The Cotton Club (1984) Movie Script

Prepare for the infinite,
the eternal and the universal.
Welcome to the Cotton Club.
- Evening.
- Emancipate thyself...
- Good evening.
- ...from human bondage.
Free thy heart from the fetters of evil.
Prepare thy soul.
This lady looks
like a colored lady to me.
I beg your pardon.
I said this lady
looks like a colored lady to me.
She's nothing of the sort.
She's absolutely white.
- She's pure Spanish blood.
- I was born in Barcelona.
Well, don't they have
colored folks in Barcelona?
- I'm sorry.
- No, I am sorry.
That's the most insulting thing
I've ever heard. Let's go.
Tell me something, Holmes. What are you
doing hustlin' for the ofays here?
The ofays pays, man.
Who you workin' for?
I heard you was on the road
with another band.
Yeah, yeah, in Chicago,
the band fell apart.
Come home on a bus, pining away
from the sounds of Harlem.
- Yeah.
- Speak to me, Holmes.
Sandman. Five two seven.
- Dixie.
- Hey.
- You back?
- Yeah.
Five two... Everybody playing 5-2-7 today.
Cravin' turkey.
That number comes up three years
in a row on Thanksgiving.
Yeah, so I heard.
- Dixie.
- Yeah.
- See you later, Holmes.
- See you later.
Yeah, I just got off the bus.
Rode the 'hound in from Chicago.
You know, I'm carrying
your winnings around for five weeks.
- I hit? Don't believe it.
- Burned a hole in my pocket.
So, how's your numbers
career coming along then, Sandman?
Man, that ain't my career.
I know it ain't your career.
What is your career?
My career!
- She told you that?
- The one with the big legs.
- Right. Yeah. I...
- Did you hear that?
Bam! Oh.
Hey, girls, would you like
to join us over there, huh?
- What?
- Beautiful table with nice people.
Now, this kid can play, huh?
You got everything you need?
- We got it all, Mr. Flynn.
- And the uniforms.
He's in the Bamville, you can't miss him.
Hey! Bravo! All right.
...breaking my heart.
How many times, huh?
- Hey, buddy, buddy.
- Hey, come over here.
Here's five bucks. Nice trumpet.
Thought you were black.
There's four guys,
we all strike out, am I right?
- He's cute.
- Hey, will you come over here?
Think he has a big one?
Hey, that trumpet duel was great.
But you beat him bad.
He ought to be put away for larceny.
He just lifted those riffs
from King Oliver, for Pete's sake.
Hey, you know something?
Hey, I once lost a grand on a horse
named Gideon's Trumpet.
- Your name Gideon?
- No.
Christ sakes, Abbadabba, this man is
a musician. He doesn't know about horses.
Hey, girls! Hey! Yoo-hoo!
- Forget it, they're cold.
- Yoo-hoo! Yoo-hoo!
What are you sitting
there all alone for? Come here.
Give me a chance to dazzle you.
- Take your breath away.
- Oh, I knew it, I knew it.
- I knew it. Come on.
- You're crazy.
We struck out. Look at this.
The kid's got
the Midas touch with the broads.
- Park it right here.
- But what am I gonna sit on?
No, don't answer that question.
Don't sit on the best part
of your personality, kiddo.
- I'm Abbadabba Berman.
- What a rude man.
Let me guess your names, huh?
All right, uh, Veronica, Alice.
Am I right?
- Forget it.
- I'm not close?
Come on, I got a head for figures.
- What's your name?
- Would you believe, Myrtle?
- Myrtle. Your name Myrtle?
- Yeah, it rhymes with...
- Oh, forget it.
- What's your name?
- I got a Myrtle here.
- Vera, as in very, very.
Cicero, like in Latin.
Did you ever study Latin?
- I was an altar boy.
- Myrtle, huh?
Like your birth name?
- He was an altar boy.
- I was.
I believe him.
- Hey, you wearing a girdle?
- Yeah.
- Thank you very much.
- Going with anybody?
You don't see a ring
on my finger, honey!
- What are they doing here?
- Uh-huh.
The little men in blue.
- You girls want a drink?
- We're behaving, mister, mister.
Wanted by the police, Miss Cicero?
- Oh, I'm sorry.
- We're very good tonight, fellas.
Watch out! Watch out!
Oh, my God.
Oh, my God.
- Yellow bastards!
- Get 'em.
Solly, go after 'em.
- My arm!
- Yellow bastard.
What's going on here?
Some people don't like me.
Who the fuck are you anyway?
I'm your Dutch uncle from now on, pal.
I owe you one. I owe you a big one.
- Abbadabba, you all right?
- Yeah.
I'm in heaven.
- Come here.
- Pow.
Pow, boom.
- They do that here every night?
- Yeah.
I'm very, very swoozled.
Oh, Jesus.
Come on. Come on.
- Help. Help me.
- Put your hands on me.
I'm a little kaflooey,
if you know what I mean.
I suppose I'm gonna have
to put you in bed, too.
All right.
Oh, no!
Come on, pull the arm out.
Come on, now.
See, that wasn't very hard, was it?
Come on. There.
I really liked the way you play
the trumpet. You sounded like Gabriel.
It's a cornet.
Gabriel plays the sax.
Now, you all right?
Well, whatever it is,
don't go home with it, okay?
Stay here with me?
Just for the night, please.
My ears are ringing.
Ringing, ringing.
What a night.
- Hmm, Dalbert.
- Gotcha.
- Hi, Ma.
- Good morning.
Didn't you say you danced
at the Bamville last night?
Yeah. Why?
How come you didn't say
nothin' about the bomb?
- What bomb?
- Dalbert, they throw a bomb,
they blow a man's arm off,
you still doing a soft shoe?
I don't know nothin'
about no bomb. I was gone.
Oh, well, they're real bombs.
Blow a man's arm off, right off.
Whose, uh...
Whose arm got blown off?
You mean you heard nothin'
about the bomb?
I don't know about no bomb.
"Police said the Bamville Club bombing
was another skirmish
in the Harlem beer war
between Dutch Schultz
and the Flynn brothers."
- Where were you?
- I was there with the Dutchman.
It said you saw the bomb coming.
Yeah, I did. Guy throws a bomb,
I knocked Dutch down. Saved his ass.
You knocked Dutch down
- and saved his ass?
- Jesus, watch the...
Well, let me take care of that.
Hey, Joe!
You wanna pick this up?
- Sure.
- Since when you got money?
- I did a couple jobs.
- Coffee, home fries, eggs over easy.
Coffee, home fries
Eggs over easy
Saving Dutch Schultz's ass,
that means the Dwyer brothers are in.
- In? In where, you sap?
- Hey, Popke, come on with us.
- Hey, Vince, wait up.
- So, Popke,
- when do we get our money?
- Hey, you're some big time hero, Dixie.
The Dutchman's tellin' everybody
you saved his ass.
- Beat it!
- Keep in line.
I got the rakes on the Dutchman.
Vinnie, what the hell is this?
What's this all about?
You wanna work for a bootlegger,
my brother? I don't think I like it.
Man, how you gonna kill a fly
in Ma's plate? What's wrong with you?
- Did I get it?
- No.
Did I get it? Wait a minute,
I didn't get it.
- Something is wrong with you.
- I got it.
- Seriously.
- Come on, now,
behave yourselves.
Look at my food everywhere.
You ready for the contest, Winona?
- Yeah.
- Let me see your step.
It's awful. I hate it.
Oh, you don't hate it, you love it.
That's what's gonna make you win
the contest, Winona.
Let me see something.
Anything. A combination step.
- Done quietly. Quietly.
- Yes. Quietly.
Thank you.
You're draggin'.
You're draggin'.
- The master must rise.
- Master of what?
Well, it's...
- Stay on top.
- Look, Mama.
Ah, you gotta do it pretty
to get into the Cotton Club.
Quietly, Mother.
Oh, that's gonna get you
to the Cotton Club.
The Cotton...
- The Cotton Club.
- No, Dalbert, not today.
No new steps, too important today.
We got to make today's audition stronger.
Stronger, man.
What you talking about, stronger?
Stronger, those ofays at the Cotton Club
know what they're lookin' at.
- They'll be lookin' at us dance.
- You can't fool 'em.
Look, you start giving white people
what you think they want,
soon, you got no blood left.
Today, we audition for the Cotton Club
with what we know.
What are we doing?
Are we gonna open up with rhythm
and then we gonna go into the soft-shoe?
No, no, no, no, no soft-shoe yet.
Save it 'til later.
I want to get it out of the way.
- Hey, Dixie.
- How you doin'?
So, where did you get this money?
- Is it a legit job?
- Well, I do business.
- You do business?
- Yeah, I'm like Jesse James.
Jesse James.
- You work with Jesse?
- Yeah.
- Who is this kid?
- It's Ed.
- Sad, very sad case.
- Ed Popke.
- So, listen, Dixie.
- Yeah.
I got... I got some big news
that I didn't tell you yet.
- What?
- Big news.
I suddenly got married.
- You got married. What?
- I got married.
You tell me you want a job
with Dutch Schultz.
You don't mention
you got hitched. What ails you?
- Where you going?
- I'm just gonna come in.
- Forget it.
- Hey, Patsy!
We wanna be alone
with just the family, all right?
Yeah, sure.
This is her, Dix. Patsy,
this is my older brother, Dix.
- Patsy, congratulations.
- Hi.
Yeah, you don't congratulate the bride,
you congratulate the groom.
- Way up on tippy-toes.
- One, two, three.
- One, two, three, slide your feet.
- One, two, three.
- One, two, three.
- One, two, three.
- One, two, three.
- One, two... One, two...
Patsy, would you go
and put some clothes on?
I have told her not to go
around the house like that.
Ma, I know, but there's a rat
in the house.
- Oh, Vincent.
- There's a big rat.
It's got a tail this big. Now, how many
times I got to tell you, set the traps?
It's behind the curtain, you wanna
take a look? It's behind the curtain.
You know, I ought to punch you
right in the nose.
- You were in town all day yesterday...
- Hey, don't start. Come here.
- Come here.
- ...and you didn't call me once.
If that one goes up, this one goes up,
goes around my neck, and hug.
Oh, Ma, how are you?
How are the dancing feet?
Hey, Ma, he saved Dutch Schultz's life at
the Bamville last night
w hen it was bombed.
- What did you do that for?
- I didn't know who it was.
Well, you know
he's an absolutely awful man.
Patsy, will you go
and put some clothes on?
I did.
- Leave the cat alone.
- Thank you, darlin'.
You practice a lot up on your tippy toes.
One, two, three, one, two, three.
- You did good, kid.
- One, two, three.
Patsy, I told you,
go and put your clothes on.
Yeah, we're going over there.
- I'm gonna take your jacket, Dix.
- Okay.
Congratulations, Vinnie.
You make any money on your tour?
- Yeah?
- Yeah, yeah. I did, as a matter of fact.
- Oh, Michael.
- Big wad of jack. Look at that.
Michael, you saved all this money?
Or did you win it
in a crap game last night?
Can't lie to you.
I hit a number before I left.
- Sandman paid me off last night.
- Yeah, so you didn't save any money?
- No.
- Oh.
Close mouth, please.
Michael, are you ever gonna make
any sense out of this life of yours?
- You've been a baseball player, a boxer.
- Yeah.
Jazz musician, dance band man.
You wind up broke
in Kokomo, in Chicago.
What do you think about me getting
in the movie business? Be a movie star.
Huh? Met a guy on the road, Tish.
Let's go out on the town.
Let's go to the Cotton Club.
I just wanna have a good time.
How did your dancing audition go?
They loved us.
You think the Cotton Club's
gonna put you to work?
- Nah.
- Hey, man,
on your way to the big time, huh?
Yeah, we'll see.
He's showing off again.
- Yeah, but he's got a lot to show off.
- Can't stop showing off.
Showing off is how you get
to be a star up there, brother.
- Hey, good luck, boys!
- Mm, mm, mm.
Dalbert, where you going?
Excuse me.
Excuse me. I... I'm having
a heart attack, and I, uh...
Yeah, you look kinda sick, I think.
- Please, Miss, I'm having a...
- Hey, Sandman.
That Cotton Club lady
pushed you over the cliff.
Yeah, I'm gonna... I'm gonna climb back up.
- I'll see you later, man.
- So long, Holmes.
Hold it, hold it. I want...
Mr. Stark. Hi.
Just, uh, very excited
about the audition, and, uh,
I just wanted to come up
and find out, uh, how we did.
- Did we get it?
- Everybody liked you, kid.
- Yeah?
- Yeah.
- I'm gonna put you in the next show.
- We're in the next show?
- You're in the next show.
- We got it?
- You got it.
- We got it.
Thanks. Listen.
You white folks are so smart.
- Ladies and gentlemen...
- Much smaller.
- Now, right pivot.
-'s my extreme pleasure...
- Nice and easy.
- introduce to you...
- All around. That's it.
- ...the world renowned...
- Cotton Club girls.
- And you're in the wrong spot.
Sorry, Miss Webb.
- What's your name?
- Get out of here!
- What is your name?
- What are you doing here?
I'm with the company.
I just spoke with Mr. Stark.
I don't care what Mr. Stark says,
if you're with the company,
you belong to me.
You don't use that front door.
You use the back door.
And don't let it happen again.
- You're Dixie Dwyer?
- Yeah, that's right.
The Dutchman
wants to put you to work.
He says you play the piano
in addition to that bugle, is that right?
Yeah, I do. I play a little piano.
He wants you to play
a little party he's arranging.
- A party? How much?
- Hundred and fifty.
- Hundred and fifty. When?
- Right now.
- What do they call you?
- Nobody calls me nothin'.
- Not even your mother?
- I didn't have a mother.
They found me in a garbage pail.
Come on.
- How you doin'?
- Sol.
- What's in the bugle case, pal?
- Bugle.
What kind of party is this anyway?
You've never been to a party
like this one.
Maybe I don't wanna go
to a party like this one.
- Wait here.
- Hi.
So don't screw up.
Keep an eye on the boss.
- Hiya, doll.
- Hi.
The cornet player.
I don't believe it. You made it.
What the hell is this?
Bugle boy, meet Jesse James.
- What the hell are you doing here?
- I got a job.
I went up to the Dutchman, I said,
"Hey, I am Dixie Dwyer's brother."
He saved your ass, you save my ass."
You just walk up to the Dutchman
and ask him for a job?
Yeah, I went up to him,
I said, "I'm big here."
- What do you have to do with this?
- I'm with Vinnie.
- I made it.
- I got your kid brother on my payroll.
Yeah, he was telling me about it.
Yeah, we got a few
too many Jews around here.
We need some Irishmen
to keep it balanced.
Not too many if you don't mind.
I like these tough Micks. Wardrobe.
Hey, so what do you say,
lucky boy, huh?
- Did you bring your horn?
- Hey, the first of the money.
Oh, my horn! Thought you wanted a piano,
so I brought my piano.
You can't work for the Dutchman
and walk around like this, all right?
- Yeah.
- So...
What kind of stuff you wanna hear?
Hey, listen, I got a lot of things to do.
I got this girl coming, right?
A surprise, you know?
Hey, she got her own music.
- Hey, you read music, right?
- Yeah, yeah. I read it.
I write it. I play it.
I sleep with it, too.
No, you play for her, huh?
Don't sleep with her.
Hey, lucky boy, relax. I like ya.
Oh, my God.
Excuse me.
I'm looking for Mr. Dutch Schultz.
- Do you know him?
- Sure.
- Everybody knows the Dutchman.
- Do you work for him?
Nah. I work for myself.
My name is Owney Madden.
- And you?
- You're Owney Madden?
- Oh, you're very famous.
- Oh.
I'm Vera Cicero.
You own the Cotton Club, right?
I own a lot of things, Miss Cicero.
Even used to own the Dutchman once,
before he went off on his own.
- He used to drive a truck for me.
- Now he owns his own trucks, right?
Mm, and he owns people, too.
He's in the next room.
- Yeah?
- Thank you.
Right this way, Mr. Flynn.
Thank you, Mr. Flynn.
Whoa. Wanna lighten up a little bit, pal?
Okay, Dixie.
- Hiya, baby.
- Hiya.
See, I got you an accomp...
an accomp...
You know, a piano player.
- The little girl.
- The altar boy.
Hey, Schultzie,
come on, we gotta talk.
Huh, we got party time here.
It's time, Dutch.
- Let's get at it.
- Fine.
We're set up down the hall. Come on.
Come on, sit down.
What are you doing here anyway?
He tracked me down.
Why are you here?
Obviously, I'm here to play piano.
You're here to sing.
What did he ask you to do?
He said I should hang out
with you, but not really.
You're here because it's good for you.
It's good for everybody.
Bombs. People dead in the street.
Arms torn off.
People getting tortured.
Suddenly, we got twice as many cops
in Harlem as we had three days ago.
This is not good for business.
- My trucks!
- Bastard!
You bombed me. Goddammit!
Shut the fuck up! Shut up!
- Sit down. Now, shut up.
- What's the point?
- Shut up!
- Bullshit!
I'm telling ya. You too.
Jesus Christ.
You're here because you both agreed
to this truce. And it is a truce.
Tomorrow is a business day.
Is it clear?
- Yeah.
- Well, then shake hands.
Shake fucking hands!
In the next room, gentlemen,
is the best food, drink, and pussy
available at any price in New York.
I suggest you take a sample
of these things,
and try to remember that
this is why we work so hard...
To live the way that kings
and princes live in this world.
Huh? Come on, get outta here.
- Whiskey.
- Yes, sir.
So you finished
the funny business, Dutch?
I shook his hand.
- I should have cut it off, the fucker.
- Hmm. Calm down.
You'll overheat, ruin the suit.
- You two getting along?
- Yeah, we're making contact.
You look like a beautiful doll.
- Hey, you know that tune?
- "Beautiful Doll", yeah, sure.
Yeah, "Beautiful Doll." Play it, Dixie.
Go ahead.
Yeah, sure.
Hey, how you doin', huh?
Is it true you can help me
the way you said?
Anything you want.
Anything. Just ask me for it.
I wanna own my own nightclub.
You got a lot to learn, kiddo.
Gentlemen, do I look after you or what?
So, we're gonna have
a little peace and quiet.
Come on, come on.
- Hey, Monk, let the two kids in. Huh?
- Stop pushing.
Okay. Go ahead.
Nobody else right now.
- Hey, come on, help yourself.
- Come in a little later.
Owney did all right
bringing you guys together.
Would you get it right, Frenchy? We got
a little territory settled is what we did.
We ain't together.
Now, what is this?
You sound like an Irish pig.
All right, all right,
all right, all right.
- Hey, do you wanna go right now, huh?
- Dutch.
- Come on, what are you gonna do?
- Will you stop this? Huh?
I'll break your fucking
whole fascist face.
Look at all this food.
Bootleggers eat pretty well.
We know what we got.
What I'm saying is,
- Owney's a goddamn diplomat...
- Guaranteed.
Goddamn, Owney.
Ought to be down in Washington,
we wouldn't have all this shit
going on in Europe.
What I like is we keep the fucking
Jew boys where they belong, huh?
- Oh, shit.
- Keep the Jews
and the niggers where they belong,
and we're all right.
Jews is nothing but a jig
turned inside out. And...
That's enough of that!
Son of a bitch!
Don't talk to me.
You'll die.
All right, Dutch. That's enough!
Yeah. That's enough.
- All right.
- Gee,
somebody ought to cut out
your brain and pickle it.
You're the craziest
son of a bitch I ever knew.
I'm sorry.
Bloody fuckin' sorry
as a human being, Dutch.
- Hey, kid, can you drive?
- Yeah.
Then take your friend someplace
safe and quiet away from here.
- Take the lady with you.
- Come on. Take the...
Now, get him the fuck
out of here, and fast!
Get it out.
Hey, look, buddy. I don't want you to get
lost for the next couple of days.
I need to know where you are.
Say, kid, come here.
Don't you worry about it. None of that.
- I already got the fix in on this.
- Whatever you say, Dutch.
All right. Hey,
it's just right up over there.
I'll see ya.
Don't go anyplace. I wanna know
where you are, both of ya.
I need to get something to eat.
What, did I say the wrong thing?
Don't you feel nothin' for Mr. Flynn?
Mr. Flynn was a bootlegger.
That's how they live.
Maybe one day you'll wise up, sap!
Why not come inside?
Not this time.
You don't belong to me.
- You're Dutch's property.
- Hmm.
- Hi, Joey.
- What's new?
What you doin'?
Twenty minutes, ladies
and gentlemen. The call is 20 minutes...
All righty.
He'll never make it.
Twenty minutes.
That's 20 minutes, everybody.
Twenty minutes.
Mr. Stark. Mr. Stark,
we're the Williams Brothers.
Mr. Stark, the Williams Brothers.
- Hey.
- Oh, yeah,
- Williams Brothers.
- Yeah.
- Yeah, so happy to see you.
- All right.
Charlie, show them their dressing room.
- Okay. Come on.
- Thank you.
- Call me.
- Watch out, lady,
- watch out, lady.
- Girls, clear the aisle, please.
It goes from five to here.
You come in right here with the vocal.
- All the way up?
- Yes.
It goes from five,
and then straight to the end.
- Keep it movin'.
- That's Duke Ellington.
Come on, kids.
You got 20 minutes.
We're here.
to The Cotton Club, gentlemen.
Prepare for the infinite,
the eternal, and the universal.
Emancipate thy hearts...
- Hiya, Dixie. This your family?
- Hey, Holmes.
Taking the newlyweds out for a good time.
- You bet, man.
- Repent. Repent.
Some of the best musicians in the world
play in here.
This is the place, Patsy.
Where did you boys get
all this money?
Good thing niggers ain't allowed.
Terrible. You mean they can't
get into their own club?
No, it ain't their club.
Owney Madden owns it.
- Here come the Cotton Club girls.
- Wait till you see this.
Good evening.
This way, please.
Come on.
You look at the rump on that baby.
Hey, baby, could you wiggle
over here a little more?
Hey, baby! Hey, baby.
- Hey, Vinnie, come on.
- Look at this.
Woo. Yeah.
Is this the best table in the house here?
The best we can do for you, my friend.
Yeah, way in the corner here.
You ain't no friend of mine.
- Hallelujah.
- Watch the show.
I know that's him.
I just know that's him.
I remember Owney Madden.
- Where?
- Right over there.
He backs a lot of Broadway shows.
They call him Mr. Broadway.
I wonder if he remembers me?
- Where you going?
- Ma, wait.
Mr. Madden.
Well, well.
- Pleasure to see you again.
- I'd like you to meet my son, Michael.
He's a marvelous jazz cornet player.
I think you should hire him for something.
It's my mother, she loves me.
Don't you already have a job?
Uh, yeah, I play here and there.
Nothing steady.
Hmm. You gotta be careful
who you play piano for.
All right. Come around and see me. Huh?
Maybe some time soon.
Thanks, Mr. Madden.
- You ready, brother?
- Ready, aim, fire.
Yeah, I think I got that.
Stealing again. Huh?
Trying to steal from the master.
- Come on. Run, boy.
- What?
- Come on.
- No, I wanna...
- I want to throw pennies a little more.
- Come on.
- Come on, Dixie. Let me take...
- Come on. Sit down.
You get to have your time,
I get to have mine.
No, come on.
- What do you think of this Dwyer kid?
- Not impressed.
Do you trust him?
- Dutch seems to.
- Yeah.
Dutch relies on fear.
It's loyalty we need.
I'm thinking about the coast.
The kid looks good. Talks pretty.
I don't trust no one with a nickname.
But what about your nickname, Frenchy?
- That's different.
- Why?
I'm trustworthy.
Oh, yeah. What would I do without ya?
And now Duke Ellington
and his orchestra
will perform an original composition,
"Creole Love Call."
I'm always watching you, Williams.
This is a nice place. How come
you never brought me here before?
The Cotton Club?
- Frances, I almost never come here.
- Oh.
Nice to see you again,
Mr. Schultz.
Really, Frances,
I don't come here without you.
- Hey, Dutch.
- Oh, how ya doing?
Do you ever tell anyone the truth?
- Compliments of the house.
- Now, how about that Owney, huh?
- You gonna pop the cork?
- I certainly am.
Hey, 50 bucks if you hit the ceiling, huh?
- Well, hello, Dutch.
- Huh? Oh, how ya doing?
How ya been? Have a cigar.
- Take a walk.
- Bye, Dutch.
They read your name
in the paper, they think they know you.
- It's like anything.
- Give me a light.
Haven't been able to eat
or sleep for days.
- You all right?
- Oh, yes.
Oh, that's too fast.
You shouldn't fall so soon.
All I wanna do is marry you
and take you away from all this.
- Take me away?
- Yeah.
- I practically just got here.
- Well, me, too.
Look, let's never be separated.
You and me.
Oh, uh, can I do this number?
- Uh-huh.
- Introducing...
- Okay.
- ...the world renowned...
Cotton Club beauties.
- What are you doing here?
- He likes to look at me.
He says if his wife leaves early,
he wants to see me.
He saw that you were here
and he wants to talk to you.
- Talk to me?
- Yeah.
Talk. I don't wanna talk to him. I got...
My family's over here tonight.
Look, do yourself a major favor
and don't rile him.
- You know how he gets when he gets riled.
- I don't want any part of it.
He can get you anything you'd ever need.
- Good. Hey, do a good show. Hey.
- Break a leg, break a leg.
All right. Thank you.
Good luck.
- Good luck.
- Good luck.
Okay, thanks.
- Hi.
- Hi.
- Good luck.
- Thank you.
And now, ladies and gentlemen,
making their debut at the Cotton Club,
the Williams Brothers from Harlem.
I love this!
Do it with both feet!
Dancing boys.
Feet are hooves!
Look at that boy go!
- Look at that dinge go.
- Blow the top!
Did you see Dixie is here?
- You guys good.
- Great.
Nice moves!
Nice moves. Nice moves.
All right, everybody.
Let's dance.
I wanna dance.
Come on, you two.
Come up here a little later and dance,
because I'm ready to dance.
Patsy, come on.
- What the hell are you doing now?
- Will you quit bellyaching?
We're gonna dance.
What about that Vera?
- What about her?
- What's she to you?
She's Abbadabba's girlfriend.
She is like hell.
I think she can't stand him.
I don't worry about that.
- That's their problem.
- I thought maybe you did worry.
Well, how you doing, lucky boy?
Guy's gotta be lucky
to hang on with you, Dutch.
And who's this?
Dutch Schultz, this is my mother.
Tish Dwyer.
One of the great white
mothers of the world.
Hey, mother is the best bet.
And this is my wife, Frances,
who likes to nag me.
- Hey, Frances.
- Listen, Dixie.
- Yeah.
- I need a guy with your kind of talent.
- Musical talent?
- Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
That, too. See, I wanna get a new look.
And don't let the tux fool you.
- It looks fine.
- No, no, no.
Look, somebody had to put me in it.
- My wife says I'm a slob.
- You look fine, Dutch.
- Hey, is that what you say?
- Who has to say anything?
Just look at you.
You need a tailor, Dutch.
Not a musician.
- I'll give you 200 a week.
- Oh.
We'll talk about it
after the dance, all right?
Mother knows.
Listen, I, uh...
I got to see you after the show.
- No.
- Come on.
- No.
- Tomorrow, come on.
- No.
- You got to. Tomorrow?
- All right, I'll tell you what.
- What?
I have a meeting at 10:00
at the Abyssinian Church.
- Uh-huh.
- Meet me there.
- Okay.
- Okay.
Look, I'm just a new dancer here.
I'm trying to meet people.
Well, you better watch your act
around here, nigger!
You don't handle the merchandise.
- I'm gonna give you 300 a week.
- I thought you said 200 up there.
Yeah, look, I could say 50 and you'd
take it, because I want you to take it.
Look, Dutch, I appreciate it, but guns,
knives, bombs, and all that, that's...
It's not my life, Dutch. I play music.
I'm telling you, you got a job.
You got it?
All I want you to do is to take Vera
around, show her a good time.
She can't stand Abbadabba,
but she likes you.
If I didn't like you, you'd be dead.
You understand that? Huh?
Sure, I understand.
All right.
Happy man.
- Yeah.
- All right.
- You're gorgeous.
- What did she say?
She says I'm gorgeous, and I
should have a big future.
- Hey, kid.
- Yeah.
I believe that's my cab.
- Prepare for...
- That's my cab.
No, no.
Patsy, you wanna go for a drive?
...the infinite,
the eternal and the universal.
- Emancipate thyself from human bondage.
- Here you, go, kid.
Free thy heart from the fetters of evil.
Come on, now, get over in line
with the rest of them.
You still mad at me?
- I was never mad at you.
- No?
I just felt that you should
respect my private life.
Well, let's get married now
instead of having lunch.
Forget about lunch,
we could have lunch anytime.
Oh, Dalbert, no chance.
I've got too many things I need to do.
I wanna make it. I mean, really make it.
I wanna do Broadway.
You wanna do white show business.
Well, isn't that what it is?
Listen, who plays piano in here?
Somebody has got to play some...
- Joyce, what, you no good?
- Sure is.
Listen, I'm trying
to impress this girl here.
- Uh-huh. Okay.
- See, I gotta do something for this girl.
I don't know what it is,
but I gotta do something.
Let's do "TT&T", you know that?
- What's he doing?
- Oh, look at th... Oh, oh.
Listen, I gotta show you off.
I gotta. I gotta show you off.
- Come on.
- Where are we going?
Wait a minute. I got a lot of people
up here. I just can't run out like this.
Wait a second here.
- I like it that you're taller than me.
- Most men are intimidated.
Listen, we're gonna get an act together.
We're gonna go right up
to the top of the ladder,
collect all that jack together. Come on.
- Dalbert, wait.
- Watch this.
All right. Come on.
- Suger, I want you to marry me.
- I'm already married.
You're the president of the club,
it's like a captain at sea.
So you can perform a ceremony,
and I need you to do it right now,
because I can't wait no more.
Listen, if you take this man to be
your lawfully wedded husband,
you're crazier than he is.
Suger, would you just spare?
Furthermore, ain't no women allowed.
What are you doing in here?
- Suger, bend the rules.
- Don't bend no rules.
Why not no women?
Why not no women left,
'cause this is the Hoofer's Club.
Hoofer's, Hoofer's.
Hoofer's, Hoofer's,
- I'll show you what I'm talking about.
- This is gonna be something, baby.
This is what you do.
Give me a little...
Give me a little, give me
a little music there, huh?
- Come on, Suger.
- Do it, Suger.
- Show them how. Show them how.
- Well, you got it, boss.
Been doing it for years.
Woo! Yeah.
Hit it, Ralph.
All right.
Oh, I'm gonna take that one.
That's mine.
That's my step.
Dance, mama.
- Mama, mama, mama.
- That's it.
Don't show it.
Don't show nothing.
Don't be so mean,
don't be so mean.
To the floor.
Man's getting too old,
getting too old to do that step.
Coming through,
coming through.
That is something, boy. Ow!
- Look at him.
- All right.
Look at him.
Look out, now.
Go on, Dalbert.
- Go on, Dalbert.
- Yeah.
So smooth.
Let's go.
Come on, now.
All right.
No, no, no, no, no.
What's the matter?
Come on!
Oh, come on, he's doing...
- I'm dancing.
- No, no, no, no.
Now, this is the way.
One, two, three, four,
let's take it home, now.
Man, I'm dancing.
Am I dancing?
The only trouble with this goddamn nigger
numbers racket is the risk.
I like things you can fix,
like a horse race.
- Mm-hmm.
- Or a politician, huh?
You know, I think I can fix
the number, Arthur.
- What? Are you kidding me?
- No.
What have you been drinking,
for Christ's sake?
Hey, Dixie.
Play that Beiderbecke tune for me.
You know the one I like, and see
if the piano player knows it.
Hey, ask me what the square root
of 4,356 is.
Nobody can do that.
Well, ask me
anything, I'm a genius.
You know "Sing the Blues," hon?
- Yeah.
- All right.
You take that thing with you
wherever you go?
Sure. Dutchman likes
the sound of my horn.
- His master's voice.
- Look who's talking.
- Listen, hey, all right.
- Get to the point already.
All you gotta know
is how to fix the payoff numbers.
Control the betting,
is that what you mean?
that's exactly what I mean.
Now I know
you're crazy, Abbadabba.
Got you thinking, huh?
Hmm? Am I right?
Now, listen, okay, where did
the numbers come from, huh?
- From the, uh...
- From the pari-mutuel payoffs.
Okay. So I go to the track,
I look at the payoff totals
on the first six races.
Then I study the odds and each
of the favorites in the seventh race.
What if I don't like the number
they'll produce if they win?
- I don't know.
- All right.
I place last minute bets,
change the payoff totals,
then that changes the last number.
Any number I want. Hmm?
And you can figure
all that out in your head?
Mm. The one and only.
They're conquering the world
with arithmetic.
All right, Abbadabba,
lemme hear the rest.
The service is lousy here. Why don't you
get me a gin, Dixie, darling?
You know, in Harlem,
lock, stock, and barrel.
You don't even
have to point a gun...
Well, I'll tell you
something, if you can do this...
- Yeah.
- If you can do this,
we can put the schmoozes out of business
and take over
the whole Harlem numbers racket.
This Abbadabba's worth
his weight in gold.
- Bottoms up, Duchess.
- Jeez.
I mean, I'm really sorry about that.
Listen, I saw you spilling that drink.
You ain't clumsy. I didn't like it.
You ever do anything like that
to her again,
I mess up your face, you hear me?
- Huh?
- Yeah, yeah, yeah.
I won't spill anymore drinks.
Oh, and hey.
I want you to pick up my laundry.
It's at the chinks, around the corner
from the Bamville.
- Now, what the hell's going on?
- All right, three bankers.
15,000 from 113th,
20,000 from 72nd,
21,000 from 115th Street.
You're beautiful,
you're beautiful.
What's with this?
Where's the Duesenberg?
- Where's Dutch?
- Dutch can't make it tonight.
I'm your escort.
I'll do anything for money, too.
Where are we headed? We're not even
in the direction of the theater.
We ain't going to the theater.
What is this, a kidnapping?
Would you like that?
Because I think I'm up to it.
You'll sit at Dutch's table over there.
Go ahead, will you? Walk. Now, move!
Move. Keep moving.
Sit down.
Hey, sit down.
- Thank you.
- Thanks.
I never have figured you out.
That's funny.
I know all about you.
I can imitate your walk.
The way you play your cornet.
Like how?
I know a few things about you, too.
Like what you look like
when you make love.
When did you see that?
Ever since I put you to bed that night.
The Golem has arrived.
- He follows me everywhere.
- The Golem is in love.
Don't be ridiculous.
He's just keeping tabs on me for Dutch.
Why do I feel like I'm walking
the dog or something?
I wanna dance. Come on, get up.
Dutch likes it when we dance. Come on.
Let's dance for Dutch right now.
I used to dance for a living.
You know that?
- No kidding?
- Yeah.
I worked in tearooms when I was 18.
Tell me all about it.
These old ladies would pay me
to put my arms around them.
Waltz them off their feet.
Pay two bucks in the afternoon. Plus tips.
More for the night work.
In private.
- If you could stand it!
- Could you?
Sure. Look at me tonight.
Dutch likes you to dance, huh?
Let's go.
Come on. Dance!
You dance for me!
Come on. Get up!
- Come on, you dance!
- Bastard.
You dance for me.
Come on.
You wanna dance?
I'll dance with you, come on!
What makes you think
you have the right?
That's enough!
That's enough. That's enough.
I'll dance with you next time, Sol.
Come on. I'm sorry.
I am not drunk.
I just cracked my heel.
- I didn't mean to hurt you.
- Yes, you did.
It belongs to my, uh, brother's wife.
She's about your size.
To anything.
To anything.
Is that you, Vincent?
No, it's Michael, Mom.
It's okay, go back to bed.
Everything's all right.
- Goodnight, Michael.
- Goodnight, Mom.
Yeah, Michael.
Well, Michael, where do I change?
You feel like you're on your honeymoon?
Honeymoons are never
this dangerous.
I'm quitting him.
I'm quitting the Dutchman.
I'm not running around for his cigarettes
while he strokes you.
I'm not waiting in the car...
while he does
whatever he does to you.
Whatever he does.
All I know is I'm getting away
from the son of bitch,
get him out of my life.
- You're a tough guy.
- Yeah.
Yeah, I'm a real tough guy.
I'll do anything, anything to get out
of being Dutch's nigger.
Some things you can't do.
You can't see a murder,
then come home,
fuck your friend, who loves you,
leave him, then go home,
wake up in the morning,
have tea and toast with a psychopath.
You can't do that, can you?
Well, it's not how it goes
in real life, is it?
This ain't real life.
What is it?
It's jazz.
Welcome, everyone,
to the Cotton Club.
It's nice to see you enjoying yourself
in spite of the cover charge.
And now, ladies and gentlemen,
making her debut as a soloist,
she's one of our favorite dancers,
she's been singing in the chorus.
Let's give a big welcome to Lila Rose!
How ya doing?
- Come on.
- Yeah.
Hmm, what a beauty.
- See you tonight, baby.
- See you.
Hey, Sandman,
I got a special. The act is sick.
Remember that solo we talked about?
- Can you do it tonight?
- Yeah. Can a cat climb a tree?
- You're on right after Duke.
- I'm there.
- What's this about a solo?
- They asked me to do a solo.
Oh, they asked you,
you didn't ask them, huh?
I talked to them, yeah.
Look, it's a step up, man.
It's good for both of us.
Don't give me trouble, shake my hand.
Shake your hand?
I oughta spit in your hand.
How could you do it to me?
I'm your brother.
How could you go behind my back?
You want a solo?
You got me. On stage and all.
Clay. Clay.
- Hey, Mr. Jazz.
- Hey, Mr. Madden.
- How are you?
- All right, all right.
- You said I should come to see you.
- Oh, yeah, yeah.
- You're between a rock and a hard place.
- Yeah, you noticed.
Got any ideas for me?
Too bad you ain't colored,
we could book you here.
Yeah. Great tragedy of my life.
A lot of my cash goes different places,
if you know what I mean.
Some goes to Hollywood,
and to the studios, and to the movies.
And you could front for us.
What do you mean "front"?
You're a man of taste.
Be my face on the coast.
But Dutch wouldn't...
Ah, I'll keep the Dutchman
off your back, hmm?
Come have some lunch.
Come on.
So what about this suit, huh?
I look like the boss?
Yeah, keep two thugs behind you,
you'll look like a boss.
Hey, I don't want them looking
at the bozos in the back of me.
- I want them to notice the suit.
- Hey, Frances.
Spill a little gravy on it
like you always do, they'll notice it.
You know, Dixie took a screen test.
- Took a screen test?
- Yeah.
What's a screen test?
You know, they shot some pictures of me.
Now they want me make a movie.
- In Hollywood?
- Yeah, that's right.
- Forget it.
- What do you mean, forget it?
- It's is his big chance.
- Yeah, they want me to play a gangster.
- You, a gangster?
- Yeah, in fact an imitation of you.
"Hey, hey, come here, do what I tell you
to do or I'll plug you."
Owney arranged the whole thing.
He's partners
with the money guys in the picture.
In fact, he said you wouldn't mind
if I left for the coast.
Screen test. Dixie Dwyer. Sound.
Here he comes, J.W.,
watch him, he's an egg cream.
And Owney Madden always
had good judgment in talent.
- Right, kid's fantastic.
- What's the kid's name?
Dixie Dwyer. Keep an eye on him,
keep an eye on him, he'll soak you up.
Fantastic kid.
He's coming in now.
- Put them up!
- Unbelievable. Watch him, watch him.
- I'm mob boss now.
- Dixie Dwyer.
- Finally.
- The mob boss, that's right!
First kid you ever sent me
since we started talking
that does not sound
like a soprano, thank God.
He's the greatest. He'll become
the biggest thing...
- Hold it. Hold it, Sully.
- What? What? What?
This kid can't act.
The kid stinks as an actor.
Right, oh, I can see it.
He has a good face,
he has a good voice.
- Great face, great voice.
- Does not look like a fruit.
Not at all. Not a fruit.
He goes with the girls.
He looks like a gangster.
He could be a great gangster.
- What's the kid's name again?
- Um, Dwyer, Dixie Dwyer.
- Dixie Dwyer.
- Great name, fantastic name.
- Nothing name.
- The worst name in the world, right.
- First thing we do is...
- Right, we change the name.
- I'll decide about the name.
- Right.
- You like the name?
- I like the name. I tell you...
- Keep the name.
- Keep the name, that's fantastic...
Just put him under contract.
We'll send him to the coast.
I think it's a great idea.
- We'll give him a shot.
- Fantastic.
It's Abbadabba from the track.
The second number is two.
Hang on a second.
Buster, what's the betting
like on five-two?
Like we figured,
the heavy play is on five two seven.
All right. Now, you guys, you get
this bank roll to the track
and you put it down on seven.
It's the last number.
You got that clear, now?
- I'll take care of it.
- Seven. Move, go.
Abbadabba, you make
that last number a seven for me,
- you hear me?
- Yeah.
Five two seven. Again.
Who can cover their bets?
Who cannot?
I'm finished.
Bank has been busted by $250,000,
Madame St. Clair.
I can't, St. Clair.
Where are we gonna get the rest
of the money from?
Got to turn it over.
Anyone who moves is a dead nigger.
You, St. Clair! The Dutchman wants you
to draw his numbers racket, huh?
- I'm still at the Cotton Club.
- Yeah.
In fact, Winnie and I gonna be
rehearsing a new number.
Oh, great.
- Yeah, she's doing real well.
- Oh, I didn't know.
Yeah. We're doing this new number
that's going into the show.
- Isn't that great?
- Oh, she really is doing great.
Yes, he comes from talented family now,
that's what that is.
- How's Bubba?
- Fine. Doing great.
Yeah, come by the Hoofer's
one night, you know.
I'm a little busy.
- He's doing a new act.
- I can tell him what I'm doing.
- I miss you, too.
- I know you can.
One thing about the club, you know,
they once talked about being honorable,
- and being respectful of your partner.
- Don't start, man.
Don't tell me don't start.
Talking about honor.
Look, I got an opportunity
and I went with it, that's all it was.
I'm sure you did. So you used me
to get in the Cotton Club.
Look, the woman came
over and they had a problem.
- That's all it was.
- Oh, really?
Quick to do it. You didn't...
You didn't say nothing about it, huh?
...and I was ready.
I'm trying to make it for the family.
- That's all it is, Clay.
- You are, huh?
If I make it, then maybe
somebody else has a shot to make it,
maybe even you can make it.
You went behind my back
is what you did.
Look, I had an opportunity
and I went with it.
- You didn't get... You didn't...
- That's all it was.
- You didn't get no Cotton Club.
- I didn't lie to you.
I was just trying to get ahead
for myself.
Why do you bring these things up
now at dinner?
You're upsetting your mother now,
take it easy. Take it easy.
- You all can discuss this another time...
- Come on, let's eat.
- ...other than at the dinner table.
- Eat.
- Everything's getting cold.
- Eat.
You two are too far down the road
to be bickering with each other.
Ah, Suzy!
Oh, baby, you know I love you.
But, Suzy,
what's the matter, baby?
- Go back where you stayed last night.
- Last night?
Yeah, you know where you was,
get on away from my door.
But wait a minute, Suzy,
I lives here too, baby.
Uh-uh, honey.
- Charlotte!
- Charlotte?
- My regular, now, you know Charlotte.
- Charlotte who?
Charlotte Samson.
Good friend of yours.
Now, something have got to be did, Suzy.
I don't want you no more.
I'm in another candy shop
- Ooh, this feel good.
- Yeah, I know, baby.
- You be on the hop, now, Papa.
- Suzy!
Because I am through with you!
But wait a minute, Suzy,
you've got to be joking.
You see, that's the problem,
I've been a joke long enough.
From now on
I'm gonna be me
But what you been being
all this time, woman?
Oh, go find yourself
another station, brother.
To get your supply of...
- But you know my tank is full, Suzy.
- Full of hot air.
When the back of that white collar
is showing
- That's all I ever get to see anyway.
- Suzy, Suzy, stop.
Suzy, no, wait, Suzy, Suzy!
I'm getting sick and tired.
You know doggone well
you going right on back over there
where you stayed last night!
- Stop grabbing me.
- No!
Look, Suzy, calm down.
- Well, Suzy...
- I don't want you no more.
But, baby, I told you
I was out looking for a job.
I was at that job, where was you at?
I went to the inside out ferry company
to see if it was the out that wasn't in.
What you doing
with that big ring on your finger?
And where you getting them
two-toned shoes?
Uh, these are shoes
they give all the employees, Suzy.
Who was that woman
with that pink hair?
Now, I ain't never been
with no pink-haired woman, Suzy.
What was her name?
Aileen or Anne?
I knew that's where
you stayed last night
You go right on back over there,
brother, 'cause I don't care...
- Where you stayed last night
- Wait a minute, now.
I don't care a piece
about it, brother
Where you stayed last night
Listen, Suzy.
Because I don't want you
no more.
You can't do this to me, Lila.
- Do what?
- Disappear like you do.
Where do you go all day?
Every day?
I have a private life now.
I can't talk to you here,
there's too many people. I just wanna...
Let's go up on the roof and talk.
Dalbert, I told you,
there are other people in my life.
- I know this lawyer...
- I want to talk about it.
Dalbert, I don't think we should go
up there. This is Madden's place!
I wanna talk to you, I wanna talk to you
now. Now, just come up. Come on.
- Not up here.
- Just up on the roof.
- We're not gonna get in any trouble.
- Well, let's go outside the stage door.
I don't know where you live anymore.
You moved, left no new address.
How am I supposed to find you?
What are you doing up here?
We're gonna talk to one another.
We just wanna...
Hey, I know what you're coming
up here for,
you come up here to fornicate
like two dogs.
- Mike, we just wanna...
- You don't belong up here. Get down.
- Come on, Dalbert. Let's go.
- Why can't we go up...
You know,
I just about had it with you!
- Mister...
- No, I'm fed up with you.
- Please!
- I'll take care of you.
- Wait a second. Wait a minute!
- Hey! Oh, God!
Come here!
I'll have a piece of cabbage with you.
You know what? See this?
See this? There.
Stop it!
- Get out of my eyes, woman!
- Lila, stay out of this!
Son of a bitch! You gonna stop
fuckin' around, nigger?
- Yeah, yeah!
- Are you? Say it!
- Yeah.
- I'll kill you.
Get out of here!
Get out!
- I'm quitting! I'm leaving this dump!
- What's the matter, honey?
They cannot treat
decent human beings like that!
I know what I have to do!
What am I supposed to do?
Just take anything from this man?
- What can you do about it?
- Kill the motherfucker!
Don't be stupid, Sandman! What kind
of world you think you living in?
You want me to go out here
and take on Madden's man?
- That's right.
- You want me to go out here
and take on most powerful white mob
in the city?
- Come on, Bumpy!
- You're crazy, Sandman.
When you get Owney Madden on your ass,
you truly have somebody on your ass.
Listen, there's only one way
to get even with a guy like Mike Best.
Treat him like a fireplug.
Piss on him.
- Piss on him.
- Listen to the man.
I'll piss on his fuckin' grave, Suger!
Sandman, I can kill him,
but you can dance on his grave.
- I'll piss on his...
- No. Listen to me, Sandman.
I'm not a dancer, okay?
I'm a pimp, I'm a thief,
I'm a gambler. That's what I do.
I don't have no talent for dancing
to where I wanna get to in this world.
I can't even get my foot
in the door of the Cotton Club,
where my own people,
black people, are the stars.
Why? Because I'm black!
There's only two things in this world
I have to do, Sandman.
One is stay black. The other is die.
The white man ain't left me nothing
out here but the underworld,
and that is where I dance.
Let me ask you something, Sandman.
Where do you dance?
I'm gonna kill him
with my tap shoes.
All right, you guys, put 'em up
and don't touch the hardware!
Turn around and put 'em up!
I'm mob boss now!
And don't forget it.
Extra, extra!
Read all about it!
Thank you, sir. Enjoy the show.
Thank you.
Not bad, not bad.
Hi, how you doing?
Good. How you doing? For three?
Good evening, Mr. Madden.
And kiss me.
Know what I like?
You know, you're gonna
have a heart attack.
Come on.
Let's have some more champagne.
How are you?
How you doing?
- Been a long time.
- Hi.
- What's Madden doing here?
- I invited him.
Now I gotta go talk to him.
- Dutch, how are you?
- Your money's no good here tonight.
All right.
So, what's this I've been reading
about this, uh, Mob Boss?
Some kind of movie?
They say you copied your style
from the real bosses.
You taught me everything I know
about hoodlums, Dutch.
You know,
lesson ain't finished yet.
Enjoy yourself.
Hey, sorry, it's whites only.
Hmm, can you get a message
to Angelina for me?
- Yeah.
- All right. Tell her...
- Tell her Sandman Williams is out here.
- Look at you.
Hello, chumps, welcome to Vera's!
- Vera.
- Everybody's here tonight!
- Come on, let's hear it.
- Everybody who's somebody.
If you ain't somebody, you ain't here.
And that settles that.
A real gentleman right here,
Mr. Broadway himself is with us.
Mr. Owney Madden.
Take a bow, Owney!
And with him, just back from Hollywood,
having finished his first movie
is Dixie Dwyer!
Get up, come on! Get up.
You know, there comes
a time in every girls' life...
What the hell are you doing here?
Who the fuck let you in with these kids?
- I wanna talk to the Dutchman.
- Ah, like that.
- Ah, yeah, yeah. Now.
- You wanna talk to the Dutchman?
- Yeah, go get him!
- You wait here, you hear?
I'd like to introduce to you now,
our lovely songbird,
Ms. Angelina, formerly with Ruth Etting
and the Bluebells.
Some garbage is out back,
wants to talk to you.
She's terrific.
See, Dutch
has some business outside.
All right. So what do you say, wiseguy?
I wanna talk money, Dutch. We get shut up,
no one seems to give a shit.
It's part of the game.
- All right. How much you need?
- I'm talking real money, Dutch.
Me and Eddie, we delivered half of Harlem
to you, for Christ's sake.
Now, I want part of the numbers
percentage, and I want it now.
Numbers! Are you out of your head, you
crazy Mick? What's the matter with you?
Just 'cause you can handle a gun,
you think you're a boss?
You're nuts! You know that?
You're fucking nuts.
There's a million guys out there
willing to pull a trigger for me for free!
I'll tell what I'll do,
I'll give you a raise.
- A raise?
- A hundred a week.
And 50 for Popke there.
Is that fair?
Fair? You can take your hundred
and you can shove it up your ass!
Wiseguy, why don't you take a walk?
- Get out of here!
- Go!
Get your fucking ass out of here
before I blow it off!
Why'd you find me?
You may be passing for white,
baby, but you ain't invisible.
What time are you through here?
- At 2:00.
- I'll be here.
- We'd like to get a room, please.
- Uh-huh. Of course, sir. No problem.
Now, how may I help...
Like to get a room.
Small, romantic room,
maybe on the 10th floor.
Uh, yes.
Oh, your key, sir.
We, uh, we don't admit
mixed couples here.
Oh, we're colored.
- What color are you?
- My father is colored
and my mother's white. So what color
does that make me, sir?
Uh, yeah.
Thank you.
No luggage. Come on.
- Come on.
- Gotcha!
You got people
thinking you're white.
When I want.
Remember I told you about my private life
and the lawyer?
Why d'you do it?
- Because I can.
- So what?
So stop judging me about it!
That's why they're paying me double
what the Cotton Club did!
Vera pays me five times that
and she don't ask no questions.
I'm not black, I'm not white.
I'm a human being.
And that's the way I like it.
I can't even get into Vera's club
to hear you sing.
Doorman won't even let me in.
I can't pass for white.
Oh, Dalbert.
Just make love to me!
I love you, baby.
Don't run away from me.
Hey, Popke! Shake.
- What?
- Like I said, shake.
The Dutchman
wants to do a deal with Vince.
- Well, come on, shake.
- Forget it.
Hey, mister,
you wanna buy an apple?
No. I don't wanna buy an apple.
Get outta here!
I'm going over to Harry's.
I'll see you about 5:00 o'clock.
- Scram!
- Thank you!
Hey, you guys, I'm freezing.
Let's get outta here.
Well, where is she?
Somebody help me!
My baby! Oh, God! My baby!
Old friend outside
want to see you, Frenchy.
- Why don't he come in?
- You don't want him in here.
Yeah, I know what you mean.
You wanna see me?
All right, Frenchy.
Down the stairs.
Down the stairs, Frenchy. Now.
- What's this all about?
- Let's go.
I thought
your specialty was killing kids.
I'm over 21.
I don't wanna kill you, Frenchy.
I like you.
I just need a little walking-around money.
I bet Madden gives you
walking-around money, right?
You know, doing this sort of thing
could get you into trouble.
Shut up!
Hey, Owney, what's hot?
Your brother's become a major pain
in the ass for everybody.
Two hours ago, he snatched Frenchy.
You kidding?
- Crazy son of a bitch!
- You didn't know anything about it, then?
How am I supposed
to know anything about it?
I'm asking you a question.
I don't tie your shoes
anymore, Owney.
Hmm. You're a smart man.
Your brother's bound for the graveyard.
Mad dog on the streets.
What do you do with a mad dog?
Look, I don't wanna hear about my brother
anymore. All right? I know him.
He called me an hour ago.
He only trusts you to carry the money.
It's 50 grand. Count it.
- Who is it?
- Arthur.
Hey. Hey, hey, hey.
I'm Vincent's brother.
Oh, yeah.
You're the guy in the movie.
Jesus Christ almighty, Vincent.
You out to conquer the world?
- You got an arsenal here.
- You got the money?
Check Frenchy!
What the hell happened to you?
How'd you get so wrong?
Oh, Dixie, I ain't wrong.
I wasn't in the car
when the kids got shot.
I mean, I wanted that kike
in the deep six,
but I wouldn't shoot a...
Shoot a kid!
Somebody shot 'em.
- Three or four kids.
- Oh, they're crazy guys.
Nobody figured
that would happen.
- Where's Frenchy?
- He's in the bedroom.
He's all right.
You're taking him.
- You know that.
- Yeah, I've been told.
- Jesus Christ, don't...
- What?
What the hell do you think you're doing?
You got the whole fucking world at war!
You see this?
See the papers today?
- You're this town's Al Capone.
- That's pretty good, isn't it?
Huh? They got Chicago shooters
coming in to get me!
I'm the heavyweight now!
Ain't those guys the heavyweights no more.
I'm a tough guy now.
How's Ma?
Ma, Ma.
What she's going through...
What she's going through?
Does everybody hate me?
They hate shooting a kid.
I know you say you didn't do it.
Still, that kid's dead.
And you're gonna take the rap.
Get Frenchy.
Hey, Buster, bring him out here!
Bring him out. Come on.
Get up. Slowly!
Come out here!
Dixie had nothing to do with this.
You see that, don't you?
I see what I see, I hear what I hear.
Then I make up my mind.
See what I get
for being a messenger?
Shall we go?
See you later, kid.
Get out of here
as fast as you can. Do it now.
Tell Owney
we didn't hurt you, Frenchy.
Hey, hey, hey!
He'll be glad to hear that.
- You okay?
- I'm fine.
- You been home?
- Yeah.
Changed clothes. Cleaned up.
- Did they hurt ya?
- Nah. Treated me like a king.
Yeah? Then what happened to your ear, huh?
Oh, this? Playing tennis
with Mad Dog Dwyer.
- Tennis?
- Yeah.
He hit a ball over my head.
I raced back to get it,
crashed in the metal fence.
Cut my ear.
What, you were playing
tennis with him?
Yeah. Gave me drinks, good food.
Place was nice. Well-furnished.
What was he trying to do?
Kill you with kindness?
I've been worried sick about you!
How long was I gone?
Let me see your watch. Let's see.
They picked me up in front
of the club about...
Shit, sorry.
Uh, they picked me up about...
Oh, shit. I think I broke it.
- Come here. Give it to me!
- No, no, no.
I can fix it. Here.
You cheap son of a bitch!
You only offered $500 for me?
- What?
- If you were kidnapped,
I wouldn't offer more than that for you?
- Five hundred dollars?
- That's what I heard!
Fifty grand I paid for you!
Fifty grand!
They only wanted 35.
I gave him 50 not to hurt you!
Five hundred dollars.
I would've given $500,000!
I've been worried sick about you!
Shit. Look what you've done
to my fucking watch!
- Fifty grand?
- Yeah.
What's this?
A platinum watch.
You asshole!
Don't move
and you won't get hurt.
- Yeah, I won't do anything.
- Shut up!
Uh-huh. You...
Yeah. All right.
No, we don't wanna hurt Frenchy.
We just need some cash.
Hey, where are you going?
Goodbye, chump.
So, you're a single man again.
- How are you?
- Good times to your brother.
- Come on, let's go.
- Shall we sit down?
You're gonna join us?
Would you mind?
Yeah, he noticed.
Ladies and gentlemen, a star...
A star is here.
Sandman Williams, my brother.
Clay Williams,
finest tap dancer in Harlem!
All right.
Why don't you and, uh, your brother,
Clayton, dance together?
Come on.
Come on, Sandman.
Come on.
Wanna finish out
the "Crazy Rhythm" together?
- Okay.
- Come on.
Come on, guys.
How. How, how, how, how, how.
Hey, Lionel.
It's all right.
I'm sorry. I'm sorry.
This program is coming to you live
from the Cotton Club in Harlem,
New York City.
And now, the prince of Hi-De-Ho
himself, Cab Calloway,
doing "Minnie the Moocher"!
Thank you.
- Hey, Dixie.
- That's Dixie Dwyer.
Look, Dawn, I see him.
That voice is great.
Would you sign
this, please?
Hey, Charlie!
Hey, Own. Big Frenchy.
- How are you?
- All right.
Dixie, I want you to meet Charlie Luciano.
- Charlie, how you doing?
- Pleasure.
Great to see you, Dwyer.
Enjoy the show.
It's about time they let
some niggers into this joint.
Welcome to the Cotton Club.
- Hello, Mr. Dwyer, would you?
- Yes.
- Sandman!
- Oh, Dixie!
Who's looking for trouble, huh?
How is it anyway?
- Come on, give me one.
- It's wonderful.
You're looking mighty good
tonight, pretty lady!
Thank you!
Welcome to the Cotton Club!
Hey, Bumpy.
You wanna try and make yourself
a little less conspicuous?
Your booth is over there.
Hey, Dixie.
- How are you doing?
- Long time no see.
What's so funny?
This guy is crazy!
He's a very talented man!
Talented man!
Talented man!
That fucking Dutchman.
If something isn't done about that man,
this Special Prosecutor Dewey,
he'll bust us all.
Yeah, Dutch has gone crazy in Harlem.
His rackets are very appealing to me.
Mr. Luciano... The Dutchman
shouldn't be taken too lightly.
Yeah? But is he bulletproof?
Now that his yid is dead, we'll find out.
And then we can divide his Harlem rackets
with everyone in the family.
Yeah. Listen, I'll, uh,
talk to you later, Charlie.
- Okay?
- Yeah.
- See ya, Charlie.
- See you.
Come on. What is it?
Are you warm or are you cold?
Bumpy, you're not supposed
to be back here.
Winona, don't worry
about anybody else, okay?
Just meet me at the Bamville
after the end of the show.
I can't no more, Bumpy.
My brothers are clamping down on me.
They say you're married.
Everybody knows I'm married.
What are you doing here?
Who the hell are you?
I am trying to have a conversation
with my friend, Winona.
Who are you and what are you doing
interrupting me?
Another fuckin' uppity nigger!
What I gotta do, keep...
Come on. Come on, come on.
Come on. Get up.
This uppity nigger
is buying you a drink.
You do not push people around
without some people pushing back!
Talk to me, baby! Talk to me.
Look at that nigger, honest to God!
Keep that motor running.
I'm coming right back.
Now, Dutch wants to kill
the Prosecutor Dewey?
Yeah, that's what I heard.
Lepke says it can be done.
But that'd kill the rackets
for everybody.
- This Dewey, he's a big one.
- You're right.
That stupid bastard's time
is just about up.
- "Trigger" Mike Coppola!
- Oh, shit.
- It could be a problem, Owney.
- Yeah.
I know exactly where I'm going.
Vera, what are you
talking about?
I knew you were here.
And I knew she was with you.
You're such a rotten liar, Arthur!
- Sit down.
- You sit down!
Frances, you got it all wrong.
- She's with Dixie.
- Is this seat taken?
No, no. I was waiting
for a beautiful woman
- to sit down and fall in love with me.
- I already did that.
There's no law against doing it twice.
Don't think I'm gonna sit around forever
while you show her all over town!
For Christ's sakes,
she just came over for a drink.
Here's five good reasons why you should
fold up your legs and go home!
- Hey, hey, hey.
- Leave her alone!
- Get out of my way!
- You keep out of this!
- Goddamn it.
- I'm surprised at you.
I thought you got out
from under his thumb!
Be in the movies? Lucky boy.
- Bitch!
- Here, pay for it with that, Dixie.
No, you pay for it! Vera...
- Did she get her claws into you?
- I'll rip her nipples off.
I'm mad. I'm not afraid of her.
Those dames. Married ones are the worst,
always the worst.
How does it feel
to be the other woman?
How does it feel
being the other man?
Listen, listen.
I don't do that anymore.
You understand? I don't do it.
What's mine is mine, nobody else's.
- That's the way it is. See?
- See, see?
What, you out from under his thumb
now or something?
Yeah. Yeah, didn't you hear?
I'm the Mob Boss now.
- Where are you taking me?
- Some place you've never been.
How did you get out so fast,
so easy, huh?
Movie star. You got it all.
I got my own club
and I can't even breathe in it.
You're going on in about two minutes.
And the Dutchman's looking for the lady.
See what I mean?
It's great while it lasted.
Dixie, the Dutchman's really ticked off.
She better get back.
Good evening,
ladies and gentlemen.
And welcome
to the Cotton Club.
What a night it is.
What a night, what a mob,
what a crowd.
This evening, ladies and gentlemen,
we have the man who has become
America's newest screen idol.
Starring in the movie
that's sweeping the country.
Mob Boss!
He's the first white musician ever
to sit in with the Cotton Club Orchestra.
Give a warm round of applause
for Harlem's own...
Dixie Dwyer!
Hey. Hey, guys.
Hey, Kourik.
- You okay, huh?
- Yeah.
If you're gonna...
Lay off that crap. Come on.
- I'll take care of Vera.
- Lay off that crap, come on.
- I'll take care of Vera.
- Hey, hey.
Just watch the table.
The "Mob Boss".
That punk's a real marshmallow.
All he ever did was copy my style.
- Your style?
- Yeah. My style.
You got about as much style
as a bowl of turnips.
Say, why don't you just shut up
and have a drink?
I don't want a drink.
I said, drink.
Drinkers lie
and I feel like telling the truth.
What would you wanna
tell the truth about?
I don't know.
Thanks. Thanks a lot, you guys.
I was a little nervous.
Thanks. Thanks a lot.
What were you doing backstage with him?
I was kissing him.
Nice sitting in, Dixie.
- You ever sleep with him?
- Whenever I got the chance.
And I will again if I get the chance.
Well, you'll never get it!
Who put this on your finger, huh?
Who put that on your ear?
Come on, now, huh?
Tell him the Dutchman.
No, don't touch her! Don't you ever,
ever touch her like that again!
You son of a bitch.
I'll rip your little balls off.
- Don't get into it, Dixie.
- I'm already in it.
What is it you want, Dutch?
What is it?
All you ever do
is give people grief in this life.
What do you wanna do? You wanna rip out
her heart like you did Joe Flynn?
Wanna get in everybody's life
and run it forever?
Wanna be Genghis Khan,
for Christ's sake?
You get in people's lives,
you turn them to shit.
How many people
can you kill, Dutch?
Let's take it outside.
Not in the club.
What do you say?
Come on. Come on. Let's go.
Come on.
You... let's go.
I'm not going anywhere with you.
- I said let's go!
- No.
Crawl back in your rathole.
Leave her alone, Dutch.
"Mob Boss."
Hey, Mob Boss,
you got one of these, huh?
You son of a Mick bitch.
You got one of these?
Come on,
let's get him out of here.
- You fucking Mick.
- Come on, come on.
Get your fucking hands off of me!
Who do you think you are,
putting your hands on the Dutchman?
Dwyer, you're one dead Mick!
Do you hear me?
You're one dead Mick.
You son of a bitch!
You better not show yourself...
Having a ball. Having a ball tonight!
That's right.
What a mob, what a crowd,
what a show.
It's all part of the act!
Who the hell do you think you're pushing?
Get 'em out of here!
I ain't leaving here
without my hat and coat!
Never a dull moment
here at the Cotton Club.
I'll be right back.
Now the Sandman's
gonna do a little number for us
called "These Shoes
are Doing Some Travelling."
Let's bring him on
with a warm round of applause.
Come on. Let's hear it for the Sandman! this to me, the Dutchman,
you son of a motherfucker!
I'll kill you, son of a bitch.
You lousy rats.
Good, Sandman.
I'm gonna grind that mick
into a piece of meat.
Then he won't look so pretty to Vera.
That little pimp.
He thinks he's safe
'cause he's got Madden protecting him.
I'll teach him how you get protected.
All these goddamn micks!
All of 'em. All of 'em gotta go!
That goddamn Madden, he ain't
gonna be around much longer.
He's going back to jail where he belongs.
And goddamn good riddance.
Don't get yourself worked up
over a broad, boss.
Take it easy, boss.
Frenchy's the problem.
Oh, yeah, big Frenchy, right?
Yeah, yeah. Well, I'd say, fuck him, too.
I take 'em all on!
Give me some service!
Did you see who was sitting
with him tonight? Luciano!
- Here, Mike.
- Grazie.
- Salute.
- Salute.
Those guineas.
Now, they're getting to be a problem.
- Order me the usual.
- Sure, boss.
Come over here.
Give me a steak and French fries.
I'll have an order of ribs, 26, not 20.
What are you gonna have?
Give me a ham sandwich on rye.
Pickle on that.
And give me a beer.
And bring me a beer with big head.
Yeah. We gotta get Dutch
Yeah. He's gonna get
everybody killed.
Come on, then.
I love you, Lila.
I liked your picture.
You make a good-looking mob boss.
I like it when the mob boss
is good-looking.
Good-looking mob boss.
Like Owney Madden there, right?
- Hey, Owney.
- Hi, kid.
Come here.
You know, I ain't gonna be boss
of nothing after next week, Lucky.
- You're retiring?
- I'm going back to jail.
It's just a little parole violation.
But it ain't a bad excuse
to get out of the racket.
There's a lot of ambition
in the rackets these days, Charlie.
You know what I mean?
The Irish don't always know when to quit,
but some of us, we learn as we go.
Have a good time, Lucky.
We learn as we go.
It's snowing.
- Goodnight, Dixie.
- Catching a train home to the coast.
Have a good trip.
You were very brave.
So many times
you've been my protector.
I could make a career
out of it, you know.
It wouldn't work. He'll never let me go.
That part of your life is over now.
I'm going to ask you
one more time.
You wanna come along?
Do me the biggest favor you ever did
for me, will you, kiddo?
Just kiss me on my lovely lips
and don't say anything.
Keep looking over your shoulder
and maybe we'll see each other again.
Maybe we'll have a drink.
Maybe we'll make love.
my very, very lover.
May I have
your attention, please?
Wait. Hey.
- Did you fix the ward?
- It's done. Yeah.
- I bet you didn't get the carpet?
- Wall to wall.
- Yeah?
- So, listen, what is all this?
You're gonna be out on parole
in three months
and then you're gonna have
a nice horse farm in Arkansas.
- You never know.
- Yeah?
Well, I'll tell you one thing.
The way we got Sing Sing set up
for you, freedom could be a letdown.
This is for your fantasy!
Listen to him.
- See you, Monk.
- Give 'em hell up there, Owney.
Yeah, take care. Come on.
Hey, when you bringing the, uh,
new Cotton Club show up to Sing Sing?
- A week from Wednesday.
- All right.
Okay. I'll get them started
on the scenery, huh?
Come on, fellas.
What a guy.
Now, try to save some money
in Hollywood, Michael.
- Yeah, go on, go, go.
- Go on, don't miss your train.
- Go.
- Yeah, I'm going.
Kid, kid, here.
Goodbye, son.
Here, you're moving your arms too much.
Let me show you.
Try it.
Now you've got it.
All aboard
to the 20th Century Limited.
- Dixie, he's dead. I'm free!
- Come here, doll!
No, you're not.
The Mob Boss has got you now!
Drink to a happy ending,
Vera Cicero!