A white on black TITLE appears in the lower left hand corner
of the screen:
EXT. A SLUM AREA OF JOLIET - DAY
It's a bleak, windy morning, the kind that clears the
streets of all but the winos (who carry their own heaters),
and the point-men for juvenile gangs. We pick up a solitary
figure, Joe Mottola, coming down the street and entering
what appears to be an abandoned tenement. He pauses a
second to dust his white-winged alligator shoes on the back
of his pants leg. Sharply dressed and surrounded by the
aura of one who is making money for the first time and
broadcasting it on all bands, he seems an incongruity in
this part of town.
We follow him up a flight of rickety stairs to a second
floor flat. He knocks on the door, is admitted by a cautious
INT. NUMBERS SPOT - DAY
Suddenly we are plunged into a room of chattering, clamoring
people. This is a spot for the numbers racket, a place
immune from legal interference, where any sucker can bet on
a number between 1 and 1000 in the hope of getting the 600
to 1 payoff that goes to those few who guess right. The
bettors are queued up in several lines before a long table,
where they place their bets and are given receipts in return.
Others wait at a cashier's window to pick up previous
earnings or to ask for credit.
Mottola moves through the crowd to a back room where betting
slips are being sorted and money counted under the watchful
and somewhat impatient gaze of a Supervisor, an older man
named Mr. Granger. The Yankee-White Sox game is heard on
the radio in the background.
Mottola, noticing that his entrance has aroused little
interest, 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.
Beat it, Mottola.
Granger glances up and exchanges a token nod with Mottola,
who plops down in a folding chair next to the radio. The
8720...Yes, hold on a second.
(calling over to the Supervisor)
Mr. Granger, Chicago on the line.
Granger is a little apprehensive about talking to Chicago,
but takes the phone anyway.
INT. A WATERFRONT PROCESSING PLANT - CHICAGO - DAY
A flabby, bald man named Combs is on the other end of the
line. Visible beyond the door and interior window of his
office is a large room, cluttered with tables, typewriters,
clerks and adding machines. This room is the clearinghouse
for all the transaction of the numbers game. All the
betting slips and income from the spots are brought in here
Granger, this is Combs. Why
haven't we heard from ya? Everybody
else is in.
We had a few problems with the Law
this morning. The Mayor promised
the Jaycees to get tough on the
rackets again, so he shut everybody
down for a couple hours to make it
look good. Nothing serious, it
just put us a little behind for the
You been making your payoffs,
Hell yes. He does this every year.
There's nothing to worry about.
Okay, finish your count and get it
up here as soon as you can. I
don't wanta be here all night.
Believe me, the Man's gonna be real
happy. Looks like we cleared over
ten grand this week.
We cleared 22 here.
Well, hell, you got the whole
Chicago south side. How do ya
expect the eight lousy spots I've
got to compete with that?
(reading off a sheet
of paper on his desk)
They did 14 grand in Evanston, 16.5
is Gary, and 20 in Cicero. Looks
like you're bringing up the rear,