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Gangs of New York
Martin Scorsese
(Ripped from the 3rd draft - quotes vary from the actual movie.)





America Was Born In The Streets.





VALLON: No. Never. The blood stays on the blade, son.





VALLON: I don't know you.

MAN: I suppose there's to be a fight.

VALLON: Derry?

MAN: Donnegal. Name's Monk Eastman.

VALLON: And you want to fight, Mr. Eastman?

MONK: lf there's money in it.

VALLON: Fight for the Natives. They have a proper war chest.

MONK: Well, I might at that. But I thought I'd ask you first, seeing as how I'm not quite a Native American myself.

VALLON: Let's see your skills, and we'll talk of payment later.

MONK: Fine. But if you like what you see, pay me double.

VALLON: Stand with us then.





VALLON: Bill Poole! on whose challenge are we assembled?

BILL THE BUTCHER: On the challenge of the Native Americans, to settle for good and all who holds sway.

VALLON: Bene.

BILL THE BUTCHER: By the ancient laws of combat, we offer our bodies to the ghosts of those warriors who have gone before us. Valor is avid for glory, and glory is in our wounds.

VALLON: But this time can you bear to look on the glory when it comes, Bill? Can you see it clear with your single eye?

BILL THE BUTCHER: Whoever fights untouched in battle has skill, but the warrior who returns wounded has been touched by God.

VALLON: It wasn't God who touched your eye.

BILL THE BUTCHER: It was God gave me guidance. Will you be able to look on the death blow like a gladiator, and not look away? No honorable man turns an eye from his death.





VALLON: Prepare to receive the Lord.





SHANG: I run with you! I'm one of you! Born a Native American from the blood of five generations!

PEG-LEG: Yeah? Then you oughta be a red Indian.





AMSTERDAM: Where will my father rest?

HAPPY JACK: Potters Field, with everyone else.

AMSTERDAM: My father won't be buried with everyone else. He'll lie separate in fresh ground, facing east.

HAPPY JACK: What difference where he faces?

AMSTERDAM: He'll face east for the second coming of Christ.

HAPPY JACK: Fine, son. When Jesus gets to the Battery you show Him the way from there.





BILL THE BUTCHER: Tomorrow your cortege will cross Paradise Square, into territory protected by the Native Americans. You will be permitted undisputed passage both ways. That is our tribute. After that, any Rabbits wishing to join the Native Americans and willing to swear blood loyalty will be welcomed. All others will be dispatched.





BILL THE BUTCHER: I'll expect you first.

MONK: Me? Oh, I don't know. All that talk of blood loyalty makes me quake. I'll spill blood when the price is right. But blood for ceremony? I prefer holy communion.

BILL THE BUTCHER: You saw us fight today. You know we can pay any price.

MONK: Not mine. Not now, and not any time after.

BILL THE BUTCHER: We'll see. Independence is a slippery thing. But being a rival ... well, that's dead dangerous.





BILL THE BUTCHER: The Native Americans holds the Five Points. We have prevailed. What you do outside the Points is your deciding. Outside is your city. Inside the Points is mine. Anyone who says different, or does different, or thinks different... theylll draw my unwelcame attention.





BOSS TWEED: The appearance of law must be upheld, especially while it's being broken.





KILLORAN: Another proud night for Tammany, Bill.

TWEED: Just tell them... to take enough to share. And not to steal so in the open. Jesus! Boss says to tell you to fight the fire from the front and loot out the back.





SHANG: This is my crew. And welcome to join, if you've the mettle. We're river pirates and quick thieves and street brawlers...

AMSTERDAM: You're lost.

SHANG: Yeah? You've no business saying anything against us! Do you know how much you cost us? You know how much that body's worth?

AMSTERDAM: I doubt it's worth the water it's floating in.

SHANG: Fifteen dollars! Fifteen dollars from them medical ghouis.

AMSTERDAM: I'll make it back for you whatever it is, once we're in the city. Just keep sailing, or we're all done for.

SHANG: He was in his prime. He'd have fetched thirty dollars easy.





SHANG: You'll learn our way if you're going to be one of us, Amsterdam. Every one of us gives a portion of all they steal to the gang. Morts more than men, being morts.

AMSTERDAM: Yeah? And why is that?

SHANG: Because morts have more resources. Men can work only on their feet, but a mort can turn out on her back.

AMSTERDAM: I mean, why give at all? Why don't they keep for themselves?

SHANG: If you think there's something off about my way of running things, you got no place in this gang.

AMSTERDAM: I got no place anyway, and you got no gang. This ain't a gang, no matter what you say. It's a mob.





AMSTERDAM: This mob ever have a proper name?

JOHNNY: We was called after Shang when we was named at all.

AMSTERDAM: We're the Dead Rabbits from now. They were the best. They were history. They were legend, and we'll live up to them.





SPEAKER: The potato is a thick vegetable. Heavy. Meaty. Comes out of the ground dirty and stays that way unless you scrub it and boil it to death!





JOHNNY: It's just a day's job, we don't have to make it a life's work. We work for Tammany today and kill them tomorrow, if that's our pleasure.

JIMMY SPOILS: So we're politicians just for today.

AMSTERDAM: Not for a minute. We're better than that. We're thieves.





JIMMY SPOILS: He's got the right to vote, damn you!

COP: Not four times he don't. There'll be no damned repeaters here!





AMSTERDAM: I was working the same side as the Natives? The Natives?

KILLORAN: That's only right. Bill the Butcher's our ambassador throughout the Points, as you might say. It's deemed an honor to work with him. Everyone knows Bill Poole, everyone fears him, everyone ...

AMSTERDAM: I sure as hell don't fear him. And I sure as hell won't stand with him, or any who calls him one of theirs.

KILLORAN: Well, if it's matter of personal honor, the money can only be a further insult. I have no wish to rile you further, so if you'll allow me...

AMSTERDAM: Where is he? Where's Bill the Butcher?

KILLORAN: Listen, buck. This is a Tammany night. If you and Bill Poole have matters to settle, you can do it any other time, any other place, I don't give a good dancing goddamn. But you do it here tonight and all the Five Points will be down on you like the righteous wrath of heaven. or you could, as the Book says, put away childish things. Join the celebration. Personally, I always find the least strenuous solution the most appealing. Don't you?





AMSTERDAM: Mr. Poole! Bill Poole! My compliments on your exhibition, sir.

BILL THE BUTCHER: Thank you, sir.

AMSTERDAM: It was like watching a dance. Some great grand goddamned dance. You know me, sir.

BILL THE BUTCHER: Do I? Are you missing a finger?

AMSTERDAM: No. A father.

BILL THE BUTCHER: Do you have a name?

AMSTERDAM: Amsterdam.

BILL THE BUTCHER: That's a New York name. Shall we drink to it?

AMSTERDAM: Indeed. And to my other name. Vallon. Will you drink to that?

BILL THE BUTCHER: Priest Vallon's son? Of course I'll drink to that. Your father was a worthy man.

AMSTERDAM: Not worthy of you. Those dogs ain't worthy of you. You ain't worth what they feed on, and what they shit's too good for you.





AMSTERDAM: The Dead Rabbits is going to be glorious again. We're going to reign over the Points.

MONK EASTMAN: And Bill Poole's Natives? What will they have to say?

AMSTERDAM: Nothing. They won't have tongues left to speak.

MONK EASTMAN: Don't worry about what theylll have in their mouths. You think about what they got in their hands. Listen, son... take a word from a man who was honored to fight beside your father. Temper yourself like a sword, and pay attention to balance. Anger spoils an edge.

AMSTERDAM: Then you say no?

MONK EASTMAN: You see my instrument there? First notch represents two dollars and fifty cents. That's how much I got for my first kill. There are forty-eight more notches after it, and my fee has grown with each one. I can accommodate you alright, but you got to afford me. So do business with me or do it on your own.

AMSTERDAM: Everything I got is still to come. So I guess it's on my own, then.

MONK EASTMAN: Fair enough. You'll find independence a fine thing, a fierce thing. Although I do hold money preferable to all.





JENNY: We don't want a ruckus, minister.

REVEREND RALEIGH: Nor do I. I intended no disrespect. I'd heard the Native Americans were figures of the greatest prominence here.

AMSTERDAM: Indeed they are, just for the moment. Let them come. Happy to have them. Everyone's welcome in a house of God, isn't that right, Reverend?

REVEREND RALEIGH: As all are welcome in heaven.

SHEENY MIKE: Ild like to go to heaven. Ild like to go to heaven and bite off Gabriells ear.

REVEREND RALEIGH: You're still welcome, even with such peculiar appetites.





AMSTERDAM: So you accept?

JENNY: What?

AMSTERDAM: You accept to be my mort and no one else's.

JENNY: No, it's just that I didn't recognize you in the mirror. You still got some of the face the Butcher gave you.

AMSTERDAM: It's not the Butcher, it's the dancing. It shifts my face all around.

JENNY: Maybe you'll look better later.

AMSTERDAM: I will if we're together later. And what about after that? After tonight?

JENNY: I chose you just for tonight. If that's not good enough I'll go with someone else.

AMSTERDAM: I'll have tonight. But after this don't come to me no more till you're ready. No more.





JOHNNY: I'm going to fight you.

AMSTERDAM: Oh, Jesus, Johnny, I'm tired. How about sometime else?

JOHNNY: Now.

AMSTERDAM: You want to tell me what this fight's over? Is it The Butcher? Jenny? Alright, alright. Then tell me why like this?

JOHNNY: So when I lose no one will see.





BOSS TWEED: What did you earn us, killing Monk?

BILL THE BUTCHER: Where'd you earn the right to ask that question? You raised some dust in the streets a while back, but no more. You got power but you ain't got muscle and you ain't got a notion what it means to be a warrior.

BOSS TWEED: I see it lost you a lot of God's sense, along with that eye.

BILL THE BUTCHER: You don't know nothing about that! It was my doing! It says in The Book, "If thy eye offend thee, pluck it out." I followed that law with my own knife and hand. The first I ever fought Priest Vallon, he bested me. And when he came to bring me to death, I looked away and he watched me and he let me go. The shame was worse than the killing. I would have cut out both eyes if I could still have fought, but cutting just the one gave me heart. When I killed Priest Vallon, that restored me. Now I sent Monk Eastman over I got glory. I got all there is, and small thanks to you, squire.

BOSS TWEED: You need two eyes to see the depth, Bill. That's how we help each other. If it wasn't for me would be happy enough to plunder the Points and put the fear into people who don't know nothing else. But Bill, I'm only saying... I'm counselinm... look in the distance. You want to sit at my table, fine. But you must always remember who the host is. It's not a matter of courage welre talking. It's manners.

BILL THE BUTCHER: Howls these manners?

BOSS TWEED: Fine, if you're hungry.

BILL THE BUTCHER: I'm always hungry.





BOSS TWEED: Let me put this to you, Daniel. Now that the Butcher has killed the single most prominent figure in the Five Points--a man of myth and moment--who is there to take his place? Of course. Then what do we do about the Butcher? He's too useful to be killed, but he must be checked.

KILLORAN: It could be a police matter.

BOSS TWEED: Impossible! Any cops who might have the mettle to go against the Butcher have blood ties to the gangs. They can't be trusted. And any cops that can be trusted are too craven to be any use. If Bill's to be checked, it must come from within the Points, not without.

KILLORAN: The Dead Rabbits did a proud job for elections. That Amsterdam boy has sand.

BOSS TWEED: That so? The last time I saw him he was under the Butcher's knife looking like a fine filet. Who else is there?

KILLORAN: Well, the Rough and Tumble Boys over to Slaughterhouse Point. There's Country McCleesterls bunch, too, and the Plug Uglies, but there's none that have the promise of the Dead Rabbits, or the stake, neither.

BOSS TWEED: What would that be?

KILLORAN: The boy Amsterdam has a blood feud with the Butcher. He's sworn revenge for the death of his father, and he's got the heart to carry it forward. He'll have the skill and power soon enough.

BOSS TWEED: Blood will make a man intrepid. Bring them along, then. Nurture the Rabbits with neglect. Let them roam where they like.

KILLORAN: And if they roam into some portion of our own revenues?

BOSS TWEED: I'd tolerate a little trespassing if it was for a higher good and use. They'll cross with the Natives soon enough and keep each other occupied.





AMSTERDAM: What is this place?

JENNY: My jeweler's. Come on.

AMSTERDAM: I don't see nobody.

JENNY: That's the best time. They're all having lunch.





JENNY: You should finish the stone.

AMSTERDAM: It'll be finished when everything's finished. That's when he'll rest. The hand that killed him is the hand that will bury him in peace.

JENNY: It was Bill killed him, not you.

AMSTERDAM: With my hand on the knife.

JENNY: And his hand on yours!

AMSTERDAM: And me feeling the life go out of my father! He looked at me ... he looked at me and he swore me with his eyes. I could feel his spirit... I say I could feel it rising... flowing through the knife like blood into my own heart.

JENNY: You talk like he lives in you.

AMSTERDAM: I don't want him to live, I want him dead! I kill Bill and I'm free of them both!

JENNY: You think you can be free that easy? You need your way so clear, and you''' use anything to clear it. Anyone, too. Me, everybody, we're all just a way for you to settle your damned ghosts.





BARNUM: This is to be a duel not for money, but for honor! A fight to the death...

AMSTERDAM: To the death. If he can stand up to it.

BARNUM: ... on which money, I hasten to add, may certainly be wagered. The names of the two champions are Amsterdam Vallon, here beside me, and ... and Mr. William Poole, known to all as ...

BILL THE BUTCHER: They know me by any name, you son of a bitch!





AMSTERDAM: Come on, Bill! Let go of your Tammany wet nurse! My challenge, your terms.

KILLORAN: Don't do it, you can't do it! There's the Conscription to deal with, and elections coming, too. That's your calling now, not these ancient quarrels.

BILL THE BUTCHER: I'll do my work. But this is a shame, a public shame. It demands my attention. Fine, then! Fine and welcome! Day after elections, we'll meet with seconds on neutral ground to work out time and terms. It will be done and done. You know this hand. Last time it was this close, it was on your throat.

AMSTERDAM: I remember it better from another time.





JIMMY SPOILS: We say the Square is the place. Let Barnum sell the tickets for a share of the price...

NATIVE SECOND: A small share.

JIMMY SPOILS: And the Rabbits and Natives will split the majority portion equal.

NATIVE SECOND: Who works the crowd?

AMSTERDAM: Nobody. This is a day of honor. No pickpockets, no lush-rollers, nothing.

BILL THE BUTCHER: I'll cut their hands off. After the fight.





BARTENDER: Amsterdam will make the Butcher a fine banquet.

MOTHER JOYCE: My ned's on the boy. He's got the youth, and he's got the hunger.

BARTENDER: Is he so hungry you'll put up a hundred?

MOTHER JOYCE: Two.





BOSS TWEED: Your honor... yes, and the law of the land... lies in the balance. The Conscription Act of 1863 was handed down by President Lincoln himself ...

CROWD MEMBER: If Lincoln signed it, then let Lincoln fight!





JENNY: I believed what you said abaut being with me, with me alone. But you lied to me. It's not me alone, it's just you and Bill Poole. Youlre so blood-blind you can't see nothing else, not even this!

AMSTERDAM: I don't care a fine damn about what they want! It's what I want! They won't dare harm the Points, that's all I care about! Let them turn the rest of the city into hell! It's another country anyway.

JENNY: It's not a country for me, Amsterdam. I don't know about you. Will you come with me?

AMSTERDAM: Not now.

JENNY: Now is when I'm going. Will you come?

AMSTERDAM: I don't want all this fighting to go to waste, Jen. I want to come out of it with something. And I got to be waiting for the Butcher.





BILL THE BUTCHER: Murder Me? No one's going to murder me.

AMSTERDAM: Then you better learn to fight locking over your shoulder, Bill, because that's the only way you'll ever see it coming.

BILL THE BUTCHER: I don't believe it, and I don't believe it's you telling me. You got no reason to care about any danger to me.

AMSTERDAM: One reason. You're my kill, Butcher. No one else is going to have you, not Tweed, not Tammany, not those pigs in the street. No one--not even you, Bill--will ever take the pleasure of your death away from me. I'd do anything to keep you for my own, even if I have to protect you.

BILL THE BUTCHER: You protect me? Get out of here and go to hell.

AMSTERDAM: Fine, so long as I pass you on my way.





BILL THE BUTCHER: That means nothing to me. None of this means nothing to me because I am Tammany. Without me and my Natives they're nothing but a bunch of old horses at a trough.

AMSTERDAM: You join with me and we fight against Tammany, fight them back and out of the Points. Then you and me can settle. But if you don't join with me, then there won't be no settlement because you'll be murdered in the street and the whole Points will be mine.

BILL THE BUTCHER: I relish the thought... just the thought... of cutting you up and opening you wide. So if just thinking about it gives me such pleasure, imagine how I'm going to enjoy doing it.

AMSTERDAM: Why don't I make it easy for you, then. Same as you're making it easy for Tweed.

BILL THE BUTCHER: Amsterdam! Don't be like your father. Don't make it too easy.





AMSTERDAM: Where's the Native Americans?

RIOTER: Ain't seen them. Ain't here.

AMSTERDAM: And the militia?

RIOTER: There's a detachment coming on from two streets over. The rest is still north of here. What are you after? The Devil himself couldn't take that place.

AMSTERDAM: That's why he sent us.





KILLORAN: It's from the Armory Guards. That's the last before the wire went dead.

BOSS TWEED: If the Rabbits are already at the Armory, where the hell is Bill and the militia?

KILLORAN: They got to be near.

JOHNNY: So long as they're near, it's alright. The Rabbits can take the Armory, but they can't hold it. If Bill can get into position, he can make sure they don't get out.

BOSS TWEED: Alright then, John, you pray to any God you choose that's the fact of it. If Bill thinks he can best the Natives, that is your opportunity. That is your moment. Are you a Bible man? The Book says in Revelations, "I saw a new heaven and a new earth." If the hand of God's not on you to fulfill that prophecy, then the hand of Tweed will be. Go on and God bless.

GOVERNOR: I don't believe he can do it, Tweed.

BOSS TWEED: Oh, I think he can. Whether it's one man against another or a mob against the city, the mathematics remain the same. You never enjoyed the enlightenment of poverty, did you, Governor? If you had, you'd know you can always hire half the poor to kill the other half.





BILL THE BUTCHER: Was it Tweed or your friend put you to this?

JOHNNY: Tweed.

BILL THE BUTCHER: You'd lie to save your friend.

JOHNNY: No. There's no friends for me.

BILL THE BUTCHER: Me the same. Pity us both.





BILL THE BUTCHER: Your friend made different friends lately.

AMSTERDAM: Tammany's put us all in the same place. You want to get out alive?

BILL THE BUTCHER: It don't matter to me. I got enemies outside, enemies in here. The militia can move on me anytime. You could drop me before I get to the door.

AMSTERDAM: I don't want to lose you so easy. You'll never get past the militia unless you come with the Dead Rabbits.

BILL THE BUTCHER: You'd lay aside what's between us?

AMSTERDAM: I'm not forgetting where I put it.

BILL THE BUTCHER: If you do, I'll remind you.





BILL THE BUTCHER: We're finished, all of us.

AMSTERDAM: But you and me ain't settled.

BILL THE BUTCHER: We got the same now, a full share of nothing. There's nothing to settle. There's nothing left.

AMSTERDAM: Then let's start over.



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