The Cotton Club (1984) Script

Synched by Fingersmaster. Enjoy!


She told you that?

Did you hear that? Yeah, I think you're right.

Hey. How you doin'?


How do you like this?

He's not bad for a white kid. Hey boss.

How much music can you take?

I want to fall in love! You got a tin ear!

I want to listen to him. He's good.

You got everything you need? We got it all, Mr. Flint.

He's in the Bamville. You can't miss him.

We won't miss him.

Blow that bughouse bastard to kingdom come!


That kid can play. I'm tellin' you.

Hey, girls, would you like to join us over there!

What?

Come to a table with nice people.

Come on over and say hello to Dutch!


Bumpy is here, too.

Stop breaking my heart!

Come over here! Nice trumpet. I thought you were black.

There's four guys, we all strike out, am I right? - He's cute.

That trumpet duel was great, but you beat him bad.

You ought to be put in jail. He puts riffs in from King Oliver!

I once lost a grand on a horse named Gideon's Trumpet.

Your name Gideon? No.

Abbadabba, this man's a musician. Hey, girls!

Forget it! They cold.

What are you sittin' all alone for?

Come here. Give me a chance to dazzle you!

Take your breath away. I knew it! Come on!

Look at this!

The kid's got the Midas touch with the broads!

Park her right here. What am I going to sit on?

No. Don't ask that question.

Don't sit on the best part of your personality, kiddo.

What a rude man! Let me guess your names.

Alright. Veronica? Alice?

Am I right? Forget it.

I'm not close? I got a head for figures.

Well, what's your name?

Would you believe Myrtle? You're named Myrtle?

What's your name? Forget it! Vera.

Cicero. Like in Latin. Did you ever study Latin?

I was an altar boy.

He was an altar boy! It figures. - I believe him.

It's a lovely tie. Thank you.

You going with anybody? - Do you see a ring? - Why are they here?

The little men in blue. You wanted by the police, Miss Cicero?

We're very good tonight, fellas. Watch out!

You bastard!

Solly, go after them!

You bastard!

What the hell is this? Some people don't like me.

Who are you anyway?

I'm your Dutch uncle from now on.

I owe you one. Dutch Schultz owes you.

Abbadabba, you alright? Yeah.

I'm in heaven!

Get up! Pow!

Do they do that here every night?

I'm very swoozled.

Help me! Which room is your room?

I'm a little kaflooie, you know?

Should I put you in bed, too.

Oh no!

Pull your arm out!

See, that wasn't very hard.

Come on!

There!

I really like how you play the trumpet. Like Gabriel!

It's a cornet. Gabriel plays the sax. Are you okay?

Whatever it is, don't go home with it. Stay with me.

Just for the night. Please.

My ears are ringing.


What a night!

I was there with the Dutchman.

It says you saw the bomb coming. Yeah, so I saved Dutch's ass.

You saved his ass?

Let me take care of that.

Joe, you want to pick this up?

Since when you got money? I did a couple of jobs.

Coffee, home fries, eggs...

Saving Dutch Schultz's ass! The Dwyer brothers are in.

In? Popke, come with us.

Wait up, Vince! You're some bigtime hero, Dixie!

The Dutchman's telling everybody. I got the rakes on the Dutchman!

Vinnie, what the hell is this? You wanna work for a bootlegger?

You don't kill a fly on Ma's plate! Did I get it?

I didn't get him. Something is wrong with you.

Behave yourselves.

You ready for the contest? Yeah. - Let me see your set.

It's awful and I hate it. Oh, you love it!

That's why you'll win. Let me see something.

Done quietly! Right. - Thank you.

You're dragging! The master must try it.

Master of what?

Look, Mama! - You gotta do it pretty to get into the Cotton Club.

Quietly, Mother.

That's gonna get you to the Cotton Club!

The Cotton Club... No new steps...

Too important today. Today's audition gotta be stronger!

Stronger? You can't fool the Cotton Club!

You start giving white people what they want, soon you got no blood left. What are we doing?

First rhythm, then social? No, save it till later.

I wanna get it out of the way. Hello, Dixie!

Where'd you get this money? I do business.

You do business? I'm like Jesse James.

You work with Jesse? Who's this kid?

Ed Popke. A sad case.

I got some big news that I didn't tell you yet.

What? Big news!

I suddenly got married! What?

I got married!

You tell me you want a job with Dutch but don't mention you got hitched?

Where are you going? Inside.

We want to be alone, with just the family, alright?

This is her! Patsy, my brother. Congratulations!

Don't congratulate the bride, congratulate the groom.

One, two, three... On your tippytoes!

One, two, three, now turn...

One, two, three...

Would you put some clothes on! I've told her about that!

I know, but there's a rat in the house!

Tail this big! It's behind the curtain, wanna take a look?

It's behind the curtain.

You were in town all day yesterday and you didn't call me once!

This one goes up, that one goes up, around my neck in a hug!

Oh, Mom with the dancing feet! He saved Dutch Schultz's life, Mom!

Why? I didn't know who it was.

He is an absolutely awful man. Patsy, put some clothes on!

I did! Leave the cat alone!

See you next week. Want me to take your jacket?

Thanks.

I want you to tell your mother everything you learned.

One, two, now turn... Tell your mother.

How did your dancing audition go? They loved us.

Think you'll work at the Cotton Club? Nah.

You're waiting till the big time, huh? We'll see.

He's showing off again. He's got a lot to show off!

Good luck, boys!

Where you going? Excuse me!

Excuse me, I'm having a heart attack!

You look kinda sick, I think. Please, Miss, I'm...

She pushed you over the cliff! I'm gonna climb back up!

I'll see you later, man. So long, Holmes.

Mr. Stark!

I'm just excited about the audition and wanted to find out how we did. Everybody liked you.

I'm gonna put you in the next show.

We're in the next show? You're in the next show.

Thank you! Listen, you white folks are so smart.

Ladies and gentleman... Much smoother! Now, pivot.

...the Cotton Club girls! You're in the wrong spot!

Sorry, Miss Webb.

What's your name? Get out of here!

What are you doing here? I just spoke with Mr. Stark...

I don't care, you belong to me.

You don't use that front door, use the back door. Don't do it again!


Are you Dixie Dwyer? Yeah, that's right.

The Dutchman wants to put you to work.

He says you play the piano, too? I play a little piano.

He wants you to play a little party. Party? How much?

150.

150? When? Right now.

What do they call ya? Nobody calls me nothing.

Not even your mother? I didn't have a mother.

They found me in a garbage pail.


How you doing? Sol. What's in the bugle case?

Bugle.

What kind of party is this? You've never been to one like this.

Maybe I don't want to go to one like this. - You do want to go.

Wait here.

Don't screw up! Keep an eye on the boss. Hello!

The cornet player. I don't believe it, you made it.

What the hell is this? Pow! Bugle boy, meet Jesse James.

What are you doing here?

I went up to Dutch and got a job. You saved his ass, he saved mine.

You asked him for a job? Yeah, I said, "I'm begging."

What about you? I'm with Vinnie.

I made it. I got your brother on my payroll.

He told me about it. We got too many Jews here.

We need some Irishmen. Since when?

Not too many! I love these tough micks. Wardrobe.

Did you bring your horn? Here is the first of the money.

My horn? I thought you wanted my piano!

You can't work for Dutch and walk around like this, alright?

What do you want to hear? Listen, I got a lot of things to do. I got this girl coming...

She sings. She's got her own music.

You read music, right? Yeah, I read it. I write it.

I play it.

I sleep with it, too. Play for her, don't sleep with her.

Lucky Boy, relax. I like you.

I'm looking for Mr. Schultz. Do you know him? - Everybody knows him.

Do you work for him? I work for myself.

My name is Owney Madden. And you? You're Owney Madden?

You're very famous.

I'm Vera Cicero. You own the Cotton Club, right?

I own a lot of things, Miss Cicero.

He's in the next room. Thank you.

Right this way, Mr. Flynn.

Thank you, Mr. Flynn.

Wanna lighten up a bit, doll?

Your accompaniment...

A piano player.

The little girl. The altar boy.

Schultzie, we gotta talk. We're having a party time.

It's time, Dutch.

Let's get at it. Fine, we're set up down the hall.


What about you? I sing, tell a few jokes.

Tell me a joke then.

Hello, Sucker.

Dammit! Shut the fuck up! Shut up...

You had the bomb dropped! What's the point?

Shut up! It's bullshit!

I'm telling you! You, too! Shit!

Now we heard it all now! That's the end of it.

There's plenty of money in Harlem for everybody. It's getting hotter.

You start this war here and you got a brand new enemy... me.

And me.

You're here because you both agreed to this truce. And it is a truce.

Tomorrow is a business day. Clear?

Is it clear?

Then shake hands!

Shake fucking hands!

In the next room, gentlemen, is the best food, drink and pussy available at any rice in New York.

I suggest you take a sample of these things. And try to remember this is why we work so hard. To live like kings!

Get out of here!

So you finished the funny business?

I shook his hand. I should have cut it off.

Calm down, you'll overheat.

You two getting along? We're making contact.

You look like a beautiful doll. You know that tune?

"Beautiful Doll?" Yeah. Play it!

Go ahead.

Yeah, sure.

How you doing?

Anything you want. Anything, just ask me for it.

I want to own my own nightclub.

We'll have a little peace and quiet. Come on. Hey, Monk!

Let those two kids in. Okay, go ahead.

Nobody else right now. Help yourselves!

It was good, bringing you guys together. - We got a little territory settled. We ain't together.

You sound like an Irish pig! Alright, alright!

You wanna go right now?

Stop it! I'll break your fascist face!

...pretty well. Owney's got that diplomat...

...Guaranteed.

If Owney was in Washington, we wouldn't have this shit in Europe.

I like keeping the fucking Jew boys where they belong.

Them and the niggers, then we're alright.

Jew's just a jig turned inside out. That's enough.

Son of a bitch!

Alright, Dutch, that's enough.

Yeah, that's enough.

Somebody ought to cut out your brain and pickle it.

You are a crazy son of a bitch! I'm sorry.

Fuckin' sorry as a human being! Hey, kid!

Can you drive? Yeah. - Then take your friend someplace quiet, away from here. Take the lady with you. Go!

And fast! Get it out!

Look, I don't want you to get lost. I need to know where you are.

Say, kid!

Come here!

Don't you worry about it. I got the fix on stuff like this.

Whatever you say, Dutch. Alright.

Just right up over there.

I'll see you.

Don't go anyplace. I wanna know where both of you are.

I need to eat something.

Did I say the wrong thing?

You don't feel for Mr. Flynn?

Mr. Flynn was a bootlegger. That's how they live. Wise up, sap!

Why not come inside?

Not this time.

You don't belong to me. You're Dutch's property.


Hi, Joey. What's new?

What'cha doing?

Call is 15 minutes to places!

Mr. Stark, we're the Williams brothers.

The Williams! Oh, the Williams brothers.

Charlie, show them their dressing rooms. - Thank you.

We're here! Welcome to the Cotton Club.

You come in right here with the vocal. All the way up...

That's Duke Ellington!

Put up the wing.

Hiya, Dixie. This your family? Showing the newlyweds a good time!

Some of the best musicians in the world play here.

...all this money! Good thing niggers ain't allowed!

They can't get into their own club? Owney Madden owns this club.

May I take your coats? Wait till you see this!


Look at the rump on that baby! Hey, baby, come over here!

Vinnie, come on!

These are the times that try men's souls.

Is this the best table in the house? The best for you, my friend.

You ain't no friend of mine! Sit down, watch the show!

I know that man, Owney Madden. Where?

Right over there. He backs a lot of Broadway shows.

They call him "Mr. Broadway." I wonder if he remembers me.

Where you going? Hey, Ma, wait!

Mr. Madden?

Owen.

Well, well!

A pleasure to see you again. My son Michael. He plays cornet.

I think you should hire him. It's my mother, she loves me.

Don't you already have a job?

I play here and there. Nothing steady.

You gotta be careful who you play piano for.

Alright, come around and see me.

Maybe sometime soon. Thanks, Mr. Madden.

What do you think of this Dwyer kid?

I'm not impressed. Do you trust him?

Dutch seems to. Ahhh.

Dutch relies on fear. It's loyalty we need.

I'm thinking about the coast.

The kid looks good. Talks pretty.

I don't trust no one with a nickname.

What about your nickname, Frenchy? That's different.

Why? I'm trustworthy.

Oh, yeah. What would I do without ya?


I'm always watching you, Williams.


Nice place! How come you never brought me here?

The Cotton Club? Frances, I almost never come here.

Nice to see you again, Mr. Schultz. Really, I don't come here much.

Hey, Dutch! Do you ever tell anyone the truth?

The Dutchman just come in.

Bring him up to the coop, right?


I bet you could do that?

Do that little thing with your tongue. Come on!

Compliments of the house! That Owney!

You gonna pop the cork? 50 bucks if you hit the ceiling!

Hello Dutch... Oh, hello! - How've you been?

Have a cigar. Take a walk.

They read your name in the papers, they think they know you.

Give me a light. Anything you need, Dutch?

Yeah, why don't you bring me the moon! It's up on the roof.

Owen would like to show you his pigeons up there.

Owney and his pigeons.

I'll be right back. Enjoy yourself! Could you leave somebody with me?

Yeah. Sol, come here.

Now you're gonna have a good time, so just relax.

Follow me.

What's with the pet pigeons? I used to catch 'em and cook 'em.

Don't tell that to Owen.

I haven't been able to eat or sleep for days. You okay?

Oh, you shouldn't fall so soon.

All I want to do is marry you, take you away from this. - Away?

I practically just got here. Me, too.

Look, let's never be separated. Can I do this number?


What are you doing here? He likes to look at me.

He says if his wife leaves early he wants to see me.

He wants to talk to you. Talk to me?

I don't want to talk to him! My family's over here tonight.

Do yourself a favor. Don't rile him. You know how he gets.

I don't want any part of him. He can get you anything you need.

Beautiful one.

I was gonna leave it to you what the restitution would be.

Then I realized, you're such a cheap son of a bitch, you probably wouldn't satisfy my sense of right or wrong.

What I want is either 25,000 in cash now, on the table, or 10,000 a month for the next four months.

The first offer is a bargain. I know you love a bargain.

That's fair. I heard.

25.

Sometimes you're a big man, Dutch.

You know how I got that big? How?

I ate a pigeon every day.


Did'ya see Dixie here?

300 a week. I thought you said 200.

I could say 50 and you'd take it.

Dutch, I appreciate it, but guns, knives, bombs...

That's not my life. I play music. I'm telling you you got a job. You got it? All I want you to do is to take Vera around. She can't stand Abbadabba, but she likes you.

If I didn't like you, you'd be dead. Do you understand that?

Sure I understand. It's nice to be liked.

I gotta see you after the show. No.

Tomorrow! No.

You gotta! Alright, I'll tell you what.

I have a meeting at ten at the Abyssinian Church. Meet me there.

I'm new. I'm trying to meet people. Watch your act, nigger!

You don't handle the merchandise.

There's Gloria Swanson!

You're my biggest star!

You are a very beautiful person.

You're more beautiful than I am. You have a chance to be in pictures.

You are gorgeous.

Well, I can't miss, can I? Call me at the studio. Monday.

Monday. Yes. Goodbye.

That was Gloria Swanson. Right here she said it.

Gloria Swanson says I'm gorgeous and I should have a big future.

Hey, kid.

Good show. See you tomorrow.

Not tonight. I don't take "no" for an answer.

You have to this time. I've got a private life, you know.


The only trouble with the nigger numbers racket is the risk. I like things you can fix, like a horse race. Or a politician.

I think I can fix the number. What, you kidding me?

What have you been drinking? Dixie!

Play that Beiderbecke tune for me. And see if the piano player knows it.

Where do the numbers come from? You know "Singing the Blues?"

You take that thing everywhere? Dutchman likes the sound of my horn.

His master's voice. Look who's talking.

But I'm getting my own nightclub.

Think about it for a minute.

That number comes in the 7th race.

So I look at the payoff totals from the first six races and...

What if I don't like the number?

I place last minute bets.

And that changes the last number to what I want.

Any number!

And you can figure it in your head?

The one and only.

They're fixing the world with math.

You ever play the horses, Sol? When I was a kid I raced rats.

If you can do this, we can take over the whole Harlem numbers racket!

The service is lousy here. Why don't you get me a gin, darling?

You can own Harlem, lock, stock, and barrel.

Bottoms up, Dutchess.

I'm really sorry about that.

I saw you spilling that drink. You ain't clumsy. I didn't like it.

You ever do anything like that again, I mess up your face. You hear me?

Yeah, yeah. I won't spill any more drinks.

I want you to pick up my laundry. It's at the Chink's.

Yeah.

What's up? Three bankers.

15,000 from 113th, 20,000 from 72nd, and 21,000 from 150th Street.

Beautiful. You'll be the next boss! Come on.

Come on, get over there! One more time!

You still mad at me? I was never mad at you.

I just felt you should respect my private life. - Let's get married now.

We could have lunch anytime! Dalbert, no chance.

I got too many things to do. I want to make it.

Really make it. I want to do Broadway.

You want to do white show business. Isn't that what it is?

Wait a minute! I can't just run out like this!

Wait a second here. I like that you're taller than me.

Most men are intimidated. We're going to the top together!

Dalbert, wait!

Sugar, marry me! I'm already married.

You're the president of the club. So you can perform the ceremony.

And I can't wait no longer. If you take this man for your husband, you're crazier than he is.

Sugar, would you... Plus, ain't no women allowed.

Why not no women? 'Cause this is the Hoofers Club!

Hoofers! I'll show you. This is going to be something.

This is what you do. Give me a little music.


Heelology!


Don't be so mean!

To the floor!

I'm coming through!

Look out!


No, no! What? My brother...

He's doing it!

This is the way it goes! One, two, three, four... now!


What is this? Where's the Duesenberg?

Where's Dutch? Dutch can't make it tonight.

I'm your escort.

I'll do anything for money, too.

Where we headed? Not the theater. We ain't going to the theater.

What is this, a kidnapping?

Would you like that? I think I'm up to it.

I don't know why, but you do move me.

In unusual places.

Where? Your appendix?

We'll sit at Dutch's table.

Go ahead, will you walk?

Keep moving!

Sit down!

Sit down!

Thank you. Thanks.

I never have figured you out.

That's funny. I know all about you.

I can imitate your walk. The way you play your cornet.

Like how?

I know a few things about you, too.

Like what you look like making love.

When did you see that? - Ever since I put you to bed that night.

The Golem has arrived.

He follows me everywhere. The Golem is in love.

Don't be ridiculous. He just keeps tabs on me for Dutch.

Why do I feel like I'm walking the dog or something?

I want to dance. Let's dance for Dutch.

I used to dance for a living. No kidding?

I worked in tearooms when I was 18.

Tell me all about it.

These old ladies would pay me to put my arms around them.

Waltz them off their feet.

Pay two bucks in the afternoon. Plus tips.

More for the night work.

In private. If you could stand it! Could you?

Sure. Look at me tonight.

Dutch likes you to dance, huh?

Dance!

You dance for me! Get up!

Come on, you dance!

You wanna dance? I'll dance with you, come on!

What makes you think...

That's enough!

I'll dance with you next time, Sol.

I just cracked my heel. I didn't mean to hurt you.

Yes, you did. No, I'm crazy about you.

You tell that to all the girls you beat up. - I live here.

It belongs to my brother's wife. She's about your size.

To anything!

To anything!


Is that you, Vincent? No, it's Michael.

It's okay, go back to bed. Goodnight, Michael.

Goodnight!

Michael?

Yeah, Michael.

Well, Michael, where do I change?


You feel like you're on your honeymoon?

Honeymoons are never this dangerous.

If he came in here right now, he'd kill us. - Forget about him.

Who?

I'm quitting the Dutchman.

I'm not running around for his cigarettes while he strokes you.

I'm not waiting in the car...

while he does whatever he does to you. Whatever he does.

All I know is... I'm getting away from that bastard!

You're a tough guy.

Some things you can't do.

You can't see a murder, then come home, fuck your friend, who loves you, leave him, then go home, and wake up and have breakfast with a psychopath.

You can't do that, can you?

Yes.

Madden upstairs? Yeah, he's in.

How are ya? Alright, alright.

You says I should come see you. Oh, yeah...

You're seeing difficult times.

You noticed.

You got any ideas for me? If you was colored, we'd book you.

The great tragedy of my life. Listen...

I heard what Gloria Swanson was saying about you.

A lot of my cash goes to different places.

Some goes to Hollywood, and to the studios and to movies.

You could front for us.

What do you mean? Be my face on the coast.

What about the Dutchman?

I'll keep him off your back. Come and have some lunch.

Swell, Mr. Madden.

See you tonight! See you later!

I got a specialty act. Remember that solo we talked about?

Can you do it tonight? Of course.

You're on right after the Duke. I'm there.

What's this about a solo? They asked me to do a solo.

They asked you? You didn't ask them? I talked to them.

Clay...

Look, it's a step up, man! It's good for both of us.

Don't give me trouble. Shake my hand.

Shake your hand? I ought to spit in your hand!

How could you? I'm your brother!

How could you go behind my back?

You want a solo? You got one!

On stage and off!

Your brother wants to see you.

See you later, Vinnie.

What's the urgency?

I gotta go to a doctor. For what? You okay?

I got a small graze. Can't go to a hospital I know.

'Cause they'll find out. Jesus Christ, kid!

What?

What happened? It's just a graze.

A graze from what? I was fighting niggers.

The niggers, Harlem niggers.

Why?

Look at me. Why do you think?

I should kick the shit out of you. What are you doing fighting coloreds?

Who do you work for? What's the matter, Dix?

Do I look like a boss in this suit?

Keep two thugs behind you and you do. I want them to notice the suit!

Spill a little gravy like you always do, they'll notice it.

You know, Dixie took a screen test.

What's a screen test? They shot some pictures.

Now they want me to make a movie. In Hollywood?

That's right. Forget it! - What do you mean?

It's his big chance! They want me to play a gangster.

You? In fact, I did an imitation of you.

"Hey, come here. Do what I tell you to do or I'll plug ya!"

Owney arranged the whole thing. He's co-financing the movie. He said you wouldn't mind if I left for the coast.

Playback Dixie Dwyer. Sound!

Here he comes. He's in egg-cream. Madden always had good judgment.

Right. What's the kid's name?

Dixie Dwyer. Keep an eye on him.

He's fantastic. He's coming in now.

Unbelievable. Watch him, watch him!

First kid you ever sent me that doesn't sound like a soprano.

He's the greatest. He'll become...

Hold it, hold it, Sully! What? What?

This kid can't act. Alright, I can see it.

He has a good face, good voice, doesn't look like a fruit.

Not at all. He looks like a gangster. What's his name again?

Dixie Dwyer. A great name!

A fake name. The first thing...

I'll decide about the name.

I like the name. Keep the name. Put him under contract.

We'll send him to the coast. We'll give him a shot. - Fantastic.

Anyone who moves is a dead nigger!

You! St. Clair!

The Dutchman wants you in his numbers racket.

Madame St. Clair!

Gentlemen, we are here because Mr. Jewett says he can protect us from the white invaders. Is that true?

I know how the Dutchman thinks. I see him operate with the Flynns.

You meet a gun with a gun.

And I got all the guns you need.

Hire him! I don't want no parts of guns.

Or I'll leave the numbers business. It's not about guns, it's politics.

You connected with Jimmy Hines in Tammany? They control the police.

Look, I come to do you people a favor.

That man is leaning on you.

You wanna lean back or no?

It seems we will pass on your offer.

We are not ready to go to war at this time.

Then you don't know you already lost the war.


Lila!

You can't do this to me, Lila! Do what?

Disappear like you do. Where do you go all day?

I have a private life now.

I can't talk to you here.

Let's go up on the roof.

I told you that there are other people in my life.

I want to talk. This is Madden's place!

I want to talk to you now. Now just come on! Come on!

Not up here. We won't get into trouble.

Let's go outside. You moved. Got a new address.

How am I supposed to find you?

What are you doing up here? We're just going to talk.

Yeah! You come up here to fornicate like two dogs.

You don't belong up here. Get down.

Why can't we... I'm fed up with you!

Please! I'll take care of you!

Wait a minute! Come here!

You know what? See this?

Stop it!

Get out of my life, woman! Lila, stay out of this!

You gonna stop fuckin' around, nigger? Yes, yes!

Get out of here!

Out!

I'm quitting! I'm leaving this dump!

How can you treat decent human beings like that? I know what I have to do!

Must I just take anything from him? What can you do?

Kill the motherfucker! Don't be stupid, Sandman!

You want me to take on Madden's man?

You want me to take on the most powerful white mob in the city?

Then you truly have someone on your ass.

There's only one way to get even with a guy like Mike Best.

Treat him like a fireplug. Piss on him.

Listen to the man. I'll piss on his grave!

I can kill him, but you can dance on his grave.

Listen to me, Sandman.

I'm not a dancer. I'm a pimp, I'm a thief.

I'm a gambler. I don't have no talent for dancing.

I can't even get in the Cotton Club, where my own people are the stars.

Because I'm black! There are only two things for me.

One is stay black. The other is die.

I got nothing but the underworld.

That is where I dance. Let me ask you, Sandman:

Where do you dance?

I'm gonna kill him with my tap shoes.

Alright, put 'em up! Turn around and put 'em up!

I'm the boss now!


There you are. Thank you, sir.

Enjoy the show.

Not bad, not bad. Hi, how you doing?


How you doing? Been a long time. Hi.

What's Madden doing here? I invited him.

I gotta go talk to him.

Dutch, how are ya? Your money's no good here tonight.

What's this I read about this "Mob Boss"?

They say you copied your style? You taught me everything I know.

You know, the lesson ain't finished yet.

Sorry, whites only.

Can you get a message to Angelina for me?

Yeah. Tell her Sandman Williams is here.

Okay, sure.

Welcome to Vera's! Everybody's here tonight!

Everybody who's somebody. If you ain't somebody, you ain't here.

Mr. Broadway himself is with us.

Mr. Owney Madden.

Take a bow, Owney!

And with him, just back from Hollywood, is Dixie Dwyer!

Get up, come on!

There comes a time... Who the fuck let you in?

I wanna talk to the Dutchman. Ah, like that...

Yeah, go get him! You wait here, ya hear?

I'd like to introduce our lovely songbird, Miss Angelina, formerly with the Blue Belles.

Some garbage is out back, wants to talk to you.

Dutch has some business outside.


What? I wanna talk money.

We get shot up! It's part of the game. How much?

We delivered half of Harlem to you. I want part of the numbers percentage.

Just cause you can handle a gun, you think you're a boss?

You're nuts!

There are a million guys willing to pull a trigger for me!

But I'll give you a raise.

100 a week, and 50 for Popke there. Is that fair?

Fair? You can take your 100 and shove it up your ass!

Wise guy!

Get out of here before I blow it off!

How'd you find me?

You may be passing for white, but you ain't invisible.

What time are you through here?

At two. I'll be here.


We'd like to get a room, please. Of course, sir.

Now, how may I... help you? A small...

...romantic room, maybe on the 10th floor.

Uh... yes. Your key, sir.

We don't admit mixed couples here.

Well, we're colored.

What color are you? My father is colored and my mother's white. So what color does that make me?

417. Thank you. No luggage.


Come on! Gotcha!

You got people thinking you're white.

When I want. Remember I told you about my private life and the lawyer?

Why do you do it?

Because I can. So what?

So stop judging me about it!

Vera pays me double what the Cotton Club did! And she don't ask no questions.

I'm a human being.

And that's the way I like it.

I can't even get into Vera's to hear you sing.

The doorman won't even let me in. I can't pass for white.

Just make love to me!

I love you. Don't run away from me!

Oh, Dalbert! Just love me, but please understand.

Hey, Popke! Shake.

What? Like I said, shake.

The Dutchman wants to do a deal with Vince.

Come on, shake. Forget it...


Wanna buy an apple? No. Get lost!

I'll see you about 5 o'clock.

Scram! Thank you!


Old friend outside wants to see you.

Why don't he come in? You don't want him in here.

You wanna see me?

Alright, Frenchy. Down the stairs. Now.

What's this all about? Let's go.

I thought your specialty was killing kids.

I'm over 21. I don't want to kill you, Frenchy.

I just need a little money. I bet Madden gives you money.

Doing this could get you in trouble. Shut up!

Owney, what's up?

Your brother's become a major pain in the ass.

2 hours ago he snatched Frenchy.

Are you kidding? Crazy son of a bitch!

You didn't know about it? How am I supposed to know about it?

I'm asking you a question.

I don't tie your shoes anymore, Owney.

You're a smart man.

Your brother's bound for the graveyard. A mad dog on the streets.

What do you do with a mad dog? I don't wanna talk about my brother.

He called me and hour ago.

He only trusts you to carry the money.

50,000. Count it.


Ladies and Gentlemen, a star...

A star is here! Sandman Williams, my brother.

Clay Williams, the finest tap dancer in Harlem!

Why don't you and Clayton dance together?

Wanna finish out "Crazy Rhythm" together?

Come on!


I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

Who is it? Arthur.

I'm Vincent's brother. You're the guy in the movies.

Vinnie!

You out to conquer the world? You got an arsenal here.

You got the money?

Check Frenchy!

How'd you get so wrong?

Oh, Dixie, I ain't wrong.

I wasn't in the car when those kids got shot.

I wanted that kike in the deep six but I wouldn't shoot a kid!

Somebody shot 'em. Three or four.

They are crazy guys. Nobody figured that would happen.

Where's Frenchy? In the bedroom. He's alright.

You're taking him. I've been told.

What are you doing? You got the whole world at war!

This town's Al Capone.

That's pretty good! They got Chicago shooters coming in to get me!

I'm the heavyweight now!

How's Ma?

Ma... Ma. Do you know what she's going through?

What she's going through?

Does everybody hate me?

They hate shooting a kid. I know you say you didn't do it.

Still, the kid's dead.

And you're gonna take the rap.

Get Frenchy!

Buster, bring him out here!

Slowly!

Come out here!

Dixie had nothing to do with this. You see that, don't you?

I see what I see, I hear what I hear. Then I make up my mind.

See what I get for being a messenger?

Shall we go?

See you later, kid.

I hope.

Get out of here as fast as you can.

Tell Owney we didn't hurt you, Frenchy.

He'll be glad to hear that.

You okay? I'm fine.

You been home? Yeah.

Changed clothes. Cleaned up.

Did they hurt ya? Naw. Treated me like a king.

Yeah? Then what happened to your ear? Oh, this?

Playing tennis with Mad Dog Dwyer. Tennis?

He hit a ball over my head and I raced back and crashed in the metal fence.

Cut my ear. You were playing tennis?

Yeah. Gave me drinks, good food. Place was nice. Well-furnished.

Was he trying to kill you with kindness? I've been worried sick!

How long was I gone?

Let me see your watch.

They picked me up about...

Shit, sorry. They picked me up...

I think I broke it. Give it to me!

No, I can fix it. Here.

You cheap son of a bitch! You only offered 500 dollars for me!

If you were kidnapped, I wouldn't offer more for you?

500 dollars? That's what I heard.

50 grand I paid for you!

He only wanted 35,000. I gave him 50,000 not to hurt you!

500 dollars. I would've given 500,000 dollars!

I was worried sick about you! Look what you did to my watch!

50 grand? Yeah.

What's this?

A platinum watch. You asshole!

Don't move and you won't get hurt. I won't do anything.

Shut up!


Yeah, alright.

No, we didn't want to hurt Frenchy. Hey, where you going?


Goodbye, chump.


This program is coming to you live from the Cotton Club in Harlem.

And now, Cab Calloway, doing "Minnie the Moocher"!


See you later!

...meet Frenchy. Dixie, this is Charlie Luciano.

How you doing? A pleasure. - See you, Dwyer.

Enjoy the show.


It's about time they let some niggers into this joint.

Welcome to the Cotton Club!


You're looking mighty good tonight! Thank you!

Welcome to the Cotton Club! Good to be back.


You wanna be a little less conspicuous? Your booth's over there.


What's so funny? This guy's crazy!

He's a very talented man! Very talented!

That fucking Dutchman.

If something isn't done about him, that special prosecutor Dewey will bust us all. Dutch has gone crazy in Harlem.

His rackets are very appealing to me. Mr. Luciano...

The Dutchman shouldn't be taken too lightly. - Is he bulletproof?

Now that his yid is dead, we'll find out.

And then we can divide his Harlem rackets with everyone in the family.

I'll talk to you later. Yeah.

See ya, Charlie.


You're not supposed to be back here. Don't worry.

Meet me at the Bamville at the end of the show. - I can't no more.

My brothers are clamping down on me. They say you're married.

Everybody knows I'm married.

What are you doing here? Who are you?

I'm talking with my friend Winona. Who are you, and why are you interrupting me? Another fuckin' uppity nigger!

Stay outta trouble with gangsters if you wanna keep your job. You're the first dark-skinned girl in the show.

Now go and do what you're supposed to.

This uppity nigger is buying you a drink.

Do not push people around without some people pushing back!


Talk to me, baby!

Look at that nigger!

Keep that motor running. I'm coming right back.

Dutch wants to kill the prosecutor? That's what I heard.

Lepke says it can be done.

But it'd kill the rackets for everyone. This Dewey is a big one.

That bastard's time is just about up. Trigger Mike Coppola!

It could be a problem, Owney.

I know exactly where I'm going.

I knew you were here. And that she was with you.

You're such a rotten liar!

You sit down! You got it all wrong.

She's with Dixie. Is this seat taken?

No, sit down and fall in love with me. I already did that.

Don't think I'm gonna sit around while you show her all over town!

She just came over for a drink! Here's five good reasons why you should fold up your legs and go home!

Get out of my way! You keep out of this!

I'm surprised at you. I thought you got out from under his thumb!

Pay for that! Bitch! - No, you pay for it!

Did she get her claws on you? I'd like to rip her nipples off!

I'm not afraid of her. How's it feel to be the other woman?

How does it feel being the other man?

I don't do that anymore. What's mine is mine, nobody else's.

What, you out from under him now? Yeah, yeah. I'm the Mob Boss now!

Where are you taking me? Some place you've never been.


How'd you get out so fast, so easy?

Movie star. You got it all. Me? What about you?

You're this famous celebrity, you got your own club.

You're not even 20 yet! Look what I had to do to get it.

You could have come with me. I can't go anyplace on a shoestring.

I've been making my own way since I was 13.

Money's the only thing that ever saves you.

Hey, you're wrong.

Money was the only thing that ever saved me. Money and my looks.

I was born looking 18.

I can save you. No, you can't.

Try me. You can't.

You don't know what it's like being his slave. He's everywhere.

I can't even breathe in my own club. You go on in about two minutes!

The Dutchman is looking for the lady. See?

It was great while it lasted.


The Dutchman's really ticked off. She'd better get back.

Good evening and welcome to the Cotton Club!

What a night it is! What a crowd! It's Celebrity Night this evening.

And the stars come out.

We have Charlie Chaplin!

Fannie Brice!

And James Cagney!

And the man who's become America's newest screen idol.

Starring in the new hit movie, "Mob Boss!"

He's the best white musician ever to sit in with our orchestra.

So give a warm round of applause for Harlem's own...

...Dixie Dwyer!

You okay? Lay off the crap, come on!

You want me to take Vera home?

I'll take care of Vera. Lay off that crap!

The "Mob Boss". That punk is a real marshmallow.

All he ever did was copy my style. Your style?

Yeah. - You got as much style as a bowl of turnips.

Shut up and have a drink! I don't want a drink.

I said, drink.

Drinkers lie. I feel like telling the truth.

Tell the truth about what? I don't know.

Thanks! I was a little nervous.

What did you do backstage with him? I was kissing him.

Nice sitting in, Dixie.

Did you ever sleep with him? Whenever I got the chance.

And I will again if I get the chance.

Well, you'll never get it. Who got you this? And this?

How about that? Take your hands off her!

Don't touch her like that! You son of a bitch!

I'll rip your little balls off. Don't get into it, Dixie.

What is it you want, Dutch?

All you ever do is give people grief. You want to rip out her heart?

Wanna get into everybody's life and ruin it? Wanna be Genghis Khan?

You turn people's lives to shit!

How many people can you kill? Let's take it outside.

Not in the club. Come on. You...

Let's go!

I'm not going anywhere with you. I said let's go!

No.

Crawl back in you rathole. Leave her alone, Dutch.

"Mob Boss"!

Hey, Mob Boss, you got one of these?

You son of a bitch?

You got one of these?

You fuckers! Get your hands off me!

Who do you think you are, putting your hands on the Dutchman!

Dwyer, you're one dead mick!

Having a ball tonight!

What a crowd, what a show! It's all part of the act!

Stop pushing me! Get 'em out of here!

I'm not leaving here without my hat and coat!

I'll be right back.

Now the Sandman is going to do a little number for us!

Let's hear it for the Sandman!

You do this to the Dutchman?


I'm gonna grind that mick into a piece of meat.

Then he won't look so pretty to Vera.

He thinks he's safe cause he's got Madden to protect him.

I'll teach him how you get protected.

All these goddamn micks!

All of 'em. All of 'em gotta go!

That goddamn Madden's going back to jail where he belongs.

And goddamn good riddance! Frenchy's the problem, boss.

Yeah, big Frenchy. Fuck him, too. I'll take 'em all on!

Give me some service!

Did you see who was sitting with him tonight? Luciano.

Here, Mike.

Gracias.

Those guineas. Now they're getting to be a problem.

Order me the usual. Sure, boss.

Come over here. Give him a steak with french fries.

Get me an order of ribs. 26 ribs, not 20. What about you?


I love you, Lila.

I liked your picture. I like it when the mob boss is good looking.

Like Owney Madden there? Hiya, Owney!

Hi, kid. Come here.

I ain't gonna be boss of nothing after next week.

You retiring? I'm going back to jail.

It's just a little parole violation. But it ain't a bad excuse to get out.

There's a lot of ambition in the numbers racket these days.

The Irish don't know when to quit. Some of us, we learn as we go.

Have a good time, Charlie.

We learn as we go.

Goodnight, Dixie. I'm catching a train for the coast.

Have a good trip. You were very brave.

So often you've been my protector.

I could make a career out of it.

It wouldn't work. He'll never let me go.

That part of your life is over now.

I'm going to ask you one more time.

You wanna come along?

Do me the biggest favor you ever did.

Just kiss me on my lips and don't say anything.

Keep looking over your shoulder and maybe we'll see each other again.

Maybe we'll have a drink. Maybe we'll make love.

Maybe...

Dixie, my very very lover!

Maybe...

Bye.


Wait. What?

Did you fix the warden? It's done.

I bet you didn't get the car? Wall to wall.

What is this? In 3 months you're out with a nice horse farm in Arkansas.

Well, you never know. I'll tell you one thing.

The way we got Sing Sing set up for you, freedom could be a letdown.

This is for your fantasy!

Hey, Monk. Give'em hell up there, Owney.

Come on.

When you bringing the new Cotton Club show up to Sing Sing?

A week from Wednesday. Ok. I'll start them on the scenery.

Come on, fellas.

What a guy.


Now try and save some money in Hollywood, Michael.

Yeah, go on, go, go. Go on, don't miss your train.

Yeah, I'm going.

Here, buy a new coat. Goodbye, son.

Here, you're moving your arms too much. Let me show you.

Try it.

Now you've got it.

Come here, doll! Dixie, I'm free!

No, the mob boss has got you now!

All aboard.

Drink to a happy ending, Vera Cicero!