≡ Menu

Unholy Toledo (Drama / Crime)

Log Line

When a couple of runaway farm boys start running slots in Prohibition-era Toledo the ruthless Purple Gang moves in hard and fast, kidnapping one of their wives, setting up a high stakes, winner take all, game of life and death.

Script Info

Script Type: Feature
Genre: Drama / Crime
Length: 109 pages
Est. Budget: Over $10M

Screenplay Synopsis

Loudon, Ohio: Small, but wiry, young Louis House, flees the family farm. Tempered from years of abuse at the hands of his father, he's tough as nails and has developed a thirst for the bottle. While waiting to hop a train he meets the much bigger youth, Tuffy Lemarr, a happy-go-lucky sort with a taste for adventure. The world beyond awaits them and they are determined to see it. Becoming fast friends, they visit a hobo camp, narrowly escaping disaster, then hop a train and ride the rails into Toledo, Ohio.

The time is Prohibition. Toledo has become a mecca for gambling and bootlegging amidst an atmosphere of political corruption. Here we meet historical figures, such as Toledo's beloved Jackie Kennedy, a charming Irish bruiser who rose to prominence running speakeasies, the ambitious Firetop Saulkin, a political fixer with a ruthless thirst for power, and the infamous Detroit mob boss, Yonnie Licavoli and the Purple Gang, who'll stop at nothing to take over Toledo.

Louie and Tuffy quickly grow from boys to men as they carve out a life for themselves in their new city. They find work in the railway yards where Louie goes up against Big Bart in a bare knuckle prize fight, staking his first business venture, a billiards hall. To this Louie adds a string of slot machines throughout the city. Tuffy opens a cigar shop, running high-stakes poker games in the back. Louie meets and falls in love with Mary, a
transplanted farm girl, working to make her own way in the big city. Life is sweetuntil
Yonnie Licavoli comes to town to work with Firetop Saulkin.

To the Purple Gang extortion is the name of the game and nobody's better at it than
Yonnie Licavoli. When Yonnie sets his sights on Lou and turns up the heat, Lou
responds to the pressure by slipping further into the bottle, which threatens to destroy
Lou's marriage and all that he holds dear.

Tuffy hasn't the stomach for the violence and wants to pack it in but Lou won't budge.
When he refuses to pay financial tribute, Licavoli tightens the screws, kidnapping Lou's
wife Mary for ransom. With it all on the line, Lou must face his demons and halt his
alcoholic spiral if he has any chance of getting Mary back alive.

The ties that bind Lou and Tuffy are long and strong--Tuffy puts aside his fears, rising to
the challenge alongside Lou. With the clock ticking and no time to spare they turn to their
old friend and ally, Jackie Kennedy. Meanwhile, Mary has to fend off Licavoli's henchman, the lecherous Joe Wop

The story climaxes in a car chase shootout where Louie, Jackie and Tuffy triumph over Licavoli and his gang, settling the score once and for all.

About This Screenplay

Unholy Toledo was inspired by our grandfather's life as a slot machine runner in Prohibition Era Toledo, Ohio. It received a nine on The Blacklist, made top ten in Table Read My Screenplay, as well as the quarter-finals of Scriptapalooza and Fresh Voices.