>>/ Casino

/ Casino. .

: / Casino.

/ Casino

INT. ACE'S HOUSE, BATHROOM/BEDROOM - DAY

ACE, in pain from his ulcer, opens a bottle of pills in his bathroom and sees that it is almost empty.

ACE What happened to my pills?

He leaves the bathroom and walks into the bedroom where GINGER is stretched out on their imperial bed.

GINGER Huh?

ACE (Waving the pill bottle) Isn't it bad enough you're drinkin' too much, you're takin' all my pills too?

GINGER I didn't take your pills.

ACE Look - for my ulcer, I take a half a one of these, a half a one of these. And that's when I have extreme pain. I had a three-month supply. What'd you do with 'em?

GINGER (Sobbing) You didn't have to beat him up!

ACE (Walking back to the bathroom) What?

ACE puts the bottle into the medicine cabinet.

GINGER (Sobbing) I was just tryin' to help him. It's not like I'm sleeping with the guy!

ACE Yeah, how do I know?

GINGER (Sobbing) You can't make me stop caring...

ACE What? What?!

GINGER I said, you can't make me stop caring about people.

She starts to cry.

ACE (Trying to calm her) Listen. (Stepping up to the bed.) Ginger. I'm tryin' to make the best of everything here, you know? I mean, you're my wife, for chrissakes. Uh, I mean... people look up to you in this town. I don't know what to think -

GINGER (Interrupts) You know what, Ace? I don't give a shit! I'm gettin' out of here. (Crying.) I am.

She sits up woozy, and tries to pull on her trousers.

ACE (Walking around the bed to her) It's okay. Look... (holding her face, gently) ...you gotta get a hold of yourself.

GINGER Okay.

ACE If not for me, at least for Amy.

GINGER (Sobbing) Okay, okay.

ACE (Gently) You understand? Your drinking's gettin' way out of hand. I'm gonna get you into a program. They got plenty of good ones.

GINGER I don't need one.

ACE Yes, you do. It's very discreet. There's no names in the papers. You don't have to worry about any of that stuff.

GINGER That's all you care about. (Collapsing on the edge of the bed.) You don't care about me at all.

ACE (Bending down to her) Yes, I - yes, I do.

GINGER No, you don't.

ACE How could you say that? You're a beautiful woman. You're destroying yourself. You don't need that stuff. You don't need that fuckin' leech livin' off you. I know you better than you know yourself. You're a tiger, you're stronger than I am. And when you set your mind on doing something, you do it better than anybody. (Strokes her hair. Then, quietly:) You can do it. (Kissing her.) You can do it.

GINGER (Sobbing) Oh, God. Oh, God. Okay. Okay... I'll try. I'll try.

She sits up and puts her arms around ACE's waist. He strokes her head.

GINGER I'll try. I will. Don't be mad at me, okay... I will.

INT. TANGIERS HARD COUNT ROOM - DAY

Move in on a door that reads: 'Notice - No Admittance - Caution - Hearing Protection Must Be Worn In This Area'. NANCE opens it with a key to reveal the hard count room. Coins tumble of a conveyor belt.

NICKY (V.O.) No matter what the problems were outside the count room, it was all worth it. The cash kept rollin' in. And the...

EXT. CASINO REAR LOADING PLATFORM - DAY

NANCE, dumping two large suitcases in the trunk of a car.

NICKY (V.O.) ...suitcases kept comin' and goin'. And let me tell ya, the fuckin' bottom line here is... cash.

The trunk lid is shut.

INT. TANGIERS SOFT COUNT ROOM - DAY

The counters sort through a pile of cash on a table. The camera moves on one counter as he pockets some cash.

NICKY (V.O.) The only problem was that, after a while, the bosses noticed that the suitcases were gettin' a little light.

FREEZE FRAME ON THE COUNTER POCKETING A $100 BILL.

INT. SAN MARINO ITALIAN GROCERY/BACK ROOM, KANSAS CITY - DAY

NANCE is seated at a table eating with FORLANO, CAPELLI, CAPP, BORELLI, PISCANO and GAGGI.

BORELLI Aspett'. [Italian-American slang for 'Wait'] Wait a minute. You mean to tell me that the money we're robbing is bein' robbed? That somebody's robbing from us? We go through all this fuckin' trouble, and somebody's robbin' us?

GAGGI (To NANCE) Eh?

NANCE Like I said, you know, i-it's part of the business. I-it's considered leakage.

BORELLI Leakage, my balls. I want the guy who's robbin' us.

INT. TANGIERS HARD COUNT ROOM - DAY

NANCE enters through a door and walks past a man picking up a bucket of coins and dumping them into a trough. A clerk, seated at a coin weighing scale, places a ticket into a small tray. NANCE reads the printout of the machine.

NICKY (V.O.) Even John Nance, that's the guy who ran the skim, he knew there wasn't much you could do about it. You gotta know that a guy who helps you steal, even if you take care of him real well, I mean, he's gonna steal a little bit extra for himself. Makes sense, don't it? Right? Well, you go try and make these hard-headed old greaseballs understand that.

INT. SAN MARINO ITALIAN GROCERY/BACK ROOM, KANSAS CITY - DAY

BORELLI What's the point of skimming if we're being skimmed? Defeats the whole purpose of what we're doin' out there.

GAGGI (To NANCE) Huh?

NANCE You know, they take this money because they're my guys. So you gotta give 'em some leeway.

NICKY (V.O.) But the bosses never believed in leeway, so listen to what they do: they...

INT. SAN MARINO ITALIAN GROCERY/BACK ROOM, KANSAS CITY - DAY

BORELLI is talking to PISCANO, his underboss.

NICKY (V.O.) ...put Artie Piscano, the underboss of KC, in charge of making sure nobody skimmed the skim.

BORELLI What the hell have you been doin' out there?

PISCANO I was out there with my cumma [Italian- American slang for 'girlfriend'.]

BORELLI Your cumma? What are you doin' with your cumma?

PISCANO What else? I gave her a schaff [Italian-American slang for 'tap'.]

NICKY (V.O.) The only trouble was, Piscano was a disaster. This guy could fuck up a cup of coffee.

BORELLI Artie, what the hell have you been doin' out there, Artie?

PISCANO I'm out there more than I'm here.

NICKY (V.O.) And little did anybody know where this would all lead. If they did, they would have been better off makin' fuckin' novenas.

BORELLI You gotta go back there and talk to that guy.

PISCANO Come on, go back there? I never got paid my expenses for the last trip.

BORELLI What expenses?

PISCANO Well, I'm goin' all over, layin' money out of my own pocket, and I never get anything back. What the hell's goin' on?

BORELLI You gotta go back out there.

PISCANO Well, then, from now on, I'm gonna start keepin' records.

BORELLI Artie, no records, Artie. What are you gonna do with records? Pay taxes?

PISCANO Well, I keep layin' out my own fuckin' dough for these trips and nothin' ever comes back. I mean, what hell's goin' on? What are we doin' over here?

BORELLI You're goin' out to Las Vegas, you're havin' a good time at my expense. What the fuck? I mean, after all, you're the one having a good time, not me.

ACE (V.O.) No matter how many novenas you could make, nothin'...

INT. TANGIERS, GREEN'S OFFICE - DAY

GREEN is arguing with ANNA SCOTT, a fifty-year-old no-nonsense businesswoman.

ACE (V.O.) ...was gonna stop what came up next at the casino.

GREEN I can't believe you're doing this.

SCOTT We made a deal. You came to me, remember?

GREEN Yes, I appreciated your advice...

ACE (V.O.) It turned out Phil Green, Mr Integrity, had a partner nobody knew about... and when she showed up and started demanding some money from the Tangiers...

GREEN Why are you doing this to me?

SCOTT Because you're wrong.

GREEN I'm not wrong.

SCOTT Yes, you are.

GREEN No, I am not wrong.

ACE (V.O.) ...Green tried to stonewall her.

SCOTT And you're not going to get away with this! I will see to it that you do not get away with this!

She walks out.

ACE (V.O.) So...

INT. COURT-ROOM - DAY

A JUDGE is seated at his bench. SCOTT and GREEN, surrounded by their lawyers, take their seats. NANCE watches from the back row.

ACE (V.O.) ...she sued him in court.

JUDGE The court will now hear the matter of the plaintiff, Anna Scott, against Tangiers Corporation and its president, Philip Green.

LAWYER #1 Good morning, your Honor. John Momet on behalf of Mr Green.

LAWYER #2 Mitchell Logan on behalf of Anna Scott, your Honor.

JUDGE Mr Logan, you may proceed.

LAWYER #2 Thank you, Judge.

As the JUDGE pounds his gavel, we see ANNA SCOTT and a grim GREEN.

INT. COURT-HOUSE CORRIDOR - DAY

ANNA SCOTT holds an impromptu press conference.

SCOTT I believe he was absolutely fair and I'm delighted with the decision.

NANCE is talking at a pay phone, SCOTT and the reporters are in the background.

NANCE (Into telephone) We got a problem.

INT. ALL-AMERICAN GAS STATION, GAGGI'S BACK OFFICE, BACK HOME - DAY

CURLY hands GAGGI the phone. He listens.

NANCE (Over telephone) It didn't go too well.

INT. COURT-HOUSE CORRIDOR - DAY

NANCE (As GREEN and his lawyers walk past him, exiting the court-house) Green has to open up the books... has to show how he got the financing. And, hey, that's - that's not good.

INT. ALL-AMERICAN GAS STATION, GAGGI'S BACK OFFICE, BACK HOME - DAY

GAGGI, holding a cigarette, snaps his fingers in disgust, grunts, and slams down the phone. He men watch in silence.

GAGGI Shit.

CURLY takes the phone away.

NICKY (V.O.) She was doin' pretty good with her lawsuit, but before she could start countin' her money, the boys back home decided to settle the case out of court instead.

INT. ANNA SCOTT'S HOME, KITCHEN, LAS VEGAS - DAY

SCOTT, alone, is sitting at her kitchen table.

NICKY (V.O.) So, they send me.

NICKY swiftly enters the room, grabs SCOTT around the neck, and fires three shots into her head.

He leans SCOTT back against the chair, then gently, while stroking her hair, sets her head to the side. Blood flows from her mouth on to her pink robe.

NICKY grabs his gun and leaves.

Reporters are heard shouting 'Mr Green'.

EXT. LAS VEGAS PRIVATE AIRPORT - MORNING

GREEN gets off the Tangiers corporate jet and is assaulted by questions about the Scott murder. GREEN is stunned.

REPORTER #1 Can you comment on the murder of Anna Scott?

GREEN What are you talking about?

REPORTER #1 (O.S.) She was found last night, shot in the head.

REPORTER #2 (O.S.) Was this just a real-estate partnership?

REPORTER #3 (O.S.) Her lawyer said you were partners.

GREEN We were - We were involved in minor real estate deals many years ago. It was never a partnership.

Reporters chase CHASE as he walks down the ramp and across the tarmac to his white limousine.

REPORTER #1 Police are calling this a mob-style killing.

REPORTER #2 Did you ever hear of the twenty-two- caliber killer?

GREEN I'm a little in shock, quite frankly...

ACE (V.O.) Now, instead of the cops only lookin' at Nicky, they started looking at Green too. And he was supposed to be our squeaky...

INT. ACE'S OFFICE - DAY

ACE is being interviewed by a female Business Week REPORTER. SHERBERT and RONNIE are sitting on a couch, listening to the interview. The REPORTER is seated across from ACE, at his desk.

ACE (V.O.) ...clean front man. So, I had to start giving interviews to make sure everybody knew the casino was on the up and up.

REPORTER So, actually, how often do you really fill in for him?

ACE looks at SHERBERT.

SHERBERT (to REPORTER, who looks his way.) Green's here about two or three times a month, and he's busy - (REPORTER glances back at ACE.) - with other real-estate deals and - and things, you know.

REPORTER (To ACE) So, in Green's absence, then, you're the boss.

ACE I serve at the pleasure of the chairman of the board and... my, uh, responsibilities are to run the day- to-day operations.

REPORTER So, day-to-day, then, you're the boss?

ACE Well, in a sense, you could say that... I am the boss, when Mr Green is away. You could say that.

INT. GAMING CONTROL BOARD OFFICE - DAY

A magazine headline reads 'Sam Rothstein: "I'm the Boss!" '.

WEBB (O.S.) Hm. Have you read this?

The magazine shows a photograph of ACE. A caption reads: 'Rothstein asserts authority at Tangiers Casino'.

WEBB (O.S.) Hm? It's 'bout Mr Rothstein.

We see WEBB holding up a copy of Business Week in the gaming board office of investigators RONNIE DUPREY and MATT AUSTIN.

WEBB It says (Reading) 'The Midwest bookmaker with mob ties says that he is the real boss of the new hundred-million-dollar Tangiers Casino empire.' (To DUPREY and AUSTIN) You believe that?

DUPREY Did he really say that?

WEBB Why, of course, he really said that. It's right here. Has that man even filed for his license yet?

AUSTIN I don't know. We'll have to check the files.

WEBB Well, without gettin' your shorts in a knot, would you do that? And kinda check closely, 'cause we may have to kick a kike's ass out of town. Thank you.

He exits.

INT. ACE'S HOUSE - NIGHT

ACE is watching the television news which features his photo and a police photo of NICKY.

NEWSCASTER (On television) A Gaming Control Board investigation of Tangiers executive Sam Rothstein's application for a (photo of ACE) gaming license is underway. Rothstein, who heads the Tangiers Casino operation and is a boyhood friend of Las Vegas mob boss Nicky Santoro, (photo of NICKY) Could lose his ability to work in the casino.

The phone rings. It's NICKY.

ACE (Into telephone) Hello.

NICKY (Over telephone) Listen...

EXT. STRIP MALL PUBLIC PHONE BOOTH - NIGHT

We see NICKY through the telephone booth glass.

NICKY (Into telephone) ...I gotta meet Clean Face right away. What about the Chez Paree?

SUPER SUBTITLE 'I gotta meet Charlie the Banker right away at your house, okay?'

ACE (Into telephone) No, you, you can't. You gotta make a reservation.

INT. ACE'S HOUSE - NIGHT

ACE (Into telephone) It's all booked up.

SUPER SUBTITLE 'I don't want a meeting at my house.'

NICKY (Over telephone) No, no it's okay.

ACE (Into telephone) It's impossible. It's booked up, and you gotta make a reservation. It's...

EXT. STRIP MALL PUBLIC PHONE BOOTH - NIGHT

ACE (Into telephone) ...very difficult to get in.

NICKY (Into telephone) Well, it's okay. I'll use the service entrance. I'll see you at nine.

SUPER SUBTITLE 'I'll come in from the golf course side. See you at six.'

ACE (Over telephone) Uh...

INT. ACE'S HOUSE - NIGHT

ACE (Over telephone) ...all right.

He hangs up and takes a drag off his cigarette.

NEWSCASTER (On television, from following scene) The battle between...

INT. ACE'S HOUSE, UPSTAIRS DEN - DAY

ACE and the banker, CHARLIE CLARK, are upstairs in the den, which has a patio overlooking a swimming pool and golf course. CHARLIE is seated on a couch watching TV. GINGER enters and walks across the room, getting another drink from the bar. ACE, taking his ulcer medicine, watches her.

NEWSCASTER (On television) ...state gaming officials and Tangiers Casino boss Sam 'Ace' Rothstein is heating up. Tonight, an up-to-the- minute look at Ace Rothstein's attempt to get state licensing despite law enforcement allegations of Rothstein's organized crime connections. Will Sam Rothstein's friendship with alleged organized crime figure Nicky Santoro keep Rothstein from running the Tangiers Casino? And can the integrity of state gaming laws be jeopardized by a boyhood friendship?

ACE walks over to GINGER at the bar.

ACE (Quietly) Why don't you take it easy with that stuff? Huh? Come on. Let me help you. Come on. We're talkin' about some stuff.

NEWSCASTER (On television) State officials say 'yes' when that relationship and those connections are with anyone as notorious as Nicky Santoro.

ACE takes GINGER's arm and leads her out of the room toward the stairs.

NEWSCASTER Tonight at six: 'Will a boyhood friendship unseat Rothstein as the Tangiers' Casino boss?' Exclusive on the KVVO Special News Report. (Reading commercial.) ...Promise to keep my money fears away?

ACE (To GINGER) Just go downstairs. Just... go downst-

She struggles to break away from his firm grip, gives him a look and starts to walk down the stairs.

NEWSCASTER (On television, continuing commercial) Promise to be financially secure? Money Time can help you keep those promises.

ACE looks down on GINGER as she slips on the stairs.

CHARLIE CLARK You can't let this concern you, Ace. Don't worry about that stuff.

Outside the glass door NICKY arrives via the stairs from the golf course.

CHARLIE CLARK (O.S.) It's just a political witch hunt.

ACE opens the sliding glass door and NICKY enters.

NICKY Hey, Ace.

ACE Hey.

NICKY walks over to CHARLIE CLARK.

ACE Want something to drink? Charlie you want a refill?

CHARLIE CLARK Yeah, refill'd be great.

NICKY (Approaching CHARLIE) No, I don't want one. (Smiling, extends his hand.) Hey, Mr Clark, how you doin'?

CHARLIE CLARK (Shaking hands) Hi. Good.

NICKY (Sitting down with him on a couch) I've been trying to reach you. You're tougher to get than the President.

CHARLIE CLARK Well, I've been busy. (Chuckles.)

NICKY Yeah, least you could do is return my phone calls, though.

CHARLIE CLARK Listen... Nicky... we talked about this... and, uh, I explained to you that there was the possibility you might have to take some kind of loss.

NICKY Yeah. (Pause.) I think I want my money back.

CHARLIE CLARK (Chuckling) What're you gonna do? Strong-arm me?

NICKY You know... I think that you've gotten the wrong impression about me. I think in all fairness, I should explain to you what it is that I do. For instance, tomorrow morning I'll get up nice and early, take a walk down over to the bank and walk in and see you, and, uh... if you don't have my money for me, I'll crack your fuckin' head wide open in front of everybody in the the bank. And just about the time that I'm comin' out of jail, hopefully, you'll be comin' out of your coma. And guess what? I'll split your fuckin' head open again. Because I'm fuckin' stupid. I don't give a fuck about jail. That's my business. That's what I do. And we know what you do, don't we, Charlie? You fuck people out of money and get away with it.

CHARLIE CLARK (As he puts a notepad in his briefcase) You can't talk to me like...

NICKY (Grabbing CHARLIE by his jacket) Hey, you fat Irish prick. You put my fuckin' money to sleep. You go get my money, or I'll put your fuckin' brain to sleep.

CHARLIE CLARK (To ACE, panting) Sam?

NICKY Never mind fuckin' Sam. This is personal. (Walking with CHARLIE to the stairs.) I'll be there in the morning. You can fuckin' try me, fatso.

A frightened CHARLIE hurries down the stairs.

NICKY You fuckin' try me.

He turns to ACE who's behind the bar.

NICKY You think he got the point?

ACE (Walking to NICKY) What're you doin'? He's a square guy, for chrissakes. You can't treat him like that. He's gonna run to the FBI.

NICKY Fuck the FBI! That prick's been dodging me for three weeks. And what is it with you? All of a sudden, you're tryin' to tell me what to do all the time.

ACE I'm not tryin' to tell you what to do. But you were way out of line, Nick. What're you doin'? Where's your head?

NICKY Where's my head? Where's your fuckin' balls? Huh? You know I'm tryin' to put somethin' really big together out here. You know what I'm talkin' about, huh? You know! If you're actin' like this now, how can I depend on you? There's a lot of things gonna change out here. And if you wanna be there with me, Sammy, you're gonna have to go my fuckin' way.

ACE Listen, Nick, you gotta understand my situation. I'm responsible for thousands of people. I got a hundred million a year goin' through the place. It's all over, I'm gonna tell you, it's all over, if I don't get that license. And believe me, if it goes bad for me, it's gonna go bad for a lot of people, you understand?

NICKY Yeah, forget about your fuckin' license. I plant my own flag out here, you ain't gonna need a fuckin' license. (Pause.) You know, I don't know what it is, Sammy, but the more I talk to you, the more I feel like you just don't wanna go along with me, is that it?

ACE No, I don't wanna come -

NICKY You should say so.

ACE I don't wanna come along with you.

NICKY Just say so.

ACE I'll be honest with you.

NICKY All right, fine.

ACE I don't wanna be involved in anything you're talkin' about...

NICKY Fine.

NICKY walks to a table and flips through Business Week magazine.

ACE ...okay? I just wanna run a square joint. That's it. I just want my license. I want everything nice and quiet. That's it.

NICKY (Holding up the magazine) You mean, quiet like this: 'I'm the boss.' That's quiet?

ACE That's all taken out of context. Okay.

NICKY Yeah, that's out of context. Okay.

ACE I have no control over that. Ronnie and Billy were right there. They'll tell you exactly what happened.

NICKY Well, back home they don't know about fuckin' control. That looks bad.

ACE Looks bad? I'm gonna tell you what looks bad.

NICKY Yeah?

ACE Every time you're on television I get mentioned. That looks bad. That looks bad.

NICKY What the fuck happened to you? Will you tell me?

ACE What happened to me? What happened to you?

NICKY Yeah.

ACE You lost your control.

NICKY I lost control?

ACE Yes, you lost your control.

NICKY Look at you. You're fuckin' walkin' around like John Barrymore.

ACE All right.

NICKY A fuckin' pink robe and a fuckin'...

ACE All right.

NICKY ...uh, uh, cigarette holder. I'm - I lost control?!

ACE Yeah.

NICKY You know, I didn't want to bring this up, but you have treating a lot of people with a lot of disrespect. Even your own wife.

ACE My wife?

NICKY Yeah.

ACE Now, what does she have to do with all this?

NICKY Well, she comes to see me. She was upset about a lot of things, especially that whole fuckin' Diamond - that Lester Diamond incident.

ACE All of a sudden, you're the shoulder to cry on? Did you at least tell her about your little role in that whole situation?

NICKY No, I didn't. What good would that do? That's not the fuckin' point.

ACE Listen, I would -

NICKY (Interrupting) The point is that she's upset. She's - and you got a fuckin' problem.

ACE I - I would appreciate it if you'd stay out of my personal life, okay? You wouldn't like it if I did it to you.

NICKY Hey, she came to talk...

ACE Please...

NICKY ...to me.

ACE ...don't do it to me...

NICKY She came to talk to me...

ACE Okay?

NICKY And I - what was I supposed to do, throw her out?

ACE Ju-just stay away from her. It's none of your business, okay? There are certain things you don't do, and you know that.

NICKY It's none of my business?

ACE That's right, yeah.

NICKY A week ago it was my business, now it's none of my business. In other words, when you need me to take care of somethin' for you, then you need me.

ACE Yeah, that's right, the way you need me to vouch for you as a citizen and get you out of one of your jams. I'm gonna have to straighten out what you just did with this guy.

NICKY starts to walk out.

ACE This guy is gonna run to the FBI.

NICKY Your fuckin' head is getting' bigger than your casino. That's your problem, pal.

ACE (V.O.) I knew what he wanted, and I didn't want any part of it.

NICKY (Walking to the glass doors leaving ACE standing there) Fuckin' walking around with a big head. You better check yourself...

ACE (V.O.) Nicky wanted to take over. He wanted to go after Gaggi, go after the skim, go after everything and everybody.

NICKY shuts the door behind him and walks down the stairs to the golf course.

ACE (V.O.) Plus, he had stopped askin' permission from back home for every little thing.

EXT. VEGAS STREET - NIGHT

QUICK ZOOM OUT FROM A DEAD BODY WITH A GUNSHOT WOUND IN THE CHEST. COPS AND PRESS ARE MILLING AROUND.

EXT. VEGAS HOUSE - DAY

CAMERA SPIRALS OUT FROM THE BODIES OF A CASINO EXECUTIVE AND HIS WIFE WHO HAVE BEEN GUNNED DOWN ON THEIR FRONT LAWN.

ACE (V.O.) A casino boss and his wife were killed. The bulls questioned Nicky.

EXT. PARKING LOT - NIGHT

Police photographers taking pictures of a dealer, dead behind the wheel of his car, his eyes and mouth frozen wide open in a silent scream.

ACE (V.O.) A dealer from the Sirocco... they questioned Nicky.

INT. UNDERGROUND GARAGE - DAY

Two policemen open the trunk of a car and find a trussed-up dead body. They cover their noses because of the stench.

ACE (V.O.) A bunch of stool pigeons wound in the trunks of their cars... they questioned Nicky.

EXT. LAWYER'S HOUSE - NIGHT

We see a brand-new car explode.

ACE (V.O.) A lawyer... they questioned Nicky.

EXT. HOUSE DOORWAY - DAY

A front door where a pile of newspapers have accumulated. Another newspaper is thrown at the door.

ACE (V.O.) And when some guys who didn't pay their Shylocks began disappearing, Nicky's name was in every one of those newspapers.

EXT. STREET OUTSIDE COURT-HOUSE - DAY

NICKY and OSCAR GOODMAN, his lawyer, leave the court-house, surrounded by reporters and photographers. They wait at the curb for the light and NICKY, smiling, politely cautions a photographer to be careful of the on-coming traffic.

ACE (V.O.) Nicky was questioned in two dozen murders, but they always had to let him go. There were never any witnesses.

NICKY (V.O.) The coppers blamed me for everything that went wrong out here, and I mean every little fuckin' thing too.

NICKY (To photographer) Watch yourself. You're gonna get runned over there.

NICKY (V.O.) If a guy fuckin' tripped over a fuckin' banana peel, they'd bring me in for it.

NICKY (To reporters) Come on, huh. That's enough now. Be nice, huh? Be nice.

INT. ALL-AMERICAN GAS STATION, GAGGI'S BACK OFFICE, BACK HOME - DAY

MARINO walks through a doorway to GAGGI's office. CURLY pats him on the back. He shakes BEEPER's hand, then FORLANO's, who is on the phone.

NICKY (V.O.) And the bosses were no better. I mean, they complained day and night because things don't run smooth. Well, in my line of work, things don't run so smooth, I'm sorry. I mean, I'm dealing with degenerate animals out here. But the bosses, what do they give a fuck? They're sittin' on their asses, drinkin' anisette. Meanwhile, I'm the guy in the trenches. Fuckin' bosses, they think it's a fuckin' free lunch out here.

MARINO hands a brown-paper bag filled with $100 bills to GAGGI.

GAGGI (Ignoring the money) Frankie... they found a guy's head in the desert. Do you know about that?

MARINO Yeah, I heard, yeah.

GAGGI Yeah. Everybody's talkin' about it. They're makin' a big deal out of it.

MARINO I know.

GAGGI It's in all the papers.

MARINO What're you gonna do?

GAGGI And I mean... that's no good.

MARINO I know.

GAGGI You gotta tell him... to take care of things a little better.

MARINO I'll tell him, Remo.

NICKY (V.O.) Fuckin'...

EXT. VEGAS STRIP BUS STOP BENCH - DAY

NICKY is talking quietly to MARINO. They are surrounded by people waiting for the bus.

NICKY (V.O.) ...bosses. I mean, they're smokin' their Di Nobilis and they're eatin' a trippa [Italian-American slang for 'tripe'.] and fuckin' suffritt', you know, fried pigs guts? While, if I wanna talk private, I gotta go to a fuckin' bus stop.

NICKY (To MARINO) But, hey, what do they care, as long as I keep sendin' money back.

MARINO Yeah, but they're complaining.

NICKY Let 'em complain. I'm the one who's here.

The bus arrives, obscuring our view of them.

NICKY I do all the work. Somebody don't like it, fuck him.

MARINO It's up to you.

NICKY They want a fuckin' war, I'm ready.

When the bus departs it reveals NICKY and MARINO alone on the bench, talking.

NICKY I know one thing. All I gotta do is take care of four or five of those fuckin' guys, the rest will fall right into place. Believe me.

INT. GOLD RUSH - DAY

NICKY is watching a police surveillance car with two agents through binoculars.

NICKY (V.O.) Peekaboo, you fucks, you.

NICKY I see you, you motherfuckers.

ACE (V.O.) The problem was, Nicky was not only bringin' heat on himself, but on me too. The FBI watched every move he made. But he didn't care. He just didn't care.

THE CAMERA MOVES PAST NICKY TO REVEAL MARINO, SEATED IN FRONT OF TV SECURITY MONITORS ON THE PARKING AREA IN FRONT AND BEHIND THE GOLD RUSH.

NICKY (V.O.) If they're gonna watch me, fuck 'em, I'm gonna watch 'em right back. I spent a few dollars. Top dollar, who gives a shit?

HARDY, seated next to MARINO, is adjusting a knob on one of the may police radio scanners. There are a couple of cameras on the table next to him.

A debugging expert is going over the walls with a metal detector.

NICKY (V.O.) I got the latest anti-buggin' equipment from the same places that sell to the fuckin' CIA. I had all the special police frequency radios, FBI descramblers, cameras that see in the dark, and because of that, the miserable sons-of-bitches that they are, they never once caught me doin' anything I couldn't handle.

DOMINICK and FUSCO are at a table arguing.

ACE (V.O.) I got my job...

EXT. GOLF COURSE - DAY

NICKY swings a gold club. MARINO, and two men, are with him.

ACE (V.O.) ...on the line and this guy's out havin' the time of his life. He has every cop in the state watchin' him, and he's out playin' golf.

NICKY Practice enough this week, you prick?

ACE (V.O.) And at the...

EXT. ACE'S PATIO - DAY

ACE is with the Control Board investigators AUSTIN and DUPREY. They are all pouring over legal files and record books out on a table by the swimming pool.

ACE (V.O.) ...worst possible time for me.

AUSTIN A record of the arrests...

ACE (V.O.) I had my license hearing coming up and I didn't wanna leave anything to chance.

ACE That was nineteen years ago, and they were simple gambling pinches.

ACE (V.O.) I mean, if I can't work in Vegas, where am I gonna go?

AUSTIN You've been very open with us. I mean, uh, your books and papers and... that - that's gonna mean something when you go before the Commission.

ACE Well, that's all I ask, gentlemen, a fair hearing.

DUPREY Well, this kind of honesty will guarantee that fair hearing.

ACE Good.

AUSTIN All right, well, we'll move on to -

Suddenly a sputtering airplane flies right over Ace's house.

AUSTIN (O.S.) (As he looks at the plane) I wanted to hear something about... Kansas City.

EXT. GOLF COURSE - DAY

NICKY (Looking at the airplane) What the fuck is this? Where's this fuckin' guy gonna land, on the fairway?

EXT. ACE'S PATIO - DAY

ACE and the board investigators follow the plane as it lands on the fairway. ACE has taken off his sunglasses to get a better look. Two men in suits get out.

EXT. GOLF COURSE - DAY

NICKY (To MARINO) They're fuckin' agents, Frankie. Look at this.

EXT. ACE'S PATIO - DAY

The AGENTS run across the golf course, past ACE and the investigators, who look on open-mouthed.

ACE (V.O.) The Feds were watchin' Nicky play golf for so long, they ran out of gas. Just what I needed. Right in front on the Control Board.

The agents run behind the hedges by ACE's pool. AUSTIN and DUPREY stare at ACE as if he had something to do with it.

EXT. GOLF COURSE - DAY

NICKY A hundred dollars, whoever hits the plane.

NICKY, MARINO, and the other men swing their clubs.

EXT. ACE'S PATIO - DAY

ACE (V.O.) (putting his sunglasses back on) And, as if things weren't bad enough...

EXT. SAN MARINO ITALIAN GROCERY, KANSAS CITY - DAY

ACE (V.O.) ...in comes Piscano, the Kansas City underboss. He ran that little grocery store in Kansas City where they brought the suitcases.

INT. SAN MARINO GROCERY, KANSAS CITY - DAY

PISCANO and his MOTHER are at the counter of his elderly BROTHER-IN-LAW's store.

PISCANO They're fightin' over those suitcases again. You know what that means, right? You know what that means, right? That means I gotta take another trip out to Vegas, and it's gonna cost me another couple of grand.

ACE (V.O.) He ran it with his brother-in-law, but mostly what he did was complain, complain about his trips to Vegas, to his brother-in-law and to his mother, all the time.

BROTHER-IN-LAW (Seated) You gotta lay down the law. Otherwise they're gonna make a fool out of you.

PISCANO They're not gonna make a fool out of me. I write it all down in this book, (holding up a notepad) every fuckin' nickel that goes down. Right here, receipts...

PISCANO'S MOTHER (Chastising her son) Hey! Oh!

PISCANO Oh, sorry -

PISCANO'S MOTHER What's the matter with you?

PISCANO Receipts and bills and... everything's here.

PISCANO'S MOTHER Since when do you talk like that?

PISCANO I'm sorry.

PISCANO'S MOTHER There's a lot of people here.

PISCANO Nance gives me trouble and I'll tell him... screw around with those suitcases and I'll take the eyes out of his frickin' head.

PISCANO'S MOTHER Again!

PISCANO I didn't curse. I said 'frickin' head'.

PISCANO'S MOTHER That's enough.

PISCANO I'm sorry.

ACE (V.O.) And what happens next?

THE CAMERA TILTS UP TO THE CEILING AIR VENT TO A TINY MICROPHONE AND TRANSMITTER AT ITS BASE.

ACE (V.O.) You can't believe it. I mean, who the hell would believe that the FBI had a wire in the place lookin' for some information about some old homicide about some guy who was whacked-out, God knows when, over God knows what?

PISCANO Plus, what's to prevent him with the suitcases, that he can take what he wants? Fuckin' Nance, he brings us back two suitcases from the Tangiers, and what about three or four?

INT. POST OFFICE ACROSS THE STREET, KANSAS CITY - DAY

A pen write 'NANCE' on a piece of paper.

INT. SAN MARINO ITALIAN GROCERY, KANSAS CITY - DAY

PISCANO We got nobody in the room to watch. That's the law. You know, we can't even go into the count room to watch our money? Could you believe this cowboy bullshit?

His MOTHER shakes her head.

PISCANO And sure he's got his people in there. But how do you know? They could all be in on it together, those miserable fucks.

His MOTHER reacts to his language.

PISCANO I'll find out and, if it's Green himself, I'll bury that bastard.

INT. POST OFFICE ACROSS THE STREET, KANSAS CITY - DAY

A pen writes the word 'GREEN'.

PISCANO (Over transmitter) I've never trusted him. And you know I got eyes...

INT. SAN MARINO ITALIAN GROCERY, KANSAS CITY - DAY

PISCANO ...behind my head. They trust that scumbag, I don't. Right now, the way I feel, I'll hit the two of them in the head with a fuckin' shovel.

PISCANO'S MOTHER All right, take it easy now, take it easy.

PISCANO Mom, I'm sorry, they're beatin' me left and right. (Knocking down some bottles of olive oil.) Ma, I'm sorry. I'm all upset.

PISCANO'S MOTHER (Tapping the counter) I know, but that's enough.

PISCANO You know - You know - You know what they're doin' to me?

PISCANO'S MOTHER I know it, I know it.

PISCANO I can't take this no more. Back and forth, back and forth.

PISCANO'S MOTHER Take it easy, though.

PISCANO All right, all right. But I - I -

PISCANO'S MOTHER You'll get a heart attack like that.

PISCANO You know, I - I'm too upset right now. And - An end has to be put to this.

ACE (V.O.) And the damn...

CAMERA PANS OFF THE LISTENING DEVICE IN THE VENT TO A WINDOW AND THE POST OFFICE ACROSS THE STREET.

ACE (V.O.) ...thing is, they go and hear all this stuff about Las Vegas and the casinos and the suitcases, and that's it.

PISCANO (O.S.) If I have to start handlin' things the way I...

INT. POST OFFICE SMALL ROOM, KANSAS CITY - DAY

Behind a window overlooking the grocery store are two FBI agents listening to Piscano's conversation.

PISCANO (Over transmitter) ...did years ago, start kickin' ass, I - I'll do it, and I'll use the goddamn shovel! I mean, I...

We see an agent looking out of the window with a pair of binoculars.

PISCANO'S MOTHER (Over transmitter) You are right.

The other agent, with headphones, is seated at a desk by a tape recorder, writing.

PISCANO (Over transmitter) ...everything's comin' out of my pocket. I gotta pay for all these trips back and forth, back and forth.

PISCANO'S MOTHER (Over transmitter) You are right. What can I...

INT. WASHINGTON FBI OFFICE - DAY

PISCANO'S MOTHER (On tape recorder) ...tell you.

TITLE IN: 'WASHINGTON, D.C.'

THE CAMERA TILTS DOWN AN AMERICAN FLAG TO REVEAL THE TAPE NOW BEING TRANSCRIBED BY AN FBI STENOGRAPHER

ACE (V.O.) Would you believe that such a thing could happen?

PISCANO (On tape recorder) I'm in this to make money, not to lose money. And...

ACE (V.O.) Every FBI man across the country had their ears open now.

PISCANO (On tape recorder) Because...

The stenographer's pen writes: 'BORELLI' on a piece of paper.

PISCANO (On tape recorder) ...if you want somethin'...

Stenographer writes: 'TANGIERS'.

PISCANO (On tape recorder) ...done right, you gotta do it yourself.

PISCANO'S MOTHER (On tape recorder) Then do it the way you want.

Pen writes: 'VEGAS'.

PISCANO'S MOTHER (On tape recorder) What can I tell you?

ACE (V.O.) I mean...

Pen writes: 'SANTORO'.

ACE (V.O.) ...Piscano, this guy basically...

The stenographer's pen taps twice on the word 'SANTORO'.

ACE ...sunk the whole world.

Pen writes: 'SANTORO'.

FOCUS ON STENOGRAPHER, LISTENING.

PISCANO'S MOTHER (On tape recorder) That's the way people are. There are some that are good and some that are bad.

INT. GAMING CONTROL BOARD HEARING ROOM, LAS VEGAS 1980 - DAY

ACE is in the court with OSCAR GOODMAN, his lawyer, facing the Control Board's Chairman and six COMMISSIONER MEMBERS. The Chairman is the SENATOR we saw earlier in the casino suite taking chips out of the bureau drawer. The room is jam- packed: GREEN, GINGER, SHERBERT, as well as WEBB, reporters and other spectators. ACE's secretaries carry in legal papers. There are piles of briefs and law books on OSCAR's and ACE's table.

OSCAR Mr Chairman and members of the Commission. Mr Rothstein is pleased to be here today.

ACE (V.O.) And when the day finally came, I was ready. I felt so confident that all I had to do was present my case.

OSCAR ...evidence... and we have documents, one of which is a report by retired FBI agents, which completely absolves (holding up a large file folder) Mr Rothstein from any wrongdoing. I'd like this marked, please, Mr Chairman.

SENATOR (Into microphone) Pardon me, counselor. Before you continue...

OSCAR No, I want to have this marked, Mr. -

SENATOR (Into microphone) ...this, uh, this Commission is prepared to act on a motion denying the Rothstein application.

OSCAR Denying?

SENATOR (Into microphone) Do I hear a motion seconded?

OSCAR Mr. Chairman -

CONTROL BOARD MEMBER #1 (Into microphone) Mr. Chairman, I second the motion.

SENATOR (Into microphone) Do I have a vote on the motion?

OSCAR Mr. Chairman -

The COMMISSIONERS quickly repeat:

CONTROL BOARD MEMBER #2 (Into microphone) Aye.

CONTROL BOARD MEMBER #3 (Into microphone) Aye.

CONTROL BOARD MEMBER #4 (Into microphone) Aye.

SENATOR (Into microphone) The ayes have it. This hearing is adjourned.

The CHAIRMAN bangs his gavel and prepares to leave. The COMMISSIONERS hurriedly pack up their papers. An enraged ACE rises and approaches the SENATOR. TV CAMERAS ROLL.

ACE (Getting up) You guys have to be kidding.

The SENATOR picks up his briefcase.

ACE Adjourned! What do you mean, adjourned?

OSCAR Mr. Chairman, please.

ACE Mr. Chairman...

The SENATOR picks up his folder.

ACE Senator, you promised me a hearing.

We see WEBB seated in the first row, watching.

ACE You won't allow me a hearing? You didn't even look at the FBI reports.

A reporter holds a microphone up to the SENATOR.

ACE When you were my guest, Mr. Chairman, Senator, at the Tangiers Hotel, did you not promise me that I would have a fair hearing -

The SENATOR bends down to a microphone.

SENATOR (Interrupting, into microphone) I was never - I was never your guest at the Tangiers.

ACE You were never my guest?!

SENATOR (Into microphone) That's right.

ACE I never comped you?! I don't comp you at least two or three times a month at the Tangiers?!

SENATOR (Into microphone) Uh, I - I'd... I'd like to answer - answer that at this time.

ACE Liar.

SENATOR (Into microphone) Mr Rothstein is being very typical to this point.

ACE He's lying.

WEBB starts to leave.

SENATOR The only time I was at the Tangiers was when I had dinner with Barney Greenstein.

ACE Was I at that dinner? Just tell me -

SENATOR You were wandering around.

ACE Was I at that dinner?

SENATOR You were wandering around.

ACE Was I at that dinner?

SENATOR You were wandering around.

ACE Was I at that dinner?

SENATOR You were in the m- You were in the building.

ACE I was in the building!

GREEN, embarrassed by ACE's behaviour, starts to get up.

ACE You know damn well I was at that dinner, and you swore to me that I would have a fair hearing at that dinner! Did you not?! Did you not?! (Pause, ACE looks at OSCAR.) Well, tell me I was at least at the dinner! A-allow me that much. (Pause.) Give me that much at least!

SENATOR (Hesitates) Yes, you were.

The SENATOR starts to walk out.

ACE Yeah, thanks for not callin' me a liar. You son-of-a-bitch. You son-of- a

FEMALE NEWSCASTER (V.O.) Good evening, everyone, I'm Paige Novodor. (On television.) What should have been a routine licensing hearing turned into bedlam yesterday when the flamboyant Tangiers Casino executive, Sam

ACE spots COMMISSIONER CARTER slipping out the door.

FEMALE NEWSCASTER (Overlapping) ...'Ace' Rothstein, accused the state's top gaming officials of corruption.

ACE (Overlapping) What are you running for, Bob? What are you running for?

FEMALE NEWSCASTER (V.O.) (Overlapping) ...and hypocrisy.

ACE (Into two reporters' microphones) Don't you remember? You promised me a fair hearing when you were gettin' comped at my hotel and you were asking me for copies of your bills so -

SHERBERT and GINGER look on.

ACE - you could put 'em on your expense account?

FEMALE NEWSCASTER (V.O.) In a (on television) Wild and unprecedented outburst that followed his gaming license (voice-over, overlapping) denial, Rothstein followed several...

ACE (With several reporters, overlapping) Bullshit! Bullshit!

INT. CONTROL BOARD LOBBY - DAY

Putting on his sunglasses, ACE emerges from the courtroom with SHERBERT, GINGER, OSCAR and several reporters. He is surrounded by the press.

FEMALE NEWSCASTER (V.O.) ...stunned commissioners into the hallway, where he continued his harangue until his own lawyers and friends urged him to leave.

ACE (To COMMISSIONERS standing in the hallway, speaking into a TV news microphone) We all have a past. You have a past, I have a past. And my past is no worse than yours. But you guys think you have the right to pass judgement on me.

FEMALE NEWSCASTER (V.O.) (Overlapping) Long suspected of running the Tangiers without...

ACE (Overlapping) ...twenty years in order to find nothin' on me -

OSCAR pulls him away, ACE looks back at the COMMISSIONERS.

ACE - unsubstantiated truths on me. And if you look at your own lives you'd all be in jail.

OSCAR ushers ACE out, past WEBB and Gaming Investigator AUSTIN.

FEMALE NEWSCASTER (V.O.) (Overlapping) ...a gaming license, yesterday's hearing was to determine whether someone with Rothstein's checkered personal history was qualified to officially hold the top gaming post.

INT./EXT. GAGGI'S CAR, BACK HOME ALLEY - DAY

GAGGI hands STONE an issue of the Las Vegas Sun showing a photograph of ACE at the licensing hearing. Headline reads: 'Rothstein out of gaming: Control Board Rules against Rothstein License Application'.

ACE (V.O.) (from previous scene continued) Fuckin' hypocrites!

STONE stands beside GAGGI's car door. GAGGI is in the back seat with his window down.

GAGGI What the hell's he gonna do now?

STONE I don't know (Sighs.)

GAGGI What's he doin'? He knows all those guys he yelled at are friends of ours. What's the matter with him, making all this mess?

STONE Maybe he could run things with another job title. Wouldn't be the best, but, uh, what are we gonna do?

GAGGI However he runs things, it's gotta be quiet. Let him hide upstairs in the office. Say he's the janitor, I don't give a shit. But, please, whatever job he takes, make sure it's something quiet.

STONE walks back to his car. Both cars pull out in opposite directions.

INT. TANGIERS SPORTSBOOK/ACES HIGH! THE SAM ROTHSTEIN SHOW - NIGHT

A video monitor shows a title card, reading: 'From the Tangiers Hotel'. TRUDY, Ace's showgirl sidekick, is heard over the opening credit sequence of the show.

TRUDY (O.S.) Ladies and gentlemen, the Tangiers Hotel proudly presents the all-new Sam Rothstein Show, Aces High.

TITLE CARD: 'ACES HIGH'

The monitor shows a neon sign reading, 'Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada', then shows several gamblers at a craps table.

TRUDY (O.S.) Tonight, taped live from the all-new sportsbook, we present the premiere showing of Aces High. With the...

The video monitor shows a neon sign: 'Stardust', then another: 'Tangiers'.

WE SEE TRUDY ON A STAGE.

TRUDY (Into microphone) ...Sasha Semenoff Orchestra...

THE CAMERA PANS TO SASHA SEMENOFF CONDUCTING HIS BAND.

TRUDY ...and the Sam Rothstein Dancers.

THE CAMERA PANS TO A GROUP OF DANCERS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STAGE.

We see ACE greeting various guests in the audience as he moves towards the stage.

TRUDY Mr Rothstein is a professional gambler and the best football handicapper...

A video monitor shows a montage featuring showgirls, a chef carving beef and three women wearing bathing suits.

TRUDY ...in American, a man who will take you inside the real Las Vegas as no one has ever done before. And now, ladies and gentlemen, the new...

ACE joins TRUDY on the stage.

TRUDY ...Entertainment Director of the Tangiers Hotel Casino: Mr Sam Rothstein.

ACE approaches his desk as TRUDY sits on a long sofa. The audience applauds.

The band plays and the dancers complete their number.

ACE (Seated at a desk a la Johnny Carson) Welcome to the Sam Rothstein Show. We're very happy to have you here this evening. The young lady to my left is Trudy, who is a lead new dancer in our fabulous show from Paris.

Audience applauds, she waves hello.

ACE Our first guest this evening... is Frankie Avalon.

FRANKIE AVALON walks to the stage, embracing TRUDY and shaking ACE's hand.

Audience applauds.

WEBB stands in the rear of the sportsbook/theater with AUSTIN and DUPREY, watching ACE.

WEBB Keep an eye on him.

He exits.

FRANKIE AVALON (O.S.) ...Well, I've got a large family.

ACE (Into microphone) How many kids do you have?

FRANKIE AVALON (Into microphone) Uh, I'm very proud to say that we have eight children.

ACE (Into microphone) Eight children! (He encourages the audience to applaud.)

FRANKIE AVALON (Into microphone) No, no, no, no, please, please, please, please, no, please.

ACE (Into microphone, to audience) That's amazing.

FRANKIE AVALON (Into microphone) There was nothing to it. (Chuckles) It was my pleasure.

INT. TANGIERS, GREEN'S OFFICE - NIGHT

GREEN and ARTHUR CAPP are solemnly watching another episode of Ace's TV show with an elderly juggler guest.

GREEN Ace, don't do it.

ACE begins to juggle.

GREEN Oh, no, no. No, no. Oh, Jesus... he's juggling!

The audience cheers him on.

ACE (O.S.) (From next scene) Let's not take County Commissioner Pat Webb too seriously.

INT. TANGIERS SPORTSBOOK/ACES HIGH - NIGHT

WE MOVE PAST TWO TELEVISION CAMERAS TO ACE BEHIND HIS DESK AT ANOTHER TAPING OF HIS SHOW. TRUDY IS AT HIS SIDE.

ACE (Into microphone) I recently challenged him to a debate on this program and he declined. What are you worried about, Pat? You don't have to send me any questions. You can ask me anything you want.

STONE (O.S.) (From next scene) What the hell is he doin' on television, anyway?

INT. ALL-AMERICAN GAS STATION, GAGGI'S BACK OFFICE, BACK HOME - DAY

Vegas Sun newspaper front page photo of ACE on television. Headline reads: 'Rothstein Sues Gaming Commission'.

STONE is sitting across from GAGGI at his office.

STONE He's on all night, screamin' about how he's gonna take his damn lawsuit all the way to the Supreme Court. He really must be crazy. He's gonna go to Washington with this? (Chuckles.) He's out of his fuckin' mind.

ACE (O.S.) (From next scene) It's a pity in this...

INT. TANGIERS SPORTSBOOK/ACES HIGH - NIGHT

ACE (Into microphone) ...state that we have such hypocrisy. Some people can do whatever they want. Other people have to pay through the nose.

INT. ALL-AMERICAN GAS STATION, GAGGI'S BACK OFFICE, BACK HOME - DAY

ACE (O.S.) (From previous scene) But such is life.

GAGGI Andy, go see him. Tell him maybe it's time he should quit.

EXT. MIGHTY MART CONVENIENCE STORE, REAR PARKING LOT, LAS VEGAS - NIGHT

SHERBERT and ACE pull up beside another parked car. ACE gets out of his car in a robe and pajamas and gets into STONE's car.

INT. STONE'S CAR - NIGHT

ACE First of all, what they did was totally unconstitutional. We're already on the list to be heard before the Supreme Court of the United States later this year.

STONE These guys back home don't give a fuck about the Supreme Court and any of this bullshit! They want things to quiet down. They want you to walk away from -

ACE Walk away? Andy, you can't be serious. How can I walk away? Don't you see what's goin' on here? Don't you see what's at stake?

STONE The old man said, 'Maybe your friend should give in.' And when the old man says 'maybe', that's like a papal bull. Not only should you quit, you should run!

ACE Know what my problem is? Every time they mention my name in the papers, these cocksuckers, they mention Nicky, too. How the fuck does that help? I mean, the heat he brought down is murder! We had a police department who was cooperative. He's pissed them off so much now that nobody can make a move anymore. I mean, what do you do about that?

STONE What do you propose?

ACE I don't know, he doesn't listen to me. Maybe he should... get lost for a while. Take a vacation. Would that be so bad?

STONE They ain't sendin' Nicky nowhere.

ACE All right, look, if he took a break, it would just give everybody some time to maneuver. That's all I'm saying. It's all that I'm saying.

STONE I would forget about the maneuver. I would just get out.

ACE (Sighs) I can't do that.

ACE (V.O.) Of course...

INT. NICKY'S HOUSE, KITCHEN - DAY

JENNIFER is on the phone with GINGER; NICKY listens in.

JENNIFER (Into telephone) You know, I don't feel like playin' tennis.

ACE (V.O.) ...as soon as Andy got back home, Nicky heard about our talk in the car.

JENNIFER (Into telephone) Let's go to lunch. Do you want to go to the Riviera?

ACE (V.O.) Next morning bright and early, I get the call.

GINGER (Over telephone) One o'clock?

INT. ACE'S HOUSE, LIVING-ROOM - DAY

ACE listens in on GINGER's and JENNIFER's conversation.

JENNIFER (Over telephone) Great.

GINGER (Into telephone) You know, I've got to do some shopping afterwards. Do you want to go?

INT. NICKY'S HOUSE, KITCHEN - DAY

JENNIFER (Into telephone) Well, you know...

ACE (V.O.) But just getting a call from Nicky wasn't easy anymore. Even the codes didn't work. So, we figured out another act.

INT. FBI PHONE TAP ROOM - DAY

A bored FBI man, seated at his desk with a tape recorder and headphones, looks at his wrist watch.

ACE (V.O.) You see, if a phone's tapped, the Feds can only listen in...

INT. ACE'S HOUSE, LIVING ROOM - DAY

ACE (V.O.) ...on the stuff involving crimes. So on...

INT. NICKY'S HOUSE, KITCHEN - DAY

ACE (V.O.) ...routine calls, they have to click off after a few minutes.

INT. FBI PHONE TAP ROOM - DAY

GINGER (Over telephone) Yeah, and I get a sprained fuckin' elbow.

The FBI man clicks off the tape recorder.

INT. NICKY'S HOUSE, KITCHEN - DAY

JENNIFER quickly hands the phone to her husband.

INT. ACE'S HOUSE, LIVING-ROOM - DAY

GINGER hands the phone to ACE.

ACE (Into telephone) Yeah.

INT. NICKY'S HOUSE, KITCHEN - DAY

NICKY (Into telephone) Meet me at three.

INT. ACE'S HOUSE, LIVING ROOM - DAY

ACE (Into telephone) What - what, Caesar's?

NICKY (Over telephone) No, a...

INT. NICKY'S HOUSE, KITCHEN - DAY

NICKY (Into telephone) ...hundred yards further down the road.

INT. ACE'S HOUSE, LIVING-ROOM - DAY

ACE (Into telephone) Why?

INT. NICKY'S HOUSE, KITCHEN - DAY

NICKY (Into telephone) Don't ask questions. Just be there.

NICKY gives the phone back to JENNIFER.

INT. ACE'S HOUSE, LIVING-ROOM - DAY

ACE gives the phone to GINGER.

INT. NICKY'S HOUSE, KITCHEN

NICKY (To himself) Always asking questions.

He exits.

JENNIFER (Into telephone) Suzy Creamcheese has the exact...

INT. FBI PHONE TAP ROOM - DAY

The bored FBI agent clicks on again and hears GINGER and JENNIFER's inane conversation.

JENNIFER (Over telephone) ...same outfit.

GINGER (Chuckles, over telephone) But I saw something...

INT. ACE'S HOUSE, LIVING-ROOM - DAY

GINGER (Into telephone) ...something very... cute.

ACE sits down on the couch behind her and lights a cigarette.

INT. FBI STAKEOUT POST, MOTEL ACROSS THE FROM THE GOLD RUSH - DAY

Through a windows of a motel room across the street from The Gold Rush, an FBI AGENT watches NICKY and MARINO exit the jewelry store, get into a parked car and rive away.

IRIS OUT.

FBI AGENT (O.S.) (Into a radio) Okay, he, uh, he's out. It's the ant, uh, Brown unit. And he's with, uh, bogie. I think it's Frankie.

ACE (V.O.) Nicky started out before me because it wasn't that easy...

SWISH PAN TO THE FBI AGENT LOOKING OUT THE WINDOW TALKING INTO A RADIO.

ACE (V.O.) ...for him to get around anymore.

FBI AGENT (Into radio) Okay, pulled out...

SWISH PAN TO NICKY AND MARINO DRIVING DOWN THE STREET.

FBI AGENT (O.S.) (Into radio) ...pretty fast. He's headed upstream.

ACE (V.O.) Nicky couldn't even go for a ride without changing...

SWISH PAN TO FBI CAR TRAILING BEHIND.

ACE (V.O.) ...cars at least six times before he could shake all his tails.

INT. UNDERGROUND PARKING GARAGE #1 - DAY

NICKY's car with MARINO driving pulls in; NICKY jumps out and gets in another car.

ACE (V.O.) And because of all the planes, he had to use underground garages.

MARINO drives off.

INT. UNDERGROUND PARKING GARAGE #2 - DAY

NICKY's second car screeches in to another garage.

INT. UNDERGROUND PARKING GARAGE #3 - DAY

NICKY hurries across the lot to another car.

INT. UNDERGROUND PARKING GARAGE #4 - DAY

NICKY changes cars again.

INT. UNDERGROUND PARKING GARAGE #5 - DAY

NICKY is running to yet another car. He drives off.

EXT. DESERT SCENE - DAY

A solitary ACE waiting in the vast desert, looking around. ACE looks at a sage brush and sand and a few rocks on the desert floor. This could be a hole meant for him. He steps away from it.

ACE (V.O.) Meeting in the middle of the desert always made me nervous.

It's a scary place. I knew about the holes in the desert, of course, and everywhere I looked, there could have been a hole.

EXT. DESERT ROAD - DAY

Aerial shot of NICKY driving.

ACE (V.O.) Normally, my prospects of comin' back alive from a meeting with Nicky were ninety-nine out of a hundred. But this time, when I heard him say, 'A couple a hundred yards down the road', I gave myself fifty-fifty.

EXT. DESERT - DAY

ACE still standing in the desert. NICKY's car suddenly appears as a reflection in ACE's sunglasses, shaking ACE out of his desert-induced reverie. NICKY's car pulls up by ACE. He gets out and storms up to him.

NICKY Where the fuck you get off talkin' to people about me behind my back? Goin' over my head?

ACE What people?

NICKY What people! What'd you think, I wasn't gonna find out?

ACE I don't even know what you're talkin' about, Nick.

NICKY No? You said I'm bringin' heat on you?! I gotta listen to people because of your fuckin' shit?! You're ordering me out?! You better get your own fuckin' army, pal!

ACE I didn't do anything. I mean, I didn't order you or anybody... I only told Andy Stone that you had a lot of heat on you, and that was a problem.

NICKY You want me to get out of my own fuckin' town?!

ACE Yeah, I said I - let the bullshit blow over for a while so I can run the casino. Anything goes wrong with the casino, it's my ass. It's not yours, it's my ass.

NICKY Oh, I don't know whether you know this or not, but you only have your fuckin' casino because I made that possible!

ACE I -

NICKY (Interrupting) I'm what counts out here! Not your fuckin' country clubs or your fuckin' TV shows! And what the fuck are you doin' on TV anyhow?!

ACE What are you -

NICKY (Interrupting) You know I get calls from back home every fuckin' day?! They think you went batshit!

ACE I'm only on TV because I gotta be able to hang around the casino. You understand that. You know that. Come on.

NICKY Your fuckin' ass! You could have had the food and beverage job without goin' on television! You wanted to go on TV.

ACE Yeah, I did want to go on TV. That way I have a forum. I can fight back. I'm known. People see me. They know they can't fuck around with me like they could if I was an unknown. That's right.

NICKY You're makin' a big fuckin' spectacle of yourself.

ACE Me?! I wouldn't even be in this situation if it wasn't for you. You brought down so much fuckin' heat on me. I mean, every time I meet somebody here, the big question is do I know you.

NICKY Oh, sure. Now you want to blame your fuckin' license on me, is that it?

ACE No, it - it - Nicky, when you asked me if you could come out here, what did I tell you? I mean, you asked me, and I knew you were going to come out no matter what I said, but what did I tell you? Do you remember what I told...

NICKY (Interrupting) Back -

ACE ...you? Do you remember what I told you?

NICKY Back - Back up, back up a fuckin' minute here. One minute. I asked you?! When the fuck did I ever ask you if I could come out here?! Get this through your head, you -

ACE (Interrupting) You never - ?

NICKY Get this through your head, you Jew motherfucker, you. You only exist out here because of me! That's the only reason! Without me, you, personally, every fuckin' wiseguy skell [Skell: the lowest form of wiseguy - a drunken bum] around'll take a piece of your fuckin' Jew ass! Then where you gonna go?! You're fuckin' warned! Don't ever go over my fuckin' head again! You motherfucker, you!

NICKY drives off, leaving an angry and frustrated ACE to ponder the desert and the holes.

INT. JUBILATION NIGHTCLUB - NIGHT

Overhead of ACE, OSCAR, SHERBERT, TRUDY and showgirls walking down the zebra pattern carpet of the nightclub. They are escorted to their table.

NICKY, MARINO and DOMINICK are seated at another table in the rear of the club so no one can hear their conversation.

MARINO Well, we got company.

ACE avoids looking at NICKY.

NICKY Do you see that? Dumb Jew motherfucker. Grew up together and he's actin' like he don't even know me. I know we're supposed to avoid each other, but, you know, there's ways to do things and there's ways not to.

DOMINICK Yeah. Fuck him.

SHERBERT and the others make a toast.

SHERBERT To Abraham Lincoln.

ACE L'chaim. [Yiddish for 'to life']

SHERBERT Here we go. Good luck.

NICKY watches ACE's entourage.

DOMINICK Forget about it, Nick. Don't let it bother you.

NICKY Why, does it look like it's bothering me? What do I give a fuck? Fuckin' Oscar too. All the fuckin' money I've given that prick, he don't even look over here. What's his problem?

MARINO Mm.

NICKY Fuckin' Jews stick together, don't they?

MARINO They're havin' a good time too.

NICKY So are we.

NICKY, MARINO and DOMINICK are isolated and alone at their table.

INT. ACE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

ACE sleeping. A hot line to the casino rings as a red light blinks.

ACE (Into telephone) Yeah?

INT. TANGIERS CASINO SPORTSBOOK - NIGHT

SHERBERT is calling ACE.

SHERBERT (Quietly into telephone) Sam, we got a problem.

INT. ACE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

ACE (Into telephone) What is it?

SHERBERT (Over telephone) The little guy. He's half in the bag, and nobody told him he was eighty- sixed from the joint, so we...

INT. TANGIERS CASINO SPORTSBOOK - NIGHT

SHERBERT (Into telephone) ...all turned our heads and made out like we didn't know who he was. He's over at the twenty-one table with his...

INT. TANGIERS BLACKJACK TABLE - NIGHT

NICKY is betting every spot on the blackjack table. MARINO is standing behind him. The DEALER is nervous.

SHERBERT ...nose wide open. He took the money out of his own kick. His nose is open for about ten thousand.

SHERBERT and the pit boss look on.

SHERBERT (O.S.) Now, he's really pissed.

INT. ACE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

ACE (Into telephone) Oh, no.

Sits up and throws off the bed covers.

INT. TANGIERS SPORTSBOOK - NIGHT

SHERBERT (Into telephone) He wants a fifty-thousand marker.

INT. ACE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

ACE (Into telephone) No, just - just give him, give him ten. That's it. Ten. I'll be right down.

INT. TANGIERS BLACKJACK TABLE - NIGHT

SHERBERT (To NICKY) He's gonna come up with ten thousand, just the way you wanted.

NICKY Ten thou? No, no, no.

SHERBERT ...give you ten thousand -

NICKY (Grabbing SHERBERT's lapel) Fifty! I said fifty!

SHERBERT Look, take -

NICKY (Pushing him away and walking back to the blackjack table) Fuckin' fifty thousand! Go get it. I don't give a fuck where you get it. (To FEMALE DEALER.) Fuckers! They take it, but they don't want to give it back.

NICKY turns up another bad card and looks at the dealer. She smiles as she slides the house winnings over to her side of the table.

NICKY How the fuck can you grin? How the fuck could you grin?

The FEMALE DEALER looks to her PIT BOSS for help. He steps up to a MALE DEALER at a neighboring table.

NICKY You know how much I'm stuck? You give a fuck?

The MALE DEALER walks up to the FEMALE DEALER and taps her on the shoulder.

NICKY Do ya?!

She lays down some cards, claps her hands to show the Eye-in- the-Sky that they are empty, and exits.

NICKY (To departing FEMALE DEALER) Yeah. Give yourself a hand right across your fuckin' mouth.

The MALE DEALER takes her place behind the table.

NICKY Look at this fuckin' beaut they put in now. Sherbert send you in here to rob me now? Been fuckin' knockin' everybody's dick in all night? Huh? You been beatin' all the customers tonight, motherfucker?

We see the PIT BOSS lock up the chip tray from the table the dealer has just left. NICKY has a diminished stack of chips and an upturned ten and a two.

NICKY Huh, jag-off? Hit me.

The card is a king or a 'paint', a picture card, meaning that NICKY has lost.

Everyone freezes in fear. NICKY takes the paint and flicks it at the DEALER's chest where it sticks to his shirt.)

NICKY Take this stiff and pound it up your fuckin' ass! Hit me again.

The DEALER looks to the PIT BOSS who nods 'okay'. He turns over a card. It's another paint, a queen. NICKY flicks the card to the DEALER's face.

NICKY Take this one and stick it up your sister's ass! Hit me again.

The DEALER looks to the PIT BOSS again.

NICKY That's it, keep lookin' at him, you fuckin' dummy. If you had any fuckin' heart at all, you'd be out fuckin' stealin' for a livin'. (Tossing the card at the DEALER.) Hit me again.

The DEALER looks at the PIT BOSS.

NICKY What the fuck you keep lookin' at him for, huh, you fuckin' pu-

The DEALER deals him another paint.

NICKY Look at this, twenty fuckin' paints in a row. Hit me again!

ACE enters the casino with SHERBERT.

MARINO (To NICKY) He's here.

NICKY (To the DEALER) You should pay as fast as you collect, you know.

NICKY gets up to go over to ACE, glowering at SHERBERT as he walks past.

ACE and NICKY are partially hidden behind a pillar by the slot-machines.

ACE What are you doin'? You gotta get out of here!

NICKY Hey, Sammy, tell this Jew motherfucker over here to pay that marker.

ACE Nicky, Nicky, you're not listenin' to me. I'm here to help you. What's the matter with you? You're gonna bury us both.

NICKY Just give me the money. Fuckin' give me the fuckin' money, Sammy.

ACE I'm gonna okay you ten and get you even, and that's it. Then you got to get out of here before the cops and the newspapers are all over you.

To the PIT BOSS, holding up ten fingers.

ACE Ten and that's it.

He makes a throat cutting gesture with his hand. ACE leaves. NICKY turns to walk back to the table. He sees SHERBERT standing right behind him.

NICKY What are you starin' at, you bald- headed Jew prick?!

Before SHERBERT can answer, NICKY grabs the receiver off a wall phone and hits him across the face and back. SHERBERT falls to the floor. NICKY pulls the cradle off the pillar and tosses it down on his back. He and MARINO walk back to the table, SHERBERT winces on the floor in shock.

NICKY Sue me, you Jew fuck!

MARINO Let's get out of here.

NICKY What? Get out of here? I got a marker comin'.

He puts some chips down on the table.

NICKY (To DEALER) Deal.

INT. OSCAR, THE LAWYER'S OFFICE - DAY

ACE and GINGER are seated across from OSCAR, their lawyer.

OSCAR I know, but everything's changed now. You're talking about a divorce. You're even asking for alimony payments and... child support... and now custody.

GINGER I just want what any divorced woman would get.

ACE I mean she's only sober about two hours a day. It's usually from eleven in the morning until one in the afternoon. And if I gave her her money and her jewels now, you know what she's gonna do? She's gonna piss it all away in about a year, and then where will she be? (To GINGER.) Where would you be then? Comin' right back to me, right back to me. (To OSCAR.) Or finding some other excuse to come and I - I -

GINGER (To ACE) We had a deal. Remember that? (To OSCAR.) He said if it didn't work out between us, that I could get my things and I could leave.

ACE (To GINGER, leaning closer to her) Look in my eyes. Look in my eyes.

GINGER turns to him.

ACE You know me. Do you see anything in these eyes that makes you think I would ever let someone in your condition take my child away from me? (Pause.) Do you? You know that won't happen.

ACE (V.O.) And after all this time... and as hard as I tried, as much as I wanted...

INT. ACES HIGH BACKSTAGE CORRIDOR/SHOWGIRLS' DRESSING-ROOM - DAY

ACE, with Kleenex sticking out of his collar to protect his shirt from his television make-up, walks back to the dressing room with TRUDY. She pecks his cheek before exiting to her own room. A security guard opens the door for ACE.

We follow him past numerous showgirls and costumes.

ACE (V.O.) ...I could never reach her. I could never make her love me. I always felt she should have gone for all that money... being somebody for the first time in her life, a home and a kid. But that's not what happened. It just didn't work out that way.

ACE (To the showgirls) Everything all right?

ACE I mean, what could we do? After a while, we'd just take breathers from each other. You know, little separations. At that time, I remember Ginger took Amy and went to Beverly Hills. She was gonna spend a week or so shopping.

ACE picks up the phone at a make-up table.

OPERATOR (Over telephone) Yes, Mr Rothstein.

ACE (Into telephone) Operator, the Beverly Hotel in Beverly Hills, please.

EXT. LOS ANGELES. BEVERLY HOTEL - DAY

GINGER, sporting a new short hairstyle, and AMY exit and walk towards camera.

HOTEL OPERATOR (O.S.) Hello, Beverly Hotel.

ACE (O.S.) Mrs. Sam Rothstein, please.

HOTEL OPERATOR (O.S.) I'm sorry. Mr. and Mrs. Rothstein have checked out already.

TRACK BACK, AS GINGER SMILES, TO REVEAL LESTER DIAMOND.

LESTER Hey.

GINGER kisses LESTER.

INT. SHOWGIRLS' DRESSING-ROOM - DAY

ACE (Into telephone) M- Uh, Mr. and Mrs. Rothstein?

EXT. BEVERLY HOTEL - DAY

LESTER (To AMY) Hey, little Dale Evans.

GINGER laughs

HOTEL OPERATOR (O.S.) Yes, they both checked out.

INT. SHOWGIRLS' DRESSING-ROOM - DAY

ACE (Into telephone) Thank you. (He hangs up.)

INT. WAREHOUSE - NIGHT

ACE steps up to a public phone as it rings.

ACE (Into telephone) Hello.

FORLANO (Over telephone) Yeah.

ACE (Into telephone, sighs) Uh, my wife is w-with an old friend of her i-in LA.

INT. ALL-AMERICAN GAS STATION, GAGGI'S BACK OFFICE, BACK HOME - DAY

FORLANO is on the phone, taking notes with a pencil. GAGGI is sitting in the background.

ACE (Over telephone) Some low-life. A guy named Lester Diamond.

INT. WAREHOUSE - DAY

ACE (Into telephone) My daughter's with 'em too and I think they're gonna try and kidnap her. Is there anybody you can send?

INT. ALL-AMERICAN GAS STATION, GAGGI'S BACK OFFICE, BACK HOME - DAY

FORLANO (Into telephone) We'll take care of it.

FORLANO hangs up and walks over to GAGGI. We hear the doorbell from the following scene.

INT. ACE'S HOUSE - DAY

ACE opens the door to two Tangiers EXECUTIVES.

COUNT ROOM EXEC (To ACE) We got a number and an address.

INT. ACE'S HOUSE, UPSTAIRS DEN - DAY

ACE is standing behind his desk on the phone.

ACE (Into telephone) Hello.

LESTER (Over telephone) Hello.

ACE (Into telephone) Yeah, is this Lester? This is Sam...

INT. LESTER DIAMOND'S LOS ANGELES APARTMENT - DAY

ACE ...Rothstein. I want to talk to Ginger. Put her on the phone.

LESTER (Into telephone) She's not here, Sam.

ACE (Over telephone) Lester...

INT. ACE'S HOUSE, UPSTAIRS DEN - DAY

ACE (Into telephone) ...listen to me very carefully. I want to talk to Ginger. I want my kid back. I want her put on a plane immediately.

INT. LESTER DIAMOND'S LOS ANGELES APARTMENT - DAY

ACE (Over telephone) I know she's there. Don't fuck around with me.

LESTER (Into telephone) Uh, I'm not. Sam, I wouldn't...

He snaps his fingers to get GINGER's attention.

LESTER ...wouldn't do it. Yeah, no, I, I...

We see GINGER on LESTER's living-room couch, cutting lines of cocaine with a razor blade in front of MAY.

GINGER (Whispering to AMY) You shouldn't do this.

LESTER steps up to the living-room snapping his fingers to GINGER. She looks up.

ACE (Over telephone) You understand? Put her on the fuckin' phone.

LESTER (Into telephone) Sam, I - I don't know where she is, okay?

INT. ACE'S HOUSE, UPSTAIRS DEN - DAY

LESTER (Over telephone) So, l-l-l-listen, I te- I te- I tell you - can I call you back in a few minutes?

INT. LESTER DIAMOND'S LOS ANGELES APARTMENT - DAY

ACE (Over telephone) 702 472 1862.

LESTER Mm-hm. (Pretending to write it down.) 1862. Okay, good. I'll call you right b-

ACE (Over telephone) Right away.

LESTER (Into telephone) I'll call you right back.

INT. ACE'S HOUSE, UPSTAIRS DEN - DAY

ACE (Over telephone) Right back.

INT. LESTER DIAMOND'S LOS ANGELES APARTMENT - DAY

LESTER (Into telephone) You got it. (He hangs up; then to himself as he walks through a doorway to the living-room) Schmuck. (To GINGER.) All right. I just bought us a few minutes. Want to get back at this prick?

He sticks his finger in the coke and rubs it on his gums.

LESTER Hm? Okay, you got, what, two million dollars in that box?

GINGER snorts some cocaine.

LESTER Hey... you got a minute? Hey. He's got two million in the box, am I right? Okay, you let him keep your jewels. We take the cash and the only other thing he cares about. (He points to AMY.) Huh? Her majesty. We go to Europe. You dye your hair, get some pl-

AMY (Interrupts) I don't want to go to Europe. I want to go to see The Elephant Man.

LESTER We're not gonna go see any fuckin' elephants, okay?

GINGER (To AMY) We'll go later.

LESTER (To AMY) We're going to Europe. Let the adults talk. (To GINGER.) You dye your hair... you get plastic surgery, like we talked about. Right? You're the mother. How much do you think he's gonna pay to get this fuckin' kid back?

AMY I don't want to go to Europe.

LESTER (To AMY) Shut your mouth!

GINGER puts her hand over AMY's mouth.

LESTER You know where she gets this from!

AMY You shut up.

LESTER No, you - You want me to come over there? I'll smack your face.

AMY sticks her tongue out at LESTER.

LESTER Don't give me any of your shit! (To GINGER.) Okay, this has always been a dream, but we're going.

GINGER Lester - he called you here.

LESTER Right.

GINGER Here.

LESTER He was just on the phone.

GINGER (Sniffs) He called you right here.

LESTER I just talked to him.

GINGER (Sighs) So, he knows where you are. That means he's sending some guys over here probably right now.

LESTER Ginger... It means he's sitting by the phone like a dumb-bell, waiting for me to call him back. Now, I -

GINGER (Interrupting and getting up) That's - Yeah, he's sitting by the phone like a dumb-bell, just waiting for you to call him back. That's what he's -

LESTER (Interrupting) He's sittin' by the phone -

GINGER (Yelling) What do you think we're gonna do? He's probably got guys outside the fuckin' house!

GINGER (Gathering AMY, hysterical) Get your bag! Come on, get your bag! Get your things! Let's go!

LESTER It's this bullshit. It's just bullshit right here. This is the fuckin' problem, you know.

GINGER (Hysterical) Oh, what bullshit? What, do you want to fuckin' talk it over now?

LESTER You're done yakkin', okay? You're done yakkin' now?

GINGER (Grabbing her purse and rushing AMY out) Go! Go! Get in the car! Go!

LESTER (Mimicking GINGER) 'Go! Go! Go!'

EXT. GOLD RUSH - DAY

NICKY is leaning against a public phone. MARINO watches.

NICKY (Into telephone) You just relax. Nobody's killin' anybody, do you hear?

GINGER (Over telephone) No, I really do. I think he's gonna kill me.

NICKY (Into telephone) You just relax, and call me back here in exactly an hour, on this phone, and I'll see what I can do.

GINGER (Over telephone) Yeah, uh-huh... Okay.

EXT. LOS ANGELES STREET, PAY PHONE - DAY

AMY is swinging her purse at LESTER in the background.

GINGER (Into telephone) So, I'm gonna call you back in an hour... at this number, and you're gonna be there, right?

NICKY (Over telephone) I'll be there.

EXT. GOLD RUSH - DAY

NICKY (Into telephone) And listen, don't do anything else crazy, okay? You all right? Okay.

EXT. LOS ANGELES STREET. PAY PHONE - DAY

GINGER (Into telephone) Bye.

She hangs up and walks over to LESTER and AMY who are fighting.

GINGER Just knock it off! Would you two knock it off? Get in the car.

LESTER She started it. She started the whole thing. I'm just standin' here.

GINGER opens the driver's side door.

LESTER You're not gonna drive. Don't even think you're gonna drive.

GINGER No, I'm gonna drive.

LESTER (Stopping GINGER) No, I'm not gonna drive with some crazy -

GINGER (Yelling) You're driving me nuts!

She walks around to the passenger door.

LESTER Get in the passenger's side! And I'm sendin' this kid to Bolivia in a fuckin' box.

EXT. ACE'S PATIO - DAY

Through glass doors we see ACE seated in his living-room. NICKY slips into frame and taps on the window, gesturing that he wants to talk. ACE signals for him to go around to the garage.

INT. ACE'S GARAGE - DAY

NICKY walks past GINGER's white Mercedes towards ACE.

NICKY Ginger -

He's cut off by ACE who points to the passenger's side of his Cadillac. NICKY walks around and gets in. ACE starts the engine to make it harder for anyone to listen in on their conversation.

ACE turns the volume down. He looks straight ahead, away from NICKY.

NICKY (After an awkward moment) Ginger called me.

ACE (Polite, careful, smoking a cigarette) Yeah.

NICKY I just told you. She called me.

ACE And what'd she want?

NICKY She was afraid to call you.

ACE Yeah, she's with that cocksucker again... and they got Amy.

GINGER Well, that's why I'm here. She wants to come back, but she's afraid you're gonna whack her out.

ACE Yeah, they're gonna kidnap my kid. What do you want?

NICKY I know. Why didn't you come to me? I mean, this is family, it ain't business. Meanwhile, you make calls back home. Sammy, it makes us look bad out here, you know what I mean? Back and forth, this one and that one, and, in the meantime, she's gone anyway. Am I right?

ACE (Sighing) I don't know. What am I gonna do with this woman? I don't know... (Pause.) She's drivin' me fuckin' crazy.

NICKY I think if you, uh, okay it, you know, assure her that she's gonna be all right, she'll come back.

ACE She's driving me fuckin' crazy.

NICKY Well, once you get her here, you think about it, you know? But get the kid back here. She wants to come back. That's the, uh, that's the main thing here. You want your kid, don't you? Huh?

EXT. LOS ANGELES HIGHWAY. PHONE BOOTH - DAY

GINGER is on the phone. In the background, AMY is acting up in the back seat of the car and driving LESTER crazy.

ACE (Over telephone) Hello.

GINGER (Sighs, into telephone) Hi, it's me. (Chuckling.) Just who you wanted to talk to, right?

ACE (Over telephone) Listen...

INT. ACE'S HOUSE, UPSTAIRS DEN - DAY

ACE is seated at his desk.

ACE (Into telephone) ...uh-uh-uh - I'm not gonna ask you where you are, just please, put Amy on a plane. Just put her on right away, any plane to get her here right away...

EXT. LOS ANGELES HIGHWAY. PHONE BOOTH - DAY

ACE (Over telephone) ...please. That's all I'm askin' you.

GINGER (Into telephone) Do you... I mean... I don't think she should go by herself.

INT. ACE'S HOUSE, UPSTAIRS DEN - DAY

ACE (Sighs, into telephone) What do you mean?

EXT. LOS ANGELES HIGHWAY. PHONE BOOTH - DAY

GINGER (Into telephone, holding back tears) What I mean is, you think if, uh, do you think if I came back... do you think you could forgive me?

INT. ACE'S HOUSE, UPSTAIRS DEN - DAY

ACE (Into telephone) Uh, (sighs) I don't know. I gotta tell you, I don't know.

GINGER (Over telephone) Right.

EXT. LOS ANGELES HIGHWAY. PHONE BOOTH - DAY

GINGER (Into telephone) I under-understand that. I-I know I fucked up.

INT. ACE'S HOUSE, UPSTAIRS DEN - DAY

ACE (Into telephone) What about the money? Uh, where's the box?

GINGER (Over telephone) I gotta tell ya...

EXT. LOS ANGELES HIGHWAY. PHONE BOOTH - DAY

GINGER (Into telephone) ...I-I... made some mistakes and I spent some money.

ACE (Over telephone) What's it...

INT. ACE'S HOUSE, UPSTAIRS DEN - DAY

ACE (Into telephone) ...under?

GINGER (Over telephone) Pretty serious.

EXT. LOS ANGELES HIGHWAY. PHONE BOOTH - DAY

ACE (Over telephone) How serious?

GINGER It's, uh, it's under twenty-five.

ACE (Over telephone) It's under...

INT. ACE'S HOUSE, UPSTAIRS DEN - DAY

ACE (Into telephone) ...twenty-five thousand?

GINGER (Over telephone) Yeah.

ACE (Into telephone) And...

EXT. LOS ANGELES HIGHWAY. PHONE BOOTH - DAY

ACE (Over telephone) ...the rest of the two million is still there?

GINGER (Into telephone) Yeah, yeah, I got the rest.

INT. ACE'S HOUSE, UPSTAIRS DEN - DAY

ACE (Into telephone) Okay, no big deal. That's okay. Yeah. He got his twenty-five. (Sighs.) That I'll live with. Any more I couldn't.

EXT. LOS ANGELES HIGHWAY. PHONE BOOTH - DAY

GINGER (Into telephone) Okay?

ACE (Over telephone) All right...

INT. ACE'S HOUSE, UPSTAIRS DEN - DAY

ACE (Into telephone) ...all right. Where are you? I'll send a plane for you right away.

EXT. LAS VEGAS PRIVATE AIRPORT - NIGHT

ACE sees GINGER and AMY coming off the Tangiers private jet. GINGER wobbles a little as she comes down the ramp.

GINGER (Waving brightly) Hi, Sam.

ACE picks AMY up and hugs her, ignoring GINGER. They walk to the car and drive off.

INT. ACE'S CAR - NIGHT

AMY looks on from the back seat.

ACE So, what'd ya do with it?

GINGER With what?

ACE With the money.

GINGER He needed some clothes.

ACE (Sighs) Twenty-five thousand for clothes.

GINGER He wanted a watch, too.

ACE Twenty-five thousand for clothes and a watch.

GINGER Mm-hm.

ACE Mm-hm.

MAITRE D' (O.S.) (From following scene) Mr. R...

INT. VEGAS RESTAURANT - NIGHT

ACE and GINGER, dressed for dinner just like any other couple, walk towards a table overlooking the colorful lights of downtown Vegas.

MAITRE D' ...good evening. Signora.

GINGER Gino.

MAITRE D' This way.

ACE (V.O.) (as they are led to their table) The good part was, I had Amy back. So, we went home, had the housekeeper stay over, put the kid to bed, I calmed myself down and we went to dinner. I tried to keep things nice and civil, you know. But... hey, twenty-five thousand for three suits? That doesn't make much sense.

ACE (Seated across from GINGER at a booth) First of all, he's not gonna wear f- thousand-dollar suits. But let's say he did, which he won't. How you gonna get fitted for twenty-five suits in three days? I, um, I mean, how could you get fitted that fast? I can't get fitted that fast, and I pay twice as much.

GINGER I bought him a watch too.

ACE Yeah.

GINGER Yeah.

ACE But even if you bought him a watch, a really nice watch, one that he thought was nice - and he doesn't know what the fuck a good watch is - so, you go, five, ten, twelve grand?

GINGER Yeah.

ACE At the most, which is impossible for him.

She glances to the table behind them.

ACE Plus, at the most, three suits, a thousand apiece. That still leaves what? Around ten thousand?

GINGER (Staring down at her plate, trying to restrain herself) Would you knock it off, Sam?

ACE I'm just tryin' to figure it out.

GINGER There's nothin' to figure out. I'm home... we're workin' it out.

She lights a cigarette.

ACE Yeah, but I've been told that before, 'We're workin' it out.' You think that you're home... after what you just put me through with Amy, is a favor to me?

She looks at ACE.

ACE (Pause) So, counting the watch, let's say another four thousand for expenses over the weekend... of which you must have had a good time. I know he did. That's for sure. I know that... fuckin' piece of shit had a good fuckin' time. On my money. You might as well have fucked him, which you probably did anyway.

GINGER glares at him.

ACE You're lookin' at me a certain way. You - you're teary-eyed, huh? You're upset. You're a good actress, you know that? Good fuckin' actress. You can fuckin' get that pity out of people. I'm not a john, you understand? You always thought I was, but I'm not. And I'm not a sucker. That fuckin' pimp cocksucker. He's lucky I didn't kill him last time. Lucky he's fuckin' livin'. And if you would've stayed with Amy... and you would've ran away... you would've been fuckin' dead.

GINGER scoots out of the booth and leaves.

ACE Both of you. Dead. Dead.

INT. ACE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

Wide overhead of ACE alone in bed. Off-screen, we hear GINGER, a little drunk, on the phone.

GINGER (O.S.) (Whispering into telephone) I cannot do it anymore. I can't fuckin' live like this. It's not right.

ACE's point of view as he moves towards the sound of GINGER's voice. He enters frame and stops to listen.

GINGER (O.S.) What are you? Yes, of course - He doesn't come home at night. What is the big fuckin' deal? I go - Yes, and I just - I can't fuckin' take it. Why should I fucking take it? That wasn't the deal. He acts like... like I'm the only one around here with a fuckin' past. He'll never let me live it down. Well... well, I mean, I tried. What the fuck do you think I came back here for? No, I'm not!

ACE slips into the foyer where he can see GINGER's reflection in a glass door as she talks on the phone in the living-room.

GINGER (Whispering into telephone) I want to have him killed. Yes, I want him killed. I've fuckin' had it.

INT. ACE'S HOUSE, LIVING-ROOM - NIGHT

GINGER is on the phone.

GINGER (Into telephone) So, are you with me on this?

ACE steps up behind her. She gasps, still holding the phone. Petrified.

ACE You want to get rid of me? Here I am. Go ahead, get rid of me (ACE grabs the phone.) Hello.

He hears nothing and throws the phone down near her.

GINGER rises and attacks ACE.

GINGER (Grunting) Yes! I fuckin' hate you! I can't take it anymore!

ACE grapples with GINGER.

GINGER Yes, I want to kill you! I hate your fuckin' guts!

ACE You hate my guts? I want you to come with me now.

He drags her by her arms across the living-room hallway, into the bedroom.

GINGER Get off of me! Stop it!

ACE Come with me now! Come with me now. Come with me now. I want you out of here.

GINGER screams.

INT. ACE'S HOUSE, BEDROOM - NIGHT

ACE I want you out of here! I want you out of here!

GINGER (Starting to get up) Let go of me! Let go of me!

INT. ACE'S HOUSE, BEDROOM CLOSET - NIGHT

He pushes her against the closet wall, and throws an overnight bag at her.

ACE Take your (kicking the bag) fuckin' bag and get out of here!

GINGER I'll go, but I want my money right now!

ACE tosses clothes at her.

ACE You'll get your money! Don't worry.

GINGER squats down and starts to gather her stuff.

GINGER The arrangement is over!

ACE (Tossing clothes) No kidding. NO KIDDING!

GINGER And I still get my money. I need some cash right now. You can't just put me in the street.

ACE I'll get your cash. You haven't been straight with me ever since I met you! You never loved me in the first place! I need eyes in the back of my fuckin' head with you, you fuckin' bitch!

ACE walks past her to his side of the large walk-in closet. Racks and racks of her clothes are still hanging.

GINGER Love you?!

She tosses a pair of red shoes at him.

GINGER How could I love you?! How can I love you?! You treat me like I'm your fucking dog!

ACE leans down and opens a shoe box filled with money. He grabs as much cash as he can hold.

ACE You're lower than a dog!

GINGER Fuck you!

He walks up to her.

ACE (Shoving the bundles of cash in her face) Here. Here. Is this enough money?! Huh? Will it last you two fuckin' days? Take it, greedy bitch. (Stuffing the money in her bag.) Take the fuckin' money you fuckin' want.

GINGER I'm going to the bank and I'm getting my jewelry too!

She puts on a white fur coat.

ACE Yeah, no kidding. Good! It opens at 9 a.m. Be there!

GINGER And don't send your guys down there to stop me! I mean it.

She bends down to pick up her bag, but ACE insists on carrying it.

ACE I guarantee you, I will not stop you.

INT. ACE'S HOUSE, BEDROOM/FOYER - NIGHT

GINGER and ACE walk through their bedroom to the front door. He's carrying her suitcase.

GINGER Stop! You aren't getting rid of me with one fuckin' suitcase!

ACE You'll come back tomorrow and get the rest. Just get out of here.

GINGER Fine. (Sniffs, walking back.) I'm takin' Amy.

ACE (Stopping her) You're not takin' Amy.

GINGER I am. I'm wakin' her up right now.

ACE You're stoned. You're a junkie. Get out of here.

He opens the door and tosses her suitcase out.

GINGER I am not! She's my daughter too! Goddamn you!

ACE Get out of here!

He shoves her out the door.

ACE Send my lawyers a letter. (Slamming the door behind her.) God-fuckin'-damn you!

He locks the door, and peers through the peep-hole.

GINGER (O.S.) (Through the doors as ACE walks away) You're not getting away with this! You're not gonna fuck me out of my end!

EXT. ACE'S HOUSE, FRONT YARD - NIGHT

GINGER is furious. She picks up the suitcase and walks up to her sportscar.

GINGER Fucker! (Sobs.)

She drives off.

INT. ACE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT, LATER

ACE is lying awake in bed smoking a cigarette, watching the casino's Eye in the Sky surveillance monitors. He hears a car turn into his driveway. He sees the car's headlight beams

ACE (V.O.) The funny thing was, that after all that... I didn't want her to go. She was the mother of my kid. I loved her. And later... I realized I didn't want to give her the money, because if I did... I knew I'd never see her again.

ACE reaches over to take GINGER's hand - she slowly takes hold of his.

INT. ACE'S HOUSE, KITCHEN - DAY

GINGER is getting AMY ready for school. ACE enters as AMY is on her way out. He holds her face in his hands and kisses her.

ACE (Affectionately) Oh. Have a good day at school.

AMY Okay.

Amy exits.

ACE Okay? Okay, angel.

ACE walks over to GINGER who turns sullenly to look at him.

ACE (Clears throat.) From now on, I have to know where you and Amy are at all times.

He takes a beeper out of his coat pocket and holds it up to GINGER.

ACE (Gently) Now, here's a beeper. I want you to keep it on you. It's very light. So I can call you whenever I have to.

GINGER reluctantly takes the beeper.

ACE (Pause.) Okay?

She nods silently. He looks at her and turns, leaving her alone in the kitchen.

EXT. CONSTRUCTION TRAILER - EVENING

A very large trailer is in the middle of an empty construction site. GINGER's and NICKY's cars are parked outside.

NICKY (O.S.) (From trailer) Well, what are you supposed to do? I mean, what do you want to do? Do you want to stay the way you are? You want to stay like this? You can't do that.

INT. CONSTRUCTION TRAILER - EVENING

GINGER and NICKY are alone in the large trailer. They are sitting close together on a couch.

NICKY I mean, listen, two people don't get along, at some point you gotta call it... I mean, it's none of my business, but I ... I think that's what you gotta do. You gotta take it somewhere -

GINGER (Smoking a cigarette) Oh, you're right, I know. It's... well, I was just -

NICKY What? What?

GINGER Nothin'.

NICKY What were you gonna say? Go ahead.

GINGER I don't - (Sighs.)

NICKY Tell me what you were gonna say. Go ahead.

GINGER Yeah?

NICKY Yeah.

GINGER Well, I was thinkin', maybe... you know somebody at the bank... could help me get my jewelry out? There's a lot of money in there. Lot of money in there, and I'd be willing to take care of anybody who helped me out.

NICKY (Pauses) Let me think about that.

GINGER Okay.

NICKY See who I got in there. Gotta get somebody I can trust.

GINGER Mm-hm.

NICKY You know?

GINGER Yeah. 'Cause, you know, (leaning her head back) He's never gonna give me my jewelry.

NICKY Hm.

GINGER He holds that key so tight, he's probably got it stuck up his ass.

NICKY (Chuckles) Yeah, right. That's Sammy. And he's probably got it there too.

Takes a sip of his drink.

GINGER He's so fuckin' lucky. I could have buried him. I could have gone to Europe and taken the baby. And then he'd've tracked me down and he'd've killed me.

NICKY No, he wouldn't. I would have. (GINGER chuckles.) And he'd've been right, too. I mean, seriously. (She cuddles closer to him.) Well, there's one thing you don't do. You don't take a guy's kid and then take off.

GINGER (Quietly) I didn't. (Chuckles.) I didn't. I mean, I did, but then I did exactly what you told me to do, and I came right back.

NICKY You did. You're right.

GINGER Exactly.

NICKY embraces her.

NICKY You did. I like that. I like that. That's what I like about you. You did the right thing.

GINGER (Playing with his jacket) I did what you told me to.

NICKY Yes, you did.

GINGER 'Cause you always tell me the right thing to do.

NICKY Yeah. (Pause, with his arm around her.) Boy, he really fucked himself up out here - (She caresses his face.) - didn't he?

GINGER Sure did.

NICKY Everything went to his head. (He sighs, rubbing her neck.)

NICKY/GINGER (In unison) Changed.

NICKY He did. He ain't the same person, right?

GINGER (Whispering) No, he's not.

NICKY He really thinks who the fuck he is, I'll tell you that.

GINGER (Holding back tears) Exactly. (Sighs.) He hates me.

She rests her head on NICKY's shoulder, starting to weep.

GINGER He hates my fuckin' guts.

NICKY Come on, come on, you're a toughie. You can take this. (Runs his hand down her cheek.) Don't cry.

GINGER (Crying) I'm not as tough as you think I am.

NICKY Yes, you are.

GINGER (Sobbing) I'm not and he scares the shit out of me. I never know what he's gonna do.

NICKY (Whispering) Come on. Don't be scared.

GINGER (Softly, through tears) I need some help. I do. I need some help. (Strokes his chest.) You gotta help me. I need a new sponsor, Nicky.

GINGER's sobs subside a little and her hand starts to stroke NICKY's neck.

GINGER (Whispering) I do. I need a new sponsor.

NICKY (Quietly, cheek to cheek) Is that what you want?

GINGER Yeah.

NICKY A sponsor.

GINGER Yeah.

NICKY Mm... okay. Don't worry about it. Nobody'll fuck with ya anymore. I'll take care of ya.

GINGER (Whispering) Nicky, please...

NICKY Yes, I will. It's what you want, isn't it? Huh?

GINGER (Sobbing) Thank you. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

NICKY It's what you want?

GINGER Yeah. Uh-huh -

NICKY interrupts and kisses her. She kisses him back. He pushes her head down to his lap.

EXT. CONSTRUCTION TRAILER - NIGHT

NICKY opens the door to the trailer and peers out to make sure no one is watching.

EXT. FBI SURVEILLANCE CAMPER - NIGHT

We see past a chain-link fence to a camper. We hear the sound of photos being taken with a high-speed camera.

EXT. CONSTRUCTION TRAILER - NIGHT

We see GINGER and NICKY slip out of the trailer in the deserted work site.

FBI AGENT #1 (O.S.) You see that?

EXT. FBI SURVEILLANCE CAMPER - NIGHT

FBI MEN with long-lens cameras are recording the event on film.

FBI AGENT #1 That's Ace's wife.

Still photos: NICKY and GINGER steal a kiss.

FBI AGENT #1 Fantastic!

Still photos: Click. Click. GINGER and NICKY embrace.

EXT. CONSTRUCTION TRAILER - NIGHT

The AGENTS watch as GINGER and NICKY move towards their separate cars.

EXT. FBI SURVEILLANCE CAMPER - NIGHT

FBI AGENT #1 This is great for the boss.

EXT. CONSTRUCTION TRAILER - NIGHT

GINGER gets into her car.

Still photos: Click: GINGER getting into her car. Click: NICKY getting into his car.

EXT. CONSTRUCTION TRAILER - NIGHT

NICKY and GINGER drive off.

INT. ACE'S KITCHEN - NIGHT

ACE is waiting for GINGER. He hears a car pull into the drive- way, he gets up and looks out the sliding glass door. It's GINGER. He sits back down, motionless with a glass of milk. She walks in with a sack of groceries and some dry cleaning.

GINGER Hi.

She puts her purse and the groceries down on the kitchen counter, and hangs up the dry cleaning.

ACE Hi. You didn't answer your beeper.

GINGER I threw it away.

ACE You threw it away?

GINGER (As she puts some items away) Look, I tried to do this thing. I know that you want me to, but it's just - You know, I'm driving down the freeway and the fuckin' thing's 'beep-beep-beep-beep'. You know, I'm in a restaurant and it's - it's embarrassing. I don't want to do it anymore. (Stopping suddenly.) Where's Amy?

ACE I put her to bed.

GINGER Oh. (Walking away towards their bedroom.) I got your cigarettes.

INT. ACE'S HOUSE, BATHROOM - NIGHT

GINGER sets some items down on her dressing-table, in front of a mirror.

GINGER Oscar wants you to call him.

ACE So, who'd you go to lunch with?

GINGER With Jennifer.

ACE And where'd you go?

GINGER To the Riviera.

ACE (Pause) What'd you have?

GINGER I had a... salad.

ACE What did Jennifer have?

GINGER (Turning to ACE) She had the same.

ACE (Pause) Okay. I want you to call Jennifer and I want you to tell her to tell you what she had for lunch, and I'm gonna listen in on the other line.

GINGER Why do you want to do that?

ACE You know why I want to do it. Just do it.

GINGER Fine. (Walking out and down the hall.) Just gonna get the bowl for my thing.

ACE Mm.

INT. ACE'S HOUSE, LIVING-ROOM - NIGHT

GINGER is on the hall phone, dialing. We hear a phone ring through the earpiece.

She waits a few seconds and hangs up.

GINGER The line's busy. There's nobody there.

She starts to walk away. ACE stops her, picks up the phone and dials. We hear JENNIFER answer.

JENNIFER (Over telephone) Hello.

ACE (Into telephone) Hello, Jennifer, it's Sam -

TIGHT ON GINGER'S FINGERS CUTTING OFF THE CALL.

GINGER All right... I didn't have lunch with Jennifer.

ACE (Hanging up) Who were you with?

GINGER (Quietly) I was with somebody.

ACE I know you were with somebody. Who was it? (Pause.) I just hope it's not someone who I think it might be. (Sighs, then whispers:) I just hope it's not them.

ACE (V.O.) (Quietly) I knew she fucked around. (Sighing.) You know...

INT. ACE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

The two of them are seated separately. GINGER is on the floor leaning against a chair, crying softly.

ACE (V.O.) ...she did what she did and I did what I had to do. But, Jesus, Nicky was the worst thing she could've done.

ACE What if he won't stop?

ACE (V.O.) I mean, it could get us both killed.

GINGER I can back him off.

ACE sighs.

ACE (V.O.) She was very convincing...

EXT. LA CONCHA MOTEL - DAY

A neon signs reads: LA CONCHA MOTEL.

ACE (V.O.) ...when she wanted to be.

WE SEE A CANTED ANGLE OF A ROOM AND BALCONY WITH DRAWN CURTAINS.

ACE (V.O.) And... this... this is how she backed him off.

INT. LA CONCHA MOTEL - DAY

GINGER and NICKY are making love on the bed, panting, grunting and gasping.

INT. LA CONCHA MOTEL - DAY

They have finished making love. NICKY is zipping up his pants. GINGER still sits on the bed smoking a cigarette.

NICKY Hey, Ginger... don't forget, if you're challenged, you know, if he asks anything, deny everything. (He walks up to her.) Do you understand? I don't want him bringin' beefs back home ... 'cause that could be a problem. You gotta be careful. He's not dumb, you know? You hear what I'm sayin', right?

Her arm and thigh are bruised.

GINGER I know. You don't have to tell me that. What do you think, (chuckling) I'm stupid?

She takes a drag off her cigarette.

NICKY Do I think you're stupid? No, I think you're beautiful. (He bends down and kisses her.) But I gotta go.

He exits.

ACE (V.O.) By this...

EXT. ALL-AMERICAN GAS STATION, BACK HOME - DAY

A car moves into the station and stops at a gas pump.

ACE (V.O.) ...time, Nicky had things so fucked up on the streets, that every time Marino went back home, the...

INT. ALL-AMERICAN GAS STATION, OFFICE AND GARAGE - DAY

Slow motion of MARINO walking through the front office past a few men. He tosses his cigarette butt and puts it out with his shoe. He looks nervous.

ACE (V.O.) ...packages got smaller and smaller. It got...

INT. ALL-AMERICAN GAS STATION, GAGGI'S BACK OFFICE - DAY

MARINO takes a small stack of cash out of his coat. A seated GAGGI nods for one of his men to take the money.

ACE (V.O.) ...to the point when he walked into the place... he didn't know whether he was gonna be kissed or killed.

GAGGI's man takes the money.

GAGGI (O.S.) Frankie, I want to ask you something.

GAGGI It's private... but I want you to tell me the truth.

MARINO Of course, Remo.

GAGGI I want you to tell me the truth, mind you.

MARINO I always tell you the truth, Remo.

GAGGI Frankie... the little guy, he wouldn't be fuckin' the Jew's wife, would he? Because if he is... it's a problem.

FREEZE FRAME OF MARINO.

MARINO (V.O.) What could I say? I knew if I gave the wrong answer, I mean, Nicky, Ginger, Ace, all of 'em could've would up gettin' killed.

FREEZE FRAME OF GAGGI.

MARINO (V.O.) Because there's one thing about these old timers: They don't like any fuckin' around with the other guy's wives. It's bad for business.

ON MARINO'S FREEZE FRAME.

MARINO (V.O.) So, I lied... even though I knew that by lyin' to Gaggi, I could wind up gettin' killed too.

UNFREEZE - LIVE ACTION CONTINUES.

MARINO (To GAGGI) No. I ain't see anything like that.

GAGGI Are you sure?

MARINO I'm positive. Remo... things are very fucked up down there, you know?

GAGGI Yeah, I know. That's why I'm asking. You see, my main concern is Nicky.

MARINO Hm.

GAGGI I want to know... if he's doin' all right. If he's okay.

MARINO He's good. He's fine.

GAGGI I'm askin' you, Frankie, to keep an eye on Nicky. Do it for me.

MARINO No problem.

GAGGI You see... I wouldn't want to be jeopardizing anything for people who are our friends. You understand?

MARINO I understand.

GAGGI Okay. (Pause.) Frankie, you're a good boy.

Pats MARINO's hand.

MARINO Thanks, Remo.

GAGGI drinks from his espresso cup. So does MARINO, looking over cautiously at the old man.

ACE (V.O.) By now, Nicky and his crew had already hit rock bottom. I mean, Vegas really got to him.

EXT. BAR PARKING LOT, LAS VEGAS - NIGHT

NICKY is punching a man who is leaning against a car. They are surrounded by MARINO, FUSCO, BLUE and HARDY. The man remains erect.

ACE (V.O.) The booze, the coke, the broads... I mean, he got sloppy. He just wasn't the same Nicky anymore.

DOMINICK takes over. Exhausted, NICKY walks to his car and leans on the open car door.

MARINO (To NICKY) You must have drunk too much.

NICKY Go fuck yourself.

ACE (V.O.) I heard one night he had to belt a guy three times before he finally went down.

DOMINICK finally knocks the man down.

ACE (V.O.) In the old days, Nicky would've decked him with one shot.

INT. ROOM - NIGHT

EXTREME CLOSE-UP OF A CAMERA FOLLOWING A LINE OF COCAINE AS IT IS SUCKED UP INTO A STRAW.

ACE (V.O.) You add this into the mix...

EXTREME CLOSE-UP LOOKING THROUGH THE STRAW AS THE COKE IS SNIFFED.

Maybe Vegas just got . . .

EXT. BAR PARKING LOT - NIGHT

NICKY and his crew get into their cars.

ACE (V.O.) ...to all of us. And his crew followed him right over the edge.

The man is left alone on the ground of the dingy parking lot.

ACE (V.O.) They were all tuned up half the time on coke. I mean, they started doin'...

EXT. BERNIE BLUE'S HOUSE, RESIDENTIAL STREET - NIGHT

BLUE gets out of his car with an aluminium foil package to confront the police.

ACE (V.O.) ...stupid things.

COP #1 Watch it, partner, watch it!

ACE (V.O.) The worst was Blue.

BLUE (Belligerent) Hey, what do you guys want out of my life, huh?

COP #1 Police! Stay in the fuckin' car!

ACE (V.O.) He never knew when to keep his fuckin' mouth shut.

COP #2 He has a gun!

COP #1 Drop your gun or I'll -!

BLUE Hey, fuck you!

COP #1 Drop the gun!

BLUE is shot several times by both COPS. He falls on the ground, dead.

ACE (V.O.) The cops shot him. They shot Blue...

FLASHBACK - A LITTLE EARLIER

BLUE is yelling back at the COPS, holding the foil package.

ACE (V.O.) ...because they thought his hero sandwich was a gun!

Freeze frame as the camera moves in on the wrapped sandwich in his hand.

ACE (V.O.) You know, they could have...

The COPS walk up to BLUE, who is on the ground amid shattered glass.

ACE (V.O.) ...been right, but who knows?

COP #1 Jesus Christ! What gun? He's got a fuckin' hero sandwich here.

COP #2 What do you want? It - It's pitch- black out here. It's tin foil.

COP #1 Pitch-black?! It -

COP #2 It looked like a fuckin' gun!

COP #1 You - You fuckin' moron, I'll be filling out paper work for the next two months because of you and this piece of shit, you...

COP #2 Oh my God, what are we gonna do? I'm sorry.

COP #1 ...fuckin' jerk-off.

ACE (V.O.) And to make matters worse, to get even, Nicky's crew got stoned one night and they started shootin' up the cops' houses.

COP #1 plants a gun on the ground next to BLUE's legs using a handkerchief to avoid leaving fingerprints.

EXT. DETECTIVE'S HOUSE - NIGHT

The house explodes as gunfire riddles the front of a detective's home. MARINO, DOMINICK, FUSCO, HARDY and three HOODS in another car are spraying the home with machine-guns and shotguns.

EXT. GOLD RUSH - DAY

NICKY and MARINO emerge from the shop.

ACE (V.O.) I mean, it got to the point where they couldn't even talk in the Gold Rush anymore because the Feds put a wire in the wall.

EXT. FBI STAKEOUT POST: MOTEL ACROSS FROM THE GOLD RUSH - DAY

Two FBI AGENTS with binoculars are watching NICKY and MARINO, trying to read their lips.)

ACE (V.O.) And even when they talked outside, they had to cover their mouths because...

LIP-READER (Lowering his binoculars) Jeez, he's coverin' up again.

He raises the binoculars and looks through again.

ACE (V.O.) ...the Feds brought in lip-readers.

EXT. GOLD RUSH - DAY

NICKY and MARINO are outside talking. They are covering their mouths with their hands and constantly looking around.

ACE (V.O.) Nicky found out about it from a teller who owed him money. This guy worked...

Voice-over trails off.

MARINO He asked me again about you and the Jew's wife.

NICKY Walk, walk, walk. What'd you say?

MARINO He asked me again about you and the Jew's wife.

NICKY Yeah, what'd you tell him?

MARINO I told him I didn't know nothin'. But Jiggs and, uh, Tony Gorilla said if you did anything, you're fucked up.

NICKY You think he's goin' home, makin' a beef behind my back?

MARINO Nah. You would've heard somethin'.

NICKY Yeah, what's to stop him?

MARINO I know. I know.

NICKY I don't trust him anymore. But they'd never okay anything, you know?

MARINO Yeah, but they keep askin' about it.

NICKY Well, now, sure they're askin'. They earn with the prick. I got a funny feelin' he's gonna start a fuckin' war or somethin'. (Pause) I'm not sure yet, you know. But I w- You know, but you know what I want you to do?

MARINO What?

NICKY looks suspiciously at a man walking by them.

NICKY Who's this guy? Who's this guy?

MARINO Oh, he ain't nobody.

NICKY You know what I want you to do? Get a couple of guys to dig a hole in the desert, then let 'em show you where it's at.

MARINO Angelo and Buster.

NICKY Yeah, but I'm not sure yet.

MARINO They'll do it.

NICKY And when I'm ready, I'll say the words, 'Go see the Jew.'

MARINO Yeah.

NICKY And you make it disappear, you know what I mean?

MARINO Yeah, just let me know. But you gotta be ready. You know what I'm talkin' about?

NICKY Did I say to do anything yet? I said I'm not sure... I'll let you know. I want to think about it. Where're these pricks at?

Looks for the FBI AGENTS.

MARINO Don't know.

NICKY Dominick said they're in the motel?

MARINO Yeah, either that or in the fuckin' bank. I don't know. They're all over the joint.

INT. JUBILATION NIGHTCLUB - NIGHT

ACE is seated at a table with SHERBERT, TRUDY, OSCAR and two showgirls. ACE is on the phone. It rings and rings, but there's no answer.

INT. ACE'S HOUSE - DAY

The camera pans from the bedroom hallway to the living-room as the phone rings.

INT. JUBILATION NIGHTCLUB - NIGHT

ACE hangs up.

ACE (Getting up from the table) Be right back. I'll be right back.

He walks over to RUDY, the maitre d'.

ACE Rudy, any calls for me, just give 'em to Mr Sherbert. I'll be right back.

RUDY Sure, Mr Rothstein. You'll be back...?

ACE I'm going home for a few seconds. I'll be right back.

ACE hurries out. RUDY picks up the phone and dials a number.

RUDY (Into telephone) He's on his way home.

INT. LEANING TOWER - NIGHT

NICKY is on the phone. The place is jumping in the background.

RUDY (Over telephone) Yeah, he just left.

NICKY Yeah? All right.

He hangs up the phone and looks across the room at GINGER, who is seated in a booth smiling at him and picking the olive out of a Martini.

INT. ACE'S HOUSE - NIGHT

ACE gets home and can't find GINGER.

ACE (Looking around the house) Hello? Hello! Ginger.

AMY (Faintly, from her bedroom) Help, Daddy!

Fear strikes him and he runs to his daughter's room.

ACE (Knocking, turning the doorknob) Amy! Amy, open the door!

AMY (O.S.) (From her room) I can't! I'm tied!

ACE Wh-wh -

ACE slams his shoulder against the door, trying to knock it down.

INT. ACE'S HOUSE, AMY'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

ACE forces it open and sees that AMY's arms have been tied to her bed with stockings. AMY screams.

AMY Dad!

ACE What happened? What happened? Who did this to you?

AMY Mommy.

ACE I'm gonna get a knife and cut you loose, honey, I'll -

AMY (Panting) Oh, no, please, please.

She tries to keep him from leaving her.

ACE (Bending down, kisses her) Okay, I'll be right back.

ACE cuts AMY loose with a knife.

ACE When did this happen, honey?

AMY I don't know.

She gets up and hugs her father.

ACE You don't know? What time did your mother do this? When did she leave?

AMY I don't know.

ACE (Comforting AMY as she moans) Ohhh...

He kisses her. They get up from the bed when the phone rings.

INT. ACE'S HOUSE, LIVING-ROOM - NIGHT

ACE walks to the phone.

ACE (Into telephone) Hello.

NICKY (Over telephone) Sammy.

ACE (Into telephone) Yeah, uh, who's this?

NICKY It's me.

ACE (Into telephone) Nick?

INT. LEANING TOWER - NIGHT

DOMINICK looks on as NICKY talks on the phone.

NICKY (Into telephone) Yeah, what are you doin'? You okay?

ACE (Over telephone) No, I'm not okay.

INT. ACE'S HOUSE, LIVING-ROOM - NIGHT

ACE (Into telephone) How'd you know I was here?

NICKY (Over telephone) Well...

INT. LEANING TOWER - NIGHT

DOMINICK and MARINO look on.

NICKY (Into telephone) ...uh, you know, I just wanted to talk to you a minute.

ACE (Over telephone) Well...

INT. ACE'S HOUSE, LIVING-ROOM - NIGHT

ACE (Into telephone) ...Ginger's missing and she tied Amy up and she locked her in her room. I gotta find her. I don't know where the hell she is.

INT. LEANING TOWER - NIGHT

NICKY (Into telephone) Yeah? Well, listen, Ginger's over here at the Leaning Tower with me.

INT. ACE'S HOUSE, LIVING-ROOM - NIGHT

ACE (Into telephone) She's there with you? (Getting angry.) She's there with you?

NICKY (Over telephone) Yeah, she's here.

ACE (Into telephone) I'll be right there.

He hangs up and starts to leave.

INT. LEANING TOWER - NIGHT

NICKY (Into telephone) Uh, all right.

He hangs up and steps over to DOMINICK and MARINO.

NICKY He's comin' over.

DOMINICK Great!

INT. LEANING TOWER - NIGHT

High angle past the restaurant's neon sign to ACE's car screeching to a halt by the main entrance. He storms in.

INT. LEANING TOWER - NIGHT

ACE is stopped by NICKY in the foyer.

NICKY (Trying to calm him) Ace don't... listen, don't... don't make a scene, all right?

ACE I want to just talk. I want to talk to that Irish bitch.

NICKY She didn't know who to turn to. (Raising his hand almost in a plea.) She... she didn't know where to turn. She was tryin' to save your marriage.

ACE Yeah? Nicky, I want to talk to that fuckin' bitch.

NICKY (Menacing) Hey, be fuckin' nice. Calm. Be nice. Don't fuck up in here.

ACE pauses for a beat, realizing that NICKY is standing in his way and could be dangerous. ACE gives him a wide berth.

We follow ACE through the crowd to GINGER, seated in a booth. He sits down angrily across from her.)

GINGER (Stoned, smoking a cigarette) Hi, Sam.

ACE (Quietly) I mean, you tie up our kid and you lock the fuckin' door? Are...

GINGER Oh...

ACE ...you out of your mind? That's our child. Are you out of your fuckin' mind?

GINGER It's just for a little while, Sam. The baby-sitter wasn't there.

ACE I ought to fuckin' have you committed. You fuckin' do that again, (pointing his finger at her) I'll f-, I'll f-

GINGER She wasn't gonna get up. I was just gonna be out for a little while.

ACE I should have -

GINGER I mean, she was asleep. I was going to be right back before she even woke up.

ACE Listen to me, listen to me, listen to me. (Pounding his fist on the table.) Listen, you fuckin' cunt.

GINGER Oh, sh-

ACE Listen to me.

GINGER Fuck you.

ACE (Knocking her drink over) Let me tell you something. (Pointing.) Listen to me.

GINGER I w- I was gonna be back before she woke up.

ACE You listen carefully! You ever fuckin' touch her again, you ever do anything like that again, I'll fuckin' kill you. Pure and simple. Do you hear me? Pure and fuckin' simple, I'll fuckin' kill you, you bitch.

GINGER (Leaning in to him) Why don't you just let me go, Sam?

ACE You fuckin' whore!

GINGER I'll sign anything you want me to sign, okay?

ACE You understand? What? Let you go?

GINGER I just want the key to my jewelry, and I want you to let me go.

ACE You want your jewelry?

GINGER I want you to let me go.

ACE And what? And let you disgrace me, you fuckin' pig? And let you disgrace me? Get up. Get up and be a mother. Get in the car and go to the house...

GINGER darts a look to NICKY who is at the bar, watching anxiously. He gestures with his head for her to leave.

ACE Right now. Get up and -

ACE notices her look at NICKY but when he turns to see what she's looking at, he just misses NICKY's gesture. ACE grabs GINGER by her collar.

ACE Get - Get up! Get up!

GINGER I wou- I wouldn't do that if I were you.

ACE Get - get up!

GINGER I wouldn't do that...

ACE Get up! Get going! (Pushing the table.) Get up!

NICKY gestures to her again.

GINGER I wouldn't -

ACE Get the fu- (Shaking the table.) You threatening me? (Making a fist.) I'll fuckin' kill you in this place! (Pointing to her.) Get up and go home right now.

GINGER gets up and leans in to shout at ACE.

GINGER (Barking) I'm going. I'm going, you -!

She grabs her purse and leaves. Patrons stare as ACE follows her out.

INT. ACE'S HOUSE, FOYER - NIGHT

GINGER follows ACE through the door. As soon as she closes the door behind her, ACE turns to face her.

ACE Now you need approval from him to go home?

GINGER So what? So who fuckin' blew you in the parking lot before you came in... huh?

ACE (Disgusted) You make me sick, you fuck. Once a fuckin' hooker, always a hooker.

GINGER Oh, fuck you! Fuck you, Sam Rothstein! (Opening the door.) Fuck you!

A furious GINGER turns around and storms out, slamming the door.

INT. ACE'S HOUSE KITCHEN - NIGHT

Through the kitchen sliding glass door: GINGER's engine roars and tires screech as she tears away in her her sportscar. ACE dials the phone.

ACE (Into telephone) Yeah, Billy Sherbert, please. Put him on.

SHERBERT (Over telephone) Who's this?

ACE (Into telephone) Yeah, Bill, listen, I'll explain to you later. Just - You - You got a gun at home? Yeah. Bring it over here right away.

INT. JUBILATION NIGHTCLUB - NIGHT

SHERBERT is still at the discotheque.

SHERBERT (Into telephone) Okay. Just take it easy.

ACE (Over telephone) Right away. Okay?

SHERBERT (Into telephone) I-I'll do it.

INT. ACE'S KITCHEN - NIGHT

ACE (Into telephone) Okay. (He hangs up.)

EXT. LEANING TOWER - NIGHT

GINGER's car screeches into the parking lot and she jumps out, leaving her car oor open and engine running. A valet parker approaches.

GINGER (To VALET PARKER) Leave it where it is.

INT. LEANING TOWER, FOYER - NIGHT

GINGER bursts in. MARINO tries to calm her down.

GINGER Where is he? Goddamn it! I want that Jew bastard killed! I have fuckin' had it!

NICKY walks in from the restaurant.

MARINO Calm down, calm down. Shh!

NICKY Shh. (To MARINO.) Hide her car in the back!

He pulls her by her arm to a storage room upstairs.

GINGER There's no reason to hide my car. He already knows! (Walking up the stairs.) He threw it in my face! The second I get out of here, I -

INT. LEANING TOWER, UPSTAIRS STORAGE ROOM - NIGHT

GINGER is enraged and panting.

NICKY What did I tell you? Supposing he goes back home and makes a fuckin' beef? I gotta know exactly what you said. Tell me what you said to him.

GINGER Me? I said... nothin'. I said, I said, 'No, no, no.' Everything he said, I just kept sayin' no.

NICKY I told you this was fuckin' dangerous. Remember I said, 'Ginger, this is a dangerous situation. Be very careful.' You fuckin' yessed me to death.

GINGER If it's so fuckin' dangerous, then why don't you kill him?

NICKY I'm not gonna kill him. Shut the fuck up. What, do you know what you're talkin' about? I'm not killing anyb-

GINGER (Interrupting) Oh, well, then, have him killed and get it over with.

NICKY (Loud and angry) Hey, don't be such a fuckin' smartass, will you? I mean, I know the fuckin' guy thirty-five years, I'm gonna fuckin' whack him for you? Fuck... motherfucker! I knew this, I knew it.

GINGER What about my money?

NICKY (Raising his voice even more) How the fuck am I gonna get your fuckin' money now? You think he's gonna give you fuckin' money? Are you out of your mind?! Look what you just did to this fuckin' guy! If you would have just kept your fuckin' mouth shut! (Walking away.) Ah, what the fuck is the use? I should've never got invol-

GINGER screams and attacks NICKY.

NICKY (Grappling with her) What? Hey! Hey! What the fuck are you... ?

NICKY slaps her roughly across the face, grabs the back her jacket and forcefully leads her to a stairway.

GINGER Ah, you fuck! You're such a fuckin' asshole!

NICKY Get the fuck out of here. Get out! Get the fuck out!

Shoves her down the stairs. GINGER yells and gasps on her way down.

MARINO (O.S.) (From bottom of stairway) Whoa. Calm down.

NICKY (Behind GINGER) Get out. Get out! Get out!

MARINO (O.S.) Take it easy!

NICKY Why'd I get involved with this fuckin' nut in the first place? Get out!

MARINO You're gonna fuckin' kill her. Take it easy.

NICKY (Pushing a sobbing GINGER out the back door) Get her the fuck out of here. Get her out of here.

EXT. LEANING TOWER, BACK DOOR/REAR PARKING LOT - NIGHT

MARINO throws GINGER out the back door. She falls on her side, crying.

NICKY Get the fuck out of here.

GINGER (Sobbing, getting up) I don't need you! I have my own fuckin' money!

NICKY All right, all right.

She stumbles to her car.

GINGER I'm going' to the FBI! I'm not scared anymore!

NICKY All right. Be careful.

GINGER You fucked with me for the last time!

NICKY Okay, yeah.

INT. LEANING TOWER, BACK DOOR - NIGHT

NICKY and MARINO are seated at the back door watching GINGER screech out of the parking lot.

NICKY Be careful. (To MARINO.) Hey, come on. Get inside.

They turn and walk back inside. MARINO leans on a wall next to the kitchen.

NICKY has scratches on his hand and face.

NICKY Can you fuckin' believe that? (Showing MARINO his scratches.) Look at this motherfucker.

NICKY sits on the bottom step across from MARINO, who sighs. Cooks mill around in the background.

NICKY I fucked up, Frankie. I fucked up good this time. Should have never started with this fuckin' broad.

MARINO Take it easy. What could you do? I mean, she threw herself at you, right?

NICKY I'm in a bad fuckin' spot here. You know that? Bad fuckin' spot.

He puts his head in his hands.

INT. ACE'S HOUSE, KITCHEN - NIGHT

We see SHERBERT approach the sliding glass door holding a shotgun. ACE lets him in, locks the door and grabs the gun from him.

EXT. ACE'S HOUSE, LIVING-ROOM - NIGHT

Through the sliding patio doors, we see ACE and SHERBERT making sure all the doors are locked and the lights are turned off.

ACE (V.O.) I already left the kid with neighbors and I had about a million in cash and jewels that I gave to Sherbert to lock up in the hotel.

ACE (O.S.) (From following scene) Put this in the...

INT. ACE'S HOUSE - NIGHT

ACE leads SHERBERT to the front door as he stuffs a shoebox filled with cash and jewels in a bag and hands it over to him.

ACE ...hotel safe, then I want you to come right back.

ACE shuts the down behind him and switches off a light. The room goes black.

EXT. ACE'S HOUSE - MORNING

A crisp, sunny morning. SHERBERT's car is parked on the street in front of the house.

INT. ACE'S HOUSE, UPSTAIRS DEN - MORNING

An exhausted ACE, in his robe, and SHERBERT are seated across from each other at the bar with the shotgun displayed prominently on the counter between them.

EXT. NEIGHBORHOOD STREET, ACE'S HOUSE - MORNING

Camera pans with GINGER's car as it approaches the driveway and crashes into the back of ACE's parked car.

INT. ACE'S HOUSE, UPSTAIRS DEN - MORNING

ACE and SHERBERT react to the noise. SHERBERT grabs the shotgun. ACE looks out the window at GINGER ramming her car into his.

ACE She, she's alone. Just go. Take the gun and go into Amy's.

GINGER (O.S.) (Screaming) You get down here!

ACE (To SHERBERT as he walks around the bar with the gun) Just wait there for me!

GINGER (From driveway) Get down here and talk to me, goddamn it! Don't fuckin' ignore me! You motherfucker!

SHERBERT exits. ACE runs over to the stairs and starts down them.

EXT. ACE'S HOUSE - MORNING

GINGER repeatedly smashes into ACE's car.

GINGER (From her car) I mean it!

ACE emerges from the front door, taking cover behind a brick column.

GINGER You come down here right now! Come down here and talk to me, goddamn it! Fuck you! Goddamn you, come out here! I'm gonna drive this fucking car through the living-room!

She starts to drive it across the lawn. ACE darts back towards the front door. GINGER's car stops in front of the porch.

GINGER (Getting out of the car to confront ACE) You fucking coward! You motherfucker!

She slips and falls on the lawn.

GINGER You come out here and talk to me, you fucker!

ACE (From the porch) Will you stop it? You're drunk, you're on drugs. You're gonna -

GINGER I am not!

ACE (Pointing to her) You're gonna be sorry if you don't stop that.

GINGER Don't you threaten me!

ACE You'll wake the whole neighborhood!

GINGER (Kicking the hedges) Don't you threaten me!

EXT. NEIGHBOR'S HOUSE ACROSS THE STREET - MORNING

A female neighbor walks out of her house. A man from the house next door does the same. We see AMY watching from the neighbor's window.

GINGER (O.S.) You are not threatening me anymore!

ACE (O.S.) I'm not -

EXT. ACE'S HOUSE - MORNING

GINGER is bending down, breaking off branches from some plants and throwing them at ACE.

GINGER You fuck! You fuck! I'm sick of you!

ACE flinches as a handful of leaves hits his face.

GINGER I am fuckin' Nicky Santoro! I am! He's my new sponsor!

ACE gestures towards the neighbors who are watching. A squad car pulls into the driveway.

GINGER (To ACE) What about that, you fuckhead?! (To neighbors.) What are you looking at? Fuck off!

Two COPS walk up the driveway towards GINGER.

COP #1 Hey!

COP #2 Hey!

GINGER (To neighbors) Go back inside! This is none of your business! (To ACE.) I don't have to take your shit all the time anymore.

COP #1 Hey.

GINGER I'll to the FBI!

COP #2 Mrs. Rothstein, hey.

GINGER I will go to the police! I am not (kicking hedge) Protecting you anymore, you fuck!

COP #1 Mrs Ro- Mrs Rothstein! Okay, shh!

GINGER He won't...

EXT. FBI SURVEILLANCE CAMPER - MORNING

An FBI AGENT is parked down the block, photographing the scene through a long-lens camera.

GINGER (O.S.) ...let me inside!

INT. FBI SURVEILLANCE CAMPER - MORNING

On the FBI AGENT and his camera as he photographs the scene.

GINGER (O.S.) He won't let me in my own house!

EXT. ACE'S HOUSE - MORNING

FREEZE FRAME: COP #1 TUGGING AT GINGER'S JACKET.

UNFREEZE: LIVE ACTION CONTINUES AS SHE PULLS AWAY FROM HIM.

COP #1 Mr Rothstein. Mr Rothstein, I'm sorry. We've got some complaints about - about the noise.

GINGER I'm just trying to get in my house!

COP #1 I understand.

GINGER He won't let me go in my house!

ACE I won't let her in. I'm sorry, Randy, I'm not gonna let her in. She - Well, I'm not gonna let her in, the way she's behaving. I'm - I'm -

GINGER Not gonna let me in?

ACE Who knows what you're gonna do in there? I don't want you -

GINGER What do you mean, what am I gonna do? I'm in the same clothes for two days! I want to get a few of my things! Big deal!

COP #1 All right. Okay, okay.

COP #2 Mr Rothstein, why don't we just let her in the house and get a few of her things? That way she'll get out of here. This is half her house anyway.

ACE I'm afraid to let her in the house.

GINGER Oh, you are...

ACE I'm afraid she's gonna destroy stuff.

GINGER (Kicking, pulling up plants and throwing them at ACE) Let me in the house! Fucker!

COP #1 holds her back.

GINGER Fucker!

COP #1 Please.

ACE Should I let her in like - ?

GINGER You ought to be afraid, the way you fuckin' treat me!

COP #1 Hey, Mr Rothstein, it'll make it a lot easier on everybody here if we just let her in the house.

COP #2 If we let her get a few of her things we'll be out of your hair.

ACE If she calms down, I will let her in the house.

GINGER (Pants, yelling) I am calm!

ACE If she calms down...

COP #1 (To GINGER) No, you're not calm.

ACE ...I will let her in the house for five minutes if you gentlemen will escort her out if she happens not to want to leave. Because I don't - I -

GINGER (To COP #1) Can I go in?

COP #1 That's not a problem, that's not a p-

GINGER Can I go in?

COP #1 Jeff, would you go in with her?

GINGER walks towards the front door.

COP #2 We can do that. Absolutely. Yes. Absolutely.

GINGER Yes, fine! Fine! (In ACE's face as she brushes past him.) Fuck you!

EXT. FBI SURVEILLANCE CAMPER - MORNING

The FBI AGENT taking photographs.

We see a series of surveillance photos of GINGER, ACE and the COPS on the front lawn.

EXT. NEIGHBOR'S WINDOWS - MORNING

AMY is watching her parents and the COPS across the street, until the housekeeper pulls her away into the house.

GINGER (O.S.) (From following scene) You wouldn't believe how mean he's been to me. He's locked up...

INT. ACE'S HOUSE, UPSTAIRS DEN - MORNING

GINGER races up the stairs, trailed by COP #2.

GINGER ...most of my important stuff, all my papers and things. And I have to get 'em.

She walks across the room to ACE's desk.

GINGER So don't let him come in here 'cause I know they're in here in the desk and he's -

She tries to open the middle drawer but it's locked.

GINGER Fuck! (Going through a couple of drawers.) Just pay attention. He could come up here at any time. (Pants.)

She spots a pair of scissors on the desk. She tries to open the drawer with them.

GINGER (Then, to COP #2) Are you watching for him?

She finally pries the drawer open, breaking the tip of the scissors. GINGER's hands open the drawer and she picks up the safe deposit keys.

GINGER Got 'em.

FREEZE FRAME ON THE GLIMMERING KEYS.

EXT. ACE'S HOUSE - MORNING

ACE and COP #1 are on the front porch talking.

ACE (Smoking, checking his watch) Yeah, I don't want her in there more than a few more minutes.

COP #1 No, it's - it'll just be a couple of minutes. We got other things to do too, you know. He'll hurry her up. How's everything else besides this?

ACE Fine, fine. How's your family?

COP #1 Not bad, not bad. In fact, uh, my wife's pregnant again.

ACE Oh, good.

COP #1 Yeah.

ACE Congratulations.

ACE shakes his hand.

COP #1 Thanks, yeah... I'm kind of happy about this, you know.

INT. ACE'S HOUSE, BEDROOM CLOSET - MORNING

GINGER runs into the closet, bending down to search through the shoe boxes that usually contain money but are now empty.

GINGER (Kneeling, to COP #2) I just have to get this one more thing and then we'll be - We can go. (She picks up an empty shoe box.) Shit! (Gets up, picking up a pair of ACE's shoes and tossing them on the floor.) God, fuck! Shit! God! (She runs out, taking a fur coat off a hangar. Then, grunting) Really pisses me off... (To COP #2.) Don't worry about it.

COP #2 follows her out of the closet.

EXT. ACE'S HOUSE - MORNING

ACE, COP #1 and several neighbors wait as GINGER storms out with COP #2 carrying a small overnight bag.

GINGER (To the COPS but looking at ACE) And it would be great if you guys could follow me out of here, because he's been threatening me.

GINGER walks to her car.

COP #2 (To COP #1) Come on. I'm sorry.

COP #1 Okay.

ACE (to COP #1, shaking hands) Okay, Randy. Thank you.

COP #1 All right, take care.

GINGER backs her car out, smashing into ACE's car once again.

EXT. ACE'S HOUSE, KITCHEN WINDOWS - MORNING

SHERBERT watches from a small, curtained window.

EXT. NEIGHBORHOOD STREET - MORNING

GINGER drives down the street followed by the police car. The FBI camper pulls out and follows the squad car following GINGER.

EXT. GINGER'S CAR - MORNING

GINGER is driving and crying.

GINGER (To herself, panting) I can't believe this. (Sighs.)

EXT. VEGAS BANK - MORNING

GINGER swerves into the bank, parks in front of the main entrance and gets out of her car. The COPS park behind her.

GINGER (To COPS, rushing inside) I just need to pick up a little cash inside. Could you come with me?

EXT. FBI SURVEILLANCE CAR, ACROSS THE STREET - MORNING

Two more FBI AGENTS, with binoculars and a camera, photograph GINGER as she walks into the bank.

INT. VEGAS BANK VAULT - MORNING

A bank employee is helping GINGER unlock a safe deposit box. She pulls it out hurriedly.

INT. ACE'S HOUSE, UPSTAIRS DEN - MORNING

ACE is on the phone talking to CHARLIE CLARK. He's looking at the jimmied rawer, broken scissors and the missing keys.

ACE (Into telephone, throwing the scissors into the open drawer) Charlie, you've gotta - you've gotta stop her!

CHARLIE CLARK (Over telephone) I-I'm sorry, Sam.

ACE (Into telephone) You've got to stop her.

CHARLIE CLARK (Over telephone) What can I do?

ACE (Into telephone) She's a fuckin' junkie. She's out of her fucking mind. Do you unders-

SHERBERT is behind ACE, listening.

CHARLIE CLARK (Over telephone) She has...

INT. VEGAS BANK - MORNING

CHARLIE CLARK is on the phone. GINGER, in the background, comes out of the vault and carries one of her boxes to a cubicle.

CHARLIE CLARK (Into telephone) ...the keys, and it's still in both your names.

GINGER (Carrying the box, slipping but catching herself) Whoa.

CHARLIE CLARK (Into telephone) I'm sorry, there's nothing I can do. I'd like to help...

INT. ACE'S HOUSE, UPSTAIRS DEN - MORNING

CHARLIE CLARK (Over telephone) ...but I can't.

ACE (Into telephone) Legally, she can't take that stuff. Legally, she can't take the stuff.

CHARLIE CLARK (Over telephone) No, Ace.

ACE (Into telephone) Half of everything is mine.

CHARLIE CLARK (Over telephone) Ace, listen to me.

ACE (Into telephone) Half - I'm comin' down. (He hangs up.)

EXT. ACE'S HOUSE, DRIVEWAY - MORNING

ACE and SHERBERT get into ACE's damaged car. A metal strip dangling from SHERBERT's door scrapes the pavement as they pull out.

INT. VEGAS BANK - DAY

GINGER opens the safe deposit box, which is filled with bound stacks of cash.

She grabs handfuls in a frenzy, some fall off the counter to the floor.

GINGER Shit! Oh, goddamn it!

GINGER gets down on the floor to pick them up.

GINGER (Then, to COPS who are watching) Um, I'm gonna need a bag. If you could just ask the guy for a big bag, okay?

COP #1 (To COP #2) Go get a bag, man.

GINGER (Looking up, offering COP #1 some cash) And here. Here.

COP #1 Lady, I can't. I can't. I ca-

COP #2 exits.

GINGER No, you can, you can. (Sobbing.) You've been so nice to me.

COP #1 (Taking the money) I can't.

INT. VEGAS BANK - MORNING, A LITTLE LATER

COP #2 holds open a large canvas bag for GINGER.

COP #2 (To GINGER) Like this?

GINGER (Struggling with two handfuls of cash) Yeah, just hold the top open, all right, and I can -

She starts to stuff the money in the bag.

EXT. FBI SURVEILLANCE CAR, ACROSS THE STREET - MORNING

The FBI AGENTS photograph GINGER leaving the bank.

EXT. VEGAS BANK - DAY

GINGER throws the canvas bag into the trunk of her car when, suddenly, she sees ACE's beat-up Cadillac approaching. She gasps.

GINGER Oh, God. It's him. (To COPS.) You have to stop him. You have to - 'Cause he said he was going to kill me.

ACE jumps out of his car and runs toward GINGER, SHERBERT follows him out.

ACE is intercepted by the COPS who hold him back.

GINGER You just - Just stop him.

COP #1 Mr Ro- Mr Roth- Mr Rothstein, where you goin' -

ACE Stop -

COP #1 Wait, hold on a second.

ACE Hey!

COP #1 Hold on a second.

The COPS huddle around ACE and SHERBERT until GINGER's car pulls out of the bank.

COP #1 Nothin' we can do about it. Nothin' we can do. There's nothin' we can do.

ACE, unable to pursue, watches GINGER speed away.

ACE Look, look. You can't stop her for speeding? I mean, look what the hell she's doing.

COP #1 Speeding?

COP #2 We're talkin' to you right now.

GINGER's car disappears into traffic. The FBI car across the street follows right behind her.

COP #2 There's nothing we can do. She had the key.

COP #1 She's on the account. There's nothing we can do.

EXT. FBI SURVEILLANCE CAR - MORNING

The AGENTS are following GINGER.

FBI AGENT #1 Let's pull her over at that Citgo Station.

FBI AGENT #2 (Driving) Okay, let's do it.

FBI AGENT #1 puts a siren on top of the car's roof.

EXT. VEGAS STREET, CITGO STATION - MORNING

GINGER pulls over at a gas station, the FBI car with siren blaring right behind her.

EXT. VEGAS BANK - MORNING

A powerless ACE and SHERBERT are still standing in front of the bank with the COPS. COP #2 gives ACE a 'sorry' gesture.

EXT. CITGO STATION - MORNING

GINGER and the FBI AGENTS are standing by her car. She is distraught.

FBI AGENT #2 We're - we're placing you under arrest for -

GINGER (Sobbing) For what?

FBI AGENT #2 We're placing you under arrest for aiding and abetting -

GINGER (Through tears) What?

FBI AGENT #2 We're placing you under arrest for aiding and abetting a -

GINGER (Crying) But I'm just trying to leave.

ACE (V.O.) After all the threats and all the bullshit, it turned out Ginger didn't tell 'em anything. But by then, the Feds didn't need her, anyway.

GINGER (Sobbing) But it was just mine.

ACE (V.O.) They had all the pieces they needed.

FBI AGENT #1 Come on.

GINGER But I didn't do anything.

The AGENTS escort GINGER to their car.

ACE (V.O.) And everybody...

EXT. GOLD RUSH - NIGHT

Twelve FBI AGENTS with rifles, wearing 'FBI' armbands, charge into the parking lot and rush through the front door.

ACE (V.O.) ...began to tumble.

FBI AGENT #3 FBI! We have a warrant!

ACE (V.O.) ...one after the other... just like dominoes. Between Piscano complaining on a wire.

EXT. GOLD RUSH - NIGHT, A LITTLE LATER

The FBI AGENTS escort DOMINICK, HARDY, FUSCO and MARINO out of the front of the shop.

ACE (V.O.) Between Nicky, Ginger, me and my license... paradise... we managed to really fuck it all up.

INT. NICKY'S HOUSE - NIGHT

We hear a doorbell ring. LITTLE NICKY, now ten years old, see FBI AGENTS approaching the house.

LITTLE NICKY (Getting up from the couch) Mom!

JENNIFER (O.S.) (Into telephone) Yeah, well, someone's at the fuckin' door now.

Jennifer's cousin opens the door; seven AGENTS storm in.

FBI AGENT #4 FBI. We have a federal search warrant.

NICKY (V.O.) Right away, I got wind of the pinches comin' down, so I took off. Who needs to hang around for that bullshit?

FBI AGENT #4 (To JENNIFER, showing his badge) My name is Marc Caspar, Special Agent, FBI.

JENNIFER (Defensive) Yeah, well, (grabbing the phone and walking away) Can I make a fuckin' phone call?

FBI AGENT #4 (Blocking her way as she tries to get by him) Hey, ho-hold it for a minute. You can make a phone call, but you don't have to talk to us like that.

JENNIFER (Slamming the phone down on a table) Hey -

INT. TANGIERS CASHIER'S CAGE - DAY

NANCE is talking to a cashier behind the cage when FBI AGENTS with Gaming Board investigators DUPREY and AUSTIN enter the casino.

FBI AGENT #5 FBI! Don't be alarmed.

NANCE rushes out a back door.

NICKY (V.O.) But they got almost everybody else.

FBI AGENT #5 This area is seized.

DUPREY Grab everything in sight.

FBI AGENT #6 Right.

DUPREY (Walking through a door into the cage) Get the master account list!

AUSTIN I want all those papers seized, regardless of what they are.

As AUSTIN and the others make their way into the soft count room, an AGENT puts up a yellow crime banner across the front of the cashier's window.

AUSTIN I want this area off-limits to everybody.

INT. TANGIERS SOFT COUNT ROOM - DAY

The counters look on as several AGENTS seize the money boxes and stacks of cash from the glass table. DUPREY sifts through the Count Room Executive's notebook.

AUSTIN is at a cabinet looking through a ledger.

AUSTIN (Holding the book) Ah, yes, here we are. A little craps figures. [Actual amount taken from craps tables before the skim.] Hey - Hey.

ACE (V.O.) Green?

INT. GREEN'S MALIBU HOUSE - NIGHT

GREEN, wearing a tennis outfit and holding a racquet, is being questioned by FBI AGENT #8 who's showing him confiscated papers. Several AGENTS are searching the house.

ACE (V.O.) Don't even ask.

FBI AGENT #8 Thirty thousand dollars...

GREEN No, he didn't. And that's why it wasn't valid. I was being extorted, all right? I'm willing to tell you whatever you want to know. I've got nothin' to hide here.

NICKY (V.O.) Now, for the best...

INT. PISCANO'S HOUSE, LIVING-ROOM, KANSAS CITY - DAY

FBI AGENT #9 removes some ledgers from a a filing cabinet.

NICKY (V.O.) ...and I couldn't believe this shit. Piscano's expense reports took the cake.

AGENTS are wandering around the house, looking for evidence.

FBI AGENT #9 Oh, this is good. Bingo!

NICKY (V.O.) He might as well have given them a fuckin' blueprint. Everybody's names, address, dates, everything.

FBI AGENT #9 (Crossing the room to PISCANO) Look at this! That you so much, Mr Piscano. How considerate of you. Appreciate it.

PISCANO Those are my m- those are my mother's books.

FBI AGENT #10 You're under arrest.

NICKY (V.O.) What a fuckin' balloon head.

PISCANO gets more and more agitated as FBI AGENT #10 gets one cuff on him.

PISCANO What are you guys doin'?!

PISCANO gasps and clutches his chest, having a heart attack. The AGENT drops the cuffs and tries to help PISCANO as he collapses onto the floor.

FBI AGENT #10 Take it easy, Artie. We just want to talk to you.

PISCANO'S WIFE and the FBI AGENTS kneel down beside him.

PISCANO'S WIFE (Screaming) Artie, are you okay? Sweetheart? Honey? Wait a minute! He's sick! Artie! Oh, God!

She continues to scream as the AGENTS try to revive him.

FBI AGENT #10 (To PISCANO's wife) Move back! Come on!

FBI AGENT #9 Dave!

PISCANO'S WIFE He's sick! It's his heart!

FBI AGENT #9 CPR! Now!

PISCANO'S WIFE Oh, God, is he breathing? He's not breathing!

An FBI AGENT gives him mouth-to-mouth.

ACE (V.O.) Poor Artie. He got so upset he had a heart attack and dropped dead right there in front of his wife.

FBI AGENTS #9 and #10 restrain PISCANO'S hysterical WIFE.

PISCANO'S WIFE Artie!

FBI AGENT #10 Calm down! Calm down!

PISCANO'S WIFE No, I won't calm down! He's my husband!

FBI AGENT #10 Stay out of the way!

PISCANO'S WIFE Artie! Artie!

FBI AGENT #10 We can't help him if -

EXT. ACE'S HOUSE - DAY

ACE opens his front door and is confronted by two FBI AGENTS. He is shown pictures of NICKY and GINGER at the construction site.

ACE (V.O.) (Quietly) And at the end of the day, they finally came to see me with the pictures.

FBI AGENT #1 (Pointing to the pictures) Why protect a friend who betrayed you like that?

ACE (V.O.) But I didn't want to look at 'em. I didn't want to look at the guys who brought 'em either.

ACE refuses to look at the photos and quietly closes the door on the AGENTS.

INT. FEDERAL COURT-HOUSE - DAY

GAGGI, FORLANO, BORELLI and CAPELLI are all in court. FORLANO and CAPELLI are breathing through masks and oxygen tanks with nearby doctors and nurses. GAGGI

has a cane in front of him. Several court spectators look on. We hear the bosses' lawyer speak.

LAWYER Your Honor, as you can see, my clients are elderly and infirm. Any incarceration could pose a serious health risk. They are no danger to the community and they pose no flight risk.

NICKY (V.O.) When the bosses were arrested, some of 'em were so old they needed doctors at their arraignment.

LAWYER And Pre-trial Services recommends that bail remain as presently set.

JUDGE (Calling a recess) We're going to take a ten-minute recess.

The JUDGE pounds his gavel.

NICKY (V.O.) And when it looked like they could get twenty-five years...

The BOSSES, their nurses and lawyer file through a side court door.

NICKY (V.O.) ...to life in prison, just for skimmin' a casino... sick or no fuckin' sick, you knew people were gonna get clipped. So, the day of the arraignment, they had this meeting right in the back of the court-house.

INT. COURT-HOUSE CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY

The BOSSES are gathered around a conference table as the lawyers and nurses silently walk out the door as if on cue.

NICKY (V.O.) See, when something like this happens, you know how things are gonna work out. It's always better with no witnesses. So, what about Andy?

THE CAMERA PANS FROM ONE BOSS TO THE OTHER.

FORLANO (Putting down his oxygen mask once the door behind him is shut) He won't talk. Stone is a good kid. Stand-up guy, just like his old man. That's the way I see it.

BORELLI I agree. He's solid. A fuckin' Marine.

CAPELLI (Holding his oxygen mask) He's okay. He always was. Remo, what do you think?

GAGGI (Pause) Look... why take a chance? At least, that's the way I feel about it.

EXT. BACK HOME RESTAURANT, STRIP MALL PARKING LOT - DAY

ANDY STONE and his LAWYER are walking toward their car.

STONE You call Artie... and you tell him I don't care what, he's gotta be in my office Thursday morning before eleven o'clock.

LAWYER It's done.

His LAWYER veers to the left, walking away from STONE who keeps talking.

LAWYER (O.S.) It's done.

STONE (To himself) It's terribly important. I gotta have a conversation with this guy. That's all.

GAGGI's men, CURLY and BEEPER, appear from behind STONE and shoot him dead.

They empty their silent half-load rounds into STONE even after he's down on the snowy ground. They walk away discreetly, leaving him partially hidden between cars.

NICKY (V.O.) As much as they liked him, I mean, he wasn't one of us. He wasn't Italian. As far as they knew, he could have talked. Otherwise, Stony might still be alive.

MONTAGE OF MURDERS:

EXT. NANCE'S COSTA RICAN HOUSE - DAY

TITLE IN: COSTA RICA

The camera moves down a waterfall to reveal NANCE's Spanish- style house.

NICKY (V.O.) The first one to skip was John Nance. He found a nice, warm secluded place in Costa Rica. He thought nobody would find him there.

Several gunshots are heard. NANCE emerges from the house through a door and runs along a verandah to another door. He breaks a pane of glass, unlocks another door and runs in. BEEPER emerges from the first door and follows him back into the house. Several more shots are heard. NANCE emerges from yet another door, only this time he's been shot in the stomach. He painfully staggers away from the hitmen.

NICKY (V.O.) But, then, his kid got nabbed by the Feds for drugs, and so naturally the bosses were afraid he'd come out of hidin' just to save his kid and give 'em all up. So...

CURLY and BEEPER come out of the house and approach NANCE from behind.

CURLY Hey, where you goin', jag-off?

NANCE kneels down. CURLY points his gun expertly at the top of NANCE's head and fires. Blood splatters from NANCE's mouth and he falls to the ground. The gunmen walk away.

NICKY (V.O.) But anyway, they, you know, they all had to follow.

EXT. HOLE IN THE DESERT - DUSK

A bound COUNT ROOM EXEC and a CLERK are kneeling next to a large pit in the esert ground in front of BEEPER and CURLY.

NICKY (V.O.) Everybody went down.

The CLERK groans as he's shot in the head by BEEPER. Blood splatters and he falls right into the pre-dug hole.

COUNT ROOM EXEC Go ahead, fuck...

CURLY Fuck you.

CURLY shoots the EXEC in the head, he too falls backward into the pit. The gunmen fire more rounds into the bodies, then toss their guns into the hole.

NICKY (V.O.) Before you knew it...

EXT. PARKING LOT - NIGHT

RICHIE, a sharply dressed Tangiers EXEC, is getting into his new Lincoln.

NICKY (V.O.) ...anybody who knew anything wound up gettin' whacked.

CURLY sneaks up from behind and hits the EXEC with a lead pipe. He puts a plastic bag over his head and begins to choke him to death. The EXEC struggles a bit but the bag soon fills with blood. CURLY strikes him with the pipe one last time.

INT. BEVERLY SUNSET MOTEL - NIGHT

The camera pans away from an empty registration desk to a motel corridor.

GINGER (O.S.) (Gasping) Oh! Oh, no! No...

The camera moves past several rooms along a cinder block wall.

ACE (V.O.) After Ginger took off, she wasn't much help to anybody. She found some pimps, low-lifes, druggies and bikers in LA. And in a few months, they went through all the money and all the jewels.

Suddenly, a door opens and GINGER overdosing, staggers into the hall looking for help. She gasps, goes halfway down the seedy corridor towards the desk, but collapses and dies.

FREEZE FRAME ON GINGER SPRAWLED OUT ON THE MOTEL CARPET.

ACE (V.O.) After they found her body... I had a private doctor do another autopsy. He said they gave her... a hot dose. In the end... all she had left was thirty-six hundred in mint-condition coins.

END OF MONTAGE

EXT. TONY ROMA'S RESTAURANT PARKING LOT - DAY

ACE emerges from the restaurant, smoking a cigarette as in the first scene in the film. He gets into his car to start the ignition.

ACE (V.O.) No matter what the Feds or the papers might have said about my car bombing...

Flames surge from the windshield, concealing ACE behind the wheel.

FLASHBACK: EXT. TONY ROMA'S RESTAURANT PARKING LOT - DAY

The sign above him reads: 'Tony Roma's a Place for Ribs'. ACE is leaving the restaurant and walking to his car.

ACE (V.O.) ...it was amateur night, and you could tell. Whoever it was, they put the dynamite under the passenger side. But what they didn't know, what nobody outside the factory knew, was that that model car was made with a metal plate under the driver's seat. It's the only thing that saved my life.

ACE opens his car door and gets in.

INT. ACE'S CAR, TONY ROMA'S RESTAURANT PARKING LOT - DAY

ACE turns on the ignition and we see two- and three-inch flames come out of the defroster vents. Everything goes silent as he is suddenly engulfed in flames.

The car explodes in flames two storeys high. The screen fills with the rising explosion of smoke and fire.

ACE (V.O.) The bombing was never authorized, but I suspect I know who lit the fuse.

EXT. MIDWEST CORNFIELD - DAY

NICKY, DOMINICK and MARINO get out of a car on a farm road for a meeting. FAT SALLY, a heavy-set wiseguy, is already there.

FAT SALLY (O.S.) Hey, Nicky.

ACE (V.O.) And so did the power that be.

NICKY Hey, Mikey, how's your hernia?

They shake hands.

FAT SALLY How you doin'?

MARINO approaches NICKY from behind.

NICKY (V.O.) It took months for...

FLASHBACK: EXT. MIDWEST CORNFIELD - DAY

NICKY's car drives up the farm road to meet his crew.

NICKY: (V.O.) ...everything to calm down, but finally my guys got out on bail and the bosses wanted me to send my brother Dominick out to Vegas. Always the dollars, always the fuckin'...

NICKY, DOMINICK and MARINO get out of the car to greet FAT SALLY. HARDY, FUSCO and BEEPER are also waiting there, smiling.

NICKY (V.O.) ...dollars. I mean, it was still way too hot for me to even go near Vegas, so I set up a meeting with the guys way out in the sticks. I didn't want my brother to get fucked around.

NICKY shakes hands with SALLY. FUSCO walks up to say hello.

NICKY (V.O.) I mean, what's right is right. They don't give a fuck about - urgghh!

MARINO hits NICKY in the back with a bat. FAT SALLY grabs him by the throat.

HARDY and BEEPER hold DOMINICK by the arms.

MARINO hits NICKY's legs with the bat.

FAT SALLY Huh? Come on, you fuckin' rat.

DOMINICK Fuck! You...

FUSCO and FAT SALLY pin NICKY down and hold his face straight ahead, forcing him to watch his brother being beaten.

DOMINICK (To MARINO) ...rat motherfucker! You rat mother-

MARINO hits DOMINICK in the shoulder with the bat.

MARINO Tough guy! You and your f- (he strikes DOMINICK's chest) Fuckin' brother!

DOMINICK Oh, you - !

NICKY tries to look away.

MARINO No more!

FAT SALLY Get him, Marino!

MARINO (Hitting DOMINICK across the neck) You fuckin' scumbag!

The wiseguys hold NICKY's face so he has to see his brother.

MARINO (Lunging the bat into DOMINICK's stomach) No more.

He swings the bat across his head, knocking DOMINICK on the ground.

NICKY (Still pinned, screaming) Frankie!

MARINO (Looking at NICKY as he strikes DOMINICK) No more! You see? Watch!

HARDY and BEEPER join MARINO. All three are beating DOMINICK with baseball bats.

NICKY (Held down by his neck) Frankie! Frankie, you piece of shit!

MARINO Fuck you, you motherfuck!

The camera tilts down to DOMINICK's bloody face as the three continue to beat him to death.

NICKY Fuckin' punk, motherfucker! Piece of shit!

NICKY tries to stand up but FAT SALLY and FUSCO keep him down.

MARINO No more fuckin' dirty work!

NICKY (Rolling over on his back in pain) No, no, no, no!

MARINO (To HARDY and BEEPER) Take him out! Take this motherfucker out!

They drag DOMINICK by his feet. MARINO swings at him with two bats as he's taken away into the cornfield.

EXT. MIDWEST CORNFIELD, GRAVE SITE - DAY, A LITTLE LATER

DOMINICK is battered and bloody. MARINO, HARDY and BEEPER stand over him, still swinging their bats.

NICKY is on his side, still held down by SALLY and FUSCO. His face is a little bloody.

NICKY (Whimpering, as they beat DOMINICK) Dominick! Oh, Dominick. Oh, Dom. Frankie. (Pleading for his brother's life.) Frankie, leave the kid alone. He's still breathin'. He's still breathin'. Leave him alone. Frankie.

MARINO swings two final blows to DOMINICK's head. NICKY looks away, sobbing.

MARINO All right. Strip him.

MARINO and his hoods remove DOMINICK's pants and shirt.

NICKY (Sobbing as they undress his brother) No balls, you got no fuckin' balls. Oh, Dominick. Oh, Dom.

NICKY sobs. They drag DOMINICK toward a freshly dug grave and toss his limp, barely conscious body into it.

NICKY (Crying quietly) Dominick. Dominick. (Sobs.) Dominick.

NICKY looks up to MARINO. They share a look before MARINO swings his bat, striking NICKY's head.

FREEZE FRAME ON MARINO.

UNFREEZE - LIVE ACTION CONTINUES.

MARINO and his men start beating NICKY, who groans and spits blood as he is struck.

EXT. MIDWEST CORNFIELD, GRAVE SITE - DAY, A LITTLE LATER

NICKY is stripped down to his underwear. HARDY and FUSCO drag him to the grave and dump him over DOMINICK.

MARINO Come on, come on. Bury 'em.

MARINO and BEEPER look on as the other hoods begin the tedious work of tossing dirt on to the bodies, shovel by shovel, until they are covered up to their necks.

We see NICKY's face, bloodied and battered. He's still breathing and groaning.

ACE (V.O.) The word was out. The bosses had had enough of Nicky. They had enough. How much were they gonna take? So, they made an example of him and his brother. They buried them while they were still breathing.

A full shovel of dirt lands upon NICKY's face and chest with a thud.

INT. ACE'S CAR, TONY ROMA'S RESTAURANT PARKING LOT - DUSK

ACE is engulfed in flames. His jacket catches fire. He opens the door and rolls out onto the pavement, barely escaping a smaller explosion. He lies on the floor as a ball of fire rises behind him. Two men pull him away from the car.

MAN #1 Mister, you all right?

MAN #2 Watch out, the -!

ACE watches as his car explodes in flames. Ashes and debris fall on ACE and the two men.

MAN #2 Mister, you all right?

ACE (Dazed) Yeah.

ACE (V.O.) They had other ideas for me.

EXT. TONY ROMA'S RESTAURANT PARKING LOT - NIGHT

ACE is being wheeled to an ambulance on a stretcher. There are firemen and policemen in the background.

AMBULANCE DRIVER (As ACE is wheeled into the rear of the ambulance) You sure are lucky, mister.

ACE's face disappears into the ambulance.

FLASHBACK: EXT. TONY ROMA'S RESTAURANT PARKING LOT - DAY

ACE's car explodes.

Music in: J. S. Bach - 'St Matthew Passion'.

EXT. THE DUNES HOTEL AND CASINO - NIGHT

The casino is being leveled - actuality footage.

EXT. THE MGM GRAND HOTEL AND CASINO - NIGHT

The brand-new 5,000-room hotel with its entrance shaped like the MGM lion's head.

ACE (V.O.) The town will never be the same. After the...

EXT. THE DUNES HOTEL AND CASINO - NIGHT

The hotel and casino implodes, filling the screen with fire and smoke.

ACE (V.O.) ...Tangiers, the big corporations took it all over. Today it looks like...

INT. CASINO - DAY

Slow motion of tourists walking into a casino looking like the living dead.

ACE (V.O.) ...Disneyland.

INT. TREASURE ISLAND HOTEL AND CASINO - NIGHT

A crowd gathers to watch a mock pirate ship sink in a tank.

ACE (V.O.) And while the kids play cardboard pirates, Mommy and Daddy drop the house payments and Junior's college money...

EXT. THE DUNES HOTEL AND CASINO - NIGHT

The casino is destroyed floor by floor by explosions.

ACE (V.O.) ...on the poker slots.

EXT. THE EXCALIBUR HOTEL AND CASINO - NIGHT

Another 5,000 room hotel built like an Arthurian castle.

ACE (V.O.) In the old days, dealers knew your name, what you drank, what you played. Today, it's like checkin' into an airport. And if you order room service, you're lucky if you get it by Thursday.

EXT. THE DUNES HOTEL AND CASINO - NIGHT

The casino marquee topples to the ground in flames.

ACE (V.O.) Today, it's all gone. You get a whale show up with four million in a...

INT. CASINO - DAY

The living dead walk down a few steps, marveling at the huge casino.

ACE (V.O.) ...suitcase, and some twenty-five- year-old hotel school kid is gonna want his Social Security Number.

EXT. THE DUNES HOTEL AND CASINO - NIGHT

The casino collapses into smoke and dust.

ACE (V.O.) After the Teamsters got...

EXT. THE MIRAGE HOTEL AND CASINO - NIGHT

A 4,000 room hotel with a 60-foot volcano out front. Tourists watch it belch smoke and flames.

ACE (V.O.) ...knocked out of the box, the corporations tore down practically every one of the old casinos. And where did the money come from...

EXT. THE LUXOR HOTEL AND CASINO - NIGHT

A giant glass pyramid 30 stories high with a huge sphinx outside.

ACE (V.O.) ...to rebuild the pyramids?... Junk bonds.

EXT. ACE'S SAN DIEGO LUXURY HOME - DAY

TITLE IN: SAN DIEGO

A house very much like ACE's house in Vegas, including the fact that it backs up on a golf course. We see ACE inside talking on the phone with a bookie.

ACE (Into telephone) Still not sure?

INT. ACE'S SAN DIEGO LUXURY HOME - DAY

An older, grayer ACE is alone in his living-room with TV sets, fax machines and multiple phone lines. He is surrounded by newspapers and files. He is very much the way we saw him during his earlier handicapping days.

RACE ANNOUNCER (From a television set) They're off and running...

ACE (Into telephone) Probable, but may be questionable. All right. Well, let me know as soon as you can find out.

ACE sets his cordless phone down and jots a few notes on a racing form. A television set shows a football game in the background.

ACE (V.O.) But in the end, I wound up right back where I started. I could still pick winners, and I could still make money for all kinds of people back home. And why mess up a good thing? And that's that.

He takes off his glasses, and gazes ahead.

FADE TO BLACK

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