CITY AT NIGHT:
A hearse of Late Twenties vintage is proceeding at a dignified
pace along a half-deserted wintry street.
Inside the hearse, there are four somber men in black -- and
a coffin, of course, with a wreath of chrysanthemums on top.
One of the men is driving, another is in the seat beside
him. The other two are sitting in the rear of the hearse,
flanking the coffin. All four seem fully aware of the
solemnity of the occasion.
Now they hear a SIREN, faint at first, but rapidly growing
louder. The driver and the man next to him exchange a nervous
glance. The other two men move tensely toward the rear door
of the hearse, raise the black curtain over the glass panel,
and peek out cautiously.
Through the glass panel, they see a police car bearing down
on them, the red light blinking, the SIREN screaming.
The two men at the rear window gesture to the driver to step
on it. He does.
The hearse, obviously a souped-up job, instantly picks up
speed, weaves crazily through traffic, the police car in hot
pursuit. The hearse careens around a corner at eighty miles
an hour, the police car right on its tail.
By this time the policemen are leaning out of their car with
drawn guns, firing at the hearse.
The two men in the rear of the hearse, flattened against the
sides, pull a couple of sawed-off shotguns out of a hidden
overhead rack. Police bullets smash the glass panel and
whistle through the hearse. The driver and the man next to
him duck, but the hearse continues at the same breakneck
speed. The two men in back shove their guns through the
shattered glass, fire at the police car.
Despite the hail of lead, the police car -- its windshield
cobwebbed with bullet holes -- gains on the hearse.
Suddenly the car skids out of control, jumps the curb, comes
to a screeching stop. Policemen leap out, fire after the
In the speeding hearse, the last of the police bullets thud
into the coffin. Instantly three geysers of liquid spurt
through the bullet holes. As the firing recedes, the two men
in the back put away their guns, remove the wreath from the
coffin, take the lid off. The inside is jam-packed with
bottles of booze, some of them shattered by the bullets. As
the men start to lift out the broken bottles --
EXT. INTERSECTION OF STREETS - NIGHT
Traffic is light. All the shops are dark except one -- a
dimly lit establishment, from which drift the mournful strains
of an organ. A circumspect sign reads:
MOZARELLA'S FUNERAL PARLOR
24 Hour Service
In the window, a sample coffin is on display.
There seem to be some rites going on inside, because a number
of mourners, singly and in couples, are hurrying from the
cold, windy street into Mozarella's parlor.