Trick Baby (1972) - full transcript

Two Phildelphia con men try to evade gangsters they have conned and cops who are trying to put them in jail.


[Bottles Clattering]

I said HarveyJohnson.
I don't know
any HarveyJohnson.

Think harder.
I don't know him.
Maybe he's at another hotel.

You got a register,
don't you?
I got a register.

Give it to me, boy,
or you're gonna make yourself
a mess of trouble.


I guess he come
when I was out, Officer.

Don't let me see you go
for the phone.

This hotel got no phones.

He thought we was cops.


Who is it?
[Knocking Continues]

[Knocking Continues]
Who is it?


Oh, Mr. Kelly!

What can I do foryou?

My friend wants
to see your jewelry.

I'm sorry, Mr. Kelly,
but I don't keep it here.

You got it in a bank vault.
That's it, Mr. Kelly.

I got it in a vault.
Could you come back tomorrow?

Harvey, do I have
to look for it?

What you want
to see it for?
Goddamn, you're dumb.

The man wants to buy it.

Oh, well, why didn't
you say to buy it?


What's this?
This isn't what
you showed me before.

[Case Snaps Closed]

I'm serious.
You get the rest of that stuff.

You interested
in everything?
Get it.

Jesus Christ!

We want it, Harvey.
We're gonna give you
a real good deal.

I was thinkin' about
not sellin' it just yet.

We'll give you $10,000.
I gotta show 'em
to some other people.

We're givin' you $10,000
today, right now.

That's over $100,000
worth of diamonds, retail.
Hot, the line is 50,000.

- Show the man the $10,000.
- Thank you, but I don't
think I want to sell 'em.

Nigger, you already sold 'em.

No, that ain't right.
I ain't gonna sell 'em
for that money.

Touch those rocks
and you're dead.

Pick 'em up.
Let's get outta here.

Make it 15, please.
You're robbin' me.
How'd you get 'em?

That ain't right.
It just ain't right.

$100,000 worth of diamonds
goin' for a measly--

Goddamn it.
Quit complainin'.

As hot as you are, I could have
walked in here and taken
'em off you. But I didn't.

There's no reason why
colored and white can't
treat each other fair.


Come on.
Hey, hey, hey!

[Tires Screeching]

How ya doin', baby?

[Elevator Bell Dings]

Wasn't that somethin' else?

No lie! Hey, we play
some kind of con together.

You better believe it.

Folks, you did
everything right.

You're really gettin'
your con together.
How do you feel?

Like a guy that's just laid
the most beautiful broad
in the world.

Man, you were evil!
You know that?

"If you touch those rocks,
you're dead."

You got a mean thing
goin' on inside you.

And you, you old bastard.
You cried real tears.

Yes, I did.
Real tears.
How'd you do that?

I knew that if
he didn't give us
$10,000 for those rocks,

we'd be out the 50 bucks
we paid for 'em.

It made me cry.

Goddamn. What a sucker.

I almost feel sorry for him.

Don't waste your sympathy on marks.
Those sons of bitches
are thieves at heart.

They'd play the con themselves,
if they knew how.


[Horn Honking]

Blue, I didn't
wanna tellyou this,

but I ain't gonna
play the con no more.

I'm gonna lead a different
kind oflife-- simple,
close to the earth.

As far as a man can see,
green fields rollin' out to the horizon.

Don't do it, Folks.
In your heart, you're a city boy.

Okay. I'll spend it all on hookers.


[Both Laughing]

I wanna see it.
[Blue]See what?

The money.

Oh, the money.
It slipped my mind.

Here. Count ityourself.

Damn, damn.
Look at it.

Don't let that go to your head, son.
There's still room
for improvement.

Hey, baby. Where you been
with your bad self?

Waiting for you.

- Want a drink, Cleo?
- Why, yes.

I believe I'd care
for a cocktail.

What kind of a cocktail?

A grenadine cocktail.

- What the hell's that?
- That red stuff.

You mix it with soda.
It's delicious.

It's a lady's drink.

[Stopper Squeaks]

Why'd you give him
all that money?

What money?
I saw you
give him money.

It's his share, sugar.
We made ourselves a hefty
piece of change today.

You're gonna have more than
one Christmas this year.

What did he do
for his share?

I tell beautiful lies
for my money, Cleo.

Folks pays his way
and then some, baby.

You insinuating that I don't?

You pay your way too, sugar.
But for me, for a hustler like me,

Folks is a gift from heaven.

- I knew it the minute I saw him
and found out he was really black.
- [Scoffs]

His white skin gives us
a slick edge.

I catch the black marks.
He catches the honkies.

I say, "Let's get that
goddamn peckerwood's money."

He says, "Let's break
that nigger's back."

We got 'em squeezed
in between us.
It's a perfect setup for a con.

I still don't believe
he's a nigger.

I knew his mother, Cleo.
She's the same color as you.

I ain't never heard of
no white trick baby so square
he'd try to pass for black.

Cleo, for the last time,
he is black!

Hey, hey, Folks, we're goin'
to Silk's and party back,
the three of us.

Why does he have
to come along?

Why can't me and you
ever have any fun alone?

We gonna have that kind of fun
right now, baby.

Now, come on.
Don't be so hard on Folks.
Give him some slack.

A fter all, he was livin' here
long before you came.

But that don't matter.
You still the star boarder.


I got to go get dressed.

Short conversation.
She gets moody.

Cleo, what's the matter?
You called me a boarder.

That was a joke.
Well, I'm not a boarder.

I'm your wife, and this
is my home.

It ain't right
you called me a boarder.
I was just teasin'.

I don't like bein' teased
when there's other people around,

especially him.

Okay, okay. I won't talk
to you that way anymore.

You're a fun boarder.

Hey, just 'cause
I laughed don't mean
I'm not mad at you.

Give me a kiss.
I ain't kissin' nothin'.

Come on!

That ain't no kiss.

How much ya get?

Everything's gonna be
all right, Aunt Rose.

Everything's gonna be all right.

Hello, Father.
This way.

I want to see him.
In a couple of minutes, Aunt Rose.
In a couple of minutes.

How is he?
Not very good.

You treat him
like you treat me.

Don't spare anything.

Don't make any mistakes, huh?
I love that old man.

Nino? Nino?

There's a cop outside.
I think he's got something
you should hear.


Nino, this is Dot Murray.
He's with the 23rd precinct.

Dot, this is Mr. Perelli.

- Um, did Vincent tell you
why I come?
- No.

I don't know what this has to do
with your uncle's heart attack,

but I hear he was swindled
pretty bad this afternoon.

You know Greenblatt?

He's a fence.
That's the one.

With all respect to
your uncle, I think he tried
to buy some hot diamonds.

From this Greenblatt?
No, he tried to sell 'em
to Greenblatt.

- My uncle don't deal in jewelry.
- That's how he got took.

The diamonds he bought was only glass.
They wasn't worth nothin'.

Greenblatt said
thatyour uncle told him
that he paid 10,000 cash.

He said your uncle looked
real upset when he walked out.

You know who sold him
the phony rocks?

I don't know, Mr. Perelli,
but I think they were colored.

Find them for me.

It's not gonna be easy,
but, uh, I'll do whatever I can.

I want those
sons of bitches.
You find them for me.


Excuse me. I can't get a cab.
Can you help me?

Take a miracle to get a cab
in this neighborhood.

Don't worry. I'll get you one.
Today I'm workin' miracles.


Why didn't he stop?

Whatyou doin'
in this neighborhood?

There's a woman here.
She does clothes for me.

[Tires Screeching]

Man, what the hell
is the matter with you?

The lady needs a cab.

Come on.

Maybe I better go with ya.

I'm from Chicago.

Oh, are you here
on business?

I'm staying at the Parkview.
I got the biggest suite
in the hotel.

The Parkview.

I just made the biggest
business deal in my life.

I'm ridin' high,
and I've got to celebrate.

I don't know anybody in town.

My name'sJohnny O'Brien.
What's yours?


Hold these.
I'll be right back.

Yes, sir?

I want the biggest suite
in this hotel.

Do you have a reservation,
Mister, uh--

- No, I don't have a reservation.
- Oh.

Well, I'm terribly sorry,
but I'm afraid we don't
have any space available.

- If you'd try the hotel--
- Like I said,
I want the biggest suite...

in this hotel.

Bottle of champagne.
Yeah, yeah, yeah,
the best you got.

I asked you
where we're going.

That's what I call service.

- [Cork Pops]
- Look at that.

No, thank you. I really
have to go meet my friends.

Don't move.
Don't break that flow.

Can't you feel it?
That's the good flow.

It's workin' for me,
and it's workin' for you too.
Hey, don't break it.

I have to go.
I appreciate what you did
for me this afternoon.

What'd I do for you?
I called you a cab.

I was scared.
Of what?

All those black faces.

I know it's foolish,
but I was scared.

Don't be scared, goddess.

Look. A champagne cork,
a match.

You're crazy.

That's all it takes
to make a black face.

How about
this black face, goddess?
You scared ofit?

Hey, watch out.
You'll get that stuff all over me.
You'll get my sweater dirty.

That's right.
You better take it off.

Okay, I'll do it.

Drink your champagne.

Look. You have got me dirty.

Johnny, I have to leave now.
My friends are waiting.

I'll see if I can clean this.


Yes, darlin'.
Yes, little darlin'.

Aw, sugar, you're so fine.

Oh, you're the sweetest.

Johnny, let me
wipe your face first.

Hold on. Yeah, baby.

Yeah, stay with me, love.
Stay with me, love.

Mm-hmm. Mmm.
Come to me.
Come to me,Johnny.

Hold me, Johnny.

Talk to me.

Stay with me.
[Susan Laughing]

Am I good?

Am I good?
Baby, baby, baby.

Goddamn, I'm fine.


Hey, hey, hey!

When you're hot, you're hot.
When you're not, you ain't.


You got it, my man.
What can I tell you?

What you high on?
I ain't high on nothin'
but life.

My main man.
Where ya been hidin'?

Let me run it down to ya.
In this world, there are
only two kinds of dudes.

That's hustlers and suckers.

And tonight I'm drinkin'
to the suckers. God bless
their greedy little hearts.

'Cause without them
where would us hustlers be?

Right on!
Look here, sister, I want you to bring me
a champagne setup over there...

and take care of
the house on me.


Hello, Blue.
Hello, little baby girl.

Hey, hey, hey, baby.
What did you do,
rip off the mint?

You better believe it.
I ripped off all them gold bars.

If they make me mad,
I'm goin' back
for the silver ones.

Hey, Folks!
Come on over here. Come on.

Where'd ya go?

We're about to have
a feast. Sit down.
Have something to drink.

Can't stay.
I got somethin' goin'.

What you got goin'
that's more important than
somethin' to eat and drink, huh?

You need any help?
He don't need no help.

He's a child. He don't
know how to do nothin'
unless I tell him how.

Hey, Folks,
when that old man walked--
Hey, come on. Sit down.

Move over, baby, hmm?

When that old man walked
out of that room today,
I was in heaven.

If I'd have died that minute,
I would have had a smile
on my face.

When he walked east
and I walked west,

I could have spread
my wings and flown
over the DuSable Hotel.

With your complexion and my brains,
the sky's the limit from now on.

That's square business,
the stone truth.

Go powderyour nose,
I don't need to.

You need to.


Hello, Felix.

I believe you got
something for me.
What do you mean, Felix?

Foolin' around with that
young pussy affectin' your mind, Blue?

Surely you haven't
forgotten our agreement.

Let me refresh your memory.

I get 20% of all
the clean scores in Philly.
I get 25% outside.

I take half of all the dirty ones
when you get an indictment.

Judges cost money.

You stay out of
Upper Darby and Levittown,

'cause the goddamn judges
and police chiefs up there
are square johns...

and ten grand won't fix
a parkin' ticket.

Guaranteed to keep ya
out of the joint as long
as I'm doin' the fixin'.

But when you make a score
and I don't get my end,
I'll hear about it.

I won't tip you I'm wise,
but when you come up
on a solid beef,

I'll whisper in
the judge's ear,

and the Supreme Court
can't keep you out of penitentiary.

If you kill a nigger,
it's five grand. If you kill
a white man, don't come 'round.

Now, give me something
to remember you by.

I forgot to wish you luck.

It's you liberals who have
lifted them up, Howard.

Paul, you conservatives
make a mistake.

You can't afford
to strangle hope in people.

Without hope,
people become dangerous.

No, Howard, you liberals
have let them invade our society.

You give them jobs,

Paul, you miss the point.
It's only the smart ones
we move up.

That makes it even worse.

No, we have to move them up.

If we leave a smart one
in the ghetto, he might develop
into a leader against us.

If we raise him up into
white society, we neutralize him.

He feels compelled
to try to act like us.

He loses his identity and
his racial anger, if he has any.

He becomes alien
to his brothers.

They realize he sold them out,
and they grow to hate him.

He becomes worthless to them
and safe for us.

No, thank you.

In fact, in his love
for the creature comforts,
except for his color,

he's become one of us.

[Jazz Piano]

[Slow Piano]

[Chattering Continues]

[Chattering Continues]

They did that.
That didn't bother me.

No, thank you.

Paul. Paul, Mr. O'Brien
has just been telling me
a very interesting story.

Go ahead, Mr. O'Brien.
How are you going
to make all that money?

I'm making
an investment.
What kind of an investment?

I'm buying property.

In the ghetto?

That's good business?

It is, if you know
what you're doin'.

And you know
what you're doing?
That's right.

I'm a doctor, Mr. O'Brien,
but occasionally
I do invest in real estate.

I must admit, I'd be
a little hesitant about making
an investment in the black ghetto.

You might be
wrong about that.
You really think so?

In a day or two,
I'm going to make
some very happy niggers...

by plunking down $100,000
for their ghetto property.

Of course, they don't know
I've already contracted
to sell it for half a million.

I think I'll get a refill.

You think there's
anything in it?


[Chattering Continues]

[Woman] But they do have
such a good record ofgetting
them into the Ivy League.

What kind of property
are you buying?

Can you explain how you managed
to make such a good sale?

It's the location.
The value of that land
is going up.

The blacks are too stupid
to realize what
it's really worth.

I'm not.
Excuse me.

Mr. O'Brien,
I might be interested
in seeing that property.

Uh, yes, so would I.
I can't show it to you.

Why not?
Why do you think?
You might try to cut me out.

I don't do business
that way, Mr. O'Brien.

- What about you, Gus?
- I can't play with these.

- You in, Doc?
- I'm out.

Wait a minute.
I'm not making any propositions.

I don't need any investors.
The money's already lined up.

Is it your money?
Part of it.

Part of it's local money.

I'm gonna spread
the wealth among some
of your fellow citizens.

- I'm in.
- If he's in, I'm out.

If you out, brother,
then I'm in.

Have you already
collected your money
from your local backers?

No, not yet.

What if they change
their minds?

Wouldn't it be a good idea
to have someone else
to turn to?

I suppose so, but they're
not gonna change their minds.
It's too good a deal.

How can you be sure?
Why take a chance?

Show us the property.
It won't do any harm.

Blue, telephone.

Find out who it is.
I ain't movin'.


and raise 50.

Fifty more.

You wouldn't dump me,
would ya, Blue?

Don't try to con me.
I'm bullshit proof.

I'm out.

It's Folks, Blue.
He says it's important.

Hey, uh,
what you have, Blue?

? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah?

Make it fast.
The cards are hittin' good.

I got somethin'
goin' here that's hotter
than your poker game.

Listen to this. I got
three dudes here that are ready.

? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah?


? Yeah, yeah
Oh, oh, oh, yeah?

? Oh, yeah?

I'm sorry. I can't do it.
I can't take you
to see the property.

Why not?
Who did you phone?

There's a black
real estate agent. He holds
the options to the property.

I phoned him.
And he said
we couldn't come?

He doesn't
want you to come.

What's he got to say about it?
You're the one who's
bringing the money.

He certainly is in no position
to tell you what to do.

It's the money
he's worried about.

He's afraid my investors
will back out...

if they find I'm showing
the property to someone else.

How are they going to find out?
Who's going to tell them?

Your black friend is stupid.

He feels we're
obligated to them.
That's nonsense.

This is a question of business.

You gentlemen seem to have
found quite a lot to talk about.

Did I come
at the wrong time?

No, of course not, Susan.

Would you excuse us
a minute?

Johnny, let's get out of here.
My friends seem very dull
this evening.

Susan, we were
just talking business
with Mr. O'Brien.

Would you give us
another minute?
Of course, if you insist.

Get your coat.
I'll be right with you.


Will you show us
the property?

Don't let that black man
tell you your business.


You people have made me
feel at home here tonight
even though you don't know me.

And I appreciate it.

I'll take you
around tomorrow morning,
but under these conditions:

If you like the deal,
you have to be ready
to move on the spot,

before there's any chance
the other investors
hear anything about it.

I'll have 10,000 in cash.
You bring 90,000.

You bring it in cash,
strictly cash on the table.

That's for your protection.

Nobody finds out that prominent
white citizens have been fucking
their poor black brothers.

And remember,
I can't guarantee anything.

That black son of a bitch
is nervous and scared.

I don't know if I can even
get him to talk to ya.

Don't worry.
We'll convince him.

They're hooked, man,
absolutely hooked.

I mean, the dumb bastards,
they talked themselves
right into it.

What else could they do?
They got larceny
in their hearts.

Look it here.
I've been working it
over in my head.

The first thing we got
to do is find a vacant lot.

That's not necessary,
Mr. Murray.

Everybody in town knows
you're one of our finest
Negro policemen,

a credit to his race--

Would you care for a drink?

Tell this half-white trick baby
keep his mouth shut or
I'm gonna put my foot in his ass.

Light skin is no indication
of illegitimacy.

Just because the man
has a white father
and a black mother--

Nigger, I didn't come here
to talk race with ya.

Man, if you don't
dig the conversation,
why don't you just split?

'Cause I'm more trouble to you gone
than I am here talkin'.

I know about Frascatti.

Who's that?
The dago that
sells hot clothes.

Oh, yes, I never knew
the old gentleman's name,
but I know the shop well.

He's in the hospital.
Thievin' son of a bitch
had a heart attack.

That's a terrible thing,
but what's that
got to do with us?

I hear Frascatti was sold
some hot rocks this afternoon.

Tried to pass them off
on Greenblatt, the fence.

Turned out they was only glass.
He dropped, right on the spot.

You seem to be
driving at something,
but I don't know what it is.

Do you, Folks?
He's lost me, Blue.

You two hotshots
don't know what every whore
and hustler in town knows.

That old man was
Nino Perelli's uncle.

Beg your pardon.

Interested now, ain't ya?

What do you want?

Blue, I thought you'd never ask.
I want $5,000.

- What for?
- Son of a bitch.

So I don't go to the phone booth
and call Nino and tell him
how you did the old man.

You're a good detective,

but if you heard
we were playing con
for Frascatti today,

I'm afraid your ears
lied to your brain.

Look, the only business I ever had
with Frascatti was shoppin'
for them hot furs he sells.

That's fine. I'll tell that
to Nino when I call him.

I know a certain white
gentlemen, very influential,
even in the police department.

I believe this gentleman
could explain the truth
to Nino's satisfaction.

But, of course,
that might take some time.

- Time is what
you're payin' 5,000 for.
- Five hundred.

Perelli's at the hospital.
He's cryin' like a baby.
You're both dead.

- Okay, a thousand.
- Open your ears, nigger. I said 5,000!

- I don't have it!
- You're a lyin' motherfucker, Blue.

It's either $5,000 or your ass.
You take your pick.

While I'm thinkin',
I'm goin' to the men's room.
My bladder's killin' me.

Piss in your pants!
First give me my money!

I wear a money belt.
What do you want me to do,
undress on the bar?

You go out the back way,

I deliver this trick baby
to Perelli,

after I'm finished with him.

? Hey, baby?

? I needyour overtime, yeah?

? Your sweet lovin'?

? Sends chills
up and down my spine?

? Oh, but, baby?

? Oh, where are you tonight?

? Oh, yeah?

? Tonight?

? You got to be mine?

? Come on back, baby?

? Oh, be mine, yeah?

? Hey, baby, oh?

? I needya all the time?

? You know
you're good to me?

? Your sweet lovin'
is just what I need?

? Oh, yeah?

? I needya all the time?

? Oh, baby?

? You got to be mine?

? Mine, mine, mine

? Oh, yeah
I needya all the time?

? Oh, sock it to me
Sock it to me?

? A-one more time?

? Oh, I said
A-whip it on me, oh?

? Oh, sayyou'll be mine?

? Mmm, oh, baby??

- There it is.
- Give it to me.


How do we know
after we give you this money
you don't go...

straight to Nino
and enjoy double payday?

You don't know anything.
You gotta take my word for it
'cause you don't have any choice.

Listen, you son of a bitch.
I don't have to take
your word for anything!

Before I believe you,
I'll walk out with this $5,000
and take my chances with Pirelli.

Wait a minute, man. Be cool.
We can straighten this thing out.

Why don't we give you
half the money now?

When we're in the clear,
we'd mail you the other half.

You must think I'm some kind of fool
think you're gonna send me
the money after you're gone.

What about this?
The three of us put the money
in the mail addressed to him.

That gives us till
tomorrow to get away.

He can't touch the money
till the postman brings it.

What do you use for brains?
Once that money is in the mail,
nobody can touch it.

He can call Nino
anytime he wants, and
that money is still comin'.

Hell, I'm not thinkin'.

We're wastin' time.
Wait. Here, here.
Here's how we do it.

No more ideas.
Wait. Listen.

This'll work.
We mail the money--
We mail nothin'!

Sit down.
I wanna hear this.

Okay, we mail the money,
but the difference is...

we mail it to Murray
in care of the precinct house.

We'll put a note in it,
saying, "This is your end
of the Frascatti score."

Andyou--you sign it.

You call your white friend.
Tell him if anything
should happen to us...

he should tell the chief inspector
that Mr. Murray...

is expecting
a very incriminating letter.

So, you fuck us,
it's your ass.

Okay, I'll buy it.

Hey, it's airtight, Blue.

You got an envelope?

I think I got some.

You got a pen?
Give me a pen.

What's the address?

6526 55th Street.

Hold it, you slick bastards.
Spread those envelopes out.

If there's another one
in there with my name
and address on it,

it'll be the last time
you ever pull a switch.

Spread 'em.

All right. Let go.

I'm gonna mail it.
I'll mail it.

Do we have
to go to the mailbox
lookin' like this?

I'll be damned if I let you
con me. We'll put this
in the box together.

I'm scared, Blue.

What are you scared of?
I'm scared of Dot.

And I'm more scared of Perelli.

We ought to forget about this
real estate thing and leave town
for a couple of weeks.

What are you sayin', Folks?
Where are you comin' from?

It's your con.
You set it up,
and you did it perfect.

You can't just split
before it's finished
and forget about it.

It's too beautiful.

And what about
all that money?

That wad of toilet paper
will never make
the morning mail.

It'll be 3:00, 4:00
in the afternoon
before Dot finds out...

just how dumb he is.

[Clicks Tongue]

we make ourselves
$90,000 richer.

And here's just
a little piece ofproperty
that's gonna do it for us.

[Car Doors Closing]
[Chair Squeaking]

Mr. Merritt.
Mr. O'Brien.

I'd like you to meet
Mr. Phillips, Dr. Carlson
and Dr. Morrison.

These folks are
very busy men,

but they've taken the time
to drive all the way across town
to look at your property.

We talked about that last night.
That piece of property
is already spoken for.

I think you know the situation
better than I do.

I'm well aware of that,
Mr. Merritt.

But these people aren't going
to do anything to upset our deal.
Theyjust want to look.

What's the point of looking
when the property's
already spoken for?

I don't think we should do it.

Listen to me. I have given up
an entire morning
from my work to come here.

And my time is valuable,
both to me and my patients.

I don't like to waste it.

We have assured Mr. O'Brien
that we will do nothing...

to upset any prior arrangements
you and he may have made.

All we're asking is a chance
to see the property!

Well, I don't suppose
it'll do any harm to drive by.

That's all we want, Mr. Merritt.

All right.

Shall we go?

Uh, but remember,
it's already spoken for.

[Machinery Whirring]

That's going to make a big difference
in your community.

Oh, yes, gonna be good
for everybody.

And you own this land?
Oh, no, not this. This.

I don't own it.
The people own it.

Theygot together
and made me their agent.
That's all.

This is very valuable property,
and I think the people
should make some money from it.

It'll look great
once it's all torn down.

It'll look even better
with a $6 million
shopping complex on it.

Tomorrow I hand
that simple bastard $100,000,

and he hands me the deeds to every piece
ofproperty on this block.
How you doing?

Friday morning
I hand over the deeds...

to the attorney for the biggest
contractor in this state,

and he hands me
halfa million.

Well, thanks for your time,
Mr. Merritt.

That's all right, Mr. O'Brien.
I'll see you tomorrow
with your backers.

Well, I guess
we'd better get back.

I'm sorry I didn't
run across you folks before.

Let's go.
Now, wait a minute.

Isn't there some way
we can get in on this?

You haven't signed
a contract with those
other people, have you?


We have the cash
with us right now
just like you said.

Business arrangements
sometimes fall through
at the last minute.

You can't ever be certain about
an undocumented promise.

Show him the money, Paul.

[Door Opens]

I've changed my mind,
Mr. Merritt.

I've decided to go with
these investors instead.

But you can't do that!
Why not?

Because we already
promised those other peop--
Because it's not right!

Are you a businessman,
Mr. Merritt, or a moralist?

What are you gonna
tell those people when
they show up tomorrow?

That we took a better offer.

Show him you're serious.

And here's my 10,000.

This is the language
I understand, Mr. Merritt.

This says these people
are sincere and ready to do
business with you right now.

But we gave our word.
Let me make one point,
Mr. Merritt.

What happens to the people
on that block if the deal
falls through tomorrow?

What happens to those poor,
unfortunate people...

who have here an opportunity
for the first time in their lives?

When you look at it that way,
it does seem right.

It's a deal then?

I just don't know.

We'll raise the price.
How about that?



All right.
Put it all down, Paul.

Now, that's all there is.
That's as high as we'll go.

I really don't
feel right about this.

But I do have to look out
for the interest of those
poor black people first of all.

I accept your offer.

[Nails Squeaking]

[Engine Starting]

Excuse me, but something
seems to be missing.

The actual deeds
to the properties.

This is merely
an option to purchase.

It doesn't have the names
of the actual title holders.

I'm picking those up
tomorrow morning.

All the people are meeting then
because they're expecting
their money tomorrow afternoon.

Then you don't actually plan
to turn this money over
until tomorrow afternoon?

That's right.

Then we'll bring
the money tomorrow.

How do we know for sure
that you will bring the money
tomorrow afternoon?

Are you suggesting
that you can't trust us?

Oh, no, no, no, sir.
It's just that we do know the
other money is coming tomorrow.

Maybe you're right,
Mr. Merritt.
Wait a minute.

You misunderstand me.

It's Mr. Merritt's welfare
I'm concerned about.

We'd be putting him
in a terrible position...

if we ask him to hold
all that money on his person
until tomorrow afternoon.

After all, this is
a dangerous neighborhood.

Pick it up, Paul.

Maybe we could put it
in a safe-deposit box.

That sounds like
a good idea, Howard.
Maybe it is.

Who would sign
for the box?
I would.

I have to get the money out
tomorrow afternoon anyway
to give it to the people.

But it's our money.
One of us should
sign for it.

I think Mr. Merritt's afraid
you lack confidence in him.

Mr. O'Brien,
I think we should go
with our original backers.

All right, damn it!
So I do lack confidence
in Mr. Merritt! So what?

We put the money
in a safe-deposit box,

and we set it up with the bank
so that it takes two signatures
to open it!

Merritt signs for his side,
you sign for ours.

That way both sides
are protected, and nobody
has to trust anybody!

Have your ass back
before 3:00.

Come on, O'Brien.
Just one drink to celebrate.

No, no, no.
We'll make it tomorrow.

We'll celebrate tomorrow, huh?

Move it, Duke.
It's quarter to 3:00.
We gotta get back to the bank.

[Tires Screeching]
[Horn Honking]

Hey there, trick baby.
What ya doin' in there?
Get the hell out of my way, Dot!

I thought you'd left town.

I am leavin' town right now,
if you'd just get out of the way.

You know, trick baby,
I've been thinkin'
about that letter.

Since you're still in town,
I think I'll invite you
over to the precinct house.

- We can wait for it together.
- Like hell we will!
Don't be stupid, Dot!

Listen to me,
you half-white son of a bitch!

You think your white blood
makes you smarter than me?

I can do as I damn please.
Yeah, andyou try.

Try and take me in.
I'll have the police
commissioner and Nino Perelli...

lookin' over your shoulder
when you slit open that envelope
and the money drops out.

You can explain the $5,000
to the commissioner while
Nino's readin' that note.

Duke, get outta here
and go call Felix.

Stay there!

You think I'd still be in town
if I pulled somethin' on ya?

I'd be long gone.

If you have laid the con on me--
you and your black friend--

it'll be the last con
you ever lay!

[Tires Screeching]

Blue, we gotta
get out of here.

Uh-uh. We ain't goin'
nowhere without that money.

We can't get into that vault
until 10:00 tomorrow morning.

Now before then
Dot and Nino Perelli both
are gonna be on us like a chill.

We won't have a chance.
Goddamn it, Folks.

You're talking
like a lop-eared mark.

Every hustler in Philly would
call us suckers for sure...

if we throw away $130,000
to the worms.

I'll be goddamned
if I'm gonna walk away from
the biggest score of my life.

And besides, $10,000
of that money is ours.

Blue, you're not
thinking straight!

One of the first things
you ever taught me is
you got to go with the flow.

When it's going your way, get on.
When it ain't, get off.
We gotta get off!

I say when we get off!

Look, Folks.

I picked you up
when you were practically
a baby on the streets.

I took you in
like you was my own son.

Now in all that time,
have I ever let you down?

Well, have I?

I'll say when it's time
to get off.

What do you think?


I think we have found us
one prize pigeon.

When he come back,
I'm gonna kill him.


Walk him up the alley,
then step aside,

and I'll put one
right through his head.

'Cause we gonna
share that money.

Just you and me.

Wait a minute. Uh--

Think I don't know
how to use this?

I used to make a livin' with this.
Don't worry. I won't miss.

Yeah, but it ain't right.
What the hell's right
got to do with it?

I got a gun, ain't I?

I don't know.

You think I ain't
man enough to kill him
just because he's white?

Shit, I took off
a lot of white men.

- Where you goin'?
- Well, he's gotta see us, right?

We'll wait right here.

Here he come.

What's he want?

I think he wants to see
just one of us.

He wants to see you.

Don't worry.
I'll walk him back here.

Hey! Wait a minute!


[Blue Laughing]

That jive-ass mark wanted
to blow your brains out.

He's a dishonest
motherfucker, all right.

I almost get my head blown off,
and you're laughin'.

You're holding $500 in your hand.
It took you an hour to make it.

Now ain't that worth
a little risk?

Blue, in all the times
we've laid the con,

this is the first time anybody
ever pulled a gun on us.

The flow has turned against us.

If you can't feel it, man,
I can.

Pull over.
I wanna get out.

I mean it.
I wanna get out.

What you gonna do?

I'm goin' to Chicago.

If you're gone, how am I gonna
open that safe-deposit box
tomorrow mornin'?

Man, you'll never get
to that box.

Look, man.
Don't be a damn fool.

We can still get out of this thing.
Let's leave town right now.

Just drive away.

Just drive away
from $130,000.

Man, what do you want more,
the money or to keep on breathin'?

I want both!
Well, you can't have both!

No, I ain't gonna go.

Anyhow, I can't go
without Cleo.

Good-bye, Blue.

I don't know what
I'm gonna do without you.

You don't need me.
I ain't nothin' but an old man.
I ain't no help to you.

Hell, I've been
holdingyou back.

Without me, you could move
into the white con.

The big time. You'll do fine--
Goddamn it, man.
Can the bullshit!

I'm goin' back to the apartment,
pack a bag, and I'm on my way.

You got any sense,
you'll follow me and
do just the same thing.

- Good-bye, Folks.
- Blue, I'm really leavin'.

I'm goin' to Chicago.

- Blue!
- Get the hell out of here!

Where's Blue?
Well, how should I know?

- Stop!
- [Yells]

What's going on over there?

- What's goin' on?
- Let me go, goddamn it!
I'm a cop!

[Engine Revving]

[Tires Screeching]






[Man Praying In Latin]
[Woman Praying In Italian]

[Prayer, Response Continue]


I found out who they were,
Mr. Perelli--

the two colored hustlers
that cheated your uncle.

One's name is Blue Howard.
They call the other one
White Folks.

What do they look like,
and where do we find them?

I'll get 'em for you, Mr. Perelli.
I'll bring 'em to you.

All right. You do that.

The price is five G's apiece.

You hear that?
I don't trust him.

Keep a tail on him.
When he finds those bastards,
you take care of him.

Listen, man.
I gotta find Blue.
You seen him?

I can't letyou
come in here, Folks.
It's too dangerous.

I gotta find Blue.
Don't worry about Blue.

He can take care of himself.

If I were you, I'd get
into a white neighborhood.


Have some champagne.

How'dyou get in here?

Oh, what is it? What's wrong?
What's happened to you?

Take off my coat.
Be careful of my right shoulder.

Johnny, what happened to you?
What is this?

It's a gunshot wound.
I've been shot.

Who shot you?

A goddamn son of a bitchin'
black cop shot me!

You're kidding me.

Yeah. Sure, I'm kiddin' you.

Get--Get me
some of that stuff.

Now take off my shirt.

I'm gonna call a doctor.

Forget it.

I've been shot by a cop.

You don't call a doctor
when you've been shot by a cop.

Get away from me.
You're a dead man.

Look, Felix. I need help.
Money's no object.

I only take money
when I can do something for it.
I can't do anything for you.

Just until
tomorrow morning, 10:00.

Do me a favor, Blue.
Forget you know me.

Already forgot I know you.

I couldn't sleep last night.

I had dreams
that kept waking me up.

I kept dreaming
you were with me.

Johnny, stay here.
Stay with me.

You'll be safe here.

I'll find a doctor for you.

I'll bring you whiskey.

Lie down,Johnny.



I'll stay with you.
I won't let anybody hurt you.

I'll take care of you.

You belong with me.

No, I don't belong here.

My name isJohnny O'Brien,
but my friends call me
White Folks.

And my enemies
call me trick baby.

And, girl,

that's 'cause I was born
in a nigger pigsty in the ghetto.

And I came out
of a black woman.

It doesn't
make any difference.

It does make a difference.
Believe me.

It does make a difference.


Oh, for Christ's sake!

Leave me alone!

Who do you think you are?
I told you who I am.

I'm not used
to being treated like this.

Oh,Johnny, please don't go.
I won't do anything to hurt you.

I'm gonna start screaming!

[Sobbing, Panting]

I just--I just want
to be nice to you.

I just want you
to stay with me.


Good evenin', Mr. Murray.

You're wasting your time, honey.
He's no trick.

Don't tell me he ain't no trick.

I'm lookin' for Blue Howard
and that half-honky friend of his.

What's that to me?

Hey, I ain't seem 'em.

I want you to put them
whores out lookin' for 'em.

Yeah, well, they ain't
gonna like that.

You a pimp, ain't you?
They do what you tell 'em
to do, don't they?

What do you want me to do,
man? Let go of me.

I want 'em in everyjoint
that's open.

They hear anything
about them two swindlers,
I want 'em to call you.

And I want you to find me
and tell me what they've heard.

Now is that too much
for you to understand?


[Folks Whispering]
Blue! Blue!

Are ya in there?

It's me. Folks.

Aw, Folks.
What happened?

The bastard shot me.

How bad you hurt?
I'm all right.

It hurts like hell,
but I'm all right.

This whole thing
is my fault.

I should have
checked Frascatti out,

and I shouldn't have gotten you
into this crummy life
in the first place.

That's right. I hate you
for teaching me con.

You put a pistol on me
and forced me to make
the Frascatti play.

No, Folks.

I'm just a stupid,
greedy bastard.

Old funky Blue.

You seen Cleo?


You know, I'm kind of glad I made
those pre-need arrangements...

at the Metropolitan
Funeral Home now.

'Cause when they shoot me,
I want every hustler in Philly
to turn green with envy.

I want everybody to know
that I was laid out in style.

I'm gonna lie there
in my luxury casket
for everybody to see.

Blue, you're full of shit
if you think you're gonna die
in some alley with your shoes on.

You're gonna die buck naked
between Cleo's legs.

[Tires Screeching]

[Dog Barking]

[Blue, Whispering]
Come on! Come on!

Easy, easy. Let's go.

Move it!

[Barking Continues]

Maybe that's them.
[Engine Starting]

[Tires Screech]

[Tires Screeching]

Hold on!

Oh, sweetJesus.

I owe you so much,

You drove the wine demon
out ofme.

You taught me how
to make my livin' off of what
the white people throws away!

- [Crowd Cheering]Amen!
- Thank you,Jesus!

Thank you,Jesus!

I don't ride
no mule no more.

I got me a truck!
You square-ass,
poor, motherfuckin' junk man!

Quit bullshittin'!
Ain't no white God
for black people, nigger!

Hold it, hold it! Huh?

Move it! Move it!
Move out!

Blue Howard!


Don't the Lord work
in mysterious ways,
his wonders to perform.

It's been five years
since I seen you.

He sent you to drive
Satan's imps away.

I'm gonna pray
and give thanks toJesus.

I want you to pray for me,
Josephus, but let's go
to your place first.

You ain't in trouble again,
is you?

You ain't done nothin' wrong,
have you, Blue?


'Cause as much as I love ya,
I can't harbor no criminals.

I swear,Josephus.

Because this house
ain't just mine, Blue.
It belongs toJesus too.

What's the matter
with your white friend, Blue?

He's had a little bad luck,
and he ain't white.
He just looks it.

That's a gunshot wound.
He's been shot.

The two of you
are in trouble with the police.
That's it, ain't it, Blue?

You're gonna have to go.
I ain't keepin' ya here.

Now get up, Blue.
I don't want you to stay here.

Wait a minute.
Wait a minute,Josephus.
It's not what you think.

Now we are in a mess of trouble,
and we do need your help,
but it's not our fault.

Just let me explain.

Blue, you ain't tryin'
to pull one of your cons
on me, are you?

I wouldn't do that,


how long has it been
since you heard from back home?

It's been many years
since I heard from any
good-time niggers back home.

That's the way I want it.
What's that got to do with
your white friend being shot?

You remember Sporty
and Bob Bigalow?

What about 'em?

They had
a terrible tragedy.

What happened?

What are you doin' in here?

You hurt yourself?

Where are they?
Why aren't you out
lookin' for 'em?

You look for 'em.

Hey, we don't even know
what they look like.
What do they look like?

Sporty and Bob were
walkin' home. They see this car
stalled by the side of the road.

Inside the car
is this white girl.
She's grinding the starter.

They decide to help her.
Now ReverendJoe, they had to be
two crazy, unlucky niggers.

They walk up on a white woman
on a lonely road at 2:00 a.m.
in Bibb County, Georgia.

Were they drinkin', Blue?
They were high as Georgia pines.

They had to be.
Anyway, they stuck their head
through the window.

And you know both those dudes
would run a close second to
King Kong in a beauty contest.

She took one look at them,
jumped out of that car,

and she was screamin' rape
before she hit the ground.

And do you know who she was?
Mavis Langely.

Her daddy's Hiram Langely,
the circuit judge.

You can believe they
sobered up right quick.
What happened?

Well,Jesus must have known that
they didn't mean any harm...

because he showed 'em
a hideout.

You remember that shack
that Sporty's daddy built?

That was a long time ago.
Is that whereJesus took 'em?

Sporty and Bob hid in that
still shack till daybreak.

Finally, Sporty decided
that their only hope was to hop
a freight goin' north.

But Bob would not move.
He was paralyzed with fear.

So Sporty left him there,

whimpering and huddled
like an unborn child
in that dark shack.

Jesus have mercy.

Sporty made it to that railroad line,

and he swung onto
a northbound train and
rode it all the way to Philly.

Now I've got Bob's
ex-girlfriend's phone number.

Jessie. You rememberJessie,
don't you?

She's the girl with
the clubfoot and the hazy mind.

Jessie could tell Bob's friends
to go out there and move him
to safety.

I had the phone in my hand
all set to call her when--

ReverendJoe, somethin' snatched
that phone out of my hand,
and I heard a strange voice.


"you can't trust those poor,
frightened black people
to get Bob to freedom.

Only you can save him."

ReverendJoe, I don't know who
took the phone out of my hand,

and I don't know who talked to me,
but please believe me.

It really happened.
Blue, you big black fool!

Ain't you got enough sense
to know that was
the Lord God hisself?

Praise be his holy name!

You touched a sinner
with your immortal spirit.

you made me see the light.

Folks and I
were on a divine mission...

when we went down south
and brought Bob back
to Philadelphia.

You mean he's here
in Philadelphia?

And we had it all fixed up
to get the both of them...

to the one place they'd
be safe-- Paris, France.

But no sooner than we were safe
at home than that fool Bob...

slipped out and called
his girlfriendJessie in Macon.

Now she must have talked
because two hours ago
detectives burst into our place.

Now Sporty and Bob got away,
but they wounded Folks here.

And now they're after us.
We gotta get out of the country.

We got our plane tickets, but we
desperately need a place to stay
until 10:00 tomorrow morning.

What are we gonna do, Folks?

Blue, I just don't know.

I believe the best thing
we could do is place ourselves
in the hands of ReverendJosephus,


You're right, Folks.

I love ReverendJosephus,

and I trust his judgment.

I'm not gonna let you
leave here, Blue.

The Lord ain't gonna allow
no harm to befall you here.

I'm gonna go downstairs
and pray for you.

Did you leave anything out?

The parachute jump.

Hell, lying takes my mind
off my troubles.

I almost
believed you myself.

Listen, you black son of a bitch.

You answer me when I talk to you.

You got yourself mixed up
with your boss.

You don't talk that way to me.
Not now, not ever!

We're gonna tell Nino
you're not cooperating.

Here's a dime for the phone.

I'm wishin' this moment
I'd stayed my ass down south.

I mean, what the hell good
did it do me to come up here
and try to improve myself?

I was scared of being like
one of those ignorant niggers
that I grew up with.

So tonight I had to kiss the ass
of one of them same niggers...

for this.

I've come full-fuckin'-circle, Folks.

All my life I've been chasin'
a rainbow.

See, the difference is, I know
where the pot of gold is now.

It's in a safe-deposit box
in the Provident National Bank,

and you and me got the key.

You can't expect us
to back out now.

Sorry, Folks.
I forgot all aboutyou.

Get me Doc Harris
out of the back room.
Who's this?

This is Blue, damn it.
Go get him.

Doc. Doc.
Blue's on the phone.
He wants ya.

Tell him I ain't here.

Tell him to get his ass
on this phone!

He ain't here.

Why you borrowing
my truck, Blue?
Ain't you got your own Cadillac?

I'll bring it back
in an hour,Josephus.

I'm going to get the doctor.
Forget it.


I want you to be in shape
to sign for that money.

Blue, forget about that money.

Damn it, Folks. It's not
the money I'm worried about.

I'm going to get him.

Be careful.

Well, hi, honey.

Dot hurt you?
No, I'm all right.

- Where you been?
- Waiting for you.

I called the house.
You weren't home.

You seen my home?
You seen what that
goddamn cop did to it?

You expect me to stay there?

I been at the pictures...
all night.

All by myself.

Cleo, why don't you try telling me
the truth just this once?

Tell you the truth?

You wouldn't know the truth
if it walked up and spit you
in the face.

You lie for a livin'.

Shit, I bet you the biggest liar
in Philadelphia.

You don't know nothin',
do ya?

You don't know nothin'
about me.

Come on.
Let me alone, Blue!

You better wait here, Cleo.


Hey, Blue.

You Blue Howard?

Oh, good Lord, no,
but I am mistaken for him
quite often.

- Then what's your name?
- Montgomery. Blue Montgomery.

Reverend Blue Montgomery.
Can I be of any help?
You know Blue Howard?

Yes, I do.
More than 20 years.

Know where I can find him?
I wouldn't want to get him
in any trouble.

There's no trouble.
We got a message for him.

Oh, that's all right then.

Well, I don't know
just exactly where he is.
He's a busy man.

He moves about quite a bit,
but I did see him about
40 minutes ago...

down at Prince's
there on South Street.

You know. Where the black
and white people get together.

Maybe if you went down there
somebody could tell you
where he is, or perhaps--

Get the hell away from him!
He's mine!

- [Gunshot]
- [Grunts]

Is that the other one?

No, his partner's a nigger too.

Blue! Blue!

Hey, hey--
Oh, Blue!

- [Screams]
- Hey, man.

Can you--Can you hear me?

Not too good, Folks.

You don't wanna mumble.

You speak clear
like an actor on the stage,

so the mark can hear
every word of the con.

Don't catch no cripple
or cross-eyed mark.

They're jinxy.

Run like hell from
the mark that stutters.

Quickest way to go to the joint
is to play con for them.

And for God's sake,

don't catch no mark
comin' home from a funeral
all dressed in black.



Oh, man.