Career (1959) - full transcript

More than anything in the world, Sam Lawson wants to be a successful actor. Is he willing to sacrifice his wife, happiness and personal reputation to achieve his goal?

Subtitles: Lu?s Filipe Bernardes

Hello, Charlie.

I'll bet you didn't have anything
to eat.

- No time. I'm late as it is.
- Yeah, I know.

And I'm not the only one that knows.

Beat it, Mario. Get us a couple
of cups of coffee, will you?

- Why, did the boss say anything?
- What's there to say?

She knows why you're late
as well as I do.

You had an appointment to see
about a part in a show.

And in a couple of weeks you'll be back
with your hat in your hand...

...asking Mrs. O'Malley for your
waiter's job back again.

I appreciate the fact she takes me back,
she knows that, Charlie,

I think she's took you back for
the last time, Sam.

If it happens once more,

you quit because of a show or you're
late because of an appointment...

and you're gonna get packed in.



However you want to call it.

Look, Sam, I know how you feel.

You figure that waiting on tables
you ain't doing...

Well, you figure you ain't doing
what you ought to be doing.

Well let me tell you something.

I've been a waiter all my life.

...and I've been very happy
being a waiter.

The head waiter wants you two
at your stations.

Thanks, Mario.

Being a waiter may not be what
you have in your mind for your life...

...but it's something.
As opposed to nothing.

Don't lose it, Sam.

Thanks, Charlie.

What's the matter?

Um... switch tables with me.
Take my number 8.

Somebody out there you don't
want to see?

Switch... switch, I'll take your
table 14.

I can't do that, Sam, it's too
far away from my station.


Oh, Sam, Sam, I love you so.

Train n. 58 now boarding on track 1,
for Detroit, Buffalo...

That's it. The coaster's up ahead.

...New York City.

- Your kit.
- Got it?

Oh, watch it!

Wonder where Marjorie
and Alan are.

Well, this must be it.

One more...
Thank you.

Oh, Sam, why does this train have
to leave?

- Honey... honey, don't.
- I can't help it.

Barbara, try to understand.
I've got to go, I've just got to.

Sam, let me go with you.

Just a little while longer. Then as soon
as I can I'll send for you.

If you're sure you want to
marry an actor.

I wouldn't marry anybody else.

Hey! My makeup kit.

Thanks, honey.

Sam, Sam, hold me tight!

Don't slip away from me.
I'm frightened.

- Barbara, Barbara...
- Sam, why do you have to go?

Because time goes by too quickly.

I'm four years behind.

I spent four years with death and they
took four years of my life, Barbara.

And I found out then... precious life is. It's got to be
used for something worthwhile.

A man has got to do the thing
that's most important to him.

I don't know, honey, it can be
climbing mountains...

...or building skyscrapers or whatever.

The one thing he thinks he'll be able
to do best, at least he's got to try.

Don't you see, Barbara?
I don't have any choice, darling.

All aboard!

Here we are!

- Hey, Alan!
- Sam!

You finally made it.
Hiya, Marge.

- Here! Here you go.
- Thanks, Alan.

Hey, did you see the papers?

Hey, that's great news.

Listen, the great news is just
starting, Sam Boy.

If there was ever a wrong time
to leave a thriving town... Lansing, Michigan, this is it.

Maybe so, Alan, but not for me.

Look, everybody's got wild dreams
about what they want to do...

...but what's really important?

To you, Alan, or to me?

You know, everyone doesn't see
things the same way, you know.

Sam, Sam...

- Write me tomorrow.
- Tonight, honey, tonight!

Good morning, Mrs. Eglevsky.

Well, John Barrymore himself!

And how are things on the
Great White Way?

I've got a reading for an off-Broadway
group on Houston St.

And from there it's just a hop, a skip,
and a jump to Broadway.

- Sure it is!
- You're a cynic, Mrs. Eglevsky.

A cynic? I take in actors.
I expect to get the rent every week.

That makes me a dreamer.

Why, I've been a good tenant for
almost an year now, Mrs. Eglevsky, right?


I'll get you two tickets to
opening night.

Just keep paying me the rent.
I'll be a happy woman.

Get your paper, extra, extra!
Read all about it!

Thank you, Mr. Novak.

Thank you.

Alright next, whoever's out there.

Alright, let me straighten you out.

The Actors' Rostrum is a group
that's gonna put on...

...not only one play but a lot
of plays.

We're getting the nucleus of
a company together right now,

...that's what these interviews are for.
So, what have you done?

- Uh... well...
- Not that it matters.

I don't go by that bunch
of dumb baloney.

Anyway, it's what you're gonna
do that counts, right?

- Yes, I was going to say...
- We're gonna do a lot of things.

Chekhov, Pirandello, O'Neill, Kauffman,
Hart, new plays.

The pay is nothing per week
but it's the showcase,

and good one.

Every producer and agent in NYC
is gonna come down here...

...because the plays I direct
are going to be brilliant.

I like your looks.

Any questions?

- Just one.
- Shoot.

During performances will I talk
or will I just move my lips...

...while you stand backstage and
say the words?

You asked a question, now I'll ask one.

We need backers.

You got anything to invest?
What's your answer to that?

So long.

Hey fellow, wait a minute.

Hey fellow, hold it.
I want to talk to you.

I want to talk to you for a minute.
Listen to me.

Look, I don't have any money,
so why waste your time?

- Who wants your money?
- You asked me if I had...

So I asked. Is that a mortal sin?

I want you in the group.

Let's discuss it over lunch, huh?

One dog with sauerkraut.

Hold the mustard.

You don't know if I can act ot not.
You don't know what experience I've had.

As a matter of fact, you don't
know anything about me.

Oh, but you're a good type.
I like your approach.

You're not a lot of talk.

That's more than I can say for you.

Oh... will you take care of this?

Uh... my trust fund only pays off
at the first of the month.


Well, what do you say?
You with me, or against me?

No, I've got to make some dough.

I've been living on $52.20,
20 bucks a week for 52 weeks.

Veteran's rehabilitation allowance.

And I'm up to my last few weeks
and that's it.

That's a sign you're just
about rehabilitated.

And as a reward, I'm gonna put you
on the cushiest job you've ever had:

market research.

- What's that?
- You go around interviewing people.

You know, ask them what they think about
different things, like new cars,

length of women's skirts, gold standard,
the color red.

You get some interesting answers
from bulls on that one.

Twenty interviews a day
and you can live like a king.

Well, an ex-king.

It sounds like it would take up
too much time.

Try to find twenty people with
nothing better to do.

Who finds people? I wouldn't stoop
to interviewing anybody.

I fake my twenty while I'm shaving.
And I'll figure yours out at breakfast.

Which reminds me.
Where do you live?

I've got a cold-water flat
on 3rd Avenue.

Third Avenue, huh?
That's a lovely neighborhood.

- You married?
- No.

Still I guess your place is jumping all
the time with the bimbos in and out?

Do you mean girls?

I don't mean girl's brothers.

No, no, no girls.

- No girls?
- Hm-hmm.


- You do go out with girls, don't you?
- No, I don't.

You like girls?

Of course I like girls.

- Why are you telling me that you don't...
- I'm engaged to a girl back home.

What a relief.
You know this is your lucky day?

You got a part in a show, a job,
a roommate... Novak's the name.

Maury Novak, what's yours?

Lawson, Sam Lawson.
But I...

Lawson, that's short enough.
There'll be room for you in the mail box.

This is a cold-water flat.
Aren't you used to better things?

I'm used to the lap of luxury,
but her husband came home.

Okay. But it's only temporary,
because I've got other plans.

Hasn't everybody else got other plans?

You know, the next time I give
a formal dinner party...

...I'm gonna serve these for appetizers?
They put me right in the mood for lunch.

How about it?

No, I don't figure I could learn
anything at lunch.

Hey, I could learn a few things
from Barrymore myself.

- One, please.
- Two!

- Now wait a minute, Novak, I...
- Count your blessings, Sam.

Just think what lunch would
have cost you.

Now you write this down. I want an
accurate account of everything I owe you.

Come on, let's go in and see Jack.




- Oh, Barbara.
- Sam, I can't believe it.

- Oh, I mean... what are you doing here?
- Let me look at you.

How did you get in here?

Your landlady, I told her I was
your wife.

My grandmother's.

Sam, I couldn't stand it away
from you any longer, I...

I tried, but I just couldn't do it.

- I missed you so.
- Oh, Barbara.

Barbara, are you sure you want
to stay here? It's...

It's too tough, you know. It's over a year
now and I'm nowhere near a job.

What about the Actors' Rostrum?
In your letters you said...

I'm not getting paid for it.
I'm just barely supporting myself.

Just barely with a part-time job.

Sam, I got a job.

- What?
- Well...

I knew how you'd feel, so first thing
when the train got in this morning,

I got a job.

Have you ever heard of Sunshine
Sandwich shops?

Are you waiting on tables?
I can't let you do that, Barbara.

I'm not waiting on tables, I...

I'm a spy. I go around all the shops and
see if the waiters shortchange people...

...and things like that.

I think it's going to be fun.

Barbara, here? Are you sure
you want to stay here?

Of course, Sam.

- Excuse me.
- Oh, hi, Maury.

Come on in, come on in.

You must be Maury Novak.

Sam's written so much about you.
I'm Barbara Nielsen.

And goodbye, I...

...just came over to pick up a few
things, but it can wait.

Don't let my being here stop you.

Oh, it won't...
Sam, come here.

Look, I'm moving out. I found
myself a new roommate.

It looks like... we both did, huh?

So long, Maury.

- Do you still love me, Sam?
- Hm?

Do you still love me?

More than anything else in
the world, Barbara.

Well... then kiss me.

Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Lawson,
I congratulate you.

Thank you very much, sir,
thank you.

Mrs. Samuel Lawson. I've tried that out
so many times I'm used to it.

You know that if we had fifty bridesmaids,
twenty ushers and Toscanini

...playing the Wedding March, you couldn't
have been more beautiful, darling?

Oh, the rice!

Oh, that's my job...
give me the rice.

- Come on, honey, let's go!
- Rice, rice...

- Up, Michael, up!
- I can't, Jim.

- I can't make it.
- You will if I have to carry you.

Just one more river to cross and
the country beyond is ours.

Michael, the country beyond!

We did it again.
We outnumbered the audience.

How long have we been open
here, a year?

Nobody seems to have gotten
anywhere yet.

Sam, I didn't tell you, but...

I had a call about going to California.

Just a technical job.

In Hollywood?

It's not an offer yet, but I have
an appointment to talk about it.

You know, when you least expect it
in this business you can get a break.

And it can happen to you tomorrow,
Sam, at Kensington's casting call.


- Mr. Kensington.
- How do you do, sir. Ann LaRue.

How do you do, Miss LaRue?

- I'm afraid not in this one.
- Next, please.

I have some of my notices,
Mr. Kensington...

...if you will just spare me a minute.

I'm just looking for types today.

It will only take a minute.

Maury, will you even look at that.

Don't beg him, Sam, whatever you do,
don't beg him.

- Next, next, please.
- Michael Moore, Mr. Kensington.

- How do you do?
- How do you do, sir?

Sorry, there's nothing for you
in the play.

Next, next. This is Mr. Kensington.

How do you do, Mr. Kensington?
Sam Lawson.

I'd like to read for the play,
Mr. Kensington.

- Donald's son.
- Yes, Mr. Kensington!

He does look the part.

I'd love to read for it,
Mr. Kensington.

I'm afraid not, though. I've never
seen you do anything.

But if I look right. If you'll just
let me show you...

Readings don't mean a thing.
I've been taken in too many times.

- Sorry.
- Next, please.

Alright, Mr. Kensington. If you want to
see me on stage, you can, right now.

I've seen everything that's running now.
I don't remember you from anything.

I'm playing the lead in a new play,
The Country Beyond.

- That isn't on Broadway.
- The Actors' Rostrum production.

Hm, what's that?

It's in the Old Seaman's Mission,
off of Houston Street.

Performances every night but Sundays.

Take it easy, son. I can't track all
the way down to off Houston Street.

- It's not hard to get to.
- Tell you the truth...

if I go that far downtown,
I get the bends.

It's your duty to see him, Mr. Kensington.
He gives a great performance.

Well, who's this, your agent?

This is Maury Novak.
He directed the show.

Well, I want to wish you both
all the luck in the world.

- Move along, please.
- Er, Mr. Kensington.

- Don't beg him, Sam.
- Mr. Kensington...

Bob! Bob!

- Come on.
- Will you wait just a second, please?

- He doesn't want to see you!
- Mr. Kensington...

- How are you?
- Hello, sweetheart.

Nice to see you.

Bob, this is Eric Peters, you remember
I called you about him?

- Oh, yes. How are you?
- Hello, Bob.

I was under the impression we had
an appointment, Bob.

Well, so was I, lady. Your secretary
told me 10 o'clock, Mr. Kensington.

And then I stand in line all the way
back to 8th Avenue.

Take it easy.

Shirley, why don't you and Mr. Peters
wait for me in dressing room A?

- I'll be a few minutes.
- Alright, Bob.

Come on, Eric.

Now look, son.

Would you rather I didn't
hold open calls?

You actors are always complaining
about no open casting calls.

Mr. Kensington, as long as you
come and see our show.

- Oh...
- If you don't trust a reading...

- can see me on stage.
- Next, please!

Yes! Now will you please allow me
to get along with this?

- Sure... sure.
- Next, please. Come on!

Oh, yes, the director.

- I'm sorry, but...
- I know. I'm not the type.

Next! Move along, please.

- Do you think he'll come?
- Grow up, Sam!

What do I tell Barbara?
She had her hopes up.

Hold that, honey.

Waste not, want not.

Listen, Maury, why don't you
come by tonight...

...and explain to Barbara what
a squirrel cage it was?

- I got a date.
- Bring her along.

I don't think Barbara would
appreciate her.

- Why not?
- It's my landlady.

Sharon Kensington.

What's the matter?

- His...
- His daughter, yeah.

This is great, Maury.

- Get her to drag him down to Houston St.
- She hates him.

There's a part, Maury,
and this is the chance to get it.

- What are you talking about?
- I'll bring her along.

Listen, I'll see you tonight, huh?
Don't forget and not bring her.

- Sam?
- Yeah.

I just laid down to take a nap.

- Hm-hmm.
- Hello!

Oh, hello, dear.

- You're certainly in a good mood.
- It's our anniversary, isn't it?

- And I've got great news.
- What?

You've heard of Robert Kensington,
the producer?

- Yes.
- Well, Maury Novak knows his daughter.

We're going to get her to get
Kensington down to a performance.

Oh... I thought maybe the news
was more tangible.

- Oh, Sam.
- Yeah.

- Sam, I've got good news.
- What?

Come on, never mind.
Out! Out.

Out, out!

- You gotta build a suspense, eh?
- Uh-huh.

- Honey, do we have a corkscrew?
- Uh, in the top drawer of the dresser.

And guess who's in town?

- Marjorie and Alan Burke.
- How did you guess?

Well, they're the only people from Lansing
we know who ever come to New York.

- There's some sort of...
- Annual Wholesales Convention.

They want to take us to a
supper club.

I brushed your blue suit.

Honey, where...
I can't find the corkscrew.

- What do you want a corkscrew for anyway?
- The cork in the wine bottle.


What are you talking about?

Barbara, you look beautiful.

I haven't worn this dress since the last
time Marjorie and Alan were in town.

I know.

You mean you plan to see
them tonight?

- Uh-huh.
- We can't, Barbara.

I invited Maury Novak and he's
bringing Sharon Kensington.

- But Sam, this is a real party.
- So is this, honey.

I can't put on my pink dress and sit
around here with someone who I...

Barbara, Barbara, don't you see
what's important? Sharon Kensington...

But not on our anniversary.
It's a year today.

- We can't, Barbara. Maury is...
- Oh, Maury. What about Alan Burke?

- He was your best friend in Lansing.
- We're not in Lansing now, honey.

Well, if friendship doesn't mean anything
to you, Sam Lawson,

does it mean anything to you at all that
I'd like to have a little fun for a change?

Alright, honey. We'll go.

I'll call Maury. He'll understand.

Am I a terrible problem to you?


I'll call Maury.

Hey, honey, where's the pictures?

I told you it would take a while
to have them developed.

I want you to see if you can speed
it up, huh? What do you say?

Thank you, sir. I'll have them
in a jiffy.

Atta baby.

Alan, I wish you'd let me take care...

No, none of your confederate
money here, boy.

I told you the party's on me.

So I said, this is positively
the last time.

Well, it just teaches you never to say
this is the last time about anything.

- Because here I am. Pregnant again.
- I think it's wonderful.

You know, the indians had
the right idea.

Keep them pregnant in the summer
and barefoot in the winter.

You must be terribly happy.

Hey, what about you, Sambo?
Got a little stranger on the horizon?

No, no, I'm afraid not.

- Not even a glint in Poppa's eye?
- Alan, stop that!

Well, let's get with it, boy. We're gonna
have to get more men on the job.

That's crude without being funny.

Barbara, I am happy about the baby.

But I wished it was all over.

At this stage I feel like I'm in
a Chinese torture chamber.

The gas is so bad.

Hey, Sambo, come here, will you?

You girls talk about books
or something.

I got some business with my
old buddy here.

Listen, you old villain, I got
a proposition for you.

I could use a good salesman,
what do you say?

You mean me?

Let's cut out the hogwash. We're old
horse thieves together you and I.

Now give me a straight answer, huh?
How've you been doing?

- Well, things are a little tough now...
- Hey, this is Alan you're talking to.

I have very high hopes, Alan.

- Here we are.
- Oh, good.

You folks should all be
in pictures.

- Speak of the devil.
- That'll be a dollar apiece, please.

One more.

Barbara, give me some money.

A dollar apiece. Here honey, buy one
for yourself.

Oh, thank you, sir.

I tell you you're money's no good here,
you rascal. I'm buying everything.

Is that a deal?
Let's shake on it.

What do you say?

Come on, Barbara, we're going home.

- But it's early.
- Come on, Barbara.

I'll call you tomorrow, Marjorie.

I don't see why you have to run
off now. It's a shagged evening.

- Thanks, Alan.
Yeah, but the night's on me.

I may be broke, but I'm not
a charity case. Come on, Barbara.

You should relax and try to
have some fun.

Is it fun to see Alan Burke throw
as much money away on one evening... it costs us to live in two weeks.

Don't be envious, Sam.

And then he tries to slip me
money under the table.

Maybe you should have kept it.

I didn't mean that. I just mean
money is money.

Marjorie dressed up to the ears...

...and you in that pink formal
you wore to the senior prom.

- That's my lookout.
- It's my lookout too, I'm your husband!

Then do something about it.

Oh, boy!

Oh, this is Sharon Kensington.

How do you do, Sharon?
It certainly is nice to...


- He said he was your friend.
- Oh, come on.

Oh, hi, Barbara.

- Sharon, this is my wife, Barbara.
- Hi.

Come on in, honey.

Maury, how did you get in?

Oh, I never turned in my key, roomie.

You were expecting us, weren't you?

Oh, sure, sure. Make yourself
comfortable, will you, Maury.

- Would you like a drink, Sharon, huh?
- I'm forbidden to have another drink.


It's part of my instructions for
the evening, isn't it?

- I can do everything except be myself.
- That'll be enough. Just be quiet.

If I get a kiss.

- Sharon, would you like some wine?
- Wine?

- How sweet!
- No!

Wine, honey, wine!
That's not a drink.

- This is very hospitable of you, Saul.
- Uh, Sam.

- Sam.
- Uh-huh.

- Sam?
- Sam.

Oh, what a lovely name.
I love that name.

You know, the first man I ever completely
destroyed was named Sam.

He's s hairdresser now.

Um... well...

Here's to all of us.

You know, you're really nice.

I could tell when I kissed you
that you were nice.

That's still the only foolproof way
to judge a person's character.

Don't be mad anymore, Maury.

Oh, shut up.

Isn't he perfect?

He has only one flaw, though.

- He won't drink.
- I've got enough problems.

And I'm very suspicious of anyone
who won't drink.

Aren't you?

Aren't you?

I mean, it's as though they're afraid
of what might come out.

I believe you're right.
I'll have a glass of that wine, Sam.

Oh, good, Barbara.

Sharon, Barbara and I were talking about
your father and his new play.

And I went down to see him about it and
he said I was right for one of the parts.

I believe you are. The brother,
or something.

Yeah, that's right.

We were thinking if you could
get him down...

to the Actors' Rostrum some
night this week...

Get my daddy out of midtown

The gargoyle?

I know. "Son, I go that far
downtown, I get the bends."

Maury, that's great!

I don't go uptown either. Get about
59th St. and my nose bleeds.

That's Daddy alright.
That's the gargoyle.

That's Kensington right
to the teeth.

That's a great imitation,
isn't it, Barbara? Huh?

Sorry I can't appreciate it.
But I've never met Mr. Kensington.

Well you have now, cookie.

You're marvelous.

I know he'd enjoy it, Sharon.

Once he got down there I know
he would.

I just think it's a marvy idea.
I think Daddy should go down...

...and bring it uptown and we'll
all be rich, rich, rich!

You're nutty!

- Then will you marry me, Maury?
- You're real nuts.

If it happens, will you marry me?

I'm serious, Maury!
Will you?

Hey, you are serious, aren't you?

- Yes, I am. Promise me you'll do it.
- Oh, Sharon.

If it runs as long as that hit
you were in?

- Crocodile Tears?
- Yes, Crocodile Tears.

Then will you do it?

- Will you marry me, Maury?
- Alright, I'll marry you.

Hey, Barbara, did you know that Maury
was once in a play that was a real hit?

Yes, Sam, you've told me a thousand times.

Three hundred and sixty-eight
performances it ran.

What's it like, Maury? Tell Barbara
what it's like to be in a real hit.

Oh, it's nice.

Crocodile Tears was nothing
but a farce, you know.

But still there was something different
about it. Something fresh.

It was like you worked in
a small town where...

skilled craftsmen and a few artists
got together...

...and made a special kind of pottery that
was made nowhere else in the whole world.

Of course later on Hollywood took it
and made four others just like it.

But still it was a wonderful feeling
to know that you were in... the beginning where they made
the original piece of pottery.

It was wonderful.

Isn't he marvelous?

- How long did it run, Maury?
- 368 performances.

Forty-four and a half weeks.

And you haven't worked in a year
and a half since?

No, Barbara, you're right,
I haven't.

Well, you'll have to excuse me.

But I'm suddenly appalled,
I'm just appalled.

Barbara, please. You don't need
to do this.

I'm sorry!

I come from a world where you don't even get
a vacation till after you've worked a year.

Let's be honest, Maury.

Wouldn't it be a lot more practical if you
just got a good steady job making pottery?

Hm, and that was on one
glass of wine.

She could start a war on
a hooker of bourbon.

We'd better go, Sam.
Thank you for everything, Barbara.

It was nice of you to come
over, Maury.

Sharon, it was very nice meeting you.

You're sweet.

And the best time to bring your
father to a performance...

...would be the beginning of the week
before he casts his play.

Well, I'm afraid we're gonna have
to skip the possibility...

...of him seeing it this week, Sam.

- Why?
- I didn't want to spoil the party, but...

...the Actors' Rostrum is gonna be dark.
We didn't even make the rent.

Oh, no!

Well, don't worry, Maury,
we'll bounce back.

The week after that, or maybe even
the one after that.

Sure, but I'm afraid you'll have
to pounce without me.

You know that Hollywood job I was
talking about? Well, it came through.

Dialogue director.

- Maury, that's great.
- Well, it might lead to better things.

Yeah, Maury, it will.
It will.

- Good night, Sam.
- Good night, good night.

Sam... I just love that name.

Do you know that the first man I ever
completely destroyed was named Sam?

We know, he's a hairdresser now.
Come on.

I've been to better parties,
I'll say that.

So that's the end of the Actors'

Not necessarily.

- Just because Maury quit the group.
- Too bad.

You could have had so many
delightful evenings...

...with Maury and your friend Sharon.

Oh now, Barbara, are you jealous?
Is that it?

I'm not jealous of anything except that
she can eat whenever she wants to.

What is it, Sam?
Is it a disease?

Well, you can call it that,
but for me it's my life.

It's the thing I want most.

And you call it a disease.

And you really didn't mean it when you said
you wouldn't marry anybody but an actor.

Let me think about that.

Let me walk out into the terrace of my
penthouse apartment and think about that.

Barbara, I hate this, don't you
see that?

I f... I feel terrible every day
I come home...

...and realize that I haven't come
through for you.

So I just keep trying.

But now all I can do is say I'm sorry!

Oh, Sam, let's go home!

- Oh, Barbara...
- Not for my sake...

...but for yours.

In Lansing they respect you.
Everybody likes you.

Get a good job.

But don't throw your life here on something
that doesn't care whether you live or die.

- Barbara, this is my life.
- Well, it isn't good enough, Sam.

It isn't good enough!
It isn't good enough!

- If that's the way you want it...
- It isn't good enough for our baby!


I didn't know for sure
until today, I...

I wanted to tell you tonight when
we were out with Marjorie and Alan.

I wanted for once to have
something to contribute.

Sam, I want to be alive too.

Don't be unhappy, please don't
be unhappy.


Not for a long time yet.

Oh, be happy, sweetheart, it's a baby.

It's like something holy
happening to us.

Barbara, honey...

You've got to give me one more month
to try and get a job, that's all I ask.

And if I don't make it...

...we'll go home.

Alright, Sam.

Who is it?

- Miss Drake?
- I can't see anyone today.

You'll have to have an appointment.

If I could just have a minute,
Miss Drake.

A minute.

I just might give you a minute's
worth of truth...

...that would be very painful.
This is just the day for it.

I've got to talk to you.
This is my last chance.

Now look, would you please...

Have you been in here before?

I spoke to you once just for a moment.
My name is Sam Lawson.

I was wondering if there were any
replacements coming up in any of the shows.

I am going to help you.

- Miss Drake!
- Go back home.

- I can't.
- Why not?

Because I belong here in the theater.

Oh, yes, yes, I know. You're going
to be a great star some day.

Well, that isn't what's important,
but people do become stars.

People escape from submarines too.
Isn't the writing on the wall?

I just haven't been able to get
my foot in yet, like with you.

I wrote you, and I called you.

But I wasn't able to see you
until today.

Well now you see me.

What makes you think anyone's going
to pay 4.80 to see you?

- You mean I don't look like Eric Peters.
- Exactly.

But I can act.

They wouldn't pay 55c to see you
at the Actors' Rostrum.

I know, I know.

- How did you know we charged 55c?
- I saw you.

- Well, how wa...
- How were you.

- Yeah.
- You were good.

You lack experience, of course,
but you have talent.

I had talent. A lot of it.

For three straight seasons I went
from one show to the other.

Never missed a paycheck.

Then, for two years, almost three,
I didn't work at all.

Not one single week.

But I have to eat. And so does Agnes,
and so does Elvira.

Elvira'a my mother. I don't like her
very much, she doesn't like me very much.

Agnes is my mother's cat.

I don't like her and she hates me.

That's what's left.

After all the pay envelopes and all
the curtain calls.

You saw Kensington?

They're all cast. They're going into
rehearsal next Monday.

They need an assistant stage manager
who can understudy and do a bit.

Kensington owes me a favor.

That's great!

I shouldn't waste a favor
like this.

Go on. He's probably at the theater.
I'll call him there.

Now listen, I can't promise
anything, but go on.

Well go on!

I knew there was a job.

I knew you did.

You could almost smell it, couldn't you?



Barbara, it happened!

It actually happened, I got a job
in the theater, honey.

Honey, what is it?
What's the matter?

He said it wasn't even a baby yet.


I was just walking along the street.

A police car took me to the hospital.

Barbara, what happened?

I lost the baby.

He said it wasn't even a baby yet.

- What a terrible thing to say.
- Honey, honey.

I'm sorry.

I love you so much.

I'll take care of you, Barbara.

Sam, I'm going back to Lansing.

Barbara, we don't have to
go home now.

I'm going to take care of you.

I've got a job in the theater.

That's what's really important
to you, isn't it, Sam?

That's what you really care about.

Trust me, Barbara, trust me.
This is for both of us.

It can be the beginning.
The real beginning.

It's always the beginning.

We're always right on the verge.

Sam, I don't know you.

I don't think I've ever known you.


It can't end like this, not us.

Who said anything about
another war?

All I said was that we must do something
immediately to strengthen our defense.

Alright, take a five-minute
coffee break.

- Lawson.
- Yeah?

Here, Sam, it's your notice.

Now look, Jimmy...
Jimmy, I don't understand.

Tell me why?

Sorry, Mr. Kensington's orders.
But I thought your agent told you.

No. No, she didn't.

I can't talk to you any longer,

Yes... yes, I'll call you back just
as soon as I can.

What happened?
What is this?

I show up for rehearsal and I find
another actor reading my lines,

doing my pieces of business?

- Sam, I'll explain it to you.
- But I don't understand!

Sam, I'll explain if you'll just listen!

Look, Kensington did me a favor
and gave you the job.

A friend of his, an old friend,
was out of work.

- There are favors and favors.
- I'm not blaming the actor.

I know you're not.

He needs the money very badly.
He has a wife and child.

That puts him two upon me.

I'm sorry, I didn't know.

Kensington feels badly.
He wants to make amends.

He's sending out a road company
a party favor.

They pay you starvation wages
but I thought you might be interested.

For what part?

Cop. Understudy of the second lead.


Where's it going?


They open in Los Angeles,
the Biltmore Theater.

Maury Novak's with one of the studios
out there. He's directing now.

- He could make me pick up some work.
- Sure, why not?

They come back across the country.

Denver, Kansas City, Minneapolis,
Milwaukee, Chicago...

Where else?

Detroit is the closest they get
to Lansing, Michigan.

Tell him I'll take it.

Alright, Sam.

Well, thanks, Shirley.

You've made a traveler out of me.

U.S. tour.

I'll miss you.

Me too.

I'll send you a palm tree.


I'd like to see Maury Novak.
My name is Sam Lawson.

You don't have an appointment.

Well, just tell him I'm here.
I'm sure he'll see me.

Well, I'm sorry. Mr. Novak can't see
anyone without an appointment.

Take a chance and call him.

I can't interrupt him now,
he's in conference.

Now look, all you have to...

Mr. Novak, I don't know how
to thank you.

Oh, you'll find a way.

Sam Lawson!

- Maury!
- How are you?

- Good, Maury. Good to see you.
- Good to see... You got a few minutes?

I'm going over to the Eric Peters set. Why
don't you come along, we'll chew the fat.

- Swell, wonderful.
- I'll be on stage 4 if LJ calls, huh?

Oh, you people don't mind waiting
just a few more minutes?

- Oh, that's all right.
- Thank you, thank you.

- We'll wait, Mr. Novak.
- Let's go.

Well, this is the new Eric
Peters picture.

Eric Peters.

- Isn't he a client of Shirley Drake's?
- Used to be.

He has four agents now.
And a personal manager...

and a psychiatrist, and a lawyer,
and tax counsel...

- And an ulcer.
- I'm sure.

Buddy, he's the hottest new
property in the industry today.

You know I've been trying to talk him into
going back to Broadway and doing a play?

That's him.

Alright, quiet please.
This will be a picture.

Let's have a red light.

Turn them over.




Cut! Cut!

That was beautiful!

Yummy, Eric, just yummy.

Now watch for next month's issue
of Screen Rates, won't you.

- Oh, you're too kind, dear lady.
- Chair! Chair for Mr. Peters.

Hello, Pinky. How's the world's
greatest agent?

Hello, Maury.

By the way, which of those takes
did you like best?

Oh, the third one. The third one
had a lot of fire, Eric.

That's interesting. We only did two.

Eric, this is Sam Lawson.
Eric Peters.

- How do you do?
- Pinky Bonaparte.

- Hi.
- Hi.

Come on, angel, you got a publicity date.
Your fan club from Sacramento.

Thirty-five screaming broads just
waiting to bite your T-shirt off.

Fine. You see, I'm just in the mood
to bite back.

Eric, by the way, how did you like
that playscript I sent you?

Any time you want me to direct you
in it, just say the word.

Novak, you're a traitor.

Trying to bury my boy in New York
for a whole year?

So long.

Oh, goodbye.



- It's amazing.
- What is?

They're both left-handed.

Yeah, let's get out of here, Sam.

Sam, I'll get Eric Peters in a play
if it's the last thing I ever do.

And it'll be the biggest hit
Broadway ever saw.

Sam, it's been great, really great.

Oh, listen, Maury,

I got a chance tonight and tomorrow night
to play the second lead in our show.

I'd like you to come down and see it.
We're down at the Biltmore in Los Angeles.

I live by one rule, Sam. I never go
down into Los Angeles.

- Makes your nose bleed?
- That's about it. Look, Sam...

- Mr. Novak!
- Yeah, Honey?

- Mr. Novak, LJ's been trying to reach you.
- Be right with him.

Look, next time you're in town
you stay with me, you understand?

You stay in a hotel and I'm going
to be insulted.

- Mr. Novak!
- Yes... And give my best to Barbara.

- It was Barbara, wasn't it?
- Yeah.

- Are there any messages for me?
- No messages.

- Hey, Lawson...
- Yeah?

You've got company here.

Mr. Lawson, Sam Lawson?


- What's this?
- Summons. Divorce action.

Good night.

Oh, say, I loved your show.
It was real funny.

It was all I could do to keep
from laughing right out loud.


Me too.

Sambo, you old horse thief.

Oh, Sam, you were wonderful!

- Well! How are you?
- Thirsty.

I adored the clothes.
- Good to see you, demon. How's it going?

Well, I expected Barbara to be here.

Instead I got this.

Yeah, we heard about this.
It's too bad, Sam.

Is there anything we can do, boy?
Just name it.

Well, at least let us buy you a drink.

I'll let you buy me a thousand, Alan.
I'll be down in a minute.

I've got that.

Yes, I'll hang on, Miss Drake.

Um, Sam Lawson to see Miss Drake.

There's a gentleman here to see you
named Sam Lawson.

Miss Drake... Miss Drake?

- Miss Drake!
- Sam, it's really you!

Shirley, this is something.

I haven't had such a greeting
since the liberation of Paris.

It's just that I'm so glad
to see you.

It's been over a year.
How are you? How was the road tour?

I saw America. How've you been?
How's Agnes?

- Oh, she died six months ago.
- Oh, I'm terribly sorry.

Oh, no, Agnes was the cat,
Elvira's my mother.

Oh, that's better.
How is she?

She's fine. She's got a new cat,

Now, Constance hates me worse
than Agnes ever did.

Oh, Sam...

Sam, let's have lunch tomorrow
and talk ourselves out, huh?

- Fine.
- I can't today...

...I've got Maury Novak in there.

He's doing the new Kensington play
and I'm in on the casting, thank heaven.

- You mean the Eric Peters play.
- Oh, no.

He couldn't get Eric Peters.
We're looking for somebody else now.

Sam... Sam, you'd be perfect!

Oh, no... No, no, Shirley...
Maury and I are...

Sam, listen, this is a wonderful

- Come on.
- No, Shirley, no...

Come on.

Oh, thanks, Marie.

Mr. Novak, you remember
Sam Lawson?

Well, well, he's there, he's there,
he's there... Oh!

- Hi, Sam.
- Hello, Maury.

I was thinking Sam might be
right for the lead.

Yeah, yeah, not a bad notion at all.

Yeah, let's talk about it.
You remember Sharon Kensington, don't you?

Sure, sure, you brought her over
to the apartment once.

Well, I'm going to meet her over
at O'Malley's for some cocktails at 5:30.

I thought she was married and lived
out west somewhere.

She was, Texas. But she divorced him.
She couldn't stand being away from NYC.

Her psychiatrist is here, you know.

Why don't you come on along?
You know how women are...

They're always late, especially Sharon.

- And we'll have time to talk.
- Fine.

- See you Monday, Shirley.
- Any time.

Here's to the new play.

I'll take your good wishes
on the play, Sam.

I want to open Christmas night and get
great notices, you know why?

I got a new contract coming up
with the studio first of the year.

I want to take those notices and
beat my salary up so high...

that every once in a while they'll
have to let me do a script... Flame at Dawn just to keep me
from being unhappy.

- Now, does that sound backwards?
- Uh-uh.

You know, an expensive guy costs
a lot more when he sulks.

I still like good pottery, Sam,
more than ever.

Nothing else really counts much.

It's nice to see the theater can
still be of use.

By the way, how's things with you?
How's Barbara?

- It is Barbara, isn't it?
- Yes, Barbara. She's fine.

- I just got a call from her at Christmas.
- Where is she?

In Lansing. She just had a baby,
according to her card.

- I didn't even know she...
- Yes, she married an awfully nice guy.

Got an automobile agency.
Does pretty well.

- She was a nice girl.
- Yes, she was. Maury...

About the play. When do you plan
to go into rehearsals?

Oh, not for six or seven months,
if then.

I'd love to read for you.
If I'm right.

You're right alright.
Perfect age, everything.

That would be great, Maury.
I mean us working together again.

- Two more, Charlie.
- Yes, sir.

I'd love to have a copy...
a copy of the script over the weekend.

To study it, you know.

- When do you plan to hold the readings?
- It isn't set yet.

Well, it'll have to be pretty soon,
won't it, if you're leaving for the coast.

Sam, about the play...
We're old friends, right?

Can I level with you?

You mean like the old joke?

Can you stand a little honest
criticism, you're fired?

- No jokes, Sam.
- Okay, level.

I'm not gonna ask you to read for me
because you wouldn't get the part.

Well why not?

This stuff evaporates in the
open air, you know?

The part needs a name, Sam, a star.

Like Eric Peters?

Eric Peters earns $4.000 a week.

Oh, come off it, Maury, nobody, absolutely
nobody earns $4.000 a week.

- But the part needs a...
- The part doesn't need a star,

Maury Novak needs a star.

- An insurance policy against failure.
- Will you get off my back?

Stop chipping away at me. That's what
you're, chipping, chipping, chipping!

If that's the way you feel
about it, I'm sorry.

Don't bug me!

Let's just forget the whole thing.
I'll see you around.

Don't go, please. I apologize.
It's this stuff.

Try me, Maury.

- This part could do wonders.
- I can't.

What the hell is my career?
A shuttle train to nowhere?

I can't get a part because I'm not a star.
I'm not a star because I can't get a part.

- That's right.
- Then how am I going to make it, Maury?

Maybe you're not going to make it,
maybe you haven't got it.

I have, Maury, I've got talent
and you know that.

Talent? Talent's not what I'm talking
about. That's what you start with.

I'm talking about that extra whatever it is
that takes to get you off the shuttle.

The con, the moxie, the chutzpah,
whatever you want to call it!

I know what you mean, the politics, the
office manner, the cocktail party line...

I can't do it, I've never been
able to do it.

- Then learn or get out.
- But when there's a part...

No. No.

Sam, try and understand.

I'm gonna do better than that, Maury.

I'm gonna try and learn.

- Mr. Novak... want this other drink?
- Oh, I've got no use for it now.

Is anything the matter?

How do you like that for a friendly
gesture? He stole my coat.

Mr. Kensington's apartment is K.
The left.


- Is Mr. Novak here?
- He's not in.

Um, excuse me. Is Mr. Kensington here?


Well, this is Mr. Novak's coat.
He's got mine.

- Would you have him send it to...
- Maury, is that you, you miserable dog?


I'm Sam Lawson.

I got Maury's coat by mistake.

There was a script addressed from here
care of Kensington. It was in the pocket.

Where is he?

I know where he was.

Come in.

Well come on in!

Yosho, you bring us some more ice.

Do you know how to make
a scotch and soda?


You're perfect...

So far.

There's the bar over there.

- Where was he?
- O'Malley's restaurant.

You're lying.

He had a date to meet me
there at 5:30...

...and he didn't show up.

Well, he was there until six
and I didn't see you.

Well, what's half an hour?

Wouldn't you wait half an hour?

I'd wait.

You're sweet.

I think Maury got drunk.

Well, you must be a good
influence on him.

He had to get drunk so he could
tell me I'm not going to make it.

Are you going to make it?

Yes... I am.


- Is it double?
- Yes, ma'am.

I've been drinking doubles all day.
It isn't good to switch.

I thought you went to see
your psychiatrist.

No... No, I canceled the appointment.

I called up my doctor and I really
hit him where it hurt.

I called him up and I said,

I don't believe that I'll be able to come
in for my appointment today...

...because my horoscope says I can't
leave the house.

They're all alike.

- Who?
- You too, probably.

Isn't that awful now?

Here I just met you and I'm being
so mean to you already.

I met you a long time ago.

I feel awful but I don't...
I don't remember you.

I remember you.

Well don't tell me what I said or did.

Oh, I get the cold chills about
anything I ever I said or did.

Oh, you said nothing, did nothing wrong.

You're sweet.

And if you're lying, I don't want
to know about it.

So you can talk about the future
all you want,

but please don't talk about the past.

Okay. What are you going to do
with your future?

Well, I think that I'll drink
scotch and...

...I'll smoke cigarettes and I'll be
very good at it.

Is that all?


I make all the passes.

You make the drinks.

Do you realize that on English ships... can buy the best scotch whisky there
is in the whole world for $1.65 a fifth?

I'd imagine.

What do you say that you and I take a
trip around the world on an English ship?

And we'd sit in the bow with
a pitcher of ice water...

...and a fifth of scotch apiece?

And we'd just see everything.

- There must be something to see.
- Miss.

Phone for you.

I told you, Yosho, I'm not home
to anybody...

...but my psychiatrist or that man
from the liquor store.

It's Mr. Novak.

Maury... Maury, hello.

Maury, answer me!

Maury, answer me, you miserable rat!

Maury, why don't you answer me?

Alright, alright, not so loud. You got
the phone going for you.

Why did you stand me up this afternoon,
because you couldn't stand up?

Oh, I'm sorry, darling,
I'm sorry, I didn't mean to, I...

What made you think I was drinking?
Maury, don't be that way.

Maury, don't be that way.
I need you.

You don't need me, baby.
You need a sanitarium.

Oh, that's cruel, Maury, that's cruel.
Just because I had one little drink?

Well, that's one over the limit
for you.

Maury, why don't you come over?

Why don't you come over, Maury?
I promise you I won't take another...

What's the point, baby?
By the time I got there...'d be seeing double and I don't
think you could handle two of me.

Maury, don't hang up!

Mau... Maury!



- Sharon, come on.
- No...

- I'm not gonna cry over that miserable...
- That's right, that's right.

It's not worth it.
It's just not worth it.

Kiss me, Sam.

I told you I made all the passes.

That's right.

You did.


I trust that you'll be
comfortable, sir.

I believe that you and your
lovely bride...

...will find the honeymoon suite
most pleasant.


Thank you.

The gargoyle wants to talk to you.

Hey you, not so fast.
Come here, I got something for you.

Hello, Mr. Kensington.

You're in very mediocre company,
my friend.

Sharon's first husband was the worst
office-boy I ever had.

When she was in Mexico divorcing him
she met a no-good pup who ran a 21 game.

He was her second husband.

The last one was a rich moron.

An oil-rich moron.

You like the company?

- I hear you're an actor.
- I worked for you once.

Yes, so I hear.

I don't remember you but...
I know actors.

I know them and I hate them.

Now look, boy...

You have no idea what it takes
to make a success in this business.

I know. I made one.

But I did it by sweat and by labor,
not by marrying the boss's daughter.

And if you think that'll do it,
you're sadly mistaken, my friend.

Not while I'm the boss.
All you get is very sadly mistaken.

I bet he wants to kill us both,
doesn't he?

Now you take this telegram out tonight
for me, do you understand?

Right away, right away. It's the most
important message ever sent.

- Ever sent.
- Maury?

Yes. As a special engraved
wedding announcement.

Oh, I'd just give the world to see
his rotten face when he reads it.

I'd just give the world.

I hope so, Sam. I hope it makes him...

I hope it makes him cry.

Well then, aren't you going to carry
me across the threshold?

Well, husband?

Aren't you going to do that thing? Aren't
you going to carry me across the threshold?

Sure I am.

I don't think you'd make it
any other way.

Thanks, Marie.

The sponsors already signed these radio
contracts. You want to look them over?

Did you get the clause about
the right to take four weeks off...

...for an out-of-town tryout
if I should get a play?

Hm-hmm. But that was a tough one.
The radio people don't like that.

I think it gives them an inferiority

I wouldn't have gotten it at all
if Kensington hadn't...

If Kensington wasn't my

I wouldn't even have a job if Kensington
wasn't my father-in-law. You got a pen?

- How's Constance?
- The cat?

- Hm-hmm.
- Oh, she's fine, thriving.

Mother's not well, though.
She broke her hip.

Hm... that's tough.

I don't know when she'll ever
get out of bed.


Congratulation on your anniversary.

You've been married a year today.

"Sharon Kensington Lawson.
She's his daughter...

and hubby Sam, he's lead on Man
of America,

an up-and-coming radio drama produced
by Pop-In-Law for Regal Foods,

are celebrating one year married
in the silliest way.

He's in New York, she's been in Hollywood
the past three months...

dangling from the arm of Maurice Novak,
screen megaphoner.


Hm is spelled "H-m-m-m-m".

Shouldn't write things like that.

People seem to like to read them.

I didn't mean to hurt you, Sam. Nobody can
resist being catty once in a while.

That item doesn't mean a thing.

Sharon wanted a vacation,
Maury's an old friend,

they'll print anything to fill
up space.

Has Maury cast his play yet?

Not yet, but he will be soon.

- Interesting.
- Sam.


Listen. I'm part agent and part
old friend.

You've been talking to the agent.
Can the old friend say something?


I've seen you when times are tough
but I've never seen you like this.

- Shirley, I...
- Sam, you're gonna listen to me.

You're miserable and I know why.

You're a good human being but you've
stepped out of character.

From the day you married Sharon... became the worst thing a person
can be, a self-deciever.


Oh, that's the last thing I am.
Now wake up, Shirley.

The whole world's full of people who'd give
anything to sell their souls to the devil.

The only trouble is the devil
doesn't want them.

That's fine, that's great. You go right
ahead and be cynical, that's the easy way.

It's the truth. The only difference
between me...

...and the rest of the world is that
I got off lucky.

- The devil has made me an offer.
- And has it made you happy?


What kind of a word is that, happy?

Who's happy?
Are you happy, Shirley?

I'm not talking about me.

Well maybe it will. Maybe it'll make
me very happy.

Never! You won't even be a good opportunist.
The good ones come by it natural.

- Wait and see.
- Alright, the old friend's finished.

The old friend's wrong. I'll be
a good opportunist.

Never, never, Sam Lawson.
Not as long as you live!

At least the agent never
had it so good.

That wasn't necessary.

I'm sorry, Shirley.

I don't want you to be sorry, Sam.
I don't want you that way.

I mean I don't want you to be th...




What are you doing here?

I just got in.

- Well, how are you?
- Fine, thank you.

How's Hollywood?

- It's alright.
- Have a suntan?

- Sort of.
- I'll try and catch up.

There's something I want to talk
to you about.

I didn't want to write to you.
I want to tell you in person.

I want a divorce.

Did you hear what I said, Sam?

I want a divorce.

I know this hasn't been very
nice for you...

...and I know that I haven't been
the greatest wife in the world.

But if you can please forgive me.

Are you forgetting a vow you made
about matrimony?

A vow you broke.

You flatter me greatly if you think I can
be the one to forgive you for that.

I know that.

I now I was wrong but I want
to start being right.

And just how do you propose
to accomplish that monumental feat?

Sam, I'm going to have a baby.



I'm in love with him, Sam.

For the first time in my life,

and maybe the only time, I'm in love.

Maybe it's the baby, I don't know.

Maybe I've finally gotten proof
that I'm a woman.

And to be in love is not something
I don't deserve.

That's straight from the psychiatrist's

Well it's true!

- It's always been Maury.
- Yes it has.

And now he wants me.

Wake up, Sharon, you know Maury.

It's not you he wants,
it's his child.

The most important A-number-1 piece
of pottery in his whole life.

He wants it. And he wants it so bad
he's willing to buy the oven.

Now that's the truth and
you know it.

I don't care why he wants me.
He wants me.

And that's the only thing that
matters to me now.

This time it's different.

Yes it is.
This time it's completely different.

There's a whole new ingredient, Sam.

It isn't compromise,
it isn't convenience...

And it isn't sex, it's love.

Sam, I used to think there wasn't
such a thing.

But now I know that I just forgot it.

Like a hope you give up on till you
suddenly feel it again.

Sam, you can understand hope,
can't you?

Yes... Yes, I can understand hope.

Thank you.

Thank you, Sam.
I knew you'd understand.

No divorce.

Oh, Sam, don't say that.

No divorce.

Oh Sam, please.

Please, Sam, anything you want.
Anything at all, there's no ceiling.

- Sam...
- No divorce.

This is my last chance, Sam!

I beg you!

Don't, Sharon.
Don't beg him.

You can't get a favor by begging.

You want something in return,
don't you?

And there's nothing Sharon can give.

You know, eventually she can divorce you
even if you won't go along with it.

Time is of the essence.
The two of you made it that way.

What is it? Money?

Hollywood? You want me
to open doors?

Okay, you can play the part
in the show.

Come on, Sharon, let's get
out of here.

You learned, didn't you, Sam?

I had a good teacher.

You... you've disobeyed my orders
coming up here.

I knew you'd be here and I knew
you'd be alone.

Excuse me, Jimmy.

Is this where I make the first move
toward him where I grab him?

Yeah, right here to begin
the fight scene.

- Okay, let's try it again.
- I'll give you the cue.


Alright, let's call it a day.
10:00 tomorrow morning.

- How's Lawson doing?
- Oh, he's gonna be great.

I'm going across the street to
O'Malley's get myself a blast.

You coming?

No, I got a couple of chores
to do first.

I'll wait for you out in the alley.
This place smells like a theater.

That fight scene still needs
work, Maury.

- I'll go over it tonight.
- That won't be necessary.

- Okay, but when we get back to it...
- You and I won't get back to it, Sam.

What are you talking about?

I'm replacing you.

- What is this, a gag?
- It's no gag.

Eric Peters is available.

He had a fight with his studio and I'm
bringing him in from California.

Look, Maury, I can be great
in this part.

I'm bringing Peters in.

So this is the double-cross.

Sharon goes to Reno, I hold up my end
of the deal and now you back out.

- Was this the plan all along?
- No.

Or did you get the idea when
you received that telegram...

...announcing the availability of that
star of stars Eric Peters?

I've been thinking about
this all week.

If you want the truth, the fight
scene in the first act curtain...

The fight scene's going to
be great, Maury.

- I didn't believe it.
- Don't, Maury, don't you give me that.

Now you tell me the truth.

You tell me how those Hollywood producers
are going to come running to Maury Novak...

...when they hear he's got the
prize of the year.

When they hear he's got Eric Peters.

The biggest movie name in America
to star in his new play.

Well, I'm backing out too, you see?

I'm going to... I'm going to fight that
divorce till you're both old and grey.

Okay, fight.

Here, two thousand bucks.
That's a starter.

Whatever else you need,
I'm good for it.

Oh, that fixes everything,
doesn't it?

That preserves your precious

And I hope this is the biggest
hit in history.

You're on a run-of-the-play contract and
you can collect your salary every week.

That's conscience money, Maury.
To make you forget you're a dog.

- I don't have to listen to this.
- Oh, you're slipping, Maury.

You can't look me in the eye
when you put the knife in.

You didn't believe the fight scene!
You're a liar!

I'm the boss!


I'm gonna kill you.

Do you hear me, I'm gonna kill you.

You won't know where, or when, or how,
but it's going to happen, do you hear me?

I'm gonna kill you!

I swear it, I'm gonna kill you!
I'll kill you, Maury!

- I'll kill you!
- Stop!

You hear me, I'll kill you!

What's the matter with you, Sam?
Have you gone crazy?

Don't you recognize the first act
curtain speech from your won play?


Hey, that is the first act curtain
speech, isn't it?

How about me being taken
in like that?

You sure had me going.

You know, a whole audience bites
like that we got a grand slam.

I feel better about the whole
operation, Maury.

But boy, you sure started
the old adrenaline going.

Could I use that drink now!
How about it?

- Yeah, I'll join you.
- Sam?

No, no thanks.

You know, I should have put some
of my own money into this one.

Hurry it up. The management's buying.

He believed it, Maury.

Everybody out!

Hello, Carl.
Has Sam Lawson been here?

No, Miss Drake, he's been replaced.

I know. But I thought he might
have left some word.

If you do see him, tell him to get in touch
with me right away, it's very important.

Yes, Miss Drake, I'll tell him.

Well, for goodness' sake,
where have you been?

I've been all over looking for you
and calling you.

Why don't you answer your phone?

What is all of this?

I was going to stop by to see
you before I left.

You don't have to go anywhere.
I've got you a job.

Well what's so funny?

Now isn't that a coincidence?

Just today.

Just when I get another offer
and I get to do my specialty.

What are you talking about?

You know, Shirley, a specialty,
like singing, dancing,

telling fortunes, doing card tricks.

- Stop being flip. What's the job?
- And I've got a very special specialty.

Going in advance of an artillery batallion
and observing, just observing.

You're joking.

The army spent a lot of dollars
teaching me to be observant.

Now they're requesting the use
of my services.

Actually, it's a little stronger
than a request.

You see, I'm in the reserves.

And they say they need me.


Lieutenant Samuel Lawson,
subject: active du...

- Oh, Sam, they can't do this to you.
- They've done it.

It won't be so bad, Shirley.

I can't say Korea is a place
I've always wanted to visit.

But I think after Broadway I'm going
to welcome a nice quiet war.

Hey, fellas! Have you heard
the war's over?

Looks like we'll be going
home soon, Captain.


Mary, you're going to have a flock
of good people to choose from.

My vote goes to a guy
named Sam Lawson.

He's cute.

Yeah, that's what the normal healthy
American should be. Cute.

- He's perfect. And you say he's good?
- He's great.

Then we don't have to see
any more actors.

- Call him in. Let's talk to him.
- Right.

- Mr. Lawson...
- Hold it a minute.

Before we make any commitments
I think we'd better see if he's clear.

Well what do you know?

Were you ever a communist?

Of course I was never a communist.

You were with a group called the Actors'
Rostrum some years ago down in the village.

That had nothing to do with
being a communist.

I never even knew a communist.

- You knew Maurice Novak.
- Of course I knew...


- Last week a Congressional committee...
- I know, I know.

I read the newspapers.

The studio just cancelled his
picture contract.

That has nothing to do with me.

I never joined anything.
Nobody can say I did.

Well, with the Actors' Rostrum. The agency
and the television people found out.

Found out?

Well, from whom?
Who's accusing me?

Sam, these are very responsible,
patriotic people.

They're just trying to protect
their country.

Oh, Sam.

Don't... don't, Shirley.

It's not your problem.

I'm a big girl now. Suppose you
let me be the judge of that.


I never said I understood women.

No, you could certainly never
make that claim.

I'll try to get you a play.


How's uh... Elvira?

My mother?

I got her name straight this time.

She died several months ago.

- I didn't know, Shirley.
- Oh, it's... it's the best thing really.

I prayed for it.
That hip never healed.

Alice, the current cat, isn't eating.

Looks like I'm finally rid of cats
at least.

The one bright side.

I'll check with you.

Oh, Sam.


What are you gonna do?

There's only one thing for me to do.


Oh yes, sir.

I'm afraid the dining room
isn't open yet, sir.

- I know, I wanted to ask...
- If you'd care to make a reservation...

I can accomodate you either
before 6:30, sir...

...or after the theater crowd.

- If that will be acceptable.
- I don't want a reservation.

- I want a job.
- A job?

Yes, sir.

Come with me.

Good day, sir.

Oh, thank you, sir.
I hope you enjoyed your lunch, sir.

Oh, Charlie, Charlie.

Check in my stubs for me, will you?
I'm in a rush.

And Charlie, if I'm a little late
for the supper...

Sam, you've been working here
quite a while now.


How many flop shows you had
in that time?

I try to forget flops, Charlie.

Well, the boss don't forget them.

The flops or the times you're late for
work because you had an appointment.

Look Charlie, all I'm asking you is
if I'm a little late,

you try and be a friend and
cover for me, okay?

- Hm?
- Okay.

Mr. Lawson!


I'm sorry it didn't work out.

- Thanks anyhow for thinking of me.
- I wish we could be working together.

Actors as good as you are rare.

Look, I'll give you a call next
play, huh?

Thanks, Jack... don't bother.

Hi, Sam.

Well, what do you say?

Nothing, I'm speechless.

Shirley told me I'd find you here.
How've you been?

Employed, thanks.

How's Sharon?

Pretty well for a woman with
two children...

...and a husband that can't work.

I'll use my influence with my boss,
Maury, if you're interested.

I want to talk to you.

I'm going to have a job for you,
if you want it.

You're opening up a restaurant?

I'm a waiter now.

I heard...

I'm gonna do a new play,
it's a good play and...

you're just right for it.

How come?
Can't you get a star?

I'm not gonna do it uptown.
I'm gonna do it down in Greenwich Village.

No producer thinks it's commercial
enough for Broadway...

...and they're wrong, it's a good play.

So you're doing it off-Broadway and you're
paying everybody $40 a week.

Don't tell me it's the old
Seaman's Mission.

That's right.

Tell me something.
Just out of curiosity.

Is it true?
Were you ever a communist?

- Yeah, for a short time.
- Why?

I never believed in it.
Never had a political thought in my head.

Then why?

There's more than one way
to be an opportunist.

It served my purpose at the time.

Sure it did.

- It's a good part, Sam.
- No thanks, Maury. I've been had.

I'm through grabbing for the bones you toss.
There's no meat on them anymore.

- But this is different.
- I don't need you anymore, Maury.

I've got something. Something steady,
comfortable and respectable.

I've got a job.

You like being a waiter?

I like getting something in return for
what I do, I like that very much!

The part I want you for is
the star part.

Well, I hope your show's a big hit
and you bring it uptown... the house next to O'Malley's.

It'll be great for our supper business
and boost my tips.

So I couldn't wish you anything
but luck.

You don't mean that.

I mean it, Maury. I never meant
anything more in my life.

Sorry, I gotta run now,
I'm late for work.

May I take your orders?

Have you decided on anything, Barb?

Waiter, what would you reco...

Hello, Barbara.


You two know each other?

Matt, this is Sam Lawson, you know...

Sam, this is my husband,
Matt Helmsley.

- Well, how do you do?
- How do you do?

Gee, this certainly is the small
world department.

- Yes.
- Won't you sit down?

Oh, I'm afraid not,
rules of the house.

Oh, yes, sure...

What are you doing in town?
Are you seeing shows?

Just tonight. We're leaving for Europe
tomorrow aboard the Liberty.

- Oh.
- Libert?, darling.

Ahh! Say, how's everything
in the show game?

You're still in the show game,
aren't you?

Well, I'm kind of at liberty
at the moment.

Or at "libert?", you might say.

Barbara knows what that means.
It means in between engagements.

- What would you like to order?
- Barb! We'd better get going...

...if we're going to get to that
show on time.

Oh... yes, we'd better.

Well, it was nice meeting you
after all these years.

Maybe we'll see you again sometime.

Yes. Yes, I hope so.

I'll, uh... wait for you at the door,

We probably won't see each other
again sometime, you know.

I know.

But I'm glad this one's happened,

Yes, so am I.

He seems like a very nice fellow.

He's a wonderful man.

I'm glad, Barbara.

I've been very happy, Sam.
I have everything I ever wanted.

A home, husband, children.

I've thought about you many times
these past years, Sam.

I've wanted to talk to you...
to apologize.

Oh, there's no need for that,

I'd like to apologize for
not understanding.

I do understand now.

Everytime I read a book,
or see a painting...

...or watch a movie that makes
people laugh or cry, I...

I think to myself,

Now I know what Sam was
trying to do.

You were trying to contribute...

You wanted to give something and...

...the only thing you had to give
was yourself.

Sam, I'm so proud of you for...

...knowing what you wanted
and fighting so hard to get it.

Thank you, thank you, Barbara.

But I haven't made it,
as you can see, I...

Knowing you, Sam, I know you haven't
settled for this.

Now I understand and it all
seems so obvious.

Maybe that's what understanding is.

Discovering the obvious.

Poor Matt, he's... he's waiting for me.

Goodbye, Sam.

And good luck.

- I thought they were staying to dinner.
- They changed their minds.

Sam, where are you going?

I'm gonna see a man about a play.

Oh, Sam, I thought you saw
the point I was trying to make.

I did, Charlie, I saw it perfectly.

Then stop hurting yourself.
Accept what you are.

That's just what I'm going to do.
Accept what I am.

Alright, you got five minutes.

Shirley Drake.

- Hello, Maury.
- Hi.

- How's Sharon?
- Oh, fine. She's over at O'Malley's.

Having dinner. I said I'd go
and pick her up.

Hi, Sharon, I was coming over
to get you.

- I'm just waiting for Sam.
- Oh.

Hi, Sam, well...

Here it is, the second night,
the reviews are all in...

Looks like we're going to get
a big season out of this.

- Looks like it.
- Yes, congratulations, Sam.

No one ever deserved a success
more than you do.

Oh boy, success makes everybody
friends again.

- How about a drink, huh, Sharon?
- Maury, you've had enough.

I've had enough from the worst
of a reformed drunk.

Hey, Sam, how about you and me?
A little drink after the show, hm?

Uh, no thanks, Maury.
I'm meeting a friend.

Oh... I get the subtle distinction.

Well, thanks, Maury, but I never
figured I was subtle.

- Let me help you.
- Ah!

Maury, wait.

- Hello, Shirl.
- Hello, Sam.

Listen, I got great news.

Kensington agreed to a run-of-the-play
contract on our terms.

- Good.
- Mr. Lawson,

we won't go up till we get word
from the front of the house.

Fine, thank you, Paul.

We got a movie offer,
the money's awful good...

but I think we ought to wait
for a specific picture, don't you?

Yeah, anything you say, Shirl.

Fine. And, let's see now.
We've got a...

There's a couple of other little things,
but I guess they can wait till tomorrow.


Well, I think I'll go home and
feed Prudence.

- Prudence?
- The cat.

I thought you finally got rid
of cats, Shirley.

Well, I did for a while after
Mother died...

...and then one day I went out
and bought one on my own.

I guess I got so used to cats after
all those years.

It's better than nothing.

Something alive around, you know.

- Shirl.
- Hm?

Why don't you go home and
feed Prudence, and then after the show...

...maybe we'll go around the corner
and get a sandwich or something?

And some coffee.

I thought you said you had
to meet a friend.

Don't you qualify?

Oh, I hope so.

Thank you, Sam. I think that
would be very nice.


I'll pick you up.

Did you see the marquee?

Yes, I did.

Why did it take so long, Shirley?

You give a wonderful performance.

Perhaps a great deal had to happen
to you to make it what it is.


Shirley, what's the matter?

It suddenly just seems like... rotten... such an awful
one-sided bargain.

No life, no family, no home,
just existence.

And all those precious years
for what?

A name on a marquee.

Places, please.

Sam, tell me something.

Warning! Curtain!

It doesn't matter now,
it's over and done with.

But tell me, was it worth it?

Curtain going up!

Was it, Sam?
Was it worth it?


Yes, it was worth it.

Subtitles: Lu?s Filipe Bernardes