Wednesday, December 31, 2014
If Wishes Were Horses
Hey there, crime kids. Happy New Year's Eve. It's time once again to take a trip to the dark side, where your most violent fantasies become sins of the flesh, right here, where the hardboiled action is non-stop, at the coolest crime joint in cyberspace ... at That Killing Feeling.
In Chapter 11 of FILLMORE, Fillmore and Etta James have a tearful goodbye as they wait for his bus to LA. We then flash forward five years later, where Slim is being groomed by his manager for success, and we find him at The Wall Club in Compton, mixing with the cream of rich and successful African-Americans ...
EXT. CITY STREET - BUS STOP BENCH - NIGHT
It’s a beautiful moonlit night.
The streets are still bustling with people and cars.
Music spilling out from the clubs.
The night is alive.
Slim and Etta sit, waiting for her bus.
Etta’s got tears in her eyes. He holds her hand.
But I gotta go. Los Angeles is calling.
It’s where I’m gonna find my fame and fortune.
I wish I could go with you.
I wish I could stay fifteen.
I wish we could stay here forever,
while we’re young and happy.
If wishes were horses,
I’d have a barn full of them.
But no matter what happens,
you’ll always be my girl.
They tearfully hug. Her bus pulls up.
At the same moment, a Cadillac comes
to a stop down the street.
A PIMP and his GIRLS get out,
laughing and carrying on.
PUSH IN ON Slim’s face.
Watching them over her shoulder.
Narrowing his eyes.
Onstage, singing his heart out.
Well, lawdy Miss Clawdy, you sure like to ball --
CAMERA pulls back, until we see -- THE CLUB.
A really nice joint, filled with WELL-DRESSED PATRONS.
Slim continues singing, as -- CAMERA keeps pulling back,
farther and farther away from Slim until it goes through --
THE LOBBY, where Dootsie talks with another RECORD LABEL GUY (50’s).
I’ve been grooming Slim for five years now --
CAMERA goes through the front door, and out onto --
EXT. LOS ANGELES - CENTRAL AVENUE - DAY
A major boulevard lined with fancy night clubs,
restaurants and hotels.
The mecca of the high life and the downtown music scene.
Fancy MEN and fancier WOMEN, all decked out in their finest.
Big, flashy cars clog the streets.
Sports, music and movie celebrities abound.
The scene is JUMPING. Down the street we see THE DUNBAR HOTEL,
a fancy place for the super-rich, the super-successful.
We see a BLACK STRETCH LIMOUSINE idling in front.
CAMERA finds The Hole In The Wall Club,
a fancy joint with a stream of BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE streaming in.
A SUPER-STRETCH LIMO pulls up in front.
A uniformed CHAUFFEUR gets out. Opens the rear door.
Out steps FLOYD PATTERSON (30’s), heavyweight champ.
The crowd parts, and he walks in.
INT. HOLE IN THE WALL CLUB - NIGHT
VERY fancy. The place is packed.
Red leather booths surround a smattering
of tables facing the stage.
Box seats around the sides.
Tuxedoed waiters attend to the CLUB PATRONS.
The sense of excitement in the air is palpable.
Slim’s onstage, singing LAWDY MISS CLAWDY to an adoring crowd.
INT. HOLE IN THE WALL CLUB - BAR - LATER
Slim sits at the bar chatting with DONNA (20’s),
a gorgeous siren.
She hands him a hundred-dollar bill.
Coos in his ear.
I’d love it if you’d sing Lawdy Miss Clawdy again.
I think that might be arranged, Miss Donna.
DOOTSIE WILLIAMS (50’s), Du-Tone Records label owner,
a big, barrel-chested guy walks over,
puts his hand on Slim’s shoulder.
With him is Floyd Patterson.
Would you please excuse us a moment?
Donna smiles at Floyd. Nods. Moves away.
Fillmore Slim, I’d like you to meet Floyd Patterson.
(offers his hand)
Nice to meet you, sir.
(takes it, shakes)
I enjoyed your performance, son.
I look forward to seeing big things from you.
Thank you, Mr. Patterson.
Floyd nods. Walks off into the crowd.
HATTIE MCDANIEL (40’s) approaches Dootsie.
Well, if it isn’t Dootsie Williams.
How’s my favorite Oscar winner?
She beams. Dootsie gestures at Slim.
This here’s Fillmore Slim, one of my artists.
(stares at Slim)
Very nice to meet you.
I’m a big fan, Miss McDaniel.
(eats him up with her eyes)
The feeling’s mutual.
I’m gonna go get me a cocktail.
I’ll come back and check on you boys later.
Slim takes her hand and kisses it. She smiles.
Disappears into the crowd.
He watches her go. Shakes his head.
Did Dorothy Dandridge see my set?
Yeah. She liked it.
But she just went over to Club Alabam.
Dexter Gordon’s over there --
and Mingus is around her somewhere.
(looks at him)
Pretty soon your name is gonna
be mentioned in their company.
Things are gonna start popping, just you see.
I’ve been on the horn to Art Laboe,
gonna get you on his show.
And I just finished setting up the tour.
That’s great. Where we goin’?
PUSH IN ON Dootsie’s face. His big smile.