Hustling (1975) - full transcript

Based on Gail Sheehy's book, this film chronicles how a reporter for a New York City magazine decided to investigate the city's prostitution industry to find out just who was making all the money. What she found out caused a firestorm of controversy--that many of the city's richest and most powerful families and corporations benefited directly and indirectly from the illegal sex business.

[instrumental music]

[music continues]

[music continues]

police radio chatter]

[car honks]

[car honks]

[indistinct chatter]

Would you look at that?

'Right out in the open.'

They don't even try to hide
it anymore.

I tell you what's happening
to this city.

You can't even walk the streets
anymore without being--

The way they stand there,
brazen as can be.

Nowadays, you can'’t go
the blocks from the office

to Grand Central without
getting a dozen propositions.

They're not cheap either.

What do you mean, not cheap?
How much?

Do you wanna find out?

Ooh, can you?

Of course.

[vehicle honks]

So, how much?

Twenty and ten.

You mean $30?

If you don't wanna buy it,
get lost.

[male #1]
'$30? The ladies
on the bus are gonna'

love that, huh?. Ha ha.

[cars honking]

What did she say?


- $30?
- Is that all?

I thought it'd be much more.

Whatever happened to $2.

Inflation, Harriet, remember?


What's the matter? Ain't you
ever seen a whore before?

Come on.

Yeah, you got a lot of nerves

sittin'’ there hasslin' me
when I'’m out here doing my job.

You ain't doing nothing
but showing your ignorance.

You're a disgrace.

You ought to be ashamed
selling yourself for money.

I'’d rather sell it than lay up
in bed and wait for my husband

to pay my bills
outta his paycheck

which is gonna be short $30.

Or maybe 50 if he likes me.

I don't believe.

[indistinct chatter]

Get her out of here.


Bet you can't
even mate with your wife.

Wanda, watch out.

[tires screeching]


Damn it.

Wanda, we have to stop
meeting like this.

[female #1]
'You'd think grown man have
something better to do'

'than chase a few girls
around the street.'

I mean, the whole town--

Okay, girls, let's go.

Come on, let's go,
let's move it, let's move it.

Come on, come on. Keep going,
Giselle, come on, let's go.

Yeah, I'm movin',
I'm movin'.

Hey, it's the fall
fashion store.

[indistinct chatter]

Alright, who wants
to make a phone call?

Baby, I do, I do.

Of course.

Over here. Wait, oh!

Oh, for cryin' out loud, yeah.

You'd better hurry up, slut.

I gotta call my roommate.

'Roommate? I think you got
to call your pimp.'

Not me, I'm an independent.

[indistinct chatter]

Get there and see the matron,
they wanna search you.

Ivanka, how much money you got?

'Some screw in here
ripped me off last week.'

Yeah, we know,
Giselle, it's a tough life.

Yeah, sure. Hi Wanda.

What're you doing in here again?

Everybody's in here,
you could surely

count it up, babe.

Hey-hey, you got change
for a quarter?

Sure, honey. I've got nothing
better to do.

Anybody got any silver
nail polish?

Here, I've got red glitter
with sparkles.

Oh, good look. Good, thanks.

Hey, listen,
how long are we in for?

The last van left for call
about 20 minutes ago.

So, everybody's
in for the night.

Oh, goddammit, I've been here
five nights out of six.

I might as well give up
my apartment.

Have a seat, please.

How am I gonna
pay my bills, Swifty?

You know what time I got
out of court today?

- 1:00 o'clock.
- What're you complaining about?

You're all back on the streets
and I'm still filling

all out forms.

How can I book a prostitutes

on a typewriter
with the broken P?

Use the W.

- 'Age?'
- 19.



I-is he for real?


Put down that I'm working
for the city, sugar.

Social security number?

Take your time, Giselle.

- That's a hard one.
- 'Wanda.'

Wanda, would you believe this?

I was sittin' outside

I was havin' some muffin'
and havin' a hot dog.

This uniform comes
up to me and says

"Come on, I'’m taking you in."

I said, "Takin'’ me in?
Can'’t you see I'm eatin'’?"

I mean how can I be workin'
when I'm eatin', right?

'Your story really touches me--'

No, really,
this is what turns us

girls against you cops.

You're takin' someone
in for nothin'.

Just 'cause one of you creeps
wants to make his overtime.

Yeah, you girls all have
a persecution complex.

You think the men enjoy
doing this?

I've to promise
them promotions.

Oh, yeah, tell it to me.

They love pushin' women around.

It's how they get their kicks.

Hey, hey, hey, take it easy.

[indistinct chatter]

They're killing our city.
they're killing our city!


[siren wailing]

[male #2]
'I want to know
who's paying the police..'

...the taxpayers
or the prostitutes?'

[male #3]
'’Just a minute, I resent that.'

[male #4]
'It'’s too damned easy to blame
the police for everything.'’

Gentlemen, may I remind you
that the purpose of this meeting

'is to attack the problem,
not each other.'

[male #5]
'Meetings, meetings,
all we have is meetings.'

[male #3]
'What we are facing here'

are certain socio-economic
urban inevitability--

Now, you listen to me.

You clean up Midtown

or I'm going to close up
my restaurant.

Oh, no.

And that's the only

that I can see.

And I'm speaking for all

the honest businessmen
in the district.

Right on.

[male #3]
'Mr. Monty, the mayor
is deeply concerned.'

We are the guardians
of the greatest city

in the greatest country
in the world.

You missed the salute
to the flag.

Now, with enlightened
participation from the community

of this kind,
we are certainly moving

towards some
long range solution.

Long range here, we're drowning
in-in porno and hookers.

Right, and we also have
immediate ongoing action

to alleviate the problem.

You know, Harold,
always lands on his feet.

Folks, let me be honest
with you.

The mayor considers this
to be a number one priority.

'Midtown is the income producing
heart of the city.'

'He wants me to assure
everyone of you'

that there is nothing
more important to him

than keeping that heart beating.




Morrison, City magazine.

Where is the mayor?

Unfortunately, he had to deal
with, uh, ahem, excuse me

another very critical issue.

Like getting re-elected.

But he did ask Deputy Inspector
Keogh to come here

and make a comprehensive
report on the progress

of operation cleanup.

Oh, and here come the marines.

Well, now,
ladies and gentlemen..

...the first thing
you've got to remember.. that we are dealing
with a very big area.

Now, I'm talking about
over 60 subway platforms.

Eleven convention hotels,
300 restaurants

and over 700 bars.

That takes coverage.

We have beefed up our task force

with two captains,
11 lieutenants, 54 sergeants

'and over 553 patrolmen.'

There are over 1000 street
prostitutes in this district.

And during the past three months
period, we have scored

over 1500 loitering arrest.

'Never heard so many numbers
in all my life.'

'Come on, Morrison.'

Well, it makes 'em feel secure.

You know, when you're
a patrolman pounding a beat

you carry a gun.

When you're a deputy inspector,
you carry statistics.

Aren't you carrying
the mayor a bit too

just a little round the edges?

Is that a new hairdo?

Okay, no comment.

You know, I like the way
that piece turned out.

The one you did on the porno
bookstores, good, very good.

Yeah, not good enough. Just the
tip of the iceberg, I think.

What you're buckin' for,
a national journalism award?

Isn't everybody?

You get the girls off the street
you might make commissioner.

Not a chance.

Every night I've got a station
house full of prosts.

Next morning, they take a taxi
home from court

soak their feet,
put on fresh eyelashes.

By 1:00 o'clock, it's like
somebody rang a bell.

New game, same players.

Sounds like kids playing
Ring Lee-me-oh.

A thousand prostitutes.

Do you have any solutions?

Sure, every commuter
should take one home.


Hey, I might like to come down
and hang around some night.

- Possible?
- Sure, why not?

How 'bout tonight?

We're just in time
for the night game.



[man speaking in Spanish]

[speaking in Spanish]

What'd he use, a cigarette?

Well, he's done it before
with girls in his stable

and he'll do it again.

Tell her she'll sign
a statement, we can put him

in jail for a very long time.

I told her.

Well, then tell her
if she's frightened, we'll give

her protection or put her in a,
in a hotel

with a guard for 24 hours.

[speaking in Spanish]

Tell her if she doesn't do it,
that rat is going to think

she talked to us anyway and he's
gonna beat the hell out of her.

[speaking in Spanish]

[female #2]
'’So, then she says to me, "What
does your pimp do all day?"'’

So, I told her
he don't do nothin'.

But the way he don't do it
is beautiful.


Hey, hey, you know I think,
uh, you girls are really yo-yos.

What's the matter, honey?
You jealous?


What'd you do,
get a new air pillow?

Yeah, the last one
come leakin'.

That's just like my baby.

I can't seem to keep
him in diapers.

Where you got him now?

These people in the Bronx,
they're taking care

of 'em for me.

Hey. Hey, honey.

Uh, you think
they could get me down to court

early tomorrow morning.

You know, I got
a hair appointment.

Oh, what're you gonna do,
get a permanent?


A permanent?


Ain't nobody had a permanent
since 1947.


- 'Hey, what's goin' on?'
- 'Who is that?'

[indistinct chatter]

Shut up, will you!
Shut up.

Why don't you ask him what
he did to one of his girls?

Go ahead and ask him,
Mr. Bigshot.

Go on and tell them
what you did.

Little slut, she probably
deserved it.


[indistinct chatter]

'I'll never understand it.'

'This thing that hookers
have for their pimps.'

Here's a 14 year old girl
with her back burned raw

and we can't get her
to press charges.

Is she just afraid or
is it sex or love or status?

Or are they looking
for their fathers, what?

In a pimp? Ha-ha-ha.

I don't know,
maybe just somebody

to be responsible
for their lives.

Like a lot of women, I guess.

[telephone ringing]

Look, if I could get the sight
of prost's head, I'd have

the street cleaned up
in 24 hours.

'Where're they going now?'

'Oh, we'll lock 'em up
in cells for the night.'

Listen, I think I'd like to talk

to one or two of them.
Would that be possible?

Yeah, sure it's possible.

I don't think
you'll learn too much.


'Yes, sir.'

They're kinda hard to know.

Yeah, so is everybody.

I wanna sleep by myself.

You know, you can't.
Two to a cell.

I see, when we gonna
get married.

When you get your shoe fixed.

I ain't sleeping
with no 9th Avenue chippy.

[indistinct chatter]

'How about marrying
the librarian?'

Forget it, she's working
the East Side now.

What about that runaway?

The one with the gimpy foot.

Or listen, that,
uh, skinny red head.

The one that lets
everything hang out.

What's with this some
college girl from Boston?

Yeah, she changed her story.

Now, her father's
a southern senator.

They all got some crazy story.

99% of them you can't trust. 'bout Wanda?

She's okay.

'She's been on the street
what, four years.'

A dedicated woman.

But I don't think
she'll go for it.

A dedicated woman?

What she in for, loitering?

No, assault this time.

She was telling up a bus full
of matinee women on 50th.

She slugged the driver.

There is nothing
a working girl hates more

than straight women.

Tell her we'll drop
the assault charges

if she'll talk to Ms. Morrison.

I'll try.



[male #6]
'People versus Cindy Sand.'

'Counsel waives the reading
of rights and charges.'

'How do you plead?'

[female #3]
'Not guilty.'

I thought she wasn't
gonna make it.

I'm a resident of New York City,
working as a model, Your Honor.

[male #7]
'Bail is set at $50.'

'Trial on November 15th.
Next case.'

People versus Angel Collomb.
How do you plead?

[female #4]
'I'm not your guilty,
Your Honor.'

I changed it.

Bail is $50. Trial is November..

[indistinct chatter]

You go through a damn
fool thing like that..

I don't want no one hasslin' me.

But you're a pro.
You're used to be hassled.

Only when I get paid for it.

It could mean
a 3-400 dollar fine.

depending on what side
of the bed

his Honor got up
on this morning.

So, I'll make it up.

Sweet knows all I need

is couple good nights.

Sure he knows.

The only problem
is he hasn't got it.

[male #7]
'Fine, $50.'

He didn't send the money?

Wanda, do I have to explain it?

Lately, you've been in more than
you're out when you don't work--

It ain't my fault,
I-I can't help it

if there's a, there's a squeeze
and things are tight.

You got picked up on assault
charge. That's not smart.

I give Sweet plenty, 5000 a
month last year. Where is it?

Now, what kind of talk is that?

You know Sweet's
got heavy expenses.

It's not an easy business.

He has to compete.

Now, at this stage you better
plead guilty and take the time.

I ain't going to no
Rikers Island.

I hate that stinkin' place.

Talkin' about a couple of weeks,
at the most.

Nothing's that bad
for a couple of weeks.

He's still the same,
sitting around at Willie's

watching The Knicks on TV.

[male #6]
'People versus Wanda Klavic.'

What, what kind of a game
is he playing with me, anyway?

Look, I-I ain't no baby

he's got to teach a lesson to.

I'm his number one woman,
ain't I?

When you work.

[male #6]
'Defendant is charged
with assault'

'of the third degree
and that she'

'did strike the complainant
Theodore Medina about the face'

'causing him to sustain
an injury'

'which necessitated
that he be treated'

'at Roosevelt Hospital.
How do you plead?'

'Guilty, your honor.'

You know you've got 27 direct
prostitution arrests

in the past four years.

So now you're going
on bigger things, eh?

You have anything to say?

The creep pushed me first.

$500 or 60 days.

It'll be all over
before you know it.

Glad to see some justice
in the court.

Drop dead.

[male #6]
'People versus Sherry Dubois.'

'How do you plead?'

[indistinct chatter]

I ain't got it.

Excuse me, Adam's Department
of Social Services.

I've been authorized to pay
the fine for Wanda Klavic.

What're you talking about?

What's goin' on here?

'You'll find out
when you get outside.'


I didn't mean to make
such a mystery out of it.

Frankly I wasn't even sure
you'd take it.

I don't get it.

What's in it for you?

What do you want with me anyway?

- Thank you very much.
- Good luck.

Can we have a cup of coffee?

Coffee? Coffee, um..

I gotta get back to work.

Listen, uh, I'm into you
for 500.

You might as well give me
another five for the cab, right?

Here, write down
your address, will you?

I don't like owin' anybody.

I'll pay it all back
in a couple of weeks.

- I'm in no hurry.
- Yeah, but I am.

Alright, what's going on here?

Look, I know nobody does
anything for nothin', right?

That's right.

I wanna make a business
deal with you.

I wanna, I wanna talk to you.

You know, about working girls.

Know. What?

Anything, everything,
whatever you can tell me.

And times worth money,
I mean, yours and mine.


So if we can talk then, uh..

Then I'll pay you.

Whatever we can work out,
pay by the hour.

It could take care of the fine.

Why me?

Well because Swifty says..'re a dedicated woman.

Oh, ha, ha!

You don't even know
what that means, do you?

No, not exactly, but, uh..

- It sounds--
- It sounds nice.

Something you can handle
like a white nigger, right?

A dedicated woman

don't roll a John
and she don't steal.

But I'm a whore
when I sell it for money.

Just like you sell
for a marriage license

or fancy dinner.

Hey, you want a ride uptown?

Hey, how about my offer?

I gotta think about it.

We're going up to 59th street.

Drop me off at 45th, okay?

- 'Okay.'
- How do I know?

'What besides the powder sugar
and ten gallons of gas'

can possibly be
worth 500 dollars.

Would you believe integrity?

- Oh, integrity.
- Yes.

A commodity
in very short supply.

Come on, friend,
get off the soapbox.

- Integrity from a hustler?
- Well, why not?

You know what she said
to Inspector Keogh

when he offered
to exchange her privacy

for an out on an assault rap?

- Please.
- Huh. I, forgot.

You don't like women to swear.

Or smoke cigars. Sue me.

But she's willing to spill her
all to you for hard cash, huh?

You know
what I think, Morrison?

I think she's got a good head
for business.

Lester, there is something
special here. I know it.

How special can a piece
on prostitution be? It's cheap.

It's easy. Every magazine
in the city has one.

You titillate a little,
you exploit..

That is not what we're about.

I know that.

But, Lester..

...there is no woman alive
who wasn't had the fantasy

of going into a room
with a stranger

and selling herself for money.

Or the nightmare.

I look at that girl
and I wonder what separates us?


Or guts?

Maybe just a case of VD.


Uh, you always did have
a lot of class.

Besides we just ran
that big spread last month

on the new black middle class.

I don't wanna
follow it with this.

Well, what makes you to think
this scene is black?

Would you be surprised to hear

that the majority of the girls
on the street are white.

'From Midwest cities,
the school dropouts..'

all come here to be models

find a rich man, same old dream.

Anyway, I don't even know

whether she's gonna talk
to me or not.

But if she does
and you're chicken

I'll pick up the tab myself.

Okay, okay.

Talk about hustling.

'You mean it's still around?'

With all those singles bars
and liberated females

with waterbeds. Nobody has to
pay for it anymore.

- But they want to.
- What do you mean they want to?

Well, I think a lot
of men are scared

to death of the free giveaway.

And with a prostitute,
they can play it safe.

No, risk, no demand,
no intimacy.

Right this way.

Women's lib may be
the biggest boon to prostitution

since the invention
of the twin bed.

Can I quote you
at the athletic club?

Your table will be ready
in just a moment, Mr. Dietrich.

And I'll personally take care
of your lounge chair.

Thank you.

Take tonight, for instance.

It's so complicated.

You're gonna take me
to bed, right?

But first you have to feed me
at a very expensive restaurant

because it makes you
feel better.

True, but it makes you
feel better too.

Such as it may be..
It's your worth.

Now what would you say
if I told you you're

in solid agreement
with an 8th Avenue hooker.

I'd say it calls for
two martinis.

And this girl Wanda

she says that
under all the romance

and the orange blossoms
and all that..

...that men and women engage
in business transactions

all the time.

That's a pretty profound
thought for a hooker..

...or for anybody.

It just leaves out
a couple of things.

Like what?

Respect, mutual need..

The hell with dinner.
Let's go home.

- We've got company.
- Hmm?

Too late.

They've got our names on them.

'Uh, fine.'

You've been with
a prostitute, right?

Haven't we exhausted
this subject?

Oh, come on,
all you Princeton boys

must have to had to pass
your masculinity exams

at the local brothel.

You're a terrier,
why can't you ever do a nice

in-depth piece
on The Lennon Sisters

or needle point.

The Lennon Sisters
are needle point.

You should know by now I refused

to be a statistic
in your articles.

Excuse me, Ms. Morrison,
a telephone call.

- You may take it right way.
- Thank you. Sorry.


'Ms. Morrison,
this is Vincent Cleno.'

'Your exchange
gave me the number.'

- Cleno?
- 'Swifty.'

Oh, Swifty, I'm sorry,
I didn't recognize the name.

'Yeah, nobody does.
Look, I saw Wanda today'

'and she asked me tell you
she'll meet you tomorrow'

'at 2:00 o'clock.'

Oh! Oh, where?

'Where do you want?'

'Tell her the, uh..
the-the Copper Kettle'

the one just of 6th.

'Oh, yeah, okay.'

'Uh, look, I'm really glad'

'you paid her fine,
but her pimp won't be.'

'Well, why not,
I'm saving him money.'

'Yeah, but your poaching'

'on his territory,
he's not gonna like that.'

'Oh, well, Wanda
looks like a girl'

'who can take care
of herself.'

Oh, I'm meetin' someone.

Is that okay?

Are those little owls?

Um, real agate.

Got 'em at a Japanese store
up on Broadway.

Anything with a owl or elephant
supposed to be good luck.

You're superstitious.

If I was, I wouldn't be here.

Third Thursday of the month
is one of the most unlucky day.

Well, maybe we could
break the jinx.


Let's get the money
straighten up

right now, okay?

That's a first thing
a working girl does.

So you don't have
no hassles later.

Right. What'd you have in mind?

Well, talking like this,
I mean, knowin' it's gonna be

printed up and everything.

'The majority of girls they
might take advantage of you.'

'You know, they figure..'

'Say what could you get
on the street'

'things are going good
you got..'

...four-five tricks in an hour

you'd make 100, 150 dollars.

But, uh..


Oh, I'm taking
into consideration

that money is hard, right?

It's hard everywhere.

So, uh, if you could afford it,
I would charge you..

...$50 an hour.

Sounds fair.

I'm afraid I'm gonna
have to ask you to leave.

I beg your pardon.

The restaurant
reserves the right

to refuse service to anyone.

Well, I'd like
to know the reason.

I think the reason is obvious.

I'd like to hear it.

I don't want to create a scene.

'Now, if you just go quietly.'

Look, I'm Fran Morrison
from City Magazine

and this is a friend of mine,
now are you really telling me

'that we're not welcome here?'

I'm very sorry, Ms. Morrison

but the restaurant
has a very firm policy.

'We have to think
of our customers.'

What's the matter?
Afraid they'll catch somethin'?

You don't get it off the plates.

It's a rip-off anyway.

Two and a quarter for a lousy

'horse meat hamburger.'

We should have stayed in there
and fought that out.

Yeah, right. You kiddin' me?

Just payin' off my last fight.

Why am I so curious
and you're so calm?

I ain't calm. Oh!

Just used to it, you ain't.

Yeah, but I mean doesn't it
bug you being treated like that?

Yeah, right,
what are you gonna do?

Sometimes you fight,
sometimes you swallow it down.

Anyway, you just
got your first lesson

in the world of the straights.

Bunch of friggin' hypocrites.

You wanna know something?

This guy, he owns
all these Copper Kettles

same creep owns the Mona Lisa,
you believe it?

What's the Mona Lisa?

Oh, it's this, uh..

You know, this hotel, where most
of the West Side girls work.

Hey, wait a second,
how do you know that?

Larry Gustavino, he's a manager.
He told me.

- 'You're sure about that?'
- 'About what?'

'About that, uh, guy,
who, uh, owns the hotel.'

Larry's a lot of things,
you know?

Ain't no liar.
You can ask him yourself.

Couple of ginger ales,

What's that, dollar
and a half, right?

There you go.

- Oh, I see you like ketchup.
- Yeah.

Eat on the county.

Put on everything
I'm telling you.

What county?

Uh, Cuyahoga

just outside Cleveland.

I grew up around lakes,
you believe it

this is the only water
I see in this place.

Is that where your family is?

What's left of it.

My brother..

...he still works
for the mill there, you know.

My.. sister..

...and my mother,
they died in a fire.

My father, he'll never know
where he is, I'm..

Reporter's best tool.

That way, uh,
you get everything down right

and you don't have to, uh,
rely on your memory.

Gonna bother you?

I don't know.

I ain't never done this before.


...just forget it's there.

Listen, if it's gonna bother
you, I-I can do it without it--

No, no.
This is business, like a trick.

You paid for it

you got a right to have it
the way you want it, right?

Oh, that's a silly question.

Asking a prostitute,
why she does it?

Well, I make my living
asking silly questions.

What do you make a year? Unless
it's private or somethin'.

Well, I make, uh,
20 sometimes 25,000

Oh, yeah?
That's pretty good.

First year, I-I was out
on the street I made 70.

- Thousand?
- Yeah, thousand.

Before that I had a waitress job

Nine to five,
six days a week.

Fifty-two fifty take home,
including tips.

So that's why
it's a silly question.

Well, I got another
silly question.

The other day, you didn't
have enough to pay your fine.

So where is it,
all your money?

You give it to somebody?

You give it to your pimp?

[siren wailing]

That's my business.

I gotta go to work.

Can we meet tomorrow?

I don't know.

What time will be good for you?

I'll let you know.

May...maybe this whole thing
ain't such a good idea.

- What?
- This deal we made.

We talk and stuff.

It-it-it ain't my stuff.

But why not,
it's everybody's stuff.

You're smart, you got opinions.
Now, what time--

Yeah, a smart girl.
You know, don't go off her beat.

On 8th Avenue,
I know what to expect.

I don't, I don't get no flack
from nobody.

Right, except when you're
in the bullpen or in court..

'...or on Rikers Island.'

Listen, man,
I didn't come lookin' for you.

You'll get your 500 back--

I don't give a damn
about the money--

Yeah, well, I do! I do!

I guess there's something else
we should have straightened out

up front.

I'm not in this to...trap you..

...insult you.

But I'm not gonna pussyfoot
around or walk on eggshells.

That's not my beat.

I have to feel free to ask you
whatever I want..

...say whatever I think..

...and you can answer
or not answer

or you can tell me
to go to hell anytime.

If you don't agree on that,
then you're right.

We better call it quits.

No, uh..

You should have had that,
that thing turned on

when that joker
was talking the last time.

[tape rewinding]

- 'They're our customers.'
- What's the matter?

'Afraid they'll catch something?
You don't get it off the..'

This is what I sound like?

'It's a rip-off anyway.'

[instrumental music]

[male #8]
'Hey, Wanda.'

'Hey, babe, wait a minute.'

How you doing, mama?

Hear-tell you left Sweet.

News travels fast
in the streets, you know.

Sweet, he don't know how to take
care of no woman, no how.

So why don't you
get yourself a real man.

You know where I can find one?

[music continues]

- Hey, there.
- Hey.

What're you doing here
on my corner, huh?

You don't own the corner.

Yeah, right.

I've been here for three years

you know, everybody knows that.

My-my-my regulars, everybody.

Well, I don't know it.



'You want more, huh?'

'You want more?'

You don't scare us.

Yeah, you get lost.

Get off of this corner!

Get your face off this corner!

Oh, you oughta know better
than to be steppin' on

somebody else's corner.

Hey, Wanda,
they said they'd beat me up.

Oh, you can't let
every dumb slut

scare you with that kind of talk

you ain't gonna last a month.

They're only testin' to see

how you're going to do
without protection?

I sure hope you know
what you're doing

'cause the word is out..

...that you have left Sweet.

Don't anybody have
work around here?

All they do is gossip.

They say some big-shot dyke.

That's all they know.

Happens she's a writer,
you know

for one of them magazines.

She's paying me
just to talk to her.

Talk to her? About what?

Anything I want.

Fifty bucks an hour.

Now I've heard of some freaks.

Well, I'm gettin' back
on my corner

before those hustlers think they
can take over my beat.

I wish I could
luck out like that.

Fifty an hour
without flat-backing.

Mm, I ain't even collected
one yet today.

And you know..

You know that place in the Bronx

they keep my baby for me.

They say everything's goin' up

and they need more money.

Sweet says that means
I gotta make more.

Forget it, he can..

He can spring for another
30 bucks

without starving to death.

So he don't get his custom

Continental this year.

He's in a real bad mood,
I think it's 'cause

you haven't called him.

Let him call me.

Are you kidding, Wanda?

He can't do that.

How would it look for him
to go runnin'

after one of his girls, huh?

Everybody'd be laughing at him.

- You know he's got his pride.
- No, I don't give a damn.

I'll call him when I'm good
and ready, maybe never, huh?

You better not say things like
that to anybody who--

Oh, what if it does.

Come on.
Don't do it, Wanda.

You know Sweet cares about you.

Yeah. He don't act like it.

You're his number one woman.

If he cares so much
he wouldn't have me

going up that stinkin' hellhole

the stinkin' Rikers.

Hey, how 'bout it?

Go home and get a haircut.

Tell your mother
to give you a decent shirt.

Hey, look, I got the money.

You got 100 dollars?

Ooh, yeah, 100 dollars.

Come on, is she spaced out
on something or what?

Wanda, are you kiddin'?

- You better not undercut me.
- He had the 30.

You gotta teach men not to
disrespect you, pimps included.

He's gonna go real hard on me if
I don't make my quota tonight.

Are you busy?

It's, uh, twenty and ten.

Well, I'll see you later.

Oh, wait a minute,
wait a minute.

Wait a minute.

Uh, how 'bout two girls?

It's fifty.

You only pay once for the room.


You want bargains

try 14th street.

Hey, Wanda, please.

Okay. Come on.

'Sixteen towels missing
this week, fourteen last week.'

I'm not gonna stand
here and count towels.

I've got a business to run here.

[indistinct chatter]

Seems like Larry don't care
who he lets in this place.

Get outta here.

[bell dings]


Chooch, room number 15.

Ten bucks, Mike.

If you wanna know?

I think she's trying to move

into your spot with Sweet.

Ah, what would he want
with a dog like that.

Hey, hey!

You better register Mr. and Mrs.


Who's countin'?

I see her sniffin' around Sweet

over at Willie's coming on cute.

Yeah, cute like a cobra.

Who's she with anyway?

Uh, it's 30, honey, remember?

Big George.

She's telling everyone

she makes 450 a night.

- Four fifty?
- Or is it fifty full.

- I don't what--
- She is a damn liar.

I'm telling you,
she ain't makin' no 450.

Not with all this heat on.

Oh, honey, if you worry
about your wallet

'just put it in your pants
and lay your head on it.'

[Dee Dee]
'Maybe she's working
massage parlors there.'


Parking lots and hallways
that's more her scene.

If anything,
she's making a real presence.

No, no, kissy-kissy, honey.

[Dee Dee]
'Like I'm sayin',
it's just what I hear.'

'’And that's one of the oldest
lies in the world..'’

Uh, wait.

'I don't know if he is or not.'

'I just know she's tryin'.'

'Then I'll tell ya, he's not so
smart as he makes out to be.'

Hey...what about me?

'I'm getting to you, honey.'


'Yeah, all this fuss
about Sweet.'

What is he, anyway?
He's just a man.

[instrumental music]

Hey, Wanda, come here.

Forget it,
I lost ten bucks here last week

in your lousy pecorino.

[male #9]
'No. no, no, for real.'

There's somebody inside
who wants to see you.

[music continues]

Hello, Wanda.

What's the matter, we've always
been friends, haven't we?

It's alright, don't be mad.

'I've got good news.'

Five Cs for you.

- How come?
- You know how I feel about you.

There's no one like Wanda,
I always tell Sweet.

'I don't like to see you two
love birds on the out'

so, I said to him
let me advanced you the 500.

I know she's good for it.

That's nice, boss.

That's real nice.

Just one thing.

He doesn't want you
talkin' to any reporter.

That-that's crazy.

I didn't tell her anything
about-about him

or, or business like that,
you know, just, uh..

...stuff that couldn't hurt

You don't know what could hurt.

What's he think,
I'm some dummy?

I can't even open my mouth?


I ain't stupid.

Wanda, do like he says, huh.

'Use your head.'

Take the 500
and stop the talking.

Stuff it.

[car horn honking]

[tires screeching]

'Stop. Stop right here.'


Hey, Dee Dee.

'Dee Dee?
Is that you? Come here!'

I almost didn't recognize you.

I'm trying
this little girl look.

The men really go for it.

Probably nothing's
gonna help tonight.

Come on, come on,
I've got Fran here

the writer I told you about.

I'm going over
to show her the

stroll on Lex,
you wanna come?

I don't think
I oughta go, really.

Oh-oh, come on. Come on!

I guess there's no tricks
in the rain anyway.

Oh, Fran, this is Dee Dee.

- Hi.
- Hi.

[Dee Dee]
'Hey, ain't that Giselle.'

'Giselle! What's up?'

We're going over
to Lexington Avenue. Come on.

'Oh, why not,
everybody's keepin' in'

'for a drier tonight.'

'Sweet was just here.
Boy was he mad.'

'I only had 40 to give him.'

'What's he want
on a night like this!'

If it clears up, I guess I can
work late, you know?

I tried Lex once
with the vice squad.

You know the 17th,
they're the worst. Oh!

- What is that?
- Oh, it's a tape recorder.

- I always use it--
- Yeah, all writers use it.

You know,
when they wanna get straight.

Not just make it up like
they-they thought it was.

Uh-huh, that's groovy.

Oh, look, uh, there's Mona Lisa
Hotel I was tellin' you about.

Uh, slow down, will you.


Uh, you see up there?
Uh, that window?

That reflector,
that's where Larry sits.

That way he can, uh, he can see
the-the cop cars when they

come around the corner, whoo,
gets the girls right in.

- You're kidding?
- And that's St. Sebastian.

They call it the Midtown Chapel.

He takes them
close to the hotel.

Yeah, the priest there,
he's always

giving Larry the business.

Callin' the cops, raise the
roof. You can go now, cabbie.

But the priest, he ain't
against the girls, though.

When I see the van comin',
I always duck in

and he says "Hey, gal,
wanna pray?" And I say, "Sure."

He knows I'm waitin'
till the cops to go by.

And now, over here, now this,
this is where we hide out

when we're runnin' from the van.


What, you mean
that big building?

- 'Yeah, I know.'
- 'Slow down, slow down.'

'Slow down, slow-slow down.'

Yeah, and I found
this place right..

You see over there
behind that big piling?

'Yeah, well, they got some kind
of fire stairs.'

And we can up
three, four stories.

- And nobody can ever find us.
- That's terrific.

Yeah, listen, are we gonna go
across town or ain't we?

Hey, we're sight seeing, okay?

Yeah, so charter a bus.

What are buggin' us for?
It's right there on the meter.

[tires screeching]


Hey, it stopped rainin'.

Maybe we oughta go back.

- I'm going back.
- Where you goin'?

[indistinct chattering]

This is my old turf.

Right here,
right here on this corner

I was turned out four years ago.

Oh, I-I used to know everybody,
I knew

I knew the cops,
I knew, uh, the girls.

I knew the counterman.
Hi, how you doin'?

I like the action
better on 8th Avenue.

Yeah, well, it's different here.

It' a little more high class,

Do you ever
think about quitting?

Oh, quittin'?

Everybody's got a goal.

What kind of a goal?

Well, most girls,
they want to save

two or three grand
by a certain age.

- Put it down on a business.
- Yeah.

- Like a restaurant or a club.
- Or a boutique.

I know some girls, they figure
on stayin' all their life.

Yeah, like they're born to it.

Ain't nobody born to it, stupid.

You were no different
from Fran here.

Or Jackie Kennedy.

Or anybody.

[tires screeching]

Alright, come on, girls.
Let's go. Let's go.

I don't know
what you mean, officer.

- What?
- You got any identification?

Oh, yes, officer, I'm a writer
and these women are helping me

on a research project so..

- On a what?
- A research project.

Then you girls know this is a
well-known area for prostitutes.

Ain't that shocking?

It looks like I've
left my press card at home.

But if you just let me
make a call to my office

they'll explain
everything to you.

Well, I'll tell you what,
you make all the calls

you want down at the precinct,

[indistinct chattering]

But this is ridiculous,
you can't even walk on a street.

I can assure you Inspector Keogh
will not be happy--

Keogh, huh, no kidding,
how's the mayor gonna feel?

Alright, come on girls,
let's go, make some room.

Come on, I got company for you.
Come on.

[indistinct chatter]

Hey, honey!

What you doin' over here on Lex?

- Mouth.
- Ah-ah.

Yeah, right. This is a research
project, officer.

Ooh, what, this is shocking,
officer, what do you mean?

[instrumental music]

- Let's go, come on.
- Stop shovin'.

- Come on.
- 'What is this, some joke?'

If it is, it isn't funny.

I told him. Him.

I told him we were
on a research project.

Noviello, what are you doing?

Well, what the hell's
with this research project?

What's a research project?

Noviello, this is Ms. Morrison.

She's a writer.
What's the matter with you?

so I was wrong about her.

But the rest of them
are just plain prosts, right?

What the hell difference does
that make? They weren't working.

I can swear to that.

Now, what business
do you cops have

picking them up
when they're not working?

It's a violation
of their constitutional rights.

[girls cheering]

Hey, you should have seen
the look on that boy scout..

You know how many times I've
been been busted for loitering.

I ain't kiddin' you.

Fifteen hundred times.

This the first time
I ever walked out

of that place like that.


Oh, I'm tellin' you,
you should have hired her.

Oh, well,
it doesn't hurt to have clout.

Oh, it ain't clout, honey.
It is brains.

She knows more than all them
uniformed clowns put together.


What business you got..

...pickin' up girls
when they ain't workin'.

Don't you bummers know,

it's against
their constitutional rights!


Hey, is this..

- What?
- Well, you know.

Against our rights?

Well, yes.

It violates the 14th amendment.

How the hell does that go again?

Well, um, the 14th amendment
says that the..

...the police can't arbitrarily

or capriciously,
you know what I mean?

Um, deprive you of your life

or liberty without

what's called
due process of law.

And it guarantees you,
you know, um

'e-equal protection
under the law.'

Uh, in other words
all that means is that

no group of people,
say, blacks, homosexuals

prostitutes, whatever

can be arrested
and treated differently

just because they're members
of that group.

That's all.

I'll be damned.

How come I got to be
22 years old

and nobody ever told me
none of that?

How the hell come?

There's nothing wrong
with the constitution, honey

but who has got time to read it?

'Hey, wait, where's Dee Dee?'

She's over there, there she is.

Hey! Dee Dee!

What you doin' over there
all by yourself?

I wanna go back to work?

Oh, come on, will ya.

Being such a damn kill joy.

Something the matter?

- Yeah. Don't you feel good?
- Yeah.

Hey, you missed out
on the constitutional.

Oh, what's the matter,
are you mad?

'Cause they yelled at you?

I was thinkin' about my baby.

He'll be a year old next month.

Recognizes me now
when I come visit.

What's his name?

Uh, she cries if we ask

what time it is.

His name is Stacey.

I didn't even crack
50 tonight.

What am I gonna tell, Sweet?

Well, you called him
from the precinct, didn't you?

Tell him, tell him

they kept you in all night.

He'll know I'm lyin'.
He always knows.

He'll give me a beating.

Why do you let him?

- 'Cause he's right.
- He's right?

To beat you?


And I know he loves me.

It's when I make my quota,
he's so nice to me.

He buys me a peek-a-boo blouse.

'Well, the whipping's
for my own good.'

'Cause I'm-I'm lazy.

I wouldn't work
if it wasn't for him.

I wouldn't be worth nothin',
would I, Wanda?

You make me sick.

Stop bawling
like some dumb baby.

Oh, don't be goin' off
on her, Wan?

Alright, things ain't
like they was when you and I

first started out years ago.

I mean, uh, it was enjoyable.

You could work...easy.

Or you could work a little bit.

You know, save some money

and, uh, you could have
a good time.

'But now, they got animals
out there on the street.'

Things have gone mean
and you gotta have a man

that looks after you.

'A woman can't
do it by her own self.'

[instrumental music]

[dramatic music]



[music continues]



[female #5]
'Are you kiddin' me?'

'Let's see what's she got
in her booty bag.'


Holding out on us, huh?


[phone ringing]

- 'Yeah.'
- Sw-sweet.

I just got beat up.

They took my money.

They cut my face.

I don't know what to do.

Can I come back to you?

I need you, Sweet.

[Sweet over phone]
'Sure, you can come back.'

'Sweet's here.'

'Don't he always
give you what you need?'

'Don't he always
take care of you, baby?'

How am I gonna get there?

I hurt.

I can't hardly walk.



I don't understand it.

I got this in the mail
from Wanda this morning.

A note figuring out
how much she owes me

and four $20 bills.

'Now, what's it mean?'

She got mugged
a couple of nights ago.

Nobody made out
any official report

but it's all over the street.

No, wh-where? How?

Outside her place.
They got something new now.

It's gangs of call girls.
You know what they do?

They rob and cut them up,
it's easier that way.

They don't have to flat-back
and the payoff's much bigger.

'They don't work as hard.'

I'll tell you,
they must have given her

a hell of a goin' over.

Hmm, when women get rough,
they're worse than men.

Anyway she's gone
back to her pimp now.

Back to her pimp?

Hey, home is where your pimp is.

She could've called me.
I have helped her.

How? You're a square.

No matter how hard you try

you're on the outside.

Oh, I don't believe that.

We had a relationship,
I-I-I know it meant something.

Only to a point.

Compete with a pimp,
you're gonna lose.

I got no proof, but I'd lay odds
he fingered her for that gang.

I mean a working girl
can't get too independent.

I might be catching.
You know what I'm tellin' you?

Do you think Wanda knows that?

'Of course.'

Then how can she go back to him?

How can she not go back?
What has she got a choice?

Hey, Swifty. Come on, let's go.

I'm sorry, I gotta go.

Isn't there something,
anything I can do?

Yeah, do her a favor,
leave her alone.

I feel so helpless
and I hate it.

Yeah, I know.
You like to be in control.

That was a favorite phrase
of my ex husband's.

He could make it sound
like a communicable disease.

I'm sorry.

He always resented it.

Do you?

In theory, no.

I'm that 20th century mutation.

An enlightened male.

In practice?

There's some kind of reflex.

Way, deep down
in my unconscious.

- Gulp.
- Yeah, gulp.

Oh, God.

Change takes such
a long time, doesn't it?

Listen. Don't beat yourself.

Don't be such a bleeding heart
for the exploited of the world.

Including your prostitutes.

Orin, they are not
my prostitutes.

They're women
with names and faces

and...knowing someone
is a responsibility.

You can't just
walk away from it.

Is it that or is it just
a good story you can't--

Oh, no, that's a lousy thing
to say.

- I didn't mean it that way.
- It's about exploiting, then--

Uh, who said exploit,
but you reporters have a way--

And I hate sentences that start
with "You reporters."

I don't have to apologize--

Fran, will you stop and listen?

You're writing about fact,
not fiction.

That girl is whatever
the hell she is.

You have to accept it.

You can't rewrite her

the way you want her to be.

You sound like you hate her.

I don't hate her.

I just don't
wanna live with her.

I don't want her
in bed with you and me.

[car horn honking]

Hey, Chooch, hit the buzzer!

[buzzer buzzing]

- Mr. Gustavino?
- Come in.

Thank you for seeing me.

Told you on the phone I ain't
afraid to talk to a reporter.

I got nothin' to hide.

Oh, I see, uh, business is good.

Yeah. Well, no complaints.

What is it you wanna know?

Uh, well, first of all..

...let me make sure
I've got your name spelt right.

It's, uh,

- The rest is vino, like wine.
- Alright.

Who was that said, "I don't care
what you say about me

as long as you
spell my name right?"

I don't know.

I wanna know about the hotel.

You got 32 rooms?

Fourteen welfare
and the rest transient.

'And last year you scored 74
prostitution arrests'

'and 29 convictions.'

Where'd you get those figures?

From the police file.

You sure this ain't some kind of
scandal sheet you writing for?

No, it's a very reputable..

Here, look.
I'll give you a copy.

Here you go.

See, what I'm doing
is a piece on Midtown

so, naturally, uh

prostitution is a part of that.


Look, you wanna find out
what it's all about..

...why don't you rent a room
for a couple of hours

and give it a try.

I'm afraid that might violate
my professional standards.

What do you mean? Everybody
here's professionals.

But in this field
I'd-I'd be an amateur.

The only difference
between amateurs

and professionals is the money.

Get back!

[buzzer buzzing]

Anybody who wants to rent
the room here

all you gotta do is
have ten bucks

as long as they're not
lookin' to rob anybody

it ain't my responsibility.

You didn't find any robbery
arrests on that sheet, did you?

How much does the hotel gross
in a week?

I don't keep the books.

We pay our taxes
like any other business.

Bar, a shoe store.

Who's we?


[car horn honking]

Do you own the hotel?

I'm just the manager.

Well, who is the owner?

Some corporation.

Does it have a name?

Well, now,
somebody pays your salary.

Told you before,
I make it a point not to mind

nobody else's business.

Live and let live is my motto.

Sure we make
a little money off the girls.

So do the big hotels.

'So do the politicians.'

And the police,
they do okay too.

On overtime, you know what
it costs the tax payers to keep

the hookers off the streets?


[Dee Dee screaming]

I'm gonna give her to ten
and I want it back.

- Give what back?
- She's got my pinky ring.

'She saw the diamond,
she took it.'

'Put the knife down.'

Now, look.
Don't come any closer.

I lost a little weight
and it slipped off my finger.

No one gets rolled
in this hotel--

Are you kiddin'?
I know you're workin' together.

Give me back that ring.
Give it back.

Hey, come on, there's a cop
down on the corner.

'If you don't put
that thing down in one second'

'I'm gonna go bring him up'

'he's gonna book you
for assault.'

'You'll be in all
the papers tomorrow.'

Come on. Put it down.

You, pig, come on.
Come on! Get out.

Leave your address, if I find
your ring, I'll send it.

Wait a minute,
let me get my shoes.

- Come on, get up!
- Wait a minute!


- Where is it?
- I-I ain't seen it.

- I don't know.
- Tell me!


'You're not talking
to a dummy trick.'

Give it to me.

I didn't take it. It just--

Get outta here.

Get your clothes on
and get outta here.

Get out of this hotel.
Don't come back.

Don't go to any hotel
I have anything to do with!

I'm warnin' ya!

'Two pieces of glass, anyway.'

[dramatic music]


Dee Dee!

Hey, Dee Dee, wait a minute!

The girls won't talk to me.

I think the pimps
must have got to them.

- 'You sound surprised.'
- I don't know what I am.

This is one business
that doesn't relish publicity.

I'm beginning to understand why.

You know what they take in

at the Mona Lisa
in an average week?

I figured it out
on the way over here.

- Twenty thousand dollars.
- Well, I'll match that.

You take 200,000 prostitutes
in the United States today.

And the lowest estimate,
six transactions a day.

And the lowest figure,
twenty dollars.

And you come up with around
seven billion dollars year.

That is ten times the budget
of the Justice Department.

- I just don't get it!
- Get what?

Oh, the whole logic
of law enforcement.

You don't arrest the pimps,
you don't arrest the johns

you don't touch the owners
of these fleabag hotels

but you're gonna beat
this monolith by busting Wanda

and Dee Dee
and forty other girls a night

and tossing them
in the bullpen.

If you wanted to stop
illegal racetrack gambling

would you put the racehorses
in jail?


Whoever said anything
about logic?

Oh, it's ridiculous.
It's obscene.

'Oh, now, hold it up, lady!'

I'm just a cop,
I do what I'm told!

The rest I leave up to City Hall
and the courts.

I've heard that one before.

Gustavino's only the manager.

It ain't my responsibility.

They oughta grind up
lapel buttons

and hand 'em out to everybody.

You know, Fran,
everybody's got a dream.

I've got two.

The first is, I stretch a big
net across the Holland Tunnel

on the Jersey side.

That way, I scoop up half
the johns in New York City

in one fell swoop.

The other, I run a big magnet

of the streets
of midtown Manhattan.

And all the guns come flying

out of hip pockets
and subway gratings.

What are you trying to say?

That doing something
about this is just a pipe dream?

Hey, Morrison, what happened
to your sense of humor?

- I'm on your side!
- I'm not so sure.

What are you bein'
so damn righteous about?

I've been playin'
this game of tag

since you were in kindergarten!

I've been through
a dozen administrations

And a dozen clean ups!

And every time I broke my tail

tryin' to buck this system!

Well, after a while,
you learn!

You don't break your heart.


'What do you want,
Gustavino's head on a platter?'

Nah, he's just a minnow. You
could swallow him in one bite.

Somebody's getting very rich
out of all this.

A lot of somebodies.
I wanna know who they are.

You're openin' up a very
big can of beans, lady.

I like beans.

[telephone ringing]

This is a list
of all the prost hotels

and the massage parlors
in the district.

For the owners' names
you're gonna have to dig.

You're gonna run into
dummy corporations

inside other dummy corporations.

You gonna find property
held in employers' names

and secretaries' names,
and dogs' and cats' names.

'But if you ever get past
all that'

'you're gonna find some names
that'll surprise'

'the hell outta you.'

But I don't think
you'll ever touch 'em.

That's not the way
the game is played.

'But if you do.'

'If you and your magazine
come up with some ammunition'

'I'll use it.'

But in the meantime.. you mind if I keep on
polishing my magnet?

Hey! How's it goin'?

Uh, well, one baby step
after another.

- Hey, have you seen Wanda?
- Yeah.

- How is she?
- She's okay.

I took your advice.

I haven't tried to see her.

She, uh, back working?

She never stopped. There's no
sick leave on the street.

Next time you see her, could you
tell her somethin' for me?

She's upstairs
in the bullpen now.

The van picked her up
in some parkin' lot.

In the backseat of a car
with a drunk.

Oh, God.

I know.
He's pushing her very hard.

Swifty, isn't there some way
I can talk to her?

Just for a few minutes,

...there's something
I'd-I'd like her to know.

Hey, I don't think she'll come
if she knows you're here

to tell you the truth.

Then don't tell her.

[intense music]

- Hello, Wanda.
- Uh, hi.

'I asked Swifty
to send you down.'

I, uh...I got your note,
and the money.

- Thanks.
- Uh, well, it's okay.

Look, um..

...I'm sorry
we can't talk anymore.

But, um..

'there's somethin'
I wanted you to know.'

You gave me something
very important for my article.

You gave me, um, yourself.

[instrumental music]

For 120 bucks, that's a bargain.

Look, I don't wanna do anything
to hurt you.

So is there anything you've told
me you don't want me to use?

[music continues]

Write whatever you want.
You paid for it.

[Harold over phone]
'I can't do it. I can't
give out anything like that.'

But there is such a list.

'We have a record of the owners'

'of some
of those properties, yes'

'But it's classified.'

But why? We're not talkin' about
anything criminal! Or are we?

I wanna go on record that
I didn't introduce that word.

Well, then,
why can't I get anybody

in city government
to talk about it?

I made a dozen calls
in the last hour--

Well, maybe there's a question
of civil liberties here.

I mean, you can't
go around publishing the names

of the owners
of any of these establishments.

Okay, then. How about if
I'm willing to take that chance?

You can do that, of course.
And so can your magazine.

But I can't be party to it.

I mean, the mayor
has certain considerations.

Yeah, like, uh,
not stepping on any big toes?

I resent that.

Now, Harold,
don't get defensive.

I'm not defensive, I'm offended.

There's a big difference.'re a very
dedicated public servant.

Well, I certainly try to be.

I think you're doing a very
responsible job

in a tough situation. I intend
to make a point of that.

Thank you.

I'm not gonna press you
for your list, but, uh..

...say I wanted to do
a little digging of my own

and I need a few shortcuts.

Any suggestions?

Go to the register's office..

...they can tell you
who owns the land

under any building in the city.

- That's rooms 2-0-6.
- 2-0-6.

Only remember to ask for
a certificate of incorporation.

Wait a minute, wait a minute.
Certificate of incor.. Huh?

Uh, the certificate, uh, it's
the only way you can tell if

one corporation is owned
by another corporation.

Well, what about the buildings?

That's a little harder.

You gotta go down
to Nassau Street..

...then you have to buy
copies of "The Standard

Abstract Guides
to Commercial Properties."

'And I hope that you have a very
good expense account'

'because they cost almost
as much as they weigh.'

[intense music]

'Are you kidding with these
vouchers? They're astronomical.'

So is the story.

- 'Fran, I don't think an--'
- See, in two parts.

The girls on the street,
and then the whole, long line

of parasites that make money
off their backs.

Starting with the pimps,
and ending with the landlords.

Now, here's just a partial list

of the owners of the buildings
and the properties.


Have you checked this all out?

Uh, every name
comes out of the records.

Every bank,
every insurance company.

That's a Park Avenue doctor.

That is a charity organization

and that, is the lawyer
who fronts for the mob

in the peepshow rackets.

And that one..

...that's the widow
of a Supreme Court judge.

This is mind-blowing stuff.

Lester...I'm not naive.

And I know there are gonna
be pressures, all kinds.

Now, am I just
spinning my wheels

or you gonna have the guts
to use it?

[telephone buzzing]

Traube. Uh, it's for you.


Oh, Orin, I'm.. No, no,
it's alright, it's alright.

Uh.. Oh, is that tonight?

Oh, I'm sorry,
I forgot all about it, I..

No, I-I, um, I don't
really feel up to a party

'and besides, I wanna work.'

Why don't you just
go on by yourself?

Makes Jill a dull girl, yeah.

Uh-uh, well, look, if I, um

if I change my mind,
I'll-I'll get back to you, okay?

Yeah. Bye, darling.


'You didn't answer.'

You wanna know
if I would use that?


But...we've got lawyers.

And you know
what they're gonna say?

'They're gonna say
we're a small magazine.'

We haven't got a million dollars
for lawsuits.

Oh, my God!

'And don't tell me you're gonna
pay for it, either.'

Fran, take my advice.

- Go to that party tonight.
- What does that mean?

Lester, you're gonna let
this thing go down the drain?

Means you better let me
handle this!

Look, just take the evening

Get drunk or something. Come on.

- Lester--
- Come on, come on.

Hey, get away from this!
Now, go on.

Orin tells me you're doing
a story on prostitutes.

- Yes, I am.
- Whoo, whoo.

Well, you must be having a ball!

Are sure you can't use
a little help

with the research?

Oh, yes, he's much
too heavy for you.

- No!
- Come, my darling.

- It's time for a toast.
- I'm in great shape.

What's a 25th anniversary
without a toast?

[indistinct chatter]

They, uh..

...and they say marriage
is like a feast.

Where the sometimes
better than the dinner.


To Ethel and Harlan, who've
shown us you can dine well

and richly
for twenty five years.

With just occasionally
a little touch of indigestion.

No, it's not urgent.

Just tell Lester
that if he has any word for me.

Uh, he'll know what that means.

Just tell him that I'll be home

all day tomorrow, okay?

Thank you.

You know, real tough
little broad.

Hey, this will be especially
interesting to you.

This prosti comes up
to these friends of mine.

And she says to him,
"Wanna have a little party?"

And right in front
of his wife.

So she up and says, "My husband
doesn't need a prostitute."

And the girl looks up
at her and says

"Well, then, how 'bout you?"

Oh, Sid, you know
you made that up.


'Well, now, isn't it true?
Most of them are AC/DC..'

I'm really not an expect.

Ah, listen, I promised Fran
that I'd take her away

from all that talk.

You can't get away
from it anymore.

It's under your noses,
you see it everywhere.

Ooh, I don't know. Not in any
of my restaurants, you don't.


Does he have anything to do
with the Corporate Kettles?

Yeah. And that's just a drop
in the bucket.

Our boy, Harlan Nast
is into everything.

And right now, I'm doing a
hundred acre industrial complex

for him across the river.

Yes, it is flaunted
in the streets.

But I suppose
that's the price you have to pay

for living
in a permissive society.

I guess you'd call me
an anachronism.

'An old-fashioned man
with old-fashioned morals.'

Excuse me, dad.

I'm afraid we're gonna
have to say goodnight.


Yes, it's way past
Melissa's bedtime.

- 'Goodnight, Melissa.'
- 'Goodnight, dear.'

What's the matter, huh?
Goodnight, dear.

- Goodnight, everybody.
- Goodnight.

- Goodnight, Melissa.
- Goodnight.

Oh, that grandfather business!

- It's the greatest.
- How old is she?

Almost five.

- Mr. Nast.
- 'Mm?'

Isn't that awful young
to own a prostitution hotel?

- 'Fran, you gotta be joking.'
- 'I'm not!'

The Melissa Corporation
owns the Copper Kettles.

It also owns the building
that houses the Mona Lisa Hotel.

I just didn't know until tonight
that Harlan Nast

'is the principal of both.'

"An old-fashioned man
with old-fashioned morals."

How do you know that?

I have a copy of the
certificates of incorporation.

Oh, come on, Fran,
you lease a building to someone.

Now, you don't necessarily know
what's going on it it.

Oh? Even when the lease falls
for a percentage of the gross?

A very sizable gross?

Oh, you're making
a big thing out of this.

- It's not his responsibility!
- Ugh.

There goes another lapel button.

You don't mean
you're really gonna mention

Nast's name in your article?

- He'll be in good company.
- Don't act naive.

It could be very embarrassing
for a man in his position.

And don't you think
it's embarrassing for Wanda

when she sits in the prost van
or the bullpen?

You're not equating Harlan Nast
with an 8th Avenue hooker.

- Why not?
- Because it's her own choice!

Fran, nobody makes her go on the
streets. She likes the money!

And so does Nast!

Since they share the fruits
of free enterprise

why shouldn't they share
the embarrassment?

Yeah, I can't believe
this whole thing.

I mean, what do you think
you're going to accomplish?

'Make a few headlines,
get a few hotels closed down?'

They'll only be open again
in a couple of months.

Fran, I don't know what you..

..expect of me.

There aren't any
land slots anymore.

I've got a twenty million dollar
project hanging in the balance

and I-I don't wanna lose it.

Is that so hard to understand?

Everybody hustles.


Some of us just don't...
get arrested for it.

[engine revving]

I don't see any point
in coming up.

Well, let's give it a rest..

...for a while.

I have to, uh, sort myself out.

Maybe you do, too.

[engine revving]

Excuse me, ma'am,
there is somebody to see you.

- I put her in the side lobby.
- Oh.

Ms. Morrison. I'm sorry,
we can't have whores around.

Don't look good for the house.

Then who the hell's
living in all those

twelve hundred dollar
penthouses upstairs?


Yeah, I-I-I figured
I was all the way up here

might as well wait.

Well, I'm glad you did.

Come on, let's go upstairs.

I can't, I can't.
I gotta get back to work.

It ain't nothin' big.
It's just, uh...Dee Dee.

Well, she ain't been around
all weekend, and..

...I went up to her place,
and she ain't there, and, uh

none-none of the girls
have seen her--

Well, maybe she's up
in the Bronx with her baby.

Oh! Pfft. They took Stacey away.
The welfare.

People that was keepin' they..

...said they couldn't do it
on the money.

Oh, no. Does she know that?

Yeah. They told her.

They couldn't get her,
so they-they-they called me.

Well, what did they..

How did she take it?

Well, you know,
alright, real quiet.

I thought maybe,
maybe she didn't hear me..

...but she heard.

What can I do to help?

Well, um, you know,
I can't go to the police

so I thought,
if-if you could go to them--

Oh, I'll call, I'll call Swifty,
I'll call him.

Yeah, thanks.

You know, uh..

I, uh..

I-I-I shouldn't have
ridden her like that, I..

...I shoulda let her cry,
if she felt like it.


Hey. Don't feel guilty.

You're a good friend to Dee Dee.
You care about her--

Come on! There's no friends
on the street.

She's just on my corner,
that's all.

Another couple months,
there'll be a different girl.

I don't believe that,
otherwise you wouldn't be here.

I don't give a damn
what you believe.

I don't even believe that.

Would you get off my back?

You friggin' square,
would you just leave me alone?

[dramatic music]

I don't know what she thinks
could have happened.

But she's afraid to go to you.

I'm looking at the book now.
There's nothing on it.

Isn't there something
you can do?

I'll send a couple
of men out to canvas

The Times Square joints.
Where will you be?

I'll be home.

[music continues]

[Dee Dee]
'And that's St. Sebastian. They
call it the Midtown chapel.'

- 'Close to the hotel.'
- 'Yeah, the priest there.'

[Dee Dee]
'He's always giving
Larry the business.'

'Callin' the cops,
raise the roof.'

'But the priest, he ain't
against the girls, though.'

'When I see the van comin',
I always duck in.'

And he says, "Hey, gal,
wanna pray?" And I, "Sure."

'He knows I'm waitin'
till the cops go by.'

'And now, over here, now, this'

'This is where we hide out when
we're runnin' from the van.'

'Wait, you mean
that big building?'


Slow down. Slow down.

Slow down. Slow-slow down.

Yeah, and I found this place,

You see over there,
behind that big piling?

Yeah, well, they got
some kind of fire stairs.

And we can run up three,
four stories.

And nobody can ever find us.

[music continues]

Dee Dee!

No, no, please. One more.

Dee Dee!

[music continues]

Dee Dee!

Dee Dee!

[music continues]

[intense music]

Oh, dear God.

[male #10]
'Is that her?'

This way, please.

Okay, you gotta sign
a couple of these forms

certifying these
are the identifiable remains.


Where the "X" is, please.


That's it.

What happens to her now?

Well, unclaimed, no next of kin.

City will dispose of the body.

'You know her religion?'

What does that mean?
"Dispose of?"

It don't mean
a 21 gun salute.

Harry, uh, we're running another
one off here.

Carbons came out.

What does it mean?

What do you want from me?

...I mean, they'll take her
out to Hart Island

and then plant her
in potter's field, okay?

You dirty..

[indistinct yelling]

Get off! Get off!

Come on, lady!

Wait a second.

Harry, get me a straitjacket

Take your hands off,
I'll take care of her

I'll take care of her.
Go. Leave her now.

Okay. Okay.





[male #11]
I commend to your mercy,
O Lord.

Your servant, Dorothea Snyder.

'She was 18.'

'A child, your child.'

'I saw her only in flight.'

'Now she has stopped running.'

She is at rest with you.

'The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.'

'He maketh me to lie down
in green pastures'

'he leadeth me
beside the still water.'

'He restoreth my soul.'

'He guideth me in straight
paths, for his namesake.'

'Yea, though I walk through the
valley of the shadow of death'

'I shall fear no evil.

'For thou art with me.'

'Thy rod and thy staff,
they comfort me.'

Surely goodness and mercy
shall follow me

all the days of my life..

'...and I shall dwell in
the house of the Lord forever.'

[eerie music]

- Thank you, father.
- You're welcome.

Radio says it's gonna rain.

She'd have been glad.
Not many pricks out in the rain.

Where can I drop you? Downtown?

[music continues]

I wanna stay here.

I just wanna be by myself,
you know?

Uh-uh, hey. Might need it.

[engine revving]

[music continues]

[engine revving]

[tires screeching]

Oh! You-you didn't have to come
here, uh, I mean, you know.

If you was busy or somethin'.

No, I wanted to.

I only got your number
this morning.

Oh, yeah.
I decided to kinda quick.

It's my pa, you know.

Just got this letter
from my brother.

He's, uh, raisin' hell again.

Gettin' drunk, gobblin' pills,
you know.

Hurtin' himself, this and that.

Oh, thanks.

And, uh, you know..

...the authorities.. Oh, thanks.

The authorities, they want us
to commit him to Conroy.

That's a state hospital.

- State hospital?
- Yeah. I've been there.

I'm tellin' ya, no matter what
they call it, it's still a jail.

Wouldn't want him
to go to no jail.

What else could he do?

Could he stay with your brother?

My brother?

My brother's got a wife,
a couple of kids.

It's hard havin' someone
like pa around, you know.

"Hey, kids.

"Go down to corner bar

"get grandpa a couple of shots

and a beer chaser."

So I figured, you know,
maybe needs me, oh.

Oh, I might get a, get a place,
you know, keep it for a while.

There's a...job at the plant
where my-my brother works.

It's not nine to five.

It's eight to four.


Watch out with this.
It weighs a ton.

I took my pots and pans.

I cook a three pan meatloaf,
you know, when I get the time.

You like meatloaf?

Yeah, I make
a pretty fair one myself.

Oh, yeah.

Too bad,
we coulda had a bake off.

Hey, how come come Sweet's
letting you go?

How's he gonna stop me? Kill me.

He says I'll be back
within a month.

He says it's in my blood.
The money, the excitement. Him.

Yeah, what's what Sweet says.

What do you say?

I don't know.

Oh...something for you
to read on the plane.

'Just came out today.'

Oh, here's your umbrella.
I almost forgot.

You could have kept it.

I don't like, uh..

Owing somebody. Yeah, I know.

Wanda, it's okay
to owe somebody.

It's good.

[air whooshes]

Hey! Wait a minute!

What's the rush? You creep!

Open the door. You can't
even wait for somebody?

'Don't you see
someone's waitin'..'

'...outside? You can't even
give me a minute?'

[engine revving]

[instrumental music]

Columbus Circle.

Go up 8th.

[instrumental music]

[music continues]