hate them, Leo!
(smiles again)
But you look so good.
She hugs him again.
Auntie Karen prepares some food for Leonard - She walks to
the table and pours him a glass of water.
                       AUNTIE KAREN
You look good. You smile just like
your mother.
                       LEONARD ROSSI
How am I supposed to look?
                       AUNTIE KAREN
Well, I thought you would be a
little less polished. You look
like you came fresh from Epiphany.
                       LEONARD ROSSI
I think you're just confused, I've
always looked this good.
Look, I know you've got this thing
about just showing up out of the
complete blue, that bothers you. I
hope I'm not a burden.
Have you been keeping busy?


                       AUNTIE KAREN
I get out once and a while. You
remember Mrs. Lawson from down the
street dont you?
                       LEONARD ROSSI
Is she the one with the snow-white
hair and red finish?
                       AUNTIE KAREN
They're called roots, Leo, who
taught you to be such a smart ass,
                       LEONARD ROSSI
I dont know, my father, I guess.
                       AUNTIE KAREN
Well she moved into the house next
door and three days later she
get's broken into. They take
everything except for her goddamn
dog. It's such a shame and here I
am thinking I may be next.
                       LEONARD ROSSI
That is a shame. Is she alright?
                       AUNTIE KAREN
You never really are alright after
something like that, are you?
                       LEONARD ROSSI
You know you're safe though,
you're protected.
                       AUNTIE KAREN
Protected by who?
                       LEONARD ROSSI
                       AUNTIE KAREN
It's alright, Leo. I understand
you've been busy with your own
life, dont have time to take care
of an old hump like me.
Leonard looks at Auntie Karen and smirks. She smiles at him.


                       LEONARD ROSSI
What? You mean jail? Are you
trying to be smart Auntie Karen?
                       AUNTIE KAREN
Well it's true isnt it?
                       LEONARD ROSSI
Yeah, yeah it's true, Auntie
Karen. I'm not proud of it, I
wanted to tell you I'm going to
wise up and keep my nose clean
from now on. I really mean it this
time. I've had enough wake up
calls to learn that doing the
things that I did doesn't make me
feel any better about anything.
                       AUNTIE KAREN
That's nice, Leonard. It's good
that you're finally realizing what
the hell you were doing. So what
are you going to do now?
                       LEONARD ROSSI
Work. Legitametly I mean.
                       AUNTIE KAREN
                       LEONARD ROSSI
I dont know yet. It aint going to
be easy, but I'll find something,
I dont care.
Look, anything you need, you got
it. If you need help with
anything, groceries, lawn care,
whatever, I'm here now. I'm going
to start taking care of you.
You're all I've got.
Auntie Karen stops.
                       AUNTIE KAREN
I'm not used to this.
                       LEONARD ROSSI
                       AUNTIE KAREN
You're acting like a decent human


Leonard takes a sip of water.
                       LEONARD ROSSI
I love you too.
The casino is packed - a man walks through the crowd in the
slot machine area and to a door that reads; "EMPLOYEES ONLY"
The EMPLOYEE heads into the backroom and sees a woman laying
across a desk table sleeping - and GRONKO cutting a line of
GRONKO looks up at the young employee annoyingly.
There's some cops asking for you.
      (playing with the
Yeah, what do they want?
You better come talk to them.
GRONKO takes a sip from his drink before standing up and
grabbing his jacket.
I hope you're not going to just
stand there with your finger in
your ass.
GRONKO sits at the table patiently - a smug look on his

A DETECTIVE sits across from him writing on a piece of paper
- two police officers behind him.


We goin' do this little routine or
am I free to go?
      (still writing)
You can sit there and wait.
GRONKO turns his head to the door and looks out at the main
offices - he leans forward to see what the DETECTIVE is
You need me to sign something,
Detective? I kind of wanted to try
out this new signature I have.
      (looking at paper)
Mr. Gronko? You're not in any
position to test me. I realize
you're probably used to these
rooms by now, but this time you
better get comfortable.
You've been exploited. We've got
you where you'll stay. You ought
to answer our questions truthfully
or I swear to Christ you'll be
fucked through a paper bag by the
end of the night.
I've been nothing but straight to
you fucking deadbeats, what do you
want from me? There's no evidence
worth of conviction and you know
it. I'm paid up, I'm protected and
you know how the system works in
this city.
Just as simple I could put you
away for life if I wanted to.
- Just as simple I could lay a
bullet in your fucking smirk head.
The DETECTIVE looks back at the two police officers and then
back at GRONKO.


Let's be civil.
We've got layers of posession
chargers. They've added up. Now
this could be a free ride or it
could be a great inconvenience to
you. A four year inconvenience.


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From Jeff Helton Date 11/23/2007 **
I agree with Nick Hanks. If I may advise at this point in your screenwriting to pick up a copy of "The Screenwriters Bible" by David Trottier. I has propelled me into the biz and gotten me several writes, and just as Nick wrote about the dialouge... it is quite jumbled up, you should try and keep your lines to four maximum and replace the "beats" with character directive instead, keeps the reader/actor on the ball.

From Nick Hanks Date 11/1/2007 *
Too many words. The story is hard to follow in the beginning and ultimately lost my interest. Start a scene in the middle of an action so the reader automatically knows what's going on and that will save you having to write every last detail. Your dialogue...people don't talk like that. Make your dialogue more realistic (i.e.) broken sentences, unfinished thoughts, overlapping discussion, etc.. Give your characters idiosycracies and quirks to make them individuals. Spec scripts are only supposed to tell what is said and what happens next. All the imbellishments are added in the final shooting script. After all that, I must say, a noble effort.

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