Motherless Brooklyn (2019) - full transcript

In 1950s New York, a lonely private detective afflicted with Tourette's Syndrome ventures to solve the murder of his mentor and only friend.

Frank always used to say,

"Tell your story walkin',

He was more philosophical
than your average gumshoe,

but he liked to do his talkin'
on the move,

so here's how
it all went down.

I got somethin' wrong
with my head.

That's the first thing
to know.


It's like having glass
in the brain.

I can't stop
pickin' things apart...

twistin' 'em around,
reassembling 'em.

Words and sounds, especially.

It's like an itch
that has to be scratched.

Quit pullin' at it. You're gonna
make a fuckin' mess out of things.

I got threads in my heads.

I got threads in my heads!

I got threads in my heads,

And I twitch a lot.

It's hard to miss.

It makes me look
like a goddamn spastic,

but if I try to hold it back,
it just makes it worse.


Shit, just help me out,
will ya?

Like I said, a fuckin' mess!

Jesus, Freakshow,
ruin another sweater.

No, cut it closer.
Cut it closer.

Fuckin' mess is right.

The nun said my soul wasn't at peace
with God and I should do penance.

Frank said anyone
teaching God's love

while they hit you
with a stick

should be ignored
on every subject.

Frank Minna.

If you had to pick just
one guy to be on your side,

he's the one you'd want.

It's Minna's game.
We're all just in the lineup.

- Boys.
- Boss.

Frankly Frankady Franko!

All right, listen.

Here's the shot.
I'll be up on the third floor.

Lionel will go to the payphone
in about 20 minutes.

When they come, probably
three or four of them,

when they come,
you call me here.

I'll buzz 'em in.
Coney waits at the door.

I buzz him in,
he stays inside.

Lionel's listening,
sharp on the line.

If you hear me say, "We have
a problem," hustle over.

Coney lets you in.
The two of you come upstairs,

back me up quick.

What's going down here, Frank?

I gotta keep this
under my hat, boys.

Fat cats in hats!

Them's the ones, pal.

Let's catch a big score
and get fat ourselves.

- Boss, we're not carrying.
- What?

A piece. I don't have a piece.

"A piece"? Say "gun," Gilbert.

- Okay, I don't have a gun.
- That's what I count on.

That's how I sleep at night,
you with no gun.

I got a gun. You just show up.

I wouldn't want
you chuckleheads

coming up a staircase

with a hairpin
and a harmonica.

Hairy chin, harmony harp!
Quit windin' me up.

With an unlit cigar
and a chicken wing.

- Right, Brooklyn?
- Chicky wing ding.

I wing that chick in the ding.

Come on, seriously.

Don't throw me off.

Just give us the rest of it,
all right?

All right, all right.

Now, if I say,
"Let me use the can,"

it means we're comin' out.

Get Gil, get in the car,
get ready to follow.

I might need to give
someone the slip. Got it?

Yeah. Problem up the stairs.

"Use the can,"
start the car. Got it.

Get, gotten, got, gotcha!

Lionel's got it,
just follow his lead.

Oh, come on,
you gotta be kiddin' me.

Coney, what did I say when I came
into the office last Tuesday?

- What?
- Lionel?

You hung up your coat, you put
your hat on the third hook,

you said, "I just saw
a girl on the ferry,

and the smile she gave me

is gonna get me
through the winter."

Then you threw your notebook
to Danny, and said,

"How's a guy supposed to keep

a marriage together
with 22 on the menu?"

Like I said,
Lionel's on point.

Sit on it, Bailey!

Fuckin' Bailey.


Bailey's what my head
calls me.

It calls me out
whenever I try to resist it.

There's things
that calm it down.

Gum, weed.

Sometimes, something a little
stronger if I'm in bad shape.

But if I try to put
a lid on it, it gets worse.

If I get nervous,
it gets worse.

If I get excited,
it gets worse.


It's the argument I can't win.


Another Minna classic.

Freezin' our asses off.
Don't even know the score.

- What, you have big plans this weekend, Coney?
- Yeah, maybe.

- Hot date?
- Maybe. Maybe I do.

Coney Island!

Coney Island hot dogs!

Coney Island hot dogs
right here!

All right, Freakshow,
just a little quieter, please.

That's it. We're on.
Be ready.

- Hey.
- Hey, boss.

Bossy, bossy bitch!

You keeping it together,

No, no, no.
I got my gum.

I'll keep it under control
when it counts.

Like we said,
stay tuned in, pal.

I might need
that head of yours later.

Yeah, I got you covered, boss.

I know you do.

Hey, I think
your friends are here.

All right, how many?

There's two walkin' up
the block, two out the car.

- You see 'em?
- Yeah, I see 'em.

Jesus Christ,
look at the size of that guy.

They got... They got
serious muscle with them.

Is everything cool, boss?

Cool as can be.
Just a little chat.

"Here lies
Frank Minna. Cool as can be."

They'll carve that on his fuckin' tombstone.

I don't know if it was
growin' up in Greenpoint

or fightin' the Japanese,

but he was cool under pressure
in a way you can't teach.

I was just happy to
have a job on his team.

And if there's one thing my
pain-in-the-ass brain does know how to do,

it's listen
and remember things.

thanks for coming. Drink?

We're not gonna
be here that long.

Now explain this crap.

Which part
didn't you understand?

How about the part
where you got the idea

to go poking around after some
colored broad, for starters?

She works for the committee.

She's a fuckin' secretary.

We told you
to dig in on Horowitz,

find something
we can shut them down with.

There's nothing there, Lou.

You wanna know what's goin' on
in that report,

that "colored broad" is doing most
of the legwork on Hamilton for 'em.

So I put some time
into that, too.

You looked in
some funny places.

What can I tell ya?
I'm a snoop. It's what I do.

It's called being thorough.

It's called
wasting our time.

This is fucking Chinese,

If you need a roadmap
to wipe your ass,

I can't help you, Lou.

Walk us through it,
Mr. Minna,

just to be sure
we're very clear.

It's right there in ink.

Anybody else like to
offer a different interpretation?

None of this
can be proved.

That signature
is the real deal.

If you knew the man,

you'd know why that seems
highly implausible.

I checked it
against the others.

That is his John Hancock.

And the paper trail
backs it up.

Think Horowitz
knows all of this?


Or you'd already
be eating shit.

It'd have been in the paper
the next day.

The girl,
she married? Got family?

It's all in my file.

Her mother's dead.
No brother or sisters.

- What about her father?
- Father's a busted-up vet.

He runs a jazz club up here.
He drinks too much.

Mr. Minna,
I'll assume

you're aware of what occurs
a week from Thursday?

I am.

So then,
you understand

our firm determination
to keep such information

out of the hands
of our detractors?

it's the nature of the game.

But these are all photos.

May I hope you're in
possession of the originals?

- I am.
- Excellent.

Well, we'll need to
get those from you.

I figured as much.

I thought we could
talk about terms.

What the fuck
are you talkin' about?

Have you lost your mind?

Let's not kid
each other, fellas.

You got the biggest gravy train
of the century pulling out.

I'm just asking for a seat
here in the rear.

That's quite impossible.

I'd double this
at any paper in town.

I'm gonna pretend
you didn't say

what you just said,
and we're gonna get...

It's just an observation.

I'm here in good faith.

- Just assessing value...
- You can forget it!

Jeez, Lou.

What is your beef with a guy
gettin' paid for good work?

As far as I can see,
you get paid

for doin' nothing.

- Watch your mouth.
- Jesus, take it easy.

- Shit.
- Open up your coat.

- What?
- Are you carryin'?

- You bring a gun to a meeting?
- I had it

- since the war, Lou...
- What the fuck?

Listen, motherfucker,
I'm gonna have my friend

shove that right up your ass.

Lou, a word.

Oh, come on, fellas,
don't get in a twist.

It's just business.

Mr. Minna,
we do appreciate

the service you've rendered.

And these gentlemen

will take you
to get the originals

and if all is in order,

we'll arrange an appropriate
resolution for you.

Of course.
Like I say, good faith.

Just let me use the can first.

Come on, come on!
Come on, come on!

Shithead hitter!

- Hit him in the shitter!
- What happened?

They hit him. They hit him.
I think that they hit him.

Well, Jesus, Freakshow,
what are we doing here?

No, no, no. Wait, wait, wait.

He said, "Use the can."
He wants us to follow him.

Can the man!
Can the loose man!

And this fucking guy.

- I don't like it.
- Me, neither. Let's go.


No, no. No.

Shit. We gotta go,
we gotta go!

Come on, come on, come on!

Go, go, go! Fire it up!

Fire it up, come on!

This fucking guy!

Eat me, Mr. Dickey Weed!

Eat me, Mr. Dickey Weed!

Come on.

Left, left, left.
Lick me, Loose Lucy!

There, there, there.
That's them. That's them.

Don't blow past them,
don't blow past them.

Slow down, slow down.

Watch out! Watch out!


You fuckin' blind?

- The fuck?
- How'd we lose them?

There, there! There!

Where's he goin'?

The ramp, he's goin'
to Queens. Queenie Coney.

Queenie Coney. Queenie Coney.

In the right lane.
Get to the right.

Where the fuck are they?

Son of a bitch, that's them!

Come on,
we're gonna lose them.

Come on!

- Quacker, quoter, quarter!
- What?

Quacker, quoter, quarter!

- What?
- Quarter! You need a quarter!

Get a fuckin' quarter out,

Why didn't you say something?

Go, go, go! Go, go!

There, there, there.
Go left, go left.

They gotta be somewhere.

I'd say they're somewhere,
Gil, yes. Where?

Stop, go back! Go back!


Shit! Drop it!
We gotta get out of here!

Come on, let's go!
Let's go!

God damn it.


Pull it up!

You wanna
help me out here, please?

- Yeah.
- Oh, shit!

- Can you stand?
- Yeah.

Coney, you lug wrench,
get my hat!

Forget the hat, Frank.

Get my hat, you fucking mook.

Get my gun, too.

Where the hell
are you going?

I don't know around here.

- Give me something.
- Well, head for the hospital.

Hospitable herpetologist!

Mercy Hospital.

Up McGuinness,
you cabbageheads!

- Ah, sorry.
- Pay attention!

- If, if!
- Easy, pal.

Sorry. Sorry.

Put my watch and my wallet
in my hat

and leave it in the car.

Don't want anybody
stealin' it.

The fuck happened, Frank?

I took 'em on a wild goose
chase and I tried to slip 'em.

Ah, we should have
jumped in sooner.

I thought
you were signaling me off.

No, not your fault.
I almost made it.

I forgot they had my gun.

Got through Guadalcanal
without a scratch,

and I get shot with my own gun
in Queens.

- You gonna be okay?
- Yeah, yeah.

They clipped me in the side,
but nothin' important.

- Who? Who were they?
- Well, don't worry about it.

Talk to me, Brooklyn.

- I need one of your jokes.
- What?

I need a joke.
Just tell me a joke.

Guy walks into a bar.

Guy walks into a bar
with an octopus

and he says,
"I'll bet 50 this octopus

can play any instrument
in the joint."

Funny. Already in the black.

I'm gonna fucking...
Fuck! Shit!

Don't blow the punchline,

Watch out! Watch out!

what are we doing here?

Almost there.

What do you think you're
doing? Get this car out of...

We're an ambulance today, pal.
Get someone!

What do we got?

Gunshot in the back.
Went out through the stomach.

Hey, hey. Okay,
they're gonna fix you up.

Squeeze my hand.
Squeeze my hand.


Stay with me, okay?
Stay with me.

Oh, shit, Brooklyn,
she's in trouble now.

Who? Who was that
in that room, boss?

Played out of my league.

I should have kept her
under my...

Easy, easy. They're gonna give
you something now, right?

Hand me two units.

Morphine in.

- Hey, Brooklyn...
- Yeah, I'm here, Frank.

You're no freak.

Yeah, okay.

Stay with me, okay?
Stay with me.

You were working for
those guys. Who were they?

For... Formosa...

Formosa? What is that?


- I don't have a pulse.
- Move!

- You can't be here.
- Get out!

Get out.
Get out! Get out!

A guy walks into a bar...

A guy walks into a bar...

A guy walks into a bar...

- A guy walks into a bar...
- We did the best we could.

- A guy walks into a bar...
- He lost too much...

Too much blood.

He didn't make it.

- I am so sorry.
- So sorry, Bailey!

So sorry, Bailey!

Frankly Frankady Franko!

Frankly Frankady Franko!

Frankly Frankady Franko!

Frankly Frankady Franko!

Frankly Frankady Franko!

Then he said
he would take 'em

to get this thing
and that was our signal.

So, he's takin' them to get
somethin' that they want,

and they off him.
That doesn't track.

No, I don't know.

It all happened so fast.
And we were just catchin' up.

We barely saw 'em.

How the fuck did you drop
so far off them?

I told you, we lost them at
the bridge. They had a badge.

They got waved through.
There was nothin' we could do.

Freakshow's right.
It was a mess.

So, who were they?

He wouldn't say.
Even after, in the car.

That's great, Frank!

If, if, if!

We gotta tell Julia.

I told her already.


She called looking for him.

How'd she take it?
Timbuk-take it!

How the fuck you think
she took it, Freakshow?

Hey! Don't say that again!

I'm not in the fuckin' mood.

Yeah, all right, take it easy.

I'm just sayin'...

We all know how she can be.

Somebody's gotta
take her his things.

I'll do it.


Take his, huh?

You can't go out
lookin' like that.

It's freezin'.

- Thank you.
- You sure you wanna do this?

Maybe she'll wanna know what
happened at the end, you know?

He say anything about her?


Help him out one last time.

Lie a little.

- Oh. Lionel.
- Hey, Julia, I...

Yeah, don't bother.
The hospital already called.

No, I got some of Frank's
things that I brought.


I thought you were gonna
break the news to me again.

Jeez, Julia, I'm...

- I'm really sorry.
- Nice twist, huh?

Didn't see that one coming,
I gotta say.

Twisty, twitchy, twinky!

Look, I just want to be alone,

Sure, sure. Yeah.

You can give me that watch,
I guess.

I don't want
the rest of that stuff.

I'm gonna keep his gun,
if that's okay.

- You want the hat?
- For what?

You should have that.

Was somebody with him
when he...

Yeah, I was.


He was talkin'
about you, you know?

Yeah, don't bullshit me, okay?
I'm pissed at him.

- No, don't be.
- Okay, well, I am.

Pissing bitch!

I'm sorry.


did Frank say anything about
who he was meeting today,

or what he was into?

No, he didn't. No.

- You got no idea who did this?
- No.

If I figure it out, I'm gonna
make 'em regret it, though.

I promise you that.

Don't promise me.

It makes no difference
to me one way or the other.








Here you go, sir.

Let 'em in, Charlie.

All right, gentlemen.
Come on in.

Watch your step. It might
be a little bit slippery.

I humbly accept the
responsibility of the office of mayor,

and I accept the challenge of
serving the people of New York City

faithfully and well.

Limited only
by our own vision,

our own audacity,

we will build the legacy
of our time.

A legacy for future
generations to look upon

and say, "Here was boldness.

Here is the greatest
of what man can create."

God bless you. Thank you.

Thank you, my fellow
New Yorkers! Thank you!

Do you solemnly swear to serve
the people of New York

and uphold the integrity
of the office

of Deputy Mayor
of Community Relations?

I do.

Ah. Mo. Splendid.

Do you solemnly swear to serve
the people of New York

and uphold the integrity
of the office

of Commissioner
of the City's Parks?

I do.

Do you solemnly swear to serve
the people of New York

and uphold the integrity
of the office

of Commissioner
of Building and Construction?

I do.

Good to have you aboard, Mo.
Keep up the good work.

Well, I'll be damned,
he did it.

I told you.

He's no pushover, this one.

Ladies and gentlemen,

your New York City

10 bucks
it won't last past noon.

Mr. Mayor! Mr. Mayor!

This way.

And after all that,

he voted for the wrong guy
in three different precincts.

What is this shit?

What about City Planning?

See here now, Mo.
What is all this?

Don't you play games
with me, you fuckin' mutt.

Either I get City Planning
or I quit the other two.

Right now!

The reporters are still here.

Easy now, it's nothing
to get hot about.

It's probably
just an oversight.

They forgot to
give me the blank.

Just give us a day
to get settled in,

and I'll see to it.

Now sign it.

Now give me.


Bunch of fuckin' amateurs.

Close the damn door and keep it closed!

City sports authority

reports new life
in negotiations

with Walter O'Malley to keep
the Dodgers in Brooklyn.

Read all about it
in the Telegram.

The Dodgers can stay if
the city will give 'em a yard.

Read all about it
in the Telegram.

The Dodgers can stay if
the city will give 'em a yard.

All these
wide-necked apes,

trackin' mud
through my apartment,

asking all kinds of questions

and I told them,
"Christ, he's dead.

What, are you gonna
arrest him?"

Fuck you been?
Called you all morning.

What the hell happened here?

Danny had
an early run out to Belmont,

came in, it was like this.

Cops were at Frank's place,

- going through everything.
- If!

They were going through
my underwear drawer

and they were grinnin' at me

while they were going through
my underwear drawer.

We're gonna find out
who did this,

get to the bottom of it.
Right, boys?

I don't even want to know.

Always with this cryptic shit,

telling me he's into
something big this time

and that he's gonna
change our situation,

and then he goes
and gets whacked,

and leaves me $4,000
in a savings and loan,

and a drafty shithole
at Lookout Point,

and this thriving operation!

The fuck am I supposed to do
with this?

Look, the way I see it,

you guys work for me now.

I know you all go way back
with him, longer than me,

but that's just the way
it is for now.

I know the car service
was mainly for the books,

but we didn't talk much about
how he ran the snoop work.

And I ain't interested.

So, I'm puttin'
Tony in charge.

He's gonna run
the business of it,

and then he'll keep me
in the loop. Right?

Sure, doll.
It's the right thing.


You want me to walk you home?

No, thanks.

I'm gonna go stay with
my sister for a little bit.

I have to go figure out
my future.

But give me a call. Okay?

You know, for an update?

- Hey, Julia.
- Hey, Lionel.

Can't you ever cut that out?

Touch it, Bailey!
I'm sorry.

For once?


- I'm...
- Jesus.


Fuckin' assholes even took
the tank off the john.

All right, forget that,
do it later.

Right now,
just the four of us...

Does anybody know
what Frank was into on this?

He just said to meet him
for a sit.

He didn't even make it
like it was a big thing.

- He was nervous, though.
- Nervous how?

He wasn't nervous.

Were you on that line,
dumb shit?

I'm telling you, I heard it,
he was nervous.

Nervous Nellie!

It was in his voice.

He was trying to make a play
on those guys.

There's somethin' goin' down a
week from Thursday that's big.

And they were not happy
about what he found.

They whacked him for it.

Crack whacker! No,

I don't think they meant to.
I think it was a mistake.

When they shot him,
I think they fucked up,

now they're stuck
looking for what he found.

Big fuckin' riddle.
Jesus H.

All right, I'm gonna say this.

I loved the guy.

And when we were
in that fuckin' hellhole,

he saw somethin' in us,

threw us a line,
taught us how to operate,

but he never cut us in
all the way.

And he played his own games.

And I'm not stickin' my nose
around his dead cards,

risk ending up
on a slab for it.

I say we got
a lot of bills to pay,

and we ought to
just get at it.

You owe him
more than that, T.

Yeah, well, you figure out
what the fuck

it was all about,
you let us know.

All right? Meantime, I gotta
finish up on the rabbi's wife.

She's banging a butcher
who ain't kosher

and I think he's really gonna
give her the boot this time,

and that's gonna be
the last of that ride.

I want Gil sitting on
that Gunderson fraud thing.

- I'm on Gunderson.
- Yeah, well, I want Gil on it!

- Why?
- Because

when we make that bust,

the insurance company's gonna
want us to go down there,

show the pictures
to his lawyer,

and I wanna make
a good impression.

Okay? Frank ain't here
to cover for you anymore.

- Fraud fag!
- Like I said,

Gil's on it.
Danny will back me on nights,

and, Lionel, you pick up
the car slack for him,

just until something new
comes in.

It's cold. We're gonna have
a lot of calls,

and we need that business.

Now, come on, let's clean up.

Tony, and Coney,
and Danny, and me...

before we were Minna's men,

we were just dead-end kids
at the Catholic orphanage.


I was worse in there.
A total freakshow.

No one knew
what to do with it.


Yeah, we have cars available.
Where would you like to go?

The nuns thought they were
gonna beat it out of me.

One of 'em in particular.

Till Tony grabbed
the paddle from her

and said if she hit me again,

he was gonna
give it to her twice as hard.

Coney and Danny were standing
behind him when he said it

and she knew
they weren't bluffin'.

After that,
I was in their crew.


- L&L.
- Who am I speaking to?


This is Lionel Essrog.
I'm associate...




Frank was just
from the neighborhood.

He was smart.

Everybody knew
he was goin' places.

Everybody liked him.

For my ass, Bailey!

He was friends
with one of the priests,

and he heard I had a thing
for remembering.

Numbers and words and things,

and he had uses for that.

He was the one that taught me
how to use my head,

get it under control,
make it work for me.

He took all of us
under his wing, eventually.

Gave us a place
in this shitty world.

- Lionel?
- If!

Oh, Jesus Christ!

You scared the hell out of me.

I thought
I was lookin' at a ghost.

- What are you doin'?
- Spinnin'.

- You back already?
- Nah, I'm on a round trip.

I gotta go back soon.

You okay?

I should have never let him
get in that car.

I think I blew it, Danny.

I had a sergeant once
in the Bulge. Told me,

"Sometimes you do everything
you're supposed to,

and it all still goes
to shit." Hmm?

It ain't on you, bud.

Thanks, D.

Any calls?

Yeah. Oh, shit!

I gotta go.

I got a 2:30.


did you ever hear Frank mention
anything about "Formosa"?

Like the Jap island?

Nah. He was wounded
and out before then.


There is that joint, Formosa,
in, uh, Midtown.

I took Linda there
to see Chet Baker once.

Frank didn't have
to cover for me.

He just never put me
into situations

that were gonna
punch my buttons.

Talkin' to people, gettin'
information out of 'em,

that's the bread and butter
of the trade,

but never my strong suit.

Especially if a girl shows up
in the mix

and, in this line of work,
they usually do.

Music's at 7:00.

Yeah, could I get
an early one? Whiskey, neat?

- Irish?
- Sure.

Say, are you in here regular?

Most of my life.

You ever seen this guy
come in?

Name's Frank Minna.

Seen him around?

Everybody looks like
everybody to me,

but I don't think so.

She's good with faces.

Seen that guy?

- Friend of yours?
- Yeah.

- Nice face.
- If!

Nice yourself.

You got a light?

A tease.


Jesus. Forget I asked.

- Ass-talk, Bailey!
- Classy!

You got somethin'
against blondes?

It's gotta sound right
or I can't stop doing it.

Must be inconvenient.

Buddy, you don't know
the half of it.

That uptown shit's
the real deal, huh?

You get up there much?

- Sorry?
- King Rooster.

- I don't know it.
- Jazz joint in Harlem.

Lucky's is a good time, too,

but all the guys playing hard
are at the Rooster.

Thanks a lot.

We ain't open yet.

Yeah, could I get
an early one? I'm freezin'.

I'll take a whiskey, neat.
Keep it.

Hey, you the manager?

I look like the manager?

Who's playin' tonight?

Hey, Billy, who's on tonight?

Mr. Bigshot.

I hope they don't
think they drinkin' free.

Well, you know they do.

You know who's
gonna say somethin' about that.

You caught this cat?

I seen cool.

This brother rewritin' cool.

- I'll catch him next time.
- Don't wait long.

These French girls
keep lovin' him up,

he's gonna move over there
for good.

French kissin' cats!

Thanks, pal.

On my average day,

the weed will handle
my twitching and shouting,

let me get to sleep.

But it makes
my thinking fuzzy.

In my dreams, I'm calm and clear
like I was when I was a kid.

Even after my head
started messin' with me,

my mother
could settle it down.

She'd sing soft songs,

stroke the back of my neck,

and it would leave me
for a while.

We'd lie on the bed,

talk about all the places
we were gonna go.

That "colored broad" is doing
most of the legwork on Hamilton for 'em.

Christ, Coney,
did you get the shot or not?

What? Doing what?

Gettin' the... Gettin'
the paper ain't worth shit.

The fuck's got to do
with his back?

"Bendin' over," my ass.

Look, I need him
liftin' the lawnmower

out of the car
or playin' tennis,

or spinnin' around the room
with some broad

up on his tent pole
and his arms out wide.

I don't give a shit as long as
it involves his back.


I know he's fakin' it, Gil.

That's why he's won
three claims.

Look, just wait him out
or set him up.

I know it's cold. That's why
they call it winter!


I'm givin' him
till the end of the week.

Hell, the guy could
lift a cow into a truck...

Coney's still gonna
miss the shot.

He still can't remember
to wind the film.

He thinks it's a Tommy gun.

I keep tellin' him, "Click,
advance. Click, advance."

Can it! I'm givin' him
the rest of the week.

Give me a fuckin' break, Gil.

Oh. Yeah, no, excuse me.

- We gettin' any rides?
- No.

Nobody ever needs a ride on
Tuesday, you ever notice that?

Never. What is that about?

Tits on a Tuesday!

Okay, thank you.


For me.

Well, don't go gettin'
all mysterious now, T.

You ain't no Minna.


I'm going to pick up a prescription
for my mother, clam brain.

You want all the details?

All right.

I'm goin' out for coffee.
You want?

Yeah, cream and sugar.



Meet the new boss.


Hey, D, if it's slow,
you up for something?

Like what?

Will you go sit on that place
for me? It's up in Harlem.

I don't know it.

I think Frank was there
that day,

or maybe the day before,

but it was in his pants,
it was almost full.

- Fullsie pants!
- Yeah, well,

maybe he just stopped in

- for a book of matches.
- I don't think so.

He was talkin'
about the colored girl

who found somethin'
they were unhappy about,

and he said her father's
a busted-up vet

who runs a joint in Harlem,

and this place is three blocks

from where they had
that meeting.

So, you went there?

Yeah, and guess
who the manager is?

He's a colored guy
with a bum arm.

Oh, okay, what do you want me
to do about it?

Just get in there, you know,

see if you can get her name
off of them or something.

Use your liquor board bit.
Lick Broader!

I get her name.

- That's it?
- No, sit there a while.

See if she comes in.
Get her picture or somethin'.

See if a colored girl
walks into a jazz joint?

Let me make a prediction.

Hey, asshole, I'm workin' it
from another angle, too.

We'll put 'em together.
We'll figure out who she is.

All right. Can I ask
why we're doin' this?

'Cause he'd have
done it for us.

You're right.

Ah, it's fuckin' cold
for a sit.

No, take the Bel Air.
That heater'll roast you like a brisket.

Bet on the bris!

What are you, a rabbi now?

You don't want me handling
your bris, believe me.

Can I help you?

- Yeah. If!
- Bless you.

Thank you.
I'm here to see Mildred.

Mildred? There's nobody
by that name here.

I'm pretty sure
it was Mildred.

- Myrna.
- My mynah bird's Myrna.

No. No, it was a colored girl
that I was speaking to.

Uh... Josephine?

Or Laura?

- Mary.
- No,

I'm pretty sure
it was Mildred.

I was talking to her on
the phone about my application.

What's your name?

What sort of application?

For my vendor's license.

Is this not
the licensing office?

It's the Committee on Racial
Discrimination in Housing.

Well, then,
you can't very well

help me sell hot dogs,
can you?

I'm so sorry.

Wait. Mr. Horowitz
isn't here today, is he?

- You mean Miss Horowitz?
- Either one.

- She's in the back.
- Can you point her out to me?

There she is.


You've been more helpful
than you know.

We told you
to dig in on Horowitz.

Horse a whip!

Horse a whip!

Shit, what happened?

Jesus, Danny.

Come on. All right.


Shit. You need ice?

No, no. I'll take a shot.
You got one of those?


- Yeah, thanks.
- Who was it, D?


There was a couple of 'em.

One was a giant.

- A what?
- A fuckin' giant.

I'm tellin' ya,
the biggest guy I ever saw.

Worked me over pretty good.

Murdered the camera.

- Fuck. Did they say anything?
- Yeah.

Uh... "Stay out
of Minna's garbage.

Tell your crew the same."

They had a big nasty knife
to my throat for that part.

Those sons of bitches!

But they didn't get this.

- Assholes.
- The fuck is it?

Giant-ass dog!
Ah, D, you're the tits.

What are you two into?

- You get 'em all?
- These are yours,

- these are mine.
- Yeah.

Uh-huh, uh-huh.

- That's the same guy I saw.
- Yeah, yeah.

- The bum arm.
- Forget all that, though.

She doesn't show up till
sort of the end of the roll.


- Look, they come out together.
- Yeah.

No, wait, but I saw her.
That's, uh...

- Laura, they called her Laura.
- Laura Rose?

Maybe that's Billy Rose,
if he's her father.

She lives on the same corner
as the club.

They must have made me early,

as soon as I got out
to check it out,

bam, they were on me.

Yeah. That's her.

That's the colored girl
that Frank was following.

All right, I'm with you, okay?
It's just,

- it's still a little thin.
- Skeletal.

Thin? What?

We already ID'd her.
We've been at it one day.

Well, you know,
whatever it is, it's...

It's gotta be big,
they're goin' this far, right?

So, it's gotta be
worth something, then.

I'll tell you what, Freakshow,
Gil and I,

we'll stay on the money work,
just to keep us afloat,

you and Danny
keep sniffin' this.

Let's see what we get.

- Fuck 'em!
- Yeah.

- Right?
- Yeah.

- If!
- I hope these mugs poke around

'cause I got something
for them if they do.

What do you say, D?

Fellas, I...

I loved him, you know.

I mean, I'll, uh...

I, uh...
I'll handle the car stuff.

I'll work some domestic shit,

but I got Linda.

No, hey, hey,
that's the right thing.

Get on home,

- throw a steak on that eye.
- Yeah.

I'll give you a lift.

- So long.
- Yeah, yeah.

What do you mean,
it might be worth something?

I don't know, I thought maybe
we'll get something out of it.

I ain't looking to make a deal
with these fucks.

Forget that, then.
Look, I'm just...

Don't you think I wanna
find out who whacked Frank?


Just don't hold out on me,

We're workin'
on this thing together.

We find who did this,
and we square accounts.

If you say so, yeah.

Wanna get a beer?

- Nah.
- Come on.

Come on. Let's get a beer.

Come on, let's get a beer.

Okay, leave me alone,
leave me alone.

All right.

Don't stay up too late,

Give up the seat,

Give her the seat!

Hey, Gabby, they're closed.

you gotta be kidding me!

- Yes...
- At 3:30? Ugh.

Hey, pal,
I'm new to this beat.

What's the story here?

Stories of injustice
and despair,

nodding assurances,

and back to business as usual.
The American way.

Though this one
could make things interesting.

Hey, who's the, uh,
guy on the far right?

It's Brooklyn
borough president.

What are you,
a television reporter?

No, just new.

We'll commence
this public comment.

State your name, address,
and affiliation, please.

I'm William Lieberman,

Mayor's Commission
on Slum Clearance.

We'll arrange an appropriate
resolution for you.

Resident of East...

- Lieberman.
- ...65th Street, Manhattan.

Cindy Fleming,
homemaker, Yonkers.

Formerly East Tremont.

My family was forced to move
when they seized

our building for the Bronx
Expressway and I want

- people to know that...
- Mrs. Horowitz.


Miss Horowitz, you may not
hijack these proceedings

- to air out old complaints...
- Gabby Horowitz,

Committee for Racial
Discrimination in Housing,

552 Clinton Avenue, Brooklyn.

I thought that this was
a community hearing?

On housing, not highways.

You're making the same
promises to Fort Greene

you made in East Tremont,

where your so-called
"relocation services"

vanished into thin air

and left families like
the Flemings utterly adrift.

People have a right to know
what they're in for.

We are totally committed
to the welfare of families

displaced by necessary

community improvement programs

and the past has been
instructive, miss,

but our new contractors

will ensure
all find adequate homes...

This isn't Long Island,
you know.

It's not just a blank canvas

you can paint on
anywhere you like.

There are people here,
established communities.

Bill, if I may...

I hope you all know my name.
I'm the mayor,

newly residing
in Gracie Mansion.

Uh, Miss Horowitz,

thank you for your work
and your passion.

Surely we can all agree that

even in a city as great
as ours we have slums,

and that slums are not to be
romanticized or preserved.

You tear them down

and improve quality of life
for everyone...

A neighborhood is not a slum,

because poor people
and minorities

live there, Mr. Mayor.

East Tremont wasn't a slum,

Third Avenue wasn't a slum,

and Fort Greene isn't a slum,

These are working-class

Your developers are making
them slums, Mr. Randolph!

That is unsubstantiated
and unmitigated bunk!

We have
got it on paper.

We got 20 people here tonight

and scores behind them

who can testify to
a scandalous fraud underway.

Which way
do you want it first?

Hey, hey, hey!

We are embarking

on the most ambitious
slum clearance program

in American history,
Mrs. Horowitz,

and you are gumming it up
with your molasses!

A Niagara of molasses!

Make him say his name!

Name and place of residence
like everyone else!

Now, see here, we all know
perfectly well who this is.

Mo Randolph is one of our
greatest public servants.

He's a living legend.

Name and residence,
like everybody else!

Shiver shitty self!

He's led the Parks Department
for over 30 years.

He's Commissioner
of Construction.

He's got
too many jobs to name.

And he lives right across
the street from me on 88th.

Make him say it!

So, let's stick to the
issues concerning the citizens of...

Name, address!

See here now,
if we can't keep this civil...

Say it!

...we'll have to ask you
to leave!

Say it!


Two fuckin' pigs in a blanket!

Hey! Say it, Hammy House Head!

Say it! Say it! Say it!

I got a condition.

"Hammy Ham House Head"?

That's good.
I gotta remember that one.

- If!
- Yeah, well,

that's the rub in life,
all right, if. If only.


You know things about
that guy, Bill Lieberman?

Is he in charge of
this whole housing deal?

No, he's not in charge.

More in charge than that guy
calling himself the mayor,

but they all work for Moses.

Hey, hey, stop, stop,
wait a second.

- Let me go. You nuts?
- You just said Formosa.

- What is that?
- What's Formosa?

You said, "Working Formosa."
What does that mean?

No, Jesus, I said, "They're
all working for Moses."

Moses Randolph.

Mo Randolph?
The guy who walked in late?

He who will not speak his name
like one of the rabble.

What do you care?

Hey, hey, um...

I'm Jake Gleason.
I'm with the Post.

Can I buy you a cup of coffee?

I'm hungry.
You can buy me dinner.

that means the one guy

answers to the other guy,
but they all

- gotta answer to the mayor.
- The mayor?

That clown is so green,

he doesn't even know
what he doesn't know yet.

He'll be out the door
before he even realizes

that every person
he turns to for advice

- is on Randolph's payroll.
- I thought he was

- the parks commissioner.
- He is.

But they called him
the construction commissioner

- in there.
- He's that, too, now,

but they didn't even
have that position

until the Feds decided
to get in the housing game.

There was no defined power,

so he defined it,
they approved it

and now how much control

over that money
has the city got? Zero.

He's got it all. You know

- what "eminent domain" is?
- I think, yeah...

Yeah, if he says it's a slum,
it goes.

He used to have to fight

to put his highways and parks
where he wanted,

and now, he goes anywhere,
tears anything down.

He can condemn
a whole section of the city,

evict everyone
who lives there,

and put up what he wants.

And he'll go at it
with an axe.

Smacks with an axe!

But he'd be the most
hated guy in the city.

I mean,
he'd piss everybody off.

They love him.

That's what makes me so...

He flies above it.
They revere him.

- Why?
- Because he built the parks.

As long as you're the guy
that brings people parks,

you walk with the angels,
you can't lose.

The day that
Rockaway Beach opened,

Moses Randolph became
a folk hero in this town.

People don't realize
how much he hates them.

"The hero of the public
who hates people."

That's your headline.

And you know
who he hates especially?


He's going to seize
every neighborhood

in this city that's not white

and turn it over to his
handpicked private developers.

So, you're saying
he's getting rich,

he's taking kickbacks
on all this?

No, he doesn't want money.
He wants control.

And he brokers money
to get it and guard it.

Some guys aren't satisfied
unless they have filet mignon.

Moses Randolph
would be satisfied

with a pastrami sandwich
and power.

Hey, uh, excuse me.

Could I get
a slice of cheesecake?

Could you make it warm?

I'd like it warm.

Half the city is getting
a ride on one of his horses.

For God's sakes, he controls

every fuckin' construction job
in the city.

But you said they just
created the position.

No. Construction,
slums, parks.

He's got 14 appointments.

It's all just ink
on a glass door.

None of it matters.
It's all BA.


Borough Authority.

You call yourself a reporter?
On what?

- The arts beat?
- Beet farts!

- You read Emerson?
- No, should I?

- Yeah, you fucking should.
- All right.

Emerson said that
"an institution

is the lengthened shadow
of one man."

This town is run
by the Borough Authority

and the Borough Authority
is Moses Randolph.


Fucking Lieberman.


That quack in the diner

with pork chop
and peas in his beard

was one of the most talented
engineers of his generation.

Ivy League.
Big awards.

Walkin' right next
to his brother

toward being
someone important.

Then, sometime
after the Crash, just...


Like he got erased.

Maybe it was bad luck,
maybe booze.

There was all kinds of
casualties in those days.

Ladies and gentlemen,

please welcome

the president of the Gotham
Builders Association,

Joe Pompano!

Gotta show this
to Bill Lieberman.

He's gonna want to see this before
Randolph speaks, believe me.

Thank you. Thank you,

ladies and gentlemen.
Please settle down

and lend
your serious attention.

Don't worry. We'll celebrate.

We're gonna eat like
only we know how to eat.

Tonight's celebration
is made very special

by our guest of honor,

a brother to our trade...

- Hey, Gleason, right?
- Hey.

...who would rightly be hailed
this country's

- master builder...
- Nice threads.

...or "the Great Dirt Mover"

as he likes to be called.

Don't let them see you
pull out a notebook.

Tonight, it's
"Press: Forget about it."

We'd have
to look to the Caesars

and pharaohs to find men
with a scale of vision

to compare with his.

- A great man.
- If!

A man of history,

serving the people of
this city for over 25 years,

Moses Randolph!

Jeez, you'd think
Patton showed up.

He pays one and a half times
union rate on all of his jobs.

They'd pave over
their mothers for him.

Thank you, Joe.

Tonight, over 300 years

since the founding
of this great city,

we recommit ourselves
to the ancient truth

that it is not knowledge,

but action and enterprise

which are the engine
and objective in life.

Clever men come and go,

but for every dozen of them
with their big ideas,

there is not more than one
that can execute them.

I look around this room,

I don't see
a lot of bright boys

or goodie-goodie progressives
with their paralyzing ideals.

I see the men of my tribe.

The men who get things done.

The doers that make
this country great!

To be honored by you

is all the affirmation or
payment I shall ever seek.

I celebrate you

and I thank you.

Hear, hear!

I'll catch you
on the next one.

All right.

You finished it?

Best work I've done.

A total modernization of
the state's electrical grid.

And it's a scale
that only you can get done.

Clean yourself up,
for Christ sakes.

How? With what?

Hey, not a fuckin' word
out of you about any of that.

You bring that up to me
ever again,

I'm gonna close you out
for good.

Moses, I'm so far out,

I'm doing piecework
for kids fresh out of school.

You whip up a crowd
against me like that ever again,

I'm gonna take your big idea,

I'll throw it
on the fuckin' scrap heap.

- Is that what you want?
- No, no.

Okay, I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

None of that matters.

Just read it.

I'll read it.

What makes a person
go against their own brother?

All my life,
I'd never had a family,

so I never could
understand people

who did and let it get ugly.

My crazy brain was tellin' me I
should keep pullin' on that thread,

but whatever Frank found,

he found it
following the girl.

So, I just kept chasin'
his footsteps.




Keep it together, Freakshow.


- You lookin' for somethin'?
- Help, Bailey!

Ah, shit.

What, you think you can just
walk into people's homes?

No, I was lookin' for someone.

I didn't think
anybody lived here.

Oh, someone lives here.

- My momma lives here.
- Sure.

- At least, she's tryin' to.
- If!

Who you with?

- Huh?
- I hope you're with Belmont.

Yeah, yeah, Belmont.
Who else?

What is going on?

We got ourselves
an intruder.

- How hard did you hit him?
- I barely tapped him.

Fool slipped
and hit his own head.


"If" what?

I'll tell you what, "if"...

you better explain who you are

if you want to
walk out of here.

Have I seen you before?

my name is Jake Gleason.

It's a misunderstanding,
all right?

I'm a reporter.

I was at the Hamilton Housing
hearing the other night.

I called the committee
this morning.

I came out here
looking for you.

He the one that said he's with
those racketeering sons of bitches.

They stole her fridge.

They stole her copper pipes.
Man, what you expect?

First, they put up a notice says
the house will be condemned.

It's not true,
but that scares out

about half
and they sell for cheap.

Then they come in and take
the nice old family homes,

chop 'em into four
and rent 'em up.

Folks who don't leave,
they harass,

turn the heat off,

come in to do repairs
and steal copper pipe instead.

The city sold property worth
$15 million for 500,000

to take the risk of having to
build the federal projects.

They haven't even
submitted plans,

just milked it
till it really is a slum.

Slammer for the slum lords,

- Ah...
- Oh, what?

You're one of those who thinks
we're just agitating?

Making it up like some
Negro propaganda conspiracy?

No, no, look, look, look.
I got a condition, okay?

It makes me say funny things,
but I'm not trying to be funny.

I'm really not. I'm listenin'.

Where's everybody go?

Mostly just disappear.
Fade away.

200,000 in two years,

just from this part
of Brooklyn.

- Mostly Negro. Latino.
- Yeah,

but Horowitz said they did it
up in East Tremont, too.

- Same thing?
- Yeah, they did it

to a few Jews, too,
but not systematic like this.

How many parks, do you think,
have been built

in this city since
he's been commissioner?


How many of those in Harlem,
you think?


You build a new beach
for the people,

but the ones with no cars,

the poor ones,
the black and brown ones,

how are they gonna get
to the parks and beaches?

Public bus.

Guess how high they just built
the overpasses on the new parkway?

One foot too low
for a bus to clear.

Come on.

Look, forget whether
it's discrimination.

The federal government and
the city are being scammed.

There's supposed to be
relocation services,

company's got
a $2 million contract

to handle it, but nobody
even answers the phone.

Call the city,
they say these folks

are on the list for
the new public housing,

- but then it never gets built.
- You know more

than any secretary
I ever met in my life.

Secretary? Who told you that?

I got a law degree, you know?

I'll pass the bar
first time I sit, too.

Okay, then. Sorry.

How are you gonna write about it
all if you don't even take a note?

What, "$2 million
for relocation services,

bridges a foot too low
for the buses,

one out of 255 parks,

15 million in property
for 500K,

200,000 people
in Fort Greene alone." That?

I never forget anything,
believe me.

Not a single word.

I'm really sorry.
I can't help it, I got a...

It's okay.

Just write about it, please.

What happens to poor people
in this city

wasn't news yesterday
and it won't be tomorrow,

but you'd think somebody'd
care what happens to Brooklyn.

It's only the biggest city
on Earth.

Where you live?

- Harlem.
- Hmm.

This is me.

You want me
to give you a ride?

Come on,
the trains will be mobbed.

I'll give you a ride.

Come on.

Bebop, Bailey, in the
Metropolitan Bopera House!

Oh, God.

I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

Don't be sorry.
It's kinda funny.

Yeah? Well, hang around a little
while, and see what you think.


What is all that, anyway?

I don't know.
I never got a name for it.

It's like a piece in my head broke
off and got a life of its own

and then just decided to
keep joyridin' me for kicks.

Kicks and tics!

- Licks and tics!
- Sorry.

It's okay.

It's like living
with an anarchist, you know,

but the funny thing is, it also has
to have everything in its right place.

Like, things have to be ordered
and lined up just right.

Everything has to sound
just right or else it really,

it'll really put me into knots
until I fix it.

Like, I'm talkin' to you
right now, right?

But that part of my head,

it's worryin' that the bills
in my wallet

aren't lined up all in
the right sequence,

and it's sayin',

"Stop talkin' to this girl,
and deal with this."

It's not fair.

Hey, we all got
our daily battles, right?

Yeah, fair enough.

Kiss her face all night,

Oh, God.


- I really am sorry.
- It's okay.

- I don't mean nothin' by it.
- Don't be sorry.

It's okay.

This is me.

What, up from that?
That must keep you up nights.

My father owns the place.

I grew up falling asleep
in the back of clubs.

It's pretty hoppin'
for a Monday night.

Hottest band in the world,
all week.


I gotta check
on one or two things,

but are you really interested
in what I was telling you?

Yeah, I came lookin' for you,
didn't I?

If you wanna come in,
I could give you a lot more.

I don't tend to do so good
in places like this.

Come on, you can't exactly
disturb the peace

in a small club
with a hot band.

All right.

It's your party.

Keep an eye on it
for me, all right?

Hey, Vance.

Hey, you, out.

- Hey, George.
- Hey, girl.


I'll be right back.


Excuse me? Sir?

I'm sorry. Um...
I'm a player, too.

And, you know what, man?

I really, really admire
your tremolo.

And I'm just curious,

how did you develop
that tremolo?

Suckin' off little
white boys like you.

Get the fuck out of here.

So what?
Whitey White suck stick!

"So what" is right.

Listen to me. Listen!

How y'all doin' this evenin'?

Feels good to be home
with friends and family.

I been travelin' the world,

learnin' new languages...

and with new language
comes new ideas.

So, we gonna try a few of them
on y'all tonight.

Strap in.

If! Oh.

You sure you don't wanna
sit in the back?


Trumpet player's a jazzmatazz!

Can we just sit in the back?
Let's sit in the back.

No one cares.


It's better 'cause I can
control what's on it.

Okay, you need
to get out more.


- You wanna get up there?
- No, I don't. I don't.

It's causin' me problems.

Don't put your hands on me.

There she is,
my favorite baby girl,

looking pretty as a rose.

This next one's for you,

I don't think
I can do this. It's not...

It's okay. It's okay.

It's not a good idea.

Where is she?

I'm just gonna deal
with something.

What's goin' on?

All right, y'all,
don't get too cozy.

That was your last break.



Oh! Hey!

Hey, take it easy,
take it easy!

Jesus, what'd I do?

I said, let's go!

Tell it
to the fuckin' judge!

Take it easy.

- Shut up!
- Hey, I got this.

You think I don't know
who you work for, cracker?

Black cracker,

Hey... I made it through
Iwo Jima, motherfucker!

You think your boss scares me?

Now you tell him that if I see

any of you snoops
around her again,

I will kill you off
one at a time,

and I will mail what he's
lookin' for to the Post for free!

Do you hear me?
I will mail it to the Post!

Let's go.



Meow, the tomcat!

Scarlet, the scared cat!

Trumpet, my man!

Hep cat needs help!

Help for the hep cat!

You were pretty hep in there
tonight yourself, cat.


The hep cat needs help!


What, your head need fixin',

- Yeah.
- Oh, whoa, whoa.

Wait, now, this ain't
just no marijuana.

It's all right.

You remember what I said.

Oh, God.



Sorry, I don't even know
what happened.

You had a good time,
that's what happened.

Had a little party.

Different mix of people
than the usual.

She called it
a étrange mélange.

Thought you could
use some rest,

so we just let you be.



That guy left his footprint
on my ribs,

I remember that part.

Thanks for bailin' me
out of there.

Sarge is a good man,

but you gotta watch how you
are around a man's family,

you know what I'm sayin'?

Who's Sarge?

- Billy.
- Why you call him "Sarge"?

You don't know how he got
his arm all fucked up?

- Mmm-mmm.
- Colored Marine Unit,

carryin' ammo,

and one day,
he picked up a gun

tryin' to stop a Jap
suicide attack, got hit.

Came back from that war
bitter as hell.

Damn shame, too,
'cause he could play.


- Hmm.
- He used to jam with us

down at Minton's
back in the '40s.

You ever met his wife?

Sarge ain't never married.

What about Laura's mother?

I don't know nothin'
about that.

It was just Laura and him.

She was a tiny little thing,

always in the kitchen,
readin' while we was playin'.

You play?

- Music? No.
- Now, I'm not so keen

on people bein' vocal
while we playin'...

but you was on the line.

I could hear it.

On the line, Lionel.
Lionel's on the line.

Sorry, I...

I got somethin' wrong
with my head...

and the music really, really
set it off. I'm sorry.

Don't be sorry.

You got a head
just like mine,

always boilin' over.

Turnin' things around.

But that's music.

Controls you
more than you control it,

once it gets in you.

Some people call it a gift,

but it's a brain affliction
just the same.

Yeah, well,
I just twitch and shout.

At least you got a horn
to push it through,

make it sound pretty.

Yeah, but there's a lot of
other hours in the day, though.

You know what I'm sayin'?

Too many.

Look, thanks
for helpin' me out.

You ever need anything,
you give me a call.

Excuse me.

Miss Horowitz...

- Jake Gleason with the Post...
- You're not Jake Gleason.

- I know Jake Gleason.
- Jake Gleason

took me to the Hamilton
hearing the other night.

- I heard you speak.
- Oh.

I'm a new writer
with the Times.

I got a very illuminating tour
from your aide, Laura Rose.

She showed me everything
that's goin' on in Fort Greene.

I'm very interested
in this story.

Really? I thought that
the Times was more interested

in being the press office
for the BA.

I'm not saying
I can make it A1 tomorrow,

but if I don't get some help
on the legwork,

how can I try, right?

Well, someone's gonna win
a Pulitzer off that story.

Maybe it'll be you.


She's already gone ahead
to the protest.

You wanna come with me?

I want
you to hear this next speaker

and listen
to what she has to say.

She has taught me more about

fightin' the good fight
than anyone else.

Look, I brought
The New York Times.

She wears granny
glasses, but don't be fooled!

She is a pit bull
for the people!

And let me just say this,
let me just say this...

I want you to hear this.

- Let's not mince words.
- No!

'Cause we are livin' in a time

that calls for naming things
as they are.


This is not a program
for slum removal.


This is a program
for Negro removal!


And we're not
gonna accept that!


Ladies and gentlemen,
Gabby Horowitz!

What is a city?

Is it a place
where people slave

for the lords
of steel and concrete?


A corral for the druids of
finance to fleece mankind in?


A city is its people!


- It is its community!
- Yeah!

Who's gonna stand up
for the city?

We are!

Who's going to remind
the politicians

and the power brokers
and the profiteers,

that the city belongs to
the people who live in it?

Mo must go! Mo must go!

I've never seen such horseshit
in my life.

Mo must go!
Mo must go!

We may have an issue
with our friend from Brooklyn.

He's asserting himself.

How so?

Well, he's not here
for this mishigas.

He's not that brave,

but he still might not
go along with the vote.

Says his constituency
is up in arms.

We made him
the borough president.

We put him
on the Board of Estimate.

We're his constituency.

Don't tell me
he's not gonna go along.


I'm gonna hand him this
the day before the vote.

He'll go along.

He's a louse.

Mo must go! Mo must go!

Let's go have lunch.


Hey, Jake!

it's the disappearing lady.

I'm so sorry. I owe you an...

Oh, you don't owe me nothin'.
I'm used to it.

No, no,
I tried to find you. I...

- I want to explain...
- Laura!

You gotta go. It's all right.

Yeah, listen, I...

I'll be at the club tonight.

Come find me.

- I'll, uh, I'll see if I can.
- Laura, come on!


Hey, hey, hold up.

The reporter
that never reports.

Do I gotta write it for you?

You're not too ambitious,
are you?

I'm still puttin'
the details together.

- Tell me somethin'.
- Here's your next headline...

"New expressway

will be the world's
biggest parking lot."

- What? Why?
- Because cars are a cancer

and roads make them

not shrink. We need trains.

- But he's killin' the trains.
- Why?

Always with the "why."
Because he doesn't control

the revenues from the trains.

He controls the tolls
for the bridges and roads.

Borough Authority.

You know
what an "Authority" is?

- No.
- Neither did anyone else.

He invented it.
A fourth branch of government.

A shadow branch.

All controlled by him,

meaning he controls

but nobody voted for him,
and they can't vote him out.

Wait, wait, wait.
What could stop him?

Almost nothing.

And he's more dangerous now
than ever.

Why now?

the Board of Estimate

votes on his highway and slum
clearance plans this week,

so he's bullyin' everyone
into submission!

He's the most powerful man
in the history of the city!

He's an autocratic Caesar,
but nobody realizes it.

They are just
all walking around,

calm as Hindu cows,

thinking they live
in a democracy,

so what could happen?

Are you gonna write
about this or what?

If you know so much about him,

why haven't you
taken him down?

Because it can't be me.

No, 'cause you're his brother.

No, because I still
have dreams.

That's why.

Dreams that I am this close
to realizing.

It's my contribution
to society.

My legacy!


I'm not gonna risk it.

All right.

Okay, here...

look at Belmont Developers
and Inwood Residential.

What's all that?

Oh, God, I'm givin' the goods.

A map to the scoop
of the decade!

Do your damn job!

Do the job!

I got enough problems.

Records Office.

Sorry, I'll need to
see your identification

and have you
sign into the log.

I'm just gonna read it
right here, pal.

I'm not checkin' it out.

See, parties wishing to review

incorporation materials
of city contractors need to

register with the construction
commissioner's office.

That can't be legal.

Not really a law,
more of a rule, Mister...


- Good evening.
- Hey...

so I can get my housing
relocation forms here, yeah?

Yeah, just there.

And you can mail those in?

Uh, in-person relocation
applications only.

- Over there.
- Oh.

So, they left you runnin' this whole
operation by yourself, did they?

Mmm, they did, indeed.

Big tits!

Bless you.

You have a good evening.
Thanks for your help.

Wait, your form!

People's trash
remains private property

until it's been collected.

Didn't anybody
ever tell you that?

Wait a minute.

We've seen each other before,
ain't we?

Ain't we seen him?

Yeah, we seen him.

You keep stickin' your nose
in people's trash,

and we're gonna see you again.

faggot munchkin meat!

Oh. Okay.


I was told to go easy,
and I did...

and now, you gotta go
and make me do this!

They're not even pretending,

they're just collecting
the checks

and throwing these people's
lives in the trash.

These guys make Tammany

look like Double-A ball,
I'm tellin' you.

People make deals
with politicians

for contracts all the time.
All right?

Kickin' it up the chain.
It's the nature of the thing.

They're not makin' deals
with people,

they're makin' deals
with themselves!

They own the companies,

they're given contracts
through it and kickbacks.

It's grand larceny.

Land a farce on me!

- Calm down.
- Don't fart on my land, man!

You got any weed?
Give him a smoke.

Minna said it was
the biggest gravy train

of the century, and he said...

And this all goes down
in two days.

So, it's big stuff, but how's
Frank mixed up in it?

Every officer
of the Borough Authority

is gonna make millions
on this deal,

- but none of it ties to him.
- To Frank?

- To Randolph.
- The parks commissioner?

Yeah, Moses Randolph.

He's behind everything.

He's the one
who controls it all.

Okay, listen, the girl had
the line on the scam, right?

She was the one diggin'
into all these companies

for the committee
and Horowitz.

I think she found something

that ties Randolph
straight to the money.

Frank was followin' her,
and he figured it out,

and he took it in to Lieberman
and his goons,

and he showed them,

he had his signature
on somethin'.

I think Frank had somethin'
that nails Randolph.

Come on! Come on!

Where did...
Where did we lose 'em?

- On the bridge.
- On the Borough Bridge.

Those guys were
Borough Authority!

The Borough Authority
killed Frank!

Fuckin' Lionel.

I think you're really
on the sniff, I do.

All right, but one thing,
what's the angle

on this other guy
with the club?

Her father? The fuck was Frank
talkin' to him about?

I don't know. That part,
I haven't figured out.

It doesn't make any sense,
but he knows somethin'.

He knows somethin'.

All right, go home.

I'm gonna make some calls
around town.

Wait, who? What?
Who you gonna call?

Would you just trust me,
and let me run with it?

Frank was
the only person I knew

who thought
the way we won the war

was gonna cause us problems.

He said, after the Crash,
we were diggin'

ourselves out
by taking care of each other.

Now that we'd seen
what we could do

with our brute strength,

there was no goin' back.

He said, from here on out,

the game's gonna be about
power from top to bottom.


I know who you are.

Who's this?

You're one of Minna's boys.

Who's Minna?

Don't bullshit me.

You gave your number
to the man with the horn.

Sorry about roughin' you up.

I thought
you was one of 'em BA goons.

Yeah, okay. So, what?

Where's the envelope?

I don't know. What's in it?

Hold on.

Look, we can't talk
about it like this.

It's too complicated.

Meet me up at the club.

Park up the block
and come in the back.

I'll let you in there.

- What, now?
- Yeah, now.






Son of a...

All right, so, uh,
he told you to come,

then he bumped himself
so you could find him

before the staff came,

No, I told you,
I didn't just find him,

I heard it happen, okay?

He didn't shoot himself...
Shoot my shit, Bailey!

Sorry. Look,
someone else did this.

They tried to make it look
like he did it to himself,

but I heard 'em leave.

Okay, we got powder burns
on the shirt,

point-blank, neighbors saying
he got money problems.

Seems pretty straightforward,
my friend.

The gun was in his right hand.


His right arm
is like a dead fish.

He has a war wound, ace, okay?

He couldn't lift a Zippo,
let alone a .38.

So, explain to me,
how'd he shoot himself

in the heart
with his left hand

and then hand it off
to his right

before he punched out?

Look, guy went out on

his own joint's center stage
with the lights and all...

Gotta give him credit,
give him respect.

They usually send Division dicks up
to Harlem at 3:00 a.m. for a suicide?

We go wherever we're needed.

Can I go now?


Oh, no!

- No, no, no.
- No, no!

I can't remember the last time
I saw him smile,

but why would he do that?

- To himself?
- He... He didn't.

He didn't. Someone killed him.


They tried to make it
look like he did it,

but someone killed him.

No, no, nobody hated him
like that. No one.

I promise you,
I'm tellin' you the truth.

Who would do something
like that?

The same people that did it
to a friend of mine.

I'm sorry. I'm really sorry.

You got someone
that you can call?

You all alone?

You got no idea.

It's okay.

Can you stay with me a while?

You want me to?


Oh, God, I'm sorry.

- It's okay.
- Shit.


I'm sorry. I...

- I don't know what happened.
- It's okay.

- You fell asleep.
- It's okay.

Thank you for staying.

Yeah, sure.

I know how you're feelin'.
I really do.

Pretty soon, you're gonna hear
his voice in your head.

He's gonna tell you
to pull yourself together

and get movin'.

And when you do,

you're gonna feel him smilin'
at you again, I promise.

I really am sorry.

Why are you being
so nice to me?

Because I think
you're a good person.

You're tryin'
to make a difference.

You actually care about
what happens to other people.

I just...

Not many people can say that.

It's a good way to be.

You're sweet.

I don't think
that's how most people

usually describe me
when they meet me,

but I'm glad
that you think so.

Anybody ever tell you
you talk in your sleep?

Um, I never slept
with anyone.

You never slept with anyone?

I mean, I've been with
a few girls, but just not...

not the kind who wanna stay
and sleep with me.

Who's Frank?


You said that name
when you were asleep.

You seemed upset.

Was he your friend who...

Yeah, I...

I worked with him, I...

I worked for him,
but I met him when I was 12.

I was at that Catholic home
for boys on DeKalb.

They threw me in there
when I was six,

after my mother died.


Frank kind of took me
under his wing.

You know, he never
called me my name.

He called me Brooklyn.

Say, "Look at you,
Motherless Brooklyn,

you got no one
lookin' out for ya."

We all need someone
lookin' out for us.

Is that your mother?

She's beautiful.

She died
a long time ago.

I don't remember her.

I guess we both
got nobody now.

Listen, I gotta ask you,

is there something
you're not tellin' me?


Is there something you're
holdin' out, you and Horowitz?

On all this housing deal?

Look, the...

Those goons at the BA,

they're scared of something,

There's something big
out there

that has to do
with all this fraud

that you've been
diggin' around in.

I think it ties it right up
to Moses Randolph.

Do you know what it is?

No, no, I mean,

somebody's getting rich,
but no.

You gotta take this seriously.

If you're holdin' on
to some card

and you're waitin' to play it

to try to block that vote,

you're playin'
a dangerous game.

They already killed Frank,
they killed your father,

they did this to me
last night,

these people
aren't gonna stop.

What's Billy
got to do with it?

He knows something about it.

No. No, wait,
that's not possible.

He and my friend Frank
were working together on it.

He doesn't even...

He didn't even know
what I'm working on.

I have an uncle
who knows Gabby.

He got me that job.

You're not a reporter,
are you?

No, and my name's not Jake.
It's Lionel.

Look, Frank is
an investigator, okay?

That's who I worked for.

They hired him to keep tabs
on your committee.

He was following you.

I... I wasn't trying
to expose anything.

I just was poking into it

to try to figure out
who killed him,

and now there's
so many goddamn pieces,

it's like I got
glass in my brain

and I don't even know
what I'm after anymore.

I'm sorry for lyin' to you,

but you gotta believe
what I'm sayin'.

You're webbed up
in this somehow,

and you're in danger.

Can you stay around
here today?

Gabby's expecting me.

We're preparing our testimony.

It's important, but...

I need to make arrangements.

- A funeral.
- Look,

none of that matters, okay?
If I'm right,

they're gonna keep a tight lid
on it and they won't even let

the coroner's office
release his body. Just...


Get one of the guys
from the club

to take you down to work.

Stay around people that you
know for the next few days.

I'll come and find you.


Ah, okay, okay.

All right, all right,
all right.

Take it easy.

Jeez, they sent
the pros today.

I must have...
I must have hit a nerve.

Oh, jeez, thanks.

Hold this for me,
will you, sweetheart?

You know who I am?

I've been asking around
about that.

Everyone seems to have
a different answer, though.

Spoken like a true snoop.

Well, what's your take on it?


I'm a builder.

Yeah, I can see that.

When I was a boy,

you know how many
bridges there were

on and off Manhattan Island?


A shitty little train trestle
here and the Brooklyn Bridge,

and when you crossed that,

you were stepping over manure
much of the way.

People mostly scuttled
into New York

off of docks, like rats.

I built that, and that...

and that...

and that.

And now,
people vault over rivers

on the spans
and parkways of...

- Olympus.
- Olympic rat-man!



They're some pretty bridges,
I'll give you that.

Thank you.

I want you to give me
something else

if you can find it.

Have you found it?

What's in it?

Slander, falsehood,

forgery, most likely.

Well, then,
the law's on your side.

You got nothin'
to worry about.

Very little
I've achieved in my life

has relied on legality.

I'm not about to lean
on that slender branch now,

when things matter most.

So, you're above the law?
That it?


I'm just ahead of it.

What's the difference?

Well, the law's a rule book

we make for the times
we find ourselves in.

You rebuild the city,
in my experience,

the law will follow you
and adapt to what you do.

Yeah, a lot of people like
the city the way it is.

Who you rebuildin' it for?

The people to come.

Fifty, 100 years from now,

what will matter
of what we've done now?

What will help people
to make science fiction real?

The laws of today?

Or roads and bridges
and tunnels

for commerce
to move swiftly over?

Beaches and parks
to let people

escape the rat race
and inspire the mind?

Palaces of culture where
hellish slums used to be?

It all sounds pretty grand,
I guess,

unless you happen to be
one of the people

whose house is in the way
right now.

Central Park,

the greatest urban park
in the world.

When they started
work on that,

there wasn't even a city
above 57th Street.

They kicked out farmers
and tenant squatters,

sheep-herders out
of muddy fields and filth.

They moved a few trees.

And people protested about
the loss of the countryside.

And if one man hadn't seen
ahead to what we'd need,

this city would be unlivable,
would it not?

Yes, it would.

Most people don't even know
Fred Olmsted's name,

yet they should thank him
every day.

I do.

The important thing in this
life is to get things done.

Those who can, build.
Those who can't, criticize.

And I will not obstruct
the great work of this world,

while some chipmunks
are screeching

about having to relocate
their nuts.

Screech a nut, munk-chip.

Chip a munk's love nuts, man.


I can't control it, I'm sorry.

It's all right.

Talent and brains are rewarded
in this building, Lionel.

If you're with us,
I'll see to it personally

that your gifts
are appreciated.

But that's the offer today.

You let me know
where you stand by tonight.

It's funny. We read it wrong.

How's that?

We didn't make you for the ace
in Minna's deck.



- You good?
- No.

Loosey, goosey,
thread-head fuck!

Jesus, Lionel. Calm down.

It's a missing piece, Danny.

It's a missing piece
and I can't see it.

It's makin'
my fuckin' brain hurt.

Where's the rest?

- Where's the rest of these?
- They're in the desk,

but those are the only ones
with her in 'em.

No, get 'em, get 'em, get 'em.

These are all
from before she arrived.

There was ones of Billy.

- Yeah, look...
- Shutterbug shit!

God. Jesus, Lionel.

That's her father,
comin' out of the door.

We saw all these.

That's some bum
hustlin' for money.

He yelled at him for a second,
but she's not in these.

That son of a bitch!

Where's the car keys?

Coney and Tony got 'em both...

Wait, where...

What'd I miss?

Where are we going?

I need you
to look at something.

Who's that with your father?

- Where did you get...
- Answer the question!

Do you know who that is?


Paul Morris.

Paul, your uncle Paul,
who got you this job.

Don't shine me.
I already know who he is.

- My father...
- Yeah, your father

and your uncle Paul,
and my friend Frank,

put all this together somehow.

- No...
- Yes, God damn it!

Just tell me
what the hell is goin' on.

- No!
- Are you involved in this

- or not?
- No, that's not my father

with my uncle Paul.

It's my uncle Billy
with my father, Paul.

Pull it farther!

What did you say?

Remember that picture
of my mother?

Now look at Billy.
Now look at me.

You see?

The rest of the world might
look past me without seeing,

but I don't.

- Wait, they told you this?
- They never said so,

but it doesn't take much
to put it together.

Why else would he take
such an interest in me?

Take care of me
when Billy was in the war?

Pay for law school
when he's got nothin'?

Whoever he is,
he's using you now.

He's using you to get back
at his own brother.

I don't think he's got family.

Yeah, look, his name's not
Morris, okay? It's Randolph.

Moses Randolph is his brother.

And he's using you
to blackmail him.

- That's not...
- It is. It is, I'm sorry.

Just wait here, all right?

Wait here until I get back.

That's not possible!

You know what that tells me?

That tells me you and Billy
set this up

with Minna to blackmail
your brother.

Where'd you get this?

It's you who figured out
the scam they're running.

It's you who found whatever
it is they're so scared of,

but you made it look like
it came from Laura

- and the committee...
- No. you could hide
behind her and Frank.

- That's not true.
- People are getting killed.

- You got it wrong.
- You got your own daughter's

- life at risk...
- You don't...

You don't know what
you're fucking talking about!

I could have sunk him
so many times.

- He sunk me!
- Sing a song of sunk men!

- He sunk me!
- Sing a song of sunk men!

Hide behind her?

I gave up everything for her.

Everything I could
have accomplished

my whole goddamn life.

That's what happened
between you and him?

You were with her mother,

and he hates colored people
so much...

I will not discuss
such things with you!

I knew you weren't a reporter.

Load of shit.

You're Minna's guy.

Fuckin' right.
He was my friend.

I'm sorry, but it's not me.

Frank put it all together.

He and Billy thought they
could get something out of it.

Foolish greed.
I tried to stop them.

Told them that it would
put her at risk, all of them.

Now look, Frank gets killed,

Billy panics and calls me
for help,

that's your picture.

You're into something
that you don't understand.

If you just stand up to him,

on principle, like I did...

he will ruin you for spite,

but if you threaten his work,

he will destroy you.


Find Minna's file.

Frankly Frankady Franko.

What's it all about, Frank?

You remember what I said.

I gotta keep this
under my hat, boys.

Get my hat, you fucking...

...kept her under my hat...


Frank Frankly Frankady Franko.

Frank Frankly Frankady...

Hey, take me to Penn Station.

- Hey, look out!
- No, no, no!


You found it?


There's only one way I can
make sense of that, though.

He didn't sign that
birth certificate, you did.


I signed it.

Billy brought her
to our family home.

Our servants tried
to send them away,

but Billy started yelling.

We were having dinner with
our mother, for God's sake.

I followed Mo to the door.

He scorned them.

Refused to acknowledge.

But I saw the truth
on her face

and his,
the way he looked at her.

- You confronted him about it?
- I begged him!

I invoked every principle
and value

that we had been raised
to champion.

I was in anguish.

You can't understand.

Our whole young life,
he was my hero.

We wrote a creed.

We were going to
fix the world together.

But to serve people,
you have to love people.

Mo tried,

but he was so brilliant,

that he resented lesser minds

and became hard.

Obsessed with winning,
addicted to power,

totally contemptuous
of ideals.

This phony
"man of the people."

When someone isn't seen
for what they truly are,

that's a very dangerous thing.

Nobody else knows who she is?

- Not even Horowitz.
- Why not tell her?

'Cause she would have used it.

She would've used it
to good effect, but...

that would have
destroyed Laura totally.

Satisfaction won't unburden
a tortured heart.


I can hold it.

So can you.



It's all in a locker
in Penn Station.

If anything happens to me,
you send that

- to Jacob Gleason at the Post.
- The Post?

He'll know what to do with it.

The Post is a rag.

Yeah, but the Times is in
your brother's pocket, too.

I gotta get her out of town
before that vote.


What are you doin' here, Tony?

Watchin' your back.

Come on.

What do you say
we go get a drink?


How's the eye?

Gonna hurt for a while.

How long you been
following me?

I wasn't.

They put me on his building,
and I seen you come up.


Yeah, let's not bullshit
each other, Lionel, okay?

You been talkin' to 'em, too.

Yeah, not workin' for 'em.

I was gonna tell ya.

- Yeah?
- Yeah.


Was that you outside
the club that night?

I thought I saw
someone in the alley

when the owner of that place

was roughin' me up,
makin' threats.

Did you tell 'em about that?

They just pay me to keep tabs.

So, that's what I did.
I keep tabs.

- What we do, we keep tabs.
- If! If!

T, he was bluffing.

He didn't even have it,
and they killed him for it.

But why try
to figure it out, right?

- You're just movin' up.
- All right.

Sell it and tell it,
letter man!

- Take it easy.
- Tell it and sell it!

Take it easy. Have a drink.

Bring me a whiskey up.
What are you drinkin'?

- I'll have a tea.
- A tea?

Very hot water
with the teabag on the side.

And milk and sugar
on the side. Very hot, okay?

Hot tits on my milky tea face!

- Don't pay him no mind, doll.
- Sugar tits on my milk face!

Something wrong with his head.


There's nothin' wrong
with my head.

Well, you could have
fooled me.

How long you been
fucking Julia?

After all the things
he did for you...

you couldn't go find
someone else to bang?

Everybody gotta find their
own way in this world, Lionel.

What, you think
I was just gonna

stay in Frank's shadow
all my life?

Okay for you, not for me.


Come on, can we just have
a real drink here?

I don't wanna have a drink.

Well, what's the big fuckin'
deal, Lionel? He's gone.

Okay? There's nothin'
we can do about it.

We help 'em
get what they want,

and we get on a new ride.

An easier ride, maybe?

What, after all
we've been through,

after all we had to do
to fuckin' survive

just growin' up?

Come on.
We're due an easy gig.

You, especially.

Come on,
I know you got a real talent.

I'll make sure
there's a place for you.

Be real partners.

Let's talk about it
after tomorrow, all right?

I got somethin'
I gotta take care of.

Don't go up to Harlem tonight,

Stay out of it.

- What?
- Just don't do it.

See, I'm not so far out
of the loop as you think.

We're closin' it up tonight.

- No, no. Okay, listen to me.
- Just don't get involved.

I found what they're lookin'
for, all right? I got it!

- It's the last loose end.
- No, no, no,

you gotta call 'em, you gotta
call 'em right now

- and tell 'em to call it off.
- It's already out of my hands.

Tony, I've got it.

Come on,
let's just have a drink.


You son of a bitch!

I tried to help you.

- Come on!
- Committee on Housing.

Can I speak to Laura Rose,

I'm sorry,
she's gone for the day.

- What?
- She went home.

- She wasn't feeling well.
- Where'd she go?

- When?
- I'm sorry, who is this?

- When?
- About 15 minutes ago.

Take me to Harlem! Step on it!
I got money!

149th and St. Nicholas!

If! Oh, shit.

No, no, come on, run it,
run it! I got money!

If! If! If!

Train's going out of service.

It will not proceed
beyond this station.

Now, you... Go across 141st.

Yeah, up St. Nic's,
up St. Nic's.

Stop, stop, stop!
Stop right here!



Son of a bitch.


What are you doing...

Come on.

Come on.

No, no, not down there.
They're down there.

Go up, go up.

They're goin' up!

No! No!

Go, go, go!

Come here. You all right?

- We gotta go.
- Okay.


She doesn't know!
She doesn't know.

Makes no difference
one way or the other.

But I found what he's
looking for. Just tell him.

Tell him I got it.

No, no, no.
That offer expired.

And they told me
you were smart.


Smoked my best horn.

No, I want to see him alone.

Yes, right now.

Let me tell you something.
You try anything funny,

and tomorrow's gonna be
the worst day

that you've had
in a long time,

you understand?

Do you know where that is?

I heard of it.

Think you can get her
out there tonight?

I always did enjoy
a night drive.

Go with them, okay?

You'll be safe.

I'll come in the morning.

What don't I know?

It wasn't the story
she wanted to hear.

No good was gonna
come from tellin' it,

so I wanted to say,
"It doesn't matter.

It's got nothin'
to do with you."

But there's no upside
in lyin' to a woman

who's smarter than you,

so, I told her the truth.

Frank told me once,

if you're up against
someone bigger than you,

someone you can't beat
toe to toe,

make 'em think
you respect their size

and then cut a deal that lets
you walk out in one piece.

Then figure out a way
to stick it to 'em later

without leaving
your prints on the knife.

Even walkin' in there,

I wasn't exactly sure
how to play it.

I was just hoping,
in all that steam,

he wouldn't see me sweat.


Who's the fucking boss now,

Who's the boss?

So, what is it with you?

I told you I can't control it.

Didn't your goons
fuckin' fill you in already?

I don't care
about your fuckin' affliction.

What's your angle with this?

What do you want
for that file?

I wanna hear your side
of what's in it.


Let's just say an unfinished
puzzle makes my head hurt.

All right?
More than most people.

I smooth it out for
your pain-in-the-ass brain,

we're puttin' this
to bed tonight?

Yeah, it's your best shot.

I was young.

I was the
"get things done" man

for the greatest governor
in the history of this state.

We had a party.

It was the good times,
before the Crash.

The Tammany parties were like
nothing before or since.

We had a whole fuckin' hotel.

I saw her there, working.

She was...

I'd never felt lust
like that before.

Twenty-five years later,
I think about her,

it still makes my blood move.

I followed her
into a service hallway.

She knew I had.

She looked back.

She went into a supply room.
I went in.

I took her
against the spare towels.

You raped her.

I moved on her
that first time,

but I treated her well,
bought her things.

Saw to it that the Party
used that hotel

lots for a few years.

She could have disappeared
any time,

stopped working there,
but she didn't.

She was shy, but she knew
how things worked,

and she was always grateful.


Do you have the first inkling
how power works?

Power is feeling, knowing,

that you can do
whatever you want,

and not one fuckin' person
can stop you.

And if someone else has a dumb
idea that you don't like,

well, that's the end
of that idea,

or the end of that person,
if you want.

And if I wanna build highways

while the rest of the country
is broke,

I'll punch through
any damn neighborhood I want.

If some Negro slum

is where I'm going to put
my federal project,

or the off ramp of my bridge,

well, the goodie-goods can
shriek and moan all day long.

And if some chump
wants to blackjack me,

threatening to move
our baseball team,

well, buddy,
the Dodgers can take it

on the arches
to the fucking coast.

I'll find another team
that will play ball with me

in my stadium.

And if I want to fuck
some colored girl

in a hotel room now and then,

because I'm feeling
like a wrecking ball,

then, pal, I'm gonna do it.

And if you think
I'm gonna let some

chip who never should have
been born,

or your small-time boss,
or my brother with his ideals

and his forgeries in my name

slow down the work
I'm getting done in this city,

then you've got a lot to learn
about how power works.

Because those people
are invisible.

They don't exist.

See if you feel that way
tomorrow after your big vote.

She know?



So, it's you and Paul?

Well, I know what he wants.

If he had any balls,
he would have used it

before to box me in
and take it from me,

which I would have respected,

but he thinks the way
that you do things matter,

which is why
he'll never be anybody.

You an idealist, too?

You wanna trade that file to
save the block you grew up on?

Make me move my lines for some
committee of childless women,

howling about
their Negro adoptees?

Or are you just another
blackmailing gumshoe

who wants to transact with me?

Come on, name it!

Name it, claim it, shame it!

That gumshoe was my friend,

and the girl's the only reason
you're still breathin'.

Do whatever you want
to this city,

go build your pyramids
on the Nile,

just leave her alone.

Anything happens to her,
I mail it.

That's it.

That's all of it.

Let me make something clear.

If you or my brother messes
with what I intend to do,

I'll make her life worse
than I've already made his.

You tell him I said that.

Well, I guess we got a deal,

So, I'll give you one
for free.

Your man, Lieberman,

is gonna cause you
some problems.

How so?

He owns a piece
of half the companies

doin' contracts
with slum clearance.

I'm guessin' he hasn't
told you about that.

So, when you handle him,

tell him I told you,
and that's for Frank.

Son of a bitch.

You come off weird,
but you're smart.

You should have
taken my offer.

Could have made them all get
on their knees and apologize.

But if she's anything
like her mother,

I understand the pull.


One more thing.

Tell my brother
I read his masterwork.

It's as brilliant
as everyone says.

Nobody could have
done it better,

and it's good for everyone,
including me.

There's not a reason
in the world to deny it.

Tell him I'll give him
my thoughts in the morning.


Son of a bitch!

Growin' up, I always
thought Frank was a hero.

But he was no crusader
in the end.

He was just a gumshoe
tryin' to make a buck

like everyone else.

But he didn't have
to go to that war.

He was old enough to
have skipped it,

and he went, anyway,
'cause he actually thought

this country
was worth fighting for.

I never had anything
I cared about enough

to look past my own problems,
but Laura did.

There was a story
she wanted told

and I figured it was time

to get off my ass
and pick a side.

Hey, Gleason, for you.

Hey, pal,
I'm new to this beat.

What's the story here?

Stories of injustice
and despair,

and back to business as usual.

The American way.

Are you crazy?
It's freezin' out.

What is this place?

It was Frank's.

And looks like it's mine now.

Still lookin' out for you,
after all.

Funny how things turn out.


"Brooklyn's big...

Brooklyn's big, but there's
things even bigger."

What's that?

I think it's something
Frank said to me, but I...

I can't remember when.

Maybe this is what he meant.