Hoodlum & Son (2003) - full transcript

In 1933, and mischievous 10-year-old Archie finds himself in the care of his father Charlie, a reluctant gangster indebted to mob boss Benny "The Bomb" Palladino. They flee with a suitcase of stolen money to a Dust Bowl town where they plan to steal the illegal fortune of "Ugly" Jim McCrae. But Charlie changes his priorities when he meets beautiful widow Ellen Heaven. Unfortunately, the Mob has made other plans..

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(MultiCom Jingle)

(bright jazzy music)

(man yelling in distance)

(men talking in distance)

(slow jazzy music)

- [Child] But Daddy let it go.

- [Narrator] If my dad stood
in front of the grand jury,

up on a charge of impersonating a father,

I think they'd throw
the case out the window.

But then again, that's my dad.

- [Woman] Damn you Charlie.



- [Narrator] I think he's
just been misunderstood.

- Well I can't have custody either.

And throwing food at me
ain't gonna change my mind.

He ain't even mine for all I know.

- Oops.

- Don't you tarnish me with that brush.

Of course he's yours.

Look at him, he's a pain
in the butt, ain't he?

Believe me, I have done
my time with him Charlie.

You've kept me hidden away too long

while you went poking
your six gun around town

with your hoodlum buddies.

Oh yeah, you didn't care about my life.

I mean who cares if I lose my career,



my identity, my figure.

Well this is it Charlie, I have had it.

I'm going back to the stage.

I'm leaving you for art.

And this time, I ain't coming back.

- Promise?

(woman grimaces)

- [Narrator] Now, I always
knew my mother didn't want me.

She had dreams to chase,
and I didn't figure in them.

But then you know, I was
never a momma's boy anyways.

And my father, he just needs to discover

the joys of fatherhood.

(phone rings)

- Shut your pie hole and don't move.

And don't touch nothing either.

And don't get too comfortable.

I'm working on getting you outta here.

I thought I told you to
sit down and keep it shut?

Yeah, what?

- Since when do you talk to me like that?

- [Narrator] Now there's only one person

who yanks my dad's chain:
Benny "The Bomb" Palladino.

- Sorry, I was just joking here.

- Charlie you make a lousy
comedian, you know that?

I ain't laughing.

Listen.

(ominous music)

Ain't nobody laughing, so
quit with the monkey business.

I need you to pick up you
know what from you know who.

Times up and I need to collect.

You know where and the when is now.

You know I like you
Charlie, I don't know why,

but I'm giving you this last opportunity

to make up for your little mistake.

I might even give ya
10% since you caught me

in a good mood.

But you don't get this chance twice.

You bring back you know
what, whatever it takes.

Oh and Charlie?

- Yeah boss?

- No more jokes, ya hear?

You know who ain't got my sense of humor.

Huh?

100% legitimate.

Oh, won't have a thing on me.

- We'll get rid of that
young punk Irish hooligan

once and for all.

And put respectable
criminals back on the street.

Just leave it to me.

- Remember Ellis, I want
you know who for murder.

Nothing else.

(pensive music)

- What are you looking at?

- Take me with you, or
I'll phone the cops.

And that's when things
started to go wrong.

My dad was never meant to be gang player,

but he had no choice.

You see, he owed Benny big time.

Benny caught him cheating
with marked cards

at one of his joints years back,

and since then my dad's
been doing Benny favors.

Just to keep himself outta
the hospital, or worse.

This favor was, different.

This favor was suicide.

There was no way McCrae the
Irishman was gonna give up

you know what.

And Benny knew it.

My dad was a sitting duck.

(woman exclaims and laughs)

- All I need is a bit of dough.

Don't need much.

Buy some land with a tree in the middle.

You won't see me for dust.

Wait in the car.

(knocking "Shave and a Haircut")

Trick or treat.

(swanky jazz music)

- Okay Bill, remind the boys not to go in

'til I give the command.

They must wait until I give the command.

Now make sure you tell 'em.

- [Bill] Boys, wait for
the chief to tell ya.

- Yeah yeah.
- Gotcha.

- [Man] Gotcha.

- Two, three.

Five, six.

- Hey Earl, do ya have to do that?

I'm only asking ya to
count out to count out

piles of 10, Earl.

It ain't brain surgery.

- Maybe he needs brain surgery.

- I don't want any trouble

inside the club.

- The only brain surgery you'll see boy,

is when I operate on yours with me fists.

(laughing)

- Why don't you keep monkey
boy here behind bars?

People tend to panic.

And shoot dangerous animals.

- And you should know.

I guess Earl here's not as
dangerous as your muscle.

(men snickering)

- This bell ain't so big either McCrae,

but it sure packs a punch.

- Let's keep this civilized.

Take a seat.

Well I take it you're not here

because you read the good reviews.

- You're right.

It was word of mouth brought me here.

A friend's recommendation.

- Really?

And what did this friend
recommend exactly?

- He recommends you pay
him what you owe him.

- Well, you tell this friend I'll pay him

exactly what his service is worth.

Jack diddly squat.

With bells on.

(men snickering)

Three times in the last month.
(boy coughing)

Three times in the last month,
the cops've shown up here.

Three times.

Now if you think I got
to be where I am today

by giving away hard
earned money for nothing,

then I ain't Ugly Jim McCrae.

I got enough illegal booze on this place

to sink the Titanic twice over.

That's why I pay your
friend all that dough,

to keep the pigs from
sniffing around here.

But now look what happens?

Three times in the last month!

So you can tell your friend,
take his recommendations

and show 'em up his own butt.

- But ask yourself this:

Why should my friend stop his more,

shall we say, legal minded
associates from visiting you

if he ain't even getting
a slice of the pie?

- Your boss ain't gonna be the
boss of bosses much longer.

Yeah right.

The power's moving downtown.

You'll get no money from me.

Now get out.

- I need that money McCrae.

(upbeat jazz music)

I won't leave without it.

(gun locks clicking)

Put the toys away boys.

It doesn't have to be like this.

(balloon popping)

(gunfire popping)

(man exclaims)

- Reload!

(ominous music)

- Get outta here!

- [Narrator] And there's
me thinking he didn't care.

- Move!

(upbeat music)

(gunfire popping)

- Dad I had to pop the balloons

'cause I thought they
were gonna shoot you.

- Shut your pie hole.

- Did you forget to signal chief?

- No.

(phone rings)

- We're closed.

- [Benny] And I'm gonna
be the one to tell you,

you ain't gonna get away with this McCrae.

- Get away with what, exactly?

- You know who this is?

Don't throw any bull at me McCrae.

I ain't no matador.

You ain't gonna draw me into any war

because you bumped off one of my men.

The cops are waiting for ya, outside.

- Well you send 'em in Benny.

Ain't no one been bumped off here.

Not tonight anyway.

Sure, your man was here.

And he got the money too.

10 Gs, a whole week's earnings.

But now you owe me.

I gotta get the decorators
in here to patch up me club.

That's more than a week's bag.

You oughta learn to control
your children, Benny.

Someone might get hurt.

- Charlie!

(ominous music)

(phone ringing)

- Don't answer it.

I need time to hatch a plan.

- Hello?

- What's that stupid voice?

What did somebody strangle ya?

Poison you, what?

No, I'm still breathing.

- Alright take a deep breath.

Tell me how you got you know what?

- Boss, I didn't get it.

There was a hiccup or two.

Things didn't quite go as planned.

- What's going on here?

You got you know what, or what?

- No, he wouldn't give it to me.

But I got a plan.

- This is your last chance Charlie.

You better be telling the truth.

Sit down, don't move.

I'll call you back.

Bring him to me.

- [Man] Come on, let's go.

- Now you see what happens?

You see what you done?

Now I gotta head south,

'cause there's only one way

I'm gonna get myself outta this one.

- But Dad you said that all you need

is once you got the money then--

- All I need is for you
to do what I tell ya

and keep that runaway mouth of yours shut.

Can you do that for once?

As soon as I get my 10% you
ain't gonna see me for dust.

I got no time or
inclination for babysitting.

Sit still.

Phone rings, don't answer it.

You hear me?

(knocking at door)

- [Man] Special delivery.

- No, no, no, no.

Leave him.

(pounding at door)

Open the door.

Come on Charlie.

- What you waiting for
for, written invitation?

- Just break it down.

Come on.

- Dad, wait for me.

I've only got short legs.

(tires pealing)

And that was that.

We were officially on the run.

- Put your gun down.

(country music)

- Me and my dad was together.

And like a good obedient
son, I kept my pie hole shut.

Dad?

Where are we going?

- I thought we had a deal?

You keep that pie hole shut,

I promise not to leave you out here

to converse with the coyotes.

- I'm gonna burst a gasket.

- I'm warning you.

- I need to take a pee.

(breaks squeal)

Dad, I think I just peed in your car.

(peaceful music)

Well the coyotes never got
the pleasure of my company,

'cause before my dad could find 'em,

we arrived in Cheerful, the apple capital,

where happiness grows on trees.

Best kept secret in the south.

Population 242.

Okay, make that 241.

(sad music)

- [Charlie] There's nothing
like a friendly welcome.

- Yeah, and this is nothing
like a friendly welcome.

(bright jazzy music)

Well it ain't no best kept secret.

This town is the capital

of Ugly Jim's bootlegging operation.

So my dad figured that Ugly Jim

would need to pay the
guys making his whiskey.

And that he would be sending the money

through the bank he
runs, here in Cheerful.

My dad's plan was to
steal back the money that,

strictly speaking, ugly Jim owed to Benny,

and strictly speaking,
that ain't even stealing.

At least that was his plan.

And step one was to sit back
and wait for the bank to open.

- Earth to earth, ashes to ashes,

dust to dust, in sure and certain hope

of the resurrection, to eternal life,

to our Lord Jesus Christ,

who shall change the
body of our low estate

that it may be like
unto his glorious body,

according to the mighty working,

whereby he is able to subdue
all things to himself.

Amen.

- [Crowd] Amen.

- Tell me Sheriff, are you
gonna do anything about this?

I don't wanna wake up dead one morning

just because I've stood up for this town.

- Mrs. Heaven, Ellen,

as far as the law's concerned,

this was a terrible tragic accident.

Case closed, God rest his soul.

Now believe me there ain't
nothing we can do about it

except mind our own business.

Keep our heads down and our pens up.

This whole thing'll blow over soon.

I tell ya.

Like a regular tornado.

- Oh yes, and like a tornado

it will destroy everything in its path.

- Ellen, I've been on the
force since I was high enough

to kick a cricket in the ass.

This time next year I'm
gonna hit retirement

with a pension that ain't gonna
feed my dog, if I had one.

Got me a bullet lodged in a place

that's kept me from taking
a wife all these years.

And I ain't looking to add to it.

I ain't no coward Ellen,
but I ain't stupid either.

Like I said, it's gonna roll over.

I wanna be here when the dust clears.

- Yes, and when it does, I just hope

there's something left to see.

The Lord may be your shepherd,

but it doesn't mean you
have to stand around

like a dumb sheep.

- Gillis, why don't you herd
the boys on over to the bar?

Take the afternoon off out
of respect for the departed.

(men laughing)

- [Man] Respect for the departed.

(tense music)

- [Man] You got that right.

- I won't be long.

Stay in the car, keep outta trouble.

We don't wanna attract attention.

Hello?

- Well hello stranger.

(playful music)

Ain't ya gonna introduce yourself?

Well I take it you ain't wearing that mask

'cause you're shy boy.

So tell me, what can a phonable girl

left all on her lonesone do for
a big powerful man like you?

- She can open the safe.

This boss is what you think it is.

- Oh, how predictable honey.

You men are all the same.

You only want one thing,
and sadly it's money.

- Gimme 10 grand.

No more, no less.

- Ain't no one in this
town got any money honey.

Not 'til Friday when they get paid.

- I ain't interested in their money.

What about the McCrae account?

- Oh you're outta luck sugar.

There won't be any dough in
that account for another week.

Looks like you got yourself all excited

and arrived too soon.

- A week?

That ain't possible.

You musta made a mistake lady.

- Oh honey, the only mistake I made

was coming to this dirt bowl
town in the first place.

Apparently someone stole
the money up in the city

before they could wire it.

Can you imagine what sort of person

would do a crazy thing like that?

- Don't you got insurance?

- Only insurance this bank's
got is the owner's name,

Jim McCrae.

Ain't no one ever had
the chutzpah to rob it.

That makes you, kinda special.

Except of course, you failed
to rise to the occasion.

- [Narrator] So we had to
stick around until pay day.

Without attracting any attention.

(playful music)

(grunts)

(car horn blows)

- Fill her up.

(gentle music)

(pensive music)

- [Man] There's no peace now.

(men laughing)

- What can I get ya sir?

I can really recommend Big Lucy's juices.

- [Charlie] Whiskey.

- (scoffs) Where you been hiding Mister?

Even out here we still
got the prohibition.

I can't serve you no liquor.

But I do have plenty of juice.

Scotch juice, Iris juice,
Canadian. (laughing)

I had to make sure you ain't
a federal marshal in disguise.

Single or double?

- Gimme both.

- [Barkeep] You sure must be thirsty.

- Yeah if I knew I was
gonna be this thirsty today

I would've drunk more last night.

- Well, welcome to Cheerful,

best kept secret in the Midwest.

- Your secret's safe with me.

- I ain't seen ya around here before.

You from the city Mister?

- Who they burying out there?

(ominous music)

- Schoolteacher.

Had an accident, kinda.

Strange you should be
heading away from the city,

when most our menfolk run
up there looking for work.

- Let me ask you, you give credit?

- Well that depends, what for?

- What's your business here boy?

We don't like no strangers
snooping around our town,

looking us up and down

like we all got two heads and 10 toes.

- I got no interest in looking
you up down, side to side,

or any other ways for that matter.

Now I don't mean to be rude,

but I'm trying to read
your fine newspaper here.

- Fool, you think you're smart, boy?

Well let me tell you something.

Reading don't count for nothing out here.

It certainly ain't taught you
how to avoid a hidin' none.

Johnny, pass me that there baseball bat.

I'm gonna thwack this guy's head

back to the Wrigley stadium.

- Now hold on now boys.

Let's talk this through.

- Shut your big fat mouth Lucy.

- Okay, okay.

Drop the Babe Ruth routine,

and I'll pitch you the news you want.

Fellas, I'm here to do a job.

I'm your new schoolteacher.

- You there freeze, police.

This yours?

- I thought I told you stay outta trouble?

- Looks like I caught me a
thieving little musketeer.

What do ya say baby face?

Speak up sonny.

- Name's not baby face.

I ain't your sonny.

Have you escaped from somewhere?

- I don't know how you sleep at night.

- [Charlie] Let's hope you're
never there to find out.

- You should be ashamed of yourself,

guzzling bathtub booze in bar

while this poor child
runs right on the street.

- Huh, that's my idea of education.

(men laughing)

- Your son is a thief Mister.

He robbed my store.

And I wanna know what
you're gonna do about it.

I want justice.

And compensation and, justice.

- It wasn't me Dad.

- Then whose hand's
inside that jar Einstein?

- Circumvented evidence Dad.

You'll never make it stick.

- He should be in school, learning.

- Let's not be too hasty.

- Yeah, I'm attending the school of life.

- Mrs. Heaven's right.

Baby face here needs discipline.

Young fella needs schooling
what's good and correct.

Tell you what I'll do.

I'll make a deal with ya.

I'll let this instant pass,

you guarantee me the boy's
in school all day, every day,

while you're in town.

- Well we ain't staying
in town Dad, are we?

- I don't suppose you could
lock him up, could ya Sheriff?

- [Sheriff] No can do.

Fella's too small.

Slip through the bars.

- You owe me $3 for the jar.

Don't leave town before you pay me.

- I wouldn't stay too
long around here neither.

T'aint healthy.

(thoughtful music)

- [Charlie] Here.

- What's that for?

- It's root beer for you.

I thought you might be thirsty.

- You mean you wanna shut me up again.

- Go on, take it.

Arch, son,

I know it's hard for you
moving from place to place.

- I ain't complaining.

- You mean you're not complaining,

you see you need schooling.

- Well I ain't going.

- You mean you're not going.

- Good, I'm glad we agree.

I'm not going.

- Alright you little brat,
I'll make it perfectly clear.

You got me in enough trouble
already and that stops now.

I'm bigger and meaner than you are

so I'm telling you straight,
you're going to school.

No debate.

- You can lead a horse to water,

but you can't make him drink.

- No but you can whip him
'til he gets the idea.

Son, if I gotta go, you gotta go.

Yeah, that's right.

I'm the new teacher.

So we got not choice.

- You mean, we have no choice?

- Yeah, that's right.

Look how you're improving already.

You give credit?

- Nuh uh.

(country music)

(boy gasps)

- What time do ya call this?

- We didn't learn the time yet.

- Alright big guy, take a seat.

Alright kids, this is the deal.

I know you don't wanna be here,

and believe me, I wanna be here even less.

Now, I can make our time here very easy

or I can make it very tough.

The choice is yours.

Any questions?

Good.

So, open your books and carry
on from where you stopped

and keep it quiet.

And remember, learning should be fun.

- No thanks.

Not while I'm on duty.

You think McCrae kept the money?

I mean it don't seem like
Charlie to make off with it.

He don't seem that switched on.

- Maybe, maybe Jim McCrae's bluffing.

But Charlie ain't here to defend himself.

He's gone underground.

He left me with a rumpus on my hands.

- McCrae ain't impressed
that you set him up.

Now he's dangerous.

I say we take him out, plain and simple.

Get rid of the doofus once and for all.

- You know it hurts me to say it chief,

but those days are over.

Ain't about the badabang anymore.

I gotta move with the times.

The times going legit.

Big business now.

Gotta wipe my noses clean.

- Hey, you're a real
progressive criminal Benny.

(suspenseful music)

- Alright, let's go.

You show 'em who's boss.

- You're late McCrae.

- Oh pardon me, and who are you?

Me old schoolteacher?

- Knock it off.

How's the decorating going kid?

- Expensive.

Better be calling in a few debts,

maybe bring a few of
your people into light

if you catch me drift.

- You ain't gonna drift nowhere.

You still owe me and don't you forget it.

- Oh I owe you alright.

You set me up.

- I set you up?

You set me up.

I set you up.

Tennis game.

The guy with the most
strings on his racket wins.

And it ain't gonna be you.

- Well, maybe I got an ace up my sleeve.

- (laughs) Ain't you kinda
mixing your metaphors, kid?

Don't join the game
unless you can compete.

So I'm gonna, well I'll make you a deal.

I'll help you stay out of jail

if you just forget this whole
episode we're standing in.

You can keep the booze business.

Word is the Roosevelts are
gonna repeal prohibition

around Christmas time anyhow.

So, then you'll be legit.

Just don't start any other businesses.

Alright?

Now, the ball is in your court.

But believe me, you better
not get it back over here.

- What's wrong old man?

You lost your edge?

You scared of a fight?

- This ain't no schoolyard scuffle kid.

This is the big league.

You're just a small punk
who's been lucky up until now.

But your luck is running out.

- I can afford to make
me own luck now chief.

See, I'm branching out.

I got gambling, loan
sharking, you name it,

I'm getting a piece of it.

It'll bring in the big dough
if and when booze goes legit.

Plus, I get the respect of me people.

My men don't steal from me, Palladino.

- If you don't do as I say,

I'm gonna flush you down the drain.

- I'm getting a little too big
to be flushed out no drain.

- You'll get as big as I allow.

Potato eating fancy pants.

- Advantage McCrae.

(whistles)

- Galloping cahonies, what
the hell's going on here?

- You shouldn't sneak up on
a man like that, Sheriff.

- When I heard we had a new
teacher, I never figured on you.

I know I told you to make sure

baby face here stays in school,

but I'd say this is going a bit far.

(kids snickering)

- Okay, where were we?

Mathematics.

(kids groaning)

Any objections?

So, gimme the answer straight.

Okay, let's make it easier.

Imagine this scenario:
this guy enters a bar okay?

There's 15 guys from a rival outfit,

all mooching around, looking at 'em funny,

like there's something
going down, you know.

This is well connected guy,

not someone to back down
from a confrontation.

So, ratatatatatatatata.

A situation develops.

He knocks off 11, they whack him,

how many guys are left
standing when the cops show up?

Yeah you, big guy.

- How come they wait around
for the cops to show up?

(kids laughing)

- I don't know.

These guys ain't so smart.

Now let me show ya how I learnt.

Boom.

Boom.

Whack.

Whack.

Arch, lift up that card,
show it to the class.

- [Class] Baby face.

- How much is this card worth?

Lift it up.

Arch, I know you know.

- 10.

- Right.

A king is worth 10.

So 10 plus?

- One.

- Thank you Sheriff.

10 plus one equals?

- [All] 11.

- Plus.

- [All] Four.

- Equals?

- [All] 15.

- Right.

So how do we take away 11 from 15?

- Take away the king and the ace sir.

- Right!

Take away the king and the ace.

And what does that leave us with?

- Four!
- Four!

- It's a cinch.

See?

- Were you the man in the bar sir?

- Are you really a low
down, dirty gangster sir,

like people say?

- Will you teach us to shoot sir?

(kids all calling out at once)

- (laughs) Whoa, whoa.

- [Arch] My dad's first day in school.

(kids cheering)

- And they say he's very good looking.

- Anything else for you Greta?

- No.

Listen, is it okay if I settle
at the end of the month?

Merve hasn't sent any money this week.

- You break it you buy it.

Yeah, that's fine Greta.

You just give it to me when you have it.

- Oh thank you Ellen,
you're an angel of mercy.

I'll see you soon.

Goodbye.

- You sure got a relaxed way
of doing business around here.

- What do you want?

Want to steal some more candy?

- Friendly too.

How much you give me for this?

I need some fast cash.

- Is it real?

- Got more carats than rabbit's poop.

(girl snickering)

- It it yours?

- Sure.

But I ain't got much use for it now.

(gentle music)

- [Ellen] And what does
your wife think about that?

- She's in show business.

We're hoping for a divorce.

- I'll give ya $20 for it, no more.

You give me $25 at the end of the week,

or I sell it off.

What's your name?

- Charlie.

And yours?

(door clicks open)
(door bell dings)

My, that's a beautiful name,

so simple and understated.

Matches your personality to a T.

(playful music)

That's only $17 lady.

- I took out the $3
you owe me for the jar.

- It's been a real pleasure
doing business with ya.

Hey.

(playful music)

- Boss, it's Charlie.

Just wanted you to know

I'm working on getting you the money.

Might take about a week but I'll get it.

I got a job here as my disguise.

- Where is here Charlie?

Where are ya?

- Gimme some time Benny, please.

I'll get ya the money.

- Don't use that word.

Somebody might be listening.

I know you got you know what.

Don't lie to me Charlie,
'cause I'll find you.

- I'm not lying to ya boss.

I'm gonna steal back the money.

- No matter how many times I told that kid

not to mention you know what on the phone,

- [Woman] Hello, operator.

- Oh hello operator, yeah.

You just put a call through here.

Can you tell me where it came from?

- [Operator] I'm sorry
sir, I can't do that.

- Oh I think you can tell me.

Do you know who I am?

- [Operator] Oh, sorry sir.

- You do, uh huh.

- [Operator] The call
was made from Cheerful.

- Perfect.

- [Operator] Thank you.

- Thanks.

(ominous music)

Alright, now you listen to me real good.

I want you to send you
know who, you know what.

Down to his bank, you know where.

All of it.

If I can't put him in jail,

maybe I can put him outta business.

But he can't suspect me, you get it?

Alright.

Tell him ya have it for safe keeping.

In case there's a war here.

- Do this and I'll get ya a
legit job in the treasury.

Mess it up, and I'll make
sure you go down with McCrae.

- That's good chief, that's good, yeah.

Let him go.

- It's not even funny.

Not only am I made to go to school,

I have to live here too.

Can't we go to a hotel?

I really don't buy this out
of sight, out of mind baloney.

(knocking at door)

- Why don't you get in the cupboard.

- Why?
- Just do as I say.

It's more of that baloney stuff.

(frightening music)

(swanky music)

- Hi!

I thought I'd welcome you
to our little community.

As I'm sure no one else has.

I'm Alabama.

I run the juice business in town.

- I'm the new schoolteacher.

- I guessed that honey.

Don't ya have a name?

- Sure I do.

Charlie.

Pleased to meet you.

- Well Charlie, pleased to meet ya.

Let's say I come in and
let you pop my cork.

It's French of course.

None of this bathtub bubbly

that people are drinking these days.

I have a taste for the exotic.

Don't you?

- Umm!

- This is quite a place you got here.

- Yeah.

- I like what you've done with it.

Makes me feel young.

Tell me Charlie,

why do I feel like we've met before?

- I don't know I must have
one of those familiar faces.

- I think it's your eyes Charlie.

They're kinda special.

(cork pops)

- Don't shoot my dad!

- This is my son, Archie.

Arch, say hello to Ms. Alabama.

- Save it for another time kid.

I only brought enough for two.

Three's crowding my style.

I'll see ya around.

Good luck sweetie.

(knocking at door)

- Virginia, what are you
doing here this time of night?

- My mom sent over some
chicken pie for Archie.

But she said you mustn't have any.

She doesn't know I brought
you my history homework sir.

I think I've captured
all the relevant points

in Capone's career.

- Yeah, well I'm sure you have.

Couldn't this wait 'til tomorrow?

- I won't be in school tomorrow sir,

on account of my mother

refusing to let her precious daughter

be taught by a back alley hoodlum, sir.

- Yeah.

Well I'm sorry your mom feels that way.

- Me too.

Still, it's a grown ups thing.

- Yeah.

- I forgot.

Would you tell Archie I said hello?

(cupboard bangs closed)
- You can tell him yourself.

He's in the closet playing hard to get.

- Men.

(upbeat swing music)

- But I can't stand it here Jim.

This place is choking me.

There's no laugh here, I can't breathe.

Honey I'm fading away
like the damn wallpaper.

- Will ya knock it off?

You're slowing the decorators down.

They're painting the same
piece of wall 10 times over.

It's costing me a fortune.

(sighs)

Are you still there Bama baby?

- Yes I am, unfortunately.

Why did I ever agree to come down here?

- Oh baby,

Jimsy whimsy needs someone
down there he can trust.

Someone he knows loves him.

The accountant don't love me baby,

which ain't a bad thing,
'cause he ain't me type.

I'll make it up to ya, I promise.

- You won't be able to afford
me much longer if people

keep trying to rob you.

- Eh?
(ominous music)

- Some guy walks in here
today and demands 10 grand.

Pretty specific, wouldn't ya say?

- Yeah, I'd say.

Pretty specific.

(bright jazz music)
- Cheer up Arch.

I heard one of the older boys say

they got a phonograph of a real nude lady.

With no clothes on and all.

- Really?

How'd they get that?

Alright here it goes.

- [Blonde] Do another one, for me.

- Can't.

I used up all the film.

- Well, we'll just have to share.

One of them's gotta be a winner.

- Ma'am, ma'am.

- Sorry.
- I'm gonna have to ask you

to wait.
- No, I need to speak

to Alabama right now.

- I'm afraid she's.

- Right here.

- Busy right now.

- What can I do for you dear?

Need a loan to brighten up your wardrobe?

- We've let you bully us
about the loan repayments.

And we've let you bully
us into closing our eyes

to your bootlegging.

Listen lady, if you think
we're gonna allow you

to bully us into hiring
some hoodlum employee

to teach our children, I mean
you got a fight on your hands.

- Oh, I admire your spirit dear.

Even if you are howling at the wrong moon.

This new teacher's got
nothing to do with us.

I thought you people had hired him.

- You think that we would
hire someone like that?

- I guess not.

That would be far too exciting

for a very ordinary little town.

Still, I wish he did have
something to do with us.

He's kinda good looking, wouldn't ya say?

- I--
- But then

if you think he's cute,

maybe I should reconsider.

- Reconsider what?

And if you didn't hire
him, then who is he?

- I don't know honey.

But I could use a man with his, qualities.

(thoughtful music)

- Go on Jimmy.

Your turn.

- I spy with my little eye,
something beginning with,

um, snake.

Darn, I'm dumber than a chocolate teapot.

- You ain't dumb Jim, you're
probably smart in other areas.

- What other areas do ya think?

- Try Florida.

(bell dings)

- [Kids] If Peter Piper picked
a peck of pickled peppers,

how many--

- Alright you two, outside.

Quick.

(kids laughing)

- [Ellen] Please ignore him children.

- Ah, there you are.

Just in time for the next lesson.

I need a third volunteer
to join Big Man and Archie.

- I'll do it Mr. Hoodlum.

- Virginia!

- Thanks Virginia.

So class, imagine,

Virginia is the sun,
the center of our world.

Arch, Arch you can be the Earth.

You revolve around Virginia.

(kids gigging)

- Everybody inside.

Mr. Ellroy is, no longer your teacher.

- And Jimmy Muldoon, you're the moon.

You travel in Archie's orbit.

- Am I made of cheese sir?

(kids laughing)
- Of course.

Everybody knows small boys
are made outta cheese.

(laughing)

So Virginia, you stay still.

Arch, you run around Virginia.

Off you go.

Good.

So that's how the Earth
revolves around the sun,

once every year.

Jimmy, you run around Archie,

you're the moon's orbit of the Earth.

(kids laughing)

Run.

It's sorta like that.

- Everybody let's go inside
and draw what we've just learnt

about different worlds colliding.

- I think Jimmy's gonna wet himself Dad.

- Jimmy do you have
somewhere you need to go?

- Yes Miss.

- I'm taking over.

(playful music)

(exclaims)

- Big Man, I need you
to help get my job back.

Are you in?

- Yeah.

- Miss Miss, he almost got me Miss.

- Calm down Jim, what's wrong?

(gasps) Get that thing out of here.

- Mister Charlie saved my life Miss.

It was attacking me.

- This thing children, is a coral snake.

It spends most of its life underground.

Sorta the boss of the reptile underworld.

- Well, then why don't you
take it back there now.

- You don't wanna mess with this fella.

He's well connected in the cobra family.

He's a deadly, deadly hitman.

One bite and zap.

(startling tone)

Your mother's buying a black cat.

- Can't we keep him?

- Absolutely not.

(kids groaning)

- What does he eat sir?

- Other snakes mostly.

Some small lizards and rodents maybe.

(whimpering and sobs)

Hey, hey, come on.

(kids snickering)

What's wrong?

Big things eat little things all the time.

- You've put the snake in
with the school's pet mouse.

Children, we've learned a very
important lesson here today.

You do not put a cold
blooded venomous predator

in the same room as innocent
little creatures, do we?

- But, if we're lucky kids,

maybe this snake will shed his old skin.

- He can shed as many skins as he likes.

He will always be a snake.

Can I see you outside please, Mr. Ellroy?

(kids whistling)

Open your books and
read from the beginning.

(kids laughing)

- Am I in trouble Miss?

- (sighs) This is no laughing matter.

I know you're not a teacher, Mr. Ellroy.

- I may not have the
right qualifications, but.

- You are a bully and a fraud.

- Oh, so I am qualified.

- No, you're fired.

You're not even fired

because you didn't work
here in the first place.

What are you doing here anyway?

(gentle music)

- I'm only trying to
make some money Ellen.

I'm no hoodlum, I'm just
broke like everybody else.

I need this job.

Come on Ellen, gimme a chance.

I only taught the kids
what they wanted to know.

- What they want to know
and what they should know

are two different things.

How can I give you a chance?

You may not be a common hoodlum,

but your sense of right and wrong

is as clear as a dust storm.

Your choice of female caller
leaves something to be desired.

I take it you'll be moving on.

- That depends.

- On what?

- On whether I tell you
what you really wanna know

and what you think you should know.

- I know I have a class to teach.

(tense music)

(phone rings)

- Morning fellas, ain't it a fine day?

- No it ain't, smart boy.

You been pulling the wool over our eyes.

We know that you ain't no teacher.

So we's wondering why on
Earth you're still here.

If I see you here again,
and you're still in town,

I'm gonna dig your grave
myself and dance on it

'til my feet are sore.

(sad music)

- Right, who can give me an
example of an invertebrate?

- Yes, Jimmy.

- My father Miss.

(children laughing)

- Are you sure?

Think about it.

- Yes Miss, I'm sure Miss.

My momma says he ain't
providing for the family.

Like what a real man should.

So he ain't got no backbone Miss.

- Okay boys, take a
break, get some coffee.

Back in five.

(ominous music)

(bell rings)

- Wait a minute, we're not done yet.

That's not the school
bell, that's the bank.

- Get, go on and move.

- What are you looking at?

Get in the car cousin,

'fore we gotta shot some of these people.

(engine sputters)

Come on.

Let's get outta here
'fore the law shows up.

- [Driver] I'm trying
cousin, she don't wanna go.

- [Passenger] Too late.

- I ain't going back to the jail, Arnold.

- Uh uh no Dwayne.

No because.
- I need my privacy.

- I know Dwayne, I know.

- Looks like you boys flooded the engine.

- Get outta here Mister.

Or I'll shoot you down like a duck.

- He means dog, not duck.

Ain't no one asking you to be a hero.

- I got the point you're making fellas.

- Now you tell them to back
off or my cousin and me's

gonna start blasting away.

(tense music)

- These people worked hard
for that money you got there.

And I betcha none of them got insurance.

They're never gonna strike up the band

just to wave you goodbye now are they?

So either you do something
stupid and get filled up

with a buncha holes or you do what I say.

No one gets hurt, no one goes to jail.

You seem like intelligent
men, so gimme the money,

I'll make sure you get outta here alive.

- What's going on over there Charlie?

- It's okay Sheriff, let 'em go.

I got the money.

- Are you sure?

- Trust me.

- What's to say we're gonna get hit?

I bet that sheriff don't
shoot too straight.

Chances are Dwayne and
me's gonna get outta here

without no holes in us.

- [Charlie] And there's
always the chance you won't.

Are you willing to take it?

I'll tell you what.

Why don't we let fate decide.

I guess the card you pick,
you give me the money,

get outta town alive.

I guess it wrong, you take your chances.

13 to one in your favor.

- Well that sounds fair Arnold.

- Seven, your lucky number.

- Well how'd he do that?

- [Charlie] You fellas
promise me you'll be good.

Now have a nice day.

(kids cheering)

- I'll take those.

Now if I were you, I'd get outta town too.

There are people looking for you

and you know what these
small towns are like.

People just couldn't seem
to keep you a secret.

- [Archie] Now, my dad wouldn't
have been the town hero

if the engine hadn't flooded.

And the town would've
been a lot poorer too.

But I guess that woke my
dad up to a few things.

He realized that his actions

affect everyone else around him.

And made it kinda hard to stick around.

- You scared me to death.

I thought you were staying at Jimmy's.

(sad music)

Archie, it's for the best.

I stay here I'm just gonna
make a whole mess of things.

And everywhere I go the
mess is gonna follow.

I can't let any more people down, son.

You'll understand that one day.

I'm doing it for your own good.

You settling in here, you're doing well.

You've made some friends.

- It must be my magnetic personality.

- I love you son.

Stay outta trouble.

(engine sputters)

I shoulda known the cowboys always win.

(clapping)

- [Archie] So my dad was sticking around

to fulfill his responsibilities.

And first up was chaperone duty.

I told him that it was theme night

and the whole town was dressing up

for the traveling cowboy movie.

I even arranged the
best seats in the house.

(happy piano box music)

(group chuckling)

- I think we've been set up.

- Chaperones, right?

- Right.
- Shh!

- At least I'm not the only
one dressed for the occasion.

(kids snickering)

(dramatic music)

- [Archie] Don't even think about it.

- He's a bright boy.

- Yeah, too bright for me sometimes.

Ellen, there's something
I need to tell ya.

- No, no no, I need to apologize

for jumping to conclusions about you.

I should've given you
the benefit of the doubt.

What you were saying
to me about the snake,

you were trying to tell
me that you're changed.

- It's no big deal.

I was just trying to
teach a kid something.

Besides, I had a few lessons
of my own to learn first.

And I have changed Ellen.

- It might've seemed harsh, Charlie,

but I can't respect law breakers.

- Oh, that's okay.

- I'm not apologizing for it.

Nobody should.

You see my husband...

- You're married?

- I was.

For three years.

You see my husband robbed gas
stations to pay off his debts.

And I didn't find out until one day

he ran out of a gas
station and into a train.

All they found was one gold tooth.

Which is all he left me.

And it just broke my heart Charlie.

Not because I loved him
or because we were poor,

but because I just had no choice

but to turn myself into cold stone.

And I had to think about Virginia

and stop thinking about Ellen.

Then you showed up.

And I started to think about Ellen again.

And it just doesn't feel right.

- Dad!

(tense dramatic music)

- Hey Charlie, I can see you hiding.

I see your feathers.

Now quit fooling around.

I got business with ya.

- [Charlie] Hello Benny.

I gotta tell ya, your
timing is impeccable.

- Peach of a disguise.

You stand out a mile.

Now get in here.

Hey Charlie, pay attention here.

You got no time for that now.

- Benny, I give up.

I don't have your money, I
can't get your money, I quit.

So just, do what you gotta do

and let me get on with my life.

- Charlie, don't be so dramatic.

If I were gonna hurt ya,
you'd be hurt already.

That ain't no invitation to quit though.

You still owe me.

- Benny please, let me get a job,

let me pay you off.

- I ain't no money lender
Charlie, I ain't no bank.

And that brings me to our business here.

Jim McCrae's holding all of his cash

here in the bank in Cheerful.

I mean everything, I had it arranged.

So, raid the bank and he's broke.

- I'm not used to you Benny,

I'm a lousy bank robber, believe me.

But I'd like to wish you a lotta luck.

- Now they know your face in this town.

You see if we was to go to the bank,

we wouldn't get within 20 yards
of those goons at the door.

It'd be a mess.

But with you leading us in,

we go in, we go out,
nobody knows we was there.

- And if I refuse?

- Well this means a lot to me Charlie.

I mean if you refuse, I'd say
your future ain't very bright.

Or your lady friend's.

(ominous music)

(bright jazz music)

- Honey!

What a surprise.

I was just counting out the money honey.

Just to make sure it's all here.

- I think you should keep these safe too.

- Gillis, would you show
four eyes to the safe?

So, now that we're alone,

tell me, what's been going on here?

- What do you mean honey?

- I mean, Bama baby,

what's new in Cheerful?

(giggling)

- Name?

- Smith, Billy D.

- You pay up front.

- [Charlie] Well I hope your
date went better than mine.

- Dad, Dad.

There's something I've
been hiding from you.

It's from the Irish club.

It fell off a table into my suitcase.

- [Charlie] Get outta here.

- I spent a few dollars
printing out my photographs.

And a little bit on candy.

(tense dramatic music)

- Why didn't you tell me about this?

- You said, as soon as you got the money,

I wouldn't see you for dust.

- Well I say a lotta things, okay?

Arch, this is gonna get us off the hook.

I won't be long.

Stay here, don't answer the door.

Trust me.

- This time I had to trust him.

(exclaims)

Damn, my camera.

Photographs!

Oy.

(ominous music)

- Mr. Ellroy, Mr. Ellroy, wait.

My mom wants to see you Charlie.

It's urgent.

She needs to speak to you.

Now.

(thoughtful music)

- Tell me what's going on.

- I owe money to Benny Palladino.

It's a long story, but the only way

I can get outta robbing
your bank here tomorrow

is if I pay him off the money I owe.

And here it is.

Believe me Ellen, I'm out.

- Think again Charlie.

But before you think
about putting up a fight

it's only fair I tell ya,

my man Earl has taken your boy hostage.

- You lay a finger on my son, McCrae,

I swear I'll tear you apart.

(suspenseful music)

(startling tone)

(yelling)

- Come here kid.

Hey, hey, get back here.

I got ya.

- I wanna thank ya for looking
after me money Charlie.

You done me a big favor.

No, really.

You see, when me trusted
accountant persuaded me

to send all me money
in me accounting books

down here for safe keeping,
I got kinda suspicious.

What with yourself in town and all.

Oh yeah.

Tongues have been wagging.

So, I figure you and Benny
Palladino had a plan.

But you didn't figure
on me figuring it out.

Which is why I figure you're
so surprised to see me.

- Congratulations McCrae.

You shoulda been a detective.

Let's say we go over to the saloon,

we have a couple of drinks, we celebrate.

And you can bring my son along.

- Stay calm boyo, no need to be hasty.

I'll celebrate tomorrow when you and Benny

walk out of me bank with my money.

Maybe you should go on over
there tonight and celebrate.

I don't think you'll
have much time tomorrow.

Let's keep this between these four walls.

I'd hate to spoil the surprise.

Your son'd be so disappointed.

- It's gonna be some party.

(twinkling)

- [Charlie] Lock the door behind me.

- You can yell all you like fella.

- Let get of me.

(man grunts)

Thanks Little Jim.

- Can't stay away, huh?

- I got something I wanna show ya.

- Now honey, you're talking
my kind of business.

(jazzy music)

Remember boys, you pull this
off and I'll make you rich.

- But what happens if we
gets caught Miss Alabama.

- Caught for what, stealing newspaper?

Caught with my pants down.

- Um hmm.

- What do you want?

- I hope you ain't been telling anybody

any bedtime stories Charlie boy.

- Just checking things out.

For tomorrow.

- I'd like you to sleep with us tonight.

I don't want ya sleep walking
and mumbling about the place.

- Virginia, I want you to help me

get all the women in the town together.

We'll meet here.

And tell them to bring
their men folks' clothes.

- Has anyone seen my dad?

- (gasps) Archie!

Archie.

(school bell dings)

- Gees, Charlie, you look
like a million dollars.

All green and crinkly.

- Oh, I ain't slept a wink all night.

Can I get a juice?

- Scotch, Irish, Canadian?

- (sighs) Apple.

- Hell, Charlie, what you trying to do,

put this town outta business?

I can't remember the last time

anyone had some of Big Lucy's juice.

You fellas want some breakfast?

It's on your bill.

- Well thank you for your honesty lady,

but we can't stop for
breakfast, gotta get going.

You can take it off the bill though.

Ready?

- As I'll ever be.

(tense music)

- Come on Archie, let's
go get the Sheriff.

- Morning fellas.

Meet my father and my brothers.

They're in town visiting.

So I'm showing them the sights.

- Turn it over.

It's only money.

Don't get hurt.

- But, but, but we don't
have any money here sir.

It's all gone, it just
disappeared into the cosmos.

- Cosmos, my butt, open up.

I'll show you why they call me The Bomb.

- He's telling the truth
Benny, there's no money here.

Alright, he's a bit
misguided about the cosmos,

but I figure he's just
clutching his trunks.

- Don't cross me Charlie.

I got a short fuse today.

Alright, everybody down.

Gonna be a bust.

- It's gone awful quiet in there.

(explosion booms)

- Alright, there's nobody
here, now we gotta be quick.

- What's going on in there?

I told Alabama to make it easy for 'em.

- Ah.

Alright, I give up.

Where is it?

- It's probably halfway to Mexico by now.

- Why do you always
gotta mess everything up?

- Don't worry Benny, McCrae
won't see any of that dough.

He's broke.

You can give him the good news in person.

He's waiting for us outside.

- Where?

You yanking my chain Charlie?

(sighs)

- Boss, did ya find the boy?

- Looks like they turned tables on us.

- And I say we turn 'em back over again.

- [Benny] Good idea.

(rapid gunfire popping)

(bullets pinging)

- Alright boys, tit for tat.

Let him know we're here.

(rapid gunfire popping)

(laughing)

- Save your bullets,
save your bullets lads.

- Stay here Benny, I'm
gonna sort this mess out.

- [Benny] What are ya, nuts?

Benny Palladino don't surrender to nobody.

Especially that apple polishing putz.

- Wait, not yet.

- Put your guns down fellas.

It's all over.

- That's what you might think.

But, my gut says different.

- The money's gone McCrae.

Release my son and justice'll be merciful,

I guarantee you that.

- What's he praying at?

I thought you said the boy escaped.

Come on out Benny.

The game is up.

We can discuss the terms
of your retirement.

- There were other parts
to the picture McCrae,

money and your girlfriend.

I got 10 grand that says if you find one,

you'll find the other.

You don't believe me, come take a look.

- I told ya, my people don't
steal from me Palladino.

- It's true McCrae, she set
up a bank robbery as a decoy.

But I messed up her plans.

We made a deal last night.

- My Alabama wouldn't do that.

Would ya sweet pea?

(ominous thudding)

(jazzy music)

- I'm keeping your books in a safe place.

But I'll turn 'em straight to the tax man

if you don't do as I say.

He's gonna be very interested
in your undeclared earnings.

- Alright, alright, alright.

Look, I tell ya what,

tell me where the books are

and when I have 'em in me hand then,

I'll give you the boy.

- I'm the one making
the deals here McCrae.

Show me my son first.

- You're painting me in
a very tight corner here.

There's only one way to get outta this.

Let 'em have it boys.

(gunshots popping)

- Who the dizzy heck is shooting at who?

- Keep 'em pinned down people.

- Hold your fire.

Ease off on 'em triggers boys.

- Hey, back off, you might get hurt

ya senile old halfwit.

- You hold your tongue there boy.

I had me enough of your
monkey shines and shenanigans.

I fixed up a posse,
got you all surrounded.

(laughing)

- Alright, I forgot,

the police force in this town's invisible.

Yeah, there's gotta be hundreds of 'em,

maybe even thousands.

- What you hollering about
you great googly moogly?

Don't believe me, huh?

(gun locks clicking)

- [Charlie] Who are these guys?

- Who cares.

You gimme the books, you're off the hook.

- Hey, that guy's wearing my hat.

Hey!
- Hey!

- That's my hat.

Nobody wears my hat.

- Your hat needs fumigating.

And your suit smells too.

- Dad!

- I mighta guessed this had
something to do with you.

(laughing)

- That's a game, set
and match to me, McCrae.

- Yeah, well you fought dirty Palladino.

- I did what I gotta do.

I'm on the doorstep of public office.

I'm gonna make history happen.

And you McCrae, are already a part of it.

- I'll bounce back.

- I got the books.

The only bouncing you're gonna be doing

is around the walls of your jail cell.

(laughing)

Alright boys, move out.

- Here you go.

(gentle music)

I hope you haven't come to
buy your wedding ring back.

I sold it.

- Naw.

I just came to get some root beer.

It's the one thing that keeps
Archie quiet on long journeys.

- I found these at the school.

You a gambling man?

- I was.

- Well, what do ya say you pick a card.

Higher than a six, you leave.

You get a six or lower, you stick around.

- Guess this is it then, huh Dad?

- I'm sorry, son.

We gotta stick around here a while.

- [Archie] Race ya home!

(bright jazz music)

(engine sputters)

Now, if I'm ever found
guilty of being a good son,

I'd hold up my hands and
blame it all on my dad.