The Houston Story (1956) Movie Script

Ever since I came to Houston a
month ago I've been looking for her.
I turned the town upside down,
but nobody knew her.
Nobody even heard the
name Carrie Hemper before.
A girl can't just disappear into
thin air. Not just like that.
Gee, I hope it isn't her.
I wouldn't want to find her this way.
This is it.
Bring her in, Harry.
What about this Hemper girl?
I know in Oklahoma City she
was a dancer, a chorus girl.
Oh 24, 25 .. she never said.
Alright, Duncan.
Yeah. Yeah, it's her.
It's Carrie Hemper.
What happened?
- Suicide.
There are some questions
you will have to answer.
A crazy thing for her to do.
Yeah .. out of all the docks
in the world to jump off ..
She had to pick Houston.
Hi, Lou, Clara.
Hi Frank.
- You're late.
But there is still some
dinner on the stove.
I had a sandwich a little while ago.
I got a lot of work to do tonight.
I can't get over Angelo
losing on a TKO in the 6th.
Everybody is worrying about H-Bombs.
He worries about Angelo.
A cut eye. In the old days they
never stopped a fight for a cut eye.
The manager just slapped glue on to hold
him together and sent him out again.
I see you left your cab out front.
Yeah, I want to get an early start in
the morning. Saturday is a good day.
Say, what time does that kid down
the corner get the morning papers in?
Anytime now, I guess.
You don't read them early editions?
Oh, I got paid today.
Better take your rent
money while I still have it.
Be back in a little while.
Give me.
Where'd Frank go?
- Papers.
Did you hear him?
He's going to work again tonight.
Always working.
And thinking. He uses his head.
He's going to get someplace.
Frank is smarter than me.
Is that what you mean?
Almost every night he works
on those diagrams and maps.
All you got on your mind is Angelo.
You starting again?
What's the matter? The truth bother you?
You're not going any place
that cab wont take you.
We eat, don't we?
That's a good reason for living?
I'm just getting the table ready
for you. So's you can work.
Thanks, Clara.
- Got the morning paper?
No, they haven't come out yet.
What are you doing tomorrow, Clara?
Going sailing on my yacht.
How'd you like to buy
yourself a new dress?
Fine. All next week we
can eat the buttons off it.
Now look. I won 25 bucks at
a poker game with the boys.
It's all yours.
What gives?
Look Frankie, just because we've
known each other since we were kids.
Two weeks ago was Clara's
birthday. I was broke then.
Now I'm not.
- What are you trying to do?
Talk me out of a birthday present?
You can even come shipping with me.
Not thanks .. I figured since you'd
be out all day tomorrow ..
I'd be able to put a full
day in on this and finish it.
Thanks, Frank.
The house will be all yours.
For 25 bucks I'd have fixed
the table up for you myself.
- Are you Frank Duncan?
What can I do for you?
Maybe we could talk.
- What about?
Carrie Hemper.
Why didn't she come? I want to
talk to her and nobody else.
Carrie is dead. You said so
yourself, right in the papers.
You like talking to dead people.
You got some marbles missing, Frank.
You ought to have some teeth missing.
I don't want to talk to a messenger boy.
You said that stiff in the morgue was
Carrie Hemper. Why did you do it?
You shouldn't have done that, friend.
Because I got orders not to mess you up.
Tell her to call me here.
You know, I hope they change
their minds about those orders.
You mean, just like that, it happened?
All the work you did, all
the time it took and then ..
In one little second.
The phone rings, somebody says
okay and you're a millionaire.
Nobody said okay yet, Louis.
But they could.
The phone did ring. That's
the important thing. It rang.
Why Galveston? Why would
they want you down there?
The sooner we get there,
the sooner we'll find out.
Okay, fasten your seatbelt.
We're flying low the next forty miles.
[ Singing: ]
"Put the blame on me, boys."
"Put the blame on me."
Let's go, Duncan.
This is the man, Mr Shay.
I want Carrie Hemper alive. Not dead.
It's open.
He's here, Zoe.
The guy that killed off
Carrie Hemper for you.
What's the pitch, buster?
I'll ask you one.
Why is it bothering you so much?
Carrie is my grandmother.
You don't say.
What's the matter? Haven't
you seen a leg before?
Not one that belonged to Carrie Hemper.
Joe told me about the birthmark.
Joe Hemper.
We were friends. We worked
together in the Oklahoma fields.
He always was going to hit it big.
What did he do, strike oil?
Yes, with his head.
He fell off a derrick
and landed on his face.
He's dead.
Poor sucker.
He probably didn't even have
enough money for a decent funeral.
I saw to it.
That's nice of you, Duncan.
Oh, that's why you came
here to find me, huh?
I figured from what he said about you,
you'd be glad to hear you're a widow.
What do you man "glad"?
Having a husband probably
slowed you down some.
Joe hated you Carrie. He hated you good.
You always wanted to be
where the big money was.
Joe never got there.
It was because you were
smarter than he was ..
You couldn't expect that he wouldn't
get sore at you when you ran out on him.
Is that the end of the story?
Except Joe wanted to give
you something before he died.
What was that?
Joe wanted me to use both hands but
you're the kind that bruises easily.
Look. There was nothing personal in
that slap. It had nothing to do with me.
You just can't refuse a dying
man's last wish. That's all.
Let go of me.
You didn't do that whole morgue
bit just to come here and hit me.
Do you always think that fast?
What do you want?
One thing.
Joe told me you were connected
with the big mob boys.
I want to get to Pauley Atlas.
This joker wants to get to Pauley Atlas.
Mr Duncan.
I think you are a little confused.
Is that so?
I'm Gordy Shay. The manager.
Now somehow you seem to think
we have a lot of answers here.
Like on a television quiz program.
It's called "What's My Racket".
But we don't book
comedians here, Mr Duncan.
You'd book a Salvation Army man if he
would make you 5 million dollars a year.
You did say five million?
But this is one comic that will only
tell his jokes to Pauley Atlas.
Well now maybe I can
learn to laugh just as loud.
No. You run a nightclub, Mr Shay. You do
not want to have anything to do with me.
I need financing.
Not the kind that comes from banks.
Five million dollars is ..
A lot of money.
Not in Texas.
I'll get to Atlas without you.
Maybe he won't think you're so smart
when he finds you passed up a good deal.
No. I'll call you tomorrow.
Meanwhile, I'll see if I
can't find Mr Atlas's number.
In the phone-book.
Mr Anderson is by the pool, Mr Shay.
Atlas does alright for himself.
He should do even better
with you around, huh?
Come on.
It's the funniest story I ever heard.
Well, here comes Gordy.
You know, you are working too hard.
You should have come over sooner.
Well that girl. He's always with a girl.
You'd better wait here a minute.
Having big dreams?
You say the word and
I can make them better.
You always operate so fast?
I never operate without
taking a few X-Rays first.
Oh, Doc Duncan.
The man with the X-Ray eyes that
sees right through everything.
You don't hide so much.
Will you excuse us please?
Are you okay?
You'll find out for yourself, huh.
Well, come on over.
Come over and have some refreshments.
A cool drink or something.
It's nice to see you, Mr Duncan.
It's a nice party.
Gordy should have
brought you over sooner.
Thank you.
When you know you're seeing
the right man, it's never too long.
And you know the right thing to say.
That's very important, Gordy. Very.
I'm sure it is.
Do you know the right things to say
about that proposition you had?
Where can we talk?
My study is rather pleasant.
No, no. The three of us.
My dear, you'll excuse
us I'm sure, won't you?
You've been here enough times
to enjoy yourself and have fun.
Would you excuse us.
This way, gentlemen.
Well there it is, Mr Atlas.
That's the whole thing.
Every move laid out to the last detail.
The racket has been right under
your noses and you didn't see it.
Well it's good, Mr Duncan.
It's an ingenious thing.
Stolen oil, right from the oilfield.
But what are we going to do
with the oil after we've stolen it?
There are half a dozen independent
distributors in this country.
Who would grab at it right now
without asking any questions.
And if we want ..
A half dozen countries who'd
buy it without any questions.
Big, Gordy. Real big.
I tell you another thing.
I've lined up twenty foremen
right now who can be bought.
They won't be looking when we
tie into their oil lines with our line.
Thirty percent of their oil
production will go into our tanks.
I've studied the layout of ..
Every pipeline and storage tank in
three of the eleven Houston fields.
And when we feel that
we're ready to spread out.
We'll move in to the other eight.
Now if we do that.
We'll go over five million
dollars net profit a year.
You can do all this?
I can start it rolling tomorrow.
That sounds very good Mr Duncan but
it seems to me I'd be a bit worried ..
For fear that we might just do
it ourselves and count you out.
I went to a lot of trouble
getting to you, Mr Atlas.
Oh, you mean the incident in the morgue?
That was a delightful thing,
wasn't it, Gordy.
You know, I'd always
heard that .. Paul Atlas.
Deals square with anyone
who deals square with him.
Ha .. ha, I'm a gambler.
If people don't respect my
integrity, they don't play with me.
That's why I came to you, Mr Atlas.
Besides, you couldn't handle it
without first getting an oilman ..
Who knew the fields from the bottom up.
That's why I thought Frank Duncan
could handle it as well as anyone else.
Yes surely, surely.
Is there anything else you
think we should know?
One important thing
to keep us in the clear.
We must form a dummy
corporation as a front.
I see.
With a man at the top who can sign
papers so that if anything goes wrong ..
I don't take the rap and neither do you.
Well, have you such a man in mind?
Yes I do.
A nice guy .. not too smart.
His name is Louis Phelan.
Louis Phelan.
He thinks of everything, doesn't he.
Would you trust me with those
papers? Say for about a week?
- Fine.
You will have your
answer a week from today.
Now the boys will drive
you back to Houston.
And thank you for coming.
- Thank you.
I don't like him.
Well, he's a pretty outspoken young man.
But he's got something, Gordy.
Something I think the
boys in St Louis will like.
Yeah .. if it works.
Do you know what it would mean ..
If we could bring five million
dollars into the combine a year?
Emile Constant might
increase my territory.
He might even let me expand
into Reno or Las Vegas.
Are you going to cut Duncan in?
Well, he's a pretty smart boy.
He knows oil. We don't.
But we can learn.
And as soon as we learn
everything that he knows.
We won't need him anymore.
That sounds better.
Ah, don't be silly.
I've brought you up from a pup.
Do you think I'd let
anybody move in on you?
Come on, get your things. We're
leaving for St Louis in the morning.
Clara, where is Louis?
- Asleep.
I went to a movie. When I got
home he was already in bed.
What's the matter?
I think I got my deal.
You know all the work I've been
doing. A new way of drilling oil.
But I needed financing?
- And you got it?
I think so.
Oh, I'm glad for you, Frank.
Real glad.
Thank you, Clara.
Louis has a good head on his shoulders.
Who says not?
He hasn't always driven
a cab. He has brains.
Maybe they are a little undeveloped.
But .. if he had a chance.
He'll get his chance.
He might.
If you could get him a spot with you.
You know how I feel about Louis.
If he only knew a little
something about oil.
Goodnight, Clara.
You going to eat or play tag
with Madge in the kitchen?
Watch your language, boy.
He's talking about one
of the women I love.
Get a load of that perfume on Madge.
Sure smells better than those oil-wells.
Why don't you try one of our steaks?
They are more tender.
I used to be single once.
You guys go ahead and order.
I knew this was going to
be one of my good days.
There is nothing like
having dessert first.
You coming over tonight?
Yeah. I'll tell Louis
not to wait up for me.
Ah, you'd better go back out front.
Hello, Kings Arms?
This is Mr Franklin.
Mr Shay told me to call up
today about his insurance.
Oh he won't be back for a
few days? He went out of town.
I see, thanks. Yeah, I'll call again.
Nobody else gets back in
that kitchen with Madge.
That kitchen separates the
men from the boys, pal.
Okay fellahs, what will you have?
Hey honey, sit down.
- Go it.
Hey look, something just came up.
It may be a break for me.
Can you give me a
rain-check for tonight?
A break?
- Yeah.
Why sure, Frankie. Look, I'm just a
kid who wants to see you go places.
As long as I go with you.
You are my girl.
Okay, you got a big, fat rain-check.
I've got nothing on tonight.
Oh yeah, and a guy
can catch cold that way.
Thanks honey, I'll call you.
- Sure.
Okay fellahs. What will you have?
Spaghetti and meatballs.
- Pork chops ..
I know what you want. Okay.
What are you doing here?
The door was open, nobody here. I've the
natural instinct of a house detective.
A Peeping Tom, you mean.
What's the matter?
All the girls in Houston busy?
How do you keep a chip on
those lovely round shoulders?
Adhesive tape.
What do you want?
You didn't think Joe was
good enough for you ..
And I don't think Shay is
good enough for you.
You think you are?
There is one thing that
makes us hit off even.
What's that?
More than Shay ever
saw in his whole life.
You interest me strangely.
By the time Atlas and Shay
get back into town ..
Shay is going to be on his
way to being an office boy.
What are you trying to do?
Write your own death certificate?
You're not going to say anything to
anybody because you know it's right.
Is this deal of yours really so hot?
You saw the way Atlas and Shay got
off deckchairs in a hurry, didn't you?
Faster than I've ever seen them before.
Are you going to stand
in the way of progress?
I still have another show to do.
I'll be out front watching you in it.
I wouldn't want to miss
looking at you for a minute.
Atlas said you knew all
the right things to say.
Did Atlas go out of town
on orders from the big boss?
In St Louis.
Then he isn't top man?
You'd better be careful
with Gordy, Frank.
He can be dangerous.
With you watching out
for me, how can I miss?
He broke in, Chris. I couldn't stop ..
You know Shay's orders.
No guy messes around with you.
Let's get him out the back way.
Oh Frank, what happened?
Never mind.
Never mind as long as you come
to me whenever you're in trouble.
They got to me once.
It will never happen again.
Our stock and debenture investments
are solid. These give me no concern.
As for our other legal holdings.
Real estate, insurance companies,
cleaning and dying plants and so forth.
They are showing steady
if not sensational profits.
Now for our other holdings.
Spiro, the book numbers in your area
fell below last month's by 8 percent.
I'm sorry, sir.
But business is bad all over.
We tried to boost it by putting pressure
on our model agency and escort bureaus.
If you don't up your take in 30 days the
combine will have to look for a new man.
Yes, sir.
And that goes for the rest of you. You
all dropped from three to six percent.
At least Pauley Atlas here
has enough incentive to ..
Look for new ways to bolster
the take in his territory.
Go ahead with the plans of Frank Duncan,
Paul. Bring him into the organisation.
Thank you very much, Mr Constant.
We'll only need Duncan
for a short while.
When we take over control
we'll get rid of him and ..
Then eliminate his cut.
Kill a man who can make
us five million dollars a year?
Atlas, either you've not forgotten your
Capone days or you're a bad businessman.
There is to be no killing.
Do you understand?
And no violence if we
possibly can avoid it.
Is that clear?
Yes, but this Duncan fellow ..
- Whatever he is, we need him!
What are you afraid of? Gordy Shay?
If a better man than Shay
comes along, then that's it.
It's up to Shay to earn his ..
- Just a minute, Mr Constant.
Sit down!
The meeting is over.
It will continue tomorrow.
And perhaps the rest of you can come up
with something as good as this oil deal.
You heard what Constant said.
Nothing happens to Duncan.
Right now, he's the fair-haired boy.
But sometimes things blow hot and cold.
In the meantime,
we'll keep our eyes open.
And remember,
I'm right at the back of you.
I don't like these slow times of day
when no customers are around.
Nothing is wrong with relaxing.
It gives you too much time to think.
Nothing is wrong with thinking.
Sometimes there is.
We've had a lot of laughs,
haven't we Frank.
Our share.
Only things aren't so funny now.
I live you too much.
Don't knock it.
You know, it used to be when you touched
me I went weak all over. Now, it's ..
It's like living in the middle of
nowhere when you're not around.
Are you starting to think about
those little vine-covered cottages?
Don't knock it.
Three is a crowd, honey.
I don't like the idea of a mortgage
sitting down with us every time we eat.
We always said life is for laughs.
That's all.
We got to get all the laughs we
can while we can still breathe.
Is that the way it has to be?
Well maybe you're right, honey.
These slow times of day are bad for you.
It's a customer.
- Let him wait.
The men at the well said I
could find frank Duncan here.
What do you want?
He acts like we're married, doesn't he.
I've a message for you.
The boys get in tonight in four hours.
I'm meant to take you back to a meeting.
Why you?
I'm just carrying out orders. You don't
have to make a federal case out of it.
This is important. I'll get
in touch with you later.
Alright, Frank.
- Come on.
Such a temper.
What do you feed him
back there, raw meat?
What did you want me to do? Tell the two
goons I let you stay in my dressing room?
I have to look right
when I'm on the floor.
And Gordy Shay sure would
have changed the way I looked.
I won't lie to you, Frank.
I'm afraid of him. Scared to death.
Chris Parker will tell
him I threw a pass at you.
That doesn't bother him.
As long as I don't catch any.
I think you'd better start deciding
which team you are on.
I've to be afraid of you too?
Maybe you do. If you don't go
along with me, just get out of my way.
Because I'm not going to
stop and you may get hurt.
Doesn't anybody mean anything to you?
You like your privacy.
Don't you like me liking privacy?
It fits the front door.
There is community
property in this state.
Well, here is to your success, Frank.
The deal went through
okay without a change.
Now, you are one of us.
The best news I ever drank to.
You know, oil is only
one of our businesses.
There is a lot involved.
Do don't get any fancy
ideas of your own.
I'll take orders.
And you'll take orders.
- Good.
Now then, give us a run-down on
how you expect to proceed with this.
The first thing we do is
start buying off the foremen.
Good morning, Mr Duncan.
Good morning.
Mr Marshal had an appointment with you.
Come in Marshal.
You were able to complete my order?
With one exception.
The price will be 14 dollars a barrel.
You told me 11.
Crude oil is selling at 2 dollars
and 96 cents a barrel and you want 14.
There are expenses I didn't count on.
I don't know what I'll my government.
Tell them to raise the taxes.
That will take care of me fine.
The tanker will arrive tomorrow night.
Your first shipment arrives in 10 days.
You will have your cash
payment before then.
Come in.
Hiya Frank.
- Hi, Louis.
Is that another new suit?
- Yeah.
Clara picked it out.
Hey, get a load of this.
It says here you can
drill a well sideways.
Diagonal drilling.
What they trying to slip me?
That book is on the level. You can drill
in one spot and hit a pool a mile away.
It's like making it the hard way.
Any papers for me?
Those trucking contracts.
- Hey.
We must be doing pretty good business
with all these papers I have to sign.
About the way I figured.
I'll bring these back later.
Will you get up.
Want to know something?
None of them are any good unless
they got my John Hancock on them.
How is business in my old
standard, the Shamrock?
Well, we ain't handing
out cigars like these.
You want to know the
secret of my success?
Tell that to your kids.
Then they can be big men.
Just like me.
[ Buzzer ]
"Mr Shay to see you."
- Send him in.
No. Have him wait a minute.
Have him come in.
Where is Atlas?
Atlas turned the oil
operation over to me.
Well, you'll still be running it. I ..
I'll just be double checking.
I'm a bad teacher, Shay.
Don't expect to learn
how to run it from me.
You said you wanted to
see Atlas for a huddle.
What did you want?
I've got a new gimmick.
Gimmick? What are you talking about?
If we can sink our main line direct to
our own refineries down at the docks ..
We'll have a steady flow and eliminate
a lot of slow hauling by truck.
Yeah .. that could be.
What will it take?
- Blind pipe.
But we can't go on the open market for
it. Too many questions would be asked.
So how do we get it?
The same way we get the oil.
Hijack it.
I'll need a half dozen
good boys for the job.
We got them.
I don't mean trigger boys.
Don't want any rough stuff.
If someone has to be pushed,
we push 'em. But that's all.
What are you worried about?
Murders blow up a storm.
I don't want a storm.
I'll have the men at the club tomorrow
night. You tell them what to do. Right?
Tomorrow night?
Well you see, Duncan.
I'm learning already.
The sign is still lit.
How long will we have to wait here?
You heard Duncan.
We don't do anything
until that sign goes out.
Don't know how you did it. But overnight
you go from driller to big businessman.
Not overnight. I've been
making my plans for years.
The right time just came.
Hey, if it ain't Frank Duncan.
The big business typhoon.
"Tycoon", you dope.
"Typhoon". You ever hear
that windy gob of his?
Still pushing the night-shift?
- Yeah, fast hauling.
Coffee, Madge and hurry.
We got a schedule.
Make sure all they get is coffee.
I'll see you.
That's it. The sign is out.
I hope those other guys are
waiting at the warehouse.
Thanks a lot, Madge.
- Sure.
So long, Madge.
- So long.
Out cold.
Watch out!
I thought we weren't
supposed to use any guns.
No. Shay thought different, especially
since Duncan will be blamed for it.
Miss Decker.
"Yes, Mr Constant?"
Get reservations for me.
I'm leaving for Houston immediately.
I'm sorry, Inspector.
Not those guys in the photographs they
showed me at the Railroad commission ..
Nor any of those in the line-up
were the ones who did the job.
Alright Mr Lucas, you can go.
Be sure to stay where we can reach
you in a hurry, in case we need you.
Sure will.
That pipe wouldn't be good
for many things other than oil.
Maybe there is something starting in
the fields that we don't know about.
Such as?
Organised theft of oil itself.
Of course there's always
a certain amount of pilferage ..
But the Railroad commission
manages to keep it at a minimum.
A mass operation would
be something else.
Wouldn't the oil companies know
they were losing oil in large amounts?
Gauges can be altered
by crooked foremen.
Illegal tapping of government lines can
be done underneath the ground ten feet.
Now we'd have to dig up the
whole field to find the tap.
Alright, Mr Lucas.
Every joint in Houston will
be put under surveillance.
The Canadian and the Mexican police ..
Will be notified of our reports,
so they can be on the lookout.
In case these hijackers try to
cross the border somewhere.
I'll follow through on my end.
If we can locate that stolen
pipe before it is used ..
Then we'll have a starting point.
I'll keep in touch with you.
- Right.
I have you a warning, Atlas, but
apparently that wasn't enough.
A man's been murdered. Now there
will be a full-scale investigation.
Oh it was an accident.
That trigger-happy Barker.
Now wait a minute, Paul. Let's put the
responsibility where it belongs, huh?
Duncan handled the hijacking.
I gave him explicit orders
there was to be no shooting.
Is that right, Duncan?
I'm new in your outfit, Mr Constant.
I've no interest in making any trouble.
This time I'm going to make it.
[ Tape recorder playing: ]
"If we can sink our own main lines down
to our own refineries down at the dock."
"Have a steady flow and eliminate
a lot of slow hauling by truck."
What are you trying to pull?
I'm going to dump you Shay,
right into Mr Constants lap.
"We can't go on the open market for
it. Too many questions would be asked."
"So how do we get it?"
- "Same way get the oil."
"Hijack it."
"I'll need a half dozen
good boys for the job."
"You've got them."
- "I don't mean trigger boys."
"I don't want any rough stuff. If
someone must be pushed, we push 'em."
You heard enough, Mr Constant?
Look. It's a trick.
Duncan is pulling a fast one.
Gordy wouldn't lie.
He's a good man for us.
That will be all, Atlas.
You are through, Shay.
Duncan, you take over his spot.
Just like that?
Just like that, I'm through, huh?
- Gordy. - Let me alone!
I'm going to tell you a
few things, Constant.
Shut up!
Don't talk tough to Mr Constant.
He gets excited.
He can't help it.
Don't make it hard for me.
Shay, I've known Paul a long time.
Ordinarily, your life
wouldn't be worth much.
This time I'm going to let Paul
decide what to do with you.
But you'll never know Shay, never,
when I might change my mind.
Now get out.
He's a fool, Paul.
Why did you make that recording?
Shay has weak spots. Talking
too much is one of them.
So you knew all the time that you'd
trip him up sometime somehow?
I knew he'd trip himself up.
I admire ambition, Duncan.
But ambition is best if it mellows with
age and experience, like good whiskey.
You can't always make your own spots.
I'm a company man, Mr Constant.
If I am ambitious it is because I
want help better the organisation.
Of course.
Should I still go ahead with my plans?
Well the one place I know
would be right for us ..
Is the Excelsior Refinery
owned by a Mr Gallo.
I'll see what kind of a deal our
president Mr Phelan can make.
Just make sure you keep that pipe
hidden until things cool off a bit.
Shay is in your hands, Paul.
If I were you, I wouldn't let
sentiment interfere too much.
I'll check with you later, Duncan.
Sure, Mr Constant.
- "Yeah, Frank?"
The Excelsior Refinery deal is okay.
Go and see Gallo and try to
buy it. Our top price is $50,000.
"I'll leave right away."
Call me at the house later.
Let me know what happened.
[ Telephone ]
[ Telephone ]
Zoe .. what is it?
Frank, I have to see you tonight.
Never mind the show.
I told Gordy I was sick.
No, not at your place.
The observation roof
of the Justice Building?
Have you been drinking?
Frank, I'm serious.
Look, it's about six now.
I can be at the tower by ten-thirty.
Yeah, good.
And Frank.
I need $25,000 tonight.
I'll pay you back next week. Every cent.
25 grand? What the
devil is so important?
That's a lot of money.
Sure, I've got it here, but ..
Okay. I won't ask any more questions.
Yeah. See you at ten-thirty.
You did fine.
Don't kill him, Chris.
[ Telephone ]
[ Telephone ]
Oh it's you, Louis.
Hey, that's bad. We need that refinery.
Are you sure he won't sell?
Right. I'll try to fix something up.
No, not tonight. I'll see you in the
morning. I've got something to do.
Hello, Duncan.
Zoe couldn't come .. she's all tied up.
What did you do to her?
Like I said ..
She's all tied up with a big fat rope so
she couldn't get away to warn you.
You didn't dare touch her.
Do I look like the
kind that hurts girls?
Shay sent you and the other guys across
the border. What are you doing here?
You know, I don't know how, Duncan.
But the heat is on down there too.
I just got out with my skin.
Now it looks like I'll have to blow
the country. South America maybe.
You think my 25 grand will
pay the way? Is that it?
You know, I like you, Duncan.
I wouldn't want to see the Cops
start to find out things about you.
You know how the Cops are.
If they got hold of me and I didn't
say what they want to know ..
They wouldn't like me.
My psychiatrist says I should
make people like me.
Why are you coming to me for dough?
Why don't you ask Atlas or Shay?
I just got through telling you.
I like you, Duncan.
You like me?
What if I don't give you the dough?
No, I've never killed
a friend in my life.
I guess there has to be a
first time for everything.
You'll get out of the country?
Sure. I've never seen ..
Rio, for instance.
It had better be Rio
or a place just as far.
Don't come up with anything
that ain't green, pal.
Aren't you going to count it?
Why, so you could try jumping me?
No, it's all there.
25 grand. Just what Zoe asked for.
But you know what, Duncan?
I was only kidding.
- Yeah.
You're not smart. You're a sucker.
You're not going to leave here alive.
I heard what you did to Shay.
In that case you'll have it tough trying
to catch those blank pieces of paper.
No, Gordy!
Take it easy.
Oh Frank.
What about it, Duncan?
A shame.
She was a good looking kid.
But she had no taste.
Put her down.
Put her down.
Everything has been loused
up because of you, Duncan.
Duncan, stop it!
You are killing him.
Alright! Give Zoe a
gun and let her do it!
Gordy did this?
What do you think you raised, a choirboy?
That's why I came here.
I couldn't find Gordy anywhere.
I thought he'd try something like this.
He sent Barker to kill me. When
that didn't work he tried it himself.
Oh Constant is going to
love the whole routine.
No, no. You mustn't tell Constant.
Get some brandy.
Oh you're giving orders now, eh?
- Get it!
Oh, Frankie.
You'll be alright.
- What did he do to me?
Don't try to talk.
Right now, I feel like killing Shay.
But I'm going to give you a
chance to get him off the hook.
He hit my face.
No, there won't be any scars.
He didn't cut me, huh?
What about Gordy?
I won't lift a finger for him.
I tell you what the idea is and
you give Shay his orders.
Not in front of her.
- In front of her.
Alright, what?
Gallo refuses outright to sell us his
refinery. We need that particular one.
It's right near the place where
most of our ships dock.
We'll force him to sell.
- How?
Gallo's business comes
from the Hopkins company.
An independent outfit with two wells.
If those wells went out
of business, so would Gallo.
We'll let Shay pull the job.
If he pulls it off, I'll put in a
pitch for him with Constant.
You'll put in a pitch?
- Yes, I will.
You don't think he'd listen to
you about Shay, do you?
A fall from the Justice Observatory does
not usually leave much to be identified.
Fortunately however, the facial
features are still fairly intact.
He was one of the guys alright.
How do you like that?
Got a run-down on him.
His name is Chris Barker.
He was a flunky at the
King's Arms at Galveston.
A flunky?
That's a hood with a
social security number.
We've been concentrating on Houston.
You know, Mr Talbot, Galveston
is a very interesting town.
Say, you boys heard about a
disturbance going on around here?
No, haven't heard anything.
"402. Go ahead 402."
402. That report we got
on a riot was a windy.
Noting to it.
Hey, that was the Hopkins' well.
I might have known you would
be the one to double-cross me.
It was you who tipped the Cops.
You fixed it so that
Gordy would be caught.
He's getting better than he deserved.
Because sooner or later the
mob would kill him or I would.
He's in jail now. He's safe.
Nobody can get him.
Yeah, yeah. He's in jail but he
thinks I double-crossed him.
He thinks I was the one that gave
him the orders to blow the wells.
You fixed everything fine, Duncan.
You certainly fixed
it fine, you dirty rat.
Let go of me.
[ Telephone ]
[ Telephone ]
Yeah. He's here.
It's your lawyer, Wellman.
Hello Wellman.
Yeah, Atlas.
The police are at ..?
The police are after me.
Gordy gave them my name.
He did that to me?
To me?
What do you expect?
You double-crossed him and
he gave you more of the same.
Yeah, but now I got to run.
I never had to run before.
I don't know how to run.
You learn fast when you're
being chased, Pauley.
I know.
I'll go to Europe.
I've got friends there, good friends.
I can make it.
The police were never smarter.
Than Pauley Atlas.
"Yes, Mr Duncan?"
Get me St Louis.
Central 12511.
Ask for Mr Constant.
Emile Constant.
[ Telephone ]
[ Telephone ]
Mr Constant?
Duncan .. Houston.
Well, I'm buy now but if
it's important, go ahead.
I see.
First Shay, now Atlas.
Things are falling apart there, fast.
Alright Duncan, you
take over temporarily.
We'll hold a meeting to decide if you'll
run the territory on a permanent basis.
Thank you Mr Constant. I will
be waiting to hear from you.
Stokes. Kalo.
There is too much trouble
in the south-west territory.
It started with Duncan coming in. I
doubt it will end until Duncan goes out.
How far out do you want him to go?
Well, I detest violence.
It's just not good business.
Mr Duncan knows more
than is good for us.
You leave for Houston immediately.
And I'll expect to read the results
of your visit in the newspapers.
You're making me use muscles
I didn't even know I had.
Did you ever see yourself
while you are singing?
Any muscles you don't use,
you haven't got.
That's why women were born.
You're right. Gordy didn't give me
anything permanent to remember him by.
I told you it would be alright.
Do you feel sorry for Shay?
Ask me again.
Any more questions?
Shay didn't get anything
he didn't ask for.
When you want a top spot you've
got to be able to hold on to it.
Are you trying to
convince me or yourself?
I'm the big boy now.
Nobody is going to get me out.
Sure baby, sure.
Only now that you have
everything, you can quit.
Power. You have me.
You're still young enough to enjoy it.
You're a lucky guy.
You've got to have brains to be lucky.
Where do you go from here?
What are you talking about?
I want to stay lucky.
You're scared.
So are you or you wouldn't
be talking it. - Me?
Look Frank, we've had our cards
on the table since the beginning.
Were not a couple of kids
with a lot of fancy dreams.
There are plenty of places where
we can go to get our kicks.
It doesn't have to be here.
You're scared. I'm not.
You think I'm going to run out just
because Constant made me the big boy?
He can also make you a
small boy or no boy at all.
You're out of your mind.
What more do we need?
Look. Why hang around daring
somebody to knock you off your perch?
Let's get out while we
still have our necks.
The sun is too hot.
It's gone to your head.
Frank, listen to me.
- I did listen.
Let's make believe I never
heard what you said.
I just got the contracts back.
How about that crazy guy, Gallo?
One day he says nothing
can make him sell.
The next day he can't
clear out fast enough.
A good thing for us.
I'll look them over and
you can sign them later.
Oh .. Clara says they keep
you from getting a cold.
How is she, happy?
She has a mink coat.
You know, she's a good
looking dame in a mink coat.
I'll put these in the file.
You can go to lunch, honey.
Thank you.
Duncan will be alone in there now.
My name is Stokes. This is Mr Kalo.
How is chances of seeing Frank Duncan?
You fellows got an appointment?
Yeah, we got kind of an
appointment you might say.
Well I'll check, see if he's in.
Is Frank Duncan in?
There is a Mr Stokes and a
Mr Kalo here to see him.
No. I haven't seen him but
I'll check and let you know.
Louis, find out what they want.
Keep your intercom switch open.
Okay Steve, I'll take care of it.
Sorry, but Mr Duncan doesn't
seem to be around right now.
In that case maybe we'd
better take a look ourselves.
Wait a minute.
Maybe you didn't hear what I said.
- We haven't got much time.
Our business is with Duncan, not you.
"Now stay out the way
and you won't get hurt."
Take a look in those offices.
Are you nuts? Put that gun away.
Hello Zoe?
Just listen to me. Don't talk.
Something has gone wrong. Constant sent
two hoods down from St Louis to get me.
We've got to get out of here in a hurry.
I don't want to go back to my
apartment as they may pick me up.
Now pack your things in a hurry and meet
me here in Houston at the Derrick caf.
Yeah. They'll never find me there.
I'll drive around until dark.
Yeah, eight-thirty will be fine.
I'll see you later.
I've looked all over. He's not around.
Keep your mouth shut about this.
The boss will take care of you too.
Give me the police. Hurry it up.
Inspector Gregg.
Inspector Gregg?
This is Louis Phelan.
What's this about gangsters
wanting to kill Frank Duncan?
Yeah, I see.
Oh, we'll get them, Mr Phelan.
And we'll also get your Duncan.
And a cosy character named
Constant in St Louis.
We've got enough on this
mob to run them all in.
You know where I can find Duncan?
No, no .. I don't know.
What do you want with Frank?
He hasn't done anything.
Sorry Mr Phelan, we're busy. Goodbye.
What's the matter with those guys?
I'd better get down there.
See them Cops.
[ Telephone ]
She doesn't answer.
Keep ringing. If anybody knows
where Duncan is, it will be her.
Don Stokes.
Duncan cleared out. We thought you might
have been stupid enough to go with him.
What's the matter, Donsie old boy?
Hadn't you heard?
Once a Carrie Hemper,
always a Carrie Hemper.
What can I do for you, honey?
You want some nice fresh
bullets or something?
You being smart?
Me, smart?
Frank thought I was a sucker.
He thought I'd just pack up
and run away with him.
Where is he?
And then after I tell you ..
You'll kill me anyway.
Because I'll know that you killed Frank.
That's the way you are, Donsie old boy.
No loose ends.
Tell us where he is you crazy dame.
Hello .. hello?
I've got to talk to you.
Madge, I'm in a jam, a bad one.
I've got to get out of the country.
I'm asking, will you come with me?
We'll be on the run.
I'll go. It's better to have
you that way than not at all.
We'll do alright.
Look, I can't get back to the apartment
because some guys may be watching.
But you can go. Get some of my clothes.
Here's the combination to the wall safe.
There is close to $100,000 in it.
The keys are in my car.
It's ten after seven now. You can
be back here by eight o'clock.
Duncan will have to
come here sooner or later.
We'll be waiting.
Well .. it looks like more than
one of us got the same idea.
How did you get in here?
The same way you did.
You're from the Derrick caf.
I suppose Frank didn't
tell you about me?
He sent me here to get his clothes.
And his money.
Frank and I are going away together.
Did he tell you that?
That's what I've always
liked about Frank.
He's a real stinker.
Look honey, for your own sake ..
You might as well know Frank is waiting
for me at that hash house. Not you.
You're lying.
You know I'm not.
It doesn't matter. I'm not
going to meet him anyway.
The mob is after him now and the Cops
will be after him too. He's finished.
I can't afford to latch on to has-beens.
I guess he owes me this much though.
Don't go with him.
I know how to throw those
things away. You don't.
Let me go!
Let me go!
Okay, Zoe. Let's have a talk.
Let me go. You're not going to kill me.
Whatever gave you an idea like that?
We want Duncan. That's all.
You'll let me go?
Sure Zoe. I told you.
Constant just wants
Duncan out of the way.
Let me go.
He's at the Derrick caf.
He's waiting for me there.
You'd better not be lying.
- I'm not. I swear it.
That's just fine, Zoe.
[ Gunshot! ]
The Derrick caf and make it quick.
Give me ..
Give me Police Headquarters, please.
I'd like to talk to someone
about Frank Duncan.
Inspector Gregg speaking.
Thanks, lady.
The Derrick af?
You've just saved the
State a lot of money.
Located Duncan. Get every available man.
It's Louis.
Don't start anything.
The Cops are all around.
Don't get yourself killd.
Frankie, listen to me.
You've hurt enough people already.