Jan 06 2013

How I’d write The Town If I Were to Have Written It:

(4 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

At this point, I no longer visualize The Town as a movie, but as a story.  

Doug MacRay and his men are lifelong Charlestown Townies, who, under Charlestown’s crime boss, Fergie, who runs a flower shop as a front for  his criminal enterprise, are working for him, robbing banks and armored cars.  Except for Desmond Elden, the youngest of the four, who has a fulltime, regular job with the telephone company, Doug and his men have extensive criminal records of grand theft, assault and murder.  One warm, sunny late-spring morning, after lying in wait for the bank employees to cone and open the Cambridge Savings Bank, at around 8:00 a. m., after lurking in the vestibule overnight and putting on their disguises, they decide to go to work.  After deliberately bumping into the cash-car driver to startle him,  Doug and his men storm the bank, dressed as grim reapers, with long black capes and scary-looking ghoul masks with their automatic weapons drawn, forcing bank employees and customers alike to the floor.  Everybody is threateningly warned by Jem, the nastiest and craziest of the four bandits, not to look up for even a second.  Doug and his men seek out the attractive bank manager, a woman in her late 20’s, and force her to open the vault at gunpoint, which she nervously does after Doug calms her down.   Doug and his men then take all the money from the vault and the cash  drawers, being careful to avoid any dye-packs, which could unexpectedly explode and  give them away.

Doug, Jem, Gloansy and Dez are about to escape with their loot when Claire, the bank manager, kicks the vault alarm with her foot, setting it off immediately.   Then things go from bad to worse.   Amanda, an equally attractive female customer in her mid 30’s,  who is an artist, paramedic and martial artist, and her boyfriend, Dave, a construction worker, also in  his mid-30’s, have been waiting in line to deposit some money through a teller, when they, too are somewhat roughly forced to the floor by Doug MacRay and his men.  Despite having been warned by Jem to stay down on the floor and not look up, Amanda’s boyfriend, Dave, makes the mistake of looking up for a split second when the alarm goes off.  That’s enough to send Jem (who’s Doug’s best friend and righthand man and the craziest, most hot-tempered of the four.) into an uncontrollable rage.  Thinking that Amanda’s boyfriend, Dave, had set off the vault alarm, Jem furiously attacks Dave, hitting him directly in the back of the head with the butt of his automatic weapon a half dozen times, as hard as he can,  before Doug can stop him.  Much blood flows from Dave’s head, and Dave is ultimately killed by the blows, as we shall see.  Upon a paramedic’s instincts, Amanda attempts to find a pulse in Dave, but is unable to.  She immediately realizes the worst.

As quietly as possible, an assistant bank manager calls for an ambulance.  Within two minutes, a couple of paramedics arrive at the scene.  Doug, Jem, Dez and Gloansy acquiesce, let the paramedics through, and allow them to do their work.  Quickly, the paramedics go to work to try to stop the bleeding and to save Dave’s life, but to no avail.  One of the paramedics then turns to Amanda, who they know from work.  “It looks like he’s dead, Amanda.”  the paramedic said, sadly and softly.  “We did everything we could.”  As the paramedics drape a white sheet over Dave’s body, Amanda, despite heroic efforts to keep from crying, finally puts her head in her hands and begins to sob, due to grief, loneliness, fright, shock and stress, in the wake of Dave’s horrific murder.  Amanda misses Dave, her heartfelt connection to the  world, and the man that she’d loved for more than ten years,  now largely oblivious to the fact that Doug, Dez and Gloansy, still in their masks and capes,  had been standing and staring at her.   They do not point their guns at Amanda, nor do they rough her up.  Eventually, Dez comes over and comforts her by putting his arm around her.  Jem, on the other hand, acts totally differently.  He’s not the least bit remorseful about what he’s just done, and clearly does not care about the affects that his actions and behaviors have on other people.   Because Jem is a paranoid individual with a tendency towards anti-semitism, he wants to rape, shoot, kill and throw Amanda (who is jewish) into the Mystic River, thereby eliminating once and for all, not so much because she’s a witness to the bank hold-up and the horrific murder of Amanda’s boyfriend, Dave (An Irish-Catholic from Dorchester, who’s a construction worker),  but because of Jem’s obsession with the fact that Amanda  would be especially likely to squeal to the Feds.  As Jem approaches Amanda with his gun drawn, Doug, Gloansy and Dez restrain Jem, ultimately drawing their guns on him.  Jem momentarily backs down, but is determined to do even more damage, nonetheless.

Jem has taken both Amanda and the bank manager, Claire, as hostage, taken their driver’s licenses, discovered that they both reside at different addresses in Charlestown, and decides that both women are liable.   Still wearing their masks and capes,  Doug and his men herd both Claire and Amanda into their stolen get-away van, blindfold them, and drive several miles away, after taking off their own masks.  Doug assures both Claire and Amanda that they won’t be hurt, but Jem, who’s now laughing hysterically and crazily to himself upon looking at Amanda’s license, asks  “Hey…You guys know any Jewish jokes?”  Doug gives Jem a nasty look that warns him to control himself.  They drive Claire and Amanda to Day Boulevard, in South Boston, which is several miles away.  After whispered discussions as to what to do with both women, Jem decides on a plan;  to release Claire, unharmed, and make her walk to the water  until she felt the water at her toes.  Still obsessed with the idea, however, that Amanda would be even more likely to squeal to the Feds because she is Jewish, not to mention the idea that “the Jews would supposedly take over Charlestown”, Jem  made no secret of his determination to murder Amanda at all costs.  At this point, Doug fully realizes that, ultimately takes charge, and Amanda is also released, very scared but unharmed.  Still determined to shoot her, however,  Jem cocks his automatic weapon and adjusts it until he has Amanda in his sights when he thinks that Doug, Gloansy and Dez aren’t looking.  Fortunately for Amanda, however, Jem is restrained by Doug, Dez and Gloansy, and she is safe.   Satisfied that they have not only evaded the police,  but that Jem wouldn’t be able to carry out his murderous plans for doing Amanda in,  Doug, Gloansy and Dez  take control, and they all drive off in their stolen van.

Meanwhile,  Doug has developed a soft spot for Claire, and Dez a soft spot for Amanda.  Unlike his companions, however, Dez, who has a regular full time job with the telephone company,  so he’s often not around as much, has never been involved in crime, and has no criminal record.  

Meanwhile, back in Charlestown, not long after the robbery/murder/kidnapping, Amanda, deciding to take a break from working in her studio, goes to Zumes Coffee House (her favorite luncheon spot) for lunch.    She orders lunch and, while waiting for her meal, works on a crossword puzzle.  Just then, Amanda notices a large figure coming up the street towards the Coffee House, and figures that something’s not right, but cannot put a finger on it.  “Wow!”  Amanda thinks to herself.  “What’s that coming up the street?”   She resumes doing her crossword puzzle, but before she knows what’s happening, a large, tough-looking guy who’s very muscular, but handsome, and obviously a local, with tattoos all over him, approaches Amanda, puts his arm around her, and gives her a gentle squeeze.  Amanda is somewhat startled, but does her best not to show it.  It’s Doug, the ringleader of the band of men who’d robbed her bank at gunpoint, and killed her beloved boyfriend just days before.

Doug then spoke.   “Hey !”  he says.  “I’m one of the guys who stormed the bank that you and your boyfriend were customers of, robbed it at gun point, and got the man you loved very much brutally killed.  I’m damned sorry about the hell that my guys and I put you through, and about your loss.”  Amanda manages to crack a smile and thank Doug.  “I’d like to make up for wrong that my guys and I did to you.  How about me buying you a drink? ”  Amanda smiles her prettiest smile but shakes her head.  “I respect the fact that you  personally came to me, ‘fessed up to and apologized for what you and your guys did.”  says Amanda, “but as far as going out for a drink or anything with you, thank you but no thank you.”   Doug, who is very persistent, presses on beyond Amanda’s turning him down.  “Okay, then let me buy you lunch.”    Again, Amanda smiles.  “Okay”.  she says.  Doug also orders some lunch, sits down at the table across from Amanda,  and they quietly have lunch together.  Afterwards, Doug pays for both his and Amanda’s lunch, and Amanda thanks him, although she is still not interested in going out with Doug, seeing as he and his men were professional criminals who were not only a bunch of armed felons, but were also responsible for the brutal killing of her beloved boyfriend, Dave.

Not long afterwards, both Claire and Amanda area called in for interviews by FBI Special Agt. Frawley, who’s been assigned to the job of bringing Doug and his men to justice for their crimes, hoping to send them all to prison.  Amanda wisely decides to really be on top of things, and smartly reconstructs everything that had taken place in the Cambridge Savings Bank that fateful day, types up a long essay of what transpired, and prints up several copies of it, keeping one for herself, for her one records, and the others for FBI Agt. Frawley and the people working underneath him.  Claire is interviewed by Agt. Frawley first, but is rather secretive and evasive about what she knows.  Amanda, on the other hand, shows Agt. Frawley her essay that reconstructed everything that happened, with a description of the men’s heights, demeanors, voices, builds, and even the bright green Fighting Irish tattoo on the back of Jem’s neck, just below his mask, when the four bandits had been in the process of robbing the Cambridge bank.  When Frawley reads Amanda’s reconstruction of everything that has transpired during the recent robbery and brutal murder, he realizes that Amanda won’t need to be interviewed further, because he’s got sufficient enough information and evidence from Amanda.  Claire, on the other hand, is quite secretive towards the FBI during her inverview, leading Agt. Frawley to suspect that Claire knows more about what transpired that day than she’s admitting to.  Amanda and Claire,  both intelligent women, decide that dating men with extensive criminal records of violent crimes (i. e. grand theft/armed robbery, assault and murder) isn’t worth risking their futures (or possibly their lives or very safety), and getting into liasons that are completely and totally wrong.

Meanwhile, Doug, Dez, Gloansy and Jem decide to hold ameeting in the seedy Charlestown Ice hockey rink, on Austin Street, to debate and decide what to do.  Jem, with his usual lack of conscience about the mayhem, murder and bloodshed that he’s committed, jauntily saunters in, late for the meeting and largely oblivious to the hard, angry and shocked glares of Doug, Dez and Gloansy, due to what Jem has done, and the way he’s been acting.  Cavalierly, Jem shows Doug the drivers’ licenses of Claire and Amanda, who both reside at different Charlestown addresses, and are not old-timers, but are among the ‘toonies” who’ve moved to Charlestown from elsewhere.   “We’ve got problems.”  Jem says.  “Those two bitches are liable.”  Doug takes both licenses away from Jem.  “So what!” he says, sharply.  “Leave it go!”

Jem refuses, and is very persistent.  “Claire lives 2 blocks away from us.”  Jem says.  We can stalk her and find out, and I’ll get it done for sure.  Then, I’ll go  and get rid of that Jew bitch, Amanda, who’ll be even more of a rat.”

“What are you going to get done, and what are you going to find out?”  Doug asks Jem, rather nastily.  “Besides, what does Amanda’s being jewish have to do with her being even more of a rat than Claire?  Huh?  You’ll get picked up for intimidating witnesses.  Walk within 100 feet of either one of them and you’ll have ten years in the pen already.  You kill either one of them, and they’ll throw your ass in the can so hard that you won’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of ever getting out again.  They’re both quite scared already, especially Amanda, who’s trying hard not to show it,  because she feels that she can’t afford that luxury, given that she’s especially vulnerable, for obvious reasons.”  When Jem continues with his threats and his anti-Semitic slurs, Doug, Dez and Gloansy finally all yell at Jem to shut up and let it go.

Not long afterwards, Doug concocts a plan of his own, which he really decides to think through and construct by writing down on paper before carrying it through.   The only way to really protect Claire and Amanda (especially Amanda) is to turn himself and his guys into the Feds, go on trial, serve out whatever prison sentences they receive, and to re-enter normal society and figure out ways to recompense Claire and, especially, Amanda, for all the wrongs the he and his men have heaped on them.

So, Doug calls a meeting with Dez and Gloansy at his own house, which he shares with Jem, his sister Krista, and her  young daugher, Shyne, who all live below him.   Given his living situation,  however, Doug ultimately decides that it would be too risky for him, Dez and Gloansy to meet at his house, and decides to hold the meeting at the Charlestown ice hockey rink instead.  When Doug tells Dez and Gloansy of his plan to turn himself and his guys in, come forward and talk to the FBI, he is met with much skepticism and shock by Gloansy and Dez, but they agree to go along with Doug’s plan, nonetheless.  Doug sets to work reconstructing what he and his guys did, writes it all down on paper, and carefully prepares his plan to present to the FBI.  FBI Agt. Frawley and Doug MacRay do not get along, due to intense personal animosity towards each other, but Doug calls Agt. Frawley for an interview anyhow.  Reluctantly, and despite his total resentment of Doug as a person for having orchestrated the heists that he and his men have been involved in, with the resulting bloodshed, mayhem, terror and trauma to innocent people,  and upon pressure from Dino Ciampa, a Townie cop, Agt. Frawley agrees to help Doug MacRay out.

When Jem gets wind of Doug’s plan, however, he flies into a rage, but Doug stops Jem and pointedly tells him that there’s no other choice at this point, and that he, along with the others, will have to take his punishment.  

The big day arrives.  Dez, Doug, Gloansy and Jem arrive at the police station, where FBI Agt. Adam Frawley, Dino Ciampa and some other law-enforcement officials are presently waiting, and the unheard of occurs:   Despite realizing the huge risks of doing so (due to Charlestown’s tight code of silence), Doug and his men decide to break Charlestown’s code of silence once and for all, to come forward, and ‘fess up to what they have done.  A trial eventually takes place.  Doug and Gloansy are sentenced to Lewisburg penitentiary (out of state) for a 20-30 year sentence for armed bank robbery and kidnapping, while  Dez is given a suspended sentence and put on a two-year probation.  Jem, on the other hand, is sentenced to life without parold, for the first-degree murder of Amanda’s boyfriend, in addition to the other cimes he was involved in with Doug, Dez and Gloansy.  

With Doug, Jem, and Gloansy serving long, hard terms in a Federal penitentiary and Dez on probation with a suspended sentence, Amanda and Claire, both deciding that they’re now safe and things are now back to normal, resume their respective lives.  Unable to tolerate the daily reminders of the robbery at the Cambridge Savings Bank, Claire resigns from her job as a bank manager, finds a better-paying job at another bank, and accumulates enough money to purchase and move into a swankier condo in Boston’s Back Bay section.  Amanda, meanwhile, continues her life as an artist,  a part time paramedic, and a martial artist.  She continues to reside in her artists’ condo on Charlestown’s Breed Hill.  One day, Amanda receives a letter in the mail.  It’s from Doug, but is signed by both Doug and Gloansy.  It reads as follows:

“Dear Amanda:

Hi-ya Sweetie!

I am damned sorry for the hell that my guys and I have put you through, and about your loss.  Since going to prison, I’ve had lots of time to reflect, and not a day passes when I don’t think of you.  I realize that you’re still grieving right now, and that you’ve got reason to.  It would be cool if you could drop me a line once in awhile, but if you’re unable to do so, I will understand.  You’re an extremely attractive, intelligent and talented woman, and things will turn out well for you on the long run.  Keep up with what you’re doing.  I hope to see you again, this side or the other.


Amanda, not knowing how else to react when she reads Doug’s letter, is moved.  yet, at the same time, she cannot bring herself to have contact with Doug, lest she end up in a liason that’s completely and totally wrong.  Claire receives a similar letter from Doug as it turns out, and also wisely turns Doug down.  Realizing that she’d helped cause much hardship and grief to other people as well as herself by  setting off the vault alarm during the bank holdup, Claire telephones Amanda a couple of days later, and not only offers her condolences, but apologizes profoundly to Amanda for having contributed to Dave’s brutal murder in the bank that fateful day and contributing to Amanda’s grief.  Amanda accepts Claire’s apology and condolences and, from then on, the two women become fast friends, united, at least in part, by the terrible circumstances and events that had transpired in the bank on that fateful day.

Claire and Amanda have both gone on with their lives, fully realizing that risking their futures by investing in guys with such extensive criminal records isn’t worth it; and Doug, Jem and Gloansy are still serving out their prison terms.  Who knows what Doug, and Gloansy will by like when they finally get out of jail after finishing their prison terms, if and when they do get out?

Please note:  This thread is cross-posted on both firefly-dreaming.com, and on docudharma.com.

1 comment

  1. mplo

    Any thoughts?

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