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The Sting

The Sting

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Published by patch295

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Published by: patch295 on Jun 15, 2009
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09/30/2012

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"THE STING"byDavid S. WardSecond draft FADE IN:A white on black TITLE appears in the lower left hand cornerof the screen:AUGUST, 1936FADE OUTFADE IN:EXT. A SLUM AREA OF JOLIET - DAYIt's a bleak, windy morning, the kind that clears the streetsof all but the winos (who carry their own heaters), and thepoint-men for juvenile gangs. We pick up a solitary figure,Joe Mottola, coming down the street and entering what appearsto be an abandoned tenement. He pauses a second to dust hiswhite-winged alligator shoes on the back of his pants leg.Sharply dressed and surrounded by the aura of one who ismaking money for the first time and broadcasting it on allbands, he seems an incongruity in this part of town.We follow him up a flight of rickety stairs to a second floorflat. He knocks on the door, is admitted by a cautiousdoorman.INT. NUMBERS SPOT - DAYSuddenly we are plunged into a room of chattering, clamoringpeople. This is a spot for the numbers racket, a place immunefrom legal interference, where any sucker can bet on a numberbetween 1 and 1000 in the hope of getting the 600 to 1 payoffthat goes to those few who guess right. The bettors arequeued up in several lines before a long table, where theyplace their bets and are given receipts in return.Others wait at a cashier's window to pick up previous earningsor to ask for credit.Mottola moves through the crowd to a back room where bettingslips are being sorted and money counted under the watchfuland somewhat impatient gaze of a Supervisor, an older mannamed Mr. Granger. The Yankee-White Sox game is heard onthe radio in the background.Mottola, noticing that his entrance has aroused littleinterest, saunters over to the Phone Girl and gives her a
 
little pinch on the cheek. The girl slaps his hand away,obviously having been through this before.PHONE GIRLBeat it, Mottola.Granger glances up and exchanges a token nod with Mottola,who plops down in a folding chair next to the radio. Thephone rings.PHONE GIRL8720... Yes, hold on a second.(calling over to theSupervisor)Mr. Granger, Chicago on the line.Granger is a little apprehensive about talking to Chicago,but takes the phone anyway.GRANGERYeh?CUT TO:INT. A WATERFRONT PROCESSING PLANT - CHICAGO - DAYA flabby, bald man named Combs is on the other end of theline. Visible beyond the door and interior window of hisoffice is a large room, cluttered with tables, typewriters,clerks and adding machines. This room is the clearinghousefor all the transaction of the numbers game. All the bettingslips and income from the spots are brought in here andprocessed.COMBSGranger, this is Combs. Why haven'twe heard from ya? Everybody else isin.GRANGERWe had a few problems with the Lawthis morning. The Mayor promisedthe Jaycees to get tough on therackets again, so he shut everybodydown for a couple hours to make itlook good. Nothing serious, it justput us a little behind for the day.COMBSYou been making your payoffs, haven'tya?GRANGERHell yes. He does this every year.There's nothing to worry about.COMBSOkay, finish your count and get it
 
up here as soon as you can. I don'twanta be here all night.GRANGERBelieve me, the Man's gonna be realhappy. Looks like we cleared overten grand this week.COMBS(not impressed)We cleared 22 here.GRANGERWell, hell, you got the whole Chicagosouth side. How do ya expect theeight lousy spots I've got to competewith that?COMBS(reading off a sheetof paper on his desk)They did 14 grand in Evanston, 16.5is Gary, and 20 in Cicero. Lookslike you're bringing up the rear,Granger.INT. NUMBERS SPOT - DAYGranger burns inside. One of the girls who's been sortingand counting hands him a slip of paper.GRANGERI just got the count. We'll put thetake on the 4:15.COMBSWe'll be waitin'.Combs hangs up, smiling to himself, proud of the way he gavethe needle to Granger.CUT TO:INT. NUMBERS SPOT - DAYGranger storming over to a safe and jerking open the door.GRANGER(snapping)Mottola.Mottola hustles out of his chair.GRANGER(handing him a bundleof bills)Take this up to the city on the 4:15.They'll be waitin' for it at the

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