Sweet Bird of Youth (1989) - full transcript

Aging film star Alexandra del Lago, also known as Princess Kosmonopolis, fears her career is over due to her fading youthful looks. She takes up with a handsome young man, Chance Wayne, who once had promise as an actor but who has fallen into the life of a gigolo. Together they travel to Chance's home town, where he hopes to regain the love of his one-time girlfriend Heavenly Finley. But Chance's departure years before has destroyed Heavenly's possibilities of a happy life, and her father, political boss Tom Finley, wants revenge on Chance. Chance hopes to take Heavenly with him to start the movie career he believes the Princess offers him, but she is so fragile in her dread of lost youth that no one's dreams seem likely to come true.

(MultiCom Jingle)

(sweeping instrumental music)

(car horn honks)

- [Actress] Never to sleep, that tiger

still raging inside of
me, I couldn't get old.

- [Actor] Nobody can get old.

- 30 more minutes to go.

(car horn honks)

- Alexandra.

Alexandra, you can't walk
out on your own picture.

- It was exhausted, that close-up.


- Alexandra, now listen to me.

- Taxi!

- Alexandra, will you
stop behaving this way?

- Taxi!

- Will you listen to me?

You look different, that's all.

Anybody who's been away from the screen

for seven years looks-

- Older.


- Oh, that first close-up.

I heard them whisper, "Is that her?"

- Relax the shoulders.
- Oh, I'm trying.

I'm trying.

- Try harder.


Up, inhale.


That's it.

- Ooh, yeah.

- Oh yes.

- Oh.
- Oh.

- Oh.
- That's nice.

- Oh yes, yes.

- That's the spot.
- Yes, that's the spot.

- You give it to me now, huh?


Don't you fight me now.

- [Girl] That's the spot.

- [Chance] You're all done.

- Oh, that feels wonderful.

- Good.

- Can you give me a massage tonight?

- I'll check with you later.

- I was an artist.

Like some little starlet
whose career depends on...

Papaya cream rub.

- Never known papaya to smell like that.

- Stupid, beautiful young
man, that's my hash.

- You always wear your
emeralds to the beach?

- Depends on the beach.

In Acapulco and the South of France,

I bring out my diamonds.

- You really a princess?

- Who told you that?

- Desk clerk at the hotel.

- My ex-husband was a prince.

I met him in Rome, married him in Paris,

and divorced him in Mexico.


- Nice.

- Lock the door.

- I have.

(sirens blare)

Don't worry, princess,
just the sounds of home.

Just Miss Lucy coming back
from a day in New Orleans.

- They said I was ageless.

- Miss Lucy's the kept
woman of Tom Finley.

Biggest political wheel in St. Cloud.

- St. Cloud.

- Coming right up now.

My hometown.


♫ So fine

♫ So fine

♫ So fine, yeah

♫ My baby's so doggone fine

- Oh no.

I don't believe it.

- Where are we?

- Right here was the Sazerac Arms hotel.

(man shouting)

Had a princess right up there.

Room 14.

I had my first experience of love.

- Well, I hope your experience

wasn't as empty as the hotel.

- Oh no.

That experience is
something I'll never forget.


- We only have three hours
til we have to get home.

- Time.


Wait, wait, wait.


I love you forever.

- Oh, Chance.

(romantic music)

- Seven years ago, when
I took off for New York,

there was a big crowd.

Photographer from the St. Cloud Herald.

- And besides, if I did retire,

where would I go, the moon?

- Fame and fortune, they said.

Chance Wayne is destined
for fame and fortune.

Every small town has its golden boy.

I was the golden boy of St. Cloud.

- St. Cloud?

Seems to me, honey, your hometown

is a real sleepy old kind of place.

- Always gets right up and come back.

It'll wake up.

♫ I love you like I do

♫ I do

♫ Don't know why I love you

♫ Don't know why I care

♫ I just want your love to share

♫ I wonder why I love you like I do

♫ Is it because I think you love me too

(horn honks)

- Welcome to the Royal Palms Hotel.

Let me help you, ma'am, watch your step.

- Fly still work here?

- Yes sir.

- This is it, princess.

The elegant old Royal Palms Hotel.

- I'll see you in the bar later.

Well well, if it ain't Mr. Chance Wayne.

- Mr. Hatcher.

- Welcome back, Mr. Wayne.

- I hope your plantation sweets abound.

- Yes sir, I believe so.

- Princess and I'll take it.

She's a real princess.

Her second husband was a-

- Third.

- Was an Italian prince.

- Greek.

His name was Cosmonopolis.

I need a drink.

- Princess, why don't we
have a drink in the suite?

We bought all that booze in Tallahassee.

- Tallahassee?

- Hey, Mr. Chance Wayne,
welcome home, sir.

I remember Mr. Wayne from the time

I used to wait tables
in the grand ballroom.

- Credit card.
(bell tolls)

- Why do I hear a bell tolling?

Is someone dead?

- Oh no ma'am, that bell's
from the Catholic church.

It's the Vespers, Easter Sunday.

Say, y'all plan on staying awhile?

Season's starting next week.
- Why do I hear seagulls?

Is there an ocean out here somewhere?

- It's the gulf, princess.

- Yes.

- Say, Mr. Wayne, you remember when I used

to come down here every Saturday night

and you'd dance with your girl?

- I remember.

- She sure was a pretty girl, huh?

- [Chance] Yeah, right.

- [Woman] Finley Medical.

- Dr. George Sculler, please.

- [Woman] He's not available, sir.

- Huh?
- Not available.

- Then you tell him to call Mr. Hatcher

as soon as he gets back at the Royal Palm.

- Absolutely-
- It's real important,

you hear?

- [Woman] Yes sir.

(Alexandra moans)


- Stay, stay, stay, stay.


My nerves, my heart.

Heart, heart.




- Who's there?

- [George] It's George Scudders.


- Hello, George.

- Hello, Chance.

- How'd you know I was here?

- Someone phoned.

Why'd you come back to St. Cloud, Chance?

- Came back to see Heavenly.

How's my girl?

- I wrote you, Chance.

Wrote you a long letter.

- Never got it.

Been traveling around a lot.


- No.

Told you in that letter,
'cause of past contact

with you, Heavenly Finley had to go

through a tragic ordeal.

- What kind of ordeal?

And why because?

- I don't care to discuss.

Not with a criminal degenerate.

- Will you stop talking
like some rabble-rousing

politician, George?

Stop talking like Tom Finley,
tell me what happened.

- I don't care to discuss it.

I just came here to tell
you that if you don't

get out of town, they're gonna have

to run you out of town.

(Alexandra moans)

- Come back.




- Princess had bad dreams.

- So now you've gone and latched

on to some kind of princess.

- She's traveling incognito.

- Golly, I guess she would if she's

checking into hotels with you.

- (laughs) George, you
know, you're the only

man I know that still says gee and golly.

- I'll make this quick, Chance.

I've got surgery in the
hospital in a half hour.

Boss Finley knows you've
come back to town.

- Someone phoned?

- Sent me the warning.

If you try to see his
daughter, if you even

try to get in touch with
her, and if you're not

out of town by tomorrow morning,

he's gonna make sure you lose the only

thing you've got to get by on.

- Heard that threat before.

I'm not leaving here without Heavenly.

- Going downstairs now, Chance, and I'm

gonna tell the people at the desk that you

and Sleeping Beauty are
checking out in the morning.

And I'd suggest you start traveling,

and you keep on traveling
til you cross the state line.

- I'm not leaving here without Heavenly,

and if something happened to her,

you tell me what happened.

- You don't have a girl in St. Cloud.

Heavenly Finley and I are
getting married next month.

- I don't believe you.

- Have a safe trip.

(Alexandra screams)

- Help, help!


Help, help!


I just had a terrible
dream, I want oxygen mask.

- All right, Chance is here.

- Who?

Oxygen mask.

- Are you feeling short winded again?

- Yes, yes.

Air shortage.


Can't breathe.

Hurry, I'm dying.

- Thought you'd stop having these attacks,

having me protect you and all.

- Give me a, a pin key.

- Crocodile case?

- Hurry.

(phone rings)


- Hello?

Well, no one said anything about that

when Miss Alexandra Del Lago-

- Don't use my name.

- We cannot check out tomorrow.

Miss Alexandra Del Lago-

- Don't use my name.

- The princess is
suffering from exhaustion.

- Hang up.

Please, take that away.

- Sure you've had enough?

- Yes, take it away.

I must look hideous in it.

- Nah, you look exotic,
like a princess from Mars.

- When I'm disturbed
by a dream or a memory,

I get short-winded.

- You are still breathing too fast.

- It's nothing.

Who are you?

When I wake up in an intimate situation

with someone, I like to
know who that someone is.

- Now, you know me, princess.

Your traveling companion.

- You're employed by me for
some purpose or the other?

- I'm not on salary.

- Just expenses?

- Mm-hmm.

You are footing the bills.

- Hand me the phone.

I want to inquire where
I am and who I am with.

- Relax now, princess, you're
getting short-winded again.

Lean back.

- Let go of me.

- Lean back against me.

That's it.

- It's terrible, trapped
feeling, this memory block.

I feel as if someone I loved died.

- Shhh.


- I rented a car, where is it?

- On the hotel parking lot.

- So this is a hotel.

- The elegant old Royal Palms Hotel

in my hometown of St. Cloud.

- St. Cloud?

- What's the matter?

Don't you feel secure with me?

- I don't know.

I feel sleepy.

I wanna forget,

forget who I am.

- Nothing better.

- I just wasn't young.

I just wasn't young anymore.

- Nobody's young anymore.

- How old are you?

- 31.

- 31.

By the time I was your age,

I was already a legend.

Believe it or not,

I really was once an artist.

How do you retire from art?

Where do you retire to?

I tried the moon,

but the atmosphere of the
moon hasn't any oxygen.

Then I became restless.

- You need more oxygen.

- Will you explain something to me?

Will you explain why
I feel secure with you

while I don't even know who you are?

(phone rings)

- Hello?

- So, you still got the
same private number.

- Chance, you're back.

I saw you yesterday
driving into St. Cloud.

It's too late.

- Why?

What happened?

George Scudder told me something happened,

but he wouldn't tell me what it was.

- I don't wanna talk about
anything George Scudder told you.

It's too late.

Oh, Chance.

It's too late.

When can I see you?

- Whenever, wherever you say.

- We have to be careful.

No one must see us.

Remember the El Dorado gardens?

- Oh yeah, oh yeah I remember.

- There's a fence there now.

Five o'clock this afternoon.

- Five o'clock.


- Oh god.

- Morning.

- [Alexandra] No wonder I didn't remember.

- Oxygen?

- Where's the stuff?

Did you leave it in the car?

- No, why would I leave
it in the car, princess?

- Stupid, beautiful young man.

- Don't call me stupid.

- Hotels have chambermaids.

They come into bedrooms, they come

across lumps in mattresses.

I didn't want to remember.

Suddenly came back.

This mutual practice brought us together,

after the papaya cream rub.

Your name is Carl.

- My name is Chance.

Chance Wayne.

- Are you a criminal?

- No ma'am, not me.

You're the one that's
committed a federal offense.

- What time is it?

- My watch is in hock somewhere.

Why don't you look at yours?

- Where is it?

- Last time I saw it-
- Don't tell me.

Let me remember quietly, my own way.

Let me remember.

Somewhere, sometime,

it seems to me we arrived at some kind of


- Not a complete one.

- Why not?

What are you holding out for?

- You told me you had
a large block of stock,

a controlling interest
in some Hollywood studio.

- True, but not one of the majors.

- Sunset.

You said you could put me under contract.

I doubted your word about that.

- (laughs) I am not a phony.

- Well, you're not like any
phony I ever met before.

But then, phonies come
in all shapes and sizes.

And they run the world.

So, I held out,

even after we locked the cabana door,

til you wired for some contract papers.

- We signed these?

- Notarized and witnessed.

- I put you under contract,
and you still held up?

- I didn't have much faith in it.

Been gone too often.

Even so, it could still be phony.


Open the door!

- We slept here last night?

Same bed?

- We slept together in the same bed

the night before, Tallahassee.

- Tallahassee?

But although you held
out, I had the impression

there was a certain amount
of intimacy between us.

- A certain amount, no more.

- [Alexandra] Tell me,
do you have any talent?

- For what?

- That's what I'd like to know.

Acting, baby, acting.

- Well, I've had a lot of chances.

And I've almost, almost
made the grade every time.

But then every time, I lost out.

Don't really know why.

- Maybe you didn't really
deliver in the love scenes.

Stop rattling the door, I'll
let you know when I'm ready.

- Ready for what?

- Breakfast.

(phone rings)

Nice shirt.

- You bought it for me.

- Did I buy the slacks
too, and the loafers?

- Princess, since I
started keeping you company

you bought me a lot of things.

This identity bracelet.

- Hmm, and I didn't
even know your identity.

- Good morning, princess.

- Good morning, cash this check, please.

- All right, just sign for me.

- Morning, I'm Chance Wayne.

- Nice to meet you, Mr. Wayne.

- Nice to meet you.

- Good morning, princess.

- Good morning.

- Morning, Mr. Wayne.

Checking out time's 12 o'clock.

- The suite is reserved in my name.

I check out when I please
at any hotel in the world.

- Well, I'm sorry, princess, but you're

gonna have to vacate your suite.

- Have to?

Did you say have to?

- Previous reservation.

- In a pig's eye.


Thank you.

- Oh, I like that.

- Table, sir?

- Right there.

You cash those traveler's checks.

You did not give me the money.

- You want me to pay you in public?

- [Waiter] Thank you, sir.

- Why are you so unwelcome at this hotel?

You and I together who are unwelcome.

St. Cloud was always a moral town.

- Oh yes.

- Now.

About that contract.

- My, how your mind runs on business.

- You think I hauled
you across the country

like a caretaker for nothing?

- You have no feelings for me?

No feelings at all?

You're just making use of me?

- I hope that plugs the
last hole in your memory.

- Well, I've been taken for a ride before.

Could've done worse.

A certain amount of intimacy, no more?

- No more.

I wanted to hold your interest.

- Well then, you miscalculated.

My interest always
increases with satisfaction.

- [Chance On Recording] Shall
I fix you some more hash?

- [Alexandra On Recording]
Oh, I must've been

crazy to tell you about
this little habit of mine,

knowing so little about
you as I seem to know.

- Where did you get that thing?

- You bought it for me.

I said I wanted to improve my diction.

First thing I recorded was
one of our conversations.

- [Chance On Recording] Never
did this before, you know.

You introduced me to it.

- [Alexandra On Recording]
I doubt very much

I had any vice that I'd
need to introduce you.

- Yeah.

- [Chance On Recording] All my vices

were caught from other people.

And don't call me boy.

- Hey, listen.

You still got a name.

You still got a personage.

Now, if one those scandal sheets

or the narcotics department of the-

- Are you trying to blackmail me?

- Your pickup's turning
dirt on you, princess.

You understand that language?

- The language of the gutter is understood

by anyone who has ever fallen in it.

But what are you after?

- I wanna make sure you
honor that contract.

- (laughs) Oh!

- (laughs) Oh!

What an insincere laugh.

That's how you fake a laugh,

no wonder your comeback flopped.

- Your blackmail attempt
is an even bigger flop.

So naive, it's almost endearing.

Oh, for the first time, I
feel really close to you.

Oh Chance, the part doesn't suit you.

You're not playing it well.

How desperate you must be
to even try and play it.

Of course I'll honor your contract,

under certain conditions.

First of all, I want you to forget

I'm still a personage, a legend.

- Why?

- Because I want to forget it myself,

and the only way I can
be sure of forgetting it

is through the distraction of lovemaking.

Now it's time to see if
you're able to give it me.

- I know you like giving
orders, but I'm in charge here.

- Oh no, Chance.

When monster meets monster,
one of them has to give way,

and it'll never be me.

I'm an older hand at it.

Signed checks are payment.

Delivery comes first.

There will be no signed checks

if you hang onto your silly little idea

that you can increase
your value by turning away

or looking out a window
when somebody wants you.

I want you, Chance.

I need the distraction now.

And when I say now, I mean now.

Not later.

- Aren't you ashamed?

- A little.

Aren't you?

- More than a little.

- Well, you have more than
a little innocence left.

Put on some sweet music.

- [Man On Radio] Out
there in the community.

Tonight, Tom Finley addresses the Youth

for Tom Finley Club.

♫ Oh, what a night

- That's better.

♫ Oh, what a night

- Yeah, that's better.

♫ To hold you dear

♫ Oh what a night

- Now make me believe

we're a pair of young
lovers without any shame.

♫ Oh what a night

♫ To love you dear

♫ Oh what a night

♫ To want you dear

♫ Oh what a night

♫ To kiss you dear

♫ That's why I love you so

♫ I won't forget all
those things you have done

- No, sir.

Hatcher says the princess
refuses to leave.

- Who is this princess?

- Hatcher says her real
name is Alexandra Del Lago.

She used to be a movie star.

Chance picked her up somewhere.

- Well, haul her out of there.

- Yes sir, but Chance says she's not

fit enough to travel.

- You're a doctor,
remove her to a hospital.

Says she's got something contagious,

typhoid, bubonic plague,
slap her ass in quarantine.

- [George] I'm not sure
I can do that, sir.

- Well, haul her out of there.

And we can tend to Chance Wayne.

I don't want him spending
another night in St. Cloud.

- [Tom, Jr.] I know how
to tend to him, Papa.

- I don't wanna know
how, just go about it.

- I remember when Chance Wayne

was the sweetest, finest boy in St. Cloud.

It's a wonder you remember anything

with all that brandy yo put in your tea.

Well, I remember.

I remember how my own dear wife's sister

aided and abetted Chance Wayne

in his corruption of Heavenly

when she was barely out of her childhood.

It's a peculiar thing to me how a man

with a sacred mission, man who rises

to high public office on account

of that mission is drug down by every soul

that he harbors under his roof.

He harbors them under his roof when they

drag the roof right down on him,

every last living one of 'em.

- That include me, Papa?

- If the shoe fits, put it on you.

If it pinches your foot a little,

slit the sides, it'll
be comfortable on you.

- Papa, you are so unjust.

- My own son throws a stag party

in Capitol City, costs
me $5,000 to hush it up.

- What about your Miss Lucy?

- Who's Miss Lucy?

- That low-class piece of good

you put in a high-class apartment

and provide with a motorcycle escort

when she rides down the
Gulf Stream Highway.

- Oh, that Miss Lucy?

She's a good loyal friend of mine.

- Why don't you get rid of her, Papa?

- Mind your own damn business.

- You had a peculiar idea of loyalty.

Else you don't know what she wrote

with the lipstick on
the ladies' room mirror

at the Royal Palms Hotel.

- What?

- "Boss Finley," she wrote, "is too old

"to cut the mustard." (laughs)

- I don't believe that story.

I will check on it.

Of all the untrue things
they want to say about me.

(laughs and coughs)

- Better write you a
prescription for that cough.

- I've hawked and spit all my life,

I'll be hawking and
spitting in here after.

There's my little girl.

She's just as beautiful as ever.

- The embalmers must've
done a good job on me.

- Now, you got to quit talking like that.

- Could've saved me, Papa.

Could've let me marry the
boy I loved, who loved me.

But you drove him away, out of St. Cloud.

- Oh, my darling, honey.

Honey, you got to stop
bringing up the past.

- He went to New York, he tried

to make something of himself.

But the right doors wouldn't open,

so went in the wrong ones.

- What's come over my little
girl after all these years?

- I can't forget.

You married for love, Papa.

But you wouldn't let me do it.

- Honey, I did, I did save you.

I get you the best medical attention,

George'll back me up.

- That's right, your
father saved your life.

- Thank you George, go on now.

- By letting their knives
cut the youth out of my body?

- We won't discuss this.

- And turning me into
an old, sterile woman?

- We can't discuss this
anymore, never again.

- Morning, Boss Finley.

- Hi, preacher, go on in.

- Morning, Heavenly.

- Listen to me now, missy.

I'm gonna address the Youth for Tom Finley

Club tonight on national TV.

I want you there with me on that platform,

and I want you wearing
a corsage of white lace.

- While you make your voice of God speech

about desegregation in the South

and how it threatens the
chastity of Southern women, Papa?

- Stop it, stop it.

This is important to me.

It's gonna bring in young
voters for my crusade.

- I won't do it.

- I want you and Tom,
Jr. there as examples

of young, Southern youth in danger.

- I won't do it.

- You won't?

Then you won't.

Chance Wayne is back in St. Cloud.

- I didn't know that.

- I'm going to remove him.

How do you want him to leave?

In that fancy convertible
he's driving around in,

or in the barge that dumps
the garbage in the gulf?

- I'll have to think about that, Papa.

- You do that.

You do it.

(upbeat music and talking)

- Is she really a princess?

- Well sir, they say she married a prince.

- And now she's met another one.

Prince Charming. (laughs)

- Same old place, same old gang.


- Hi Chance.
- Hi.

Time doesn't pass at St. Cloud, huh?

- So what brings you about?

- Last thing we heard, he had a job

working as a beach boy.

- Some hotel in Palm Beach, hmm?

- (laughs) You joke about that one.

- We thought you'd come
back for Tom Finley's rally.

Tom, Jr.'s gonna be on
the platform with him.

- Heavenly, too.

- Well, I doubt that.

- Mmm, we heard it on the radio.

- Why don't you go state his position

on the adulteration of
our pure Southern blood?

And that emasculation business.

You didn't hear about that?

- What they done to that
colored boy, as an example.

Show 'em they mean business.

- Take the women in this state.

- Some people think
they went too far, hmm?

- That's true.
- Do you?

Envy, envy, that's what it is.


Widespread disease I've often run into.

Heavenly wouldn't stoop to stand

on a platform while her
father tries to justify it.

- So, who is this princess
you're traveling with?

- Her real name's Alexandra Del Lago.

- Never heard of her. (laughs)

- Me neither.

- [Bud] I don't believe that.

- She's a great movie star.

A legend all over the world.

She's also vice president and a major

stockholder in a major studio.

And she's put me in a personal contract.

- So, what duties do you have to perform?

- Scotty, Scotty, you know that's a nice

looking suit you're wearing, but I

got a tip for your tailor.

You tell him that a guy of medium stature

with a medium paunch looks
better in a natural shoulder.

Pad makes you look sort of squat.

(suppressed laughing)

- Same old Chance.

- Set 'em up, it's on me.

- My pleasure, Mr, Chance.

- Chance, why are we here?

What is the point of bringing me

to this hideous place?

- El Dorado Gardens used
to be a beautiful place,

til Tom Finley fouled it up.

Used to be salt in the air from the gulf.

Now he found oil, and it's poison.

- Tell me about your life.

I really want to know about your life.

Let's make it an audition.

- You mean kind of a screen test?

- Mm-hmm.

- You know, I was born around here.

That cemetery we passed
a couple miles back.

- I didn't see it, I
don't notice cemeteries.

- My mother's buried there.

She died last year after a long illness.

Wish I could've-

- Chance.
- Been there with her.

- Talk about life.

Don't talk about illness and death.

- Well.

Most of the kids I grew
up with are still around.

Them's pretty square.

But they had big names and big money,

and I never had either.

- But you had beauty, like me.

- I did things that fatheaded
gang never dreamed of.

While they was still off
at Tulane or Ol Miss,

I sang in the chorus of the biggest show

in New York City, Oklahoma!

Had my picture in Life
wearing a cowboy outfit

and tossing a 10-gallon hat in the air.



All that time,

pursued my other vocation.

Maybe the only one I was truly meant for.

- Lovemaking?

- I slept in the social
register of New York.

Widows, wives, debutante daughters.

- Did they pay you well?

- I gave people more than I took.

Understanding, an absolutely convincing

show of appreciation.

I lifted them up.

- Made them forget?

- But every time someone
offered me something in return.

Trip to Europe, the Caribbean.

Never met my girl held me back.

- You had a special
girl here in St. Cloud?

- Yeah, I told you, remember?

We used to meet in room 14
of the Sazerac Arms Hotel.

And other places.

Then Korea came along.

I went into the Navy.

It was okay at first, 'cause I looked

good in a sailor's uniform.

- Ah-ha.

- Ah-ha. (laughs)

I couldn't stand the damn routine.

I kept thinking, this stops everything

just when I'm reaching my peak.

And I cracked up.

- Got a medical discharge?

- Even though I was back in civvies again,

I started to have bad dreams.

- Bad dreams.

You got drunk, woke up in strange places.

- Yeah, yeah, that sort of thing.

That's why I wanted to
come back and see Heavenly.

- Heavenly?

- My special girl.

- What stopped you?

What stopped you from coming back?

Did she fall in love with someone else?

(lively music and mixed talking)

- You with the Hillbilly Ramblers?

The band that's playing
at the rally tonight?

- I'm a hillbilly, but
I'm not with no band.

I'm with the mission.

- You work for some church?

- No ma'am, I just ask questions.

- Chance Wayne!

- Is that Miss Lucy or
is that Scarlet O'Hara?

- Don't ask me.

- Somebody said you were
back, but I didn't believe it.

- Miss Lucy, I'd like you to meet

a very famous-
- Double vodka.

- Friend of mine, Princess Cosmosnopolis.

- A pleasure and a privilege, ma'am.

But you used to be in the
movies, and very well-known.


- I ain't never been in front of a camera

in my entire life.

- Well, maybe I'm such
a move fan, I'm sure-

- Double vodka.

- Chance-

- Well, you're right of course.

Like all great stars, Miss
De Lago needs her privacy.

Please respect that need.

- You know me, Chance.

- Oh yes, I know you.
- I respect any need.

- That woman has shown great faith in me.


Vodka, of course.

- [Bartender] Yes sir.

- A long, hard time to find someone

who truly believed in my talent.

- Well, that really surprises me.

Your talent is almost as famous as she is.

Baby, you've changed in some way,

but I can't put my finger on it.

- To change is to live.

To live is to change.

And not to change is to die.

- I guess so.

Excuse me honey, I-

- Don't call me honey.

I can't stand being called honey

by unknown persons of the same gender.

- What's gender, honey?

- Oh my god.

- I'm sorry, but maybe
I'm such a movie fan,

you're not an unknown person to me.

- I told you-

- Excuse me.

- And it's thrilling.

But I promise to respect your privacy.

- Then get lost.

- Hi.

Do you know It's a Big
Wide Wonderful World?

- Mm-mm.

- I got it right here.



- Excuse me, but I have an
important suggestion to make.

If you really wanna help Chance,

make him leave St. Cloud right away.

- [Chance] That's right, you got it.

- Why?

♫ It's a big, wide,
wonderful world we live in

♫ When you're in love you're a hero,

♫ A Nero, a Poirot, the Wizard of Oz

- Miss Lucy, come on, sing along.

Jimmy, Edna.

Hey, Jimmy, Edna.

How about you?

- I'll be a dog's body, it's Chance Wayne.

- Edna, Edna, come on, you remember.

- You've been away too long, Chance.

- Thank you.

- Mm-hmm.

- Certain person, important,
powerful, dangerous,

doesn't want Chance to stay at St. Cloud,

so the sooner he get out, the-

- I am not going.

I came back here to get my girl,

and I am not leaving here without her.

We've got a future now.

I am going out to Hollywood
to star in a picture,

and Heavenly is gonna star opposite me.

- You're still in love with her?

And you expect me to bring both of you

back with me to Hollywood?


Not on your life.

Thank you, Chance, for distracting me

when I needed distraction.

Maybe someday I can do the same for you.

- Honey, your purse!

- Goodbye.

I don't need you anymore,
except to help me pack.

- Princess!


- Chance, I know why
you're not welcome here.

- Just don't leave.

- It's got nothing to do with morality.

This is not a moral town, and the sooner

we're out of here, both of us, the better.

I've seen you trying
to hold your head high

all over town.

Your comeback's a failure,
Chance, like mine.

I've started to have
feelings in my heart for you,

which is a kind of miracle.

It means my heart is still alive.

I'm not angry anymore,
I'm not even jealous.

- No?

- No.

There's a true kindness in you, Chance,

that you've almost destroyed by clinging

onto that awful, stiff-necked pride.

The lost, defeated that I know so well.

- Princess, the great
difference in this world

is not between the winners and the losers,

or the rich and the poor, but between

those who have pleasure in love,

and the ones that don't, the ones

who just watch it with envy.

- I know.
- And I'm not talking

about the kind of pleasure you can buy.

- I know.

You're talking about the real thing.

Is your girl pretty?

- I took this of Heavenly
when we were both 17.

Were you in the nude, too?

She is pretty.

- Time to go see her now.

- Princess, while I'm gone, why don't you

call that friend of yours, you know,

the one with the crazy hats?

- Sally Powers?

- Tell her you're planning to produce

a picture starring Chance
Wayne and Heavenly Finley?

- Heavenly Finley?

Your girl's not in our contract.

- You said you weren't jealous.

Where are the keys to your car?

- They're probably in my purse.

- Where's your purse?

- I don't remember.

Chance, why didn't you
tell me that your girl

is the daughter of that
big political wheel?

It's too dangerous for you to go see her.

Why don't you pack?

Come with me now.

- I'll bring your car back to you later.

- Chance.


(upbeat music)

(horn honks)

- Heavenly!

Heavenly, get on over here.


Come on, get on over here.


Heavenly, come closer.

Come on.

- Not til I've told you everything.

- You don't have to explain
about George Scudder.

Your father, he-

- He wants me to marry him.

I don't love him, I loathe him.

- What did your daddy do to this place?

- Things change, Chance.

Things happen.

- Come closer.

- Just listen.

- Come closer.
- Listen.

A few weeks after you went away,

I found out I was pregnant.

- Why didn't you let me know?

- How could I?

You never let me know where you were.


- Heavenly.


- I was too scared to tell Papa,

so I went to a backstreet butcher.

And when I got home, I felt very sick.

I laid down on my bed,
wanting to go to sleep,

but hurting too much.

And then bleeding.

- Please come closer.

- Papa rushed me to the
hospital for surgery.

And when I woke up, I felt better,

until they explained,
I can't have a child.

And I'm still bleeding.

- I feel like I'm bleeding, too.

But I love you forever.

I do.

I came back to tell you that
we can make a future together.

- You think so?

What kind of future?

- Please come closer.

You must've heard about
my Hollywood contract.

Everyone in town is talking about it.

- And nobody believes it.

- But it's true, Heavenly.

That contract is real.

- I had hoped against hope that you

would come down to earth.

- No, the princess will take
us both out to Hollywood.

- Papa saved my life, Chance.

If you wanna save yours, then just

go away, and never come back.

- Heavenly.

- Go away and never come back.

- Heavenly, you can't
marry George Scudder.

- A sterile woman is damn
lucky to find a husband.

- Heavenly!
- Go away.

- You've got to believe in me.




- Go away!

- Heavenly!

- What time is it?

- About two minutes to 7:00, ma'am.

- And my watch doesn't
start, just my life.

Another vodka.

- Princess!

You didn't walk out on him, after all.

And a whiskey sour, if you please.

I've been looking all over for Chance.

My car's still standing by
to drive to the airport.

- Everybody wants to save Chance.

- Well, where is he?

- Why do you want to save him?

- He used to be such a fine boy,

and he was so very attractive
I couldn't stand it.

Now I can almost stand it.

- Did you make love with Chance?

- No.

But not for want of trying.

- I used to have great beauty, too.

I say it with pride.

No matter how sad, being gone now.

- But you still have it, honey.

Even when your half seems over.

- So, I'm being used.

Why not?

Even a dead racehorse
is used to make glue.

- Maybe it's time to
have my sign re-painted.

The boss, Tom Finley, brought me

a jewel box this afternoon.

Inside the jewel box
was a big diamond clip.

- I was dead.

Dead as old Egypt.

My heart's still alive.

- I start to remove the
clip, and Boss Finley

slams the lid of the box on my fingers.

One fingernail's still blue.

Then he says, "Now, go to the ladies' room

"at the Royal Palms Hotel, and describe

"this diamond clip with
lipstick on the mirror."

Then he pockets the jewel box
and walks out of the room.

- You lost a diamond clip?

- I lost Boss Finley.

And maybe a fingernail as well.

- I wanna talk to you.

- I wanna talk to you too, Tom Finley, Jr.

I know that I have done many
wrong things in my life,

many more things than
I can name or number,

but I swear to you, I never hurt Heavenly-

- Don't speak the name of my sister.

Just leave her name off your tongue.

My little sister Heavenly didn't know

about the operations of
whores until she was spayed

like a dog by Dr. George Scudders' knife.

That's right, by the knife.

- I left town before that.

I never knew-

- You left her carrying your bastard.

- I thought if something
went wrong she would call me

or tell me what was wrong.
- How could she write you

or call you?

There's no addresses, no
phone numbers in gutters.

If you stay here tonight, if you're here

after this rally, you're
gonna get the knife, too.

You know, the knife?

(rowdy music and cheering)

(mixed talking)

- Another vodka.

- [Bartender] Yes ma'am, coming right up.

Another vodka.

- [Bartender] Yes ma'am, coming right up.

(audience chants "Finley")

- Yes, how you doing, well done.

- [Man] Y'all hush, I
wanna listen to this.

- When I was 15, I come down barefooted

out of the red clay hills, worked

before the voice of God, who called me.

The voice of God said, "Thomas J Finley,

"you have a sacred mission."

And what is this mission?

- There's another man with a mission.

- Where?

- There, in the crowd.

But he's not a member of any church.

- Isn't that the Stone girl?
- I don't know.

- You must shield from pollution

the blood that is not
only sacred to me and you,

but sacred to Him.

"Keep it pure as snow," he said.

"Let it not be defiled."

(audience cheers and applauds)

- What about that operation

you done on your daughter at the Thomas

J Finley Hospital here in St. Cloud?

- What, what, repeat that question.

Will the man step forward?

- Did the voice of God tell you to pretend

he was cleaning out her appendix?


- [Boss] Repeat that question,
will the man step forward?

I will answer your question.

- It takes a hillbilly
to cut down a hillbilly.

- [Boss] I will answer.

Come on out of there.

I will answer his question.

Where is he?

Let him step forward.

- Will somebody tell me
what's going on over there?

- Hold on and let me answer his question.

(audience chants "Finley")

- For God's sakes, Chance, let's go.

- Somehow, I don't know how, but somehow

I'll get my girl out of St. Paul

and give her life back to her.

- Chance.

- You're not well enough
to stay down here.

Go back up to your room.

- Don't leave me alone.

I can't stay alone.

Come with me, Chance, come with me now.

Everything's packed.

- Then send a boy up to bring
your luggage down and go.

- I can't go alone.

Where would I go alone?

- The moon.

- Chance.
- And if that's too far,

take a walk through the palm garden.

You walk right to the end, you have

a fine view of the gulf.

- I have a fine view
of the gulf right now.

The gulf of misunderstanding
between you and me.

- Go back up to your room.

You can hardly stand on your own two feet.

You need a wheelchair.


Somebody bring this lady a wheelchair,

take her up to her room!

- Mr. Chance, that's okay.

That's all right, everything will be fine.


It's gonna be okay.

Everything's all right, everybody.

Ma'am let me get you, hold on.

- This here is my precious daughter.

Why do you think she's
here with me tonight?

Because she wants you to
know that she believes

in her father's sacred mission.


- [Woman] Oh, the poor thing.

Just look at her.

- Friday, I say Good Friday.

- After failure comes flight.

That's something, Chance, I know about.

Nothing ever comes after
failure but flight.


I know it's after midnight.

I told you two hours ago I want a driver,

to get out of this infernal hole.



Who is it?

- Open up, please.

- She's not gonna open.

Break it in.

- Now now now, Junior, you
don't have to break it in.

- Who is it?

- I'm Tom Finley, Jr.

I brought Mr. Hatcher
up here to remind you

that your checkout time has long passed.

Check the bedroom.

Where's Chance Wayne?

(slow instrumental music)

- Heavenly!

- Chance!


♫ How ya baby, how's about a little dance

♫ When the band starts
blowin' I feel alive

♫ I feel like going to say,
hey baby, what's your jive

♫ How you baby, are you
in some kind of trance

♫ Well I'm a killer diller
with nothing on my mind

- Drinks on me tonight.

- That's real nice of you.

♫ It's a big, wide,
wonderful world you live in

♫ When you're in love you're a master

♫ Of all you survey,
you're a gay Santa Clause

♫ There's a brand-new
star-spangled sky above you

♫ When you're in love you're a hero

♫ A Nero, a Poirot, the Wizard of Oz

♫ You've a kingdom, power and glory

♫ The old, old, oldest of stories

♫ Here's new true, you'll
build your Rome in just one day

♫ Life is mystic, a mid-summer's night

- Chance.

Did that snake behind the
desk see you come back here?

- Window.

- There were some men not
long ago looking for you.

- I know.

- I told them I wanted
a driver to leave here.

- I am your driver, princess.

I am still your driver.

- You'd drive me straight
into a palm tree.

- Be all right in a minute.

- It's gonna take more than a minute.

Chance, Chance, will you listen to me?

Ever since you told me your life story-

- My screen test, I passed it, didn't I?

- Listen.

Ever since you told me about your life,

I've been remembering all
those hopeful young men,

the young men that I
chose to play bit parts

in pictures I made years ago.

They believed they were on their way up,

but they never quite made it.

- I am going to make it.

Where's your address book,
your telephone numbers?

- Tom Finley, Jr., please.

He's back.

- Hello.

Miss De Lago for Miss Powers, please.

- Thank you.


- Oxygen.

- Miss Powers?

Hello there.

This here's Chance Wayne.

Alexandra wants to speak with you.

- Lay it on thick.

Tell her to make it
the lead star in a com.


Just a minute, please,
she'll be right with you.

Will you come to the phone?

Come on.

Just a minute, please.

Come on.

- Everything's good.

Hello, Sarah Lee.

Is it you?

It's what's left of me.

- Alexandra.

Finally, where have you been hiding?

Didn't you read my column?

- No, I haven't read anything.

I haven't heard anything, I
haven't talked to anybody.

- Me, me.

- That's not possible.

I saw the close-up, I heard them gasp.

- Talk about me.

- [Alexandra] And you
were there, you saw it.

You heard them.

- Of course, dear, of course,
you are no longer young,

but you have grown.

Well, the New York Times said it,

and the LA times, and I quote, Alexandra,

they said "She has a new depth, a kind

"of magnificence," it said.

- A kind of magnificence?

- Tell her about me and Heavenly.

- Who?

No, I don't know him.

Paramount Pictures?

Well, of course I'll talk to him.

- Morton.


I've got Del Lago on the line.

- Where is she?

- I didn't ask.

Where are you, dear?

Where's that?

It's all yours.

- Miss De Lago?

Morton Fraser.

- Stars of tomorrow.


Get Sally Powers back on the line.

Tell her-

- Legends don't die easily.

They hang on long, awfully long,

and their vanity is infinite.

Oh, a shoo-in for the Oscar nomination?

You really think so?

I can't believe it, but keep talking.

I don't know what to say, except

that you've sent me to cloud nine.

Of course I'll read the script.

Can you tell me a bit about the part?

- [Morton] Yes, absolutely.

I want you to play the mother.

- Whose mother?

- The girl's mother.

- How old is the girl?

- 25, 24.

- 24?

- Oh god.

- Miss De Lago, age is not the important

factor in this story.

I'm talking, I'm talking character.

I'm talking about a
woman of great strength

and courage, one who lives in a very

dramatic situation, and
how she deals with it

is the heart of this movie.

- It sounds very promising.

When I get back to the
coast, I'll be leaving

here any moment now, I'll contact you.

And thank you.

Thank you and Sally
for all the kind words.

Thank you.


- Call Sally Powers back and
give her that story about me.

- Get the lady a wheelchair, you said.

Well, Chance, the lady
doesn't need a wheelchair.

I have come back all by myself,

and you have gone past the one thing

you couldn't afford to go past.

Youth is the only thing you've ever had,

and you've had it.

- Who the hell's talking?

You look in the mirror again,
you tell me what you see.

- I see Alexandra Del
Lago, artist and star.

Now it's your turn.

- You look in the mirror
and tell me what you see.

- I see Chance Wayne.

- No.

- Yeah.

- You see the ghost of a
golden boy and his golden girl.

Why don't you admit there's
nothing left here for you?

You're so lost.

Let me help you to find yourself.

- By leading me through grand
hotels all over the world?

(phone rings)

- Hello?

I'll be down in a minute.

Would you ask the boy to come up

and get my luggage, please?

Thank you.

My driver's here.

It's time for us to go.

- I'll check the cylinder.

Put it back in your crocodile case.

I'll check into a health
farm for a couple of weeks,

and I'll call a press conference
to announce my new picture.

- All set to go, princess.

You can leave now.

I'm staying.

- Chance, will you wake up?

Grow up.

You can still make it if you hurry.

You're only 31.

- Princess, the age of some people

can only be calculated by
the level of rot in them,

and by that measure I am ancient.

- So, what am I?

Here we are, sitting together side by side

as if we were occupying
the same bench on a train.

- I didn't know there
was a clock in this room.

- I guess there's a clock in
every room that people live in.

- It goes, tick, tick.

Quieter than your heartbeat.

It's slow dynamite.


who can beat it?

- We can go together.

At least let me take you
across the state line,

to New Orleans.

Don't you know what's going to happen

to you if you stay here?

- Don't look at me that way.

Whatever happens to me
has already happened.

- You're trying to ask me something.

I can see it in your face.

Won't you tell me?

What do you want me to tell you?

Let me try.

You're asking me to
recognize myself in you.

To recognize the enemy time in all of us.

I do, of course I do.

But we must move on.

- Where?

- Past our youth.


- [Bellboy] Bellboy, ma'am.

- [Alexandra] Come in.

- Prin...


- So, where are we going, ma'am?

- New Orleans.

Leave the car there.

(relaxed instrumental music)

- What?

Something's got to mean something.

Something's got to mean
something, don't it?

Even though your life means nothing,

except you can never quite make it,

something's still got to mean something.

- You won't wanna see this, Chance.

(Chance screams)

♫ Oh what a night


♫ To love you dear

♫ Oh what a night

♫ To hold you dear

♫ Oh what a night

♫ To squeeze you dear

♫ That's why I love you so

(slow instrumental music)