The Sting (1973) Script

j&j&[The Entertainer playing]

[car honking]

[all chattering]

Let's see what you got.

I need more runners.

I can't write the business fast enough.

You've got to see Granger.

8720. Yeah.

Yeah. Hold it a minute. Beat it, Mottola!

Mr. Granger? Chicago's on the line.


Granger, this is Combs.

Why haven't we heard from you? Everybody else is in.

We had problems with the law this morning.

The mayor promised to get tough on the rackets again, so he shut everybody down for a couple of hours to make it look good.

It's nothing serious. It just put us a little behind.

You been making your payoffs, haven't you?

Oh, hell, yes! He does this every year.

There's nothing to worry about.

(Combs) Okay, finish your count and get it up here.

I don't want to be here all night.

Yeah, well, believe me, the man's gonna be real happy.

Looks like we cleared over $10,000 this week.

We cleared $22,000 here.

Oh, what the hell, you got the whole Chicago South Side.

How do you expect the eight lousy spots I got to compete with that?

They did $14,000 in Evanston, $16,500 in Gary and $20,000 in Cicero.

Looks like you're bringing up the rear, Granger.

Well, I just got the count.

I'll put the take on the 4:15.

We'll be waiting.


Take this up to Chicago on the 4:15.

They'll be waiting for it at the clearinghouse.

And don't stop for any entertainment.

You can get a cab over on 7th.

Ah, cut it out!

[phone ringing]


(man) Hey, you there! Stop!

Hey, you! Stop that man!

Stop him! Stop him! He's got my wallet!

Stop him! Stop that man!

He's got all of my money!

Stop him!

Goddamn nigger-lover!

I'm gonna get you someday for this! Sucker egg!

Don't let him get away! He's got my wallet!

He's got all my money!

My wallet! He's got my wallet!

(Johnny) We got the wallet. We got it!

What happened? Give it to me, please.

Did he get you with the knife?

You sit tight, old man. You need a doctor. I'll call a cop.

No, no! No. No cops!

You wanted by the law or something?

No, it's okay.

Are you nuts, carrying a wad around like that in this neighborhood? No wonder you got hit.

Thanks. I'm obliged to you.

I've got to get going.


You ain't going nowhere on this leg. Let me see.

I gotta. Got to run some slots down in West Bend for a mob here.

I got a little behind in the payoffs.

So, they think I've been holding out on 'em.

They gave me until 4:00 to come up with the cash.

If they don't get it, I'm dead.

It don't look good, Gramps. It's almost 4:00 now.

I'll give you and your friend $100 to deliver it for me.

I don't know.

That mug that hit you is mad enough at me.

What if he's around the corner waiting with some friends?

He won't know you're carrying it.

Come on. You've got to help me out.

Hey, I'm sorry, pal. I'm gonna maybe help you get fixed up, get to a doctor, but I ain't about to walk into no knife for you.

How about you? All you got to do is put it in the door slot.

I'll give you the whole $100.

What makes you think you can trust him? He didn't do shit.

Hey, butt out, chicken liver! I gave him back the wallet, didn't l?

How far is this place?

1811 Mason. Put it in box 3-C. 3-C.

You won't have no trouble.

There's $5,000 there and here's $100 for you.

Okay, old man, I'll make your drop for you.

And don't worry, you can trust me.

Hey. Hey! If those goons decide to search you, you ain't gonna get far carrying it there.

What'll we do?

You got a bag or something? How about a handkerchief?

Here's a handkerchief!

Here. Give it to me.

Give me the money.

Just hurry, will you?

You got any more? Better give it all to me if you want to keep it.

(man) They think I've been holding out on them.

My wife got sick and I had to pay the bill. I wasn't holding out.

Stuff it down your pants here.

Like that. Got it?

Uh-huh. Yeah.

Hurry, will you?

Ain't a tough guy in the world that's gonna frisk you there.

Thanks. Yeah.

[car honking]

[trolley bell ringing]

[engine starting]

Where to?

Which way is Mason?

Twenty blocks south.

Okay, go north, Joliet Station, fast!



What's so funny?

I just made the world's easiest $5,000!


Come on, Luther! Hold on, man, I'm fading.

Come on!



(Johnny) In here!



Man, was that beautiful!

I thought for sure he was on to us.

No, you had him all the way.

All the way!

[both chuckling]


All right.


Good God! We're millionaires.

Jesus! Did you know he was that loaded?

Hell, no! I just cut into him. I would've settled for pawning one of them shoes.

[both chuckling]

Oh, God!


Come on, let's get out of here.

(Luther) We'll split it up tonight.

Hiya, Marge!

j&j&[music playing]

Hi, kid.

Hi, Hooker. She's onstage.

Hi, Hooker. Getting married or something?

Get used to it, Leonard.

I'm going to look this good from now on.

What do you say, Ed?

Hi, Hooker.


Hey. Psst!

I want to talk. . .

[audience applauding]

Hiya, Hooker.

You getting married or something?

[man whistles]

For Christ's sake, Ed, did you hear that out there?

Harry drops four beats in the middle of my goddamn routine!

Now, how long do I have to put up with that?

Leonard, you're on.

Crystal, you want to get out of here tonight?

I come into some dough.

Oh, I can't. I got a 10:00 show. I need the $5.

I'll spend $50 on you.

[man chattering]




. . .opens up his pants, the duck sticks his head out.

One lady says to the other, "Mabel, do you see what I see?"

She says, "So what? You've seen one, you've seen them all."

She says, "Yes, but this one is eating my popcorn."

[audience laughing]

[men chattering]

You see that guy Harry, he can't keep time in a watch factory.

Supposing there's some Hollywood movie agent out there.

All those years of training right down the drain.

Hooker! Ain't seen you in months. Thought you took a fall.

Nah, just a little hard times, is all. Everything's jake now.

You gonna have a go here?

How about $10 on the line?

There's a lot of action there on 28th Street.

Pay you $35.

$3,000 on the red, Jimmy.


Are you nuts?

(Johnny) No, I feel lucky. Come on.

Hooker, I can't accept that. It's too big a bet.

There's a house limit.

Take it.

But Hooker here's a--

Take it!

[roulette wheel turning]

(Jimmy) Twenty-two, black.

[people chattering]

Tough luck, kid.

Lucky for me it came up black, Hooker.

A fella could get in big trouble around here, losing a bet like that.

Listen, Jimmy, can't we do it again, huh?


Don't worry about it, pal. It was my mistake.

There's always more where that came from.

"Don't worry about it," he says. Don't worry about it. $3,000!

Thanks, Hooker.

(Crystal) Comes in here with $50 he's going to spend on me!


[Crystal shouting]

Thanks for the evening, Hooker.

Come on. It's not over yet.

Next time you want to spend $50 on me, mail it.

Come on. Would you. . .

Listen, will you. . . Oh.

[motor grinding]

[metal clanking]

They found Mottola.

He was drunk in a dive in Joliet.

He never got on the train.

I don't want to hear about his day, Greer.

What happened to the money?

He lost it to a couple of con artists on his way out of the spot.

How much?


Okay, I better get on the phone to New York, see what the big mick wants to do about it.

I have a pretty good idea, though.

[people chattering]

(dealer) No more bets!

(dealer) Ace. Bet the ace.

Bet the ace.

Ace says two.

Ace bets a deuce.


[dealer chattering]

(dealer) Four, five. Two spades.

Ace six. Ace deuce.

(Floyd) Doyle, can I talk to you?

I'm busy, Floyd.

It's important. We had a little trouble in Chicago today.

One of our runners got hit for $11,000.

What makes you think he just didn't pocket it?

We checked his story with a tipster.

He was cleaned by two grifters.

They workin' for anybody?

I don't know. Could be.

We're running that down now.

Have some local people take care of them.

Nothing fancy.

We've got to discourage this kind of thing.

You follow?

[radio playing]

Johnny Hooker!

Ah! If you ain't a sharper in them linens!

Evening, Louise.

Hey, Ma!

Child, if I didn't know you better, I'd swear you had some class.

[Louise chuckling]

Luther said you was something to see today!

I don't know, Alva.

I've got to get faster tyin' up that bundle.

I'm still given 'em too much time to think.

Oh! Bushwah! I used to make that switch with slower hands than you got.

Course, the "Up and Down Broadway" was my best game.

Me and Luther didn't make much on it, but it wasn't so touchy.

Them marks can beat you up awful bad when they catch you making that switch.

Come on, Leroy. We'll be late for church.

Oh, Ma, they were closing in on Machine Gun Kelly!

Who you rooting for anyhow?

Hey, Hooker!

Can't help you, Leroy. You can't beat the house.


Since when do you go to church at night?

Since they started late bingo.

I'm gonna ask the Lord for some of that cash while He's still paying off.

Luther, look in on the baby from time to time, will you?

You, too, huh, Louise?

Child, yeah, got to go pray. See you. Yeah.

Hey, Erie.

Mmm. Give me! Give me, give me!

There's your cut.

Guy turned out to be an oil well.

Which way did he go?

Due north. He was gonna take it all.

(Johnny) Aw, the bastard.

He can blow his nose all the way.


There you go, Luther. $6,000.

You're late. Where have you been?

I had a couple of appointments.

How much did you lose?


All of it.

In one goddamn night?

Why are you spraying money around like that? You could've been nailed!

I checked the place first. There were no dicks there.

But you're a con man, and you blew it like a pimp!

I didn't teach you to be no pimp.

What the hell's eating you?

I've blown money before.

No class grifter would've done it, that's all.

You think my play is bad?

I think you're the best.

I wouldn't be getting out otherwise.

What the hell are you talking about?

I'm getting too old for this racket.

You hang on too long and you start embarrassing yourself.

We just took off today on the biggest score we've ever had.

It's nothing compared to what you could be makin' on the big con.

But you played the big con.

You told me yourself it was some dumb game for mama's boys and flakes.


Hell, I never played no big con.

I hung around and picked up a few things.

Ain't no rich boys gonna trust a hungry nigger enough to be conned.

But I'll tell you I've been looking for this one all my life, Johnny.

Now I have a chance to step out when I'm ahead.

Come on! What would you do with yourself?

Oh, I have a brother down in K.C., runs a freight outlet.

I can go halfsies with him.

It ain't too exciting, but it's mostly legal.

I got an old friend in Chicago named Henry Gondorff.

I want you to look him up.

There ain't a better inside man alive.

He'll teach you all you got to know.

To hell with that.

I want to work with you, Luther.

I'm out, Johnny.

Yeah, sure. If that's the way you want it.

That's the way I want it.

How do you like that Coleman?

After five years.

Come on, it was the only thing to do.

He knew he was holding you back.

Yeah, but we were partners.

If it weren't for Luther, I'd still be hustling pinball.

I don't need any more than what I got.

Well, you won't have anything if you don't lay off the games of chance.

There's a depression on, you know.

There's always a depression on.

If you saved a little bit, you wouldn't have to grift.

I like grifting.

Maybe you could buy yourself some things.

What? Clean clothes, a car.

I got clothes, and I don't know how to drive.

[tires screeching] What else do you got to sell?

All right. Forget it.

(Snyder) Hey, Hooker! Come on, you son of a. . .


Oh, hi there, Snyder.

What's the matter?

Things a little slow down at the bunco department tonight, huh?

Somebody lose the dominoes?

You scored blood money today, Hooker, you need a friend.

Go find yourself a shoplifter to roll.

You got the wrong guy, pal.

I've been home with the flu all day.

You can stake out my toilet if you want.

(Snyder) Keep talking!


I'll tell you what you did, smart boy.

You tied into a loaded mark on 47th across from Maxie's.

And you and Coleman played the switch for him and blew him off to a cab on 49th.

If he hadn't been a numbers runner for Doyle Lonnegan, it would've been perfect.

You're crazy.

I ain't stupid enough to play for no rackets money.

Not intentionally, maybe.

That don't cut no ice with Lonnegan.

He'll swat you like a fly.

Yeah, well, Well, I'll square it with the fixer.

Nobody can buy you a prayer if I put the finger on you.

Now, I figure your end of the score was at least $3,000.

I want $2,000, no matter what it was.

My take was only $1,000.

Then you're gonna have to come up with another $1,000 somewhere.

All right.

You're a smart egg, Hooker.

No sense getting dead over $2,000.

Relax, Erie. I'll bill you.

I thought you blew all your money.

I did.

The stuff I gave him is counterfeit.

They'll spot it the first place he tries to spend it.

Are you crazy, giving him counterfeit money?

Hey, wait up! Where you going?

I'll tell you!

What the hell are you gonna do if Snyder puts the finger on you, huh?

You're committing suicide, kid.

Christ, what difference does it make?

If Snyder knows about us, so does everybody else.

He never gets anything first.

[phone ringing]

Hey, listen to me.

Don't go back to your place tonight.

Don't go anyplace you usually go.

You hear me?

Damn! There's no answer at Luther's.

Look, you better get out of town or somethin', huh?

[woman shouting]

Hey, lady. Lady, let go!

Ma'am! Ma'am!

I want my nickel back for that telephone!

[dog barking]

(man) No, sir. Nobody here did.

1521 North Bryant.

[baby crying]


Is he dead?

I don't know. There was a big fight.

I don't know.

Somebody must've pushed him.



(Alva) Luther!



Oh! God! No!


Luther! Luther!

What happened?

(Alva) God, who would do such a thing to you, Luther?

[siren wailing]

(Alva) Luther!

[Alva sobbing]

(Johnny) Alva.

Come on! Let's get out of here.


Hooker, come on! If Snyder catches you here, you're dead!

[Alva crying]

Get out of here!

(policeman) Out of the way.

(Alva) Help me! Help me! Help me!

[Alva continues crying]

[car honking]


Excuse me.

I'm looking for a guy named Henry Gondorff.

Know him?


You sure?

Beat it.

Luther Coleman sent me.

Are you Hooker?


Why didn't you say so?

We heard about Luther last night.

Come on.

[keys rattling]

I thought maybe you were a cop or somethin'.

(Billie) It's the room in the back.

He wasn't expecting you so soon, though.

(Johnny) Thanks.

[train rumbling]


The great Henry Gondorff.

Turn it off!

You sober?

Turn it off, will you?

Glad to meet you, kid. You're a real horse's ass.

Luther said I could learn somethin' from you.

I already know how to drink.

Sorry about Luther.

He was the best street worker I ever saw.

He had you down as a big-timer.

What happened?

I conned a senator from Florida on a stock deal.

A real lop-ear. Thought he was gonna take over General Electric.

Some chanteuse woke him, though, and he put the feds on me.

You mean you blew it.

Luther didn't tell me you had a big mouth.

He didn't tell me you was a screw-up, either.

(Johnny) You played any big cons since then?

Oh, I lammed around a bunch of bohunk towns, one kick ahead of the G-men.

Would be still, if Billie hadn't set me up here.

Don't kid yourself, friend. I still know how.

Are you going to stay for breakfast, or do you already know how to eat?

I picked something up along the way.

Is Lonnegan after you, too?

I don't know. I ain't seen anybody.

You never do, kid.

[Henry exclaiming]

[water bubbling]



We just talked to Chicago.

They got one of the grifters last night. A nigger.

How about the other one?

They're still looking for him.

Who did Combs put on it?

He gave it to Riley and Cole.

They staked out the other guy's place last night, but he never showed.

They figure maybe he skipped town.

Do you want to keep after him?

You see that fella in the red sweater over there?

(Doyle) His name's Danny McCoy.

Works a few of the protection rackets for Carnello when he's waiting for something better to happen.

Danny and I have known each other since we were six.

Take a good look at that face, Floyd.

Because if he ever finds out I can be beat by one lousy grifter, I'll have to kill him and every other hood who wants to muscle in on my Chicago operation.

You follow?

Yes, sir.

Good lad.

(Billie) Hey, you feeling all right this morning, Henry?

Yeah, fine.

Would you mind opening up the round a little early today?

We got some business coming in before hours.

Sure. Check the main gearing, will you?

Man O' War started rattling yesterday and threw a kid on its head.

Great little countess, that Billie.

She runs a spiffy house up there, too.

You, uh, plan to spend the rest of your life here?

I could do a lot worse.

Listen, Gondorff, am I gonna learn to play the big con or not?

What's your hurry?

I wanna play for Lonnegan.

You know anything about the guy?

Yeah, he croaked Luther. Anything else I got to know?

All right.

He runs a numbers racket on the South Side, he owns a packinghouse, a few banks--

Yeah, and half the politicians in New York and Chicago.

Not a fix in this world gonna cool him out if he blows on you.

I'll get him anyway. Why?

'Cause I don't know enough about killin' to kill him.

[train rumbling]

You can't do it alone, you know.

It takes a mob of guys and enough money to make them look good.

I know plenty of guys.

It's not like playing winos. You can't outrun a--

I never played for no winos.

You've gotta keep his con even after you take his money.

He can't know you took him.

You're scared of him.

Right down to my socks, buster.

You're talkin' about a guy who would kill a grifter over a chunk of money that wouldn't support him for two days.

You're going to go for him.

I just don't want a hothead looking to get even, coming back halfway through saying, it ain't enough, 'cause it's all we're gonna get.

Can you get a mob together?

After what happened to Luther, I don't think I can get more than 200, 300 guys. j&j&[music playing]

Luther said you learn fast. I hope he's right.


j&j&[music continues]

Lonnegan gets most of his income from the numbers even though he's been putting more money into his savings-and-loan business.

You think he's moving out of the racket? No.

He owns most of the stock that's traded.

But my guess is he's just trying to build himself a respectable image.

He came out of Five Points, but he's been telling everybody he was born in Forest Hills.

He knows the market, though.

I don't think we can take him on a stocks deal.

Twist, what about the numbers?

Tipsters say it's run out of a packinghouse on 14th by a guy named Combs.

Lonnegan comes out every three weeks to check on it, but he stays away from the day-to-day stuff in case it's raided.

These are two of Combs' favorite torpedoes: Riley and Cole.

You ever seen 'em?

No. They're the ones who hit Luther.

They also got the numbers runner you conned.

(Twist) A guy named Mottola.

Found him in a quarry with a knife in his eye.

Lonnegan's had seven or eight people rubbed on his way up.

His pattern has been to get close to a racket boss, learn the operation, then move in on it.

He's done it to Gorman, O'Donnell, Buchalman.

He took the numbers from Sharkey.

All four of these guys are dead.

He's vindictive as hell, Henry.

Kills for pride.

Doesn't add up he'd let Hooker get away from him.

You see anything, kid, you let us know.

If they put you on the spot, we got to fold the con. You got that?

Yeah. You sure it's got to be one of these two guys?

No. They're just the only ones we know of.


[woman laughing]

Set me up five more beers, will you, Danny?

You the owner here? That's right.

Lt. Snyder, Bunco.

That's a Joliet badge, Snyder.

Don't cut much up here.

Looking for a guy on the lam from a counterfeiting rap.

Thought he might've come in here.

Don't think so. I know everyone in the place.

And I always bounce the lamsters.

All right if I look around in here?

No, but you're welcome to a free beer before you go.

[people chattering]

I don't really need your permission.

I don't know what to do with this guy, Henry.

He's an Irishman who doesn't drink, doesn't smoke and doesn't chase dames.

He's a grand knight in the Knights of Columbus.

And he only goes out to play faro.

Sometimes plays 15 to 20 hours at a time.

Just him against the house.

Roulette, craps?

He won't touch 'em.

The croupier at Gilman's says he never plays anything he can't win.


Mmm, likes to be seen with fighters sometimes, but doesn't go to the fights or bet on them.

Jesus. Does he do anything where he's not alone?

Just poker.

And he cheats.

Pretty good at it, too.

Where does he play?

The porters say he runs a braced game on the Century Limited when he comes out here from New York.

$100 minimum, straight poker.

And a lot of high rollers ride that train just to play him.

That sounds good, J.J.

[people chattering]

Which way are the rooms?

Who told you this guy was in here?

Nobody. I just know what kind of woman he likes.

I'm gonna check all the joy houses till I find him.

Well, maybe I could help you if you tell me his name.

I doubt it. Which way are the rooms?

Right through there.

But I wouldn't go in there if I were you.

What are you gonna do, call the cops?

I don't have to.

You'd be busting in on the chief of police just up the hall.

(Niles) We'll play it out here.

And a huge duke is too simple.

With no fix, we're gonna need a con with a sure-fire blow-off.

I think we ought to play this guy on the payoff.

It's the tightest game we got.

It's not all over the papers yet.

(Twist) Lonnegan is a fast egg, J.J.

He's not going to sit still for a standard play.

(Niles) So what does that leave us?

We can't con the payoff to a banker.

We'll use the wire.

Haven't known a poker player yet didn't wanna beat the ponies.

The wire's been out of date for 10 years.

That's why he won't know it.

I'm not sure I know it.

It'll take two of us working the inside.

Any objections to Hooker as second man?

All right. We'll give Lonnegan the hook on the train and play him here.

J.J., you think I can get in that poker game?

Just show up with a lot of money and look like a sucker.

I also gotta win.

Oh, by the way, any of you guys been passing bad money lately?

If he comes in again, stall him so I can get a look at him.

(Billie) Mmm-hmm.

Fella by the name of Stenner had this place until about six months ago, but he had to give it up.

It doesn't look so good right now, but maybe you can fix it up a little bit.

Watch your step when you come in.

There's a dip down on the left.

How's it look, Eddie?

It looks all right, Kid.

It's big enough, and it's off the street.

I don't know.

It's kind of short notice. I'm not sure we can get it all done by Saturday.

Got to. Gondorff's riding the mark down from New York on the Century.

We'll take it.

That building at the end of the alley, do you manage that?

For 15 years.

I'll need a corner room facing this way.

How much a week?

Only rents by the month.

$250 for the two of them.

Last time I expect to see you down here.

Never heard of the place.

(Garfield) It's been awhile since I stocked the wire store.

Not many mobs playing that anymore.

(Niles) All we'll need is the bookie setup for now.

All right. I'll rent you everything I've got in the warehouse for $2,000.

That'll give you phones, cages, blackboards and ticker gear.

If you want a counter and bar, that's another $1,000.

That's pretty steep, Benny.

Gondorff's still a hot item.

Where would I be if he gets hit?

Benny, you just give us what you can.

We'll send a truck down.

Now how do you want to work this? Flat rate or percentage?

Who's the mark?

Doyle Lonnegan.

Flat rate.

[man chattering on P.A. system]

The guy in the black hat with the gimp.

He's not as tough as he thinks.

Neither are we.

Mr. Shaw?

That's right.

You wanted to see me?

I hear there's a friendly poker game on this train. Know about it?

Oh, a little.Thank you, sir.

Can you get me in that game?

Oh, don't know.

There's usually a waiting list.

That'll get you first alternate, sir.

I'll see what I can do.

Hey, Twist!

(Twist) Patty, me boy! How are you?

(Rad) How are you, Twist?

Hey, Champ, you're looking like a million!

Good to see you!

Goldie, you old son of a gun.

I saw the Kid in Denver.

He says to say hello to you.

Joiner, are you still working those shapes?

Any number you want, Twist!

Good to see you again, Twist.

Okay, Lacey. Good to see you.

It's good to see you. Dukey, how are you?

Come on in.

When did you get back in town?

A couple of days ago.

You heard about Luther Coleman, didn't you?

Yeah, some of the boys were passing the hat for Alva and the kids.

I never seen the guys so worked up.

Well, don't worry about it, Dukey.

We're gonna send a little calling card of our own.

Gondorff is setting up a wire store on the north side.

I'm gonna need a 20-man boost right away.

I got plenty of talent out there tonight.

You can take your pick. Lace!

This is a tough one, Dukey.

These boys have got to be the quill.

Get me the sheet. Let's see who's in town, huh?

Hey, Patty, give me the sheet.

(Patty) Sure.

[door closing]

[men chattering]

[chattering stops]

(Twist) Gondorff's already on. . .

(Duke) Twist, you know this guy?

(Twist) No, I never saw him before.

He's a dick, though.

Hello, Snyder.

What are you doin' up here? I'm on vacation.

Hey, you seen that friend of yours lately?

No, no. He, uh, packed it in.

Enrolled in detective school.

[all laughing]

When you see him, you tell him he better pay up before I get to him.


[all murmuring]

That son of a bitch.

Oh, thanks, Lace.

Now, let's see what we got here.

Let's see. Horse Face Lee, Slim Miller, Suitcase Murphy and the Big Alabama are in from New Orleans.

Crying Jonesy and the Boone Kid from Denver.

Dippy Burke and Limehouse Chappie from New York.

Well, these and the guys outside should give you 30 or more to choose from.

Good, Dukey.

Have them down at Stenner's old pool hall before 6:00.

We're gonna run the route tonight.

Okay, Twist, but if this thing blows up, remember, I can't do you no good downtown.

Gondorff is federal.

Dukey, if this thing blows up, the feds will be the least of our problems.

[horn blowing]

[knocking on door]


You in?

Yeah, I think so.

I gave the conductor a C-note.

Did you find out the deck?

He usually plays with a Tally-Ho Fan or a Tally-Ho Circle.

I got you one of each.

He likes to cold-deck low, eights or nines.

That's nice work, J.J. Here.

[train horn blaring]

Oh, I'm sorry.

Don't mention it, ma'am.

[men chattering]

[train wheels clacking]

She picked him clean. He never missed it.

My God, looks like he's expecting a big night.

Must be $15,000 or $20,000 here.

He's waiting for you in the card room.

Let him wait.

[cards shuffling]

[train whistle blowing]

You just worry about your end, kid.

If we ever get to it.

[all laughing]

Excuse me.

You sure you checked this guy out?

He seemed like a pleasant man, a lot of cash on him.

$200 suit, expensive luggage.

I'll vouch for him.

Why isn't he here then?

Don't worry. He'll be here.

All right.

What're you doing?

Always drink gin with a mark, kid.

He can't tell if you cut it.

$2,000 for you, Mr. Clayton.

Thank you.

All right, gentlemen. Should we not wait for him?

Let's go.

I think that's a good idea.

Mr. Clemens, give me the cards.


Sorry I'm late, guys. I was taking a crap.

[door closing]

The name's Shaw.

Mr. Shaw, meet Mr. Jameson from Chicago.

How are you?

Mr. Lombard from Philadelphia.


And Mr. Lonnegan from New York.

Pleased to meet you.

Mr. Clayton, Pittsburgh.

Any of you guys want to make a little book in Chicago, I'm the guy to see.

The game is straight poker

$100 minimum, table stakes.

Ah, Mr. Shaw, this is a gentleman's game.

We assume you're all good for your debts.

How much would you like, Mr. Shaw?

I'll start with $5,000.

Mr. Shaw, we usually require a tie at this table.

If you don't have one, we can get you one.

Hey, that'd be real nice of you, Mr. Lonneman.




[man hollering]

Name's Curly Jackson.

Worked for Gad Bryan out of Baldwin.


Jackson, Jackson. Oh, yeah.

You ever played the wire, Curly?

Roped for it long ago.

I can shill, mark board, anything you want.

I don't run with riffraff, and I only drink on the weekend.

Me specialty's an Englishman.

All right, Curly.

We got a rack of suits over there.

Pick yourself out a nice tweed one.

That's all right. I've got all my own stuff.




(Jameson) Bill?

I'll take one.

(Jameson) Shaw?


(Jameson) And the dealer will take one.

Bet $500.

(Clayton) I'll call.

Call and raise.

$300. I'm out.

(Lombard) Fold.

Your $300 and raise


That's $800 to me.


(Doyle) Jacks on top.

Beats me.

(Henry) Three tens.


Tough luck, Lonnihan.

But that's what you get for playing with your head up your ass.

Couple more like that, we can all go to bed early.

The name's Lonnegan. Doyle Lonnegan.

You're gonna remember that, Mr. Shaw, or you're gonna get yourself another game.

You follow?

Bring it right up here!

Hey, Eddie, we brought you a tap into Moe Anenberg's wire.

You'll get race results, odds, scratches, pole positions, everything.

And just as fast as Western Union gets them.

Does J.J. know how to use that thing?

All he's got to do is read.

The name is Joe Erie.

Joe Erie.

You, uh, played for any particular mobs?


You ever play the wire before, Erie?


I never played no big con before, but, uh, Luther Coleman was a friend of mine, and I thought maybe there'd be something I could do.

You get that nose in Duke Boudreau's tonight?


You got moxie, Erie. Get yourself a suit.


I'll bet $300.

Call and raise $200.


(Lombard) Call.


I'm out.


Aces over.

Three cowboys.

All red, queen high.

Well, that finishes me.

Don't worry about it, pal.


They wouldn't have let you in if you weren't a chump!

Lombard will be joining you in a couple of minutes.

Now, look here, Shaw I've had enough of this game and quite enough of this company.

Check me out, Clemens.

I guess that just leaves the three of us.

Yes, Mr. Shaw. that just leaves us three.

Mr. Clayton, I think we should take a break for five minutes.

Tempers seem to be running a little high.

Oh, come on, Linneman, I was just starting to do good.


[both chuckling]

[train horn tooting]

Stack me a cooler, Floyd. Oh, come on, Doyle.

We'll be in the station in another hour.

The other guys are the losers. You're still okay.

Fix me a deck. Threes and nines.

I'll cut it in on Clayton's deal.

What do you want Clayton to get?

Nothing. I want him out of there early.

I'm gonna bust that bastard bookie in one play.

[train horn tooting]

$400 to you, Mr. Jameson. You're even.

Well, just wasn't my night.

[train wheels clattering]

(man) I need it.

You know what time we get in? No, I don't.

Hey, where's your ante?

(Lombard) Every time I had anything, he stayed in front of me.

[train horn tooting]


(Doyle) Your $500. $1,000.

I'll fold.

I'll play.

(Clayton) Cards?




Your $500 and $1,000.

Your $1,000. I'll raise you $2,000.

Your $2,000.

Mr. Clemens, give me $10,000 more.

(Henry) I'll call.

Four nines.

Four Jacks.

You owe me $15,000, pal.

Must've left my wallet in my room.

Don't hand me any of that crap!

When you come to a game like this, you bring your money!

How do I know you won't take a powder?

No, no, no, no, no, now. . .

All right, I'll tell you what I'll do.

I'll send a boy around to your room in five minutes.

You better have the money or it's gonna be all around Chicago that you welched.

You won't be able to get a game of jacks!

Cash me in for the rest of these bums.

You're on, kid.

But I can tell you, it's a hard act to follow.

How did it go?

We got working money.

Hey? Yeah?

He's steamin'.


Watch yourself.

(Floyd) Doyle, I know I gave him four threes!

He had to make a switch!

We can't let him get away with that.

What was I supposed to do?

Call him for cheating better than me in front of the others?

[knock on door]

(Johnny) Name's Kelly. Shaw sent me.

Your boss is quite a card player, Mr. Kelly.

How does he do it?

He cheats.

Well, in that case, I'll keep my money, and we'll just have another game.

You don't have any to keep.

Here's your wallet.

He hired a dame to take it from you.

Shaw's been planning to beat your game for months.

He's been waiting for you to cheat him so he could clip you.

[Johnny grunts]

Who do you think you're talking to, errand boy?

Nobody sets me up!

Take him back to the baggage room!

Put one in his ear!

(Floyd) There were four witnesses at that table!

Then go back, get that other goddamn son of a bitch and we'll dump them in the first tunnel we hit.

Doyle, we'll be in the station in a few minutes!

It ain't gonna look too good you killing a guy you owe money to.

There's better ways of taking him down.


What do you think Shaw would do to me if he knew I was telling you this?


Why the rat?


I want to take over his operation, and I need you to help me break him.

Where's my money?

Shaw's got it.

How the hell could I ask him for it back?

[knock on door]

We're pulling in.

I'm giving you a lift home.

I was supposed to go with Shaw.

Explain it to him somehow.

Yeah, but he's expecting me.

I'm giving you a lift home.

You follow?

Yeah, sure. Sure thing.

[traffic humming]

[vendor shouting]

[car horn honks]

[car doors closing]

What makes you think you can beat him?

I've been planning this for two years.

I know his organization backwards and forwards.

And I need somebody who's respectable but not completely legit.

I'm a banker, Kelly. That's legit in this state.

All you gotta do is put down a bet for me at Shaw's place.

I'll do the rest. I'll supply the money.

I'll supply the information.

What about the money you come to collect? Won't he miss it?

I'll tell him you paid it.

I keep his books. He trusts me.

If you help me, I'll pay you back the money he stole out of my own pocket.

It's worth that much to you?


Oh, yeah. Maybe a couple of million.

Where do you come from, Kelly?

From the East Side of New York. A place called Five Points.

But I got out of there.

Out and up, huh?

Hey, Floyd, I'm gonna have to keep you away from this guy.

You're liable to get ideas.

I'll be at Klein's Drug Store

660 South Marshall at 1:30, if you're interested.

If I'm not there by 1:45, I'm not coming.

Hey, Hooker. Hey, Ed.

How did it go? Jake.

Everything go okay?

Yeah, sure. Hell, easy.

[people chattering]

No sign of trouble, huh?


What about Lonnegan?

I gave him the breakdown, just like you said.


He's good. He threatened to kill me.

Hell, kid, if they don't do that, you know you're not getting to them.

[phones ringing]

(Combs) Hello, Doyle.

All right, Riley, what the hell happened?

We missed him.

Whoever he is, he made a fool out of you.

There wasn't no way he could've known we was in that room.

Somebody must've wised him up.

What does Cole say about that?

I don't know. He took it hard.

Get out of here, Riley.

Put Salino onto it.

Salino? Why waste our best people on a small-time job?

This is a nickel-and-dime grifter we're after, Doyle.

They'll get him next time.

They had their chance.

All they did was shoot up a neighborhood, make a lot of noise, wake up a few cops.

Yeah, but that was-- I told you to put Salino onto it.

It may take a little more time, but there won't be any holes.

Tell Cole I wanna see him when he comes in.

Well, he won't be coming in, not to get bounced off a job, anyway.

This is Salino's job, Vince.

Cole wants to muscle in on it, that's his business.

But he's breaking the rules and Salino won't like it.

Now, get me the books.

[cash register dings]

[people chattering]

(J.J.) Joe, those odds on the third race are wrong.

Just a minute. I'll get them for you.

Don't worry so much, lad. You're gonna be all right.

Just stay to the back the first time around.

Put a little of this on your nose.

(Doyle) Kelly?

You should always look to the back, kid.

I was afraid you wasn't gonna show.

We haven't got much time.

Get on with it, then.

Sometime after 2:00 a guy's gonna call on that phone there and give you the name of a horse.

All you got to do is take this $2,000 across the street and down the alley to Shaw's place, and bet it on that pony.

There's nothing to it.

But don't take too much time.

We've only got three or four minutes after you get the call.

You'll not break him with a $2,000 bet.

This is just a test. The big one comes later.

But be careful with that. That's all I got.

And you were gonna pay me back out of your own pocket?

I am. After the race.

I got to get back before Shaw misses me.

Good luck.

[people chattering]

[telephone rings]

(Twist) Yeah? Go ahead.

(woman on telephone) The horse is Blue Note to win.

Fourth race at Narragansett.

Got it.

[dialing telephone]

[phone ringing]


(Twist) Blue Note to win in the fourth race at Narragansett.

(J.J. on loudspeaker) Turning for home, it's Lady Scout by a length.

Speed Queen a half, Lady Trust and Miss Petrina.

Into the stretch, it's Lady Scout ahead, Speed Queen a half.

And at the wire, it's Speed Queen the winner!

Lady Scout placed and Miss Petrina showed.

Post numbers two, five, and one.

Taking off at 23.

Look at that.

He's got his apes with him.

(Henry) Yeah, we're gonna have to do something about that.

Bubblesome is 10, Beefsteak, 7...

Vote Boy, 8, Kerry Patch, 12. and Blue Note is 7-1.

This is your last call for the third race at Lincoln Fields.

They're going to the post.

You may still wager... There he goes.

...if you hurry.

[people chattering]

At Detroit, the winner, Speed Queen, paid $7.20

$4.80 and $3.40.

Lady Scout, $7.40.

Miss Petrina paid $4.

Last flash at Narragansett.

Lady Higloss, 6-5.

I'd think you'd get tired of losing, Harrigan.

(Niles) Thank you, Mr. Willis.

Blue Note, $2,000 to win, fourth race, Narragansett.

Make sure you see the cash, Eddie.

He's got a name for betting money he doesn't have.

We'll give you the results on that one in a minute.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is Arnold Rowe, your caller for the fourth race.

The mile and one-sixteenth Mansfield handicap at Narragansett Park, Rhode Island.

$13,000 added, 3-year-olds and up.

The flag is up, and they're off and running.

It's Bubblesome going to the front, followed by Lady Higloss, Vote Boy, Chancing, Beefsteak, Kerry Patch and Blue Note trails the field.

Around the clubhouse turn, it's Bubblesome ahead, Chancing a half, Lady Higloss by one followed by Vote Boy, Beefsteak, Kerry Patch and Blue Note.

Into the second turn, it's Chancing by a length.

Lady Higloss driving on the rail and Vote Boy followed by Bubblesome, Beefsteak, Kerry Patch and Blue Note.

Come on, Chancing!

Hey, uh. . .

Lady Higloss a half, Vote Boy by one.

That Lady Higloss is a hell of a finisher.

Chancing's gonna have to open up a little more on her.

Know anything about a horse named Blue Note?

Nah, nah, he never done much.

Probably in there just to round out the field.

Chancing's where you want to have your money.

Great tip you handed me, kid.

Just give him time.

Chancing by one.

And here comes Blue Note, driving on the outside!

Nice work, Erie. He loves you.

(man) He's third!

Chancing is shortening stride, and now it's Lady Higloss and Blue Note.

They're head to head. They're neck to neck.

It's Lady Higloss, Blue Note.

Lady Higloss, Blue Note.

And Blue Note wins it by a nose!

Lady Higloss is second by three, and Chancing is third by one.

Who in the blazes is Blue Note?

The winner, Blue Note, paid $16, $9.40 and $6.

So you want to have your money on Chancing, huh?

Chancing paid $3.80.

Time for the mile and one-sixteenth.

[people chattering]

They're going to the gate at Belmont.

And here are the late odds.

Both those garbage men belong to you?

Well, get them out of here and don't bring 'em back.

This is a class joint.

Hey, you! Kelly!

Yes, sir?

Run those bums out of here.

Uh, M-Mr. Shaw, could l--

Don't give me any of your lip, kid.

Now, run 'em out of here.

(J.J. on loudspeaker) The winner is Panic Relief.

Barbara A is second...

[sighs] l. . .

Time for the three-quarter mile:


The winner, Panic Relief, paid $12.40

$8.20 and $5.

Barbara A, $6.20 and $4.

Wilder paid $4.

They're at the post at Belmont at 38.

We're waiting on one. I'll call Belmont next.

That's it, fellas!

[all cheering]

I want to repeat that--

All right, J.J.


What do you say, pal?

[elevator humming]

[phone ringing]



He's on his way.

[elevator humming]

Hi, Mutt.

Say, Jeff.

Well, what'd I tell you?

You got lucky once. That's not enough.

Oh. Lucky, hell. I can do it every time.

Why don't you then?

'Cause it's better to do it all at once.

We're gonna put down $400,000 next week.

At 5-1 odds, that's $2 million.

Twenty percent of that is yours if you stick with it.

Got a system, Kelly?

No. You can still lose with a system.

You're past-posting, aren't you?

Could be.


You're gonna stay in?

Not until I get some answers.

I got a partner downtown.

And he runs the central office of the Western Union.

Now, race results from all over the country come in there and go across his desk to the bookies.

Now, all he does is hold them up for a couple of minutes till he can call us, get a bet down on the winner.

Then he releases the results to the bookies.

We clean up on a race that's already been run. Now, you can't miss.

Unless the Western Union dicks get a hold of it.

You got the $400,000 yet?

No, not yet, but. . .

Hey, there's only $1,000 here.

Make another bet tomorrow.

What the hell is this? Where's my money?

I got $16,000 coming.

You owe me $15,000 already.

Besides, if your setup's as good as you say, there's plenty more to come.

I decide when to place the bets!

Not if you want me to keep making them for you.

I gotta talk to my partner.

We can't afford to expose too much.

I'll talk to him myself. No!

You've been waiting a long time for this, Kelly.

Don't ruin it for yourself.

I'll pick you up tomorrow at 3:00.

You follow?

[door closing]

[traffic humming]

j&j&[radio playing]

Twist, I told him the tale, but he didn't go for it.

He wants to see my partner tomorrow at 3:00.

3:00? (Johnny) Yeah.

No, we'll never get a telegraph store set up by then.

Any chance of talking him out of it?

None. I would've stalled him, but I didn't have many friends in the room.

Yeah. Well, all right, we'll have to play him on the fly.

I'll get Eddie looking for a place.

Let me know when you got something.

Sure thing, tootsie.

All right, Hooker!


Stop him!

[horn blaring]

[car door closing]

(man) Hey, watch it.

Hooker! Hooker!

I'll get you, you rat!

(Snyder) Hooker!

Why didn't you tell me about Snyder before?

(Johnny) I thought I'd lost him.

Well, you found him again.

And we're gonna have to do something about it.

What else haven't you been telling me?

Nothing. That's all there is.

Hold still.

Why did you move out of your room?

It was too noisy.

You can't play your friends like marks, Hooker.

You know how easy it would be for one of Lonnegan's guys to get you?

Henry, all we need is a couple of days and we can get the son of a bitch and nail him.


You just won't learn, will you?

I come in here, I teach you stuff that maybe five guys in the world know.

Stuff most grifters couldn't do even if they knew it.

All you want to do is run down a bullet.

I'm asking a couple of days, that's all.

I can stay clear that long!

Christ, they'll probably miss you and hit me.




What will you have?

Give me the, uh, blue plate special.

One blue plate special.


You're done?


Guess I should've had the meat loaf.

It isn't any better.

Hey, where's June?

She quit.

I'm filling in for her a couple of days until I can get a train out of here.

Yeah? Where are you going?

I don't know.

Depends on what train I get on.

Keep it.


[train rumbling]

Let's go.

Excuse me, ma'am, but we're looking for Mr. , uh. . .

Harmon. Uh, Mr. Harmon's office.

Mr. Harmon?


Got a work order here for a painting job.

For Mr. Harmon's office?

That's right, ma'am.

Well, uh, hold on. Just a second.

[knock on door]


Where to?

110 South Wabash.

110 South Wabash. Get going.

What happened to your face?

Uh, got into a fight with a raggle down on 13th.

Cut me with her ring.

You ought to lay off the skirts.

You don't find any of my boys messing around with that kind of trash.

Brigham signed it, all right.

I can't understand why he didn't tell me.

Ah, he's like all 'em supervisors.

They think they're too good for regular people.

He says he was in here a while ago and the place was a mess.

(Twist) We'll hurry so we don't keep you out too long.

Well, why can't I work with you in here?

Look, pal, we got to cover the floor, the furniture, so we don't spill on nothin'.

Now, if you want to sit in here with a tarp over your head, you're welcome to it.

All right. How long will you be?

Oh, an hour or two at the most. It's a small job.

[man chattering]

We'll go in the side door here.

[knock on door]

Hiya, Les.

(Johnny) Uh, Les, this is Doyle Lonnegan.

Mr. Lonnegan, this is Les Harmon.

How do you do, Mr. Lonnegan?

Could we, uh. . . What did you bring him here for?

I thought it'd be a good idea for him to see the operation.

Kelly, I'm having the place painted.

We can't talk in here now. Oh.

Well, we'll have to find someplace else.

Excuse me, Mr. Lonnegan.

Yeah, Miss Barnes, I'm going home a little early.

Look, if there are any calls, tell them they can reach me here tomorrow morning. Thank you.

Mr. Lonnegan?

[typewriter keys clacking]

I want to see it one more time.

I can't do it.

We got telegraph inspectors everywhere.

One more time won't make a difference.

We got $400,000 coming in from the coast next week.

You wanna risk that on a lousy $15,000?

If it works again tomorrow, I'll finance the whole thing.

$500,000. 60-40, we split.

What are you talking. . . I told you, we've already got a guy.

He's gonna give us half. What am I supposed to say to him?

Say to him what you want.

What I know about your operation, if I were you I'd be worried about making me happy.

He's right, Les. Your guy says a week.

How do we know it won't be a month?

Lonnegan here is a banker.

He can get the money without any questions asked.

But we can't keep going into Shaw's place and cleaning up on long shots. He's bound to get wise.

All right. We'll go for short odds.

(Twist) But it's still--

You follow? j&j&[music playing]

You Lt. William Snyder?

I don't know. What's up?


Special Agent Polk would like a few words with you.

You got a couple of minutes?

Yeah, sure.

No, no, no. It's got to be south of the river.

Probably this section in here.

31st, 39th, Morgan and Halstead.

Now, that's this section here.

(Polk) Now, let's break it into two sections along 35th.

What is this? I got work to do.

Sit down and shut up, will you?

Try not to live up to all my expectations.

Take two men with you. work your way south from 31st to 35th, Morgan and Halstead.

Go into every place and let me know what you find.

We've been told you know a hustle artist named Johnny Hooker.

You know him or don't you?

Yeah, but I don't know where he is.

Well, we do.

He's chumming around with a big "C" named Henry Gondorff.

Ring any bells?

Sure. Every bunco man in the country knows Gondorff.

Well, there's word he's gonna run a con on the South Side here.

We've got a year-old Florida warrant on him, but it's a thin beef.

He can beat it in court unless we catch him cold.

All we want you to do is pick up Hooker for us.

Why don't you pick him up yourself?

Because if word gets out that the feds are in on it, Gondorff will fold up the whole thing.

Wouldn't that be too bad?

Then you'd have to move out of this nice office you've got here.

Don't crack wise with me, flatfoot.

I spent too much time in dumps like this eating Gondorff's dust while you guys in the bunco squads get rich tipping him off!

That's not gonna happen this time.

We're not gonna tell the police we're here.

You keep your mouth shut and do a job, there'll be some reward bucks in it for you.

And you better take it, 'cause I can make you work for us without it.

What the hell good is Hooker to you?

He's gonna set up Gondorff for us.

He'll never do it.

I think he will.

j&j&[The Entertainer playing]


He's there. Let's get on it.

What's the line on Exponent?

Uh, 5-1.

Ah. . .

How's it going?

Ah, nothing yet.

I had a good one on the lead at Lincoln Fields, but he faded.

Best we had the last hour was Love Potion at Rockingham and she was 5-1.

All the long shots coming in today.

Take 4-1 if you have to.


You can forget the boodle, Eddie.

He could hit us for $15,000 at 4-1.

We can't handle that.

We'll give him the shut-out.


Okay, Billie, here we go.

At the wire, it's Wrecking Crew, the winner by five.

Black Mischief, second. Whichaway, third.

Wrecking Crew was 3-1. That's our boy.


Here we go, Henry. We got a 3-1 at Belmont.

Wrecking Crew.

[phone ringing]


[rain pattering]


[phone ringing]


(Twist) In the sixth race at Belmont.

Wrecking Crew to win, Black Mischief to place Whichaway to show.

Wait here.

(J.J. on loudspeaker) The winner, Time to Go, paid $7

$5.40 and $3.80.

Joy Flag, $6 and $4.20.

Readily paid $3.80 to show.

The weather's threatening, but the track is fast there in Salem, New Hampshire.

[people chattering]

Here's a late jockey change there in the fifth at Rockingham.

R.C. Stark will ride Itsie-Bitsie.

$5,000 on Black Mischief, across the board.

The sixth at Belmont.

Would you hurry it up there, please?

Wrecking Crew is 3-1, Vale of Tears, 4 Black Mischief, 5, Whichaway, 6 Chief Yeoman, 12, Peerless Pal is 20...

Okay. and Mariato is, uh, 40.

And here we go for the sixth at Belmont. it's five and a half furlongs.

They're at the post.

Now. The flag is up.

And they're off! Belmont, $15,000.

Excuse me, sir. We can't take any bets once the race is started.

You can bet on another race if you care to.

Going into the backstretch, it's Wrecking Crew by two.

Whichaway a half, Black Mischief and Vale of Tears driving on the outside.

Nothing, thank you.

What happened?

I didn't get the bet down in time.


Heading for home, it's Wrecking Crew all alone by six lengths Whichaway a length, and Vale of Tears.

It's Wrecking Crew, Whichaway and Black Mischief.

And at the wire, Wrecking Crew wins it by six lengths.

Black Mischief is second by a head Whichaway is third by a neck, followed by Vale of Tears.

You should've had your money on Wrecking Crew.

It's raining and the track is sloppy there at Riverside Park.

There's a late scratch there.

Transmutate--Transmutate is scratched in the fifth at Riverside.

At Belmont, the winner, Wrecking Crew paid $6, $4.20 and $2.80.

Black Mischief, $4.60 and $3.20.

I'll have $500,000 here by post time tomorrow.

Lay it on the first race where the odds are 4-1 or better.

Make sure I get to the window this time.

How the hell am I gonna do that?

I don't know. Figure it out for yourself, Kelly.

(Loretta) Finished?

Yeah. Meat loaf, apple pie and a cup of coffee.

Say, what time you get off work here?

2:00 a.m.

Yeah? Doing anything tonight?

Yeah. Sleeping.


[cash register dings]

Uh, you got a back door to this place?

What's wrong with the front?

No time to mess around. There's a guy out there I don't need to see.

Don't look around.

What does he want?

He'd like to kill me.

Now, look, do me a favor. Go into the bathroom, open the window and wait there.

Why should I-- Just do what I tell you, and everything will be jake.


Thanks. Good night.

(Loretta) It's taken.

Thanks. See you.


Salino. Hey, I wasn't. . .

[gun fires]

[footsteps approaching]

Hey! Got you, Hooker!

Hey there, Snyder. Long time no see.

Get going!

Chuck, get this off to the Department right away.

(Chuck) Yes, sir.

Hello, Hooker. Take them off.

Special Agent Polk, FBI.

Have a chair.

You want a drink or something?


We want to talk to you about Henry Gondorff.

Yeah? I don't think I know him.

Well, give yourself a couple of seconds.

You wouldn't want to lie to me.

Lt. Snyder says you've done a lot of confidence work in his town.

Oh, yeah? Lt. Snyder doesn't know shit.

(Johnny) You ain't got nothing on me.


How about counterfeiting?

We've got a tip that Gondorff is gonna run a con on the South Side here.

All you've got to do is tell us when he's gonna play his chump.

We come in at the sting, make the pinch, and you walk out free as a bird.


You want to spend the next 20 years in a federal penitentiary, starting tonight?

I'll make parole.

Like hell. You won't even get a review.

I'll chance it.

Okay. If that's the way you want it.

We might even provide you with a little company on your way up the river.

That wife of Luther Coleman's.

Snyder, what was her name?


That's it. Alva Coleman.

Pretty fair grifter in her time.

Snyder's given us quite a folder on her.

Nothing major by itself, but, uh, put them all together, it could add up to a lot of years.

You stink, mister.

Don't be a sap.

It's not her I want.

If you're too dumb to save yourself, there's no sense dragging her down with you.

It's over, Hooker.

You can save me a lot of trouble.

But I'm gonna get Henry Gondorff whether you help me out or not.

Will you wait till the chump is played?

Hell, yes.

We don't care about the mark. He deserves what he gets.

I mean completely played.

You come in before we beat him, and I'll kill him.

All right, Hooker.

But you try to take it on the lam, and we'll shoot you down on sight.

As long as I get to finish the play.


What is it, kid? You're not saying much.

Just got the jumps.

[knock on door] Come in.

Things are a little slow tonight, Henry.

I want to open the round for the girls.


Take it easy, kid. We're not gonna lose him now.

We had him 10 years ago when he decided to be somebody.

Believe me, I've seen enough to know. 10.






How many guys you conned in your life, Henry?

I don't know, 200, 300.

Sometimes we played two a day when I was with O'Shea's mob.

Of course, Chicago was a rigged town.

The fix was in.

The dicks took their end without a beef.

We had it down to a business.


And it really stunk, kid.

No sense in being a grifter if it's the same as being a citizen.

Well, I got packing to do.

I'm gonna be a hot number again after tomorrow.

j&j&[carousel music playing]


I wouldn't ask you to do this, you know, if it weren't for Luther.

Nothing's gonna make up for Luther.

Revenge is for suckers.

I've been grifting 30 years. I never got any.

Then why are you doing it?

It seems worthwhile, doesn't it?

See you.

j&j&[carousel music continues playing]

Looks like he missed you.

Uh, yeah. This time, anyway.

Good night, Mrs. Hillard.

I, uh, was wondering if you might want to come out for a while maybe have a drink or something.

You move right along, don't you?

Hey, I don't mean nothing by it.

I just don't know many regular girls, is all.

And you expect me to come out just like that?

If I expected something, I wouldn't still be standing here in the hall.

I don't even know you.

You know me.

I'm just like you.

It's 2:00 in the morning, and I don't know nobody.

Come on, Henry. Knock off.

You've done everything you can.


[traffic humming]

[car horn honking]

[train rumbling]

[people chattering]

[cash register dings]

[elevator bell ringing]


Yeah? Polk.

(Johnny) Polk, this is Hooker.

You ready?

Yeah, go ahead.

Everything's all set.

There'll be a guy or two at the door.

Nobody's carrying heaters. You won't have any trouble.

Okay. See you there.

She was gonna kill you, kid.

Her name's Loretta Salino.

Lonnegan's people set her up in the diner.

Come on.

Let's get out of here.

Come on!

But she could have killed me last night.

Too many people could have seen you go in her room.

She was a real professional.

Used to work in the Dutch Schultz mob.

Who are you?

Gondorff asked me to look after you.

[car engine idling]

Snyder, we just got a tip that Gondorff's mark is some big New York wheel.

As soon as we're inside, you get him out of there fast before the reporters show up.

I don't want any big shots around to mess this up for me.

(Polk) All right, let's go!

[people chattering]


Let's go, guys!

The flag is up, kid.

Anytime, J.J.

I'm working on it.

Got one, Billie. Here we go.


[phone ringing]


(Twist) Place it on Lucky Dan third race at Riverside Park.

(J.J. on loudspeaker) 1:11.6 seconds.

They were off at 21.

Last call on the third at Riverside Park.

They're at the post.

At Havre De Grace, the winner, Light Chatter paid, uh, $5.40, $3.80 and $2.40. Blacksod...

$500,000 to win.

Lucky Dan, third race at Riverside.


You heard me.

H-Hold on, sir. I--I'll get the manager. the fourth at Belmont.

Jay Stout will ride Flying Cross.

See that guy up there?

He just put $500,000 on Lucky Dan.

The winner at Rockingham Park Enfin, paid $6.10

$4.30 and $2.50.

What's your problem?

I'm putting $500,000 on Lucky Dan to win.

Third race at Riverside.

Can't lay that off in time.

A bet like that could break us.

Not only are you a cheat you're a gutless cheat as well.

What are the odds?


Take all of it.

[people chattering]

Ladies and gentlemen, this is Arnold Rowe calling the third race at Riverside Park in Kansas City.

This is a claiming race for $1,500 for 3-year-olds and up.

It's been raining, and the track is muddy.

The flag is up and they're off and running.

Dr. Twink is going to the front followed by Lucky Dan, Ima Dreamer, Orkin Josie G., Chi Chi and Little Star.

Around the clubhouse turn, it's Lucky Dan ahead Dr. Twink a length, Orkin a half followed by Ima Dreamer, Josie G., Chi Chi and Little Star.

Into the backstretch it's Lucky Dan a length, Dr. Twink a half Orkin a head, Ima Dreamer by one.

Sorry, I couldn't wait.

Everything going all right?

You got nothing to worry about.

I put it all on Lucky Dan.

$500,000 to win.

To win?

I said place! Place it on Lucky. . .

That horse is gonna run second!

Ima Dreamer a half, Dr. Twink a haIf and Orkin by two, followed by Little Star.

It's a driving finish!

There's been a mistake.

Give me my money back! No, I'm sorry--

I tell you there's been a mistake!

Give me my goddamn money back!

All right, everybody, FBI! Don't anybody try to leave.

Stand on your feet, put your hands over your head and move nice and slow.


All right. Get 'em up against the wall.

Make sure they're not carrying anything.

[all clamoring]

Hello, Henry. It's been a long time.

But it's over.

Okay, kid, you can go.

(Polk) All right, I said hands up. Keep 'em up!

Come on. Move them back! Put them up!

[woman screaming]

Get him out. Get him out!

Come on! Got to get you out of here!

[people continue chattering]

Come on!

But my money's in there!

There's a couple of dead guys, too.

You can't get mixed up in that.

You don't understand.

There's $500,000 in there!

[all chattering]

He's gone.

Okay, Henry, all clear.

[all laughing]


(man) Can you believe it? We pulled it off.


It's a nice con, Hickey.

I thought you were the feds myself when you came in.

No trouble, Henry.

Snyder went for it all the way.

You should've seen the rag he lit under Lonnegan!

[both laughing]

Well, kid, you beat him.

You're right, Henry. It's not enough.

[laughing] But it's close.

Okay, guys, let's take this place apart fast.

You can pick up your splits from Eddie at Boudreau's tonight.

[all chattering]

Nice going, J.J.

Oh, Henry!

You're not gonna stick around for your share?

Nah. I'd only blow it.

j&j&[The Entertainer playing]