The Offer (2022) s01e01 Episode Script

A Seat at the Table

♪ PERSON: Bellissimo! Good to see you.
Good to see you.
- Hey, Jim.
- Jim, good to see you.
Good to see you.
PERSON: Hey, Mr.
Bonnano, Mr.
- What are you doing? - What? Leave the fucking cannoli.
JOE: You're a capo when you really need to be a boss.
We gotta get you your own seat at the table.
It's the only way we're gonna make change.
Lucchese, Gambino, those tired fucks, one of them gotta go.
And you want me to take care of it? When the time is right.
With you and me in power, we can do things the way they should be fuckin' done.
- PERSON: Whoa.
- Come in, Dominic.
- Yeah.
- PERSON: Come on, let him in.
- Excuse me, excuse me.
DOMINIC: Sorry to interrupt.
I saw you walk by, - and, uh, I brought these - You don't have to do this.
- Look at this.
That's beautiful.
- For you and your friends.
DOMINIC: Francesca and I are so grateful.
Good, good, good.
I'm in a meeting right now.
- Oh, I'm sorry.
- No, no, no.
- God bless you, sir.
- No, I'll see you in a bit.
- God bless you, Mr.
- Yeah, yeah.
Excuse me.
Excuse me.
- The fuck is that? - Oh, he owes.
He, uh he owns the bakery over on Grand.
His grandkid's sick, so I suspended the interest for six months.
You wanna be a boss, you better start acting like one.
You're going soft on me? It sends a wrong message showing mercy like that.
No, no, no, I told him if he doesn't pay me in six months, I'll kill his whole family.
I'll gut the kid first and make the family watch.
That's what I'm talking about.
That's the change we need.
I still don't know about the seat though.
There's gotta be another way.
Ain't exactly handing 'em out, Joey.
You want that seat? You gotta take it.
♪ - Top of the morning, Bobby.
- Good morning, Mr.
- Morning, Mr.
- Hey, babies.
♪ Julie, baby, welcome back.
♪ - Good morning, Mr.
- Good morning.
- Hey.
- Hey, Bob.
Those rushes looked great last night.
You're doing such a good job.
You keep it up.
- Watch that budget, though.
- Evans! - Johnny Potatoes! - Whoo! - You're looking good, man.
- You like that, huh? I just came down to tell you.
Hank can't fucking direct his way out of a paper bag.
- But you, star, you're knocking it out of the park.
♪ Good morning, Bob.
Well, it should be, and it would be, Peter, if I didn't have to watch the rushes for "Tarzan and the Jungle Boy" last night.
My God, what a turd.
But the sun is shining.
It's still a good day.
What do we got? Hit me.
Bluhdorn is having trouble wrapping his head around Eastwood starring in a musical.
- He wants to talk.
- SHEILA: Neil Simon called.
He says it's gotta be Lemmon, but Lemmon will only do it if Matthau's in it, and he wants 300,000 for the picture, and Bluhdorn says quote, "Under no circumstances "are we paying anyone $300,000 to star in anything.
" Unquote.
He said a few other things.
Don't be scared.
What did he say? He said he's got a fire poker with your name on it, if you need a better illustration of the studio's finances.
All right, take a deep breath.
This is what you're gonna do.
Peter, you're gonna send a copy of Clint's album "Cowboy Favorites" to Bluhdorn.
That's gonna change his tune.
Now, Sheila, you can tell him You tell Charlie Bluhdorn that he can save his poker for opening night because if that film is anything like the play, "The Odd Couple" it's gonna save this studio, and I'll bend over for him if it doesn't.
Thank you, Sheila.
Peter, you stay.
Hey, Ruddy, I'm not paying you to read.
Those contracts need to be on my desk by the end of the day.
They were on your desk this morning.
Ruddy, you're making the rest of us look bad.
Dave, you're doing a great job of that all on your own, buddy.
♪ Uh, nice car, sir.
You'd be surprised what a paint job will do.
Or a blow torch.
MITCH: Hey, Ruddy! Mitch, sorry I'm late, buddy.
Had a hard time finding the place.
After a year in L.
, who doesn't know where the Chateau is? Just try not to impress too many girls with that shirt tonight, Ruddy.
What? I came straight from work.
Still lost on me what you do.
It's contracts or something, right? I've told you 13 times.
You really think this is gonna be the time it sticks? That's a good point.
Let's grab a drink.
♪ ♪ Wendy.
SINGER: I'm not content to ♪ Be with you in the day time ♪ ♪ Girl, I want to be with you ♪ All of the time ♪ ♪ The only time I feel ♪ All right is by your side ♪ I was wondering where the beautiful, cool cats had gone.
Here they all are.
How's it going? Darling.
- Yeah, Bob, nice to see you.
- Nice to see you.
Hey, who is that guy? MITCH: Bob Evans, head of Paramount.
Guy's more connected than God, and yeah, he's always that tan.
Nikita, you don't want to miss this bus, baby.
Let's do it.
Come on.
♪ Everyone, this is my neighbor, Al Ruddy.
- How are you? - Hey.
Any friend of Mitch's is a friend of mine.
♪ You sure you're just a TV writer? I'm in the wrong fucking business.
♪ MARIO: What am I doing wrong? Nobody came.
Mario, this is the best thing you've written.
Six years wasted.
"The Fortunate Pilgrim" was my mother's story.
Uh, you know, I [SIGHS.]
I thought the world would identify with it.
Three people came and and no one bought a book.
I don't even know what to write anymore.
People perked up listening to the part about the mafia guy.
Oh, yeah, great.
That was, like, three paragraphs.
Well, did you ever think about writing a mafia book with more than that? I spent my childhood hiding from those gangsters.
I I you know, Hell's Kitchen was chock full of 'em.
So write what you know.
So they can put a bullet in my head? Just think about it.
21 Club, please.
You know, you owe our friend a thousand dollars.
Yeah, uh, uh, you know, I I have, uh, 40.
Take that.
How much do we owe? You don't wanna know.
I thought this book was the one.
We'd be able to pay 'em back and - So what are gonna do, Mario? - [SIGHS.]
Candida wants me to write about the mafia.
I married you because you're an artist, not a hack.
Hacks sell books.
They can pay for the education of their kids.
Hacks don't borrow money from guys you shouldn't borrow money from.
How much do we owe? - Five Gs to two bookies.
- [SIGHS.]
A few grand to the bank, not including what I owe my brother.
Fuck art, Mario.
Start typing.
You want me to write about the mafia? Yeah.
How do I tell that story any differently? Everybody knows they steal.
They control gambling, they run whores, unions.
Okay, so maybe it's not just a book about the mafia.
What do you mean? Well, the guys you grew up with, they didn't start out so different from you.
They eat, they drink, they love, they cry, they worry about their kids' futures just like us.
And they kill.
Okay, so maybe we don't kill.
But maybe this book is about finding the reason we would.
♪ ♪ Have a beautiful night.
- Hey.
- Hey.
- Hi.
- Hi, guys.
How are you? Nice.
Enjoying? I'm back.
I'm back.
Whatever he said, he's lying.
- MITCH: How we doing? - BERNIE: I'm good.
Okay, so now you look interesting.
- Are you interesting? - Depends on the company.
BERNIE: Hmm, that's a good answer.
Who's your friend, Mitch? Françoise Glazer, this is my neighbor, Al Ruddy.
What do you do? - Programming.
- FRANCOISE: Programming.
What network? I program computers for the Rand Corporation.
Still have no idea what that means.
The Rand Corporation? I'm impressed.
That's defense work.
It's not top secret.
What about you, what do you do? She owns the ground you're sitting on, my friend.
The hotel? FRANCOISE: You're surprised? You think a woman can't run a business? I was raised by a single mother.
She could've run anything.
You see? He doesn't hate his mother like all you comedy writers.
Come on.
Come on.
- Oh, you write comedy too? - Uh, no.
- You watch "Sgt.
Bilko"? - Yeah, I love "Bilko.
" I play Gomez.
You know, I thought you looked familiar.
I'm a hell of a comedy fan.
The way these shows tell their stories, it's like a formula, and in a good way.
- A formula? - Think about it.
"Bilko," "McHale's Navy," even "My Favorite Martian," right, they're the same cast of characters in similar situations with just enough difference to be interesting.
That's kind of true, Mitch.
If you really wanna upset the apple cart, put your cast of characters where you least expect them to be in a comedy, somewhere that isn't safe.
That's how you make it stand out.
MITCH: If it were really that easy, every Tom, Dick, and Ruddy would do it.
I didn't mean any offense.
BERNIE: Hey, uh, you seem to have a hell of an instinct for all these shows.
I mean, you wanna talk shop sometime? I could send you some scripts.
You could see how they all lay out.
AL: That'd be great.
But, hey, I'm just a guy who programs computers.
All evidence to the contrary.
SINGER: I love you more than anything ♪ Oh, yeah, mm-hmm ♪ As long as you treat me right ♪ ♪ [TYPEWRITER CLICKING.]
You found it.
- Oh, boy.
- Mm-hmm.
It's not about a gang.
It's about a gangster's family.
- Oh.
- Hmm? The oldest son is a hothead.
The middle son is sweet, but he's weak, and the younger son is a war hero who wants nothing to do with the family business.
But the Don wants this son, call him Michael - Mm-hmm.
- Hmm? Wants him to rise above the family business and become a a senator, you know, someone powerful, but Michael's destiny won't let him escape the power of Don Vito Corleone.
Who's the Don? He's what Sicilians call the godfather of gangsters.
- Oh.
- Huh? He's, uh, the head of the family.
And my title.
"The Godfather"? Mm-hmm.
I like it.
- Okay.
All right, it's not written yet.
"The Godfather.
" Hmm.
So come on.
What do you wanna pitch? We could do rags to riches or fish out of water.
I mean, Bernie, I don't even know what a pitch is.
Don't even know what a pitch is.
Uh, we just go into the network, tell 'em about our idea.
You know, what it's about, the characters, what stories we tell week to week.
That's it.
That's the pitch.
Look, all these execs want to see is that they can put a hundred episodes in the can.
Okay, so maybe we go with what you've hit with, a military comedy.
Eh, there's already "McHale's Navy," "F Troop," "Gomer Pyle.
" They're gonna wanna see something new.
"McHale" and "Gomer's" are peacetime stories.
Nobody's set a military comedy during wartime.
Let's do something about what you know, hmm? Workplace comedy set at a defense contractor.
It's not inherently funny.
Trust me, I live it.
Not to you.
Hey, you ever seen "Stalag 17" - with William Holden? - Mm-hmm.
American POWs.
It's a Billy Wilder thing.
It's great characters, man.
I mean, it's set up for a comedy.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
No, war equals death.
Hey, let's do this.
Let's sell the Rand comedy, and after that, we can sell the army comedy, hmm? [SIGHS.]
Ruddy, just relax, okay? You're making me nervous.
Yeah, well, we fuck this up, you go back to making TV.
I go back to Rand where the soul goes to die.
Goodbye, Miss Taylor.
AL: Holy shit.
That's Elizabeth Taylor.
♪ Gentleman, Mr.
Paley will see you now.
♪ BERNIE: And so these two bachelors at the Rand Corporation, they're actually peaceniks.
They're using company computers to program for peace instead of war.
There's a lot of good stuff in here.
People are gonna love it.
We call it "Modern Warfare.
" Mm, interesting idea.
You got anything else? "Bilko," swastikas.
Swastikas, "Bilko.
" You think Nazis are funny? Imagine Bilko as a pilot, right? He's a colonel, and he's fighting in the war.
He gets shot down over Germany and taken prisoner.
Ruddy, I don't think this is Now, our colonel, he knows exactly how to escape, but he never does.
None of the prisoners do because he's leading an allied group inside the camp to help the resistance.
The camp commandant, he is a guy named Klink.
Now, he's got a reputation of being the toughest guy in the SS, but actually he's a fucking idiot.
Yeah, and there's this big fat sergeant, uh, Sergeant Schultz.
AL: And he's always walking in on their plans, but he likes the guys, they're nice to him, so he turns a blind eye.
I see nothing.
I hear nothing.
I know nothing.
There's a French prisoner.
Guy's a gourmet chef, and he feeds the guard dogs so that they love the prisoners.
Eh, this is for you, - my little chienne.
AL: That's a good boy.
That's a good boy.
Are there any women in the show? Oh, yeah, there's a woman, and not just any woman.
Oh, boys, Helga, she is an Amazon, right? I mean, sexy German secretary.
"Oh, Guten Tag, mein little Liebchen!" Hey, and she might even have an eye for our colonel.
Yeah, so she's in on all their schemes.
What do you call this thing? "Hogan's Heroes.
Have you pitched this anywhere else? ♪ Don't.
'Cause we're buying it.
♪ CANDIDA: "I'll make him an offer he can't refuse.
" - Great line.
- Yeah.
- It's fun, isn't it? - It's special, Mario.
The Frank Sinatra, Johnny Fontane character? Great.
Maybe Sinatra will play him in the movie, hmm? - Should we call Paramount? - [CHUCKLES.]
Mario, just because they optioned it early, it doesn't mean it's gonna get made.
CANDIDA: Let's make sure it gets published first.
They say to me, you can make "Love Story," which we agree, greatest love story of all time.
But the girl has to live at the end.
Can you fucking believe that? Yeah, the death is what makes it work.
- Yes.
- Look at "Romeo and Juliet.
" Not the same story if they'd lived.
God, no.
We feel the pain of the loss, feel the grief.
We feel pity.
We we cry.
I'll make the movie, Bob, but only if she dies.
You are preaching to the choir, babe.
Look, you make "Love Story," and I will give you total creative control.
- And final cut.
- And a back end that's real.
We got a chance to make a huge hit here.
I only make two decisions, all right? Hiring you, yes.
Secondly, casting Ali MacGraw.
Bob, I don't know if I'm comfortable with hiring your girlfriend.
One of the best actresses of our time.
Trust me, my friend, I've seen her up close.
And so should you, that's all I'm saying.
Sheila, could you send in our guest, please? What is this? BOB: Ali MacGraw, meet Arthur Hiller.
I'm so excited to be working with you.
Me too.
You two are gonna make magic together.
I'll let you get acquainted.
ALI: I saw your most recent film.
- I loved it.
- ARTHUR: Thank you so much.
Sheila, I'm good.
♪ PERSON: Lucchese and Gambino got here about ten minutes ago.
♪ Sinatra's crying to everyone but the Pope about this book that's about to come out: "The Godfather.
" Giving me a fucking headache.
'Cause there's a character in it that's supposed to be a real fighetta, and everyone thinks it's him.
How'd you know that? I read it somewhere.
I just have to use the bathroom.
What have we got here? He said it was important to the commission.
SINGER: I remember ♪ That night in May ♪ The stars were bright above ♪ I'll hope ♪ And I'll pray ♪ To keep ♪ Your precious love ♪ Well, before the light ♪ - Hold me again ♪ - TOMMY: [SPEAKING ITALIAN.]
SINGER: With all of your might ♪ Sit down, Joe.
Have a drink.
You're making me nervous standing like that.
Sit down, Joe.
I've been offered a seat at the commission table.
My own family.
Well, nobody told me about that.
Well, it's supposed to be the last thing you'll ever hear.
He came to me a while back, talking about making changes.
That's what he thinks I'm doing here right now.
But I'm here to tell you so you can deal with it the way the commission chooses.
And then you take Bonanno's seat at the table? Well, that's not up to me.
That's up to you.
Hey, I'm an ambitious guy, but not at the price of my loyalty to what we do here, to you and the rest of the commission.
I respect whatever you decide.
Good night, gentlemen.
Let's go.
Bonanno, he's gotta go.
GEORGE: You maniacs! You blew it up! God damn you! [AUDIENCE GASPING, MUTTERING.]
God damn you all to hell! Uh, are we moving in? This.
This is what it's all about.
What, monkeys? No, the excitement, the thrill.
I mean, did you hear them at the end? Yes, uh, that that was a great ending.
No, no, it's not just about the ending, it's it's about the experience of it.
You got 300 people all watching the same thing, reacting in real time, just feeding off each other.
You can't get that experience in television.
You're just in your living room, looking at a small fucking box.
It's just a different game.
Five years of "Hogan's" and you can make all the money you'd ever need.
Five years of "Hogan's," I'm gonna shoot myself in the face.
- Hmm.
- Yeah.
They showed us the writer's room - at CBS last week.
- Mm.
It was like an exact fucking replica of Rand.
It can't just be about the money.
At first, I thought it was, this whole Hollywood thing, but my mother, she was a tough broad, and she never showed emotion ever about anything, except at the movies.
That was the only time I ever saw my mother cry.
I mean, you can't put a price on that experience.
I mean, that's magic, baby.
I need to be in the movies.
So what do you know about producing film? What do I know about producing TV? Good point.
Let's go.
You coming? ♪ Sir.
♪ BOB: I'm having a party Saturday night, and if you're not there, well, I'm just gonna send everybody home, even Jack and Warren.
PERSON: Huh? Nicholson and Beatty.
Ooh, you're gonna love them.
And, uh, bathing suits are optional.
Barry, what are you doing here? BARRY: I hate to interrupt your little soiree, - but we had a meeting.
- BOB: Oh, relax, Barry.
Have a drink before you have a heart attack, right, girls? It's 9:00 in the morning.
- Coffee, black.
- Give us a minute.
I'm sorry.
Every party needs a pooper.
- How you doing, Barry? - Bob.
Thank you.
I got off the phone with Charlie.
He's livid.
Paramount has fallen back to eight out of nine.
Let me guess.
He's up your ass about "Paint Your Wagon" overages.
Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood should be shooting people, not singing! That's entertainment.
And what's with the "Love Story"? The girl dies at the end? Who wants to see that? It's his studio.
Look, I'm not gonna beat around the bush.
We need hits.
You can't live off of "Rosemary's Baby" forever.
Barry, did you Did you read "Love Story"? Yes.
Why? Did it move you? What does that have to do with anything? The audience needs to be moved, Barry.
That's how you make hit pictures.
Times are changing, and we need to keep up.
That's why I got the job in the ivory tower and you don't.
If you don't string together some hits, that ivory tower of yours is going to come crashing down.
Oh, ye of such little faith.
Bottoms up, Barry.
Bob Evans.
I'm Al Ruddy.
I wanted to talk to you.
You got a minute? I'm fairly certain we don't have a meeting, but you knew that already, didn't you? How'd you get on the lot? - Ain't exactly Fort Knox.
- Fair enough.
What can I do for you, Mr.
Ruddy? It's what I can do for you.
I wanna produce for Paramount.
You told a good story once.
Ballsy of you to walk away from "Hogan's Heroes.
" - So you do know who I am? - I know who everyone is, kid.
Look, you know what a producer does, Mr.
Ruddy? They do whatever it takes to get their movie made.
Now, what makes you think that you're qualified to do that, huh? You know, I read an article in "Variety," said that you started out selling ladies' slacks and doing bit parts in movies, but you still figured it out.
Don't don't don't call them bit parts when you're kissing someone's ass.
I work with Jimmy fucking Cagney, my friend, toe-to-toe.
So unknown computer guy creates CBS's hit comedy about Nazis.
Go figure.
All right.
All right.
You do remind me of me, and I'm a sentimental guy, and you caught me on a good day.
Let's set a lunch, Mr.
Talk about your future.
AL: What producers have you worked for? NANCY: You'll be my first.
I've worked in legal for three years and then saw this job posted.
Well, then, I guess, uh, we both have a lot to learn.
- Thanks.
Thank you.
We'll let you know.
I thought he just gave me the job.
Oh, no, sweetie.
That was just his Valium talking.
You are dodging a bullet here.
You can thank me later.
Exit's that way.
Thank you.
All right, bye.
You're Albert Ruddy.
Who are you? Bettye McCartt.
Bernie Fein sent me.
It's nice to meet you, Bettye, but I'm sorry.
I just hired somebody.
- That little mouse? - Yeah.
- Yeah.
Let me take you on a tour.
Come on.
I don't bite.
That spot is hallowed fucking ground.
You're not even paying attention to it.
The guard gate? That is where Gloria Swanson drove onto the lot in "Sunset Boulevard.
" Because she thought Cecil B.
DeMille wanted to make her version of "Salome.
" When all he actually wanted - was her fucking car.
- Fucking car.
BETTYE: Oh, you see that door? That is the secret entrance where Adolph Zukor, who's the founder of Paramount, it's where he used to sneak his little starlets into his office.
- Oh.
- Ooh.
It's hallowed ground, man.
Hallowed ground.
Ladies, it's time.
Come on, let's go.
BETTYE: Seriously, what's your story? AL: It's not terribly interesting.
Worked for Rand Corporation before "Hogan's.
" Architect before that.
BETTYE: Those are both steady gigs.
Why'd you walk away? Because I could, I guess.
So, Bettye, what's your story? It's not terribly interesting.
I'm divorced, opinionated.
The latter most likely the cause of the former.
DIRECTOR: Okay, let's get ready for picture.
- Walk it up.
- I love the movies.
My mom used to take me every Saturday.
Even when she couldn't make the rent.
- Single mother? - Mm-hmm.
Yeah, me too.
Still go every Saturday? Yes, I do.
I wouldn't miss it for the world.
How long is your deal here for, Al? - A year.
- What, really? That is not long enough to start from scratch.
We have to find a script that's been overlooked.
DIRECTOR: Places, everybody! I want to feel some energy! Well, then we'd better get started.
Yeah? Let's watch this take first.
PERSON: Quiet on set! CANDIDA: "The New York Times'" Dick Schaap, "What Philip Roth did for masturbation, Puzo does for murder.
" "The Post," "A searing portrayal of the mafia underworld.
" I'll lay odds that you're gonna be signing more than 30 books.
♪ AL: Bob, I found something you're gonna love.
Jesus, Ruddy! Knock.
It's all right, Sheila.
What was the best scene in "The Great Escape"? I don't have time for party games.
It's McQueen's motorcycle jump.
Yeah, true.
So what? I found a great script.
It's about motorcycle racers.
And chicks? Yeah, and chicks.
It's called "Little Fauss and Big Halsy.
" - It's perfect for McQueen.
- Oh, forget McQueen.
For Christ's sake, he's making his own racing movie, "Le Mans.
" Who else you got in mind? You need a star, kid.
Robert Redford.
Redford? Yeah, great idea.
You get me Redford, you do it for a million five all-in, you got yourself a go picture.
Thanks, Bob.
Sure, yeah, yeah.
Evans is messing with you, Al.
Redford will never do this for a million five all-in.
- How do you know? - How is it that you don't? I don't know.
I'm new at this.
Work with me here.
Well, if anyone knows what Redford's up to, - it'll be Stevie Phillips.
- Who's he? She is his agent.
You gotta know these things, Al.
Stevie Phillips please.
This is Al Ruddy calling from Paramount in regards to a project for Robert Redford.
Yes, I'll tell him.
Thank you.
Stevie says to call back when you have more than "Hogan's Heroes" under your belt.
So we go around her.
That's not how things are done, Al.
I don't give a fuck how things are done.
Redford's not in town.
He's shooting "Butch Cassidy" outside San Pedro, Mexico.
Find out the most expensive hotel there.
That'll be where Redford's staying.
And then book me a flight.
You are certifiable.
♪ Hey, buddy.
I'm looking for Redford.
- And who are you? - Producer of his next film.
He said he wanted to speak to me.
Okay, just just wait right there.
DIRECTOR: Action! Butch and Sundance, go! [GUNSHOTS.]
And cavalry, go! [GUNSHOTS.]
All right.
Cut, cut, cut.
All right.
Great, all right.
Let's get set up for the next shot.
Let's go, people! Let's go.
PERSON: We're burning daylight! PERSON: So this is the guy? - Producer of my next film, huh? - AL: That's right.
- Who the hell are you? - Al Ruddy with Paramount.
Huh, Paramount.
Okay, so? So? It's a great Charles Eastman script.
Motorcycles and chicks.
You're gonna love it.
Well, you didn't come all the way down here to tell me that.
Yeah, Bob, I did.
Well, you could have called.
Paramount's suing me.
That's why I didn't do "Rosemary's Baby.
" Could've saved you the hassle.
What if I could get you out of that lawsuit? You have the authority to do that? Yeah, I do If you do the movie.
Well, first things first, how about you and I go get drunk later? You tell me who you are and why I should work with you.
I'm buying.
No shit.
"Little Faus and Big Hals.
" AL: "Fauss and Halsy.
" Ah.
Evans is in this for himself, not for Gulf and Western.
I give you the reins, and the problems, they just magically disappear? Ah, there's my favorite Austrian.
I missed this place.
Nice touch, Evans.
- Ask and you shall receive.
Been a while since you've visited the studio, Barry.
BARRY: Well, that's because I've been in New York actually making money for the company.
- Can you say the same? - Play nice, children.
Charlie, you know Ann-Margret, right? Of course.
One of the greats.
Good to see you, Charlie.
- A glass? - From you? Sure.
BOB: Thank you, honey.
I would love to stay and chat, but I'm wanted on set.
- I'll see you soon? - You count on it.
PERSON: This way, Miss Margret.
Evans, you are completely transparent.
Well put.
And I love it! [CHUCKLES.]
Help yourself, Barry.
Oh, and, uh, lighten up.
Come on, Cheese.
BARRY: Ann-Margret and two flutes of champagne is not gonna erase ninth place, Evans.
It's as if every new Paramount picture comes with its own death rattle.
News flash, you approved them too, Barry.
SECRETARY: Jack Warner on line one for Mr.
Uh Put him through.
Ah, ah, ah.
I don't pick up first.
Jack Warner doesn't wait on the line.
Neither do I.
You wait for Jack Warner.
Everybody does.
He invented this business.
Uh, Paramount, holding for Mr.
SECRETARY: Hold please.
JACK: Bluhdorn.
Are you there? Bob Evans, Mr.
How you doing? I got Charlie here with me.
JACK: Charlie, you own "The Godfather.
" You doing anything with it? - No.
- Yes.
JACK: Well? We haven't decided.
It's an uncut gem.
Could be a crown jewel.
JACK: I've been making gangster movies since they were silent.
We know how to make this work, Charlie.
I'll buy it today for a million.
Take it.
We'll think about it.
JACK: You do that.
- I won't wait forever.
What does he know that I don't? He knows that there's movie gold in that book, which is why we took a cheap, early option on the first 60 pages, $15,000, and that book has been at number one for the past year.
Barry, why didn't I know about this? Yeah.
Why, Barry? Because our last gangster movie was a sugarless turd.
Yeah, because Kirk Douglas is a goyish Jew playing an Italian.
We're not gonna make that mistake again.
Charlie, gangster movies are dead.
All right? It's a new world.
"James Bond," "Funny Girl," that's what people want to see.
Jack Warner, he offers me a million, we can get three.
Help cover some losses.
Unless I'm missing something.
Evans, what do you see in this book? I'll tell you what I see.
I see money.
This picture can make Paramount number one, Charlie.
I feel it.
I feel it.
My kishkehs are screaming.
That book's all anyone's talking about.
Now, you get the right hands at the wheel and this could become a cultural phenomenon, the likes we've never seen before, like "Rosemary's Baby" but bigger.
A million dollar return on an investment of fifteen grand? We're not gonna get a better offer.
It's only a million.
- Thank you, Charlie.
The bookstore in Little Italy, "The Godfather.
" 58 weeks at number one.
'Cause of the tourists.
Well, it makes us look stupid.
Like you know, like a joke.
And that's bad for business.
Sinatra isn't wrong about this one.
We're here tonight to acknowledge Joseph Anthony Colombo, capo to the Profaci Family.
In recognition for his loyalty to the commission, Joe, you have earned a seat at the table amongst us.
To the Colombo Family.
May you live a long life with prosperity.
Salute! ALL: Salute! [APPLAUSE.]
♪ AL: Some opening weekend.
FRANCOISE: It's the studio.
They didn't spend enough on advertising.
That's all.
It's the movie, not the marketing.
Trust me.
All right.
What are you in the mood for? I'll take you anywhere you want.
Nah, honey, I can't.
I gotta get home.
Got a stack of scripts I need to go through if I'm gonna find my next project.
- Right now? - Yeah.
I thought we were going to dinner.
You okay if we get something to go? If you tell me what's really going on in that head of yours.
I'm just scared to lose this, producing, and I've never really felt that before.
Dan Tana's to-go? [CHUCKLES.]
♪ His secretary say what Evans wanted to see me about? No.
But he likes you, Al.
He's probably just checking in to find out what's next.
My film tanked.
What if he fires me? Then I'm fired too.
Shit! Hey! Do not get fired.
Yeah? BOB: Where's the chocolate, man? I mean, I don't see any chocolate.
It's a chocolate factory, right? You see where I'm going with this.
Absolutely, it's devoid of chocolate.
Ruddy, pack your bags.
You're outta here.
New York.
You got a meeting with Charlie Bluhdorn first thing in the morning.
What, you thought you were fired? That's sweet.
You're not out of the woods, but, you know.
Okay, yeah.
What whatever you need.
But, uh, why am I doing this? You've read "The Godfather," right? "The Godfather"? Sure, who hasn't? I mean, you've read it.
It's it's great.
I love it.
BOB: Well, you are officially now Paramount's low budget specialist.
We've been all over town.
No one wants to make this movie for four million dollars, so I need you to produce it.
Get going.
BOB: And, Ruddy Don't fuck it up.
AL: You get 'em? I can't believe you told him you read it.
What else was I gonna say? You better read fast on the plane.
Fuck, that's big.
♪ It's about an American family.
Bluhdorn is Austrian.
Make it universal.
"The Godfather" is a Greek tragedy about an Italian family.
You say the word "tragedy" to Charlie, and he says, "The only tragedy of my life is that I bought Paramount.
" Okay, it's a story about immigrants.
Everybody in America comes from immigrants.
- It's a universal story.
- You're overthinking it.
Bluhdorn is famous for being direct.
He speaks like a telegram.
So just be a telegram.
♪ Al Ruddy for Charlie Bluhdorn.
This way.
Al Ruddy.
♪ Crime leads to murder under the ♪ CHARLIE: Holden, you're fired.
Look at the seventh one.
Location, what is that? Shut up, I don't want to know what you think! So you're the genius that Evans wants to produce the film that we should not be making? CHARLIE: You, stay.
So tell me, Al Ruddy, what are you gonna do with this fucking book? What? Is he deaf? I'm going to make an ice-blue, terrifying film about people you love.
That is brilliant! You, come.
What just happened? Congratulations.
You're the producer of "The Godfather.
" ♪ Ice-blue, baby.
BOB: Well, hello to the ice-blue, terrifying man of the hour.
Nobody understands what that means, but he loved it.
Well done.
Now, I wanna talk to you about writers.
William Goldman, great.
Waldo Salt, excellent.
Look, Bob, they're great writers, but we need a fresh perspective.
We need someone who understands Italians.
I wanna talk to Puzo.
Oh, sweet Jesus.
Puzo's never written a film.
It's an unwritten law in Hollywood that you never hire the author.
They'll turn in a 500-page first draft a year fucking late.
Yeah, but he's the guy with the original idea.
It's at least worth a meeting.
Look, I'm gonna talk to him while I'm here in New York, and if I think he's the guy, will you back me? Fuck no, but it's your call.
Everything all right? When was the last time you made love in a pool? Al, I was born to write this screenplay.
Well, the studio doesn't believe that an author can adapt his own novel.
Then why are you here? Because I told him.
I said, "Who knows it better than you?" Now, look, the movie's in here, but you gotta carve it away.
Can you do that? Thank you.
ERIKA: Mario, he asked you a question.
All right, look.
Fresh start.
But I have to be the one to write this.
This is my story.
The Corleones are my family.
Can you deliver a quick draft? What's quick? Three months.
You let me do this, I'll do it in three days.
Who can argue with that? Three days.
I'm gonna hold you to that.
ERIKA: Hold on, hold on.
I will let you take my husband, but you must promise me, Mario has diabetes.
- Oh, Erika, please.
- ERIKA: No.
- MARIO: Stop, now, come on.
- ERIKA: Listen.
- You must watch his diet.
- MARIO: Stop, stop.
He eats crap.
He needs to lose weight.
Lock up the food.
No pizza.
No ice cream.
No ice cream.
No donuts.
You must swear a blood oath to this.
Hon, he's a Jew.
He can't swear a Catholic blood oath.
I volunteer to swear.
Thank you, see? L'chaim.
♪ So the studio got me a whole house to write in? No, I got you the house.
They're just paying for it.
Nice to see you again.
Good evening, sir.
Your table will be ready in a few minutes.
Thanks, Marco.
Yeah, it's not a bad night.
What'd I miss? What'd I miss? - I got a drink.
- MARIO: That's Frank Sinatra.
Fucking Frank Sinatra! Amazing.
I'm in the same room with Sinatra.
Look, Puzo, Chasen's is not a celebrity petting zoo, okay? Now, stay here.
I gotta pee.
MAITRE D': Please, sir, this way.
Sir sir? - MARIO: Mr.
Sinatra? - Yeah? You have given me and and my family and my late sainted mother so much pleasure.
That's very kind of you to say so.
It's fans like you that keep me going.
You know, from from one artist to another, you teach the world about true emotion.
- You're Mario Puzo? - You know me? FRANK: Yeah, I know who you are.
You're the ratfink who wrote that fucking book about the degenerate singer.
You know, I I've been an admirer of yours since I was a kid.
Well, I can't choose my fans, especially ones that make up a story that insults Italians and a singer, world-famous, who's a disgusting pervert and a faithless friend of criminals.
Johnny Fontane is a fictional character.
You find me one book review in any language in the world that does not refer to the singer Johnny Fontaine as having been based on Frank Sinatra.
Now, get the fuck out of my sight before I have Jilly here smack some respect into you.
I will not be threatened by anyone, okay? Including you, Mr.
Oh, you wanna cross me, you fat fuck, huh? - Hey, hey! - Huh? JILLY: Hey! No, no, no, no, no.
- No, not today.
- Hey, come on.
Get out of here, you fat fuck.
Get the fuck out of here before I smack you myself.
Get him the fuck out of here.
- Sorry, Frank.
- JILLY: Take it easy.
Choke on it.
Sorry about that.
Sorry, folks.
Go back to eating.
Evans is fucking pissed, and he's got every right to be.
Sinatra and Puzo are gonna hit the trades.
My greatest achievement so far as a producer is that Frank Sinatra is mad at me.
Well, that's more than most people can say, no? I fucked it up, baby.
Mais non.
It was just starting to go well too.
You know what we're gonna do? We're gonna find our own "Great Escape.
" So we're gonna start with breakfast at Les Deux Magots.
Then we're gonna do steak frites at Brasserie Lipp.
You like steak frites.
And then we're gonna spend the afternoon making love.
That's what were gonna do.
Paris, huh? For one week.
Babe, all of your problems, I can assure you, they're still gonna be here when you get back, but your head will be clear.
I can't, baby.
I gotta stay.
♪ AL: Fuck.
Mario, what's going on, man? I, uh I can't do this.
I'm a novelist.
It takes me six years to write.
What happened to Mr.
Three Days? Every time I sit down to that typewriter, there's a blank page laughing at me.
I don't know why I did this to myself.
I mean, I'm a - I'm a I'm a failure - No, you're not.
At something that I already made a success.
I don't even know where to begin.
The book starts with a wedding.
The movie probably should too.
Trust yourself and write that scene.
Movie scenes are abbreviations.
They're snapshots.
While the wedding is going on in the garden, the bride's father is in the office handing out favors.
You wanna write it? AL: It's been weeks, and Puzo hasn't written a single word.
Evans warned you about hiring the novelist.
Peter, we couldn't find anybody else.
The agencies won't touch us.
Not for a writer, a director.
Ah, the town wants this project to die to humiliate Evans for taking a chance on the Rand guy who sold his first pitch in the room.
- "Rand guy.
" - It's not just you, Ruddy.
Talent is scared of doing a gangster movie after the last three bombed.
So how do we fix it? Francis Ford Coppola.
He's brilliant.
He wrote the script for "Patton" and probably gonna be nominated for an Oscar.
Now, he might do this, but he'll want to direct.
Evans will need to be talked into it.
- It's worth taking a shot.
- It's a great idea.
Coppola owes Warners money, and he has a very expensive setup in San Francisco.
How do you know that? A girl never reveals her secrets.
You should give him a call.
Send Coppola the book.
- Tell him I'm on the way.
- Done.
Did you tell him to come to me? - It was a good idea.
- Yeah, I got a lot of those.
How embarrassing for you.
I I left you a message not to come.
Uh, I'm passing on "The Godfather.
" I got the message, but I respect you and what you stand for, so I came to hear the reason why.
Ah, okay, uh, as an Italian, I don't want to glorify mafia violence.
I agree with you.
You're right.
I mean, how do you glorify men who cut the head off a horse and put it in a producer's bed? FRANCIS: [CHUCKLES.]
Yes, that producer AL: Deserved it.
Yes, he did.
It was a hell of a scene.
And Sonny gunned down at a toll booth.
Or Michael seeing his wife's car bombed in Sicily after the wedding, I mean, priceless.
Francis, let me be candid.
You're in director jail.
And the only movie I produced, like your last movie, didn't exactly set the world on fire.
And in spite of that, here I am, producer of the hottest novel in the world, and I'm begging you to take it on.
You're a true artist.
We need that.
You help Mario Puzo finish this script, we'll get you back on the floor.
Are you telling me that Bob Evans is gonna let me direct this film? It's not up to Bob.
It's up to you.
Francis Ford Coppola will help Puzo finish the script.
Well, he's a great writer, man.
Smart move.
He didn't, um, hustle you to let him direct? No, I hustled him.
Look, we need an Italian to do this.
He's got a great vision, but, uh, he could tell you about it himself.
Hello, Bob.
Hey, Francis.
How you been? He wanted to tell you a little bit about what he's got in mind for "The Godfather.
" Oh, I'm listening.
I'm all ears.
So why is it that "The Godfather" is selling more copies than the Bible? You think it's about the drug trade in 1946 New York City? Not at all.
It's a metaphor for American capitalism.
The American dream.
The mythic battle for control, okay? What is our opening line? "I believe in America.
" How perfect is that? And what is America to this undertaker? It's a land of opportunity, and it's a justice system that has failed him.
It's Shakespeare.
It's Greek.
Evil versus evil.
"The Godfather" is a story about men, and they come together, and they form a bond, and they find justice through loyalty, not the fucking law.
But at its core, this is a story about family.
That's the secret sauce.
That is what has captured the hearts and minds of the whole world.
You read it and you say, "That's my family.
" That's your family.
For Paramount, it's the Corleone family.
I know how to make this film.
You need an Italian to tell this tale.
Four million all-in not including prints and ads, I can do that.
And, uh, he told me to say that last part.
So that's it.
That's my pitch.
That's great, Francis.
That is great stuff.
- Cheers.
- BOB: Cheers.
FRANCIS: I'm going to leave you gentlemen to it.
I'm sure that we will be talking soon.
Thanks, buddy.
Good stuff.
Nice fucking ambush.
Jesus, taking a leaf out of my playbook.
You don't like the rules much, do you, Ruddy? I don't know the rules.
Well, I guess it looks like you got yourself a director.
Nice work, kiddo.
Nice work.
Tell me, how are Nate's figures wrong again? That's two weeks in a row.
Send someone to see All right, listen up.
The fucking book is still number one, and now they're making a movie of it.
Well, I ain't gonna see it, boss.
The Jews got the JDL.
The Blacks got the NAACP.
But who defends us, the Italians? - Nobody.
- Nobody.
Well, I'm starting.
Beginning now, the Italian-American Civil Rights League.
No gagootz is gonna push us around anymore.
What the fuck are those flowers? It's from Sinatra.
It's says, "Hopefully, we can make this thing go away.
" It's a funeral wreath.
The florist fucked up.
No, he didn't fuck up.
Sinatra wants us to shut the picture down.
Get me Mickey Cohen in Los Angeles.
It's time to send a message.
- It smells delicious, guys.
- Yeah.
It's a beautiful piece of meat, huh? Mmm.
Where you going with that knife? I'm going to cut the fat so that I can brown it.
Brown it? My mother never browned anything.
She fried it.
What's the difference? We have to put this in the picture.
AL: What? A scene about gangsters arguing over sauce? No, a scene about family arguing over sauce.
Huh? Huh? [LAUGHTER.]
Let's open another bottle of wine.
AL: I'll get it.
You boys just keep on talking.
SINGER: It's the beginning of a love affair ♪ ♪ BETTYE: I had a really lovely time.
- Yeah, that was a lot of fun.
- Yeah.
- My God.
They can eat a lot of food though.
I think Puzo's been around a kitchen once or twice.
I know, they're like this old married couple.
An old married couple that needs to start turning in pages.
SINGER: You said no strings ♪
Next Episode