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"Boardwalk Empire" is the first episode of the first season of Boardwalk Empire, and the series pilot episode. The episode was adapted by Terence Winter from the non-fiction book "Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City" by Nelson Johnson. It was directed by Academy Award winner Martin Scorsese. It aired on September 19, 2010.

On the eve of Prohibition, Atlantic County Treasurer Nucky Thompson condemns alcohol at a Women's Temperance League meeting, where he’s seen by Margaret Schroeder, a pregnant housewife who later comes to him for help in getting her alcoholic husband Hans a job. But Nucky is duplicitous and that same night he privately shares with his ward bosses, his brother Sheriff Eli Thompson and the Mayor of Atlantic City a plan to make huge profits selling bootlegged liquor. At a Countdown to Prohibition party at Babette's Supper Club, Nucky assures Jimmy Darmody, a recently returned WWI vet and former protegé of his, that his appointment as "Man Friday" to the new Chief Clerk of the Fourth Ward, Paddy Ryan, will lead to bigger and better things. Jimmy, however, has higher aspirations - as well as a lack of patience - and ends up making a deal behind Nucky's back that could have dire consequences for the both of them.




Main article: Boardwalk Empire recap

A detailed recap of the episode scene by scene.


First appearances[]

See cast.


  1. Davey Murdoch and three more men working for Arnold Rothstein - Shot by Jimmy Darmody and Al Capone.
  2. Hans Schroeder - Beaten to death by Eli under orders of Nucky Thompson.
  3. James "Big Jim" Colosimo - Shot by Frankie Yale under orders of Johnny Torrio.




  1. Steve Buscemi as Enoch "Nucky" Thompson
  2. Michael Pitt as James "Jimmy" Darmody
  3. Kelly MacDonald as Margaret Schroeder
  4. Michael Shannon as Agent Nelson Van Alden
  5. Shea Whigham as Sheriff Elias "Eli" Thompson
  6. Aleksa Palladino as Angela Darmody
  7. Michael Stuhlbarg as Arnold Rothstein
  8. Stephen Graham as Al Capone
  9. Vincent Piazza as Lucky Luciano
  10. Paz de la Huerta as Lucille "Lucy" Danziger
  11. Michael K. Williams as Chalky White
  12. Anthony Laciura as Edward "Eddie" Kessler
  13. Paul Sparks as Mickey Doyle
  14. and Dabney Coleman as Commodore Louis Kaestner

Guest starring[]

  1. Greg Antonacci as Johnny Torrio
  2. Danny Burstein as Lolly Steinman
  3. Frank Crudele as Big Jim Colosimo
  4. Dana Ivey as Mrs. McGarry
  5. Peter McRobbie as Supervisor Elliot
  6. Erik Weiner as Agent Sebso
  7. Stephen DeRosa as Eddie Cantor
  8. Joe Sikora as Hans Schroeder
  9. Pearce Bunting as Bill McCoy
  10. Johnnie Mae as Louanne
  11. Billy Smith as Davey Murdoch


1. Jordan Gelber as Simon
2. Chase Coleman as Billy Winslow
3. Kevin Carolan as Boardwalk Barker
4. Chloe Harting as Little girl on boardwalk
5. Francesca Scorcese as Little girl on boardwalk
6. Tracy Lynn Middendorf as Babette
7. Victor Verhaeghe as Ward Boss Fleming
8. John Rue as Mayor Harry Bacharach
9. William Hill as Ward Boss O'Neill
10. Robert Clohessy as Ward Boss Neary
11. Samuel Taylor as Paddy Ryan

12. Edward McGinty as Ward Boss Boyd
13. Curtis Shumaker as Ward Boss
14. Noel Wilson as Ward Boss
15. Scott Jaeck as Ward Boss
16. Vince Giordano as Bandleader
17. Loyita Chapel as Crying Wife
18. Allen Jared as Crying Husband
19. Brady and Connor Noon as Tommy Darmody
20. John Mainieri as Brighton Hotel Manager
21. Steve Witting as Funeral Director
22. Jeanette Gould as Widow's Friend
23. Prudence Wright Holmes as Widow

24. Jeff Ware as Mortician
25. Lucy and Josie Gallina as Emily Schroeder
26. Declan and Rory McTigue as Teddy Schroeder
27. George Sheffey as Traymore Hotel Concierge
28. Randy Neumann as Referee
29. Nic Novicki as Carl Heely
30. Adam Mucci as Deputy Halloran
31. Charleigh E. Parker as Lady Jean
32. Jospeh Riccobene as Frankie Yale
33. Jonathan Brody as Reporter


  1. The Brian Jonestown Massacre - "Straight Up and Down": Intro.
  2. Seabreeze Park Wurlitzer Band Organ "So Long Oo Long (How Long You Gonna Be Gone?)" plays as whiskey is loaded onto the boat and during Boardwalk Festivities.
  3. Vince Giordano & The Nighthawks - "Battle Hymn Of The Republic/Livery Stable Blues/Taps/Tiger Rag" plays as Boardwalk festivities takes place and during the countdown to Prohibition.
  4. Craig Duncan - "Fascination": plays as Van Alden watches the mobsters; Margaret waits for Nucky.
  5. Seabreeze Park Wurlitzer Band Organ - "Tenting In The Old Campground" plays as Nucky gives Margaret money.
  6. Sophie Tucker - "Some Of These Days" plays as Nucky walks by the Baby Incubators storefront.
  7. Boardwalk Empire String Quartet - "String Quartet No. 5 In F Minor" plays as the mobsters are having dinner.
  8. Zee Confrey - "By The Waters Of Minnetonka"
  9. Sophie Tucker - "Good Morning Judge" plays as Hans beats Margaret.
  10. Flo Bert - "Don't Take Away Those Blues" plays as Nucky hears about Margaret being beaten.
  11. Oliver Kline - "An Old Fashioned Garden" plays as Nucky visits the Commodore.
  12. Eddie Cantor - "I Never Knew I Had a Wonderful Wife (Till the Town Went Dry)": Nucky visits Margaret at the hospital, Jimmy plays with Tommy while Angela paints.
  13. Al Jolson - "Avalon" plays as Capone drives down the highway; Nucky looks inside Lady Jean's.
  14. W.G. Haenschen and T.T. Schiffer - "Sunset Medley: A Bunch Of Blues/Babes In The Woods" plays as Capone drives to Chicago; Eli grabs Hans; Nucky applies aftershave.
  15. Vince Giordano & The Nighthawks featuring Stephen De Rosa - "I Never Knew I Had a Wonderful Wife"plays during end Credits.
  16. Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra - "Whispering" plays as Torrio introduces Nucky to Colosimo, Rothstein and Charlie Luciano.
  17. Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra - "The Japanese Sandman" plays as Nucky visits Lolly's Casino.

Memorable Quotes[]

  • "To those beautiful ignorant bastards!" -- Nucky Thompson (toasting the U.S. Congress)
  • "First rule of politics, kiddo: never let the truth get in the way of a good story." -- Nucky Thompson
  • "Do you know who dies for their country? Fucking rubes." -- Nucky Thompson
  • "We'll take alls we can get up to two thousand crates a month." -- Lucky Luciano
  • "You young fellas... no appreciation for the art of conversation." -- Nucky Thompson
  • "I would be honored to name my child after you." Margaret Schroeder (To Nucky)
  • "Nucky, I'm not the same kid that left. I seen things... I've done things." -- Jimmy Darmody


External links[]

Season One
#01 Boardwalk Empire#07 Home
#02 The Ivory Tower#08 Hold Me in Paradise
#03 Broadway Limited#09 Belle Femme
#04 Anastasia#10 The Emerald City
#05 Nights in Ballygran#11 Paris Green
#06 Family Limitation#12 A Return to Normalcy