OVER the opening strains of "I LOVE YOU, CALIFORNIA," a
a mixture of headlines, newsreel footage and
live action. Economy Booming! Postwar Optimism! L.A.:
City of the Future! But most prominent among them:
GANGLAND! Police photographers document crime scenes.
The meat wagon hauls ex-button men to the morgue. Where
will it end?
EXT. L.A. SKYLINE - SUNSET
Palm trees in silhouette against a cherry sky. City
lights twinkle. Los Angeles. A place where anything is
possible. A place where dreams come true. As the sky
darkens, triple-kleig lights begin to sweep back and
EXT. MANSION (HANCOCK PARK) - NIGHT
The KLEIG LIGHTS are out front. Valets hurry to park a
line of elegant cars.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you
the future of Los Angeles!
INT. HANCOCK PARK MANSION - BALLROOM - NIGHT
The MAYOR yanks a cloth to reveal a MODEL of L.A. criss-
crossed by an elaborate FREEWAY SYSTEM. The CROWD oohs.
A COUNCILMAN claps. A SOCIETY MATRON nods her approval.
PIERCE PATCHETT, 50, tuxedoed, watches off to one side.
A behind-the-scenes power broker, Patchett exudes
authority much more so than the Mayor does.
The Arroyo Seco freeway is just
the beginning. We're planning
freeways from Downtown to Santa
Monica, from the South Bay to the
San Fernando Valley. Twenty
minutes to work or play is the
longest you'll have to travel.
More applause. One REPORTER asks a little too loudly...
How many bodies you think Mickey
Cohen'll be able to hide in all
The Mayor wears a plastic smile, ignores it.
INT. THE MOCAMBO - NIGHT
A CLUB PHOTOGRAPHER pops snapshots, but the real action
is on the floor where MICKEY COHEN does a wicked "Lindy
Hop" with THREE different GIRLS at once. A fireplug of a
man, he hardly seems a public menace. Nearby is his
bodyguard JOHNNY STOMPANATO. Over it all:
Meyer Harris Cohen, Mickey C to
his fans. He's the big moocher,
local L.A. color to the nth
degree. You know Mickey. He runs
dope, rackets and prostitution.
He kills a dozen people a year.
But who you may not know is
bodyguard Johnny Stompanato.
His hair in a slick pompadour, Stompanato keeps an eye on
Cohen and comes onto a CIGARETTE GIRL at the same time.
Johnny's handsome, ladies, but the
real attraction is below the belt.
Second only to Steve Cochran, he's
sometimes known as 'Oscar' because
of his Academy Award-size
Mickey works a sweat on the dance floor. A bottle of
champagne pops; Stompanato reacts, nearly draws a pistol
from his shoulder holster. As he laughs at himself...