Private Project

Bridge of Sighs- The Jack Dandy Origin Story


Orphaned and alone, young Jack finds a surrogate family in a Big Top Circus as a contortionist, only to lose it through treachery. He cons his way to the top of 1900’s NYC social elite through deceit, deception, and duplicity. Betrayed by his nemesis, Milo Myers, his past exposed and facing arrest, Jack must use society's own dirty secrets, old circus friends, and a recently reunited family to devise a cunning plan to avoid his downfall.


This feature film, which takes place in turn-of-the-century New York City, tells the amazing one-of-a-kind true story about the rise and fall of “Martine,” aka Jack Dandy, my Grand Uncle. Born in 1879, Jack spends his life scheming to climb above his station and capture his own American Dream. His dream became a nightmare.

Cast upon the world a young orphan, Jack’s chance to grab his golden ring, comes to town on a circus train. Jack’s teenage years are spent traveling and performing on the trapeze as an acrobat and contortionist, being mentored by circus owners Zimbo & Merlin. Here we meet both Milo Myers, Jack’s nemesis, and Jack’s love interest, Mabel DeKuno. Business pressures and Milo’s treachery force Merlin’s circus to collapse, thrusting Jack back into the streets.

Jack relocates to NYC, tracking down his lost siblings, and finds work with an upscale 5th Avenue Haberdashery. His clients include men like J.P. Morgan, John Rockefeller, Cornelius Vanderbilt. Jack uses deception, duplicity, and deceit, to transform himself from circus “Human Snake” into “Jack Dandy.” Impressing men & women with a made-up aristocratic lifestyle, frequenting iconic establishments like DelMonico’s, Peacock Alley, Sherry’s, the Lambs Club. To Jack, life is a grand performance. Living on New York’s Riverside Drive, vacationing in Europe, surrounding himself with beautiful men and women. But deep within, Jack knows he is a fraud. His dual-life harbors dark secrets, and many of them belong to NYC’s Gilded Age elite.

Life is good until it isn’t. Jack discovers that Pinkerton Detectives are investigating him, risking the exposure of his past. He is arrested and jailed. Like the original “Ponte dei Sospiri” in Venice Italy, which Casanova himself crossed in 1755, NYC has its own “Bridge of Sighs”, that perpetrators must walk. Standing on that bridge, handcuffed, with local and federal charges pending, 25-year-old Jack realizes… all that glitters is not gold, and by using his secrets, old circus friends and reunited family, he forges a cunning plan to make his great escape!!

Spotify Playlist: Jack Dandy

  • Frederick Martine Rauschenbach Jr.
  • Project Type:
    Screenplay, Television Script
  • Genres:
    Historical Fiction, Drama, Action
  • Number of Pages:
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Language:
  • First-time Screenwriter:
  • Student Project:
  • Screencraft Virtual Pitch Fall 2023 Competition

    September 20, 2023
  • Los Angeles Film & Script Festival
    Los Angeles, CA
    November 1, 2023
    Winner: Best Script (Drama)
Writer Biography - Frederick Martine Rauschenbach Jr.

Born the youngest of six, with five older sisters and raised by a single mom. I grew up as a latch-key kid living in Pasadena/Altadena. At 17, after majoring in parking lot, I graduating high school early and joined the Army.

Over the next twenty years I soldiered. Upon retiring at age 37, I began a new career as a Human Resource professional. I'm a proud Father of two amazing daughters, and a new Grandfather.

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Writer Statement

"Bridge of Sighs" is my first attempt at screenwriting. It is a based on a true story, with some fill in the blanks. I do have a few other worthy stories to share. I am looking for a champion, mentor, team.