At The Spirited Movie Co. we are continuously developing new ideas and concepts into completed scripts. Our library is comprised of decades of writing, spanning countless genres, fully prepared to be progressed into further stages of production. Take a look at a few of our summaries below.
“Groove” is the slang term for the best route around a racetrack for a particular driver.
The “High Groove” takes a car closer to the outside wall for most of a lap, and is by far the most dangerous…!
Each post-pilot episode will explore all the nuances of car racing while revealing the comedy of a lax racing school, the cameos of celebrities (film, music and athletic), and the plight of our team of underdogs.
EPISODE 1 – “THE PILOT”
Each of the ensuing episodes is titled after one of the terms from the “Driver’s Slang” list.
In his never-ending quest for inner peace and avoiding the posse, Chet Rohan has moved to New York City. Takes a car and the cops for the ride to end all rides through the streets – and sidewalks– of downtown Manhattan. Chris and Jake, and Jake’s # 1 man, Mike Butkis, come to bail him out, on 1 condition: Chet goes with him to the school, and does whatever Butkis tells him to do. Chet refuses. Jake lets him sit in the Tombs for a few days, makes the offer again and off we go.
(See full teleplay)
EPISODE II – “TURBULANCE”
Air that trails behind a race car and disrupts the flow of air to the cars behind it.”
The transition, the drug and alcohol withdrawals, the facing of the deaths he feels he caused..
EPISODE III – “LOOSE”
(Also referred to as “free” or “over-steer.”) A condition created when the back end of the vehicle wants to overtake the front end when it is either entering or exiting a turn.
As with each episode, we go back throughout and learn of what and why it is that each character came to this particular place in time. In the Mike Butkis Week, we find that he made his money in trucking and construction in the 70’s. He built a race track outside of San Bernardino, CA and soon after bought a race team. In the early and mid 1980’s, he had several successful drivers and his team won The Cup several times up until the early 1990’s when he decided to get out of the competitive side of the business and concentrate on operating his track and racing school. He lives outside of the compound in an enormous house that he built and shares with his beautiful, much younger wife, Kay, and their 2 children. Many have tried over the years to get him back in The Game. Only the scrutiny of Chet Rohan’s races succeed. He sees in Chad the potential to be the best race car driver in the country, in the world. Each week, each day of his life during the road to that goal, he regrets ever hearing heard the name Chet Rohan.
EPISODE IV – “SILLY SEASON”
Slang for the period that begins during the latter part of the current season, wherein some teams announce driver, crew and/or sponsor changes.
As Chet is ready to throw in the towel on the whole idea of a comeback, Billy Taylor is forced to tell him of his own tragic crash. Jake takes Chet out to the track and brings him through each move he made leading up to the crash. As Billy zips around the track we begin to FLASH to the ACTUAL RACE. A younger Billy “Cool Breeze” Taylor fights the increasing looseness of his wheel base, the rubber wash on his tires, and 2 arch rival DRIVERS…
As he narrates, we become steadily aware of the fact that Current Day Chet is sitting beside him, in the Flash Back car, dressed in street clothes, no seat belt. (We will utilize this device throughout the series: a voyeur rides along side the narrator).
EPISODE V – “WIND TUNNEL”
A structure used by race teams to determine the aerodynamic efficiency of their vehicles, consisting of a platform on which the vehicle is fixed and a giant fan to create wind currents.
Chet, Butkis, Chris & Jake are finally focused on their task but are ripped at the seams when a group of Reality Film Makers hounds their every move. The knowledge that the publicity can both help and ruin them makes them walk a line finer than they are capable, and they devise a sting that makes small history, bumping them up to the next level of racing and celebrity.
EPISODE VI – “PITT ROAD”
The area where pit crews service the cars. Generally located along the front straightaway, but because of space limitations, some racetracks sport pit roads on the front and back straight-aways.
And there she goes. Billy’s long-time girl hits the bricks. She was able to withstand his self destruction, nurture him through his pity partying, manage to give him back a modicum of self respect… but the reality show, the school, the circus it has all become is simply too much for her to bear. At least when he was killing himself they had privacy. Her heart-wrenching departure becomes a blessing in disguise as–
EPISODE VII – “HAPPY HOUR”
Slang term for the last official practice session held before an event. Usually takes place the day before the race and after all qualifying and support races have been staged.
Stella walks across the track, drunk, cars at 200 mph missing her by inches. She laughs, throws her bottle of Jack Daniels into the air, and collapses. Around turn 3 comes our boy Chet. There is no way he can miss her. Or is there?
(At the end of episode, Jake brings Wiley to Vegas…)
© 2007, 2008 by Chris & Karen Horan Registered WGA, East & West
The incredible true story of The Santa Clause Bank Robbery. At the time it occurred, the Santa Claus Bank Robbery was one of Texas’ most infamous crimes and led to the largest manhunt ever seen in the state.
It all began on December 23, 1927, around noon when Marshall Ratliff, Henry Helms, Robert Hill, all ex-cons, and Louis Davis, a relative of Helms, held up the First National Bank in Cisco.Ratliff had been caught with his brother Lee after robbing a bank in Valera, and they had each served only a year of their sentences before being pardoned by Governor Miriam A. Ferguson. They had planned to rob the Cisco bank together, but Lee had already been arrested again. So Marshall pulled in Helms and Hill, whom he knew from Huntsville, and a fourth man who was good with safes. As they planned the crime in Wichita Falls, the safe-cracker came down with the flu, and the trio pulled in Davis, a family man in need, with the offer of big money. The four stole a car in Wichita Falls and headed for Cisco. They arrived on the morning of December 23 and prepared to make themselves some easy money, or so they thought.
During this period three or four Texas banks a day were being robbed, and in response, the Texas Bankers Association had offered a $5,000 reward to anyone shooting a bank robber during the crime. It was partly this reward that turned a simple bank robbery into a deadly crime. As the group neared the bank, Ratliff donned a Santa Claus suit he had borrowed from Mrs. Midge Tellet, who ran the boarding house where they had been staying in Wichita Falls. They let Ratliff out several blocks from the bank. Followed by children attracted to “Santa,” Ratliff joined the other three in an alley and led the way into the bank. He did not respond to the greetings directed at Santa, and the other three drew their guns, indicating that it was a holdup. While the others covered the customers and employees, Ratliff grabbed money from the tellers and forced one to open the vault. Mrs. B. P. Blassengame and her daughter entered the bank while the holdup was in progress. Mrs. Blassengame, realizing the danger, led her daughter out another door, despite warnings from the robbers that they would shoot. She went into the alley and screamed for help, alerting Chief of Police G. E. (Bit) Bedford and most of the citizenry about the robbery. Several minutes later, Ratliff had filled his sack with money and came out of the vault. Seeing someone outside, Hill fired a shot through the window, and a shot was returned. Hill fired several more shots into the ceiling to show that they were armed. A fusillade of gunfire began, as many citizens who owned guns were now outside the bank. The robbers forced all of the people in the bank out the door and towards their car. Several of these hostages were wounded as they emerged into the alley, including Alex Spears, the bank president. Most of the customers escaped; however, two small girls, Laverne Comer and Emma May Robertson, were taken as hostages. In a shootout in the alley, as the robbers tried to get to their car, Chief Bedford and Deputy George Carmichael were mortally wounded; Bedford died several hours later, and Carmichael held on until January 17. Ratliff and Davis were also wounded in the shootout, Davis severely.
As the four began their escape with their hostages, they realized that they were almost out of gas and one of their tires had been shot out. They drove to the edge of town, pursued by the mob, and attempted to commandeer an Oldsmobile belonging to the Harris family. Fourteen-year-old Woody, who was driving, gave them the car but took the keys. The robbers transferred their things to the Oldsmobile, in the midst of gunfire which wounded Hill, only to realize that they could not start the car. Davis was by then unconscious, so they left him in the car and moved back to the first car with their two hostages. They did not realize until later that they had left the money with Davis. The mob found Davis and the money and temporarily gave up the chase. The money was returned to the bank. They had stolen $12,400 in cash and $150,00 in nonnegotiable securities. Estimates were made that there were at least 200 bullet holes in the bank, a number which many thought too low. Besides the two police officers, there had been six townspeople wounded in the shootout, but no one was sure whether the robbers or the mob was responsible. Davis died that night at a Fort Worth hospital.
The robbers abandoned the bullet-ridden car and the two girls several miles from town and continued on foot. They stole another car the next morning and managed to evade the search parties for a while, until they wrecked the car near Putnam. They commandeered a vehicle driven by Carl Wylie, forcing him to drive and taking him hostage for twenty-four hours. They then let Wylie have his car back and stole another car. The two wounded men, especially Ratliff, were doing very poorly due to their wounds, lack of food, and the icy, sleeting conditions. Eventually, the threesome was ambushed by Sheriff Foster of Young County at South Bend as they tried to cross the Brazos River. Another car chase followed, with a shootout in a field as the three tried to make their escape. Cy Bradford, a Texas Rangerqv, was involved in the firefight, and it is rumored that he hit all three men. Ratliff was hit and fell to the ground. Helms and Hill were both wounded, but they managed to escape into the woods. Several days later, after dodging an intense manhunt assisted by an airplane, the two made it into Graham and were taken into custody by lawmen without a fight. Two more men had been wounded in the manhunt from accidental discharge of their weapons, bringing the total number of wounded to eight, excluding the three surviving robbers.
Helms, Hill, and Ratliff had several wounds apiece and had not eaten for days. All survived however, and soon faced trials. Hill pleaded guilty to armed robbery, took the stand on his own behalf, and in March was sentenced to 99 years in prison. He escaped from prison three times but was recaptured each time. After settling down, he was paroled in the mid-1940s, changed his name, and became a productive citizen. Helms was identified as the one who had gunned down both lawmen and was given the death sentence in late February. After an unsuccessful insanity plea, he was executed by electric chair on September 6, 1929. Ratliff was first convicted of armed robbery on January 27, 1928, and sentenced to 99 years in prison. On March 30 he was sentenced to execution for his role in the deaths of Bedford and Carmichael, although no one could testify to having seen him fire a gun in the bank. Ratliff appealed his case and, when that failed, went for an insanity plea. He had begun acting insane the day that Helms was executed, and thoroughly convinced his jailers that he was. His mother, Rilla Carter, filed for a lunacy hearing in Huntsville. However, the citizens of Eastland County were infuriated that he had not been executed yet, and even further aggravated to know that Ratliff was attempting the insanity plea. Judge Davenport issued a bench warrant for an armed robbery charge, for stealing the Harris car, and extradited Ratliff to the Eastland County jail. There Ratliff convinced his jailers, Pack Kilbourn and Tom Jones, that he really was insane, as they had to feed him, bathe him, and take him to the toilet. On November 18 Ratliff attempted to escape, mortally wounding Tom Jones in the attempt. A crowd began to gather the next morning and by nightfall had grown to over 1,000. They began demanding Ratliff. Kilbourn refused but was overpowered, and the mob rushed in and found Ratliff. Dragging him out, they tied his hands and feet and headed for a nearby power pole. The first attempt to hang him failed when the knot came loose and he fell to the ground. The second time, however, the knot did not come undone. Ratliff was pronounced dead at 9:55 P.M. on November 19. Jones died that evening, bringing the total number of dead, including three bank robbers, to six.
No one was ever tried in association with the lynching, although a grand jury was formed. Several thousand persons viewed Ratliff’s body the next day at a furniture store in Eastland before Judge Garrett ordered the corpse locked up. Ratliff’s family took possession of the body and arranged for a funeral in Fort Worth, with burial at Olivet Cemetery. Many people in Cisco over the years have claimed to have been present at the robbery or related to someone who was, and it is now a part of local folklore. The First National Bank still stands in Cisco, although it is in a new building. It features a painting of the robbery, as well as a collection of newspaper clippings and pictures of those involved. In 1967 the Texas State Historical Survey Committee (now the Texas Historical Commissionqv) placed a medallion on the bank commemorating the robbery.
The surviving great nephews of Marshall Ratliff, Morgan & Danny Wilcox are producing the film in association with SMC and have provided unprecedented access and insight.
A Biopic based on the novel of the same name. Chronicles a 1-year period in the life of a Puppet, a Pauper, a Pirate, a Pawn, and a King. All the same man.
Willie has never done a bad thing in his life — at least not on purpose. His greatest strength is also his one and only flaw: he can not lie. One day Willie finds himself wandering through the San Genero feast on Mulberry Street.
When he overhears a conversation between Buddy “The Hatchet” Gregario and Mickey “Poison” Ivy, Willie feels compelled to talk about what he’s just heard to a nearby beat cop. Death and other atrocities bear down on Willie as he unwittingly becomes the pawn in a deadly but hilarious game between mobsters and police brass, both of whom will soon learn one valuable lesson: Tell Willie Nothing.
It is 1999, and the Sharpe family of Massapequa, Long Island are at the wake of their beloved oldest son, Alan. Brother of 3 boys and a girl, he lay now in the casket at the age of only 41 years. So loved was he by all that the place is a river of tears. And then, he sits up. Pandemonium. People scream, faint, run. Except for his siblings, who begin applauding and charge the coffin, bursting with joy and congratulating Alan for finally pulling one over on them. But Alan, who was born both physically and mentally challenged, forgot one detail: he didn’t clue in his parents, and the matriarch of the family falls to the floor. She’s had a heart attack.
The true story of a young man who at 16 comes home to find his beloved grandmother murdered. The story begins 16 years later, on the night before the murderer is to be released from prison. Gun in hand, Charlie goes into the night for one more good time with the full intention of killing the man who took his grandmother’s life at high noon the following day. But on this night he finds something which had eluded him. True love. And now he has a choice to make.
Louis Armstrong’s (called Ooftah by many) powerful and irrevocable influence create a ripple of majestic and horrific times for jazz musicians from the 1930’s to present day.
A woman searching for her own identity discovers the details of the murder of her grandfather, shot to death in his own pool hall in 1934. Weaving events between then and now her world grows ever more dangerous as she closes in on the truth of the past, present and future.
Two kids growing up in Brooklyn, circa 1970’s, go separate ways and back again. Beginning with stickball and ending up beyond professional baseball, this story, based on actual events, examines the mystery of human behavior, revealing that no matter where one goes or what they do, the nature of the beast will always tell.
In a desperate attempt to acquire money to rescue their young son from the grips of a legal entanglement which has awarded custody to the wrong family, a young couple attempts to rob a bank. They are caught in the act, and are forced to escape with 8 hostages. Seven of the 8 hostages become accomplices to the act for a share in the stolen money and for the cause itself, which the entire country gets behind. The chase takes place over 9 states, with this newly-formed, media-hyped hero gang giving the slip right till the end. Almost?
A woman and her psychiatrist return to the site of the patient’s childhood nightmares in the hopes that together they will face and exorcise the imaginary demons. Problem is, they’re not imaginary…
A police Officer fired for attempting to reveal a major drug trafficking operation linked to his captain is forced to call upon his childhood hip-hop friends from his former Bushwick, Brooklyn neighborhood.
Combining his police knowledge with their street-acquired skills, this Special Unit must battle the Italian Mob, the Columbian drug cartel, and corrupt police while attempting to infiltrate a former schoolhouse-turned-drug-fortress to save the life of his young daughter, who has been kidnapped as insurance against his testimony.
A former hunter escapes from a high-security mental institution and returns during the height of hunting season to the site of the accidental shooting of his son 25 years earlier and exacts a revenge to end all revenges.
A highly entertaining, character-driven classic “whodunit” crime drama. Rich in detail and complexity, The Wiglet’s twists and turns will keep even the best armchair sleuth guessing until the very end – and beyond. The many harrowing and often hilarious misadventures surrounding the primary character “The Wiglet” lead us on a rollercoaster ride of a tale, one filled with high crime, misdeeds and retribution. Even after a surprising discovery is revealed with a knock out punch the story has yet several more blows for the audience. And at the end, when it the story seems to be tying up the ends of its inherent complexities, it’s not over. Instead we are moved into the next dimension; we are left stunned and, perhaps, a bit surprised at ourselves, for we remain seduced by the killer.
Alfie Elvin of Merryville is about to embark on a journey of wonderment. He lives with Mom and Dad at the South Pole, where all retired elves go to raise their children. Our story begins as Alfie and his faithful dog, Shadow, await with baited breath the mail delivery, for in it this day may be the Big Red Envelope, the one which would summon Alfie to the North Pole, where he would begin his apprenticeship under the watchful eye of none other than Santa himself.
The envelope comes; tears of pride and joy all around. There are only two red envelopes from Alfie’s area this year, his and one for a young girl elf named Alluette — Alfie’s future wife. The journey begins. On the ship ride from the South Pole to the North, Alfie comes to Alluette’s aid, who is being teased by a big Bully elf and his crew, all of whom vow revenge on Alfie. But Alfie doesn’t care. He’s got his envelope, and now he’s got Alluette.
But once at the North Pole, after all the other elves have been allowed through the big red door, it is revealed that something has happened, something very rare around these parts: a clerical error. Alfie has been called one year too early. He will have to return on the next ship back.
It is Alfie’s depth of character and pureness of nature which allows him to accept this terrible fate with dignity for the good of the children. And it is those very same qualities that prompts the Head Clerk to pick up the phone and make special arrangements for Alfie.
Since it is mere fact that the Workshop runs like clockwork, and any extra person or part could harm the whole mechanism, it is imperative that Alfie remain on the outside, and that he goes against his very nature and does not help anyone or anything.
Elves do not get sick, so his chances of getting in that way are slim to none. He must only wait. Alone. He will sleep near the water tower and tend to the baby reindeer, nothing else.
Meanwhile, Bully and his crew have led Alluette and others to believe that Alfie is locked out because he tried to steal some toys, something that the Bully crew themselves are planning. Alfie receives his goodbye letter from Alluette at the same time that he and Shadow discover the plot by Bully’s crew to steal toys and blame it on Alfie. Alfie now faces the biggest dilemma of his young life: tell Santa about the plot and emerge as a hero for Alluette, or keep silent, knowing that an investigation by Santa will mean that thousands of children will go without toys on Christmas morning.
Alfie can not have children hurt, even if it means clearing his name and getting the girl. Christmas Eve morning. Santa must choose the 5 apprentice elves who have worked hardest during these months. These elves will travel with this sleigh this night. Santa’s first choice is Alluette. Alfie, watching from the tower, is elated. The next two elves are the smallest of the bunch and who worked twice as hard. The 4th choice is Bully, for after a change of heart he spent many nights returning every toy he had misappropriated.
Santa’s 5th choice is the elf he feels worked hardest of all. To a standing ovation of his peers, Alfie takes his place beside Alluette, and heads the sleigh glides off into the night.
The bunker. April 30th, 1945. Hitler retires to his private quarters with Eva. She takes her poison. He does not. Through a secret hatch in the ceiling the Furher’s hand-picked savior, Colonel Gunter Von Brumm, enters with a Hitler exact body double. For his country, the look-a-like takes his own life with cyanide, then Brumm blows away his teeth with the Lugar. Brumm then takes Hitler up into the hidden bowels of the Reich Chancellery where he shaves the little mustache and the head, breaks the nose, and then, against the Fuhrer’s wishes, tattoos the head of the Reich’s arm ala The Camps. Three days later, Citizen Brumm and his little broken Jewish refugee head out of Berlin and toward freedom.
Meanwhile, Joseph Stalin has brought in his own hand-picked man, Vasily Petrov — The Berkut (named after a Russian eagle who hunts wolves), to verify Hitler’s death. Using his newly-granted Absolute Power and his own hand-picked team of variously fielded experts, Petrov discovers that among other inconsistencies, the contents of the corpse’s stomach do not match eye-witness accounts of Hitler’s last meal.
The Chase begins. Four continents. Hundreds of lives. In the name of honor, in the name of loyalty, for their respective motherlands, two soldiers battle each other and their own demons as they head toward one of the most profound confrontations ever filmed.
Brendan Kelly has been raised pretty much by no one in a tiny apartment in Coney Island Brooklyn, circa 1970’s. His absentee mom sees to it that food and water are present but not much else. His friends consist of the mice he catches in his building and feeds in his room. One day he takes on to show-And Tell. On his way home that day, Brendan is mercilessly teased and then beaten up by his fellow 6th graders, one of whom crushes Brendan’s mouse to death right in front of him.
Watching the brutal scene from the boardwalk is a man named Vito, whose face is not at all unfamiliar to beatings. Vito goes to Brendan, helps gather the strewn books, then helps hunt for a new mouse. Thus begins the unlikeliest of friendships in one of the most peculiar neighborhoods on earth.
The Carousel follows this friendship over a thirty year span, wherein lay some of the most incredible characters and stories this side of the 22nd century. The story is all true.
Based on actual events, this action drama follows the story of Teddy Colosi, a 25-year-old man about to begin the journey of a lifetime, and his father, Teddy, Sr., AKA Lefty, a 50-year-old ex-this and future-that. In a world of wannabe wiseguys, Lefty has the good to become one of the best. For reasons we will not understand until the end of the film, he refuses, keeping himself out of the mob’s goings-on by one timely antic after another. His son fought for a life of his own and almost made it. Then he fell in love. The Girl liked Lefty’s exciting life more than the one Teddy was trying to build for them, and in a valiant effort to please her with a taste of it, Teddy Jr. pulls off the one and only crime of his life.
Our story begins on Day One of Teddy Jr.’s 2 year sentence; we learn throughout of the amazing circumstances which landed him there. Simultaneously, we witness his metamorphosis as he navigates life in this violent and often surrealistically beautiful new world called prison. This incredible character study reveals the Real Deal of life on both sides of The Fence as we witness the simultaneous deaths of era and innocence, then the rebirth of two men, all bound in the kind of moment which will stand still for no one.
Billy Dee Murphy is Washington High’s pride and joy. Every college basketball scout in the country has been courting him since his record-breaking sophomore year. He is a sweet, loving, unassuming intelligent and brutally talented young man. He lives in a modest home on modest Brooklyn street with his adoring yet strict mom and her parents. His father was killed by a suicide bomber in Baghdad. Despite this loss or because of it, William Delano Murphy Jr. is turning into a man’s man.
And then, after one single night with one wrong girl, Billy D. begins the downward spiral known as cocaine. We follow the next few months of his ordeal and the profound impact his choices have on the many lives around him. This frighteningly realistic look at the Dark Side the drug world is a poignant study of faith and the triumphant bond of true love.
This incredible story, much of which has been based on actual events, tells of a love too precious to die despite all the odds against it. Unable to have children after 3 years of poignantly comical attempts, Chickie and Sal, exasperated and at the bequest of Chickie’s insane-like-a-fox sister, Cookie, visit Madam Bo Varee (actual name), Cosmic Spiritual Advisor. The Madam suggest for Chickie and Sal that which has already worked for their respective younger sisters and brothers, also married: Time Regression Hypnosis. Upon hearing the word “Happy”, regardless of time or place, Chickie and Sal will become, internally, the other spouse.
The scenario leads to tragicomic events as we jump back and forth between past and present day, discovering along the way much about that world and our own.
A small town girl with big town dreams gets far more than she bargains for in this action drama. Based on some actual events, this story of a model who finds herself part of a Sultan’s harem brings us deep behind the scenes of a little known world, one in which lives are traded, lost, and found on a whim, in a place where there exists a wealth like no other on the planet earth.
Attempting to escape what she believes is a fate worse than death; Missy attempts to retrieve her confiscated passport. While sneaking into the area where the documents are hidden, she overhears a plot to overthrow the current Sultan by his son, and a far more insidious plot by the son’s partner who is funding a major terrorist.
This journey into and then barely out of a world so frighteningly surreal is one that gives a new and poignant meaning to the famous line, “There’s no place like home”.
Two 1-Act, 1-Hour shorts chronicling 2 distinct periods in the lives of several characters. Each act is scene through the eyes and told from the point of view of one character at age 7 (1963, A Little Tenderness) and age 45 (2001, Shape Of The World).
5000 years in ago in a peaceful African village a shaman walks in a pays tribute to an ancient totem. Around the campfire he makes a startling prediction when telling a story of an ecological crisis that will one day envelope the earth called global warming. He makes a dire prediction that man will lose his harmony with nature will perish if the Great Sprit does not send a Savior.
To our surprise the savior will come in the guise of an adorable little primate named Chi Chi, who will lead a revolt with a select group of animals through adventures in the modern world, saving it form its present ecological crisis.
Chi Chi The Magic Monkey is a raucous action adventure story for children with a high moral ethic that will take the audience literally out of this world, where we find that we are not alone.
The incredible but true story of an art forger so good that nobody believed him when he confessed. In 1945, a previously unknown painting by Vermeer was discovered by the Allied Art Commission in the collection of Hermann Goering. The question arose: where-and how –did Goering acquire it? From the investigation came a story the rocked the art world.
The trail finally led to Han van Meergeren, an obscure painter who had sold seven authenticated Vermeers over a number of years. Faced with a possible death sentence for collaborating in the sale of a national treasure to the Nazis, van Meergeren insisted he had not helped the Nazi cause: he had painted all the Vermeers himself!
Needles to say, nobody believed him- until he proved he was telling the truth by painting still another: Vermeer,” before the eyes of an astonished jury.
Set in the backdrop of occupied Paris we explore the unique dynamic of collaboration or resistance of the French social elite and society. Hitler, a failed artist has a fascination with the nouveau art society which Van Meergan takes full advantage to save Europe’s art treasures and Jews. Weaving an incredible tale of his bold deception an why it worked and the complex characters which made his audacious plan possible
Paris. The Louvre. 1911. The theft of the Mona Lisa. Based on actual events.
An international sting operation successfully removes Da Vinci’s masterpiece from the famous museum. The story begins in Palermo, Sicily. The year is 1914, and the Mona Lisa lay on a table among shredded newspapers in a shack on an otherwise deserted street. We meet Jean Claude Geri, a young American would-be curator, and Perugia, The Thief. They are friends. Geri is going to help keep Perugia safe. But the door bursts open, and two huge men with shot guns stand in the doorway. It appears as though Geri has betrayed Perugia. “I will see you in hell,” the little thief tells Geri. Gunfire and wipe to black.
We pick up two years earlier, one month before the painting is stolen, and as we work our way back to that moment we learn that nothing is ever what it appears to be. As the story weaves through 3 continents, revealing a cast of extraordinary characters who lie, cheat, murder and fall madly in love, we learn how the Heist Of The Century came to be known as “A Work Of Art”.
The largest and only successful slave revolt in history took place in Haiti, then the richest colony in the known world, shortly after the French Revolution. First organized by voodoo priests Makandal and Boukman, the rebellion then soon came under the leadership of an educated, devoutly Catholic slave named Toussaint Louverture — a man of such military and political skill that he was referred to by contemporaries as “The Black Napoleon.”
Toussaint, who spoke not only French and Creole, but also Latin, forged the slave masses into a highly trained army – infantry, artillery, dragoons – to vie with the powers of Europe for supremacy on the island. The tangled web of French interest – colonial, Royalist, Jacobin – resulted in political intrigue and shifting alliances, interlaced with bloodshed, until the French too were vanquished.
Having reached the pinnacle of power in Haiti, Toussaint drafted a constitution for his people and instituted economic reforms designed to ensure prosperity. “The First of the Blacks” guaranteed that his race could never again be considered subordinate in the process of creating a modern state.
Fearing Toussaint’s enormous political power, Napoleon sent the largest invasion fleet in French history — 100,000 soldiers– to subjugate the ex-slaves. After many battles, a decisive victory over the French secured the birth of Haiti and the permanent abolition of slavery of the land. The independence of Haiti reshaped the Atlantic world by leading to the French sale of Louisiana to the United States
It is said the winners write history, but in the age of revolutions this amazing accomplishment by a group of desperate Human Beings has to be “The Greatest Story Never Told”. Until now.
True story of the 2 year trial and 1 day acquittal of 28 members of the New Jersey faction of the Lucchesse crime family.