Tony's Money

The Story

Somewhere deep in San Francisco's seedy Tenderloin District, Tony (70's) an ailing and lonely fry-cook carries with him his life savings in plastic bags tied around his body. He moves through the city like the ghost of yet another homeless man, but Tony's secret is soon to be discovered by Nick.

Nick Nicoletti (40's) is getting a little too old to be a small-time hood. He lives in the south of Spain and gets in only enough trouble to make a living, but he likes it that way. And then someone had to go and die.

Sam's Grill, one of the oldest restaurants in San Francisco, is hanging on to what's left of the old school in a fast changing world. Nick's father, Mario, has been one of Sam's tuxedoed wait staff for the last 35 years. Mario Nicoletti dies on the job and Nick returns home to find his father's death is only the beginning. Nick's father loved life and the long shot. He left behind enough debt to jeopardize his family, and his family's home. What's worse, Nick's ex-brother-in-law Don (40's) holds the marker and wears a chip on his shoulder. Mario's big dreams, bad luck and fixed income have left his family in trouble and his son picking up where his father left off.

Nick can't walk away from his family, so he reluctantly walks into his father's job at Sam's. He needs money to buy his family's life back, and that is not coming easily. Sam's staff is a group of eccentrics, who follow a code of old world work ethics. Nick's adjustment to his new reality is a mess: family expectations, a dead end job, and a debt that just won't go away. But life takes a turn when Nick follows Tony into the Tenderloin district, a mysterious world where Tony lives in a residence hotel called "The Moderne."

Nick's stalking of Tony reveals more than he bargained for. He finds Don in his element, a dark menacing world obsessed with money. He meets Gina (30's), the entrepreneur behind "Peachy's Puffs" old-fashioned cigarette girls, whose beauty and determination capture his attention and offer a chance at love. And he discovers Tony's life in the shadows, where he is trying to live and die on his own terms. Nick's desire to escape the fate of the shrinking working class allows only one answer: get Tony's money.

What's a man worth? The money Nick needs is tied around a man's body. Nick's choice becomes about people, working class people, who are now, and have always been, a part of his life.