Two on a Guillotine (1965) - full transcript

Duke Duquesne is a very eccentric magician, and owing to his lifestyle his two-year-old daughter, Cassie, is sent away to live with an aunt. After twenty years, news of her father's death brings her back to Los Angeles to attend his funeral. The day after her arrival, she is told he left a rather odd will. It specifies that she will inherit her father's estate on the condition that she stay in his creepy palatial mansion for seven nights in a row - alone.




Sensational, honey.
Merely sensational.

Is that a showman,
or is that a showman?

- How's Cassie?
- Happy as a pig in a mud hole.

That's our
dressing room, alright.

Oh, Cassie.

What's the matter, sweetheart?
Look what you've done. Aw.



How'd it go, honey? Did you
scare the pants off of 'em?

You come here
and clean this baby up.

Alright. As soon as I finish making
Mr. Duquesne's drink.

Don't bother, I'll do it.
= it's no bother.

I said I will do it!

Come on, sweetheart.
Come on, come to...

Oh, look at you.
Aw, what a cute face.

Did you want makeup on too?

We'll get you all cleaned up.

I had a little brother j

j his name was tiny Tim j

j I put him in the bathtub
to teach him how to swim j

j he drank up all the water j

j he ate up all the soap j

j he died last night
with a bubble in his throat j

j and... j

Dolly, do you mind?

Cassie likes it. She's smiling.

It went beautifully tonight, Melinda.

Just beautifully.

You know,
we may be able to get along

without the rope hanging
from the scaffold.

I don't like the way it cuts off
the circulation in your arms.

Don't tamper with the
trick. We've made money with it.

I started using
that trick in 1935.

That's ten years ago.
It's outlived itself.

So it's good for another
ten years, maybe 20.

There's always
a greater illusion, my friend.

Melinda and I are planning

an entirely new finale
for the European tour.

- Well, there we are.
- All cleaned up for daddy.

- Did the new costume arrive?
- Oh, yes. There it is.

Came while you were on stage.

Uh-huh. Hold it up, Melinda,
so we can get a good look.

It's a knockout,
but what's it for?

Marie antoinette, the new finale.
They'll eat it up in France.

Come on, we'll show him.
=I don't want to. I'm tired.

- It'll only take a second.
- I don't want to.

Come on, darling.
It'll just be a minute.

Come along, Mr. press agent,
we'll show you something

you can really rave about.

Cassie, you've got the most
wonderful daddy in the world.

Tonight, we'll come back after
a good dinner and rehearse it.

There it is, buzz.

Designed it myself.
The workmen just finished it.

So that's the contraption you
put out five grand for, huh?

It's a lot for one trick.
= [it'll be worth it.

Think of the tie-in
for a French audience.

Beheading of Marie antoinette.

I'll show you how it works.

You'll run through an awful lot
of wives with that contraption.

Isn't it a darling little
machine, Melinda?

No American home
should be without one.

Here we go.

Duke, that's Cassie's doll.

I'll get her another
in the morning.

A poor substitute for you,
my dear.

The darn things never work
when you really need them.


Miss Duquesne? = yes.

I'm very sorry I'm late.
My plane was a bit delayed.

- Are the services over?
- We were just about to begin.

Please accept my
sincerest sympathy.

Thank you. Thank you
for all you've done, sir.

If you'll wait over there
for just a moment.

Alright, thank you.

Excuse me.


Who's the blonde?

I don't know, but I wonder what
she's doing after the funeral.

Cassie, honey.

Don't you remember me?

It's Dolly.
Dolly bast. Remember?

I was your nursemaid.
This is buzz Sheridan.

I was your father's manager
and press agent.

I-I can't get over it, you look
exactly like your mother.

Like she's come back
after all these years.

Hey, Sheridan.

Come here a minute.

Oh, excuse me, Cassie.

Do you expect us
to believe this?

Alright. Alright.
So you don't believe it.

So it's no skin off my teeth,
go on home.

He meant that he'd positively
return from the other side?

He said he'd try.
He thought he could.

He will, Cassie. Yes, he will.

Come on, what's he gonna do?
Jump out of the grave?

You never can tell. Not with
the great Duquesne, you can't.

- Keep your eyes open.
- Ready to begin, miss Duquesne.

Perhaps you will want
to stand beside me.

Just one second, reverend,
if you please.

Alright, fellows.

What are those for?

It was his last wish.

He said he didn't want
to do anything the easy way.

No. Stop that. Don't do that.
= wait. Wait. Cassie.

- Stop it!
- Cassie, please.

Mr. Sheridan, please stop this.

It's what he wanted, Cassie.

He wanted this chain, the casket
with the window in it?

This is the most inexcusable,
tasteless thing.

- I quite agree, miss Duquesne.
- And so do I, reverend.

Your father made me promise.
I gave my word as his friend.

You gave your word for what?

In turning something reverend
into a cheap

theatrical sideshow like this?

What kind of a friend are you?

I've never been
so disgusted in my life.

What's this about, Sheridan?
= who is she?

- Is this Duquesne's daughter?
- What's going on, Sheridan?

Yes. Yes. Yes.
She's Duquesne's daughter.

- She came from back east for...
- She's the daughter?

Miss Duquesne?

Miss Duquesne?

Miss Duquesne?

- Just a few words.
- Please, just a moment.

- No.
- How about a picture?

How do you feel about your father
coming back from the grave?

Did he say anything
to you about it?

I didn't know my father.

I haven't heard or seen him
for about 20 years.

There's really nothing
I can say or I care to say.

- Please leave me alone.
- Get a picture.

No. No. Stop it.
I told you not to do that.

Well, it did us a lot of good.

Let's get back to Sheridan.

It can't be
a cheap grab for attention.

Why not?

Since when does
a dead man need publicity?

Since egocentric hams
came into existence.

- Oh, no. No.
- Duquesne was one of the worst.

No, it's something else.
Has to be.

Twenty years ago, he was
at the height of his career.

He has money, fame,
and the works.

And like that, he retires.

Withdraws from public,
from his friends.

Just doesn't sound like
a publicity-seeking ham to me.

I'm listening.

Well, something happened.

I think it had to do with this.

I know all about it.

I wrote this story myself
when I was a reporter.


Well, now, why didn't you
tell me that, huh?

Duquesne loved her very much.

When she walked out on him
and the baby, that was it.

He just cracked up.
His world was gone.

Didn't he ever try to find her?

Police did.
Came up with nothing.

Evidently, Melinda wanted
to get good and thoroughly lost.

And she succeeded.

Another man?

Mm, lot of people thought so.

It's too bad.
She was a beautiful woman.

Yeah. I saw her today.

- What?
- Duquesne's daughter.

She looks exactly that. Exactly.

She came for the funeral.

Her father's will's
being read tomorrow.

Where has she been
all this time?

Some place in Wisconsin.
Seems they farmed her out

to an old maternal aunt after
her mother's disappearance.

Never knew her father.

Where did you learn all this?

From her. Drove her back
from the cemetery.

Well, might make a nice
little human interest story.

Well, could be.

"Abandoned in life, meet only at
graveside," something like that.

Could you set up
an interview in the morning?

No, I'm afraid not.
She's allergic to printer's ink.

Well, evidently
she talked to you.

Yeah, well, actually, she...

She doesn't know I'm a reporter.

So, who says you are?

Mr. Carmichael, you have
a wicked and devious mind.

- You know where she's staying?
- Mm-hm, but she won't be there.

She'll be at the reading
of her father's will.

By the way,
it's being held here.

By Duquesne's express wish.

An old ham. Difficult.
Difficult of him.

Even in death,
he does everything in style.

As if the dignity of the
legal profession were being used

for some amateur theatrical.

I knew your father only
slightly, miss Duquesne.

But frankly, had he told me
that these proceedings

would be held under such
ridiculous circumstances,

I would've refused
to represent his estate.

I hope you don't find
my attitude uncharitable.

Also, I should like
to make it abundantly clear

that the late Mr. Duquesne
made out this will

without any legal assistance

However, as far as I can
determine, it's all legal.

Properly signed and witnessed
according to law.

Like we shouldn't get any ideas
about contesting it, huh?

Shame on you. Whatever Duke
wanted, it's our duty to obey.

- We owe him that.
- Yes, well...

"I, John hanley Duquesne,
being of sound mind and body,

do hereby bequeath
all my property

to my daughter Cassandra
in the Sincere hope that

she may forgive me for these
many long years of neglect.”

Well, darling,
you can't win 'em all, huh?

Please, Mr. Sheridan.
There is a condition attached.

"I ask my daughter Cassandra,
who, being my only flesh

and blood kin, is the one person
on earth most closely attuned

to my immortal spirit,
to assist me in my hope of

returning from the dead
by taking up residence for

a minimum period of seven days
in the house where I lived

these past 25 years.

The home to which
my spirit will return

and make its presence
known to her.

I make it a binding condition
that she be in the house

each night between the hours
of midnight and dawn.

If for any reason, whatsoever,
not excluding illness or death

my daughter is
unwilling or unable

to accede to this condition,

I direct that my estate
be divided up as follows.

One half to my loyal
manager and press agent

Mr. Jules "buzzy" Sheridan

to join those sums he has
stolen from me in the past.

And one half to Ms. Dolly bast,
in appreciation for having given me,

as she never tired
of pointing out,

the best years of her life.

Signed, John hanley Duquesne.”

That ends the reading
of the testament.

Miss Duquesne, may I speak
to you for a moment, please?

May I congratulate you,
miss Duquesne.

- This is the key to the house.
- Thank you.

$300,000 is a great deal
of money, miss Duquesne.

Should you in the future need
any advice on investments,

trusts, anything at all,
please, feel free to call me.

Thank you very much.

I'm very sorry he didn't leave
either of you anything.

He did, honey. He left us a lot
of memories. He was a great man.

Dolly, Mr. vickers was telling
me at breakfast how you have

taken care of my father
all of these years.

You're perfectly welcome to stay
at the house if you'd like.

No. I-l couldn't do that.
I'll come out sometime

next week to pick up my things.

Really, please feel free to.
= no.

It's you he wants
to come back to.


Well, hello.
What are you doing here?

I remembered you were
coming out this morning.

Thought you might like lunch.

Oh, no, thanks. I've got a lot
to do before this evening.

How did the will go? Your father
leave anything to you?

Well, yes. Everything.

Why are you so interested?

Well, as I said, I'm an
admirer of your father's.

You know that old house of his
always fascinated me.

- You going out there?
- Later.

Well, it's an hour's drive
north of here.

Be happy to take you out
if you like.

No, thanks. Not to be rude, but
I think I can make it on my own.


Somebody here expectin' you?

Mm, nobody.

You mean, you're gonna
stay here all by yourself?


Well, good luck.


- Sorry.
- What are you doing here?

It's what I told you at the bowl.
I'm interested in the house.

Oh. = yeah.

I work for my uncle.
He's a builder.

He's had an eye on
your father's place.

Kind of interesting, isn't it?

Sorry, I forgot your name.
= val Henderson.

What he has in mind is putting up
an exclusive subdivision.

With modern homes, maybe a
shopping center, a bowling alley...

Mr. Henderson, I'm not very
interested. Will you excuse me?

Miss Duquesne, this could be an
important project for this area.

That's fine.

I don't know what your business
ethics are, if you have any.

They certainly don't seem
to include any decency.

My father was buried yesterday.

Miss Duquesne, if I could have
one more moment of your time.

I'm gonna level with you.
I feel terrible, I really do.

It was my uncle's idea.

He said, "you get out there
and get a deal or you are fired."

He's not a very nice man,
miss Duquesne.

How about it, huh?

If I thought those reporters
at the funeral were contemptible,

I think that you and your uncle
are beneath contempt.

Now, are you gonna go?


What is it?

What happened?

Oh, it's on a wire. Runs
up to that cabinet up there.

I just pressed that
switch by the door.

I thought it was
the light switch.

Your father must have
been a million laughs.

Come on, let's find
the real light switch.

Here it is.

He couldn't have had much
of an electric bill.

I've seen better lighting
in the tunnel of love.

I guess he liked the atmosphere
dark and mysterious like this.


- We've got a visitor.
- Hey, isn't he cute?

- Yeah.
- What are you doing here?

Every magician
has to have a rabbit.

For pulling out of hats.

Hope he didn't have two.
It'd get awful crowded in here.

- Here we go.
- I'll take care of you later.

I don't think I'd better leave
until we've checked this place.

- Oh?
- Well, it's the least I can do.

Alright, thanks.
= you're welcome.

Well, shall we
go get acquainted?

Uh, with the rest of the house.


Well, let's start
on the lower floor.


First catacomb to the left.

Here we have the boer war
with the original cast.

Coming up, old aunt Harry.

She wasn't feeling
too well that day.

Well, here's a
nice-looking door, right here.

It's a music room. = yeah.

- You play anything?
- Uh-huh, little golf.

I meant a musical instrument.

No. I never was much good
at that kind of thing.

- Hey, what's in here?
- That's a little parlor.

Well, I better find
a place to sleep.

Come on. Let's try upstairs.

Hey, how many stories
has this place got?

Looks like at least four to me.

I don't know, but I think
we're gonna get plenty lost.

Don't worry,
I'm half St. Bernard.


- Take your pick.
- Well, that one.


"Welcome to the twilight zone."

What are these?

- These...
- It's my father.

Yeah. He used these molds
to make rubber masks of himself.

What for? = his act.

He'd have an assistant
wear one of these on stage.

The audience would think it was
the great Duquesne himself.

Then the assistant would
disappear through a trap door.

Two seconds later, the real
Duquesne would be walking

down the aisle from the back
of the theatre.

If your father didn't
scare them to death downstairs

with that skeleton, he probably
finished them off in here.


Look at this.

You remember these?

You could get a heck of
a manicure with that.

Look at all this stuff.

Hey, these swords. They're real.

Sharp too.

Must have been used for one of
those human pincushion tricks.

Mr. Henderson?

Mr. Henderson.

Mr. Henderson?

Where are you?



You quit playing games
with me now.

Where are you?

Mr. Henderson.

Mr. Henderson?

Mr. Henderson,
will you answer me?

- Mr. Henderson.
- Stick 'em up.

What are you doing
scaring me like that?

I didn't do it on purpose.
I mean, I did it on purpose.

I did this on purpose.
Not that, in there.

I went in this cabinet
out of curiosity.

I pushed a button
and the back of it gave way.

Found myself in another room.
That one.

Really? = yeah.

Oh, you scared me to death.

Didn't feel good about it myself.
It went back like that.

Look at my hands.
They're still shaking.

You scare that easy?
= oh, I don't know.

I've never been through
anything like this before.

My first haunted house.

Except it's not haunted, is it?

Haunted houses have ghosts.
This one just has tricks.

Shall we continue the tour?

You really scared me
to death down there, you.

Well, I have that effect
on a lot of people.

Maybe this is a bedroom.

Ah. Madam, your boudoir.


She was very beautiful,
wasn't she?

Still is.

Oh, how strange.

Do you realize this is the closest
I've been to my mother?

Gives me a funny feeling...

Being in her room...

Looking like her,
among her things.

You know, I think this is
gonna sound ridiculous, but...

See, I was just two years old
when she disappeared, but...

I really think
I can remember her.

The way she looked.

The way she smelled,
you know, like soap.

She used to put her hand
on my forehead.

Always really soft.

My aunt Elizabeth
had hands like sandpaper.

Is she the aunt who
raised you in Wisconsin?


Didn't you get along?

My aunt Elizabeth? Oh, yeah.

She was just too old to have
a child in the house, I guess.

Actually, you know,
she was very good.

Very strict but very fair.

Didn't your mother ever try
to contact you all these years?


Why blame her?
Neither did my father.

My aunt Elizabeth
used to talk like this, she'd say,

"good riddance to both of them.
Consider yourself lucky.

Stage folk.

Morally irresponsible.”
etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

When I was a kid, I used to
pretend that my dad

just loved my mother deeply.

And he loved me too.

And he was just around the corner,
just waiting to come to me.

You're an amazing person,

- Oh, yeah?
- Yeah.

How come?

Because you have every reason
to be bitter and you're not.


That is just a word
that angry people use

to hide the fact they
wanna be loved. That's all.

By her. By him.

I've wanted that all my life,

too much to hide
behind bitterness.

Your father left you everything.
Left you this house.

He must have loved you.

Then why all the
years of neglect?

Well, I can't answer
that one, Cassie.

Only he could've told you that.

Well, look. I'll go downstairs
and get your suitcases.

You just relax there
for a while.



Don't bring the smaller one. It's
full of cold roast beef sandwiches.


Do you like cold
roast beef sandwiches?

Yeah. Are you asking
me for dinner?

If you like cold roast beef
sandwiches, I'm asking.

I'm accepting.


- What is it?
- This silly thing scared me.

Yeah. Well, he doesn't
seem too pleased to see us.

- Do you feel any better?
- Mm. Sandwich helps.

- You want another one?
- No, thanks. I had plenty.

But my compliments
to a most charming hostess.

Oh, thank you, gallant sir.

Cassie, you know, I don't think
you ought to stay here alone.

I'm not gonna be alone.

Mr. vickers, he's my attorney.

He said he'd arrange for
a housekeeper to stay with me.

She'll be here
sometime tomorrow.

I meant tonight.

Oh, I'll be alright.

I'm just gonna jump into bed
and stay there.

I promise to open no doors,
no closets, no nothing.

I've had enough
practical jokes for one day.

Yeah, I guess you have.

- Val?
- Hm?

Tell me something
about yourself.

All I know about you
is your name.

Val Henderson and you work in
real estate with your uncle.

There's not much to tell really.
I'm just an ordinary guy.

After the gypsies captured me
from the palace

and my wicked twin
took over the throne

nothing much happened.

I was captured by pirates.

Spent some years
as a white hunter in Africa

and then became
an international Jewel thief.

Are you ever serious?


Sometimes I get very serious.

Val, I'm awfully tired.


- Lemme walk you home.
- Okay.

Only as far as the stairs, now.


I think it's a dreadful shame
that you're wasting

your time in real estate
being a Jewel thief and all.

Actually, I lied to you about
that, I'm not in real estate.

- Oh. What do you do?
- Same old thing.

Brain surgery.




You're welcome.


What was that? =I don't know.


Let's go find out.

Shh, shh, shh.

Sounds like a woman
crying, doesn't it?


Where's it coming from?

I don't know. Sounds like
it's coming from everywhere.

It's dying down.

Don't leave me.

Who knows you're here?

I don't know. Vickers, Dolly.

Or Sheridan, maybe.



Who is this, please?

It's a man. He's just breathing.


Don't hang up.

Who is this, please?



I knew it'd be something like this.
That sobbing too.


Turn it off!

Cassie, it's a recording.

I don't care.

It's as if the whole house
were breathing.

Listen, um...

I'm not letting
you stay alone tonight.

I'll sleep on that couch.

- You alright?
- Uh-huh.

Look, I think
we can use a night cap too.

Come on, it'll do us both good.

Hey! What are you
doing up there?

Oh, hi.

I found these keys
in the kitchen.

None of them works.

I think the sound we heard
came from in there.

You mean, the sobbing?
= no, no, no. The chains.

I got the sobbing figured out.
= mm.

- Yeah, see that ventilator?
- Yeah?

I went all over the house.
There must be dozens of those.

I think the sound came up
from somewhere down below

up through the ventilation system
and echoed throughout.

But from where down below?
=I don't know.

He probably had another
tape recorder stashed somewhere.

I got a feeling this whole place
is rigged for stereo.

Wish I could find
the key to that door.

- What do you think you'll find?
- Hmm...

Maybe the world's largest collection
of sound effects tapes.

How you feeling? = oh, fine.

Things sure look better
in the morning, right?

- Yeah, let's have breakfast.
- Okay.

- Breakfast?
- Yeah.

While you were asleep,
I drove down on the highway.

Found a store
about five miles down.

How doth the busy little bee.

Not too well. Dropped the eggs.
You like scrambled eggs?

I love scrambled eggs.
=you're on. Come on.

Oh, isn't this charming?

Coffee's hot. Eggs are cold.

Ooh, look at these. = yeah.

I didn't know you could cook.

Thought I closed that.

Huh? Oh, sure, sure.
Why don't you marry me?

Haven't tasted your eggs yet.

Where does this door go?

It goes to the basement.
Went through it this morning.

Dusty. Hey,
let's try the coffee.

Oh... okay.

- Thank you.
- Mm-hm.

- Coffee.
- Just like uptown.

- There you go.
- Thank you.

- Mmm.
- Ah, you like it, huh?

Mmm, it's very bad.

It grows on you.

Now, that sound is real.

- Hey, you expecting someone?
- Yeah, the new housekeeper.

- Come on.
- Oh, yeah. Ah...

Well, come on.

Um, yeah.

- Hey, what's her name?
- Mrs. ryerdon.

Does she know what
kind of job she's taking?

Don't know. Mr. vickers said he
got her from employment office.

I hope she's got
a good sense of humor.

That'll be $15.

Hello there.

Well, how you doing? = fine.

You must be Mrs. ryerdon.
= the name's Ramona.


Well, it's a very romantic name.

Well, don't get any ideas.
You Mrs. Duquesne?

No, ma'am, miss Duquesne.
My friend, val Henderson.

- Hi.
- Not your husband?

- No.
- No, no.

She wouldn't have me.
Doesn't like my cooking.

Oh, I'll get it.

Right that way.


Who owns this?
I don't like open cars.

I can't stand them.

Oh, let me get that.
Right there.

Now, I want you to know I don't
cook. Just straight housework.

Light housework is my business.

Yes, I understand perfectly.
That's fine.

Ramona, did Mr. vickers tell
you anything about this house?

Nope. Not a thing. Why?
Something I ought to know?

Oh, nothing special. Just some
things, I'll explain 'em later.

Smells awfully dusty in here.

We'll get someone to do the
heavy cleaning. It won't be bad.

Big houses, they get mighty
drafty and I catch colds easy.

Oh? Well, we were very
comfortable last night.

- Warm as toast. Right, val?
- Yes, yes.

We? That's nice.

She means last evening.
It was just perfect.

- It was a little noisy, maybe.
- Noisy?

Ramona, my father left me this
house and he was a magician.

Sort of a practical joker too,
wasn't he, val?

Yes, yes. Sure was.

So it's possible that
you just might hear things.

Wh-what kind of things?

I don't know exactly.
Some noises, something like that.

Well, it's something that
sounds like a woman crying.

You don't believe in ghosts,
do you, Mrs. ryerdon?

- Val.
- Ghosts?



We were having coffee.
Have some before I get you a room.

- Might make me feel better.
- Yeah, right down here.

Uh, Mrs. ryerdon. Would you care
for this last piece of toast?

- Huh?
- Would you care for toast?

No, I don't eat much breakfast.


Say, where did you say
that crying came from?

You see that door there? = yeah.

Well, that goes to the basement.

It came from down there,
we think.

Val, stop. Ramona,
I wouldn't worry about it.

I think it's just a practical joke,
a record or something.

Arecord of a woman crying?
= mm-hm.

There ain't no such thing. = no.

- Well, I better get with it.
- Mm.

I wonder where they put the
vacuum cleaners around here.

Gosh, I don't know.
Have another cup of coffee...

Oh, here it is.

Miss. Duquesne.

I put in my eight hours
every working day.

That's what I get paid for, see.
Then I relax on my own time.

Thought I'd help you
later if you want.

You have your coffee.
I'll get up on that front hall.

And I don't need help.
When I do a job, I do it!

Yes, ma'am.

I get the distinct impression
Mrs. ryerdon

isn't ever going down
in that basement.

Me too. I don't care. I feel
better having somebody around.

Oh, thanks a lot.
Where have I been?

Oh, I don't mean that.

I mean, here,
from now on, permanently.

You've been very nice, sir.

Yeah, lots of laughs.

Hey, let me pour you
a cup of coffee.


Guess you'll be kinda anxious
to get back to the city, huh?

Oh, no. No, no. I'm in no hurry.

Matter of fact, I've gotten
attached to this old place.

Oh, you have, huh? = mm-hm.

There's something
about it I like.


Did she say the front hall?
= mm-hm.

Oh, my gosh, what if...

She did.


Get the wild animals
out of here.

Oh, ah, get that wild animal
away from me. Lift me.

It's just a trick, Ramona.
Try and relax.

- Oh, this is a crazy house.
- I'm sorry.

I want to get out of here.
You're crazy.

Please, Ramona.
I want to talk for a minute.

I wanna get out
of this crazy house.

- Ramona, please.
- I've gotta get outta here.


I guess you'd better hurry
if you're gonna get.

Let me help you, Mrs. ryerdon.

- There we go...
- Please, I'll do it myself.

Yes, ma'am.

Open cars.

I told you I didn't
like open cars.

When I first saw it,
I didn't like it.

Yes, ma'am.


- You can't win 'em all, huh?
- Yeah, that's right.

Look, let's forget about that
house today. Let's go somewhere.

Alright. Hey,
what about your job?

Oh, I have a very
indulgent uncle.

It's a beautiful day, let's
find some normal everyday people

and have a relaxed afternoon,
what do you say?


It's two down and one to go.
The lady wins the big prize.

She's got the ball.
She's winding up, and there she goes.

The lady wins a prize.
The safety valve pillow.

Especially designed
for pretty girls

- thank you.
- Oh, that's wonderful.

Keep pitching, pal.
Keep pitching, boy.

Yes, step right up, folks...

You tired?


- We must have walked miles.
- Yeah, we did.

What time is it getting to be?

- Like 5:00.
- Hmm.

Maybe we should think about
getting back to the house soon.

We'll stop at the grocery store,
get some groceries.

Because you're invited
for dinner, alright?

Yeah, fine, fine. Great.


I've had an awful lot of fun today,
val Henderson. Thanks.

You're welcome. So have I.

- Cassie.
- Hm.

Do yourself a favor.

- What's that?
- Don't go back to that house.

I have to. That's the agreement.

Yeah, I know.

Seven days. Midnight till dawn.

Break the agreement,
no $300,000, dear.

Yeah, I know, I know.


A day away from it, it even
becomes kinda funny, doesn't it?

As a matter of fact,
believe it or not, I miss it.

It's my own private amusement park,
that's what it is.

Cassie, you know, you're, uh...

- You're very impressionable...
- Mm.

Yeah, you are,
and you're sensitive and...

I think you're lonelier
than you'll admit.

Well, daddy is gonna show up
any night now and I won't be alone.

He gave you a bad time last night.
It could get worse.

Yeah. Building up
to a tremendous finale.



Back from the dead!

Yeah, what if he does come back?

You're not gonna go psychic
on me now, are you?

No, but I think if you spend...

You spend too many nights
alone in that house,

it'll start to get to you.

You mean I'm so sensitive
and impressionable

that I'll be seeing things?

Or doing things.
Maybe even dangerous things.

- Like?
- Like, uh...

Like maybe getting
scared out of your wits.

Like running blindly
down that staircase.

Like maybe breaking your neck.

Please, darling. My pretty neck.

- Your exquisite neck.
- Hm, that's better.

So what?

So, if I conjure him up,
what do you think I'm gonna see?

We see what we want
to see, Cassie.

Then there's no problem.

He'll be tall and strong.

Well... he'll be handsome anyway.

And he'll be loving and he'll
be great fun to be around.

I'll tell you what.
Let's forget about shopping.

We'll drive down
the coast highway.

We'll stop at a little spot.
Get a steak, a bottle of wine.

= we'll have some soft talk.

- Hm.
- Candlelight.

- What kinda talk?
- Soft.

J adjust that shoulder
like a blowing boat

j I'm never gonna
let my monkey roll &

j go, go, go, go, go, baby j

j go, go, go, go, oww j

j go, baby, go, go,
go, go, baby j

j we're on tonight
go, go, baby j

j go, go, go, go, go
c'mon, baby, oww j

j scream and shout go, go j

j yeah, feel alright
go, go, go, go, baby j

j go, go, go, go, baby, oww j

j go, go, go, go, baby j

j go, go, go, go, baby j

j turn my head j

j baby fly j

j all you girls, you went out j

j I'm one guy who never goes out

j adjust that shoulder
like a blowing boat

j I'm never gonna
let my monkey roll &

j go, go, go, go, baby j

j go, go, go, go, oww j

j go, baby, go, go,
go, go, baby j

j go, go, go, go, baby j

two scotches.

Scotch. Two.

J go, go, go, go, oww j

j c'mon, baby j

j baby fly j

j baby, baby, shout j

j go, go, go, go, baby j

j go, go, go, go, baby j

j go, go, go, go, baby j

j c'mon, baby go, go, go j

j everything is alright j

j everything is alright j

j everything is alright j

j we're gonna rock and roll »

j c'mon, baby j

j c'mon, baby j

j oww j

j go, go, go, go, baby j

j go, go, go, go, baby j

j go, go, go, go, baby j

j go, go, go, go, baby j

j go, go, go, go, baby... j

what's that you said
about quiet?


- Quiet.
- I can't hear you.

At least this place is alive.
We don't have to talk.

I cannot hear you.

Forget it.

J go, go, go, go, baby j

j go, go, go, go, baby j

j go, go, go, go, baby j

j go, go, go, go, baby j

j go, go, go, go, baby j

j go, go, go, go, baby j

j go, go, go, go, baby j
j c'mon, baby j

j go, go, go, go, baby j
j c'mon, baby j

j go, go, go j

j yeah, yeah j

J c'mon, baby j

come here down j

j everything's alright j

j baby

j I say go, go, go, go, baby j

j go, go, go, go j

j c'mon, baby j

j c'mon, baby j j go, go, go j

j oh, yeah j

j go, go, go, go, go, baby /

j go, go, go, baby j

j go, go, go, go, baby j

j go, go, go j

Wait here.


Dolly bast.
What is it? What happened?

What're you doing here?
What's the matter? What's she doing?

Don't know, but something
really scared her.

What is it, Dolly?
What frightened you?

Well, I saw, I...

You saw what? What did you see?

I, um, your father.

Up there. He was
at the top of the stairs.

He was standing there.

That's impossible.

You stay here.

I saw him. If you'd believed.

If you'd loved him, like I did.

Like I do.

- But I do love him.
- Oh, but you don't need him.

Only I need him.

Only I can't live without him.

Dolly, there's a room at the
top of the stairs. It's locked.

It was always locked.

He was the only one
who ever went in it.

What's in it?

I don't know.

- You know where the key is?
- Yes.

Well, where is it?
Get it for us.

I can't.

It was buried
in his grave with him.

It was his wish.

Come on, let's go downstairs.

I've come here every night since
he died just to be near his things.

- His memory.
- We heard you last night.

You must have loved him a great
deal to cry for him like that.

And yet, in the end,
I failed him.

Even I failed him.

You failed him, how?

He must have known he was dying.

He kept it to himself. He wanted
to spare me the pain of it.

He made me go away
for a week, a vacation.

The next time I saw him
he was dead in his coffin.

He died alone.
I'll never forgive myself that.

He needed somebody around him,
all through the end.

Then why didn't he
ever try to contact me?

You don't know
how lonely it was.

Don't I?

Well, don't you think a thing
like that works both ways?

Why didn't you try to reach him?

Because I didn't think he cared.

Cared? He worshipped you.

He did?


Oh, Dolly, if I've made
a mistake all these years...

I've got to know.

Please tell me something.

I don't think I could say
"forgive me" to a memory, but...

But I want to.

Please tell me.

Twenty years ago.

The night your mother went away.
It was the end of the world to him.

He wouldn't believe
she was gone.

Night after night, he'd sit out front
in the music room.

He'd say, "darling,
where's Melinda?

She hasn't played her harp
or sung for me for a week.

Where is she?"

We'd walk all over the house
searching for Melinda.

He had tape recordings of her
singing and playing,

and I'd play one of them

and he'd get easy in his mind
and he could sleep again,

but the next night it would be
the same all over again.

Are you saying Cassie's father
went mad after his wife left?

Grief can drive you mad,
if you love deeply enough.

Your aunt Elizabeth came
and got you, Cassie.

And that's not a scene
I care to remember.

I can imagine that,
poor darling.

Then, three months ago,
he saw your picture in the paper.

With a story of you being
chosen for a club or something.

He said,
"look, Dolly. It's Melinda."

I tried to tell him it was you,
Cassie, but he just kept saying,

"it's Melinda. I've found
my Melinda,” over and over.

And that afternoon,
I typed a long letter to you

begging his Melinda
to come back,

and then I mailed it.

I didn't get the letter.

It was sent back unopened.

Aunt Elizabeth.


He got worse
after that letter came back.

He'd lost his Melinda
for the second time.

And l... I think
that's when he began to die.

Oh, Dolly, I'm so sorry.

If only I'd known.

He's come back, Cassie.

He's come back.

Cassie, can I talk to you for
just a minute, please? Alone.

- Alone?
- Yeah, it's important.

It'll just take a minute.
Come on.

Get your coat. We're taking
Dolly to that bus station.

What? I was going to
ask her to stay here.

I was afraid you were going
to say something like that.

We're getting her
out of here, Cassie.

- Why?
- 'Cause she's not good for you.

Besides, I think she's putting
on the performance of her life.

Val, that's ridiculous.

Do you believe she saw your
father's ghost on the staircase?

Mm? = no.

Alright, what did she see?

- Well, she saw something.
- What? A shadow? The rabbit?

I don't know.

Maybe it's as you said
at the amusement park, val.

She's a person who sees what she
wants to see and needs to see.

And so are you.

You keep her needling you
and bugging you,

she'll have you seeing
spooks in a few days.

So, I'll be seeing spooks?

You really believe.
You actually want to believe.

That's nonsense and you know it.

Why are you defending her?
= I'm not.

- Cassie, listen to yourself.
- I'm not defending her.

You're angry because
I'm talking you outta something

you want to believe.

But you can't wish
the dead back to life.

Not for all the love
or all the need in the world.

I know that.


It just seems like a... simple
act of kindness that I can do

for Dolly for taking
care of my father.

Cassie, I-l don't think
that what Dolly is doing

deserves any act
of kindness from you.

What do you mean?

If you're scared outta this house
before the seven days,

who stands to gain?

- Well, Dolly and Sheridan.
- Dolly and Sheridan.

Now, val, I told you
that was ridiculous.

Now, she saw something on
the stairs. She was terrified.

Cassie, I think she has you
more hooked than you realize.

Don't let her stay around you.

- Val.
- Cassie, please.

Okay. Okay. You win.

Alright, get your coat.


Will you take her please?

I'd like a glass of hot milk
and I'd like to go to bed.

Alright. Well, you sure
you'll be alright?


I suppose you think that
Sheridan's up in that

locked room there waiting
to scare me out of my wits, huh?

- Will you hurry back?
- I'll hurry back.

I'll be waiting.

You sure you can
make it back to town?

Yes. I gotta find buzz and tell
him what happened tonight.

Mm-hmm. Where'll you find buzz?

At a place called big Mike's.

It's a bar.
Buzz practically lives there.

I've gotta tell him.

He'll wanna know
that Duquesne came back.

Yeah. I'll bet he'll wanna know.

Duquesne coming back.
Why don't you come off it?

I got a little advice for you.

Well, that
should be interesting.

Don't you think
I don't know who you are?

So don't you be
so smart with me.

Who am 1?

You're... some wise punk
who's just after her money.

That's who you are.
Well, you won't get a dime.

Who'll stop me?
You and Sheridan?

- Duquesne, that's who's...
- Duquesne?

Duquesne's gonna stop you
because he loves his daughter.

It's been
a great performance, Dolly.

Damn you.

Vaudeville's dead.
Nobody's asking for an encore.

You're gonna be sorry.

- Goodnight.
- You're gonna be...

Damn you! Damn you!

Damn you!

I what j

j is this thing j

I called j

j love? J

j this funny thing &

I called love j

j just who can solve j

j its mystery j

j why should it;

I make a fool of me j

J I saw you there j

j one wonderful day

j you took j

j my heart j

j and threw it away j

J that's why I ask the lord... j

- Oh, val.
- Honey, what is it?

Honey, what happened?

- Look.
- What is it?


Looks real, alright. Real wax.

That's me, that's me.

It's a likeness of your mother.

They must have used it
in some magic act or...

How did it get here?

It was in the box
at the top of the stairs.

The rabbit knocked it
over at me.

Honey, it's alright.

Are you okay?

Oh, val, I feel so funny.

My head is spinning.

It's enough
to drive anyone bats.

Oh, hold me. Please hold me.

I'm here. I'm here.

Look, what you need is to get
some rest. Now you come on.

Come on. Let's go upstairs.

It's okay.

I still don't know what you're
gonna get out of Sheridan.

Well, I don't either,
but it's worth a try.

If Dolly and Sheridan are behind
this, he's not gonna admit it.

Maybe he'll give himself away
by covering up too much.

Anyway, I want to talk to Dolly
again, while she's sober.

You sure you don't
wanna come along?

Nope. I'm going to change my
clothes, putter in the garden,

and then I'm going to lie
in the sun for hours

and hours and hours.

It'll do you good.

- See you later.
- Bye.

Hello, big Mike around?

You're looking at him, mister.
What can I do for you?

Uh... I'm trying to find
buzz Sheridan.

I'll get him for you.

He doesn't like to be
awakened abruptly.

Uh-huh. Thanks.




There's somebody here
to see you.

Hmm? = Mr. Sheridan?

My name is val Henderson.
I'm a friend of Cassie Duquesne.

Oh, yeah.

I know. Dolly told me.

She called me up last night.


She told me the whole bit.

She believes he came back
from the dead to her,

so why spoil it?

Well, I'm trying to help
Cassie Duquesne.

Dolly told me what you suspect.


Well, you're wrong, mister.
You're dead wrong.

You can accuse Dolly
of all kinds of things,

but she would never do anything
to harm Duquesne's daughter.

And just in case you
got any ideas about me,

you can forget 'em.
I loved Duke.

Something glowed from him.
A remarkable presence.

Maybe a man like that
never does really die.

His presence
is still all around.

And maybe he can come
back from the dead.

Do you really believe that?

I wish it. Dolly wishes it.

Let's be honest, Mr. Sheridan.

Don't you also wish
that you and Dolly

could make a two-way split
of $300,000?

I don't have to listen to you.

Dolly took care of him
for 20 years.

He didn't leave her a dime.

Now she's no Saint.
Wouldn't she expect something?

So go talk to Dolly.

You know her number,
Mr. Sheridan?

I know her number.

4630799. It's a rooming house.

And you're way off base, mister.

Mike, you should really
delouse this joint.

Miss Duquesne?

What are you doing here?
Who are you?

My name is Joe Russell.
Can I ask you a few questions?

- About what?
- You know miss Dolly bast?

Yes, I do. Is something wrong?

She called us this morning.
Said your father kept his word.

Came back... from
the grave last night.

Now I know who you are.

You're one of the reporters
at the funeral, aren't you?

I wanted to check her story
out with you before we...

- Cassie.
- Over here, val.

- I'll only take a few minutes.
- I'm very sorry.

- It'll only take a second.
- Whose car is that out...

Hey, val. Well,
what do you know?

No wonder you wouldn't
give me the story.

Boy, do you move fast.

- You know each other?
- Well, I...

Sure. We worked together
on the daily exchange.

That's my paper, before he
moved over to the journal.

We've known
each other for four...

- Cassie!
- Did I do something wrong?


Cassie, wait a minute.

Come on, honey. Wait. = no.

Lemme talk to him.
= you lied to me.

- If you knew I'm a reporter...
- No, don't.

Just a minute.
You wouldn't let me near you.

Now I started out for a story,
I admit. That's all changed now.

You don't have to explain
anything to me. Just go.

It's a hell of a time to tell you
but I'm in love with you.

If you have any decency, val,
please go. I've asked you to go.

Come off it now, Cassie.
What's so terrible about...

I want you to go write
your newspaper story

about this
silly heiress you fooled

into letting you stay
in the magician's house.

And into falling in love.


And into...


Cassie! Now open the door!

Very sorry, val,
but how was I to know?

Yeah, yeah.

Cassie, now open the door!



Cassie, open the door.
I want to explain.

I want you to understand.






Operator, get me the number
of a val Henderson, please.


I don't know.
In Los Angeles some place.

Please hurry. Please.

Oh, please be home val, please.


Oh, val, thank god
you're there. I need you.

Cassie, what's the matter?

The room upstairs, the one
that was always locked.

There's a box in there...
With a body.

A body of a woman with no head.

Please, it was horrible.

Get hold of yourself.
It can't be real.

It must be one of his props.

I don't care! I don't care.
Please get me out of here.

Wait a minute. Listen to me.

Lock the door, don't
let anyone in. Alright?

Now, Cassie, get
a hold of yourself.

Please hurry. Please.

I'll be there as soon as I can.

No! No! No!

- Don't touch me!
- Don't be frightened, please.

You're alive.

You're not a ghost.

You're alive.

You faked that whole thing.

Your death, your funeral.



You wouldn't come back to me.

But-but I would have come
if I'd known you wanted me to.

You returned my letter.

Years of waiting,

and then when I found you,
you refused me.

No, I didn't get the letter.

Believe me, if I'd
gotten the letter

I would have come to you.

You would have?

I didn't think you wanted me.

If you only knew
how I hoped and prayed for this.

I wanted you to want me.

To love me.

But I always loved you, Melinda.





It's you. It's really you.

Melinda's come back, Dolly.

She's come back.

Oh, no.

No, that's not Melinda. That's
Cassie. Your daughter, Cassie.

No, I know you've been jealous
of Melinda all these years,

but you can't lie anymore, Dolly.
She's come back.

Daddy, I'm not Melinda.
= Melinda's dead.

No. No.

Yes. Yes, she's gone.

She died that night, Duke.
I brought her here myself.

I buried her in the woods
behind the house.

No, that's not true.
That's not true, Dolly. Melinda...

Melinda's here.


How did my mother die?

The trick, the guillotine.
Something went wrong.

I know it will
work now, Melinda.

I know it'll work.
= don't touch her.

- Melinda.
- No, don't take me.

Cassie, run! Cassie, run!

No. No, Duke.

Duke, you mustn't
do this thing. Don't.

No, she's not Melinda.

Duke, she's Cassie.
Listen to me, Duke.

You can't do this.
= get outta here!


Operator, get me the police.

You see, Melinda?

I saved it.

Saved everything
all through the years.

Dolly, what are you
doing out here?

Duquesne... he's back.

- He didn't die.
- What?

It was another one of his
illusions to get Cassie here.

Where's Cassie?
= she's with him.

He thinks it's Melinda.
He's gonna use the guillotine again.

The guillotine?

That's how Melinda
died that night.

He never would accept that.
He never believed she was dead.

Come on.

Ladies and gentlemen.

Behold one of the most tragic
and maligned figures

in... in all the...

The annals of recorded history.

The beauteous Marie antoinette.

Doomed by the... by the...

By the...

Bestial malevolence

of the revolutionary mob

to end her glorious life

upon this... this cruel instrument
of bloody torture.

La belle dame sans merci.

And why did she have to die?

For allegedly having remarked,
upon being informed

that the poor had no bread,

"why then, let them eat cake.”

Now I ask you,
ladies and gentlemen.

Is that a statement
showing heartlessness,

or... or merely a warm, generous
and delightful humor?

No, no.

Kindly take your seat.

Dolly, don't you understand?
Usher the gentleman to his seat.

I'm glad you came, sir.

And now, before your very eyes,
you're about to see

the ghastliest, cruelest,
most sickening act of legal vengeance

ever enacted
upon a beautiful woman.

The actual beheading of...


Of Marie antoinette.

It is October the 16th,
the year of our lord 1793.

The hour, 15 minutes
past the stroke of noon.

Oh, if you're squeamish, sir,
close your eyes.

If you're faint of heart,
turn aside.

Oh-oh, better still, perhaps
you should leave the auditorium.

Mr. Duquesne.

Ah... um...

The follow spot.

The follow spot, Mr. Duquesne,
it's not working.

The audience can't see you.

Oh, my god.


Cassie, Cassie.

I was so afraid.

Cassie, it's alright now.

- Cassie, I thought that the...
- I was so afraid.

It's alright. Now you're safe.

It's okay now. It's all over.

Oh, val...

- Oh, look at my father.
- It's alright now.

Come on, let me get
you out of this thing.

See, Melinda? I made it work.

I made it work.

Oh, daddy, please don't cry.

- What's going on?
- Upstairs.

Come on, Dave.